Category Archives: Spiritual

SCEFC Set List: October 30, 2011

Tomorrow I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message will be derived from I Peter 4:7-11. Major themes that I identify are awareness, alertness, and dedication. The original set list I put together was designed for a full band, as the week progressed I realized I was not going to have a full band, so I made some major renovations.

Prelude: (E) Offering – Paul Baloche

(E) For the Beauty of the Earth – Folliott S. Pierpoint

(A) God You Reign – Lincoln Brewster | Mia Fieldes

(E) How Deep the Father’s Love for Us – Stuart Townend

(D) Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – Henry Francis Lyte | Bill Moore

Closing: (A) One Pure and Holy Passion – Mark Altrogge

I’m considering incorporating a congregational reading of Psalm 95:1-7. I think I might read it first, then have everyone read it together. That’s to be decided.

Snow is falling in State College as I type this. I’m not sure if we will be able to have our music practice tonight or not. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m not coordinating a full band this week.

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SCEFC Set List: October 2, 2011

On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message title for the morning is “Wedlock or Deadlock?” and is derived from I Peter 3. I elected not to dwell on this as I planned the set list, but rather to focus on the Gospel as the theme. In the main set I’ll be reading Colossians 1:21-23.

Prelude: (A) Nothing but the Blood – Matt Redman
(E) Sing, Sing, Sing – Chris Tomlin | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Matt Gilder | Travis Nunn
(G) Your Grace is Enough – Matthew Maher
(A) Jesus Paid It All – Elvina Hall | Alex Nafong

This is a communion Sunday, so the main set is one song shorter than usual.

Closing: (E) None but Jesus – Brooke Fraser

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SCEFC Set List: September 18, 2011

On Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. The message will be derived from I Peter 2:4-10. The part that sticks with me is verse nine: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you might declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

Prelude: (E) Be Still My Soul – Katharina von Schlegel

This song serves as a reminder to still my soul, to put aside the things that fight for my attention, and reflect on the confident hope that I have been given. I’m planning to modify the melody a bit, and I have added a chorus that is simply “Be still my soul!” repeated several times over a I, IV, VIm, V chord pattern. (I was singing the U2 song One, the version recorded with Mary J. Blige,  and playing around with improvised vocal parts when it occurred to me that it would make a good chorus for this hymn.)

I’m planning to open the main set by reading the first seven verses of Psalm 145.

(G) Holy is the Lord – Chris Tomlin | Louie Giglio

(G) Hallelujah (Your Love Makes Me Sing) – Brenton Brown | Brian Doerkson

(A) Marvelous Light – Charlie Hall

(A) Majesty – Martin Smith | Stuart Garrard

Following the sermon there will be a response song.

(E) How Can I Keep from Singing? – Chris Tomlin | Ed Cash | Matt Redman

Closing Song: (E) Sing to the King – Billy Foote | Charles Silvester Horne

Last week when I was at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens I was struck by the beauty and majesty of the forests. I uttered “My God, this is beautiful” when I first looked up through the canopy and saw the sunlight. I love those moments of awe, when a response of worship is a reflex. On a regular basis I encounter things that should strike me just as strongly, yet I am calloused and my heart is out of tune. May my heart be tuned, may my eyes be open, and may I remain sensitive to that which is deserving of my awe.

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SCEFC Set List: August 28, 2011

This is the first time I am posting a set list after it has been used. Last week I never got around to posting the list beforehand. It was not because the list came together at the last minute, I had most of it together well ahead of time, and I finished it on Monday. On Sunday morning I was sitting on my couch drinking tea and thinking (a common morning routine, during which I often take inventory) and I suddenly realized I had neglected to post my set list here. When this thought crossed my mind I remembered a paraphrase of something someone once told me: “When you think everyone is noticing what you did or didn’t do, relax, you’re probably overestimating your importance.” No one will even notice that this week slipped by without a list; I’ll just post a list next time. I thought to myself.

The advice was right, not everyone noticed the lack of a list. But some people did. It came up in conversation after the service.

So here is the story of a list that has been sung.

Prelude: (A) God You Reign – Lincoln Brewster | Mia Fieldes
Song 1: (E) You are Holy – Mark Imboden | Tammy Rhoton
Song 2: (D) Desert Song – Brooke Fraser
Song 3: (A) You are God Alone – Billy Foote | Cindy Foote
Song 4: (E) Be Thou My Vision – Dallan Forgaill | Eleanor Henrietta Hull | Mary Elizabeth Byrne
Closing: (A) It is Well with My My Soul – Horatio G. Spafford | Philip Paul Bliss

When I was putting the set list together I knew the main theme of the sermon that morning would be hope. I’ve been meditating on hope recently, and I have a lot of questions and thoughts.

  • Many of my strongest hopes deal with my own temporal happiness and comfort.
  • I often sabotage my happiness by making poor decisions and poor value judgments.
  • My eternal hope is much greater than temporal happiness and it is secure.
  • I need to seek guidance and wisdom to align my hopes.

I read two short passages during the set list. One was Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” This verse comes in the context of judgment and hope for Judah. The nation is about to face self-induced pain, yet they are reminded of the hope of redemption. The second passage was Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me Your ways, LORD, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” I like this reminder of where hope lies, and it also references the importance of asking for, and growing in, wisdom.

This set list affirms that God reigns, He is holy, and He is God alone. It looks to Him as out victory, our vision, our wisdom, and our treasure. The closing song drives it all home. It is well with my soul. That doesn’t mean I am happy (I could be happy, but that is beside the point). It means I know where my hope lies, and even when life is difficult I know I can hold onto that promise. I might hurt, I might feel crushed, but it is well with my soul because I know I am secure. In the moments when life hurts my prayer is to be granted the vision to see that it is well with my soul.

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SCEFC Set List: August 14, 2011

This Sunday I’ll be serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church. When I put the set list together I did not know the theme of the message, but I have since learned it will be the launch of a sermon series on hope. I’ve been thinking about hope recently. Primarily, what can we hope for on a scriptural basis? What things do I want to count as hopes, but in reality they are more like wishes? How can I align my hopes with what is right and true?

I’m considering starting the service with a brief meditation on the word hallelujah. Defining it, using it, and thinking about it. It will figure prominently in the last song of the main set. Words like hallelujah and hosanna get used like garnishes in church too often, decorations devoid of substance. But they have powerful meanings. The word hallelujah is not a small piece of fresh parsley, it’s a full-fledged entrée.

Prelude: (D) Holy – Brenton Brown

Over the summer I participated in a study of Revelation. One of the things emphasized in Revelation is that God is just. This has been on my mind. In this song there is a line that states: “Everything You’ve done is just and true . . .” I like to affirm that, to say that, and to think about that.

Song #1: (A) Our God – Chris Tomlin | Jesse Reeves | Jonas Myrin | Matt Redman

Song #2: (A) You Never Let Go – Matt Redman | Beth Redman

Song #3: (G) Enough – Chris Tomlin

Song #4: (C) Before the Throne of God Above – Charitie Lees Bancroft | Vikki Cook

Closing: (G) Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin | Daniel Carson | Ed Cash | Jesse Reeves

All in all this has been a rather challenging week. I feel rather tired and more than a bit burnt out. I’m excited about serving as the worship leader on Sunday, but I have not had as much preparation time as I would like. Sometimes these are the most rewarding times as a leader, when I feel bruised and spent.

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