On Being Kind and Compassionate

Grudges, not talking to one another, gossiping, slander, revenge; I don’t think so, life is too short and fragile.  How much better would life be if we all followed this scripture instead:

Be kind and compassionate to one another, 
forgiving each other, 
just as in Christ God forgave you. 
– Ephesians 4:32

We all have it in us, the fruit of the spirit that is.  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22-23

At the heart of this is to forgive one another, and sometimes that’s really hard to do, especially if the offending party will not apologize or even acknowledge their sin.  But remember this, whatever this person has done to you, it does not compare to what Christ did for you.  As a follower of Christ you need to rise above it.  This will prevent the wrongdoing from contaminating your heart.  I can guarantee that your life will become easier when you accept that apology you never got.  This won’t change the past but it will surely change your future.

You were made for a reason, an anointed purpose.  Your words and actions are important and they can point others to God Himself.  Your life “preaches” and was meant to make a difference.  You have incredible and unbelievable gifts.

Work on using your gifts of the spirit and forgiving others, and while you are at it,  give someone a compliment today.  It will make both their day and yours.

John 3:16

John 3:16 – Summarizing the Gospel in one Sentence

I’ve probably read John 3:16 about 316,000 times.  Probably you have as well.  It’s on billboards, bumper stickers and emblazoned in the crowds at sporting events with fans lifting their banners high.

Here it is for the 316,001 time:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

So what’s the big deal?

For God so loved ME, that he gave his one and only Holy Son for ME, that if I believe in him, I shall never perish but have eternal life.   And, if God so loved YOU, that God himself gave his one and only son, Jesus, and if YOU also believe in Him, than YOU also shall never perish but have a wonderful life in eternity with your creator.  That’s the the big deal.  It’s the Gospel in a holy nutshell.

Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2018

The following is an excerpt of my list of contemporary song choices to go with the lectionary readings for the calendar year of 2018.  Sorry for not getting this to all of you sooner.  As always, please review song lyrics with your Pastor first!  There is a link at the bottom of this post to download the entire document.  Enjoy, and may God get the glory.

Feb 25
Lent 2
Broken Vessels Joel Houston Rom 5:1-2
Your Grace is Enough Matt Maher Rom 5:1-3
Amazing Love (You Are My King) Billy Foote Rom 5:8
My Savior My God Aaron Shust Rom 5:8
The Power of the Cross Getty & Townend Rom 5:8
Grace Like Rain Todd Agnew Rom 5:8
Sweetly Broken Jeremy Riddle Rom 5:8
Mar 4
Lent 3
The Scandal of Grace HIllsongs United 1 Cor 1:23, Ps 19:6
All Because of Jesus Steve Fee Ps 19:1-2
May the Words of My Mouth Tim Hughes Ps 19:14
Mar 11
Lent 4
All Because of Jesus Steve Fee Eph 2:4-5
And Can it Be? Bob Kauflin Eph 2:4-7
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty and Townend Eph 2:4-9
This is Amazing Grace Phil Wickham Jn 3:16
Jesus Saves Jermy Camp Jn 3:16-17
Mar 18
Lent 5
Be Glorified Chris Tomlin Jn 12:23
One Pure and Holy Passion Mark Altrogge Jn 12:26
Be Lifted High Michael W Smith Jn 12:32-36
Mar 25
Palm Sunday
Hosanna (Praise is Rising) Baloche & Brown Mk 11:9-10
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Php 2:1-11
Fullness of Grace Keith Getty Php 2:6-8
Lamb of God Twila Paris Php 2:6-11
Lord I Lift Your Name on High Rick Founds Php 2:6-11
Mar 29
Maundy Thursday
Broken and Poured Out Kevin Bueltmann 1 Cor 11:23-29
Make Us One Twila Paris 1 Cor 10:16-17

Mk 14:22-25

Mar 30
Good Friday
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us Getty & Townend
Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Isa 53
By His Wounds Mac Powell Isa 52:5
In Christ Alone Getty & Townend Isa 53:5-6
Nothing but the Blood Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Your Grace Finds Me Matt Redman Heb 4:16
Gethsemane Hymn Keith Getty Jn 19:17-37

Click Here – 2018 Song List


LORD, it’s a brand new day
It’s also a brand new year
And so I’ll try to begin in your presence
With a heart still and sincere

And early will I seek thee
And strive to go thy way
So fill me with your spirit
And grant me peace this day

LORD, please help me to walk
To the vocation of my call
Please help me not to stumble
Please help me not to fall

And please give me boldness
For the perilous times are here
So help me to walk in the spirit
And in continuous prayer this brand new year

How Lovely Shines the Morning Star

An Epiphany Worship Service by Pastor Michael Zarling

An excerpt of the worship service:

One of the very finest hymns ever written is “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star,” Pastor Philip Nicolai’s masterpiece. Sadly, most hymnals do not provide a complete translation of this 16th century German hymn. The version we base tonight’s service upon provides all seven stanzas. These additional stanzas bring to light the clear references to the Lord’s Supper and the Means of Grace.

Philip Nicolai graduated in 1594 from the University of Wittenberg with a Doctorate Degree in Theology. He served as a Lutheran pastor in congregations in Germany. But, he is most remembered as a hymn writer. He was the author of two famous hymns: “Awake, Awake, the Night is Flying” and “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star.” These are sometimes referred to as the King and Queen of Chorales, respectively. These two chorales have inspired many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach, who based two of his chorale cantatas on Nicolai’s hymns.

The tune for “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star” is such a masterpiece that this is written about it: “So popular did it soon become, that its tune was often chimed by city chimes, lines and verses from it were printed by way of ornament on the common earthenware of the country, and it was invariably used at weddings and certain festivals.”

The hymn originally was in seven ten-line stanzas and bore the title “A spiritual bridal song of the believing soul concerning Jesus Christ, her heavenly bridegroom, founded on the 45th Psalm of the prophet David.” Jesus says in Revelation 22:16 that He is the fulfillment of this heavenly bridegroom and the morning star: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

Processional Hymn: #79 — “How Lovely Shines the Morning Star”
As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front as the cross passes you. 

  1. How lovely shines the Morning Star!
    The nations see and hail afar
    The light in Judah shining.
    Thou David’s Son of Jacob’s race,
    My Bridegroom and my King of Grace,
    For Thee my heart is pining.
    Lowly, Holy,
    Great and glorious, Thou victorious
    Prince of graces,
    Filling all the heavenly places.
  1. O highest joy by mortals won,
    True Son of God and Mary’s Son,
    Thou high-born King of ages!
    Thou art my heart’s most beauteous Flower,
    And Thy blest Gospel’s saving power
    My raptured soul engages.
    Thou mine, I Thine;
    Sing hosanna! Heavenly manna
    Tasting, eating,
    Whilst Thy love in songs repeating. 

Note: The singing stops here.  The music continues in the background as we begin to alternate between responsive readings and singing of the remaining hymn verses.

Minister: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Congregation: To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Rev 1:4-6)

M: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; (Is 9:2)
C: on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

M: See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
C: but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Is 60:2)

M: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.
C: We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:5,14)

  1. Now richly to my waiting heart,
    O Thou, my God, deign to impart
    The grace of love undying.
    In Thy blest body let me be,
    E’en as the branch is in the tree,
    Thy life my life supplying.
    Sighing, Crying.
    For the savor of Thy favour;
    Resting never,
    Till I rest in Thee forever.

M: For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given. (Is 9:6)
C: In him was life, and the life was the light of man. (Jn 1:4)

M: God of Glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light to the world, to reveal your love for all people. But wherever there is light, there will also be darkness.
C: We confess that we are sinful creatures who, either through foolishness or willful disobedience, often choose to dwell in the darkness instead of live in your light. We beg for forgiveness for starving ourselves of your Son’s life-giving light. We repent of our entrenched evil that hates the light and tries to dispose of it. We admit our apathy towards sanctification and renewal that cause us to continue to live in the night. Trusting your grace, we earnestly pray: “Create in us a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within us.” Through Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. (Ps 51:10)

  1. A pledge of peace from God I see
    When Thy pure eyes are turned to me
    To show me Thy good pleasure.
    Jesus, Thy Spirit and Thy Word,
    Thy body and Thy blood, afford
    My soul its dearest treasure.
    Keep me kindly
    In Thy favour, o my Saviour!
    Thou wilt cheer me;
    Thy Word calls me to draw near Thee.

M: Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (Is 60:1) The Light comes not to sear and blind us but to save us. Christ Jesus came into this world as an infant in a Bethlehem manger so that he might die as our Savior on a Roman cross in Jerusalem. For his sake, God forgives us all our sins. Therefore, as a called and ordained servant of Christ, and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

M: If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
C: and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 Jn 1:7)

M: You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Pet 2:9)

  1. Thou, mighty Father, in Thy Son
    Didst love me ere Thou hadst begun
    This ancient world’s foundation.
    Thy Son hath made a friend of me,
    And when in spirit Him I see,
    I joy in tribulation.
    What bliss is this!
    He that liveth to me giveth
    Life forever;
    Nothing me from Him can sever.

Old Testament: Psalm 45 The Wedding of the Victorious King


Click here to download the entire worship service (it’s free!): How Lovely Shines the Morning Star

Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing!

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

A Christmas Eve Worship Service by Pastor Michael Zarling
Excerpt of the Worship Service:

A Christmas service based on Martin Luther’s Christmas hymn for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

Processional Hymn: #55 — “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful” (brass accompaniment)

As the hymn is introduced, please stand and face the processional cross in the back of the church, and turn to the front of the church as the cross passes you.


Minister: We worship in the name of the Father who gave us His Son, in the name of Jesus Christ, who came as the perfect Gift, and in the name of the Holy Spirit who brought us to faith in this Christ child.

Congregation: Amen.

 Introduction by Pastor

Pastor: This year, we are celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There are many blessings that we enjoy today because the Lord of the Church allowed Martin Luther to rediscover for God’s people. Blessings such as the truth of Scripture alone, the Bible translated into the language of the people, the doctrine of vocation, the power of congregational singing, etc. The greatest blessing is the grace of God found in the person of Jesus Christ – the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary to be the Savior of all humankind.

Martin Luther’s writings and hymns focus on this doctrine of grace. His Christmas hymn “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is all about the grace of God found in this Christchild, young and fair. Luther wrote this hymn for his children. It is recorded that “Luther was accustomed every year to prepare for his family a happy Christmas Eve’s entertainment … and for this festival of his children he wrote this Christmas hymn.”

“From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” is based on Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth in the second chapter of his Gospel.

Before we focus on Jesus being born to Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem, we hear from Luke how the promise of the Savior was first given to Mary.

Luke 1:26-38

Here is the link to download the entire worship service program (it’s free!): From Heaven Above to Earth I Come

Thank you Pastor Zarling for sharing!

A Toolbox for Worship Leaders, Pastors and Musicians

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