Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians’

This week we began our celebration of Advent and our new series, “Simple Christmas.” Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about God’s plan of redemption for us, and how the only way for us to receive this redemption is to step down from our pride and trust in the finished work of Christ. It was a great way to begin Advent. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“Joy To The World” (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Salvation’s Chorus” (G) [Todd Fields]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Simple Plan” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am)” (C) [Charlotte Elliot, Brenton Brown]
“In Christ Alone” (E) [Keith Getty, Stuart Townend, arr. by Bill Horn]

“Here I Am To Worship” (E) [Tim Hughes]
“Cannons” (chorus only) (E) [Phil Wickham]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Joe’s message was a powerful to trust completely in the work of Christ and to step down from our pride that He might be more exalted in our lives. The band did a great job this weekend, too. I threw a lot at them, with some new songs and some old songs done in new ways. We introduced Todd Fields’ (of North Point) “Salvation’s Chorus” to our church this weekend, which is a song that I have wanted to teach for a while. It is a great song for celebrating our redemption in Christ. Also, we introduced Brenton Brown’s update of “Just As I Am,” entitled “Jesus Take All Of Me (Just As I Am),” which is a beautiful song for communion. Cindy Gular helped lead this one, and it was a great moment. From there, we introduced my new arrangement of “In Christ Alone.” The team did a great job of developing their parts, and I was pretty happy with the results. I look forward to singing this arrangement again soon with the church. I simply love the words of this song. All in all, it was a great weekend. The church was singing pretty well, and I loved some of the creativity the team showed this weekend. I love my church and my team! It is such a blessing to serve here.

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

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

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This week we finished our series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” Our family pastor, Brian Tryhus, preached from Ephesians 6 and wrapped up our study of Ephesians by emphasizing our adoption in Christ. We also had a major emphasis this weekend for orphan care, drawing attention to the great needs of the fatherless, specifically in our state. Brian tied these ideas together really well, pointing out that adoption is the defining story of our lives in Christ, so our earthly lives should be marked by a compassion for the fatherless and support for adoption. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“Our God” (A) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Ephesians 6” [Brian Tryhus]
“Grace Alone” (E) [Dustin Kensrue]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]

“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend. Brian did an awesome job sharing about the powerful truth of our adoption in Christ as children of God. He also did a great job tying this truth to God’s calling on us to have compassion for the fatherless in our world. It was a powerful word. Also, our team did a great job. This newer rendition of “Before The Throne” by The Modern Post continues to be one of my favorite songs, because of the powerful declaration about what Christ has done and continues to do for us in the gospel. We have a substitute and an advocate in Christ! Also, “Grace Alone” was a great gospel-centered song that tied in directly with Brian’s message. It was a great way to respond. This song is valuable in that it points out how each person of the Trinity is involved in our redemption, and clearly explains the gospel throughout. It’s a weighty song. I plan on properly teaching this song after the new year. We don’t have much time during Advent because we have so many other songs that we need to sing! “Your Great Name” was an especially powerful moment for me, because Amy, who sang the second verse (“The fatherless find their rest at the sound of Your great name…”), is also a parent of two adopted children and she was interviewed for a video that we showed this weekend about adoption.

I have LOVED the past 12 weeks as we have walked through the book of Ephesians together as a church. I’m excited about heading into Advent this weekend, and the special emphases we will have on giving to some amazing   ministries in our city and around the world. God is doing great things, and it’s amazing to be a part of it. He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise for who He is and what He has done for us! I’ve said it before: He’s ridiculously good to us.

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!

This week our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In the message for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 5:9-21 about how we are called out of darkness and into the light of Christ; to shine the light of Christ by living wisely and loving deeply in a dark world. It was a great challenge for us to pursue a rich life of following Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

In our singing, we focused on the gospel, and the life that we have been given through Christ. Our response ought to be one of worship and obedience, because He has done great things for us!

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“All Because of Jesus” (B) [Steve Fee]
“Happy Day” (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Ephesians 5:9-21” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
“Christ Is Risen” (Gb) [Matt Maher, Mia Fieldes]
“Stronger” (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, Alex Nifong]
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]

Dismissal

“All Because Of Jesus” / “Happy Day” – We opened our services this weekend with the combination of these two songs. We went from “All Because of Jesus” right into “Happy Day,” all with the focus of how we have been rescued and made alive by the finished work of Jesus Christ. We have great reason to celebrate and worship!

“Christ Is Risen” – This was our communion and response song to Joe’s message this week. His selected passage from Ephesians included 5:14: “Awake, O sleeper/ And arise from the dead / And Christ will shine on you”, which is the foundation for this song. This verse, according to the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, was probably an early hymn that the Church would sing to celebrate baptisms. This makes sense with Paul’s comments later on singing “songs and hymns, and spiritual songs” in verse 19. This song is a powerful song about the resurrection to life that we have because of Christ. He has brought us out of darkness into His light.

“Stronger” – After the Lord’s Supper, we continued by singing this song together, which speaks of Christ’s victory over sin and death for us. I love singing this chorus together with the church: “You are stronger, You are stronger/ Sin is broken, You have saved me/ It is written, Christ is risen/ Jesus, You are Lord of all.”

“Jesus Paid It All” – From “Stronger,” we went directly into this song, which is one of our church’s (and I’m sure this is true for many other churches) favorites. During our Saturday night services, we only sang the second chorus (or bridge, if you prefer): “O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead,” but we decided to sing the whole song on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful moment of worship together.

“Let Me Sing” – We finished our services with this song, which really put the exclamation point on the entire service, tying in all the themes that were emphasized: Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our redemption, walking in the light vs. the darkness, and living a life that shines the light of Christ in a dark world. We finished the song with mostly just the voices, and it was beautiful to hear the church singing these words of dedication and response to Christ: “Let me sing louder than creation to You/ For the pain You bore in Your body/ To bring my soul to You/ Let me shine brighter than the stars in the sky/ An offering of praise all my life/ To You, my holy King!” 

Thoughts: This weekend was a fantastic weekend. We completely rearranged our services, and it was refreshing and energizing. People were confused at first when the band left the platform after only two songs and Joe came up to preach, but we heard many comments about how people were engaged in worship because of the change. I always love singing in response to the proclaimed Word of God, since all of worship is a response to who God is, how God acts toward us, and what God calls us to. It just felt right. The team did a good job with all of the changes this weekend, and I am really grateful for our weekend of worship together. I am so encouraged by how our church engaged throughout the weekend, and all that is happening at Fellowship. I LOVE MY CHURCH!

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 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]

Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“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!

This week our student pastor, Nick Strobel, continued our discipleship series, “Ephesians – United in Christ.” In his message for the weekend, Nick shared from Ephesians 4:17-32 about how we are called to “put off” the old man and “put on” the things of Christ in the new man. He ended with a strong emphasis on participating in biblical community. It was a very challenging message that called us to the likeness of Christ. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown – “Only A Word” (E) [Bill Horn]
“Song of the Redeemed” (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Dustin Ragland, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman]

Welcome/Greeting Time
Child/Family Dedications

“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
“Son of God” (A) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]
“Nothing But The Blood” (G) [Robert Lowry, arr. by Bill Horn]
Message – “Ephesians 4:17-32” [Nick Strobel]
“Glory to God Forever” (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“Only A Word” – This was our countdown song this week. This is a song that I wrote on my first trip to Brazil when I was on the Amazon River. It is about the power of a single word from the Lord. The idea is that He can change everything with just one word. That kind of power is unmatched!

“Song of the Redeemed” – We began teaching this song last weekend. I love the concept of this song, and especially value the unique lyric of the bridge, which specifically points out our unity around the cross of Christ: “We adore You/ And before You/ Forgiven and redeemed/ All races/ From all places/ Around the cross we sing.” If we don’t continue singing this particular song, I will always be looking for songs that proclaim these kinds of truths, because there are very few that do it well.

“Because of Your Love” – We came out of child dedications in each of our services into this song, and started by emphasizing that everything pertaining to our life and salvation begins with the love that God has for us and demonstrated at the cross. Everything we do ought to be a response to that love. This song communicates that idea very clearly.

“Son of God” – This remains one of our congregation’s favorite songs. It’s a simple, strong, and beautiful song about Jesus.

“Nothing But The Blood” – This was the first time we had sung this arrangement of “Nothing But The Blood,” which I finished up this past week, and which the band helped me flesh out during rehearsal. I really enjoyed how it built and flowed. I look forward to using it again soon. This is most definitely a song worth singing, because it glorifies and gives credit to Christ alone for our redemption and salvation.

“Glory To God Forever” – We responded to the message by singing this song together. We began with the bridge, which is my favorite part of the song by far: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory…” I wanted to make that the emphasis in our response, because the message was calling us to put of our old lives and to put on Christ, that we would reflect His image to the world around us. This song represents that idea well.

Thoughts: This weekend was a great weekend of worship. The team did a good job, and we had a lot of fun worshiping and playing together. I felt that the congregation engaged pretty well in all of our services, for the most part. Highlight moments were during “Son of God” and “Nothing But The Blood.” I’m not sure if we’ll sing “Song of the Redeemed” again…

I need to continue encourage the congregation that clapping, applauding, raising of hands, etc. are all expressions to GOD, and not to the band or anyone else in the room. We gather for His sake, not our own. We sing for Him alone. I have to remind myself that many of our people, like me, did not grow up attending churches like ours (or attending church at all), so it’s important to be clear about those kinds of things. When we have that clear, it removes some of the awkwardness from outward expressions of worship, and frees us to exalt Jesus more completely.

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 for the weekend, Joe shared from Ephesians 4:1-16 about unity in the Church. Unity, Joe said, is a sign of Christian maturity and is life-giving for the believer. It was a powerful reminder of the value of unity for our lives and for Christ’s mission for the Church. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on .

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Your Grace Is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
Welcome/Greeting Time/Call to Worship

“Song of the Redeemed” (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Dustin Ragland, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman]
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“Lord of All” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“How Great Is Our God” (chorus & bridge) (A) [Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves,
Message – “Ephesians 4:1-16” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Center” (E) [Charlie Hall, Matt Redman]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“Your Grace Is Enough” – We opened with this song because it is both familiar and it reminds us of the all-sufficient grace we have in Jesus. Our standing with God is not by our own merit, but because of His grace toward us.

“Song of the Redeemed”– This was a new song for our congregation this weekend, even though it’s not really new at all. I love the concept of the “song of the redeemed” throughout Scripture–the song that can only be sung by those who have been redeemed and rescued by God. It shows up in Exodus with Moses’ song, throughout the Psalms, and all the way to the book of Revelation, where the redeemed are gathered around the throne in worship in 14:3. Angels cannot sing this song; only those who have been redeemed can sing of God’s redemption.

“You Have Overcome” – We sang this song because it helps us worship by clearly focusing on the gospel: we were dead and lost, but Jesus went to the cross in our place and bore the righteous wrath that we deserved from God, and then Jesus rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Jesus has overcome, and there is no one else who can save us! It is overwhelming to see the church sing it as well as they do. There is nothing more powerful or motivating for worship than the gospel.

“Lord of All”/”How Great Is Our God” – We wrapped up the first section of our singing with this sort of medley. First, we sang “Lord of All” which is one of our church’s favorite songs (which makes me very happy), and then we tagged the chorus and bridge of “How Great Is Our God” to finish up. It was a beautiful moment of exalting God together.

“Center” – This was our response song this weekend, as it is a significant prayer for us to sing to our God: “O Christ, be the center of our lives/ Be the place we fix our eyes/ Be the center of our lives.” If we all truly desire for Christ to be the center of our lives, we will be unified.

This weekend was a great weekend of worship! Our team did a great job, and it was a blessing to worship with our congregation. I think the highlight for me was singing “You Have Overcome” and moving right into “Lord of All”/”How Great Is Our God.” It was really powerful and moving as we simply lifted up our Savior for who He is and what He has done. I love our church!

On Sunday morning, we also had a special guest musician playing before our services: Joe Gavin. Joe is a friend of mine from Lakeland, FL, and he is an incredible fingerstyle guitarist. He has taught me a lot, and it is always a joy to hear him play. He was in town to play for the Trash Mountain Project’s Spoken benefit, and he was kind enough to play for us as well. It was a beautiful addition to the day, and contributed in a great way. If you want to hear more of Joe’s music, his website is joegavin.info, and you can find his CD/MP3s on iTunes and on Amazon. Support his great work!

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!