Archive for the 'worship' Category



HBC – 25 years of worshiping together

worship confessional header

Libby and I started attending Hockessin Baptist church (HBC) in 1998. We’ve had such a great time worshiping there. The place is very alive to God. People are real, and it’s a place that real spiritual healing happens on a weekly basis.

I LOVE leading special services. I had the opportunity to help lead our 25 year anniversary service a few weeks ago. It was such a blast to be in the presence of God, celebrating what he’s done over the last 25 years – and looking ahead to what he will do through His little piece of the body @ HBC.

I believe He will do great things. Even this coming year I’m excited of what He will do. I’ve been talking to Jon and Rick about a worship idea I have. I have this vision of HBC getting together on a monthly basis to worship in an informal setting. Right now it’s called “Embers”….the idea is to have a place where we can come together and be free to worship God, practicing different elements of worship. I’m really excited about it. I’ll be talking more about my ideas later.

Here is the set list from the 25 year anniversary…

Set #1

  1. Here I Am to Worship (D)
  2. You Are My God (D) – I love this song, it proclaims that “early in the morning we will rise to meet him.”
  3. Ancient of Days (E) – I think I said something like “this is the song that helped us find our funkier side”.
  4. Great is Thy Faithfulness (C)

Set #2

Set #2 was neat because we started with How Great Thou Art, then ended with the chorus of How Great – “Then Sings My Soul…” by taging it to How Great Is Our God. The idea was to have book ends to the set. I love when things come full circle.

  1. How Great Thou Art (G)
  2. Blessed Be Your Name (A) – Joanna has a great post on this song here…read it!
  3. Jesus, All For Jesus (D) – Brett has a great post about this song here…read it too!
  4. How Great Is Our God (G) – resolved to “Then Sings My Soul” for the book end.

I love worshiping God with all my friends @ HBC. We have such a great group of people.

If you go to HBC, chime in on something you love about our body of believers….

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sharing a meal with sonny, perk and ??? – a simple act of worship

Ben and I set out for our bi-weekly homeless lunch. It was a misty cold day with an overcast foggy skyline. We walked around Market and Rodney Square looking for Charlie or Eric or Donald, but we didn’t find any of them. But we did find 3 other guys.

Ben was up first this week, he asked me if he should go up to 3 guys standing together. I’m the skeptic cheap guy so I said to Ben, “Dude, you want to take 3 guys to lunch???” He said, “Yeah, good point”…then he proceeded to go up to them and ask if they were up for joining us for lunch. That’s so like Ben…

Well they were up for lunch. We met the coolest guys – Perk, Sonny and another guy who would not tell us his name for security reasons. He said he doesn’t give out his name to anyone. We were like, “Hey that’s cool – we don’t need your name, just come anyway.”

They asked us why we would take them to lunch. Ben gave this awesome response of why we’re doing this, I’m sure he’ll mention it on his blog – check it out here.

I can’t even begin to describe our lunch, but fun is a good word to start with. We threw together our $$ and had just enough to pay for all five lunches. I think we had $3 dollars left. The small restaurant we go to is called Benjamin’s on 10th, at 204 West 10th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801. The place is great, one person behind the cash register, and one cook. They only take cash. I got a BLT, Ben got ham & cheese, ??? got a BLT, and Perk and Sunny got large cheese steaks with everything.

Sonny is a blues man. He is definitely a believer in Jesus. We started talking about worship and he said so many wise things. He said he follows a hard Jesus (as opposed to an easy Jesus) and that Jesus has always given him a door to take out of bad situations (like Vietnam). He travels from city to city and apparently plays a lot of blues. He said he worships through the blues, because God sees his heart.

But one thing he said in particular really hit me. He said that no matter what we sing, we need to “Lift Him”. Maybe it was his deep raspy bluesy voice, but for whatever reason there was a lot of weight and honesty behind his words. He kept saying “Lift Him” over and over again when he described how to worship. I told him that when I lead worship sometimes it seems that people are not really worshiping like they could. He said that whatever song we sing, no matter how we sing it we need to “Lift Him”. And he said maybe we’re not “Lifting Him“. I need to give his words time to sink in. Especially “Lift Him”.

Another highlight was when Sonny started chatting with the waitress and all of a sudden he had his harmonica out and he was singing her a bluesy love song. It was so awesome, I wish you all could’ve been there.

I learned so much today. Here are a couple of pics from Ben’s phone to prove we’re not making these lunches up…

me sonny and perk…

terry sunny and perk

sonny…

sunny

sharing a meal with “charlie” – a simple act of worship

Ben and I set out for our bi-weekly homeless lunch again today, walking Market Street and Rodney Square in Wilmington. You can read Ben’s account here.

I was up first, I went up to a guy and asked if he wanted to join us for lunch. He said he had some important business to take care of. As we were walking away, Ben had the wisdom to go back and make sure he knew who we were in case we ran into him again. Once we talked to him a little more, he basically said – “Hey I changed my mind, I will come to lunch with you today.”

We shared a meal with Aubrey Willis, a.k.a. “Charlie”. Charlie moved to Delaware when he was 5 or 6 (in the 1950’s) and has been in Delaware ever since, although I get the idea he doesn’t like it that much. He couldn’t understand why Ben moved here from Texas, Charlie is a Dallas Cowboy’s fan and he especially likes the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

What struck me about Charlie is how average and ordinary he seemed. He seemed to have a clear mind, and he had an even temperament. He didn’t seem eccentric. He is a regular guy.

Charlie was different than Eric. Eric had grandiose (though somewhat delusional) thoughts about how he was going to start a real estate business and become wealthy again. When we asked if Charlie had any hopes or plans, he said he didn’t have any.

When we asked Eric what he needed most, he said cash. When we asked Charlie what he needed most, he said a warm jacket and some work shoes. Jackets and shoes are something Ben and I can help with. Our plan is to take Charlie a new jacket and a new pair of shoes next Monday.

Here are some random thoughts from today:

  • even homeless men have normalcy and routine in their lives
  • some of them really are hopeless, and others just have unrealized dreams just like me
  • everyone has their own unique story
  • everyone needs some compassion in their lives
  • no one person is above any other, though we like to put ourselves above others – that’s not really the way it is

what i learned from my mom-in-law

Libby’s mom said something to us a while ago that has really stuck with me. It’s just so wise I had to post it here for posterity.

Libby and I have been exploring how to follow God more fully in our lives. We’ve talked about everything from moving to Paris and helping start a church, or becoming a campus/university pastor or going on staff at a church as a worship/arts pastor or associate pastor. Libby’s parents were missionaries in Germany for almost 20 years. They started 2 evangelical churches south of Frankfurt, Germany that are still thriving and alive today.

This was her mom’s advise…

Don’t expect to go on the mission field (or into ministry) and start doing something you’re not already doing here, because it won’t happen.

That’s just pure wisdom. This comment alone helped me realize that worship leading will be part of the next steps in our journey of following God – no matter what it is.

What’s something you learned from your in-laws?

sharing a meal with eric – part 2

Ben and I had lunch with Eric for the second time. Eric is homeless. You can read about our first lunch here. Or you can read a better account from Ben here.

We found Eric on the same bench we found him last time. And he was drinking a pint of whole milk, just like he was last time. It’s as if not much had changed since we met him over a month ago.

Today was like meeting an old friend for lunch. We talked about old times, like the time Eric told us that Bob Dylan’s wife is from Wilmington Delaware. Ben mentioned how that’s his go to now, for random facts about Delaware. We heard Eric has been in the hospital since we last met, because of his diabetes. He’s doing better now, but we had to walk SLOW as we walked to the restaurant.

We were able to go a little deeper with Eric, trying to get a feel for how we can help this guy.

I’ve realized it’s hard to take homeless people to lunch, on many levels. First, it’s hard to find someone willing to take a risk and share a meal with you. But beyond that, it’s hard to know how to help. I felt helpless just being with Eric. I also felt the eyes of those around us, people looking at us probably wondering why we were together. Maybe I’ve had a small taste of what it’s like to be in his shoes. Hard. And a lot of hardness surrounds him.

But there is hope for Eric, even though I don’t see much right now. Maybe we’ll meet him again.

These are the lyrics that come to mind. Lyrics I’ve sung before. I know they’re true – but this would be really really hard for Eric to sing.

There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary,
and love for the broken hearts.
There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are.

From “Cry out to Jesus”, written by Brad Avery, David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, & Tai Anderson

worship confessional 10-14-2007

worship confessional header

Worship was great this past Sunday. We got off to a late start on our practice, but that didn’t hold us back.

The set reminded us that Christ is our daily bread and He is the very word spoken in our lives.

The sermon – A Life Worthy: Studies in Colossians

We pray…that you may live a life worthy of the Lord…. Col. 1:10

Set list:

Random notes:

  • We layered the first two songs, they both had a very traditional hymn feel driven by the piano. Holly did a great job on piano driving those songs. We used a more percussive piano beat on Be Thou My Vision, with less melody and accented each downbeat. We really built the song In Christ Alone at the end of verse 3, then left it just to the piano for verse 4.
  • We finally nailed Sing Hallelujah, thanks to John realizing we were jumping on the Bm on the chorus. That song is amazing, if the timing is right. And we pretty much nailed it during both services. I love the lyric: “He has rescued us with a strong right hand” – there is so much energy to the lyrics of that song. We butchered the song during our Monday practice, but even during the practice before service we really had the timing – it was beautiful.
  • I used my cut capo on You Are Holy
  • The block of the last 3 songs was all done in the key of A. I played in capo 2 G chording. This part of the worship was the highlight. During Breathe we had a scripture reflection time that was powerful. We gave time in between the scriptures for people to meditate. The scripture we used is below.
  • The end chord progression on “Breathe” leads nicely right into “Mighty to Save”. I went straight from the G – C – D to the C on “Everyone Needs Compassion”, I did it much better the second service.
  • Lowlight- I started singing the wrong words to Breathe during the first service.
  • We did the entire first verse and chorus of “Mighty” with just voices and acoustic guitar. Added full band on intro line of verse 2. That was nice, and adding e.guitar, bass and percussion all at the same point had a nice ramping feel to the song.
  • In my opinion, we finally hit the right tempo on Everlasting God. In the past, we started too fast and then the pre-chorus and chorus loses some of its power. That song is powerful at the right tempo. I was seriously getting into that song this week, could anyone tell?
  • I’m trying to be less stiff when I lead, but I don’t know how much I improved this week. Letting loose is a good thing in moderation.
  • The vocal harmonies we had were SWEET thanks to Ali, John and Libby. I love the way our voices blend. Next time we’re all signing together I want to perform “You Are so Good to Me” as part of the worship block.
  • The sound mix was the best we’ve had in awhile thanks to James and John tweaking the set up earlier in the week.
  • Rick had a great sermon from Colossians 1, that challenged us to evaluate our lives and live a life worthy of our calling.

Some of the screen shots:

 

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My wife Libby took the background pictures for Prince of Peace and Mighty to Save. The picture for Prince of Peace was taken of our dining room window with the sun setting through our sheer curtains. The picture for Mighty to Save was taken along the coast of California during our 10 year anniversary trip. Check out her other photos at libbyportraits.com. Let me know if you want to use either of these backgrounds and I’ll email them to you.

Scripture reflection during Breathe:

Develop the idea that

  1. Jesus is our daily bread, and
  2. He’s the very Word that is spoken in our lives.

“This is My Daily Bread, Your very word – spoken – to me”

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Job 23:11-12

My feet have closely followed his steps;
I have kept to his way without turning aside.

I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

John 6:32-35

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

1 John 2:4-6

The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Colossians 1:10-11

May you live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God and being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might.

Final thought

I was inspired to worship. There were a lot of people that gave of their time and energy as a sacrifice and offering to God.

sharing a meal with eric – a simple act of worship

Ben and I had the chance to take Eric to lunch today. Eric is down and out, he has no money and is homeless.

We had a good time talking with Eric and sharing a meal with him. We got rejected 5 times before we found someone that was willing to join us. One guy asked us for a cigarette, maybe next time I’ll buy a pack before hand. A couple of other guys were playing chess and just sort of laughed at us when we asked. One of the guys that laughed had a gold tooth which I thought was cool.

We asked Eric if he wanted to join us for lunch. He said, “yeah, but I don’t have any money” We said, “that’s fine, it’s on us. Where do you wanna go?” He said, “Somewhere I can get a cheeseburger”. So that’s what we did.

I was reminded today that I am rich in so many ways. Eric is divorced, doesn’t keep up with his biological or married families, has 4 daughters that he doesn’t keep up with and he’s on the run. He has a college degree, went to Brandywine High school has served in the military and at one time was pretty successful. But now he sleeps at the Dunkin’ Donuts ‘because it’s open 24 7’.

I would say that sitting down with Eric, sharing a meal with him, and generally trying to engage in his struggle has simply been an act of worship. Not much more.

To be a worshiper of God is to Love the Lord your God with all your Heart (Deut. 6:5) AND to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). Jesus simplified all the law down to these two commandments.

Loving God is connected to the way that we love people. And if we don’t love and connect to others, then we probably don’t really worship.

We so quickly stretch out our hands to God in worship, but so hesitantly stretch out our hands to others to offer help. But we still call ourselves worshipers. Hmm…maybe our logic is off.

Ben and I commented that just like anytime when you reach out, you end up learning more and getting more out of it in the end. That was true when we shared a meal with Eric. I learned I need to bring some Marlboro’s next time.


author – Terry Foester

I'm a family man at heart. I admit my world revolves around my wife Libby and our 3 hooligans...Eli, Eden and Silas. They are easy to love. I'm trying to learn to love the rest of you. I also like to ask questions.

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