If Eva Lepa Were Making You a Mixtape, Here’s What She’d Put on It!

By Eva Lepa

Many people ask me about my favorite worship songs or worship bands. So I thought I’d give you my all-time favorites! This list changes all the time, but for now, here are my favorites (in no particular order).

TOP 5 WORSHIP LEADERS/BANDS

1. HILLSONG - Hillsong has been able to evolve and change it’s sound and worship style throughout the years and still produce songs that change people’s lives and views of worship. From “Shout to the Lord” in 1993 to “God is Able” in 2010, they continue to lead the way for great worship songs.

2. JESUS CULTURE - No matter what mood I’m in, Jesus Culture’s songs lead me to Jesus and evoke a spirit of worship and prayer.

3. CHRIS TOMLIN - One of the greatest songwriters, hands down.  I had the privilege of hearing Chris Tomlin share how he writes many of his songs, like “Our God” and “Holy is the Lord.”  His humility and love for the Lord is apparent when he speaks and in every song he writes.

4. BROOKE FRASER - Maybe it’s because she’s a female worship leader or maybe it’s because I adore her voice, but Brooke Fraser is one of my favorite people to watch and hear lead worship. And she, too, is an incredible songwriter.  

5. ISRAEL HOUGHTON - I like some good ol’ gospel music. I love the energy, the intricate music, and the passion behind each song. And the talent this guy has is ridiculous. If you can hear him live, DO IT! 

TOP 6  (BECAUSE I CAN’T PICK JUST 5!) WORSHIP SONGS

1. “Resting” by Rita Springer -The moment I hear the song, no matter what is going on, I feel God’s presence and I worship.

2. “You’ll Come” by Hillsong - The bridge gets me every time – “Chains be broken. Lives be healed. Eyes be open. Christ is revealed.”

3. “Tear Down the Walls” by Hillsong United - One of my favorites because it’s all about salvation for the lost. The lyrics are powerful. Read the lyrics while you listen to the song. Unreal.

4. “How He Loves” by Jesus Culture - Every time I hear this song, I am reminded, almost as if it’s for the first time, of the love of God. And each time I am blown away.  

5. “Healer” by Planetshakers - Every word of this song brings tears to my eyes. And each time we sing it at Life Church, I am convinced that God is healing someone in that room.  

6. “Healing is in Your Hands” by Christy Nockels - This song changed my life. I can’t put it into words exactly, just that God did a miracle through this song in my life.

Like I said, the lists change from time to time, but right now, these are my favorites, and I think you might enjoy them too. 

While we’re talking music, I can’t help sharing some cool songs and albums for you to check out. I’ve been impressed by each of these songs, and I love the artists. 

I also love “Awaken the Dawn” by Keith and Kristyn Getty; it’s a great album and very different. 

So there you have it! Hope you’ve discovered some new tunes that speak to your heart!

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” (Galatians 5:1). Happy Fourth of July! Here’s Life Church performing “Star Spangled Banner.


What One Man Discovered in the Aftermath of a Hillsong United Worship Experience

By Randall Cartwright

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to catch Hillsong United, at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.  I’ve seen them before, and always left refreshed.  They are one of the best worship teams out there.  

A couple of days before the concert, Hannah and I decided to really open our hearts and ask God speak to us individually in any way He wanted to during the concert.  I prepared my heart and asked God to show me new things.  

During the concert they sang a song called “Aftermath.” Joel Houston, the worship leader for United, explained why they chose to call it Aftermath. He said that normally “aftermath” has a negative or a traumatic meaning. Similarly, when you look at the Crucifixion as an event, it brings to mind a negative and horrific picture.  But the “aftermath” of the Cross is Hope for all mankind.  The aftermath of the Cross is grace, freedom, peace, life and everything that is good about God. Some of the lyrics go like this…

And in a moment of glorious surrender

You were broken for all the world to see

Lifted out of the ashes

I am found in the aftermath

And I know You’re with me

And I know You’re with me

And I know You’re love will light the way

When they sang this song I felt the comfort of God like never before. In that moment I felt God reassuring me that everything is going to be ok no matter what comes my way. No matter what’s in the past, no matter what’s in the future,  God is with me.  It was just what I needed to hear. That I am found in the aftermath.

Old School Church Songs

By Kevin Ganiere

Lately I have been singing (and annoying my wife with) some old school church songs that I remember from way back. One of the “oldies but goodies" was titled "Jesus on the Mainline". It’s a catchy little tune that said "Jesus on the mainline, tell him what you want…"  I don’t know why I was randomly singing that song but it made me think about the simplicity of prayer.

Prayer is powerful! Prayer changes things. 1 John 5:14 says,” This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

Wow. Think about that for a minute. I don’t know where you are today or what you have been praying for, but let me encourage you to keep praying! Be confident that the God we pray to is ALIVE AND WELL and hears us! Don’t stop now. Don’t give up! Keep praying!

Jesus on the mainline tell him what you want, Jesus on the mainline now…

"…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective," (James 5:14).

Getting to Know You: Randall Cartwright

1. What’s your role at Life Church? 

Director of Worship

 

2. Besides Life Church, what are you passionate about? 

Music

 

3. Share some things on your “bucket list.” 

Sky dive, receive a guitar lesson from John Mayer, go to Hillsong

 

4. Who’s influencing you right now?

My Father

 

5. What’s your favorite meal? 

Steak and Baked potato (loaded)

 

6. What’s something we may not know about you?

 When I was little I stole $100 from my babysitter and took it to school and bought everybody pencils and milk

What I Learned from an Ostrich

By Eva Lepa

When asked what I am passionate about, I struggle for words. I love to sing. Can I be passionate about that? It doesn’t affect the world or the people around me, does it? Seems kind of selfish. 

A friend recently told me she was passionate about stopping human trafficking in India. And my heart is to sing?  Recently, as I toiled with this question, God reminded me of a powerful revelation He shared with me several years ago.

It all started when I read Job 39:13-18.

 13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
   though they cannot compare
   with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
   and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
   that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
   she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
   or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
   she laughs at horse and rider.

In this passage, God tells Job that basically the ostrich isn’t the smartest animal he created.  In fact, she’s not beautiful compared to the other birds; her wings pale in comparison, she leaves the eggs out in the open, in danger’s way.  She isn’t great at a lot of things.

But then God uses the word “yet.” At any rate. But. Despite all that. Even though. Nevertheless. Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider” (v.18, emphasis added).

That one sentence sums up God’s whole reasoning for saying all that He said about the ostrich.  She laughs at the horse and rider.  You see, God didn’t equip this animal to be smart, to be beautiful, to be any of these other things.  He made the ostrich to be fast, with the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 45 miles per hour, the top land speed of any bird. Faster than the horse and rider.

God does not delight in what He did not create us to be; YET He delights in who we are.  I am passionate about singing and that is who He created me to be.  And in God’s beautiful way, He uses my God-given passions to change His world. 

I challenge you to take joy in who you are and to find out how God wants to use the things that are inside of you to change His world.  If He takes pleasure in the ostrich, how much more will He take pleasure in you?