A LESSON OF SPRING

At the close of winter and the dawning of spring, new hope is born that love will triumph and peace will cover the earth as wildflowers blanket the land. Spring has a welcome way of announcing its arrival. Like the tap at the door when a loved one visits, spring greets us with familiarity and…

ELEMENTS OF FAITH (The ancient sacred made new)

Before the establishment of our modern religious practices, there existed among ancient cultures a simpler understanding of the mysteries of the spirit. During these early times, humans related to their existence in a basic creationism founded on four essential elements that comprise our world: earth, fire, water, and air. While these simple symbols may seem…

LET THERE BE GIFTS

Buying the perfect Christmas gift for my pianist/composer Dad, Joseph Martin, is never easy. First of all he is very picky! Second of all he already has everything! Thirdly, he is very picky! This year I’m thinking about a lot of interesting musical options. I have been doing my research, and I am narrowing it down…

Songs Heard Around the World

Music has touched my spirit deeply, yet differently, during the various seasons of my life. I grew up as most… first listening to the music my parents would enjoy. As I aged, my tastes expanded and I developed my own soundtrack for my life. Recently I have grown to appreciate the full magnitude of how…

LETTING GO AND MOVING ON

  This month, my sister and I began renting an apartment together in Fort Collins, Colorado. Beyond the practical aspects and challenges of moving, we both have learned a great deal from this operation in domestic transition. How can two people have accumulated this much stuff in just a few short years? Where did all…

THE JOURNEY HOME

No man learned anything original from looking in a mirror. With technology connecting our world more than ever before, we can access and connect with the diversity of the human experience with almost miraculous ease. How can it be that with all of this technology available to us, distinctions in perspective seem more disparate than…

A CELEBRATION OF SERVICE

In these days of generational segregation, the church offers us a rare opportunity for building community between the young and people of age. It is natural for children and older people to have their own times of gathering to cultivate their individual sacred cultures. Yet, there is much to be gained by allowing each of…

THE SOUNDTRACK OF CHRISTMAS

THE SOUNDTRACK OF CHRISTMAS In my last BLOG, I highlighted a selection of hymns that have been featured in major films. I have decided to extend this to the Christmas season, which is without a doubt the number one holiday in the United States, to truly intersect the religious and secular sectors of our population….

Hymns Go to The Movies

In this millennial age, there seems to be a clear line that separates the religious and secular sectors of public life. In movies, however, we can still find some examples where there is an overlap, particularly through music. Film scores are anything but arbitrary, and sacred music can bring important gravitas and character to cinematic…

FOR EVERY SEASON… A SONG

The beginning of a new season of song with your church choral or instrumental program can be a time of great energy as your people gather once again to prepare for praise. New friendships are formed, new lessons are learned, and new opportunities of service are explored. With that said, we must admit that in…

Sunday Singin’ and Dinner on the Grounds

With summer in full swing, my mind returns to memories of simpler times. Growing up as a Baptist in the South meant summers spent amongst friends and family. Every Wednesday evening, my grandfather (then the pastor of Bee Cave Baptist Church) would bring the church community together beneath the live oaks to sing the old gospel…

THE GARDEN

One of my favorite places as a child was visiting ZILKER GARDENS in Austin, Texas where I have lived most of my life. ZILKER offers more than twenty-six acres of winding paths and flourishing gardens. This botanical wonderland has been welcoming visitors for more than sixty years. It is truly a “jewel in the heart…