Posted tagged ‘worship’

The Whole Big Story | Kristen Gilles

April 24, 2012

Sojourn Music has continually delivered unique offerings of gospel rich music, but perhaps none have been more unique than their newest release by singer/songwriter Kristen Gilles and her husband Bobby.  The Whole Big Story is a 4-track album released today that focuses on the whole sweep of redemptive history–Christ’s work from creation to redemption to consummation.  To get a glimpse of the verses that inspired these songs, check out this blogpost by Bobby. Explaining the nature of this album, they write:

Taken together, the songs on The Whole Big Story tell God’s story from creation to the Second Coming and Christ’s reign in the New Earth.

These songs teach that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t simply akin to throwing himself in front of a bullet for us (as brave and noble as that would be), but rather that He is the Lord of all Creation who willingly died on His own tree, having known and determined to do so before creation’s dawn.

These songs teach a crucial, blessed difference between Old Testament worship and our reality — that we don’t have to wait once a year for an appointed priest to pray and offer sacrifice for our sins, but that we can boldly go before God’s throne all the time. Christ’s sacrifice has “torn the veil.”

These songs show that Jesus cast Satan from the sky, tied him up and crushed his head. Now, the Holy Spirit is sweeping through the earth and Christ is adding to His Church as the demons helplessly roar, knowing how this story will end. Christ will come again, bringing His people back to set up a kingdom wherein “love will cover all the earth, in the kingdom without end.”

I have been listening to these songs all weekend and highly recommend them to you. These tracks can be downloaded for free via Noisetrade or you can get them via bandcampas well for just $2.  For worship leaders and musicians, Bobby and Kristen have also made chord charts, lyrics, and instructional videos for how to play these songs (which I think is pretty awesome). Here’s the direct links:

Thank you Bobby and Kristen for using your gifts and talents to serve the body of Christ and draw us into the whole story of God’s glorious work of redemption through the person and work of Jesus!

The Gospel Alphabet: W is for Worship

March 11, 2012

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “W”.

W is for Worship

We must continually teach and learn the Gospel because there is simply nothing else that evokes worship and adoration as the Gospel does. A quick survey of the hymnody of the church through the past twenty centuries makes this clear. The best hymns–ancient and contemporary–which have shown themselves to have staying power have always been Gospel-obsessed. God is glorified, Christ is exalted, and the cross and Christ’s atoning work are central. The same is true of other key elements of Christian worship–our preaching, our confessions, our prayers, our sacraments. Take away the Gospel and Christian worship simply ceases. The Gospel moves us endlessly to wonder and adore.

God & Sinner Reconcile | Stephen Miller

January 16, 2012

I have never considered myself an expert on all things musical. I mention what I believe to be good music because of what it does for my soul.  With the recovery of the gospel in all its beauty, this movement of God needs gifted men and women to lead us in singing the gospel. Again and again and again.

That’s why I want to tell you about my new friend Stephen Miller and his new album God and Sinner Reconcile. I have had the privilege of listening to his new album which releases Jan. 17th for the past month. Again and again and again. Why? Because of how good it has been for my soul. Stephen has gifted our generation a great resource for gospel exultation in his new album.

Below is a video about the new album. After Jan. 17th, you can download God and Sinner Reconcile on iTunes. You can also get it at Bandcamp. My “prone to wander” heart has been brought back to Jesus song after song.  I hope yours will be too.

Wrong Worship

September 19, 2011

O Holy Night – Shane and Shane

December 3, 2010

Love the rawness of this video. Hate that it was cut off before the song was finished. Check it.

Prone to Wander, Lord I Feel It

September 14, 2009

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

These words were written by in 1758 by Robert Robinson, three years after his conversion at the age of 23.  In a drunken stupor at the age of 17, Robinson and his friends attended an evangelistic meeting of George Whitefield where he preached on the wrath of God.  It was his testimony that Whitefield’s message tormented his conscience for three years until he found rest in Jesus Christ.  Shortly thereafter, Robinson embraced the call to ministry in the Calvinist Methodist tradition.


Thoughts on Gospel-Centered Worship

September 10, 2009

Let me begin by saying I am not a “worship leader” in that I do not lead in singing, and the limits of my musical talent is that of beating a drum.  Nevertheless, I want to talk about worship, in particular how the gospel informs and shapes not only the song but also the structure of worship gatherings.  By that I mean of having a gospel-centered liturgy based on the story of the gospel coincided with the ACTS of prayer.

There is a method behind the ordering of worship services where the different elements come into play, such as call to worship, prayer, singing, Scripture reading, sermon, etc.  What I’m interested in is an overarching element of the gospel as a metanarrative to the liturgy of a worship service the same way it is the metanarrative of the Bible.  To put it in a question, could our services more reflect the drama of redemption as depicted in our worship where creation, fall, redemption, and restoration serve as a sort of template for what we do when we gather together?  Can our “method” behind the ordering of worship services be more gospel-centered?


The Church has been under-fathered and over-mothered.

September 2, 2009

Matt Redman has some good words about romantic language in worship songs.

I Have A Shelter

May 6, 2008

When I think about the difficult and trying times of my life, I reflect on certain songs that ministered to me in the lowest of valleys and strongest of storms. Perhaps you have read some of them in Collin Hansen’s new book that was released. In those times, there have been three things that have helped sustain me: the book The Valley of Vision, which is a collection of Puritan prayers, and the Psalms which I find myself often praying, and a few select worship songs which I sing over my weary and afflicted soul. For instance, one particular verse the Lord has used to comfort me is the last verse of “In Christ Alone” which says:

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

Another song has recently been made available by Sovereign Grace Music called “I Have a Shelter” which you can actually download for free from their website. This is a song, much like others in my journey, that will help bring me to the feet of Jesus, and by His grace, bring me home to heaven. Here are the lyrics, and I pray they will be a great encouragement to you as they have been to me.

I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows

I have a shelter in the storm
When all my sins accuse me
Though justice charges me with guilt
Your grace will not refuse me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
Who bore my condemnation
I find my refuge in Your wounds
For there I find salvation

I have a shelter in the storm
When constant winds would break me
For in my weakness, I have learned
Your strength will not forsake me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
The One who bears my burdens
With faithful hands that cannot fail
You’ll bring me home to heaven

Worship is the whole point of everything.

April 13, 2008

Been reading a quite bit on worship lately (which I will explain later), but I found this quote particularly poignant:

“Redemption is the means; worship is the goal.  In one sense, worship is the whole point of everything.  It is the purpose of history, the goal of the whole Christian story.  Worship is not one segment of the Christian life among others.  Worship is the entire Christian life, seen as a priestly offering to God.  And when we meet together as a church, our time of worship is not merely a preliminary to something else; rather, it is the whole point of our existence as the body of Christ.”

 – John Frame, Worship in Spirit and Truth (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1996), 11.

Holy Child Who Chose the Hearts of Men

December 24, 2007

Holy Child who chose the hearts of men
To be His favoured home
Leaving heaven’s gates for Bethlehem
God came to call His own
Now to us the highest King is born
Behold the Royal Son
Glory kneels to mend all that is torn
The promised Child has come

Joy and pain as man He knew on earth
No place to lay His head
As a servant He embraced this world
And on a cross He bled
Having borne the deepest grief of man
He rose to heaven’s throne
Now I’m sheltered in the Father’s hand
I stand by grace alone

May the gift of God amaze us still
The triumph of all time
As His child I kneel to Heaven’s will
To make His purpose mine
Though this road be scarred with trial and pain
It’s paved with lavish grace
Knowing Him will be my greatest gain
My hope the Saviour’s face

(By Keith & Kristyn Getty)

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

December 24, 2007

“From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing:

“To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen virgin mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all the earth.

“This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself your Savior be
From all your sins to set you free.

“He will on you the gifts bestow
Prepared by God for all below,
That in His kingdom, bright and fair,
You may with us His glory share.

“These are the tokens ye shall mark:
The swaddling-clothes and manger dark;
There ye shall find the Infant laid
By whom the heavens and earth were made.”

Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Go with the shepherds and draw near
To see the precious gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child, so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.

Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through whom the sinful world is blest!
Thou com’st to share my misery;
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How weak art Thou, how poor and small,
That Thou dost choose Thine infant bed
Where humble cattle lately fed!

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
It yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou, King, so rich and great,
As ’twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

And thus, dear Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To make this truth quite plain to me,
That all the world’s wealth, honor, might,
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song:

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto us His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.

(By Martin Luther)

Eternal Glory of the Sky

December 23, 2007

Eternal Glory of the sky,
Blest Hope of frail humanity,
The Father’s sole begotten One,
Yet born a spotless virgin’s Son!

Uplift us with Thine arm of might,
And let our hearts rise pure and bright,
And, ardent in God’s praises, pay
The thanks we owe him every day.

The day-star’s rays are glittering clear,
And tell that day itself is near:
The shadows of the night depart;
Thou, holy Light, illume the heart!

Within our senses ever dwell,
And worldly darkness thence expel;
Long as the days of life endure,
Preserve our souls devout and pure.

The faith that first must be possessed,
Root deep within our inmost breast;
And joyous hope in second place,
Then charity, Thy greatest grace.

All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the holy Paraclete.

(By Ambrose of Milan)

Glory Be to God

December 23, 2007

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem
God invisible appears
Endless ages wrapped in years
He has come who cannot change
And Jesus is His name

Emptied of His majesty
He comes in human form
Being’s source begins to be
And God is born
All our griefs He’ll gladly share
All our sins He’ll fully bear
He will cover our disgrace
And suffer in our place

Let the joyful news ring out
The Prince of Peace proclaim
Lift your heart and voice to shout
Immanuel’s name
God has kept His promises
What a work of grace this is
Son of Mary, chosen One
The Lamb of God has come

Hosanna, hosanna
The Lamb of God has come
Hosanna, hosanna
He is the promised One

Glory be to God on high
Let peace on earth descend
God comes down before our eyes
To Bethlehem

By Charles Wesley (additional words by Bob Kauflin)

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

December 22, 2007

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.