Archive for the ‘ Sunday Worship Service ’ Category

Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS – "In My Stead"

Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" as he was on the cross.  All his followers had turned their backs on him, abandoned him to die.  But at that point, God himself would turn his back on Jesus, not because he was ashamed or embarrassed, or because he was afraid of what others might think of him, but because of his love for you and me. 

2008.07.27 Songs
Hosanna – Paul Baloche
Because Of Your Love – Paul Baloche
You Are My King – Passion
Lead Me To The Cross – Hillsong United

Why did God forsake Jesus on the cross?  The most direct answer is this: so that he wouldn’t have to forsake me.  So that he wouldn’t have to turn his back on me.  I look within and see all the terrible things that reside in my heart, all the things that would rightly make anyone cringe, and I know I would not be able to stand in the presence of the almighty, most high, holy God.  If He is indeed the most high, holy God, then he must turn his back on me.  But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, imposed the punishment that I deserve on his perfect son, Jesus Christ.  Jesus took on the abandonment from God so that I wouldn’t have to.  Jesus suffered the punishment for sin so that I wouldn’t have to.  Jesus died on the cross and was separated from God so that I wouldn’t have to. 

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS- "Power to Save"

As I was reflecting over the crucifixion of Christ and the ridicule he faced leading up to his death, the age-old question “Why did Jesus have to go to the cross?” found its way back into my mind.

2008.07.20 Songs
Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin
Salvation Is Here – Hillsong
Nothing But The Blood – Matt Redman

Why did Jesus have to die? Well, it was to rescue me. He did so in order to usher in the promise of salvation. He did so in order to validate all the promises in the Bible that God is with me, that God loves me, and that God will never leave me.

What did his death on the cross ultimately accomplish? It ushered in a new era – an era of salvation, hope, and faith. Because Jesus went to the cross, I can believe that God’s Word never fails and stands forever. Everything else in this world will pass, but the word of God and its promises are here to stay.

Throughout the Bible we read about God’s unending love for us and his enduring presence in our lives. God uses many circumstances in our lives to communicate his love for us – various life events, different people, perhaps even through a hardship or struggle. However, the ultimate confirmation of God’s love for me – and for the world – is the cross of Christ. It’s the cross that assures me that my sins have been completely paid for, and because of this I can approach the throne of grace with confidence.

So what is powerful enough to wipe away the guilt of my sins? What is powerful enough to take the broken pieces of my life and stitch them back together? What is the only thing that has the power to redeem me and gives me a fighting chance to respond to God’s love in obedience? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Isaiah 40:1-8

Kevin Jeung
Acts2Fellowship – Worship Leader

Gracepoint Fellowship Church SWS- "Proven Truth"

Apostle Paul receives these words from God. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". We come to a deeper appreciation of grace when we recognize our need for it, don’t we? Ever come to a point in your life when you said something, did something, or even thought something proving to yourself and probably to others that you’re not the person that you thought you were? I sure have. Any assertions of patience about myself is simply blown away by flares of temper, petty annoyances and irritation, affecting the people that are closest to me.

2008.06.29 Songs
New Doxology – Gateway Worship
Your Grace Is Enough – Chris Tomlin
From the Inside Out – Hillsong United
The Stand – Hillsong United

Perhaps we think that we’re particularly loving until, when the rubber meets the road, that love is withheld and selfishness seems to abound. Ever come to a point where you’ve proven to yourself that you’re not who you think you are?

Whatever way I’ve used to deal with it — making excuses or blaming the circumstances — when I look inside myself honestly before God, I know that I can’t fix myself. This is the way that I am. I might’ve thought I was loving, sacrificial, or generous. But my life and reality reflect the contrary. I lift that up to God and say, "Father, I don’t want to make excuses anymore. I’ll lay all of that down." And that’s when I experience grace.

God knows the truth about me, about us all. Coming to understand his grace in the specificity of acknowledging and confessing my sins brings me to a deep gratitude, and trust. Trust in his promise that even though I may fail in the same ways over and over again, his grace remains to pick me up each time. Everlasting kindness, unending love, amazing grace.

James Kim
Gracepoint Fellowship Church – Worship Director

Upon Which I Stand

Certain skills and abilities come in handy in different situations.  Apologetics training and philosophy classes in college help me to answer tough questions with regard to the Christian faith.  Years of musical training and experience in leading worship come in handy when asked to lead our congragation in worship under short notice.  Perhaps even having worked at Circuit City in high school might contribute to boldness in outreaching to strangers (who knows?…).  But none of these things will prove any benefit or utility for me when my Lord returns and I come face to face with the Almighty:  He as my righteous Judge, and I as the criminal. None of those things does anything to my status as a sinner, one who is guilty as charged.  

2008.06.01 Songs
Unchanging – Chris Tomlin
Where the Love Lasts Forever – Hillsong United
The Stand – Hillsong United

What, then, will I stand upon when that day comes? Certainly nothing from within me. No, I must rely on the gospel (good news, or good story) of Jesus Christ, who died in my stead, whose blood covers me so that I will be considered as righteous before God.

Psalm 62:5-7
Hebrews 9:27-28
Romans 8:35-39

Covered by Your love divine
Child of the risen Lord
To hear You say, “This one’s mine”
My heart is spoken for…
        — “Spoken For”, MercyMe

On that final day, all I can do is simply turn to Jesus, looking to him to speak on my behalf.  It will be completely in his hands.  His claim over me, that I belong to him is what will carry me over into heaven, to be with him.  On my own, I will fall.  Upon him, my Mighty Rock, I will stand.

Unseen Power

Sound technicians have a stressful job.  Overlooked in terms of gratitude owed, and often first to be blamed when something goes wrong.  Figurative fingers through literal gazes pointed at them as the target of accusation, 1200 eyeballs fixed on them as they sweat to resolve the issues.

From the worship team’s perspective, the sound techs are the ones that have the ultimate power.  We can practice for hours, perfect our transitions and have everything planned to the T.  But the sound techs have at their fingertips the power to make the difference.  In other words, without sound coming out of the system,  we’d just appear to be a bunch of dancing fools (which is entirely possible since we use personal in-ear monitor systems).

What difference can a sound tech make?  Here’s an example.  This was at the beginning of our Sunday Worship Service at Gracepoint a couple of weeks ago.  Everybody makes mistakes. But you don’t always get to hear them talk about it. My favorite part is hearing laughter at the end of the clip. At least they’re enjoying themselves.

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In case you missed it, here’s a short transcript of what they’re saying:

[ song intro begins ]

Tim: Where’s james?… Where’s the electric?
Esther: Ok…
Danielle: What’s going on?
Esther: The electric wasn’t up.

[ James’ guitar chord blares out ]

Danielle: Oh.
Esther: That’s bad, heh…
Danielle: Oh my, haha. The wrong guitar was up.

[ song intro begins ]

Danielle: [giggle]
Esther:  The wrong guitar…
Tim: Was it muted [on the board], or was it him?
Danielle: No, it was down.
Esther: It was the wrong guitar was up.
Tim: Hm. That’s not good.

Danielle: HAHAHAHA!

So, yes, sound techs make a huge difference.  Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re not there.  Sometimes the less seen, the more powerful.  

“Can you see the wind? I’ve never seen the wind but I’ve seen the effects of the wind. There’s a mystery to it.” — Billy Graham

Impressions

Mark 12:41-13:2

What impresses me?

There are things we look at and evaluate, and we conclude they’re great and impressive.  It could be some giant feat of man, or some trait or ability someone has.  We all want to be impressive.  I do!  I want to be recognized and applauded, and hear, “What would we do without you?”  It makes me feel good.  I look inside, and I find myself impressed with my own talents and abilities.

2008.05.18 Songs
Hosanna – Paul Baloche
Fire Fall Down – Hillsong United
I Surrender All

While the talents and abilities I have are good, I have to ask myself: is that what I’m really all about?  I have to pause and evaluate the criteria I use to evaluate myself and others.  The things I like about myself or consider impressive might actually have very little to do with “what I’m really about.”  When I face the reality about myself, those abilities and likes aren’t nearly as “impressive” as my sinfulness and my capacity to sin.

I used to have issues with anger.  I would burn inside when things set me off.  I knew the insults spoken in the privacy of my thoughts when my oversized ego was nicked.  And even when those didn’t manifest themselves on the outside, I also acknowledge there have been many safeguards that prevented my anger from spilling out and hurting people.  There were even times in my life when these safeguards didn’t prevent my anger from erupting.  Through it all, I’m learning to control my anger, and I’ve received a lot of God-provided grace and healing.  So, when placed side by side with this part of my past, my ability to teach or speak or lead worship doesn’t seem like much at all.

The widow gave out of her poverty an amount unimpressive in the eyes of man.  But in the eyes of God, her humility and heart of surrendering what little she had far outweighed the piles of money or enormous temple stones the rest of the world saw.  If who I am on the inside is what makes a stronger “impression” to God, then that’s what I need to prioritize and deal with.

 

Maranatha

The last words of the Bible are “Come, Lord” (maran ‘atha), sentiments of longing for the second coming of Jesus Christ. It’s a sentiment that I’ve experienced recently in light of the current status of this world. Food shortages, earthquakes and cyclones, pain, suffering, death, grief and mourning. There was even a shooting last week over at the UC Berkeley campus.  When you look around at the world in all its dark reality, you get the strong sense that this world just isn’t the way it was supposed to be.  The Christian worldview explains that God created a perfect universe for us to have authority over.  When man denied God’s authority over us, we denied the authority God bestowed upon us over creation as well. 

2008.05.18 Songs
God of Our Yesterdays – Matt Redman
You Never Let Go – Matt Redman
What a Day – Greg Ferguson

I experience the sentiment also when I look inside myself and see the darkness within me, the sin that I own, yet owns me.  The brokenness of this world isn’t just the world being so in and of itself, but my brokenness causing it to be so, as well.  Natural disasters destroy lives and ruin homes. My sin destroys relationships with others and with God, and ruin and defile my own soul, making an indelible mark on the moral fabric of this universe. 

These are the things that bring me to long for heaven, long for Jesus’ return, when all that is broken and ruined in this world will righted, and “every tear will be wiped away. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” That’s what Christians have to look forward to. A greater reality than our current state here on earth. What a day that will be.

 

Render Unto God

Senior Sunday. We celebrate the graduation of our Seniors, many of whom have been with us since their freshmen year at Cal. A chapter in their life ends as another begins, moving on to graduate school or entering the workforce. The closing of a chapter in our lives means an opening of a new one. It’s important to have the right perspective when making that move.

2008.05.11 Songs
The Lord Reigns – Gateway Worship
Offering – Paul Baloche

Charles Stanley said, “Life at its very best is to know the will of God and to live in the center of it”. The ways that I’ve personally experienced blessing as a result of sacrificial obedience to God’s will and purpose testify to the truth of Stanley’s words.

We’re all going to give our lives for something. But will that “something” be worth my life? If God truly is the Creator of all, then the Bible’s claim that my life is best suited and thrives under his care and control. I wanted to bring us all to remember in what ways that has proven true in our lives, to apply it to the unknown future as a commitment to be made available for His kingdom’s cause.

July Practice Schedule

To accommodate for the worship team training on Thursdays in July, we’re going to change the practice time to be on Wednesday (at your current respective times).  This is for both SF and Berkeley Bands.  This is only for 4 weeks (July 10, 17, 24 and 31).

Please let me know if this will be a problem.

Refusing Authority

All we have is given us by the one true Authority. God is the “author” of the universe, and so therefore rightfully claims authorship — or authority — over all, which of course includes you and me.  But does even a day go by in which my actions, decisions and perspective don’t evidence the contrary?

2008.05.04 Songs
No Other Name – Todd Fields
All Because Of Jesus – Fee
The Stand – Hillsong United

My son, almost a year and a half now, likes anything that has a screen that lights up (eg. my cell phone). Many times, he’ll be holding something that belongs to me, and I’ll ask him to give it to me. He’ll hold it, pulling his stubby arms away from me, look at me and say, “No!”  The look on his cheek-dominant face tells me he genuinely believes that what he’s holding is rightfully his, and that it would be morally wrong for me to take it from him. 

Jesse KimCute for an 18 month old. Not so much for a 31 year old, who needs life to go a particular way that’s most convenient for him, without speed bumps, setbacks or road blocks. Many people (myself included) want to feel like they have life under their control. But the truth is that feeling is at best an illusion.  More often, things don’t pan out the way that we expect.  When that happens, those of us who need that sense of control don’t respond too well — frustration, stress, unhappiness and then lovelessness often surmount. It’s holding my life and pulling it away with my own stubby arms, claiming it for myself.

What I have to do in those circumstances is acknowledge my own lack of control, and God’s rightful claim of authority over my life.  How might God want to speak to, teach, or even use me in these circumstances?  He has all authority, and so my perspective needs to shift from myself being the main character to Him, which is in fact, reality.  I need to change from tightly gripping my own life — my agenda, schedule and convenience — and offer it back into the hands that gave me my very life, and all that I have within it.