Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preparing for Sunday, 9/29/13

Happy Autumn, folks.

Hope you're planning on being with us tomorrow morning at Grace. We have a good setup of songs ready to sing together, and we'll be taking communion together in service too, so you don't want to miss. Taking communion together is a command from Christ to be obedient to, and it's commanded for our good, to refresh and remind ourselves of who we are in Christ, rooted in Him in the Gospel.

Tomorrow, Jordan will preach on the last section of 1 Corinthians 15, verses 50-58. It's been a great few weeks spent in this section, and refreshing (or hearing for the first time), why Christ's resurrection and risen life are so important for us. We have hope that we too will rise, and we have assurance that death is defeated for good because Jesus rose from the dead, and lives now. He is our living advocate before the Father, our Substitutionary Sacrifice for sin, and the first fruits of who will rise from the dead in Him. Glorious stuff - don't miss the conclusion to this section of the book.

We'll sing the following songs tomorrow:
1. Forever
This is our call to worship for tomorrow, and our song of adoration to God for His faithfulness to His people. God will not abandon His children; He is faithful forever to those that have come to Him through Jesus.

2. Nothing But The Blood
This is our song to lead into communion. I can't think of a better, more simple song to get us into the frame of mind to take the bread and cup - "This is all my hope and peace: nothing but the blood of Jesus/This is all my righteousness: nothing but the blood of Jesus."

3. Jesus Paid It All/Never Once
This reworked hymn assures us of the pardon for sin that Jesus completed on the cross. He paid it ALL - the whole price, the full storm of God's wrath, was all poured onto Christ in our place.

4. AFTER PREACHING: The Power Of The Cross/Christ Is Risen
"Christ Is Risen," as our response to the preaching tomorrow morning, will enable us to sing the words from the passage that Jordan will preach: "O death, where is your sting?/O hell, where is your victory?"

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Preparing For Sunday, 9/15/13

Hey everybody!
It's been a little while since the last "Prep for Sunday" post. Hope you're planning on gathering with us tomorrow morning, as dive into the Gospel through singing, preaching, prayer, and fellowship. It's of utmost importance for us to meet as Christians, to remind one another by way of the actions above, of the great truths that have saved us, and define us as God's people. Again, Hebrews 10 tells us,

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (emphasis added).
Let us not neglect to meet together tomorrow, as we encourage each other in the truths of the Gospel, and as we look for that Day, when our King will return for us.

Jordan is preaching a part 3 sermon tomorrow on 1 Corinthians 15:29-34, entitled "Resurrection Reverberation: When Death Motivates." Definitely read the passage ahead of time, and come ready to dive into the significance of Christ's resurrection for the life and assurance of the Church. It's sort of a difficult passage too, so it'd pay for us to do a little homework on the front end. :)

Tomorrow we'll sing the following:
1. Indescribable
A tune that calls us to gaze on Creation with wide-eyed wonder, and see God everywhere in it. The last chorus reminds us that even in His majesty and holiness, God looks into the depths of the hearts of His people, and "loves us the same." And how is this possible? God has given us His Son, to bear our sins for us so we can draw near to Him as our Father.

2. Our Song From Age To Age
This song reminds us that our whole identity as Christians, is built on God and defined by the Gospel. That for the Church, God has been, and will be, and should be our song in every age. He is the cause and the object of our worship and praise.

3. Stronger
A song about the "Love that came for us" in Jesus Christ. As another hymn says, "From Heaven He came and sought her (His Church)." And Christ is a strong Savior, who will hold onto His people no matter what tries take us out of His hand.

4. Because Of Your Love
This one furthers our singing "into the Gospel." We'll remind one another in this song of the full payment that was made for our sin on the cross, the full cancellation of our debt to God, and the freedom and joy God calls us to live in as a result.

5. Near The Cross
Our final response in song tomorrow will be to sing "In the cross, in the cross/Be my glory ever!" That we would glory only in the cross of Christ, and in His risen life.

See you in the morning!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Remarkable and Haunting Beauty

"While there is a kind of beauty in a carefully-honed studio recording, there is another kind of beauty - an often remarkable and haunting beauty - in the sound of a congregation of mostly unmusical people singing together."  
John D. Witvliet

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Repeating A New Song This Week

Hey guys,
last week we introduced a new song for congregational singing, and we'll repeat it this week to reinforce it. Hopefully it'll seem very familiar after this week. We're also adding the bridge this week, so make sure you give it a couple listens. The bridge starts at 2:38 in the YouTube video below.

This song is a reworking of the classic hymn "How Firm A Foundation," which I love as well. This particular reworking gives us the verses almost exactly like the original with a few small tweaks, but it also gives us a great chorus to sing, that drives home the theme of the song, that our foundation in Jesus' blood, and the security of our salvation that Jesus purchased for us with His blood, is all held and kept for us by God, who gave His Son to save us. 1 Peter says that in and through Jesus we have an inheritance of eternal life and joy that is "imperishable, undefiled, and unfading." This song gives us an opportunity to enjoy in and through His Son and the Gospel.

The words are right there in the YouTube video as well. Check it out, and we'll see you tomorrow morning, and hopefully tomorrow night for our last night of our RENEW series this year! Scott Nandor will be speaking, and dinner will be provided on the lawn at 5:00.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Preparing for Sunday, 7/21/13, AM and PM

Hey everyone, keep in mind that we do have RENEW this Sunday night, so carve out the time. This is a hugely important, special time for our church during the Summer months, to hear from some solid outside speakers, a chance to sing together out of the normal Sunday morning gatherings, and to share fellowship and food with each other. Let's make our best effort to be there together, and to invest in relationships. This week is a bring your own picnic dinner, which starts at 5:00 PM. We'll start our session with singing together at 6:00. Hope to see you there!

Also, Sunday morning, Danny will preach on Proverbs 3:1-12. This'll be a great opportunity for us to break up our study through 1 Corinthians by looking at a different book, and how God speaks to us about Himself in a different context, through a different writer of Scripture. As an aside, I'm also super excited to look at Proverbs together because two Summers ago I read this book by Dan Phillips, that Danny also used as a study resource for his sermon tomorrow. It was excellent, and really opened up Proverbs to me as a treasure trove for knowing God and His will for our lives. Try to read the passage before tomorrow to think ahead and be prepared for God to work on our hearts as we hear the Scripture preached.

Here are the songs we'll sing tomorrow morning, and tomorrow night at RENEW.

1. Your Grace Is Enough
2. Before The Throne Of God Above (with a new chorus - give it a few listens to get it down!)
3. Never Once (new song we introduced a few weeks ago, that we're keeping in the rotation)
4. 10,000 Reasons

1. 10,000 Reasons
2. My Hope Is Built
3. Chorus of Nothing But The Blood

Friday, July 5, 2013

Be regular, practicing members of a church!

"[T]he New Testament does not envisage solitary religion: some kind of regular assembly for worship and instruction is everywhere taken for granted in the Epistles. So we must be regular practicing members of the Church. 
C.S. Lewis

Monday, June 17, 2013

What Should Our Corporate Worship Gatherings Do?

"Our worship should show the face of Jesus to those who have gathered and to those who need to gather to worship Him." 
Bryan Chapell, from Christ Centered Worship