Blue Sky Mining

I spent a considerable amount of soul-labor time with a good friend, Will Bernard, writing some songs for corporate worship today. We went far and wide with ideas we’ve been working on for many moons, came back to familiar themes, then experimented some more.

As songwriters we call this “blue-sky-mining;” a process of letting go of familiar terrain, scoping wide around it without firm regard for one’s moorings (just to let one’s creative hair down), then either developing a fresh song vision out of the fray of play, or returning to elements that seeded the idea in the heart of the writer.

Blue Sky Mining. Good for the soul, with a careful eye to the tethers with which we began.

Sometimes an old faith needs to die in order to make way for a fresh and living faith that can absorb the life experience that’s passed under the bridge. Familiarity can be a place of home and contentment, but left unchecked can become an innovation stealer.

Stretch your wings and fly, remembering where the nest is that formed you.

“5. But, as this faith, which works by love, begins to penetrate the soul, it tends, through the vital power of goodness, to change into sight, so that the holy and perfect in heart catch glimpses of that ineffable beauty whose full vision is our highest happiness. 7. Here, then, surely, is the answer to your question about the beginning and the end of our endeavor. 8. We begin in faith, we are perfected in sight.”

Note: For those interested, I spoke at the St. Croix Vineyard this past Sunday on the topic “The Songs We Sing.” If you’d like to hear the mp3, here it is at our website.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.