Manuel A. Luz

  • featureImage

    Why Art?

    The following is an excerpt from a message I recently delivered at Oak Hills Church in Folsom entitled WHY ART? This is Part 1 of a 4 Part series entitled, ARTFUL LIVING. For more on this first dis…

    2 min read
  • featureImage

    Artful Faith

    Most of you know that I’m a Creative Arts Pastor for Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California. Each summer, we traditionally have Arts Month, a time when we feature our local artists through ou…

    3 min read
  • featureImage

    What Makes a Good Worship Song?

    I’ve had the privilege of speaking at a good number of worship conferences, workshops, podcasts, etc., over the years, as well as lead an amazing group of worship leaders, bands, and congregations at my church for decades. And one of the ongoing dialogues I’ve had in all these situations is: What makes a good worship song?

    8 min readArticlesMusic
  • featureImage

    My Strength and My Song

    Tens of thousands of songs. Dozens of albums. Scores of scripts and screenplays. Hundreds of blog posts. Thousands of worship services. A few books and manuscripts and patents. No small amount of time well beyond the 10,000 Hour Rule. Did I waste my life? Does my work matter? Have I expressed my faith well? Have I stewarded the talents God gave me in a way that actually made a difference—in the lives of people and in the furthering of His Kingdom?

  • featureImage

    Art, Jazz, and the Christmas Story

    One of the best things about Christmas—and this is just my personal opinion—is being able to play the music of Vince Guaraldi. For those who don’t know, Guaraldi is the iconic jazz pianist and composer whose work flavors “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” In fact, the music is so integral to the story that one cannot hear his music without thinking of Snoopy dancing his weird little happy dance.

  • featureImage

    That Was Weird.

    Everyone seems to have an interesting story where one encounters a celebrity. I myself have met a few celebrities (and semi-celebrities) over the years, but the story I most love to tell is the time Weird Al Yankovic “opened” for me.

  • featureImage

    Nightmare Gigs

    Any musician who’s played any length of time out there has one—the nightmare gig. You know, that one gig where everything just seems to go terribly wrong. I had one just recently, and while I…

    4 min readJournalsMusic
  • featureImage

    Gently Down the Stream

    My album, “A Different Kind of Love Song,” is now available on all streaming services, as well as available for download on your favorite devices. I went back and forth quite a lot, deb…

    3 min readArticlesMusic
  • featureImage

    The Divine Imagination

    Before you read any further,do this one thing. Put your open hand in front of you, close to your face. Now tighten your grip slightly. Now close your eyes, and as you do,imaginethat you have just grabbed a handful of crayons. Do youfeelthem roll around in your palm? Do youseethe different colors of each crayon?

  • featureImage


    My wife and I recently downsized. Smaller house, smaller mortgage, smaller debt, and a small but cozy home where we can begin a new empty-nesting chapter to our lives. We’re really loving the neighborhood, with friendly neighbors and nature trails and a decidedly slower pace of life. There’s a catch though. My grand piano, which

  • featureImage

    Practice Makes Imperfect

    There’s no getting around it.Learning to play the piano is hard.The narrative of my life is punctuated with countless hours sitting on a piano bench learning thecraftof the piano.I am still scarred by an amalgamated childhood memory of me looking out the window, watching my brothers play in the front yard, while I stayed inside