Thursday, September 10, 2009

Psalm 107 song

So, I'm at the Moltmann event that we're hosting here at Libertyville... and I'll post something soon about that...

But I wanted to get up as a resource for anyone who wants it, a copy of the song that I was asked to come sing right before the lunch break today.

Here it is (posted as a JPEG... the fastest way I could get it up), with my blessings and full permission to use in any church setting you feel it could be helpful:

Comments or questions... lhyder(at)boxp(dot)net

Grace and peace,
luke <><

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Moltmann in Libertyville

I'm glad there are not laws punishing people for blog neglect...

Just a short blast to say that our church is hosting an Emergent Village event called the Emergent Theological Conversation with renowned theologian Jurgen Moltmann. I have nothing to say about him now, but perhaps I might after listening to him for three days. I am intrigued to see what it feels like to have the whole Emergent crowd here at a 140 year-old Northern-Illinois-whitebread Presbyterian Church. I'm looking forward to it!

In the meantime, if you're coming to Chicagoland for this event, and I know you... please give me a hollar!

If you want to find out more about the event, click HERE.

Grace and peace,
luke ><>

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Here's an adorable video of our new puppy, Eddie, playing for a long time with his new soccer-ball toy.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

A not-so Divine (but cute!) Intruder

Marla's been reading Jim Edwards' The Divine Intruder lately... which I mention only because it creates an opportunity for me to segue into sharing the news of our family's new little "intruder" into our lives...

We got a puppy!
This Tuesday we adopted and welcomed into our home a 4 month old Cockapoo (1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 Toy Poodle) puppy whom we have named Edmund Augustine Hyder!

He's named for 1) Edmund from the Narnia Chronicles, and 2) St. Augustine (both of which we also like because they tribute Augustine "Gus the Fish" Orviston and Eddy, the girl who turned his life upside-down, from David James Duncan's The River Why, which we just finished reading last month).

We just call him "Eddie"!

I get smirks, rolled eyes, or at least knowing looks from all my friends with kids when I mention this, but... The many ways in which our lives are being changed by this wonderful, affectionate, cute as all get out, ball of fluff intruder... we have only begun to discover.

But the other night, as we were contemplating getting this puppy while we are still actively trying (and so far left waiting) to have a baby, Marla and I said to each other, "We're just ready to have something or someone else in our home to give our love to!"

There have been growing pains (and lots of puddles to clean up), but I think it is and will be very good for us to have a new life whose needs and concerns we have to consider before making plans or spontaneous decisions.

Hopefully someday soon Eddie will have a new little brother or sister to play with... but until then all our nephews and nieces, god-daughter and other friends' kids are all welcome to come visit Eddie as often as they want. He'll be waiting for you! :)

In the name of our God of Intruding Grace,
luke <><

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

it's still not all about me!

I'm still processing yet another "nugget" of wisdom that I gleaned from Marva Dawn during her presentation entitled "Worship that Ministers to the Afflicted" at the Worship Symposium last month.

Last post I discussed her thoughts on the difference between the "reality" of a person's situation and the "truth" of how God may be working in that situation.

This week I'm still thinking about another dichotomy (ooo, big word... just means we're talking about two things) she described... the objective verses the subjective.

This could mean a lot of things... so let me try to narrow it down a bit. Within the context of a discussion of worship (more specifically: the planning and leading of worship services)... Marva Dawn was pointing out the importance of being aware of our language and expression in worship, and taking note of when the words we are saying or singing are "objective"--meaning they point-to, praise, affirm and testify to the OJECTIVE TRUTH of God--or when those words are "subjective"--meaning they express our give voice to our (individual or corporate) SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE or reaction to God.

I found myself connecting this in my mind with what Mark Altrogge had said during that same weekend about worship consisting of (1) meditation on God and (2) our response.

Marva affirmed that both these dimensions--the objective and the subjective--are vital to our corporate worship life. However, she cautioned that we keep ourselves as worship planners and leaders aware of the fact that in the gathered body of God's worshipping Church, every individuals subjective response may be different, depending on their context and situation.

She gave the example of a worship leader at a conference she attend who said a lot of things before the group began to sing together trying to ramp them up... "come on, people, get excited!" Marva's response was "I don't know about you, but I like to have something to get excited about."

I believe an additional caution that Marva is making is to not assume that everyone is going to arrive at our corporate worship gatherings happy and ready to be "excited" about God. For many, the weights of the world and of their lives are heavy on their shoulders when they come... and it takes an encounter with the living God to lift those weights off their shoulders so their hearts can be lifted freely in worshipful response. I sure appreciated the reminder... worship is not about me... It's about God!

I think the point is well made that the balance of the "objective" vs. the "subjective" in our worship should probably lean more heavily toward the "objective"--affirming, praising, testifying to and glorifying God for the Truth of who God is and what God has done for us. Especially at the beginning of our times of worship together.

Then we can truly have--as the gathered, worshipping people of God--an encounter with God to which our responses (both corporate and individual) can be honest and authentic.

What do you think? We sure tend to love our subjective expressions... there are lots of songs that are just that. Can we be better about the ways we use them? Are there better choices we can make to prepare ourselves for such responses?

Grace and peace to you,
luke ><>

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

More Sympo 2009 nuggets

They're like the "dino-nuggets" we used to serve during family camp at Calvin Crest... just less chicken and more theological-speak. Same crispy-golden crust, though. :)

I'll be posting and processing thoughts from my time at the Calvin Symposium on Worship last week for awhile, so keep checking back for the occasional "nugget", and keep posting comments... the interaction is appreciated!

One of the things I enjoy most about attending the Symposium every year is making connections between things I hear from one speaker or during one worship service and another. This year was not without those connections.

Marva Dawn, during her session on "Worship that Ministers to the Afflicted" discussed two pairs of concepts that are important to keep in mind when planning worship for or interacting with folks who have deep concerns or afflictions in their lives. Both of which connected with something else I had encountered in other sessions.

I'll explore the second in a later post, but the first of these two concepts she discussed was the importance of keeping in mind the difference between the "reality" of a person's situation and the "truth" of what God can do with/in them. A person with a physical handicap, for example, has to live with the "reality" of their lost limb or debilitating condition, which very well may limit their abilities to do certain things. However, that does not deny the "truth" of what God can and will do through other gifts that they have. The implication being that if we only focus on the limitations of people with disabilities (constantly praying that God would heal or "fix" them, for example) we are missing out on the beautiful people they are and how God can use them now, as they are.

In one story example, she described a quadriplegic friend's response to those who keep offering to get him out of his wheel-chair with their prayers... he likes to reply, "That's too bad, God has gone a lot of good work in that chair."

We as Christians have to be in the practice of looking deeper than merely the surface level in people. And not just in people with obvious afflictions. Everyone has something going on under the surface of their lives that reveals both their deeper problems as well as their deeper potentials.

We have to go beyond the outer "text" to perceive the "subtext" in people's lives, as Craig Barnes reminded us in his session "Moving from Text to Subtext." As preachers, writers, poets, artists, storytellers... our calling is to help the subtext of Scripture and what the Holy Spirit is doing below the surface all around us speak powerfully into the subtexts of our own lives and the lives of others around us.

Yet again my childhood favorite, Transformers, was correct... there is "more than meets the eye."

God's grace to you,
luke <><

(audio files for the sessions referred to above, and others, will be available for free download in the coming months at

Friday, January 30, 2009

The problem of too much

The trouble with attending these kinds of conferences (see previous post) and trying to blog about them is that there is just so much to do that it fills all my time and I hardly have the time to do any of the processing I intend to! I can't post very well throughout the day because there's not enough time between things (unless I decide to be entirely anti-social... which is tough when there are friends to see!). And I can't really process it all at once at the end of the day because there's been so much I can't keep it straight, or you'll end up reading the epic longest (and boring-est... let's pretend that's a word) posts ever.


When I get the chance, I've decided I'll post "nuggets" or certain, brief epiphanies I have had throughout the conference and leave it at that. You won't have to read more than a few lines, and if more dialogue is needed it can happen in comments or in... imagine this... actual interaction! :)

That reminds of of something I just heard Marva Dawn say regarding technology as a "principality & power"... because certain technologies become idols for some of us, many of us have lost the abilities that help to create and build community... not a new idea, but a timely one.

One additional "nugget" for now... Jamie (James K. A.) Smith had a session about "Postmodernism, Worship & Evangelism" where at one point the concept of worship as evangelism (one also espoused by favorite worship writers of mine, like Marva Dawn and Harold Best) was discussed. The idea was raised in the same way I've heard it talked about before with regard to the Emerging Church and the way that conversation challenges the church be hospitable to the seeker and the stranger, but by welcoming them into the liturgical practices of the community, strange as they may be, and that way they are drawn into an authentic faith as lived by that community (as opposed to a watered-down version that is "seeker-sensitive").

I understand how that can function as evangelism very effectively in this culture... but I challenged the idea somewhat because it still only reaches the folks who actually choose to walk into our building at some point. My question was how does this paradigm of "worship as evangelism" permeate life outside of the walls of our churches and have a life where the rubber meets the road for outreach to those who would otherwise not step foot into the church.

As soon as I asked the question, I had already answered it... as it had been answered by Harold Best and others who talk about the continuous life of God-ward worship the Christian is called to live. Our worship--in how our lives glorify God in our daily routines, activities, choices and interactions--truly is our most effective evangelism. As we let people glimpse the new way of life Christ has called us too, we can then invite them to join us in that life... and more importantly invite them to the One who pours out on us the grace to which that life is a grateful response, and the Spirit that makes that life possible.

Grace to you!
luke <><

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Symposium 2009 - day one, Thursday

It's probably a factor of the very little sleep I was going on today, but this first day of the Calvin Symposium on Worship 2009 felt even longer than usual. But GOOD long! It was a very full day of seminars and worship services, plenary and breakout sessions, conversations and reconnections.

It started off with quite a bang. The Opening Worship service was wonderful as always, with some terrific worship leadership from a couple (literally) of dear friends - Ron and Debra Rienstra. Their new book Worship Words: Discipling Language for Faithful Ministry (Baker Academic, 2008) was one of the free featured books! I pretended I was getting it for free because Marla and I are mentioned in the acknowledgements. :) They put their hard work to action, crafting and using some rich, creative, thought-provoking words to guide us through several portions of the worship service.

It's a really fantastic resource, and I highly reccommend it!

The Rev. Dr. M Craig Barnes was our preacher for that service this morning, kicking off a three days of worship services each centered on a different parable of Jesus'. Craig's parable was the Parable of the Sower (or Soils or Seeds, depending on what your Sunday School teacher put on your flannelgraph). But what I really enjoyed was how he set-up the whole weekend of parables by describing parables as old family stories that get told again and again. Jesus' parables are the family stories of the Family of God. "They tell us who we are," he said. And each time you hear it you get something else out of it.

One of the facets Dr. Barnes highlighted for us this time around with this particular, familiar "family story" was the seemingly indescriminate sowing of the Sower, and the way in which that piece of the story reminds us of our one true hope : "this Savior who flings this grace so extravagantly."

This was one very full day of constant reminders of God's extravagant grace. I obviously have so much more to say about this day... wonderful encouragement and advice for song-writers from Greg Scheer, Rae Whitney and others; sharing and getting feedback on one of my own songs with the passionately Christ-centered Mark Altrogge; Keith Petersen's mohawk; new friends made and old friends embraced... but I'll have to save more thorough thoughts about these things for a later and less sleep-deprived date... er... state.

Tomorrow, Marva Dawn! :)

God's extravant grace and peace to you all!
luke <><

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

new life (for now)

So it's only been since November that I last posted... that's staying on top of things.

The weather is a bit colder, the economy is even crummier, and the guy more of us voted for than the other guy is now President. I will relinquish the right to reflect about that momentous occasion to those who were up to date enough to blog about it when it actually happened.

Instead, I merely wish to alert you all to the fact that we've finally come back around to the original reason I began updating this blog a year ago... the Calvin Symposium on Worship is here again!

So, like last year (only probably even less diligently... if that's possible) I will be processing my experiences throughout the weekend right here on this little leased-from-Google corner of cyberspace. Hope to see you there (or here)!

luke <><