Sing With Me

Above All

March 28, 2009

in Sing With Me

I’d like to be better about posting to this blog. Once a month seems pretty inadequate. But before March is over, I will post today.

This week’s set:

Don’t You Know It’s Time to Praise the Lord (We Have Come Into His House)
Lord, I Lift Up My Voice
O Happy Day
Angel Band
Arms of Love
Above All

It’s a little shorter than usual and we are not reading any Scripture verses this week. This congregation likes to sing acapella before the Lord’s Supper but this week we won’t. Just mixing things up a bit. I want to do a full job of worshipping with Above All, no short cuts, twice through at least.

We have been skipping our devotion time this month to concentrate on the music we will be singing for Palm Sunday and Easter. We are learning four new songs off of Andrew Peterson’s new CD, Resurrection Letters, Vol. 2.

Hosanna
He Makes All Things New
The Blood of Jesus
The Good Confession (I Believe)

The team is pretty excited about this new music and we look forward to an awesome time of worship as we celebrate the single greatest event in the history of the world to this point: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Arguably, of even greater magnitude will be His return to which we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)

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Set for February 15, 2009:

Revive Us Again
Lord I Lift Up My Voice
We Want to See Jesus Lifted High
Ancient Words
Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet
Shine, Jesus Shine
‘Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus’

It’s a set all about God’s Word and its ability to change lives, to give hope, to renew us. I asked each member of the team to bring a favorite verse from Psalm 119 to read on Sunday during the set. For myself, I chose verse 59: “I considered my ways, and turned my feet to Thy testimonies.” The cool thing about this verse is that in my Bible it had a reference to Mark 14:72, when Peter hears the rooster crow for the third time and remembers Jesus’ words. “And he began to weep.” It is the power of the Word to change his heart, bring him to remembrance and repentance for his denial of His Lord and Savior, and in tears to come back to his Best Friend. That’s what I want to convey in this set.

In our devotion time, we’ve been reflecting on this topic for the month of February: Why do we have music in our church services? What is it about music that draws us close to God? After reading a couple of articles about this from Worship Leader magazine, this week I decided to share a personal story. In the 90’s when I was homeschooling my daughter, we were involved with a homeschool choir. For seven years I was the administrator. Moms and dads could also sing in it if they desired, and of course, I did. By the end of that time, we had over 200 kids singing from ages 5-18. We sang in 5 parts: 1st and 2nd soprano, alto, tenor and bass. I personally learned so much about voice, and harmony. We had two very gifted directors, both homeschool moms, but with degrees in music, one even from Juliard. As administrator, a large part of my job was to encourage these homeschool families. I put out a monthly newsletter and wrote articles about music and homeshooling. What would be the impact of these parents’ devotion and dedication to their children and their desire to impart spiritual values? What would come from particpating in this choir which was formed to honor and glorify Christ and to teach excellence in singing? We moved from California to Oregon in late 1998. I lost contact with most of these families and their wonderful children. Last year, due to the wonders of the internet and Facebook, I was reunited with them. I can’t even express the joy I felt to see what outstanding young adults these kids had become. Homeschooling and their relationships with each other and with Christ through singing His praises had resulted in strong faith and character. To my memory came one of the last things I had done with my team of moms who helped me with the many tasks of running the choir. Over the summer I had given them the words to Psalm 90:12-17 on index cards. I had encouraged them to memorize the words because I felt they were particularly applicable to these homeschool families. The last verse says: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm for us the work of our hands.” And there is the power of the Word. God did confirm for me the work of our hands through a modern marvel.

As I shared with my team, there is something unique and special about the privilege of being part of a worship team or a choir. Maybe its because you up there together singing your heart out about the Lord, your feelings for Him exposed, making you vulnerable and your love transparent. The relationships with each other and with God are close and personal forever.

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A personal shepherd

January 15, 2009

in Sing With Me

This Sunday’s set:

We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise/O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing – a medley arrangement as we will sing the last part of Sacrifice of Praise (“and we offer up to You…”) after the hymn too
Trading My Sorrows
When the Roll is Called Up Yonder
Angel Band
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
My Jesus I Love Thee

Quite a few hymns in there, but Angel Band is kind of cool. Got the CD of the movie “Brother, Where Art Thou” and I like it. The lyrics I found were actually on a Grateful Dead site; Jerry Garcia sang it on one of his albums.

The theme is about our personal shepherd. I heard of a man who has a brain tumor and seems to be in remission. But his wife was told no matter how it looks, he will die from it. But I thought “we are all under this sentence of death.” Those with an illness are just a little more aware of it. But we’ve all got only this moment; tomorrow is not guaranteed for anyone. Have you trusted in Jesus? Will you be victorious in death? In my devotion during practice tonight I will share an excerpt from chapter 10 of Max Lucado’s “Traveling Light”; ” ‘The Lord is MY shepherd…’ I pray that your final hours will find you clutching the same hope.”

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Starting Again

January 13, 2009

in Sing With Me

For New Year’s I “resolved” to start blogging here. Music is such a big part of my life. I absolutely love to lead others in worship. Not by showing off myself, but by going there and hoping they follow. There is just nothing better than having someone sing with me about my Lord, His greatness and goodness excel all.

So the idea here is to share the sets I come up with each week, and then a little about how the worship went that Sunday. Maybe a little about a song itself, if I learned something unique about one of them. Actually, probably every song has a story.

Yesterday I finally got the music and a CD mailed off to the Women’s South Coast Christian Conference worship team. This is a once a year opportunity to sing with just women from various local churches. I put together two sets, one for Friday evening and one for Saturday morning. The conference title this year is “Run With Perseverance” so the theme song is We Will Run by Danny Daniels. It has kind of a 50s sound to it, so even though it is not well known, it may feel comfortable.

Friday evening:

Meet With Me (guitar players love this song!)
We Will Run
Better Is One Day
Potter’s Hand
Oh Lord You’re Beautiful

Saturday morning:

Majesty
Shout to the Lord
Be Glorified
We Will Run
Draw Me Close

At my church, I only have guitar players for the weekly service. Sometimes, for something special, like the Christmas program, I get other musicians. But it is always a challenge because they need sheet music and so I must adapt keys and the like. When it’s just guitars you can play in the key that is easiest to sing and play. For the conference, I have a flutist and a piano player so that presents the usual “Sheet Music Challenge.” For the Christmas program I had a sax player and a trumpet, which I did not know that their music has to be in the key of their insturment (like Bb tenor sax for example). Fortunately, our preacher had a computer program that could convert the sheet music to the key of choice. But the first practice was pretty interesting. I have very little knowledge of brass instruments so this was a great learning experience for me.

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Favorite songs

June 30, 2008

in Sing With Me

Worship set for Sunday, June 29, 2008:

Several weeks back I asked everyone on the worship team to tell me the name of their favorite (or at least one of their favorite) worship songs and why it was their favorite. Below are their answers. I put them in to the set we sang this week. The worship went real well. It was obvious we were singing songs that we really love to sing, hearts out there for everyone to see and hopefully help come closer to the Lord.

It’s Just Like Jesus (Al: Gets people to start worshipping when they’re chatting)
Power in the Blood (Harold: 11 is the maximum no. of “powers” you can sing in the chorus)
Ancient Words (Kris: Its hard to find good songs about the Word)
Our God Reigns (Brad: Tells the story of the DBR)
Be Thou My Vision (Robin: A good reminder of my commitment to Christ)
In Moments Like These (Connie: What is better than singing ‘I Love You, Lord’?)
Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone (Phil: A great contemporary re-write of the classic hymn)

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