Fellowship Bible Church - 05/06 - 05/07/2017

This weekend, we wrapped up our generosity series, The Flow of Everything, and we looked at what could be possible if all the church joined together to bless our community and our world with what we have. We also had our annual event, Sharefest, where we partnered with more than 30 churches in the city to bless area schools, the Boys & Girls Club, and the Topeka Rescue Mission by doing much-needed landscaping work and projects. It is always a beautiful picture of the church in action.

For our singing, we focused on how abundantly and graciously God has provided for our redemption through the cross. We concluded our services by celebrating communion together, remembering the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. He has done great things for us!

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Worthy of Your Name" [Passion Worship Band]
"It Is Finished" [The Modern Post/Dustin Kensrue]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Lord I Need You" [Passion Worship Band]
"Jesus Paid It All" [Traditional, Alex Nifong, Passion Worship Band]

It was a great weekend together! I am excited about what the Lord is doing in the Church in Topeka, and it is awesome to be a part of it through Fellowship.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,


Fellowship Bible Church - 02/04 - 02/05/2017

This weekend for our Way of Life series, Pastor Joe shared Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount about adultery and lust. It was a challenging message for all, and reminded us just how much we need the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "All The Poor And Powerless" [All Sons & Daughters]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints/The Northwest Collective]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"No Longer Slaves" [Bethel Music]
"O Come To The Altar" [Elevation Worship]

For our singing, we focused on themes of our own helplessness apart from Christ's work for us and in us, the salvation that only comes through Christ, the freedom that we have from sin and fear because of Christ, and the forgiveness that is available to us because of Christ.

It was a great weekend together, and the team did a fantastic job preparing and leading. It was great to be back after my trip to the Philippines, albeit a little jet-lagged! I hope to post a little about my trip at some point, but it may be a week or so before I can get to that.

in the Son,


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 - 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,


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.

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,


Fellowship Service Recap - 06/18 - 06/19/16

This weekend, as we continued our series through the life of David this Father's Day weekend, Pastor Joe looked at lessons and encouragement for Dad from the life of David. Also, we held our second annual guitar choir, which was a ton of fun.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "Love Come Down" [North Point Community Church]
"I'll Fly Away" [Albert E. Brumley, Traditional]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel, Traditional]
"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" [Elisha Albright Hoffman, Anthony J. Showalter, Traditional]
"Lord, I Need You" [Kristian Stanfill, Passion]

I hope you had a great Father's Day!

In the Son,


FBC Service Recap - 04/09 - 04/10/16

In our second week of our Decided series, we looked at the choice to forgive or avenge, from Lk. 7:41-50 and Mt. 18:21-35. For our singing, we sang songs that focus on how much we have been forgiven by God. As Joe shared in his message, when we see how much we have been forgiven, it prompts us to also forgive much.

Here's what we sang together:

  • "In Tenderness" [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
  • "Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post]
  • "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John P. Rees]
  • "I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
  • "Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

It was a great weekend, singing some of our favorite, familiar songs together. While we are called to "sing a new song" to the Lord, there is something encouraging and inviting about singing songs that everyone knows from time to time. Also, I hadn't entirely noticed it in planning, but we sang four hymns this weekend, which was refreshing. All around it was a beautiful weekend as we reflected on the forgiveness that we have because of Jesus, and how we can pass that on in our relationships here and now.

The team, as always, did a great job serving the church together. In all, it was a very encouraging weekend. I hope it was for you, as well. 

In the Son, 


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,


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,


Songs We Sing - 06/20 - 06/21/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend we continued through 1 Corinthians, focusing on chapter 11, where Paul teaches about the Lord's Supper, or communion. Pastor Joe explained how this passage calls the Church to unity under the person and the work of Jesus Christ. It was a great reminder of the beauty of the celebration of communion.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"I'll Fly Away" [Albert E. Brumley]
"I Stand Amazed" [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"Made Alive" [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Son of God" [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash]
"Lamb of God" [Jason Ingram, Andi Rozier, Meredith Andrews]

We had a great weekend! We did something a little different called a "guitar choir," where we invited anyone in our congregation who had at least a basic grasp of the guitar to join us on the stage and help lead our congregation in worship. We held a mid-week rehearsal, and then the players showed up to their normal service and joined us on the stage for the first part of the service. The hope was to involve more people in leading, and for them to get a glimpse of our team and our experience from the inside.

Along with our guest players, we had a consistent core of our team that led throughout the four weekend services, including guitar, Cajon, banjo, and ukulele. They all did a fantastic job. All together, it made for a fun chnage of pace, and celebratory weekend of worship together.

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

in the Son,




Songs We Sing - 02/07 - 02/08/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

Here are the songs we sang together last weekend:

Pre-Service - "There is a Fountain" (Citizens & Saints version)
"Sing to the King" (Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne, performed by Passion Worship Band)
"I Stand Amazed" (Charles Hutchison Gabriel, arr. by Chris Tomlin)
"From the Inside Out" (Joel Houston, arr. by Todd Fields/North Point)
"There is a Fountain" (Citizens & Saints version)

It was a fantastic weekend. We talked about how Jesus is concerned with our hearts more than outward appearance, and how only Jesus can cleanse and change the heart. "There is a Fountain" was a great fit with the message, and a great way to end the services. I'm excited about continuing to sing that one together!

Worship Gatherings, 09/27 - 09/28/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on having a hope that informed by the truth of the gospel, with Joe's message coming from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

Here's our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beloved" (Eb) [Derek Webb]
"Made Alive" (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"I Stand Amazed" (D) [Charles H. Gabriel]
"A Mighty Fortress" (C) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
"Stronger" (C) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]
"Son of God" (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Gordon Cochran, Ed Cash]

Songs We Sing, 08/16 - 08/17/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

Here is our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Love Is Not A Fight" (A) [Warren Barfield]
"You Brought Me Back To Live" (Bb) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" (D) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, John P. Rees, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell]
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (D) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
"In Tenderness" (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]

It was a great weekend. Pastor Joe shared a powerful message about grace and forgiveness vs. revenge in our relationships. Our team did a great job, and we all really enjoyed teaching the new song, "You Brought Me Back To Life." It's been stuck in my head all week, and the lyric of this song is exactly the kind of thing I want stuck in my head–and the head of every person in our congregation–during the week!

I am so thankful for our team and for our incredible church.

Sola Christus!


Songs We Sing, 02/22 - 02/23/2014 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our family pastor Brian Tryhus concluded our series on Obedience with a message about sacrifice and the providence of God. He urged our congregation to obey the call of God despite the fear that naturally arises, because we can trust Him. You can listen to the message or the entire service here.

Here's our order from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Suffering Servant" (A–B) [Dustin Kensrue]
Call to Worship - Congregational Reading - Romans 12:1 ESV
"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
Greeting Time
Special Guest - Pastor Reynixon Rosales

Message - "Obedience: Sacrifice" [Brian Tryhus] 
"The Stand" (A) [Joel Houston]
"You Are God Alone (Not a god)" (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
"You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]

Thoughts: This was a powerful weekend. For one, we had a special guest, pastor Reynixon Rosales (he usually goes by Pastor Nixon) from the Smokey Mountain landfill community in Manila, Philippines. He is one of the amazing leaders I had the privilege of meeting a few weeks ago on my trip to Manila with Trash Mountain Project. In our services this weekend, he shared how he grew up in Smokey Mountain, ended up getting out of the community and finishing his education, and then how God called him and his wife back to that community. Smokey Mountain has the worst living conditions I have ever witnessed, and Nixon and his wife, Cora, answered God's call on their lives to head back in these conditions to feed the children and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus. They are heroes of the faith for me, and for everyone else who has met them.

The timing of his visit with our church was perfect, as it aligned perfectly with what our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached on: obedience and sacrifice. His example was Esther, and how her initial reaction to the call of God on her life was fear, but ultimately she willingly laid down her own life for those of her people, and she became a critical part of God's story. 

The service as a whole was a powerful time of worship. The team led very well, with everyone doing their part to serve the congregation with excellence. We opened in the pre-service again with "Suffering Servant," and after this we read Romans 12:1 together as a congregation. This verse was key to tie everything in the service together–our offering ourselves as living sacrifices is a response to the "mercies of God" (ESV). Kelsey Thomsen then led us on "I Stand Amazed." We responded to the message with "The Stand," and then Kelsey led us again in "You Are God Alone," which we sang for the fourth time now in our services and is our church is learning it and singing it together. I love this song, as it is entirely a song about who God is–His sovereignty, His immutability, and His power. The character of God is crucial to understanding why we should follow and obey Him as He calls us and directs our lives. He is ultimately worthy of all that we are. We closed our services with "You Have Overcome" to bring full circle the connection between Christ's sacrifice for us and putting our obedience in the proper place of being a response to what Christ has already accomplished for us. This truth is critical for us to understand as believers; our obedience, our worship, or any "good work" are all responses to how Christ has accomplished our salvation for us. These deeds do not move us toward salvation. They are a means of following the example of our Savior. They are a means of demonstrating our thanks and love for Him. They are a means of being selfless for others, just as Christ was selfless for us.

It was a beautiful weekend of both celebrating the sacrifice that Christ made for us and contemplating His call on our lives to make disciples. Between Brian's message, Pastor Nixon's testimony, and our time of singing together, it was an incredibly moving and challenging weekend of worship.

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from this weekend?

- Bill

Songs We Sing, 08/17 - 08/18/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fourth message in our series, "Positive Identity," where he taught how we are secure in Christ. He reminded us that we have nothing to fear any longer in Christ, because in place of condemnation, desperation, and separation, Jesus gives us faith, hope, and love. It was a moving reminder of Christ's love for us and of where we now stand because of Him! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

"The Solid Rock" (E) [Edward Mote, William B. Bradbury, Charlie Hall, Trent Austin, Kendall Combs] "I Stand Amazed" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Positive Identity: Secure" [Joe Hishmeh] "Jesus Messiah" (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin] "Forever Reign" (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] "This Is Amazing Grace" (A) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, recorded by Phil Wickham and Bethel Live] Dismissal

Thoughts: It was great to be back with our church this weekend after being gone last weekend.

For our singing this weekend, we tried to focus on the finished work and all-sufficiency of Christ for us. "The Solid Rock" celebrates our firm foundation in Jesus. "I Stand Amazed," "Jesus Messiah," and "This Is Amazing Grace" all remember and praise Jesus' incredible, unfailing, and live-giving love for us, demonstrated at the cross. And "Forever Reign" worship Jesus for His perfect love and goodness in spite our own shortcomings. All of these songs bring us to one conclusion - Jesus is our only hope!

- Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

Songs We Sing, 06/29 - 06/30/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we were in the fifth week of our series through 2 Timothy - "Lead In Christ." In his message this week, our lead pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how daily trials lead to transformation in our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "I'll Fly Away" (G) [Albert E. Brumley] "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (G) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] "Amazing Grace" (G) [John Newton, Edwin O'Excell] Greeting Time/Announcements WWII Veteran Interview Video Message - "Lead In Christ: Trials - 2 Timothy 3:10-4:8" [Joe Hishmeh] "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" (Bb) [William Steffe, Julia Ward Howe] Mail Call for guest WWII Veterans Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a special weekend for our congregation, as we took time before Independence Day to recognize and thank many WWII veterans from our area. The idea was inspired by the Honor Flight film, where WWII veterans were flown to Washington D.C. to see the WWII memorial and other military cemeteries, and then were received home by their communities with a showering of love and thanks for their great sacrifice for us. We sought to do something similar for veterans in our community. Our congregation wrote many notes thanking each veteran for their sacrifice and service, and we handed each of the veterans a packet of these letters. Joe pointed to the sacrifice of these men as a picture of Christ's ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. He selflessly laid down His life for us that we could have life through Him.

For our singing, we sang all hymns and did them in a sort of folk/bluegrass style, which was a lot of fun with the team. We also had two of our new team members with us who did a great job this weekend: Ronnie Murphy on banjo and Trent Raines on vocals and acoustic.

- Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

Songs We Sing, Overflow - 05/05/13

Here's the set of songs from our Overflow worship night on May 5, 2013. It was a powerful and beautiful time of worship! I love co-leading with my friends Erik and Sarah Oldberg, who always do an awesome job. Reading - 1 John 4:7-12 (NIV) "Our God Is Love" (E) [Joel Houston] "In Tenderness" (A) [Adoniram J. Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, Nate Garvey] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post] Reading - 1 John 2:1-2 (NIV) "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] "One Thing Remains" (B) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, Jeremy Riddle] "Forever Reign" (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan] Communion - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV) "Sing To Jesus" (F) [Fernando Orgtega, Rich Nibbe] "Grace Flows Down" (D) [David E. Bell, Louie Giglio, Rod Padgett] "Nothing But The Blood" (A) [Robert Lowry,  arr. by All Sons & Daughters] "You Have Overcome" (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg] Reading - 1 John 3:16-18 (NIV) "To Our God" (A) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Joel Taylor] "The Stand" (A) [Joel Houston] "Hosanna (Bridge Only) (A) [Brooke Ligertwood] "Stronger" (Bb) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] "Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)" (Ab) [Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "Rise (Bb)" [Joel Houston] Closing Prayer - Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV)

Songs We Sing, 03/02 - 03/03/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

For our seventh week of our 2 Corinthians series - "Purpose In Christ," pastor Joe preached through 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, and taught that every believer needs to grow in giving, because of the grace, joy, and sacrifice that we receive from God.  You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Beautiful" (D) [Phil Wickham] Welcome "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (G) [Charles Hutchison] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "Purpose In Christ, pt.7" [Joe Hishmeh] Communion "Son of God" (G) [Jon Neufeld, Tim Neufeld] "Jesus Paid It All" (B) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong] "Beautiful the Blood" (B) [Louie Giglio, Steve Fee] Dismissal

Thoughts: It was a fantastic weekend. I love celebrating the Lord's Supper together with our church, and the songs we sang together were great anthems to sing together. Communion weekends are always powerful moments, as we are even more intentional about focusing on the cross and what Jesus accomplished for us in rescuing us from our sins. It was really moving. "Beautiful The Blood" is becoming more familiar to our congregation, so I look forward to continuing to sing it together in the future. It's a great anthem about the precious blood of Christ that was shed for us! All in all, it was a beautiful weekend. God is so good to us.

Thanks for reading and being a part of this with me! Sorry it was so late!

- Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

Set List, 10/15 - 10/16/11 Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we focused on John 11, looking specifically at Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead. Joe preached on the death of death, and how we can only find life, hope, and promise in Jesus Christ. he also talked about how we can look to Jesus' response to Lazarus' death to see how He feels about the consequences of sin in our lives. The hurt that we experience because of sin also hurts Jesus. He cares deeply for us, and hates what sin has done to us. You can listen to the entire message here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer "Hungry" (C) [Kathryn Scott] Welcome/Greeting Time Call to Worship (Psalm 117) "All Because of Jesus" (A) [Steve Fee] "I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" (D) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel] "Never Once" (A) [Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Tim Wanstall] "Always" (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram] Prayer Message - John 11:17-44 [Joe Hishmeh] Response Time "Christ Is Risen" (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes] Offering/Announcements Reprise of "Christ Is Risen" Dismissal

"Hungry" - We opened our preparation time with this song. Becky Tindell led us as we sang of our hunger for the Lord and our dedication to Him. Jesus is the only one who can meet our needs and take care of us. He is the only one who has the words of eternal life, as Peter said in John 6:68. I felt that this was a great song for our preparation time, and helped to focus our hearts along the lines of Matthew 6:33, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.

"All Because of Jesus" - We sang this song because it celebrates the life that we have been given in Christ. It is only because of Him--His life, death, and resurrection--that we have life. Scripture says in Romans and Ephesians that we were "dead in our transgressions" and that we needed Christ to give us life. We were helpless to save ourselves, and were desperate for His salvation. Praise God for His provision, making a way for us where there was no way.

"I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous)" - Becky led us on this song as well. We sang this song because it praises God for His great love for us, demonstrated through the cross, and experienced in us through the life that we have been given because of His great work on our behalf. This new life is both now and forever. In the Bible, the word that is often translated as "eternal" or "everlasting" means more than just length of time; it conveys a sense of quality as well. The life that we have in Christ continues to grow deeper and fuller from here to eternity as we know and experience our Savior and His love.

"Never Once" - We began teaching this song last week, and we continued with it this week. I love this song, and I can't stop singing it. The chorus states an ageless truth in a fresh way when we sing, "Never once did we ever walk alone/ Never once did You leave us on our own/ You are faithful/ God, You are faithful." Our congregation has really taken a hold of this song and is singing it well. For me, probably because of my experience in my journey with Christ thus far, songs that sing of God's faithfulness really resonate with me. That is definitely the case with this song. I cannot get it out of my head, and I don't mind at all! The only difficulty with this song (as with many of Matt Redman's songs) is that the verses are pretty low and the chorus is pretty high. You have to "pick your poison," so to speak, for your congregation to be able to sing together on the chorus.

"Always" - This remains one of my favorite new worship songs. We flowed directly into this song from "Never Once," and the two together were a powerful declaration of God's faithfulness and constancy in all situations. My pastor Joe's comment about it was that it redeems the expression "Oh my God" as it sings it in the chorus as a declaration of confidence. I agree. This song is similar to "Never Once" in that the verses are low and the chorus is pretty high. We did it in Bb, and if we did it in A, the lowest note in the verse reaches down to F#! There's no way most people are singing that... Despite that, our congregation really connects with this song. I have probably heard more comments about being affected by this song than any other since I have been here.

"Christ Is Risen" - We responded to the Word with this song. We have never sung this song before at Fellowship, so I was unsure about how well our congregation would catch on and participate in it. This song was not in the original service plan, but as we met together and Joe shared more about his message, the Lord brought this song to the forefront of my thinking, so we made some changes and inserted it. The risk of our congregation not knowing it was worth the impact it could have in combination with Joe's message. We also tried something different in our service plan, incorporating this song into the end of Joe's message, and tying it with his call for people to believe the gospel message and to "come awake" as the song says. We kept it dynamically quiet before Joe came back up to call people to the gospel, and then we came back to the CH, BR, CH, CH and ramped it up until we were full volume and singing it with all our might. I was moved every time we sang it together, and I think our people connected with it as we declared the powerful truth of the chorus: "Christ is risen from the dead/ Trampling over death by death/ Come awake, come awake/ Come and rise up from the grave/ Christ is risen from the dead/ We are one with Him again/ Come awake, come awake/ Come and rise up from the grave." Amen.

This was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our teams did a fantastic job. I was completely exhausted after this weekend was done, because I also led our children's worship services in the middle of our main services, sang for a wedding Friday night, and for a banquet Sunday night, totaling 11 events for which I sang. I could barely speak this morning. :) God is faithful, and He helped preserve my voice for when I needed it, for which I am very grateful. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve our church in so many different ways this weekend. It seemed like the Lord was calling me to a greater level of servanthood all the way through, and I felt that He was reminding me of His call for me to pour myself out for our people. I was challenged and blessed at the same time. It was a fantastic weekend.

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

In the Son,


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