Saturday, June 28, 2008

Worship to the Ends of the Earth

Below is a great article on worship I read on LifeWay's home page today. I encourage you to click the "more" link and read the entire article.

Worship to the Ends of the Earth
Written by Kenneth Hemphill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--What comes to mind when you think about worship? Do you think about something that occurs on Sunday morning, or do you think about the total context of your life? Do you “hear” worship in terms of Southern Gospel melodies, contemporary choruses, or a multiplicity of tongues with strange melodies?

Worship has, in some quarters, become an issue of controversy related to various styles of music. These debates about worship styles are simply another symptom of our spiritual myopia, which evaluates most church events or experiences in terms of what pleases or appeals to us. Worship is not about us! We are not the audience. God is both object and audience, and we are those who participate in worship through the offering of ourselves to the King.

Kids Camp

Our children went to camp last week.

Brenda Jerles took pictures. You can ask her to see more. Here are a couple of group shots. Looks like they had fun!

Speaking of kids camps...

It is definitley time - maybe past time - for you to sign your kids up for our Fine Arts Camp which will be July 28-August 1. They will choose between dance, art, drama and stomp. I need to know which class when they sign up. The cost is only $50 for a week of fun and learning how to use"fine art" as a way to worship and as a way to reach others for Christ. Call the church office for more details and sign up soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sunday's Music - June 29

We had a great rehearsal Wednesday night. It was nice seeing so many even though we have several on vacation. Here's what's happening - or rather, what we're singing - this Sunday, June 29.

Sunday morning

Holy, Holy, Holy
Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord
Choir anthem - Everlasting

My Savior's Love
You Are My King

Sunday night - 5:00 - AVALON
You won't want to miss Avalon! Click the link below for more information if you aren't familiar with this wonderful group.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stained-glass Part 2

All of our stained-glass students are doing very well with their projects!

Look how busy they all look.
We have to get together one more time to finish them up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Truth Is Marching On

That's the title of the mini-musical we'll present on July 6 during our 9:00 service. Many of our faithful readers are not in choir, so you may not know that the music was supposed to be in last Wednesday. It didn't make it. If choir had been the first thing Thursday morning we would have had the music.

The music is easy enough that we will be able to learn it in just a couple of weeks. Which works out perfectly since July 6 is just a couple of weeks away.

Along those same patriotic thoughts...

We got our flag pole up at the FLC. I had just finished a game of racquetball and was heading to work when I noticed that they were putting the flag up for the very first time. And "Mr. never has his camera when he needs it" HAD his camera!

Summer Arts - Stained-glass Class

Our stained-glass class started last night. We had 12 new stained-glass artists. Well, "artist" might be a stretch at this point, but they all did real well cutting glass.

Tonight we'll put our windows together with lead.

Everyone had a great time. I remembered my camera right at the end. I'll try to remember to take more pictures tonight.

Birthday News

Many of you have asked me if I had nice Happy Birthday. Thanks for asking. Yes, I did! You can read all about it in some posts on my Papa Lyndel blog.

Birthday fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The First Day of Summer

June 21st - the first day of summer, the longest day of the year (and 24 hours of sunlight on the North Pole), always a happy, fun day (it's my birthday!)

Rather than blog about getting old or giving you a list of things I want for my birthday, I thought I'd share my favorite Psalm. I've probably mentioned it here before. It is in several sections that each could be the basis for a wonderful sermon. The cool thing about that is you can figure out the sermon yourself! You won't need me or Bro. Larry to explain it or give you a nice personal application. (Not to say the he or I either one wouldn't do a great job.) Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you and show you something new and wonderful from the Word and you'll see all kinds of really awesome stuff in here. I'd love to know what God said to you. Click on "comments" and let us all know what God put on your heart. Pictures here are of my family because of vs. 4 "One generation shall praise Thy name to another." And because God's goodness and faithfulness and power and all of the incredible things listed in this Psalm are so evident in our lives.

Psalm 145

Study This Chapter

1 I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. 7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. 10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, And Your godly ones shall bless You. 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power; 12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion {endures} throughout all generations.

14 The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. 16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. 18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Choir Rehearsal at the FLC

I don't know about you all, but I thought rehearsal worked out very well at the FLC. I wasn't really sure how it would actually sound in that big room and if we could see and hear and get our music and carry over a keyboard and all of those things... but it was great. At least where I was standing you all sounded wonderful. And I guess you all had missed choir as much as I have because we had:

17 Sopranos
24 Altos
14 Tenors
7 Basses

62 Total

Thanks for being in rehearsal.

I worked very hard to remember to put my camera in my car so I could have pictures of our first night out there. And I DID remember to put my camera in my car. Unfortunately, that is the last time I thought about it. Perhaps we'll get some pictures next week...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary

My lovely wife and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary today! Wow! How cool is that?
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Consider the Lilies

The lilies on Bear Hollow are beautiful this year!

Luke 12:22 Study This Chapter Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!

29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Summer Singers

This is a post of an e-mail I sent to the choir earlier today.
Woohoooooo! Tomorrow night is the big new start of all of our Wednesday evening activities at the new FLC. I hope you all are planning on being in rehearsal!

I’ve missed you and I’ve missed getting to rehearse together. The Southern Baptist Convention was nice and everything, but it’s just not the same as getting together with you all and singing. Call up someone you haven’t seen in awhile or someone that you think might want to sing with us and get them to join us tomorrow night. We’ll meet at 6:30 in the worship area of the FLC.

I know all of us are in and out of town during the summer, so it really helps if you will make an extra effort to be in rehearsal and in the loft on Sundays any time you are in town.

We’ll look at some patriotic music tomorrow night too. We’re just having one service at 9:00 in the sanctuary (main campus) and one at the FLC on July 6th. This will be a great time for the entire choir to sing together on a Sunday morning.

See you tomorrow!

Summer Arts - Water Color

Water color leaves.

Last night was our first class in our Summer Arts series. We painted water color leaves. It was a fun, easy project. Here are pictures of us working. Our students didn't want to pose holding their finished pictures up, but they let me take pictures while they were working.

We meet in the party room of our fancey new Family Life Center. It was a great place to meet. The FLC was full of families playing all kinds of different things together. there were some guys kick boxing in the aerobics room, a dad and young son playing pool, lots of racquetball and basketball players... Everyone was having a fun time. Hannah and Benjamin came to pick up their Papa (me) but I didn't get their picture for the blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

A great part of who I am is because of who my Father is - Bill Littleton. I did a google search for "Bill Littleton music" and found a really nice guy in Nashville that sings country music. He's not my dad. My dad is a church musician. He was a Minister of Music back in the days when music ministers were something new in the churches. He was the best Oklahoma had. He was an innovator and the first to try new things. We were one of the first churches to have handbells, one of the first churches to have an orchestra and one of the first to do hour long TV specials featuring our choirs and orchestra. I remember all of this mostly from our time at Eastwood Baptist Church in Tulsa.

Dad is the one who not only taught me great musicianship - through his own musicianship and through directing choirs and orchestras that I was a member of - but also the importance of music in worship and as a tool to reach the lost. He emphasized how important it is to use music that reaches and speaks to people. He taught me about faith, following God and loving people.

One of my favorite quotes of dad's that I like to say is "if you can't play it right, play it loud." I don't know that he said it a lot, but I remember it a lot. I think the point of it was to show confidence in what you do. So much of leading and making music is in your self confidence. Confidence shines through and makes you a better musician and a more effective person. I don't mean arrogance. Dad was very confident and very good, but he was never arrogant. Everyone was his friend - church members, other music ministers, pastors...

Dad wrote a lot of great music and had his own music publishing company, Fine Arts Music Press, for many years. He wrote orchestrations for the orchestra when he couldn't find music. His hard work was a great inspiration for me and taught me that a person could do anything if they trusted in God and His direction and worked long and hard.

Dad is retired now and lives in Oklahoma City near his brothers and sisters. He's active in his church choir and singing with the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma. (He directed them for a couple of years in the late 60s or early 70s.)

Of course not everything from Dad was great. I think I can blame the Littletons for bad teeth and high blood pressure. But compared to all of the great things I got from them, I guess that's not bad...

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Paraskavedekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th. Youcan read some interesting things about Friday the 13th on wikipedia

I was surprised to read that it is a relatively new superstition - although some claim it has ancient roots. One of the reasons given is that 12 is the number of completion: 12 months, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples of Jesus. That makes 13 irregular and "transgressing this completeness". Interesting. Oh, and that at the last super there were thirteen present (on a Friday) so one had to die.

Wellllll, what should a Christian's response be to Friday the 13th? (By the way, there is only one this year, but three next year.) There is no place in the life of a Christian for superstition or fear of these kinds of things.

1 John 4:4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. Study This Chapter

A Christian should not fear black cats, should not "knock on wood" or any of those kinds of things, because we are children of God! Our lives should be lived in such a way that people know we have a hope and a future Jer 29:11 because we have been redeemed and have the Spirit of God living in us Ro 8:9 .

So go out and do something great for Christ today. Use Friday the 13th as a chance to explain to others the peace and joy and hope you have as a follower of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Friends at the SBC

A lot has happened at the Southern Baptist Convention. Too much to put here. Besides, you can read good news reporting about the convention here .
Cheryl, Bro. Larry, Beth and me.

The convention is for doing business of course and for hearing reports of the great things God is doing through our seminaries, churches and SBC agencies. There is great music and preaching too. But the things that makes the SBC great, and our churches great are people - relationships.

We ate supper with Bro. Terry and Bro. Mike and Judy, but I didn't have my camera with me.

Ken and Diane

So it is tons of fun seeing friends from all over the country. Cheryl and I saw friends from many places in TN like Collierville, Columbia and Dresden, (and of course all of the co-workers from LifeWay) and friends from many other states including Oklahoma, Virginia and Kentucky.

Me, David and LeAnn

I thought - too late - to take pictures of everyone, but I got a few.

Andrew, me and Ashley

It's All in the Details

Details are important. Details are what take a work of art, a musical piece or a life from ordinary to extraordinary. Details make things more interesting and more beautiful.

Ceiling in the capitol

Details will cost you something. Sometimes that means money, but it costs in other ways. Details take more effort. Details take more time.

Details are worth the effort and time and cost. The buildings and statues around Indianapolis prove that.

What does this have to do with worship? What we offer to God needs to be our very best. As we prepare a song or a service, we need to make sure we cover the details. We actually have a lot of people involved in our worship ministry that do just that. Donna and Perry cover the details of MediaShout where they make sure pictures match songs and words are spelled correctly. Chuck and Linda cover details of cameras and switching and editing so what we present on TV is high quality. Tony and Ed and Kevin cover the details of sound for the sanctuary and broadcast. Musicians in the band play with great skill (which means they get the details of the songs) so that our music is great.

Let me encourage you to be a person who cares about the details. Details in your relationships. Details in your work. Details in your spiritual life.

God is also a God of details. You can just look around at all of creation and see that. You can see that in His plan for redemption of man. Well, there is so much more that could be said about that it could be a whole other nice long post... but I can't do everything for you. Give that some thought today.

Monday, June 9, 2008

People With Too Much Time on Their Hands

Today was the Pastor's Conference (and a few other groups' meetings) at the Southern Baptist Convention. There was some great music and great preaching.
It was also our first day to see some protesters. Bless their hearts. They have too much time on their hands and hate filled hearts. You've seen them before in the news and they have been to Clarksville. It was funny watching the people on the inside watching them. And then it was really funny when the hail storm came up suddenly and they had to leave. A policeman told us that the people in the vans that were there were all attorneys. They are there so they can try to catch the police doing something (like violating the protesters first amendment rights) so they can sue them and get lots of money in out-of-court settlements. (You may put in your own commentary about both groups - lawyers and protesters - here.)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Worship

I'm sure everything went well in Clarksville at the main campus and at the FLC. I'm glad our church has a high view of worship.

Cheryl and I attended Northside Baptist Church here in Indianapolis. It's probably the largest Southern Baptist Church in the city - if not the state. But large churches in the North are not the size of large churches in the South. They had an 8:00 service for their youth as a send off to camp. They had 100 youth going to camp. They have a cool deal. A youth can invite an unsaved friend to go to camp with them and they get to go free. They have several youth saved every year at camp.

The music was great. They sang some cool upbeat arrangements of some hymns as well as some choruses. They had a great brass section too - a couple of trumpets, some bones and some saxaphones... and one lone violin. And then of course drums, congas, a bass and keybaords.

One of the men in the running for president of the SBC spoke. Hmmm, I guess I should remember his name.

Here's a church downtown. (not the one we went to this morning) They were doing some sort of photo shoot. We decided this wasn't a real wedding party. There wasn't a mother hovering around making sure everything was like she thought it should be, the bride and groom didn't seem interested in each other and the bridesmaids and groomsmen were all too pretty to be someone's friends.