Song By Song: The Savior’s Here

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Christmas can be a rollercoaster season in today’s culture. There are plenty of things to do, events to attend, things to buy.  But since the very beginning, creation’s proper response to the birth of Jesus has been to worship.  The angels, the shepherds, the Magi, Mary, Joseph, Anna in the temple, Simeon in the temple: all of them responded in worship at the arrival of the Messiah.  On this side of the cross, our response should be no less enthusiastic than theirs! After all, we now know how this story ends: with victory over the grave and eternity in the presence of the Father!  How can we not celebrate?  How can we not “go tell it on the mountain”?  How can we not dance like David danced as the Ark of the Covenant made its way into Jerusalem?  The news is that good!

This song is from the album Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas, available for purchase now.

Song By Song: Little Heart Beats

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Earlier this year, I was asked by a pregnancy resource center to be a part of their annual fundraising banquet. I was, at the time, writing for Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas, and the Christmas story was at the forefront of my mind. I realized that the Christmas story is the most profound pro-life story there is. 

By choosing to come as a helpless baby in the womb, Jesus gave tremendous affirmation of the value of our littlest ones. His cousin John leapt in the womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, walked into the room. God is glorified by the life that no one yet sees. He is glorified by the miracle of conception. He is glorified by the tiny person who has not yet taken a breath. He is glorified by the little heart beat that no one has yet heard.

He could have come any other way, but He chose to be glorified by humbling himself as child. Later in the Gospels, he calls us to approach Him as a child, following in His amazing example.

This song is from the album Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas, available for pre-order now.  Album releases November 1, 2016.

Song by Song: Do Not Be Afraid

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I knew when I started writing for this Christmas album, I wanted to have a song that connected Jesus’s birth to His death and resurrection.  The audacity of God’s choice to redeem the world in this way and knowing that He is now with us through the Holy Spirit should give us courage to tackle any obstacle that comes our way!

 

This song is from the album Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas, available for pre-order now.  Album releases November 1, 2016.

 

 

 

Pre-order for Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas starts today!

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Hi friends!

I’m beyond excited to announce a new project that has been nearly a year in the making: Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas! Pre-orders begin today, and the album will release November 1st.  The album will release on CD, Digital, and a very special premium package that includes hand-painted artwork by my wife Hannah Pickering.

Speaking of Hannah, she painted the cover art for the album, a large 1ft by 3ft panorama called Bethlehem Night. She began working in August and just finished this month!  The finished product is absolutely stunning! Here’s the big reveal:

bethlehem-night

All of the album artwork in the packaging is taken from details of Hannah’s painting.  Here’s the album cover:

glory-cover-800

More exciting news! This December, Hannah and I will be leading Christmas worship gatherings around the country with a full band!  We are very excited to partner with churches and lead congregations in a time of worship and reflection on the miraculous Christmas story.  Worship has always been creation’s response to the Good News of Jesus’ birth, from the shepherds to the wise men, from Anna and Simeon in the temple to the angels in the heavens.  We want to join in with the angels and sing praises to Jesus, giving thanks for His life!  These events will be an opportunity to pause during the busy Christmas season and worship the Humble King who so deserves our praise.

We are still currently booking these events.  Here are the tour dates thus far:

Date City Venue Country
12/13/17 Shallowater, TX First Baptist Church Shallowater US
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: FREE. Address: 1008 8th St.
12/14/17 San Antonio, TX Communion Chapel US
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: FREE. Address: 5719 Mobud St.
12/15/17 Edcouch, TX Rio Life Christian Center US
Time: 6:00pm. Address: 1030 W Santa Rosa Ave.
12/17/17 Edinburg, TX Abundant Grace Community Church US
Time: 10:00am. Admission: FREE. Address: 2110 S. McColl Rd.. Wes and Hannah and their band will be leading worship for the morning service at AGCC.
12/17/17 Edinburg, TX Abundant Grace Community Church US
Time: 6:00pm. Admission: FREE. Address: 2110 S. McColl Rd..
12/20/17 Jonesboro, LA Grace Community Church US
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: FREE. Address: 814 Pershing Highway.

If you are interested in hosting one of these Christmas worship gatherings, please contact us via the Booking page.  In particular, here are a few specific dates and where we are actively looking for a church to host us:

  • December 22 – Dallas area (somewhere within a 2 hour radius)
  • December 14 – West Tennessee, Arkansas, or Louisiana
  • December 15 – West Tennessee, Arkansas, or Louisiana
  • December 17 – Houston area (somewhere within a 2 hour radius)
  • December 10 – West Tennessee or Arkansas

If you or someone you know could connect with with a host church, please contact us via the Booking page.

My hope is for this album to become a resource for your devotional time during the Advent season as well as a resource for churches and their worship teams. In the coming days, I will be posting free chord charts for the entire album on the Worship Leader Resources page.  Feel free to use them in your churches worship times (all songs are covered by your church’s CCLI license).

I’m so excited to share Glory: A Call to Worship at Christmas with you!  Right now, you can stream the entire album and pre-order it here.  This will be the only place to stream the album as we will not be delivering to streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music this year. On November 1, the album will release on CD and direct downloads from this website as well as  iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Play.

I appreciate your support so much!  Please spread the word! Buy the album! Sing the songs with your church! Come join us at a worship gathering this December!

much love,

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New lyric video for “Come Find Rest”

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I’m really excited to share this new lyric video for “Come Find Rest.”  It features the painting The Good Shepherd by turn of the century American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner, who was the first African American painter to gain international acclaim.  The son of an AME Church bishop, he frequently painted Biblical themes, and his work here is so beautiful that I wanted to highlight even the more abstract details of the painting.  The painting provides a perfect backdrop for “Come Find Rest” which is a reflection on Psalm 23.

For further reflection on this familiar passage of Scripture, check out Brian Simmon’s Passion Translation of the 23rd Psalm:

The Good Shepherd

David’s poetic praise to God.

1The Lord is my Best Friend and my Shepherd.
I always have more than enough.
2He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
3That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure,
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness
so that I can bring honor to his name.
4Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!
You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.
5You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.
6So why would I fear the future?
For I’m being pursued only by your goodness and unfailing love.
Then afterwards—when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!

Today, know that goodness and mercy are pursuing you though Jesus’s unfailing love! Set your hope on Christ, and you can confidently say, “Follow me, follow me, goodness and mercy! My home is in the house of God.

Buy “Come Find Rest” on the album Recreated here.

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me

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“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.” I haven’t thought about this hymn for a long time, but God brought it to mind today. It was written in 1926 by a Presbyterian music minister from North Carolina who attended a revival in Orlando. Hearing a sermon on the Holy Spirit, he found his way to a church there and wrote the song while that church’s organist transcribed the music. The song immediately found its way into worship services across the country.

It’s a big prayer to pray: “melt me, mold me.” That involves surrendering our whole selves to the purpose of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to reshape our lives in God’s perfect image. It’s something we must go back to frequently, as the process isn’t ever complete (not in this life anyway). The second part “fill me, use me” is also a big prayer, and one that God loves. And when He answers, it often looks different than what we expected, but if we follow through in obedience, we always see that His plans are so much better and full than our own. God CAN use you, and He isn’t looking for perfect people before He does. Instead, He desires people who surrender all and say “melt me, mold me.” Come with obedience and sacrifice, and let the Holy Spirit equip you for the task ahead.

A video posted by Wes Pickering (@wespickering) on

Devotional on Acts 3:19 – Compassion, healing, and forgiveness of sin.

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Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, who has been appointed for you as the Messiah.
— Acts 3:19

This was Peter’s message to a crowd that had gathered to see the lame man who had been healed: that faith in Jesus, the same Jesus who had just given a man new, healthy legs was the very same thing needed for eternal life. It’s a reflection of what Jesus did in Matthew 9:

For which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He told the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” And he got up and went home. When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and gave glory to God who had given such authority to men.

It’s not any easier to talk about forgiving sins today that it was back when Jesus did it or when Peter did it. Our pride makes us cringe when we hear preachers start to talk about sin. But there’s no malice or condemnation in Peter’s words. On the contrary, he wants the crowd that gathered to experience the same miraculous results of faith that the healed man did, for in Jesus we find life and wholeness. It isn’t a message from somebody on a judgmental high-horse but somebody whose compassion leads them to care deeply about the people around him.

After all, having experienced healing and life, why wouldn’t you invite the people you love and care about into it as well?

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Devotional for the song “You Love Your Creation”

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Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!

– Luke 12:6-7

I’m always blown away when I read that verse.  It’s not just the sheer mathematics of it either, although God’s capacity to know the tiniest detail of everything that has ever existed is enough to make your head spin!  What really strikes me about this verse is that God cares so deeply, despite knowing us so intimately.

I wanted to write a song that really celebrates how much God loves each of us personally.  He knows everything about you, you have zero secrets from Him; yet he loves you so much that He would have sent his son Jesus to die for our sins, even if you were the one who ever made a mistake.  It’s true!

What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders,  and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.

– Luke 15:4-7

These are Jesus’s words, not mine.

So, what’s the appropriate response to such a massive and unwarranted Love?  First, I think it compels us to give what we have back to Jesus.  It’s not much, far less that He deserves, but God tells us that He wants us to love Him, so let’s love Him back to the best of our ability!

Secondly, even though it’s weird at times to say, “Jesus loves me,” when we really start to process what that means, it should fill us with tremendous confidence.  He’s on my side! Just like the sparrow, I don’t have to worry.  The God of the universe is taking care of me!

And again, I think that kind of love is something we should celebrate.  God loves me! He created me and he loves me, in spite of all my flaws, despite knowing every detail of every cell in my being.  What else can we do but shout it from the rooftops?


“You Love Your Creation” is from the album Recreated. If you don’t already have a copy…

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New Living Room Session video for “Beautiful God”

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Here’s the second installment in the Recreated Living Room Sessions: “Beautiful God.”  If you’d like to know the story behind the song, check that out over here.

If you missed the first Living Room Session for the song “Recreated”, you can watch that over here.

Click here to buy the album Recreated

Thanks so much for listening.

until next time,

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P. S. Don’t forget to share the video with your friends.  Sharing is caring 😉

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