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A psalm for Christmas Eve...

Praise God for Christmas
Praise Him for the Incarnation
for Word made flesh.
I will not sing
of shepherds watching flocks
on frosty night
or angel choristers.
I will not sing
of stable bare in Bethlehem
or lowing oxen
wise men
trailing distant star
with gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Tonight I will sing
praise to the Father
who stood on heaven's threshold
and said farewell to His Son
as He stepped across the stars
to Bethlehem
and Jerusalem.
And I will sing
praise to the infinite eternal Son
who became most finite
a Baby
who would one day be executed
for my crimes.
Praise Him in the heavens.
Praise Him in the stable.
Praise Him in my heart.

- Joe Bayly



If you're wondering, the word is cremation spelled backwards. The title is me moving backwards, pulling the three posts on cremation off the site. It's Christmas and I don't want to keep hurting people's feelings. Maybe I'll repost later? Then again, maybe I'll just put it in a book.

Anyhow, I've found writing about cremation to be incendiary, 1 and who needs that this time of year? it's Christmas!

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day;
To save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray;
Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
Oh tidings of comfort and joy!

Fatherhood during the holidays...

This afternoon from 4-6pm ET, I'm privileged to be the guest of Chris Arnzen on IRON SHARPENS IRON Radio. We'll be talking on the subject, "Christian Fathers Using the Holidays for God's Glory." What do our families need from their father during the holidays?

Chris Arnzen's IRON SHARPENS IRON can be listened to online at IronSharpensIronRadio or (click CHANNEL 3 for Christian Radio). You can also listen by phone at (401) 283-6754 (press #3 when prompted for Christian Radio. If you have audio problems with live streaming, try clearing your browser caches, then quit and restart your browser.

If you'd like to ask question or two during the interview, please send the e-mail to including your first name, city, state, and country (if outside the US). Hope you'll join us.

Patriarchy: lessons from Bethlehem...

Over the years, I've often repeated a truism I'd heard as a younger man concerning the sins typical of men during our youth, middle, and old age: we begin with sex, then move on to money; but we end with pride. The past few years this has come home to me with great intensity as I've watched men I respect suffer because of their pride. They have lost others’ respect for them. Their church or religious organization has imploded. Their leadership has become grossly attenuated. Their families have privately suffered severe conflict.

I’ve talked with my wife and closest pastor friends about this quite a few times the past couple of months and we have come to wonder whether we have not gotten things wrong with respect to what God hates? We think He hates rebellion and antinomianism—which He does, of course. His Word tells us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

But then this...

Glory this Christmas...

Glory, the Everlasting Word Band's Christmas album has been out a month. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. Cheryl and I can't get enough of it. We're listening to it over and over, kind of like we listened to Good Shepherd Band's Repeat the Sounding Joy several years ago, and some of the latter albums by the musicians of Mars Hill Church--Ghost Ship and Dustin Kensrue especially. Several years ago Cheryl and I drove through southern Europe for a month with our youngest son and daughter, listening to the Ghost Ship and Dustin Kensrue worship albums over and over and over on the rental car's stereo. This album is the Christmas equivalent. It's a fabulous piece of work.


"Glory" to be released next Tuesday...

After two years of recording silence, the Everlasting Word Band is excited to announce the release of its third album, Glory, on November 24th...


Sound of Triumph 2015...

The Sound of Triumph 2015 is quickly approaching and we would like to invite you to join us as we celebrate the triumph of Christ's birth…

This year, there are concerts in two locations. You can get all the info at

We hope to see you there. 

A fresh take on an olde carole...

Tim Bushong serves as an elder in the CREC congregation, Trinity Evangelical Church in Larwill, Indiana (just outside Ft. Wayne). Tim's day job is running his T. Bush recording studio and each year he works with his son, Aaron, arranging and recording new takes on olde Christmas songs and carols. Knowing how much Baylyblog readers are committed to fleeing the priggishness innate to Presbyterianism,  I thought I'd take this opportunity to let you hear the Bushong's brand new recording of "What Child Is This?" Next year Tim and Aaron plan to issue all of their Christmas recordings on a CD titled, "I'm Dreaming of a Gay Christmas." But I lie. The title will be "A Very Metal Christmas."

Clearnote Christmas Spectacular! This Friday and Saturday

How many instruments will Philip Moyer play...and will one of them be a kazoo? Will Curtis finally sing "O, Holy Night?" I'll grant, these questions are important, but they are irrelevant if you don't make plans right now to attend the 8th annual Clearnote Christmas Spectacular this Friday or Saturday at 7:00 PM. More than anything else, it's a beautiful opportunity for your friends and neighbors to hear The Gospel. Will you take a few minutes right now to invite them?

Here's a playlist of several videos from previous years:

"All the Bells Shall Ring" on Amazon, iTunes; release party tonight...

Today is release day! Get a copy of Good Shepherd Band's latest CD, "All the Bells Shall Ring" on AmazoniTunes, and

Here's a kind review of the CD written by Pastor Andrew Dionne. Would you please encourage our musicians (and me) by purchasing a copy of this CD, now. And if you like it, give it as a Christmas gift. Also, if you're in or around Bloomington, we hope we'll see you tonight for the Release Party down at The Pourhouse Cafe (314 East Kirkwood Avenue) starting at 7 PM.


Christmas comes early...

I'm excited to post a small sampling of the new Christmas album (vol. 2) from Good Shepherd Band. The whole album will be available Friday, November 7th. If you happen to be near Bloomington, there will be a live concert at the The Pourhouse Cafe (314 E Kirkwood) that same day, Friday November 7 at 7pm

Here's a special pre-release (tracks 4 and 6) just for our Baylyblog readers:

Come one! Come all!


Every December Clearnote Church sets aside a special evening of worship and fellowship called the Clearnote Christmas Spectacular. It's a night for pulling out all the stops in celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord, where centuries old traditions intersect with contemporary style. This year we've come up with a few surprises that will make the night truly spectacular!

Here's a little taste...

C'mon ring those bells--better yet, join us...

Christmas is coming quickly, and we've been preparing... 

Four weeks from tonight, on December 11, 2013, Christ the Word will host its 2013 Christmas Concert. This year we're taking our celebration up a notch and we invite you to be part of it! It will be an evening of all-out rejoicing as we sing of  and celebrate the birth of Jesus!