Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's Wednesday! Perk Up!

There are many people who don't like Wednesdays. Wednesday is stuck right in the middle of the week. It's too long from the coming weekend to look forward to being away from work and too long from the past weekend to still remember what a nice weekend you had, so you're just kind of stuck. Stuck at work or in school and you need something to perk up your day and maybe even your week.


intransitive verb

1 a: to thrust up the head, stretch out the neck, or carry the body in a bold or insolent manner
b: to stick up or out jauntily
2: to gain in vigor or cheerfulness especially after a period of weakness or depression —usually used with up "he's perked up noticeably"

I have just what you need! - CHOIR!

Where else can you have great fellowship with your friends, sing some great music, worship, be encouraged, work hard and accomplish something, have someone else watch your kids, and more - all within one hour? I don't think there is anything else that offers so much and it's free!

Or you could just drink a pot of coffee.

See you tonight!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Opening of FLC

Open House - 3:00-5:00
Fellowship Meal - 5:00
Rebecca St. James Concert - 6:00

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Great Sunday

Thank you to everyone in the choir and the band and to all the tech crew for another wonderful Sunday morning. We had a great number in choir in both services and you all sang well - even when the words weren't there. I recieved very specific instructions from my lovely wife to always check with her to make sure the words are up before we begin a song. I will do that!

I hope you had an opportunity to visit with some of the missionaries and visit their booths too. It was a good day. Hmmmm, now I need a picture. I hate not having a picture to put with a post. Soooo drab...

There. It doesn't really have anything to do with yeasterday's services or music, but it is of the basketball courts at our new FLC.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Easter

Today is Easter!

It's true. For Christians of the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Coptic Christians (Egypt, Ethiopia) they are celebrating Christ's resurrection today. (35 days after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox)

Greek Orthodox Priest

Russian Orthodox Priests

Coptic Monk

While we may disagree on some doctirnal issues, we DO agree that Jesus Christ died for our sins and three days later rose from the dead. Hallelujah!
May you all have a blessed Easter.

Does He Play Drums Too?

I heard something that I thought was really funny today. No one has really said much about our new drum room. It's an experiment I'm trying for the next few weeks. We bought the drum room for the band that will play for our new "Contemporary" service at the FLC. I expected to hear more about it than I have. I've mostly hear "cool!" from the youth boys.

Acoustic drums have such a great sound. The thing I notice most is the kick (bass drum). The Roland set we have is a mid to low range model and the kick sounds a lot like an old wet wooden spoon hitting a cardboard box. The drums we have in the drum room have a great "kick".

Another nice thing about acoustic drums is that you can actually play softer on them than you can on electric drums. "How is that?", you may ask since the reason for electronic drums is to control the sound. Because... you can play softer and still get a sound out of them. If you hit an electric drum softly you may or may not get a sound so you end up hitting them harder than you would real drums.

So why a drum room? Because acoustic drums ARE very loud. And with the shape of our ceiling, the sound would be ten times louder than it actually is. So, a drum room keeps most of the sound in the room and we can control it that way.

But I've distracted myself... The funny thing I heard today was about the drum room. One of the ladies at church (names withheld to protect the innocent) said her husband said, "When did the Pope start playing drums?"

Friday, April 25, 2008

On Mission Conference

Here are a few pics from tonight's first annual "On Mission Conference." The evening was a wonderful success. Thanks to Bro. Paul and all the people who helped him.

The Fairchilds were there. (I didn't think until later that I should have taken pictures of all of the missionaries.) They are the missionaries we will be working with when we go to Rio in August. We have some wonderful music planned for Sunday morning for the conclusion of our On Mission Conference. I hope you are planning on being with us in worship.

If you are in choir, don't forget that we have changed the order of worship just a little. If you are a youth type person, we need you and a friend to carry a flag in Sunday morning. Come to the Sanctuary at 8:45 for instructions.

Wind and Fire is playing too. Come early to go through the music with the band.

B-3 - Very Important!

Whoever knew there were so many B3's that are important things in life.

There's the B-3 Bomber. Wow! Looks like a space ship and does really cool secret things that I can't tell you about. (I'm assuming you don't have the security clearance...)

Then of course vitamin B3 a.k.a. Niacin. Apparently (as seen in this picture) it's very important.

But one of my favorite B3's is the Hammond B3.
On it's 50th birthday (2005) The British Broadcasting Corporation said this, "The Hammond Organ is Alive & Kicking....there's just no substitute for the real Thing!"
It has a very cool, distinct sound with it's draw bars, rotating Leslie.
Wikipedia says this, "While the Hammond organ was originally sold to churches as a lower-cost alternative to the pipe organ, it became the de facto standard for jazz, blues, and rock music (in the 1960s and 1970s) and gospel music. "
Several of our new choir songs have a B3 in the accompaniment. They sound great when we sing thrm by the way. We'll work on trying to duplicate that wounderful B3 sound on the keyboards we have.
I can just see that wild gospel look in Mrs. Church's eyes as she does a glissando...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Golden Granny Awards

Adult choir members, Children's Choir leaders and helpers, everyone in the media ministry (cameras, lights, sound, computers, etc.), actors and drama support - EVERYONE involved in our worship/music/drama/media ministry is invited to our first annual
Golden Granny Awards dinner!
Tickets are $10 per person.
Call Donna in the worship/music office or buy your tickets at choir rehearsal tonight. You won't want to miss this fun evening.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The River of Life

We've got a great new song we'll look at Wednesday night in choir - The River of Life. You're gonna really like this one.

I'll be looking for you in rehearsal - 6:30.

I have a picture to go with this post - posts without pictures are BORING. But Blogger doesn't want to load it right now. Check back later....

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Movie to Go See

Christian Leaders Call 'Expelled' a Must-See Movie

According to Baptist Press, the Ben Stein documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" explores the ongoing academic, legal and cultural battle between supporters of Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design. During the 90-minute, PG-rated film, Stein talks to people on both sides of the debate, and in a climactic scene, interviews noted atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins. The movie's premise is simple: Supporters of Intelligent Design are being "expelled" -- fired, shunned or ridiculed (or all three) -- from institutions for their beliefs. Pro-family leaders, including Focus on the Family's James Dobson and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's Richard Land, have given the film thumbs up. "Expelled is a wonderful movie," Land said on the April 17 broadcast of "For Faith and Family" in which he interviewed Stein. "I think it should be required viewing for anyone who wants to understand what is going on and what is at stake in the debate over worldviews in this society."

Amazing Grace History by Wintley Phipps

When you've got 8 minutes and 53 seconds to spare take a look at this video. Whew!!! Great story and gorgeous singing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

On Mission Celebration

Next weekend is our On Mission Celebration.

It will be a great weekend as our church gets to know some of our SBC missionaries and gets to hear first hand how God is at work around the world.
Our church's giving through the Cooperative Program helps fund mission work all around the world - over 5,000 missionaires with the IMB (see my links) and over 5,000 with NAMB.
If the Cooperative Program is something new to you, you really need to click here to find out more information.

I love it that our church is so involved in missions. I'm looking forward to going to Rio de Janiero in August. Eu estudo o português cada dia para meu desengate a Rio em agosto. The missionaries we are woprking with in Rio will be here for our On Mission Conference along with a Brazilian soccer team. futeball!

The weekend begins with a whole hog BBQ! Yummmmm! It's free, but you have to have a ticket. If you didn't pick one up then you need to call the church office first thing Monday and tell them you are coming. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rivers and Spires - Did You Know?

Did you know that Rivers and Spires in in the top twenty events according to the Southeast Tourism Society?

Did you know that the worship leader for our new contemporary service at the FLC, Jamie Worley, and his band are playing Saturday at 1:30 on the Courthouse Stage?

Jamie Worley

Did you know that our cool drummer, Ryan, is drumming with his Christian metal band, O.A.T.H., at 9:00 tonight on the Christian Rock Stage?


Did you know that it is important to support music in our public schools?
Did you know the West Creek Middle School Chorus is singing on the Christian rock stage at 11:30?
and that the Barksdale Elementary Choir is singing at 1:00 on the Christian Rock Stage?
and that the Montgomery Central Elmentary Honor Choir is singing at 1:00 on the Rising Star Stage?
Many of our children at church go to Barksdale and I'm pretty sure that West Creek is where Emily (clarinet and alto) teaches.

Did you know I went to Clarksville last night to see my very first Rivers and Spires and ended up at Cracker Barrel since it was raining? (More of that story here

Did you know that our church, Hilldale Baptist Church, has a booth in the children's area? Did you know we are giving away a really super cool prize?

I'm headed to Clarksville soon. I'm taking my camera. SMILE! You might end up here on my world-famous blog.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pray for Our Nation

My goodness. We're in a mess. This Fall I hope you will vote for politicians who will appoint judges that aren't anti-religion like these. I don't think any other commentary is necessary. In the mean time. PRAY. Speak up. Write someone a letter. Do Something...

Here are two articles from "Religion Today Summaries" from

Court Tells Coach He Can't Kneel or Bow Head When Team Prays
The Newark Star-Ledger reports that a federal appeals court has ruled the East Brunswick school board was within its rights to tell football coach Marcus Borden he cannot kneel and bow his head as members of his team have a student-led pre-game prayer. The ruling from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia reversed a lower-court ruling made almost two years ago. The judges agreed the policy barring school staff from joining in student-led was constitutional, but differed on what exactly a coach should do when his team prays. Borden has coached the team since 1983. He used to be deeply involved in team prayers, and for a while even led them. But in 2005 school officials received complaints that he was leading prayers and asked him to stop.

Ohio Teacher, Told to Remove Bible From Students View, Refuses
According to FOX News, "An Ohio middle school teacher says he won't obey an order to remove a Bible from view of students. John Freshwater said Wednesday he agreed to remove a collage from his classroom that included the Ten Commandments, but that asking him to remove the Bible on his desk goes too far. Officials with the Mount Vernon School District say they don't oppose religion but are required by the U.S. Constitution not to promote or favor any set of religious beliefs. Freshwater says being forced to keep the Bible out of sight would infringe on his rights."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

God Loves Choirs - part 2

If you were in choir last night then you heard most of this, but it dawned on me as we were singing the chorus of Forever I'll Praise You (which is Sunday's anthem) another reason why God loves choirs.

We were singing without the piano so we could hear all of the notes - and it sounded GORGEOUS! The harmonies were so lovely and there was a beautiful balance between the parts and nice vowel sounds and the whole deal...

and it hit me - boom! This is why God loves choirs. Partly because of the beauty of the harmonies, partly because of the praise that is offered but also because what we were doing at that moment was a perfect example of how we should be as a church.

Ivy Mike


Yes! At that moment, it wasn't about me, it wasn't about you or him or her, it was about God and we were each bringing our best, blending our voices together, me listening to you and him and her - each listening to the others so that no voice stood out and my voice complimented yours and yours complemented mine and together we were able to do much more than addition of voices, it was multiplication or even more like fusion - creating something bigger than the individual parts would normally add up to.


Wow. I'm just rattling on and probably not making much sense.

Some of us read music, some don't, some can sing solos, many cannot, some have deep Southern accents, some moved here from North of the Mason-Dixon line. But in a choir, all of that fades away as we work together and blend our voices together - putting aside our own preferences, not flaunting our own abilities, but submitting to the direction of another we become and do and make something WONDERFUL. How cool is that? And it is the perfect example of how we as a church should be in everything.

Ps 34:3 - Show Context
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

You may finish this sermonette with your own examples of how this could work in Life Groups, mission endeavors, etc.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesdays, Music and Hilldale

Wednesdays are busy (but fun) days in the worship/music ministry of Hilldale Baptist Church.

At 5:30 our Wind and Fire Instrumental Ensemble rehearses on the platform in the Sanctuary/Worship Center. We've talked about playing on most Sunday mornings suring the first set of songs. Just about everyone liked the idea, so I have music ready for us to look at tonight for this Sunday morning. We'll also work on another offertory to play.

Children's Choir at Kids Choral Connection

Children's Choirs meet at 6:00 on Wednesday nights. We have some directors and helpers in our children's area. They are starting on some VBS music (if I remember correctly). The children meet up in the children's area.

Adult choir members at Christmas Retreat

At 6:30 our adult choir meets in the choir room. We have a few leaving choir to go work at the Family Life Center. They will teach at 10:00 and then worship at 11:00. That means I need a few people to take their places in choir here. If you are in the 11:00 service at the FLC you won't have a choir to sing in.

Coming soon on Wednesdays as part of our Worship Ministry will be our puppet ministry. Look for details here on the blog on in Sunday's bulletin.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Last Poll

One of my favorite passages about Jesus is Colossians 1:15-20

The wonder of creation - especially seen in the Spring reminds me of Colossians 1:16
For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Tiny yellow daffodils on the other side of the creek.

The vote for our favorite spring tree had a runaway winner - the queen of spring trees - the dogwood. (25 votes)

I actually voted for the cherry tree. (9 votes) They were the most beautiful they have been in several years this year. I had to vote for them. We planted a double cherry in our front yard when Gibson was born.

Gibson's tree

Then I needed to vote for the red buds. (3 votes) They are at peak bloom now. I LOVE red bud trees. I-24 is surrounded by them. Sooooo beautiful. And since the red bud is the state tree of my native Oklahoma I needed to vote for it. Since Elam was born in Oklahoma we planted a red bud tree for him on the other side of the creek.

But of course the most beautiful spring tree is the dogwood and our voters agreed. We planted a dogwood tree when Haven was born. Just as the red buds are fading away the dogwoods will come into full bloom.

Lest you think we forgot Hannah and Benjamin, Hannah has a beautiful weeping willow (because it is her momma's favorite tree) and Benjamin has a black walnut. (haha, not for the reason you are thinking of) The walnut across the creek is a big strong beautiful tree and we know Benjamin will grow to be a big strong beautiful person. (OK, maybe a little for the reason you are thinking of -grin-) It's the first tree you come to on our property.

Miniature daffodils

I guess after we move to Clarksville we'll have to plant some new trees. We won't be planting any Bradford pears (0 votes).

The Old Rugged Cross

I'm going to try very hard not to talk politics too much on this blog since the main point of it is the worship and music ministry of Hilldale, but recent comments by one of the presidential candidates reminded me of a song (therefore it is a music post rather than a political post).

"I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown."

I don't really cling to my "religion" and I'm certainly not "bitter" about not making the kind of money a US Senator makes (therefore needing to cling to guns or religion to sooth my soul). Implying that I cling to religion because I'm bitter about my station in life is a bit rude and condescending.

I cling to the Savior, Jesus Christ.

I cling to the cross as a symbol of Jesus' love for all the world shown as He gave His life as an atonement for sin.

I cling to my church because I love the people of God.

I cling to the Southern Baptist Convention because I agree with its theology and am proud of the world mission efforts through cooperative giving.

OK, I'll quit. The list could be longer.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hahaha My Lovely Wife and My Blog

My lovely wife, Cheryl, critiques my blog for me. She tells me if she thinks a picture will bother someone or if she thinks I've insulted someone or if I sounded like a total nerd, and so I go back and change things or I tell her the picture looks OK to me or whatever.

So tonight she said, "Are you depressed? What's wrong?"


"I read your blog. It was very dark."


"You quoted Romans 8!"

"Hahahaha!" She's so funny. So I guess it was a bit of a stretch to compare a dogwood winter with the bad things that happen in life that you have no control over. I really didn't mean to overstate the cold weather with doom and gloom and weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Although if I lose all of my iris again this year I may be a little depressed.) I was simply pointing out that there are things that happen in life that we have no control over and how in all those things - granted we usually think of huge things like war and famine and yellow fever and a plague of locusts - but even the little things that annoy us can't separate us from God or His love.

The iris on Bear Hollow last year.

Hahahaha. I'll try not to be quite so over the top in the future. Not that I've ever really - you know - been "over the top". I probably have only exaggerated once or twice in my whole life, hmmmm, well, once or twice last week, hmmmmmmm, welllllll, OK, once or twice today...

Dogwood Winter

I'm all against dogwood winters, but that doesn't seem to stop them from happening. It actually snowed on Cheryl this morning when she drove through Joelton. I guess I'll need to cover up some plants tonight and tomorrow night.

Like this beautiful bleeding heart.

I suppose there are many things in life that I'd just as soon not happen, but they happen anyway. That doesn't mean life is bad. It doesn't mean anything really. I just hope my bleeding heart survives this cold snap.

On a totally different note...
For the first time since I have been to Hilldale, the second service choir was bigger than the first service choir. Way to go 10:30 choir! The choir sounded great both services. Thanks to everyone who sang with us this morning. I'll be looking for you all Wednesday night. Bring someone with you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kid Blitz Live at Hilldale

Woohoooooo! What a fun night!

And once again someone is picking on poor old Bro. Tim.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sunday's Music

Choir anthem - The Basics of Life

Congregation - Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord

Holy, Holy, Holy

Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone

and more...

Sunday night the Youth Choir is scheduled to sing and I forgot to put a note about that in the bulletin. Since the Youth Choir is singing the handbell choir and youth choir will trade rehearsal times.

What does this picture have to do with Sunday's music? Nothing. I just got these daffodils and red bud branches out of my yard last night and thought you would enjoy seeing them. I may retake the picture with a little more light. Do you see my creek outside?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tim's Egg Surprise

Look! Bro. Tim is on Youtube! I've never seen him speechless before. You can go to Youtube and leave a comment. The more traffic it gets the more Youtube will send people to it. Hahahaha!

More Kids

Hmmmm, without naming any names... some of our grandmothers (well, one, actually) in the choir mentioned - in a nice way of course (egged on by my lovely wife) - that on my post with pictures of the kids in the Passion Play that I didn't have pictures of their kids. My apologies to all of the grandmothers. I hope it won't be toooooo obvious who the grandmother is when you see the pictures.

Isn't she beautiful? (the baby)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

God Loves Choirs!

Singing in a choir is partly for the singers. It is a lot of fun. There is great teamwork involved and a real sense of accomplishment when you work hard on something for some time and then it sounds and looks wonderful (like the Passion Play or The Tree or Sunday morning worship).

But choirs are also for God. He must like them because He had choirs in worship from the time His people established worship in the temple. The singers lived near each other and the tithes and offerings brought to the temple paid their salaries. How cool is that? They had all the instruments playing too. There is a great story of the celebration of the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem in Nehemiah 12. They had singers come from all over and they divided them into two choirs and had choir directors and everything. Choirs are always a part of grand celebrations.

The western wall in Jerusalem. Is this the one Nehemiah built? I don't remember.

Now some will argue that there aren't choirs or instruments in the New Testament. Perhaps I'll address that in another post. Let's just say they haven't thought everything through biblically.

God has always had choirs. Job talks about the morning stars singing together at creation. Job 38 Some think Job is referring to the stars, some say it references angels, but either way, there was a choir singing God's praises.

Jesus said that if we didn't praise Him that the very rocks would cry out. There was a song we sang at youth camp one year that said something about not letting some rock take my place...
This is the "singing rock" in Santa Cruz, Portugal. It has a hole in it that "sings" as the waves and tide come and go. Pretty cool.

All of this to say - our church needs you in choir. Not just in the congregation. Singing in choir is more than just singing along in worship. It is getting together and working up great songs together for God's glory. I hope I'll see you in choir tonight. I don't have any rocks to take your place.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

You and Me and the FLC

As Bro. Larry mentioned Sunday we're into the final countdown to the FLC grand opening. I know it will be exciting as we are able to use this new facility to reach out to our community. Rebecca St. James will be in concert May 25 for the grand opening!

I am looking forward to some racquetball, myself. I'm afraid Bro. Larry has stirred up a lot of competition for me.

Some of you are wondering how this will affect us as a choir. Our third service is designed to reach people who are not attending church now. If you want to attend that service you need to do two things.

1. You need to volunteer to teach a children's class.
2. You need to find someone to take your place in choir.

We will have choir rehearsal at the FLC beginning in June. We're actually going to meet in the aerobics room! Afterwards we can all hit the basketball courts and the walking track for some exercise.