Jun 20 2008

GTY Cruise Day 0

lis

After a short layover in Portland, OR, we arrived in Vancouver safe and sound. We were met by Charlie with Inspiration Cruise, who took us by taxi to our hotel in downtown. It was an interesting ride over with our taxi driver who had some questions about Christians (especially those on TV). It opened a good opportunity to help clear up some misconceptions about ministry.

The drive through Vancouver was somewhat nostalgic for me since my family would visit here when I was growing up. It really is an interesting city with a Northwest meets UK feel. It would be fun to spend several days up here sometime.

We were dropped at our hotel, the lovely Marriott Pinnacle and found our way to our room on the 22nd floor. What a cool room!

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We thought about taking a walk around town, but since we’re both still feeling the effects of Resolved, we decided to stay in and nap. The right choice. :)

This evening we were invited to be a part of a radio rally for Grace To You Canada. The rally was at Willingdon Church in Burnaby. John led 3 congregational songs (Come Thou Fount, Before the Throne and In Christ Alone) and Kory Welch sang 2 really nice specials (I Will Go and and a lovely arrangement of Psalm 23)

John MacArthur spoke to the congregation about Grace To You Canada , headquartered in Montreal, and thanked them for their support of the ministry as well as gave them an update on current happenings. It is astounding how much God has blessed this ministry and spread it all over the world. It is a testimony of God being faithful to His own Word.

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David, the head of GTY Canada, came and spoke a bit and brought a cupcake and candle for John MacArthur’s birthday yesterday. He even sang “Happy Birthday” in French.

MacArthur preached a message on John 15 about how we are slaves of Christ. This is a topic that has been on his heart and he preaches it so eloquently.

Now we’re off to bed. We’re leaving from the hotel at 10:30 in the morning to pre-board the cruise ship. Alaska, here we come!

Stay tuned!


Jun 20 2008

Ahoy!

lis

I haven’t even finished writing about Resolved and we’re off on our next adventure… Just on the heels of Resolved, John and I get to go on the annual Grace to You cruise to Alaska! We’re both exhausted from our VERY full schedule over the last couple months and are looking forward a relaxing time aboard ms Statendam. We were invited to be a part of the music team and are thrilled to do so! The timing of the cruise is great since it’s our 5th anniversary this Wednesday.

Stay tuned!


Jun 15 2008

Resolved Day 3ish

lis

There is so much to say about today at the Resolved Conference, but it’s too late for me to formulate good thoughts about it right now…I’ll write more on CJ’s adoption message and the 4 powerful sermons from today soon.

 

We just found out the the new CD is up on iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.!! This is so exciting!

 


Jun 15 2008

Resolved Day 2

lis

I really should be in bed, but I couldn’t go to sleep without posting about this wonderful day.

We started the morning in a bit of a panic from not receiving our wake-up call, but things came together just fine. The Lord knew that we’d be able to play that set without rehearsing since they were all very familiar songs. We were encouraged by a message from Randy Alcorn about the reality of heaven. He brought a Biblical understanding to an often misunderstood concept. To paraphrase, heaven is not some unfamiliar, inhuman, boring non-earth - heaven
is new and old-improved, dynamic, developing, and fascinating new-earth.

Session 2 started with a Fogelsong arrangment of All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. I love this arrangement. It supports the melody in a fresh and powerful way. Our Pastor, John MacArthur brought a sobering message from Luke 12 about the reality of hell and the perils of false religion.

The balance of the two morning messages back to back was so powerful. You have to download the audio!

After a nice relaxing afternoon and a quick coffee run with Michelle, Kellie and Laura and Annette from Maryland we jumped into the evening session. We were excited to be teaching new songs from our CD to the attendees tonight and are hoping some of them will get the charts and start using them in their own churches. After the set, CJ, in typical CJ fashion :), asked the band to play 2 more songs before his message. These CJ moments are always crowd pleasers especially his interaction with Rick.

CJ preached a powerful and impactful message on the doctrine of adoption. More on that tomorrow.

For now off to bed.

Stay Tuned.


Jun 14 2008

Resolved Day 1

lis

It’s nearly 1 am, but I had to give a quick update on Resolved Day 1. After a pretty hectic day of set-up, sound checks, monitor tweaks and rehearsals the band gathered for a refreshing time of devotions together before the first session. We’re so thankful for our band chaplain, Gus, who will be leading us through several of the doxologies in the Scripture for our final moments of preparation before each session. We started tonight with one of my favorite passages - the Romans doxology in chapter 11. (Also one of my favorite songs by our friend, Steve Stuck) What a passage to bring our hearts and minds back from the busyness of the day to our purpose - we want to be worshippers of our great God.

O the depth of the riches of both the knowledge and the wisdom of God. How unsearchable His judgements, how unfathomable His ways. Who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. - Romans 11:33-36

After a refreshing and stimulating time in the Word and in prayer we walked together to the convention center for Session 1 of Resolved 08. As usual, the first session is high energy and exciting. It’s an overwhelming experience to walk into a room (and by room, I mean airplane hanger!) with 3300 chairs, a huge stage, 3 huge iMag screens, an incredible sound system and some 50 robotic lights….. I mean just look at it!

The attendees were amped and ready to worship. People have driven and flown in from all over the US and different parts of the world (I was happy to see my college friend Liz, from South Africa!)

We opened the conference with the Resolved Trailer. I love this piece. John and the media team always do a fantastic job, but this trailer is definitely one of their best.

We’re so excited this year to feature a string quartet with the band for both tonight’s session and Saturday night’s session. The players are not only fantastic musicians, but they’re also godly and gracious people. Right out of the trailor Tim (the amazing 1st violinist), started our traditional opening song, Be Thou My Vision. John wrote the arrangment for the strings and the band. It was a lovely and lush, yet simple arrangement that really brought everyone into focus. From there we jumped straight into a great new, energetic arrangement of Crown Him with Many Crowns. Then Rick Holland came up to give the official welcome and some orientation instructions. He also gave away the first of several iPod Touch prizes with all the Resolved Media from the last 3 years! The band played 1 song from the new CD and then our set of 5 songs. We’re playing with in-ear monitors for the first time this year and they’re taking some getting used to, but the stage is still the best seat in the house as 3300 people sing at the top of their lungs great hymns to our great God.

Rick preached a sobering and motivating sermon from Hebrews 9:27-28 about the reality of death and heaven and hell. He pointed out that death is unavoidable and that judgement is certain. God is a just God and He cannot leave sin unpunished. The climax of the sermon was the last point where we saw that salvation is possible - that God crushed Christ for our sin and credited us who believe with His righteousness. Oh what a glorious gospel!

This is going to be a stimulating weekend as we focus our thoughts on joys of heaven and the mercy of being spared from the torments of hell. We’re praying fervently that the Gospel would bear fruit this weekend and that any unbelievers that may be attending would not leave here unrepentant.

We closed session 1 with a short film that illustrates the parable in Matthew 13:44

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Once again, John and the media team, in particular Adam Hildebrand, outdid themselves in producing art that is excellent and promotes the Gospel. I can’t wait for you to see this piece!

Well, so much for a quick post….I better head off to bed. We’re starting bright and early!

Stay tuned.