Posts Tagged ‘Simple Christmas’

This week we wrapped up our Advent series, “Simple Christmas.” Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about our simple purpose of worshipping and glorifying Jesus Christ, and the simple priority of the gospel in and through our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here are our service plans from this weekend:

Weekend Services
Welcome/Call to Worship
“Angels From The Realms Of Glory” (C) [James Montgomery, Henry Thomas Smart, my arrangement]
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Simple Purpose” [Joe Hishmeh]
“What Child Is This” (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement]
“O Holy Night” (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement]
“Glorious One” (C) [Steve Fee]
Dismissal

Christmas Eve
Call to Worship
“Joy To The World” (C) [Isaac Watts, arr. by Bill Horn]
Welcome/Announcements
“O Holy Night” (C) [Adolphe Charles Adam, Placide Cappeau, John S. Dwight, my arrangement]
“O Come Let Us Adore Him” (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]
Message – “Simple Priority” [Joe Hishmeh]
“What Child Is This” (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, my arrangement]
“Silent Night” (A) [Franz Xaver Gruber, Joseph Mohr, John Freeman Young]
Dismissal

Thoughts: There won’t be much detail this week – I’m technically on vacation… 😉
This was a beautiful weekend, as we celebrated the incarnation of Jesus together as a church family. Our volunteers were incredible, and we had a lot of fun serving our church together. Our weekend services came together powerfully, and our Christmas Eve services were probably the greatest (and most unique) I have ever experienced. Eight services in three days was challenging and rewarding, and the church sang like crazy for most all of it. It was truly incredible. Once again, I really loved being able to sing our Advent songs together for these past four weeks. I love singing these great old songs in new and fresh ways, and to help our church see the gospel in them.

God is so good, and I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this great church!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas celebration with your family, friends, and your churches!

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This week we continued in our third week of Advent and our series, “Simple Christmas.” Pastor Joe Hishmeh shared about how God chooses to use simple places in His plan of redemption on this earth, and how Bethlehem was a great example of this. These kinds of places provide a perfect platform for God to display His power. I think it reminded all of us that we are here in Topeka for a purpose, and we need to join God in what He is doing here. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“Joyful (The One Who Saves)” (C) [Edward Hodges, Henry van Dyke, Ludwig van Beethoven, w/ chorus & bridge by Brenton Brown, Jason Ingram]
“O Come Let Us Adore Him” (D) [Matt Crocker, Autumn Hardman, C. Frederick Oakeley, Ryan Taubert, John Francis Wade]
Greeting Time/Announcements
Message – “Simple Places” [Joe Hishmeh]
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” (Em) [Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, and John Mason Neale, arr. by Bill Horn]

“What Child Is This” (Em) [William Chatterton Dix, arr. by Bill Horn]
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” (G) [Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This was a great weekend! We arranged everything with a heavy acoustic emphasis. We had two acoustics, electric bass, keys, drums with mostly hot rods, djembe, and muted trumpet played by our discipleship pastor, David Hinkle. Our band did such a good job of finding their respective fit in the mix, and it turned out great. I love our team and how God has gifted them. It is a blessing to serve with each of them.

We repeated “Joyful (The One Who Saves)” from last week, and it is just a great song to start with. I love the combination of old and new with this one. We also sang “O Come Let Us Adore Him” from Hillsong’s Christmas album, We Have A Savior. This is another song that we introduced last year during Advent, and we sang it recently in our Overflow night of worship last Sunday. The added chorus (“O come all ye faithful/ Come let us adore Him”) just stays with you. The chorus just blasts (reaches a G at one point, and I get a little red in the face as a result…), creating a ton of energy. Combined with the band we used this weekend, it was a great moment.

We responded to the message with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “What Child Is This,” both with the feel of a lazy acoustic groove, which was really locked in by our drummer Bob Fulmer, percussionist Ryan Hoskinson, and our bassist Ben Engstrom. I loved the way these two songs worked together.

We finished the weekend with “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising),” really making the chorus of the song our prayer: “Hosanna (which is a name meaning “come save us”), Hosanna/ You are the God who saves us/ Worthy of all our praises/ Hosanna, Hosanna/ Come have Your way among us/ We welcome You here, Lord Jesus.” Because of the message this weekend, we wanted to finish by declaring that God has each of us here in Topeka for a purpose, and we want His will to be done and His kingdom to expand here. This song was a great way to finish our weekend together. It was the first time I had ever seen this song done at the end of a service (it is usually a “call to worship” kind of song), but I liked it a lot as a send off.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend together with the church. We prayed together for the families who were affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, which was a sobering reminder of the evil in this world, and for us to make our relationships a priority in this lifetime. We need to share the love of Jesus with one another, and with the world around us. We need to be lights in the darkness. Change begins with us.

As a side note, I got to baptize my 5-year-old daughter after the last service this weekend, which was an amazing blessing. I am so thankful that she has trusted in the saving work of Jesus for her, and wants the world to know. It’s a beautiful thing!

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

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week 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!