Start the new year with praise 

The writer to Hebrews says ‘Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name’ Heb 13:15
 
As you know we have encouraged people to reflect back to us what they think the Lord is saying to us for 2019. I received an email yesterday that summarised why we believe the Lord is calling the whole church to an evening of praise this Sunday at the start of this year:
 
"On one occasion before Christmas I was struck by the phrase “sacrifice of praise”.  There’s a cheesy old song we used to sing when I was a child (We bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord) that kept going round in my mind and I reflected on what it meant to ‘bring a sacrifice of praise’.  I realised it means that when we are in a tough situation with which we want to ask God for help, instead of just coming to Him with our request, we need to sacrifice our need and praise Him first; after-all, He knows what we need anyway, and then as you say, the weapon of praise will be unleashed in our situation.
 
Then, earlier this week, I flicked the TV onto TBN and Andy Croft was speaking on “God Speaks Today”.  He immediately mentioned a “sacrifice of praise” which caught my attention.  He was speaking on the passage where Paul and Silas are chained up in the very centre of the prison – an impossible situation.  Despite their situation, they sing songs of worship to God and God responds with an earthquake that frees not just Paul and Silas, but all the prisoners around them too (i.e. our praise in times of need can bless not just us, but our whole community too).  Andy Croft then went on to talk about how God primarily wants our praise and worship and that as Christians we should worship first (like Mary) and then work (like Martha).  Part of being Living Sacrifices is bringing a sacrifice of praise."
 
So before all the service/work that lies ahead in 2019 let us begin all together in praise and worship.
 
It will be a simple evening of praise and then we will share communion together. But we want the whole church to be the worship group. If you have an instrument do bring it along. If you want to use some of our percussion instruments please do. But if you don’t just become a ‘singer and prayer’ – Sunday evening is about a sacrifice of praise.
 
For some of us it will cost us a lot to turn up a second time on a Sunday (don’t miss the start of our series on discipleship at 10:30am); find a babysitter; join in the singing/playing but a sacrifice does cost. But we are those who openly and gladly profess Jesus.
 
Below is a selection of songs that Sam has prayerfully selected and we will choose from them on the night. If you able, familiarise yourself with them. Add them to your play lists.  If you are a musician and are able, do practice them. But most importantly turn up at 7pm on Sunday and join with us in bringing a sacrifice of praise.
 
Any questions do get in touch with myself, Sam or Gordon.

I have included 3 new ones (and lots of songs - not sure how long the service is)

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, His love endures forever https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6xxWGWpaUQ
Counting every blessing – rend collective https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Y91axwxfI Psalm 34/23
Open the eyes of my heart Lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo
Rescuer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAg7rn7fH3Q
Strength will rise (everlasting God) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PArsqbwTdJ8
The name of the Lord is a strong tower https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYrcrP1ysjw
Surrounded https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBl84oZxnJ4 2 Kings 6 Elisha
Beauty for ashes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_ytq3sSk3M Isaiah 61
I stand amazed in the presence (How Wonderful)
If faith can move the mountains (Waiting here for you) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8d80ok40TQ

Not to sing as a worship song - but thinking of 2pray24:7
What If His People Prayed – Casting Crowns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRiTqfqz4zU

Warmly in Jesus,
Simon