Thursday, September 15, 2011

God is SO GREAT!

Wow! What an incredible day of worship! It was so clear and apparent that not only was the Spirit alive and well at FBC Benton, but that the people of God are hungry for His presence. For the past few weeks we as a staff have been working so hard to prepare for September 11th…our first Gathering service. Along the way we’ve hit technical glitches, worried over seating capacity, watched our budget, all the while pleading daily for the Great High Priest to come and show up in a mighty way. Saturday, I arrived at church to take part in praying over the seats in both the Celebration and the Gathering services. As I walked in and saw all the cards denoting the seats that had been prayed over, I felt such a spirit of peace and confidence settle on me that Jesus was pleased with His people and that He was going to make His presence known the next day in BOTH services! Without question He did show up, He was glorified and I am confident He is pleased with His people.
As a worship pastor I think it is so crucial for me to continue to be open and transparent, allowing YOU my brothers and sisters to see my heart. This blog will be an awesome way for me to not only communicate with you what songs we have used in worship, but more importantly to help you understand why I’ve chosen them, the significance of each song, and the way it fits into the message our staff wants to communicate weekly. I hope you take time to read about the new songs we use, connect the Scripture passages to each song, and maybe even purchase the songs for you and your family to have. How awesome would it be for FBC families to worship together during the week through the songs we’ve sung corporately as a church?!

Sunday, September 11th
“Christ Is Risen”
This song, written by singer/songwriter Matt Maher, is a fairly new song debuted on Matt’s 2010 Alive Again album. Matt , who currently resides in Tempe, Arizona, came across the chants of Ukraine believers, who during Easter would boldly proclaim together, “Christ has risen from the dead trampling over death by death, and redeeming us from the grave.” There is so much power, when the people of God proclaim this truth; Matt saw this and penned the powerful song we proclaimed here Sunday.
I mentioned this Sunday, but my favorite line is:
“O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church come stand in the light.
Our God is not dead, He’s alive. He’s alive!”
We were literally singing the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 says, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
‘Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting.’”
Click here for this song
“Made Us Alive”
I absolutely love this song!!! The entire song is nothing but scripture. “Made us Alive” is a track off of The Village Church’s God of Victory album. I would highly recommend that you buy this album if you do not have it. Not only are the songs great, but the theology of the lyrics is true and deep (and just a little side note, the lead worship pastor for the Village Church is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University).
The song is centered on 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 where we read that Jesus who knew NO sin became sin, so in Him we mighty become the righteousness of God. Just allow that to soak in. I get overwhelmed trying to understand the grace of God, even more so I can’t even fathom how now we can stand before God justified. All I can say in response is PRAISE GOD! Needless to say I love hearing the people of God proclaim these truths not only to God and over their own lives, but over non-believers as well. Also check out 1 Peter 2:24 and Galatians 2:20 for more insight into the lyrics.
“There on the cross He bore our sins
And we became His righteousness
And now we stand here justified
Now we live because He died.”
Click here for this song
“Our God”
I’m not sure this song needs much of an introduction or an explanation. Since its release in July 2010 on the album Passion: Awakening this chorus has spread like wildfire through churches all over our nation. As I’ve had the opportunity to travel and lead worship at different conferences and retreats this song has been one that quickly catches the hearts of believers and is a sure expression of our faith. Made popular by Chris Tomlin and the Passion conferences, the song sinks its roots in two verses.
“For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.” Psalm 135:5
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
“And if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us?
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against?”
Click here for this song

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gathering, September 11, 2011

2 Ways 2 Worship got off to a wonderful start this morning at FBC.  The technical details came together nicely, our worship teams lifted high the name of Jesus and attendance was great in both worship services.  We are pleased that you chose to worship with us today at one of our worship venues, and we hope you'll become more deeply involved in the mission of our church.  We want to see people come to know Christ and become committed believers who make Him known in our community and around the world.

Yesterday we introduced this blog as way to guide you into deeper understanding of the lyrics we sing each week at The Gathering.  Later this week, our Associate Worship Pastor, Jarrett Davis, will begin posting content that helps you reflect upon Biblical truths as he digests and prepares worship songs for The Gathering.  You may also find worship lyrics and links to music that you can listen to during the week.  As committed followers of Christ, we want you to be engaged in worship every day, not just on Sundays.

We also encourage you to take advantage of Pastor Rick's sermon each week.  Pastor Rick's sermons are available on iTunes, Vimeo and the FBC website each week.  Today's sermon is also posted below for your convenience.

Again, thank you for worshiping with us at FBC.  We encourage you to stay connected with us during the week via our website, Facebook & Twitter.  Have a great week!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Welcome to The Gathering

Welcome to The Gathering Blog.  Each week we will post content that helps you reflect upon the Biblical truths that we sing about each Sunday.  Our intent is to help you know God more intimately through Bible Study, prayer and worship.  Soon you can find worship lyrics, links to music and thoughts from Associate Worship Pastor, Jarrett Davis, as he digests and prepares worship songs for The Gathering each week.

We are excited about what God is doing at First Baptist Church and are grateful for each person He sends our way.  We believe in the power of God to change lives, and we want to make Him known throughout our community.  We hope you'll invite a friend to church and we look forward to seeing you at The Gathering this Sunday!