Joy!

Here’s what brings joy:

Jesus first
Others second
Yourself last

The order is important.

“Joy” is elusive because we tend to reverse it. Ourselves first and Jesus last. We spell the word YOJ. It just doesn’t work. Actually Jesus put us first. He put you first and himself last. This is the Gospel, this is the death on the cross.

Joy is all about Jesus.

Christianity begins with Jesus,
the trail eventually ends with Jesus,
and everybody, one day, must answer to Jesus.

Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

Here’s the greatest joy,
knowing beyond any shadow of doubt
that every single one of your sins,
even your secret ones,
even the ones you have not committed yet,
even the ones that you are most shameful for,
are completely and absolutely forgiven,
and that all of your accumulated guilt is removed,
and that you are washed squeaky clean in the eyes of your maker.

That’s what Jesus came to do.
You first – Himself last.
He wants you to have joy.
Not power, not prestige, not money.
Unending joy!

(The “JOY” acronym is attributed to RC Sproul)

Jesus didn’t come to earth to build a kingdom. He brought one with Him.

He is the kingdom. He is the entry point.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” – Matthew 3:2

 

Jesus is nearer than you think.
He was one of us.
He knows you inside and out.
Every thought, every quirk, every breathe, every hair, every detail of your life.
Jesus is with you.
Always.
Don’t ever forget that!

Joy!

Jesus not only has a word for you, He is the word.

Summer Psalm for August 3, 2014 – Pentecost 8

Summer Psalm for August 3, 2014 – Pentecost 8
Based on Psalm 65 (selected verses)

Song Choices: 
“Shout to The Lord” by Darlene Zechech

Level of Difficulty:
The entire congregation can sing this song.

You Tube:
You already know this song!

Rationale for the Song Choices:
God’s greatness resounds loudly in both the Psalm and the song choice.

Suggested Format:

Musicians softly play the verse or chorus in the background

M: God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,
C: who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, M: who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
C: The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. 
Congregation Sings: Verse 1 and Chorus

Musicians continue to play softly in the background

M: You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly.
C: The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it. M: You crown the year with your bounty,
C: and your carts overflow with abundance. M: The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
C: the hills are clothed with gladness. M: The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain;
C: they shout for joy and sing.

Congregation Sings: Verse 2 and Chorus

Summer Psalm for July 27, 2014 – Pentecost 7

Summer Psalm for July 27, 2014 – Pentecost 7
Based on Psalm 145 (selected verses)
Song Choices: 
1. “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin
2. “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman
Level of Difficulty:
The entire congregation can sing both song choices except one portion noted below.
You Tube:
1. 10,000 Reasons:
2. How Great is Our God:
Rationale for the Song Choices:
  1. “How Great is Our God” captures the essence of the first four verses of Psalm 145.
  2. “10,000 Reasons” contains my favorite verse from Ps 145 – verse 8 and is a praise-filed song, much like Psalm 145 itself.
Suggested Format for use with “How Great is Our God”:
Musicians softly play the verse or chorus in the background
M: I will exalt you, my God the King;
C: I will praise your name for ever and ever. M: Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 
C: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;M: his greatness no one can fathom. 
C: One generation commends your works to another;
Congregation Sings: Verse 1 and Chorus
Musicians continue to play softly in the background
M: they tell of your mighty acts. 
C: They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. M: They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. 
C: They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Congregation Sings: Verse 2 and Chorus
Musicians continue to play softly in the background
 
M: The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 
C: The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 
M: All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 
C: They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 
Soloists Only – The Band Sings the final Chorus, the Bridge and the Ending
Note that the bridge is pitched a bit too high for most congregational voices.
Suggested Format for use with “10,000 Reasons”:
Musicians softly play the verse or chorus in the background
M: I will exalt you, my God the King;
C: I will praise your name for ever and ever. M: Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 
C: Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;M: his greatness no one can fathom. 
C: One generation commends your works to another;
Congregation Sings: Chorus and Verse 1
Musicians continue to play softly in the background
M: they tell of your mighty acts. 
C: They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. M: They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. 
C: They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Congregation Sings: Chorus (CODA) and Verse 2
Musicians continue to play softly in the background 
M: The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 
C: The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. M: All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 
C: They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 
Congregation Sings: Chorus, (Band Instr.), Verse 3, Chorus and ending
Additional Readings if Needed:
M: Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
C: The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. 
M: The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 
C: The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 
M: You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 
C: The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 
M: The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 
C: He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 
M: The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 
C: My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

 

His Eyes

His Eyes
by Bobby Brown

His eyes first saw Mary
And her enlightened face
Then they looked at Joseph
And that primitive manger place

He’d grow to see the villages
Of Nazareth and Galilee
And yet He’d seen them before
Somewhere before; in eternity

His eyes would see the lilies
And the sparrows when they call
The mountains, seas and forests
For He created them all

He also saw the people
And came to set them free
And somehow in His foresight
His eyes, they looked at me.

Seated Above, Looking Below

An Enigma

An Enigma
by Bobby Brown

“The deep calls unto the deep.” – Psalm 42:7

Jesus often would wander
Up into the mountains to pray
And He was never in a hurry
It seemed to be His way

Hundreds of people would gather
To listen to the master teach
Once he sat inside a boat
So the masses could hear Him preach

He didn’t get excited over crowds
For He knew what was in men’s heart
Rather He focused on just a few
To give the “good news” a start

His aura possessed a divine quietness
His passion was deep within
To most He’d always be an enigma
This future bearer of all sin

Seated Above, Looking Below

I’m Just One

I’m Just One
by Bobby Brown

“I beseech you brethren by the mercies of God, be not conformed to the world around you, but rather be transformed in your renewed mind.” – Romans 12:1

I’m just one in ten
Where movement is expected
Where stillness is legal
And individuality is rejected

I’m just one in one hundred
Where conformity is the rule
Where creativity is naughty
Where the intuitive is a fool

I’m just one in one thousand
Where I’m lost in a crowd
Where noise is the norm
And where silence is loud

I’m just one in one million
Where I’m one in the herd
Where I’m really just a number
Where a poem is absurd

Seated Above, Looking Below

At the Farmer’s Market

At the Farmer’s Market
by Bobby Brown

“Carefree highway, let me slip away on you.”
― Gordon Lightfoot

Rows and rows of beautiful flowers
Summer squash and peppers green
Carrots, radishes, and deep red beets
Peaches, plums, and the nectarine

Cookies, pies, and other baked goods
Stringed beans both green and yellow
Cactus plants so very sharp
And hardy mums so very mellow

Native cucumbers and a lemonade stand
Cabbage, eggplant, and tomatoes
Kale, basil, and other plants
And dusty sacks of earth potatoes

Sprouting stalks of corn on the cob
Jars and jars of golden honey
Blueberries piled in little green cartons
Little bouquets and trinkets funny

Apples, apples of many colors
Many things common, few things rare
Strawberries ripe and autumn gourds
At the farmer’s market, it’s all there

Seated Above, Looking Below

A Toolbox for Worship Leaders, Pastors and Musicians

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