Posts Tagged ‘Obedience’

This weekend we continued in the fifth week of our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about the life of Elijah and how he stood with the Lord to confront evil in his lifetime. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Suffering Servant” (A – B) [Dustin Kensrue]
“Sing to the King” (D) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Child Dedications (at 5 PM & 9:15 AM services)
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Confrontation” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Always” (Bb) [Kristian Stanfill, Jason Ingram]
“Hosanna” (Eb) [Brooke Ligertwood]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (Bb) [Phil Wickham, Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a powerful weekend. Once again, Joe’s message was a powerful challenge to follow Christ with all of our lives, and to confront the evil in our world and lives with the power of the gospel. We started out our weekend in the pre-service time with Dustin Kensrue’s “Suffering Servant,” which is a fantastic song from his new record, coming almost directly from Isaiah 52 & 53. This song has brought me to tears several times over the past month, as I have been overwhelmed with the amazing sacrifice that Jesus made for our redemption. It is powerful in both its words and in its music. There are quite a few words to the song, so it may remain a song for special occasions, but I would love to sing it more often. We continued into the service with Becky leading us in “Sing to the King,” which gives us great words by which to celebrate Christ’s victory, and which is one of our church’s favorites. In response to the message, we expressed our confidence and trust in the Lord through singing “Always.” We hadn’t sung this song in quite a while, and it was great to sing it again, as it is a powerful statement of our faith. From there, Becky led us in singing “Hosanna,” and then we closed out the service with “This Is Amazing Grace.” This song has been one of my favorites lately, mainly for the chorus: “This is amazing grace/ This is unfailing love/ That You would take my place/ That You would bear my cross/ You would lay down Your life/ That I would be set free/ Jesus, I sing for/ All that You’ve done for me!”

THAT is why we sing. THAT is why we worship. Jesus has been so good to us.

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

– Bill

This weekend we continued in the fourth week of our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about David’s life, leadership, and heart for God from 2 Samuel. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

“Made Alive” (C) [Brian Eichelberger, Zach Bolen]
“Glorious One” (C) [Steve Fee]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Devotion” [Joe Hishmeh]
“Forever Reign” (Ab) [Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan]
“You Are God Alone” (Ab) [Billy Foote, Cindy Foote]
“Lord of All” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was another great weekend of services. Joe’s message was challenging for all of us, as he called us to be faithful and responsive to God throughout our lives, and to leave behind the emptiness that so often comes from living by our own will. Our team did a great job throughout the weekend. We began our services by celebrating Jesus and His finished work for us as we sang “Made Alive” and “Glorious One,” which is one of my longtime favorites that we haven’t sung much here at Fellowship since I’ve been here. It was great to sing it together this week. Sarah Oldberg led us powerfully on “Forever Reign” and “You Are God Alone,” and the church engaged well as we responded to Joe’s message with these songs. We closed out our weekend with a powerful declaration of God’s sovereignty and surpassing worth in “Lord of All.” I wanted this to be a moment where we could intentionally set our eyes on Jesus as Lord of all, and commit our way to respond to Him and His leading throughout our days. I love this song, and still maintain that it’s a song that the Church (big “C”) needs to sing, because it carries a truth that resonates powerfully in the heart of every believer: “There is none so high and holy/ King of kings, the One and only!”

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

– Bill

This weekend we continued our series, “Obedience,” and Joe shared about how we are called to follow Jesus in all situations. Whether we are experiencing crisis or success, we are to follow His leadership and submit to Him, rather than seeking out our own means for trying to save ourselves. Only Jesus can deliver us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Kingdom” (A) [Kristian Stanfill]
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, arr. by The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Obedience: Calling” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Song – “Carried To The Table” (A) [Leeland Mooring, Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
“You Never Let Go” (Bb) [Matt Redman, Beth Redman]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job. Trent Raines co-led with me this weekend, and he led powerfully during our communion time with “Carried to the Table,” which is a perfect communion song. Also, one my guitar students, Brynn Baker, played lead guitar for the first time as part of our weekend service team, and she knocked it out of the park. She continues to step up and do a great job wherever she is serving (at 13 years of age!!! I had just picked up guitar at 13 years old, and she would play circles around an 18-year-old version of me…). Her playing was definitely a bright spot for me this weekend, especially when she nailed the lead part on “Kingdom,” which is one of my favorites. “Before The Throne” continues to be a song that really resonates with our congregation. I prefaced our singing of it by reminding us that even our worship is acceptable to God only because of Jesus’ finished work for us, and not because of anything we have done or can do. Jesus is everything for us! We finished our time together with two songs that called us to trust in Jesus and His faithfulness: “One Thing Remains,” and “You Never Let G0.” These two songs are simple declarations and powerful reminders for the Church to sing together, and it was a fitting way to respond to Joe’s message this week.

At some point in the near future, I hope to take some time to write about my recent trip to the Philippines with the Trash Mountain Project. It was both challenging and inspiring, and I’m still processing much of what I saw and experienced. The Lord is doing great things there, and He is raising up some amazing leaders to advance the gospel in some of the darkest parts of the world. Please pray for them as they fight the good fight!

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

– Bill

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 was our fourth weekend walking through 1 John together in our “Love In Christ” series. David Hinkle preached about obedience from 1 John, focusing on “chasing Christ rather than checking the box,” and pursuing “godliness, not merely goodness.” I think we were all challenged and called to Christ this weekend. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

For our singing this week, we focused on songs that emphasized God’s calling on us and His worthiness for our obedience. He loved first and gave first, and our obedience is a response to God for who He is and what He has done.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

“I Will Go” (F#m) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld]
Welcome/Greeting Time

“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
“Hosanna” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“Lead Me To The Cross” (D) [Brooke Fraser]
“All To Jesus I Surrender” (aka “I Surrender All”) (D) [Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Winfield Scott Weeden]

Message – “Love In Christ: Obedience” [David Hinkle]
Offering

“Because of Your Love” (G) [Phil Wickham]
Announcements/Dismissal

“I Will Go” – This was our opener this week, and it is a strong song of dedication that we have sung a few times over the past year. I love the message of the lyric, and I think it something worthy of being sung often: “I will go, I will go, I will go, Lord, send me/ To the world, to the lost, to the poor and hungry/ Take everything I am, I’m clay within Your hands/ I will go, I will go, send me.” May this be the Church’s sincere prayer to the Lord.

“Let Me Sing” – This song really emphasizes the correct heart and motivation for obedience: because of what Jesus has done in giving His life for our redemption, we respond with all that we are as living offerings of worship for Him and His glory.

“Hosanna” – We sang this song because the second verse and bridge really tied in well with our focus, asking God to break and shape our hearts to align with His.

“Lead Me To The Cross” – This is another great song of dedication, as we look to the cross of Christ, where He also calls us to take up our own cross in following Him. Our own life of sacrifice ought to be modeled after His.

“All To Jesus I Surrender” – We tagged this song onto the end of “Lead Me To The Cross,” as a way to help tie everything together. Jesus is worthy of ALL we are and ALL we have. Let us hold nothing back from Him as He calls us to follow Him.

“Because Of Your Love” – I think this song was a very fitting response song to David’s message (praise God for His direction here). Again, this song emphasized how the Lord gave first, and our response and obedience to Him is because of what He has already done for us: “Because of Your cross, my debt is paid/ Because of Your blood, my sins are washed away/ Now all of my life, I freely give/ Because of Your love, because of Your love I live.”

This weekend was a good weekend overall. I felt that our team led with sincerity and intensity, despite a few loose moments in our playing. I will take that any day. I want our team to lead like they mean it. Sometimes that will result in some less than perfect moments for now, but as we all become more familiar with our vocabulary, that will continue to improve. The bottom line is that we cannot expect our congregation to more excited about engaging with God than we are. That is our challenge–to lead by example, in every area of our lives. I’m really proud of how our team is growing and trying to lead more and more each week.

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!

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” This verse has always been one that has guided Diane and me through our marriage and ministry together. We have sought to trust God, even when it’s difficult, and to follow Him wherever He leads, because He knows what we do not know, and He sees what we cannot see. His will is what we would have chosen if we knew everything about any given situation.

In February of 2006, after the craziest 6 months we had ever experienced, God called Diane and I here to First Baptist Church at the Mall. He confirmed this in many ways and made it absolutely clear that He wanted us here. When He said, “Go,” we went. Before Lakeland He called us to New Orleans for seminary, and before that it was Gainesville, FL, to serve as campus missionaries. He has been faithful to guide us and direct our steps, leading us where He wants us and providing for us, and that has only furthered our trust in Him.

In mid-July, God again made it abundantly clear to Diane and me that we are to go. God is calling us to serve in what we believe to be a smaller church or church plant as the worship pastor, but we are not certain of where yet. At this time, we have talked with several pastors about different opportunities, but nothing certain has developed. Throughout this process, we have sought to be wide-open before God, saying to Him, “Lord, whatever You want is what we want.” We shared this with Pastor Jay and the executive staff team when we knew, and they have been extremely supportive and helpful through all of it. Words cannot tell you how grateful I am for these men and for the church taking good care of us during this time of transition.

This has been one of the hardest and most uncertain times in our lives, as we have never had to walk this road with so much at stake, but we are trusting God to lead us and to take care of us as He has so many times in the past. It may seem foolish to step out like this with no sure thing on the other end, but I would have failed you as a leader and a pastor if we ignored God’s calling on us and disobeyed His direction.

Please know that it has been our privilege to serve such an amazing church family. We have some amazing relationships here. We have witnessed God move in amazing ways, and we are so grateful to have been a part. We have been able to share the joy of the birth of both of our children here. You have encouraged us, nurtured us, and loved us as we have learned and grown over these past 4 ½ years. We have never felt as loved as we do here. Many times, however, following God means letting go of something that you treasure. For us, that is you. We love you like crazy, and we will miss you terribly. So much of our hearts will be left here. We consider this home, and saw ourselves staying here indefinitely, but God had other plans.

We ask that you would please pray for us as we take this step. Pray for God’s clear direction. Pray that we will be able to sell our home. Pray for our kids as they deal with change. Also, pray for the church leadership as they seek out God’s man to take up where I leave off. We are trusting that the greatest days for Church at the Mall are still ahead, and that God will bring just the right man to continue on in leading you and caring for you. I know for certain that you are in great hands with this worship team, as they are some of the most talented musicians and leaders I have ever served with.

I will be leading for the next few weeks, as long as I am needed, and we look forward to sharing time with you and worshiping together as we all continue to pursue the heart of our great God. He is the only one worthy of our praise, and the only one worthy of our lives. Let us lay our lives down for the sake of His name and His Kingdom, because He laid down His life for us at the cross.