Remain Faithful (3-19-2023)

Our key verse for this week’s sermon is Acts 11:23, “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose.” We’ll be focusing on the phrase “remain faithful” with this week’s songs.

1. O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink

If the tune to this song sounds familiar while the words don’t, that’s because we also use this tune for the Isaac Watts song “I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord.” These words, written by William Bathurst around 1831, are a prayer for God to increase our faith. His description of faith definitely requires an effort on our part. A faith that will “not murmur or complain”? Not sure how well we do at that sometimes!

2. Faith of Our Fathers

Frederick Faber wrote this song as a reminder for the Catholic church of those who were persecuted during the reign of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. Many became martyrs are endured great torture. Of course, now this song has taken on a larger meaning in the Christian faith to honor all those who have passed on their faith to us.

3. Faith of Our Mothers

We know that there are many women who have suffered for the cause of Christ, as well. I’m sure each one of us also have women in our lives who have impacted our faith. During the most formative years of my childhood, I many wonderful women who taught me in Bible class and helped build the foundation of my faith. It’s therefore fitting that we sing this song and acknowledge them, just as we acknowledged the men in the last song.

4. Faithful Love

Our ultimate example of faith is Jesus, who loved us so much that He “came to earth to show the Father’s love.” If we truly know and understand that love, then we’ll “never be the same.”

5. When My Love to Christ Grows Weak

“When for deeper faith I seek.” When our faith is weak, what better place to go than Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? Even Jesus struggled in His faith. If He hadn’t, He would not have asked “take this cup away from me.” Knowing that He endured that pain and agony for me increases my faith. This particular arrangement of this song starts with just the men on verse 1 and just the women on verse 2. The video below is the traditional arrangement.

6. My Eyes Are Dry

“My faith is old.” Keith Green wrote this song when he was only 25 years old. So what did he mean when he said his “faith is old”? No doubt he had experienced enough life to know that our faith can waver. He desired to have the same unwavering faith as that when he first became a Christian. How does one accomplish that? “Soften it up with oil and wine.” (Shoutout to my college choir director, Dr. Arthur Shearin, who is directing in the recording of the video below.)

7. You Are My All in All

In corresponding with our minister on this week’s sermon, he specifically mentioned being strengthened when we are weak. Naturally, this song popped in my head. Written by Dennis Jernigan in 1990, it reminds us that when we “fall down,” He picks us up, and when we “are dry,” He fills our cup. What an amazing God we have to help us in our weakness.

8. Yield Not to Temptation

In my opinion, this song is mistitled. It should be called “Ask the Savior to Help You.” Asking God for help is not just about asking when you are being tempted. God is able to “comfort, strengthen and keep you” through all life’s difficulties.

9. Behold Our God

One day our faith will become sight. On that day, we can declare “Behold our God, seated on His throne, come let us adore Him!”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts




O For a Faith That Will Not Shrink
Faith of Our Fathers (1,3)
Faith of Our Mothers (2,3)


Faithful Love

When My Love to Christ Grows Weak


My Eyes Are Dry

You Are My All in All


Yield Not to Temptation

Behold Our God

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Live for Him (2-12-2023)

This week’s list took a while to take shape. With a sermon series going through the book of Acts, a lot of the same themes can occur week after week. Ultimately, what ended up coming together was a set of songs that truly encourage us to live a life dedicated to Christ where He receives the glory. Let’s see what made the list.

1. Let Me Live Close to Thee

I was asked recently to lead more older songs, so we’re starting off this week with a medley of four classic hymns all referring to living for Christ. This first one has a wonderful alto lead in the chorus. This style of song is considered Southern Gospel. In fact, Southern Gospel is sometimes referred to as “Stamps-Baxter music,” which was a prolific publishing company within that genre. This song was written by JR Baxter and Virgil Stamps themselves, so you can’t get any more southern gospel than this!

2. Take My Life, and Let It Be

The words to this song are definitely powerful and have touched generations. Frances Havergal was an English poet and hymnwriter. Her words have been put to at least four different tunes that I know. The tune that we’ll be using today in our medley is one written by Henri Malan. It’s the same tune that we traditionally sing with the hymn “Lord, We Come Before Thee Now.”

3. I’ll Live For Him

This is probably the oldest hymn on our list this week. The lyrics were written by Ralph Hudson, who fought in the Civil War. Interestingly, I’ve seen the music written in 3/4 time as well as 4/4 time. It’s unusual for a hymn this old to have such a variation. We’ll be singing it in 4/4 time as that is the version in our hymnal.

4. Living For Jesus

We close out our opening medley with a very strong declaration. Thomas Chisholm made a strong commitment when he wrote the words “I own no other master, my heart shall be Thy throne.” Mr. Chisholm had a knack for writing powerful words. He also wrote the lyrics to “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” which we sang last week.

5. Remind Me, Dear Lord

In 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us that “each one should examine themselves” when taking the Lord’s supper. I can think of no other song that calls us to examine ourselves like this one. “Show me where you brought me from and where I could have been.” Dottie Rambo was truly asking God to help her evaluate her life in an honest and sobering way.

6. In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified

Bob Kirkpatrick originally wrote this song as a prayer shared between himself, his wife, and Jesus. Because it was written as a private prayer, he had no intention of sharing it publicly. His wife, however, convinced him that he had written something the church needed to sing. I’m so glad she did.

7. All To Us

“May the saving love of Christ be the measure of our lives.” Jesus told us in Matthew 7 that with “whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.” When it’s time for me to be judged on that day, my only chance is for Jesus to measure me with His love. So it stands to reason in this life that I must do my best daily to offer the same to others.

8. In Need

I try to pick out an entire list of songs that will complement the sermon and tell a narrative throughout. I especially always want to pick out an invitation song that will drive home the message of the sermon. So it usually ends up with me on the phone with our preacher trying to find the right song to do so. I can’t wait to see how this ties in with his message. This song is truly an entire sermon in itself, as you can tell from the emotion being expressed in this video.

9. All Glory Be to Christ

Last Sunday I was approached with a song request. I looked it up and the lyrics actually fit perfect with this week’s theme. Written in 2012, the lyrics remind us to live a life where all the glory belongs to Christ. Despite the new lyrics, this song still fits the request I received for “older” songs. The music to this song is the same as Auld Lang Syne.

In Him,

Aaron Shotts




Let Me Live Close to Thee (1,3)
Take My Life, And Let It Be (1,2,3,5)
I’ll Live For Him (1,3)
Living For Jesus (1)


Remind Me, Dear Lord


In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified

All to Us


In Need

All Glory Be to Christ

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He Changes Lives (1-22-2023)

This week, our songs all focus on allowing God to heal us and work in our lives.

1. Restore My Soul

We begin with this prayer in which we ask God to restore, revive, and renew us. Written by Sylvia Rose in 1985, I have fond memories of her coming to my home congregation in metro Detroit and teaching this song. Born out of a period of depression for Sylvia, this song has become an anthem of hope to churches everywhere.

2. Holy Spirit

If you hear similarities between the last song and this song, that’s because they are both written by Sylvia Rose. This time, we are asking the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, comfort us, and rescue us. Both of these songs are prayers that I definitely need to ask God on a daily basis. I’m willing to bet you feel that way, too.

3. Beautiful Lamb

In order for God to restore us and let His Spirit work in us, we have to be willing to be led by Him. While Jesus is our Shepherd, He set an example for us on how to be led by being led to the cross. Isaiah 53 describes how He was led like a lamb to a slaughter. He truly is the beautiful Lamb of God!

4. Gentle Shepherd

Knowing that He was the ultimate example for us by following the will of His Father, that should make us want to follow Him. Praise God that He Jesus is a gentle Shepherd. I love how this song is written in a collective voice where we ALL declare that “we need You to help us find our way.”

5. Father, I Adore You

I had a hard time choosing which song was right for this slot. I had “Instruments of Your Peace” in mind, but then this song came to mind with the line “lay my life before You” as a good example of letting God work in us. The elder who is preaching this Sunday had no opinion, so I did something I’ve never done before: I put it to a vote on our church Facebook page. This song won!

6. The Solid Rock

This song was requested specifically for our sermon. Can’t wait to hear the message to go with it.

7. What the Lord Has Done in Me

This song is a great example of acknowledging what God has done in our lives. More than that, it speaks to how God blesses us in ways no one else understands. I doubt you will find a poor person who would truly say “I am rich” unless they have Jesus in their life. The chorus then praises “the Lamb that was slain.”

8. A Beautiful Life

As we let God work in our lives, it’s important for us to then spread that to others. I hope the message of this song stays with you all week as you go “down life’s weary road.” Remember to “lift some traveler’s load.”

In Him,

Aaron Shotts



SCRIPTURE READING – Proverbs 3:7-8

Restore My Soul

Holy Spirit


Beautiful Lamb

Gentle Shepherd



Father, I Adore You

The Solid Rock


What the Lord Has Done in Me

A Beautiful Life

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The King is Born (12-18-2022)

We’re not too experienced with monarchies nowadays, but between history and fairy tales, we know that when a king has a son, the son is then a prince. Yet when it comes to Jesus, He is born as King! Isaiah goes so far as to call Him “Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” No wonder He deserves our adoration.

1. Majesty

I love using this as an opening song. It truly set the stage for a time of worship. In fact, I love having the audience stand for the song because it sounds like a song that would have been sung when Jesus entered Jerusalem and the crowds worshiped Him.

2. In the Name of the Lord

When Jesus did enter Jerusalem, scripture says that the crowds sang “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Those are the final words to this anthem made popular by Sandi Patty back in 1986.

3. Glorious Impossible

This will be our first time introducing this song on a Sunday morning at Creekside. We learned it in our singing class and it went very well. The lyrics of this song might seem confusing to some. If all things are possible with God, then why are we singing about something being impossible? As song co-writer Carl Cartee states: “the song is intended to be a celebration of God stepping into what was impossible for us and making it glorious through His overcoming power.”

4. Magnificat

Always a crowd favorite when I lead it, we’ll have a scripture reading just before singing this song of Luke 1:46-55. Not only will this allow us to hear where this song comes from, it will also allow everyone to hear the words to the other three parts that you are not singing, giving a better appreciation for the meaning of the song.

5. Silent Night

Originally written in German, this song has been translated into over 300 languages and sung around the world. The words, written by Joseph Mohr, were written to convey to his congregation that there was a God who cares despite the poverty and hunger that they were going through. Most definitely still a message that the world needs to hear today!

6. Joy to the World

I know some of you will find this shocking, but some people like to complain about the songs we sing in church! (I’m sure those who know me will hear the sarcasm in my voice just reading this.) So it brings me comfort to know that those complaints have been going on for hundreds of years. Isaac Watts, arguably one of the most famous lyricists in church hymnody, received such complaints about the new songs he was writing. Thank God that he didn’t let that stop him. Otherwise we wouldn’t have songs like this.

7. I Gave My Life For Thee

Traditionally, we are probably used to singing this song before communion as a way to remember Christ giving His life for us. This song calls us to think about more than that, though. It also calls us to reflect on what we need to give to Him. So it’s also a perfect song to use for our invitation, as well.

8. Behold Our God

This is another song that we learned in our Wednesday night singing class. The chorus is a powerful anthem and a great way for us to end our worship together, declaring “Behold our God, seated on His throne, come let us adore Him! Behold our King, nothing can compare, come let us adore Him!”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts




In the Name of the Lord

Glorious Impossible






Silent Night

Joy to the World


I Gave My Life For Thee

Behold Our God

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Always Thankful (11-20-2022)

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to write a blog 2 weeks in a row. After leading last week at my old congregation in Michigan, I’m back home at Creekside in Greenville, Texas. With Thanksgiving on Thursday, we’re examining ways to be thankful in all situations. There is no shortage of songs to sing on this topic!

1. Count Your Blessings (When Upon Life’s Billows)

Johnson Oatman, Jr. was able to write the words to over 3,000 songs. He saw this as a way to preach the gospel. This song is considered his 3rd most popular song, falling behind “There’s Not a Friend (No, Not One)” and “Higher Ground.” This song was most likely partially inspired by the passage our scripture reading comes from in I Thessalonians 5.

2. 10,000 Reasons

If you truly did attempt to count your blessings, no doubt you would be able to come up with a long list of things that God has provided. 10,000 perhaps? That is the thought behind this classic contemporary song by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin. If you’re having trouble coming up with a list, turn to Psalm 103 to get started. That Psalm serves as the inspiration for the lyrics of this song.

3. There Is a Redeemer

Counting blessings even during time of tragedy can be hard. Melody Green went through great tragedy around the time she wrote this song when her husband, Christian singer/songwriter Keith Green, and 2 of their children were killed in a plane crash. Even after such great loss, she was able to look back and declare “without the Lord and the support of my friends, I never would have made it.”

4. Rising Sun

After you’ve counted your blessings, share with others how God has blessed you! This song encourages us to do so while praising His name: “We lift high His glory, shown throughout our stories.” This is my favorite song on our list this week.

5. He Has Made Me Glad

When we are thankful, it affects our attitude and the way we feel. Leona Von Brethorst set out to make it through some tough times by writing this song after reading Psalm 100. I’d say not only did it improve her attitude, it improved the attitude of Christians around the world each time they sing this song.

6. Salvation Belongs to Our God

“And unto the Lamb be praise and glory, wisdom and thanks, honor and power and strength–be to our God forever and ever!” God truly deserves all the glory and thanks for the ultimate blessing He gave us: Jesus, His sacrifice, and the grace that comes with it.

7. Thank You, Lord

God has given us so much because He loves us so much. “Thank You, Lord, for loving me” is one phrase that I never want to stop repeating as long as I live.

In Him,
Aaron Shotts



SCRIPTURE READING – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

Count Your Blessings

10,000 Reasons


There is a Redeemer


Rising Sun

He Has Made Me Glad


Salvation Belnogs to Our God

Thank You, Lord

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On Our Knees in Prayer (11-13-2022)

Excited to be heading back to Michigan and leading singing at the congregation where I spent over 30 years attending! Our topic for the sermon this week is prayer, so these songs are some of my favorites on that theme. Hope they are some of yours too.

1. Lord, We Come Before Thee Now

So often when we assemble together in prayer, we focus on asking God for things. In most Bible classes I attend, when prayer requests are taken, they are almost always asking God for healing, etc. William Hammond, however, comes asking for God’s presence, His grace, and the opportunity to sing praise to Him. True, he does ask God to heal the sick in the last verse, but that definitely doesn’t seem to be his focus. What a great example for us to do in prayer: seek simply to be in His presence.

2. Listen to Our Hearts

We all have those moments in life when we have a hard time praying. Perhaps we want to pray, but we are in so much sadness or grief, we can’t find the words. Romans 8:26 tells us that the Spirit will intercede on our behalf. Geoff Moore and Steven Curtis Chapman so elegantly put that thought into song.

3. Communion Medley:
Tis Midnight, and On Olive’s Brow
The Old Rugged Cross
Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone

I can think of no greater example of someone on their knees in prayer than Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This medley of songs takes us to that place. After setting the scene in the garden, we go to “The Old Rugged Cross,” which is where Jesus’ mind is as He is praying. The question He’s asking God? “Must I do bear this cross?” I’ve led this medley before, but it is such a powerful narrative, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for this topic.

4. Just a Little Talk With Jesus

Cleavant Derricks wrote this song during the Great Depression. Knowing what a bleak time that was for so many people, I’m sure this song brought great comfort knowing that a talk with Jesus costs absolutely nothing. In fact, during their time of need, Cleavant used this song to help his church get some much needed new hymnals. He showed this song to a publisher, and in exchange for the rights to publish the song, they gave him 50 new hymnals for his church. Given what a popular song it became, I’d say he wasn’t paid enough, but he was simply honored to have his song so widely known and loved.

5. Invitation

I was surprised to receive a text from my mom a few months ago saying that this song, which I wrote, was led in church. Having been 10 years since I left, I figured it had long since been forgotten. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to lead it myself. Inspired by the conversions of the jailer in Acts 16 and the Ethiopian in Acts 8, this song asks the questions “what must I do to be saved?’ and “why should I not be baptized?”

6. I Saw the Light

Once we make the decision to follow Christ, our life changes. You could say that we “saw the light.” I doubt anyone at my home congregation has ever sang this song in church before, but I have no doubt they’ll know it. Who hasn’t heard Hank Williams sing this classic?

In Him,
Aaron Shotts



Lord, We Come Before Thee Now
Listen to Our Hearts


Tis Midnight, and On Olive’s Brow (1)
The Old Rugged Cross (1)
Tis Midnight, and On Olive’s Brow (2)
Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone (1)
Tis Midnight, and On Olive’s Brow (3)


Just a Little Talk With Jesus





I Saw the Light


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Follow the Weak (10-23-2022)

Do I have your attention with that title? Good! We associate weakness with such negative connotations. I would have started that sentence with “in today’s society,” but I think this has been a problem with mankind from the beginning. None of us want to be weak. We want to be strong. And yes, in many ways, being strong is important: mentally, physically, and spiritually. We also have to be WILLING to be weak. We have to be able to admit when we’re wrong. We have to be willing to share our struggles and shortcomings. This is what a good leader does. This week as we hear a sermon about marriage, I thought this was what needed to be emphasized. Be willing to be weak with one another! This is also a great follow up to our last couple sermons about being an elder. An elder that is willing to be weak? That’s the type of Shepherd I want to follow.

1. One Step at a Time

”The flesh is so weak and hopeless.” Our weakness can become a point of despair in our lives if we let it consume us. If we take one step at a time with our Savior, He will lead us toward strength in Him.

2. I Am a Sheep

Dennis Jernigan is definitely someone who has set an example when it comes to confessing their weakness and struggles. Dennis is very open about his story, which you can read more about on his web site. I have no doubt DJ wrote this song from a place of recognizing his own weakness. In fact, DJ doesn’t say he is a song writer, but a song RECEIVER, having received the song from the Lord. He takes this concept in part from Zephaniah 3:17 which says that God is singing over us. What a wonderful way to give all the glory to God.

3. You Are My All in All

“You are my strength when I am weak.” We continue with another song by Dennis Jernigan. This is probably the most popular one he has ever written. Because he wrote the verse and the chorus at the same length with similar musical structure, they can be sung at the same time, which is part of what gives this song such massive appeal.

4. Highly Exalted

There is no better example we have of someone willingly becoming weak than Jesus. Isaiah 53 paints a picture in which He is led like a lamb to the slaughter. He didn’t open His mouth, choosing to be crushed for our iniquities. What makes that so powerful is that it was all His choice. In fact, we know from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane that He didn’t want to choose it, but did so because He was willing to do the Father’s will. No wonder that “God has highly exalted (His) name.”
(Note for worship leaders: instead of ending this song with the usual final tag, we’ll go straight from the last line of the chorus into the next song.)

5. Beautiful Lamb

This song also references the scripture from Isaiah 53. It reminds us that each one of us has gone astray, but because of what Jesus was willing to do for us, He takes our sin away. No wonder that we can call Him, “guiltless and pure as snow,” “gentle and merciful,” and the “beautiful Lamb of God.”

6. I Am Coming to the Cross

“I am poor and weak and blind.” Traditionally, this song has been used mostly as an invitation song after the sermon. Sometimes I like to use invitation songs in other places in our service to help us look at their message with a fresh set of eyes. It is my hope that in singing this song before our lesson will prepare our hearts to be humbled in receiving the message given to us. Shockingly, I could not find an a cappella rendition of this song on YouTube in English, but I did find a beautiful rendition from a group in India.

7. All to Us

After having sung so many songs acknowledging our own weakness, we can now fully declare that “Jesus, You are all to us!”

8. Jesus, Loves Me

”They are weak, but He is strong.” Who is the “they” in that phrase? The phrase before is referring to “little ones.” Jesus told us that we all are to come to Him as little children. Therefore, I think for this closing song, I will change the words on screen to say “WE are weak, but He is strong.”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts



SCRIPTURE READING – Ephesians 5:21-23

One Step at a Time

I Am a Sheep

You Are My All in All



Highly Exalted

Beautiful Lamb



I Am Coming to the Cross


All to Us

Jesus Loves Me

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Shine (9-18-2022)

I originally set out to make a list of songs that all talk about “light.” As I perused my list of songs that we sing in church, it became apparent we had already done all of those recently. I quickly was able to come up with a lot more songs when I changed my search from “light” to “shine.” Here is what I came up with.

1. There Is Sunshine in My Soul

Imagine being in a cast for 6 months and being immobile, unable to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Then finally, the day comes when the doctor removes the cast and he suggests you take a walk in the park. That’s exactly the situation that Eliza Hewitt found herself in. She was so overcome with joy during the walk in the park that when she got home, she wrote the words to this song.

2. Heavenly Sunlight

I love the juxtaposition of the darkness and light in this song. The verses remind us of the darkness we may be experiencing in life with phrases like “through the deep vale” and “shadows around me, shadows above me.” Yet even in that darkness, we sing an incredibly cheery tune because we have sunlight that is “flooding my soul with glory divine.”

3. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

This song tends to be regarded as a Christmas song, but I think it is much more than that. Verse 3 states that “Jesus is now that Star divine, brighter and brighter He will shine.” So when we declare “beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on,” we are asking Jesus to shine His light…not just at Christmas, but year round!

4. Shine On Us

Perhaps there is no time during worship that we are more aware of God’s light, grace, and love than as we partake of the Lord’s Supper and remember what He has done for us. This song, then, is a wonderful song to prepare our minds right before we partake.

5. Rising Sun

This is only our second time introducing this song on a Sunday morning at Creekside, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It has become a favorite of mine, especially when I watch the video with all these young people smiling and declaring: “Your name is higher than the rising sun!”

6. Shine, Jesus, Shine

Graham Kendrick wrote the verses of this song without a chorus, but the song never seemed to catch on. It wasn’t until he went back months later and added the chorus that the song came to life. Indeed, it has one of those choruses that you can’t help but get stuck in your head. With a catchy tune and a powerful declaration of “Lord, let there be light,” it’s no wonder this song has endured for over 30 years.

7. Go Light Your World

What good is lighting a lamp if you hide that light? Up until now, we have sung songs that have all declared where our light comes from. This song, however, puts it into action and asks us to take it into the world where others need it most.

8. Stepping in the Light

The message “There Is Sunshine in My Soul” must have stuck with Eliza Hewitt rather well because she wrote this song, too! May we all be “led in paths of light” as we leave our time of worship and go out into the world.

In Him,
Aaron Shotts




There is Sunshine in My Soul (1,2,4)

Heavenly Sunlight (1,2)

Beautiful Star of Bethlehem (2,3)


Shine On Us


Rising Sun

Shine, Jesus, Shine


Go Light Your World

Stepping in the Light

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We All Need Him! (8-14-2022)

Since starting this blog back in 2012, this is my fifth set list that centers around the idea of “need.” There’s never a shortage of songs about our need for God. Let’s see which ones made the list this time!

1. Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing

Traditionally, this song is probably used as an invitation song. However, I thought it was a good place to start off with so that we set the tone that we need God right down to our very souls! This song is brought to you by the same song writing team that wrote the song “Will You Not Tell It Today.” This song can tend to be led a little on the slower side tempo wise, but we’ll try and keep it peppier since we’re starting off the service and setting the tone.

2. He Knows Just What I Need

Sometimes we can get overwhelmed as humans. It takes a lot of wisdom and self control to separate in my mind what I need vs. what I want. Not only that, there are some things that I can’t provide for myself that only God can. (Why else would we need a Savior?) Praise God that He knows exactly what we need!

3. Does Jesus Care?

There may be times when you doubt whether God is truly concerned with the details of your life. With a world population of over 7.5 billion, how could He possibly have time to care about my problems? I Peter 5:7 tells us to “(cast) all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Feel confident when we sing the words of this chorus, “Oh yes, he cares!”

4. Be With Me, Lord

What better way to express our need for God than to pray to Him to be with us? That’s exactly what this song does! One has to wonder what Thomas Chisholm had gone through to write the words “I cannot bear the loads of life unaided, I need Thy strength to lean myself upon.”

5. In Need

“I am your child, I am in need.” As an adult, I can generally provide for myself. When we are children, we are absolutely dependent on the adults in our life to help take care of us. Maybe that’s part of what Jesus was referring to when He said we should all become like little children. This song reminds us how much we need His grace, love, mercy, strength, and peace.

6. I Want to Be a Soul Winner (For Jesus)

Part of the reason that it is important for us to acknowledge our need for God is to set an example for others. The world needs to see how much He means to us. That is a huge part of our lesson this morning, so I thought it would be appropriate to have this song on the list. This song declares that “He’s done so much for me,” so let’s share what He’s done with others so they will know Him, too.

7. Surround Us, Lord

“We need to be in your presence.” There is something peaceful about being in nature, in particular being surrounded by the majesty of a mountain range. It reminds us how small we are, but also can provide a feeling of protection and comfort from the world around us. Doesn’t our need for God feel the same? Perhaps that’s what the Psalmist meant in Psalm 125:2 when he wrote “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people.”

8. Shout Hallujah

“From the ends of the earth, from the depths of the sea, let all creation praise His name!” If we are to help others in their need of a Savior, let’s take that message out to the world as we leave and shout Hallelujah!

In Him,
Aaron Shotts




Soul, A Savior Thou Art Needing
He Knows Just What I Need


Does Jesus Care? (1,2)
Be With Me, Lord


In Need

302 – I Want to Be a Soul Winner


Surround Us, Lord

Shout Hallelujah

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The Greatest Commands (7-10-2022)

One of the many years I was able to attend Winterfest in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, they used the periodic table of elements to help the teens (and adults!) remember the gospel. If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at the table, you may or may not remember that the first and most basic element is Hydrogen, which is labeled with number 1. Based on that idea, the folks at Winterfest came up with two new elements: L1 and L2. What do they stand for? L1 = Love God. L2 = Love Others. That is the entire gospel summed up. That’s as basic as you can make it!

I’m sure you’ve already thought of at least ONE of the songs that we will be singing this week! Let’s see what else is on the list.

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

As humans, I think this is actually a difficult concept for us to fully grasp. We know what it means to love other people. We also know what it means to be loved by others. But God takes it further. He doesn’t just love us. He IS love. His existence is love. Perhaps that’s why He told us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That would literally take our whole existence to love Him in that way. I know I fail at it, but praise God that He never fails.

2. The Greatest Commands (Love One Another)

This was the one you knew was coming. This song was written back in 1973, yet it didn’t seem to explode onto the scene in the Church of Christ until the 1990’s when Howard Publishing created this arrangement and published it in the hymnal ”Songs of Faith and Praise.” Sometimes when we sing a song like this which is polyphonic (many voices happening at once), it can be difficult to hear the words being sung by each part. For this reason, we will try something different. After the altos sing their opening part, they will switch to singing ”Ooo” when the basses come in. Each subsequent part will do the same. After the sopranos have sung their part, then all four parts will come back in on the words for a fifth and final time.

3. A Common Love

Think about how the love of God bonds us all for just a minute. Normally, the people in your life love you because they know who you are. But when we meet other Christians, when we might be visiting another church, worshiping together, taking communion together, we immediately have a bond of love with them even though we don’t even know them. How powerful is that?

4. I Love You With the Love of the Lord

Tying in nicely as a medley to our last song, this song also declares the love that we have for each other in a beautiful but simple melody.

5. Where No One Stands Alone

Sometimes a composer may start a song but have trouble finishing it. Mosie Lister wrote the chorus to this song while driving by himself through the hilly countryside, but he wasn’t able to write the words to the verses til several months later. Mosie read the words of King David in the Psalms and thought of how lonely he seemed to be at times, despite being a king with great power. That is why in verse 2 we sing: ”Like a king I may live in a palace so tall with great riches to call my own. But I don’t know a thing in this whole wide world that’s worse than being alone.”

6. Love, Love, Love, Love

You would think that singing a song about love in minor key would seem like an oxy moron. Love is something that brings us positive emotion. Songs in minor key typically have a sad or somber feel to them. Yet, somehow this seems to work. Perhaps it reminds us of the utmost importance of loving one another.

7. Heaven’s Road

Part of loving one another is helping one another in our Christian walk. That was no doubt what was on the mind of Normal Starks when he wrote this song back in 1968. This is a song I recall singing during my childhood in chapel every Friday.

8. Go Light Your World

It is so important for us to show love to everyone we meet. You may be someone’s only chance of ever having the love of God shown to them. This song reminds us how there are people in the world who are hurting and need us to be the light for them to see and make it through those hard times.

9. My God Is Singing Over Me

Romans 15:5-6 tells us that we should have one voice as we glorify God together. What better way to show His love for us and our love for one another? ”Then all of us will have one voice, together we will sing and give the praise and glory to our Father, Friend and King.”

In Him,
Aaron Shotts



SCRIPTURE READING – Matthew 22:37-40

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

The Greatest Commands (Love One Another)


A Common Love
I Love You With the Love of the Lord

Where No One Stands Alone


Love, Love, Love, Love

Heaven’s Road


Go Light Your World

My God Is Singing Over Me

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