Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Carson’

Here are the song sets from all of our Advent services this year. It is always one of my favorite seasons of the year, as we celebrate how God is with us, and also anticipate how He is coming again for us! You can watch the messages and services here.

December 7 & 8, 2013

“Joy to the World” (G) [George Friedrich Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn] 
“Lead Me To The Cross” (Bm) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“What Child Is This” (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn]
“O Come Let Us Adore Him” (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]

December 14 & 15, 2013

“Hark The Herald Angels Sing” (E) [Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Wesley, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Hosanna” (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Micheal Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin]
“O Holy Night” (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight]

December 21 & 22, 2013

“Angels From The Realms Of Glory” (Bb) [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, John Mason Neale]
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013

“Joy To The World” (C) [George Friedrich Handel, Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Go Tell It On The Mountain” (D) [John W. Work]
“O Come Let Us Adore Him” (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]
“What Child Is This” (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Silent Night” (G) [Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young]

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our second week of our series, “Deep and Wide,” and shared how the deep and wide follower of Jesus has received the greatest gift the world has known, the love of God, and then shares that gift with his world. He said the greatest thing we can ask God for is more love for Him, for His Word, and for others. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Video – Brett Durbin, Trash Mountain Project
“In Tenderness” (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin]
Greeting Time
Video – Adult Discipleship Ministries

Announcements
Video – Trash Mountain Project – Spoken Promo
Video – You & Two – Bruce Poage
Message – “Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus… Loves” [Joe Hishmeh]
Elder-led Prayer – Rick Tague

“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a busy weekend in terms of service flow. We had four videos in each of our services, which we had to interweave with the regular, weekly elements. I think we fit the pieces in the best way possible, but I wouldn’t want to make a habit of having four videos in our services. Joe’s message was a great challenge to love like Jesus loves, Trent Raines did a great job co-leading, and our team did a solid job serving and leading.

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that celebrated the incredible love that Christ has for us (“In Tenderness,” “Because of Your Love,” “Jesus Messiah,” “10,000 Reasons”), and then some that also had elements of surrender and giving ourselves to God for His purposes and His mission in this world (“Because of Your Love,” “10,000 Reasons”). I love the songs that we sang this weekend. I’m looking forward to continuing this series together, and seeing what God does in our congregation.

– Bill

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

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fourth message in our series, “Positive Identity,” where he taught how we are secure in Christ. He reminded us that we have nothing to fear any longer in Christ, because in place of condemnation, desperation, and separation, Jesus gives us faith, hope, and love. It was a moving reminder of Christ’s love for us and of where we now stand because of Him! You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“The Solid Rock” (E) [Edward Mote, William B. Bradbury, Charlie Hall, Trent Austin, Kendall Combs]
“I Stand Amazed” (E) [Charles Hutchison Gabriel]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Positive Identity: Secure” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin]
“Forever Reign” (A) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (A) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, recorded by Phil Wickham and Bethel Live]

Dismissal

Thoughts: It was great to be back with our church this weekend after being gone last weekend.

For our singing this weekend, we tried to focus on the finished work and all-sufficiency of Christ for us. “The Solid Rock” celebrates our firm foundation in Jesus. “I Stand Amazed,” “Jesus Messiah,” and “This Is Amazing Grace” all remember and praise Jesus’ incredible, unfailing, and live-giving love for us, demonstrated at the cross. And “Forever Reign” worship Jesus for His perfect love and goodness in spite our own shortcomings. All of these songs bring us to one conclusion – Jesus is our only hope!

– Bill

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

This week we continued in our second week of Advent and our series, “Simple Christmas.” Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God uses simple people to accomplish His purposes here on earth–people who are simple in faith, obedience, and worship. It was a great message, and a perspective on Mary that I had not seen before. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“Salvation’s Chorus” (G) [Todd Fields]
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (C) [traditional, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Simple People” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin]

“Let Me Sing” (A) [Todd Fields]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe’s message was a refreshing perspective on the life and faith of Mary, specifically when she received the news that she would give birth to the Son of God, the Savior of humanity! It was a challenging reminder to simply believe God, obey what He calls us to do, and to worship Him for who He is and what He has done.

The band did a great job this weekend. We continued teaching Todd Fields’ (of North Point) “Salvation’s Chorus” this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. We also brought back “Joyful (The One Who Saves),” which we introduced last year at Advent. I love the added chorus and bridge by Brenton Brown and Jason Ingram, which are simple declarations of Jesus’ power to save. We responded to the message with “Jesus Messiah” because I believe the gospel is the single-most powerful motivator for our worship of the Lord. It is truly the greatest thing that He has done for us, or could have done for us! We continued with “Let Me Sing” to tie together the gospel with our response of obedience and worship. The chorus sings “Let me sing/ Louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul.” I love this song. We finished the weekend with “Before The Throne,” which is a powerful new rendition of the traditional hymn. This is probably my favorite song right now, and it helps us declare our confidence in the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. It is finished, and it is all because of Him! It was a great weekend. I love celebrating Advent, especially when I’m part of a church that points it continually to the gospel, because that is what the first advent of Jesus was really all about!

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

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

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, taught about biblical submission in marriage as he continued our series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” It was the most clear and challenging explanation of Ephesians 5:21-33 that I have ever heard. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

In our singing, we focused primarily on how Jesus came and sacrificed Himself for the Church, that we could be redeemed and have eternal life. We also focused some on God aligning our hearts to His, that we might love others as He has loved us.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“In Tenderness” (G) [Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, arr. by Citizens]
“Hosanna” (G) [Brooke Fraser]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Ephesians 5:21-33” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Love Is Not A Fight” (A) [Warren Barfield]
“Jesus Messiah” (A) [Daniel Carson, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin]

“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]

Dismissal

 

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Our team did an excellent job. We had a new team member, Thomas Banley, on bass, and he did a great job. “Love Is Not A Fight” was a good connection with the message, and a challenge to fight for our marriages. “In Tenderness,” “Jesus Messiah,” “You Have Overcome,” and “Before The Throne” were great for us to focus on the gospel and recognize the love that Jesus demonstrated for us at the cross. As Joe said, the gospel and Christ’s love for us is the foundation for how we love one another. “Before The Throne” was a new rendition by one of Mars Hill Church’s bands, The Modern Post, led by Dustin Kensrue. It takes it from the usual 3/4 time to 4/4, and it has a great and unique feel to it. Typically, the slower 3/4 arrangement has a more reflective feel to it, while this 4/4 version feels like a strong declaration of the truths contained in the lyric. I really look forward to singing this song in particular with the church again soon, especially the end of the second verse: “Because the sinless Savior died/ My sinful soul is counted free/ For God the Just was satisfied/ To look on Him and pardon me.” What a great way to end our services this weekend!

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 lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In his message, Joe shared from Ephesians 2:1-10 that before Christ, we were dead in our sins, but we have been saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! He has made us alive for the purposes of His kingdom–sharing the good news and doing good for those around us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the saving work of Christ on our behalf.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“In Tenderness” (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arr. by Citizens]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship
“All Because of Jesus” (A) [Steve Fee]
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]

“God Is Able” (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding] / “The Stand” (A) [Joel Houston]
Message – “Ephesians 2:1-10” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“In Tenderness” – This is a song that we have been teaching our congregation recently. This song is a keeper for us, and it is a great fit for our study of the book of Ephesians as a whole, especially chapter two.

“All Because of Jesus” – We continued after our greeting time with this simple chorus that recognizes the true and sole source of our life – Jesus Christ. This is a song that is very familiar for our church, so we always sing it well together.

“You Have Overcome” – This is one of our originals here, and it seems to be a song that our congregation has latched onto. This song was inspired in part by Ephesians 2:1-10, so it was a beautiful fit with the message this week. Jesus has overcome the power of the grave, and no one else can save us; no one else can raise us.

“God Is Able” / “The Stand” – Though it was impossible for us to save ourselves, Jesus did it for us. He came to rescue us and to be with us forever. He is faithful and true, and His love is steadfast and unfailing. He has done everything we needed for our eternal salvation. What is our response to this amazing gift of grace? One of thanksgiving, of love, of worship with all that we are.

“Jesus Messiah” – This was our response song for the weekend. After hearing the gospel clearly laid out in the message, I wanted to come back to a song that declared and celebrated the beautiful sacrifice that Jesus made for us, to give us redemption, salvation, life, and hope! This song did just that. My favorite part of this song continues to be the bridge: “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the world.” Amen! Our hope is in no one else.

This weekend was another solid weekend of worship. Our team did a good job leading, and our people were engaged. It’s hard not to get excited about the gospel! When we really reflect on what Christ has accomplished for us through His death and resurrection, I think we would have to fight off the urge to worship Him. This was a weekend where that was the case. I hope this is more often the case than not, because I can think of no greater reason to worship than the gospel.

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!

This was our fifth weekend walking through 1 John together in our “Love In Christ” series. Brian Tryhus preached about forgiveness from 1 John, focusing on the futility of wallowing in shame and guilt when we sin. Our forgiveness has been promised and secured by the sacrifice of Christ. It was a powerful reminder and challenge to walk in forgiveness with confidence, faith, and hope. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused primarily on songs that emphasized what Christ has accomplished for us, and the standing we have with God because of it. We been declared righteous (justified) in Jesus Christ. When the Father sees us, He sees us through Christ.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

(pre-service) “In The Light” (E) [Charlie Peacock, as performed by DC Talk]
“All Because of Jesus” (Bb) [Steve Fee]

Welcome/Greeting Time
Call to Worship – thoughts from Isaiah 53
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Ed Cash]
“He Has Done It All” (G) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram]
“Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]

Message – “Love In Christ: Forgiveness” [Brian Tryhus]
Video – “Forget What You Know (Caedmon’s Call)”
“Nothing But The Blood” (G) [Robert Lowry]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“In the Light”(Yes, it is the one performed by DC Talk in the 90’s). We sang this one for our pre-service countdown because it is a great fit with the book of 1 John, as it focuses on walking in the light as He is in the light. It is a ton of fun to play, and I could see people in our congregation who remembered it singing along. I think it was a great way for our congregation to enter into the worship center this weekend.

“All Because of Jesus” – We opened our services with this song, which is a staple for our congregation. It set the tone for the entire service, as declaring with joy and confidence that we are alive in Jesus.

“Jesus Messiah” – After reciting a few verses from Isaiah 53, we sang this song together. I love the lyric of this song, and I think one of the most powerful moments of it is the bridge, where we sing, “All our hope is in You/ All our hope is in You/ All the glory to You, God/ The Light of the World.” We need to put all of our hope in Christ alone. He is the only way for us to be saved. He is the only way for us to be redeemed. He is our life. This is one of the most significant reasons that He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise.

“He Has Done It All” – We began teaching this song a few weeks ago, and this was the second time we have sung it together. I absolutely love this song. I think it reminds us of the truth of the gospel, and inspires our confidence in what Christ has declared: “It is finished.”

“Son of God” – This is one of our church’s favorite songs, and it was a great way to finish our main set of songs. It is a simple and beautiful expression of worship to our risen King, Jesus. The chorus and bridge sing: “Jesus, O Holy One/ I sing to You, forgiven/ Savior, I’m overcome/ With Your great love for me/ 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 love this song, and our congregation sings it so well!

“Nothing But The Blood” – We responded to the message with this great hymn, which is one of my all-time favorites. I cannot think of a song that more clearly declares the truth of the gospel, and the fact that salvation comes through no other but Jesus. He is the only way of salvation, and He has accomplished it through His blood, which He shed for us at the cross when He died in our place. His sacrifice equals our rescue. My favorite verses are the third and fourth: “Nothing can for sin atone/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus/ Naught of good that I have done/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus” and “This is all my hope and peace/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus/ This is all my righteousness/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Amen!

This weekend was an intense weekend of worship. There is nothing I love more than focusing on the cross of Jesus Christ and remembering what He accomplished for us. It always moves me and overwhelms me to think of His grace and love for me. Our team did a great job, and I think we all will walk away from this weekend reminded of the forgiveness and redemption we have in Jesus Christ. When the Father looks at us, He sees us through Christ– as forgiven, justified, and righteous. Praise the Lord for what He has done for 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 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 returned to continue our series on the book of Romans.  Joe preached from what is possibly my favorite passage of Scripture – Romans 3:21-31. The gospel of grace, and the doctrine of justification by faith alone apart from the law, are both very clearly laid out here, and I am reminded of the amazing gift that we have been given in Christ. We all need to be constantly reminded of what the work of Christ has accomplished for us, because it changes everything. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“I Need You” (G) [Kristian Stanfill]
Call To Worship
Welcome/Greeting Time
“Marvelous Light” (Bb) [Charlie Hall]
“You Alone Can Rescue” (Bb) [Matt Redman]
“Nothing But The Blood” (Bb) [Matt Redman
]
“Lamb Of God” (Ab) [original]
Message – “Romans 3:21-31 – Justification” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“I Need You”
– We sang this song in our preparation time this weekend. I love the clarity of this song, and how it lays out our desperation for Christ’s work for us. We are lost without Him. We are hopeless and helpless without Him. It is such a powerful song. We bring it down from the key of Bb to G, and it is much more singable for our congregation. I want to incorporate this song more into our regular worship sets, as I think our congregation is getting a better grasp of it.

“Marvelous Light” – This was our opener this week. We haven’t sung this song in a while, but I think it was very fitting for us to sing this week as we focused on the cross. While we were a people without any hope and without spiritual life, Jesus stepped in and died for us, conquering sin and death. He has adopted us as sons and daughters, and has made us alive together with Him. Praise God that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for us.

“You Alone Can Rescue” – This song continues to be one of my favorites. The chorus really draws the line in the sand regarding the gospel: “You alone can rescue/ You alone can save/ You alone can lift us from the grave/ You came down to find us/ And led us out of death/ To You alone belongs the highest praise.” Because Jesus is the one who rescued us, He is the only one who deserves the credit, the praise, and the glory. He is the only one!

“Nothing But The Blood” – We haven’t done this song much at Fellowship, but it was a perfect fit to our talk on justification this weekend. Nothing but the blood of Jesus reconciles us to God and makes it possible for us to be declared righteous before a holy God. His blood is the payment for our sin, satisfying the wrath of God against sin, and making peace with God for us. I was moved to tears several times this weekend as we sang this song. Jesus is our peace.

“Lamb of God”This is a song that I wrote a few years ago as I was studying Isaiah 53. I wanted to write a song that really described the nature of the payment that Jesus paid for us as our substitute. I wanted to challenge us as a congregation to not sing these kinds of songs lightly, but to try and envision the suffering that Jesus bore in our place. I think that is how we sing of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross with meaning. It is, and should be, overwhelming to think of how much Christ suffered for us, and how much He has given us that we did not deserve. He is far too good to us.

“Jesus Messiah” – We sang this song as our response this week. This about summed it all up from this weekend. As 2 Corinthians says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus took our place, and He gives us His.

This weekend was really powerful, and I really experienced the presence of Christ as we worshiped in our services. When we focus so clearly and heavily on what Jesus accomplished for us, it is hard to avoid being overwhelmed with thanksgiving. I had to hold it together a few times when it was really hitting home. Our team did a great job. We also played Warren Barfield’s “Saved” a few times this weekend between services, just to have fun and celebrate our salvation in Christ. God is good!

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

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