Reflections from Sunday

I really enjoyed today, though the worship time was a bit shorter than usual, I really enjoyed the songs – if you are only going to do a few songs…make them powerful, weighty songs rich in truth, eh?  🙂 It was also a communion Sunday which is always special!

  1. I Exalt Thee (Sanchez)
  2. You are Holy (MWS Smith)
  3. Come Thou Fount (custom version)
  4. Power of the Cross (Getty/Townend)

Today, after we hear from the Word, we will be celebrating Communion together.  We will be remembering the sacrifice that our Lord Jesus made on the cross to pay the penalty, the price, the cost of our sin – not only our sins, but the sins of the whole world.

 Pastor has been preaching on the coming of Christ and the life in Heaven that we will enjoy if we have put our faith in Jesus and that sacrifice.  It would be good to pause before we sing this next song to realize that we will never forget the sacrifice on the cross Jesus did when we get to heaven.  He is both the means and the end for us in Heaven.  He is the only way we can get to heaven, and he is the main object in heaven – we will forever worship this sacrificial “lamb” – here listen to what Revelation Chap 5:11-14 says:

 11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering(S) myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice,(T) “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13And I heard(U) every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14And the four living creatures(V) said, “Amen!” and the elders(W) fell down and worshiped.

JC Ryle says that one day preaching and praying will cease, but praise will never die.

 We will forever praise Jesus for his work on the cross. This next song explains the power of the cross – Christ became sin for us, took the blame, bore the wrath – and we – we stand forgiven at the cross.

 If you have faith in Jesus Christ – today – you are forgiven because of the cross – you stand justified before God because of the power of that sacrifice that Jesus made for you.

 Let’s sing and praise him, as we will do forever, for the Power of the Cross.


…reflections from Sunday

OK, this is late, but I have been traveling, so forgive me!

Meditation and set list from Sunday 9/6/09:

Exhortation 9/6/09

Today is Communion Sunday, after Pastor brings us a message from the Word, all Believers will partake in the Lord’s supper in remembrance of His sacrifice for us.  We celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus – who satisfied the wrath of God by giving of His life for our sin on the Cross.

RC Sproul says: “The glory of the gospel is this: the one from whom we need to be saved is the one who has saved us.”

CJ Mahaney reminds us that we have no possible way to atone for sin ourselves, we need  a divine rescue.

John Stott expressed it this way “Divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice”

It has been said the 1 Tim 2:5-6 may be the most important verses in the Bible – JI Packer says these verses are “the key, not merely to the New Testament, but to the whole Bible, for they crystallize into a phrase the sum and substance of it’s message.”

1 Tim 2:5-6 says “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

This next song says “Before the Thone of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea. A great high preist whose name is Love, who ever lives and pleads for me…because the sinless Savior died my sinful soul is counted free; for God the Just is satisfied to look on him and pardon me.”

  1. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  2. Your Grace is Enough (Tomlin)
  3. The Fathers Love (Sov Grace)
  4. Before the Throne of God Above

Reflections from Sunday

Exhortation and Worship Set from Sun 8/16/09:

Pat Walsh and I had an absolutely amazing time last week at WorshipGod09 which was a conference put on by Sovereign Grace Ministries at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We had 4 days of amazing teaching, worship, and fellowship with over 1600 other worship leaders from around the country and the world, some as far as Australia!

Sovereign Grace Music produces songs not to sell records, but to feed the body of Christ rich Biblical truths – saturated in the Gospel. Remember we worship for 2 reasons – (1) because God is truly worthy of all glory and honor and we are called to praise him and (2) to remind each other of how great God is, encourage and exhort each other, teach each other thru the singing of truths from God’s word. They have just put out a new CD called “Sons and Daughters” which was went along with the theme of the conference which was “From Generation to Generation” – how do we make sure we are diligent to transfer the truths of God to the coming generation? Specifically as worship leaders – how do pass on thru corporate worship the might, deeds, and wonders of God– focused primarily on the grace and mercy of reconciliation thru the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Words of the songs we sing are so important – even MORE important that the music, or the style of the music. Pat and I learned many new worship songs with amazing words that we are going to be introducing to you – to encourage you, teach you, and bring glory to God.

One of those songs I will introduce to you today is called “The Father’s Love”. Listen to the words of the chorus section: “How wonderful the Father’s love for us. That he would give his only son to rescue us. He has saved us, called us blameless, guides us now and will sustain us, Oh how wonderful the Father’s love”

Col 1:21-23 says this:

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind,doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven,and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

How wonderful the Father’s love for us, that he would send his only son to RESCUE us..

  • Pastor CJ Mahaney reminded us during the conference to never mention the cross without reminding what it means – it means reconciliation. God has reconciled us to Him thru his Son Jesus – the only one who can mediate that reconciliation.

He has saved us, called us blameless

  • “…in order to present you holy and blameless, above reproach before him” This is NOT by our own actions, our own worth in and of ourselves, this is only thru Christ and what a complete reconciliation – we are holy and blameless, as Pastor Allan was reminding us ‘justification thru Christ makes us appear to the Father just as if we have never sinned.’ Now while we are here on Earth, we still will sin…so that leads us to the next part

Guides us now and will sustain us

  • “if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” – God will give us the strength and sustain us to live in the power of the Gospel, but we have a responsibility – to continue in the faith – stable and steadfast. 1 Peter says that he gives us everything for life and Godliness thru our knowledge of Him.

Oh how wonderful the Father’s love

  • Reflecting on the greatness of this love is cause for rejoicing, isn’t it? Take hope, assurance, and JOY in our reconciliation that Christ has won for us.

So, we are going to teach this new song to you now, let’s all stand. It’s a pretty simple melody – so please listen, as soon as you feel comfortable, please join us in proclaiming these Biblical truths and so by teach and remind each other and bring glory to God our Father who has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves, thru whom we have redemption – the forgiveness of sins!


  1. Call: Praise to the Lord (Traditional)
  2. The Father’s Love (Sovereign Grace from Sons and Daughters)
  3. Mighty To Save (Hillsong)
  4. Grace Alone (Scott Wesley Brown, Jeff Nelson)
  5. The First Place (Matthew Westerholm)


Inspiration on a Napkin


I’m NOT one of those “middle-of-the-night-have-a-great-idea-now-gotta-write-it-down-IMMEDIATELY” kinda dudes. Truth be told – I am a morning person, I feel most alive in the morning. Steaming hot cup of java and the Word open in front of me, and the sun just peaking up over the horizon. That’s my primo time. I’m not a night dude – nights are for chill-axing.

So, it was extremely “un-Mike-like” [man-am-i-using-a-lot-of-hyphens-today-or-what?!] 2 weeks ago when my lovely Melanie was in Romania, it was me and the kids…enter a wicked thunderstorm. Like this mama just kept coming. Both kids, already on edge from a Mommy-less week, both appeared at my bedside, demanding immediate admittance. After I put up a futile paper-resistance, I acquiesced and allowed them to enter.

Yeah…cuz sleeping with a 12-yr old and a 9-yr old will work.


It didn’t, and as I patiently waited for the storm to end, one of those very familiar worship leader thoughts entered my mind. “Holy Cats. I’m leading next week and I guess I should think of a set.” Perhaps it was the storm, or the lack of sleep or whatever, but I was immediately drawn to the power and awesomeness of God and thought what a great worship set that would make.

I exited my crowded bed, put on my glasses [yes, I’m a contact wearer], startled the dog by emerging from my room [she knows that if I’m up in the middle of the night there HAS to be trouble afoot], and quickly stumbled into the kitchen in search of something that can never be found – paper and a pen.

I found the pen, but no paper.

Just a napkin…so it will have to do.

The set then just literally flowed onto the lovely thin, flower embossed, Marcal white napkin.

To date, it’s one of my favorite sets I’ve done. God really blessed us with His presence. We even played a special number that my friend Mark Lisa arranged himself.

Here’s what it looked like:

Call to Worship: And Can it Be
(Whoever thought that a lost crook would, be brought to the point where the cross looked good. Thank you, Cross Movement.)

Mighty to Save
It is Well (definite leanings towards Ashely Cleveland versions, we rocked this)
More Love, More Power
I Exalt Thee

What Do I Know of Holy / From the Inside Out