Mooooom, ROACH!

Jess RayFamily, Ministry, Music, MusingsLeave a Comment

My coffee was still hot. The kids’ breakfast was underway. I settled into the corner of our living room couch, put my feet up, and opened a book.  Before I had even set my eyes on the page Evan’s voice hollered from the breakfast table: “Mooooom, ROACH!!” I followed his gaze to the floor of our living room, where a Texas-sized cockroach was scurrying … Read More

#imsonotfine

Jess RayFamily, Kids, Music, MusingsLeave a Comment

His excited grin. Plump cheeks. His tiny hands clutching the obligatory “My First Day of Kindergarten” sign.  Facebook memories had done it again. I sat at the breakfast table and scrolled through pictures of my now 6th-grade son’s first day of “big” school. These photos carried me back momentarily to a time when his shoes weren’t bigger than mine and I still stashed … Read More

3 Reasons Your Church Needs a Children’s Worship Choir

David RayKids, Ministry, Music, Musings, Resources, WorshipLeave a Comment

Over the course of my childhood, children’s choir was an important part of my introduction to singing, leading worship, and faith. My debut performance in a church children’s musical was in No Fibbin’ Mephibosheth as the eponymous character, the biblical “Tiny Tim.” Then there was the somewhat insensitively titled Fat, Fat Jehoshaphat where I played the priest Jahaziel. But this … Read More

Why Fathers Cry at Their Daughters’ Weddings

David RayKids, Music, MusingsLeave a Comment

It wasn’t until after our daughter was born that I realized exactly why fathers cry at their daughters’ weddings. I was rocking our daughter late one night as the rest of the world slept and I realized that one day as we walked down an aisle together I would be remembering this moment. I would be remembering her tiny fingers … Read More

4 Reasons We Sing “Reckless Love”

David RayMinistry, Music, Musings, Worship4 Comments

I lead worship at Salem Lutheran Church in the Houston area. Recently, like many of you, we began singing the song “Reckless Love.” It’s a provocative image – calling God’s love “reckless” – that comes out of the parables Jesus tells in Luke 15, most specifically the Parable of the Lost Sheep. If you haven’t heard it, take a listen: … Read More

Open the Eyes of My Heart

David RayMusings, Worship1 Comment

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Open the eyes of my heart. It had been a long time since I sang these familiar words, but there I was on Wednesday night at Lifeway’s WorshipLife Event in Gatlinburg, TN, singing along as Paul Baloche led us with just his acoustic guitar in hand. It brought me way back, back to … Read More

Wonderfully Made: Choosing Life

David RayFamily, Kids, Ministry, Music, Musings, Preschool, Worship4 Comments

I watched this video for the first time with tears streaming down my cheeks in the lobby of an Orlando hotel. We have been so blessed over the years to have our songs travel all over the nation and even occasionally around the world. (I’m not exactly sure how it happens, I just know that my ASCAP statement includes royalties from Norway.) … Read More

Don’t Let Non-Believers Write Your Worship Songs

David RayMusic, Musings, WorshipLeave a Comment

This morning I read a thought-provoking blog by Daniel Darling called “Don’t Let Non-Christians Write Your Liturgy.” The core message of the article is that we should be careful how far we go in attempting to make our worship services attractive and accessible to non-believers. There are certainly important steps we can take in this area, for instance: Making everyone feel welcome … Read More

ARE CHILDREN INVOLVED IN YOUR WORSHIP MINISTRY?

David RayKids, Multigenerational, Music, Musings, Preschool, WorshipLeave a Comment

I grew up in church on a steady diet of children’s musicals. My favorite was Fat, Fat Jehoshaphat! I recall singing a solo as one of the priests in the aforementioned musical which, while it displayed a callous insensitivity to the morbidly obese despite the complete lack of textual evidence that poor Jehoshaphat was actually fat, also contained some killer … Read More