Tag Archives: Chris Tomlin

I Am Free


To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  – John 8:31-32

God has set you free!
True Liberty!
No longer a servant!
No longer a slave to sin but deliverance from sin!
Emancipated!
God is calling you to freedom!
Live in this freedom!
Sin shackles, but…

“My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace.” – Chris Tomlin

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:36

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I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures


I Invite You to Pray Over these Scriptures!

When life is tumultuous and your emotions are swirling round and round,
There’s really only one anchor, a solid rock that we can grab…

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. – Psalm 18:2

When the future looks bleak and the present is filled with your tears…

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 116:8-9

When you are suffering and in pain for most of your waking hours…

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. – 2 Corinthians 1:5

When worries fill your head and anxiety fills your heart…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

When sorrow is weighing you down and anguish rips at your core…

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
– Joseph M. Scriven

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
– Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash and Scott Cash

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear.
There is only one foundation
We believe.
In this broken generation
When all is dark
You help me see.
There is only one salvation.
We believe.
We believe in God the Father.
We believe in Jesus Christ.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, and He’s giving us new life.
We believe in the crucifixion,
We believe that He conquered death.
We believe in the resurrection, and He’s coming back again.
– Matthew Hooper, Richie Fike and Travis Ryan

A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving


A Call to Worship for Thanksgiving
Based on Psalm 136:1-3

The band plays the song “Forever” by Chris Tomlin during the following readings.

M: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the God of gods.
C: His love endures forever.
M: Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
C: His love endures forever.

The congregation concludes by singing “Forever.”

More responsive readings:Lifestyle Worship

How Can We Keep From Singing Your Praise?


How Can We Keep From Singing Your Praise?

Attention WELS and ELS Churches Using Contemporary Music!

I would like to create a database of churches in our fellowship that are currently using contemporary music.  As this list grows, we can use it to contact one another for help, for prayers, for resources, or just to have someone to talk to that share your beliefs.

I am calling this project “How Can We Keep from Singing Your Praise?”  Because…

God has put a new song into our hearts!
We can respond to the Gospel with a new song!
We are kindred Spirits!
God blesses Unity!
We see the same truth!
We sing the same truth!
How can we keep from singing your praise?

Recently, a WELS worship leader in TX asked me who else was doing contemporary worship in the WELS besides me.  I knew of only a handful of churches and none near TX.  How pathetic is that?  Hence the need for this list.

Please consider adding your name to the list and also feel free to pass the link to other WELS/ELS churches that you know are using contemporary music.

If you need a definition for using contemporary music and worship I would try this test out. Have you used the Getty and Townend song titled “In Christ Alone” and accompanied it with anything other than an organ (as in piano and guitar)?  Have you heard of Chris Tomlin? Have you hosted the Branches Band at your church?  If you’ve answered “yes” to all these questions, then go ahead, be bold and sign up. Oh you can just go ahead and sign if only one of these are true and you want to belong to this group because we are not exclusive!

You can add your contact information at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1naL6UarniBx9PRs16GoONpjZrAMtxxubgVY6n9tAFqY/viewform

Thank you and may God continue to bless your music ministries!

PS – This list of contact information will be kept private and will only be shared with those people who sign-up.

Contemporary Music for Saint’s Triumphant Sunday


Contemporary Music for Saint’s Triumphant Sunday

Scripture References: Ps 84, Ps 118, Ps 150, Is 52:1-6, Is 65:17-25, Eze 37:15-28, Da 12:1-3, Mt 25:1-13, Mk 13: 24-27, Lk 20:27-38, Jn 5:25-29, 1 Th 4:13-18, 2 Th 2:13-3:5, Heb 10:11-18, Rev 19:1-9, Rev 22:1-5

Psalm 84 Song Choices:
84:1 Better is One Day (Matt and Beth Redman)
84:2 More Love More Power (Jude Del Hierro)
84:3 Sparrow (Audrey Assad and Kyle Lee)
84:10 Better is One Day (Matt and Beth Redman)
84:10-12 Lord You Are Good (Scott Macleod Anthony Skinner, Ross Huskinson)
84:11-12 Trust and Obey (John Sammis and Dan Towner arr. By Michael Weaver)
84:12 Blessed is the One (Ronnie Freeman, Daniel Doss)

Psalm 118 Song Choices:
118:14 In Christ Alone (Getty & Townend)
118:22 In Christ Alone (Getty & Townend)
118:24 This is the Day (Shannon Wexelberg), Purify My Heart (Jeff Nelson), New Day (Ben Cantelon)
118:25-26 “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Sanctus from the liturgy) (True Vine Music – Michael Schmid)
118:34 Today is the Day (Paul Baloche & Lincoln Brewster)

Psalm 150 Song Choices:
150 Nova (Joel Houston, Crocker and Chislett), I Will Not Forget You (Ben Pasley), That’s Why We Praise Him (Tommy Walker)
150:1-6 Rise (Matt Brownleewe and Kari Jobe)
150:6 Everything that Has Breath (Reuben Morgan), I Give You My Heart (Reuben Morgan), Praise Him (Miriam Webster), Crags and Clay (Michael Gungor), “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (David Crowder)

Isaiah 52:1-6 Song Choices:
52:3 You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (CWS 746)

Isaiah 65:17-25 Song Choices:
65:17-25 O Lord of Nations (CWS 786)
65:19 Stay With Us (CWS 780)

Daniel 12:1-3 Song Choices:
12:1 Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken (CWS 726)
12:3 Your Kingdom, O God (CWS 755)

Matthew 25:1-13 Song Choices:
Leave A Light On  (Matt Maher)

Mark 13: 24-27 Song Choices:
13:20-27 Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven (CWS 723), Jerusalem the Golden (CWS 728)
13:26 Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending (CWS 704), The King Will Come At Ages End (CWS 731)

Luke 20:27-38 Song Choices:
20:36 Great is the Chorus (Aaron Shust)

John 5:25-29 Song Choices:
5:26-27 A Mighty Fortress (Christy Nockles)

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Song Choices:
4:13 I Will Rise (Maher)
4:14 Mystery (Charlie Hall)
4:16 It is Well (Jeremy Camp version)
4:16-17 Glorious Day (Mark Hall)

2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 Song Choices:
2:13-17 Holy Spirit (Keith Getty)
2:15 The Stand (Joel Houston)
2:16-17 There is a Savior (Sandi Patti)

Hebrews 10:11-18 Song Choices:
10:10-18 Christ, the Word of God Incarnate (CWS 750)
10:12 You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd (CWS 746)

Revelation 19:1-9 Song Choices:
19:4-7 How Can I Keep from Singing? (Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin)
19:6 Worthy is the Lamb (William Bradbury and Jeff Nelson), Everlasting God (Brenton Brown and Ken Riley), He Reigns (Peter Furler – Newsboys), Lord Reign in Me (Brenton Brown), Agnus Dei (M.W. Smith)
19:11 Remain (Ben Cantelon)
19:12 Worthy is the Lamb (William Bradbury and Jeff Nelson), Crown Him with Many Crowns (George Elvey)
19:16 Arise, King of Kings, Glory to God Forever (Steve Fee and Vicki Beeching)

Revelation 22:1-5 Song Choices:
21 Endless Hallelujah (Chris Tomlin)
21:1-14 Creation Sings (Keith Getty)
21:4 There is a Higher Throne (Getty), I Will Rise (Maher)
21:5 Who is This Love Amazing? (Chris McClarney, Hartely, Gustafson and Miriam Webster)

Sing to The Lord a New Song in 2014


Sing to the Lord a New Song in 2014

Resolve in 2014 to sing a New Song to The Lord! Why not empower an energetic teen or young adult in your congregation who plays the piano, keyboards, or guitar to lead a worship team in offering one new song for each day of worship in 2014? You can do this for as little as $500/year, which should be enough to purchase three or four arrangements per week (piano, guitar and lead sheet) from a digital download site such as lifewayworship.com. With God’s blessings, you should easily find a donor to fund such an activity within your church – especially when you mention that the teens will be enthusiastically involved. If not, reduce the commitment to one Sunday per month – in which case your costs will be under $100 for the entire year.

I have searched for appropriate songs and prayed for guidance but your Pastor should still review and approve each piece in the list below. Here are my recommendations for one song in each of your worship services in 2014.

Contemporary Song Choices for 2014 based on the Lectionary Readings

Date Song Title Writer Scripture Ref
Jan. 5 Christmas 2 Lord I Lift Your Name on High* Rick Founds Jn 1:14
Jan 12 The Baptism of our Lord One Small Child* David Mecce Isa 42:1
Jan 19 Epiphany 2 Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Jn 1:29
Jan 26 Epiphany 3 Follow You Leeland Mooring Mt 4:19
Feb 2 Epiphany 4 Speak O Lord* Keith Getty Mic 6:8
Feb 9 Epiphany 5 Offering (Christmas Version)* Paul Baloche Heb 12:1 & 13:15
Feb 16 Epiphany 6 Beautiful One Tim Hughes 1Cor 2:8-10
Feb 23 Epiphany 7 Living Stones* Michael Schmid 1Cor 3:10-14
Mar 2 Transfiguration We Fall Down Chris Tomlin (with Steven Curtis Chapman)
Mar 5 Ash Wed The Scandal of Grace Hillsongs 2Cor 15:20-21
Mar 9 Lent 1 The Power of the Cross* Getty & Townend
Mar 16 Lent 2 Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Jn 4:25
Mar 23 Lent 3 The Heart of Worship* Matt Redman Eph 5:8-10
Mar 30 Lent 4 Come Let Us Return Brenton Brown Hos 6:1
Apr 6 Lent 5 Days of Elijah* Robin Mark Eze 37:1-14
Apr 13 Palm Sunday Hosanna (Praise is Rising) Baloche & Brown Mt 21:9
Apr 17 Maundy Thursday Broken and Poured Out Kevin Bueltmann 1 Cor 11:23-29
Apr 18 Good Friday How Deep the Father’s Love for Us* Getty & Townend
Apr 20 Easter Christ is Risen Matt Maher Jn 20:1-18
Apr 27 Easter 2 Come People of the Risen King* Getty & Townend Acts 2:26
May 4 Easter 3 Beautiful the Blood Steve Fee 1 Pe 1:18-19
May 11 Easter 4 You Never Let Go Matt Redman Ps 23:4
May 18 Easter 5 Living Stones* Michael Schmid 1Pe 2:4-10
May 25 Easter 6 Jesus Saves Tim Hughes 1 Pe 3:21
May 29 Ascension Glorious Day Mark Hall Lk 24:51
June 1 Easter 7 Your Name Paul Baloche Jn 17:1-11
June 8 Pentecost Awakening Tomlin & Morgan Acts 2:1-21
June 15 Holy Trinity Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty* Matt Maher
June 22 Pentecost 2 Your Grace is Enough Matt Maher Rom 3:23-25
June 29 Pentecost 3 The Same Love Paul Baloche Mt 9:13
July 6 Pentecost 4 Amazing Love (You are My King) Billy Foote Rom 5:8
July 13 Pentecost 5 Jesus Died, My Soul to Save Matt Boswell Rom 5:15
July 20 Pentecost 6 The Wonderful Cross* Chris Tomlin Rom 6:6-11
July 27 Pentecost 7 At the Foot of the Cross Kathryn Scott Mt 11:28-30
Aug 3 Pentecost 8 The Way Jeremy Camp Rom 8:19-22
Aug 10 Pentecost 9 In Christ Alone* Getty and Townend
Aug 17 Pentecost 10 Sovereign Over Us Aaron Keys Rom 8:28-30
Aug 24 Pentecost 11 Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Rom 8:35-39
Aug 31 Pentecost 12 Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Joel Houston Mt 14:25-32
Sept 7 Pentecost 13 In Christ Alone (with chorus)* Getty, Townend & Stanfill
Sept 14 Pentecost 14 We Cry Out Jeremy Camp Ps 34:17
Sept 21 Pentecost 15 White Flag Chris Tomlin Rom 12:1-5
Sept 28 Pentecost 16 Who is Like You? Mac Powell Gal 2:20
Oct 5 Pentecost 17 Amazing Love (You are My King) Billy Foote Rom 14:9
Oct 12 Pentecost 18 Overflow Matt Maher Php 1:26
Oct 19 Pentecost 19 Jesus Messiah Chris Tomlin Php 2:1-11
Oct 26 Pentecost 20 O Church Arise Getty & Townend Php 3:13-15
Nov 2 Reformation Mighty Fortress Shust & Baloche Ps 46
Nov 9 Last Judgment O Worship the King Chris Tomlin Da 7:9-10
Nov 16 Saint’s Triumphant Glorious Day Mark Hall 1 Th 4:16-17
Nov 23 Christ the King Jesus, Son of God Chris Tomlin Mt 27:29
Nov 27 Thanksgiving My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness Keith Getty
Nov 30 Advent 1 All to Us Chris Tomlin
Dec 7 Advent 2 Behold the Lamb of God Shaun Starbuck
Dec 14 Advent 3 Emmanuel (Hallowed Manger Ground) Chris Tomlin
Dec 21 Advent 4 Waiting Here for You Chris Tomlin
Dec 24 Christmas Eve Glory in the Highest Chris Tomlin Lk 2:13-14
Dec 25 Christmas Day Born in Bethlehem Mac Powell Lk 2:10-11
Dec 28 Epiphany Offering (Christmas Version)* Paul Baloche Heb 12:1 & 13:15

* Easy enough for the congregation to sing along

For WELS and ELS members only – I am available to help should you have any questions – inasmuch as I can do based on my location. Contact me by replying to this feed or by email (sjbrown58 “at” yahoo “dot” com).

I pray that you witness passion in worship that is wonderfully contagious.

Trisagion


Trisagion

Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah saw a vision beyond words and beyond description. In a word, it was holy. It was holy, holy, holy! The trisagion.
Eight hundred years later and while on the island of Patmos, John saw a vision beyond words and beyond description. It was also holy and it was holy, holy, holy.
Holy, holy holy was being said, and holy, holy, holy was being sung by saints, by angels, by elders and by incredibly mystical Heavenly creatures. In fact they still sing holy, holy, holy today.
I’m no scholar but it seems to me that singing a triple holy, holy, holy is important.
Holy may be the most important and descriptive word written about God in all of scripture. God is the only one in worship, no – in existence, who is holy. Holiness is at the very core of who God is. Leads me to wonder, how often do we sing holy, holy, holy?
Here are some songs for the church to sing that use this critically important trisagion:
“It is Well” – Jeremy Camp’s version of Horatio Spafford‘s hymn
“We Fall Down” – Steven Curtis Chapman‘s version of Chris Tomlin‘s song
“I See The Lord” – by Chris Falsom
“Isaiah 6” – by Todd Agnew
“Holy God” – by Brian Doerksen
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – words by Reginald Heber, music by John Dykes
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – Matt Maher version
“Holy, Holy, Holy is The Lord God Almighty” – Michael Schroeder version
“Holy” – by Matt Redman and Jason Ingram

Hymns, A Secondhand Emotion?


Hymns, A Secondhand Emotion?

When you speak, I know when you are happy, or sad, or surprised, or angry, or any other host of emotions. It comes out in your facial expressions, your tone and your body language. You would be exceedingly boring without emotion. Singing is no different. In fact, singing with emotion is almost always better than singing without emotion. Good singers know how to convey the emotional power of a song. You will hear this comment time and time again on the various TV singing competition shows. The only precaution I will add is that emotions can go too far, like crying, that actually inhibits your singing. Adding emotions like joy, exuberance, passion, sadness, love and anger can turn good singers into great singers and great worshipers; because emotions come from the heart – where worship matters. More importantly, singing with emotion is the result of inwardly digesting the lyrics that are being sung. It is in fact making the song – your own. Which is what we all should be doing as lip service does not impress God.

One of the first things a singer needs to do when looking at a new piece of music is to identify the prevailing mood of the song.

Let’s look at some examples:

1. “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” – What a brilliant work by Mr. Isaac Watts! This song only uses five notes and if you were to accompany it on the guitar, the song requires only one chord. There is beauty in simplicity here. The lyrics are so well crafted they’ll take your breath away. This song requires introspective thought as you sing your way through it. It will take you on an intellectual journey from sorrow to love to deep appreciation. When I sing this hymn it feels like Jesus has poured liquid love onto me from head to foot.

“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all”. – Isaac Watts

“Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength.” – John Wesley

2. “I Can Only Imagine” by Bart Millard. Written for his father as he was dying. This song brings you into the mind of a person who is contemplating what it will be like in heaven. Uplifting, joy, hope and elation come to mind. A refreshing song to stretch your imagination heavenward. For some reason I can reach a high G note in this song, yet I sing base in the choir! It’s the emotion.

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” – C. S. Lewis

3. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther. A bellwether of strength and confidence. Sing this one when you are tempted to sin, when you need reassurance of God’s word and his sovereign power or just as a faith builder. Courage, confidence, reassurance, and boldness all are involved in singing this masterpiece.

“Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy. Emotion without truth produces empty frenzy. What’s needed is a balance of the two crucial elements.” – John Piper

4. “Amazing Grace – My Chains Are Gone” by John Newton, John P. Rees, Edwin Otthelo Excell, Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio. A little bit of the best from both old and new writers. This hymn is over 200 years old and has been recorded by just about every popular singer you can imagine. It’s as popular now as it was 200 years ago; and it’s all because of Jesus and the incredible power of the Holy Spirit.

When I sing this song I cannot help but think about the slave trade history that was part of the background of the original hymn writer. John Newton was “the worst of sinners.” He personally ruined over 20,000 lives selling 20,000 young Africans; that’s 20,000 people created by God, in His image, and Newton sold them like cattle into a life of unending slavery. He never knew their names, never cared to know their names, in fact history tells us that Newton simply referred to them all as “grunts.” Newton was guilty for grievous crimes against humanity. But God used this huckster to change the course of History. John Newton was lost; but now He’s found, He was blind; but now He sees. Newton was writing about himself. Newton was the wretch. He came full circle. This is a story of one man coming to faith, renouncing the life that he once served. Newton actually died a blind man. Perhaps he sees now while in heaven.

Sing it with righteous outrage. Sing it with relief. Sing it knowing that you are no better than the slave trader himself. Sing it to feel the freedom that grace provides. Sing it to feel the freedom that your sins have been forgiven, regardless of their severity.

On Good Friday, some 2000 years ago, a Roman soldier plunged a sword into the side of a dying innocent man. In fact, this innocent man was God himself. Quite a sin you must be thinking, right? But guess what covered that sharp tipped sword when it was removed from Jesus’ side? It was literally covered by the blood of Jesus. I don’t know if that Roman soldier ever came to faith in Jesus; but if He did, that sin was covered and paid in full. That’s amazing grace!

“My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace.” – Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio

5. ”How Deep the Fathers Love for Us” – by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. Deep sorrow, anguish, toil, shame, undeserved love, release and relief all rolled into one bouncing rhythmic ball of emotion. “Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders. I hear my mocking voice call out among the suffers. It was my sin that held him there, until it was accomplished; His dying breath has brought me life. I know that it is finished.” ( Verse 2) Simply incredible! It pains me just to know that most traditional hymn-based churches have never even heard of this.

This is what God thinks of emotionally constipated, stone faced and comatose singing:

“Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” – Amos 5:23

6. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” – by Monks of the Middle Ages??? Perhaps one of the oldest songs in our hymnal, yet fresh sounding enough to be on modern radio. Every time I sing this I am brought back to the 400 years of silence; the anticipation of the promised Messiah. It is with unabandoned joy that I sing the refrain “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, Shall come to Thee O Israel!” And yet, it is set in a haunting minor key. Expectation and anticipation! I am grateful to our ancestors for this piece.

7. “Now Thank We All Our God” – by Martin Rinkart. Oh, the strife this man went through! Martin Rinkart served as Pastor during the 30 years war and during a great plague. It is reported that he was presiding over fifty funerals a day, including that of his wife. Yet in the midst of this, Rinkart was a prolific hymn writer, writing 66 hymns. The exact date of “Now Thank We All Our God” is in question, but it is known that it was widely sung by the time the Treaty of Westphalia was signed in 1648. It was commonly sung as a grace following meals. Since then it has become a “Te Deum” for Germany, sung on occasions of national thanksgiving.

If you need to feel blessed and thankful, this is the song for you. You can even use this song on Mother’s Day as Rinkart voices thanks for mothers in the song.

“It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly until he has been broken deeply.” – CS Lewis

8. “How Can I Keep From Singing?” – by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Ed Cash. This is my anthem. This song always puts me in the mood to praise God. Doesn’t matter how blue I am, what’s going on in my world, nothing seems to matter when I sing this piece. It’s joy, happiness, praise, worship, in good times, in bad times, in sickness and in health. This song just picks me up.

“To play a wrong note is insignificant, to play without passion is inexcusable.” – Beethoven

9. “Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded” – by Bernard of Clairvaux and Hans Leo Hassler. Oh my! What weight. What grief. What pain. What sorrow. Singing this hymn is like walking the road with a bloodied, beaten, Jesus carrying the cross. Honestly it is difficult to make it through this song if you are plugged into the lyrics and what is going on. Good Friday just does not seem like Good Friday without this piece.

10. “The First Song of Isaiah” – Jack Noble White. Sing this song once, and you will be singing it for the rest of the day. Joy and praise Old Testament style. Foot tapping; you might even find yourself swaying to the music even if you are a Lutheran. It reminds me of a driving contemporary praise song.

-+-

A Few Words on Hymns vs Contemporary Songs

We should sing these above mentioned songs as if it were our last day on earth! We should live them out.

In my experience, the deepest emotions come out with hymns, not as much with the newer music, although the Spirit certainly can make us feel these in our heart as well. And the strange thing is that the traditional hymn churches tend to shun emotions, even though their music is drenched in it.

I believe that hymns stirred our emotions and continue to do so. When I sing a hymn like “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, I just want to say “I love you lord with all my heart for doing this”, but the hymn doesn’t give me that opportunity. I am left with the emotion, which is fine. The newer songs build on this, and use the feelings in the lyrics and melodies to unlock something fresh within us. In fact, most redone hymns have been updated with the addition of a chorus that expresses our reaction to those incredible verses. Newer songs do use lyrics like “I love you Lord”, “I long for you”, “I need you Lord”. This is the reason that many in the traditional churches claim the newer songs to just be love songs. The contemporary artists are building on the one thing that the hymns were lacking. Hymns were written in a time when it was considered to be a sign of weakness to show one’s emotions. This is no longer true.

A few Biblical precedence for doing this:

Psalm 18:1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 116:1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Isaiah 5:1 I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyardon a fertile hillside. (From “the song of the vineyard”)

Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Psalm 61:4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 119:174 I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law gives me delight.

A secondhand emotion is an emotion that has gotten worn out over the years and is no longer felt. Hymns, should not be a secondhand emotion. We should be saving our most profound emotions for our Lord and these hymns of faith are one of the best ways to express it!!! And, the newer songs are the best way to put it into words!!! You should sing both!!! Your Lord deserves it!!!