I was pretty excited about today. Mostly because of how strong the songs were but also because it was the Sunday before Thanksgiving! I’m really looking forward to going home for the holidays and celebrating God’s goodness.

The day was pretty normal for us. We wrapped up our doctrine series, “Elemental”, with a sermon on angels and demons. I couldn’t find many songs about spiritual warfare that I dug, so I tried to focus on God’s authority and power.

I’ve been begging one of our guitarists to bring his steel guitar for a month and once I put this in the set, I decided to ask for it again. He didn’t bring the mounted one, but played a lap slide guitar that sounded fantastic. (Note: There’s never enough slide for me. Ever.) This tune is a favorite of ours and the band did so great. We didn’t have our B3 guy, but Karen did an excellent job on keyboards. We’re in one of those phases where the band is kinda’ “over” the song but it’s just now becoming normal for the congregation. Common problem for praise teams, but a band knowing a song inside and out is never really a bad thing.

From there, we went into Stanfill’s “Lord Almighty”. These two songs would probably be considered slow, but have a great energy. I’ve always loved how spacious the verses are in this song. It give the band some room to put in some great fills and it allows plenty of space for congregants to sing. It’s probably one of the best examples of simple lyrics saying a complex thing. This is definitely an electric guitar song – the riff and octave part in the bridge are key and our guitarist, Ray, has those parts nailed.

Ross came up and read from Ephesians as we welcomed the crowd. At Bethel, folks are still filtering in during the second song. While we’ve most definitely been worshipping in the first two song, the welcome by Ross definitely communicates to the room, “Hey. We’ve started church.” Having a communicator as skilled as Ross makes the 2 songs/announcements a nice opener.

Haven’t done this one in forever! It’s a country tune I wrote forever ago and I forgot how much fun it is! The band did a great job on this one. Our bass player, Chad, is so good and his stuff in this song was pretty cool. I missed Tim’s B3 on this one. Since the chord structure is pretty simple, Tim usually adds a “next-level” feel on the choruses. I think the song went great, but I don’t think we had enough lift in the choruses.

This was strange. We’ve done this song three or four times already, but this time it seemed to finally “click”. I wasn’t expecting this song to be the big takeaway, but after service, this is the one that seemed to connect with folks. In talking to a couple of people after church, I was reminded that no matter how recent or ancient a loss can be, it’s still right under the surface. Songs like this one make it okay to rethink or even relive those hurts in light of God’s sovereignty. Karen, our keyboardist, and Dale, our drummer, were so clean on this song. We did the faster version of the song, but it didn’t feel rushed or overly big. Right on point.

We did this Andrew Peterson song as a special element. We’re bringing Andrew in December for Behold The Lamb Of God and wanted to give people an idea of what his music is like. The song was good. I think we probably did better in rehearsal, but it was still a strong performance. I had planned that our video bumper would run right as we finished the tune, but it didn’t happen quick enough in the first service, which was kinda’ awkward. In between services, we made sure the light and video cues were ready, which helped.


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