Monday, September 29, 2008

Budget Time

I spent today working on next year's budget. Hmmmm. I've always said, "You don't want an artist doing your money. You'll end up with Enron."

Worrying about where money goes or how it goes isn't one of my favorite things to do, but one thing about working on a budget is that you can look back over the past year and remember some really great things - great times of worship, a great Passion Play, a great Living Christmas Tree...

and more importantly, it reminds you of relationships - old and new choir members getting to know each other at retreats and during rehearsals, instrumentalists working together to make beautiful music, sound men and camera men and the rest of the tech crew putting in long hours to make everything happen behind the scenes so worship and concerts and special events all come off without a hitch...

We, at Hilldale, are blessed with so many people who give of themselves week after week so what we do will honor our Lord Jesus Christ and will help others worship and

well, I guess I'm just rattling on. I think you get what I'm trying to say.

OK, now it's back to the budget. I think I'll just ask for 10% more on everything - hahaha! Don't tell Bro. Mike.

I don't want a piece of the pie. I want the whole pie!

Just kidding.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

You Are God Alone

I meant to put this on our worship blot earlier in the week. We're singing it tomorrow in worship and it will be the first time we have sung it and I figure you should hear it before we do.

Jingles Came to KCC!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kids Choral Connection

... is happening even as I type. I thought you might like to see a little of what has happened so far.

Kids Choral Connection is Today!

Woohoo! It's gonna be fun.
If your child is coming he/she needs to be at church at 5:00 for a pizza supper. We'll have a really fun evening and then get back together Saturday for more singing and recording a CD! I'm going to wear my red shirt from last year.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I have a love/hate relationship with commercials. There are some that are so funny that I laugh out loud just thinking about them. There are some that are so annoying that I wouldn't buy anything from the advertiser. For example anything sold by that guy that yells everything. He realllly needs to lay off the caffeine!

Hahahaha! one of the ones I think is so hysterical just came on. Some ladies are in the grocery store talking about all these yummy sounding desserts and one of them mentions Boston cream (creme?) pie and Richard Simmons jumps in, "Boston creme (cream?) pie? No! Ladies, please... I believe in you, on and on...." Hahaha.

Some commercials have been on so long I want to scream when they come on again.And what is a three year old pappion anyway? and what does that have to do with plumbing? I don't even know what the lady is advertising!

Well, at the risk of annoying many, here's my Wednesday commercial.

It's Wednesday! I hope I'll see you in choir tonight!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kids Choral Connection

At last count there were over 350 kids coming to Hilldale this Friday and Saturday for the TBC's annual Kids Choral Connection.

We'll have a wonderful time as we learn some songs, have times of fun and times of worship and at the end we'll record a CD! How cool is that?

Kids Choral Connection is for kids in what most churches call the Young Musicians Choir. Some churches it is grades 4-6, some, like ours, is for kids 3-5 grade. We've looked at the music and are ready to join all of the other kids Friday for a pizza supper, rehearsal (getting ready for the concert/recording session) and a fun time to end the evening. If for some reason your child didn't get signed up for this wonderful weekend, you can probably still register. There just won't be a t-shirt available. That deadline passed a few weeks ago. But it will still be a huge weekend (and there could possibly be a t-shirt if there are extras).
Rumor has it that Jingles will make an appearance again this year - possibly Saturday morning. We'll have to see. Here's a picture of Jingles from last year.
Check in next week for pictures from this year's KCC.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Studentz Praize

We had a good start to our Fall season of Studentz Praize tonight. There were 34 or so of us there. Yeah! We borrowed some books from Springfield's youth choir to use. There are some great songs in the book.

During the worship service we had several of our youth come up on the platform with me to sing and to choose the last two songs that we sang in the service. They chose "In Christ Alone" and "My Savior, My God."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sunday's Music - the rest of the morning - Sept. 21

September 21, 2008 AM

Everlasting God

How Great Is Our God

Prayer – Bro. Lyndel Littleton

Choir anthem – The Solid Rock

Welcome – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Welcome Song – Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

I Stand Amazed in the Presence

Above All

Special Music – Traci, Laughrie, Pat and Jimmy

Sermon – Dr. Jim Henry

Invitation – Just As I Am

Offertory – Gena Tate

Baptism – Bro. Tim Muñoz (10:30) Jean Woodall
Nathan and Jennifer Kerr

Announcements & Benediction – Bro. Tony Lewis

Springfield Baptist Church's Youth Choir

We had the priviledge last Sunday night of having the Youth Choir from Springfield Baptist Church lead our Evening Worship Service. They were wonderful!

They sang by themselves, led us in singing, used creative movement, ribbons, sign language and drama to present a wonderful time of worship.

Matt Plunk is the Minister of Music at Springfield. Matt and I have been friends for - well, I guess about 20 years! I'm sure we were very young when we first met. Hahaha.

Sunday's Music - Sept. 21

I hate missing choir rehearsal. It's a great pick-me-up for the middle of the week. Dan says rehearsal went well and that we're all ready to go for Sunday. I'm glad you all were able to look at a lot of Christmas music too. It will be December before we know it!

Sunday's music.

Hmmmm, I'll have to double check with Donna. I gave her Sunday's order of worship last week and today I don't remember.

I do remember the choir anthem - The Solid Rock

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Old PSA Made New

When I was a little boy there was a Public Service Announcement that they played all of the time.

It's 10:00. Do you know where your children are?

If you click this link you'll find the history of the phrase and a few jokes that are take offs from this phrase.

So here's my new wording I thought up just for you. Hahaha makes it sound like it's going to be something really clever doesn't it?

It's 6:30 pm on a Wednesday. Do you know where your choir is?

If you live in Clarksville, TN the answer to that is "at the Family Life Center." Come join us tonight. We're going to sing a lot of Christmas music!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Standing O?!?

Oh wow! We had a great time of worhip this morning. I really liked all of the songs we sang - well, duh, I planned the service - but some weeks seem to go really well and this was one of them. The Praise Team sang with beautiful harmonies, the congregation sang well. It was just great. Jesus was honored and worshipped and great truths were shared.

But the highlight of the service - for me, anyway - was the choir anthem. Oh Wow! Curtis did a fantastic job on the solo and the choir sang perhaps the best they have ever sung. The dynamics were super, beginning with the soft yet big sound as we sang, "let us pray", to the crisp and exciting "Kyrie eleison" in the middle section, to the fortissimo ending "Lord, have mercy, for we have placed all our hope in Thee!" AWESOME!

Side note - You've heard me say many times "God loves choirs." Well, the singing of this piece was a prime example of why - and of what churches who have done away with thier choirs are missing. Our Praise Team really was great today, and the congregation sang well, but nothing can give the depth and passion and power of a full choir singing so well together. Wow! It was hard keeping the tears back this morning.

Back to the original thought on this post - The congregation responded well too (the first service stood to their feet before the final cutoff. I know they were partly - perhaps mostly - responding to a wonderful musical interpretation of a very well crafted piece, but I hope they were also standing because of the incredible message of the piece. (You can see an earlier post about this song here )

1 John 4:10
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews 4:
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Keep singing!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Special Guests - Sept. 14 PM

We have some special guests coming to Hilldale this Sunday night, Sept. 14th, at 5:00. They are the Youth Choir from Springfield Baptist Church under the direction of Matt Plunk.

They will sing some songs with tracks and some songs with piano. And on some of the songs their youth will be playing drums and guitars to lead in worship.

After the concert we're having a youth fellowship with our youth and the choir. And what's cool about this is that many of our youth know each other. They were at the same youth camp this past summer.

Let me encourage everyone to come to this special service - for a few reasons.

1. You will be blessed as we worship together.

2. You will be an encouragement to our youth. They need to know that the adults in our congregation think they are important. Your presence will show them that.

3. You will encourage the youth from Springfield with your enthusiastic response to their sharing with us.
It's my prayer that this concert/worship time will be a big boost to our youth choir. We should have a really big choir singing all of the time. Let's work together to have that at Hilldale.
See you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday's Music September 14

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Rise Up and Praise Him

Prayer – Bro. Lyndel Littleton

Choir anthem – Lord, Have Mercy (soloist - Curtis Morrison)
(see previous post about Kyrie Eleison)

Welcome – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Welcome Song – Everlasting God

Children’s Sermon – Bro. Tim Muñoz

At Calvary
Covers Me for Life

Special Music

Sermon – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation – Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

Offertory – Jessica Huang

The Lord’s Supper

Baptism – Bro. Tim Muñoz

Announcements & Benediction – Bro. Tony Lewis


Have you noticed that as time passes memories sort of fade? Even memories of important things begin to lose their significance as life rushes on and new memories crowd out the old.

Sometimes this is a good thing. If we remembered every car wreck we ever witnessed (or were actually in) with the passion and vividness of the moment we would never be able to leave our house and get in a car. If mothers remembered too strongly the pain of childbirth there would be a whole lot of only children in the world.

But sometimes this fading of memories is not a good thing. We need to remember car wrecks a little so we don't drive like crazy people when we are on I-24 going to Nashville!

Today we are remembering 9-11. And even that has faded. We don't remember how horrific that event was. This morning on Fox and Friends (my favorite morning show) they showed actual footage and their coverage of that terrible morning. For a few years it was deemed too graphic and too horrible to show. I'm glad they showed it this year. We were starting to forget.

As I watched, all the emotions of that day flooded back. I fought back tears as I watched the reporter as he told about the plane hitting the World Trade Center and then another plane flew right behind him and hit the second tower.

These are images we need to remember. Not so we will remember to hate the people who did this. No. On the contrary it should remind us that the only hope for peace between men is found in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in the second chapter of Ephesians. Read This Chapter

Paul is explaining in these verses how formerly there were two groups - the Gentiles and the Jews - and that now Christ had made them one body. v.14 "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,"

There is so much more in this chapter that needs to be said. It would make a great sermon series. But let me give you a few more things I hope you will remember not only on 9-11, but every day.

1. You were dead in your trespasses and sins (vs.1-3)
2. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ" (vs.4-5)
3. You were created for good works - to live your life that way (v.10)
4. You need to remember that once you had no hope and were separate from God (vs.11-12)
5. "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (v.13)

(Someone aught to be shoutin' "Hallelujah" by now!)

So now that you remember all of that... go live the truth. Live like a child of the King. Do the good works you were created for. Satan wants us to live our lives like we are still in the ashes of the World Trade Center, without hope and without God. But the truth is found (summarized) in Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,

There are people in your family, people that you work for, people around you, who have no hope. They are separated from God. YOU have the words of life living in you. Let them see by your good works and your good words that you have been brought near to God - that you are part of God's household. Give them some hope. Read Ephesians 2 Read This Chapter and then tell them - in your own words - how real that is in your life. The power of the Gospel doesn't depend on us. God is the one who convicts and saves and makes those who were formerly far oof to be near, but He lets us be a part of the process. How cool is that?

Now - get busy. There are a lot of people out there and we're behind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Tenor

There's been a lot of interesting talk lately about lipstick and the difference it makes (or doesn't make).

So I want to ask,

If you put lipstick on a tenor...


Well, in our choir, we actually have a tenor who wears lipstick. In fact, she happens to be the tenor section leader - Nadine. Nadine happens to like to sing tenor. Every now and then, I happen to sing soprano - although most people would ask me to please NOT do that.

All of that to remind you of a couple of things.

1. It's Wednesday! Time for choir!

2. We're happy with you just the way you are. If you're a soprano who doesn't wear lipstick or a tenor who does, if you can read the full score of Handel's Messiah or don't have a clue what all those scribbles on the sheet of music mean, if you sing like the angels or simply make a joyful noise, you can have a place of ministry through our music and worship ministry.

Or it could be that you would like to work with the sound or with a camera or work with children or youth in choir. I figure camera men can wear lipstick too. (except for Chuck. I think that would really look bad...)

And on Sundays, EVERYONE should sing - in or out of the choir - as we worship together.

As that wonderful old hymn says, "I sing for I cannot be silent, His love is the theme of my song." So sing whether you wear lipstick or not. (It's all in the vowels anyway, but that's a whole other post.)


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tennis Numbers

I don't know a lot about sports. I hardly ever watch sporting events. It's not so much not liking them as being totally lost and not understanding what is going on.

Tennis is a great example of that. I heard this morning that some guy had won the US Open again for the - well, he's won a whole lot. Hold on, I'll look it up.

OK. It's Roger Federer and he's won 56 singles titles in his career and before this win he had earned over $41,000,000 (that's 41 million!) playing tennis.

Here's the part that I found amazing. They said he was middle aged for a tennis player. He's 27! MIDDLE AGED?!? oh my! That's a number I'll never understand.

Here's another funny thing about tennis - the way they keep score. If you don't have any points it's called "love". That I can understand. It's kind of like saying, "Bless your heart. You don't have any points." Then you get a point but instead of just one you get 15. That's pretty cool. Another point and you're at 30. I figure it was made up by a fourth grade teacher who wanted to teach her class to count by 15s.

I'm understanding it so far, but then the next one is 40. That just makes me want to say, "Bless your hearts. You don't know how to count by 15. You need to go back to fourth grade."

And don't even ask me about 6-0, 6-3, 6-4. No clue here.

But here's a nice thing about tennis. You don't have to understand the scoring and you don't have to be young to enjoy playing.

What does that have to do with worship? Well, I just thought it was all kind of amusing to think about, but then I realized that a lot of people don't understand all of the number things about music. 4/4 time, tempo 120, repeat back to m.23... those kinds of things. And then there are all of those symbols! But here's the cool thing about music. You don't have to understand all of the numbers and notes and symbols to enjoy singing and to be a part of one of our choirs.

Our adult choir meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 at the Family Life Center.

Children's choirs meet on Sunday nights at 4:30 and the youth choir meets on Sunday nights at 5:00.

I hope you'll overcome your fear of "reading" and understanding music and enjoy music with us.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Winning Start

Last night was our kickoff night for Children's Choirs for this Fall semester. The children are going to be working on a musical titled Race to Win. It has some really fun, upbeat songs, a great story line and teaches how you don't win the race of life by being good enough, but by giving your life to Christ and living for Him.

To help us have a grand kickoff we asked a real-life, genuine (pronounced gin-u-Ine) race car driver to come over with his car and meet the kids.

Clay Greenfield brought one of his cars! I got his autograph!

The kids loved seeing the car and meeting a race car driver.

Look at this! The car rides in the top of the trailer. Who knew?

The bottom had spare parts and all kinds of cool car things that I couldn't tell you about since I don't know what they are, a walky-talky system for the pit crew, a bathroom that even has a shower in it and an office area with sofas and a TV. Cool! Should have taken a picture...

I think I could fit into one of his racing suits. What do you think?

I've seen the movie Cars many, many times (the grand kids love it). The cars in the movie call Lightning McQueen "Stickers" because his headlights are just stickers. Ha! Clay's car just has stickers for headlights too.

When asked what he wanted to name his new baby brother, my oldest grandson said, "Tony Stewart." Who knows... a few years from now there may be little boys answering that question with "Clay Greenfield." Thanks, Clay, for bringing your car to church.