Category Archives: Worship Leader
“Spirit of the Sovereign Lord
Come and make Your presence known
Reveal the glory of the Living God
We do not seek Your hand
We only seek Your face
We want to know You
We want to see You
Reveal Your glory in this place
Let the weight of Your glory cover us
Let the life of Your river flow
Let the truth of Your kingdom reign in us
Let the weight of Your glory
Let the weight of Your glory fall…”
(Music and Lyrics by Steve Merkel)
Creator of all, we come in through these doors because we need You to reopen the doors of our hearts and community onto the mission of Christ. Let this church be reborn and let the Holy Spirit unleash the power of healing that resides within all of us. Teach us to not just communicate with each other but to commune with each other.
As generations and cultures crash into each other, shift our thinking to rediscover the ancient unity of all sinners that was revealed on the cross at Calvary. Strengthen us to hold onto this union, this commonality, that we all share as children of God. Remind us, that even through the greatest storms of life, we are never alone.
“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them” (Scott and Kelli KLOVE). For those of us celebrating with our families today, we give thanks to God. For those of us grieving the loss of a loved one, we pray for compassion and understanding that “grief never ends…it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love” (Scott and Kelli K-LOVE).
Lord Jesus, You make the impossible possible. You transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. You breathe life into what was once dead. You see us, and You know us more than we know ourselves because You knew us before we took our first breath and You will be there with us when we take our last.
You, Jesus, are amazing, and we ask that whatever truth we need to hear from Your word, in this moment, be given to us as a gift from God. Let Your words just fall down from heaven and touch our hearts. “For, all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24)
Move us, right now and right here, so that the words that we hear and say today will match the way we that live out our lives. Take away the hypocrisy of religion and pride by calling on all of us to love with the same love that forgave and released us from our own regrets, hatred and shame. Through You, Jesus, we are now free to love because You first loved us. That same love, the love of God, is present now and is available/accessible to us now, today and forever. So Lord, speak into our hearts so that we can also love all and condemn no one.
Yes, this life is challenging as the enemy stares us down, “but greater is He that lives in all of us than he that is of the world.” (1 John 4:4) Here is the reality that we can all embrace: The crucified and resurrected Christ frees us all from yesterdays mistakes so that we can be brave, we can be courageous, and we can truly and whole-heartedly live in the abundance of God’s favor, grace and love.
It’s never too late to accept Christ. It’s never too late to experience His love. All of the chaos in this world is silenced by His eternity for “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Why is grace so amazing? It is amazing because it is a gift. A gift that is given in sacrifice and mercy. A gift that allows us to simply let go of any condemnation or judgement for any mistakes that we have made in the past because Jesus bore all of our sins at the cross. “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
So many questions circle our minds as we walk through life’s valleys. We wonder why do we have to face these obstacles, we question God’s purpose and we limit God’s love. But in those times, we should remember that “the will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us” (Billy Graham) for we are never alone. The love of God is the same love that lives within all of us. It dwells in our hearts and it sustains us, throughout all of the good and bad times, so that we can trust in the truth of the Gospel that there are no limits to this divine love that even death could not hold back.
We often attempt to tackle life’s mountains on our own shoulders, but the reality is that we cannot rely solely on our own strength as we face these giants. We foolishly pull away from God as He reaches evermore for us, but He is there for us, to lean and depend on, as He guides us through all of the joys and sorrows. Yes, we must walk through the valleys, but we do not stay there.
This song, “Amazing Grace” is a prayer that has touched the hearts of generations and nations because it gives voice to exactly what God’s love is: a gift. A gift so unimaginable that it cannot be contained by the limitations of this mortal world. We are given this gift so that we can live, and the gift of life goes beyond our first or final breath because our chains are gone and we have been set free by our God, Savior and Friend. So let’s join in one voice and sing His praises.
This was my twist on the popular love song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts that I did at church for Valentines Day weekend as a way to say thank you to Jesus for always being my side through all of the ups and downs of my life.
I believe that everything that we experience, good and bad, simply leads us to His truth for our lives which includes all of the ups and downs and everything else in between. And as I get older, I can see that all of those times, places and people that maybe were not the most pleasant to experience, were merely preparing me to help find my way back to Him. And because of Him, I can forgive others as I have been forgiven because that burden is finally freed from my shoulder, so that I can really live this life in the way that He would want me to live. A life filled with grace that is sufficient for every possibility and circumstance that we will encounter on the road called life..
Yes, the road is broken but the journey always leads us back to confront the reality of the cross and the open arms of Jesus Christ. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17).” So if we do not have condemnation from a God that could/should condemn us for our mistakes, then how could we condemn others? Can we forgive those who trespass against us as we have been forgiven by Almighty God? Yes, I believe that we can.
We can only share or gift something that we have an abundance of. We have an abundance of amazing grace, love and forgiveness, so let’s share that gift that was given to us on this broken road called life. We can’t run to Him by holding on to the baggage of yesterday, so let’s just let go and let God by following His truth and message; that all people are children of God, who are loved as His unique creation, and need to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Amen.
I decided to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by singing my all time favorite praise song “Shout to the Lord” by Hillsong. I sing in both Spanish and English. My spanish is not so good but I wanted to address the global body of Christ and the many languages that are used to praise His name. I wanted to use this song in particular because this is the song that brought me back to Christ.
See, I had left the church several years ago while I was still in my youth. I was angry, lost and confused. I had so many questions and just could not get the right answers. I started to go down a very dark path until one very fateful night.
My cousin and I, loved to, and still love to sing karaoke. We are filipino, after all, so that should be no surprise to anyone. Singing is part of our culture. We would stay up until sunrise singing any song imaginable. But sometimes it is in listening that we are able to be touched in a way that moves our heart and spirit.
My cousin just happened to have one of those WOW christian hits CD’s. And during a much needed break from our karaoke, she decided to play one of the songs from this CD while we were cleaning up from our two person Karaoke extravaganza. She knew that I wanted nothing to do with religion or anything of the church but she played it anyways. Sneaky but it worked!!!
This song moved me. It’s simplistic beauty and truth hit my heart like a ton of bricks and then the walls that I had built up around my heart came crashing down. I opened up my heart to Jesus that night and I have never looked back. Yes, life happens and there are still so many questions that I have. But He has answered the one question that I had been searching for: Am I loved? He says…“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” John 3: 16-18 (The Message).
So last week many people around the world celebrated Chinese New Year. I love this time of year. Living in Las Vegas, one might get desensitized to the array of extravagance on the famous “Strip” and it’s numerous casinos and attractions. This is also the main time of year where all casinos pull out the stops and unleash their Asian marketing strategies with lavish Chinese decorations, events and concerts specifically for Chinese people. And with all of this opulence, it is so easy to forget how fortunate we are if we live in a country that doesn’t persecute us based on our religious beliefs. Now, I am not Chinese, although my great grandparents on both sides are of Chinese origin, but I am a Christ follower and believe that my purpose on earth is to minister the grace, love and forgiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I find it hard to stomach that there are some parts of the world where the Bible is illegal. I find it very painful to accept that, even in the present day, people are being persecuted or killed because they believe in Jesus Christ. Why one human being would harm another is beyond me, and I pray for those being persecuted and I especially pray for those who are doing the persecuting. It is with this that I reflect on the following scripture passages from the Gospel of Mathew and John.
John 15:19-21 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.”
Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”
Letting all people know that they are loved, cherished and forgiven is the most precious gift that I can share with this world. I could not imagine being forced to remain silent about the salvation that we all receive through the intercession of Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection.
The video above is my favorite Chinese song known as “Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo Di Xin” made famous by Teresa Teng who was also banned from performing in her native China. The title is loosely translated into “The Moon Represents My Heart” and the translation is:
You ask me how deep my love for you is,
How much I really love you…
My affection is real.
My love is real.
The moon represents my heart.
Even though it is a secular love song, I see these particular lyrics, of this section of the song, as the words of Christ and how He loves all of us more than we could ever imagine. His love was and is real and surpasses anything that we might experience on earth. His love says that we have value to God. His love says that the battle has already been won and that we can live freely, knowing that our salvation through Christ and the glory of Almighty God is ultimately victorious over sin and death.
His love is the foundation of my faith and the example that I strive to live by everyday. That being said I pray…Lord God, Abba Father, we pray for those in this world who are persecuted because they accept You, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior. Give them strength in the knowledge that they are not alone and never have been. Comfort them as they grow in relationship with You and with each other. Let the power of the Gospel and the truth that is Jesus Christ shine through every dark valley of this world and life. We also pray for those who are persecuting our Christian brothers and sisters. Let Your compassion melt away the coldness of an unfeeling heart and open the windows of their lives to reveal all that You are. We pray that it will be on earth as it is in heaven, and that the true and authentic love of our Creator will be what binds this human family together. In the name of Christ we pray all of these things. Amen.
This was my tribute to the 10 years of ministry of New Song Church. 10 years ago, I was searching and praying for a church home. I received a phone call to come and play the piano for a Lutheran Church that didn’t even have a building. I was told that I would just be needed for 2 weeks. Well, I am still there 10 years later and I am so grateful that God has answered my prayers. I have been able to grow in my faith and relationship with Christ because of this congregation and my pastors. They have guided and nurtured me as a child of God and I will forever be thankful and humbled to worship Him alongside this congregation. Thanks be to God!