The Worship Quote of the Week for (06/30/2009):

Worship: Communion with God
There is a health update at the end of this message.
See the note below about music/worship study at
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
A free piano score to last week's WORSHIP QUOTE
is available at

Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is from a chapter on worship from J. I. Packer's important book KNOWING CHRISTIANITY.

Worship, then, taking it in its broadest sense, includes more than is sometimes realized: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, action as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving others as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those that focus on God directly--those in which God is to us not simply "he" but "thou." This means that we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion. We often stress that bearing witness of Christ to others, from one point of view, is an act of worship glorifying to God, and evangelism is indeed a matter of high importance. We need to realize, however, that other acts of worship in which we talk not merely ABOUT God but TO him matter even more. To deal with our neighbor in love is a basic duty. Equally, however, we cannot overstress that to hold fellowship with God in love is a duty even more basic.

Great as the second commandment is, the first is greater. Acts of communion with God in which his worth is acknowledged, so to speak, to his face, are the true heartbeat of living faith. Moreover, it is by these acts of direct communion that Christians gain vision and vigor for their mission in the world. "He prayeth best who loveth best" is true, but "he loveth best who prayeth best" is a deeper truth still.

-- J. I. Packer, KNOWING CHRISTIANITY. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999, pp. 108-09. ISNB 0-8308-2216-X. Highly recommended.

Perhaps you have heard about the recent changes at the Southern Seminary. Depending on your sources of information, I can tell you that your information is either right or wrong. I canít tell you how many people have contacted me, asking if I would come teach somewhere else since my job had been terminated. FUNNY! Here is the real story: The School of Church Music and Worship and the Leadership School at SBTS have been brought into a single school which is now called The School of Church Ministries. Dr. Thomas Bolton is stepping down as dean (after nine years), and he will continue to teach after a well-deserved sabbatical. I have been granted tenure and look forward to getting back to the classroom and the podium. (It is too soon to tell how much I will be able to do in the coming fall semester.) I will continue to serve as the director of the Institute for Christian Worship. Dr. Esther Crookshank has been named director of the new Academy of Sacred Music that will oversee the Seminary Music Academy, the R. Inman Johnson Concert Series, and certain lectures on hymnology and the like. Dr. Douglas Smith plans to retire in December. Dr. Greg Brewton will oversee the music portion of the new school. Dr. Ronald Turner and Dr. Sandra Turner are still here and going strong. That gives you a little glimpse of things ahead. We are still admitting students and look forward to many, many years of training church musicians for service in the Lord's precious church. Please pray for us and let me hear from you if there are prospective students whom I should contact.


Dear Praying Friends,

There are some new photos and longer journal entries at

I have been home from the hospital for a full week. Praise God! We are so thankful. I am at about 60% energy. They say that in four to six weeks I should feel more like myself. A full day includes four or five small meals, a walk around the block, and perhaps a bike ride around the block. I nap a lot and watch lots of tennis from Wimbledon. My immune system should be back to normal in about six months.

I am a bit of an emotional mess--when I try to pray out loud, or sing, or even watch certain commercials on TV, I cry uncontrollably. I trust that I will not lose my tenderness towards God's mercy and grace, but that my tears will settle down a bit as I regain my strength and bearings. Doris and Clara are here, and it is a precious time together. The two Wheaten Terriers are at "dog summer camp" with a dear friend from church. Things are three notches quieter.

Please read the important note above about music/worship studies at our seminary.

Thanks for praying for my full and permanent recovery.

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Ministries
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

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