Weekend of Worship

We had a wonderful time with Noel and Tricia Richards with us over the weekend. They are a remarkable couple with humility and a heart for reaching out with the love of Christ. So often contemporary worship can foster a “Bless me Lord” mentality with the lyrics and individual focus. However, “worship without mission is self-indulgent, and mission without worship is self-defeating.”

The Richards certainly follow through with that statement. As Noel taught in a seminar and again at our Sunday worship service, it is important not only to worship God vertically with songs and praise, but that we worship Him horizontally by showing His love to the least, the last, and the lost. This has been in my heart for a while now, so Noel’s words just confirmed what we’ve been working through in our church.

One thing I’ve never seen are worship songs that speak of helping the poor and downtrodden in the lyrics. Yet this is one of Noel’s new songs that we sang over the weekend:
We Thank You God

We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we’re fed

Why do we pray, bless us O Lord
You meet our needs, still we want more

What is Your blessing for
If not to feed the poor

To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God

Open our eyes we need to care
Move in our hearts teach us to share

Your riches everywhere
Love beyond compare

To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God

We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we’re fed


That is a powerful statement. It is a challenge for us as the church to be out being the church, instead of just holding church. If you get a chance to see Noel Richards, I would highly recommend it. If you haven’t checked his music out, he should be getting his albums available through iTunes USA (they’re on the UK iTunes, but Americans can’t use it unfortunately).

Weekend of Worship

We had a wonderful time with Noel and Tricia Richards with us over the weekend. They are a remarkable couple with humility and a heart for reaching out with the love of Christ. So often contemporary worship can foster a “Bless me Lord” mentality with the lyrics and individual focus. However, “worship without mission is self-indulgent, and mission without worship is self-defeating.”

The Richards certainly follow through with that statement. As Noel taught in a seminar and again at our Sunday worship service, it is important not only to worship God vertically with songs and praise, but that we worship Him horizontally by showing His love to the least, the last, and the lost. This has been in my heart for a while now, so Noel’s words just confirmed what we’ve been working through in our church.

One thing I’ve never seen are worship songs that speak of helping the poor and downtrodden in the lyrics. Yet this is one of Noel’s new songs that we sang over the weekend:
We Thank You God

We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we’re fed

Why do we pray, bless us O Lord
You meet our needs, still we want more

What is Your blessing for
If not to feed the poor

To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God

Open our eyes we need to care
Move in our hearts teach us to share

Your riches everywhere
Love beyond compare

To love justice, show mercy
This is the Kingdom of God

We thank you God for our daily bread
In every way our lives have been blessed
And by your hands we’re fed


That is a powerful statement. It is a challenge for us as the church to be out being the church, instead of just holding church. If you get a chance to see Noel Richards, I would highly recommend it. If you haven’t checked his music out, he should be getting his albums available through iTunes USA (they’re on the UK iTunes, but Americans can’t use it unfortunately).

Noel Richards In Blackfoot Idaho


I’ve been a little behind my preferred amount of blogging because I’ve been working on a special event my church, Harvest Foursquare Church, is hosting next weekend.

Our church is bringing in Noel Richards, a well-known worship leader from the United Kingdom. He has been to Pocatello before and is well aware of the challenges we face in this area.

Noel has been involved in leading worship since he was 15 years old. He’s worked with many other well-known worship leaders such as Matt Redman, Graham Kendrick, Reuben Morgan, and Delirious. He’s written numerous worship songs for the modern church, perhaps the best known of them being “All Heaven Declares”.

Noel has been involved the last 10 years in organizing worship events in large stadiums across Europe – believing that if people can pack these arenas for sports, why can’t we see them filled with people giving glory to the King of kings? He’s led events at Wembley Stadium in London and at Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

We are having Noel Richards come on Saturday, September 22. He will be giving a worship seminar from 1-4 pm at our church (see map here) for $10 per person. Noel will be presenting 3 separate sessions dealing with issues of leading worship and a lifestyle of worship.

Then at 7 pm we will be having a regional night of praise and worship, led by Noel and his wife Tricia. We’re anticipating a great night of worship and coming together in unity for southeast Idaho. This event is free, with an offering taken for the Richards that night.

On Sunday, September 23 Noel and Tricia will be speaking at Harvest. The morning service starts at 10:30 am and usually goes to around 12:30 pm. All are welcome to come and worship with us that day.

Noel will also be speaking in Idaho Falls on Sunday night, sponsored by another fellowship. When I have more details I will update this post.

If you live in southeast Idaho, I highly encourage you to come to one of these events. It is not often we have someone of Noel Richard’s caliber coming to our area. I would love to have as many people as possible partake in this. If you have any questions, leave a comment here with your email address (written as yourname [at] yahoo [dot] com to prevent getting picked up by a spammer) and I will be sure to contact you.

Let’s praise the name of Jesus together!

Noel Richards In Blackfoot Idaho


I’ve been a little behind my preferred amount of blogging because I’ve been working on a special event my church, Harvest Foursquare Church, is hosting next weekend.

Our church is bringing in Noel Richards, a well-known worship leader from the United Kingdom. He has been to Pocatello before and is well aware of the challenges we face in this area.

Noel has been involved in leading worship since he was 15 years old. He’s worked with many other well-known worship leaders such as Matt Redman, Graham Kendrick, Reuben Morgan, and Delirious. He’s written numerous worship songs for the modern church, perhaps the best known of them being “All Heaven Declares”.

Noel has been involved the last 10 years in organizing worship events in large stadiums across Europe – believing that if people can pack these arenas for sports, why can’t we see them filled with people giving glory to the King of kings? He’s led events at Wembley Stadium in London and at Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

We are having Noel Richards come on Saturday, September 22. He will be giving a worship seminar from 1-4 pm at our church (see map here) for $10 per person. Noel will be presenting 3 separate sessions dealing with issues of leading worship and a lifestyle of worship.

Then at 7 pm we will be having a regional night of praise and worship, led by Noel and his wife Tricia. We’re anticipating a great night of worship and coming together in unity for southeast Idaho. This event is free, with an offering taken for the Richards that night.

On Sunday, September 23 Noel and Tricia will be speaking at Harvest. The morning service starts at 10:30 am and usually goes to around 12:30 pm. All are welcome to come and worship with us that day.

Noel will also be speaking in Idaho Falls on Sunday night, sponsored by another fellowship. When I have more details I will update this post.

If you live in southeast Idaho, I highly encourage you to come to one of these events. It is not often we have someone of Noel Richard’s caliber coming to our area. I would love to have as many people as possible partake in this. If you have any questions, leave a comment here with your email address (written as yourname [at] yahoo [dot] com to prevent getting picked up by a spammer) and I will be sure to contact you.

Let’s praise the name of Jesus together!

The Best Band You’ll Never Get to See

Perhaps there’s a little hyperbole in the title, but not a lot.

Southeast Idaho is an interesting place to live. It is a very beautiful place to live, but the climate is dry, both physically and spiritually. We live in the shadow of Salt Lake City, and it makes for a daily battle.

For years I had heard glowing things about Lystra’s Silence, a band from Idaho Falls. They played concerts around our area and beyond. I always meant to go see them, but life, school, work, family, etc. would get in the way. “One of these days I’ll get to hear them,” I’d think.

To my chagrin, I almost didn’t.

After several years of plying their craft and constantly improving, the band has decided that this season is over for them. This was shocking, as I was talking to a friend just this summer who was enthusiastically describing their upcoming album, saying that they were due to break out in a big way. So when I saw a farewell concert advertised for August 31, I told my wife that we were going.

Man! I sure missed out all this time. Idaho isn’t Nashville, Austin, or Seattle – we don’t have a burgeoning music scene, especially not when it comes to quality Christian bands. This foursome was confident in their music and presentation. Not flashy, but the quality of the lyrics and musicianship was impressive.

They have just released a final album, Tremble Here. It starts off with a wonderful piano-driven track called “Change”, which has been constantly on my iPod this month. It continues with several other insighful, worshipful songs without being in the vein of the current popular worship music. The songs aren’t nice little chorus ditties maximized for CCM radio airplay. They are deep, investigating the darker side of our lives at times while always pointing to the light and grace from our glorious Lord.

Lystra’s Silence’s lead singer is Sherry Muchira, who reminds me at times of Michelle Tumes in her voice. This is a piano heavy band, and they don’t rock out a lot. I lean more toward Switchfoot and Relient K in my usual musical preferences, but I can definitely appreciate a more meditative listening experience.

I’m posting hoping that you will check them out and see if their music is something you would like to add to your collection. They ended their run with some debt, and so if you enjoy their music, I encourage you to buy an album or two and support these great artists. You may not be able to see them, but you can partake in the fruit they’ve offered over the last few years.

You can hear samples from their current album on their MySpace page, and from their prior album at their band website. You can order music from either location, I believe.

The Best Band You’ll Never Get to See

Perhaps there’s a little hyperbole in the title, but not a lot.

Southeast Idaho is an interesting place to live. It is a very beautiful place to live, but the climate is dry, both physically and spiritually. We live in the shadow of Salt Lake City, and it makes for a daily battle.

For years I had heard glowing things about Lystra’s Silence, a band from Idaho Falls. They played concerts around our area and beyond. I always meant to go see them, but life, school, work, family, etc. would get in the way. “One of these days I’ll get to hear them,” I’d think.

To my chagrin, I almost didn’t.

After several years of plying their craft and constantly improving, the band has decided that this season is over for them. This was shocking, as I was talking to a friend just this summer who was enthusiastically describing their upcoming album, saying that they were due to break out in a big way. So when I saw a farewell concert advertised for August 31, I told my wife that we were going.

Man! I sure missed out all this time. Idaho isn’t Nashville, Austin, or Seattle – we don’t have a burgeoning music scene, especially not when it comes to quality Christian bands. This foursome was confident in their music and presentation. Not flashy, but the quality of the lyrics and musicianship was impressive.

They have just released a final album, Tremble Here. It starts off with a wonderful piano-driven track called “Change”, which has been constantly on my iPod this month. It continues with several other insighful, worshipful songs without being in the vein of the current popular worship music. The songs aren’t nice little chorus ditties maximized for CCM radio airplay. They are deep, investigating the darker side of our lives at times while always pointing to the light and grace from our glorious Lord.

Lystra’s Silence’s lead singer is Sherry Muchira, who reminds me at times of Michelle Tumes in her voice. This is a piano heavy band, and they don’t rock out a lot. I lean more toward Switchfoot and Relient K in my usual musical preferences, but I can definitely appreciate a more meditative listening experience.

I’m posting hoping that you will check them out and see if their music is something you would like to add to your collection. They ended their run with some debt, and so if you enjoy their music, I encourage you to buy an album or two and support these great artists. You may not be able to see them, but you can partake in the fruit they’ve offered over the last few years.

You can hear samples from their current album on their MySpace page, and from their prior album at their band website. You can order music from either location, I believe.