Posts Tagged ‘Christy Nockels’

Well, life has been happening and I have fallen behind on my posts, so a little catch-up is in order. The past two weekends have been some of my favorites here at Fellowship. We have been in the midst of a series titled “Faith” and it has been both encouraging and challenging for our church. On 11/02 -11/03, our lead pastor, Joe, shared how we have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ. This past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10, our Adult Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, shared about how God has set us apart for His glory and His working here on the earth. Both of these messages were powerful declarations of the gospel, and it really showed as the church sang in response. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan from 11/02 – 11/03:

Pre-Service – “Song of the Redeemed” (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman, Dustin Ragland] 
Welcome
“Sing to the King” (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Redeemed” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Intro
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
Taking of the Elements
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (A) [Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, Josh Farro]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was one of my favorite services of which I have ever been a part. Our team did a fantastic job leading across the board. Kelsey Thomsen rejoined the team to co-lead this weekend after a long break for school in Wichita, and she did a great job in her return. I am so excited to see how everyone stepped up and called our congregation to worship Jesus. The highlights for me were “Song of the Redeemed,” “Sing to the King,” and “You Have Overcome.” It was an amazing weekend!


Here’s our service plan from this past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10:

Welcome
“Holy Is The Lord” (E) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio] 
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Set Apart” [David Hinkle]
“A Mighty Fortress” (Bb) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, w/ additional chorus by Alex Nifong]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend of worship. Again, our team did a great job leading us in worship. Becky Tindell did a great job co-leading, especially in leading us on “A Mighty Fortress,” which is an awesome song coming largely from the book of Hebrews. It was a great fit with the message this weekend, along with “Jesus Paid It All.” Together, these two songs encapsulated the emphasis of David’s powerful message: we are set apart to holiness for God’s glory, yet our righteousness before God is only in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. The highlights for me were “Before the Throne,” “Jesus Paid It All,” and “Rejoice,” which is one of my favorite new songs. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. The lyric is powerful and moving. In all, it was a beautiful weekend.

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

– Bill

This was our sixth and final weekend walking through 1 John together in our “Love In Christ” series. Joe Hishmeh preached about assurance and confidence from 1 John, focusing on the rest and security we have because of what Christ has done. It was a powerful reminder of where we stand with God, and how that changes the way that we live. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused primarily on songs that emphasized our security and sure hope in Christ. We have nothing to fear, because what Christ has accomplished for us is enough.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Sing to the King” (E) [Charles S. Horne, Billy Foote]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call to Worship

“He Has Done It All” (G) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram]
“Forever Reign” (Ab) [Reuben Morgan, Jason Ingram]
“A Mighty Fortress” (C) [Christy Nockels]

Message – “Love In Christ: Assurance” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“Sing to The King” – We opened our services with this song, which is a favorite for our congregation. Sarah led us on this one, and she always does a great job. I love the lyric and the power of this song, singing of the victory and hope we have in Christ. Jesus wins. End of story.

“He Has Done It All” – We continued teaching this song this week. It fit really well with the focus of the message, as well as the entire message of 1 John, which is why I wanted to introduce it at this time. I think our congregation is starting to get the hang of this one, and I think we’ll be singing it together again in the near future.

“Forever Reign” – This remains a favorite for our church, and Sarah did an awesome job leading us on this one as well. I love how it points out many of the amazing characteristics of our great God. His character is the foundation for our hope in Him. It is because He is true and unchanging that we can trust His promises.

“A Mighty Fortress” – I love this song. Sarah led on this one as well. It is another great reminder of the perfect character of our God. He is faithful, constant, true, and unfailing. And we will be with Him forever. Amen.

“Your Great Name” – We responded to the message with this song during communion. This is a fairly simple song that just exalts the name of Jesus for who He is and what He has done. I love this song, and so does our congregation. It was a sweet moment during communion. Stacy Kreuger did a great job helping lead this song, as well.

This weekend was an acoustic weekend, and I love it when we are able to do this. We had a few technical or musical issues, but for the most part everything came together pretty well. For me, acoustic weekends always renew my focus and brings me back to my beginnings as a worshipper. The youth group where I became a believer and began leading worship eventually was only acoustic guitar(s) and singing, and it was always an intense time of engaging with the Lord. When we strip the music down to the bare bones, sometimes it helps us to focus on the main thing: Jesus.

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

In the Son,
Bill

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

This weekend, we continued our Romans series, focusing on Romans 10:8 – 17. In his message, Joe taught about God’s plan of salvation for the nations, and how we must be the ones to go and tell about what Jesus has done. We are participants in the gospel, and God calls us into spreading the message to the people we encounter. We are the only option – as Joe says, “There is no Plan B.” You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Say Say” (Bb) [Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship
“Glorious Day” (B) [Michael Bleecker, J. Wilbur Chapman]
“Stronger” (B) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

“Jesus Paid It All” (B) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, w/ additional chorus by Alex Nifong]

Time of Reflection/Prayer
Message – “Romans 10:8 – 17” [Joe Hishmeh]

Communion Intro
Communion Song – “Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
Taking of Elements
Song Reprise – “Your Great Name” (Bb)
Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“Say Say”
– Because of the focus passage for this weekend (which includes Romans 10:9 – “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”), we opened our services with this song. We taught this song to our congregation a few months ago, and haven’t sung it too frequently since that time. It was one of the first that I introduced here to Fellowship. I love the call of this song on our lives, for us to declare with boldness and sincerity that Jesus is King. This song inspires confidence in the truth of the gospel, and these are the kinds of words I think we need to be encouraging one another with when we sing together in worship.

“Glorious Day” – This is a song that we began teaching a few weeks ago, and I continue to love how this song ties the past, present, and future of the gospel message all together. I think it is a solid song of celebrating what Christ has accomplished at the cross and in His resurrection, and also what He will accomplish in His return. We have many amazing reasons to worship our King!

“Stronger” – This song, while written somewhat recently, has the feel (in the lyric, anyway) of being almost like a creed. I love the simple declarations throughout the song, and the bridge sings of exalting Jesus’ name because of what He has done. It is also one of the few new worship songs that is truly in 3/4, which gives it a unique feel throughout. I really enjoy singing this song, and singing out what Jesus has accomplished.

“Jesus Paid It All” -This song is one of our favorites here, and for good reason. It is a simple confession of our dependence on Jesus and His finished work on the cross, and a powerful declaration of praise for what He accomplished for us in His resurrection. We were dead, but now we are alive in Him, and that is the main motivation we have sing and exalt Him.

“Your Great Name” – This song is new to our congregation, so we introduced it during our communion time this weekend. I first heard this from the writer, Michael Neale, at a conference in Florida. It was made popular by Natalie Grant. What I found interesting is that Natalie Grant sings the harmony during the chorus and the bridge, but sings it as though it is the melody. Both the harmony and the melody of this song are very nice lines, so it works really well. I love this song because it clearly declares the name of Jesus and exalts Him for who He is and what He has done. There is salvation and power in no other name, and we should speak it out with confidence, hope, and faith. Our congregation really connected with this song (surprisingly so), and we will definitely be singing it together again. The video to which I linked in the title of the song also has the lyric on it. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this song, and if you have sung it in your congregations.

This weekend was a strong weekend of worship with a very clear focus on the gospel and on proclaiming it to the world around us.  I love celebrating the Lord’s Supper with our congregation, and remembering what Jesus has done. He is so good and faithful to us, even when we are faithless. He is so worthy of all of our praise and glory!

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

In the Son,
Bill

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

This weekend, we continued our Romans series, and focused on Romans 8:31-39. In his message, Joe talked through the five rhetorical questions in this passage, and reminded us all of God’s amazing and unfailing love.  I was really challenged to let go of my past and my old slavery to sin, and to move toward Christ and trust in Him will every area of my life. We have a new life because Christ has loved us, and we don’t need to look back. We need to look to Christ. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Healing Is In Your Hands” (C) [Daniel Carson, Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin]
Welcome/Greeting Time
(Child Dedications – at 5 PM and 10:45 AM services only)
“Desert Song” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“Unchanging” (G) [Chris Tomlin]
“Our God” (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin
]
“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman]
Message – “Romans 8:31-39” [Joe Hishmeh]
“It Is Well” (Bb) [Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford]
Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“Healing Is In Your Hands”
– We sang this song as our preparation song this weekend, as we focused on how we are held by the promise of Jesus’ powerful and unconquerable love. He is faithful, and nothing will ever separate us from His love (Rom. 8:35). This is such a beautiful song (originally sung by Christy Nockels on the album, Passion: Here For You.), and it does a wonderful job of calling out our trust, faith, and confidence in Christ’s unending love for us. Becky Tindell did a great job of leading us on this song.

“Desert Song” – We opened the second music set with this song, and Becky led us here as well. This song declares our faith and trust in the Lord no matter what we are facing in this life. In good times and bad, He is with us, and He is worthy of our praise. This song continues to be a staple of our congregation’s worship vocabulary, and our church sings it well together.

“Unchanging” – We sang this song this weekend because it also stands firm on the fact that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8 ESV). In we declare the unchanging character and love of God. We can trust and depend on who He is, and that flows out into how He cares for us and interacts with us. Because He never changes and never fails, we can trust the word which He has spoken, saying that He will love us “with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3).

“Our God” – This song tied directly to our passage from this weekend, particularly in the bridge where we sing, “And if our God is for us/ Then who could ever stop us?/ And if our God is with us/ What could stand against?” We abbreviated this song for the services with the child dedications, but we wanted to keep this declaration in our services, as we sing out the truth of the scripture passage from this week.

“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” – This is a song that we began teaching our congregation last weekend as Erik and Sarah Oldberg led our congregation. I LOVE this song. When you hear it for the first time, it feels like you’ve heard it before. It has a sort of timeless melody to it, and it makes me want to sing it out. The chorus is simple and strong: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul/ Worship His holy name/ Sing like never before, O my soul/ I’ll worship Your holy name.” Our congregation is singing it well, and I think this will remain a part of our worship vocabulary here at Fellowship.

“It Is Well” – This was our response song this weekend. I have written a lot about this song previously, so I’ll keep this short. I love how this song ties a timeless hymn with a new declaration of trust and praise in an added chorus. I think it helps to connect a new generation with a beautiful expression of trust in God’s faithfulness – no matter the circumstances.

This weekend was a good weekend overall. We celebrated child dedications with many young families in our church, which was a beautiful thing of which to be a part. We also celebrated baptisms after each service. In one of these baptisms on Saturday evening, a young man baptized his dad after leading him to Christ. What a powerful moment! I love being a part of this congregation and seeing how the Lord is moving.

We had a few technical gremlins show up on Saturday evening with our in-ears and some other things. During most of the service at 7 PM, I was getting shocked every time my lips touched the microphone. Not fun. I have no idea what was happening there. Everything was worked out on Sunday morning, so it’s all good.

The bottom line is that Jesus was glorified and exalted because of His great love with which He loved us. He is faithful and unchanging, and we can trust in Him and in His love. He is so good to us!

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

In the Son,
Bill

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

This weekend, we continued our Advent series with a message entitled, “God With Us.” He made comparisons between life with Christ and what life would be without Christ, and it was really powerful to see the two lists side-by-side. You can listen to the entire message here. We continued to try something different with our service order to change things up, and we moved the message up a few minutes earlier in the service to have two songs in response to the message, rather than our typical one song in that position. All of us on our worship planning team believes that these kinds of changes help us and our congregation to engage and to not be passive in worship.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Lord I Need You” (B) [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, Matt Maher, Daniel Carson]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“Joy To The World” (C) [Isaac Watts]
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (C) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven]
“A Mighty Fortress” [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
Message – “God With Us” [Joe Hishmeh]
Offering/Announcements
“Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)” (Bb) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash]
“You Never Let Go” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal

“Lord I Need You” – We sang this song in our preparation time. This is the second time we have sung this song, and I think it will become a staple for our church. I think it resonates with each of us. It communicates a timeless truth in a fresh way, and helps us express our dependence on the Lord for everything. I’m a big fan of this song.

“Joy To The World” – We sang this oldie but goodie to kick off our services. My arrangement of it is kind pop/punk-ish, so it is fun to play and sing together. The melody is unchanged, so everyone can sing along easily. This song just makes people smile. The content of it is solid, and really declares some of what Christ’s first coming accomplished in this world. He changed everything with His coming.

“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” – We continued teaching this song to our congregation this week. I decided to drop this song a full step to the key of C this week, to make it a little easier for our congregation to sing, especially on Sunday morning at the early service. I think it was much easier for all of us to sing. Becky and I traded off verses on this one, and I think this is something we will continue to do, because I think it helps draw both the ladies and the men into what we are singing together. I really like this song, and I like how it fits into the Advent season.

“A Mighty Fortress” – Becky led us on this song, and it is one of my favorite declarations about the assurance and refuge we have in God. He is faithful, trustworthy, and true, and we can confidently place our lives in His hands. Our church sings this song well, even after only a few occurrences in our services. Part of the emphasis I was going for here was to point to the trustworthiness and love of God for us, and when He is called “God with us,” we can walk with Him in faith, because He will never fail, and His purposes are not thwarted.

“Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground)” – We began our response song with this song, which was new to me this week. I really like the message of the verses, which speak to the time of waiting and anticipation before the Messiah arrived. I also enjoy the chorus as a whole, which simply and beautifully sings of the first coming of Jesus: “Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ God incarnate, here to dwell/ Emmanuel, Emmanuel/ Praise His name, Emmanuel.” There are a few parts of this song that are a little tricky for one reason or another, so I had to work pretty hard to try and get it right, but I’m glad we sang it together this weekend.

“You Never Let Go” – We closed out our services with this song, which remains one of my favorites. Part of the imagery Joe used in the message was the dominant scriptural image of the Good Shepherd. This song pulls ideas from one of the most prominent pictures of the Shepherd contained in Psalm 23, and I think it helped to tie everything together really well. I love this song’s statements of trust and faith in God, regardless of our circumstances. Jesus is worthy of our trust and faith. He will never fail, and He will never let us go.

This was a unique and refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior together. Our team did a great job as always. I love celebrating Advent with the Church. It’s a beautiful thing.

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

In the Son,

Bill

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

This weekend, we finished our series on John and focused on John 21, examining the calling on us as disciples of Jesus Christ. David Hinkle preached about Peter and how Jesus recommissioned him as a leader and as one of His followers. It was, for me, a fresh look at the life of Peter, and the call from Jesus on His life, despite His faults and failures. You can listen to the entire message here.

Because it was the weekend following Thanksgiving, we had some trouble fielding a full band, so I decided we would intentionally do something different and simple, and just use drums, bass, acoustic, and vocals. I am really pleased with how it turned out (minus the moment when I broke a string in the last service…). Sometimes simple is better.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Lord I Need You” (B) [Jesse Reeves, Kristian Stanfill, Matt Maher, Christy Nockels, Daniel Carson]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call to Worship – 

“Your Grace Is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
“Hosanna” (G) [Brooke Fraser]

“Son Of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
Thoughts from Ephesians 2
“I Need You” (G) [Kristian Stanfill, Eddie Kirkland]
Prayer
Video

Message – John 21 – “The Call/The Cost” [David Hinkle]
Response Time

“‘One Pure And Holy Passion” (Bb) [Mark Altrogge]

Offering/Announcements
Dismissal

“Lord I Need You” – We sang this song during our preparation time this week. It was new for our congregation, and I am excited about continuing to teach it going forward. It is a powerful song that takes the idea of the hymn, “I Need Thee Every Hour” and reworks it. It appeared on the Passion Album Here For You. I really love this song, and think it expresses our desperation for our Lord in a clear way.

“Your Grace Is Enough” – This is one of our standards here (I’m sure it is in many other congregations as well), and I think it helped us set up our service well, as it sings, “You wrestle with the sinner’s heart” and “You use the weak to lead the strong.” These images combined with the declaration of the all-sufficiency of God’s grace helped us to get on track to hear of the restoration and constant love of God in the message.

“Hosanna” – As we near Advent, this song served two purposes: looking to the coming of our King, and asking the Lord to give us a heart that aligns to His own. We want our purposes to match His purposes. In seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, the bridge offers a fitting prayer: “Heal my heart and make it clean/ Open up my eyes to the things unseen/ Show me how to love like You have loved me/ Break my heart for what breaks Yours/ Everything I am, for Your kingdom’s cause/ As I walk from earth into eternity.”

“Son Of God” – I think this song is becoming a favorite here. I love how it tries to encompass who Jesus is and what He accomplished for us, and then offers a response of sincere worship when we sing, “You are worthy/ You are worthy/ You are worthy of all my praise/ You are beautiful/ You are beautiful/ I will lift up my hands and sing.”

“I Need You” – I prefaced this song by sharing from Ephesians 2, emphasizing how we were dead in our sins and transgressions, and how God made us alive together with Christ. We have no room to boast, because the work of salvation was finished completely by Christ, and Christ alone. He is our hope and our salvation. We need Him. We are desperate for His saving work on our behalf. This song proclaims the gospel as well and as clearly as any song I have ever heard before. It lays it all out there and repeats this chorus in response to the message, “I need You, Jesus/ I need You, Jesus/ I need clean hands/ I can’t, You can/ I need You, Jesus.” This song may be simple, but I think in this case it only serves to point our eyes more directly to the lyric of the song, which deserve our utmost attention.

“One Pure And Holy Passion” – This song was our response song this week. I don’t think I have ever led this song before, and I want this to be my prayer of response to what God has shown me in the message this week. I want to follow hard after the Lord, and be dedicated to His purposes and His kingdom. Jesus is worth every moment of my life being lived as an act of worship that gives glory to Him. I pray that is the case for all of us.

This was a refreshing weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job. After the message this week, I am reminded of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness to His Church, and His constant call on my life to follow Him.

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

In the Son,

Bill

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

This weekend, we focused on John 6:60-71, examining the different responses to Jesus when He doesn’t do what we want Him to do, and when we don’t understand what He is doing. We can either walk away (which many did), we can war against Him (like the Pharisees), or we can cling to Him (like Peter and the disciples) as our only hope. Their response of trust was basically this: “Where else could we go? To whom could we turn?” Is this our response when we don’t understand what is happening in our lives? Do we respond with this kind of worship? You can listen to the entire message here.

Focusing on this passage, we sang songs that exalted the Lord as sovereign and powerful, and songs that called us as the church to trust Him more because He is faithful and true. He is constant, and His grace toward us is unchanging because it is not based on us at all. It is based on His character and goodness. He is good, and has purchased us as His own through His blood at the cross. He has adopted us as sons and daughters, and now regards us as co-heirs together with Christ. He sees us as He sees Christ, because of Christ–justified and righteous. Because of this we have nothing to fear, because we will be with Him forever, and this life will be a “blip” on the radar of our lives in the grand scheme of things. We read from 2 Timothy 2:13 during our time of singing: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful–for He cannot deny Himself.” We are a part of Him because of what Christ has done for us, and He will not, and cannot, forsake us.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Captivate Us” (Ab) [Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“You Are” (Ab) [Todd Fields]
“Forever Reign” (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (Db) [Edwin O. Excel, Louie Giglio, John Newton, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin]
Prayer
Message – John 6:60-71 [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
Communion Song – “Rock of Ages” (Bb) [Thomas Hastings, Augustus Montague Toplady]
Offering/Announcements
Response Time
“A Mighty Fortress” (C) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
Dismissal

“Captivate Us” – We sang this song for our time of preparation. We had sung it last week for Overflow, which is our quarterly night of worship, and it was the first time I had heard the song. I love it. It took a little bit to figure out the finger-style acoustic part, because it has some interesting chords in the arrangement, but it is beautiful. Sarah Oldberg led this song, and I think it was perfect for our time of preparation.

“You Are” – This song by Todd Fields appeared on the first North Point Live album. We began teaching this song last weekend, and we continued with it this week. In it, we are given words to declare that Jesus is God. As I wrote last week on the blog, there are not many songs that come right out and say that Jesus is God, yet this is an important part of our Christology (study of Christ) and our overall doctrine as Christians. Jesus is equal with God, and He is God, as the beginning of the Gospel of John tells us. We need more songs that declare this truth plainly. I think our congregation connected more with it this week.

“Forever Reign” – This is one of the staples of our worship song vocabulary, and rightfully so. It is a firm declaration of the character of God, and points to many of His attributes, all contrasted with our weaknesses. It exalts God in a powerful way, along with our desperate need for Him. This song aligned really well to Joe’s message, declaring, “My heart will sing/ No other name/ Jesus, Jesus.” He is the one with the words of eternal life. He is the only one to whom we can turn.

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” – Part of what I enjoy about this song is that Tomlin used the original third and fourth verses of the hymn that Newton wrote. There is a common theme throughout the original verses of security and trust in God, because of His grace, and that is why we sang this song this weekend. We need to remind one another of this truth. His grace was unearned and undeserved from the beginning. It is only because of God’s character that He has grace for us, and He continues to have grace for us because of who He is and what He has done. He redeemed us through the cross, where Jesus died in our place. He was our substitute, and He continues to be that for us. He is the reason for our security and promise of an eternity with God. We have nothing to ultimately fear because our eternity has been secured by God Himself.

“Rock of Ages” – We sang this song for our time of communion/Lord’s Supper. I love this hymn, especially the arrangement by Ascend the Hill. The lyric communicates a powerful desperation for the saving work of Christ, and recognizes our own powerlessness to save ourselves. We need Him, and we are hopeless apart from Christ. “Rock of Ages” says this beautifully.

“A Mighty Fortress” – We responded to the Word with this song. Again, we were emphasizing the eternal, unchanging character of God. Because of who He is–faithful and true, unchanging and constant, powerful and mighty, righteous and good–we can turn to Him as our mighty fortress and refuge. He is the only one who can hold this place in our lives, because there is no one else like Him. I love the way this song declares these truths about our Lord. It inspires confidence and hope in me. Sarah did a great job leading this song this weekend.

This was another great weekend of worshiping our Savior together. I felt like we were all called and encouraged to trust Him more, and to have more confidence in who He is, even when we have NO idea what He is doing (which may be often). I know I was built up this weekend, and challenged to entrust Jesus with more of my life, and more of my “stuff.”

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

In the Son,

Bill

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