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fgutbrod's blog

Lament for a Broken Community

I was struck again with the importance of the Psalms, for every stage of grief can find expressions in this book. . . . I know that at some point in the future the Psalms will also give voice to our acceptance and hope. As a community, that day seems a long way off, but the Psalms are here for us now as we journey through our grief.

My school will never be the same.

Story Journey: A Review and Meditation

By cultivating a culture that learns and tells biblical stories, we are writing them on our hearts, allowing the Spirit to use these stories in our and others’ lives.

The Double Sorrow and the Place of Prayer

Prayer involves alignment between the words we speak to our Father in heaven and the actions of our lives on earth.

Broken Pieces, Henry, and the Holy Spirit

The powerful work of the Holy Spirit in our places of worship is so incredibly gracious through and through and often times surprises us with unexpected glimpses of God’s grace to the people God loves so dearly.

Fluorescent Bulbs, Wild Onions, and the Good News of Jesus Christ

At the beginning of this mythical season called a “ministry year,” those of us who are called to lead others into deeper discipleship need to re-check our bearings. . . . We need to make sure we’re looking for the right markers to gauge our effectiveness.

Hamilton and Jesus

I’m convinced the Church’s captivating, timeless gospel song plays most memorably in the classic liturgy, offering much-loved lyrics and phrases and its own kind of choreography.

Nourishing a Love

My daughter grew up delighting in music. Already as a toddler she loved to sing and dance and twirl. But a defining moment came when we booked tickets to the musical, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.

Cultivating Reverence in Worship

“Worship the Lord with reverence, and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11)

“…the only true and salutary joy is that which arises from resting in the fear and reverence of God.” — John Calvin, commenting on Psalm 2

With Timbrels and Dancing

Last month I had the opportunity to take a weeklong World Music Drumming course taught in part by Sowah Mensah.  Sowah’s native country is Ghana, but he has spent many years in the United States teaching and performing traditional West African music and dance. I was reminded of some of the wisdom he shared from his culture when I read an article this week in Christianity Today about EDM (electronic dance music) in the church.

Signs of the Kingdom: Changing Hearts

Each year, on the second day of class, I give a little speech to my Intro Preaching 101 students. I tell them that I know some of them do not believe that the Holy Spirit has gifted women to preach. In their reading of scripture, women are not authorized to proclaim the Word of God. But, I continue, I am persuaded — and this class will be guided — by the conviction that they’re wrong about this. Not obtuse or ill-intentioned — just wrong.

Ideas and Variations on Psalm 150

There are some ideas I can’t get out of my head, even if they might not be very good. One idea is that it could be fun to play with pots and pans in a pool. I know this is a bad idea, ridiculous, in fact, but it still floats to the surface of my psyche at times and I push it back down, like a Dutch oven sinking to the bottom of the diving area.

Other ideas are less ridiculous.

Several of them are even liturgical.