One of the things I LOVE about being a pastor at Calvary is some of the amazing people I get to serve with every day. A couple of those are our worship pastor, Matt Faulkner, and one of his worship leaders, Christy Freeman. I could write a whole article describing all the reasons I love these two, and why collaborating with them in the context of our Sunday gatherings is so fun and rewarding, but I'll keep it to these:
- They have a high view of God, and take him seriously.
- They don't take themselves too seriously.
- They LOVE Jesus.
- They love followers of Jesus.
- They are steeped in the Bible.
- They are filled with the Spirit, and are prayerfully dependent upon him.
- They worship. They don't just sing, or play music, or perform, they themselves worship.
- And while it's important they worship, they don't get so wrapped up in it that they forget about the people they are there to lead, and they lead us into the presence of the God they are experiencing. I love watching that: seeing them worship, seeing our people respond, and feeling my own heart pulled toward God because of it all.
Finally, they are willing to try new things to help us worship well. Soon after Pastor Matt came to Calvary, he pulled together a little group that he calls the Song Selection Team (Christy is on that too). They gather regularly, each person presenting songs to the group, discussing it measured on various factors, before it can be introduced to the congregation.
Often that intentional process results in a song really helping our people worship God, and it becomes a part of our regular song rotation. But sometimes, despite all that work and intentionality, it's clear a song (for various reasons) just doesn't cut it. In fact, just such a situation happened in the last month. And what I love about Pastor Matt and his team is that in spite of all their hard work and intentionality, after feedback and review, they cut the song from our rotation. Why? Because it's not about them, it's about God, and our church family being helped to worship him well.
I say all this as a prelude to something I am really excited about for this Sunday. Pastor Matt and his team have a new song for us to sing at Calvary. It's called All My Hope. And in the providence of God, it is a marvelous complement to what God will be revealing about his character as we study the book of Nahum this week, as part of The Whole Story sermon series.
If you are a reader of this site, and live in the St. Cloud area, and don't have a church home, we'd love to have you join us. Hey, among other things, you'd get a chance to learn a song that may be new to you! And, we'll be sure you hear the good news about Jesus, and the kingdom of God that he is bringing for all who trust in him.
Enjoy this video of the song to help get you prepared to really belt it out on Sunday. And, I've attached the lyrics below as well.
Shalom, Pastor Matthew
I've been held by the Savior
I've felt fire from above
I've been down to the river
I ain't the same
A prodigal returned
All my hope is in Jesus
Thank God my yesterday's gone
All my sins are forgiven
I've been washed by the blood
I'm no stranger to the prison
I've worn shackles and chains
But I've been freed and forgiven
And I'm not going back
I'll never be the same
That's why I sing
There's a kind of thing
That just breaks a man
Break him down to his knees
God, I've been broken more than a time or two, yes Lord
And showed me what it means to be a man
Come on and sing
Just a brief reminder that a great way to prepare for the service this coming Sunday is to read the text we will be studying together.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Preparing For Sunday May 12, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
This last Sunday, I preached the first of two sermons on Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians. Here was the sentence I began unpacking, which is my summary of both letters:
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, it is Palm Sunday. Which means it is the beginning of a week of remembering the most important events in the history of the world: the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his last meal with his disciples, his death at the hands of sinful men as the result of a sham sentence in a kangaroo court, his burial by those who loved him, and his resurrection from the dead just three days later. All of it for the salvation and rescue of the world.
The Whole Story: Ephesians-Week Two
I attempted to show in the sermon this past Sunday that Paul offers us two anchor points for our lives, and upon which our lives depend.
Preparing For Sunday 19 May 2019
What do you think of when you see these two words together?...