Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Daylight Savings Time Weekend

When you go to bed Saturday night set your clock BACK one hour. For instance, Cheryl and I will crash about 9:00 since Hannah and Benjamin are spending part of the weekend with us, so we'll set our clock back to 8:00. How wonderful is that?!

Here's a cute video from

Sunday's Music - Nov. 2

Wow! November. There are five Sundays this November. The last one is the first Sunday of Advent. Yes, you read that correctly. Four weeks from Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent.

It was kind of fun freaking out everyone last year by introducing and Advent Wreath. Bro. Tim and I have had them at churches in the past and both thought it would be a nice addition to our worship here. I'll post a funny advent story later. I've distracted myself from the purpose of this post - Sunday's music.

I picked the first two songs because of Tuesday being election day.
O God, Our Help in Ages Past (this is the one with the nice new chorus added to the old hymn)
You Are God Alone (see a video of this song here )

for the welcome we are singing Rock of Ages (not grandma's version, the one by Rita Baloche)

For the Beauty of the Earth (again, not the old hymn, but a gorgeous song I first heard at Willow Creek) We have a beautiful Autumn slide show to go with this one.
Who Can Satisfy?

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Mind in You

Bro. Larry preached from Philippians 2 yesterday. He was preaching about holiness - and did a fine job, I might add.

I like to use some of these same verses to talk about worship in today's churches.
Philippians 2:

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

What does that have to do with worship?
Too easy. I don't like that song it's too...

That song just doesn't do anything for me.
I just can't worship when we sing that song.

If we follow Paul's admonition to look out for the interests of others and not just for ourselves and focus on being united with Christ and fellowshipping with His Spirit then we'll say things like.

I sing this old song because it is our Sr. adults' favorite and I care about their worship.
I sing this loud upbeat song because the younger people at church really like it.
I focus on Jesus and not on the style of music so that our church is united with Christ.
I like all of our music because it all helps me focus on Jesus.

Preach your own sermon to yourself from here...

Here's another great post (if I say so myself) on worship.

I had a picture. I can't get it to upload. Sorry.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunday's Music - Oct. 26

I've jazzed up the old hymn "Jesus Saves" and I wrote out parts for Wind and Fire and we'll sing it Sunday morning. I think you'll really enjoy this upbeat 4/4 arrangement.

We'll start off with one verse of All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name
and then go into Jesus Saves
followed by that great praise and worship song that the choir has sung a couple of times Hear Our Praises.

I don't remember what we're singing for the "welcome" song, but the next set has two of my favorite songs
Great Is Thy Faithfulness probably one of the greatest hymns ever written and
Made Me Glad

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas Is Rolling Along

I was a little panicked about Christmas when I realized that there were only 7 Wednesdays (with one of those the Wednesday before Thanksgiving - so it doesn't really count) before "the Tree."

And as of today - not counting the one before Thanksgiving - there are only 5 Wednesday rehearsals before then. Ooooooo!


after last night's rehearsal I feel reeallllly good about The Living Christmas Tree - Journey to the Manger.

First, our Wind and Fire group sounded pretty good on several of the songs (still struggling a bit with the key of 'B') but it's all very doable.

And second, the choir sounded awesome! I"m really excited not only about Christmas, but the songs we're singing for church in the next couple of weeks. They really sounded great!

Keep on listening to your rehearsal CDs. Be faithful to rehearsals. Pray for God's blessing. We'll see some great things in the days ahead - at Christmas time and Sunday by Sunday. It's such a joy to work with all of you!

See you Sunday!

Oh, And welcome new members:

Charles and Dan -bass

Tina - soprano

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Counting Sheep

I listened to "Journey to the Manger" this year's "Living Christmas Tree" music all the way home from the office last night. I recommend this to everyone, of course, but it may have caused me a bit of a problem. I woke up in the middle of the night and in my head started singing Christmas music. I love Christmas music during the day, but at 2:30 AM - not so much.

The usual bit of advice for people having difficulty sleeping is to count sheep, so I started counting. (I'm not sure why or how that is really supposed to work.) Well, ends up, all the sheep I was counting starting dancing "We gotta go and tell it on the mountain, Jesus is born! Sing the glory; shout the story, Jesus is born!"
They had a great dance going and I was dancing with them...
This video is of Shaun the Dancing Sheep. You can buy him on Amazon.
Perhaps I should try to sing "Silent Night" and at least have a slow dance to fall asleep to...

Monday, October 20, 2008


Ooooooooooooooooooooo! I hate it when I do some actual looking at the calendar to decide Christmas rehearsals and realize that there are only 7 Wednesdays before “The Tree”!!!! SEVEN!!!!
Oh, it makes my head hurt.

This means that it is VERRRRRRRY important for you all to be in rehearsal this Wednesday night. We will rehearse from 6:25-8:00. We will get a song or two ready for a Sunday morning and then we will sing A LOT of Christmas. The music is not too difficult and vey singable this year, so we have plenty of time, we just need to be as faithful to rehearsals as possible since there are only 7 Wednesdays before “The Tree” (and that includes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving).

I’ll be looking for ALL of you THIS Wednesday night.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Music for Sunday, Oct. 19

I'm doing this by memory, so I'll probably leave something out.

"Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" will begin our service as our pastor continues his series on holiness.
I really like putting those two songs together. The second verse of the hymn say, "though the eyes of sinful man Thy glory may not see" which to me is the perfect reason to sing "open the eyes of my heart, Lord."

The choir will sing "The Solid Rock" because we sounded really good on it a few weeks ago when we sang it and because I've missed the last two Wednesdays. Well, actually I only missed one, but then we had the Clay Crosse concert...

Anyway, then I don't remember what we're singing for the welcome song.
After that, we'll sing "All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises" which we haven't sung a lot in the past, but it's a cool song that I think you'll remember when you hear it. and then there's another song which escapes me right now and then we'll sing "Be Strong in the Lord." I don't know if Hilldale knows that one... oh well... Everything we sing was new once.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A "Note" to Joe the Plumber

Hey Joe!

Congratulations on your new found fame! I share your concern about the economy and someone wanting to "share the wealth."

But here's something that I think will be good for you. Singing in a choir! Now I know that singing in a choir won't help make your payroll taxes if you get to start your own business, but there are some great benefits to singing in a church choir.

1. for that hour or so of rehearsal and that time on Sunday in worship, you can leave your economic troubles behind. As you focus on our Lord Jesus Christ the worries of the day are lifted.

2. working together with a group of people (the choir) gives a great sense of accomplishment as you strive to be the best you can be and make beautiful music together.

3. as you sing in a choir you help the Sunday morning congregation focus their worship on God and His kingdom. "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you."

4. a choir is a perfect example of how the church as a whole works together. Each member sets aside his own desires to follow the leader so that together we are better and accomplish more than we can as individuals.

5. we have a ton of fun in our rehearsals at Hilldale.

And Joe, don't feel like a plumber can't be involved in music/worship ministry.

At Hilldale we happen to have these everyday people who work together:

Scott the plumber who is a fantastic sound man,
Joel the coach who sings tenor,
Traci and Emily and Beth and Laughrie the teachers who sing alto,
Jimmy and Chad the bankers who sing bass and tenor,
Ramona the interior decorator who sings soprano,
Star the librarian, Dan the investigator, Brenda the Internet queen, Debbie the pharmacist, and many more who are retirees and college students and teachers and construction workers and more...

And of course my favorite, Cheryl the recruiter! (who doesn't like me to put pictures of her on my blog)
I hope I'll see all of you Hilldale choir members THIS Sunday morning. For our readers around the world, find a good church with a good choir program and join in the song!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Clay Crosse in Concert

We have a special concert tonight at the Family Life Center - Clay Crosse will be in concert.

6:30 is the time (our regular fellowship meal will take place at it's regular time)

I know Clay will speak to your heart through music. This is a great time to invite a friend to join you at Hilldale. You'll want to bring a little cash with you because you'll want one of his CDs when you hear him sing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Psalm 78 - the Next Generation

I failed to mention how Psalm 78 is continuing on in my family. ( see Friday's post )

To see my children follow and serve the Lord is an incredible thing. I don't say this to boast in myself, but in the Lord. I see it as an example of Psalm 103

Psalm 103:15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--

My son is leading worship (some weeks) at a church his church is starting in downtown Oklahoma City. He sings and plays the guitar. When he is at the main church campus he plays bass with their band. And sometimes he leads the Sr. Adult worship on Wednesday nights. Even though he plays a guitar, they love it when he leads because he sings all the old songs that they love.

My daughter is married to a Youth Pastor and is very involved in his ministry.

My cousin's son leads worship for the youth at his church in Yukon.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Psalm 78

Psalm 78:2-7 "I will open my mouth in a parable ; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers That they should teach them to their children, That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children, That they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments"

I have a great heritage of godly Christian men who have done just what this Psalm instructs us to do, they have told the next generation the praises of the Lord.

My grandfather's name was Thad. His sons were all godly Christian men because he lived his life teaching them about God's strength and His wondrous works - teaching them to put their confidence in God and to keep His commandments.

My dad, Bill, was the only one of my grandfather's sons to go into full-time Christian vocation (as a Worship Pastor), but two of my cousins are Sr. Pastors, one cousin is married to a Pastor and my two brothers are both Youth Pastors.

Randall is 15 1/2 years younger than me andis a Youth Pastor in the St. Louis area. Roger is 2 1/2 years younger than me and is a Youth Pastor in Lynchburg, VA.

What kind of heritage are you passing on to your children? You don't have to be a "pastor" to leave behind a godly heritage. My grandfather wasn't a pastor, but he was a godly man who taught his children well the ways of the Lord.

What you leave behind is how you choose to live your life.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I usually put family pictures on my blog, but I've been asked for a picture of me and my brothers. I'm still working on getting the two of them to get in a picture with me.

In the mean time, I thought you might like to see the group that has made this such a fun and exciting week. My six grandchildren and my baby brother's two boys. The ages of this non-stop action group are 6, 4 1/2, 3, 2 1/2, and two that are 20 months. (The newborn isn't sitting up at the table yet.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the important things

I'm typing this with just one finger, left-handed. Why? Because Haven and Hannah are asleep on top of me. I think my right arm has lost most of its feeling. I've often had choir members apologize for missing choir when they needed to be with family for one thing or another. I've always assured them and want to emphasize to you now, that it is important to be with family when you need to be. that doesn't mean you need to skip church to watch a football game, but it is important to take care of your parents or children or others when they need you.

I'm not saying that you should schedule a family gathering every Sunday at 10:30 so you don't have to show up for Sunday morning worship, but I do know that there are times when you need to miss a service or a rehearsal or some other happening. The purpose of these church things is to give you opportunity to worship, serve, be discipled or disciple someone else, but you must be careful. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not taking care of family by saying what they had was dedicated to God.

I'll not keep on preaching. I'm sure you get the point.

So here I am in Oklahoma, wishing I could be at choir, but totally glad I'm not going to be there. With both of my brothers here at Mom's house, I'm soooo glad I'm here. With all three of us in full-time vocational ministry we rarely get to see each other. It has been great spending time with them and their children all week.

When you have those family moments available, please take them. Then be sure to be faithful to choir or teaching your Sunday School class or attending worship or whatever/however you are involved in church. That's important too.

Sorry, no picture. (My niece Alyssa only looks at the pictures.) I'm on my dad's computer.

I'm on my computer now. I found a picture you all need to see. (Alyssa probably won't care.) Pretty amazing! If you've seen posts from the past fews days you'll notice how fast a dramatic the drop in price has been! I sure hope it's doing this in Tennessee!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I was actually going to post about something else when I got to Mom's house today. (The internet at Andrew's house is so bad that if every one's internet was like that we would all go back to telephones or actually talking to our friends in person!)

but, when we pulled up to Mom's house on this very windy day, this is what we saw - tumbleweeds!!

We had to go in through the garage.

Here's the view from the inside out.

Amazing. They aren't really the big tumbleweeds, they are just little baby weed things that probably technically aren't tumbleweeds, but when your door is covered it doesn't really matter what they are.

For my Oklahoma readers, WE DON'T DO THIS IN TENNESSEE!!!
Oh, and gas keeps dropping in price. Look at this $2.83! (This does not make up for your house being covered in tumbleweeds.)

Monday, October 6, 2008


I figured you all needed to see a picture of my new grandbaby, Beau.

Here we are in the hospital just before he went home.

Here's a picture of my mom with Beau. We all spent Sunday afternoon at the funeral home. I'm glad she felt like coming over to Andrew's house later Sunday evening.

Dad's service is today at 2:00. We'll go to the church at noon for a lunch. There will be about 75 or so family members.

Here's something totally unrelated, but I know you wouldn't believe me without a picture. Look how much gas is!!! Yes!!! That's a 2 at the beginning of that price!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Roller Coaster Ride

4Him recorded a song a few years back called "Roller Coaster Ride of Life". That's what we've been on today.

Cheryl and I got up early and went to downtown Nashville to pick up a van so Christy, Hannah and Benjamin could ride with us to Oklahoma. We were very excited that grandbaby #6 was soon to arrive.

At 8:30 my baby brother called and said that Dad had a stroke and the EMT guys had just left to take him to the hospital.

At 9:30 my younger brother called to say that Dad didn't make it. His heart stopped and they couldn't get it going again.

I called my son to tell him and he said that Haley was having very strong contractions.

We had problems with the van and had to go back to the rental place where we traded out our loaded to the ceiling van for another van.

12:30 we were finally leaving Nashville for a 12 hour drive.

At 1:30 my son called. Beau Ryder Littleton had arrived. "How much did he weigh?" I asked. "I don't know", was his response. I guess he doesn't understand how important those kinds of things are to grandmothers. We later found out he was 8lbs 10 oz.

"How long is he?" I figured he would know by now since he now knew the weight.

"I don't know. He goes form the tip of my fingers to just past my elbow." Close enough!

It's now 2:00 AM. The 12 hour drive went well. We're in a hotel for the night because all the beds in families' homes are full and they didn't know we would make it all the way in tonight.

Tomorrow we'll get up early, go to the hospital to see Beau then by 8:00 go to Mom's house then hopefully see Gibson play soccer at 9:00.

Wheeeeeee! Up and down and up and down again.
I'll have grandbaby pictures up later too at

Dad's funeral service will be Monday at 2:00 at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City.
The funeral home making the arrangements is Smith and Kernke on North May

You can read about my dad here where I wrote about him on Father's Day.

I'll post more later this week. Have a wonderful time of worship Sunday. We'll pray for you. Thank you for your prayers for us.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sunday's Music 10-5

Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)
Days of Elijah

Welcome - How Great Is Our God

Hmmm, I think the next one is Blessed Assurance
Draw Me Close

Rick Hammer (the guy who sang at our Golden Granny Awards Dinner will be leading worship because I am on my way to Oklahoma to see grandbaby #6 who will be here very soon. Woohoo!

You can keep up with grandbaby news at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Clay Crosse

Clay will be at Hilldale on October 15 for our Wednesday night service. It will be at 6:30 in the FLC worship area. Invite someone to come with you. He has a great testimony and sings wonderfully!