"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Awakening by Stovall Weems

Awakening by Stovall Weems is a book that is going to challenge you. It has definitely challenged me. Stovall begins the book with this statement, "How close do you feel to God? Most of us sense that there's more to a relationship with God than what we currently are experiencing. But how do we develop a more intimate bond with Him? This deepening friendship begins what what I call an awakening. After an awakening, life is never the same." According to, an awakening is an act and it's a revival of interest or attention to something. From the book, what's great about this is that it's not a one time event and then things go back to the way they were. This awakening spurs on a lasting, deepening relationship with God. If you're looking for an exact "this is what an awakening is" definition, you won't find it. Now, the ultimate awakening is coming to faith in Jesus Christ for the first time, but for a lot of us we may need a reawakening. Throughout the book, Stovall shares his story and where the Lord has lead him. I believe what Stovall wants us to experience is the power of God in our own lives. He has made each one of us unlike any other, so an awakening for me will most likely look different than your awakening. He does focus on a couple elements that I believe are important for seeking an awakening and that these are important for everyone. These aren't just for an awakening experience, but elements for a lasting relationship with God. These are an authentic passion for Him, rediscovering the grace of God, prayer, and fasting. I'm better at some of these more than others, but from reading this book, I'm challenged to go deeper in my relationship with God. This book may have been part of my reawakening. As I was reading and evening when I first heard about the title of the book, my mind went to Chris Tomlin's song Awakening from the Passion: Awakening album, so I figured I would share some of the lyrics with you:
In our hearts, Lord, in this nation
Holy Spirit, we desire

For You and You alone
Awake my soul, awake my soul and sing
For the world You love
Your will be done, let Your will be done in me

Like the rising sun that shines
From the darkness comes a light
I hear Your voice and this is my
As a pastor of a church, this book came out of an annual event at their church, Awakening: 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, that they've used to start the year. It has grown to include other church through their website, and now through this book to many others. In the back of the book, he has included a 21-day plan for the reading to participate in a season of prayer and fasting. I believe this will be a great resource for personal devotion, but also for use in small groups.

Special thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah and Blogging for Books for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Death by Love by Mark Driscoll

Death by Love by Mark Driscoll is actually the first book of his that I have read. This book is a very real representation of the sin filled world that we live in, but also the power of the Gospel. Throughout this book, Mark shares the stories of those he has met as well as some from his church and how the message of the cross can deal with their sin or the sin that was done to them. Mark does not brush off their sin lightly. It is something that is very serious and he makes that clear. I believe that is one great thing about this book. There may be some that pick this book up that all of sudden have their own sin really brought to the surface so they can finally truly deal with it through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. In the beginning of this book, Mark says this about what you will find in the chapters; "Each chapter includes a portrait of God, because to remain true all theology must begin and remain God-centered. Each chapter then proceeds to examine a biblical aspect of sin and a correlating effect of Jesus' death as the solution to the sin problem as dictated by God." Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, who helps with supporting material at the end of each chapter, have written a book that encapsulates the Gospel. It really is the Good News of a God who loves us so much that He sent his one and only Son to shed his blood for our sins. It's also great to see that God laid this message onto the heart of a pastor. It really shows the heart of a man that loves God as well as the people that God has called him to serve.

Special thanks to Crossway and Re:Lit for providing this complimentary book to read and review. You can purchase the book here on

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Setlist - 03.27.11

Week #140 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, March 27th.

- All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises by Travis Cottrell
- Stronger by Hillsong
- How Great Thou Art by Paul Baloche
- The Lord Reigns by Gateway Worship

A great morning of worship today. I even got out the bass for one of the songs. Use to lead from it a lot, but been playing mostly guitar now for a while. I also love getting to bring in new songs to our time of worship! Wish I could do it more often as I've got a list probably a mile long. This week we introduced Hillsong's Stronger written by Reuben Morgan and Ben Fielding. It's such a great song and I can't wait to really get it in the rotation of songs that we use. The video below is from the Hillsong Chapel Yahweh album. I was really excited when that came out because I love what Hillsong does, but we don't have the instrumentation like they do. So seeing this project come out that is of an acoustic nature really showed me that a lot of their songs will work for our church that has a more acoustic sound.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Monday, March 21, 2011

Delirious by Martin Smith & Meet Mrs. Smith by Anna Smith

Delirious: My Journey with the Band, a Growing Family, and an Army of Historymakers by Martin Smith and Meet Mrs. Smith: My Adventures with Six Kids, One Rockstar Husband, and a Heart to Fight Poverty by Anna Smith are two separate books written by husband and wife. I have chosen to put them into one review as I believe they should really come together as a set or they at least need to be read together. These books share the stories of two people that came to love God, then come to love eachother, and then love those that God loves. Even though there are a lot of similar stories between both of these books, they do come from two different people and two different points of view; one example being that when Delirious started taking off, Martin really struggled with the balance between the ministry that he felt God had called him to with the family he had been given and from Anna you get how she felt with essentially being a single parent during those times her husband was away. As a musician I was really interested in reading Delirious and getting the chance to hear from someone who was heavily involved in music and also one that was instrumental in the modern Christian worship movement. At first I was only going to read Delirious, but I'm so glad that I chose to read Meet Mrs. Smith as well. If there's one theme that runs through both of these books, it's that both Martin and Anna heavily relied on God for guiding them through this life they were living. They both truly felt that God was a part of everything they were doing and even though there were struggles and hard times as well as great times, they knew that they were exactly were God wanted them. The lives they were living and activities they were involved with were truly a ministry of the Lord. Here are two people that supported each other in every way. What I love the most about reading these books is how together as a family they felt the call to help orphans and how CompassionArt was formed. A truly phenomenal project that was started because a man's heart was broken for one little child that was going to grow up following in her mother's footsteps as a prostitute because that's all she knew. Martin and Anna had a vision of a way to help kids and because of them and a lot of other artists and record labels that chose to give up any profit that this project would produce, they were able to provide money to help kids have a better life. Martin and Anna Smith are two people that truly have a heart for God and want to make a difference in this world through His power and that's exactly what they are doing and what these two books are capturing. I would highly recommend that you read both.

Special thanks to The B & B Media Group, Inc. and David C. Cook for providing these complimentary books to read and review. You can purchase Delirious here on and Meet Mrs. Smith here on

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Setlist - 03.20.11

Week #139 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, March 20th.

- Sing to the King by Billy Foote
- Holy, Holy, Holy
- Glorious Day by Jeff Johnson
- Blessed Assurance
- Enough by Chris Tomlin

Had a good time of worship with the family of Bethel today. One of our elders brought the message to us today from Luke 18.9-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Setlist - 03.13.11

Week #138 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, March 13th.

- Hosanna by Paul Baloche
- New Doxology by Gateway Worship
- It Is Well by Todd Fields
- Everlasting God by Brenton Brown
- Glory to God Forever by Steve Fee

It was so good to be back at Bethel this morning after two weeks away. Was good to see a lot of our friends. It was also nice to get back up and lead in worship. It was definitely nice to have the break though. But I really do enjoy getting to lead our people in worship through music. We also finished our Generosity Remix series and had a time where people shared how God has been working in their lives in the area of generosity. It was a great morning with the family of Bethel.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Setlist - 03.06.11

Week #137 of Sunday Setlists. Here is our setlist for Sunday, March 6th.

- O Worship the King by Chris Tomlin
- All Creatures of Our God and King by David Crowder
- Jesus Paid It All by Kristian Stanfill
- Holy is the Lord by Chris Tomlin

I ended up being away this Sunday as well. My grandma passed away this past Tuesday from pancreatic cancer. My wife and I headed to Michigan to be with my family for the funeral services. I am so thankful for the body at Bethel for all their prayers during this time. I'm also very thankful for a team that is willing to pick things up and continue on without me. They already had to do it last weekend while I was away at the Radicalis Conference and I had to ask them to do it last minute this week. I work with a great team!

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at