Category Archives: Michael W Smith

Summer Psalm for June 22, 2014 – Pentecost 2


Summer Psalm for June 22, 2014 – Pentecost 2
Psalm 78, selected verses

Song Choice: “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo
Level of Difficulty: This song can be sung by everyone.

You Tube:
Rationale for the Song Choice:
The song lyrics fit well with Psalm 78 verses 1-8.

Suggested Format:
Musicians play the verse softly in the background

M: My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
C: things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. 
M: We will not hide them from their descendants;
C: we will tell the next generation the praise worthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.
M: He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel,
C: which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, M: so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born,
C: and they in turn would tell their children.

Congregation joins in to sing Verse 1 & Chorus

Musicians continue to play the verse softly
M: Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
C: They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. 
M: He built his sanctuary like the heights,
C: like the earth that he established forever. 
M: He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens;
C: from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. M: And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
C: with skillful hands he led them.

Congregation joins in to sing Verse 2, Chorus Twice & CODA
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Contemporary Music for the Advent Season


Contemporary Music for the Advent Season

Finding good contemporary Advent music is not easy.  For some reason it is not a popular topic for today’s song writers.  These are a few songs that I have found and used in the past.

Contemporary
Advent Songs

Song Title Writer
A Baby Will Come Bill Wolf
All to Us Chris Tomlin
Behold the Lamb of God Shaun Starbuck
Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)  Amy Grant
Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) Chris Tomlin
Everlasting God Brenton Brown
Meet with Me Lamont Hiebert
My Soul in Stillness Waits Marty Haugen
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Aaron Shust and David Crowder have great versions of this hymn
Prepare Ye the Way Michael W Smith
Shout of the King Matt Maher
Waiting Here for You Chris Tomlin, Martin Smith

Most of the above songs are available for download at any of the following sites:

www.lifewayworship.com
www.musicnotes.com
www.praisecharts.com
www.sheetmusicplus.com
www.worshiptogether.com

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet


Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet

For our blended worship service on 9/13, we will be combining the song “Thy Word” by Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith with Psalm 119 as the Psalm of the Day.   Here is the script that we will follow:

Pastor:  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
All:      Oh, how I love your law!  I meditate on it all day long.

Pastor:  Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me.
All:      I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.

Congregation Sings: Chorus, Verse 1, Chorus (LAPPY 313)

Pastor:  I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts.
All:      I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.

Pastor:  I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.
All:      How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Congregation Sings: Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus, CODA, Chorus (LAPPY 313)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

A Worship Service based on the Lord’s Prayer


In the past couple of decades (which is young in term of church music), there has been some really nice music written on the Lord’s Prayer.  I was thinking that it would make a very nice themed service to dwell on the Lord’s Prayer.  Listed below are a few song suggestions and a couple of other resources.

 

“Let Us Pray” – Steven Curtis Chapman 

Steven Curtis Chapman, American Christian musician
Image via Wikipedia

“Hallowed Father” – Jeremy Riddle 

“As it is in Heaven” – Matt Maher 

“Our Father in Heaven” – Brian Doerksen

 

I’m not going to include all the song lyrics because this post would be too long, but you can watch and hear some of these pieces below.  I will include Matt Maher’s lyrics because I am particularly fond of them.

 

Let Us Pray:

 

As it is in Heaven:

 

Michael W. Smith also put a version of the Lord’s Prayer to music which would work equally as well.

 

As it is in Heaven

Matt Maher

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven; Hallowed be thy name.

Come and let Your glory, Come and let Your glory fall.

 

Our Father, who art in Heaven; The rocks cry out Your fame.

Come and let Your glory, Come and let Your glory fall.

 

I will sing, sing a new song; I will sing, sing a new song,

I will sing, sing a new song to the Lord.

 

Let your kingdom come; Let your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven; Every eye proclaim,

The mercy of Your name; On earth as it is in heaven.

 

God give us new every morning; Mercy his daily bread.

In the name of Jesus; In the name of Jesus we pray.

 

And lead us, not to temptation; But deliver us with Your hand.

In the name of Jesus; In the name of Jesus we pray; Father we pray!

 

I will sing, sing a new song; I will sing, sing a new song

I will sing, sing a new song to the Lord.

 

Let your kingdom come; Let your will be done; On earth as it is in heaven.

Every eye proclaim, The mercy of Your name, On earth as it is in heaven.

 

For the kingdom is yours; And the power is yours; And the glory forever Amen.

For the kingdom is yours; And the power is yours; And the glory forever Amen.

For the kingdom is yours

 

”As it is in Heaven”, 2005 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), spiritandsong.com (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

Alletrop Music (Admin. by Music Services), by Matt Maher and Ed Cash, CCLI # 4669748

 

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Responsive Version of the Lord’s Prayer (from Pastor Rick Tuttle’s “Seelsorger” file server – this site requires membership; which is free but is limited to those in either the WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) or denominations in fellowship with the WELS such as the ELS.

 

Responsive lord’s prayer

M:     O God, through Jesus’ sacrifice you have restored us as your forgiven children.  In his name we pray:

C:     Our Father, who art in heaven,

M:     Help us to know you through your inspired Word and to live by it as children in your family.

C:     Hallowed be thy name.

M:     Give us your Holy Spirit to rule in our hearts, and use us to extend your kingdom of grace to others.

C:     Thy kingdom come.

M:     Make us zealous to carry out you will as gladly as the angels do, and to conform our will to yours.

C:     Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

M:     Merciful Lord, since you are the provider of all things necessary for our bodies; fill us with trust.

C:     Give us this day our daily bread.

M:     Continue to erase our sins, and help us gladly to forgive and to do good to those who wrong us.

C:     And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

M:     We know the devil seeks to destroy our souls and the world lures us to ruin by appealing to the desires of our flesh.  Guard us from the poison of misbelief and the trap of unrepented sin.

C:     And lead us not into temptation.

M:     Keep safe our bodies and souls, our property and honor, and above all send the Holy Spirit to preserve our faith in Christ which leads to life everlasting.

C:     But deliver us from evil.

M:     For all these petitions we look to you as King of Kings and Lord of your church.

C:     For thine is the kingdom,

M:     You alone hold the power to grant our requests.

C:     and the power,

M:     We worship you from whom all blessings flow.

C:     and the glory forever and ever.

M:     Relying on Jesus, who cancelled our sins and made us acceptable in your sight, we pray with confidence:

C:     Amen. It shall be so.

 

 

A Paraphrase of the Lord’s Prayer

by Sarah Dylan Breuer

 

Loving Creator

we honor you,

and we honor all that you have made.

Renew the whole world

in the image of your love.

Give us what we need for today,

and a hunger to see the whole world fed.

Strengthen us for what lies ahead;

heal us from the hurts of the past;

give us courage to follow your call in this moment.

For your love is the only power,

the only home, the only honor we need,

in this world and in the world to come.

Amen.

 

Source: www.theworshipwell.org/pdf/Lords_Prayer_Paraphrase.pdf

 

From Luther’s Small Catechism (Adapted for Worship Recitation):

 

Congregation:            Our Father in heaven

 

Pastor:  With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that he is our true Father and that we are his true children, so that we may pray to him as boldly and confidently as dear children ask their dear father.

 

Congregation:            Hallowed be your name

 

Pastor:  God’s name is certainly holy by itself, but we pray in this petition that we too may keep it holy.

 

Lay Reader:      God’s name is kept holy when his Word is taught in its truth and purity, and we as children of God lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives contrary to God’s Word dishonors God’s name among us. Keep us from doing this, dear Father in heaven!

 

Congregation:            Your kingdom come.

 

Pastor:  God’s kingdom certainly comes by itself even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may also come to us.

 

Lay Reader:      God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives his Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and lead a godly life now on earth and forever in heaven.

 

 

Congregation:            Your will be done on earth as in heaven.

 

Pastor:  God’s good and gracious will certainly is done without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

 

Lay Reader:      God’s will is done when he breaks and defeats every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh, which try to prevent us from keeping God’s name holy and letting his kingdom come. And God’s will is done when he strengthens and keeps us firm in his Word and in the faith as long as we live. This is his good and gracious will.

 

Congregation:            Give us today our daily bread.

 

Pastor:  God surely gives daily bread without our asking, even to all the wicked, but we pray in this petition that he would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

 

Lay Reader:      Daily bread includes everything that we need for our bodily welfare, such as food and drink, clothing and shoes, house and home, land and cattle, money and goods, a godly spouse, godly children, godly workers, godly and faithful leaders, good government, good weather, peace and order, health, a good name, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

 

Congregation:            Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against US.

 

Pastor:  We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins or because of them deny our prayers; for we are worthy of none of the things for which we ask, neither have we deserved them, but we ask that he would give them all to us by grace; for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment.

 

Lay Reader:      So we too will forgive from the heart and gladly do good to those who sin against us.

 

Congregation:            Lead us not into temptation.

 

Pastor:  God surely tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins; and though we are tempted by them, we pray that we may overcome and win the victory.

 

Congregation:            But deliver us from evil.

 

Pastor:  In conclusion we pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil that threatens body and soul, property and reputation, and finally when our last hour comes, grant us a blessed end and graciously take us from this world of sorrow to himself in heaven.

 

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And last but not least, if you have some Spanish-speaking members, perhaps you can read through the prayer responsively from English-to-Spanish.  Here’s the Spanish translation:

 

Padre nuestro,

Que estás en los cielos,

Santificado sea tu nombre,

Vénganos tu reino,

Hágase tu voluntad, así en la tierra como en el cielo.

El pan nuestro de cada día, dánoslo hoy

Y perdona nuestros deudas

Así como nosotros perdonamos a nuestros deudores.

Porque tuyo es el reino, el poder y la gloria,

Por los siglos de los siglos,

 

Amén.

 

Ancient Words


 

Ancient Words 

 

 

One of the things that I like to do with music is to take a pause in the singing, then play softly as the Pastor recites some pertinent statements over the music.  I think that this has a powerful effect on the congregation.  Here is an example using the song “Ancient Words” by Lynn DeShazo, made popular by Michael W. Smith, and using some additional lyrics from a song by the Casting Crowns.

Verse 1 (sung by the Congregation): 

Holy words long preserved

For our walk in this world;

They resound with God’s own heart,

O, let the ancient words impart;

Words of life, words of hope,

Give us strength, help us cope;

In this world where’er we roam,

Ancient words will guide us home.

Chorus (sung by the Congregation):

Ancient words, ever true,

Changing me, changing you;

We have come with open hearts,

O, let the ancient words impart.

First Reading by Pastor (as the music plays softly in the background): 

So what is it about the Bible that causes people to give their lives for it, causes oppressors to try to destroy it, and so infuriates the cultural elite today?  Clearly, the Bible is unique.  Over the centuries many great books have been written, including those by Aristotle, Plato, Shakespeare, Cervantes, and on and on; they have had an influence, of course.   But no book has ever caused the controversy aroused by the Bible or invited such severe resistance or inspired its followers to such extraordinary actions.  

 

The reason is what the Bible claims for itself.  Although it is in many respects a book like many others, a collection of ancient writings that includes a variety of genres from historical narrative to introspective philosophy, it is much more; it purports to be the Word of God itself.  Through this book God speaks, giving us an understanding of reality that transcends anything that can be envisioned by the human mind alone (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

Verse 2 (sung by the Congregation): 

Holy words of our faith

Handed down to this age,

Came to us through sacrifice;

O, heed the faithful words of Christ;

Holy words long preserved

For our walk in this world;

They resound with God’s own heart;

O, let the ancient words impart.

Chorus (sung by the Congregation): 

Ancient words, ever true,

Changing me, changing you;

We have come with open hearts,

O, let the ancient words impart.

Second Reading by Pastor (as the music plays softly in the background): 

 

The Word is alive.  

And it cuts like a sword through the darkness;
With a message of life to the hopeless;
Breathing life into all who believe;
Yes, the Word is alive.
The world and its glories will fade;
But His truth; will not pass away;
It remains yesterday and forever the same;
Indeed, the Word is alive.
Simple strokes on a page.
Eternity’s secrets revealed; carried on from age-to-age.
It speaks Truth to us even still;
As the rain falls from Heaven, and feeds the earth before it returns;  
 
Lord, let Your Word fall on us and bring forth the fruit which You deserve.
With eyes wide open, let us see.

(from the song “The Word is Alive” – by the Casting Crowns) 

REPEAT CHORUS

(TAG)

We have come with open hearts

O let the ancient words impart

Copyright 2001 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music, CCLI # 2986399, Lynn DeShazo

 

Be Lifted High


 Be Lifted High

This past Sunday, we sang the song “Be Lifted High”, written by Leeland Mooring and made popular by Michael W. Smith on his CD entitled “Stand.”  We actually closed our service with this arrangement but during the sermon, our guest Pastor, made a reference to the song lyrics stating that it was about “sin personified” which I found to be an intelligent observation.  The lyrics are included below:

 

Be Lifted High – by Leeland Mooring

 

Sin and its ways grow old;

All of my heart turns to stone,

And I’m left with no strength to arise,

I need to be lifted high.

 

Sin and its ways lead to pain;

Left here with hurt and with shame.

So no longer will I leave your side;

Jesus, you be lifted high.

 

You be lifted high,

You be lifted high,

You be lifted high in my life,

Oh God.

And I fall to my knees,

So it’s you that they see,

Not I.

Jesus, you be lifted high.

 

And even now that I’m inside your hands;

Help me not to grow prideful again.

Don’t let me forsake sacrifice,

Jesus you be lifted high.

 

And if I’m blessed with the riches of kings,

How could I ever feel that it was me?

For you brought me from darkness to light,

Jesus, you be lifted high.

 

You be lifted high,

You be lifted high,

You be lifted high in my life,

Oh God.

And I fall to my knees,

So it’s you that they see,

Not I.

Jesus, you be lifted high.

 

Oh Jesus, you be lifted high,

Oh you be lifted high,

Oh you be lifted high in my life,

Oh God.

And I fall to my knees,

So it’s you that they see,

Not I.

Jesus, you be lifted high

 

Copyright (C) 2006 Meaux Mercy, CCLI # 4831442

 

Leeland Mooring is also an accomplished musician.  He leads a band known as “Leeland” (he’s the red headed kid in the center of the picture).  The following comments are from the song writer himself on what the song means to him:

 

Everywhere we look there’s something that is trying to steal our devotion and attention.  Whether good or bad there’s so many things that if we aren’t careful, can rob us of our hunger and passion to know the Lord.  Everything in this world will always be temporary.  Even the love we have for other people isn’t eternal.  The only place we’ll ever be truly satisfied is in the presence of the Lord.  The presence of the Lord is where we find hope, vision for our lives, healing, love, restoration from past hurts, and honor in the eyes of Jesus.

 

In Psalm 62 vs 1 David says ” My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”  Later on in verses 7&8 David continues to say ” My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, mighty refuge.  Trust in Him at all times, Oh people pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”  David not only said our honor depends on God, but he went as far as to say our salvation depends on God!  Then he urges the people to pour out their hearts to God.

 

I believe God’s love for the world is very much eternal and so is His salvation, but I also believe that we can be so hardened to God sometimes that without even knowing it we can walk away from Him.  No one is perfect and the great part about that is that God knows it.  He knows that we fail and we fall sometimes in our walk with Him, but the most important thing to remember is that when we get back up, it brings honor to the Lord.  So don’t be discouraged in your faith.  Just make the effort every day that you live and in the way that you live, to lift Jesus up and make Him the center of everything.