Category Archives: Media

Remember – Praise & Prayer 2019 – Set List

A few months ago, I had the privilege of putting together a college-wide prayer and praise night. In the midst of studies and essays and assignments, it was good to set aside an evening to pray, sing, read scripture, and enjoy God’s presence among His gathered people.

The theme of this year’s worship night was “Remember”. We split the night into two halves – in the first hour, we took time to remember God’s mercy to us in Christ. In the second hour, we shifted focus to remember God’s mission for the nations to know Christ.

I really enjoyed worshipping together during the first hour, which was led so well by Ellen, James, Chris and Kristy from the ReachOut 2019 band. It was a treat to move from praise to prayer so seamlessly and freely throughout the first half. We were served by contributions from students and lecturers as each helped us to remember and reflect on different aspects of God’s mercy to us in Jesus.

I led the Badminton Road band for the second hour – our first and last live performance together! A personal highlight was guitaring alongside Rob Smith and Jack Batchen, two incredibly gifted electric guitarists! Thanks to Jeremiah Liew, a friend of ours, we managed to capture some of the night on video as well.

If you’re interested, here’s the setlist from the night, including a Spotify playlist Ellen put together, and some video from the 2nd half.

Part 1 – Remember God’s mercy in Christ

  1. Welcome & Prayer: an invitation to prefer one another and “let all things be done for building up”
  2. Read Psalm 103
  3. Sing: Only A Holy God (CityAlight)
  4. Sing: How Deep the Father’s Love (arr. by The Dispatch)
  5. Pray: 1-sentence “popcorn” prayers praising God for His attributes
  6. Sing: Great Are You Lord (All Sons and Daughters)
  7. Pray: Self-directed prayer based on Ephesians 2:1-10
  8. Sing: All I Have Is Christ (Sovereign Grace Music)
  9. Pray: Thanksgiving for mercy in Christ
  10. Sing: Once For All (CityAlight)
  11. Listen: I Stand Amazed (How Wonderful) – Womens’ Vocal Group
  12. Sing: Be Thou My Vision (arr. Ascend the Hill)
  13. Sing: O Praise the Name / What A Beautiful Name mashup
  14. Pray: Close 1st Hour
Spotify Playlist of the songs we sang during Praise & Prayer 2019.

Part 2 – Remember God’s mission for Christ

  1. Sing: Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me (CityAlight)
  2. Welcome Back – recap 1st hour, read Psalm 67
  3. Sing: Behold our God (World Edition) – in multiple languages
  4. Pray: in 3-4’s, pray for unreached peoples on your heart, near or far
  5. Listen: Poem – a lament for the nations
  6. Listen: Remember (Matt Lo)
  7. Sing: You Are the God Who Saves Me (Psalm 88)
  8. Sing: Love, You Will Not Let Me Go
  9. Pray: over those who have given up their identity for Jesus to enter creative access nations
  10. Sing: Christ is Enough
  11. Sing: We Will Declare Your Glory
  12. Sing: Crown Him With Many Crowns

You can also see what we did in 2018 as well here. While I won’t be at college in 2020, I hope there’ll continue to be opportunities for the college community to gather and respond to everything they’ve learned in praise and prayer!

Creativity for his glory – even more cards (Cheryl)

(W: Here are a few things that Cheryl has made in previous months. Really enjoy watching day by day how she’s using her time to image her Redeemer by getting stuck into creativity that serves others. In contrast, my knowledge of sewing and crafts is limited to opening my wallet and paying for materials…)

Custom-made cards

thank you card for baby stroller

Thank you card – we made this for a family that gave us their double stroller. Took awhile to find a good double stroller image to adapt. E loves getting involved with the cardmarking now, and each card we make usually has her signature touch (a deft scribble or two).

 

blue dinosaur birthday card rawrrr

A card for a dino-mite birthday boy! Some line art in the background, with a big dinosaur silhouette.

 

Windows Phone Metro themed greeting card with icons

A Windows Phone-themed card! Uncle Henry was in town for two weeks and we enjoyed having him stay with us for some of that time. Different icons for some of the different things we did together (building blocks, cycling, ramen noodles, cello, DS).

E got to go on the bike with her dada, and learn about how the postman takes the card from the postbox and helps get it to Taiwan. We were glad to learn that it got there in one piece:

Windows phone metro themed greeting card and some abstract art by Eden

One good thing about making cards from scratch is that it helps you to focus on the person you’re addressing it to – to pray for them, to consider their interests, what they like. It’s a good opportunity to learn to love others more.

Video: Jesus, Thank You (Chinese/Mandarin cover)

Last month I had the privilege of leading gathered worship for both our church and EFC, a Mandarin-speaking congregation that meet in our church building on Sunday afternoons.

To accommodate both languages, I spent some time searching for translations to good gospel-centred songs that we could sing together. In the end, it was such a delight to learn and sing songs like Before the Throne of God Above, How Great Thou Art, In Christ Alone and Blessed Be Your Name in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

After the service, learned that an older sister (in Christ) was profoundly moved by the truths of the gospel and being able to sing them in her native Mandarin tongue. In particular, it was a real delight to respond to a time of remembering the Lord’s Table with the song Jesus, Thank You by Pat Sczebel (song story here).

So to encourage myself, her and others to sing of God’s marvellous provision of grace through Christ, I made a quick recording of Jesus Thank You, sung in Chinese:

The response I got today from her was:

“Thank you so much. Sending this so so beautiful song in Chinese… Praise the Lord.”

Here are the lyrics (in English):

VERSE 1
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me

CHORUS
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

VERSE 2
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

BRIDGE
Lover of my soul
I want to live for You

© 2003 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

The words are so simple yet profound – to meditate on the fact that I was once an enemy of God, but now am seated at His table draws much thankfulness!

You can find other translations of this wonderful song on the Sovereign Grace Music website (e.g. Russian, Spanish, German, Japanese).

Oh, that the world would want to sing: “Jesus, thank you!”

My seminar at STAND 2013 on hymns

God was kind to allow me the opportunity to present a seminar on hymns during the most recent STAND conference. I previously shared on the STAND website some of the reasons why I did this seminar.

If you’re interested in listening to it, here’s thelink to the recording, here are the notes, and here’s the slides that went with it:

 

Personally I think it went OK, though I typically don’t speak well in settings when I’m nervous, and I also wish as follow-up everyone who attended just listen to the more detailed and helpful lecture series by Kevin Twit. I hope more practice in future will help me to be a clearer and more helpful speaker.

But I had a patient and understanding audience who asked good questions, both during and after the seminar. I’m especially thankful that people were genuinely interested and there was a good group of young adults present and challenged to consider what hymns really are, why they’re worth passing on to the next generation, and some ways we could do that.

For example, I chatted with someone from a Reformed Church (she said they sing both psalms and hymns psalms only) who commented how helpful it was to discuss this topic. In addition, I heard afterwards that it gave a few young adults good food for thought on using and singing hymns, so I thank God for that.

As usual I prepared too much to say in too little time. If I could do it over again, other things worth mentioning would be:

  • More specific ways of using hymns in personal and family worship
  • How to use tunes we know to sing hymn texts we don’t know (this can be really fun and rewarding to do)
  • some good examples of hymns that have been set to more accessible music

Anyways, where to from here? Probably just keep on learning and passing hymns to the next generation… like this…

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Album review: Grace Has Come

Grace Has Come - Songs from the Book of Romans

Sovereign Grace Music have been putting out theologically rich and well-crafted songs for years in service to the church and congregational singing. I remember the first CD I listened to was “Come Weary Saints”, and thinking at the time, “a whole album on suffering well? Wow!”

Grace Has Come is their latest album, which I’ve enjoyed listening to on repeat for 2 weeks now. Here’s a collection of thoughts:

  • This is the second album based on a Bible book that I’ve come across this year (the other one being the Gospel Coalition’s one). I think this one gives a better overview of the main themes of the letter – I was able to finish the album thinking “yep, I got the main idea of Romans – grace has come to us through Christ”. Each song does well in unpacking or meditating on passages in Romans.
  • I’ve noticed that SGM’s “sound” has evolved from their earlier albums. It’s hard to generalise (and I’ll probably get it wrong to some degree), but when you compare say their Psalms CD with “Grace Has Come”, they’ve definitely got more of an alternative, blues and indie influence to their style than before (e.g. the bluesy “Glory Awaits” with Hendrix-sounding guitar, the Enya-sounding “Our Only Hope Is You“). Maybe it’s because they’re now in Louisville, KY – or maybe they’ve changed their roster of singers and songwriters slightly (e.g. no Mark Altrogge songs, new songs by Neil and Kate deGraide)?
  • Most congregationally accessible for me would be their title track “Grace and Peace” (though you’d perhaps find an alternative to the octave jump in the final vocals) and “The Gospel Was Promised“.

  • The words are top-notch as usual – the songs that made me think and praise God in response the most would be “Judge of the Secrets” (oh Lord, You’ve conquered my soul, now be its defence!) and the brave “It’s Your Grace” which tries to tackle the hard truths of predestination and God’s sovereignty in evangelism and how it’s something to rejoice and gratefully worship, not draw swords over. Have a listen:

Slightly unrelated, but one day I hope SGM will put out an album of their most popular songs, but record them in a way that’s transferable to small music teams (Emu Music’s Songs for Little Rooms is a good example of this). As I listen through this album I’m sometimes made aware that some of these songs wouldn’t be realistic for our musicians to grapple with.

Overall though I really appreciate this latest contribution to contemporary worship. I heard someone once say that Christians general sing and write songs about what’s really important to the normal Christian life (when was the last time you heard a song about eschatology?) SGM certainly have been trying to broaden what we would praise God about in this album – his election, his righteousness, our justification, etc. So I’m grateful for that!

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Note: Bob Kauflin has kindly offered all STAND conference attendees a discount off this album. Simply visit the Bandcamp page and enter the code standforthegospel for a 20% discount off the price. The code expires 31 August. You can also download one of the tracks, “Nothing In All The Earth” for free here.