I had a blast planning this service! Sometimes you just need to be able to have fun worshiping God, and our church definitely needed that. Hoping also to avoid the post-Easter letdown, we put in a lot of extra work, brought in extra (and super fun!) instruments, and let loose with some awesome, Christ-exalting worship. Continue reading
Walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
~1 Thessalonians 2:12
Since they burst onto the scene in 2010, people have used a lot of different adjectives to try to describe Rend Collective: folk, indie, hipster, pop… but none seem to fit them perfectly. So perhaps it’s best to let them classify themselves. “We are a celebration band… We would far rather be defined by joy, fun, freedom and laughter than any genre title or pop-culture label,” says band leader Gareth Gilkeson. Their hit song “Build Your Kingdom Here” certainly exemplifies those values!
Rend Collective is a Northern Irish band which first met as part of a “group of confused twenty-somethings trying to figure out faith, life, God and community” in a ministry called Rend, which was pastored by Gilkeson. The group’s name was taken from two verses in the Old Testament. Continue reading
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit his righteous to be moved.” ~ Psalm 55:22
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
And… we’re back! About a month ago, some major changes took place at Stevens Street Baptist Church, which necessitated taking an unexpected break from the blog. I hope to be back to posting new hymnology articles by the end of this week, but in the meantime, this seems as good a time as any to begin a new series that I’ve been planning to do here for a while.
Each week, I’ll be posting the set list from our Sunday worship services. This will serve both as a resource for members of my own church who would like to learn more about the hymns we are singing, as well as a resource for worship leaders looking for service planning ideas and/or new music. I hope you’ll enjoy it! Continue reading
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
On this date in 1820, one of the most prolific hymn writers in American history was born in Putnam County, NY. By the time she died at the age of 94, Fanny Crosby had published as many as 9,000 hymns, using her own name at times, but also over 200 different pseudonyms (a modest attempt to prevent her name from appearing too frequently in hymnals). Many of these hymns were paired with melodies by her friend Phoebe Knapp, including what is perhaps her best known hymn text, “Blessed Assurance”. Continue reading
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Matt Redman and Matt Maher, two songwriters associated with the influential Passion Movement, are certainly no strangers to collaborative hymn-writing. Each has co-written many contemporary worship songs with other artists, including several written with each other. But “Remembrance (Communion Song)” presented several unique challenges. Continue reading
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” ~ Proverbs 2:6
“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” ~ Philippians 3:7-8
This is one of the oldest surviving Christian hymns known to us today. Both the lyrics and the melody were written over a millennium (that’s a thousand years!) ago. However, it wasn’t until the early part of the 20th century when the lyrics were combined with the melody that is familiar to us today. Continue reading
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In the Fall of 2012, Keith and Kristyn Getty released their album Hymns for the Christian Life. As they shared in this interview, their goal in this season of their ministry has been to write hymns which will serve churches by addressing topics often neglected in modern Christian worship music. This has remained their objective with hymns written since the release of that album, including the prayerful “Good Shepherd of My Soul.” Continue reading
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
The words to this hymn were written in 1674 by an Anglican Bishop named Thomas Ken. These particular lyrics were originally intended to be the final verse of each of “Three Hymns for Morning, Evening, and Midnight.” During the time this hymn was written, many people in the Church considered it a sin to sing lyrics that were not in the Bible, so during the Bishop’s lifetime this hymn (which is not taken directly from Scripture) was not allowed to be sung during church services. Continue reading
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High… Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.
~ Psalm 107:10-11, 13-14
It was May of 1738, and Charles Wesley was in agony. He had been an ordained priest in the Anglican church and even a missionary to the American colonies, but had never felt the assurance of his own salvation. He believed the promises in Scripture that salvation was available through Christ, but lived in dread that Christ would return before he had received this salvation for himself. Continue reading