Power

Happy Easter and good Monday Morning!

Wanted to share a song from our service yesterday, POWER.  I don’t know the origins of this song (I learned it from Steve Bowen, an amazing song leader and choir director).  But we love to sing it, especially on Easter (I have been suffering from sickness so my voice is a little sketchy but thought this recording would still encourage you).  It’s a great song about the power of Jesus over death and the grave.

Speaking of Easter… For the early Christians, they saw Jesus’ resurrection as the start of a new world, a new creation, a new kingdom, in which Jesus is already ruling and reigning as Lord.

This transformed them, made them bold – they faced persecution and death with courage and faith (whereas before the resurrection they were terrified and without hope).  After they saw him alive, they never backed down on their claim that Jesus was risen and that made all the difference, make him the ultimate authority. King and Lord (over Cesar).

For us today, the resurrection means everything!  He backed it up. He rose from the dead. That made all the difference.

His promises are real.
His presence continues – He is reigning over his kingdom even now.
He’s coming back.

We face a bodily resurrection ourselves.

 


Shepherd’s Sign

We have been going through a series on the book of Daniel over the last few weeks in our Sunday sermons.  I spoke on chapters 7-9 yesterday, and covering chapters 10-12 next Sunday.  (You should be able to here the lesson here, if you’re interested.)  These are the parts of Daniel that are known as apocalyptic in genre.  Apocalyptic literature is full of imagery and symbolism, exotic creatures, angels, heavenly visions and journeys, giving a stark contrast between present conditions and a glorious future.  This type of writing (also found in the book of Revelation) is especially found during times of crisis, as it provides hope that God is in control, he rules the nations, his plan will bring future hope and he is reigning in heaven (even when things look their bleakest).

I became a disciple of Jesus and was baptized right at the end of my junior year of high school, and my senior year was a particularly challenging time, as many of my friends from school started partying and I found myself alone often because I was trying to lead a holy life.  I faced persecution and pressures of teenage life.  And I loved apocalyptic scripture, finding hope in its dramatic imagery.  I wrote this song my senior year, based particularly on Matthew 24 (known as a “mini-apocalypse”).  I told the congregation I would post it for them to be able to hear.  So here it is, “Shepherd’s Sign” –written in about 1988, and this recording was made way back in 1996.  When I get some time I’d love to make a new updated recording of this one.   Let me know what you think…

Shepherd’s Sign

 

The light-life eyes of those who’ve died
Yet live again a sacrifice
Lifted up, they’ll see the sign
They’ll see the night-thief as he flies

Summer’s here, the fig tree’s bloomed
We trim our lamps to see the bridegroom
And in the air a trumpet call
Echoes the heart cry in my soul

The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky
The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky

Rejected love, they realize
“Who are you?” he asks, with a tear in his eye
“Lord, Lord” Lord, they say
But they lived their life their own way

The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky
The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky

Lo, what a glorious sight appears
To our believing eyes
The earth and sea are passed away
And the old rolling skies
From the third heaven where God resides
That holy, happy place
The new Jerusalem comes down
Adorned with shining grace
His own soft hand shall wipe the tear
From every weeping eye
And pains and groans and griefs and fears
And death itself shall die
And death itself shall die
Death itself shall die

The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky
The sun is black, the sky is red
The stars are fallen, the moon is dead
Creation heaves its childbirth cry
The shepherd’s sign is in the sky

 

 

 


White As Snow (second posting)

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

I posted a live recording of us singing the song way back in 2009 when it was pretty new (and we were meeting in a movie theater, as you’ll see).  There is more about the song “White As Snow” on that post.  But I wanted to share an updated recording from my latest album, “The Other Side.”

As I was putting this album together I thought I would make studio versions of some of the congregational songs that are in the IPI songbook, “Songs of the Kingdom,” and this is one of them.  I really enjoyed recording this one.  I had a lot of fun playing the electric guitar parts.  Had fun with the groove of the bass and drums as well, inspired in this arrangement by an 80’s song from my childhood.   (Any guesses what song?  Female artist, crazy outfits… “I hear the clock tick and think of you…” C’mon you know what it is…gosh I love that song!)

Anyway, with “White As Snow” it was cool returning to a song I had written a while back but we hadn’t really sung for a long time.  The lyrics were new to me again and the prayerful sentiment of the song was so good for my soul.

Happy Monday!  Enjoy…

White As Snow – Recording from album, The Other Side 

White As Snow – Sheet Music from IPI Songbook (with chord charts)

 


Someday / Trials Dark

somedaySeems like we’ve been singing more songs about heaven lately since our friend Kevin’s passing.  This is a recording from our worship team rehearsal of a song we sang at church a couple weeks ago.  It’s a mashup of two songs actually, Someday and When the Morning Comes (otherwise known as “Trials Dark“).  Someday we don’t know where came from (it’s been sung in our fellowship for a couple decades or so), and Trials Dark is an old time song written by Charles Tindley back in 1905.  We start with doing Someday adding one part at a time, then go to the verses of Trials Dark with using Someday as the chorus.  They work really well together with a message of where we are all headed.  Lyrics and chords are below.

Someday – Trials Dark – rehearsal recording

SOMEDAY / TRIALS DARK

soprano, alto, basses:
Someday, someday, someday
Someday

Tenors:
Got to be ready when he calls my name
Got to be ready when he calls my name
Got to be ready when he calls my name
Someday

Trials dark on every hand
And we cannot understand
All the ways that God will lead us
To that promised land.
But He’ll guide us with his eye
And we’ll follow ‘till we die.
We will overcome it all
And see Him someday, singing

We are sometimes destitute
Of the things that life demands
Want of shelter and of food
In a barren land.
But we’re trusting in the Lord
And according to his word
We will overcome it all
And see Him someday, singing

Temptations, hidden snares
Often take us unaware
And our hearts are made to bleed
For each word or deed
And we wonder why the test
When we try to do our best
We will overcome it all
And see Him someday, singing

(The recording is in E:  chords  E   /    B    /  A   /   E   – you can also do it as high as G:  chords G  /  D   /  C   /  G)


Breakthrough – I Need Thee Every Hour

Happy Monday, fellow worshippers!  I really it’s been a long time since I posted on a Monday, but hoping to get back in the swing of it.  Been really feeling the need for God lately, how about you?  Lost a good friend to a heart attack recently, there has been lots of sickness, troubles in our nation… raising teenagers, building the church, being back in grad school… all this making me feel good and desperate for God!  I’m posting a recording from our first worship service of the year in South Bay, calling out for God’s help, reaffirming these prayers that God would be with us, help us, strengthen us, and that he would be glorified through us and what we offer to him.  May these songs, offered in faith, encourage your own heart to trust in God.

 

PS. See the chords page and the lyrics page for chords and lyrics for these songs.  By the way, I added a bunch more chords from the last year or two to the chord page, so check that out for newer songs.  Or you can always search the site for something you might be looking for.


Let Me Understand

letmeunderstandWe just got back from a great marriage retreat weekend with the Coastal LA family of churches.  Rick and Heather Mekemson were our guest speakers and did an amazing job of vulnerably sharing their journey of marital struggle and the miracle story of God healing their marriage and making it stronger than ever before.  It was all topped off with the close of the sermon yesterday when Rick shared powerfully about Jesus in our lives as our advocate (I John 2:1); speaking in our defense even now.  After he prayed for communion he showed a slide show of 35 messages from God to us – it was so encouraging and really ministered to all of us, daily assaulted by Satan’s accusations (Revelation 12:10).

It reminded me of this song, “Let Me Understand,” and I thought I’d share it today.  It’s from an album I put tother several years back of songs all from the perspective of Jesus speaking to his followers.  This song in particular is from his perspective as the advocate, speaking up for us, able to “empathize with us in our weakness” (Hebrews 4:15).  Hope it encourages you!

Let Me Understand

 

LET ME UNDERSTAND

Hush little child
No need to cry now
You’re crushed and you’re tired
Take my peace
Cause now and always
I’m with you and I’ve been through
The ups and downs you’re feeling
Be strong, carry on
The struggle will only make you stronger

Daily I speak in your defense
I’m with you even when you
don’t feel me with you
And though you may be put to the test
Here I am – let me understand

Whatever you might be feeling
If ever your heart is bleeding
Whenever your soul needs healing
Here I am, let me understand

The road is long
The path is narrow
But in me you’re strong
My yoke is easy
And if you only really knew
What lies in store for you
It’s better, and it’s brighter
And it’s fuller than you’d ever imagine

Daily I speak in your defense
I’m with you even when you
don’t think you see me
And though you may be put to the test
Here I am – let me understand

Whatever you might be feeling
If ever your heart is bleeding
Whenever your soul needs healing
Here I am, let me understand

Sometimes you deny
My love by your actions
In guilt, think that I
Crucified
Would give up on you
But at your very worst
I love you
Though you cost me all I am
Your love is worth it to me

Daily I speak in your defense
I’m with you even when you
are starting over
And though you may be put to the test
Here I am – let me understand


Home with You

home-001Hello and happy Monday!

Wanted to share an upbeat song from my new album we have been singing at our men’s midweeks lately and having a fun time with.  It’s a song I wrote quite a few years ago as an a capella hymn (and it works well with SATB voicing only–see sheet music below).  Last spring when I was putting things together for the album I thought it would be fun to do a band version.  My friend Peter Wade played drums and I did all the other parts.  When I was tracking instruments I took a bit of inspiration for the groove from another song.  Can anybody guess what it is?  Add a comment if so!

Home with You – sheet music with chord charts

Home With You audio file

HOME WITH YOU

Life’s evening sun
Is sinking lower and lower
We’re gunna cross over
Take us home with you
Tomorrow comes
We’ll be caught up in the air
We’ll be with our savior
Take us home with you

This world’s not our home
We’re just passing through
Tomorrow you’ll carry us
Home with you, and
We’ll never give up
Till we’ve reached the end
And you will welcome us in…

This world will have trouble
And fears and sighs
But home up in heaven
We’ll never cry, and
Each day we can grow
Through what you allow
To strengthen us in our faith…

This world has a curse
And it’s dying slow
In every direction
The demons go, but
We all have a mission
To spread the Truth
That those who seek you will find…

This world says to follow
The easy way
But we choose to live by
The things you say, and
Your Spirit will give us
The strength we need
To never give up the fight…