Life of Surrender (6-28-2020)

When you’re asked to plan a service around the theme of being a slave to righteousness, that causes you to think.  There’s only about 2 songs I know with the word “slave” in it (“No Longer Slaves” and “O Holy Night”).  There are some songs that have the word “righteousness” in the lyrics, but only as an incidental lyric, not as the main theme.  So what direction was I to go?  As I contemplated no longer being a slave to sin but to righteousness, it caused me to think of surrendering.  We surrender our lives to God.  Isn’t that what the Christian life is all about?  I hope these songs cause you to reflect on that theme as we worship.

1. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Before we focus on surrendering, we’ll sing a few songs that remind us of how much God has done for us in freeing us as slaves to sin.  We begin with this song, also known as Doxology.  We’ll sing it in a lower key than usual in order to go directly into the next song.

2. 10,000 Reasons

This song gives us a lot more reasons to surrender to God…10,000 of them, to be exact.  Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin came up with this lyric while discussing how each day we wake up, we should never stop being able to think of the many ways God has blessed us.

3. When My Love to Christ Grows Weak

“Learning all the might that lies in a full self sacrifice.”  This song is deep in lyrical meaning.  Sometimes when we’ve been singing them for years, that meaning may start to slip our minds.  In order to refresh that meaning, we’ll sing an arrangement of the song that has just the men on the first verse, just the women on the second verse, and verse 3 begins in unison.  Here is the traditional arrangement of the song:

4. Lord, Take Control

Another way we can become slaves to righteousness is by making our lives a “living sacrifice,” as this song suggests.

5. All to Jesus I Surrender

Judson Van de Venter tells the story of how he wrote these powerful lyrics: “For some time, I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life. I became and evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, he caused me to sing.”

6. Pierce My Ear

Finally, we come to a song in which we state that we indeed wish to become slaves for God, not out of obligation, but out of love for our Master.  From Exodus 21:5-6, “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow
10,000 Reasons

PRAYER

When My Love to Christ Grows Weak (1,2,4,5)

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Lord, Take Control

All to Jesus I Surrender

SCRIPTURE READING – Romans 6:15-23

SERMON

Pierce My Ear

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He Calls Us to Call Others (3-1-2020)

I’m excited to be guest leading this week at Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas.  As they wrap up their focus for the month on missions, the songs reflect that message.  God has called each of us to work, and as we work, we are to call others to join us.  I hope each of these songs remind you to live that out in your daily life.

1. Send the Light

This is a very appropriate song to sing at Highland Oaks during the month they are collecting for missions because that is exactly how this song was born.  Charles Gabriel was asked to write a hymn for Easter Sunday when they were taking up a special collection for his church’s mission work.  What a testament that we’re still singing the song 130 years later.

2. I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord

Isaac Watts was a great example of someone who was willing to put himself out there and spread the gospel.  He was often criticized by his own Christian family for the songs he was writing, which many considered to be unscriptural at the time.  This song is a great representation of Christ’s words in Matthew 10:32, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

3. More Than Conquerors

The band Rend Collective has given us a lot of great anthems over the last few years, including songs like “Build Your Kingdom Here” and “Rescuer.”  They wrote this song as a reminder of all the victory we have in Christ even when we see the evil, hurt and pain around us in the world.  What a powerful statement to declare to the world.

4. Called Me Higher

Leslie Jordan of the group All Sons and Daughters wrote this song as a personal prayer between her and God.  I arranged this song for acappella singing and used it on a project for teenagers called Regen Harmony.  I can’t tell you what an encouragement it is to see young people declaring that they will go wherever God leads.

5. We Will Glorify

This Twila Paris classic has stood the test of time over the last 30+ years as an anthem loved by people around the world.  It’s simple in message, yet the power of that message is one that I want to sing for the rest of my life!

6. O Praise the Name (Anastasis)

As we move into our time of communion, this song paints a picture with such beautiful descriptions.  “That cursed tree,” “drenched in tears,” “heavy stone,” “still and all alone.”  Such sad words, but then contrast that with the declaration in the chorus, “For endless days we will sing Your praise, O Lord, O Lord, our God.”

7. My Eyes Are Dry

The words of this song sound as if they were written by someone of old age who is struggling in faith.  “What can be done to an old heart like mine?”  They were actually written by Keith Green, who tragically died at the age of 28.  He may have been young, but he had the wisdom to know what to ask God for in his time of hurt: “Please wash me anew in the wine of Your blood.”

8. Seek Ye First

There are very few songs we sing that actually contain words spoken by Christ.  All three verses of this song come from Jesus’ words in Matthew chapters 4, 6, and 7.

9. Hosanna, You’re My King

I think each of us has an affection for the songs that we sang in our teenage years.  This would be one of those songs for me.

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

Sent the Light (1,2,4)
I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord
More than Conquerors

WELCOME

Called Me Higher
We Will Glorify
O Praise the Name (Anastasis)

COMMUNION

My Eyes Are Dry

OFFERING

Seek Ye First

Hosanna, You’re My King

SERMON

Called Me Higher (reprise)

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Listening in His Presence (2-9-2020)

The last time I led worship, our sermon was on prayer and our songs centered around talking to God.  This week, our sermon is going to focus on listening to God.  In order to listen to Him, we need to be in His presence.  Our songs this week all center on those two themes: hearing God and being in His presence.

1. Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

This song is a great way to set the tone for our entire set.  Jesus said in John 10 that His sheep know the sound of His voice.  What a comforting thought to ask Him to lead us like a shepherd, knowing that He will speak to us, lead us, and protect us from harm.

2. I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Like many of the songs that we sing, this song most likely originated as a children’s song.  Horatius Bonar had a heart for children and had a passion for writing metrical lyrics that they could understand.  This song continues the theme of hearing Jesus, as each verse picks a phrase that Jesus spoke in Scripture.  (Believe it or not, I was unable to find a video of this song paired with the tune that we will be using.  There is another version of the song, most likely the original, written in minor key, which gives the song a much different feel!)

3. My God and I

We conclude our opening medley with lyrics of a song that makes the relationship between God and the author very personal.  They stress deep, personal relationship with God, using imagery of walking hand and hand with Him.

4. Surround Us, Lord

In order to hear the voice of the Savior, we need to be near Him.  Beginning with the words to Psalm 125:2, the song then stresses our need to be in His presence.

5. A Shield About Me

When God is present with us, He also serves as a protector.  He fights for us.  And, as Psalm 3:3 tells us, He is a shield about us.

6. As the Deer Thirsts

Most of us can probably quote Psalm 42:1, but if you read the rest of that Psalm, it paints a picture of someone hurting and in pain.  When you are feeling this way, I hope this song will serve as a catalyst for you to cry out to Him and draw closer to His presence.

7. I’ll Be Listening

This one seemed like a perfect fit right before our message, which is titled “It Pays–To Listen.”  Hope you agree!

8. Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing

Do you remember when you felt called to respond to the gospel?  I hope none of us forget what that felt like.  This song serves as a reminder, “He is calling, softly calling, come to Me and be at rest.”

9. There’s a Stirring

The last and final call I want to hear from Jesus is when He calls me to rise up and go with Him to heaven.  What a wonderful day that will be to be in His presence, “bow down, and lay my crown at His precious wounded feet.”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us (1,2,3)
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

My God and I

PRAYER

Surround Us, Lord
A Shield About Me

COMMUNION
OFFERING

As the Deer Thirsts

I’ll Be List’ning

SCRIPTURE READING – Revelation 2:1-7

SERMON

Soul, a Savior Thou Art Needing

There’s a Stirring

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How’s Your Prayer Life? (1-26-2020)

If you’re like me, I think I could definitely answer the above question with “it could be better!”  There is always room for improvement.  Hopefully these songs encourage us all to take steps to enrich our prayer life in any way possible.

1. What a Friend We Have in Jesus

This is one of the few songs in our opening medley that doesn’t have the word “prayer” in the title, yet Joseph Scriven clearly knew the power of prayer as depicted in these words.  He encourages us nearly every other phrase to turn to prayer no matter what life throws at us.  Joseph was known to struggle with depression, which adds great meaning and depth to what prayer must have meant to him during those times.

2. Did You Think to Pray?

Much like the last song, lyricist Mary Kidder lists some of life’s difficult situations and then points us to prayer as the answer.  While the last song simply tells us we should pray, Mary causes us to pause for thought by asking us if we thought to pray during those difficult moments.  I can certainly think of times when I should have prayed that I did not.  By asking the question, she allows us to learn from our own past experiences rather than just taking her word for it.

3. ‘Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer

Fanny J. Crosby is one of my favorite hymn lyricists.  The language in this song may be a little dated for young people in 2020.  “Balm” isn’t a word you hear much anymore.  But I bet if you asked a young person if they ever had Vaseline or Neosporin put on by one of their parents to help their skin heal, they would say yes.  So use songs like this as a teaching opportunity for your children.

4. Sweet Hour of Prayer

The lyricist of this song, William Walford, was blind just like Fanny J. Crosby.  He was a gospel preacher, which is no small feat to be able to study and quote scripture even with such a handicap.  These words are a testament to his belief in the Gospel.

5. I Must Tell Jesus

We finish our medley with a strong declaration of prayer.  Elisha Hoffman doesn’t just ask if we spoke to Jesus, he doesn’t suggest we speak to Jesus, he instead declares that we must do so if we want to make it through life’s struggles.  Indeed, one has to wonder how people make it through life without prayer.

6. Listen to Our Hearts

One of the most awe inspiring passages on prayer, IMO, is Romans 8.  In this passage, Paul lets us know that when we are unable to find the words to pray, the Spirit can intercede for us in “Wordless groans.”  Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman took that concept and put it into this song, one of my favorites from the 1990’s.

7. God is So Good

As I was searching for songs on the topic of prayer, this was an unexpected find.  But it is so fitting with the verse “He answers prayer.”  One of the many ways that God is so good to us!

8. Down in the River to Pray

Coming up with some contemporary songs to mix in with this list of songs about prayer was tough, so I had to throw this one in.  Although to call this “contemporary” is really not true, as the origins of this song can be traced back to the 1800’s.  But most of us associate this song with the movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” so we’ll go ahead and count this song as contemporary even if it was written over 100 years ago.

9. Hear Me When I Call

Tillit Teddlie has always been a favorite composer of mine given that he is a Church of Christ songwriter.  I never would have imagined when I started leading singing that one day I’d be leading his songs in a congregation where he used to be the preacher!  This song petitions God to hear us when we are struggling in life.

10. Just a Little Talk With Jesus

We finish with the most upbeat song of the bunch, reminding us of the power of prayer while giving us that catchy bass solo!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (1,2)
Did You Think to Pray? (1,2)

‘Tis the Blessed Hour of Prayer (1,2)
Sweet Hour of Prayer (1,3)
I Must Tell Jesus (1,2)

PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING – Romans 8:26-27

Listen to Our Hearts

COMMUNION
OFFERING

God is So Good

Down in the River to Pray

SCRIPTURE READING – Matthew 6:7-15

Hear Me When I Call

Just a Little Talk With Jesus

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Wholly Holy (11-24-2019)

This week’s worship list is a collection of songs about being holy.  (Well, all of them except for one…more on that later!)  I hope your favorite “holy” song is included in this list.

1. On Zion’s Glorious Summit

We begin with a hymn that draws its inspiration from scenes in Revelation.  Chapter 4 describes the throne room of God and how the phrase “holy, holy, holy” is sung continually there.  As we approach the end of this song, I usually feel ushered into the throne room of God as we sing that phrase ourselves.

2. Great Are You, Lord

This song is a wonderful follow up to the last song, especially since it’s in the same key.  After having sung the phrase “holy, holy, holy,” we now continue praising Him with “Holy Lord, most holy Lord, You alone are worthy of my praise.”  This song is a great modern day anthem of praise.

3. Give Thanks

Not only does this song tie in with our theme of holy (listen for the phrase “give thanks to the holy One”), it also ties in to our national holiday of Thanksgiving come up.

4. Holy, Holy, Holy

This is probably the most famous “holy” song in our list this week.  We’ll sing an alternative arrangement where just the sopranos and altos sing verse 1, the sopranos and tenors sing verse 2, the sopranos and basses sing verse 3, and then we all come together for verse 4.  I find that taking an old hymn like this and presenting it this way breathes new life into it and allows us to hear the words with a fresh perspective.

5. Magnificat

This is one of our infamous polyphonic songs that we like to sing in the Church of Christ.  In other words, each part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) has their own part to sing!  Only the tenor part references the word “holy,” so be sure to listen for it when they come in.

6. Holy Spirit

I’m not sure if Creekside has ever sung this song or not, but I know that we like to sing the song “Restore My Soul.”  This song comes from the same composer and has a very similar feel, so I’m confident that we can pull it off even if it’s new to you.  This song brings comfort by asking the Holy Spirit to work in our lives in many different ways.  That’s exactly how this song was born.  Sylvia Rose was praying for the Spirit to work in her life, and then she went home and wrote the words she had prayed.

7. Take Time to Be Holy

After hearing our message on being “Wholly Holy,” I thought this would be a great thought for our invitation.  It reminds us all of the things we should be doing with our time in order to be holy and serve a holy God.

8. My God is Singing Over Me

As promised, we have one song in our set that does not reference the word holy.  It was a special request from our interim minister and his wife, as this is our last Sunday with them.  I remember the first time I led this when she was present.  As a song writer, it was such a joy to watch her expression as she heard the message of the song.  So it’s an honor to have it requested!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

On Zion’s Glorious Summit

Great Are You, Lord

PRAYER

Give Thanks

Holy, Holy, Holy

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Magnificat

Holy Spirit (1,2,3,1)

SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Peter 1:14-16

SERMON

Take Time to Be Holy (1,2,3,4)

My God is Singing Over Me

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What Kind of Life? (10-13-2019)

The sermon title this week is “Playing the Blame Game.”  Obviously, that’s not exactly a theme which I can pick songs about.  However, I think it does beg us to ask the question: what kind of life will we choose to live?  Our songs this week all help us examine that question.

1. Bring Christ Your Broken Life

While traditionally an invitation song, this is a great place for us to start.  We are all broken in one way or another, so what better way to start our worship than acknowledging that and coming to Jesus for help?

2. Take My Life, and Let It Be

There are numerous tunes that go to this set of lyrics.  My favorite, happens to be the same tune that we use for the song “Lord, We Come Before Thee Now.”  This is a great follow up to the last song.  After bringing Christ our broken life, He is able to take it and use it for His will.

3. Living For Jesus

I can’t help but notice when I sing this song that the chorus seems a little disjointed from the verses.  It just has a different feel.  In fact, some hymnals specifically say to sing the chorus slower.  To help the song flow better, we’ll sing the verses together, and then the chorus at the end.

4. Here I Am to Worship

Tim Hughes was reading Philippians 2 where scripture focuses on Jesus’ humility and His obedience to death on a cross.  Reflecting on those thoughts, Tim then began to worship in song and wrote what became one of the top worship songs of the decade back in 2001.

5. Remind Me, Dear Lord

Sometimes in order to live the life that God wants, it requires us to reflect on our mistakes.  Where might you be today if you hadn’t made some of the poor choices in your past?  While we shouldn’t stay stuck in our guilt and shame, we should reflect on these mistakes from time to time in order to learn from our past and to keep from making those same mistakes.  This song provides that kind of deep reflection.

6. A Beautiful Life

How many songs can we say were written by someone who has spent time in jail?  This is one of the few!  That adds an even deeper meaning to the desire to do golden deeds.  William Golden clearly had a change of heart for whatever he was convicted for and had a strong desire to turn his life around and serve the Lord.

7. Because He Lives

This song tells us what life is all about: “Life is worth the living just because He lives!”

8. I Saw the Light

This song shows the contrast of what it’s like when someone turns their life around.  Not only that, it’s just plain fun to sing and you’ll be humming it for the rest of the day after you leave service!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

Bring Christ Your Broken Life

Take My Life, and Let It Be

PRAYER

Living For Jesus (1,2,3, then chorus)

Here I Am to Worship

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Remind Me, Dear Lord

A Beautiful Life

SCRIPTURE READING – Genesis 3:1-6

SERMON

Because He Lives (1,3)

I Saw the Light

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God’s Love, Jesus’ Love, Our Love (9-1-2019)

There is a never a shortage of songs about love.  In fact, it’s always difficult to narrow it down to just 8-10 choices!  Our selections this week will focus on love from several different perspectives: God’s love for us, Jesus’ love for us, our love for Him, and our love for each other.

1. God is Love (Come, Let Us All Unite to Sing)

This song sets the tone for our entire set, defining that God is love!  There are two different variations of this song: one where the women have a duet during the verse, and the other where everyone sings during that section.  We will do a mixture of both throughout the three verses.

2. The Love of God

If God is love, and God is in our lives, then the effect of that love should be evident in our lives.  This song tells us what will occur in our lives when that love is present.  In particular, we’ll be singing the lesser known third verse, which is included in this video.

3. Wonderful Love of Jesus (In Vain In High and Holy Lays)

For these next two songs, we shift our focus from the love of God to the love of Jesus.  It struck me as I was working on this blog that for as many years as I’ve been singing this song (pretty much my whole life), I wasn’t sure what the first line of the song meant.  “In vain and high and holy lays.”  Turns out “lays” is just an old English term for song.  Don’t be surprised if you see that clarification on the slide this Sunday!

4. Faithful Love

I’ve been in love with this song since I first learned it in the 1990’s.  Written by Ken Young of the group Hallal, this song tells the story of just how strong Jesus’ love for us is: that He came to this earth to show us that love.  As a result, “I’ll never be the same!”

5. The Greatest Commands (Love One Another)

This song beautifully combines so many aspects of love: God’s love for us, our love for God, and our love for each other.  This song came from an album by Maranatha back in 1973 under the title “Love One Another.”  That instrumental version only contained what we know as the alto and bass parts.  A soprano and tenor part were added for this a capella arrangement and the rest is history.

6. Instruments of Your Peace

Satan would like to make sure there is a lot of hatred in the world.  I love the contrast that this song provides to the darkness in the world.  If there is hatred, “let…love increase.”  If “walls of pride and prejudice” exist, they will “cease when we are Your instruments of peace.”

7. Had It Not Been the Lord

Psalm 124 is written from the perspective of the Israelites.  What amazes me is how true this song is even from our perspective, thousands of years later.  I’ve been singing this song for years, so it was an honor to meet the composer, Debbie Dorman, in 2017.

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8. Bind Us Together

I thought this would be a great thought for us to finish with: “Bind us together with love!”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

God is Love

The Love of God (1,2,3)

PRAYER

Wonderful Love of Jesus

Faithful Love

COMMUNION
OFFERING

The Greatest Commands

Instruments of Your Peace

SCRIPTURE READING – Genesis 2:18-24

SERMON

Had It Not Been the Lord

Bind Us Together

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THE Father (8-25-2019)

Our sermon this week is titled “Family Matters: The Family Man.”  While there are a few songs about fathers, I decided to go with songs about THE Father.  What better example of love for earthly fathers than our Father above?  All of our songs today reference the Father in some form or fashion.

1. Doxology

“Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”  Sometimes when a composer writes a hymn, only a certain part of it gains popularity.  Such is the case with this song, as this was the closing stanza to a longer song.  This song makes a great opener as it sets the tone by reminding us whom our praise is for!

2. To God Be the Glory

“O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son.”  As the composer of the lyrics to literally thousands of hymns, Fanny J. Crosby saw a lot of success in her life.  This song, however, didn’t gain mainstream popularity until nearly 40 years after her death when it was introduced at a Billy Graham crusade.  This song makes a great medley with Doxology as they’re both written in the same key.

3. This is My Father’s World

“This is my Father’s world, the battle is not done!”  Sometimes just walking outside in nature is all the inspiration you need for beautiful lyrics.  That’s exactly what Maltbie Davenport Babcock was probably up to as these words formed in his mind.  He would often tell his wife as he headed out for one of his walks that he was “going to see my Father’s world.”

4. Night, With Ebon Pinion

“Abba, Father, Father.”  We’ll precede this hymn with a scripture reading of Mark 14:32-42, which is Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.  This hymn beautifully tells that story in song.  There is debate as to whether or not Abba translates “daddy” or not.  In fact, if you Google the topic and read articles, most suggest it does not, in fact, translate as such.  Regardless of the exact translation, scriptures like Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 make it evident that we can call Him Abba, as well.

5. Always Forgiven

“Father of grace, You welcome me in!”  Sometimes a simple message can be the most profound.  This song reminds us that instead of giving us what we deserve, God showers us with us grace, love and mercy.

6. El Shaddai

“El Elyon na Adonai.”  Our scripture reading for our sermon (Genesis 22:5-10) tells the story of Abraham taking Isaac to be sacrificed.  This song directly references that story.  This song also tells the story that God wove throughout time to save His children, which includes not only Israel, but the entire world!

7. Angry Words

“Children, obey the Father’s blest command.”  Our sermon will encourage parents to teach their children to trust God and walk with Him.  As soon as I heard that description, I immediately thought of this song.

8. My God is Singing Over Me

“Give the praise and glory to our Father, Friend, and King.”  I hope this song leaves you feeling uplifted that God is singing over your life!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

Doxology

To God Be the Glory

This is My Father’s World

PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING – Mark 14:32-42

Night, With Ebon Pinion

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Always Forgiven

El Shaddai

SCRIPTURE READING – Genesis 22:5-10

SERMON

Angry Words

My God is Singing Over Me

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Go and Glorify (7-14-2019)

We’re in the middle of a sermon series that deals with the church in Antioch.  This week, our focus is being on a “going” church.  As we go out in to the world, we should always strive to glorify Him.  Naturally, all our songs reference those two concepts.

1. Ring Out the Message

We begin with this anthem for going and spreading the good news of the gospel to the world.  The song writing team of James Rowe and Samuel Beazley had a knack for writing some catchy music with a good lead part in the chorus.  This song, of course, has the dynamite bass lead, and their other song “Home of the Soul” has a beautiful alto lead.

2. Lord, Send Me (There is Much to Do)

No doubt taking some inspiration from Isaiah 6:8, M. W. Spencer gives us a call to go out and do the work that God has called us to do.  When it comes to the old hymns, this one has always been a favorite of mine.

3. Far and Near

When we seek to go out into the world, we must not limit where that might be.  We need Christians to serve in our local communities, and we also need Christians to go out to countries far away.  Hence the message of this song

4. We Will Glorify

If there is one book in the Bible that tells of what praise in heaven is like, it would have to be Revelation.  No doubt that is where some of the inspiration for Twila Paris came when writing this song.  She lays the foundation by declaring Him “King of kings” and “Lord of lords,” and then taking us to the throne room as described in Revelation.

5. Glorify Thy Name

Donna Adkins had been reading John 17, the passage in which Jesus is praying.  Donna was struck by the fact that the word “glorify” appeared so many times in the first 5 verses of that chapter.  She wrote this short little song, addressing it to the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit.

6. Servant Song

AKA “Make Me Like You,” this song comes from a musical by Jimmy and Carol Owens.  They are both passionate about writing songs that speak to the heart.  “The idea we’re striving for is to make every melody line, every voicing and chord progression, every choice of words appropriate to the feeling of the message; to create the “Perfect Wedding” of words and music that makes the message come alive. When all the elements are working together, each doing what it’s supposed to do, the song has life and warmth and emotion. We don’t just hear it, we experience it.”

7. Go Light Your World

We couldn’t have a sermon about “going” and not sing this song.  It’s hard to believe this song is over 25 years old now.  Before there was Chris Tomlin, there was Chris Rice!  Chris’s song writing ability caught the attention of Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant with his Christmas song “Welcome to Our World.”  This song became a radio hit when Kathy Troccoli recorded it in 1995.  It’s a wonderful reminder of how our light can help others in times of darkness.

8. Pass It On

Much like Jimmy and Carol Owens, Kurt Kaiser also had a knack for writing musicals that touched people.  This song comes from a musical he wrote in 1969 called “Tell It Like It Is.”  Kurt desired to write music that would reach young people.  He certainly accomplished that goal with this song as it has been sung at youth camps for many decades now.

9. God Bless You, Go With God

This song serves as a wonderful benediction to our service, as we declare to each other “My prayer will always be, may you go with God.”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

Ring Out the Message
Lord, Send Me

Far and Near

PRAYER

We Will Glorify

Glorify Thy Name

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Servant Song

Go Light Your World

SCRIPTURE READING – Acts 13:1-3

SERMON

Pass It On

God Bless You, Go With God

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Loyal to God and the Gospel (6-23-2019)

Our sermon this Sunday is titled “Allegiance to Him and the Gospel.”  There is definitely a lack of songs that talk about allegiance, so I went with the word “loyal” instead.  We’ll begin with some songs that focus on the importance of the gospel, and then move into our songs about loyalty.

1. The Gospel is For All

We begin with a song that originates from within the Church of Christ.  John Moody McCaleb, the lyricist of this song, indeed believed in the words as he spent almost 50 years of his life as a missionary in Japan.  I wonder if he could have imagined his song being sung in other languages nearly 100 years later.  Check out this church singing his song in the Philippines (beginning around the 30 second mark).

2. Into Our Hands

This is another song that originates in our brotherhood.  I know I don’t have to tell people at my church who Tillit Teddlie was, as he has a history at our church.  This is one of the few songs where he did not write the lyrics.  He purchased some poems from Mrs. Roy Caruth for $4, and this was one of her poems.  Just like the last song, it has spread around the world.  Here is a group from Hong Kong singing this treasured hymn.

3. How Great Thou Art

As we think about being loyal to God, He has certainly given us reason to be loyal.  That’s no doubt what the lyricist of this song, Carl Gustaf Boberg, was thinking about.  He heard the thunder, he felt the wind, and then the peace after the storm.  Our loyalty to God only increases when we think of how loyal He has been to us by sending His Son to die.

4. How Great is Our God

I love tying this song in to the last one.  This song is a modern day version of How Great Thou Art.  It clearly struck a nerve with Christians all over as it won the Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year not one time (in 2006) but two times (again in 2008).

5. Pierce My Ear

When I think about songs that pledge our loyalty to Christ, this song is at the top of the list.  In the book of Exodus, when the law is being given to the Israelites, chapter 21 explains how a slave was to be treated.  After 6 years of service, he was to be set free.  But, if by choice, the slave loved his master and wanted to stay, the master would take him to the door post and pierce the ear of the slave, marking him for life.  In this song, we are stating that we want to serve God forever.

6. To Christ Be True

This song definitely fits in with our theme of loyalty and allegiance.  It has that musical theme of marching, just like “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” and many other songs of that period.

7. When Jesus Comes (Will Jesus Find Us Watching)

There was no lyricist more loyal to the gospel than Fanny J. Crosby, who wrote lyrics to over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs.  In this song, she shows her understanding of remaining ready for when the Lord comes.

8. Great Are You, Lord

He is holy and true, and worthy of our praise.  Let this song be your declaration for your life this week!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts

ORDER OF SERVICE

WELCOME

The Gospel is For All
Into Our Hands

PRAYER

How Great Thou Art
How Great is Our God

COMMUNION
OFFERING

Pierce My Ear

To Christ Be True

SCRIPTURE READING – Galatians 1:6-10

SERMON

When Jesus Comes

Great Are You, Lord

Posted in Worship Set Lists | 1 Comment