Day 5 of 06 Institute Intensive

The Intensive couldn’t be going better. Our 15 gathered are delving deep into so many ideas that are changing us – even we who are teaching. Over the past few days, building a strong theology (and anthropology) of worship was our business, and it just plain got out of hand.

Using N.T. Wright’s For All God’s Worth, our audio interview, Reclaiming Worship, and other references, our explorations of God, Trinity, the imago Dei, and incarnation took us all over the macro world and the micro world. Snails and bio-luminescence, super novas and cellular biological systems, physics and mathematics, art and beauty, relationships and politics – they all got involved!

The air was so electric with a sense of wonder and the nearness of such a majestic God that we had to stop talking, and sit for two minutes in complete silence just to process the unfolding that was taking place. I wish I was exaggerating, on one level, but I’m not.

The mix of great human beings in this class so evidences the artwork of God, and I expect His next paintings to be as selective in color and as rich in contrast as this living piece that is our Intensive.

The dream of creating a training Institute where worship leaders can connect in a creative atmosphere with the riches of history, theology, spiritual formation ideas and practices, the whole of the Church story, cultural interface ideas, emerging worship reflection, historic worship practices, passionate worship times and diverse backgrounds, is coming true. What a privilege.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help 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. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. 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.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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