What we’re singing this Easter

Today a good friend asked me what songs were on our music roster for next weekend. It then struck me that it might be a useful list to share more widely. Here it is. I’d love to hear what your church is singing . . . and where in the world you are. Please comment!

GOOD FRIDAY

Glories of Calvary (Sovereign Grace)

Man of Sorrows (Hillsong)

Behold the Lamb (Getty)

The Power of the Cross (Getty)

EASTER SUNDAY

The Father’s Love (Sovereign Grace)

Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed (Getty)

Grace has now appeared (EMU)

How deep the Father’s Love (Townend)

Here is the Spotify playlist

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Just in time for Christmas!

Joey Hoelscher Music

sleep jesusJust in time for Christmas, my new arrangement of “Sleep, Jesus, Sleep” is now available through Heart Publications! This tender Christmas lullaby is a beautiful addition to your church’s Christmas repertoire. The simple SATB voicing can be learned quickly, and the included parts for violin, bass, and guitar/harp add layers and depth to the piano accompaniment. The arrangement works well with choir as well as smaller groups. You can purchase the arrangement at Heart Publications’ website here, and see a score sample here.

Also, All Saints’ Church (Northampton, UK) is accepting pre-orders for their latest recording, Be Merry!, which will be released November 1. This recording includes my Still, Still, Still and is the first professional recording of the piece. I’m excited to hear it! This CD also includes settings by Forrest, Courtney, and Anglea, among others, and you can pre-order here.

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New Christmas album from Sovereign Grace!

Sharing an exciting announcement from Sovereign Grace: A new Christmas album, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, will be released on September 1. Here are the details from Bob Kauflin:

PHR Album Art bg_Fotor“We released our first Christmas album, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, in 2006. A few years ago I started thinking we should do another one. After all, we can never have too many songs that help us reflect on and celebrate the wonder of Jesus becoming Emmanuel, God with us.

So I was intrigued last fall when my good friend, Marty Machowski, asked if Sovereign Grace Music would be interested in producing a Christmas album to accompany an Advent curriculum he had written. After a few conversations with Marty and his publisher, New Growth Press, we decided it would be a great opportunity. The result was our next album, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, due out Sept. 1. While the album will stand on its own, thirteen of the fourteen songs on it correspond with lessons from Marty’s devotional.

Writing songs to specific passages of Scripture in each lesson caused us to explore some new territory for Christmas songs. While not all of the songs ended up being congregational, I’m pretty excited about what we ended up with.

Below is a preview version of a song I co-wrote with Jason Hansen, a pastor in the Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert, AZ. We started it at a songwriter retreat in January and finished it over many long distance sessions using FaceTime and Google Docs.

The song is called “Who Would Have Dreamed” and is based on Micah 5:1-2.

Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

We tried to capture the wonder that God would choose unlikely Bethlehem as the birthplace for the Messiah, and the greater wonder that the Son of God himself would be born as an infant. Here are the lyrics:

On a starlit hillside, shepherds watched their sheep
Slowly, David’s city drifted off to sleep
But to this little town of no great renown
The Lord had a promise to keep

Prophets had foretold it, a mighty King would come
Long-awaited Ruler, God’s anointed one
But the Sovereign of all looked helpless and small
As God gave the world His own Son

And who would have dreamed or ever foreseen
That we could hold God in our hands?
The Giver of Life is born in the night
Revealing God’s glorious plan
To save the world

Wondrous gift of heaven: the Father sends the Son
Planned from time eternal, moved by holy love
He will carry our curse and death He’ll reverse
So we can be daughters and sons

And here’s the preview (above). I’m delighted that it’s being sung by my youngest daughter, McKenzie.”
(By Bob Kauflin)

The Gospel changes everything, it’s changing me!

gospel changes everythingSharing today two simply beautiful songs which seek to share the message and the hope of the gospel of grace. They are from two different writers and bring two different perspectives. The first is about the changes Jesus has made both to history and the heart of the person he rescued. The second song focuses on the manner by which Jesus went to the Cross and took our shame, the perfect man showing perfect love to the unworthy (in just 4 lines).

The Gospel Changes Everything
(Meredith Andrews – from Worth it All)

Verse 1

The gospel changes ev’rything
The turning point in history
Even now it’s changing me from who I was
The story of my Savior calls
Me to the wonder of the cross
The gospel changes ev’rything
And it is changing me
(REPEAT)

Chorus 1

You saved my soul by Your blood
And I’m undone by Your great love
You made a way so I could come
Just as I am to You my God

Verse 2

Jesus changes ev’rything
There is no greater mystery
That God would come to rescue me
From who I was
The kindness of my Savior calls
Me to the wonder of His love
Jesus changes ev’rything
And He is changing me

You made a way so I could come
Just as I am to You my God
To You my God
Just as I am to You my God

The Gospel Song
(Sovereign Grace Music Bob Kauflin and Drew Jones – from Songs for the Cross-Centered Life)

Holy God in love became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross He took my sin
By his death I live again
© 2002 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

A great way to search for songs

sg-ministries-bannerI’ve recently discovered a great search tool for Sovereign Grace songs at their website. Though I’ve been using Sovereign Grace for many years (as a source of good biblical, singable songs for church) I had not noticed the menu that allows you to search for songs by theme, tempo, key, genre and keyword. It’s especially useful if your church sings many of their songs. But even if you don’t it’s very easy to follow links to the songs, listen to samples and download the music for free. Sometimes even the suggestion of song titles can help point you in the direction of songs you do know (with similar titles).

Here is a link to the search page:
http://www.sovereigngracemusic.org/Songs

Make sure you scroll down when you get to the page. The top half is all about style, but the bottom section has an immense number of themes you can select in your search. I found it best to tick just one or two boxes at a time. (If you choose too many you will get results ‘zero’.)

Here is my shortlist of the most congregation-friendly Sovereign Grace songs:

1. Jesus Thankyou (Pat Sczebel)
2. O Great God (Bob Kauflin)
3. Let Your Kingdom Come (Bob Kauflin)
4. I will Glory in My Redeemer (Steve & Vikki Cook)
5. The Glories of Calvary (Steve & Vikki Cook)
6. O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus ((Bob Kauflin arrangement)
7. Unashamed (Mark Altrogge)
8. Show us Christ (Bob Kauflin & Doug Plank)
9. Through the Precious Blood (Mark Altrogge)
10. Hope has come (Stephen Altrogge)
11. How high and how wide (Mark Altrogge)

Our Church Song list for 2014

spotify ARPC 2014It’s always really helpful when you can get hold of lists of songs other churches are singing – so I’m reciprocating the favour (perhaps in advance). Here is our church songlist for 2014. If you follow the Spotify link, or click the picture, you should be able to find all the songs on our to do list at Acacia Ridge Presbyterian. Below I have included a few key points about each song and some of the stand-out lyrics:

All I have is Christ (Jordan Kauflin, Sovereign Grace – key C).
This is top of the list because we never got to it last year! The song is full of great truth about our redemption in Christ.  The song moves us to know that Christ (who saved us from our “hell-bound race”) is indeed now our only boast. He is all that we can count on in this world! Hallelujah! The song works well with many instruments or just one. Here is verse 3:
Now Lord I would be Yours alone And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me
O Father use my ransomed life in any way You choose
And let my song forever be ‘My only boast is You!’

It is Well (Todd Fields – Music at North Point)
Some hymn revamps don’t work well, but this one does! The verse melody is exactly the same, and the chorus is new. The monotone melody has been replaced by one that is far more uplifting, and some additional lyrics have the same effect. It creates an effective crescendo. Here is the chorus:
It is well it is well, Through the storm I am held
It is well it is well with my soul
It is well it is well, God has won, Christ prevailed
It is well it is well with my soul

Made Alive (Citizens)
Last year my family came back from a week-long youth camp singing this song. I have already written a post about it here. The great thing is that when you sing this you commit to memory so much scriptural truth (particularly Romans 3:20-12 and Ephesians 2:8-9).
Here is verse 1 and the chorus:
I once was dead in sin, Alone and hopeless,
A child of wrath I walked condemned in darkness,
But your mercy brought new life And in your love and kindness,
Raised me up with Christ and made me righteous.
Chorus:
You have bought me back with the riches of,

Your amazing grace and relentless love.
I’m made alive forever, with you, life forever
By your grace I’m saved, By your grace I’m saved.

Overflowed (Trevor Hodge)
We have been singing this one for a few months already and it has really caught on. It is a lively song with a pretty simple melody (some syncopation, and also some very straight rhythms). But I think the best feature is the carefully crafted chorus, which effectively sums up the glory of forgiveness and grace:
In Christ Your love has overflowed
The debts we owed have been all wiped away
And now the riches of Your grace
Have raised us up to live in Him always
And bring You praise

Praise to the Lord the Almighty (Hymn – Christy Nockels arrangement)
As I have been looking for Psalms to sing, this hymn fits the bill, drawing on Psalm 103.  I’ll use this arrangement as the chord structures are a little simpler and it has a gentler feel, but the melody is the same. There are a few extra Praise Him’s and Hallelujahs (for a chorus of sorts), which could be omitted. Verse 1:
Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation
O my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration

The Perfect Wisdom of our God (Getty music – key A)
This song is a gentle prayer, for understanding of God’s wisdom and ways in Creation and in the workings of his sovereign hand in our lives. Here is verse 3:
Oh grant me wisdom from above, To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive the sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say: “Your perfect will in your perfect way.”

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/keith-and-kristyn-getty/perfect-wisdom-of-our-god-lyrics/#ekHjSB39hg9BPA1q.99

Grace has now appeared (Rob Smith EMU music – key C)
Grace has indeed appeared – in the person of Jesus Christ! This song is quite syncopated, but predictably so, making it singable. It has a catchy opening riff, and a lively tempo. More information here.
My favourite lines of this song come in verse 3:
He has come to dwell within us, Bringing us from death to life,
Giving us the hope of glory, Making us like Christ, Shining forth his light.

Oh the Deep Deep Love (Bob Kauflin – key E)
Some of you may know this hymn by Samuel Trevor Francis, but you should definitely try the beautiful melody and tempo of this tune. I think it suits the lyrics far better than other tunes used in the past. Sheet music here
VERSE 1
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

The Glories of Calvary (Steve and Vicki Cook, Sovereign Grace – key F)
This has been one of my favourite, lively, grace focused songs for many years, but I just haven’t got a round to it. I can’t even chose just a small excerpt of the lyrics, so here is verse 1 and chorus. Sheet music here
VERSE 1
Lord, You’re calling me to come and behold the wondrous cross
To explore the depths of grace that came to me at such a cost
Where Your boundless love Conquered my boundless sin
And mercy’s arms were opened wide
CHORUS

My heart is filled with a thousand songs Proclaiming the glories of Calvary
With every breath, Lord how I long to sing of Jesus who died for me
Lord, take me deeper into the glories of Calvary

Unashamed (Mark Altrogge – key G)
This is a older Sovereign Grace song, but it is catchy with a fast tempo. It brings a timeless challenge to be unashamed of Jesus as Lord, since he was not ashamed to bear our disgrace and sin, for our eternal good. Sheet music here
Chorus:
Let me be unashamed, Jesus, to speak Your name
For You were the one who came, The Savior of the world
Let me be unashamed, Jesus, to speak Your name
Let me be bold to claim You as my Lord

The Father’s Embrace/Psalm 27  (Stuart Townend – key A)
This song reaffirms who God is, a God we can trust as he calls us into relationship with him. I have included this one because I’ve enjoyed it personally for about a decade – also because the lyrics are so close to the original Psalm 27 (and as you know I’ve been searching for singable Psalms).  Verse 1:
You are my Anchor, My Light and my Salvation
You are my Refuge, My heart will not fear
Though my foes surround me on every hand
They will stumble and fall while in grace I stand
In my day of trouble You hide me and set me above

Christ is risen Indeed (Keith and Kirstyn Getty – key A)
This song is about the disciples, and we are now his disciples. I especially like verse 3:
Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
They preached the truth and power of grace.
And pouring out their lives they gained
Life, life everlasting.

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/keith-and-kristyn-getty/christ-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed-lyrics/#ClvIvl347Eg4xdvw.99

You can see last year’s list here:
https://sevennotesofgrace.com/2013/02/06/praise-the-lord-new-song-list-ready-for-2013/

Blessings, Ros

Looking for good Christmas songs?

Music leaders, it’s that time of year to start planning your Christmas events once again. If you are looking for ideas, check out some of these posts from Christmas past:

December 25 in song, thanks to Francesca!francescachristmasalbum

. . .  Click here for the itunes link. If you are looking for a great song for a Christmas event at your church, I would recommend “Heaven Everywhere” (sheet music available from Musicnotes.com) or a slower one “December 25“. If you live in a snowy location, try “Marshmallow world” for a bit of fun! Can’t say we relate to that over here in sunny Brisbane, in the middle of a heatwave. READ MORE

Grace has now appeared – Christ!advent

Titus 2:11  “For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”

. . .  another great new Christmas song published by the folks from EMU music. (If you haven’t heard of them, they are a great source of singable gospel-true congregational songs). This song “Grace has now appeared” is the first track on their recently released Christmas album Advent(follow this link to buy on itunes). The theme is obviously the “advent”, the arrival of our Saviour, the Word become flesh. The whole album is filled with gospel-rich songs of different styles and tempos. It’s great to play in your home or car through the holiday season, to help remember the loving act of our Holy God, who became man, and showed immeasurable kindness in stooping down to save us, from our addiction to worshipping ourselves.
My favourite lines of this song come in verse 3, “He has come to dwell within us, Bringing us from death to life, Giving us the hope of glory, Making us like Christ, Shining forth his light.” Grace has indeed appeared! And we “little Christs” are the living reminders of that grace. Hope you enjoy the album! (Sheet music available here) READ MORE

Fullness of grace in man’s human frailty

I have been dusting off all my Christmas CDs in anticipation of that most wonderful time of the year. A song I’ve enjoyed for quite a while (on the Christmas album NEW IRISH HYMNS 3: INCARNATION) has just been re-released on the newest Getty album: Joy – An Irish Christmas. The song is called “Fullness of Grace.” It effectively captures how the Incarnation event, when God became Man in Christ, is all about Jesus’ willing choice to wrap himself in our frail human form – an embodiment of the grace of God.
READ MORE

Mary did you know?

I have only recently discovered an awesome Christmas song by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene (1991), called “Mary did you know?” Why haven’t I heard of this one before? Jeremy Camp has just released it on his new Christmas album “Christmas: God with Us”. It would make a great solo/ensemble song for your carols/Christmas program. READ MORE

And here are a few more song ideas:

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.)

You may also like:
Why wouldn’t we remember Christmas            
dec 25

Trying on the shoes of a Christmas visitor2012-carols1

For great piano playing in contemporary worship . . .

piano-hands-0Posting today what looks like a really useful seminar from Bob Kauflin at Sovereign Grace, on effective piano playing in a worship band/music team. This is the third part of the seminar which deals with lots of things about chord colouring (with add 2, add 4), inversions, intros and leaving space for your band. Sometimes classically trained pianists find it hard to transition to playing with a band. This may be what you are looking for! I must admit I also share his enthusiasm for the add2 and the open 5th. Perhaps this would be worth a look together with all your pianists! (By the way, if there is a specific topic you want to learn something about Bob K has kindly indexed the video beneath).

http://www.worshipmatters.com/2012/01/07/the-piano-in-contemporary-worship-part-3/

You may also enjoy:
The Blessings of multi-generational music teams                 Music ministry training paper
top-10-offensively-young-musicians_hguitars

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.

Grace has come – new Sovereign Grace album

grace has comeIf you are the person who chooses new songs for your church, (like me) you may be very excited by the announcement of a new album from Sovereign Grace (August 1). “Grace has come: Songs from the Book of Romans”looks sure to be a treat! Sovereign Grace certainly has figured out a good recipe for singable Gospel songs garnished with much grace! The sample track is based on Romans 8:31-39 – Nothing can tear us from the everlasting love of Christ.

NOTHING IN ALL THE EARTH

(click title to listen)

VERSE 1   
What shall separate us from Your love?
Can years of sorrow break eternal bonds?
Can condemnation ever raise its voice?
Against the pardon of the blood of Christ?
Though our journey here is long
This will be our triumph song

CHORUS
Nothing in all the earth

Not any height above
Could ever tear us from Your everlasting love
Nothing in all the earth
Not any height above
Could ever tear us from Your everlasting love

VERSE 2
What shall separate us from Your love?
For now the sting of death is overcome
And all the powers of this world must fall
Before Your feet because You rule them all
And though our journey here is long
This shall be our triumph song

BRIDGE
Nothing in all the earth
Could ever tear us from
Your everlasting love

© 2013 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)

http://sovereigngracemusic.bandcamp.com/album/grace-has-come-songs-from-the-book-of-romans