Friday, May 30, 2008

Outrigger Island - VBS


Vacation Bible School begins Monday! (June 2) I'm excited!

As always, there is great music!

You may remember that my very first week at Hilldale was last year's VBS. Here's a picture from then. I think I'll make another one of these this year! (And this year the shirt will actually go with the theme.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random Thoughts for the End of May

Here is a link to some pictures from the FLC's grand Grand Opening.

They were taken by Gary Violette.

Sunday's anthem - should have been 'Ole Aloha Me Ko Iesü Lä (There is no love like that of Jesus) (2001) by Robert M. Mondoy
You'll understand why when you see the Sanctuary.
But instead it will be Forever I'll Praise You with our very own Mark Black singing the solo.

I need your help in recruiting new choir members for the 10:30 service. New Life Group teaching schedules for the new year (begins this Sunday) have some who used to sing both services only singing the first service.

Check yesterday's post on Summer Arts and see if you or a friend might be interested in signing up for a class. Part of the reason for it is to give all of us a chance to be creative, but a big part of it is to reach out to people not involved in church. It's a bridge to the community.

Monet's "The Japanese Footbridge" 1899

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Arts

Awaken your creativity! Try something new! Click poster to enlarge

Learn how to paint with watercolors, make a leaded stained-glass panel, do beautiful wire art and create something fun with clay.

You may register for individual classes, or save some money and do all four.

Classes will be held at our new Family Life Center.

Do you have an artistic friend? He/she might be interested too. Tell them about our Summer Arts classes.

Call the church office for more information or send me an e-mail.
Sign up ASAP so we can order supplies.

Studentz Praize - Where I'd Like to Be

Cheryl sent me a note telling me about a youth choir that just sang for the employees at LifeWay. There were 126 youth singers and 46 adult sponsors. WOW! I'd like for us to get to that place - where almost every youth person in the church and some of their friends from school all come to choir and sing and we go places and sing for church and sing around the country.

Here's a picture of them.

Here's a link to a blog page that has a video of them in Nashville.
They sang at Nashville Shores and witnessed to people there. Really cool!

Monday, May 26, 2008

6 Away from 15,000!

Sorry, no prize this time, but we'll pass 15,000 hits today. If you are the 15,000th hit leave a comment and tell us who you are and where you are from.

A GRAND Grand Opening

Wow! What a great day! Worship was great at both locations yesterday. Thanks to Mike Ritter for writing horn charts, rehearsing with brass and singers and directing a great song "He Is Able". And of course thanks to the players and singers. Great work!
The congregation at the main campus (both services) sang out in worship and everyone said worship at our new contemporary service at the Family Life Center went wonderfully and without a hitch.

God is good.

Then... what a great afternoon and evening!

All of our FLC volunteers were ready to go in their cool blue shirts and "tourists" started showing up before 3:00. I'm not very good at guessing or estimating numbers, but I think there were 1, 487 who toured the building. And then there were 2,318 at the concert. Those are estimates, of course.

When I left my house a little before 7:00 am I didn't think to grab my camera, so I apologize for not having pictures of yesterday's events.

Then the big feast at 5:00! Wow! There was food everywhere and grills and desserts and swimming pools full of soft drinks.

Then, of course, the highlight of the evening was Rebecca St. James. She not only sang some of her songs with her awesome band and backup brothers, but she sang several of the songs we sing in worship like "Here I Am to Worship", "Blessed Be Your Name", "Forever" and more. It was a great evening.

I had a nice shady spot over next to the building. I'm a little worried about some who sat out on the hot pavement and fried like bacon.

And did you notice that Rebecca called up to the stage all of the 5 - 20 year olds? I kept waiting for her to say, "OK, now all of you 40-60 year olds, come on up here I've got a great song just for you." Nooooo, it never happened. I was a little disappointed, but I'm over it now. :-)

Since I don't have pictures from last night, here are a few of the inside of the FLC.

Hmmm, I can't find any pictures of the FLC on my computer. They must be in the company files at the office, so I'll show you some pictures of my peonies.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pslam 18:1 I love You, Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Study This Chapter

Blessed Be the Rock is Sunday's choir anthem. Between now and Sunday morning, wouldn't it be great if each one of us in the choir took some time to remember - maybe even write down - how God has been my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, and all of the things listed there in verse 2? Then, when we sing Sunday morning we'll have some passion and conviction and singing from the heart singing as well as from the music singing.

Hmmmmm, we should probably do that every week for whatever song we are singing. I think I'll put that on my personal calendar. Let me encourage you to do that too!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Famous Rocks

Ship Rock in New Mexico


Siamese Twins in Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Sunday's choir anthem - Blessed Be the Rock

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Say Yes! to Wednesday!

Yes! We're having choir rehearsal this Wednesday!

Yes! We'll sing some songs you love to sing!

Yes! We'll have some new songs to look at!

Yes! We need all of us to be the best we can be!

Yes! YOU are important!

Yes! I want to see you in choir - not only on Wednesdays but also on Sunday mornings!

Yes! Having a choir in worship adds a lot to the singing and the spirit of the service!

Yes! You all are the best!

See you Wednesday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

And the Winners Are

I think we got pictures of all of the winners. You'll have to find each one and ask what their award was for. I think you can tell from the pictures that we were having a wonderful time.

A Pastoral Staff That Has Fun Together

I'm so glad Bro. Larry and Mrs. Beth (our Sr. Pastor and his wife), Bro. Tim (our Children's Pastor), Donna (my assistant) and my lovely wife, Cheryl, were all able to be at the Golden Granny Awards Dinner. We had a great time together.
I know people from Hilldale already know who these people are, but since we have people popping onto our worship ministry blog from all over the world I thought I would say who these lovely people in the picture are. (Of course that is me - the distinguished guy in the tux.)
Oh, I guess if you don't know who is who then you also need to know who is in which picture. Top left - Beth , Cheryl, me. Top right - Bro. Tim and me. Lower left - Bro. Larry and me. Lower right - Donna and me.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Golden Grannies' Red Carpet

What a fun night!!!!

My camera was the one at the red carpet. When I get other pics from other cameras I'll post them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Drive to Louisville

My son-in-law graduated with a Master of Divinity degree today from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville. It's late and I'm headed to bed, but perhaps tomorrow I will post something about the bright future of Southern Baptists, the work of our seminaries and how we are a part of that through our Cooperative Program giving.

But for now I wanted to mention the funny signs you see on I-65 between here and Louisville. I have seen them for years, but they still make me laugh.

Hmmmm, do some people leave their arm at the tattoo parlors and come back for them later???

Who ever knew there was a market for used cows? And how were they used? Do you have to check their knees or tails or something to see if they were worn out by whoever was using them before??? I guess this is just something us city boys can't understand...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunday's Music - May 18

The choir has the day off. (You still need to come to church.) (Just kidding, I know you will.)
If Ferris Bueller was in our choir...

I haven't seen this movie... At least I don't remember it if I did.

Jamie Worley and his band will be leading worship this week. Jamie will be leading the music at our "Contemporary" services at the FLC. This gives us all an opportunity to hear him and his band. They have a great sound. I know they will bless you with their music.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

our hearts in Christian love...

One of the joys of being in full-time vocational ministry is that God takes you to various places over the years. At each of those places dear freindships are made.

20 years ago (wow! that makes me sound like an old man, doesn't it?)
anyway, 20 years ago my family left Denver, Colorado and moved to West Tennessee. (Culture shock would be a different post!) At first you keep up a little with those you have left behind, but over the years it gets harder to do so. Eventually you pretty much lose touch. You still have a warm spot in your heart for those friends, but you just can't keep up with everything like you would like to.


So, this past weekend we got a call that one of our dearest friends in Denver had just had some pretty major surgery. I got her husband's cell phone number and gave him a call. Wow! We talked like old friends who had just gone out to eat after church the weekend before.

How is that possible? It's because we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family. The rest of that verse is "the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above."

Verse 3 tells why I called.

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

We shared moments like that together in Denver and because of God's love in us for each other we can share those moments now.

Verse 4

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Songs from the Loft

Not Amy Grant's album from years ago...


We're going to have this Wednesday's rehearsal in the choir loft.

Everything has been cancelled for Wednesday night so we can "blitz" the neighborhoods around the new FLC, but Bro. Larry said we could go ahead and rehearse. This gives us a perfect opportunity to work on microphones, sing with the band, and all of those things that happen on a Sunday morning. I'll be able to walk around the room and listen and talk to sound guys while we sing. We'll be able to move the mics around to see where we get the best sound.

So... we need you in rehearsal THIS Wednesday night at 6:30. See you then.

P.S. The Golden Granny Awards Dinner is THIS Saturday night. Have you paid for your tickets?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Merry Christmas

People sometimes wonder why a lot of music guys are a little bit crazy.

Hmmmmm, do you think it might be because today I received my first box of Christmas music?!?!?!?

Perhaps I should purchase this book...

And the company that wins the prize for getting sample Christmas music out first this year goes to Brentwood-Benson. Congratulations for helping send worship pastors further down the road to total craziness. I'm sure the boxes from LifeWay and Word Music will follow soon. Woohoo!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pentecost is Tomorrow

Pentecost takes place 7 weeks after Easter.

There's a nice article about Pentecost on wikipedia. It gives the history of the Jewish feast and a lot of other interesting information.

It's the day the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles.

Jesus made these promises to His disciples.

Acts 1:4 While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” [He said, “is what] you heard from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, at this time are You restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Pentecost was a Jewish feast that brought pilgrims from all over the world to Jerusalem. That's why it was important for the disciples to be able to be able to share the news of Jesus in so many languages. 3,000 people were saved that day.

Here is what the Baptist Faith and Message has to say about the Holy Spirit.

"God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17."

Here's a link if you'd like to see all of the Baptist Faith and Message

I'll be looking for you all in worship tomorrow morning. We'll be singing about the Holy Spirit.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sunday's Music

Sunday's choir anthem - Great Is Thy Faithfulness.

I usually sing this most wonderful hymn on the first Sunday of May. That Sunday is an anniversary of a time when God showed His great Faithfulness and Mercy to me and my family. So I'm just one week late. So many of us were out of rehearsal Wednesday night so we could see the kids singing that I thought this good ole standby would work well for us.

Phlox down by the creek.

Many of the other songs Sunday have to do with the Holy Spirit because Sunday is Pentecost. I'll try to post a little about that tomorrow. I have to go put some pictures up on Papa Lyndel's blog. I worked HARD today and got a sunburn on my entire back. Ugh! I don't know why I didn't think about putting some sun block on...

See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pro - cras - ti - na -

I'm pretty good at procrastinating. I always procrastinate things that I think will be unpleasant. I procrastinate when someone is pressuring me to do something I don't want to do. But the reason I usually procrastinate is because I'm assuming or hoping that something better will show up.

How can I decide on something right now when twenty minutes from now something better might come along? Life is full of wonderful surprises. If I lock myself into something this morning I may miss out on something that I don't even know about yet that could be even better!

The Golden Granny Awards are coming up NEXT WEEKEND, May 17th. As much as I would like to wait until Saturday afternoon to decide to go (in case I get a better offer for the evening) I have to decide today if I am going. (Which, I'm pretty sure I will decide to do.)

There's no need for you to procrastinate either in letting us know you will attend the Golden Granny Awards Dinner. It won't be unpleasant. It's something you really want to do. And there won't be anything better to come along that night.

The reason I need to push you into letting me know today is because we have to order food and table clothes and all of those kinds of things. I don't want us to run out of food!

Ramona and her helpers will have the gym transformed into a Hollywood ballroom. You and your friends will enjoy great food and entertainment. And who knows? YOU may get a Golden Granny Award!

Send me or Donna or Star an e-mail letting us know how many tickets you need. Call a friend and ask them to join you for a wonderful evening out.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I have ants on my desk. It appears that they snuck into my office by way of these beautiful flowers from my beautiful yard in beautiful Bear Hollow.

Viburnum (Snow Ball bush) I have two kinds on Bear Hollow

I hope to see you all in choir tonight! ( I was going to put some lame comparison of ants going to a picnic with singers going to choir, but everything I thought of sounded really dumb. - so... I'll just be looking for you in choir like an ant looks for honey.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chorale Concert Pics

Someone took a picture of the chorale while we were singing at FBC, Huntington. Please notice the dashing young violin player. (Well, he looks young from a distance.) You can click on the picture for a larger view. Hmmm, perhaps dashing is a bit much. But it just wouldn't sound good to say "look at the skinny old violin player".

So here's a funny story. At least everyone else thought it was funny. I stand right in the middle of the first row. The 2nd tenors are in the middle. We were singing The Old Rugged Cross and half-way through I realized How Deep the Father's Love was next and that is one of the songs I play the violin on. And our director, Paul Clark, Worship Specialist with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, had asked the audience to not clap on three songs about the cross but rather to contemplate on the meaning of the cross (or something like that).

"So," I thought to myself - while still singing (rather nicely too, I might add) - "I have to get from the middle of the loft to waaaay over there to play and there won't be any applause and everyone will be staring at me while I walk over..."

As soon as the song was over I quickly stepped out in front of the new guy who was standing next to me. Unfortunately, he hadn't read my mind and didn't know I had to move quickly to waaaaay over there to play and he didn't let me by. In fact, he kind of bumped me with his folder. At least he said he did, I don't really remember, because when I was in front of him and couldn't get by I was on the wrong foot when he bumped me and the riser we were on was rather narrow and so my left foot stepped right on the edge - sorta sideways - and I started going down! Yes. I didn't want everyone to watch me walk waaaay over there and have to wait for me and instead they ALL saw me fall. Fortunately there was a trombone sticking up right next to me (on a trombone stand) and I grabbed it and the guitar player in front of me grabbed me to try and catch my fall and the guy who pushed me grabbed me and I eventually got my feet under me and I walked, slowly and in a dignified manner, waaaaaaaaay over there. Also fortunately there was someone reading a scripture to introduce the song, so I had more time than I thought.

To make a long story longer...

This picture was taken during God of Wonders. Notice how I am NOT in the middle of the choir. I had to speak next and wasn't about to walk back and forth.

After How Deep the Father's Love (which has a lovely violin part, by the way) we sang God of Wonders and then, since I am President of this illustrious group. I had to introduce all of the guys who had people from their church present at the concert. I walked up to the pulpit. Looked out at the crowd and said in a somewhat quiet voice, "Normally you don't mention it when something unplanned happens, - pause - then a little louder "but I know you all saw me falling up there in the choir loft!"

I'm so sorry you can't hear the laughter still ringing in my ears...

I'm glad they all enjoyed it. It really was rather funny!

Oh! By the way! You can hear and purchase songs from the chorale on iTunes now. Go to and search for Tennessee Men's Chorale.

Why I Sing with the Chorale

1. Hanging out with my friends from across Tennessee

2. Singing great music

3. Making beautiful choral sounds. An all-male choir has a wonderfully rich sound

4. Singing challenging music I won't ever sing at my church (you know, high brow classical type stuff) but I love it and it makes me a better musician

5. Getting to worship as I sing and I don't have to be in charge

6. Sharing ideas with other Worship Pastors (Ministers of Music)

7. Praying together about our churches and families and ministries

8. I'm the president this year, so they expect me to show up (but I would anyway)

9. Wearing my glasses (better to see the music all day) (I do have old eyes, you know) and no one saying "I didn't recognize you with glasses"

FBC, Huntington

FBC, Millington

Monday, May 5, 2008

Random Thoughts

I am so behind on my blogging. I was going to put up some pictures from my weekend with the chorale but my camera isn't in my computer case. Hmmm, maybe it's in the car. So I guess I'll do that tomorrow.

It's only 20 days to the grand opeing of the FLC! Much to do!

I love the new drum room in the Sanctuary. (See previous posts ) We just got in a beautiful new drum set made by Pearl.

I used to have a teacup poodle named Pearl. I guess that's another story. She was a hoot.

We have several youth coming Wednesday night to join us for Wind and Fire. You can search this blog for more posts about Wind and Fire.

I'm ready to try out the racquetball court at the FLC.

I need to go home and move some flowers from the back yard to the new flower beds in the front.
It's a wonder I can get anything done when my random thoughts are all over the place.
Worship yesterday was great. Thanks to everyone.
Sunday is Pentecost. Look for a blog this week about that.
I have some new pictures up on my Papa Lyndel blog.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

An Interesting Drive

I haven't fallen off the blogging wagon, I've been out of town. Actually, I'm still out of town. I don't even know where I am! I'm at a hotel - not my usual kind of place to stop - at exit 42. I've been on a short concert tour with the TN Baptist Men's Chorale. Last night we sang at FBC, Millington. I didn't get away from Millington until about 9:30, so I had planned on driving to Jackson to spend the night.

I hate driving at night and I hate driving in the rain, so last night was not a good night to drive on I-40. In fact, it was raining so hard that I decided to stay the night in Millington. Well, ends up, I saw one hotel there near the church and I thought, "hmmmmm, I'm not sure I would really stay at that hotel if I had other options", so I headed down the road to find a Holiday Inn Express or something similar.

"Oh, there's my road to cut across to the Collierville, Arlington, Millington exit on I-40." The rain had let up, I hadn't passed any other hotel - much less a nicer one - so I got on the connecting highway. OH MY! I've never drivin through harder rain than I did on that road! For miles and miles it stormed and flooded and I'm so thankful the hwy department had those little reflector deals on the center line!

The rain did let up, but did I mention that I hate driving at night and I hate driving in the rain?

Long story short. There are ZERO hotels between Millington and whatever little town is at exit 42. So I'm poking along at 60 or maybe 65 mph on I-40 with the big trucks and the rain and it's dark and after 10:00 and there! woohooo. A sign for hotels at exit 42. (Collierville exit is at mile 24 or so.) I pulled into the first hotel. Eeewwww, suddenly the hotel that I wouldn't stay at in Millington looks really nice! So I cross over the Interstate to the other hotel. It has a name I recognize and free wireless internet. It's a tough choice - more driving in the rain at night with the big trucks or a hotel that Cheryl would offer to sleep in the car rather than stay there...

Well, the room is clean and the bed wasn't lumpy and there are more than ten channels to choose from and it wasn't hard killing the spider in the tub...

My original thought was to post about the chorale and why I sing with them. I have pictures, but the wrong wire to connect to my computer. Check back later.