On Sunday I will be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The sermon will be based on John 14. As I read that passage last week I spent some time thinking about trusting God in difficult times, especially times when things don’t seem to make sense. In John 14 Jesus is talking to his disciples, explaining that life as they know it is going to change.
Prelude: (E) For the Beauty of the Earth – Folliot S. Pierpoint
This song crossed my mind numerous times over the past week as I walked through a winter wonderland to campus. It works well as a prelude because it reminds us of the many things that should inspire our gratitude and awe, all set to a simple melody that is easy to sing.
Song #1: (G) Forever – Chris Tomlin
In times of change and unrest it is helpful to dwell on that which is unchanging. Forever God is faithful, strong, and with us. By the grace of God we will carry on.
Song #2: (D) Desert Song – Brooke Fraser
This song serves as a reminder that in difficult times I can cling to the victory I have been given. The bridge offers this challenging set of lyrics: “All of my life, in every season, You are still God; I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.” Finally, the song ends with the intent to remember the victory I have been given when things are going well, and acknowledging that this victory is to be shared with others.
Song #3: (A) Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman & Beth Redman
A continuation of the same themes, this song focuses on offering praise to God in good times and bad. I’m not sure which is more difficult to do. In good times it is easy to become complacent, in bad times it is easy to become angry.
Several weeks ago I heard a song that set up a chorus by using a minor IV chord. I tucked it away in my mind as an idea to use in the future. The future is now. This song affords the perfect opportunity in the transition between the bridge and last chorus. The D will become a Dm.
Closing Song: (C) Wonderful Merciful Savior – Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse
This song speaks of the need we have for a Savior. It speaks of the Father’s love for us, the redemptive work of Christ, and the work of the Spirit.
I’m considering adding a song to the main set. It would likely be the song No One Like You at the very beginning.
On Wednesday I cut the front of my left index finger just below my finger tip. This is a bad spot for a guitarist to get cut. If it had been about a centimeter higher it would have been rebuffed by my guitar callouses. Thankfully it was only one centimeter in length, though the center was quite deep. It is amazing how fast a body can begin to heal, for it looks much better already. I’ve adjusted some of my chording technique and changed a few chord voicings to reduce the probability of getting a string in the cut (that would be bad). So full barre chords are out, as are some of the sliding minor chords I like to use. I’m working on rolling my my wrist over subtly to move the string contact point on my finger tip higher. Right now the finger tip is still quite sore, but maybe by Sunday it will recover.