Thursday, January 8, 2015

At the Cross (Love Ran Red)

Your Love Never Fails

On Wonder in Worship: What does the fox say?

As I was taking my daughter to school this morning on a cold and frigid Oklahoma morning, what started out as a simple trip that we take every morning turned into what I can only describe as a moment of worship. As we started to turn right onto the street adjacent to our home out of the early morning shadows my daughter saw a streak of red run across the street and said "daddy look!" As I slowed the car, paused and began to look, it became clear that what had darted out in front of our car was not an ordinary dog, or God forbid an overgrown cat. It was a fox! A beautiful full grown fox with the bushiest tale, and the brightest red coat that seemed to shine in the early morning air. You know the air that takes your breath away simply because you aren't ready to inhale it's blistering cold fullness. It was in that early morning scene that my daughter and I both exclaimed "Wow!' followed by an immediate "Ooo!" Know I know from growing up in the country that foxes and wild animals are a regular occurrence, but on our street in suburbia we are more likely to see a wild teenager than a wild animal. No offense to the teens in my neighborhood. We were also extremely excited because we had just watched "the Fox and the Hound" the day before. I know, I know I just lost all the Disney haters with that one, but you have to admit it's pretty cute when your seven year old daughter says "Look Dad it's Tod the fox". So as we sat there in awe of the beauty of God's creation in the morning light I did something a little unexpected to both myself and my daughter. I turned the direction opposite of the way you get to my daughter's school. She immediately said "Dad the school isn't this way, where are we going?", to which I replied I know "baby girl, I want to drive back by and see the fox again". So we turned around in the middle of the street and slowly drove back by my neighbor's yard where the fox was now standing in between my neighbor's car and side yard. This time I literally stopped the car in the middle of the street for just a few moments so that we could catch a glimpse and marvel at God's beautiful creation. To wonder at what seemed in many ways so out of place in our neighborhood. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a creeper now for driving by their house slowly, turning around in the middle of the street and then stopping right in front of their house. I'll probably have to get the kids to bring said neighbors some cookies or something because this is also the same neighbors who called the police on me when they first moved in because they thought I was feeding whole fish to their barking dogs so they would choke on the bones. Do people really do that? See I told you the teenagers in my neighbor are wild. You also have to know that this is completely contrary to my nature especially when it comes to dropping off my kids at school. I hate being late, I hate for my kids to be late, I hate for my kids to be tardy. I'm the guy who framed the perfect attendance certificates in third grade so I could nail them to my wall. So for me to stop, lose track of time, and just sit in awe of creation in the middle of the road no less, with even the thought of making my daughter late seems unthinkable. For those of you who are worried she still made it to school on time. What really would have been unthinkable is if we had missed that moment of worship, that moment of awe and wonder, that moment of thanking Jesus for the beauty of creation that reflects only a glimmer of His unimaginable glory. Job 12:7-10 says it this way: “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." I don't know about you but I don't want to miss what the fox has to say because his very presence points to a creative, mysterious, wonderful God. More importantly I don't want to miss what this creative, mysterious, wonderful God is speaking into my heart. I don't want to miss the wonder of His presence, His creation, and His redemptive voice that shouts to the world and to my heart of His great love. I don't want to miss an opportunity however seemingly small to praise Him for that love. I want in this New Year to be fully aware of Him in all of my life, in all my relationships, and in all my worship. I want to take time to be in awe, to experience His wonder, and to rest in His presence. I want to learn to live the kind of life this year that reflects Matthew 11:28-30 MSG “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion ? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Blood

When we deal with the subject of the blood, we are not dealing with some gory residue of ancient human superstition. When we talk about the blood of Christ, we are dealing with that which the Scriptures refer to as precious for its transcendent value to address human sin, need, failure, and bondage. Its value is related to the inestimable price of human liberty from the bondage of spiritual torment. The blood of Jesus is the central economic factor in all human order. So central is it that the Bible says Christ’s blood will theme our praise forever. --Jack Hayford

The Story Behind Endless Hallelujah


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Story Behind "This I Believe"

This I Believe

What an incredible song!  "This I Believe" is based on the Apostle's Creed with a modern worship expression.  It is a powerful setting of some of the most essential beliefs of the Christian faith.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Story Behind the Power of the Cross

The choir will be singing this wonderful song about what Christ has accomplished through the cross.  It speaks of his sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin, and the lavish love that was shown to us because of that sacrifice.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This Is Amazing Grace

This is a wonderful new song from Phil Wickham and Jeremy Riddle. I can't wait to lead our congregation in this great song of praise!

Hymn of the Royal Wedding

About "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah" In 1738 Williams heard a sermon by the revivalist preacher Howell Harris, a fiery Welsh layman who had been influenced by the Methodist movement in England. It was through this sermon that Williams discerned his calling to go into the ministry. The revivalists realized that the Welsh language was lacking in hymns-the church in Wales was still primarily singing metrical psalms in their worship services. In order to promote the creation of hymns, Harris put together a hymn-writing competition between the different preachers. As Louis Benson relates, “the prize fell easily to Williams Williams, who had the poet’s passion and a gift of verse-writing. Therefore it was not very long before he was recognized as poet laureate of the Welsh revival.” Williams would go on to write many hymns in both Welsh and English. “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” appeared in Welsh in 1745. Twenty six years later, in 1771, a Rev. Peter Williams translated the first verse into English, prompting William Williams to translate the rest of it into English as well. It is also known and sang as "Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer" For all of the "Royal Watchers" it was also sang at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. You can click on the following video

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Story Behind "I Lift My Hands"

This is an amazing story of how God can use the darkest moments of our lives for our good, and for His glory.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Story Behind "When the Stars Burn Down"

The following is from an interview with Jennie Riddle the writer of "When the Stars Burn Down", and the writer of "Revelation Song" I don't want to use the word sequel, because that sets an expectation I don't want to initiate, but the story of "Revelation Song" wasn't finished. That song gives us a picture of Who Jesus is and makes us yearn for Him and reach out to Him. "When The Stars Burn Down" gives you the clear understanding that it's all for real, we are actually going to see Him! Everyone wanted me to title the song "Blessing And Honor." In my mind, if all people got was the song title, I want that moment to hit them. Which Bible verses are connected to the message of the song? Matthew 24:31: "And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." ...and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." ...and 1 Corinthians 15:54-55: "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death where is your sting?'" ...and Revelation 5:11-12: "Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!'" How can Christians apply that message as they reflect on this song? Somewhere in the middle of singing this song comes the realization that it could be right now! We don't know the moment when it will happen. It's going to be in the twinkling of an eye. That realization makes you cry out, "God I'm ready now!" Or, it makes you wonder if you are ready. That's the reality. I want to be found doing what I'll be doing for all eternity when He comes. He is coming. He is coming! I want this song to have that fruit. I want the Bride of Jesus to say, "Come quickly, Lord." What this song can do is awaken people's ears to the sound of the trumpet coming. Turn their eyes to watch. Bring them to a place of saying this world is not my home. I hope the song helps cracks open people's hearts to the realization that Jesus could come at this very moment. It puts everything into perspective, how you'll spend your time. Our Bridegroom is coming! There's going to be foolish ones, and I don't want to be among those. It's easy to put off for later what we know we ought to be doing now. The reality is why did five virgins run out with lamps with no oil? In their wedding dresses? Why would you do that? I believe it's because there is a pre-existing expectation that someone else will fill your lamp with oil.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fall 2013 Listening

Here is the listening tracks for the choir for Fall 2013.  Just click on the following link to download individual songs.  Looking forward to a great fall

Click here for Fall 2013 music

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Healing Is In Your Hands

To find out more about the song Healing is in Your Hands, just click on the following link.  This incredible song about the healing power of Christ is our anthem this Sunday.  The Story Behind Healing is In Your Hands  You can also click on the following link to listen to original recording from the Passion album "Awakening"  Healing Is In Your Hands from Passion

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Story Behind "I Will Sing of My Redeemer"

Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876), was a well known teacher, evangelist and soloist. He wrote many hymns, including Almost Persuaded, Let the Lower Lights Be Burning, and Wonderful Words of Life. He also composed the melody for Horatio Spafford's It Is Well with My Soul.

Bliss and his wife Lucy traveled extensively, spreading the Gospel in song. In December, 1876, they were taking a much needed break; spending Christmas Holidays with Bliss' parents, in Pennsylvania. On the 28th, after receiving a request by telegram from D.L. Moody, the couple left their two children with grandparents and traveled by train to attend an evangelistic meeting in Chicago.

While ministering at the meeting, Bliss spoke these words to the congregation: I may not pass this way again, after which he sang,I'm Going Home Tomorrow. His words and song would prove to be prophetic.

On the 29th of December, 1876, Bliss and his wife boarded a train back to Pennsylvania. The winter snow and ice made for dangerous travel. As their train was crossing over a river in Ashtabula, Ohio, the bridge suddenly gave way and all the carriages fell into the freezing waters below. Bliss escaped through a window, only to find that Lucy had somehow been left behind in the burning wreckage. Although he was advised against it, Bliss headed back into the fire, saying: "If I cannot save her, I will perish with her." The young couple did not survive.

Of the 160 passengers, only 68 survived the disaster which took the lives of Lucy and Philip Bliss. The few remains retrieved from the accident site were placed in a common grave marked by a monument, in the Ashtabula Cemetery. Another monument was erected in Pennsylvania, in memory of Philip and Lucy Bliss.

Found among Bliss' belongings on the train were the lyrics to I Will Sing of My Redeemer. In 1877, the hymn was set to music by composer and evangelist James McGranahan.  That same year, singer and musician George Cole Stebbins (, made a recording of I Will Sing of My Redeemer - one of the first songs ever to be recorded on Thomas Edison's new invention, the phonograph.