This weekend we continued in the fifth week of our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about the life of Elijah and how he stood with the Lord to confront evil in his lifetime. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Suffering Servant” (A – B) [Dustin Kensrue]
“Sing to the King” (D) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Child Dedications (at 5 PM & 9:15 AM services)
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Confrontation” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
“Hosanna” (Eb) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (Bb) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a powerful weekend. Once again, Joe’s message was a powerful challenge to follow Christ with all of our lives, and to confront the evil in our world and lives with the power of the gospel. We started out our weekend in the pre-service time with Dustin Kensrue’s “Suffering Servant,” which is a fantastic song from his new record, coming almost directly from Isaiah 52 & 53. This song has brought me to tears several times over the past month, as I have been overwhelmed with the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for our redemption. It is powerful in both its words and in its music. There are quite a few words to the song, so it may remain a song for special occasions, but I would love to sing it more often. We continued into the service with Becky leading us in “Sing to the King,” which gives us great words by which to celebrate Christ’s victory, and which is one of our church’s favorites. In response to the message, we expressed our confidence and trust in the Lord through singing “Always.” We hadn’t sung this song in quite a while, and it was great to sing it again, as it is a powerful statement of our faith. From there, Becky led us in singing “Hosanna,” and then we closed out the service with “This Is Amazing Grace.” This song has been one of my favorites lately, mainly for the chorus: “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!”

THAT is why we sing. THAT is why we worship. Jesus has been so good to us.

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend we continued in the fourth week of our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about David’s life, leadership, and heart for God from 2 Samuel. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

“Made Alive” (C) [Brian Eichelberger, Zach Bolen]
“Glorious One” (C) [Steve Fee]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Devotion” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Forever Reign” (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“You Are God Alone” (Ab) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
“Lord of All” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was another great weekend of services. Joe’s message was challenging for all of us, as he called us to be faithful and responsive to God throughout our lives, and to leave behind the emptiness that so often comes from living by our own will. Our team did a great job throughout the weekend. We began our services by celebrating Jesus and His finished work for us as we sang “Made Alive” and “Glorious One,” which is one of my longtime favorites that we haven’t sung much here at Fellowship since I’ve been here. It was great to sing it together this week. Sarah Oldberg led us powerfully on “Forever Reign” and “You Are God Alone,” and the church engaged well as we responded to Joe’s message with these songs. We closed out our weekend with a powerful declaration of God’s sovereignty and surpassing worth in “Lord of All.” I wanted this to be a moment where we could intentionally set our eyes on Jesus as Lord of all, and commit our way to respond to Him and His leading throughout our days. I love this song, and still maintain that it’s a song that the Church (big “C”) needs to sing, because it carries a truth that resonates powerfully in the heart of every believer: “There is none so high and holy/ King of kings, the One and only!”

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend we continued our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about how we are called to follow Jesus in all situations. Whether we are experiencing crisis or success, we are to follow His leadership and submit to Him, rather than seeking out our own means for trying to save ourselves. Only Jesus can deliver us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Calling” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Song – “Carried To The Table” (A) [Leeland Mooring, Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
“You Never Let Go” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job. Trent Raines co-led with me this weekend, and he led powerfully during our communion time with “Carried to the Table,” which is a perfect communion song. Also, one my guitar students, Brynn Baker, played lead guitar for the first time as part of our weekend service team, and she knocked it out of the park. She continues to step up and do a great job wherever she is serving (at 13 years of age!!! I had just picked up guitar at 13 years old, and she would play circles around an 18-year-old version of me…). Her playing was definitely a bright spot for me this weekend, especially when she nailed the lead part on “Kingdom,” which is one of my favorites. “Before The Throne” continues to be a song that really resonates with our congregation. I prefaced our singing of it by reminding us that even our worship is acceptable to God only because of Jesus’ finished work for us, and not because of anything we have done or can do. Jesus is everything for us! We finished our time together with two songs that called us to trust in Jesus and His faithfulness: “One Thing Remains,” and “You Never Let G0.” These two songs are simple declarations and powerful reminders for the Church to sing together, and it was a fitting way to respond to Joe’s message this week.

At some point in the near future, I hope to take some time to write about my recent trip to the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project. It was both challenging and inspiring, and I’m still processing much of what I saw and experienced. The Lord is doing great things there, and He is raising up some amazing leaders to advance the gospel in some of the darkest parts of the world. Please pray for them as they fight the good fight!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend was the first of our new series, “Obedience.” In this message,  Joe shared about how being on mission with God requires us to be in submission to the Word of God. He called us to “scrap everything” for the daily practice of filling our minds with the Word of God and following God in love. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Welcome
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Mission” [Joe Hishmeh]
“You Are God Alone (Not a god)” (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
“Glory to God Forever” (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Hosanna” (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a fantastic weekend with our church. Joe’s message was a great challenge to follow Jesus more closely, and our church engaged well with both the preaching and the singing. Our team did a great job. We opened with “Rejoice,” celebrating the faithful love, compassion, and mercy of God. We continued with “Everlasting God,” where we acknowledged that our strength to follow comes from the Lord, whose strength and love for us never fails. We responded to the message with Kelsey leading “You Are God Alone (Not a god),” which we sang to focus on the sovereignty and trustworthiness of God. I pointed to this sovereignty and constancy as the reason we can trust the Lord in obedience, knowing that His way is best for us. We continued on with “Glory to God Forever,” where we moved from seeing God’s sovereignty to responding with the offering of our lives for His glory because of His surpassing worth. Finally, we closed with Brooke Ligertwood’s “Hosanna,” which calls us as God’s people to follow Him closely in light of His return and in light of eternity. It was a great weekend, where everything tied together well the team led well.

On another note, this weekend marked my third year here at Fellowship, and it has served as a time of reflecting on all the Lord has done during my time here. I am overwhelmed at the goodness of God and His blessings in my life. He has done great things! 

Next weekend, I will be in the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project to help equip some local pastors and to minister in several trash dump communities. I may post some notes about the trip when I get back, so be on the lookout. Please pray for us as we seek to build up the Body of Christ there!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend was the third and final week of our series, “The Story.” In his message,  Joe shared about how and why we to share the gospel in a compelling manner, inviting others to trust in Jesus for their salvation. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “True Love” (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “The Story: Share It Compellingly” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“Lead Me To The Cross” (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Allen Salmon]
Dismissal

Thoughts: I believe this weekend was a great weekend for our church. Joe really called us all into sharing the gospel with the people in our lives, because Jesus is worth it. Our singing echoed that same thought, and it was a great call and challenge to each of us as we evaluated our priorities.

We began in the pre-service time the same as we had the previous two weeks, with “True Love” by Phil Wickham. I love this song, because it is a very powerful portrait of the gospel and what Jesus accomplished for us. We then began the service by inviting the Lord to have His way in us as we sang “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” which is an excellent call to worship. Later, we responded to Joe’s message with “Your Great Name,” reflecting on the power of the name of Jesus. Jesus changes everything. His name, and His name alone, has the power to save. We continued with “Lead Me To The Cross” to give us words through which to express our submission to the Lord’s call to take up our cross and follow Him in proclaiming the good news. We closed our service with another song in that same vein, “I Will Go,” which is a little bit of a punch in the gut, if we’re honest. It calls us from our comfort and privilege to sacrifice, service, and submission in reaching the lost and needy in our world. Everyone who encounters Jesus has to wrestle with that decision–either they leave following Him more closely, or they walk away further from Him and more committed to being “lord” of their own lives. I called the church to see the surpassing worth of Jesus and what He has done for us, and to respond with living our lives in worship and submission to Him. He alone is worthy!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend was the second of our series called, “The Story.” This week, pastor Joe shared about how we all need to be live out the gospel so that we can be confident in it as we share with others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “True Love” (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
“Happy Day” (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “The Story: Live The Story” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)” (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
“Jesus Paid It All” (C) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, add. chorus by Alex Nifong]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend. Again, reflecting on the power of the gospel is the greatest motive we have to worship Jesus. He loves us and He gave Himself up for our redemption. He is so worthy of worship!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend was the first in our series called, “The Story.” Our pastor Joe shared about how we all need to be clear about the message of the gospel so that we can share it with others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “True Love” (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome
“In Tenderness” (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]
“Before The Throne Of God Above” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “The Story: Know The Story” [Joe Hishmeh]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (Bb) [Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, Phil Wickham]
“Made Alive” (G) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was incredible. It is probably stating the obvious, but I absolutely love singing about the gospel and the finished work of Jesus for us. This series is all about that, and this weekend was one where we could sing a bunch of our favorite songs together. It was a powerful service, and I was moved by the amazing grace and love of Jesus for us. He has done great things! It was an awesome way to end 2013 together.

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill