Archives For Featured Songs

Death and hell call him Victorious!Here’s the line that grabbed me:

Death and hell call Him victorious….

What a great thought.
What a triumphant declaration!

I’m always on the lookout for songs that lift the heart in praise and help us to think theologically. That’s a a hard recipe to get right every time. Let’s face it, not every song is going to be an “In Christ Alone.” The needle may ping more toward doxology or doctrine in a given song, but as long as it’s looking to land between the two, I’m interested. Michael FarrenKrissy Nordhoff and Riley Erin have given us a lovely and moving hymn in Oh Praise (The Only One). The song is very congregation friendly – singable, decent key, etc.. and calls us to praise while reminding us that our praise is rooted in the redemptive work of Christ. I’m looking forward to sharing it with our congregation this month.  It does have the obligatory (these days) “whoaaah whoaaah” section which you keep or let go depending on your aversion to things whoawoey. Lyrics are below along with a video of a live session that really invites you to worship along.  This week the We Are Worship website is offering free downloads of the sheet music and mp3 so go get it now.

There is no greater truth than this
There is no stronger love we know
God Himself comes down to live
And make a sinner’s heart his throne

There is no deeper peace than this
No other kindness can compare
He clothes us in His righteousness
Forever free, forever heirs

Oh praise the only One
Who shines brighter than ten thousand suns
Death and hell call Him victorious
Praise Him
Oh praise the One true King
Lift it loud till earth and heaven ring
Every crown we down at His feet
Praise Him

There is no sweeter joy than this
There is no stronger hope we hold
We are His forever more
Safe, secure by Christ alone

There is no sound that’s like the song
That rises up from grateful saints
We once were lost but now we’re found
One with Him, we bear His name

recording courtesy of CentricWorship

Copyright © 2015 Integrity’s Alleluia! Music/SESAC & Farren Love and War/SESAC & Centricity Music Publishing

CCLI Number: 7030890

God in Flesh and Blood

January 16, 2014

God in Flesh and BloodLast Sunday we introduced the song “God in Flesh and Blood” (By Jennie Lee Riddle, Travis Ryan and Brandon Collins) to our congregation. One of the moments that all worship leaders dread a bit is wondering if a song they introduce is going to “take hold” in the congregation. Some songs you don’t even bother doing again because the echoing thud of it seals its fate. Others deserve a second or third go around before deciding and some just settle right it at home. I knew that would happen with “God in Flesh and Blood.” It’s just that good. At rehearsal, the band asked “why didn’t you do this at Christmas time?!” Well, I have only just come across it for one and besides that, why are incarnation songs limited to the Advent/Christmas season? I love narratives that cover the scope of Christ’s ministry. A great example is Stuart Townend’s “From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable.” The title sounds all Christmasy but it’s one of the most dynamic resurrection songs you will ever hear. “God in Flesh and Blood” begins at the incarnation:

From heaven You came down
You left Your throne and bowed
Humble sovereignty
Laid at the Father’s feet
Earth recognized Your cry
As worship filled the night
Son of God has come
Love now here with us

The chorus hearkens to the angels of Bethlehem and yet rings out as the fresh cry of grateful hearts at anytime:

Glory to God in the highest
Peace to the weary world
Blessed is He who has come to save us
God in flesh and blood

The second verse goes right to the cross and God in flesh and blood takes on a whole new insight:

Your hands and feet were bound
Thorns became Your crown
The love that molded us
Was nailed upon the cross
Every drop of grace
Was spilled out on that day
You were lifted high
O God the crucified

The chorus, as you might imagine, gains even more power at this point and the bridge that follows brings God in flesh and blood to yet another place – not the babe in Bethlehem or the crucified one on Calvary but the church!

Resurrection life
You gave up Your Spirit to give it to Your bride
Resurrection life
You gave up Your Spirit to come and live inside us

I don’t know if the writers were consciously carrying that theme forward from the manger to the cross to the church, but I think it works powerfully as praise and instruction. The melody is memorable, easily learned, the hook is there but the star is the lyric. By the way, you can purchase the beautiful string arrangement that accompanies the song in the video below.  If I have any quibble at all with the song it’s the use of “it” to refer to the Spirit. The Spirit, being a person, should be referred to as such but it’s a small matter. All in all, I’m delighted to add this to our church’s repertoire. Thanks Jennie, Travis and Brandon for such a lovely song.

I love these folks! Here’s a video of the song “Mediator” from Ghost Ship’s new collection called “The Good King.” (Bands do love the iconic roof top performance don’t they?)

GhostShip_TheGoodKing_AlbumCoverMediator

He takes our place and stands in front of God on high
He speaks on our behalf since we don’t have the right
He pleads before the God who judges hearts of men
Our mediator served the sentence for our sin
There is only one God
There is only one mediator
Standing between God and man
He’s the only way to salvation
He found the captives, broke the bondage of our chains

 

We have redemption through the price that he has paid
He gave his life to purchase freedom from the Fall
Our mediator was the ransom for us all
The man Jesus Christ
Who gave us his life
The man Jesus Christ
The last sacrifice
The eternal Son
He was, he is, he is to come
Messiah has come
He was, he is, he is to come

The true Son of Man
He was, he is now on his throne
The atonement Lamb

Vineyard - Promises of WonderWithout question, the Vineyard churches and their artists have made an indelible mark on the worship of the church around the world.  Just consider the following:

  • Hosanna by Carl Tuttle
  • More Love, More Power – Jude Del Hierro
  • Change My Heart O God
  • Spirit Song and Isn’t He – John Wimber
  • Holy and Anointed One – John Barnett
  • We Will Dance – David Ruis
  • Refiner’s Fire – Brian Doerksen
  • Take My Life – Scott Underwood
  • Let the River Flow – Darrell Evans
  • In the Secret – Andy Park

That’s just a sample of the older stuff! My list could go and on. They continue to write and produce music that is worshipful and easily accessible for most churches to play with a small to medium team. A new release “Promises of Wonder” continues their great tradition.

The Vineyard team is doing something with video that is a great help to those learning their songs. The videos feature lyrics and chords on the screen together. The lyrics predominate the screen area but the chords with diagrams appear in the lower right corner. How great is that? I want to commend the Vineyard folks for going out of their way to serve worship leaders by their creativity and generosity. Check out the song “High King of Heaven” from the new CD. You can download the chord chart here and follow along with the video below.

movarian_sealThis is the song we’re learning as a congregation to offer to the Lord on Easter morning. Lamb of God is written by Judy Gresham and featured on the ReSoundWorship site. The tune is very singable and the lyrics are a great example of marrying theology to doxology in  worship. The lyrics and an audio player are below. I encourage you to check out the song at ReSoundWorship, They offer chord charts, lead sheets, piano scores and backing tracks of this and all their songs. Resound Worship is one of the most creative and generous companies in worship music.

Lamb of God, blameless one;
dearly loved, only Son,
cursed and scourged as he is hung
on a cross of degradation.
Man of grief, crowned with thorns.
How his heart and flesh are torn
as our sins and guilt are borne
in his selfless act of mercy.

Worthy, worthy is the Lamb.
Glory, glory to the Lamb of God.

Lamb of God, see him laid;
cold as stone, in the grave.
Now the awesome debt is paid
and the curse of sin is lifted.
But before daylight’s hour
death must yield to greater power,
no, the tomb can’t hold him now
for the King of Life is risen!

Lamb of God – lifted high;
reigning at the Father’s side.
There, forever glorified,
he will be the judge of nations.
And redeemed, we will stand
at the throne of the Lamb
giving glory, praise and thanks
as he rules his new creation.

I’ve always enjoyed Robin Mark’s music and Jesus, All for Jesus has been a favorite. Several years ago I wrote some Christmas lyrics to be used with the tune and its become a staple of our Christmas carols. Every year I think about sharing it more broadly but usually get to busy to post. This year I’ve actually remembered 9 days ahead. So, it’s probably to close to be incorporated by anyone else but feel free to use it if you like! Excuse the raw video – it’s just to give you a basic idea of how I do it.

Jesus All for Jesus – Christmas Lyrics from Jeff Ling on Vimeo.

Jesus, All For Jesus / Christmas Words

Savior, born of Mary.
Came to give your life,
to save us from our sins.

Emmanuel,
You are Prince of Peace…
Living Word made flesh,
to die and rise again!

All Your people cry, Hosanna in the highest!
All Your people cry, Hosanna in the highest!

Wonderful!
You are Wonderful!
Living Word made flesh,
to die and rise again!

Savior,
Hope of every heart
Angels join to sing
of your royal birth.

Sing Noel!
Welcome Emmanuel!
Forever You will reign,
in heaven and on earth.

Mighty King of Kings! Hosanna the Highest!
Mighty King of Kings! Hosanna the Highest!

Sing Noel!
Welcome Emmanuel!
Forever You will reign in heaven and on earth.
Forever You will reign in heaven and on earth.

 

I continue to be so impressed by the folks who run ResoundWorship.org. Their commitment to writing theologically sound, Gospel centered and musically accessible songs for the church is a welcome breath of fresh air. The fact that they give away all their material for free (they will accept donations) makes them stand out head and shoulders in the music publishing arena.

I wanted to bring two songs to your attention that we use in our church during the Advent and Christmas season:

What Kind of Throne

Written by Joel Payne, the song celebrates the incarnation and our surrender to Christ with a nice 3/4 lilt that lends itself very nicely to some fiddle and mandolin.

resound

Make note of the screenshot on the left. Resound offers an amazing selection of tools beginning with high quality mp3s both for listening and a backing tracks. That’s followed by your standard charts and, for this song, orchestration! The PMZip files enables the chord charts to be imported into the Power Music 4 software and printed in any key you like.

What kind of throne is a manger of hay,
no majesty shown there, no dignity claimed,
for one who deserves to be
crowned and enthroned on our praise?
What kind of king is so modestly born,
when glory unmeasured is humble and small?
This is the hope of the world and the true light of all.

So I’ll bow down to worship the humblest of kings
and I’ll bring him the best that I have;
I’ll say that I love him, and that I am his,
and I’ll give him the throne of my heart,
I’ll give him the throne of my heart.

What kind of Saviour makes weakness his strength,
in frailty depending on those he would save,
and veiling the power
that always belonged to his name?
What kind of child causes heaven to sing,
with angels proclaiming the hope that he brings?
This is the glory of God, this is Jesus, the King.

On Christmas Day 

Written by Matt Osgood, this song contains some wonderful images that capture the mystery of God incarnate. I particularly love the lyric: ” The hands that once split night from day now feebly clutch a blade of hay, this is Immanuel. Majestic king, now small and weak, the Word of God must learn to speak…” It’s a very uplifting song that does a great job of bringing together the twin tasks of teaching and worship in song. This song also includes a full orchestra score as well!

On Christmas day, a humble girl
gives birth to hope for all the world,
this is Immanuel.
How awesome and mysterious,
the Lord of heaven draws near to us,
this is Immanuel.

2. The hands that once split night from day
now feebly clutch a blade of hay,
this is Immanuel.
Majestic king, now small and weak,
the Word of God must learn to speak,
this is Immanuel.

This is our God, seen by our eyes,
the love of the Father made known in Jesus Christ.
This is our God, worthy of praise,
the love of the Father revealed on Christmas day.

3. The shepherds come and bow to him,
the Lamb who takes away our sin,
this is Immanuel.
For God has entered time and space
to show the world his endless grace,
this is Immanuel.

Immanuel, Immanuel. Our God is with us now.
Immanuel, Immanuel. Our God is with us now.

Check out the many different varieties of music on Resound. There’s lot of treasures to be mined from these talented writers. Be sure to use their CCLI info when using the music and be sure to report the usage.

Matthew Reed - Come and DrinkIn looking for music to use during Advent season this year, a cut from Matthew Reed’s CD, “Come and Drink” has caught my attention. “Emmanuel” is a very laid back but intimate reflection on the nearness of Christ’s love.

I could wait through coldest winter
I could walk through the driest desert
I could sail through the open waters
Just to see your love has no bounds

The opening line speaks of a winter of waiting, an ideal image for Advent as we await the Lord’s coming in glory. The wait can be difficult and the lyrics bring together a confession of God’s loving presence but acknowledges that some places in our journey of faith can be places of trial… moments we need to be reassured.

Sing, Hallelujah He is with us
Emmanuel is here
Oh hallelujah He is with us
Come and let His love draw you in

Give it a listen below. A link to a chord chart is below the song. Check out Matt’s full CD here.

Emmanuel Chord Chart by Matthew Reed

Copyright 2011 by Matthew Reed / CCLI #6187730 

I’ve been smiling all day over this wonderful video…

All About Worship Collective Vol. 4 – Free for 90 Days Only! 

The folks at All About Worship are providing a great service to the church with the release of these albums and the accompanying charts. Take advantage of this offer right away!

“The vision for the Collective is to be a resource of quality, top-notch, corporate worship songs for local churches all over the world…AT NO COST TO YOU!…thanks to the generous artists, songwriters, and record labels!”

And that’s exactly what it is.

The collection on Vol. 4 includes material by the familiar (Israel Houghton, Aaron Shust) and the not so familiar but should be! (Drew Lay, Jamie Nunnally) One of the stand outs for me is “How Great the Love” by Sean Hill and Milton Gardner, a simple and beautiful gospel proclamation that would serve any church well.

“Nail pierced hands, a bleeding side
blameless life condemned to die
For my sin He was crucified
How great the love of Jesus Christ.”

Links are below for info and charts. You can find this and more at All About Worship

Here’s the set list from their site:

Volume 4 Track List: 

1. Join in The Sound – Brothers McClurg
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2. We Are Free – Aaron Shust
website | iTunes | chord chart | lead sheet | twitter

3. Fearless – Travis Ryan
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4. To The One – Harvest Bashta
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5. I Call You Jesus – Israel Houghton & New Breed
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6. Hallelujah (He’s Alive) feat. Dave Fitzgerald – Roma Waterman
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7. More Than Songs – Stephen Miller
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8. Glorify – Drew Ley
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9. How Great The Love – Sean Hill
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10. Lord We Worship You – Jamie Nunnally
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11. You Make Us Strong – Northstar Arts
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12. Song of The Lamb – Harvest Bashta
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