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!