King of Heaven – come now!

paul-baloche_christmas-worship-vinyl-image_web-2At Christmas we remember the coming of the infant King of Heaven, Jesus Christ. God could have sent him as a fully grown man, and provided a grand entrance with enough pomp and circumstance to rival any contemporary celebrity. Yet God chose for him the womb of a virgin and a lowly cave/stable as his first resting place on the planet. Jesus shared the growing pains of our humanity so that he could be our perfect counsellor, Saviour and Lord. This King of Heaven is coming again and we probably should spend a lot more time praying for such an outcome, rather than sitting comfortably in the limitations of our mortality.

Paul Baloche’s KING OF HEAVEN (2012 – “The Same Love” album) is a song which captures something of the longing we (should) have for Jesus’ return. Here is his Christmas version of the song combined beautifully with Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

And here is the original song, performed with All Sons and Daughters: (don’t mind the 40 seconds of silliness at the start – the song officially gets going around 45 secs. I’m determined to included KING OF HEAVEN as one of our congregational songs next year.)

KING OF HEAVEN

Jesus, let Your kingdom come here
Let Your will be done here in us
Jesus, there is no one greater
You alone are Savior, show the world Your love

King of Heaven come down
King of Heaven come now
Let Your glory reign shining light the day
King of Heaven come
King of Heaven rise up
Who can stand against us?
You are strong to save in Your mighty name
King of Heaven come

We are children of Your mercy
Rescued for Your glory
We cry, Jesus set our hearts towards You
Every eye would see You lifted high

Ooh, ooh, ooh, King of Heaven come

This is Love – Incarnate King, Begotten Son

I have a number of Christmas albums lined up, ready for repeat performances in our house over the coming months. One of these I bought after Christmas last year, and never really had a chance to listen to: Paul Baloche’s “Christmas Worship“. Tucked away at track number 6 is this beautiful song which is fast becoming a new favourite – “This is Love” – co-written and performed by Kathryn Scott. Enjoy the powerful truth of God’s love.

Heaven’s splendour left behind,
The King of glory born to die.
God and man to reconcile,
You came to offer up Your life.

This is love, this is love,
Incarnate King, begotten Son.
This is love, this is love,
You choose to make your home in us.

Worship fell that holy night,
Angel voices filled the sky.
Lowly shepherds raised their eyes,
Following the star so bright.

This is love, this is love,
Incarnate King, begotten Son.
This is love, this is love,
You choose to make your home in us.

Come thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our peace in Thee.

This is love, this is love,
Incarnate King, begotten Son.
This is love, this is love,
You choose to make your home in us.

Watch “Paul Baloche Vocal Workshop”

This looks like a really great workshop from a humble guy who became a worship/song leader. It would be great to watch together with your music team. I haven’t watched it all yet, but what I have seen so far is really helpful.

Are we eager for the King of Heaven?

Here is a song from Paul Baloche which I have been considering for a while to include in our church repertoire: King of Heaven from ‘The Same Love’ album. It challenges us to collectively anticipate and call on the Lord Jesus for His return. It has a lively and uplifting feel. You will find the words in the first clip, and at the end. Blessings!

“King Of Heaven”
Jesus, let Your kingdom come here
Let Your will be done here in us
Jesus, there is no one greater
You alone are Savior, show the world Your love

King of Heaven come down
King of Heaven come now
Let Your glory reign, shining like the day, King of Heaven come

King of Heaven rise up
Who can stand against us?
You are strong to save in Your mighty name
King of Heaven come

We are children of Your mercy
Rescued for Your glory
We cry, Jesus set our hearts towards You
Every eye would see You lifted high

King of Heaven come down
King of Heaven come now
Let Your glory reign shining like the day
King of Heaven come

King of Heaven rise up
Who can stand against us?
You are strong to save in Your mighty name
King Of Heaven come

Ooh, ooh, ooh, King of Heaven come

King of Heaven come down
King of Heaven come now
Let Your glory reign, shining like the day
King of Heaven come

King of Heaven rise up
Who can stand against us
You are strong to save in Your mighty name
King of Heaven come

Watch “How Great is the Love [Lyrics] – Paul Baloche ft. Meredith Andrews” on YouTube

Simply one of my favourites!

I will boast in the Lord my God

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 skill to build a singable song that isn’t slow – especially when we are singing such weighty words about the grace and riches of Christ!  But I have begun a quest: to find all the good, singable, fast songs! I’m digging back into my lists of possibilities from the last few years to see what missed out, and why, and what tempo they have. There’s nothing like a lively song to engage people and draw hearts together in praise.
Here is the first one I would like to share, “I will boast in the Lord my God” by Paul Baloche, 2006. I have not used it with a congregation, so I can’t say it is tried and tested . . . but hopefully!  (I’ll be using the key of Bb, capo 1 in A for guitar – or try key of C if you don’t mind it a little higher. Alternatively, use E major for a brighter verse, and sing the chorus down the octave if necessary, which it mostly will be for the women!)

There are at least two passages combined in the lyrics of the song:
Jeremiah 9:23-24

23 This is what the Lord says:

“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

Galatians 6:14

14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Here are the full lyrics:

I Will Boast

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom
Or the strong man boast in his strength
Let not the rich man boast in his riches
But let the humble come and give thanks
To the One Who made us
The One Who saved us

I will boast in the Lord my God
I will boast in the One Who’s worthy
I will boast in the Lord my God
I will boast in the One Who’s worthy
He’s worthy

(Bridge)
I will make my boast in Christ alone
I will make my boast in Christ alone

CCLI Song # 4662350 Paul Baloche © 2006 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music

If you want to hear more of Baloche, try my posts about 3 other songs:
My Hope in God’s Grace
The Same Love is Calling
A good blokey church song: The Kingdom of God

Praying through the songs 500+ women will sing tomorrow

grow2013_bannerI’m spending some time reflecting on the 9 songs (titles in bold) I’ll be leading tomorrow at the GROW Women’s Conference at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre. The cool thing is that as these women sing, they are also declaring God’s greatness to each other, and praying publicly to Him! I’ve just woven the nine titles into a prayer. May it also be your prayer today:

Dear Loving Heavenly Father
Blessed be Your Name! There is no other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. We have more than 10 000 Reasons to praise you for the blessings you have given us in Christ, the blessings that reveal your faithfulness to us, your trustworthy character, and the fact that you keep your promises. We See the Man, Jesus, the man you sent to reverse the curse we brought on ourselves by our disobedience to you. He is the man who destroys death and now reigns, the righteous one who died for the unrighteous, that we might know You. Jesus is all we need in this changing and uncertain world, because he is the unchanging promised Saviour. Help us to realise that all we need is Christ. Indeed, All I have is Christ! We cannot keep any of the glory this world offers. neither do we need it! Thankyou for this confidence! Whatever our circumstances you have taught us to say It is Well, It is well with my soul. We have this peace like a river, peace that we have come to know if we are in Christ. He is an anchor for our souls and we can say “it is well”, the victory is won. I will rise on eagle’s wings because Jesus has overcome the sin that kept us dead to you. Oh the Deep Deep love of Jesus which is vast, unmeasured, boundless and free! It is an ocean full of blessing in the midst of every test. You will bring us home to glory. Great is Thy Faithfulness – in fact, nothing can reach the end of your faithfulness. If all the plans I make go wrong your love stays the same. You light will guide me through every shadow, every storm. I will hold on to you because you are My Hope, a hope built on your great love and righteousness. Keep me walking in your way, keep me trusting your heart and trusting your name.

Amen.

Songs to GROW Women by . . .

.facebook_-22058451Great to have an audience of interested people who can consider my song selection for a Women’s conference in July, called GROW. Speaker Jenny Salt from Sydney will no doubt have some ‘salty’ words to share, teaching from the book of Numbers to show God’s trustworthiness and to encourage us to count on God, holding on to Him through all of life’s jouney. Themes include: trusting God, His faithfulness, taking Him at his Word, resting in God’s promises which are fulfilled in Jesus, blessings, consequences of sin, God’s holiness.

Here is my initial shortlist of songs, keeping in mind that we are hoping to cover a wide range of ages and denominations, mixing well known and new songs.

When Peace like a River (Hymn, aka It is Well) – connected with I will Rise (Chris Tomlin)
Hymn – Great is Your Faithfulness
My Hope (Nothing will change, if all the plans I make go wrong… by Paul Baloche). We taught this one last year at GROW.
Desert Song (This is my prayer in the desert – quite appropriate for Numbers, by Brooke Fraser)
O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus (Bob Kauflin’s hymn arrangement) – will do as item in 3part harmony, to teach it to the group.
Mighty to Save (Hillsong).
See the Man (Trevor Hodge) – this is a great one for see howing God’s promises are fulfilled in Jesus!
No Other Name (Trevor Hodge)
10 000 reasons
(Bless the Lord O my Soul . . . Chris Tomlin)
Blessed be your name (Matt Redman)

If you have any thoughts for other songs that tie into the theme perfectly, please comment below. I hope you can also find a new song or two above!

New songs we’ve been singing in 2012

Just reflecting here on the range of new songs our church family has enjoyed this year, songs of great encouragement and challenge, songs which speak God’s truth well. I’ll describe each one a little for you below (click on the title to listen), with my suggested best key for each. Hopefully you will find something refreshing to inspire your congregation, and continue to grow everyone together in the grace and knowledge of God . . . through the power of His Word in song!

My Hope (2010) – Paul Baloche, Alyssa Mellinger, Ed Kerr, Sheila Rabe (album “The Same Love”). This one has been a real blessing, particularly the line “Nothing can reach the end of all your faithfulness”. I have introduced this at two women’s conferences during the year also, where one woman told me it was an answer to prayer. Awesome. It has a fairly gentle verse, and a rousing Chorus which echos the thoughts of “My Hope is built on nothing less”. I’ve talked more about this one in another post. (Key: A Major)

Majesty of Heaven (2010) – Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Matt Redman (album And if our God is For Us). This song gives a great picture of King Jesus ruling over this creation, and each of us. The nations bow down to the Majesty of Heaven, in whom all things hold together! We also taught this one in January to a gathering of 600+, mainly mature folk at a CMS convention. They caught on quickly and sang well! (Key G Major).

Hail the Day that Christ Arose (2011) – Charles Wesley, Steve and Vikki Cook (Sovereign Grace Music, album Risen). This song is about the day of the Ascension, something not written about all that often. It is based on an old hymn, but has a really triumphant new ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, which points us to see the King of Love on His throne. We use the Coda section as a Bridge and finish with the Chorus. (Key D Major)

By Our Love (2009)- Christy Nockels (Album Life Light Up). This song is a great one for encouraging unity and acts of love in your church family. It is based around the verse which says the world will know we are Christians by our love. Each verse addresses a different group of people, men, women, and children – who will be reaching with the words of the Gospel “long after we’ve gone”. (We use G major – starts quite low, but chorus is too high if you shift up a key.)

Stronger (2007) – Ben Fielding & Reuben Morgan (Hillsong – Album This is Our God). This song has a really victorious feel, which celebrates the power of Jesus’ resurrection over our sin. He is stronger than every thing that burdens us, He is Lord of all, so let’s lift up His name. (Try this in C or Bb major.)

Oh What a Day (2011)  – Mark Altrogge (Sovereign Grace Music, album Risen). This is pretty speedy and rhythmic song, which can be carried by a drummer or pianist with good rhythm! The Day this song focuses on is the Day Christ defeated death and rose from the grave. (Default key is D – we find it works better in C.)

Glorious Day (2009)- John Wilbur Chapman, Mark Hall, Michael Bleecker (Casting Crowns, album Til the Whole World Hears). You will find the whole Gospel in this song. Each verse speaks of a different glorious day: Christ coming to earth, dying, rising, and then looking forward to the day of his return! (Key A Major.)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

Blessings to you as you encourage God’s gathered people to praise Him!

Great Christmas music to ease your planning stress

Around this time of the year, every year, music team/worship team/church band leaders everywhere get a strange kind of nervous twitch whenever they remember how many weeks it is ’til Christmas. By October you could describe them as rather nervous, by November totally stressed, and it’s panic stations by December – but only if they have not sorted out their Christmas music repertoire! Finding great NEW item songs can be tricky… and there’s only 96 days to go.

Well I have got some great news for you (though there are no free steak knives involved). I’m going to share with you my favourite Christmas songs. They are tried and tested (except the new one I’m trying this year) and true to the gospel, with a great festive feel that even non-Christian Christmas visitors will appreciate. So hopefully, while it is still only September, you can settle on some great Christmas songs – and feel most smug that you are organised so far ahead of time!

Here they are. The first 4 come from a great album by Sovereign Grace Music called “Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man” (click the title to listen to all these songs. Find free lead sheets, guitar tabs and mp3s for all these songs here)

Hope has Come (fast and cheery – great with chimes or bells)

Christ the Lord is born today (great Christmas Day item)

Glory be to God on High (bright upbeat song)

Salvation is Born (a gentler feel – I used this with a choir, soloist in v1 and ending, arranged the chorus in 3 part harmony).

Is this not the Carpenter? from Emmanuel: A musical celebration of the Life of Christ
The One who made the world made this world His home
This child that grew to man came unto His own
But His own received Him not, Even looked into His eyes, yet never recognized Him, saying
“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?”

“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?”
Saying “This is but the Carpenter – it’s only Jesus, Son of Mary.”
It’s a sadness without measure, They had been with Him forever
And still not realized He was the very Son of God, saying
“Is this not the Carpenter – is this not the Son of Mary?” . . . read more

So Let Us Shine from Emu Live 2 (lyrics, pdf music and mp3 here)
For desperate people at their darkest hour, When fault and failure held us in its power
A babe was born – he said, “I am the way”.
He came to earth to turn our night to day, He came to earth to turn our night to day
So let us shine! And show the world his love
So let us shine! Because he first loved us
So let us shine! And show the world his love
This baby is the light of the world.

And this last one, is new to me, untested, but I envisage a string section and some groovy chimes and bells!
Shout for Joy by Paul Baloche – as recorded on his most recent CD “The Same Love”
(Note that the CCLI version of the sheet music has a different bridge. I’m going with the one on the album.)

Merry Christmas! (Just a little early)

Ps. Since writing this post I have included another which might be helpful – some new songs from Francesca Battistelli. Click here to read that post.