We had two guests with us today. Blake Helm is new to Bethel and has been drumming his whole life so he played drums. Our good friend, Collin Norman, was back on keys and backing vocals. Caroline Smith was back on stage helping lead as well.
BECAUSE OF YOUR LOVE (G)
Haven’t done this Baloche tune in forever, but it came off with lots of power. It really is a great way to open a service. The song was new to Blake, but he did a great job. I thought our organist, Tim, and keyboardist, Collin, both did some super cool stuff on this tune. We even did the drop out pretty close to the CD version and it worked. (Sometimes it doesn’t work! Scary!)
Call To Worship
My original plan was to go right into scripture after song #1, but at the last minute, I decided to teach the closing chorus of the next song we were going to do. I figured the tune itself was going to be easy enough to latch on to, but I wanted them to have something to “latch onto” vocally. We sang through the closing chorus w/ just guitar and voice three times, before I read Psalm 40:1-5:
Iwaited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He puta new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many willsee and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man whomakes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they aremore than can be told.
O THIS GOD (G)
Blake counted us into this one and the band did such a fantastic job. As you can probably tell, I am loving the new Matt Redman album, and I was pumped to see how this one worked. I think it came off really strong! I also thought we were able to grab the overall ‘groove’ of this song. I would have like aux percussion in the mix, too, but I think it worked. I did another one of those lyric changes, though. The original version had “Jesus, You will always be our God / We won’t take our eyes off You / Jesus, You’ll forever be the One / We’ll have no other God but You.” For some reason, that line felt weird from the moment I sang it. Of course, I know that Jesus is fully God, but I started thinking how “Jesus” and “God” aren’t commonly together when He’s being directly addressed. (Imagine some praying to “Jesus God.”) I changed it to “Father” and I think it felt a bit more natural to sing that way. I do think that, right or wrong, most Christians tend to think of “God” as the Father. I think that for some reason, we’re used to viewing Him in that way. Maybe that’s why the phrase worked?
I have talked too long about this.
Ross mixed it up a little in between both services, but the basic idea was this. He had our projectionist show the last slide of the song (“Father, You will always be our God”) and commented on it being a good thing for us to sing because it reflected our text would take us. He then invited Lacey Melinder, our new Children’s Ministry director, on to the stage for an interview. This was primarily to introduce Lacey but also to make known our need for workers. Ross and Lacey both did a great job of continually pointing to Christ as the model for our children. It was good.
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD (D)
This one is normally pretty rocking, but it was a mellower version today. I think it worked, but a little more power would have probably helped going into verse 3. Regardless, there’s nothing like hearing a couple hundred people belt those lyrics!
GREATER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE (A)
Third time to do this one. We had some trouble with the intro on this one during both services, but nothing crazy. (Or even noticeable to the outside world!) I liked having this as second-to-last because it gave us a good thematic connection to the last song. I didn’t think of this beforehand, but as I was singing it, I thought, “What’s so ‘great’ or ‘beautiful’? We’re singing those phrases, but why?” I like this tune a lot, but the chorus is really pretty simple. I felt like I needed something to say to those who might be wondering what the chorus was really trying to say. About halfway through the song, I realized I could make the connection into our next tune in that God’s greatness and beauty is the amazing work He did. The instrumental break in this song is so weird. I’d love to cut it, but it does make such a nice transition into the drop chorus!
In retrospect, I think I probably should have “talked’ through this point (that Christ’s sacrifice is beautiful to those who are saved.) I think it would have been a better teaching moment than a response moment, but I still think it communicated well. I just tried to pray in gratitude, understanding that His sacrifice is the basis for our celebration.
HALLELUJAH, WHAT A SAVIOR (A)
Well, this is just a great song, plain and simple.
Blake played it with brushes, which was more laid back than we normally do it. I asked him to give us a little more power, but kept it pretty laid back once I realized that, while it might feel a little soft to us, it was probably allowing the congregation to really hear each other as they sang it. It was nice. Lately, we’ve done a shortened version of this one. I like the Breakaway live version, but that last chorus build feels too long to me.
It was a good day.