Expressing our love, gratitude and devotion to God through the arts has been a long-standing priority here at Grace. There are no auditions in order to join the choir or orchestra, just be prepared to become part of a worshiping family! For more information, email worship@gracebc.org.
 
WEEKLY WORSHIP SET
by Pastor Jeff

Weekly Worship Set

July 21, 2019

 

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am!
 

 

“I rejoiced with those who said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

– Psalm122:1

 

I remember the first time I came across this verse many years ago. I love it for many reasons, but I think most of all because it makes clear that people were discussing going to worship together before the appointed time…and it excited them! Man, I could go on and on about this, but for brevity I’ll get to the purpose of the blog. Let’s look ahead to Sunday together and get to know the songs!

 

“Fill This Place”: Red Rocks Worship / “Soar”
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Father, we’re on our knees

With every heartbeat we

give you this offering

Lord, come and fill this place

Father, we’re crying out

Spirit, we need You now

Glorious love surrounds us

Lord, come and fill this place

 

In planning, many times the first song is called an “opener”. I just realized this is an accurate term to describe the first song of a worship gathering. The goal of the first song should be to “open”; to open our hearts to extravagant worship, to open our minds to receive His life-altering Word, and most of all, to open our arms to welcome Him so that His Spirit can do all of these things!

 

Let me be very transparent with you all. I am convicted whenever I sing a song about bowing in the presence of God. There are occasions when that conviction is so very strong that I do bow down while worshipping with you. But can I be honest? I begin to hear comments in my mind that begin with something similar to,” People will think that…”. But can I encourage you? I believe we grow into a deeper relationship with God when our desire to worship the God we love becomes greater than our concern for what people think. Please, do not hear me saying that if you aren’t bowing in church you don’t love God. Many are not physically able, for one thing. Bowing can be an attitude when you can’t physically do it. You can also come to the altar simply to be able to bow and adore and give reverence to God. If you are physically able, I encourage bowing on your knees or even laying on your face before God in your private “prayer closet”. So much for “brevity” LOL. The remainder I will keep more brief.

 

 

“Saviour King”: Hillsong / “Saviour King”
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We’ve not sung this together for a while, but it has always been a song that seems to help move our hearts to a special moment of just worshiping God. That may sound incredibly simplistic and primary, but the lyrics are so well written and truthful that it is the story and the testimony for every true believer.

 
 
“O, Come the Altar”: Elevation Worship / “Here as in Heaven
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We have used this as an invitation (response) song many times, but I felt led to insert it into this portion of the service because, as mentioned above, it is paramount that we as your staff make clear that you are free to approach the altar at any time! Sometimes, and I have been the recipient of this, we just need to be in a place where we are surrounded by the voices of God’s children, our family, singing over us. Please do not hesitate to come forward or, if so led, ask someone to come forward to pray with you.

 

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone): Chris Tomlin / “See the Morning”
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“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45

 

Every one of us were bound in heavy chain and sentenced to an eternity of captivity to darkness. All of us. Not one to escape. In Genesis 3, humankind was enticed away and abducted by sin. There was a ransom demanded, but it could never be paid. What if the plan ended there? Celebrate and exclaim the goodness of God who sent His Son who ransomed many!!!! Our chains won’t be gone “one day”, but they dropped to the ground, worthless and broken, the moment we said, “Yes” to our Savior King!!! That, my worship family, is AMAZING grace!

 

Much Love in Christ Jesus!

Pastor Jeff

 

Weekly Worship Set

July 14, 2019

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am!

 

…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:19-21.
 

Hey Grace Family (and beyond)! This week’s entry is slightly different. Instead of breaking down the songs individually, I’d like to give everyone a “heads up” on the worship music format for this Sunday. Here is a list of what we plan on:

 

  • Open Up the Heavens
  • Forever (Chris Tomlin)
  • I’ll Fly Away
  • Just a Little Talk with Jesus
  • I Saw the Light
 

It is obvious by looking upon creation, and even mankind, that God loves variety! This Sunday we are going to do something a bit different by having bluegrass-flavored worship music! Those of you who were at the Grace American Celebration may have heard some of this, but we have actually had this planned for several months! It also lends itself to bringing in some hymns. So now that you know the “what”, I want to briefly share more about the “why”.

 

In Ephesians 5:19, we read “address one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”. You’ve read it before and have heard it said that when we come together at Grace, we do so as participants. That is why we should be drawn to the admonition to address one another. The Modern English Version says to “speak” to each other. Be vocal.  

 

To explain as simply and briefly as I can, hymns are songs that have been written separately from the Psalmists’ inspired writings, so to speak. They can certainly contain scripture (as many do). Hymns bring praise, glory, honor and thanks to God. In fact, many, many hymns are still being written today, it’s just that the term isn’t used as much as it once was.

 

Psalms, of course, are the Psalms we find in the Bible and were part of the Hebrew scriptures that were used in corporate worship and are still used today! Listen to Brooklyn Tab’s “Psalm 34!” And simply put, the term spiritual song refers more to the theme of the song. These are songs that are about spiritual things such as living the Christian life.” I would place songs like, “Thrive” by Casting Crowns or “Ain’t No Grave” by Bethel Worship under this term.

 

The point being, giving place to all three of these song types (not to be confused with song styles) is biblical and it also keeps us from becoming complacent or stagnant. Hope to see you all here Sunday at 10:00!

Much Love in Christ Our Savior!

Pastor Jeff

 
 

Weekly Worship Set

July 7, 2019

ONE SERVICE AT 10:00 am!

 

Let the Praises Ring”: Lincoln Brewster / “All to You Live”

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Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

 

We have been blessed with incredibly gifted instrumental worshippers here at Grace both now and over many, many years. Songs such as “Let the Praises Ring” allow them to answer the Biblical call to musicians found in Psalm 150. There may be some who are curious as to why there are songs with instrumental brakes included in cooperate worship. I get it, because the priority is that everyone be participants and not spectators. So why these moments? First and foremost, it is Biblical. We see it in Psalm 150 above as well as well as the account of David playing the harp (and not singing), to ease Saul’s torment in 1 Samuel 16:14-23. But, just as we read in the above Psalm, there is room for both – singing together and allowing the instruments a moment as well. It’s the same accepted principle as appreciating a vocal soloist. Personally, I love to watch these sisters and brothers, many of whom could use their gifts elsewhere, offering them back to God as an offering of praise and worship.

 

 

 “Grateful”: Elevation Worship/ “There is a Cloud”

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Psalm 136:1-3

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
 
I always try to make the first words out of my mouth, “Thank you” when I talk to God. Yes, there have been times where I have approached God, as I’ve once heard described, as a “cosmic vending machine.” Without acknowledging His majesty, holiness or His works, I will just pull up to the speaker, place my order and then fly by the pick-up window.
 
Even Philippians 4:6 says:
 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

 

May I encourage all of us not to wait until Sunday to show our gratitude to God for all He has done? It has been quoted and referenced many times, but it is a terrific truth in regards to how we choose to live and that is with an attitude of gratitude. If we aren’t already doing so, can we decide today to live a life of gratitude for all He has done? May this song be sung this week by all of us and become part of our DNA as a Christian.

 

“10,000 Reasons”:   Matt Redman / “10,000 Reasons”

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Matt Redman is a prolific songwriter, actually I would refer to him as a modern psalmist. Among his songs are “Heart of Worship”, “Blessed Be Your Name” and “Jesus, Only Jesus.” I believe he would be the first to tell us that 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord is an incredibly low number. I recommend making this song one of the first you listen to in the mornings for a while as it can truly help us cultivate that attitude of gratitude I referenced above.

 

“Give Me Faith”:  Elevation Worship  / “Kingdom Come”

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In Mark 9:24, the man who had the son with an unclean spirit asked Jesus to help his unbelief. As a young man, this confused me. “Isn’t the faith part up to me?” But, there is the saving faith – the faith “in Christ”, but there is also faith “that God”. If we are a Christian, we have believed that we are saved from the penalty of sin, which is death (Rom.6:23), by the perfect Son of God, Jesus, paying our debt on the cross, was raised the third day, and will come again. So, we have faith in Christ that He is who He said He is. But what about having that faith “that God” will do what He says He will do?. In fact, it is the prayer of a child who desires a closer and deeper relationship with God! In Malachi 3:10, God even says we can “test Him” and discover that He truly is faithful!  There is nothing shameful about asking God to help us with our faith! Let’s all sing this together Sunday and just see what God does in the life of Grace Baptist Church and in YOUR LIFE!

 

Much Love in Christ Our Savior!

Pastor Jeff

 

Weekly Worship Set

June 30, 2019

 
Every Praise”: Hezekiah Walker / “Azusa: The Next Generation”
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“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” – Psalm 145:3-4

 

Psalm 145 is a great Psalm to read for inspiration regarding the glory due to our God! You may have noticed that some songs are about the Lord and some are to the Lord. “Every Praise” gives us the opportunity to sing both. In my opinion, one of the wonderful attributes of these lyrics are that they have been written to be sung as us!

 

“Every praise is to our God

Every word of worship in one accord
 
This is yet another great “opening prayer”, so to speak, that should place our heart and minds on being unified as we worship God together. In Psalm 145:4, we can see that one generation commends His works to another. The younger generation, knowingly or not, are observing us, the generations that have come before. Are we both speaking and singing of God’s mighty acts of mercy, grace, breakthrough, healing, etc.?
 
Later in the song we get to proclaim our personal devotion to Him!
 

“God my Savior, God my Healer, God my Deliverer,

Yes, He is! Yes, He is!
 

Who You Say I Am”: Hillsong Worship/ “There is More”

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John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” I thoroughly believe that one of the most widespread tactics of the enemy against the Christian is the attempt to steal our identity. I say, “attempt” because this is all he can do the true believer. Later in John 10:28-29, Jesus says of HIS sheep:

 

“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

 

But the enemy can certainly try to deceive us into thinking that our identity is our sin, our fear, our past, our addiction, or our failures. But no! Brothers and sisters, we are children of God, yes we are! Our identity is in the freedom from all of these things through the death and resurrection of Jesus!

 

Much Love in Christ Our Savior!

Pastor Jeff

 
 

Weekly Worship Set

June 23, 2019

 

This is Amazing Grace”: Phil Wickham / “The Ascension”

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With the exception of “Fill This Place” (which we introduced to you this past Sunday) the songs for this Sunday are familiar ones. It occurred to me that familiar songs may actually require more preparation than newer ones. It’s easy to “coast” through songs that we know well. Although this blog is to assist you in learning the songs for Sunday, remember that it is the preparation of our hearts that is paramount. Singing the words with our lips means nothing if it is not accompanied by the singing of our hearts.

 

“This is Amazing Grace” is a song that describes, in part, what the grace of God is. Of course, it is amazing, but here we have a song that reminds us of some reasons why. Since we will be taking part in communion this Sunday, I am drawn to the lines, “That You would bear my cross” and, “That You would take my place.” Jesus asked that we would take communion in remembrance of Him, this song helps remind us of just what He truly did for us. Please sing it this week and let us make every line personal – our testimony.

 

“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” – Isaiah 29:13

 

Fill This Place”: Red Rocks Worship/ “Here”

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As I shared in a previous post, when we bring a new song to you, we will usually use one Sunday to introduce it, once again the following Sunday to give you the opportunity to sing it again and sometimes again a week or two later. But this song would be appropriate practically every Sunday morning! “God showed up”. You have heard it, you may have more than likely said yourself, and I know I have said it many times. Of course, God is omnipresent – everywhere at once and all of the time – but we use this term to describe moments when the presence of God is so powerful that He wasn’t just in the room, He changed the room! There are songs that use the phrase, “changing the atmosphere”. I love that. This is what we should desire. This is what we should pray for and this that is what we can expect.

 

 

Amazed”: Desperation Band / “Voices of the Faithful”

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“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

 

Did you catch that? We just finished pondering the importance of the presence of the Lord and look at that first line of Zeph. 3:17. Love it! Anyway, I was pulling up this verse because when I heard this song years ago, it was my first experience with the concept of God dancing and singing. So, I looked into it before I sang it to make certain it was Biblical. Was I ever excited to find that it is! According to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word for “rejoice” used in this verse (suws), is defined as: a primitive root; to be bright, i.e. cheerful: —be glad, greatly, joy, make mirth, rejoice. This definition of the phrase ‘rejoice over you” can include singing and dancing, among other displays of gladness! I don’t know about you, but the fact that the Almighty God rejoices over me I truly amazing. Are you amazed how He loves you? How great, how deep and how wide His love is for you?

 

Living Hope”: Phil Wickham / “Living Hope” single

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I cannot think of any better way to prepare my heart for this song that this truth. I pray it is the same for you:

 

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” – Roman 8:1-4

 

Much Love in Christ!

Pastor Jeff
 

Weekly Worship Set

June 16, 2019
 
Fill This Place”: Red Rocks Worship/ “Here”
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There is a tremendous difference between the phrases “there is” and “there was”. Which would the hungry person rather hear, that there is food set before them and to have their fill or that there was a great meal but they just missed it? What about the hurting? What about the lonely? What about those who feel they are unlovable? What about…you? Are you living in the now yet looking to the past? “If only Jesus were still here in the flesh. If He could still look me in the eyes, rest His merciful hand upon my head, and speak words of power over me.” I’ll just let Jesus speak into that Himself: Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” – John 14:16-17
 
Oh, and the desire that Jesus would pray for you?
 
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” – 1 John 2:1
But it is difficult to receive from Him which we do not have fellowship with. I am no only speaking of the lost, but those who are out of fellowship with their Savior. That’s why we sing songs like this, to open up to His presence! If we aren’t seeking the powerful presence of God, we are like an ill patient who is called from the waiting room to enter in, but choosing to remain seated. Like the older song says, “seek His face and not just His hand”. When we do, we see “there is” and that we can grasp it today! Here are some excerpts from the lyrics “Fill This Place”:
There is a light….
There is a hope…..
There is a peace….
There is a King…….
There is a mercy…..
There is a love……..
 
The Rock Won’t Move”: Vertical Church / “The Rock Won’t Move”
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As Sunday is Father’s Day, I am inclined to see this song from both a Father’s point of view as well as a son’s. As a dad, I believe many of us want to be fixers. I want to have the microwave solution ready to settle our daughters’ trials – to step in with the dad cape and bust through the brick wall like a hero. The major problem with that is, I am fluid. I would bust through the wall looking more like that Kool-Aide guy. I am fallible. I’m not consistent enough, good enough, wise enough and certainly not perfect enough to be the end-all solution. That is why all of us (fathers, wives, children, moms, dads, anyone with a pulse) must look to the Rock of our salvation. He is constant, immovable, strong, and our only perfect and unchanging help. He is the resource for everything we need to be for ourselves and our families! But as a son of God, I also see everything that I attempt to be for my daughters, God is inherently.
 
“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.”- Isaiah 28:16
 
Great Are You, Lord”: All Sons & Daughters / “Live”
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Often when I am praying with the choir, band, or orchestra, I catch myself saying,” We can’t even worship You without Your divine help.” I reflect on that when we sing this together because of the lyric, “It’s Your breath in our lungs – so we pour out our praise”. This song is a great reflection of how worship takes place. God gives, we give back to Him and He receives the gift back with joy. I say that because if we attempt to offer the Lord a gift of praise and worship with wrong motives or insincerity, we aren’t presenting Him with a gift, but something that merely appears as worship. But God doesn’t want counterfeit worship any more than we do a counterfeit bill. As we sing Sunday, think about the Great God who gives us life and offer that breath back to Him.  
 
Be Thou My Vision”: Traditional Hymn
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Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18  
 
This passage of scripture parallels, in a way, with “The Rock Won’t Move.” Funny how God does that, isn’t it? For a Christian the word vision can mean, as we read about in the Word, something that may occur in dreams, (the angel telling Joseph to flee to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, Joseph being assured of Mary’s testimony of the virgin pregnancy, etc.). It can also refer to a goal or a forthcoming plan, but here it says that the people will perish if there isn’t a vision. All of these examples of visions have one common denominator: God. We can’t simply glance at God occasionally and expect to be happy or even changed. We must fix our eyes on the Holiest of the Holy and the Mightiest of the Mighty! When we want to really communicate a clear message to a loved one, what do we sometimes say? “Look at me. Are you listening? I want you to get this – to hear this.” The song even says, “Be Thou my wisdom.” This is a beautiful and potentially life-changing prayer song. As we sing together Sunday, can we all make the decision to do more – to be more intentional – in setting our eyes on God and His ways and His righteousness? That He would be our vision?  
 
Orphans of God”: Avalon / “Avalon: The Greatest Hits”
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Why “Orphans of God” on Father’s Day? We are always sensitive to the fact that we have different families with different dynamics and the recognition of Fathers and Mothers can be difficult. I know it can be for those of us who have fathers that have passed on. This is why we believe a song of hope, healing and belonging that are found in the strong and loving hands of our Heavenly Father. In fact, let me just share part on an email I received from a member of the choir. She explains this better than I.
 
I wanted to thank you for including Orphans of God.  Having lost my entire family of origin by the age of 44, Mother’s and Father’s Day are both very difficult, and I am sure these songs are a comfort to others in similar situations.”
 
There are no orphans, strangers or outcasts in the family of God!!
 
Much Love in Christ!
Pastor Jeff

Weekly Worship Set

June 9, 2019

 
“Glorious Day”: Passion / “Worthy of Your Name”
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So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. John 11:41 – 44   I once heard a preacher say that the words of Jesus possess so much authority that he called Lazarus by name because had Jesus simply said, “Come out!”, people would be popping out of graves all over the place! Those who don’t know Jesus may be deceived because they see no burial rags binding them like the ones Lazarus had to be unwrapped from, yet they are spiritually dead – just as we were (note: that is why we must be intentional about telling them our story!). But Jesus still calls out to the dead to “come out!” When, either as a first-hand witness or while viewing the evening news, we hear of an individual who was dead for several minutes being revived, we are amazed at the miracle within the story! Family, I encourage each of us to celebrate the much greater story! We, too, were dead but for eternity, yet now revived by the sacrifice of the Son of God! I hope you are as excited and grateful as I am every time we sing, “I ran out of that grave!”
 
“Here for You”: Matt Redman / “10,000 Reasons”
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“Praise awaits You, Our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.” Psalm 65:1 Granted, this is not an exact quote of 1 Corinthians 2:9, but for all of the unfathomable, mind-blowing and incredible things that God has prepared for those of us who love Him, it is our privilege to have something awaiting Him, isn’t it? Think on that for a moment. Why would God, who has never known need, desire to receive anything from us? That is the core meaning of worship. God does not need our worship; He treasures it and receives great pleasure from it! We were created for this connection and fellowship with Him! I am convinced that these are some of the best lyrics ever written as an offering to welcome the presence of God as we gather to worship.   We welcome you with praise, We welcome you with praise, Almighty God of love, Be welcomed in this place!
 
“Even So Come”: Passion / “Even So Come”
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Jesus is coming soon. What do we think of when we hear, read or sing those words? Do we respond with the urgency tempered with joy that it requires, or do we simply give a nod of affirmation and move our thoughts along? Sadly, I admit that I have been guilty of this at times. But the truth is…again, the truth is…that I may not finish typing this, or you may not even finish reading this, being gloriously interrupted by His return! However, when I look around at a lost world, my heart breaks. It’s nothing new, even as Peter shared:   Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4   Through the grace and strength of the Lord, we are to remain diligent in speaking the truth in love while also frequently examining ourselves that we may be, both individually and as the church, ready for Him.   Like a bride waiting for her groom We’ll be a Church ready for You Every heart longing for our King We sing “even so come” Lord Jesus, come Even so come Lord Jesus, come
 
“Withholding Nothing”: William McDowell / “Withholding Nothing”
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Truly, Wednesday nights are not just rehearsals at Grace, which is one of the main reasons I am so endeared to this specific body of brothers and sisters. As we prepared this song for Sunday, we offered it to God last night. I know that for me, it was a reverent and calming time of surrendering to God. I am waiting expectantly for Sunday when we all can sing this prayer together. In fact, I believe the most effective text I could include at this point are simply the songs lyrics: I surrender all to You Everything I give to You Withholding nothing; Withholding nothing I give You all of me, King Jesus, My Savior Forever, I give You all of me, I give You all of me.

 
Much Love in Christ!
Pastor Jeff

Weekly Worship Set

June 2, 2019

 

Goodness”: Vertical Worship / Bright Faith Bold Future
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This is the song we introduced to you last Sunday. When we bring in a new song, be prepared for us to repeat it the following week. Obviously, if you have never heard it, it is difficult to be fully engaged in the song because you are learning it (unless you are taking advantage of this blog and listening to the songs ahead of time J). When we were rehearsing this song in choir, I was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures. In the second verse we sing,” Even in my darkest day, God, Your goodness will remain; it’s just who You are, it’s just who You are.” “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV) Goodness isn’t a trait of God – it’s part of who God is!
 
Better Than Life”: Lakewood / Better Than Life: The Best of Lakewood
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“Because Your loving kindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.” – Psalm 63:3-4 (NKJV)
  Ephesians 5:19 tells us that we are to sing to one another “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” So when we sing this familiar song together, we are singing Psalm 63. We’ve included this song over the years because it is joyful, truthful, uplifting and Biblical. It’s also a prayer because we are singing to God. When this song comes around Sunday, I hope we will remember this. We mostly pray in reverence, as so we should, but as prayer is a verbal communication with God, shouldn’t there also be moments that are full of energy, excitement and great joy as we tell Him how much His lovingkindness means to us?

Jesus at the Center”: Israel Houghton / Decade
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 Perspective and priority are driving forces in the life of the believer. In my own experience I can easily lose focus on either or both of these. You can more than likely say the same, right? In my opinion, we need what may be called “reminder” songs. This is one of them. I need every word of this song and I need to sing it often. Actually, this song could be practically endless. Jesus should be utmost presence and priority in every area of our lives – both good and bad. Jesus at the center of my life, Jesus at the center of my marriage, Jesus at the center if my singleness, Jesus at the center of my heart, Jesus at the center of my pain, Jesus at the center of my fear, and we could pray and sing on and on. Here’s the foundational truth of this song: Nothing else matters.  
 
Heaven on My Mind”: Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir / I’m Amazed: Live
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 This week, having taken us through “Being Biblical” and “Being Missional”, Pastor Bobby will begin “Being Intentional”. That is what this song is all about. Even though it is led by the choir – as always – at any time – please feel free to stand and sing with us! In a way, this refers back to “Jesus at the Center”. Who and what is our priority? If we are to be honest, do we really have a “made up mind” to live a life that is intentionally Kingdom-focused? It’s extremely healthy, even mandatory, for each one of us to examine our lives to discover our motives and inspirations for life. Just where do we stand in regards to whom we stand for? Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you [b]are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.” – 2 Cor. 13:5-6
 
Much Love in Christ!
Pastor Jeff

 

Weekly Worship Set

May 26, 2019

NEW SONG THIS WEEK!   “Goodness”: Vertical Worship / “Bright Faith Bold Future”
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“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;” Psalms 21:1-3
 
This is a new song we are introducing to you this week! The best preparation is always prayer and the Word of God. Whether we use an app, a website or the index in the back of your Bible, let’s take the time to search the words “goodness” and “good”. As we read these passages, let us think about the areas in our life where we have experienced the goodness of God. I can speak from experience, as I know so many of us can, that even in the seasons of loss and confusion the goodness of God never leaves us. Sometimes we have to look back to realize it, but it’s always there. The second verse of the song really hit home for me – “Never failing in the night”. I immediately thought of Psalm 21. Think on this tonight. The Creator of all that has ever been, the Almighty God, watches over you as you sleep. Without fail. Without distraction. He is so good!
 
“This I Believe (The Creed)”: Hillsong / “No Other Name”
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“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Matthew 12:34 (NIV)   Ok, so I LOVE when this happens! In the closing of my comments about “Goodness”, I stopped to consider how to communicate the greatness of our God who watches over us. What came to mind was “Creator” and “Almighty”. I just now realized the very first lyric to “This I Believe” is: “Our Father everlasting, The all creating One, God Almighty….”   Yes, the chorus to this song is very similar to the chorus of “We Believe”, by Newsboys. But we will use every opportunity to come together and declare the truth of the gospel – our creed. One definition from Dictionary.com defines a creed as “a set of beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions”. Last week, Pastor Bobby reminded us that actions speak louder than words. Our Creed, so to speak, should be a magnificent cycle of worship and praise. We should sing what we believe and live by what we sing and Sunday we get to come together and do just that!
 
“Jesus, Only Jesus”: Passion / “Let the Future Begin”
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There can be ambiguity when we hear someone speak of God. From award winners who hoist their newly acquired hardware skyward while thanking, “The big guy upstairs”, or co-workers who say they believe in “a” god. There is a lack of clarity. Are they speaking of thebig G” God, or a “little g” god? We don’t know without further conversation. But when the name of Jesus is uttered, that’s quite different! Granted, not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” truthfully knows Him (read Matt.7:21), but salvation, redemption, freedom, truth and eternally so much more is found in one person who was sent to earth by the one, true and living God – Jesus…and only Jesus.
 
 
“Rescue”: Newsong / “Rescue”
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I don’t know if you are like me, but there have been many times in my prayer life that all I could utter was, “Help me.” Much like “Jesus Only Jesus”, this song allows us to remind ourselves, “Where else can I go?” This song is one I recommend everyone purchase and keep handy. Not only is it a powerfully honest prayer for when we are at a loss, either personally or for someone else, it is an important reminder that in this age of the Marvel Universe, there is only one non-fictional universal hero – Jesus.
 
Much Love in Christ!
Pastor Jeff

Weekly Worship Set     May 19, 2019

“In Jesus Name: Darlene Zshcech / “Glory Revealed”
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“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms..” Ephesians 1:18-20
 
Do we consistently walk in the knowledge of what we have received when we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior? I mean here on Earth. I confess that I don’t– not consistently, as in every moment of every day. I dare say it is the same with most every Christian. But as believers, we have received the Holy Spirit within us for the here and now! Jesus is with us and that changes everything! He changes every situation, every problem, every temptation, every hurt and every relationship! This song reminds us that the very power of the resurrection is within us! So have faith brother and sister and sing praises this week knowing God is fighting for you!
 
“Tomb”: Garrett Romine / “Tomb”
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This coming Sunday is Garrett Romine’s last one with us. The wonderful thing about bringing in interns is realizing their gifting and seeing how God is guiding and molding them. One of Garrett’s gifts is the gift of songwriting. “Tomb” is one we have sung several times and will continue to sing after he moves back home. It’s so cool to see how God puts these “themes” together! Both “In Jesus Name” and “Tomb” declare the power of the resurrection! “The ground was shaking, the veil was tearing…”, I pray we never forget the awe and wonder of grace exploding into eternity, saving all of mankind!

 

“Christ is Enough”: Hillsong Worship / “There is More”

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It is both moving and inspiring to see the altar lined with people praying. In fact, yesterday, right before I started singing “Give Me Faith”, the piano was lightly playing, and I was able to hear prayers being lifted aloud. I could not hear the actual words, but that was one of the most beautiful sounds I experienced yesterday. A lot of prayers mean a lot of needs. Whether you were praying at the altar, praying from where you were sitting, or at such a loss that you just couldn’t get the prayers out, know this – Christ is enough for anything you are facing and for anyone you are praying for. Learn the words to this song this week and sing it often and allow the Word of God to come alive in you as you trust Him!  

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
 
Have a wonderful week of worshiping God every day!
 
Much Love in Christ!
Pastor Jeff

Weekly Worship Set April 28, 2019

“Spirit Break Out”: Kim Walker-Smith / “Still Believe”
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In the hustle and bustle of spilled coffee, lost keys and groggy teenagers, we can easily think that just making it to campus before lunch is a great Sunday morning success. I know it can certainly feel like one. One of the most common hurdles that worshippers face is the ability to settle. I can struggle with it even as a worship leader. This song was brought to mind for that very purpose – to allow us to take a breath, to relax, to focus, and to settle. If you want a song that will help prepare your heart for worship, please listen to “Spirit Break Out”. Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presenceLord.” – Psalm 89:15

“Every Praise”: Hezekiah Walker / “Azusa the Next Generation”
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There is a popular YouTube video of this song featuring Hezekiah Walker accompanied by a choir. The joy that is displayed in this clip might make some of us wish we could teleport into the screen and join them! It’s a song of jubilation and celebration! I pray that the goodness and greatness of God brings all of us to a place of bold and joyful praise that others would wish to join us!
 
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” – Psalm 28:7
 
“Who You Say I Am”: Hillsong Worship / “There is More”
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There are several individuals who will walk into worship gatherings all over the world Sunday with a Bible under their arm, a smile across their face and…lies in their heart. Some of the best actors aren’t found on stages or movie sets, but in our churches. However, these individuals aren’t really the liars as much as they’re being lied to. Whether it be voices from their past, the voices of others or the whispers of the enemy, many believers live under the weight of guilt or shame. The truth is, we are who HE says we are! “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” – 1 Peter 2:9   

“Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)”: Chris Tomlin / “See the Morning”
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How many times I’ve wished there were a word above “amazing” that I could proclaim when I think about God’s grace! His patience with us, His love for us, the fact that we are even called “His” is unfathomable. I supposed it’s a good thing that John Newton penned it and not me. “Amazing” grace is much easier to sing than, “Mind-Blowing, Incomprehensible, Completely Undeserving Grace”!
 
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” – Romans 5:1 
 
Much Love in Jesus
Pastor Jeff

WEEKLY WORSHIP SET

EASTER WEEKEND 2019
 
“Ain’t No Grave” – Bethel Music and Molly Skaggs: “Victory”
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At our all staff meeting this morning (which includes all employees of GBC) we were discussing the Gospel of John. Pastor Bobby had asked we read it and come together this morning to share. As you may imagine, there were several references to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44). Jesus spoke his name and Lazarus “walked right out of that grave”! This weekend we acknowledge the sufferings and the sacrifice of this same Jesus. The book of Matthew describes the mocking that He endured.

“So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” Matthew 27:41-42   But here is the very core of the Gospel. Let us not forget that Jesus had the power and authority to do just that! But he chose to complete the will of the Father and remain on the cross and to die after hours and hours of torture and agony. But by His obedience, sacrifice, death and resurrection, those of us who respond to His voice, just as Lazarus did, are now resurrected with Him!

 
“Victory in Jesus” – Travis Cottrell: “Jesus Saves”
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I love this hymn because it tells the story of salvation from a personal perspective: “He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood!” I become so overwhelmed with gratitude and praise for what Jesus did for me that I can’t hold back the joy of my salvation! The victory was in Jesus and in Jesus alone. All of our praise is absolutely due Him and we have the freedom to lift our voices and proclaim victory in the name of Jesus!

 
 
“Living Hope” – Phil Wickham: “Living Hope”
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During this week of Easter, or “Holy Week”, there are certain texts from scripture we read or hear more than other times during the year. One of these verses contains the three words – “It is finished” (John 19:30). But do we truly take in what Jesus was declaring? He was saying much more than,” My suffering is over because death has finally come.” He was saying that His mission of redemption had been completed. He had accomplished what God sent him to do and that was to pay for every sin you and I are guilty of! When we sing the lyrics of this song, “it is finished, the end is written” we are agreeing with Jesus. Songs like this, I believe, help us by challenging us to remember that the resurrection power is within every believer. This is why we sing that Jesus is our LIVING hope! Praise God!

 
“Unto the Lamb” – Prestonwood Choir: “Faithful”
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A powerful anthem declaring the holiness and worthiness of the Lamb of God! Please take the time to read Revelation chapter 5, from which this song is taken. As with all of the songs each week, please take time to listen to them and let their messages bless you, equip you and inspire you!   Looking forward to worshipping with all of you this weekend!

 
Much Love in Jesus
Pastor Jeff
Week of April 14
One of my favorite parts of being in worship leadership is to aide the church in preparing for corporate worship. Sunday corporate worship should be an overflow of the time we’ve spent with Jesus during the rest of the week. Beginning this week, I will be sharing a blog to make the songs available as well as why they were chosen. It’s my prayer that this will aide you in your personal time of worship as well as giving you a head start on songs you may not be familiar with! Be Blessed and See you Wednesday and Sunday!
 
“Hosanna” – Hillsong; “Saviour King Live”
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In Matthew 21 we find what we call “The Triumphal Entry.” As the people shouted and celebrated, they were assuming Jesus was coming to form a new earthly government. We have such a great advantage over those group of people. We know the real reason he was entering the city! It wasn’t to overthrow a government. He came to over throw sin and death! So we boldly proclaim that word of adoration and praise,”Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna in the Highest!” Child of God, your sins are paid for!!
 
“Bless the Lord (All That is Within Me)”– Travis Cottrell; “All That is Within Me”
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Have you ever thought how incredible it is that we are singing King David’s songs thousands of years after they were written! Psalm 100:1 says,”Bless the Lord, o my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name!” Just take a few moments to thank God for his faithfulness! Think about what He has done in your life, personally or even what He May be doing today!
 
“Reckless Love” – Cory Asbury
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To understand the concept behind this song, spend some time in the chorus:
“And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away “And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”
I’m so incredibly grateful for God’s pursuit of me!! Others would have given up but not God!! His love tears through and breaks through. That’s powerful!
 
Chain Breaker- Zach Williams
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This is one we have sung a few times and for good reason! We were never meant for chains or prisons (of ALL kinds) in God’s original plan. But God chose Jesus as the Savior of the world from the beginning!
 
 
I pray we all will sing these songs as grateful and adoring children of our Risen Savior and Redeeming King this week!
 
Much Love in Jesus!
Jeff Davis
Interim Worship Pastor
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