It was great to be back leading worship at Compass Bible Church after a trip to the East Coast! I was pretty fired up to apply some things I had learned at the Worship God Conference right out of the gate.

Here was the set (with links to the iTunes music store):

All Because of Jesus” by Steve Fee (Andy Frank Arrangement)
Salvation is Here” by Joel Houston (Lincoln Brewster Arrangment)
Always” by Jason Ingram, Kristian Stanfill (Passion Arrangement)
–Announcements/Offering—
How Great Thou Art” by S.K. Hine (Paul Baloche Arrangement)
Cannons” by Phil Wickham

Bryan Chappell preached an outstanding message at the conference from Isaiah 6. Any message from this text rightfully emphasizes the holiness of God, and Chappell masterfully showed us how God’s glory leads us to grace. Isaiah sees God’s glory and realizes his need for God’s mercy. He cries out, “Woe is me! I am destroyed!” Then we see the beautiful picture of God atoning for the prophet’s sin and preparing him for ministry. A true understanding of God’s holiness leads to a great appreciation for God’s grace.

This concept clearly comes out in the last two songs we sang. Consider these lines:

“I’m so unworthy, but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are”
-“Cannons”

“And when I think that God His Son not sparing
Send him to die, I scarce can take it in”
-“How Great Thou Art”

I tried to emphasize this verse by repeating it at the end of the song and commenting on God’s holiness and mercy before we sang it again.

“Then sings my soul
My Savior God to Thee
How great Thou Art”

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A Night to Remember

August 13, 2011

Who goes to a conference in a Maryland suburb of Washington D.C. without going into the city?

Not this nerd!

Last night after the evening session at Worship God Conference, my wingman Taylor and I jumped into our rental car and made a beeline to downtown D.C. We have no specific plans and only one simple goal – get a picture in front of the White House.

Because it was fairly late on a weeknight, the bustle of the Beltway had died down. We easily parked on Constitution Ave right between the White House and the Washington Monument. In only a few minutes we had accomplished our one goal. Memories of my past interest in pursuing politics filled my mind as we walked around the building. (Side note – it is pretty ridiculous that I think more of the fictional characters from The West Wing than any real political figures. I get excited when I see a gate because I think I have seen Josh Lyman walk out of it before.)

As we moved on and walked around the National Mall, I was struck how everything else we saw was built in order to remember something. We walked past the towering figure of the Washington Monument, which commemorates our first President. Heading West we passed the World War II Memorial on our way to the Lincoln Memorial which sits right next to the Vietnam Memorial.

All these memorials served their purpose last night because they caused me to remember some important things. The freedoms and privileges I enjoy in America the Present were secured in America the Past. Countless soldiers have given their lives to make this nation what it is. Presidents like Washington and Lincoln did not lead from a safe ivory tower, they made hard (but good) decisions even in the face of danger and opposition. I am foolish to enjoy the present without remembering the past.

The same is true of the church and even worship. Yesterday morning, a professor for Sovereign Grace’s Pastor’s College shared the story of Guido de Bres. Author of the Belgian Confession, de Bres was eventually captured and hung for his Protestant faith. The truths I get to sing out were protected and proclaimed by countless men and women who were willing to give their lives for it. As Bob Kauflin summed up, “What we sing about is a matter of life and death.”

I cannot walk around Washington D.C. without remembering all the sacrifice that has gone into making this nation great. I should not be able to pick songs for a weekend without remembering all the sacrifice that went into defending these holy truths.

Last night really was a night to remember.