Palm Sunday Worship

The week between Palm Sunday is a unique time for us to pause and reflect. Almost half of the book of John focuses our attention on what Jesus did and said that week, from the supper in his honor on the eve of Palm Sunday to the Resurrection breakfast on the beach. Jesus is worthy of all our praise and worship. Can we look back at our life as an alabaster jar from which the perfumed oil is poured? Look into your jar today and you will see that there is still more to be given to Him!

Yes Master, There’s Still More!

Sunday Hymn – My Jesus I Love Thee

This hymn’s lyrics were originally written as a poem by a teenager named William Featherstone. His short life reminds me a bit of the apostle John, whom scholars believe to have been about 14 when he began to follow Jesus. Featherstone seems to have been quite shy but these lyrics so moved him that he sent them off to his aunt who (lucky for us) had them published. After Featherstone’s death the poem came to the attention of Adoniram Judson Gordon who set the words to the music we sing today in 1876. What a testimony Featherstone has left for us. We know little of his life but much of his heart. What will others remember of our lives after we have stepped into eternity?

Take My Life Worship session One

Take my life and let it be – Consecrated Lord to Thee… Francis Havergal 1873

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom thnew-alaska-pics-2_cropat cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe

 

As a worship leader myself I recognize my own tendency to push people. Sometimes I begin with a fast peppy song just to try and get people focused on church. I press people to clap, raise their hands or to say Amen, yet rarely have I paused to hush myself in the awesome presence of a Holy God. Rarely have I waited quietly till God sent the wind and the fire of the Holy Spirit. Francis Havergal had it exactly right when she began her now famous hymn with the words, “Take my life” Our worship is not just about having Jesus in our life, but it is about finding our life in Him. Until we offer our life, our worship will remain pretty superficial most of the time. When we ask God not only to take our life, but to ” let it be consecrated Lord to thee”, then He will truly begin to operate as both Lord and Savior of our life.

For those of you who haven’t read our about page, let me begin by saying that my wife and I serve as assistant pastors in a local Brazilian church. As Americans we find many things uniquely refreshing about some of the older customs from Brazil in our worship services. Though our Brazilian brothers and sisters are less than timely about when they enter the service, they retain the wonderful custom of pausing to kneel and dedicate themselves to the Lord upon their arrival. That kind of a sense of reverence and awe is also the very life and breath of our worship. From the times of Abraham to the Apostle John, the manifestation of the Holiness of God left them on their faces listening to what God had to say.

God wants us to be quick to hear and slow to speak. He does love to hear the voice of His children, but do we love to hear Him speak? Do we just rush to church, sing our three songs and go home checking our calendars for what new event we have to remember to include in our busy schedule? God is unchanging. God will not hurry to try and catch up with us as we run in circles. If we truthfully long to worship, we will discover that God is still truly seeking for us to fully yield in reverence and awe to Him!

Take My Life Hymn for Sunday

Written in 1873 by Francis Havergal this hymn is more than mere words. The message of her surrender to God’s will resonated through more than the melody. Four years after writing this hymn Francis Havergal donated all her considerable jewelry to a mission organization. Here are her own words,  “The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary”

There is no greater peace than can be found in such surrender and no worship more pure than when we truly yield to God our life that He may chose for us the path ahead!

 

Hope Rising – Review

Last night we went  to the premiere in Scranton of the Hillsongs movie, “Hope Rising”. Though it was supposed to be a women’s group night out I tagged along with my wife because I love many of the worship songs from Hillsongs United. It was great film, but really hard to describe. It was like being at a christian concert but it was more a concert. The presentations of Oceans as well as Mighty to Save were awesome! It was a bit of a promotional video for Hillsongs church but it rose far above that. The film shared some very intimate moments and details from the lives of the singing group Hillsong United as well as from pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston. I think they have in some ways defined a new type of christian film. It was powerful and practical and overall a real blessing to my wife and I. Here is the trailer to give you a sneak preview for yourself. Be blessed

Hymnsing Day Three – What a Friend

I am continuing this short series on this Lord’s day with this favorite hymn  whose author remains unknown. Through good times and bad, through youth and into old age, Jesus remains that friend who we can go to in prayer!

Jesus I Am Resting with Tricia Brock

Okay so we know Tricia didn’t write this precious old hymn but I am thankful for how she has helped to bring the classic truths in the lyrics to life. In our continual rushing we of all people on this planet need to pause for a moment on a quiet Sunday and rest in our Beloved!