Everlasting God

Hymnology: Everlasting God

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
just and upright is he.”
~Deuteronomy 32:4

Hymn Story

As the home of the Desperation Band and many gifted song writers, Colorado Springs’ New Life Church has long been known for its dynamic worship ministry. One member of that song-writing team is Glenn Packiam, who also serves as the lead pastor of one of the New Life campuses. Packiam, the author of “Everlasting God”, is one of the more thoughtful voices in the discussion of church music and worship practices (check out his blog here). Interestingly, he is currently in the process of becoming an Anglican priest, though he will continue to lead at New Life, a non-denominational church in the Pentecostal/Charismatic stream of evangelicalism. Continue reading

If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee

Hymnology: If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit his righteous to be moved.” ~ Psalm 55:22

Hymn Story

In the fall of 1641, in the midst of the violent Thirty Years War, young Georg Neumark was traveling across Germany to begin his law studies at the University of Königsberg. On the way, he was attacked by bandits, and robbed of everything he owned, save for his prayer book and the cloak he was wearing. Though he was forced to put off his plans of studying at the University, he never gave up his trust in God to provide for his every need. Continue reading

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Hymnology: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

~ Lamentations 3:22-23

Hymn Story

So often, when we ask Christians to give their testimony, it seems we expect to hear dramatic stories of conversion and miraculous deliverance from tragedy. Sometimes this can make the vast majority of Christians feel as if our testimonies are too “boring” to share, lacking the excitement of those with a great story to tell. Of course, this isn’t the way it should be. The more we understand about God — about his justice, his love, his mercy, and his faithfulness — the more we will see that every sinner saved by grace is a dramatic story of conversion. When we consider where we would be without Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we see that every Christian has been miraculously delivered from the worst tragedy imaginable! We all have a great story to tell… it’s called the gospel! Continue reading

How He Loves

Hymnology: How He LovesTo him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 1:5-6

What Do We Do When We Don’t Like a Song Used in Worship?

As a worship leader, I have gotten used to the “worship wars” debate over song selection for worship services. I understand that people have different musical preferences, and that it can be genuinely difficult to worship in an unfamiliar genre. I have come to appreciate the grace that our congregation shows here at Stevens Street as we seek to introduce unfamiliar hymns and songs of many different styles during our services. Musical style is never a primary factor in how we choose the songs for our worship services, though it is a necessary consideration. Far more important is the substance of the song; we must ensure that we are singing true things to and about our God (John 4:24).

Sometimes, though, I’m the one who has to try to look past my own preferences. Continue reading