Posts Tagged ‘Amazing Grace’

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:

“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

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?


Here’s our set from this weekend:

“All Because of Jesus” (A) [Steve Fee]
Call to Worship
“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John Thomas Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
Message – “I Believe God Acted – Redemption” [David Hinkle]
Response – “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Eb) [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees]

I feel like this week was another step forward for our team and our congregation. We took more steps to make it easier to participate – we brought some songs down to a lower key, and we were more intentional about teaching new material. It seemed like there was more participation overall in each of the four services, which is exciting and encouraging. The team felt locked-in (most of the time), and I felt like we were engaged in worship as we were leading the congregation, as well.

We brought “All Because of Jesus” down to the key of A from the usual key of B, and we brought “Happy Day” down to Bb from B. Both were good moves, as the people sang out more on both. When I took a close look at the lead sheets this week, I noticed that both of these songs had parts of the melody that went well beyond the range of the “normal” voice, from C to C. We brought them both down to get them close. They still weren’t entirely in the desired range, but if we lowered them much more, the verses would bottom out! That’s one of the biggest problems with some modern worship songs – the low verses and high choruses make it difficult to get them into a normal person’s vocal range. We’ll keep working on it, though!

“Jesus Messiah” is one of the 21 songs we have done more than five times over the past year, and therefore is one that I would be safe in saying we know as a congregation. It showed as people sang it out and connected with God through it. I love the lyric of this song, as it really declares the gospel clearly, and finishes it all off with the simple, powerful bridge: “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world.” Jesus is our only hope of salvation. Enough said.

Also, this week we introduced “You Alone Can Rescue” by Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman. When I initially heard this song done live by Matt Redman, I was very excited about it, but when I heard the recorded version, I was a little underwhelmed, so I put it off for a while. However, when Matt led at Student Life in Daytona this past summer, I was reminded again how powerful this song is. It is a simple lyric, but proclaims a powerful truth – that Jesus is the only one who can save us. Here’s the lyric:

Verse 1
Who, O Lord, could save themselves
Their own soul could heal
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still

And You alone can rescue, You alone can save
You alone can lift us from the grave
You came down to find us, led us out of death
To You alone belongs the highest praise

Verse 2
You, O Lord, have made a way
The great divide You healed
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, Your love goes further still

We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life
We lift up our eyes, lift up our eyes
You’re the giver of life

Even typing the lyric of this song is bringing me to tears. What a beautiful expression of confidence in Christ alone for our rescue and salvation. We have no hope apart from Him! His humble, loving sacrifice is the only way for us to be rescued; the fact that He chose to redeem us at such a great cost to Himself is overwhelming. This song brings this into clear focus, and is a beautiful expression of thanksgiving and recognition of the work of Jesus Christ to save us. He, and He alone, is the one who can rescue, who can save us, who can lift us from the grave. This is because He is the one who came down to find us a lead us out of death. Scripture says that Jesus’ efforts to rescue us are the reason God has given Him the name above every name (Philippians 2). I know this is the reason I worship Him. He is so good, while I am still so undeserving of it. My life is completely dependent on His grace and finished work of the cross.

We bracketed the message about our redemption with Alex Nifong’s arrangement of “Jesus Paid It All” and Tomlin’s “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone).” These two songs never get old to me, because there is beauty in the simplicity of their declarations. I never tire of singing, “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead.” On “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” Kelsey Thomsen and I traded off on the verse. She did a great job leading, and I think it facilitated a very powerful moment of worship, especially after David’s weighty message about our redemption. I loved his words about what God has done to rescue us! We owe it all to Jesus Christ, who made a way where there was no way.

I love my church, and I am very excited about what is going on around here. We are learning and growing together, and we are pursuing Jesus Christ and His gospel. Jesus, and His work to redeem us, was truly lifted high this weekend. I am so grateful for how He has rescued us. He is truly my only hope!

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

Jesus alone is worthy!


Sunday Set Lists

Sorry I didn’t do a recap sooner. It’s been an insane week. Quickly, here’s our set from last Sunday:

“Say Say” [Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin]
“Happy Day” [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
“Blessed Be Your Name” [Matt and Beth Redman]
“Let Me Sing” [Todd Fields]
“You Never Let Go” [Matt and Beth Redman]
INV – “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” [Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees]
OFF – “Our God” [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, et al]

This past Sunday was another great week of worship together. God is moving, and it’s exciting to be a part of it all. This week, we’re in the middle of our church’s first original evangelistic production, Thanatos, and God is moving in that as well. People are coming to Jesus and coming back to Jesus in droves. I believe this is a hint of revival, the likes of which I have not have the privilege of witnessing before.

Praise God for His power and working, and His choosing to use broken vessels for His amazing purposes.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were this week.

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists at

In the Son,

Currently listening to Love, by The Julianna Theory

Here’s our set for this past Sunday:
“Hosanna (Praise is Rising)” [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
“Your Grace is Enough” [Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
“Glory to God” [Steve Fee]
“Mighty to Save” [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]
“The Stand” [Joel Houston]
INV: “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” [John Newton, Edwin O’Excell, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, et al]
“Let Me Sing” [Todd Fields]

This week was a solid weak of worship together. We tried to make things flow together well on our end, and tried to create a little space for people to breathe and reflect, which is something we don’t do very often. I’m not sure I said enough to set it up, but I think it was healthy nonetheless. Pastor Jay’s message was a really poignant one, basically about forgiving the people who have made life miserable in some way. Many people responded at the end of the message, laying situations and relationships at the front to give them over to God and let go. It was a beautiful morning. God is truly at work in our midst, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

I hope you had a great week of worship, wherever you are!


Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at to read about other leaders’ experiences this week in worship.

(Well, I just typed most of a post, and hit the track pad with the palm of my hand, clicking on a link and erasing everything I’d typed. This one may be shorter…)

Here’s our set for this week:

“Faithful One” [original]
“Cannons” [Phil Wickham]
“Indescribable” [Laura Story, Jesse Reeves]
“Lord of All” [Kristian Stanfill]
“You Never Let Go” [Matt and Beth Redman]
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” [w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Jesse Reaves, et al]
“Your Name” [Paul Baloche and Glenn Packiam]

This week, we did something different. We went ALL acoustic. Every instrument was an acoustic instrument. Corey played the cajon (Spanish for “box”), Melanie played piano, Sal played high-strung acoustic (which has nothing to do with coffee), our friend Zack Nethercutt played cello, and Andrew and I played acoustic. It was fun to wail away on our guitars, like it should be done.

This week took me back to my roots, when I started getting involved and then leading worship in music over 15 years ago. It was never a well-produced band with electric guitars, drums, keyboards, and bass. It was usually just three to seven acoustic guitars and possibly a djembe for percussion. Its value was not in the production or the performance. It was in the sincerity and the intimacy. This is what this weekend was like for me. It was a return to the heart of the matter and the central focus of worship- Jesus Christ. That was my purpose in the whole thing, and judging from what some people have told me, they got it. I had two comments from the morning that confirmed this. One of the pastors said that by the time we finished, God was glorified. That is the mother of all compliments for a worshiper. I told him, “That is what I live for.” I want nothing more than all of us to say that God was glorified when all is said and done. I don’t care that people enjoy the music, if they miss God and His glory in the whole thing! I care about doing it well, but that is not the end goal. The end goal is ALWAYS the glorifying of our Lord Jesus Christ. The second comment was from one of our people, who said that it really helped to put things in perspective. That’s what I hoped for. It’s all too easy to get used to having all the big production, with the loud drums and guitars, and the driving, energizing music, and to think that is what is necessary to engage God in worship. This morning was a necessary break from the pattern to jar us all back on track. The point is to glorify God, not rock and roll (even though I love that part of it, too.)

Two things stood out to me about the morning. The first was Zack on cello. He did a fantastic job, and his passion for his instrument really came through. We had a ton of fun playing together, and I can’t wait to get him back in there and playing again soon. The second thing was the people singing. I have never heard our church sing so loud! The youth have added so much to our service, too. It was awesome to hear all of their sweet voices lifting praise to God. There was a moment at the end of “You Never Let Go” where everything dropped out it was just the cello and our voices, and it was so beautiful.

It was a great day for our worship team and for our church, in my opinion. I hope we can do it again soon. I am thankful for Pastor Jay supporting me in taking a chance and trying something different. It was a beautiful thing. I hope you had a great week of worship, wherever you were. Next week, we’re going to continue to try some new things, just to keep us all on our toes!

Glory to God!


Be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at, to see what other leaders and team members have to say about their worship experiences all over the globe!