The Ooze

The Ooze is posting an article of mine this Thursday, March 29. Go check it out.

You'll find it on the front page under the Culture section. It's called "Music As Language". Give me a good rating if you feel it's deserved!

If you haven't been to The Ooze in a while, you should get on their forums. The conversations are very lively regarding all things "emerging".

Emerging Worshiper

Is God Green?

Conservative Evangelicals DO believe in global warming.

I have this program saved on my Panasonic Replay. If you want to watch it, just come over to my house and we can have a party. I showed it to our small group. We had a great discussion afterward. Here's a clip


Emerging Worshiper

www.KenBussell.com

I have recently redesigned my old website kenbussell.com and updated the look to match more closely with this blog. I am getting somewhat better with my web design skills, so give me some feedback and tell me what you think.

I have a bunch of my songs posted on there, along with PDFs of the lyrics and guitar chords. I am just getting that all started, and there hasn't been a lot of recording done yet, but here's a tidbit for you... I am planning a recording project with Qitros Ministries for sometime next year. A live worship concert, video recorded, and released completely for free under Creative Commons Licensing. We're planning to create a lot of collateral content for lead worshipers and facilitators, including instructional videos for how to play the songs, PowerPoint, SundayPlus, and MediaShout files, and more...

I've had quite a struggle internally over the last couple years about how to go about recording and releasing the music I have created. I wrote a big long post about it HERE.

The awesome thing about Qitros Ministries is that they are a NONPROFIT record label. Which is awesome! So I plan to make ZERO dollars from this project, and the label plans to make ZERO dollars from this project. Its like an open source approach to music.

Anyway, go check out the new and improved kenbussell.com and let me know what you think.

Emerging Worshiper

King of the Hill

I love this episode. It touches on SO MANY topics.

The set up: Hank and Peggy are upset because a new family has taken their spots in the pew on Sundays and the pastor has refused to ask the family to move.



Once the Hills start attending the mega church, Hank gets over committed. The church gives him a pager and he is constantly on call for all the events. He doesn't even have time to drink beer on the corner anymore because he's too busy with church. This clip is good, but you have to see the whole thing. It's hilarious!

Emerging Worshiper

Circumstances









This is a song about being in prison. It's not really a worship song in the sense that it doesn't lend itself well to leading others in worship. But it certainly has led others TO worship (that discussion is a whole post by itself, the idea of songs that lead people TO worship and songs that lead people IN worship). The metaphors here are really strong, that prison is a valley, and from the valley its sometimes hard to see the mountaintop, especially when you're surrounded by negativity.

It's been said before, Jesus is in the business of changing lives. He changed mine.

"Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me." Psalm 142:7


From the valley the summit seems so far
And clouds of sin block the view
And those around me deny that it exists
They just say that I'm a fool
To try and climb away

I've fallen further than I ever thought I would
But now I know what I must do
Serve my God like I never thought I could
But they still say that I'm a fool
To think I could ever change

Let them say what they will
I know the change inside is real
And today's my chance to rise above my Circumstances
They won't define who I am, or how I feel


There's more to the story. Check it out HERE.

Emerging Worshiper

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus









This is one of the best worship songs I have ever written. I kept being drawn to the idea that Jesus is much more than what we think or believe. He is described so beautifully in the Bible and in our theological traditions. But postmodernity confronts me with the inherent limitations of language, even the Bible's language. We sometimes reduce Jesus to a catchphrase, but feel good about it because we are quoting the Bible. So many songs about the names of Jesus spring to mind (emmanuel, wonderful counselor, prince of peace, lamb of god, lion of judah... I've written a few myself!). What are they really saying?

There are those who call for deeper and more accurate theology in worship lyrics. There are those who rightly criticize contemporary worship music as shallow, self centered, and cliche'. But the answer to campy Jesus tunes is not always to incorporate stronger theological precision. Instead, this song strikes directly at the language of the Bible, its descriptions, narratives, and metaphors of Jesus, and our theological interpretations of them, saying "Yes, all good, but..."

The bottom line: whoever you think Jesus is, He is More.


He’s more than a father, more than a friend
More than a Saviour whose love never ends
He’s more than a prophet, more than a priest
More than religion, and more than beliefs
He’s more than the life and the truth and the way
He’s more than forever, He’s more than today
He’s more than me, and He’s more than you
He’s done more than the whole world together could do

He's more than a servant, more than a king
He’s more than a word in the songs that we sing
He's more than a lion, He’s more than a lamb
He's more than divine and He’s more than a man
He's more than opinion or history or fact
He's more than the stripes and the scars on His back
He's more than a cross, and He's more than the nails
By His blood is the holy of holies unveiled

He’s more than I hoped for, more than I dreamed
He’s all I could want, and He’s all that I need
So I won’t look for glory or fortune or fame
I’ll look to the heavens and call on Your name

So I turn my eyes to You Jesus
I look full on Your wonderful face
And the things of earth have grown strangely dim
In the light of Your glory and grace



All my thanks and love to Russ Waldron, who recorded this live at an acoustic concert at Our Place, and to Phil Cazella of Qitros Ministries for mixing it.

Grace Like Rain









Here's a song recorded live during a worship gathering at Our Place Christian Church. My buddy Mark Inman (www.inmanz.com) recorded it with his video camera, and the mix came out kind of decent. Thanks Mark!

It's "Grace Like Rain", a song written by Todd Agnew (don't sue me Todd!). Todd swings it a bit on his record, but we rock it out. I like the power that driving straight eighth notes give to a rhythm section.

Bono and the NAACP

The NAACP this month announced its partnership with the One Campaign, and Bono was given the Chairman's Award at the 2007 NAACP Image Awards. He gave one heck of an acceptance speech.

If you are passionate about social justice, please watch this. Then go to www.one.org and sign up.


"The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thorns & Nails









Passion Week is coming up again at our church, and this is a song that I sing every year, one that I wrote back in 2000. As you prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter this year, take some time to listen to this song and meditate on the picture it paints.

Thorns and nails, shed His blood for all to see
Complexion pales, Oh My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
Forgive them, for they know not what they do
It is finished; Oh my God, I commit My soul to You

And the sky went black and the earth gave way
And the world was changed in a single day
And the men who saw, they were heard to say
Surely this was the Son of God

It would have killed me, to look in His eyes and see what I’d done
Conviction fills me, that my God had to send His only Son

I posted about Passion Week last year, and you can read that post in the archive HERE.

And for you lead worshipers and facilitators, here is a link to the guitar chart and lyrics in pdf format:

Thorns_And_Nails.pdf

Eastertide is probably the most meaningful time of the year for me. May it be for you as well. God bless!