Violent Praise: Hallelujah!

There was a time when I was on a plane from New Orleans to Phoenix and, with my iPod in hand and my noise canceling earbuds doing their best to keep the noise inside this time, my music was blaring with the music of Hillsong United.  I don’t remember which song it was but I remember the moment I wanted to dance wildly on the plane.  Unhindered, I wanted to jump up and down, spin (gil) around, and simply let go and move around like crazy.

I didn’t.

I just put my head down in my hands and sat motionless. Not one person around me could tell that the things going on in my head were better described as violent.  It was a dormant energy but the energy inside me was passionate and “burning in my bones.”  If I had been in a place more appropriate (at a church service??) and with more room, I would have unleashed my praise.

Even thought I didn’t do it, it’s one of the times in my life where I felt that I knew what King David was thinking when he danced in the linen ephod. It’s one of the few times that “Hallelujah” was more than a word for me.

Hallelujah a combined word from two words: Halal and Jah.

Jah means (the Lord).

Halal means to be clamorously foolish, it means to boast loudly, to laud, to celebrate, to shine.

God, You inspire worship.

I repent to You, God, that I forgot to acknowledge You in all this.  Two weeks lost because I was relying on myself and not You.

How ridicilous of me to think that I could choose songs, play well enough, sing passionately enough to inspire worship.  How dare I assume the ability to do what only You can do, God.

I am only a musician…you create worship. You, God, are the redeemer of all things and I trust that You have moved the hearts of the people in wake of my self-absorbed wickedness.

God, You create worship, Your Spirit inspires hope, love, JOY, peace, excitement, healing, and repentance.  You are the voice who calls Your own to You.

Use me God…my only hope is in You!


I am going to begin journaling my way through the Psalms.  Sometimes it will be just a paragraph and other times it will be at length.  I will add other thoughts but the constant theme will be in Psalms.  My hope is to cover the entire book…eventually.  Sometimes it will just be my own thoughts and other times I will pull from resources as I learn about each one:

  1. Nelson Study Bible notes
  2. Psalms Commentary
  3. Skip Moen for the Hebrew Perspective
  4. Etc, etc, etc…

I would encourage all worship pastors to dig into the Psalms, with both their head and their hearts, as a way to relate to God and, as a worship pastor, to guide in creating music.  Let me end on a quote from Skip Moen about David and the Psalms:

“…David is the consummate composer [of worship music].  However, David’s praise and worship songs might never make it into our Sunday services.  Why?  Because they don’t always have the upbeat, positive, repetitive outlook that we have come to expect.  David’s praise and worship songs come from a penetrating experience of life, not from idealized theological answers.”

Let’s dig deeply into God and ask him to use us, as musicians, to challenge people with the music we write.