Monday, December 29, 2008

Worship at Crosstown

Once a month my son, Andrew, goes to a little church start-up in downtown OKC that his home church, Council Road Baptist Church, is helping sponsor. He leads worship for them on those Sundays.

While the adults were in worship/Bible study the kids were downstairs. They learned a song on the bells and then came into where we were and played "Joy to the World" and "Away in a Manger." Unfortunately they didn't have a B flat, so "Away..." had a few notes that bothered me a little.

But look at this picture. I think this is the cutest little bell choir I've EVER EVER seen.
Left to right:
Asher (nephew, 22 months), Elam (grandson, 2 yrs.), Gibson (grandson, 6 yrs.), Haven (granddaughter, 5 yrs.) Isaac (nephew, 3 yrs.), pastor's son, pastor's daughter. Good thing we all showed up!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Centrality of Christ

The first chapter of Colossians is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. You really should read the entire chapter, Col 1:1 but I know many of our readers have short attention spans, so here's an excerpt. This is the Holman Christian Standard translation. The grey words are the footnotes that copied when I copied the text.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation;[8] The One who is preeminent over all creation 16 because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities— all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. 19 For God was pleased [to have]* The bracketed text has been added for clarity. all His fullness[9] Eph 3:19 dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross[10] Other mss add through Him — whether things on earth or things in heaven.

I could write a five part sermon just from these verses. For now, pick out a phrase or two that speaks to your heart and ask God to really make that real in your life today.
We'rre on our way to worship with Andrew and his family. One or two weeks each month they go to a mission church their church is starting in downtown OKC and Andrew leads worship. That's what we're doing today! I hope all our readers will be in worship this morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shine On

Hmmmmm. This didn't transfer right when I changed it from DVD to WMV. I'll try again tomorrow.
But the sound is good.
We've been nicknamed the Osmonds.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Watch The Living Christmas Tree - Journey to the Manger

A HUGE Thank You to Chuck for his great switching and editing and to all of the media crew - camera men, sound men, light men, etc.

You all are the BEST!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Look For Me in the Tree!

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The Osmond Brothers?

I'm pretty sure it was Laughrie that first said, "they sound like the Osmonds." Too bad we don't have teeth and hair as pretty as the Osmonds. (and there seemed to be some disagreement between the guys of which one looked most like Marie!)


I would like to go on and on about last weekend's performances of Journey to the Manger.

After awhile you run out of superlatives. You can rhyme - super duper. (or as Bro. Paul said, "You're the boss applesauce."

You can alliterate - practically perfect production, marvelously magnificent mesmerizing music making.

You can make up words - fantasmagorically whoopsidoodled performances. (but then it sounds a bit Suessish)

But what I really want to say is rather simple. The whole weekend was wonderful! Every part of it. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rehearsal Schedule

If you missed the memo, we don't have choir rehearsal this Wednesday. You all deserve a night off after all of the extra work you put in for the tree.

Unfortunately, the next two Wednesdays after that are both holidays. So our next rehearsal will be the first Wednesday in January - whatever date that is.

This Sunday we're going to sing "Down in Bethlehem" with Traci, Laughrie, Pat and Jimmy. We're keeping Jimmy away from all power tools until after this Sunday!

See you Sunday morning!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lady in Red

I've been the Worship Pastor/Minister of Music at many churches over the years. And I've seen Christmas programs on TV and on DVDs from many more churches. In all of these productions, Mary was dressed in blue. I just figured blue was her color. (Is Mary "Winter?" Hahaha! Remember that back in the early 90s when the ladies had those parties and they found out which season of the year their skin was and then they bought clothes and makeup that went with their season?)

Sorry, chased a rabbit.

Here are some famous paintings through the centuries with Mary in red. In some that I didn't choose she was in blue and one she was wearing black (ugh). But since they didn't support my argument of Mary in red I left them out.

I found these cool old paintings here.

So I found it quite interesting as I looked for a Nativity set to use in Hilldale's Living Christmas Tree - Journey to the Manger and at the Nativities at my house, that in almost every Nativity I found, Mary was wearing RED!

Why would Mary wear red?

So I did a little research. I found two different explanations of Mary wearing red (at least two that seemed to make sense). She also has a blue outer robe.

One is that red is the color of divinity and blue the color of humanity and so Mary with her inner red robe and outer blue represents her in her humanity carrying Christ (divinity).

The second was that red was the color of virgins and blue the color of mothers representing - obviously - the virgin mother.

Whatever the explanation, our Mary is wearing red this year because in the story line the sculptor's figures come to life in his dream. And since the Nativity had Mary in red and blue our Mary is in red and blue.

By the way, Lacey is doing a GREAT job in her roll as Mary. You can see her tonight at 7:00, tomorrow at 7 or Sunday afternoon at 3:00. Come early for a good seat and enjoy some beautiful music. Thirty minutes before each performance we have "pre-tree" music for your enjoyment.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big and Small Nativities

If you have followed our worship blog for very long you already know that I have a wonderful collection of Nativities. The choir gave me a beautiful glass Nativity last year. You can see it and the rest of my collection here.

Last night the choir surprised me with the biggest Nativity I've ever seen. (well, except the ones at Opryland or tacky blowup Nativities) It is incredible - made from old quilts and bedspreads. Isn't it wonderful?

So that's the biggest Nativity I have.

Last summer when Cheryl and I went to Rio on our mission trip I bought the smallest Nativity that I have.

Pics from Wednesday Night Rehearsal

Everything looked great last night.
The choir sounded wonderful. It's very difficult for them because when you are in the tree it sounds like you are singing a solo, but out in the house the sound is great!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PT Cruiser Update

Dan tried to add this as a comment on my post yesterday about my PT Cruiser.
He thinks this might save me a little time on my trips to beautiful Bear Hollow in Whites Creek.

The Full Article

The link I posted earlier today was from yesterday. I didn't realize that.
Here is the link from today that has a little bit longer article.

Thanks to Ann and the good folks at The Leaf-Chronicle for letting Clarksville know about our Journey to the Manger.

See you all tonight in rehearsal at 6:00!

In the News

We had a teaser of an article about the Living Christmas Tree in the Leaf-Chronicle today. Tomorrow there will be a full article.

Here's one quote that I thought was a hoot. Can you guess who they are talking about?
"______________ has been a vocal bulb on a bough of the Living Tree since 1987."
Hahahaha. Which one of you bulbs out there were they bragging on?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Part to Help Save the Big Three

We interrupt our regular blogging to bring you this brief message.

I can't send the "Big Three" 100 Billion dollars, but I thought I'd do my part to give them a boost with this short commercial for Chrysler.

I drive a PT Cruiser. I love it. It has a smooth ride, gets good gas mileage, and has that classic look for a guy who likes to wear pin-striped suits and carries a violin case.

I bought mine back when I was having a mid-life crisis, so I got a five speed. Wheeeeeee!

It's lots of fun, but it's sometimes difficult to shift when you are drinking a Pepsi, talking on the phone and turning a corner at the same time. But it's doable!

And here's a nice feature that you may not know about a PT Cruiser. You can fit in four bags of clothes for Goodwill, at least five boxes of sample Easter music, a bag for a clown full of clown things, six Vacation Bible School backpacks your wife bought to give to the grandbabies (she got a deal), jumper cables, a gift bag of Halloween candy, three music stands AND a tuba - in a tuba case! There's probably more stuff in there, but I've lost track of what all is buried in there.
So run out today and buy a PT Cruiser. You'll be glad you did.

The Set Is Finished! Yeah!

If you've been following along, you know that we painted a giant "book" for our scene changes this year. We painted them in the gym.

Today we rolled them to the Sanctuary.

Carried them up onto the side stage we built.

Lining it all up.

Putting the "pages" on the rings.

The outside of the church.

1930s during the "depression."

Victorian England.

Austria in the 1600s when "Silent Night" was written.

Italy during the renaissance.

The stable.

The inside of the church.

This is the artist's shop on the other side of the tree.

Here it is -

all put together.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Tree

Saturday we got in "the Tree."

Sunday, Hannah and Papa Lyndel had their picture made in front of "the Tree."