Songs for Sunday, January 17, 2021

There are times in life and in world events that I simply do not have words to adequately express what I feel needs to be said — what I want to say or relay. It is certainly good news to my weary heart that there is a Word higher than mine. And in that Word are words for every season of life and occasion that may exist.

Look at this:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psalm 46:1-3

No matter our situation or predicament, God is our “refuge”. He is a safe place where we can find shelter in the storms of life. He is our salvation – our rock and defender – and can be trusted in and called upon at any time (Psalm 62:7-8).

He is our “strength”. Whether in want or plenty, we can know that He can and will strengthen us with His own strength that we can withstand and persevere (Philippians 4:10-13).

He is with us “always” (Matthew 20:28), even and especially “very present in “trouble”. We have already looked at Him being a refuge. Do not picture Him as a hiding place, but rather a fortress – a “stronghold” to specifically protect those who are “oppressed” and are “in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).

Since He is our “refuge”, provides us with His “strength”, and is “a very present help in trouble”, “we will not fear”. This does not say may not or should not. No, placing one’s hope and trust and faith in God is more sure than possibility.

It is as solid as the rock bottom that we find our selves hitting. It is deeper than the trouble we find ourselves in time and again. When we find that we have no one else, He teaches us that He is the only One we need.

The earth can give way. Mountains may crumble and fall into the sea. Tidal waves – both real and figurative – may roar and rage against us, threatening life, limb, and livelihood. All of the comforts that we enjoy may cease to exist or leave us.

But God has promised that He will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And that is good news. It is good news because we are surely acquainted with bad news. It is good news because we are dismayed and afraid. It is good news because we have no other sure source of help. Ultimately, it is good news because our good God (Mark 10:18) has given it in His Word and His Word never fails or will ever pass away (1 Peter 1:25).

And that is the hope that we’ll sing about this Sunday – hope in a good God who will be our refuge in good times and bad, the days that seem desperate and those that make us glad. May we be reminded that there is a God in Heaven. His name is Jesus. He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Here are our songs:

27  Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
      “My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28  Have you not known? Have you not heard?
      The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
      He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29   He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30   Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31   but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
       they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:27-31

But now thus says the Lord,
       he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
       “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
       when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
    For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Isaiah 43:1-3a
  • Desert Song —
    Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Isaiah 35:1, Psalm 63:1, Psalm 69:3, Psalm 34:10, 1 Corinthians 4:11, Matthew 5:6, Genesis 22:14, Isaiah 43:1-3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Revelation 21:4, 1 Peter 1:7, Zechariah 13:9, Psalm 56:10, Psalm 51:15, Psalm 142:7, Isaiah 54:17, Hebrews 3:18, Psalm 22:22, Deuteronomy 20:4, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 20:28, Ephesians 6:10-20, Exodus 14:14, Romans 8:17, Romans 8:37, Hebrews 10:23, 2 Timothy 4:1-3, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17, Psalm 13:6, Psalm 105:2, James 5:13, John 4:23-24, Matthew 9:37-38, Psalm 30:5, John 7:38, Romans 15:13, Psalm 126:5, Deuteronomy 15:10, Acts 20:35

[Humble yourselves], therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:6-11

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — January 3, 2021

I read a quote yesterday that really puts 2020/2021 into perspective:

“Our hope is not in the new year, but in the One who makes all things new.”

Toby Mac

The “One” who makes all things new is Jesus.

He was our only hope in 2020 and 2019 and 1992 and 1746bc. He is the same “yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He is the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15). And He is our “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

Every praise to God that has ever been sung is about Him. And He is who we will sing about this year until His “Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10)! He has always been our only hope, and only trusting in Him will bring peace and hope for 2021.

Here are our songs:

*Note*

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — December 20, 2020

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1 John 4:10

Jesus is absolutely the reason for the Christmas season, yet He is often overlooked. People are always asking others what Christmas is all about. The answer is simple: love.

God loved the world in this way, that He gave His one and only Son – the only begotten of the Father – to die as a substitute for sinners such as us. This portion of Advent magnifies how deep the Father’s love for us is!

Here are our songs:

  • O Holy Night —
  • 1 John 3:16-18 —

16 By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

  • 1 John 4:7-12 —

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.

  • Midnight Clear (Love Song) —
  • You’re Here —
  • Galatians 4:4-5 —

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

  • Noel —
  • (inv) Make Room —

*Note*

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — December 6, 2020

God kept His promise; the Savior was born in Bethlehem.

God left the glory of Heaven and took on flesh, being made in every way like us, to come and bear witness to the truth. He lived the life we could not live and died the death we should have died. Bethlehem was a seemingly insignificant town. Many of us feel insignificant on a regular basis. Yet God loves you! This week of Advent, let us pause and look at how our great God specializes in using the insignificant to bring Him glory – and pray He uses us for that purpose!

Here are our songs:

  • Holy Spirit —
  • John 1:1-5 —

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • God With Us —
  • Adore —
  • John 1:9-14 —

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

  • King of Kings —
  • (inv) Joy to the World (King is Coming) —

Note:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — November 29, 2020

Hope.

We need it to survive. It gets harder and harder to come by. But it can be found in abundance in Jesus.

We can have hope because God is faithful to keep His promises.

Let’s look at a few of God’s promises:

Most of the time, we merely hope that people will keep their promises. They may or may not follow through. But we can hope in God’s promises. We can trust them and let them form our understanding of the future. And His hope never – never – puts us to shame (Romans 5:5)!

We have the privilege of worshiping the one, true God, who – before the foundation of the world – gave Himself so that we might have our sins forgiven through Jesus Christ. This was/is Plan A. This portion of Advent looks at how God, through His Word, showed how He would come to earth centuries before that day in Bethlehem. As we look at how God promised Christ, let us find hope and security in Him.

Here are our songs:

  • What a Beautiful Name
  • Matthew 1:20-23

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Born to Die
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

  • At the Cross (Love Ran Red)
  • (invitation) Jesus at the Center

—–

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — November 15, 2020

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — November 8, 2020

What a week this has been!

If you are looking for nonstop surprises, 2020 does not disappoint – or it does absolutely disappoint! So, if you would like a reprieve from the counting of votes, let us look to the One we can always count on.

Psalm 130 is fitting for times such as this because it illustrates how we should reach out from the depths of uncertainty and despair to the Lord as our only hope.

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!”

Psalm 130:1-2

The psalmist is crying out, begging God to hear his cries for mercy. It is good to be reminded that – whatever our desperate situation – there is a God in heaven who hears and rescues (1 Samuel 17:46, Daniel 2:28).

“If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.”

Psalm 130:3-4

If we are going to cry out to God, it is important that we understand the reality of our sin (Romans 3:23, 6:23). We need a Savior before we need rescuing from whatever dire earthly situation. Understanding our need for a Savior leads us to rest and relish in the joy of forgiveness! Knowing that King Jesus would be absolutely righteous to condemn us to hell but chose to love us and give Himself for us drives us to our knees in worship and prayer rather than trembling in fear (Ephesians 5:25, 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 2 Timothy 1:7).

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in His Word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.”

Psalm 130:5-6

I have never been a night watchmen, but I am a perpetual sophomore. This, in my mind, is similar to the way that kids look toward the final bell during the last month of school. They feel the relief and rest of summer like the glow of the sun playing on the edge of the horizon. They watch the time, some knowing down to the second how long it is until the bell.

For us, we wait on Him with that same fervency and desire.

We wait on Him with the same pregnant joy of an expectant mother – the joy of motherhood outweighing the discomfort of the last trimester.

We wait with that same hope of relief and joy that comes from feeling complete.

We can hope in His Word. We can hope in His presence. We can hope in His forgiveness. We can hope because He does not disappoint.

And that’s what we are singing about this Sunday – the never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love that the Father has for us and His gift of love and hope in giving His only Son for us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8).

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — November 1, 2020

We have a saying here in the South that we use to describe someone who is – for whatever reason – indescribable. We will say that person is “something else”. That “something else” can be good, or it can be bad.

You could be telling a story about someone’s exploits that seems beyond human abilities and say, “That guy is something else.” Or you could be describing some deplorable action of an individual and be awestruck at how bad their behavior is and say the very same thing.

But let me tell you that our God is truly something else! The Bible word for this is holy. This means that He is set apart, high above all of everything that there is. He has this sense of otherness because there is nothing that can compare with Him.

I think that Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord gives a good picture of just how holy – how “something else” – God truly is:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of His glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of Him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and you sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV

Isaiah found himself in the presence of God and was overwhelmed by the holiness of God. He was overwhelmed by the sheer glory that he was confronted with – and he was only able to see the tail end of God’s garment. Just being near to God convicted him of his sin. Sheer proximity produced a desire for repentance, worship, and faith. And this is exactly how we should be in the presence of God.

I think that, sometimes, we can forget just how “something else” that Jesus is. But we need to retain that sense of awe. We need to continually look in His Word and see how special He is. We need to be reminded of the “first importance” of the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-5) and have our eyes opened afresh at the splendor of our King. I think Micah gives us a good lens for such a view:

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain His anger forever,
because He delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.

Micah 7:18-19 ESV

This is what we are singing about Sunday – God’s holiness and majesty on display. We will be reminded that He is truly “something else” and always has, is, and will continue to be forever. We will celebrate Who He is, what He has done, and we will lift our voices to the King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus Christ!

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — October 18, 2020

Often I find myself sitting at this computer, praying and searching for the best words to prepare our hearts for worshiping our King on Sunday. Today, I am sure that I have the best words – perfect words.

I did a Bible search for verses referencing praising the name of the Lord. Here is a small sampling that show us the scope and depth that our worship should contain for the One with a name above every other:

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!

Psalm 113:1

Let them praise the name of the LORD! For He commanded and they were created.

Psalm 148:5

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; His majesty is above the earth and heaven.

Psalm 148:13

Let them praise His name with dancing, making melody to Him with tambourine and lyre!

Psalm 149:3

Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.

Psalm 74:21

And now we thank you, Our God, and praise your glorious name.

1 Chronicles 29:13

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Joel 2:26

Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Psalm 142:7

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

Psalm 7:17

And it is in the name and to the “glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) that we will praise and have hope as we sing tomorrow!

These passages were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.

Songs for Sunday — October 11, 2020

Last week, Big John said something that has stuck in my head all week. He talked about how earthly parents are limited in how much they can do for their children.

They want to take away pain, but there is only so much they can do to relieve their children’s suffering. They want to save them from trouble, but – again – they have limits. But our God is not limited!

Romans 8:31-39 tells us about the everlasting love of our heavenly Father:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?

Romans 8:31-32

What powerful and humbling questions!

He goes on to tell us more about that love:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Romans 8:35

Any of those things would be enough to thwart me as an earthly Father. Again, I – as all earthly fathers are – am limited. But our Father is not! Look at the answer to all of these questions:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

That’s good news! And that never ending, never stopping, never failing, never giving-up love of our God and Savior is what we are singing about this Sunday!

These verses were on my heart as the worship set came together this week:

Here are our songs:

I hope to see you with us, whether you gather in person, in the parking lot via speaker, or on Facebook or YouTube live!

If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.