Monday, December 29, 2008

Added a Link: Indelible Grace

I have added a link in the left sidebar that our readers might appreciate. There is a growing trend of musicians reaching back into the old hymns, much like the recent Christmas song I posted. There are also efforts at writing new hymns that can be sung authentically accross generations. That is, rather than writing music that divides congregations, these new hymn writers are seeking to write music that can establish a common ground for all generations. This is exiting to me, as I believe we need to be producing new music while appreciating and continuing the heratige of Christian music that has been passed down to us over many hundreds of years.

Here is a quote from Indelible Grace that gives a window into their goals:
We want to be a voice calling our generation back to something rich and solid and beyond the fluff and the trendy. We want to remind God's people that thinking and worship are not mutually exclusive, and that not everything worth knowing happened in the last three years. We want to invite the Church to appreciate her heritage without idolizing it. We want to open up a world of passion and truth and make it more that just an archaic curiosity for the religiously sentimental. We believe worship is formative, and that it does matter what we think. So, we hope this site will prove helpful in encouraging and nurturing a growing movement. We want to provide resources such as chord charts, CDs, and useful links. But we also want to share with you the stories behind the authors of the hymns, and in many cases the stories behind the writing of the hymns themselves, as well as theological reflections upon the hymns. We believe that this theological poetry is supremely suited for expressing the seeming paradoxes of the faith that drive us to worship.


They have a wealth of resources, even for those of us on the conservative end of the church music spectrum. For example, they have an online hymn book that includes chords for many great hymns, some of which many churches have often neglected and forgotten.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New (sort of) Christmas Song

Well, this has been an interesting week. The counseling course syllabus is almost completed, and the recording of our next cd continues to move along. Same old, same old...However, our readers might find this interesting: I have been wanting to write a new Christmas song, but how do you do that without being completely cliche?

I was researching ancient Christian writings (pre-780 AD) for the "History of Biblical Counseling" section of my class. One search turned up a hymnal of early church hymns, and I was intrigued. I began reading through a few of them and ran across this one:

By St. John of Damascus, 780 A.D.

Bethlehem rejoices!
Hark the voices clear,
Singing in the starlight
Nearer and more near.

(Chorus)
Unto God be glory,
Peace to men be given;
This His will who dwelleth
In the heights of heaven.

Heaven cannot contain Him,
Nor the bounds of earth,
Yet, oh glorious mystery!
Virgin gives Him birth.

Now the light ariseth
In the darkened skies,
Now the proud are humbled
And the lowly rise.

I set my computer on the floor and pulled out my guitar to see if I could come up with a decent melody / harmony. The end result isn't exactly like the translation by Brownlie (above), since I did alter a few turns of phrase while I was writing the tune, but I am happy with the result. I will post a recording on our Facebook "fan" page later tonight, for those who might be interested in hearing it.

It was a lot of fun to perform it at a Christmas concert this last week, and we will be doing it again at a concert in Raleigh, NC this Saturday. As always, thank you for your prayers!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why Pray?

Well, we have no doubt that God answers prayer! Before we left Michigan, the children had been desperately praying for snow, enough that they could at least play in (the word "Blizzard" was even mentioned...yikes). Well the last day, as I was packing up, we got hit with snow and more snow.

The Lord was definitely with us as we carefully backed our home away from the church and down a hill, without it becoming the world's biggest sled. This was done with the Jeep in tow. On the way to pick up the children we learned how slippery it was when the Jeep slid a little wide on one turn...carefully Tom.

Well, we had a great time with the Snyder family in Hudson, Michigan, and it was a great trip on so many levels. Our kids played in the snow all the way till we drove off, and about 1 mile east the snow was 1/10th of what it was nearby. God had answered the children's prayers.

Of course, they still wanted snow and God kept answering their prayers as we drove along the Ohio Turnpike last night. Now we needed prayer of a different sort, since slippery roads with a large RV and towed Jeep is not exactly ideal. The Lord was good to us and before it got too bad, we stopped at a rest area (complete with Burger King and Starbucks).

It snowed all night and was very deep in the morning, so we went and had breakfast while the roads were plowed and salted. Evidently it was a record day, and we can attest to at least 12 inches of snow on the ground! It was evident that God's hand was guiding us, when we got back on the road and a few miles later saw a semi crumpled and jack-knifed in the trees off the shoulder.

It was smooth sailing all the way to DC, where God's protection was evidently needed as we went around the beltway...there were 5 accidents (one shut down all lanes) within a 5 mile stretch. It reminds us how dependent we are on the Lord for our safety as well as His provision.

Thank you all for your prayers!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Michigan Whirlwind

It has been a while since our last update, and we have been very busy! When we first arrived in Michigan, we had a meeting with the Community Baptist Church in Madison Heights. Sunday evening I preached and sang and we had such a sweet time of fellowship with the people there, even though we were only there for a brief time. Ultimately, the Lord allowed us to return this past Sunday, since they needed a music leader and we did not have any obligations for that Sunday. It was a great day for us, even though we missed Pastor Rathbun and his wife (they were out of town).

We left our Jeep in Troy, at my uncle's house, to save on the gas up north and we traveled to Camp CoBeAc to meet up with my mother, Debi Pryde, who was doing a women counseling seminar there. The camp was so very gracious to allow us to stay there for a few days, and they even provided hook ups for our RV, which was a huge blessing.

Being there at the camp was a bit surreal for me. It had been over a decade since I was the athletic director during the summer between two years at BJU. There is a new director, Jeff Kahl, and the camp is bustling with the life of a vibrant and growing service provided to Midwest churches. I very much enjoyed meeting with Jeff and hearing of his vision for the camp in the future, and I look forward to the next time we can visit CoBeAc.

When we left Prudenville, we headed out toward Port Huron and a little town called "Goodells." There, we were scheduled to be with the Mount Pleasant Bible Church for their Spiritual Life Emphasis Week. It was a real experience to preach in a church that has been around over a hundred years, and we were so blessed by the kindness and hospitality of the church.

I had a particularly good time with the youth meetings on two Thursdays. They listened and asked very good questions as we explored Colossians and discussed what it means to do all to the glory of God. They are a great group who also managed to introduce us to "Extreme Volleyball," which is identical to volleyball, except they use a heavy exercise ball.

When we left Goodells two weeks later, we left many friends and we look forward to the next time we can minister with them. From there we made our way back to the Detroit area (Birmingham), where we were scheduled to provide special music at the Grace Baptist Church missions conference.

We have family that are members at this church, and whenever we have come to Michigan to visit family, we attend here. Pastor Whitfield was as kind and gracious as ever, and we enjoyed getting to know some more people that we hadn't met as well as renewing old friendships. (We hadn't been able to visit for many years, and we have added three children since then!) This church has only had one pastor since starting over fifty years ago, which is a testimony to both the church and their pastor.

That brings us back to last Sunday, when we returned to Maddison Heights and the Community Baptist Church. It has been a full few weeks, and we are delighted to have been able to minister among these churches.

God has continued to provide for all our needs, and lower gas prices have helped considerably. We are grateful for the generosity of each of the churches and others who have given to make this ministry possible. As we enter the holiday season, we continue to covet your prayers, since there is so much work to be done to finish the CD and to finish preparing the counseling course for VST.

Thanks again for your prayers!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here We Go!

So this week is our last week in Rockford, and we are sad to be leaving all the friends we have made here. However, there is much to be done, and we are excited to get moving again. At the end of this week we will be going to Michigan for a few meetings and a missions conference. We will mostly be on the Eastern side of Michigan (north of Detroit). Then we will be heading to the North East (Centered in Virginia) for a few weeks before heading to South Carolina for the Holidays.

For Sermons in Song, we have been working on some cello parts that we hope to record. If all goes well, we should be able to send the final mix to mastering by the end of the year. More exciting than this is that two men have begun the Ordination Mentoring program that I have been working on in conjunction with our work at Veritas School of Theology. For a window into this program, you can see Bro. Will Dudding's comments on his blog.

Pray for these men, as this program is both rigorous and challenging in many ways. I am so thankful to be able to have a part in God's ministry to and with these men. Pray also for us, that God will continue to provide and that we will be effective in the work that he gives us to do. Pray also that the ministry of the Word will be clear and profitable, whether communicated in preaching, teaching, or music.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Update...Important Prayer Request

Well, it is about time that we update our blog and let you know what is happening. In the beginning, we decided that we weren't going to whitewash difficulties and challenges on this blog. If we did, then you wouldn't know how to pray for us! On the contrary, we want to give you a window into our lives as we seek to serve God with the gifts that He has given us. That way, you can intercede on our behalf.

We have been blessed by the generosity of many people who have helped us, particularly the churches we have visited along the way. The people of Morning Star Baptist Church have been wonderful, and we have been blessed to be here with them. Of course, the Apostle Paul made tents, and we paint houses but, the hours spent on painting do tend to undermine our ability to move forward with the work that we have to do. 

Because of this, it is a struggle to maintain our focus on Sermons in Song and Veritas. We would like to ask you to pray that God would provide for our needs as we embark on the next phase of this ministry. We have a host of opportunities that God has placed before us. 

There are two men who would like to be prepared for ordination (see Bro. Will Dudding's description of our ministry with him). There is a counseling course to be taught for six weeks in January, and there are many small churches who would be blessed by our preaching and music yet feel hesitant to invite us because of the expense to get us there (about 80 cents a mile).

These opportunities are exciting, but they cannot be done effectively if I am painting full time. We would like to ask you to intercede with God for the provision of this ministry. We have had several people ask us about how to support our ministry. Our home church (Crossroads Baptist Church in Tracy, California) is handling our finances, so those who wish to help can send our support to them, marked "Sermons in Song."

For the next three weeks, we are in Rockford, Illinois at Morning Star Baptist Church. Then we head up to Michigan for a series of meetings there (there are still some open Sundays, if you know of a church that would like to have us). That begins our travels that will take us to New England, South Carolina, Texas, New Mexico, and then back to California by the spring of next year.

We are excited about the opportunities that God has placed before us, but we are also aware that we cannot do it without God's provision and your prayers to God on our behalf. 

As always, I remain your servant for the glory of the cross,
Tom Pryde

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Arrived!

Well...we finally made it to Rockford, Illinois, and we are getting settled in for a bit of a stay. Of course, on the way here we stopped in Denver, Colorado to be with the Providence Bible Church in downtown Denver. It underscored, for me, how much I love being around church plants. There is an air of delight in ministry that permeates the folks there, and it is obvious that God is doing a work among them!

It is simply exciting to see so many hands pitching in to work toward ministry to one another and to their community. This seems to be much easier to accomplish when the church is starting out than when a church is established and calcified in their traditions. It makes me wonder how a church can keep or even regain that spirit.

While we were in Denver, we did some painting on Providence's auditorium, and we got to know a few families in the few days we were there. We had a brief scare with Stephen, when after church Sunday night he turned white and listless. Nothing we could do seemed to help so Martha took him to the hospital (with one of Providence's families helping). A short time after arriving, Stephen was chirping around and eating again! So they did some blood tests, which all came back fine, and we breathed a sigh of relief (though the sticker shock has yet to come...yikes).

In any case, it was great to be there, and we definitely look forward to coming back and witnessing the work of God in a downtown ministry.

So Wednesday evening last week we launched out toward Rockford, and had an uneventful trip the rest of the way. We are so grateful for God's provision through his people to get us here, and we are grateful for your prayers!

I have already dug in to the seminary counseling class that I am preparing, and we hope to begin laying down some tracks for our recording by the end of this week. Please continue to pray for God's provision while we are here. We would like to paint as little as possible, so that we can have more opportunities for ministry with the folks here at Morningstar Baptist Church.

Again...thank you for your prayers to God on our behalf!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the Way East

Well, here we are in Alamogordo, New Mexico...We have picked up the Jeep, and all the towing equipment is installed and tested. Tomorrow we have a full day of driving ahead of us. We hope to make it most of the way to Denver, and since this is our first extended drive with the Jeep in tow, we appreciate your prayers for our travels.

On the way here we stopped off to visit with Joel Tetreau and his family for an evening and left after breakfast for New Mexico. As always, an evening with Joel leaves my mind buzzing with ideas. It is exciting and refreshing to see God working, and we are grateful for the generosity of His people (thanks especially to Southeast Valley Baptist Church). We cannot help but praise the Lord for his provision.

While we were here in Alamogordo, we were invited to minister with my Sister and Brother in Law's church, First Baptist Church in La Luz. We were here nine months ago, and this dear church family was tremendously encouraging to us. This visit was no exception, and it was great to be back. We really have fallen in love with this area!

As always...thank you so much for your prayers. We still have to sell our vehicles soon so that we can finish paying for the jeep and a few things that it needs: tires, AC, and a few other things. Especially, please continue to pray that the Word of God would be made clear and come alive in the hearts of those to whom the Lord allows us to minister.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weekly Update

Last week was an adventure, full of fun at camp and a great time with the kids. The theme was "God of Wonders" and all of the preaching was based upon selected Psalms (8, 16, 22, 77, and 139). The word, both preached and sung, was well received by a very attentive group of kids, and I have learned that one young man now believes God may be calling him into full time service and another accepted the Lord on the way home.

Praise the Lord for His work in the hearts of these precious young people. There are a few more kids that we are praying for specifically, and we trust that God will continue working with them as they grow in knowledge and wisdom. God allowed us to spend a good deal of time with a few of these kids, and it was a joy to minister for the Lord with these young people.

Sunday we were at our sending church in Tracy, California one last time; it is always a joy to fellowship and serve with our friends there. This week we have been working on a vehicle to tow. Some may remember that we decided to tow our Dodge Durango, but there have been some concerns regarding the weight of that vehicle (empty it weighs in around 4600 lbs, which is really pushing the limits a bit). Sunday we were offered a minivan to tow in stead of the Durango, but it was not towable without modification.

So we began looking at potential vehicles and decided that a Jeep Cherokee would be the ideal tow vehicle. It doesn't seat our whole family, but anything that can seat the whole crew weighs too much. So we decided that the Cherokee had the right mix of cargo space for storage, durability, ease of repair, and towability.

My brother-in-law found one near him in Alamogordo, New Mexico and agreed to pick it up for us. I will post pictures when we pick it up next week. Now we need to sell both the Durango and the Minivan so that we can pay for the Jeep and all the towing equipment. The tow equipment cost 2650, which was 450 dollars more than we paid for the vehicle!

In any case, God continues to provide for our every need, and we are looking forward to making our way to Rockford, Illinois via Denver. This week we are doing some painting and house / kid sitting for our pastor while they are at Junior camp (with a couple of our kids and one of theirs). On Saturday we will be with the Mission Peak Baptist Church (in Fremont, California) and we look forward to the ordination proceedings for our friend, Will Dudding.

When we leave there we will head south, pick up our trailer, tow that to Alamogordo, New Mexico and trade it for our Jeep, which is currently being outfitted for towing. By a week from this Friday we will be pulling into Denver, Colorado to be with Jason Janz, who is planting the Providence Bible Church there.

From there we will be heading to Rockford Illinois to be with Bob Bixby and the Morning Star Baptist Church. We will be basing there for a while as we fill up our schedule, finish recording our next album, and complete building the Counseling class for Veritas School of Theology.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Manor Baptist Church

Wow...so much has happened! Last Sunday we were at Manor Baptist Church in San Leandro, California, and we had a great time (complete with lots of ice cream). They have really fixed things up since the last time I had visited there, and it was exciting to hear what God is doing in this town.

Things became a little nerve racking when our wireless quit working Sunday morning. Thankfully we were only doing an offertory in the AM service, so after lunch I had to go out and buy a new wireless system. The only problem was that we couldn't find one that used the same type of connector for my vocal mic (a Countryman E6), so we had to use the stock lapel mic. This was ok because the auditorium allowed for it, but we really missed the other microphone, and we knew that the camp auditorium (low, wide, and hard surfaces) would not be very forgiving.

One of the churches who came to camp is pastored by a good friend, Charlie Eldred. He graciously consented to pick one up on the way to camp Monday morning, so we have been able to use the wireless with our microphones. It has worked well, and we are thankful for the good friends that God has given us.

It has been fun at camp, and I always enjoy watching another friend, Jon Cook (Youth Pastor / Assistant at the First Baptist Community Church of Los Gatos, California) work with the teens. He is running the camp program during this week, and his genuine love and care for the young people is refreshing.

Please be in prayer for this week of camp, that God would touch the lives and hearts of these young people!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Towing Update

My previous thoughts of getting a tow dolly for 1500 bucks were only partially accurate. It is, indeed, possible. However, such a dolly is not rated for the 6000 lbs that will be towed (Dodge Durango is not a small vehicle). We do believe that we can tow the Durango "4 wheels down" provided we get a towbar (about a thousand dollars), and this looked excellent until we realized that we would need a braking system, which is considerably more.

So, for now, we are going to drive the Durango up to the SF bay area for the next month's meetings and pray for the funds to buy a towbar and brake system. We will leave the motorcycle in San Dimas to be sold as partial funding, but we will need another 1500 to pay for the brake system. We will update as we have more information!

As always, thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wow!

We just got the print order for our brochure, and they look wonderful! We owe a debt of gratitude to Rebekah Keller for her graphic design expertise. God continues to provide for us as we endeavor to get rolling down the road.

On another note, we are working on getting rigged up to see if we can tow our 98 Dodge Durango. The lack of a car while we are out has been problematic, so we are looking to purchase a tow dolly, which will cost around 1600 dollars or so.

As always, we are appreciative of your prayers!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Answer to Prayer!

This past week was a real nail-biter for us as we had the propane system develop a leak and the "reefer" (refrigerator) quit working on electricity. We took it in for an estimate yesterday, and the work was done by the end of the day! That was half a miracle by itself, but on top of this, we are so grateful to the Mountain View Baptist Church for their generosity to us by taking care of the repair bill. Praise the Lord for His provision through His people.

And thank you all for your prayers!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Whirlwind Week

We had a wonderful week, but it was VERY busy. It started at our home church, Crossroads Baptist Church in Tracy, California (always wonderful to be with our friends there), on Sunday morning. From there we went to the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Modesto, California and had a roasting good time holding services in the downstairs fellowship hall. We were blessed to get to know so many friends of Crossroads that we had not yet met, and it was great to see all that God has done in this church. If you get a chance, visit their website and read the story!

We left Modesto Sunday evening and traveled south to the San Dimas area on the way to our next meeting in Hesperia, California. While in San Dimas, we visited with some family who flew in to visit for the week. One of the highlights of the week, for the kids, was God's provision of a trip to Legoland - the most comprehensive marketing program ever devised by man. I'll let Martha tell that story sometime.

Last Saturday we arrived at the Mountain View Baptist Church in Hesperia, California, and we had a great time with the folks here. I had visited this church a long time ago, and it was great to see what God has been doing here over the years. We had a great time of fellowship with Pastor Webb and his wife and kids (they have more than us!). It has been a joy to be here.

I do appreciate your prayers this week as we have been having problems with our "reefer" (refrigerator) and our propane system. We will be working on this before heading back up to the bay area for a busy few weeks. We look forward to some great opportunities there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

News and Plans

This past weekend we had a great time at Lighthouse Baptist Church's Jubilee. We enjoyed lots of singing and fellowship there, but we are looking forward to seeing the folks at our home church, Crossroads Baptist Church. We will be there, in Tracy, for a few Sundays before returning briefly to Southern California.

With the gas prices at 4 dollars a gallon, we are working to streamline our schedule to minimize our mileage, but we also know that God will provide what we need to minister where he sends us. Most of all, we appreciate your prayers for us as we continue to get things rolling with both Sermons in Song and the Veritas School of Theology.

This summer will be largely spent on two important projects. The first project is the final preparations for a counseling course that is scheduled to be offered in the Fall Semester at Veritas, and the second is our latest recording that will include songs from both the gospel of John and the Psalms. There is much work to be done!

Again, thank you all for your prayers to God on our behalf...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Heading to the Central Coast

This week we are preparing to head north along the California coast to San Louis Obispo to spend a few weeks with our friends, Randall and Julie Shanks, at the Calvary Baptist Church. So this week is full of activity as we get ready to go. We are still weeding out stuff we don't need and getting the garage (trailer) filled with things we need, but the end is in sight and we are looking forward to settling into this new situation. In any case, we appreciate your prayers for our family during this time!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bible Baptist Church - Santa Monica

We had a great time with Pastor Russ Boone and his family last weekend. They also happen to be a close friends with Greg Linscott (btw...I got a lot of dirt, Greg...) . Truly, they are in the heart of one of the most needy mission fields in America (if not the world), and it is such an encouragement to see men plugging away for the Lord in such places.

The church family was a joy and pleasure to meet, and their warm welcome was refreshing. I even discovered that they know Dr. "T" from International Baptist College! We look forward to coming back next year, and we plan on spending some more time with them then. If you are ever in the Los Angeles area, stop in and visit the Bible Baptist Church!

God Provides

We are so glad to report that God has provided a sound system for us, and we have been able to use it in a few meetings already. God enabled us to purchase a Bose L1 system that is amazingly compact and sounds fantastic. Here is a picture of the entire system next to one of my guitars:

That is all there is; speakers, amp, mixer, microphones, and cables! If you have ever used a traditional setup, you will appreciate the compactness of this system, and to top it off, it sounds great. It can be set up, tuned to the room, and ready to go in less than a half hour (that isn't rushing either).

Any way, the best part is how it sounds. One comment a few weeks ago was, "It sounds like you, only louder." That is exactly what we want; everyone should be able to hear clearly and without the distracting ear-splitting volumes that can happen if you sit in the wrong place under normal PA speakers.

While we still need a few minor items, we are thankful that God has provided in this way for our ministry!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Grace Baptist in Sonora

I had a wonderful time with the folks at the Grace Baptist Church in Sonora, and even though my family wasn't able to join me for the trip, it was exciting to see God work. For me, the highlight of Sunday was the evening meeting, where we met in the home of our hosts. They had a large upper room where I set up and we had an impromptu concert and even a little idol-smashing party.

We sang together, and I talked through a few songs (Particularly Jeremiah 3). We even heard from one of the teens in the church who wrote a lovely song of her own. Three hours later we had to part ways, but it was a great time. It will be great to bring my whole family next time!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What is Sermons in Song?

A sermon in song is simply a sermon set to music. In some cases it is a summary of a sermon, and in other cases the listener can follow along with the song in their Bible, just like they would any other exposition of Scripture.

I am an expository preacher of the gospel first, and this means that I am committed to preaching that deliberately and consciously adheres to what the Bible says, where the Bible says it, and with the emphasis that the Bible gives.

However, I also don't believe that Biblical exposition should never become a dry, academic exercise in boredom. No one should ever be put to sleep with the Word of God. The goal is to creatively and memorably bring the hearer into a clearer understanding of God Himself, as revealed in Scripture, and to show how this knowledge applies directly to every day life.

This brings us to music, and more particularly, our basic philosophy of music. We treat music like a language, with the volume turned up on the emotion. This means that our music is not treated as if it was only a vehicle for the message. On the contrary, just as my tone of voice is part of the whole communication in my speech, so music is part of the message of the lyrics.

We believe that when lyrics are accompanied by music that expresses emotion consistent with the message of the song, it can be both powerful and memorable, and because of this, music that is used to communicate doctrine must be handled with extra special attention to what is communicated both lyrically and musically.

So, you might ask, how did all this begin? Well...One day, I was commenting to my wife about the sorry state of contemporary Christian music, and she said, “You’re the one that is always saying not to curse the darkness unless you are willing to light a candle.” So I said to myself, “fine,” and sat down and began to write a song that was basically a summary of the book of Jeremiah.

I was preaching through Jeremiah and Lamentations at the time, and the idea was to write theologically accurate lyrics coupled with music that was emotionally consistent with the content of the song.

Well, my wife liked it, so I sang it for our church, and they liked it. Over time I continued to turn occasional sermons into songs, and the folks in our church continued to encourage me to do more. Later, we were visiting my parents and grandfather in Southern California, and I played some of the Jeremiah songs for them. My grandfather asked why I had never recorded an album, and I told him that it cost too much money. To my surprise he offered to buy all the recording equipment necessary to make it happen! Our first album, “Sorrow to Hope” was the result of his vision.

Ok...so what is it like? The first thing that I tell people is that our music isn't going to win any musical awards, and you won't hear the songs in any Classical music venues. It certainly wouldn't make it in any kind of secularized Christian market for a whole host of reasons. However, this doesn't really answer the question.

The music is made up, mostly, of original songs that are presented with guitar and cello accompaniment. Though the style is unique, you will definitely hear both Classical and Folk influences in the music, and most importantly, if you open your Bible, you will be able to follow along with the song.

It would be misleading to simply call it a concert, since preaching introduces and follows most songs, but the concept is flexible enough for the songs to stand on their own. For example, the entire “Sorrow to Hope” series can be sung, with brief introductions, in a little more than an hour. However, in this accelerated format, there is only enough time to hit the high points, and much of the richness of the various passages is easily missed.

There is even more to be gained by stretching the series out over a few services, and savoring the depth of truth that is to be found by exploring the Scriptural teaching in more detail through both preaching and music.

In addition, God has given us a variety of skills and experiences that we believe can be useful to local churches, so we are essentially beginning a ministry of helps for churches in the following areas:
  • Developing resources for training skilled ministers within the context of the local church (Veritas School of Theology)
  • Conflict resolution
  • Seminars on Bible Versions, Biblical Interpretation, and Information Technology in ministry
  • Providing recording services to help conservative Christian musicians record their music
  • Or any other way we might be an encouragement to you!
If you are interested in this ministry, our schedule can be found at the bottom of this site, and if you would like to schedule us for an open time, feel free to contact us directly. Of course, we are especially interested if you would pray for us, but please drop us a note to let us know who is praying for us! We would love to keep in touch.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Yard Sale

Well, we have a yard sale in the morning, and our life looks like an explosion of boxes...but we are making progress - whooo hooo! Whatever we don't sell we plan to throw in a big dumpster next week. Then, cleaning and painting so we can be completely gone in two weeks. It will be good to put this chapter in our lives behind us and move forward.

Please pray for us, that we will have a profitable day!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bunks are Done!!!

Well...as promised...here are a few pictures of the bunks in their finished state! They look amazing. Thanks, Paul!!! There is no way we could repay you; you went way over and above. This pic is of the left side Cabinet and bunks:


This is the right side...yes, it is a little smaller:


And here are the kids, in their chosen slots...now we have to give them mattresses!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Current State of the Kids Room

Well, the beds are almost done, and as promised, I am including a picture. Later, I will have some better shots of the progression, but for now...this is it. It is hard to believe that in two weeks, this will be home!


Thursday, February 28, 2008

We Need a Garage!

Well, I would like to ask you to pray for an urgent need. One of the weaknesses of our motorhome situation is that there is little storage available, so we have thought about getting a covered utility trailer to pull behind the motorhome. Think of it like a portable garage. We need one big enough to carry stuff and a motorcycle (for getting around town); we think that will take at least a 6x8. Ideally we would like to find one with an extra door on the side.

Anyway, if you know of one that we might be able to buy, please let me know! We would like to be able to use it to move my books down to their new home (lots of books).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bedroom Facelift and More

Well, we are going to be living in our motor home full-time, so there are a few modifications that must be made. Mainly, we need to convert the back bedroom into a bunk-room for the kids. Martha and I will take the overhead bed (it is a class-c motor home), and the kids will each have their own submarine style bunk. It won't be much room, but it will be their own space, which we feel is very important for them.

A couple men from our church have begun the work, and they are removing the old furnishings/cabinets. There are some things to work around (like the spare tire), but in the end, I believe that we will have a much better situation for the kids.

We continue to pack up my books, and as we have found a few who can use some of our furniture, we intend to give away what can be used in the Lord's service. Then we will sell what we can, and when that is done, we will toss the rest into a big dumpster! What fun... it will be a flurry of activity from now until March 31st, so we appreciate your prayers during this time of transition.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two New Links

I have added two more links into our music links section. Before I go any further, let me say that links to particular artists are NOT endorsements of all of their music or their particular philosophy of music. However, there is some value in considering each perspective. The two added are at very different sides of the music spectrum, but both spend considerable time thinking through music issues.

When it comes to music in church / worship, I am much closer to Scott Aniol than Bob Kauflin, and even though I do not always agree with Scott's arguments, I appreciate his desire to be careful with music. We should think through the issues clearly and carefully, and Scott's site is actually far deeper than just a blog.

Worship Matters is very much a Sovereign Grace Ministries site, and so the music and its philosophy is exactly what you would expect. The lyrics are almost always solid and excellent, though the music frequently doesn't really match the tone of the lyric. With that said, however, there is some value in considering and interacting with the ideas / music / philosophy found herein.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Contact Information

If you would like to contact us for booking a meeting or just questions about our ministry, you may do so in one of the following ways:

Phone Call: (909) 680-2331
If you call and get our answering machine, please leave a message; we will call you back! You can also text message us at the above phone number.

Internet: tpryde 3 at gmail period com (remove spaces and insert appropriate punctuation)
Believe it or not, this is one of the fastest ways to get a hold of us. In addition, you can contact us through Facebook, via our "fan" page.

Support Information:
Crossroads Baptist Church (Sermons in Song)
1220 Appalosa Way
Tracy, California 95376

We will keep this page updated if any changes or additional contact information is needed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Public Announcement Coming Soon

Well, the time is nearing to publicly announce what we are planning, and then we will really get going with our planning. Basically, we expect to know better what our plans will look like after this weekend, and it will be great to get things moving!

Stay tuned for more details next week!

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Links

There are two new links that you may notice have been added to our list. These are two excellent musicians who are producing music that is exceptional. Dan Forrest is an amazing composer, and his site is worth visiting, if only to hear the samples of his work. Seriously...go listen to a few of his samples.

I admire his music so much that I have a dream of collaborating with him on a project about the attributes of God. However, his commission fees are so high that I would be hopelessly in debt to make it happen. Perhaps, some day, God will let me do that project.

Greg Howlett is the other musician that is linked. He is an excellent pianist who has produced a series of "lessons" for pianists. My oldest son has learned a lot from them, and though they are written with piano in mind, I have also benefited from the lessons in my own music for guitar and voice. If you play congregational piano in your church, it would benefit you greatly to spend some time on this site.

Comparing our music to theirs is like comparing a hot dog and a fillet mignon. There is no comparison, and we would like to express our appreciation and admiration for their contributions to Christian music.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sound System

Well, we are continuing to work toward getting everything together, and there is so much to do! However, God continues to supply, so we are pressing onward. One of the things that we have to do is determine what type of sound system to bring along. We really have three choices:
  1. We can simply use the sound systems that are already present
  2. We can get a traditional sound-reinforcement system (PA)
  3. We can get a self-contained compact system
There are pros and cons for each option. The first case is certainly the cheapest. However, it is not uncommon for churches to have the wrong types of microphones for cello, and many aren't really equipped to handle acoustic guitar either. Because of the nature of our music, it is also important to be able to obtain the right sound (clean acoustic), and most systems are not designed to make this a simple proposition. Even where it is possible, it is time-consuming to accomplish, and on top of this, it becomes problematic to leave the balance of the musical elements to a sound engineer that hasn't worked with us before.

The second option is definitely better, but it requires speakers, stands, amplifier, mixer, and other miscellaneous equipment (on top of the base system in the link). With our instruments alone, we already have quite a few items to carry and manage. On top of this, these systems do not automatically sound as good as built in systems that are tuned for the building. In order to get a portable system to work properly, it takes a surprising amount of time, trouble, and additional equipment (and expense).

The third option is the easiest and most compact option, but there is only one company making anything like them. As a result they are slightly more expensive than the second option. However, they are considerably easier to set up (10 minutes as opposed to hours), and they sound far better for acoustic music like ours. This is the option that we are praying God will supply. If you are interested in knowing more about this system, you can read about it here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Scaling Down

Well, as we begin this new endeavor there are so many things that have to happen. It is almost overwhelming. The biggest task is scaling down our lives from a 3 bedroom house to a 30 foot motorhome. This means we have to sell, store, or toss most of our possessions, and you can imagine how challenging that is!

Of course, we have to work on getting the motorhome (after we figure out a way to pay for it...lol) ready for a family of seven to move in. The master bedroom will have to be converted to a kid's room, complete with bunks and storage. That will be a significant challenge, but a few men from our church (who are very handy) have agreed to help get it done. That will be a big blessing, since we would like to have a permanent bed space for each of our family.

On top of this, we need to develop a travel schedule and plan meetings, so if you know of anyone who would like to have us come to their church, take a look at the schedule at the bottom of the blog and call to see if we can make a date work!

It is true that we have many needs, but we are confident that God will supply exactly what we need, when we need it. For those who have asked, I will post and maintain a running list of needs soon. In any case, we are grateful for your prayers as we prepare and begin scheduling meetings.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Back to the beginning...

Sermons in song began when I was complaining to my wife about the sorry state of Christian music. It seemed as if the Theology of Christian music was lacking, and if there was substance to the song, the music seemed to be used as a mere vehicle, rather than spending some effort to try and match the tone of the music to the content of the song. Well, my wife said, "You are the one who says, 'Don't curse the darkness unless you are willing to light a candle.'"

That was enough to get me to pick up my guitar and try to write a song. "Sorrow to Hope" was the result, and you can hear it if you go to our Facebook page. I happened to be preaching through the book of Jeremiah at the time, so it is a summary of the book of Jeremiah. I sang the song to our church, and they liked it.

One thing led to another and I began taking occasional sermons and turning them into songs. Eventually the album "Sorrow to Hope" was recorded. The best part of it is that people remembered the songs long after they would normally forget the sermon! I have just continued writing the songs for our church, and now the door seems to be opening to take the idea to others who may be encouraged and blessed with the Word of God preached in the form of music.

We are excited about the possibilities!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Stuff

We have added some new stuff to the blog, in the form of links (to the right), an itinerary calendar (on the bottom), and pictures (also to the right). The links are to Tom's blog, NeoFundamentalist and our new Facebook "fan" page. I am not sure if I like the whole "fan" idea, but this is a good way for us to communicate with those who are interested in our ministry. There is also a link to the online CD store, "CDBaby." You can buy our album from a variety of digital sources, but this is the only way to get a hard copy, other than directly from us.

The calendar on the bottom of the blog is a google calendar, and if you have never used this feature of google, you may want to check it out. In any case, this is the easiest way for us to update and keep track of our schedule, and it seems worthwhile to provide access to it for you.

As for the photos...we hope to include pictures as we travel, but there isn't much there yet. I'll include more as I am able.

One last item...
I have uploaded a basic brochure that introduces our ministry.

Needs / Prayer Requests

Many of you who are praying for us have asked about specific needs that we have, so this page will be an ongoing list of needs and prayer requests. Be sure to check back to see God's answers to your prayers for us, and when God provides, we will share that with you and cross off those needs here!

CD Production Costs / Duplication (should cost around 2500 dollars)
Replacing Tom's Cracked Guitar

Motorhome bunks - March 20 Praise the Lord!!!
Sound System - May 19 Praise the Lord!!!
Kid's School
Keyboard, (we ended up getting a good price on an inexpensive Casio so that our oldest could continue his lessons)
Microphones for live sound - June 19 Praise the Lord!!!
Travel Expenses to Illinois (Special thanks to the Southeast Valley Baptist Church in Gilbert, AZ)
Refrigerator and Propane system repair

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SiS Launch Coming Soon!

Well, Sermons in Song is about to go live as our family prepares to become mobile. This blog will serve as a repository for information on our travels, music, and other endeavors. Feel free to drop us a line and say "hi."