Posts Tagged ‘Christa Black’

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
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]

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

As followers of Jesus, we are guided by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. This was the message from our Family Pastor, Brian Tryhus, as we continued our series titled “Faith.” It was a great reminder for us to look for guidance in the right places. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Lead of Love” (G) [Aaron Tate of Caedmon’s Call]
“I’ll Fly Away” (G) [Albert E. Brumley]
“Your Grace Is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
Greeting Time
Message – “Faith: Guided” [Brian Tryhus]
“It Is Well” (Bb) [Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Post-Service – “”Lead of Love” (G) [Aaron Tate]

Thoughts: This was a solid weekend of worship with our church. It was one of those weekends where I felt the Lord was strong in my weakness. The lyric that stuck with me throughout the weekend was from “Lead of Love”: “Looking back I can finally see/ How failures bring humility/ Brings me to my knees/ Helps me see my need for Thee.” That resonated with me this weekend. During the message in the first service on Saturday night, I was having a conversation with my wife and keeping my eye on the timer for the message. When it said four minutes left, I quickly headed upstairs, only to hear music playing and to find the speaking pastor, Brian, in the stairwell. Needless to say, I panicked. Kip did a good job covering and getting the band started without me, and I tried my best to quietly head out to my position on the platform and join in. Talk about embarrassing! Anyway, that only contributed to how “off” I felt through the weekend. I’m not sure if it was allergies or a slight cold, but I just didn’t feel like I had any energy or focus.

Despite all of that, the team did a great job, and our congregation was really engaged throughout the weekend. I felt the Lord was glorified, and that people responded to the Word of God through the message. Ultimately, the Lord was strong in my weakness. It seems that some of the greatest weekends of worship I experience or witness in our church are those where I feel weakest. I don’t believe that’s a coincidence, either. 🙂

The highlights for me were having my friend Ronnie Murphy on mandolin, singing an older favorite of mine in Caedmon’s Call’s “Lead of Love,” “It Is Well,” and one of our congregation’s new favorites in “Rejoice.” The church has really seemed to latch onto that song. I love the declaration and the energy in that song, and I’m thankful we can sing it together.

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This past weekend, we continued in our fifth message of our series – “Seven.” Our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared from Philippians 2:3-4 about the importance of having healthy friendships in following Christ. The best way to have great friendships is to be a great friend–one who loves like Jesus has loved us. Joe called us to being available, building up, accepting, enduring, sharpening, and understanding in our friendships. It was a great call for us, and it was something I needed to hear this weekend. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
“Unchanging” (G) [Chris Tomlin]

Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Seven: Friends – Philippians 2:3-4” [Joe Hishmeh]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black]
“How He Loves” (Bb) [John Mark McMillan]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]


Thoughts: This weekend was a great Mothers’ Day Weekend. Joe’s message was very challenging, and our times of singing were really moving. It was highlight to sing “One Thing Remains” and “How He Loves” together again. I really enjoy both of those those songs because they portray the love of God for us so uniquely and powerfully.

Since Joe was talking about friendship and how our relationships ought to reflect the gospel and how Christ gave Himself up for us, you can see that we sang primarily of Christ’s unfailing love and grace for us. I believe when we sing of true character of God, we are also in a sense calling ourselves to reflect that character in our own lives. What we praise, in some way we also desire to be. If we want to love like Christ, let’s worship Him for His amazing love for us, which He demonstrated at the cross.

– Bill

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

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)

For our tenth week of our 2 Corinthians series – “Purpose In Christ,” our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached through 2 Corinthians 11-12, and taught about how we as believers need to handle trials and difficulties in our lives. He challenged us to recognize our own weakness, and to find our strength in Christ alone. It was a powerful reminder to all of us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Beautiful” (C) [Phil Wickham]
Welcome/Call to Worship
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Greeting Time
Child Dedications
Announcements/Trash Mountain Documentary Trailer

Message – “Purpose In Christ, pt. 10” [Brian Tryhus]
“It Is Well” (B) [Horatio G. Spafford, Todd Fields]
“Always” (B) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
“One Thing Remains” (B) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]

Thoughts: This was a great Palm Weekend celebration. Our team did a great job! We also had two brand new team members: Matthew Gonzales on drums and Dawn Phoenix helping with background vocals. It was great to see them connecting with the team and finding their fit in ministry. I loved how everything connected in our services, and the songs we sang this weekend were some of my favorites. It had been a while for all of the final three songs, so it was refreshing to sing them together with our congregation once again. I am so grateful for what the Lord continues to do in our church. I’m am really pumped about Good Friday and Easter this week! It will be our best one yet!

– Bill

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

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In the message for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 5:1-8 how God calls us to “Love not Lust.” When we settle for lust instead of love, we are selling ourselves short, and accepting far less than God’s best for our lives. It was a powerful challenge to pursue love and our true identity and purpose in Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Because of the drive of the message, we focused on the amazing love of God that never changes, never fails, never leaves us, never forsakes us, and never gives up.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Sing to the King” (D) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Welcome/Greeting Time

“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black, Jeremy Riddle]
“Forever Reign” (Bb) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
Message – “Ephesians 5:1-8” [Joe Hishmeh]
“The Love of God” (D) [Frederick M. Lehman, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Amazing Grace” (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, arr. by Bill Horn]


“Sing to the King” – We opened our services this weekend with this great hymn rewrite by Billy Foote. One of our newer team members, Cindy Gular, led us on this one and did a great job. I loved opening with this song, as it set our eyes on our hope: Christ’s victorious return and the consummation of our salvation. As Joe said in his message, “Our lives our best when long-term values are  the basis of our short-term decisions.” When we keep our eyes on our future and our hope in Christ, we live differently.

“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” – We continued after the welcome time with this song, which helps us declare the truth about God’s constant and unchanging love for us. I love singing this song together with our congregation.

“Forever Reign” – This song says a lot about God and His character. I love how it juxtaposes God’s perfection against our weakness in the verses, helping us to see and sing of our great need for Him.

“Your Great Name” – We finished the first part of the service with this song, which points us to the cross and the redemption that we find in Christ alone. He is Lord, and He is high and lifted up, and one day every knee will bow before His throne and confess that truth. My hope for our congregation is that we will confess that truth not only with our words, but with our lives.

“The Love of God” – We responded to the message with this profound hymn about God’s love. I (along with most everyone else who hears this song) particularly love the last verse: “Could we with ink the oceans fill, and were the skies of parchment made/ Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, and ev’ry man a scribe by trade/ To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry/ Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.” That is beautifully said.

“Amazing Grace” – We tagged this onto the end of “The Love of God” to finish out our services. We did something we don’t normally do, in that we sang it only with piano. It was a nice moment for us all to hear one another singing this most familiar of hymns together. I feel that it also helped tie everything together from the service: recognizing our own sinfulness, the greatness of God’s love and grace for us, and fixing our eyes on our hope in Christ.

Thoughts: This weekend was a great weekend. Our team did a great job, and I am happy with how each song tied together with the focus. I felt that the church sang well in each of our services, and that people were engaging with the truth of God and His gospel in the songs that we were singing. The weekends are consistently a highlight of my week, as we remember the gospel and praise God for who He is and what He has done for us.

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience this weekend?

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

(an image of our Ephesians set design, courtesy of our Tech Director, Wyatt Johnston)

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In his message, Joe shared from Ephesians 3:14-21 about submitting our lives to Jesus, and asking for His presence to dwell in us, His love to thrive in us, and His character to fill us. This, Joe said, is the greatest prayer we can pray as believers. When these things are a reality in our lives, the gospel will advance through us to others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the powerful love of God, which surpasses all we can imagine.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“In Tenderness” (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey]
Welcome/Greeting Time

“God Is Able” (B) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]
“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” (B) [Brian Johnson, Christa Black, Jeremy Riddle]

“Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)” (G) [Scott Ligertwood, Brooke Ligertwood]
Message – “Ephesians 3:14-21” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Stronger” (B) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

“In Tenderness” – We taught this song over a few weekends recently, and this was a refresher weekend for the song. It is quickly becoming one of my new favorites, and it is a great fit as we walk through the book of Ephesians. The chorus captures the heart of God in the gospel very succinctly – “O, the love that sought me/ O, the blood that bought me/ O, the grace that brought me to the fold of God/ Grace that brought me to the fold of God!” I simply love declaring this together with the Church!

“God Is Able”– We sang this song coming out of the welcome and greeting time, and it focused us right in on where we were going this morning. We sang this song in particular because part of our passage this week was Ephesians 3:20-21:

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)

This is a solid staple in our worship song vocabulary here at Fellowship, and it does a great job of building our confidence in the one who is truly able, our Lord Jesus Christ. He conquered sin and death, and He has redeemed us and given us life. There is no one else who has done what He has done, or who could do what He can do.

“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” – This is another fairly new song that we introduced about two months ago. I love the strong declaration that this song makes regarding God’s faithful love. Again, this song builds our hope and our confidence in who Christ is and what He has done/will do.

“Beneath The Waters (I Will Rise)” – This is a new song that our NextGen director Erik Oldberg and his wife Sarah introduced last weekend. We continued teaching it this weekend, and one of our newer worship team members, Cindy Gular, led us on this song. It is a very strong and beautiful song, but I’m not sure yet of how it serves as a congregational song in which our people can participate besides the chorus.

As an aside, I also wanted to make a note about using this song: we made one change before we introduced it, in that we adjusted one line of the song. In the second verse, the original recording by Hillsong has the line, “Salvation through repentance.” This elevates a result of saving faith to a causal position with regards to our salvation. We are “saved by grace through faith,” according to Ephesians 2:8-9. Repentance and baptism, which are connected with salvation by Peter in the book of Acts (Acts 2:38), are demonstrations of our faith, but faith comes first. We believe and therefore we are saved. Repentance and baptism are not salvific, meaning they do not cause salvation or result in our redemption. When we truly believe in Christ, we will do those things that are fitting of a saving relationship with Christ, but salvation does not come through those things. They are not the means of salvation–faith is. While most people would not notice or make a big deal about the word “through” in this line, I think it is a huge deal, because it communicates that salvation is somehow in our hands, which is not the case. Salvation is a gift, and nothing we can do can earn it. We simply place our trust in Him as our divine substitute at the cross, recognizing our own sinfulness and desperate need for rescuing. Because of this, we changed the line to say, “Salvation to repentance,” trying to clarify that we repent because we have saving faith. The bottom line is this: as leaders, we are responsible for what we teach our people (and yes, we ARE teaching our people through the songs that we sing together). I want us to be as clear as possible with the message of the gospel. It has been entrusted to us as His Church and we must be crystal clear with it, because the world around us is doing everything possible to muddy up the truth about salvation.

“Stronger” – We sang this song for our response and communion song. We quietly sang the first part of the song (everything prior to the bridge) while the elements were being passed out, and then we sang the bridge and repeated the chorus after we took the elements. I was reminded how much I love this song when we attended the Hillsong Live concert in Kansas City a few weeks ago. It is a solid song about the gospel and what Jesus has done for us, and therefore it was a great fit for the message this weekend and for our time of communion.

This weekend was a good weekend of worship overall. Our team did a great job, and played and sang well together. I felt like the change to colder weather slowed our people down a little bit, but we celebrated the gospel and Jesus was lifted up as a result. I am so thankful for our church, and pray that the Lord continues to point us to His gospel and the salvation that is found in Him alone.  

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

What were your thoughts or experiences on your worship experience from this weekend?

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