City Alight

I’m currently listening to a new album from the people at City Alight Music. Check out this YouTube playlist with lyrics. I hope you will find some inspiration here. I’m particularly enjoying ‘Saved My Soul‘ and ‘Only a Holy God‘. (You can also visit them on Facebook where you will find this vision statement: Our vision is to create music that declares the name of JESUS, promotes theological truth & encourages God’s Church. Part of St Paul’s Castle Hill, Australia.)

Setlists for Christmas

christmas-tree-sheet-musicWorship Together recently posted a series of Advent and Christmas songs as set lists to mix and match. They include traditional carols as well as recent praise and worship songs. You can watch a New Song Cafe video and play along with the charts! I hope you find something useful for your service planning. Blessings!

Set List #1

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Glory In The Highest) // Rend Collective

Looking For A Savior // United Pursuit

O Come, O Come Emmanuel // Crowder

We Have A Savior // Hillsong Worship

 Set List #2

Emmanuel (God With Us Forever) // Bryan and Katie Torwalt

Angels (Singing Gloria) // Matt Redman

Adore // Chris Tomlin

When Hope Came Down // Kari Jobe

Set List #3

Even So Come // Passion

Give Me Jesus // Jeremy Camp

He Shall Reign Forevermore // Chris Tomlin

O Come Let Us Adore Him // Hillsong Worship

Set List #4

Hearts Waiting (Joy To The World) // Matt Redman

A King Like This // Chris Tomlin

O Holy Night (O Night Divine) // Rend Collective

We Have Come // United Pursuit

 

http://www.worshiptogether.com/blog/advent-2016/

Image from https://au.pinterest.com/explore/sheet-music-crafts/

Christmas sheet music and more

wp-1451220015671.jpegIf you are looking for a particular Christmas carol or song, then you should try this page at Music Notes. Enjoy planning the soundtrack for your Christmas celebrations!

http://www.musicnotes.com/christmas-sheet-music/

Our glorious capital ‘C’ Church

sevennotesofgrace

Today I have the pleasure of talking about two of my favourite things: author C.S. Lewis and the band Casting Crowns. Both of them have much to say about the church, not just the local church, but the capital C “Church”. By this I mean the fellowship of believers that is spread around the globe, through all time and space. The Church is the Bride of Christ. We are all part of this if we are in Christ. The “crowd of witnesses” in Hebrews 12 help make up this great gathering of God’s people. They can already see the reality of the things we hope for in Him. And they cheer us on to persevere with the small ‘c’ church, no matter how frustrating it can be at times. God’s Church marches on as he unfolds his plans. What a great grace and privilege that God…

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What? Me (not) worry?

Some more great words from Piper.

sermons and soda water

John Piper

I worried less when I was a child. Partly, my bliss was due to my ignorance; mostly it was due to my parents.Jesus, knowing my tendency to worry more now, says to me,“Rob… Do not be anxious, saying, “What shall (I) eat?” or “What shall (I) drink?” or “What shall (I) wear?” For… your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”  Matthew 6:31-32.
This third brief post on the theme of worry comes from John Piper…

John Piper writes….

“Jesus wants his followers to be free from worry.In Matthew 6:25-34, he gives at least seven arguments designed to take away our anxiety.One of them lists food and drink and clothing, and then says,“Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all” Matthew 6:32. Jesus must mean that God’s knowing is accompanied by his desiring to meet our need.He is emphasizing…

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The Basin and the Towel

Hello readers, today I’m sharing a post from a few years ago, before many of you were following. I hope it will encourage you as you gather with and serve other Christ followers in your church community. Blessings!

sevennotesofgrace

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.
Mark 10-:29-30

When we are saved into Christ we are saved into community, a community of believers. This is a great promise from Mark 10. Even if we lose many things in order to own the name of Christ we gain so much more. We gain family! We gain relationship. We gain brothers and sisters in Christ. (And yes, we gain persecutions, though that is not the topic for today so I’ll just leave it to the side). As we serve one another, we grow relationships, we grow bridges between us –…

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God’s Marvel heroes?

A great challenge here

sermons and soda water

Utmost

We come across many valuable lessons in life without learning (m)any of them. The lessons we do learn remain with us. Forty years ago, a friend, not intending to teach me anything about prayer, did. She simply shared her glad discovery that she was fighting far less with her family since she began praying for them (rather than about them). This first of three brief posts on the theme of intercession comes from Oswald Chambers….

“Christ Jesus … who indeed is interceding for us.”
“And … the Spirit intercedes for the saints …”
Romans 8:34, 27 ESV

Oswald Chambers wrote about these verses…”Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors – that Christ “ever liveth to make intercession” ; that the Holy Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints”? Are we living in such vital relationship to our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God?

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I will boast in the Lord my God

Just sharing a post from several years ago, about a song I believe deserves a place in our ever changing and rather intangible collection of great praise and worship songs for Christ’s Body here on earth.

Recently I noticed that many of the new songs we had introduced at church were lacking a little variety in terms of tempo! What was missing? The fast songs! It probably takes a great degree of skil…

Source: I will boast in the Lord my God

Jesus’ Cry and our Cry

By MARK ALTROGGE 

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lemasabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). MT 27.45-46

For 3 hours, from noon till three in the afternoon, Jesus hung on the cross in total darkness, a supernatural darkness which engulfed the land. This darkness was a picture of the much deeper, terrifying spiritual darkness that engulfed Jesus’s soul. At the end of 3 hours he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” quoting PS 22, which is a prophetic picture of Jesus on the cross:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest. (1-2)

David, who wrote this Psalm feels like God has forsaken him. But he knows God has not really forsaken him, for he says in v24

For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him. (24)

In Luke 18:31 Jesus had told his disciples they were going to Jerusalem to fulfill everything the Prophets, including David, had written about him. Look what else Jesus fulfilled from Ps 22:

But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” (6-8)

This was exactly happened to Jesus. He was scorned, mocked and despised. The leaders of Israel mocked him, saying “He saved others; he cannot save himself. MT 27.42

Ps 22 also says:
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots. (14-18)

Crucifixion didn’t exist in David’s time. Yet whatever situation David found himself in foreshadowed Jesus hanging on the cross, limbs stretched out of joint, strength evaporated, tongue parched, surrounded by wicked mockers who’d driven cruel spikes through his hands and feet. Jewish leaders gloating over him, and Roman soldiers casting lots for his clothing. And as David felt abandoned, Jesus experienced what it would be like to be utterly forsaken by God.

For as he hung there, Jesus took upon himself every sin – every murder, every rape, every act of immorality, every lie, every wicked thought, every curse word, every blasphemy against God, every crime, every single sin you and I ever committed and ever will commit – God counted them to Jesus as if he had personally committed them, then poured out his unimaginably horrific wrath upon Jesus for each and every sin.

For all eternity, Jesus and his Father had enjoyed infinitely perfect, joyful, unbroken fellowship. For all eternity the Father absolutely delighted in Jesus more than anything else, for Jesus was infinitely beautiful, holy and delightful. But now in a way, Jesus is the opposite. For in God’s eyes, he has so taken our sins upon himself, that he has “become sin.”

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 1 CO 5.21

Jesus so identified with our sin that God looked upon him as if he were sin itself – the most abhorrent, vile and despicable thing in God’s sight, the very opposite of God’s holiness: as it says in Hab 1.13:

You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, (13)

God will have nothing to do with evil. Nothing. He cannot and will not “look upon it.” So in a sense, God turned away from Jesus and cut off Jesus’ experience of fellowship as he counted Jesus to be sin and poured out his wrath on him.

And Jesus did all this for us, to bring all who believe in him into fellowship with God. Because God counted Jesus to be guilty he counts us to be holy. Because he “cut Jesus off” he can graft us in and make us one with himself and we will never be cut off. Because Jesus was condemned, there’s no condemnation for us. Because Jesus was “forsaken” we will never be forsaken. Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe he is God who became man, perfectly obeyed his Father then bore God’s wrath for you, died, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven as Lord of Lords? If you believe, you have eternal life and Jesus wants to give you a life of victory and joy as you follow and obey him.

Jesus hung in unimaginable darkness to bring us into his everlasting light. He cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” So we can cry, “My God, my God, why have you accepted me? Why do you love me so? Thank you that you will never forsake me.

Grace Upon Grace

“My sin is erased, my heart is amazed by your grace upon grace.”

Here are some beautiful song lyrics from a recent song by Josh Wilson, on the album “That was Then, This is Now” (2015). 

“Grace Upon Grace”

Every morning I open up my eyes to see mercy’s brand new
Darkness disappears and the day reveals all You’ve carried me thru
You are so faithful and I am so grateful God

Heavenly Father
You love like no other
You call me Your own
You never let go
You are my rescue
How can I thank You?
My sin is erased, my heart is amazed by Your
Grace upon grace

Seems impossible, a love unstoppable that just won’t give up on me
You left the 99 to find a heart like mine that’s all the proof that I need
You are so faithful and I am so grateful God

Heavenly Father
You love like no other
You call me Your own
You never let go
You are my rescue
How can I thank You?
My sin is erased, my heart is amazed by Your
Grace upon grace

I am Yours, I am Yours
I was made for You, I was made for You
I am Yours, I am Yours
I will live for You, I will live for You (Lord)

Heavenly Father
You love like no other
You call me Your own
You never let go
You are my rescue
How can I thank You?
My sin is erased, my heart is amazed
Forever oh God I will give You my praise
My sin is erased, my heart is amazed by Your
Grace upon grace