music, Musings, Sunday Setlist, worship

Sunday Setlist: 2/19/11 (incredibly overdue)

Other people do this here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012: Harbor East

The Resistance Niequist
Aaron Niequist’s music has helped to restore my faith in “church music”. I have become extremely weary of the worship music scene. To me, it began to sound all like 90s-era U2. (I love U2, but not all the time, and not when everyone else wants to sound like them. Aaron is an innovator. And he loves the church. Moreso, he loves the Movement of God in the world. And that is what this song is all about. God is working in the world, through us, to bring about his purpose. We are the resistance. We are the revolution. And we won’t back down. Go to iTunes and buy everything Aaron has there. Then go here and here.

Carry Each Other Niequist

This is another song that has come to be an anthem for our body. The story behind the song is good and you can read it here.

I love these words:

We’ve got:
Different gifts and different names
Different dreams and different ways
Different hopes and different views
Different walks but one God.
Different strengths and different paths
Different loves and different pasts
Different needs and different beliefs
Different dreams but one God!

Cannot Keep You Gungor
This is a song that can make you feel uncomfortable at first. After all, are we saying that the Bible can actually become an idol for us? Yes, yes we are. And I should know because I have been guilty of doing that very thing. And even more so, we can use the Scriptures to feel like we have an “angle” on God. Like we can pin him down and describe him in words. I think it is quite cute of us to use words to describe God like er… indescribable or omnipotent…those are kind of nonsense words. What I mean is that they forego the more (dare I say) biblical example of metaphor and simile and just jump straight into the more metaphysical, cognitive terms. Instead of us saying that God is like wind or air, we say God is omnipresent. All I am saying is that words have power, and when we use them to describe God, who has the power, us or God? As we sang, we cannot contain the glory (weight/importance/intensity) of Your name.
Michael Gungor’s blog about mystery is also quite helpful…and damning.

All We Need Hall
Charlie Hall is one of the more legit worship leaders out there. I once heard him say that his main goal was to help those he lead feel like they can come to Jesus without any shame. What would it look like if we did that? Anyway, this is a frightening and joyful song for me. It is a song I mean and want to mean more each time I sing it. My default is to want God when I “feel” like I need him; which is usually when I am broken down or have made dumb decisions. But the truth is I need him all the time. But it is going to take giving everything to him. I’m always learning how to do that.

Take My Life Havergal
This is a song of consecration: a song that is us telling God that we are setting ourselves apart totally for him. It walks through all the different ways in which we give parts of our lives over to God through singing about our lips, mouths, feet, etc. It was a good way to meditate on the ways in which I have not given myself fully over to God.

Sunday, January 19th 2012: Highlandtown
(we did a similar set with one addition for our Spanish-speaking friends! Note: you guys did an incredible job singing this past weekend!)

Everlasting God Tomlin
This is such a catchy song (I find myself singing it a lot afterwards). It was also really great to sing this in Spanish as Infinito Dios. Tú no dismayas núnca fallas!

Feel free to share any thoughts or reflections in the comments section!

music, Music, Suffering, Sunday Setlist

Sunday Setlist: 1/29/12

So, each week I will be posting the music setlist from our gatherings over the weekend. I do this as a part of a worship community that shares these sort of things.

As of now, we have two gatherings: Harbor East at 10am and Highlandtown at 5pm. I will try to post from the gatherings in which I lead, and make comments from those I don’t! You should expect to see these posts come through each Monday.

Sunday, January 29th 2012: Harbor East

Blessed Be Your Name Redman
The one thing about this song that stuck many of us was this: we have a choice in how we respond to life. Will we always choose to say that God’s name is blessed (meaning that He is good, worthy of our love, and holy)? This is a hard choice for me sometimes. Many of us want to curse His name, as if He is responsible for the mess we find ourselves in. The truth is found not in whether or not He caused it but in the fact He is in the mess with You.

Scripture Reading: Mark 6:17-29-This is such a twisted and sad story. (you can listen to Pastor Ellis teach through it here.) We tried to approach it from the perspective of John the Baptist’s disciples and the grief they must have felt. Thus, many of the songs we sang would be classified as laments. These songs (or psalms in the Hebrew Scriptures) have a flow to them: crying out to God about pain, remembering how God has dealt in the past, questioning whether or not He will continue to act, deciding to trust that God will be faithful in the future.

How Can We Sing a Joyful Song? Original
This is a song that I wrote based on the text of Psalm 137. It deals with the sadness that the Israelites felt when they were asked to sing the joyful songs of home while they were forced to live somewhere else. Sometimes I have felt this way: it is difficult to sing when you feel you have nothing to be joyful about. Here are the lines from the last verse that bring us hope.

One day we will sing a joyful song
When darkness in the world all comes undone
All the wrong will be right
All the blinded will have sight
And peace will be our only battle song

Today we will sing a joyful song
‘Cause we all have a place where we belong
Together we are one

As are the Father and the Son
So together we will sing a joyful song 

Psalm 13 (How Long, O Lord) Doerksen
We focused on how sometimes the most profound times in our lives are when we can say the word “but”. This song echoes the words of David; asking “have you forgotten me, God?” He even demands that God answer him before it is too late. Yet he says, “but I will trust in Your unfailing love, Yes I will rejoice because You have been good to me!” This helps us to engage in the work of lament: cry out, remember, question, decide, trust.

I Lift My Hands Tomlin
There is a great video about how this song came to be here, along with chord charts if you want to learn it yourself. (And Tomlin sings it better than I do!) Sometimes our physical actions help to change our hearts, even if it is simply a hand raised.

Amazed Anderson
My buddy Nate did such a great job leading out on this song on the keys! When we get to a point where we really recognize that God is with us and his love is abounding to us, our response can be nothing but amazement.

Sunday, January 29th 2012: Highlandtown

Blessed Be Your Name Redman

Levanto Mis Manos Hernandez
This is the first song I have led that was actually written in Spanish. I am so thankful for my friends and fellow staff members, Bill and Aida Medina who introduced this song to me. To be honest, I didn’t do the best job, but it is helping me to learn how to lead our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters. And the church sang very well!

I Lift My Hands Tomlin

Majesty/Majestad  Smith/Garrard
I remember the first time I sang this song. I was in high school at a worship event where we were all singing the line: “Your grace has found me just as I am/Empty-handed but alive in Your hands” . I was broken. I needed to remember that all I have and all I am is because of the grace of God. I come to Him with empty hands. That moment caused a huge shift in my life and I am always drawn back to that place when I hear or sing this song.

Amazed Anderson

Feel free to share any thoughts or reflections in the comments section!