New Song: “You’re Beautiful”

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Hey there, Maryville Vineyard!  Our new song for the month of November is ‘You’re Beautiful’ by the one and only, Phil Wickham.

As we’ve just finished up the Say What You Need To Say sermon series, this tune gives some fantastic first-person praise language to sing to the King.  Each verse celebrates a different part of who God is and what He’s done, so let the lyrics lead you to meditate on His creation, His sacrifice, and the joy of eternity with Him.

Check out these incredible words from verse 4

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful

This song also has one of my all-time favorite melody lines (EVER), so guitar players and singers alike should get super familiar with those sweet ooh melodies 🙂

As we sing and play this epic of a worship jam, remember this verse:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord dearly loves His children and delights over us with singing, and in response we sing of His grace and beauty. I pray that this song gives us the words to praise Him in a deeply thankful, and personal way.

Check out the chord charts on planning center.

 

 

 

New Song: “No Longer Strangers”

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Our new song for July is “No Longer Strangers” taken from the latest Vineyard UK record Waterfalls, and we’re introducing it on July 12.

I love this song. Not just because of Dana Masters’ unbelievable voice. The song is universally relatable and immediately singable… it applies directly to me and somehow manages to feels like an old familiar song I already knew. Especially the chorus:

We are no longer strangers to your arms
We are no longer strangers to your arms
By your grace you have saved us
We’re no longer strangers
We’re no longer strangers to your arms

As you learn this song, keep Ephesians 2 in mind:

5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus… 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ… 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:5-6, 12-13,19 ESV)

If you dwell there long enough for it to sink in, it might just mess you up. 🙂 And if that’s not enough, the bridge brings in imagery of the prodigal son:

Father I’m coming home
Though I have wandered far
Your love is reaching out
I’m running to Your arms

I’m coming home

The arrangement on the record is so good we won’t need to deviate much, so pay close attention to your part as you listen. Guys will lead it in G, girls will use B or C and you can grab the charts on Planning Center.

New Song: “Great Are You Lord”

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Tomorrow we’re introducing our next new song to our church family: “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons and Daughters. Our friend Dan Wilt always says “songs are a place we go,” and this will quickly become one of our favorite comfy spots.

Like most of our new songs, this one has been on our wish list for quite a while, and if you’ve heard it you know why. It’s one of those songs that provides vocabulary to something we all feel and know. As a result, it instantly connects and sticks with you. The lyric is short and easy to learn, and you find yourself singing it the first time through and the next day too.

It starts with some reminders about what God does:

You give life, you are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, you restore
Every heart that is broken

Just as these incredible facts sink in, the song facilitates our response to God:

It’s your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to you only

The simplicity of this verse & chorus provides plenty of space… I could hang out here for quite a while. And then the bridge gives a new feel and dimension.

The original arrangement is piano-driven, but this one will work with just about any instrumentation. It’s propelled by the melody, and in keeping with All Sons and Daughters tunes, it gets a huge boost from a strong tight harmony.

I can’t wait to sing this with our family, and encourage everyone on the team to spend time exploring and personalizing it.

New Song: “Furious”

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After years of being on our shortlist of songs to add, we’re finally teaching our church family “Furious” by Jeremy Riddle this Sunday. Here are a few reasons I love this song:

1. It helps us celebrate the gospel.

The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us, He calls us now
His sons and daughters, He’s reaching out…

These few lines from verse 2 get me every time. As we remember our salvation stories, I believe that worship will well up in our hearts and spill out in a song of thanksgiving as we declare the great, mysterious, furious love of our God and Father:

His love is deep, His love is wide, and it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong, it is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild
And it’s waking hearts to life

2. It’s a prophetic call to worship

Back when we began all our worship gatherings with Vertical Time, we practiced a call to worship that was deeply personal and navel-gazing, between the Holy Spirit and each believer. Then at the end of Vertical Time, our liturgy would quickly transition into a time of passionate worship and utilized songs that were intensely intimate and demanded a lot from the worshiper. I think it worked, primarily because the Holy Spirit moved and most people were ready to roll. But there were some in the room who had not connected during Vertical Time, and spent the next several minutes enduring worship songs they couldn’t or wouldn’t sing. And there were a few Sundays when I could identify with them… even though I’m the guy leading the worship.

Nowadays our standard liturgy opens with a song, and from time to time we’ll use “Furious.” And for anyone who feels cold and disconnected; for anyone who feels skeptical and sour; for anyone who feels exhausted and defeated and nearly dead… TO YOU we sing that God’s love is “…waking hearts to life.”

Father, may your great love wake our hearts to life. 

3. It’s ready for La Viña

One of the Vineyard Churches in Chile has already translated and recorded the song in Spanish, so it’s perfect for us to use at La Viña on Sunday afternoons!

New Song: “Take Me With You”

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Have you noticed the stirring in our church lately? The Holy Spirit is moving in the hearts of people to “do the stuff” of the kingdom, and church staff and brand new attendees alike are stepping out in faith. Then our friend Adam Russell preached, and his message was like dumping gasoline on a fire that rages on into our current sermon series “Share.” Almost every day we hear amazing stories about salvations, miracles, new ministries, and reconciliation as regular folks take risks for God.

We have a renewed sense of being sent on a mission. The language found in Isaiah 6:8 when Isaiah responds to God’s call by saying, “Here I am. Send me.” is definitely fitting for us. But I think it’s important to remember that enlisting for God’s mission doesn’t discharge us from his presence. On the contrary, pursuing his mission propels us closer to his heart. Even when nothing seems to be working and everything is collapsing into a mess, he’s near.

I find great comfort that his mission is equal parts sending and inviting. His invitation is not to go for him, but to go with him. There will surely be times when God asks us to take a blind step of faith. Times when he’s hard to see. Times when fear and doubt climb up us like dark tangles of ivy to stop our progress. In those moments, we’ll have a song to remind us he’s there and he’s leading the way:

Where you go, I will follow.
Where you lead, I’ll be there by your side.
Take me with you.
In my fear, I will trust you.
In my doubt, I will look for you to guide.
Take me with you.

This quietly intense song by St Albans Vineyard worship pastor Samuel Lane can help our perspective. And once we remember the invitation, we get to respond with resolve:

Your will be done.
To live is Christ, to die is gain.
To know the father, to see his face.
But I will follow, I will remain.
There’s strength in Jesus, there’s joy in faith.

We’re introducing this song to our church family on March 8, so please spend some time with it while you read Philippians 1. As you listen, pay as much attention to what’s NOT played as what they play. The chart is available on Planning Center. We’ll keep a similar vibe with our arrangement:

  • Acoustic players, get your DADGAD on.
  • Electric players, wade into the deep end of reverb & delay.
  • Keys, we need your atmospheric pad awesomeness.
  • Drummers, brush up on brushes.
  • Vocalists, are you up for trying those falsetto BGVs?

Side note: Samuel Lane’s entire record The Fire continues to be on regular rotation for me. We already do Fiery Love and Fall Afresh, and we used The Father for our Worship at Home 2013 video. If you haven’t already, you should check it out!

New Song: “Good Good Father”

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Story time

Every Fall, I attend the Vineyard Worship Leaders Retreat near Asheville, NC. It’s an amazing time of worship, prayer, reflection, camaraderie, and catharsis. October 2014 was no exception. On the second night of the retreat, God used two patriarchs of Vineyard worship to speak to me in a special way. Raymond McDonald spoke on the theology of intimacy and drew a contrast between acceptance and rejection from the Father. Sleepy Ray’s story as a worship leader, senior pastor, and adoptive dad gave his message a firm-yet-kind authority. Then during ministry time after the sermon, Bob Van Meter quietly prayed for me and shared a prophetic message that was like the whisper of God in my ear. His message was about generational blessings instead of curses, not only from his generation to me, but also from me to other musicians and my kids. This was particularly poignant since I was struggling to come to terms with my son Mac’s developmental challenges due to events before his adoption. Afterwards, a group worship leaders were discussing the service, and we discovered that God had used Bob to speak to all of us in really specific ways. It was so good that we coined it the night we all got “Van Metered.” 🙂

Back to present-day

A few weeks ago, Kelsi Walker showed me the song “Good Good Father” by Housefires in Atlanta. The chorus instantly transported me back to that night at the retreat:

You’re a good, good father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are.
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am.

I just kept listening to it over and over. And as I did, I got the sense that this is bigger than my individual experience. This song is part of the soundtrack of what the Father is doing in our church. His acceptance as sons and daughters  changes the way we receive his correction. When we know we’re accepted, we see that his discipline affirms our acceptance and proves in our hearts that our sanctification is in response to our salvation and NOT a means for us to strive for it or keep it. Check out Hebrews 12:5-11:

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

And once we get that, we learn that his acceptance is the basis for healthy relationships with everyone else. Keep reading verses 12-15:

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…

So as we teach this song to our church family, let’s meditate on these truths. I dare you to listen to the song on repeat and soak it in. Spend time playing it and singing it, and receive our Father’s acceptance so that we can minister to people from a place of security in him.

We’ll do this song in several keys, depending on the worship leader. Probably G or A for male vocals, and C or D for female vocals. Login to Planning Center to get the charts.

Similar songs to check out:

New Song: “Never Once”

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In a few days, we’ll celebrate our church’s tenth anniversary together. It will certainly be a special day – it’s not often that we get to see everyone in the same room.

Leading up to this special service, my mind has been flooded with memories. And seeing the Clayton Center filled with our whole church family will be a powerful visual reminder of all that God has done; all that he is doing in and through us. Every face represents a story of our father’s faithfulness.

We have so much to celebrate that I’d like to offer some focus: let’s celebrate HIM.

Let’s commemorate his constant presence in our gatherings. Let’s honor his unwavering love to our fickle hearts. Let’s recall his perfect track record of provision and guidance.

To help us center on him, we’ll introduce the song “Never Once” by Matt Redman. Check out the first verse & chorus:

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us…
Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful!

As we sing, our friend Lindsay Mizell will read these thoughts:

Sometimes I wonder if it could be true. I listen to the words of this song and I wonder if God could really be so faithful. I forget so easily.
It is my wondering that needs days like today. Days that are set aside to just to celebrate. To celebrate who He has been, where he has brought us and to remind me, to remind us that never once, in all of it, did he let go.
I once read this great thing written by a Jewish rabbi. He said that in the bible celebration is not something that is passive.  It is not a chance to sit back and be amused and entertained. Instead, when looking deeply at the celebrations of the scriptures, the people of God dared to actively and expressively celebrate the faithfulness of God. So this rabbi, when he spoke of celebration he called it a confrontation.
Oh, that we might we be bold enough to confront the Holy. That we might dare to actively celebrate the God who is faithful. The God who has spent the last ten years pouring blessings and mercies and grace over our church. He has been faithful. In ten years he has given us a front row seat as he restores, repairs and rescues in Blount County and beyond. He has blown life into what was dead, healed places long devastated, and put beauty and gladness in hearts covered with hurt and ash. In Haiti we have seen orphans rescued and the oppressed set free. He has healed bodies and hearts and minds and souls. He has brought purpose to life that felt dull and peace to death that felt too heavy to bear. He has given babies to the barren and hope to the hopeless. And, he has allowed us to join him in bringing comfort and help to the depressed, abused, neglected and brokenhearted. He never let go, even when we could not see or could not breathe or could not understand.
So, let’s remember and let’s celebrate, for HE HAS BEEN FAITHFUL.

This will not be passive remembrance or narcissism. Let’s actively confront the goodness and faithfulness of our father. Let’s use the final chorus of our new song to respond:

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful!

New Song: “Our Father”

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Our new song to coincide with the sermon series “Kingdom Come” is called “Our Father” by Marcus Meier and the incredible team from IHOPKC. More recently, the song has been popularized by Jenn Johnson & Jeremy Riddle at Bethel.

In the Vineyard, our theological Shibboleth (distinctive) is kingdom theology. We believe that Jesus came and inaugurated the kingdom of God on earth. But the kingdom of darkness persists until Jesus comes back to establish his kingdom in full. So our reality as subjects of the kingdom of God is “already, not yet.”

When the kingdom of God comes, there is no brokenness, sickness, strife, or pain. So let’s lead our church in singing this plea, and pray as Jesus taught us:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10 ESV)

 

New Song: “St Patrick’s Breastplate”

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You may have noticed that we sing several historic prayers from the incredible record Prayers of the Saints. St Patrick’s Breastplate is the next prayer we’ll sing as our own.

The lyrics were taken from a Gaelic poem called “St Patrick’s Lorica,” or breastplate, that is traditionally attributed to St Patrick in the 5th century (although it was probably written later). It was originally translated into English by Cecil Alexander in 1889. Her version has become known as “I bind unto myself today” and still appears in many hymnals.

This excerpt was set to a beautiful new arrangement for the verses:

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ to comfort and restore me

Christ in the hearts of all who think of me
Christ on the lips of all who speak of me
Christ in every eye that looks upon me
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Take just a moment to let that sink in… That Christ would be in and all around me. That his restorative work would be so evident that everyone who thinks of me would think of Jesus; that everyone who sees me would see him.

And our fitting response is given in a new chorus:

Let it be, let it be
let it be so with me!
Have your way, have your way
Have your way, I bend my knees

We’re starting a new series called “JesUS” this Sunday. For the next three weeks, we’ll talk about who we are as a church and as followers of Jesus. It would be a foolish undertaking if we did not start with the truth of the gospel. So we’ll couch the conversation within Christ – us in Jesus.

Father, as we sing this prayer together and make it our hearts’ cry, may you make it true of us. Amen.

Here’s the short video to help with chord voicings for guitar:

New Song: “Oceans”

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In the past few months, “Oceans” by Hillsong United has become the most requested song that we don’t sing… until now 🙂

It’s an understatement that God is using this song in a special way throughout the world. Then, a few Wednesdays ago, I had the privilege of worshiping at a youth service, and the global phenomenon became personal. I stood in the back and listened to Taylor and all the students belt it out:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I was floored by the thought that these 80 teenagers mean this prayer. The world will be different because of how God uses them… like it was different because of Peter, who stepped out of the boat in Matthew 14.

So as I prepped the worship sets to accompany the sermon by our missionary Josh Armstrong, I couldn’t shake this song. What better response to his stories from Haiti than the opportunity to get out of the boat ourselves?

Musically, this immersive song has loads of space… something our multi-service schedule makes difficult. While we probably won’t do a ten minute arrangement, we’ve got to learn to linger a bit and give the Holy Spirit all the room he wants to come and speak to us.

Check out the chart on Planning Center Online.