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
Jesus Came For Sinners
On the afternoon of Monday, December 3, I went to Walmart. My objective was to conduct an un-scientific survey of what people thought about the man known as Jesus Immanuel Christ.
I’d like to transport you to a time in the far past, back to the very early 500’s B.C.
Something Wonderful Is Coming
I love everything about Christmas. But more than anything, I love why Christmas, or what is traditionally known in the church as Advent, is on the calendar in the first place. Namely, it is a reminder that the Son of God took on flesh, became a man, God with us, in order that he might save his people, and all people, for all time, from their sin.
Malachi accuses Israel of selfishness after the exile and announces that the day of the Lord will purify Israel and prepare them for God's kingdom.
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.