Fellowship Bible Church - 03/26 - 03/27/17

It has been a while! It's been a busy month, but it's time to get back on the wagon with the blog posts recapping our weekends. This weekend was our next to last in our series through the Sermon on the Mount,  The Way of Life. In his message, Joe talked about the narrow way and the wide way, and the influences that will lead us down one path or the other. This is one of the more difficult teachings of Jesus, but it was a powerful challenge to follow after Jesus because His way leads to life.

Here's what we sang together:

Pre-Service - "I Am Set Free" [All Sons & Daughters]
"The Solid Rock" [Edward Mote, The Dispatch]
"Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
"The Lion And The Lamb" [Leeland Mooring, Bethel]
"Lord, I Need You" [Chris Tomlin, Passion Worship Band]

It was a unique weekend for me, in that I was leading from the bass guitar. I have never led a weekend here from the bass, so it was exciting and challenging. It requires a bit of a different mentality and rhythm of playing, so it took some extra focus to do along with singing, but I really enjoyed the stretch. The team did a solid job leading, and it was a great weekend of worship together.

For the songs we sang, we focused on Jesus as the foundation and forerunner of our faith, as expressed in Hebrews 12:1-2. He is everything we need for faith, for life, and for our eternity. He supplies us with the wisdom, strength, and guidance to follow Him. As He says in John 15, we cannot bear any good fruit apart from Him. Those truths directed our singing time together throughout the weekend.

I hope you had a great weekend!

in the Son,


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

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

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

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

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

in the Son,

Fellowship Service Recap - 04/30 - 05/01/16

As we continued our Decided series this weekend and Joe focused on the decision to worry or worship in the midst of difficulty, Pastor Joe looked to the awesome account of King Jehoshaphat's response to a major threat in 2 Chronicles 20. The key line from that passage is in verse 12: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-service - "A Mighty Fortress" [Christy Nockels]
"Before the Throne" [as sung by The Modern Post]
"Your Great Name" [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
"O Praise The Name (Anástasis)" [Hillsong]
"Jesus!" [Citizens & Saints]

This weekend, which happened to be the last weekend in our current worship center, was a great one. I could not think of a better way to finish our time singing together in this room than to sing out the words of "Jesus!": "Highly exalted is the name/ Of Jesus Christ/ Heaven and earth declare all praise/ To Jesus Christ" and "Jesus/ every heart and tongue confess/ Your name above all names/ All things/ Of this earth belong to You/ Forever, You will reign!"

Our team did a great job leading, and many of them had an extra long weekend as they helped with a special Sharefest celebration downtown earlier on Saturday. I'm so grateful for our volunteers who put in so much work to make our weekends happen. They serve with excellence and great attitudes each and every week. They are a blessing to me and to our church!

I hope you have a great week!

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 - 01/23 -01/24/16

This was our third week in the book of Acts for our Mission Possible series, and in his message, Joe shared about how the early Church endured suffering with the power of Lord working in them.

Here's what we sang together this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Suffering Servant" [Dustin Kensrue]
"Before the Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post]
"Desert Song" [Brooke Fraser]
"Always" [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
"God With Us" [Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan]
"Rejoice" [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

 It was a moving weekend of worshiping together. For our singing, we focused on themes of Jesus as our example of enduring suffering to advance the purposes of God (from Isaiah 53), Jesus as our sympathetic Great High Priest who has gone before us and walks with us (from Hebrews 4), and Jesus as Emmanuel who is always with us and who never leaves us or forsakes us (Matthew 1:23; 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).

As I looked across our congregation while we were singing this weekend, it was almost overwhelming to think of the suffering that some of our people are walking through or have recently walked through, and to see those same people limiting their hands and singing to the Lord, finding their hope and their refuge in Him. I was inspired to worship more because of these dear brothers and sisters. It is a beautiful thing to come together in worship, and part of that is bearing one another's burdens.

May you find your hope and confidence in our faithful High Priest, Jesus.  

in the Son, 



Service Recap - 11/28 - 11/29/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This week, we concluded our Rebuild series as Joe shared about our reward in Christ and the fruit of faithfulness. For our singing, we wanted to focus mainly on our ultimate reward in Christ, which is redemption and eternal life. This reward is the beginning of new life for us, and it is out if this new life that we can be a blessing to our city.

Here are the songs we sang together this weekend:

"Before The Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post]
"It Is Finished" [Dustin Kensrue, Brian Eichelberger]
"Hosanna" [Brooke Ligertwood]
"Beautiful" [Phil Wickham]

It was a great weekend of worship together. We had to roll with some last-minute changes this week, but our team did a great job as always, and the weekend after Thanksgiving is always a special and warm time to gather together as the church and think of all that Christ has done for us. I guess you could say that we all come ready to be thankful!

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

in the Son,


Weekend Service recap - 10/31 - 11/1/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, we continued our Rebuild series through Ezra and Nehemiah and Joe shared about the external resistance we experience when we seek to rebuild our hearts for God. He discussed the sway that external factors can have on us, and the resulting halting of the work of God in us, and then shared how we can resist external sway by focusing on God's presence, promise, mission, and hope.

Here are our songs from this weekend:

"Defender" [King's Kaleidoscope]
"Before the Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, The Modern Post]
"It is Well" [Horatio G. Spafford, Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields]
"Lord of All" [Kristian Stanfill]
"Always" [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]

There were lots of things happening this weekend here in Kansas: Halloween and Daylight Savings Time, the Royals in the World Series, and the Chiefs playing Sunday morning in London. Craziness! Despite all of this, our team did a great job, and we had a great weekend of worship together. 

In the pre-service countdown, we sang "Defender" by King's Kaleidoscope, which is a really interesting and creative song comprised of an almost Psalm-like lyric. It was challenging and fun for our team to play together.  

The rest of the set was dedicated to looking at Jesus as our faithful High Priest who knows us, loves us, sacrifices for us, and never leaves us or forsakes us. He is so good to us, and we don't have to be afraid of resistance, trials, or sway in this life, because He is with us!

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

in the Son, 



Songs We Sing - 10/03 - 10/04/15 - Fellowship Bible Church

We continued our Unstuck series this weekend with a message on getting unstuck with our finances. We also celebrated communion this weekend, which is always a blessing to celebrate together with our church family. We tried something rather different for us this week, in that all the instruments used are normally used with bluegrass music. It was a blast!

Here are our songs from this weekend:

Pre-Service - "Absent From Flesh" [Isaac Watts, arr. by Jamie Barnes of Sojourn]
"There is a Fountain" [William Cowper, arr. by Zach Bolen of Citizens & Saints]
"I'll Fly Away" [Albert E. Brumley, my arrangement]
"Before the Throne" [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by Dustin Kensrue & The Modern Post, modified by us]
Communion - "Nothing But The Blood" [Robert Lowry, my arrangement]
"Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)" [Charlotte Elliott, Brenton Brown]

This weekend was very different and very fun! Our team did a great job all the way around. We used upright bass, banjo, dobro guitar, mandolin, acoustic guitars, and cajon, and it made for a unique feel for the weekend. Also, all the songs we used this weekend are hymns, whether old or new arrangements. This is something I have wanted to try for a while, to see what happens. I love hymns and the value in expression and teaching they bring to the Church, so it was fun to put a bunch of them together in one weekend.


Worship Gatherings, 09/06 - 09/07/14 - Fellowship Bible Church

Late update here. We started our series through 1 Thessalonians this past weekend, focused on having a Ready Faith, Love, and Hope. I'm excited as we continue this next weekend.

Here's our set of music from this past weekend:

"I Am Set Free" (E) [Leslie Jordan, of All Sons & Daughters]
"Sing to the King" (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
"Forever Reign" (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
"Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)" (A) [Christa Black Gifford, Kari Jobe, Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Gabriel Wilson]
"Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post]

It was a fantastic weekend.

  • We introduced "Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)" to our weekend services (we sang it for a worship night recently), and it was a very powerful moment.
  • We did something similar to the Hillsong Chapel arrangement of "Forever Reign" for communion, and it was refreshing.
  • We sang "I Am Set Free" by All Sons & Daughters in the pre-service time, and I love the harmony that the duo puts together. It's strong and beautiful. I look forward to singing that one again sometime soon.
  • Our team did an excellent job with a few new tunes in the mix, and a fresh take on another. I'm so thankful for all their continued hard work and preparation!

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

Songs We Sing, 07/20 - 07/21/13 - Fellowship Bible Church

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the "State of the Church," where he celebrated what God has been doing in our church, dedicated our church to what God is currently doing, and anticipated the future of our ministry in Topeka and around the world. It is incredible to see what God has been doing and to envision what could happen with our church as we continue to pursue Him. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here. Here's our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown] "Before The Throne" (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, Vicki Cook, arr. by The Modern Post] Greeting Time/Announcements Message - "State of the Church" [Joe Hishmeh] "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin] "God Of This City" (B) [Richard Bleakley, Aaron Boyd, Boyd Aaron, Peter Comfort, Ian Jordan, Peter Kernaghan, Andrew McCann, also sung by Chris Tomlin] "Lord Of All" (B) [Kristian Stanfill] Tag of "How Great Is Our God" (B) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves] Dismissal

Thoughts: This was an exciting weekend in our church. We don't take much time throughout the year to celebrate how God has moved in our church and to dream together about what is possible here. We dreamed and prayed for a major awakening in Topeka, asking the Lord for 18,000 new believers in our county. This wouldn't be possible with just our church, but would need to involve all the gospel-preaching churches here. It will be amazing to see what God will do.

For our singing this weekend, we sang "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)" to invite God to have His way in us and to celebrate how He has redeemed us. "Before The Throne" was our main gospel-focused song, singing about how Jesus is our divine Substitute and Advocate. I absolutely love the clarity of the gospel in this song. In the middle of the message, after Joe celebrated some of the amazing things God has been doing in our church, we sang "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)." We did this just with one guitar and the voices, and it was a great moment this weekend. We responded to the vision for our future by singing "God Of This City," and its chorus was a great declaration for us this weekend: "For greater things have yet to come/ Greater things are still to be done in this city." It had been a while since I had sung this song (because it had been played so often at the time), and it felt fresh for me this weekend. We finished the service by singing about God's sovereign lordship and power in "Lord of All," and tagged the chorus of "How Great Is Our God." It felt fitting to end with this, because God is the one who will direct our steps with His perfect wisdom, and who can uphold us as we sacrifice and serve to advance His kingdom.

- Bill

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