Posts Tagged ‘Glory to God Forever’

This weekend was the first of our new series, “Obedience.” In this message,  Joe shared about how being on mission with God requires us to be in submission to the Word of God. He called us to “scrap everything” for the daily practice of filling our minds with the Word of God and following God in love. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Welcome
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Mission” [Joe Hishmeh]
“You Are God Alone (Not a god)” (A) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
“Glory to God Forever” (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Hosanna” (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a fantastic weekend with our church. Joe’s message was a great challenge to follow Jesus more closely, and our church engaged well with both the preaching and the singing. Our team did a great job. We opened with “Rejoice,” celebrating the faithful love, compassion, and mercy of God. We continued with “Everlasting God,” where we acknowledged that our strength to follow comes from the Lord, whose strength and love for us never fails. We responded to the message with Kelsey leading “You Are God Alone (Not a god),” which we sang to focus on the sovereignty and trustworthiness of God. I pointed to this sovereignty and constancy as the reason we can trust the Lord in obedience, knowing that His way is best for us. We continued on with “Glory to God Forever,” where we moved from seeing God’s sovereignty to responding with the offering of our lives for His glory because of His surpassing worth. Finally, we closed with Brooke Ligertwood’s “Hosanna,” which calls us as God’s people to follow Him closely in light of His return and in light of eternity. It was a great weekend, where everything tied together well the team led well.

On another note, this weekend marked my third year here at Fellowship, and it has served as a time of reflecting on all the Lord has done during my time here. I am overwhelmed at the goodness of God and His blessings in my life. He has done great things! 

Next weekend, I will be in the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project to help equip some local pastors and to minister in several trash dump communities. I may post some notes about the trip when I get back, so be on the lookout. Please pray for us as we seek to build up the Body of Christ there!

Your turn: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This week we continued our series: “The Gospel: In/Through/Beyond.” Pastor Joe shared about how the God wants the gospel to move beyond our lives to our world. Every Christian is called to be a part of the mission of God in this world through praying, giving, AND going. It’s not one or two of the three–it is ALL of the above. We need to pray that the gospel would advance. We need to give to support the work of the gospel in this world. And we all need to go and meet people who do not know Jesus yet. We cannot settle for hiding out in the “holy huddle.” It was a great challenge and call to live to expand the kingdom of God with our lives and our resources. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arranged by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “The Gospel Beyond Me” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]

“Lord Of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Glory To God Forever” (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a beautiful weekend. Our team did a great job, and it was a lot of fun glorifying God with the songs that we led together. I was a little concerned when I woke Saturday morning, because it felt like I was going hoarse. I am thankful that I had enough voice to lead through the weekend. It was powerful to hear the church singing and responding to the Word of God together, especially after a challenging message and call to go to the nations! I love my church.

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

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!

This week our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared some biblical wisdom regarding leaving a godly legacy, as we finished our series called “Can You Relate?”. In his message, Joe shared about how small changes today can have a long-lasting impact, far beyond what we could even imagine today. It was a challenge to be mindful of the impact that we can have on our children and on others around us who are watching our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on the gospel and on giving our lives to Jesus as living offerings of worship and thanksgiving for what He has done and is doing in our lives.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “In Tenderness” (G) [W. Spencer Walton, Adoniram J. Gordon, Nate Garvey, arr. by Citizens]
“Those Who Trust” (Em) [Don Chaffer]

Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship/Confession
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” (Bb) [Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Christa Black]

“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (G) [Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman] / “Glory to God Forever” (G) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
Message – “Can You Relate? – Legacy” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion
“Jesus Paid It All” (B) [Elvina M. Hall, John T. Grape, Alex Nifong]
Offering/Announcements/Dismissal

“In Tenderness” – This was a new (to us anyway – it was written in 1894) song that we taught during our countdown this week. This is one of my favorite songs for the Church that I have heard this year. It is lyrically profound, while being musically straight-forward, energetic, and extremely catchy. I couldn’t get it out of my head for at least two weeks. This is especially true of the chorus: “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!”

“Those Who Trust” – This was technically our opening song this week, and it established a theme for the weekend in declaring that those who build their lives on – and trust in – the Lord will never be moved or shaken, because He is their foundation. He is constant and true, and we can trust Him to be with us no matter what we face in this life. This song is incredibly fun to play, especially with bassist Ben Engstrom and drummer Jordan Hymon, who love to play funk. It just works.

“Let Me Sing” – This song was key for our focus this week, as it put words to the idea of giving our lives as a response to how Jesus gave His life for our redemption. I love this song, and our church connects with it well.

“One Thing Remains (Your Love Never Fails)” – This was the third week of teaching this song to our congregation. We gave the song a week off last week, and brought it back as a refresher this weekend. This song contributed to our overall direction by giving us assurance and confidence in the unfailing love of God, which in turn gives us freedom to love and give fully.

“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”/“Glory To God Forever” – We sang this song just prior to the message this weekend, and it consisted of using all of “10,000 Reasons” and the bridge of “Glory to God Forever.” That really put an exclamation point on where were going this week: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.” That idea is where wanted our major emphasis to be this week.

“Jesus Paid It All” – During communion, we sang the traditional portion of this great hymn, and then after we took the elements together as a church, we sang the additional modern chorus (“O praise the One who paid my debt/ And raised this life up from the dead”). It was a beautiful moment of focusing powerfully on the gospel message, and the thanks and praise that are due to our Savior and King for what He has done for us!

This weekend was an incredible weekend of worship. Our team members all did a fantastic job of preparing and leading well. They worshiped sincerely, and pointed all eyes to Jesus, where they belong! Not only was it powerful, it was a lot of fun, too. Everything clicked well, and we were able to really “enjoy the moment” throughout the weekend. I am so grateful for what the Lord is doing in our team and in our congregation.

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 weekend, we continued our series called “Everything!” Joe shared this week from 2 Corinthians 8:7, which talks about excelling in the grace of giving. You can listen to the entire message here. Also this weekend, our church brought 10% of all of our clothing to donate to the Topeka Rescue Mission. Last weekend, our church brought in 8,345 lbs. (more than 4 tons!!!) of non-perishable goods for the Rescue Mission! It’s a beautiful thing to see the church come together for a cause like this. It’s amazing what we can do together.

For the music this week, I chose songs that helped us focus on how God’s grace for us was demonstrated at the cross, where Christ laid down His life for us, even when we were His enemies.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Happy Day” (Bb) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Mother’s Day Video – “I’ll Need You, Mom”
Welcome/Greeting Time

“Glory To God Forever” (A) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“God Is Able” (A) [Ben Fielding, Reuben Morgan]

Message – “Everything: Excel In The Grace Of Giving” [Joe Hishmeh]
Offering Intro

“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [Elvina M. Hall, John T. Grape, Alex Nifong]
Announcements
Dismissal

“Happy Day”- We sang this song simply for the fact that it recognizes and celebrates the gift of salvation and redemption that Christ has given us through His sacrifice.

“Glory To God Forever” – This song, as I have written about previously, gives expression to what is true worship – offering our lives as living sacrifices of worship to God: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.” May this be our prayer as we meet together each weekend and as we go out into our world. May our lives be lived for His glory alone.

“You Have Overcome”– We wrote and taught this song to our congregation a few weeks ago, and this weekend be brought it back for a refresher because it is so new to us. It focuses on what Jesus has accomplished for us and provided for us in His life, death, and resurrection. He has rescued us from sin and death!

“God Is Able”- This song reminds us of God’s faithful presence with us through everything we face and experience in this life. We can trust Him and depend on Him, because He will never change and He will never fail. He will always be with us, as He promised in Hebrews 13:5 (quoting Deuteronomy 31:6): “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’  (Heb. 13:5 ESV).”

“Jesus Paid It All”- This was our response song this weekend, and we sang it to focus again on how Jesus gave first because of His grace toward us. Our response to Him and to others ought to imitate that grace and generosity. He has done great things for us, and He has been so merciful and gracious toward us; let us also have grace and mercy for those around us, and let us lay down our lives for Christ and for our neighbors.

This weekend was a good weekend spent worshiping together. The songs worked well with the message and with each other for a cohesive idea, and I felt that our congregation connected well in worship this weekend. I am so grateful for what the Lord is doing in our church. He is so faithful! May we continue to grow into a generous church!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. I am so thankful for my Mom and for my bride, Diane. They are the two  greatest mothers I know!

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 12:1-21. In his message, our adult ministries pastor, David Hinkle, taught about the appropriate response and sacrifice to our great God because of all He has done for us. It was a challenging message with a strong call to renew our commitment to follow Christ with all that we are. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Our God’s Alive” (Em) [Andy Cherry, Jason Ingram, Dan Muckala]
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship – Congregational Scripture Reading – Romans 12:1-2
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Glory To God Forever” (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“The Wonderful Cross” (D) [Isaac Watts, Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, J.D. Walt, Lowell Mason]
Prayer
Message – “Romans 12:1-21” [David Hinkle]

“Take My Life And Let It Be” (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan]
Offering/Announcements
Dismissal


“Our God’s Alive”
 – This is a new song that we are teaching in advance for our Easter weekend. This song is by a new artist named Andy Cherry on his newly-released album, Nothing Left To Fear. I highly encourage checking it out. It has many great songs on it, of which we’ll probably be singing a few in the future here at Fellowship. I love this song. It’s a power anthem about Christ’s victory over sin and death, and the hope that we have in Him. Also, it feels very different from most other worship songs I have heard. It has great energy, and it’s fun to sing together. I’m really looking forward to singing it together for Easter!

“Let Me Sing” – We sang this song because it sings very clearly about living a life of worship in response to the sacrifice that Christ made for us. Worshiping with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the only fitting response for who Christ is and what He has done for us. When we were enemies and still in our sin, Jesus demonstrated His love for us as the cross, to purchase us with His blood, and to rescue us from sin and death. This song expresses the desire to give an offering of worship that is worthy of our King. This really connected with our focus passage this weekend because of this emphasis.

“Glory To God Forever” – This is a staple for our congregation, although it has been a few months since we sang it together. We sang this song this weekend mainly because of the second verse and the bridge. The second verse sings, “So let my whole life be a blazing offering/ A life that shouts and sings the greatness of our King.” The bridge, of which I have written many times before, sings a prayer of offering to God: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and all Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.” I love how this song tied in with the message this week.

“Your Great Name” – This was our third week teaching this song to our congregation. I think this will be a staple for us here at Fellowship, because it is a great song of worship, exalting the name of Jesus Christ above every other name – where it rightfully belongs.

“The Wonderful Cross” – This song focused heavily on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and how anything less than our everything is lacking as an offering to Him. He has given us everything, and He suffered torment and pain on our behalf for our sin, and the only right response is our everything. It “demands my soul, my life, my all.”

“Take My Life And Let It Be” – This hymn was our response song this weekend. We also took up the offering as we sang together. I like how this song goes through the different areas of our lives and offers each specifically as an offering to God for Him to use for His kingdom and His glory. He is worthy of all that we are and all that we have.

This weekend was a great weekend of worship. It was good to be feeling better again. I’m excited about some of the new songs we have added recently, and I am really looking forward to a great celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter. God is doing great things in our midst, and I am thankful to be a part of it.

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 began our Advent series with a message entitled “God Before Us.” Joe focused on four ways that Jesus was “before” us: in creation, in the Passover, in the Prophets, and in experience. Jesus is the source of life, the sacrifice for our redemption, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, and our example. It was a powerful perspective for our first week of focusing on Advent. You can listen to the entire message here. For the first week of this series, we decided to try a drastically different format for our services, following each point of the message with a time of response through singing. I think it gave the services a more reflective emphasis, and I really enjoyed it as a change up to keep us engaged in responding to the Word of God.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Joyous Light” (G) [Unknown/John H. Gower, w/ add. chorus by Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Louie Giglio]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (D) [Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven]
Message – “God Before Us In Creation” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Glory To God Forever” (Bb) [Vicky Beeching, Steve Fee]
Message – “God Before Us In The Passover” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Jesus Messiah” (G) [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves]
Communion
Message – “God Before Us In The Prophets” [Joe Hishmeh]
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” (G) [John M. Neale]
Message – “God Before Us In Experience” – [Joe Hishmeh]
“God Is Able” (A) [Reuben Morgan, Ben Fielding]

Offering/Announcements
Dismissal

“Joyous Light” – We sang this song in our preparation time. We have done a few times in the past, and I love using the translation of this ancient hymn with the modern chorus. It was a great fit for Advent as well, focusing on Jesus as the Light of the world.

“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” – We taught this song to our congregation this weekend, and it is a song that I have wanted to sing with our congregation for over a year. I love the new chorus added to the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful”: “You are the One who saves/ You are the One who saves/ You are the One whose hands lift us from the grave/ You are the Light of life/ The everlasting Day/ You are the One who takes all our sins away.”

“Glory To God Forever” – After Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in creation, this song was a fitting response. He is before all things, and He is the almighty God, who is worthy of all the glory, forever!

“Jesus Messiah” – We sang this song during communion after Joe spoke about Jesus being before us in the Passover. He used a doorframe to illustrate the brushing of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and the lintel in the Passover, and explained how the blood of the Lamb not only protects us and spares us from the wrath of God, but it sets us free to life in the promise of God. Our hope is in Jesus alone, and this song echoes this and celebrates what our Messiah has done for us.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – After talking about the Prophets and how God’s people were crying out for the Messiah to come, we sang this Christmas standard. A few years ago, I rearranged this song for an acoustic Christmas CD that I recorded with my wife for our friends and family, and that’s the arrangement that we used. This is one of my favorite Advent songs, and I think it made a great connection with the Prophets and the people of God in the Old Testament period, and God’s people today who await His triumphant return.

“God Is Able” – We closed with this song, looking to Jesus as our victorious Savior who can do all things and who will rescue and redeem us from sin and death. He is with us and He is for us as His people. He will never fail. He will never leave us. Amen!

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 focused on John 12, looking at Mary’s offering of worship as she anointed Jesus’ feet with her costly perfume. Joe preached about dying to oneself in order to come alive to Christ, and giving of our selves to gain more of Christ. In order to grow deeper in Christ, we have to become less. We were all challenged to make Jesus our treasure. You can listen to the entire message here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Time of Preparation/Prayer
“Jesus, You” (E) [original]
Call to Worship
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche]
Welcome/Greeting Time
“Glory to God Forever” (A) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
“Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash]
Prayer
Message – John 12:1-8, 13-20 [Joe Hishmeh]
Offering/Video/Announcements
Response/Closing Time

“Take My Life And Let It Be” (D) [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan]

Dismissal

“Jesus, You” – We opened our preparation time with this song. This is a song that I wrote as I was studying and teaching through the book of Romans a few years ago while serving in Gainesville, FL. This was the first time we have sung it here at Fellowship, and I thought it was fitting for our time of preparation. The song was written in Gb, but we brought it down to E to make it a little more mellow, and also to make it a little easier to sing with (eventually, as people pick it up). The song has an unconventional structure, so I’m not sure how it will function as a corporate worship song. The change may be beneficial in that it shakes us up from what we consider “normal.” Regardless, I think it is worth the effort, so we’ll try it a few more times to see how the congregation takes a hold of it. I really enjoyed doing this song with just acoustic, vocals, and keys, and I think it worked really well as a preparation song, getting us focused on the gospel. Here’s the lyric:

Jesus, You
Words and Music by Bill Horn

Verse 1
Who can rescue man from sin?

Who can break him from this hopeless prison?
Who can bear the wrath ahead?
Who can make him live, though he’s long been dead?

Verse 2
Who could light the darkest night?

Who could speak a word, that death would turn to life?
Who could heal this hopeless pain?
Who could make it right, and make me live again?

Refrain
You, Jesus, You

Verse 3
Death reigned and all men died

‘Til You paid the promised price
The ransom of Your life
Most holy sacrifice

Verse 4
But the grave could not contain

The Lamb who bore my stain
You died and rose again

Refrain
You, Jesus, You

Verse 5
Now, Death, where is your sting?

You send me home
Where forever I will sing

Refrain
You, Jesus, You

“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” – This was our call to worship song this week, and I think it is perfect for that part of the service. Musically, it begins with sort of a stirring feeling, and lyrically it calls us into greater praise of our God and invites Him to have His way in us because He is the one who saves us. Another reason we sang this song was because the focus passage included Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as King, where the people shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel” (John 12:13). It was the right way to start our services this weekend. This is a favorite among our people, as we always get engaged quickly in singing it together.

“Glory to God Forever” – We only did this song at the 7 PM and 9 AM services, because we had child dedications in its place during the other services. It has almost been two months since we last sang this song. For the focus of this weekend, giving our lives and our resources to grow deeper in Christ, this song was a fitting call for us to offer our lives for His glory as living offerings of worship. Jesus is worthy.

“Because of Your Love” – I love this song because it makes clear the reason for our living a life of obedience. We follow Him, not because we have to earn our way into favor with God (we cannot), but because He loved us with such an amazing love as demonstrated on the cross. Our obedience and our worship is our response to what God has already done for us. I tried to emphasize this thought throughout our time together, both through the songs and in the things I said between the songs. This song is still a little unfamiliar to our congregation, but I think we are starting to sing it better together.

“Son of God” – This is a clear and somewhat comprehensive song of praise to Jesus Christ. It points to Christ’s deity, His sacrifice on the cross, His power, His fulfillment of prophecy, and His unique worth. We connected this song with “Because of Your Love,” emphasizing again that the giving of our lives to God and for HIs purposes is our response to who Jesus is and what He has done for us. This is a favorite of our congregation, and it’s for good reason.

“Take My Life And Let It Be” – We responded to God’s Word with this song. I can’t think of a greater hymn for the purpose of giving our lives to the Lord as living offerings of worship. It covers all the bases: our lives, our time, our hands, our feet, our voices, our lips, our money, and our minds. Our keyboardist, Cory Zipperle, had some great ideas about changing the arrangement up (especially the vamps between verses), and I think it gave it more of a reflective tone. It was a great fit to respond to the message today.

This was a great weekend of worshiping our Savior. Our team did a great job, and our congregation was engaging in each of the four services. I’m thankful for what the Lord is doing in 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 focused on the subject of transformational worship. Joe’s point was that we become like whatever we worship. We are transformed by the object of our worship. When we are worshiping the things of this world, we become more like them, and take on their characteristics. He called us to preparation for worship, presentation of our lives as living sacrifices, and participation in God’s calling on us.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Only a Word” (E) [original]
Time of Preparation (a time of confession and focus in prayer)
Welcome/Greeting Time
Call To Worship – Rom. 12:1-2
“Glory to God Forever” (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
“The Lost Are Found” (Bb) [Ben Fielding, Sam Knock]
“Lord of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [Elvina M. Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong]
Message – “Upgrade – Worship” [Joe Hishmeh]
Offering/Announcements
Response – “Let Me Sing” [Todd Fields]
Dismissal 

“Only a Word” – I’ve wanted to sing this song here for a while. We used it because it sets a good tone for worship by recognizing God’s power to change us and to change the world, and helps us develop an expectation for Him to move in our midst, because “nothing impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). The thought of this song that it only takes one word from God to change everything. Scripture shares the phrase that God said in creation, “Let there be…” That was all it took. I don’t think He needed to say anything, but it simply communicates how easy it is for God to transform our reality. He is able and powerful. I have been reading through Tozer’s The Knowledge Of The Holy, and he repeatedly states the fact that nothing is difficult for God. He never needs to rest after working. He has everything He needs to do anything He wants whenever He wants to do it. Through that book, I have been reminded that God is truly able.

Here’s the lyric from the song:

“Only a Word”
Words and Music by Bill Horn

VERSE 1
With a word You throw the spheres and space is formed
With Your voice You fill the void with light and worlds
With Your arm You carve the ocean from the shore
With a breath You move the dust and life is born

CHORUS
With only a word, stars come blazing forth
Only one verb, and darkness is no more
Only Your voice, can pierce us through, O Lord
This world can be transformed, with only a word

VERSE 2
With a thought You ease the waves and still the sea
With Your hand You touch the blind and let him see
With a song You make the prison doors break free
Everything can change when You say, “Let it be”

BRIDGE
The sun aligns with You
For You are the truth
You are reality
Before everything

“Glory to God Forever” – We prefaced this song with Romans 12:1-2 as our call to worship. I felt it was a good way to start a week that focused on worship, because we need to fight hard to correct the misperception that worship through music is all there is to worship. The proper posture of the worshiping heart is summed up in the bridge: “Take my life and let it be/ All for You and for Your glory/ Take my life and let it be Yours.”

“The Lost Are Found” – This was a new song for our congregation this week. Joe asked if we could teach it, because it really ties into the subjects of worship (the song of the redeemed/Lordship of Christ/making all things new) and outreach (which we’ll be focusing on next week. This is a good song with a simple a strong lyric. I really like what is technically the bridge of the song, which sings, “The lost are found, the blind will see/ The lame will walk, the dead will live/ And You our God, forever You will reign.” In teaching the song, I called our people to remember and look forward to the day of Christ’s return, when He makes all things new and rights all the wrongs in this world. We look forward to this day with hope, and it should change our perspective on daily life.

“Lord of All” – We sang this song because it helps is get a proper perspective on who the Lord is  – the Lord of all and King of kings. I love singing this song together. We had one hiccup in the 3rd service on this one, where our drummer Jordan’s kick pedal broke toward the end of “The Lost Are Found” and was broken throughout this song. Our tech director, Wyatt, was able to grab a replacement from one of our other venues and get it installed for the end of the song. It was a good reminder of what is truly important in our worship services, and it was fitting in the week about worship. The band and technology are nice, but they are extras that can possibly make it easier for us to worship God by connecting our head and our hearts. However, they are by no means essential, and we all ought to be able to worship the Lord just as well without an instrument as with the full band.

“Jesus Paid It All” – We sang this song because there is no greater reason for us to worship than the gospel of Christ. We were dead, and now we are alive in Him. We were enemies, and now we are heirs together with Christ. Could there be a greater reason to be thankful and worship our great God?

“Let Me Sing” – I think this was a fitting response to our pastor’s message this weekend, because it expresses a desire to live a life that worships God greater than anything else in creation. The chorus sings, “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.” I think this sums up my thinking about the entire service. Our greatest reason for worship is the gospel, and the kind of worship God deserves is that which comes from an entire life lived for Him.

We had a good weekend of corporate worship, focusing on the subject of lifestyle worship. I enjoyed how the different elements connected and interplayed. It seems like God made it all fit together to communicate a single message: worship is life.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship!

In the Son,

Bill

p.s. Don’t forget to check out The Worship Community to see what other leaders did this weekend!

This week, our focus was Philippians 4:8-9, and Joe preached on “An Appraisal of Thoughts.” This passage calls us out on the way we think about things: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” We can either think on the things of God or the things of this world. The question is: where are our thoughts directed most of the time? I think we were all challenged about our thought lives as a result. For the songs this weekend, we focused on the glory of God, His sovereign might and power, and His unique worth–all pointing to the fact that Jesus is the one most worthy of our thoughts.

Here’s our service order from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “Say Say” (A) [Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Chris Tomlin]
Call to Worship – Psalm 40:5-8
Prayer
“Glory to God Forever” (Bb) [Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching]
Camp Barnabas Student Testimonies/Offering
Welcome/Announcements/Greeting Time

“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
Scripture Reflection – Psalm 97:1-5
“Lord of All” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill]
Prayer
Message – Philippians 4:8-9 – “An Appraisal of Thoughts” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Psalm 19” (D) [Terry Butler]
Dismissal
(You may notice a little more detail in the set list/service order this week. I decided to begin including every element of our service, to give a better picture of our flow and what we incorporate week-to-week.) 

“Say Say” – This is a song that we began teaching a few months ago, and the focus of believing and thinking about the truth that Jesus Christ is God and King made it a solid fit for this week’s services.

“Glory to God Forever” – We used this song because it points to God as our Creator and the One who has given us breath, and also provides an opportunity for us to respond with faith and commitment. I have written a lot about this song in the past, so suffice to say that I really love and latch onto the bridge of this song, and the prayer for God to take our lives and use them for His glory.

“Let Me Sing” – This is the second consecutive week that we have taught this song to our congregation. It is a song that was used a while back, long before I arrived here, but it needed some “dusting off,” as many in our congregation has recently started attending over the past year. In this instance, the same process of teaching applies, because a song isn’t familiar or part of our worship vocabulary anymore. So, we will teach it one more week, and then bring it back a few weeks after that to solidify it in our vocabulary and collective memory.

“Always” – This is another song that we taught a few weeks ago, and it was time to bring it back as a reminder. In Joe’s message, he focused partially on worry and thinking on things that are not trusting or depending on God. This song speaks to that kind of thinking, in a powerful declaration of faith and confidence in God’s ability to affect our situation, no matter how impossible it may seem. I love the truth of this song, and the way in which it is presented. It’s a strong way to affirm our confidence in Christ.

“Lord of All” – We led into this song by reflecting on a passage from Psalm 97, from which a large portion of this song derives. The passage, in the NLT, reads

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice!
Let the farthest islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness surround Him.
Righteousness and justice
Are the foundation of His throne.
Fire goes forth before Him
And burns up all His foes.
His lightning flashes out across the world.
The earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
Before the Lord of all the earth.

I love the imagery of this Psalm, as it gives both a sense of mystery and of omnipotence. Rather than fear, the Psalmist calls everyone to “rejoice” because “The Lord is king.” God’s just and righteous reign is indeed cause for celebration and for worship. He is the almighty ruler of everything, and He will always do what is right and good. I believe there is great hope for us when we consider these things. We don’t have to worry about injustice being left unresolved. God will make everything right. He will fix everything. As my daughter’s Bible says (my paraphrase), “God will undo everything that is wrong.”

This song has become a favorite of our congregation, and rightfully so. This song lifts the Lord up like He deserves to be. It speaks the truth about His almighty power, His glory, His uniqueness, His sovereignty, His wisdom, and His worth. I don’t think there’s ever a bad time to sing these things.

“Psalm 19” – I first heard this song done by Shane & Shane in 2003 (although it was written in 1995). The prayer of this song, coming directly from Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (ESV)” – was a great fit for the focus of Joe’s message. While it was a little unfamiliar for our congregation, it has enough repetition that it is easy to pick up, and our congregation was participating by the end. I encouraged us to make this our prayer in response to the message.

It was a solid weekend of gathering together to worship our King. Despite the fact that early into the first service on Saturday night, I began going hoarse. My throat didn’t hurt, yet my voice was disappearing randomly. After I walked off the platform, I went straight to the water and brewed some tea, and that got me through the rest of the night without a problem. I think I might have been a little dehydrated, because I didn’t drink much water on Saturday until the evening. I think I’ve learned my lesson.

On a sad note, this weekend was the last weekend serving with one of our core worship team members, Hannah Anderson. She is moving to Colorado Springs next weekend to begin teaching kindergarten for a school there. Her joyful and encouraging presence for our church and our worship and arts ministry, along with her talent as both a vocalist and keyboardist, will be sorely missed. She will be a tremendous blessing to a congregation in Colorado and to her new students. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served with her for these past six months, and the team and I are praying for her on her new adventure.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship wherever you were. Be sure to check out The Worship Community’s Sunday Set Lists to see what other leaders and worshipers experienced this weekend.

In the Son,

Bill

Question time: what is your favorite song for worship? Join the conversation below!