Deadline for Christmas Orders

ChurchWorksMedia.com’s Gospel Meditations books are ideal for Christmas and the New Year. Many individuals and churches have used the books (MenWomenMissionsCombo) as affordable, faith-building gifts. Be sure to take advantage of quantity discounts, and avoid the rush by ordering soon.

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Important: Orders not received by Saturday, December 15th will not be shipped until early 2013. 

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Many thanks to Pastor Rob Campbell for this kind endorsement:

As a pastor I am so grateful for a series like Gospel Meditations that lifts our eyes to see Christ! On different special occasions at church we have given out the men’s, women’s, and missions devotionals as gifts to every family. Gospel Meditations have helped us as a church to gradually grow Gospel thinking into our daily lives. Bethel is growing in grace and God has used Gospel Meditations in our journey.”

(Rob Campbell is the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Sellersville, PA)

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New Palm Sunday Hymn, with a Majestic MP3

I’m glad to introduce another new hymn from ChurchWorksMedia.comHosanna to the King is a collaboration with my friend Rick Nichols. It’s a Palm Sunday hymn, but one which we hope will be useful to the church throughout the year. Rick approached me with his regal arrangement of Alexander Reinagle’s tune and asked if I could come up with a suitable text for it, preferably for Palm Sunday or Easter. Once I heard it, the text practically wrote itself. Lord willing, each line will point you to an aspect of the Triumphal Entry and the glories of Christ, the promised King and Deliverer. (You can read about the meaning of each line here.) On a side note, the location that most moved me doing my visit to The Holy Land in 2010 was The Mount of Olives. It’s not a beautiful place. But what an important place—home to the Triumphal Entry, to the Olivet Discourse, to Gethsemane, to the Ascension, and in the future, to the Second Coming. I’m so glad to have been able to write of that sacred place in this hymn.

You can download the files for the hymn below, and you can order Rick’s majestic arrangement here. The octavo is being published this fall by Fred Bock Music and was recently honored by JW Pepper as an “Editor’s Choice.” You’ll understand why when you hear it. Turn up your speakers a bit and rejoice in the majesty of our Savior. Grace!

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LINKS FOR HOSANNA TO THE KING

Choral Demo (published by Fred Bock Music)

Single PDF / Double PDF / Text / Notes / MP3 / Octavo MP3

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New CWM Hymn by Faye Lopez

Secured by Sovereign Love is Faye Lopez‘s lovely new adaptation of a classic Isaac Watts text on Psalm 139.  Watts reminds us of God’s omnipresence and omniscience. To hide from Him is impossible. Yet, the God who is all-seeing and all-knowing is also all-loving. The believer in Christ is secure in God’s sovereign, unbreakable love.

Thank you, Faye! I’ve admired your work in the past, and it’s a privilege to work with you at ChurchWorksMedia! I trust that this new piece will be an encouragement to many. Grace.

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LINKS FOR SECURED BY SOVEREIGN LOVE

Single PDF / Text / MP3

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Gospel Meditations for Voters

I wrote the following article for TCBC’s bulletins this Sunday. I thought it might be helpful for other churches, as well. It’s written with the feel of the Gospel Meditations books (which you can obtain here). Feel free to download and duplicate the PDF, but please don’t alter it in any way. Grace!

Gospel Meditations for Voters PDF

(If you find the article helpful, please share a link via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Thank you!)

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Election day is upon us. I hope you will vote. (I already did, taking my wife on a coffee-and-ballots date last week.) It’s proper for Christian citizens to exercise the rights of citizenship (as Paul in did in Acts 16:37-39; 21:39; 22:25-29; and 25:10-11). So vote! And vote in a Christian manner. What should you be thinking when you pull the curtain on your booth?

1. Christians should vote with thanksgiving.

Think of how few people throughout human history have had the right to influence their government with their vote. We’re not under the boot of a dictator. We’re not inheriting a king who has inherited his throne. We’re not in the middle of civil war. We’re voting. What a great blessing God has given us to live in such a country at such a time! As you vote, offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the Giver of this gift (James 1:17).

2. Christians should vote for righteousness.

Scripture doesn’t contain the names of candidates or parties. But it does tell us what our leaders are supposed to do:

  • Protect the innocent and punish the guilty (1 Peter 2:14; Romans 13:3-4)
  • Lead in a way that shows the fear of God, guards the peace of citizens, and allows the advance of the gospel (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
  • Pursue righteousness, not wickedness (Proverbs 14:34)

Christians should pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1) and submit to our leaders (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). In America, we should also help choose our leaders. As we do, we should prioritize issues on which the Bible speaks with clarity (such as the sanctity of life and marriage).

3. Christians should vote in faith.

Tensions are high. People will stay up late to see which states go “blue” or “red” and who gets 270 electoral votes. As Christians, we must watch in faith, without anxiety, knowing that whoever rules in Washington, there is a Greater who rules in heaven. The future of our country will be affected by this election, but not the future of the church or of God’s Kingdom. In the words of one of my favorite hymns, “There is a Higher Throne.” So vote. Then rest in the sovereignty and goodness of the only perfect Ruler. He ordains our leaders (Romans 13:1). He controls our leaders (Proverbs 21:1). And He will one day replace our leaders (Revelation 11:15). Hallelujah! “Come, Lord Jesus.”

© Copyright 2012 churchworksmedia.com. All rights reserved.

Sneak Peek: “Come, Lonely Heart” MP3

A few weeks ago I was able to travel to Dallas for a new ChurchWorksMedia project. Here’s the backstory. Paul Thompson arranged two of our hymns for Stonebriar Community Church’s orchestra, choir, and congregation a few years ago, unbeknownst to us. He sent the recordings and arrangements to me and allowed me to post them online. Those arrangements have been a blessing to many, both as MP3s and as PDFs. Paul has a wonderful philosophy of arranging for congregational singing, and he’s exceedingly gifted. The combination of CWM texts and tunes (most of which are written by Greg Habegger), Paul’s arrangements, and Stonebriar’s musicians was a “perfect storm.” I asked Paul if he’d like to do it again—like 10 more times. He said yes, and we collaborated on a total of 12 CWM hymns, which we’ll be releasing soon as a feature CD and as congregational arrangements for piano and organ or full orchestra.

The day after the recording (which was amazing), Stonebriar learned Come, Lonely Heart as a new hymn. It was an unforgettable experience to hear the orchestra, choir, pipe organ (the largest of its kind in the world), and over 3000 people rejoicing in the grace of God extended to the Samaritan women in John 4 and to Samaritan women like us ever since. The last verse just about overwhelmed me. It’s just glorious. The recording below is from that service, so it’s not the version we’ll be releasing on the CD. But it gives you a feel for the beautiful, congregational sound we were after. I trust it will be a blessing to you and whet your appetite for the rest of the CD. And most importantly, I trust it will exalt our great Savior. Grace!

Come, Lonely Heart MP3

Text / Notes / Hymn PDF

Recording the New ChurchWorksMedia CD

Tomorrow I leave for Dallas, where we’re recording a new CD of ChurchWorksMedia.com hymns with the orchestra and choir from Stonebriar Community Church. You may remember that Stonebriar has previously recorded two CWM hymns during live services (blog posts here and here). Now they’re helping us record our first CD, which will feature 12 of our hymns, all arranged for orchestra and congregation by my talented friend Paul Thompson.

The CD will include favorite CWM hymns like His Robes for MineI Run to Christ, For the Sake of His Name and My Jesus, Fair, as well as newer songs like Come, Lonely Heart and Every Knee Shall Bow. Besides the CD, the arrangements will all be available as sheet music for either piano or orchestra. While the songs will be useful for choirs, the music was arranged by Paul with congregational singing in mind. Details about ordering the CD and sheet music will follow.

Pray for the Lord’s blessing as we seek to exalt Christ and expand the ministry of CWM. It’s a great opportunity, and we have a stellar team. I’m looking forward to hanging out with my gifted friends and co-laborers: Greg Habegger (composer), Paul Thompson (arranger), Peter Hansen (videographer), and Jared Miller (photographer and graphic designer). Should be a great weekend with a great group of guys. May Christ be magnified, both this weekend and through the final result. Grace!

New Recording of “I Run to Christ”

A Living SacrificeThe WILDS’ new CD, A Living Sacrifice, includes the first recording of ChurchWorksMedia.com‘s hymn I Run to Christ. Matt Taylor sings it beautifully, and the orchestration of Molly Ijameschoral arrangement is moving. You can download the song and the rest of the CD here. Grace.

I Run to Christ (lyrics by Chris Anderson; music by Greg Habegger)

I run to Christ when chased by fear
And find a refuge sure.
“Believe in me,” His voice I hear;
His words and wounds secure.

I run to Christ when torn by grief
And find abundant peace.
“I too had tears,” He gently speaks;
Thus joy and sorrow meet.

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I run to Christ when worn by life
And find my soul refreshed.
“Come unto Me,” He calls through strife;
Fatigue gives way to rest.

I run to Christ when vexed by hell
And find a mighty arm.
“The Devil flees,” the Scriptures tell;
He roars, but cannot harm.

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I run to Christ when stalked by sin
And find a sure escape.
“Deliver me,” I cry to Him;
Temptation yields to grace.

I run to Christ when plagued by shame
And find my one defense.
“I bore God’s wrath,” He pleads my case—
My Advocate and Friend.