Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Reading for Christian Artists

Several books for Christians artists and worship leaders have made their way onto my reading pile.
"Worship Matters" by Bob Kauflin (Sovereign Grace Ministries 2008)
At 300-plus pages, this book by Sovereign's director of worship development and former "GLAD" member seemed a bit cumbersome for a summer read, but I soon discovered that it was well worth the time investment to glean from Kauflin's years of experience in leading worship and training worship leaders.

Kauflin offers insights from his journey in four categories: The Leader, The Task, Healthy Tensions and Right Relationships. He discusses how the Spirit leads, how spoken words and singing compliment each other, how to lead believers to truth and and how to keep the unbeliever in mind among other topics.

It's a thought-provoking and helpful guide whether you've been leading worship for years or whether you're just starting out.

"Quiet Moments for Worship Leaders" by Marty Parks (Beacon Hill Press 2008) is a collection of meditations and prayers on the Psalms. "Does the Christian world really need another devotional book?" asks Parks, artist in residence at Broadmar Baptist Church in Madison, MS. He seems to think so, but I'm not sure that's what he's given us, as most of the entries are first-person thoughts which make the book read more like a personal journal rather than a guide through Psalms to spark our own devotions.

There are a few entries that stand out for worship leaders, however, like "A Word on the Worship Wars" and "Thanksgiving and the Heart of Worship" and at the end of each entry, Sparks includes a prayer and thought for the day that can jumpstart a time of conversation with the Lord.

"Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts" by Steve Turner isn't new (InterVarsity Press 2001)but is a must read for any Christian involved in any art. The book grew out of a lecture given by Turner about serving God with our gifts without being confined in a religious market. A poet and writer, Turner discusses the influence Christians can have on culture and vice versa and what the bible has to say about the arts. He challenges Christians to put their art in perspective to the gospel and Christ's death and resurrection. The book is a prayerful journey for any Christian who's ever struggled with the question of how the be a "Christian artist."

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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