Preparing for Worship - July 15, 2018

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Join us this Sunday as we continue in our series in the letter of Hebrews. Here are the songs that we'll sing together:

1. A SONG FOR THE SABBATH (PSALM 92)

Style - This is a contemporary tune done in a country style. It is mid-tempo, joyful, and full of energy.

Song Info - The lyrics of this song were penned by Isaac Watts in the eighteenth century as part of his attempt to Christianize the Psalter. What this meant what that he took the 150 Psalms, set them to meter and rhyme, and attempted to make allusions to Christ more clear and to add gospel language to the Psalms where appropriate. Psalm 92 is called in Scripture "A Song for the Sabbath", and so that is what it's called here. It is a Psalm of thanksgiving that focuses on giving thanks for the work of God. Verses 4-5 say:

For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; 

at the works of your hands I sing for joy. 

How great are your works, O Lord! 

Your thoughts are very deep! 

This reminds us that the Sabbath is a time when we cease from our work in order to enjoy the work of God, to contemplate his works, and to allow him to continue to work in us. While we rest on the Sabbath, God is at work to preserve and perfect his people. These lyrics were set to music composed by Billy Otten, worship leader here at Faith Church.

Lead SheetAudio

2. AMAZING GRACE (I'VE GOT A REASON TO SING)

Style: This is a new take on the classic hymn. It sounds very similar to the traditional hymn and will be very familiar, but this version has taken on a late 70's disco feel.

Song Info: This version of Amazing Grace was arranged by Brian Eichelberger of The Sing Team (Seattle) and released on their 2017 release. Amazing Grace was originally written by John Newton and published in 1779. Amazing Grace has today come to be one of the most recognizable songs in the English speaking world. It was originally written to illustrate a New Years Day sermon. Newton was a former slave trader who became an Anglican minister. The subject of this hymn is God's amazing grace. God's grace is what originally opened our eyes to our sin and also showed us the mercy of God in Christ. God's grace is what carries us through life - through many dangers toils and snares. And when we arrive in glory it will be thanks to God's grace and we will still be singing the praises of his glorious grace.

Sheet MusicAudio

3. ONLY YOUR BLOOD IS ENOUGH

Style: This is a contemporary and mid-tempo song. It has an indie-rock feel.

Song Info: This song was produced as part of a collection that Sojourn Church produced of re-tooled Isaac Watts hymns. Though this song is unique enough to be considered original, it is adapted from Isaac Watt's Psalm 51 Part 2. The lyrics and music were written by Neil Robins and it was released on Over the Grave in 2009. This song is appropriate at this point in the service because it recognizes the need for a savior. We have sung about God's goodness, our sin, and now we will sing about our need for a savior. As the song says: "No bleeding bird, no bleeding beast, no hyssop branch, no priest, no running brook, no flood, no sea can wash away this stain from me. Only your blood is enough to cover my sin." Here, with an eye on our sin, we ought to prepare our hearts to hear the sermon and to hear about the hope we have in the gospel of Christ.

Chords & LyricsAudio

4. AN ALTAR OF REMEMBRANCE

Style: This is a contemporary hymn played in a classic British Rock style. It is reminiscent of a Paul McCartney song. It's mid-tempo. 

Song info: This is a recent release from Stuart Townend, appearing on his 2014 Paths of Grace - an album based on themes found in the prophet Isaiah. An Altar of Remembrance picks up on the idea of such altars that were built by God's people of old as a way of remembering special encounters with God, promises, and mighty acts of God in their lives and the history of their nation (Genesis 12:8, Genesis 28:18, Joshua 4:9). These altars were meant to remind people of the stories of God's faithfulness. In this song we construct an altar of remembrance for everything that God has brought us through and all the good he has done in our lives. Beyond this, we recognize that our very lives are being built into altars of remembrance for future generations. Lord willing, our children and other future generations will be able to look at our lives and see "altars of remembrance" - pillars declaring stories of God's faithfulness to his people.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. GRACE ALONE

Style: This a contemporary song done in an up-tempo, indie rock style.

Song Info: Here is another tune written by Dustin Kensrue and appearing on his 2013 The Water and the Blood. This is one of my favorite worship songs written in a long time. What I love most about it is its unapologetic ode to God's pure grace. This song focuses on biblical and reformed themes of salvation by grace alone - that God has invaded our lives with his salvation. He has transformed our hearts and made us want to respond to his grace. He has done everything in our salvation and he alone ought to receive the glory. This tune attempts to give him just that. This is a good song for a call to worship because it approaches the Father with a humble heart overwhelmed by grace - a good starting point for worship.

Lead SheetAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - July 1, 2018

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Join us this Sunday as we kick off our new series in the book of Hebrews. This Sunday we will look at Hebrews 1:1-4 and talk about the main theme of the book - the supremacy of Christ over all things. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. REJOICE (COME AND STAND BEFORE YOUR MAKER)

Style: This is a contemporary, up-tempo song that is perfect for a call to worship.

Song Info: This song was written as a collaborative effort between two of my favorite worship artists: Stuart Townend and Dustin Kensrue. It first appeared on Kensrue's 2013 album The Water and the Blood - in my opinion one of the greatest modern worship albums released in a long time. This song calls us to rejoice in the Lord, our maker. It leads us to sing and meditate on God's infinite perfections. It's appropriate here because we should come to God first with praise and adoration. Before we confess our sin, before we acknowledge our needs, before we make any requests we ought to first praise God and adore him for who he is.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. BE THOU MY VISION

Style: We will sing a contemporary version of this hymn that will be very familiar. The version we're singing is likely the most commonly known version. It is low-tempo and contemplative.

Song Info: This is a traditional Irish hymn of unknown authorship that probably dates to the eighteenth century, though possibly comes from the sixteenth century. This hymn has been translated into dozens of languages in its lifetime and remains one of the most popular hymns ever written. The subject matter is certainly appropriate for this moment in worship. The song is about asking and allowing God to be our "all in all". As we sing, we ask God to be our vision, our wisdom, our shield, our treasure, and our comfort. That we would ascribe all glory to God, look to him for all our needs, and find all of our desires fulfilled in him is the true heart of worship.

Lead SheetAudio

3. PASS ME NOT O GENTLE SAVIOR

Style: Our version will be easily recognized as the traditional melody, though we will play it in the style of Red Mountain Band with a more southern, alt-country feel. It will be mid-tempo.

Song Info: This hymn was originally written by Fanny Crosby in 1868. Crosby is one of the most famous and beloved hymn writers of the past 200 years. This song has been widely covered in its history by artists that include Bob Dylan and MC Hammer. In this song we entreat the Savior to help us, not to pass us by. This is an appropriate song for this moment in worship because after we have acknowledged God for his goodness we are turning to reflect on our own brokenness and sinful response to God. We are beginning to detect our need for a savior. As we sing this song we ought to attempt to cast off all other helps and false saviors that we turn to in order to absolve ourselves of sin. We should turn to Jesus, the true savior, and pray for his help.

Lead Sheet (found in the Red Mountain Songbook), Audio

4. ALTHOUGH WE ARE WEEPING (PSALM 126)

Style: This is a contemporary tune done in an ambient, folk style. It is low-tempo and prayerful.

Song info: This tune was produced by Sojourn Music and released on their 2014 album: New Again. It is heavily based on Psalm 126. Psalm 126 is a Song of Ascents, which means that it was used in Israel by pilgrims who were journeying to Jerusalem during feast times. This particular Psalm was written after the exile. It talks about the Lord restoring the fortunes of Zion - a reference to their return from exile. The Psalmist rejoices in this miracle and then turns to a plea for restoration. The land was desolate after 70 years of exile and in need of restoration of all kinds. This prayer asks God to establish the work of their hands as they go out to sow their seed and try to rebuild their lives.

This song is good for us to sing today because we too are called to busy ourselves with building the kingdom of God. The exiles of that time were called by God to return to the land and rebuild, awaiting God's promise to visit them and completely restore the kingdom. We're in a very similar spot. As we wait for Jesus' return we are called to sow seeds of the kingdom and seek to establish God's kingdom in every place. So this prayer is for the church today. Restore us, O Lord.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. HOW DEEP THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US

Style: This is a contemporary song performed in an unusual 5/4 timing. It sounds like a classic hymn though it was written in 1995.

Song Info: This is another song produced by Stuart Townend. Written in 1995, it has become one of the most popular worship songs in the church over the past two decades. And like much of Townend's other work, this song shows signs that it will have an enduring legacy and long tenure. The love that Jesus has shown for us in his work on the cross is often recognized. But sometimes the love of the Father is not given the attention it deserves. The content of this song focuses on the love that the Father has shown to us in sending and giving his Son. It's not just that the Son has loved us by dying for us. The Father has loved us by offering up the Son as a sacrifice for sins. This is a rare song that focuses on the sacrifice that the Father made for our salvation.

Lead SheetAudio

6. COME BEHOLD THE WONDROUS MYSTERY

Style: This is a contemporary song played in a pop/country/rock style.

Song info: This song was written by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell in 2013. It is an invitation to consider "the mystery of the gospel of Christ". My favorite line in the song is "See the price of our redemption/ See the Father's plan unfold/ bringing many sons to glory/ grace unmeasured, love untold!"

Lead SheetAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - Jun 24, 2018

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Join us this Sunday as we finish our series in Proverbs! From here we will move on, beginning a new series in Hebrews. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. COME O COME THOU HOLY SPIRIT

Style: This is a contemporary version of an old hymn. It is modern, mellow, and contemplative.

Song Info: The original tune "Come O Come Thou Quickening Spirit” is attributed to the seventeenth century German Reformed minister Joachim Neander. Neander is also famous for writing Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. This particular song focuses on our need for the Holy Spirit and is an invocation, calling upon the Spirit of God to enlighten our minds, soften our hearts, renew our wills, and show us Christ.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

Style: We will play the traditional version of this song with a "folk rock" sort of feel. It will be mid-tempo.

Song Info: This hymn is one of the most famous and popular hymns of all time. It was written by Reginald Heber in the late 18th century. Its main focus is on the Trinity. It was even written to be used on "Trinity Sunday" but it has become much more widely used and beloved. It's appropriate at this moment in the worship service because we are still meditating on the transcendence and glory of God but also beginning to recognize our own inadequacies. The hymn sings: "...though the eyes of sinful man thy glory may not see."

Sheet MusicAudio

3. THE SOLID ROCK

Style: This is a nineteenth century hymn that is low-tempo and prayerful. We will play the traditional version.

Info: This song is also known as "Christ the Solid Rock", "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand", or "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less". This classic hymn was written by Edward Mote (words) and William Bradbury (music) in 1863. The content focuses on the righteousness of Christ alone as our sure hope for salvation - the solid rock upon which we stand. Though our circumstances in life are constantly changing, though our own righteousness is unreliable and faulty, we have the righteousness of Christ which is unchanging and perfect.

Sheet MusicAudio

4. NOT WHAT MY HANDS HAVE DONE

Style: This is a traditional hymn from the nineteenth century which is low tempo, somber, yet joyful.

Song Info: This classic hymn was penned by Horatius Bonar and its tune was composed by George William Martin in the nineteenth century. Bonar, an ordained Scottish minister, wrote more than 300 hymns during his lifetime. He has been called "The Prince of Scottish Hymn Writers". The subject matter of this hymn focuses on Christ alone as the source of salvation.

Sheet MusicAudio

5. LO HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING

Style: We will play this in its traditional version. It is up tempo and joyful.

Song Info: This hymn was one of the many famous (and forgotten) hymns of Charles Wesley. Inspired by Revelation 1:7, John 20:24-31, Revelation 22:20, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, this hymn is about an eager anticipation of the return of Christ. Sometimes it is sung as an Advent hymn because of its focus on the coming of Christ. But it is appropriate for all seasons. The church should sing "O Come Quickly!" as she thinks about her long sojourn on earth in this age. This hymn helps us to not be too closely attached to this world and to eagerly anticipate the coming of the kingdom of God in glory.

Sheet MusicAudio

See you Sunday!

Preparing for Worship - June 17, 2018

Join us this Sunday as we continue in our series in Proverbs. In these final two weeks of the series we will be focusing on marriage - how to develop a strong marriage and how to avoid the pitfalls in marriage that can lead to adultery. Here are the songs we'll sing together:

1. O CHURCH OF CHRIST INVINCIBLE

Style: This is a modern hymn done in a mid-tempo, english folk style. Like much of Townend's work it is reminiscent of a Beatles song.

Song Info: This song appears on Stuart Townend's newest release - Paths of Grace. It is a hymn of the church meant to draw our attention to truths about what it means to be God's people. The four verses work through some of the hopeful but painful realities of what it means to be the church. In order, they begin with these lines:

"O Church of Christ, invincible...

O chosen people called by grace...

O Church of Christ in sorrow now...

O Church of Christ, upon that day..."

The hymn recognizes that the church is the work of God and cannot be defeated by the devil, she is called by God's grace, she lives in an age where she can expect to suffer because of her faith, but she awaits a wonderful day of vindication and ultimate salvation when Jesus returns.

Sheet MusicAudio

2. Come O Come Thou Holy Spirit

Style: This is a contemporary version of an old hymn. It is modern, mellow, and contemplative.

Song Info: The original tune "Come O Come Thou Quickening Spirit” is attributed to the seventeenth century German Reformed minister Joachim Neander. Neander is also famous for writing Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. This particular song focuses on our need for the Holy Spirit and is an invocation, calling upon the Spirit of God to enlighten our minds, soften our hearts, renew our wills, and show us Christ.

Sheet Music, Audio

3. HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR (MAN OF SORROWS)

Style: We will play this song in its traditional style. It is low to mid-tempo but done in a major key, having lots of energy, and with a very triumphant feel. The style of this song reminds me of classic gospel music.

Song Info: This song was composed in the mid nineteenth century by Philip P. Bliss. Bliss was a music teacher, evangelist, and hymn writer from the Ohio and Pennsylvania areas. He was responsible for composing many famous hymns including the melody for It Is Well With My Soul. The lyrics to this particular song have had an abiding power in the Christian world since they were penned. The title for JI Packer and Mark Dever's recent book on the atonement - "In My Place Condemned He Stood" - was lifted right from the lines of this hymn.

The subject matter of this song focuses on the cross and the humility of Christ, our king. As the song reflects on the humility and servanthood of Christ to suffer for our sins it continually returns to the anthem: Hallelujah! What a savior! It's appropriate at this moment in worship because we are turning from praising God for his goodness to recognizing our own sinfulness and need for a great savior.

Sheet MusicAudio

4. BLEST IS THE MAN

Style: While this particular song was arranged recently, the tune is a familiar traditional American tune. It is low-tempo, prayerful, and having a celtic/traditional american folk feel.

Song Info: The lyrics were composed by Isaac Watts in 1719 as a part of his psalter. Isaac Watts undertook to make the psalms metrical, give them rhyme, and even to "Christianize" them in certain places. This means that wherever he believed that a psalm alluded to Jesus, he would make it more explicit. This particular song has a few examples of this. His words are a Christianized version of Psalm 32.

Psalm 32 is a Psalm of David and a psalm of an individual giving thanks to God. It was likely written some time shortly after Psalm 51 - David's famous Psalm of penitence. The Psalm recounts the blessings associated with forgiveness of sin. David likely wrote this Psalm after experiencing the agony of being confronted about his sin and being exposed. He then humbled himself with prayer and fasting and returned to fellowship with the Lord. This Psalm is likely the result of this experience.

We can sing these words with David as we prepare our hearts for the Lord's Supper, which always ought to be a time of being confronted with our sin, humbling ourselves, confessing our sin, and receiving God's assurance of pardon.

Lead SheetAudio

5. IT IS FINISHED

Style: This is a high-energy, up-tempo song. It's a contemporary tune done in a joyful, indie-rock style typical of much of Dustin Kensrue's music. This is the first time that we have played this song, so you might want to listen to it a few times to familiarize yourself.

Song Info: This is one of my favorite worship songs right now. Written and produced by Kensrue, this song appears on his 2013 album The Water And The Blood. Nearly every song on this record is great. This song joyfully celebrates the finished work of Jesus. By his life, death, and resurrection he has reconciled us to the Father and purchased a place for us in the world to come. This is good news that is worthy of joyous celebration. Hopefully this song will help us get into that mindset and rejoice in the gospel.

Lead SheetAudio

See you Sunday!