Fellowship Bible Church - 02/17 - 02/18/17

This weekend Pastor Joe looked at Matthew 5:38-48 and focused on Jesus' call to forgiveness versus revenge. It was a powerful challenge for our relationships. For our singing, we focused on songs that reminded us of the forgiveness that we have been shown by the Lord through the sacrifice of Jesus, and how Ephesians 2:14 reminds us that "He Himself is our peace." 

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-service - "How Can It Be" [Lauren Daigle]
"This Is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"You Have Overcome" [Bill Horn]
"God With Us" [All Sons & Daughters]
"It Is Well" {North Point Community Church/Lauren Daigle]

It was another great weekend together!

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

FBC Service Recap - 04/02 - 04/03/16

This weekend, we began a new series concerning the decisions that a follower of Jesus must make, Decided. For this first week, Pastor Joe led us as we looked at the decision between grace and works. It was a beautiful reminder that our salvation and our standing with God does not rely on our works, but on the grace of God and the finished work of Jesus for our redemption. We are made alive together with Him.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Grace Alone" [Dustin Kensrue]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
Communion - "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, arr. w/ add. chorus by Bill Horn]
"You Alone Can Rescue" [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

It was a great weekend of celebration and remembering what Christ has done for us because of grace. We were dead, slaves, enemies, lost, hopeless and helpless; yet He made us alive, redeemed us, reconciled us, found us, gave us hope, and did it all for us when we could not. He is so good! 

The team did a great job in serving the church this weekend, as always, and it's a blessing to serve beside them. The services this weekend were simple, clear, and beautiful reminders of the grace of God toward us. It was just what the doctor ordered.

Have a great week, and remember: He has done it all!

in the Son,

Bill

FBC Service Recap - Easter 2016

Jesus is Risen!

Here's what we sang together to celebrate the resurrection of Christ:

"He is Jesus" [Heath Balltzglier, Matthew Melton, Steve Fee]
"Christ the Lord is Risen" [Charles Wesley, Bill Horn]
"It is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue]

"Give Me Jesus" [African American Spiritual, arr. by Fernando Ortega]
"You Have Overcome" [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
"O Praise the Name (Anástasis)" [Marty Sampson, Benjamin Hastings, Dean Ussher]
"Jesus!" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]

This weekend, we had seven services, and our team stepped up and did an awesome job serving the church. It was a powerful celebration of the life that we have because of the resurrection of Jesus. As the Bible says in Ephesians 2, "We are made alive together with Him." Specifically, we focused on the fully accomplished work of redemption through the cross of Christ, and the power and victory and life that we have because of Him. He has done it all, and He alone is worthy of all glory and honor and praise! He is risen!

FBC Service Recap - 01/30 - 01/31/16

As we continued in our Mission Possible series through the book of Acts, Joe shared this weekend about the three people we need in our lives, from looking at the life of Paul: Jesus, the person who leads us to Jesus (Ananias), and the person who comes alongside us to encourage us in our walk with Christ (Barnabas).

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "In Exile" [Thrice]
"Hosanna (Praise is Rising)" [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, arr. w/ additional chorus by Bill Horn]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Chris Tomlin, John P. Rees, Louie Giglio]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]

 

Our team did a great job and it was a really enjoyable weekend of worship together. I'm so grateful for our team and our church!

I hope you have a great wee!

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]

Songs We Sing - 09/26 - 09/27/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week, we continued our Unstuck series as we looked at how to be a blessing to our families. From the story of Joseph and his sons, Pastor Joe looked at how to communicate the blessing to our families–especially to our children. It was a great challenge to increase our awareness of how we're blessing our families.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, Citizens & Saints]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Good, Good Father" [Pat Barrett, Anthony Brown -
Housefires II]
"Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, Bill Horn]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

We had a great weekend of worship together. We centered our singing around the image of God as our good and loving Father, whose love is unconditional, and who sought us out even when we were far away, and who adopted us as His own sons and daughters by His grace. His love for us is the perfect example of how we ought to love one another, and be a blessing to one another, in our familes. The image of God as our Father is one that has always been especially moving to me. My earthly dad has always been abundantly clear that he loves me and is proud of me, so I have never had a difficult time picturing or feeling this kind of love from God. However, it never gets old to me to think that God has adopted me as a son. It is ridiculously beautiful and overwhelming to me that He has made me His own!

"In Tenderness," "I Stand Amazed," and "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" all looked at the love and grace of God as demonstrated in Jesus' atoning sacrifice for us. "Good, Good Father" is a new song that sings of the truth of who God is as our Father, and who we are because we are His children. The simple but profound chorus sings, "You're a good, good Father/ It's who You are... / And I'm loved by You/ It's who I am..." Letting the truth of those two statements sink into our hearts is weighty and transformative. We concluded our services with Kensrue's "Rejoice," which calls us to rejoice because we are the beloved children of God, and because He never leaves us or forsakes us. He is our faithful Father, and I am His adopted son. And that is a beautiful thing.

In the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 09/12 - 09/13/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week we began our new series, "Unstuck," where we'll examine the areas of life where we all frequently get stuck. For this message about "The Intentional Life," Joe focused on the value of wisdom from the book of Proverbs, as well as addressing common reasons we resist wisdom in our lives. It was a powerful challenge to live intentionally and to seek out wisdom with all that we are.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]
"Lord, I Need You" [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]
"Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, Bill Horn]
"Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]

We had another great weekend of worship together. Our team did a great job overall and led well. We sang some of our church's favorites in "Rejoice," "This is Amazing Grace," and "Lord of All." "Lord, I Need You" was a great moment in response to Joe's message, and we continued to teach our new rendition of a great hymn, "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)." It's always fun and interesting to sharpen a song as you continue to use it and share it with the church, as you see what parts work well and what parts don't connect with people. We'll continue to sharpen it in coming weeks, and I hope it's something we can continue to sing together, because Philip Paul Bliss' hymn lyric is definitely worth repeating.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

in the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 09/05 - 09/06/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week our Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, preached about how we are the light of Christ because we have the light of Christ, and how we shine brighter together. It was a call to community and doing life together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Absent From Flesh" [Isaac Watts, arr. by Jamie Barnes of Sojourn]
"Sing to the King" [Charles Sylvester Horne, Billy Foote]
Communion - "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" [Philip Paul Bliss, Bill Horn]
"He is Jesus" [Heath Balltzglier, Matthew Melton, Steve Fee]
"Shine" [Matt Redman]
Post-Service - "Great Are You Lord" [Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Jason Ingram]

We had a great weekend of worship together. We sang a lot of music! For our countdown, we sang the arrangement of Isaac Watts' hymn "Absent From Flesh" by Jamie Barnes, which is a great lyric and a blast to sing and play. "Sing to the King" is one of our church's staples. "Man of Sorrows (In My Place)" is an arrangement I just finished, of one of my favorite hymns, and this was our first time singing it together. I look forward to sharpening it as we continue to sing it together. I hadn't noticed before working on it, but this hymn is by the man who wrote the familiar music for Horatio Spafford's "It Is Well With My Soul." We brought back "He is Jesus" after a week off as we continued to teach it to our congregation, and it continues to be a great song for us. We finished our services with a send-off of "Shine" by Matt Redman, which tied directly with David's message. After our services, we played out with "Great Are You Lord."

In all, it was a fantastic weekend. Our team does such a fantastic job, and it's a joy to serve the church and to make music together to point people to Jesus!

I hope you had a great weekend of worship, and have a great Labor Day!

in the Son,

Bill

 

Songs We Sing - 07/18 - 07/19/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend was like Easter in July, as we looked at 1 Corinthians 15 and Pastor Joe shared about the hope of the resurrection. It was a great reminder of the hope that we have because of Jesus.

Pre-Service - "Death in His Grave" [John Mark McMillan]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger - Citizens & Saints]
"Sing to the King" [Billy Foote, Charles Sylvester Horne]
"Lamb of God" [Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews, Jason Ingram - Vertical Church Band]
"Great Are You Lord" [Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Jason Ingram - All Sons & Daughters]
"You Have Overcome" [Bill Horn & Erik Oldberg]

We continued teaching a new song, "Great Are You Lord," and our congregation seemed to engage with it more this week than last week. We'll rest the song a week and then bring it back in two weeks and see where we're at then. We also sang "Death in His Grave" by John Mark McMillan, which is a great song about the resurrection of Jesus. Since Joe's message focused on our hope for today, when we die, and then when Christ returns, our songs pulled from each of those three themes.

It was a great weekend of worship together, despite personally wrestling with a cold and nasty cough. We made it through, and Jesus was lifted up. Our team always does a great job serving the church, and this weekend was no exception.

Now, it's time for nap.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

In the Son,

Bill

Songs We Sing - 04/18 - 04/19/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued our series, Never, with a message called "Never Go Back," where Pastor Joe shared about biblical repentance. It was a powerful call to leave behind our old lives and to cling to Jesus.

Here are the songs we sang from this weekend:

"Jesus, You" [Bill Horn]
"Sing to the King" [Charles Silvester Horne, Billy Foote]
"Lord, I Need You" [Daniel Carson, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Jesse Reeves]
"Glory to God Forever" (Bridge Only) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

It was a great weekend together. During "Jesus, You," we had a synced video that showed the first names of everyone who made a decision to either trust in Christ for the first time or to reconnect with Christ. It became an opportunity for prayer together, and to reflect on Christ's powerful work in all of us. Other highlights were "Lord, I Need You" and "Rejoice," as they provided opportunities for us to repent and to trust the Lord in the midst of our struggles, recognizing that He is faithful, He is with us, and He will remain with us, no matter what. "Rejoice" seems to be an anthem for our congregation right now, and I think there is good reason for that. it really encapsulates a lot in the lyric. It reminds us:

  • of God's worthiness of all of our worship
  • that His mercies are new every morning
  • that He has reconciled us through the sacrifice of the cross
  • that He is our faithful Father
  • that He knows and understands our trials and sufferings, having walked the path before us
  • that He hears us when we cry out to Him
  • that one day, He will right all the wrongs of this life

"Rejoice/ Come and lift your hands and raise Your voice/ He is worthy of all praise/ Rejoice/ Sing the mercies of your King/ And with trembling, rejoice!"

Amen.

Songs We Sing - 03/21 - 03/22/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued in our series through Mark, called "Follow." We looked at Peter's denials of Jesus, and at what we can learn from him when we fall. It was a beautiful reminder of our need for grace in our own lives, and our need to give grace to others in our lives.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Every New Day" [Five Iron Frenzy]
"Faithful One" [Original]
"In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Forever Reign" [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

This weekend was incredibly fun. We had a brass section on the team, and Ronnie, Haley, and David did a fantastic job with it. On top of that, Ronnie had suggested the Five Iron Frenzy song, "Every New Day" for this weekend, and this was a song that I have always wanted to try to play with a band. It was such a blast to play it together. The overarching theme for all of the singing this weekend was also the passage I shared to open the service:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness."  - Lamentations 3:22-23

It was beautiful to see how it all came together, and to share in the encouragement of the gospel this weekend. Even when we stumble and fall, He is faithful, and He will pick us back up. May we leave a legacy of the gospel of grace for others in our lives.

 

Set from our Worship Night - 08/03/14

Here's our plan from our Worship Night at FBC last night:

"Words in the Water" [Thrice]
"In Tenderness" [Citizens]
"This is Amazing Grace" [Phil Wickham]
"One Thing Remains" [Bethel Worship]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"How Deep The Father's Love For Us" [Stuart Townend]
"Carried to the Table" [Leeland]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [Chris Tomlin, et al]
"In Christ Alone" [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, personal arrangement]
"I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"It Is Well" [Todd Fields]
"You Have Overcome" [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
"Forever (We Sing Hallelujah]" [Bethel Worship/Kari Jobe]
"Before the Throne" [The Modern Post]

It was an incredible night of worship together. I realized last night that I have desired to plan a night like this for nearly eight years, but it has been hindered by various things during that span. It was a beautiful thing to see it all come together, and to see a dream realized, in a sense. My intern, Chandler Klamm, contributed to every part of the process, and I think it was cool for him to see it all come together, too. I'm so grateful for our incredible team that made it all happen!

Songs We Sing, 07/12 - 07/13/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we started a special short series about the end times, called "In Light of Eternity." We started on Friday night with Catacombs event, which was an extended Bible study time through the book of Daniel. We continued into the services Saturday with Pastor Joe preaching a message about the significance and importance of studying prophecy and the end times, and how we can begin to align our lives with the reality and hope we have in Jesus.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
"Hail The King" (G) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Come Lord Jesus" (G) [Dustin Kensrue]
"Lord of All" (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]

We had a small band for this weekend, and they all did a fantastic job. We even pulled off a song in 5/4 time ("Come Lord Jesus"), which was a little crazy. It's hard to feel at rest in 5/4, but I feel that it heightens the tension and intensity of a song. At any rate, it was a first our team and for me to do a song in that time signature in a church service. It won't be the last, however (hint, hint). "Hail The King" seems like it has taken root with our church, while "Lord of All" and "You Have Overcome" are both firmly established as part of our worship vocabulary. It was a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to our Bible conference this week as we continue our intensive focus on our future hope in Christ!

Songs We Sing, 04/05 - 04/06/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, concluded our series on worship with a message about contentment. He focused primarily on wisdom from the book of Ecclesiates, and the two ways of living portrayed within: living under the sun or living under the Son. One life is spent chasing the perishing things of this world, while the other is spent seeking the Lord and resting in what He has accomplished for us. It was a powerful challenge to align our priorities to God's priorities in this life. You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Remedy" (G) [David Crowder]
Call to Worship
"Rejoice" (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Contentment" [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion - "Jesus, You" (F#) [original]
"Jesus Messiah" (G) [
Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash]
"10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]

This was a great weekend. Our team did a solid job, the congregation was engaged, and all around it was a great weekend. I think the highlight for me was singing the final two songs, "Jesus Messiah" and "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)." The church knows and loves those songs, so they were most engaged at that point in response to the message and communion. There were several beautiful moments where I could step away from the microphone and let them sing it. That's what I'm hoping we experience more and more as we grow in worship together, and also our expression of that through singing.

For the songs this weekend, we chose songs that focused on Christ's finished work for our redemption through the cross, and on trusting and worshiping Him in response to all He has done.

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!

Songs We Sing, 03/29 - 03/30/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our student pastor, Nick Strobel, continued our series on worship with his message about godly wisdom. He went through the Proverbs and explained how living with godly wisdom is the only appropriate response of worship to who God is and what He has done for us. He told us that godly wisdom calls us to reality, humility, obedience, and ultimately, the cross of Jesus. We cannot truly walk in wisdom without the redemption that Jesus accomplished for us through the cross. It was a powerful and challenging message. He even took time out to mock my fandom of the Cleveland Browns. I was in tears from laughing, because it was so true... You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Remedy" (G) [David Crowder]
Call to Worship
"Sing to the King" (E) [Charles Silvester Horne, Billy Foote]
"Name Above All Names" (A) [original]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Godly Wisdom" [Nick Strobel]
"How Deep The Father's Love For Us" (D) [Stuart Townend]
"Revelation Song" (D) [Jennie Lee Riddle]
"Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

This was a special weekend of worship! Our entire team did an incredible job. Kelsey Thomsen co-led with me, and she continues to grow in her leading. Also, all of our singers and musicians really stepped up and led well throughout the weekend. It was a a powerful worship time.

For the songs this weekend, we focused on Jesus' sovereignty, and His worthiness of our worship because of His atoning sacrifice for us at the cross. Every song focused on these aspects in some way, and it tied in really well with where Nick went with his message. I think the highlight of the weekend for everyone was "Revelation Song." Kelsey led powerfully, and the church responded powerfully as we lifted Jesus up together. He is so worthy of all we are and of all our praise!

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!

Songs We Sing, 03/15 - 03/16/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, Pastor Joe continued our series on worship with a message about God's steadfast love. He called the church to comprehend the unfailing love of God and to reciprocate that kind of love in our relationships on this earth. It was a beautiful reminder of God's incredible love for us. You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Sweetness of Freedom" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
Call to Worship - Corporate Reading - Psalm 107:1-2 ESV
"In Tenderness" (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
"Name Above All Names" (A) [Bill Horn]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message - "Worship: Steadfast Love" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (F) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John P. Rees]
"One Thing Remains" (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
"This is Amazing Grace" (Bb) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]

This was one of my favorite weekends in recent memory for our church. Our team did an amazing and creative job, and everything connected well throughout the service. It was a powerful and encouraging time of worship together. I am really excited about what is happening in our congregation lately. I love my church!

For the songs this weekend, we focused on God's faithful love for us in Christ. In the pre-service time, Kip led us as we sang "Sweetness of Freedom," which is a new one for our congregation. I love this song, and the celebration of the freedom we have because of Christ–freedom to follow Him completely, not in fear, but in love and worship. We then opened the services up after reading Psalm 107:12 together with singing "In Tenderness," which is one of our church's favorites. It was a great way to begin celebrating the faithful, steadfast love of God, which pursued us even when we were enemies and far from Him. We then continued teaching "Name Above All Names" to the church. After the message, we responded with "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)." We hadn't sung this song in a while, and it felt refreshing to sing it again and celebrate how God had removed every chain from us in His perfect grace and mercy for us, so that we could be free to love Him and worship Him. We continued from there to "One Thing Remains," where we took some liberties with the playing of the song. I loved how the team came together with a bunch of ideas and made something fresh out of something that had become pretty familiar to us. It was definitely one of the high points of the service and weekend to me. To end our time together, we sang "This Is Amazing Grace," which has quickly become one of my favorite songs. The chorus beautifully sums up our response of worship because of the gospel: "This is amazing grace/ This is unfailing love/ That You would take my place/ That You would bear my cross/ You would lay down Your life/ That I would be set free/ Jesus, I sing for/ All that You've done for me." Amen.

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!
 

Songs We Sing, 03/08 - 03/09/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, Pastor Joe continued our series on worship with a message about Refuge. He called us all to turn to the Lord for refuge instead the things most of us often turn to. Only the Lord can deliver and restore us. You can listen to or watch the message and service here.

Here's the order from this weekend:

Call to Worship - Corporate Reading - Psalm 27:1 ESV
"Name Above All Names" (A) [Bill Horn]
"Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft]

Greeting Time/Announcements/ Send-off for The Catlin Family
Message - "Worship: Refuge" [Joe Hishmeh]
"Your Name" (Bb) [Glenn Packiam, Paul Baloche]
"Your Great Name" (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"Everlasting God" (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]

Thoughts: this weekend was great, yet bittersweet. The Catlin family has answered God's call to serve the Lord as missionaries to East Asia, and we took opportunity this weekend to pray for them and send them off well. They are family friends, so my family is both excited and sad to see them go. As they sat in the service in front of me, I had a hard time holding my emotions in check as we sang about the greatness of Jesus and His gospel and how all the world will praise His name one day, because I had a beautiful example of someone laying down their lives in obedience to God's call on their lives to help make that very thing happen. They will be fantastic ambassadors for Christ where they are headed.

For the service this weekend, we focused on the Lord's sovereignty, sacrifice, atonement, faithfulness, and how He is our perfect refuge and shelter as a result. We began each service after the call to worship by introducing "Name Above All Names," which is an older song of mine (written in 2009). I am usually pretty reluctant to teach my own songs, but several team members who helped record some vocals on the song asked when we would be singing it in our services, so I went ahead and got it on the schedule. I've thought about it for a while, but it was finally time. The point of the song is that Jesus is above all, and everything in all creation will bow down to Him because He is worthy. Some themes in this song are the Lord's sovereignty, power, authority, and eternal reign. I will post specifically about this song later this week, so look for that. After "Name Above All Names," we moved on to "Before The Throne." This song remains one of my favorites and one of our church's, as well (I think I say that every time we sing it...). I love this song because it gives such a clear portrait of Jesus as both our atoning sacrifice and as our Advocate. It is definitely something we need to be reminding one another of as the body of Christ.

After the message, we responded with several songs to help us declare the truth that the Lord is trustworthy and faithful; our strong fortress, shelter, and refuge; and the One who restores and redeems us: "Your Name," "Your Great Name," and "Everlasting God."

Our team did a great job throughout the weekend, and it was one of those weekends where everything came together well in a unique and beautiful way. It was also "lose an hour of sleep" weekend, aka the beginning Daylight Saving Time (yes, I just learned that it is officially "saving" without the "s"), which always creates some interesting dynamics with our church's energy level on Sunday morning... Regardless, it was another great weekend with my church family!

Hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were!