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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!



Choral Demo (published by Fred Bock Music)

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



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.



Single PDF / Text / MP3


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 CWM Hymn: Come, Lonely Heart

One of my favorite passages for meditation is John 4. For the last decade, I’ve thought on it and preached on it often. Now, following some nudging from some close friends, I’ve written a hymn about it. Greg Habegger has written a beautiful tune for the text—one which I think will prove to be among his finest. We’ve named the tune “Samaritan Woman,” after the friend with whom we so deeply relate. We pray that Come, Lonely Heart will drive many to the text of John 4, and through it, to our matchless Savior.

The files are available below, as is the text. The explanatory notes are especially helpful for this particular song, as they give a succinct summary of this marvelous chapter and explain the thoughts behind the text. For a sermon series unpacking John 4 more fully, see this post. Finally, thanks to the many friends whose fingerprints are on the text. I appreciate your encouragement and sharpening more than you know. Grace!


Come, Lonely Heart (Text by Chris Anderson; Tune by Greg Habegger)

Full PageHalf PageTextNotes & DiscussionMP3


Come, Lonely Heart

Come, lonely heart, to the outsider’s Friend—
To Jesus, Who seeks out the lost.
Your cruel seclusion has come to an end;
Find welcome, find home, at the cross.
No soul is too small for His mercy;
No sin is too great for His grace!
Come, lonely heart, to the outsider’s Friend;
Find welcome, find home, at the Cross.

Drink, thirsty heart, of the water of life—
Of bountiful, soul-quenching grace.
The world’s broken cisterns cannot satisfy;
The Savior is what your heart craves.
No soul is too small for His mercy;
No sin is too great for His grace!
Drink, thirsty heart, of the water of life;
The Savior is what your heart craves.

Rest, guilty heart, in forgiveness of sin—
In pardon from shame-stirring vice.
Though Satan and sinners and conscience condemn,
Your soul may be spotless as Christ.
No soul is too small for His mercy;
No sin is too great for His grace!
Rest, guilty heart, in forgiveness of sin;
Your soul may be spotless as Christ.

Joy, grateful heart, in the hope you have found—
In God, Who is seeking your praise.
Then go to the outcast, that grace may resound,
For Jesus is mighty to save.
No soul is too small for His mercy;
No sin is too great for His grace!
Joy, grateful heart, in the hope you have found,
For Jesus is mighty to save.

Copyright 2012 ChurchWorksMedia.com. All rights reserved.

New CWM Hymn: “Call to Worship”

I’m very happy to introduce a new anthem I wrote with my friend Rick Nichols. I was surprised during my family’s recent vacation to receive an email from Rick that included an MP3 of the new song. I’d sent him a text in January, but I had no idea that he was working on it, much less that it was finished! It was a thrill to hear it for the first time while surrounded by my girls in our vacation-bound van.

I wrote Call to Worship while meditating on Psalm 57:8-11 (see also Psalm 108:1-5). The Psalms sometimes urge the worshiper to rise from physical, mental, or spiritual slumber to offer to God exuberant, whole-hearted praise. That’s what I was after—an exuberant sound. Rick nailed it, writing a rousing, regal piece for brass, percussion, choir, and congregation. I trust that it will be a God-exalting anthem that effectively inspires Christians to worship our great God.

 Call to Worship Demo

You can find the links and text below. When you listen to the demo, turn your speakers up so you get the full effect of Rick’s work! The octavo (as heard in the MP3) will be available from SoundForth soon. Grace!

(BTW, speaking of new hymns, my gifted friends Paul Keew and Brian Pinner just published a lovely new meditation on Philippians 2 entitled See the Christ. Check it out.)



Single PDF / Double PDF / Notes & Discussion / MP3


Call to Worship

Slumb’ring souls, awake and sing
Psalms to your exalted King.
Join the choir of saints above;
Joy in songs of Christian love.
Give to God a glorious song—
Hands extended, voices strong!

Wakened souls, your anthem raise;
Sing your sacrifice of praise.
Lift your mind, your heart, your voice,
Heed the happy call: “Rejoice!”
Give to God a glorious song—
Hands extended, voices strong!

Joyful souls, let song take flight:
Praise the Father, God of light;
Praise the Savior, Christ the Son;
Praise the Spirit—Three in one!
Give to God a glorious song—
Hands extended, voices strong!

New Hymn on Passion, Resurrection, and Missions: “Every Knee Shall Bow”

I meditate often on the triumph of Christ’s resurrection and ascension—how it was a complete turnabout of the humility of His crucifixion (Philippians 2:5-11). I think also of the implications of that triumph for Christian missions: that the church has the privilege both of experiencing for ourselves and of extending to others Christ’s victory over sin and death. In light of these great themes and with an eye on Philippians 2:9-11 (“Every knee…Every tongue…”) and Revelation 5:9-10 (“Every tribe…”), Molly Ijames and I have teamed to write a new hymn. I trust that Every Knee Shall Bow will inspire the church to worship her Savior and to take His gospel to the ends of the earth. Grace.

(Thanks to Molly for her relentless work to capture just the right mood and sounds for this piece; thanks to many friends who helped improve the song through their critiques.)

You can download PDF files, hear an MP3 sample, and read explanatory notes at the following links. The text itself is printed out below.



Full Page / Half PageText / Notes & Discussion / MP3

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