Monday, February 11, 2013

Highland at Grace

Last night marked the kick-off to our new Highland Sunday service at our Grace Fellowship campus. We've been working and planning for weeks and were so pleased with the opening night. Earlier this semester, the leadership at Highland gave the green light to move to one service at our main campus and add a service at the Grace campus. The Grace campus would include instrumental worship, the same sermon that Jonathan preached on Sunday morning and communion.

It was a special and holy moment for me. The Grace Fellowship campus was formerly the Central Church of Christ where my great grandmother and great aunt went to church many years ago. As I sat listening to Jonathan speak last night, it occurred to me that I was sitting on the same row I sat in for my great grandmother's funeral when I was just a little boy. I wonder what she would have thought last night. Would she have marveled at the amount of people there? Would she have stroked out to see the instruments on stage? Would she have loved the singing, so loud it could have lifted the rafters?

Last night was just incredible. The energy and excitement in the room were palpable. It almost felt like a herd of wild horses waiting behind a gate and then being released. Once the music kicked in and the first song began, the singing was almost deafening. There were beautiful expressions of worship happening all over that room through the evening as people sang and prayed and went to communion stations to partake with their friends and families...and others they'd never met.

I'm so grateful to an amazing team of people who helped us pull off this beginning. Alex Howard is a beast! What a heart! He leads with such courage and boldness before the Lord. Thank you, Alex! Thank you to Amy Sheasby (who also played keys), Trey Wrape and Christine Pinson for the incredible vocals. Thank you to the band--Amy, Nathan Sheasby, Matt Roberson, and Claire Warlick. You all lead us with grace, skill and heart!

Thank you to Matt Pinson and Jim Etheridge who put in countless hours of time. Thanks to Dickie Porche, Virgil (our homeless friend who helps regularly at Grace), and Ben Strizu for getting us to this day.

Here are some pics and video of set up, rehearsal and then of our first service.

Communion Stations were set up all over the room

Jack Pinson and Virgil played cards to pass the time while the band rehearsed

Matt Pinson and Mike Wiggins did an awesome job on the chalk sign in the lobby!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Into the Glorious

I am officially obsessed with Christy Nockels's newest record called "Into The Glorious". Christy was one of our worship leaders at Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville. She now lives in Atlanta and serves on staff at Passion City Church with Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Matt Redman, and others. Ridiculous. :)

Run, don't walk, to iTunes or your local bookstore and buy this record. Christy is completely anointed. And I do NOT throw that term around lightly. Something happens in my heart when she sings and leads worship. Some of my most significant worship experiences have been under her leadership.

If you wanted a couple of suggestions for downloads today, go to iTunes and download "Healing Is In Your Hands". Be sure to get the version that is on "Into the Glorious". Oh my goodness. Thank me later.

If you want one "Wonderful" off that same album. Another one of my favorites. I've led both of these in worship times with the piano lately and they just naturally lead into a powerful time of ministry. I'm jonesing for a good a cappella arrangement of both of them! :) Maybe ZOE needs to do one?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Scarred Faith by Josh Ross

Many of you will remember a few years ago when my friends Joshua Louis Ross, Jonathan Ross, Beverly Ross lost their sister/daughter Jenny. What a gut wrenching experience that was. But just like the Ross family...they have taken their hurts and disappointments and used them to go deeper into Jesus and to help us to as well. My brother, Josh, has a book coming out this May that tells part of that story. There aren't many people I love more in the world. I encourage you to pre-order this. It will bless you deeply.

Go HERE for more information