The Stand

Today’s post is brought to you freshly baked (train ride into work plus a quick 30 min before work) and is timely given it relates to events from the last 10 days. The common thread(s) that I recognize binding and uniting all events are:

  • Hearing from God
  • the worship song The Stand

1. Monday 18/08

Two Mondays ago now I was at my fortnightly vocal lesson and as part of the focus for that night, we decided to use the worship songs that had been selected for that coming Sunday. It made sense because both of us were serving together on that team so we could work on my harmonies.

The Stand happened to be the main song we focused on for the lesson. The song can really be split in two where the chorus is performed on its own. This invariably happens more frequently than a full performance of the song. To read more on the song specifically, read My Top 10 Favourite Worship Songs of the 2000s.

2. Wednesday 20/08

Two Wednesdays ago now for cell group I had decided to keep worship “simple” by reusing 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) and The Stand. In reality it was my mini version of church worship and because I knew we would all be singing the same songs, I went with different arrangements intentionally to demonstrate the complete versatility of both songs.

10,000 Reasons is written by Matt Redman and, like The Stand, will appear in my Top 10 Songs of its decade (2010s). I have eight different versions of the song on my iTunes library:

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The version/arrangement I selected was the last one on my list which was an acoustic mix including the chorus of the Chris Tomlin song Whom Shall I Fear. Instead of simply having the track played in cell group I decided that for a change I would play the piano. In this way, I would have full control over the flow between the song mix and also the transition into The Stand. When I play the piano I don’t read sheet music or even lead chord progressions – I always go by heart. Overall, I think I had a lighter touch so it’s wasn’t a completely piano solo play – more backing and supporting the vocals. I also found I was able to sing/lead with more assertion than other times.

The Stand chorus is powerful in itself. Most if not all cell members know the song so it makes it really easy for me to let the cell take off in pure undistracted worship. For one chorus having a pure vocal only worship and hearing just our voices praise God was a special time for the cell group.

The arrangement for that night’s worship set was:

  1. 10,000 Reasons: Chorus, Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus (twice)
  2. Whom Shall I Fear: Chorus (twice)
  3. 10,000 Reasons: Chorus, Verse 3, Chorus, last line
  4. The Stand: Chorus (3 or 4 times)

Initially I had planned to play and simultaneously use the ProRemote app on my iPad to control the lyric flow. To simplify the coordination of tapping on my iPad whilst playing I created a hybrid single song set of slides in ProPresenter with the above three songs merged into the single library item. That way I could keep the ProRemote app on the one layout/item of all slides on-screen.

The set-up of my home/living room to support worship is relatively straightforward – TV/home entertainment system with AppleTV. MacBook with ProPresenter and iPhone/iPad with the ProRemote iOS App. Both AppleTV and MacBook were physically connected to a newly acquired AirPort Extreme unit which also extends the home wireless network.

Fortunately one of my cell members who is a member of the worship team projection crew arrived and I could hand the iPad to him. This freed me up to lead and play! Also that night in cell group we had for the first time a total of 17 people in attendance! Having such a large turnout was such a blessing since worship would be taken to a whole new level. My living room was slightly cramped but we were all still comfortable.

Whilst the first thoughts of cell multiplication are only seeds in my mind (and potentially a few others) I think having just gone through the process just a year ago, we still have some way to go before the time to proceed and multiply arrives. The group may be large, but since we are all growing together and learning more about our spiritual gifts as a group, I believe multiplication will not take place until 6-9 months time. As part of forming this view I am also taking into consideration the next season where a cell group wedding results in a slight change to the cell group. Whilst this is my prediction, God may have other plans in store for us since we only last night gained a new venue for meeting up which will help offset the loss of the two homes whilst our newly wed members are off on honeymoon.

The lyrics for this arrangement are as follows – note I have typed most of this from heart without checking against other lyrics websites. I also have intentionally repeated everything as per the arrangement summary above. Typing out the chorus repeatedly is in itself an act of worship – particularly with the words for The Stand.

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship His Holy name

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship His Holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship His Holy name

Your rich in love and you’re slow in anger
Your name is great and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to sing

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then for evermore!

Bless the Lord oh my soul, oh my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, oh my soul
I’ll worship Your Holy name

Yes I’ll worship Your Holy name
Yes I’ll worship Your Holy name

I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand, my soul Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand, my soul Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand, my soul Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand, my soul Lord, to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

3. Sunday 24/08

Sunday worship was amazing. In part, with our top two worship leader/male vocalists plus myself we all really connected. So much so, that to balance it out more, I will be joining one of the other bands to help strengthen the vocals along with our newest male vocalist to join. I digress again…

Worship was powerful and God filled on Sunday. Whilst we spent a minimal amount of time preparing together (a sign of what is intended for a future two service Sunday) God was really working through us and in us. I find that being a part of the worship team and helping to lead the congregation in worship does NOT prevent me from also worshipping God simultaneously. One of the tips I have learnt is that as a leader on stage, if I do not go full-out, how can a member of the congregation be encouraged to contribute any more. Thus, we all give of ourselves on stage 110% so that the congregation and people of God will at least follow us to give Him their 100%.

The Stand was arguably the peak of the worship segment as part of the Sunday service. It also was repeated as the closing song, where, as the preacher was wrapping up his closing remarks, I found myself quietly singing without microphone the song as part of ramping up into the song.

The song arrangement for the Sunday worship team was different to what I had delivered during the week since we opened with You Are Good, with the service opened by the female vocalist who had felt God saying to her that we just need to sing to God because HE is good irrespective of how we feel or the week we have just come from. From memory, the Sunday song arrangement was as follows:

  1. Forever Reign: Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus (twice), Bridge (2-3 times), Chorus (twice)
  2. 10,000 Reasons: Chorus (3 times), Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Chorus (twice), Verse 3, Chorus, last line
  3. The Stand: longer instrumental intro, Verse 1, Verse 2, pre-chorus, Verse 3, pre-chorus (twice), instrumental build, Chorus (3-4 times)

The full lyrics of The Stand is provided here:

Verse 1
You stood before creation
Eternity in Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

Verse 2
You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

Pre-Chorus
So what can I say
And what can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

Verse 3
So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
My life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

Chorus
So I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

I’ll stand, my soul Lord to You surrendered

All I am is Yours

4. Wednesday 27/08

So, last night in cell group, as part of sharing his testimony, our new brother-in-Christ incorporated The Stand. His focus was on the lyrics of the Pre-Chorus:

So what can I say
And what can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

These words completely aligned with the sentiment and heart of his testimony. All God was seeking of our newest brother-in-Christ was that we offer our hearts back to Him, completely devoted and without reservation. There is nothing we can say or do to deserve God’s mercy and love. As confirmed just this morning, whilst awareness of The Stand pre-dates the events of the last 10 days, the words really stuck out to him, which ultimately led to this latest sharing.

In this way, The Stand is a beautiful song which helps to remind us all of those steps we took and continue to take in obedience to Christ’s call to follow Him and trust Him. As Christians, we need to remember that all God asks of us is our hearts. Yes faith without works is fruitless and our actions & deeds are important, but all God seeks is our hearts, completely devoted to You.

Comments

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