Posts Tagged ‘love’

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared the the fifth and final message in our series, “Positive Identity,” where he taught how we are significant in Christ. He shared how God has given us gifts and abilities for the purpose of advancing His kingdom, so we all have a part in God’s mission here on earth. We grow in significance when we serve the King and His kingdom. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Everlasting God” (Bb) [Brenton Brown, Ken Riley]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Positive Identity: Significant” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
“How He Loves” (Bb) [John Mark McMillan]
“Made Alive” (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]

Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a great finish to a fantastic series for our church. We all need to be reminded how Jesus has changed our status. We are loved, forgiven, accepted, secure, and significant because of Jesus!

For our singing this weekend, we sang about being  a part of the mission of the Church and the love of God which gives us value and purpose in life. We opened our services with “Kingdom,” which declares in the chorus “We are the kingdom of God/ We are an army of love/ We carry truth to the world/ We are the kingdom of God.” It was very fitting for Joe’s message this weekend, and I thought it set the tone for what we were after in each of the services. We continued with “Everlasting God,” which is one of our church’s favorite big-picture songs, worshiping the everlasting God for His unchanging goodness and care for us. After the message, we responded first with “Your Great Name,” which sings of how God reaches all of us in different places, and gives us a new identity in Him. For all He is and all He has done for us, He is worthy of all our worship! We then went immediately into “How He Loves,” where we took the opportunity to acknowledge our struggles and weaknesses and to actively receive God’s unfailing love for us. After we prayed, we finished our services with “Made Alive,” which was an uplifting send-off for each of our services.

It was a fantastic weekend in all. Our team did a great job and worked hard to serve the congregation well. Also, Joe’s message was a great call to service and significance because Christ. I am excited to see how our church responds in serving over time in response what Joe shared. It would be a life-changing experience for the individuals and for our church.

– Bill

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

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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 weekend our pastor, Joe Hishmeh, preached from Philippians 4:14-23 to talk about “An Appraisal of Giving.” It was a challenging message regarding stewardship and generosity in our lives, with the proper perspective on our resources being that God is the giver and owner of those things anyway. Also, we can give in such a way as to give God the glory He deserves, in an act of worship through giving. I believe we were all called through the word to live simply so we could all be more generous, for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God, and investing in the things that last: God, His Word, and people.

For our song selection process, we emphasized how God gave first. He demonstrated His great love for us by giving Jesus to die in our place for our sins (John 3:16-17). Our giving is merely a response to His goodness and love for us.

Here’s our set from this weekend:

Pre-Service – “All Because of Jesus” (Bb) [Steve Fee]
Call To Worship/Prayer
“Blessed Be Your Name” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Welcome/Offering/Announcements/Greeting Time
“I Stand Amazed” (D) [Charles Hutchinson Gabriel]
“Lord of Lords” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“Jesus Paid It All” (B) [Elvina Mabel Hall, John Thomas Grape, Alex Nifong]
Message – “An Appraisal of Giving (Philippians 4:14-23)” [Joe Hishmeh]
Response – “Take My Life And Let It Be” [Frances Ridley Havergal, Henri Abraham Cesar Malan] 

This weekend was a good weekend of worship. We tried a few new things and stretched a little, and I think it was healthy for the church and for the team. For one, I played electric guitar for the majority of our worship set. I definitely felt stretched. Becky Tindell did a great job on rhythm acoustic guitar and leading.

“All Because of Jesus” – This song is a solid part of our worship vocabulary, and our congregation always engages with it and participates. This song served the purpose of reminding us that everything we have is because of God’s grace and goodness. This idea is foundational for us to understand what generosity really means.

“Blessed Be Your Name” – This song was used primarily for the bridge: “You give and take away/ You give and take away/ My heart will choose to say/ Lord, blessed be Your name.” We

“I Stand Amazed” – Becky Tindell led this song, and she did a great job. She is one of our newest leaders, and she has been faithfully serving and leading with our Children’s ministry called the Mountain. This was the first time I have had this song in a “girl” key, and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed being able to play lead on this one, in particular. I love the chord progressions of both the verse and the chorus, and it makes room for some interesting melodic lines.

“Lord of Lords” – Becky also led this song. I love how this song helps us to picture the throne room of heaven, and to see Jesus as the Lamb of God seated on that throne.

“Jesus Paid It All” – This song is a staple here, and one that our congregation still connects with well. This song reminded us again that Jesus gave first, and our giving of our lives in obedience and worship is right response to who He is and what He has done.

“Take My Life And Let It Be” – This hymn was chosen mainly for the final verse, which speaks to our money and our mind being given as an act of worship to our King. I love how the congregation sings out on this song, and I think it something we need to reflect on frequently – that all aspects of our lives would be dedicated to worshiping Jesus.

I was encouraged by this weekend, and really enjoyed our times of worship together. May we be generous with our lives for the King and for His kingdom.

I hope you had a great weekend of worship as well. Check out The Worship Community to see what other worshipers experienced and why.

Let me know your thoughts! I love your opinions and feedback.

In the Son,

Bill

Behold, My servant will prosper,
He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.
Just as many were astonished at you, my people,
So His appearance was marred more than any man
And His form more than the sons of me.
Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
For what had not been told them they will see,
And what they had not heard they will understand.
Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for our generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish if His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the portion with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

I thought I would share a few thoughts about Good Friday today, as we reflect on the cross of Jesus, where our rescue was accomplished and our ransom was paid. John Donne is one of my favorite poets, and these particular poems are favorites of mine.

Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
John Donne

Let man’s soul be a sphere, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motions, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey:
Pleasure or business, so, our souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirled by it.
Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the west
This day, when my soul’s form bends toward the east.
There I should see a sun, by rising set,
And by that setting endless day beget;
But that Christ on this Cross, did rise and fall,
Sin had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I’ almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for me.
Who sees God’s face, that is self life, must die;
What a death were it then to see God die?
It made his own lieutenant Nature shrink,
It made his footstool, crack, and the sun wink.
Could I behold those hands which span the pose,
And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?
Could I behold that endless height which is
Zenith to us, and to’our antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our souls, if not of his,
Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn,
By God, for his apparel, ragged, and torn?
If on these things I durst not look, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was God’s partner here, and furnished thus
Half of that sacrifice, which ransomed us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look’st towards me,
O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;
I turn my back to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O think me worth thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.

Here is another that is fitting for today, as we reflect on the death of death:

Holy Sonnet #6
John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me;
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die.


1 Corinthians 15:54-57: “‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May we never forget the point of Good Friday. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. We had no hope–no claim or right to eternal life–because we were dead in our sins. We had chosen to run our own lives. We had chosen our own way. We were Captives. Slaves. Prisoners. Dead. Enemies. We could not save ourselves. We would not save ourselves, because we liked our way of doing things, regardless of how it destroyed us. The only way for us to have eternal life was through Jesus’ perfect sacrificial death in our place, for our sins. The righteous wrath of God against sin had to be dealt with, and God chose to take care of it Himself. He sent His one and only Son to the cross because of His great love for us. He did it while we were His enemies! The very hands that shaped the universe were nailed to the cross so that we could be rescued from sin and death, once and for all. May we never lose sight of the amazing love and grace of God, which kept Him on the cross to finish His defeat of sin and death. There was no other way for us to be saved. There is no other way for us to be saved. Thank you, Jesus, for loving us and rescuing us!

Here’s our set from this weekend:

“You Are” [Todd Fields]
“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
OFF – “Jesus Messiah” [Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin, Daniel Carson, et al]

Message – Find Your Passion [Dr. Jay Dennis]
INV – “I Want to Love You” [Todd Fields]
Lord’s Supper
“Lamb of God” [original]
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
Closing – “Revelation Song” [Jennie Lee Riddle]

This morning was another great morning. We celebrated 16 baptisms, as well as the Lord’s Supper. Everything about this morning pointed to Jesus and what He accomplished for us in His death and resurrection. That is what it is all about. Praise God for such opportunities to remind ourselves, as the body of Christ, aboutt the gospel message. There is salvation in no other name – He is our only hope.

I hope you had a great day of worship wherever you were this week.

As always, check out Sunday Set Lists.

In the Son,
Bill

This Sunday was a great day of worship! God presence was very tangible in our midst, and as the Word was preached, I think people’s lives were changed. One lady was saved, and then baptized at the beginning of the next service. It was  beautiful thing to witness.

Here’s our set from yesterday:

“Kingdom” [Kristian Stanfill]
“Salvation’s Chorus” [Todd Fields]
“Our God” [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels]
“Jesus Messiah” [Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Jesse Reeves}
“Because of Your Love” [Phil Wickham]
MESSAGE: The Psalm 119 Method for Reading and Studying the Bible – Pastor Jay
INVITATION: “Nothing But the Blood” [Matt Redman]
OFFERTORY: “Cannons” [Phil Wickham”

While there is a lot of stuff weighing heavily in my life, I felt great about this morning. It seems to me that God is most at work and most present when we are weakest and most dependent on Him. Sounds like the Scripture, doesn’t it? (2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV): “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”) I have witnessed the truth of that statement firsthand over the past few weeks. God is most glorified when He gets all the credit for something, not when we put on a good show and people think it’s all because of our own abilities – that’s my $0.02, at least.

Yesterday was one of those mornings. Everything did not go perfectly – the click battery died, we lost tempo a few times, etc. – but God was in the midst of it, and He was working in all of our lives. I am excited for the future as God continues to show me what it means to depend on Him completely. I am a slow-learner. I don’t struggle much with faith or trusting the Father, but I struggle greatly with depending on Him. I tend to lean toward independence. I am comfortable when the ball is in my court and I can make the decisions and make things happen. To be honest, I enjoy getting recognized  for those things, too. However, God does not receive glory when I go my own way and do things in my own strength. He receives the most glory when He is the source and the lifeline for everything we do as believers. In reality, nothing of any eternal benefit happens in our own strength. After all, it is “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zech. 4:6).

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

May God bless you with the knowledge of His presence, and with complete dependence on Him, that He may receive all the glory.

Bill

p.s. be sure to check out Sunday Set Lists over at http://www.theworshipcommunity.com to see what other worshipers experienced around the globe!