Joel Hinck's Blog (36)

Worship on the Front Lines

Worship leading is generally viewed as a safe occupation. We don't fear torture or imprisonment. We're not facing down cannibalistic tribes or hungry lions. We may encounter a surly drummer, a barbed critique, or a battle over where our equipment is stored, but nothing life threatening. There are days when our music feels monumentally important, when the sound filling the room cuts right through our souls, the congregation is pouring out praise to God, and everything feels right. Then there are… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on July 1, 2013 at 11:05pm — 1 Comment

Without Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. -1 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)



I’ve been thinking about this verse as it relates to worship music, both as a music leader and a congregation member. What it boils down to for me, in a musical context, is this:



Whatever I do, no matter how beautiful or excellent, if I do it without love I’m… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on May 14, 2010 at 9:16pm — 1 Comment

Word Like Fire Episode 27: You Are My Joy

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 27: You Are My Joy



This song is a prayer for help through the valleys of life and faith, and a celebration of the hope that we have in Christ, even in the midst of pain.


You Are My Joy


VERSE 1

This world's empty promises have left me feeling lost in a lie

All the pleasures…
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Added by Joel Hinck on April 30, 2010 at 7:15pm — No Comments

Exposure

I read a C.S. Lewis essay recently that got me thinking about the nature of worship, and our times of praise in music. Titled “Dogma and the Universe,” most of the essay addresses the question: “How can any system of belief that claims to be absolute and unchanging stay relevant in the face of our ever expanding knowledge about the universe?” He argues that no amount of increase in knowledge about the world around us can ever make the fundamental truths of Christianity any less true. They are… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on April 14, 2010 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 26: O Beautiful Mystery

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 26: O Beautiful Mystery



We will never be able to understand everything about God- He is, by nature, beyond anything a human can comprehend. This song celebrates both God’s endless scope, and His gracious love for us.


O Beautiful Mystery


O…
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Added by Joel Hinck on March 19, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 25: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 25: Praise to the Lord



A new spin on a hymn from the 1600s by Joachim Neander (translation by Catherine Winkworth, modified by Joel Hinck)


Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation

O my soul, praise him, for he is my health and salvation

Let all who hear

Now to his temple draw…
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Added by Joel Hinck on September 4, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 24: Kingdom Come

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 24: Kingdom Come

A communion song, emphasizing Christ’s role as our Passover lamb.



Kingdom Come



Through a pure and spotless lamb

Their sanctuary came

Safe behind its blood, the hand

Of death was turned away



Gathering to celebrate

The past deliverance

Holding up the bread, he breaks

And…

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Added by Joel Hinck on August 28, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 23: Kyrie

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 23: Kyrie



Using the Kyrie text of the Mass, a song of praise for God’s mercy.


Lord have mercy


Covered over by our sin
And you wash us clean again

Not for righteous things we’ve done

But because of your great…
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Added by Joel Hinck on August 21, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 22: Grow Me

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 22: Grow Me

A prayer for spiritual growth, that God will fill us with His spirit and increase our faith.



Grow Me



You have sown your word in me

Let my heart embrace the seed

Rain your spirit down and grow me, grow me

In your garden let me thrive

Living beauty in your eyes

By the light of Heaven grow me, grow…

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Added by Joel Hinck on August 14, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 21: We WIll Trust the Lord

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 21: We Will Trust the Lord



A song about priorities, and how the Church lives differently in the midst of a fallen world.


We Will Trust the Lord


The world will trust in affluence

But we will trust the Lord

They cling to all that they possess

But we hold to the…
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Added by Joel Hinck on August 7, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 20: O Word of God Incarnate

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 20: O Word of God Incarnate



This week’s song uses a hymn text written by William W. How in 1867 with a new tune. It is a prayer of thanksgiving to God both for the gift of his word in the scriptures- and how they illuminate Christ, the

Word made flesh.


O Word of God…
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Added by Joel Hinck on July 30, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Busy or Busybody?

We hear that some among you are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. -2 Thessalonians 3:1-12



While this verse may be dealing with the importance of working for a living, it speaks to me on another level as well. The temptation to be a busybody- to gossip, criticize, and take other’s hard work for granted- is ever present, and can sometimes be subtle. Being a musician, it’s easy for me to slip… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on July 24, 2009 at 7:28pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 19: Our God Raised the Dead

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 19: Our God Raised the Dead





This week’s song focuses on Christ’s humility, his conquering of death, and the promise that we will also be raised from death.



Our God Raised the Dead



Holiest of names

Gloriously praised

By tongues of men and angels

Ready to embrace

Beauty in…
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Added by Joel Hinck on July 24, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Instrumentation

Instrumentation can be a tricky thing when writing worship music. As a songwriter, it’s easy to let a song be driven by an instrumental hook. As a composer, it’s fun to layer instrumental parts. As a music director, you are limited by the instrumentalists on your team, and by their skill levels. I try to ask myself a few questions as I’m writing: Is this song relying on its accompaniment to be effective? Would it work with only guitar, only piano, or even a cappella? Are the instruments… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on July 20, 2009 at 4:46pm — 1 Comment

My Favorite Hymn Verse

There are many hymns and modern worship songs with texts that I love. However, my favorite single verse from any song comes from the original text of the hymn “Crown Him With Many Crowns.” This is a hymn that has been changed continually since it was first written in 1851 by Matthew Bridges. The versions in common use today are a mishmash of verses by Bridges and by Godfrey Thring, who did not approve of Bridges original text, and so replaced some of Bridges verses with ones of his own for a… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on July 17, 2009 at 8:43pm — 1 Comment

Word Like Fire Episode 18: New Day

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 18: New Day



This week’s song functions as a confession and a celebration of God’s daily forgiveness.


New Day


Today I turned and left the narrow path

Losing sight as darkness fell, I knew that I was trapped

And so I cry, my voice ashamed and weak

Even in the wilderness, I can hear you…
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Added by Joel Hinck on July 17, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 17: Tree of Life

Download/stream the podcast here- Episode 17: Tree of Life



This week’s song takes its inspiration from the imagery in Psalm 1.



Tree of Life



Sparkling hollow fruit lies scattered on the ground,

Enticing shells surrounding death.

They wait on beds of dust and ash,

The remains of those who tasted…
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Added by Joel Hinck on July 10, 2009 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 16: Holy Spirit, Cleansing Fire

Download/stream the podcast here: Episode 16: Holy Spirit, Cleansing Fire



This week’s song focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit both within the individual and in the Church as a whole.



Holy Spirit, Cleansing Fire



No eye has seen, no ear has heard

No mind has… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on July 3, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 15: A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Download/stream the podcast here: Episode 15: A Mighty Fortress is Our God



This week’s song is a contemporary setting of the classic “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther.



A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;

our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevaling.… Continue

Added by Joel Hinck on June 26, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Word Like Fire Episode 14: Your Child

Download/stream the podcast here: Episode 14: Your Child



This week’s song looks at what it means to be a child of God, and to have a childlike faith.



Your Child



I am your child Infinite Father

From my first breath, a gift of your unchangeable love…

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Added by Joel Hinck on June 18, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

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