Not a particularly eloquent title, I know, but it fits with a song I heard last night.
My lovely wife, Cheryl, and I ate supper at Crackerbarrel last night. Yummmmm. We were eating and Cheryl said, "Oh! Listen to that." And there on the background music was a nice Country Western version of How Great Thou Art. "Well, that's nice", I replied.
It was then rather humorous that the very next song was a good ol' Kenny Rodgers song - You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille. What was even funnier was that Cheryl and I remembered all of the words to the chorus! "four hungry children and a crop in the field..."
This proves something I have always said. Music is a great way to remember things. That's one of the reasons it is so good to find songs that are scripture set to music. It's also why you have to be careful what you listen to in your car. Your children are learning all kinds of things that you probably don't really want them to. But you don't realize they are learning to lie and cheat and who knows what else because it is set to music. (Preach your own sermon to yourself here about what you listen to.)
On the way home from shopping we passed a church sign that had Hosea 6:3 on it - "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." - and I started singing a song I learned as a youth type person that I learned in the 70s. Wow! That was a looooong time ago, but I still remembered it.
Go to your local LifeWay store and find some good CDs that have scripture set to music. Play it for your children. Music is better background noise than TV. (TV rots your brain.) Play it in the car. Play it at bedtime or mealtime. There is great power in God's Word and music is a great way to learn it.
So how did you do with the little quiz above? Could you quote those verses? Maybe you could, but my guess is that you can SING them.
A. Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again I say, rejoice
B. Great Is Thy Faithfulness...morning by morning new mercies I see
I have on one of my favorite Christmas ties. I have several. This one has Santa playing the piano and some elves singing Christmas carols with lots of music notes rising up above them.
Why would I wear a Christmas tie in August?
I'm glad you asked.
It's time for Christmas!
Tonight is our annual choir Christmas party where we get to preview the wonderful music for this year's Living Christmas Tree. If you haven't made plans to join us, it's not too late. We're meeting in the choir room at the main campus at 6:15. Everyone is bringing finger food and yummy things you won't want to miss.
The side door on the office side of the building will be open for you.
A friend of mine has just found out that he probably has a rather serious medical condition. He told me tonight that that he got a call this morning. It was from a college friend who he hadn't heard from in a very long time - probably years. The guy that called him said, "I woke up this morning about 2:00 AM and felt like I should pray for you. I prayed for you several times in the night."
Yeah! There you go. Someone hearing the Spirit of God speak to them and then following through on what he heard. I'm afraid that too many times we hear that "still, small voice" and we decide that we just thought of that ourselves, or it would be too embarassing to call or too uncomfortable to do whatever it is God is prompting us to do.
Be brave! Listen to what the Holy Spirit says to you. FOLLOW the Spirit.
And when you are living by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, we'll see these things in your life that Paul said earlier in that same chapter - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Our Christmas Preview Party is THIS Wednesday at 6:15 in the choir room at the main campus. This is the perfect time to come back to choir or to bring a new friend with you. We'll have finger foods and soft drinks and Christmas lights and music and fun and ....
We had a good day of worship at Hilldale today. I was very glad to be back from our mission trip to Rio.
In our evening service we sang a song that is new to our congregation - Ancient Words. It is a lovely new hymn written by Lynn DeShazo in 2001. Since Baptists calls themselves "People of the Book" I think it is a good song for us to learn.
Here's a beautiful performance of Ancient Words. It's a recording of a live performance at a Generation of Youth for Christ conference.
Let me encourage YOU to spend more time in The Book this week - read it, meditate on it, DO it, live it...
We never felt threatened in Rio. The guys with guns didn't try to harass us. The crazy driving was OK if you didn't look. We rode in a taxi a few times. Wheeeee!
Charlie and Melanie are in this taxi.
After forever in the plane we were in Nashville!
Brothers Tony and Paul picked us up.
As we were heading to Clarksville on I-24 we had a blow out! Tony did a great job keeping the bus on the road. We were headed right for a big drop off. Tony said he thought everyone on the left side of the bus was dead and that he'd be the first to die. It was very scary. We prayed and braced ourselves and God took care of us. The big semi next to us slowed down to give us room to get over.
We stood out by the road rather than sit in the bus. (I've been hit before - totaled my car - while sitting on the side of the interstate.)
It started to get hot in the sun so we started to step up here in the shade. AAAAHHH! Poison Ivy!
So we moved over here. AAAAHHH! Big red ants!
So now we're safe - away from the poison ivy, away from the red ants, AAAAHHH! Here come the mowers!
We were finally rescued! Brent came by in his van. He saw us and turned around at exit 24 then had to drive back to exit 31 to get back on to get us.
Here we are in another vehicle adventure. We had to sit on the floor, but we didn't care. We just wanted to get home.
So in ten short days we rode in four airplanes, several vans and buses, taxis, trains, gondolas and elevators. God is good. We made it home.
1 Igreja Batista na Vila do Pinhiero isn't far from the entrance to the favela.
The people there are warm and kind. Each day during the week several church members would join us each day as we went door to door telling people about God's love and how they could know Jesus in a personal way as their Savior and Lord. Pray for them as they follow up on the many who prayed to accept Christ. It is difficult for people to feel comfortable joining a church because they know they have to quit smoking and drinking. We kept telling them we weren't there to have them join a church or start following a set of rules, but we wanted them to know Jesus.
The service Sunday morning began with some congregational singing.
Hmmmm, can't find a picture. They sang wonderfully. They used an overhead projector for the words and sang with some accompaniment tracks. They had a couple of guys and Ii think I remember three girls leading - singing in microphones. This is a picture of the congregation as we read Psalm 145.
Scripture reading. A testimony. A prayer. The man in the yellow shirt is their Associate Pastor. The Senior Pastor was out of town.
Our mission team sang "How Great Is Our God".
I played "Amazing Grace" in Portuguese. This violin belongs to Ray's son. It is a wonderful instrument.
Then I preached. Tulio, who had been my interpreter all week, was my interpreter Sunday morning as well. He did a great job.
The church members presented us with gifts after the service. The painting was done by the guy in the middle. He was the church member that went with Cheryl and I each day. His wife (on his right) crocheted the edges of the dishcloths. It was so wonderful to get handmade presents.
After church we went to a Mexican restaurant and met up with the medical mission team from Atlanta that was just beginning their mission.
Then we shopped a little at the HippyFeira (an outdoor area - I would describe it as a bazaar.) We bought t-shirts for our grandchildren.
They had a lot of beautiful paintings.
I REALLLLLLY wanted one of these bamboo saxophones. They were sooooo cool! Some were shaped like clarinets too. But they were R100 (which is about $70). I figured Mike wouldn't be too happy if I used the church credit card to buy one - but it was very tempting...
We ended up the day with a wild ride to the airport. I guess the driver thought we were behind schedule. I don't think the van had any shocks. If you've ever ridden The Runaway Mine train at Six Flags over Texas you have an idea. Wheeeeeee! It seems faster in the tunnels.
Tomorrow I'll post about our adventure coming home titled Surviving the Streets of Rio Only to Almost Die on I-24. You won't want to miss it.
Here's a picture of Ray and Sharron Fairchild, the missionaries we partnered with.
WOW! Thanks to all our faithful readers, we are about to pass the 20,000 mark. See, there at the bottom, scroll all the way down, see that number? Almost 20,000! I suppose since I had a prize for our 10,000th hit, http://hilldaleworship.blogspot.com/2008/03/10000th-hit-winner.html I should have a prize for hit 20,000. Let me know if it is you!
On the seventh day in Rio we got to rest a little. At least rest from working in the favela. We hopped on a big tour bus and set out to explore this beautiful city.
There are always some really cool sand castles along the beach. The pace of life here is slow, but when you drive "floor it!" so it was difficult to get pictures that weren't blurry.
I'm not sure I would want this job.
Many of the beautiful buildings of Rio were built when it was a Portuguese colony back in the 1800s.
Our first stop was Corcadova, the mountain where the gigantic statue of Christ is. It is called Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer. Princess Isabela freed the slaves in the late 1800s (after the USA slaves were freed. They wanted to build a great statue of her and call it Isabel the Redeemer. She said if they built a statue of a Redeemer it would have to be of Jesus because HE is our Redeemer. Good for her! So the statue of THE Redeemer was built in honor of the lady who freed the slaves. Cool.
As we waited in line, there was a funny "hippy" statue. Then we noticed that the statue moved. Someone said, "if you drop money in his bucket he'll make you something." Lisa, never to miss an adventure, dropped in some coins. I'll have to find Charlie's video of it for you to see, but here he is presenting Lisa the flower that he made.
To get the Cristo Redentor you ride a train straight up a hill, well, maybe not straight up, but you can see out the window how slanted the view is outside.
The statue is HUGE.
You can't help but think of Christ's words, "come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."
There were a lot of people posing like it.
Next, we went to lunch. We went to a charrasaria (I'll check the spelling later). It was great. I don't have food pictures today.
Late afternoon we headed to Sugar Loaf. It's a giant hill sticking up out of the ocean. As Cheryl puts it, "you hang on strings to get there."
Cheryl doesn't do heights. Here she is hanging on as we rode up.
Here's our missionary, Ray, taking a picture.
We stayed for sunset - incredible!
Everyone took lots pictures.
Right in the middle of this picture, the little bump above the mountains is Corcadova. If you enlarge the picture you can see Cristo Redentor.