Why we sing the Psalms

When our hearts don’t know what to think about the sorrows or joys we may face in this life, we can find solace in the Word of God (specifically in the Psalms) where we find words that express every emotion for our souls and see Jesus more clearly. We recently gathered some resources and quotes surrounding why we sing the Psalms for a Sunday school class and wanted to share them here for you. Below are some quotes and resources, not exactly an essay, just some encouraging words worth sharing (the sources are at bottom of this post). May we continue to “sing to him a new song” (Psalm 33:3) bringing glory and honor to our precious Lord and Savior.

“The prayers of the faithful are so cold, that we ought to be ashamed and dismayed. The psalms can incite us to lift up our hearts to God and move us to an ardor in invoking and exalting with praises the glory of his Name.” – John Calvin engaging his church in Geneva.

Continue reading


What Hourly Dangers

I would love to tell you I found these lyrics in a beautiful crumbly and cracked hymnal. But this one came to me by way of the internet. I (Allie) was thumb scrolling through some of Anne Steele hymn titles on hymnary.org about a month ago and stumbled upon this hymn. I was in shock over the title because my heart had been needing some kind of response to all the ache and hurt that we’ve been experiencing in the world today as we “hourly” hear heart breaking news surrounding racial divides. So much hurt is happening around us and this hymn’s prayer like quality seemed to be a direct response to our modern times.

A little bit of they hymn’s history given by www.hymnary.org: the poem was first published in Anne Steel’s “Poems on Subjects chiefly Devotional” 1760. In the late 1700s it was printed in 100% of hymnals. It has sense waxed and wained in popularity lastly printed by the AME (African Methodist Episcopal) church in the early 1950s at which time was printed in under 5% of hymnals.

Even despite the lyric’s history and long since drop off the earth, I was moved by the word’s in a deeply powerful way. I had been recently encouraged through sermon by Jemar Tisby towards the idea of morning along side of our African American brothers and sisters who are experiencing much hurt as their culture constantly gets misunderstood and unjustly treated. When I sat at the piano and put these lyrics to music I felt a personal reaction to it, one of sorrow and morning. It poured out of me almost as if the lyrics were my own, and the music flowed with ease. I believe this tells to how well these lyrics apply to many aspects of the christian walk: fears, doubt, feebleness. I hope your spirit is lifted up and encouraged by these lyrics as I have been. Oh Lord “Increase my faith, increase my hope, when foes and fears prevail; and bear my fainting spirit up, or soon my strength will fail.”

1 Alas, what hourly dangers rise!
What snares beset my way!
To Heaven O let me lift my eyes,
And hourly watch and pray.

Continue reading


Persevere dear heart, our work in this life matters.

WORKfindslife

Over an over we continue to be encouraged towards creating and sharing our music. This year has overwhelmingly been a year where we have continued to experience glimmering hope, even admit a lot of doubting. Little nods from the Lord saying: go do your work! Run this race, do not doubt.

This week it came from our paster, George Robertson, as he shared from the last chapter of Revelation. In this passage Chapter 22 we are reminded of the image of the river of life, and we see how the Lord will perfect relationships in three main areas. Relationship between: Justice & Mercy, Work & Worship, God & Man.

As George spoke on the perfection of the relationship between work and worship, he shared how our work even in this life, in glorifying him, plants seeds and is given new life in the new world that is coming!

Every song you craft, every heart you touch, every work you do, our work finds new life in the world to come.

What an encouragement for us creatives to see how our work in this life matters, not for selfish gain, but as a great work towards worshiping him now and for forever more through out eternity! So, persevere dear heart, our work in this life matters!

Hymn Lyrics from “O for a faith that will not shrink” by William Hiley Bathurst, which will be featured in a song on our upcoming album, speaks directly to this concept of eternity.

Lord, give us such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
We’ll taste e’en here the hallowed bliss
Of an eternal home.

Oh Lord, may we continue to know and understand that you craft our every moment and our every task. We look forward to that one day at your feet when we will understand in hallowed bliss our eternal worth in you!

Blessings on your week!

~Allie

(Photo by the talented: © Mackenzie Leigh Photography)


Recording Update | No Fear.

No fear in death, no guilt in life, this is the power of Christ in me.

recording_annoncment

Dear Friends,

We embarked on new territory this summer: Recording our first professional full length album! We will officially be launching more information soon about the support we need to raise to make this project happen, but for now we wanted to take some time and tell you about where we are at with our project.

In years past, we have been hesitant to record for a number of reasons. Fear over the amount of work it takes. Fear over the money it takes. Fear of putting our selves out there in such a finalized way. Fear of being taken the wrong way. Despite all this fear however, the Lord has been moving in our hearts as he strips away our own fears and insecurities. As we have turned our eyes from self centered fearfulness to reverence of our holy God, we have begun to see this work of recording an album in a new light. Missional work that he has set in our hearts to accomplish!

Continually this simple phrase has echoed to us in the last few months: RECORDING GOD’S GLORY.

How do we partake in the revealing of God’s glory as artists and creators? We simply create. We put work out there for God to use as he chooses.

As an artist would finalize a painting on a canvas to hang on the wall for others to view, we desire to take the songs the Lord has already given us and finalize them in recorded form for people to hear. Our desire is that the Lord would work through the hearts of his people through our creative efforts.

WHAT IS OUR ALBUM? Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs. (Col 3:16)

WHAT IS OUR END GOAL? Simply to create an album of music that glorifies God through skillful playing and singing, boasts of what the Lord has done, and provides accessible music as a resource to his church.

We are excited to let you in on this process as we seek to continue after this missional work He has set before us.

Grace and Peace,

Mike and Allie Murphy

Ready to help us make it happen? Visit: www.musicalmurphys.com/donate

(Photo by the talented: © Mackenzie Leigh Photography)


Worship Update | Musical Breadth: Pipe Organ to Electric Guitars & Gospel

musicalbreadth

If you attend our church (FPC Augusta, GA) you may wonder what Mike’s favorite style is. (And you will probably never hear him verbally claim one…the older he gets I’m not sure he even has one, he truly loves them all.) You may also wonder what style of music our church seeks to do, and spend any time in either the a.m. or evening service and you may not be able to grasp it. When they hired Mike on as assistant music and arts director, little did they know how many styles constantly swim in his head. Nor did they realize he’d be willing to pull out both electric guitars in the evening but also play classical in the morning, or arrange for the organ.

I (Allie) have sometimes struggled with lack of decision on this front. It sometimes makes my head spin when Mike will pull of a gospel night right on the heels of a celtic night or a modern worship set. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE it all, but as the pianist asked to attempt all these styles, sometimes I am a little less than willing. But all styles matter and it all holds an important place in our congregation.

As the body of Christ, we are hardly one singular thing, and by diversifying the music in our worship services, we mirror God and get to experience his different attributes.

Confession: I am shamefully the first to roll my eyes when Mike says hey honey you’re playing Gospel piano this week and honestly in my own insecurities I say: “What? could you not get someone else?!” This probably says something about my willingness or lack there of to serve, which perhaps is a whole different topic/blog post.

I digress…Truth is the Lord is teaching me so much about how amazing it is when I step out of my comfort zone and let the Lord work through my feeble attempts. In fact, he constantly surprises me and frankly I’ve had the most fun on those services when I’m dragging myself to the plate and saying WOW do something Lord, because I don’t have it!

Recently we stumbled upon this video and it is worth a watch. It explains everything we personally stand for. All music styles speak to the different aspects of God and we should be accomplishing them all, not for the sake of appeasing the squeaky wheels in our congregations, but to honor every aspect of the God we worship!

Enjoy and to God be the glory in whatever style we play in whatever way we sing!