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

Weekend Recap - 12/12 - 12/13/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This was our second weekend of our Christmas series, The Christ of Christmas. Our focus this weekend was on "Christ The Man," where Joe shared about Christ's humanity.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"God With Us" [Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan]
"Hark The Herald Angels Sing" [Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley, our arrangement]
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" [John Francis Wade, C. Frederick Oakeley, Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, Ryan Taubert]
"Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" [Charles Wesley, Rowland Prichard]
"Here I Am To Worship" [Tim Hughes]
"What Child Is This" [William Chatterton Dix, our arrangement]

It was a great weekend together. I love the Advent season, as it really calls our attention to the great condescension of Christ on our behalf. As Philippians 2 says, he set aside His throne and all the honor that comes with it, and He took on flesh in obedience to the Father. All of this was for our benefit, because He came to rescue us from sin and death. This time of year, aside from all of the traditions and special events that call us to celebrate with our families, points me to the gospel. Jesus is God With Us. Emmanuel. And because of this all-important fact of history, my life will never be the same.

 

Service Recap - 12/05 - 12/06/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we celebrated the start of our Advent series with a message about Christ the Missionary, looking at how Christ came to proclaim the good news of redemption to us. With that, we also held a Global Outreach Weekend, celebrating what God is doing through our church around the world. We had special guests Brett Durbin and Russell West from Trash Mountain Project here, as well. It was a great weekend.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"I Will Go" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
"Joy to the World" [George Frederic Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
"Jesus Messiah" [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash]

MIA: Bill Horn and the Songs We Sing...

Hello friends! Sorry for my prolonged absence from blogging over here. My wife delivered our third child in early December, and we've been adjusting to a new normal and "zone defense" at home, all while enjoying the Advent season together with friends and family. I will be doing some catch-up posts about our Advent songs and one about the two weeks since then, as well. Keep an eye out!

I pray that you have a blessed New Year, and that you are keenly aware of Christ's presence with you.

Bill

Songs We Sing, 12/29 - 12/30/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began a series about the gospel: "The Gospel: In/Through/Beyond." Pastor Joe shared about how we are rescued and restored because of the gospel. It was a great call for us to trust the gospel--not only for our salvation, but for our transformation. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arranged by Citizens] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arranged by The Modern Post] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "The Gospel In Me" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown] "Stronger" (C) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan] "Jesus Paid It All" (C) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was another great weekend! We sang some of our church's favorite songs from this year. It was truly enjoyable to sing four renewed hymn arrangements together this weekend, too (maybe that's why they are some of my favorite songs...). Our church was singing really well this weekend, and it seems that has been a growing trend over the past month or so. God is doing great things in our church. One special thing that Joe shared with us this weekend was the result from our Christmas offering giving.

Our goal was to raise $75,000 for four initiatives: 1) Community Transformation Dinners in an impoverished neighborhood known as Hi-Crest 2) A local sports camp called Doxazo for this same neighborhood 3) An air drop of food & supplies for persecuted Christians from southern Sudan and South Sudan who are in hiding in the Nuba Mountains (www.SaveTheNuba.com) 4) The Aquaponics facility in Santiago, Dominican Republic, which will help feed and provide for an entire community living in and around a trash dump (www.TrashMountain.com)

How did our church respond? We raised over $121,000 for these efforts! I love seeing how generous our church is becoming. God is doing amazing things in an through our church, and I'm excited to see how these ministries are affected as a result. The gospel is going forward! Praise God!

Have a happy new year! If you are reading this, I am especially grateful for your time and for the opportunity to share what the Lord is teaching me and how the Lord is shaping my ministry here at Fellowship. He is faithful. May He richly bless you with more confidence in His gospel and a greater awareness of His presence with you in the new year! Love y'all!

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience this weekend?

Songs We Sing, 12/22 - 12/23/12 and Christmas Eve - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we wrapped up our Advent series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about our simple purpose of worshipping and glorifying Jesus Christ, and the simple priority of the gospel in and through our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here. Here are our service plans from this weekend:

Weekend Services Welcome/Call to Worship "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" (C) [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, my arrangement] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Purpose" [Joe Hishmeh] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement] "O Holy Night" (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement] "Glorious One" (C) [Steve Fee] Dismissal

Christmas Eve Call to Worship "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] Welcome/Announcements "O Holy Night" (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade] Message - "Simple Priority" [Joe Hishmeh] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement] "Silent Night" (A) [Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young] Dismissal

Thoughts: There won't be much detail this week - I'm technically on vacation... ;) This was a beautiful weekend, as we celebrated the incarnation of Jesus together as a church family. Our volunteers were incredible, and we had a lot of fun serving our church together. Our weekend services came together powerfully, and our Christmas Eve services were probably the greatest (and most unique) I have ever experienced. Eight services in three days was challenging and rewarding, and the church sang like crazy for most all of it. It was truly incredible. Once again, I really loved being able to sing our Advent songs together for these past four weeks. I love singing these great old songs in new and fresh ways, and to help our church see the gospel in them.

God is so good, and I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this great church!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas celebration with your family, friends, and your churches!

Songs We Sing, 12/15 - 12/16/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued in our third week of Advent and our series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God chooses to use simple places in His plan of redemption on this earth, and how Bethlehem was a great example of this. These kinds of places provide a perfect platform for God to display His power. I think it reminded all of us that we are here in Topeka for a purpose, and we need to join God in what He is doing here. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Places" [Joe Hishmeh] "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, and John Mason Neale, arr. by Bill Horn] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn] "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend! We arranged everything with a heavy acoustic emphasis. We had two acoustics, electric bass, keys, drums with mostly hot rods, djembe, and muted trumpet played by our discipleship pastor, David Hinkle. Our band did such a good job of finding their respective fit in the mix, and it turned out great. I love our team and how God has gifted them. It is a blessing to serve with each of them.

We repeated "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" from last week, and it is just a great song to start with. I love the combination of old and new with this one. We also sang "O Come Let Us Adore Him" from Hillsong's Christmas album, We Have A Savior. This is another song that we introduced last year during Advent, and we sang it recently in our Overflow night of worship last Sunday. The added chorus ("O come all ye faithful/ Come let us adore Him") just stays with you. The chorus just blasts (reaches a G at one point, and I get a little red in the face as a result...), creating a ton of energy. Combined with the band we used this weekend, it was a great moment.

We responded to the message with "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "What Child Is This," both with the feel of a lazy acoustic groove, which was really locked in by our drummer Bob Fulmer, percussionist Ryan Hoskinson, and our bassist Ben Engstrom. I loved the way these two songs worked together.

We finished the weekend with "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)," really making the chorus of the song our prayer: "Hosanna (which is a name meaning "come save us"), Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus." Because of the message this weekend, we wanted to finish by declaring that God has each of us here in Topeka for a purpose, and we want His will to be done and His kingdom to expand here. This song was a great way to finish our weekend together. It was the first time I had ever seen this song done at the end of a service (it is usually a "call to worship" kind of song), but I liked it a lot as a send off.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend together with the church. We prayed together for the families who were affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, which was a sobering reminder of the evil in this world, and for us to make our relationships a priority in this lifetime. We need to share the love of Jesus with one another, and with the world around us. We need to be lights in the darkness. Change begins with us.

As a side note, I got to baptize my 5-year-old daughter after the last service this weekend, which was an amazing blessing. I am so thankful that she has trusted in the saving work of Jesus for her, and wants the world to know. It's a beautiful thing!

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience this weekend?

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Songs We Sing, 12/08 - 12/09/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we continued in our second week of Advent and our series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God uses simple people to accomplish His purposes here on earth--people who are simple in faith, obedience, and worship. It was a great message, and a perspective on Mary that I had not seen before. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Salvation's Chorus" (G) [Todd Fields] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [traditional, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple People" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "Let Me Sing" (A) [Todd Fields] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe's message was a refreshing perspective on the life and faith of Mary, specifically when she received the news that she would give birth to the Son of God, the Savior of humanity! It was a challenging reminder to simply believe God, obey what He calls us to do, and to worship Him for who He is and what He has done.

The band did a great job this weekend. We continued teaching Todd Fields' (of North Point) "Salvation's Chorus" this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. We also brought back "Joyful (The One Who Saves)," which we introduced last year at Advent. I love the added chorus and bridge by Brenton Brown and Jason Ingram, which are simple declarations of Jesus' power to save. We responded to the message with "Jesus Messiah" because I believe the gospel is the single-most powerful motivator for our worship of the Lord. It is truly the greatest thing that He has done for us, or could have done for us! We continued with "Let Me Sing" to tie together the gospel with our response of obedience and worship. The chorus sings "Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul." I love this song. We finished the weekend with "Before The Throne," which is a powerful new rendition of the traditional hymn. This is probably my favorite song right now, and it helps us declare our confidence in the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is finished, and it is all because of Him! It was a great weekend. I love celebrating Advent, especially when I'm part of a church that points it continually to the gospel, because that is what the first advent of Jesus was really all about!

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience this weekend?

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Songs We Sing, 12/01 - 12/02/12 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began our celebration of Advent and our new series, "Simple Christmas." Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about God's plan of redemption for us, and how the only way for us to receive this redemption is to step down from our pride and trust in the finished work of Christ. It was a great way to begin Advent. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] "Salvation's Chorus" (G) [Todd Fields] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Simple Plan" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown] "In Christ Alone" (E) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, arr. by Bill Horn] "Here I Am To Worship" (E) [Tim Hughes] "Cannons" (chorus only) (E) [Phil Wickham] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe's message was a powerful to trust completely in the work of Christ and to step down from our pride that He might be more exalted in our lives. The band did a great job this weekend, too. I threw a lot at them, with some new songs and some old songs done in new ways. We introduced Todd Fields' (of North Point) "Salvation's Chorus" to our church this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. It is a great song for celebrating our redemption in Christ. Also, we introduced Brenton Brown's update of "Just As I Am," entitled "Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)," which is a beautiful song for communion. Cindy Gular helped lead this one, and it was a great moment. From there, we introduced my new arrangement of "In Christ Alone." The team did a great job of developing their parts, and I was pretty happy with the results. I look forward to singing this arrangement again soon with the church. I simply love the words of this song. All in all, it was a great weekend. The church was singing pretty well, and I loved some of the creativity the team showed this weekend. I love my church and my team! It is such a blessing to serve here.

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience this weekend?

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Set List, 12/24 - 12/25/11 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we finished our Advent series with a message entitled, "God In Us." In it, Joe shared about how God is closer to us than anyone because He is in us. He is "God with us" in a way that would have never imagined before Christ came. Christ's finished work on the cross for us has made this possible. We have inestimable blessings that come from God's immanence within us. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Carol Singing Pre-Service "Away In A Manger" (E) [Unknown, Charles H. Gabriel, James R. Murray] "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" (E) [Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, Felix Mendelssohn] "Angels We Have Heard On High" (F) [Unknown French Poet, translated by James Chadwick] "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" (Bb) [James Montgomery, Henry Smart] Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts] "O Come Let Us Adore Him" (D) [John Francis Wade, C. Frederick Oakeley, Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, Ryan Taubert] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix] "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" (G) [Ed Cash and Chris Tomlin] Message - "God In Us" [Joe Hishmeh] "Silent Night" (A) [Joseph Mohr, Franz Zaver Gruber, translated by John Freeman Young] Dismissal

(Because this weekend is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I will not be doing an elaborate recap, but I wanted to point out one song in particular, because it was a fresh element to our Christmas services this year, and I really enjoy it.)

"O Come Let Us Adore Him" - This song comes from Hillsong's new Christmas album, Born Is The King. It builds on the classic Christmas hymn, "O Come All Ye Faithful," adding a powerful chorus that sings, "O come all ye faithful/ Come let us adore Him." The entire album has a very unique feel for Hillsong, being more folky and organic sounding. This song is no exception, and has a really cool energy about it, which makes it really fun to sing together. I really encourage you to check it out if you haven't heard it yet.

I am so grateful that my family is back for this weekend of worshiping our God together. They were in southern Illinois for the past 2 1/2 weeks helping my mother-in-law for some post-surgery recovery. I missed them like crazy!

I am also very grateful for the opportunity to worship and work with my friends here at Fellowship Bible Church. My life is enriched by our worship team, and especially our worship staff. Erik Oldberg, Wyatt Johnston, Sarah Oldberg, Jack Hishmeh, and Dennis Brinkman did an awesome job with the weekend, serving in the band or on the tech.arts team, and sacrificing some time and rest with family in order to serve the Church.

Advent has been a truly special time for me this year, despite some unique challenges. God is so faithful, and I am a blessed man. I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

In the Son, Bill

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Set List, 12/17 - 12/18/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued our Advent series with a message entitled, "God For Us." Joe shared about the different meaningful ways we can understand this expression, and all the ways that God is truly "for us." Joe shared that Jesus is for us in His life, in His death, in His resurrection, and His return. We need to live life in light of who God is and what He has done for us, in hope, worship, and anticipation of His second Advent. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (E) [Charles Hutchinson Gabriel] Welcome/Greeting Time "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven] "Our God" (G) [Chris Tomlin, Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] "O Holy Night" (C) [Placide Cappeau, John Sullivan Dwight, Adolphe Charles Adam] "What Child Is This" (Em) [William Chatterton Dix] Message - "God For Us" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements "Lead Me To The Cross" (Bm) [Brooke Fraser] Dismissal

"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" - We sang this song in our preparation time. Kelsey Thomsen led us on this song, as we focused on the love of Christ as it was demonstrated at the cross, where He redeemed us from our sins, and rescued us from death. What amazing love He has for us!

"Joyful (The One Who Saves)" - We continued teaching this song to our congregation for the third and final week. I have really enjoyed singing this song with our congregation, and I look forward to bringing it back again in the future, because it is a great combination of old and new in a song that is true and memorable.

"Our God" - This song was the one that connected with the message the best this week. It is powerful to exalt God and His sovereignty and then recognize that if this all-powerful God is for us, nothing can stand against us.

"O Holy Night" - This is one of my favorite Advent songs. It is a beautiful piece of music and a solid lyric that declares some of the changes that Jesus' arrival on this earth effected. Everything is different because He came. We can have in Him an object of hope, upon which we can found our faith and trust. Because of who He is and what He has done, He is worthy of our humble worship. He is King!

This carol came from a poem written in the mid-1800's by a French poet, Placide Cappeau. You can read more of the song's story in the wiki.

“Midnight, Christians” by Placide Cappeau

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour, When God-man descended to us To erase the stain of original sin And to end the wrath of His Father. The entire world thrills with hope On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance. Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer, Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

May the ardent light of our Faith Guide us all to the cradle of the infant, As in ancient times a brilliant star Guided the Oriental kings there. The King of Kings was born in a humble manger; O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,

It is to your pride that God preaches. Bow your heads before the Redeemer! Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle: The Earth is free, and Heaven is open. He sees a brother where there was only a slave, Love unites those that iron had chained. Who will tell Him of our gratitude, For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance, Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer, Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

"What Child Is This" - This is probably my favorite Advent song of all. For most of my life (and this is probably the case for most of us), I only heard one chorus for this song. A few years ago, when I was reading a book that my friend Jerry gave me, I saw that there were originally three choruses for this song. The second of these was striking: "Nails, spear shall pierce Him through/ The cross be borne for me, for you/ Hail, hail the Word made flesh/ The babe, the Son of Mary." I love how the gospel is present in this chorus.

"Lead Me To The Cross" - We closed out our services by responding with this song. Kelsey also did a great job leading on this song. This was another great match for Joe's message this week, in which he emphasized that we need to preach the gospel to ourselves daily, in order to keep our focus in the right place, and to live a life that exemplifies the power of the gospel. The way I see it, everything in our walk with Christ is downstream from the gospel. When we have a proper view and appreciation of what Christ has accomplished for us, everything else falls into place. Let us keep our eyes on the cross. Advent makes for some special worship times together. I love how it helps us focus on what Jesus gave for us, to rescue us and make a way for us where there was no way. It makes me think of Philippians 2: 5-11, which says,

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point fo death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It's a beautiful thing. I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

In the Son, Bill

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Set List, 12/10 - 12/11/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued our Advent series with a message entitled, "God With Us." He made comparisons between life with Christ and what life would be without Christ, and it was really powerful to see the two lists side-by-side. You can listen to the entire message here. We continued to try something different with our service order to change things up, and we moved the message up a few minutes earlier in the service to have two songs in response to the message, rather than our typical one song in that position. All of us on our worship planning team believes that these kinds of changes help us and our congregation to engage and to not be passive in worship. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Lord I Need You" (B) [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Matt Maher, Daniel Carson] Welcome/Greeting Time "Joy To The World" (C) [Isaac Watts] "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (C) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven] "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels] Message - "God With Us" [Joe Hishmeh] Offering/Announcements "Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash] "You Never Let Go" (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman] Dismissal

"Lord I Need You" - We sang this song in our preparation time. This is the second time we have sung this song, and I think it will become a staple for our church. I think it resonates with each of us. It communicates a timeless truth in a fresh way, and helps us express our dependence on the Lord for everything. I'm a big fan of this song.

"Joy To The World" - We sang this oldie but goodie to kick off our services. My arrangement of it is kind pop/punk-ish, so it is fun to play and sing together. The melody is unchanged, so everyone can sing along easily. This song just makes people smile. The content of it is solid, and really declares some of what Christ's first coming accomplished in this world. He changed everything with His coming.

"Joyful (The One Who Saves)" - We continued teaching this song to our congregation this week. I decided to drop this song a full step to the key of C this week, to make it a little easier for our congregation to sing, especially on Sunday morning at the early service. I think it was much easier for all of us to sing. Becky and I traded off verses on this one, and I think this is something we will continue to do, because I think it helps draw both the ladies and the men into what we are singing together. I really like this song, and I like how it fits into the Advent season.

"A Mighty Fortress" - Becky led us on this song, and it is one of my favorite declarations about the assurance and refuge we have in God. He is faithful, trustworthy, and true, and we can confidently place our lives in His hands. Our church sings this song well, even after only a few occurrences in our services. Part of the emphasis I was going for here was to point to the trustworthiness and love of God for us, and when He is called "God with us," we can walk with Him in faith, because He will never fail, and His purposes are not thwarted.

"Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)" - We began our response song with this song, which was new to me this week. I really like the message of the verses, which speak to the time of waiting and anticipation before the Messiah arrived. I also enjoy the chorus as a whole, which simply and beautifully sings of the first coming of Jesus: "Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ God incarnate, here to dwell/ Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ Praise His name, Emmanuel." There are a few parts of this song that are a little tricky for one reason or another, so I had to work pretty hard to try and get it right, but I'm glad we sang it together this weekend.

"You Never Let Go" - We closed out our services with this song, which remains one of my favorites. Part of the imagery Joe used in the message was the dominant scriptural image of the Good Shepherd. This song pulls ideas from one of the most prominent pictures of the Shepherd contained in Psalm 23, and I think it helped to tie everything together really well. I love this song's statements of trust and faith in God, regardless of our circumstances. Jesus is worthy of our trust and faith. He will never fail, and He will never let us go.

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It's a beautiful thing.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Set List, 12/03 - 12/04/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we began our Advent series with a message entitled "God Before Us." Joe focused on four ways that Jesus was "before" us: in creation, in the Passover, in the Prophets, and in experience. Jesus is the source of life, the sacrifice for our redemption, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and our example. It was a powerful perspective for our first week of focusing on Advent. You can listen to the entire message here. For the first week of this series, we decided to try a drastically different format for our services, following each point of the message with a time of response through singing. I think it gave the services a more reflective emphasis, and I really enjoyed it as a change up to keep us engaged in responding to the Word of God. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Joyous Light" (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio] Welcome/Greeting Time "Joyful (The One Who Saves)" (D) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven] Message - "God Before Us In Creation" [Joe Hishmeh] "Glory To God Forever" (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee] Message - "God Before Us In The Passover" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Communion Message - "God Before Us In The Prophets" [Joe Hishmeh] "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (G) [John M. Neale] Message - "God Before Us In Experience" - [Joe Hishmeh] "God Is Able" (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] Offering/Announcements Dismissal

"Joyous Light" - We sang this song in our preparation time. We have done a few times in the past, and I love using the translation of this ancient hymn with the modern chorus. It was a great fit for Advent as well, focusing on Jesus as the Light of the world.

"Joyful (The One Who Saves)" - We taught this song to our congregation this weekend, and it is a song that I have wanted to sing with our congregation for over a year. I love the new chorus added to the hymn, "Joyful, Joyful": "You are the One who saves/ You are the One who saves/ You are the One whose hands lift us from the grave/ You are the Light of life/ The everlasting Day/ You are the One who takes all our sins away."

"Glory To God Forever" - After Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in creation, this song was a fitting response. He is before all things, and He is the almighty God, who is worthy of all the glory, forever!

"Jesus Messiah" - We sang this song during communion after Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in the Passover. He used a doorframe to illustrate the brushing of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the lintel in the Passover, and explained how the blood of the Lamb not only protects us and spares us from the wrath of God, but it sets us free to life in the promise of God. Our hope is in Jesus alone, and this song echoes this and celebrates what our Messiah has done for us.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel" - After talking about the Prophets and how God's people were crying out for the Messiah to come, we sang this Christmas standard. A few years ago, I rearranged this song for an acoustic Christmas CD that I recorded with my wife for our friends and family, and that's the arrangement that we used. This is one of my favorite Advent songs, and I think it made a great connection with the Prophets and the people of God in the Old Testament period, and God's people today who await His triumphant return.

"God Is Able" - We closed with this song, looking to Jesus as our victorious Savior who can do all things and who will rescue and redeem us from sin and death. He is with us and He is for us as His people. He will never fail. He will never leave us. Amen!

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It's a beautiful thing.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were.

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. don't forget to check out The Worship Community!

Set List 12/13/09 FBC @ the Mall

This week was a little different mix, because we were in the midst of our church-wide Christmas Celebration, which takes up almost all of our technical resources for several weeks. Danny and I led together for the services, including the praise team and the band. We focused our attention more on carols with a few worship tunes in the mix. Here's the list:

  • "Joy to the World" (New Arrangement)
  • "Angels We Have Heard On High"
  • "The First Noel"
  • "Angels from the Realms of Glory"
  • "Here I Am To Worship"
  • "O Come, Let Us Adore Him"
  • "Joseph's Lullaby"
  • "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"

All in all, I thought it was a good morning. I had never heard "Joseph's Lullaby" before this past week, and I really love that song. It is such a fresh perspective on the birth of Christ and the care of his parents, especially Joseph, for him. It is especially significant for me right now because I have my one-month-old son, and fresh eyes with which to see the incarnation. It's a beautiful thing. We will probably use the song again at Christmas Eve, and I am considering holding my by while I sing it then. We'll see. I wasn't sure I could get through the song that way...

Check out Fred McKinnon's http://www.fredmckinnon.com/myblog/2009/12/13/sunday-setlists-73/ to see other worship leader's set lists.

Set List 12/06/09 FBC @ the Mall

Here's our set list from this past Sunday. It was a great day of worship, and the acoustic combo was a fun way to deliver it. I hope we can do it again soon.
  • "Joy to the World" (arr. by Bill Horn)
  • "Happy Day" (Tim Hughes)
  • "Blessed Be Your Name" (Matt and Beth Redman)
  • "You Never Let Go" (Matt Redman)
  • "Glory to God Forever" (Steve Fee and Vicki Beeching)
  • "Enough" (Chris Tomlin)
  • "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (arr. by Bill Horn)

I really enjoyed the combination of "Joy to the World" with "Happy Day." In a way, they bracket the life of Christ and His redemptive work for us. One takes a perspective from before Christ was born, and the other looks from the present backward to all that He accomplished.

"Blessed Be Your Name" is an older but beloved song for the church, and I love how it expresses such confidence in our God despite the circumstances. "You Never Let Go" shares these sentiments. I don't think anyone captures these ideas better than Matt and Beth Redman.

"Glory to God Forever" is a simple but excellent expression of eternal concepts. Essentially, this is what we should all be about: the glory of God, expressed in everything we say and do.

"Enough" worked really well as the invitation for Jay's message this week. God is our supply and He is all that we need. He has been so generous to us with His love and grace and mercy, and we ought to do the same for the people around us.

""O Come, O Come Emmanuel" is quickly becoming one of my new favorite Christmas tunes. I'm pretty happy with this arrangement of it, and I think it has a really cool vibe as an acoustic song. We'll be doing this a few more times this Advent season.