GraceConnect E-News, No. 48, Week of May 19, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Sing to the Lord a New Song

The human brain’s capacity to recall melody is stronger than its ability to recall most anything else.
 
That’s why Jason Strain (pictured at right) decided to put it to use to memorize Bible verses. Jason is a songwriter and arranger with a passion for setting Scripture to music. He recently released a new CD and launched his ministry website, BibleSong.ca
 
“Composers have been setting Scripture to music for centuries.  However, in today’s fast-paced society, Christians more than ever before have begun to neglect the memorization of Scripture. It is our desire to encourage and equip believers to once again embrace the spiritual discipline of memorization,” he explains on his
website.
 
“I have long felt called to write and record songs using the Scriptures word-for-word in order to help people memorize,” explains Strain, who is worship pastor at Community of Hope Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Surrey, B.C. (Phil Bryant, pastor). â€œMy first CD release under the banner of BibleSong is a collection of 20 songs designed to be both 'praise and worship' songs and memorization tools.”
 
Jason’s passion for writing songs to help people memorize the Bible began at a church leadership retreat in April of 1999, where he wrote his first word-for-word setting of Scripture using Psalm 23. He then put the words of Psalm 139:23-24 to music (Search Me O God) in order to help his home Bible study group commit it to memory.
 
The study group loved the song and urged Jason to share Search Me O God with the church family. It was well received. Soon, his pastor requested memory-verse songs as additions to sermons. Jason embraced the challenge and began writing more music.
 
Apart from setting Scripture to music, Jason also wrote lyrics to worship songs. He admits to being overly proud of his work. One day, he says the Lord convicted him that he was seeking the accolades of man rather than seeking to please God and challenged him to drop lyric writing in favor of only using Scripture. Jason has been passionately writing Scripture songs ever since with the specific aim of helping others to memorize Bible passages.
 
Jason teaches choir and Bible at Regent Christian Academy and vocals at Pacific Life Bible College’s Institute of Music Ministry. He is married to Dana, and they have two school-aged boys, Evan and Liam.
 
His album is available for download at www.biblesong.ca. Hard copies are also available for mail-order through the website.

From Around the Web

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

Communion Videos
Grace Church, a Grace Brethren Church in Wooster, Ohio, has released a three-video series of teaching on Communion, done by Pastor Bob Fetterhoff. Filmed in various locations in the Holy Land by Ben Framstad, creative arts director at the church, the videos address the love feast, footwashing, and the bread and the cup. Each are five- to seven-minutes long and could easily be used by other churches/groups as the teaching for threefold communion. Check them out here.
 

Leadership Development

"Good sermons require some art, some virtue, some knowledge. Real sermons require some special grace which does not transcend art but arrives at it by instinct or 'inspiration'; indeed the Holy Spirit seems sometimes to speak through a human mouth providing art, virtue, and insight he does not himself possess: but the occasions are rare."

~J.R.R. Tolkien
On Good Preaching on the blog of Matthew Harmon, professor of New Testament Studies at Grace College and Seminary


Integrated Ministries

CPR-3 is in the running for a $10,000 reward through Anytime Fitness' "My Anytime Story" competition. Contestant Amara Ellen has chosen CPR-3 has her charity of choice. Read Amara's story and vote for her!

"If I were to win $10,000 to donate, I would give it to CPR-3 working in Haiti. I know how it feels to be starving, and I would love to alleviate that pain in someone's life. $10,000 could go so far in that country, and CPR-3 is an incredible organization with integrity and honesty. The money goes straight to the country and people instead of getting muddled around in 'administrative' costs."


Other Links of Interest

"Healing on Hold," a thought-provoking meditation on politics, the state of our country's affairs, and God as the ultimate and only healer by Pastor Tim Sprankle of the Leesburg, Ind., Grace Brethren Church.
Moses and the Gods of Egypt
This week's featured book

Moses and the Gods of Egypt

By John J. Davis

This commentary has established itself in evangelical schools as one of the most academically sound and pedagogically useful studies of the Book of Exodus. Dr. Davis guides the reader through understandable, in-depth examinations of Exodus, illustrated with more than 30 charts, maps, drawings, and photographs. It illuminates the biblical text in light of recent archaeological studies along with Egyptian religious and political customs. 

Regularly $19.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50 percent off!

Simply enter the code "Exodus" in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, May 27, 2014.)

Events in the FGBC

May 19-21 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
June 27-July 3 – 
Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21 – Vision Conference: Fellowshift (FGBC)
July 22-27 – Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
July 29-August 11 â€“ National Timothy Adventure (GBB)
October 3-4 â€“ Homecoming (GCS)
November 11-24, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA
____

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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