Sunday, November 05, 2006

Praise Him in Glad Adoration

[Thought I would write, for those of you who are interested, about what music I used for the women's retreat and why...]

Friday night, I started with "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"--the version on Passion: Hymns Ancient and Modern (LOVE that CD). First because all we ever sing at church is hymns straight out of the hymnal. Which are great, but I wanted to change it up a little for the retreat. This worked well because it was still a familiar hymn, so the ladies weren't given all new songs, yet it's a little more modern/updated and fun to sing. Plus, it gave me an easy way to start since it was just singing along with a CD :) I also chose this because of what several of you said about stress/problems fading when you focus on the mightiness of Christ. I agree!

To bring out the idea of combatting stress by trusting Christ instead of ourselves, we then sang "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus"* a cappella, from the hymnal. As a side note, I have really lost my upper range since I don't sing daily anymore/don't sing soprano anymore. I hate singing anything above a B (as in, B below third-space C!)--and really, what average worshipper likes to sing high anyway, especially when it's a cappella and you feel really exposed? The nice thing about singing a cappella is that you can choose your key. I took each hymn down at least a step and a half from the hymnal--would have gone even lower except the altos would have been singing in the basement :)

I finished Friday night by teaching a simple song that was new to them. It's an old Brooklyn Tab song, I believe, which I learned in chorale when Todd Syswerda was our conductor. Those of you who were in chorale that year...remember how we would sometimes open rehearsal with Todd at the piano and us just singing our guts out? We sang three very simple choruses that year that I have rarely/never heard anywhere else: "More than Enough," "I Want to be Like Jesus" and "Jesus, We Crown You with Praise." How I LOVED those times of worship!

I used "More than Enough" for the retreat for several reasons. First, it's short and simple to learn (and I happened to have the sheet music--it pays to be a packrat). Second, many of the ladies (including me) are involved in a Bible study at church which is going through studying the names of God--and that's the focus of this song. And third, it went along with the theme of Christ's sufficiency. Whatever we are facing, whatever our circumstances, He is More Than Enough to meet our needs. Here are the lyrics:
Jehovah Jireh, my Provider
You are more than enough for me
Jehovah Rapha, You're my Healer
By Your stripes I am set free
Jehovah Shammah, You are with me
You supply all my needs
You're more than enough
More than enough
More than enough for me
In keeping with that theme about who God is, I finished with a solo--Nichole Nordeman's "I Am." It's a beautiful song that emphasizes God's sufficiency for every season of our lives. I didn't expect to make people cry, but several of the ladies had never heard the song before. It has long been one of my favorites!

On Saturday we sang "More Than Enough" again since it was new. Then we sang "Count Your Blessings" from the hymnal, because one way to battle stress is to focus on our blessings instead of our problems. Looking back at God's past faithfulness always helps give you perspective and faith for His future grace. And of course, the greatest blessing He has given us is the cross--paying the price for our sins so we could be reconciled to Him. That's the blessing we can place our trust in and rest in. So we sang "On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand" from the hymnal.

If I didn't choose one of your suggestions, it isn't because I didn't think it was a great one! I was limited by time, what I had access to, and what I thought the ladies would know. There are so many great songs I wanted to share with them--but I thought it was best not to teach more than one new song, and not to spend a lot of time teaching a harder song. I don't mind learning new songs if they're great, cross-centered songs--but I know a lot of people have a hard time worshipping if they don't know the songs, so I wanted to try and respect that.

Anyway, I enjoyed preparing and leading all this, and I loved hearing the voices of women lifting their praises to God, and I pray that He was glorified. Thanks again for your helpful suggestions!



*Can I just say how annoying I find it that every one of the major hymn archive websites starts playing obnoxious MIDI files of the song as soon as the page loads, and you can't stop the music? (*cough*CyberHymnal.org*cough*) I purposely chose websites that won't do that to you--some may play obnoxious music but all of the ones linked above at least have a stop button. Also, can I just say how annoying it is that most websites with song lyrics have four hundred popups that somehow make it through my popup blocker?

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Oh... just reading the titles of the songs makes me miss it!! Prof. always does our music at our church camp, and we always do all of those fun Brooklyn Tab songs. I love those! I also forgot about that song "more than enough" that we did with Todd (the Bod). That is an amazing song.