Piano improv – Sunday morning July 3, 2016

United Kingdom

Because some asked for this, I’m posting it here. This was my improv during communion this Sunday, July 3. I didn’t have anything planned for this segment, so this is spontaneous worship. The clatter you hear are the platters with the communion bread being distributed and collected.


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My Faith Has Found a Resting Place

My Faith Has Found - graphic

A few weeks ago, the first line of this old hymn came to mind. I had it wrong, though. I remembered it as saying, “my soul has found a resting place.” When I looked up the words to the hymn, I discovered I got the line wrong, but it was OK. This song expresses so much of the WHY I can rest in God. Originally written in 1890 by E.E. Hewitt, the comforting and strengthening truths of our security in Christ’s finished work are worthy to be sung again and again.

My prayer is that this would be an encouragement to the church. Let me know what you think of it. If you would like a copy of the lead sheet, let me know in the comments or email me, thgmusic(at)gmail(dot)com.

words: E.E. Hewitt
music & additional words: Brad Pearson
Verse 1
My faith has found a resting place,
not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Verse 2
Enough for me that Jesus saves,
this ends my fear and doubt;
a sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
it is enough that Jesus died,
and that He died for me.

Verse 3
My heart is leaning on the Word,
the living Word of God,
salvation by my Savior’s name,
salvation through His blood.

My great Physician heals the sick,
the lost He came to save;
for me His precious blood He shed,
for me His life He gave.

Verse 4
Now as I walk by faith, not sight,
my hope remains secure.
My Lord, who keeps His faithful word
shall help me to endure.

This arrangement ©2016 by Brad Pearson

How Great Is the Love

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” Psalm 92:1

This Sunday we’ll be singing a new song, called “How Great Is the Love”.

It’s a wonderful, sweet song of thankfulness. This is Paul Baloche’s version of the song.

How Great Is the Love

by Meredith Andrews, Paul Baloche, and Jacob Sooter

Thank You for the way that You love us

How You love us

Thank You for the way You have made us

We were created

For Your pleasure, for Your presence

For the glory of Your name

Thank You for the way that You love us


Jesus, faithful King

Lord, with grateful hearts we sing

How great is the love

How great is the love

Of our Savior

The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame

You carried it all and rose from the grave

How great is the love, how great is the love

Of our Savior


Thank You for Your grace that has saved us

You forgave us

Thank You for the way You have freed us

We have been ransomed

We’ve been rescued, we’ve been purchased

With the price of Your own life

Thank You for the way that You love us

You Are Holy

Here are the words to the song we sang this morning that list so many of the attributes of God and Christ.:

You Are Holy

by Mark Imboden and Tammi Rhoton

You are holy

You are mighty

You are worthy

Worthy of praise

I will follow

I will listen

I will love you

All of my days


I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy

I will love and adore Him.

I will bow down before Him

I will sing to and worship the King who is worthy

I will love and adore Him

I will bow down before Him.


You are Lord of lords.

You are King of kings.

You are mighty God

Lord of ev’rything

You’re Emmanuel

You’re the Great I Am

You’re the Prince of peace

Who is the Lamb

You’re the living God

You’re my saving grace

You will reign forever

You are ancient of days

You are Alpha Omega, beginning and end

You’re my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and Friend


You’re my Prince of peace and I will live my life for you

(Please don’t repost these words without permission.)

I Must Tell Jesus

Some Sundays I get the privilege to play a brief instrumental “meditation” after the message. For me, it’s a time of prayer and reflection that is expressed through music. It quiets my heart and helps me reflect on the truth just preached in the message. It is worship, plain and simple.

I don’t plan what I’m going to play. I do this for a couple of reasons.

First, I like the musical challenge of making something up on the spot. It helps me stay sharp as a musician/arranger/composer. I don’t ever mean to do it from a prideful standpoint. Some people serve and minister in ways that I could never dream of. This is something that I can do, so I just try to offer it to the Lord from a grateful heart.

The second reason I don’t plan what I’m going to play is that I like for the Holy Spirit to move in me, leading me to a song that might be appropriate for the morning. Sometimes, that song is an old hymn. Sometimes the song is a contemporary song. Sometimes, I just improvise something new, in the moment…playing a “new song”, as it were.

I listen to the sermon like everyone does. I am challenged and encouraged as I trust everyone is as God’s Word is preached and proclaimed. I then respond, in that moment, with worship of a song. My prayer for the body is that you will respond with worship according to the way God has gifted you. Serve, speak, encourage, exhort, teach and lead according to the way God has gifted you, as an act of worship to Him.


This morning’s song (Oct. 31) was an old hymn, called “I Must Tell Jesus”. Several of you asked about it after the service. The words are printed below. I trust they will be an encouragement to you…

I Must Tell Jesus

by Elisha A. Hoffman

I must tell Jesus all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own.


I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

I must tell Jesus all of my troubles;
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.


Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior;
One Who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.


O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the victory to win.

Hebrews 2:18 “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (ESV)

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”

Joining with you in prayer,


Jesus, Messiah

2 Cor. 5:21 says this: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)

When we sing the song “Jesus, Messiah”, we sing an abbreviated version of that verse: “He became sin, who knew no sin, that we might become His righteousness.” Now, I love the song. It contains several other direct Scripture references. For instance, the very next line of the song (“He humbled Himself, and carried the cross…”) is a direct reference to Philippians 2:8. In many songs that contain direct Scripture reference, though, words can be left out for the sake of lyrical flow. Such is the case here.

Notice how the original verse begins with 3 dumbfounding words: “for our sake…”  Pause for a moment and let that sink in.

For our sake, He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus the Son) to be sin. “God regarded and treated “our” sin (the sin of all who would believe in Christ) as if our sin belonged not to us but to Christ himself.” (ESV study Bible note) Thus begins a direct, concise statement of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. Christ died for us, having received in Himself the punishment for sins that He never committed. Again, the ESV study Bible says it well: Christ took our sin upon himself and, as our substitute, thereby bore the wrath of God (the punishment that we deserve) in our place (“for our sake”).

Where else in Scripture do we see this kind of description of Christ’s work on our behalf? Well, look first to Isaiah 53. Several verses, quoted below, make similar statements of this staggering, humbling truth. (Note that the word for “sin” is translated in several different ways, highlighted in bold italics.)

As a devotional thought, before reading each of these verses, say “for our sake, in our place.”

“surely he has born our griefs” (Isa. 53:4); “He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5); “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6); “he shall bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:11); “he bore the sin of many” (Isa. 53:12).

So then, Christ, as a substitute for us (“for our sake”) has paid the penalty for our sins. A few verses earlier, Paul says this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV) Our newness of life was purchased through a death: the death of a sinless, perfect Savior. As we rejoice in our position as new creations in Christ, let us never lose the impact, the sobering impact of the cost paid for our new life. “For our sake…”

Look at the last part of the verse: “in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Can you see how staggering the implications are? Our sin was put upon Him, imputed to Him. (Quick dictionary moment. Impute: to credit by transferal (a virtue or the benefit of a good work) to the account of someone else.) Our sin was “credited by transferal” (and was by no means a virtue or benefit) to Christ upon the cross. Likewise, His righteousness was “credited by transferal” (the greatest benefit in human history) to us. We enjoy a reconciled relationship to God (2 Cor. 5:18) because of God’s plan and Christ’s willingness to suffer punishment in our place and because God then credited us with Christ’s perfect righteousness.

So much beauty and horror present in the same verse, and yet it is the soberingly glorious truth of the gospel that we celebrate when we sing, “He became sin, who knew no sin, that we might become His righteousness.” Jesus, Messiah indeed.