Fellowship Bible Church - 01/07 - 01/08/16

This weekend we began our spring series through Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew–The Way of Life. The message this weekend was an introduction about why and how to listen to God. I'm really excited about this series because the Sermon on the Mount is so powerful and shows us the righteousness of God in such a striking and challenging way. 

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Lead Me to the Cross" [Hillsong United]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints / The Northwest Collective]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Chris Tomlin]

I hope you had a great weekend and that you are resting in the finished work of Jesus as your hope!

in the Son,
Bill

Fellowship Bible Church - New Year's Weekend

For New Years Eve Weekend this year, we went mainly with a simple, four-piece rock band set up, and it was a ton of fun. It felt like going back to my garage band roots from college. I loved the simplicity and the rawness of it all, and I had the opportunity to play a little electric guitar again this weekend, which I don't do enough. It was a really enjoyable time of remembering and celebrating our adoption as sons and daughters of God through the finished work of Christ for us!

"Words in the Water" [Thrice]
"Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
"Grace Alone" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"O Come to the Altar" [Elevation Worship]

 

Fellowship Bible Church - Christmas Eve 2016

God is with us! This weekend, we concluded our Christmas Series – "Christmas On Purpose" with a message entitled "To Save Sinners." That is ultimately why Jesus stepped down from His throne and became flesh. He came to rescue us and to give us new life.

Here's what we sang together to celebrate the Savior's birth:

Pre-service - "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (Instrumental) [Based off of Fernando Ortega's arrangement]
"Joy to the World" [Traditional, my arrangement]
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" [Hillsong]
"O Holy Night" [Traditional, my arrangement]
"Silent Night" [Traditional]

Christmas Eve is always a beautiful and special celebration that closes with candle-lighting to remember the Light of World who stepped into the darkness to bring us out into the light.

Merry Christmas!

in the Son,

Bill 

Fellowship Bible Church - Advent Weekend Recaps

Well, in the busy-ness of vacation and holiday stuff, I have fallen way behind on posting here, so this is a catch-up post for our December weekends, along with our Christmas Worship Night! Below are the sets from the weeks that I have missed. Our Christmas message series was entitled "Christmas On Purpose" from 1 Timothy 1:15: "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost." The messages broke down the phrase "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" into smaller segments to show why Christ came into the world in the incarnation.

December 3 & 4 - Identity

Pre-service - "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" [Traditional]
"Jesus" [Citizens & Saints]
"Grace Alone" [The Modern Post]
"Son of God" [Starfield]
God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]

 

December 10 & 11 - Incarnation

Pre-service - "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" [Traditional, my arrangement]
"Angels from the Realms of Glory" [Traditional, my arrangement]
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" [Hillsong]
"What Child is This" [Bebo Norman arrangement]
"Here I Am to Worship (Chorus only)" [Chris Tomlin]
"Jesus Messiah" [Chris Tomlin]

 

December 17 & 18 - The World

"Hosanna (Praise is Rising/Emmanuel)" [Paul Baloche]
"Go Tell It on the Mountain" [Traditional, arrangement inspired by Crystal Lewis version]
"O Come, O
Come Emmanuel" [Traditional, my arrangement]
"Hosanna (Chorus Only)" [Hillsong]
"Jesus Take All of Me" [Brenton Brown]

 

Christmas Worship Night - December 11

"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" [Traditional]
"O Come All Ye Faithful" [Traditional]
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" [Traditional]
"Angels We Have Heard On High" [Traditional]
"Joy to the World" [Traditional]
"O Holy Night" [Traditional]
"What Child Is This" [Traditional]
"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" [Traditional, arr by Fernando Ortega]
"Noel" [Lauren Daigle, Chris Tomlin]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Good, Good Father" [Housefires]
"Lamb of God" [Vertical Church Band]
"Son of God" [Starfield]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Chris Tomiln]
"I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Grace Alone" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"My Victory" [Crowder]


I'll be posting our Christmas Eve Service Plan on that day.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our incredible Savior who came to our rescue! He is with us!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 11/12 - 11/13/16

This weekend, we continued our Together series as Pastor Joe looked at the value of being in "Fellowship Together." He focused on Daniel 1:1-21 and how Daniel and his group of friends supported and encouraged one another in remaining faithful to the Lord, even in the face of trials and difficulty during the exile in Babylon.

For our singing together, we focused on God's faithfulness and unfailing love, and the fact that He is with us. We can be encouraged to be together in fellowship with one another because God does the same for us.

Our team did a great job, and I really enjoyed including "Grace Alone" in our actual worship set after singing it a few times in the pre-service section. I love the lyric of that song, and how it points to the Trinity in the work of saving us, from beginning to end. I hope to continue singing it together as we go. We also sang a song that we haven't sung together in quite a while: "One Thing Remains." I love that song–especially the bridge. It's a powerful declaration of God's faithfulness and the security of our salvation because of Him.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
"Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel, North Point Community Church]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"One Thing Remains" [Kristian Stanfill/Bethel]

 

Fellowship Service Recap - 11/05 - 11/06/16

We had a great weekend continuing our Together series with a message on being "Together in the Word." Pastor Joe pointed us to Deuteronomy 11:18-23 to remind us of the value of keeping the Word of God ever before us as our source and our guide.

For our singing, we focused on songs that reminded us of the faithfulness and surety of God's Word and promises to us, and of what He says about us.

The team did a great job, and it was a beautiful time of singing in worship together in each of our services.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "The Gospel" [Ghost Ship/Citizens & Saints]
"Before The Throne" [The Modern Post]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong United]
"Good Good Father" [Housefires II]
Communion - "Nothing But The Blood (Your Blood)" [Matt Redman/Charlie Hall]

I hope you had a great weekend! Jesus is King, and He is faithful!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 10/29-10/30/16

This weekend was our second in our Together series, and we looked at why it's important for us to be "Together in Worship." Our adult discipleship pastor, David Hinkle, called us as a congregation to move from watching to participating in worship together.

It was a great weekend. The team did a great job leading, and we sang some of our favorites in our rehearsal of what we'll be doing together for eternity: exalting the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, with the song of those who have been redeemed!

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Rock of Ages" [The Modern Post/The Northwest Collective]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"My Victory" [Crowder]
"Revelation Song" [Kari Jobe]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong Worship]

Fellowship Service Recap - 10/15 - 10/16/16

This weekend we concluded our Awakening series with a message from 2 Timothy 1:6-12 about how the Gospel is the greatest gift for us and for others. It was a great reminder and encouragement to share the wealth of the Gospel message with everyone in our lives.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "Lead Me To The Cross" [Hillsong United]
"Sing to the King" [Billy Foote, Passion Worship Band]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong United]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"My Victory" [Crowder]

It was a great weekend together. Both Lindsay and Rachel did a great job leading, and I was thankful to only be leading one song this weekend, as I ended up with a pretty good cough. Someone commented to me that every single member of the band was singing as they played throughout the weekend, and that is a great inspiration to our congregation as they led from their respective positions. It was a beautiful thing.

I continue to see a lot of new faces in the congregation each weekend, many of whom are infusing a new energy into our gatherings, and it is very encouraging to see. I'm excited to see what the Lord does in and through our church family in the coming years!

Have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 10/08 - 10/09/16

[It seems I had an entire post written up, but it mysteriously disappeared when I saved it, so I'll try to remember all the profound things I had to say. ;) ]

We had a great weekend together as we continued our Awakeninglooking at how the gospel is our celebration, and how it brings joy to the Father, to us, and to others who receive it. Joe focused in on Luke 15 and the "lost" parables of Jesus there, where He taught about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. It was a beautiful reminder of how much the Father loves us and how He and all of Heaven celebrate it when we come back to Him!

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Rejoice" - [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"Blessed Assurance" [Fanny Crosby]
"My Victory" [Crowder]

The team did a great job leading together to serve the church, and all of the songs connected well with Joe's message–especially the new song, "My Victory," which I have been looking to introduce to our congregation for about two months. We hosted Crowder in concert last week, and it was awesome to hear the song sung altogether with many from our congregation and others around the city. The lyric was a great fit for this weekend, as Joe discussed the attitudes of the scribes and the Pharisees toward Jesus and toward the tax collectors and sinners, along with the dangers of us taking the same self-righteous attitude, which stifles joy. The first verse of "My Victory" sings, "You came for criminals, and ev'ry Pharisee/ You came for hypocrites, even one like me." It then turns to look at the amazing gift of salvation that was given to us through the victory of Christ's cross. My favorite part of the song is the bridge, which comes from John 1:29, where John the Baptist declares about Jesus: "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"

Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin
Who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again

I believe that for the Christian, something powerful happens when we speak or sing the truth of Scripture together. I believe that truth resonates within us and we cannot help but agree with it and be moved by it. That was the case for me this weekend, and for the first few services, I even had a hard time keeping my emotions reined in so I could finish singing it! It's a beautiful truth to sing together as we look to our wonderful Savior who has taken away our sin and who made us alive again when we were dead in our sin.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, too.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 09/24 - 09/25/16

This weekend, we celebrated our church's 20th anniversary. It was a special weekend as we reflected on how the Lord has moved in and through our church family here in Topeka. It's pretty wild to think that I have been around for a quarter of the life of the church, too!

For the message this weekend, Joe continued in our Awakening series with a talk about why we still need the gospel, looking at the "rodents of the gospel," that gnaw away at our peace and rest: self-condemnation, self-righteousness, and selfishness. It was a great reminder of the subtle power these things can have in our lives, and to continually go back to the gospel for the truth about who we are in Christ.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Rock of Ages" [The Northwest Collective]
"Made Alive" [Citizens & Saints]
"I Stand Amazed" [Northpoint Live version]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Chris Tomlin]
"Jesus Paid it All" [Kristian Stanfill]

It was a beautiful weekend together as we reminded one another of the truth of the gospel: that Jesus did it all, and we were undeserving of the grace, love, and mercy He has shown us. He is so good to us!

I hope you had a great weekend, as well.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 09/10 - 09/11/16

This week was the first of our new series, Awakening, where we are looking at the gospel for all of life as we receive it, live it, and give it away. In this first message, Joe shared about the declarations of the gospel–what it says about God, and what it says about us. It was a beautiful reminder of how the gospel changes our relationship with God, and brings us into fellowship with Him and with each other.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"It is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Jesus Messiah" [Chris Tomlin]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]

It was a great start to the series. The team did a great job, and it was a very celebratory weekend with the words we were singing, as we celebrated the gospel and how Jesus came to our rescue through His death, burial, and resurrection.

I hope you have a great week!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 09/03 - 09/04/16

This weekend we concluded our Storms series looking at Paul's shipwreck in Acts 27-28. It was a special weekend for me, as it was the first time I have had the opportunity to teach. It was a little step out of my comfort zone in terms of what is familiar, but it was energizing to use one of my spiritual gifts that I don't get to exercise as much as some others. I shared about "How God uses storms for our good and His glory." I also shared about our experience with Hurricane Katrina after these 11 years. We looked at Romans 8:28-39 to see why Paul was so confident that the Lord would see Him through. If you want to watch the message, here's the link: http://fbctopeka.com/sermon/storms-week-4/

Harper Compton, my worship arts associate and right hand man, led us in worship, and he and the team did an excellent job.  

Here's what we sang together: 

 Pre-service - "Suffering Servant" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]

"Rejoice" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue] 

"It Is Well"  [Horatio Spafford/Todd Fields]

"You Never Let Go" [Matt Redman] 

Communion - "Man Of Sorrow" [Hillsong] 

 

As we sang, I was overwhelmed at many moments as I thought of how faithful the Lord has been. His love has never failed, and He has been with us through it all.  

My prayer is that, as we face the inevitable storms of this life, we would know that the Lord is with us and is working all things together for good for us. 

In the Son, 

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 08/27 - 08/28/16

This weekend was our third in the Storms series, and this week Joe shared about Jesus as the Master of the storm, and how the best place for us to be is anywhere with Jesus.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Unleashed" [Warren Barfield]
"Rejoice" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]

It was a great weekend together! Warren Barfield's "Unleashed" is a great song and ton of fun to play together. That was a "just because" kind of song. :)

For the rest of our singing together, we focused on themes of God being with us, Him being Lord of all and the name above all names, and the cross being the demonstration of God's unfailing love toward us. It felt like the songs really connected well with the themes of Joe's message from Mark 4, and everything came together well for a cohesive message and reminder for all of us to trust Jesus in all of life's trials and storms.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 08/20 - 08/21/16

This was our second weekend in our Storms series (I was on vacation last weekend) and the message this weekend was about Jonah, and how storms call us back to the Lord. Joe called those who have been running away to return to the Lord, and for those of us who knew people who had run away to pray for the Lord to bring them back.

Here are the songs we sang together:

Pre-Service - "Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"In Tenderness" [Citizens & Saints]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post, Charitie Lees Bancroft]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Lamb of God" [Vertical Church Band]
"Lord, I Need You" [Daniel Carson, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill]

We had a huge band this weekend (11 people!!!), and it was a great time serving together. We had three leaders, two acoustics, three electrics, bass, drums, keys, violin, and banjo, and it was a beautiful thing. The team did a great job serving and leading. For our singing, we focused on how the Lord sought us out to serve us and save us in His incredible grace and kindness toward us, and how we all desperately need His continued working in our lives.

I am so grateful to the Lord for what He is doing in our church and in our team!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 08/06 - 08/07/16

This was our fourth and final week going through Paul's letters to Timothy in our Keep The Faith series and this weekend, Joe's message was about how to "Keep the Faith in Preaching" out of 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Lord of Lords" [Hillsong]
"O Praise the Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]
Communion - "Beloved" [Derek Webb]

It was a great weekend together, as it always is when we celebrate the Lord's Supper and specifically remember and focus on the sacrifice that Christ made for our redemption. In particular, I really enjoyed singing "Beloved" by Derek Webb, which is a moving call back to the Gospel, reminding us that Jesus is all that we need. There are many voices in our world and in our own hearts telling us that we need to add to the beautiful simplicity of the Gospel message, but we need to constantly remind ourselves of the simple truth that Jesus is enough. He has fully accomplished the work of redemption for us, and there is nothing that we can add to what He has done. We cannot "sweeten the deal" for Him. He has done it all, and He has given the gift of salvation to us free of charge. The chorus captures this thought:

Beloved, listen to Me
Don't believe all that you see
Don't you ever let anyone tell you

That there's anything that you need
But Me

I love this song, and it was very fitting for both communion and Joe's message this weekend. 

May you find peace and rest in the fact that Jesus is all that you need, and that He has completely accomplished the work of redemption for you. That is the rest that is found only in the Gospel of Jesus.

- Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 07/13 - 07/24/16

This weekend was our second in Paul's letters to Timothy, and missions pastor Kyle Brown focused on 1 Tim. 4:6-10 in a message titled, "How to Keep the Faith in Leadership." The greatest challenge for us, Kyle said, was for us to lead ourselves. He called us to trust in Jesus and to see Him as our greatest promise and our greatest prize.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "Lead Me To The Cross" [Hillsong United]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue/The Modern Post]
"This Is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham/Bethel]
"Because Of Your Love" [Phil Wickham]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale]
"Be Thou My Vision" [Traditional]

It was a great weekend together. We sang some congregational favorites, and from top to bottom of the service, it was clear that the Lord's hand was at work in the planning. The team did a great job leading, and I enjoyed playing rhythm electric for a change.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, too!

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 07/16 - 07/17/16

This weekend we began our series through Paul's letters to Timothy, Keep The Faith. For his message this weekend, Pastor Joe shared about how the Gospel changes the way we interact with others–primarily leading us to love others as Christ has first loved us. It was a great reminder of both the Gospel message for us, and the Gospel impact on our daily lives and leadership.

Here's what we sang together:

"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" [Elisha Albright Hoffman, Anthony J. Showalter]
"Before The Throne" [The Modern Post]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Hosanna" [Hillsong United]
"Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" [Brenton Brown]

It was a great weekend together. The team worked hard and served well, and Jesus was lifted up. I really enjoyed singing "Jesus Take All of Me"–it had been a while!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, too.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 07/09 - 07/10/16

This weekend we wrapped up our series on the life of David, Rise or Fall. The message this weekend from our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, was about the legacy of David as a man after God's own heart. Despite many moments of serious failure with heavy consequences, David always responded to his sin with confession and repentance and turned back to the Lord in faith and obedience. Brian challenged us to respond in the same way to our sin so that we might all be people after God's own heart like David.

A highlight of the message for me was a story Brian shared about G.K. Chesterton. He told us how a London newspaper had asked authors to answer the question, "What is wrong with the world today?" G.K. Chesterton's response was simply,

Dear Sirs,

I am.

Yours, 
G.K. Chesteron

In light of the tragic events in our country and around the world over these past few weeks, that answer is simple but profound. We all need to recognize that we, because of sin, are are each part of the problem with the world. The solution is to pursue a life of humility, confession, repentance, and love–like David.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service: "How Can It Be" [Lauren Daigle]
"In Tenderness" [Citizens & Saints]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Grace Flows Down" [Christy Nockels, Passion Worship Band]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]

It felt like a heavy weekend as we gathered together, but one in which I felt a great deal of hope because of Jesus and His gospel. We had planned for a few weeks to emphasize how Christ had worked redemption and forgiveness for our sin through the cross, and I can see how God was at work in the planning because it felt very fitting to sing these songs together this weekend. Our team led well, and the church sang out together as we celebrated the light and hope of the gospel message, even in the face of great darkness, both within each of us and in our world.

in the Son,

Bill

Fellowship Service Recap - 06/25 - 06/26/16

This weekend, we celebrated and dedicated our building expansion together. We spent our time emphasizing what we come together to do in this space on a weekly basis: declare the greatness of God, thank God for His goodness, respond to the grace of God, seek guidance from God, and reach the next generation for God. It is a special weekend in the life of our church, as we have seen God do great things over the course of our short history, and we also look forward to what He will continue to do in and through us.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service: "Lord Have Mercy" [Brady Toops]
"It Is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue / The Modern Post]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]
"Good, Good Father" [Pat Barrett, Anthony Brown / Housefires]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]

It was a great weekend together. The songs we sang carried the themes of God's unique worthiness of our worship, His name being above all others, His goodness to us, and His faithfulness.