Monday, November 23, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas

If you click this picture it will open up in a larger size - Perfect for copying and using as a poster to invite family and friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christ the King

Baptists don't generally follow the liturgical church year as many other denominations do. Probably because of years of trying to show that we are independent and not a break off of the Catholic church. And that's OK. But I have discovered over the years that there are some very nice things about the church year.

For one thing, you don't accidentally skip important church teachings. I suppose it would be possible - well, actually, I know from experience - to not talk about the Holy Spirit for an entire year. (Names will not be shared to protect the guilty.) Knowing when Pentecost is and singing and preaching about the Holy Spirit on that Sunday helps make sure the church knows about the work and power of the Holy Spirit.

For the past twenty plus years I have led the churches I have been serving in to celebrate Advent. I'll post about Advent later.

Advent is the beginning of the church calendar.

The last Sunday of the church calendar is "Christ the King" Sunday.

Here are some verses that refer to Jesus as our King.

1 Timothy 1:17 CSB
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Read 1 Timothy 1 View in parallel Compare Translations

Revelation 15:2-4 They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.

Revelation 19:16 NIV
On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Matthew Mark and John all have verses where Jesus is called "King of Israel."

Sunday we are singing songs about Christ the King.

Sing to the King
O Worship the King
You Are My King

Join us Sunday as we Sing to the King!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Music for November 15

As I was sitting here thinking about tomorrow's music I wondered how late Mrs. Irene checks the blog. She always likes to see ahead of time what we will be singing in worship. I think she practices the ones she doesn't know and looks up the ones that may be new. A good example for all of us.

Tomorrow morning we are singing B.B. McKinney's great song "Glorious Is Thy Name" with a chorus I wrote years ago called "Glorious Mighty God."

The choir is going to sing "Our God Saves" and the congregation will follow that with "Mighty to Save."

The last set of music will be songs about the blood of Jesus - "Nothing but the Blood," Are You Washed in the Blood" and "The Blood will Never Lose Its Power" followed by one of my favorite new choruses "Covers Me for Life."

Believe it or not, some denominations have taken references to the blood of Christ out of their hymnals. They think "bloody" hymns aren't appropriate for modern people. They have turned their back on the Gospel. Hebrews 9:22 says, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." People don't like to hear about the blood because they don't want to admit they are sinners in need of a Savior.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Day in Nashville - Some Balance?

I love Nashville. It's a great city. Today, MLW (my lovely wife) and our girls (daughter and daughter-in-law and Hannah) are going to Santa's Village. Fun! I'm spending the morning as Papa with the two three year olds - Elam and Benjamin. Hmm, now that I think about it, Benjamin won't be three until February.

I have tons of things to do to get ready for "the Tree" but it's also important to spend time with family. We need balance in our life. In our work, work, work society our work - our jobs - are considered the most important thing in life.

Guess what. It's not! Your relationship with our Lord Jesus is most important, then your spouse, then the rest of your family (grandbabies, kids, parents, etc.) THEN perhaps work.

There are times that you have to spend more time at work. I add a lot of hours to my work week during "the Tree" and the Passion Play, but even during those times I have times that I give undivided attention to my family.

Even though I am going to spend time at the park with the three year olds, while I'm in Nashville I'm going to JoAnn's for fabric for costumes and to Old Time Pottery for tree stuff.

OK, this is a really boring post. Oh well, I thought it was important for you all to think about work and family. Check your life and see if you have some balance. Do your best at your work. Give your family time for just them (no work in the background).

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 8 - Music for Worship

November 8, 2009 AM

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Let the Worshippers Arise - The choir has sung this a few times and it was so powerful when we sang it with the Nashville Praise Symphony. Now it is the congregation's turn to sing it!

Here is Phillips, Craig and Dean singing. I don't know who put the video together.

Choir – Revive Us Again

Fellowship song – Holy Is the Lord

Blessed Assurance
My Hope

Special Music – Diane Carroccia

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation – Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Offertory – Mary Beth Mathews

Closing – Bro. Tony Lewis

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why You Should Go to a Funeral

Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. Study This Chapter

Now why in the world would Solomon say it is better to go to a funeral than to a big party? Bro. Larry mentioned that in his funeral sermon today and it got me to thinkin'.

Besides the obvious reasons of 1. honoring a friend or loved one by being there and 2. bringing some comfort to the family, here are some things I thought of.

Why you should go to a funeral.

1. It reminds you where you're headed, so before you go...
How do you want to be remembered? I have a t-shirt that says, "Live your life so the preacher doesn't have to lie at your funeral."
What do you want to accomplish in life? Are you doing something worthwhile or just killing time? Are you spending time with family? Are you investing yourself in the lives of others - children, friends, younger people?

2. It reminds you to take care of yourself spiritually. It reminds you that you are headed someplace. It reminds you that you need a Savior. This life isn't the end. There are links on the sidebar that do a great job of explaining this. Click where it says "Good News."

3. It reminds you to take care of yourself physically. Some funerals happen because of drunk drivers. Some because the person was unhealthy for any number of reasons. Are you taking care of yourself? I blogged quite a bit last year about the need for a colonoscopy after you turn 50. THIS IS IMPORTANT! colonoscopy posts
Do you exercise? Are you taking care of your heart? God has plans for you while you are here. Is your health going to cut them short or keep you from doing things?

Well... Christmas is calling. I have "stuff" to do. Come up with a couple of reasons by yourself. I shouldn't have to do everything for you. Hahaha.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Congratulations Brenda!

Many years ago I lived in the rolling hills of Northeast Oklahoma in the great city of Tulsa. My dad was the Minister of Music at Eastwood Baptist Church. It was back in the day of huge youth groups and even bigger youth choirs. There were hundreds - and I mean that literally - in our youth choir. We made lots of friends and went on singing/mission tours and had small ensembles that traveled around singing at revivals... It was great.

When you are active in your youth group you make life-long friends. It has been so much fun being on Facebook and reconnecting with people I haven't seen in twenty years. But somehow - I don't remember right now - before Facebook took off, I had already found some old friends. One of them is Brenda. Cheryl and I moved away from Tulsa when our children were little, but before that I have pictures of Brenda and Richard and Mary and David and Tom and Debbie and so many others at ensemble rehearsals and concerts and holding our babies. It was a really great time in our lives.

Then, when we lived in Denver one of our friends from Tulsa ended up marrying the brother of one of our Denver choir members. (I'm not going with the old cliche "It's a small world" but you can hum it in the background if you want.)

Well... all of that to introduce our winner. If you have been reading along, you know that the person to get to hit 40,000 on the counter down there at the bottom of the page would be our winner. I got a message on Facebook and here on the blog from Brenda H. One of our old friends from Tulsa who later was my dad's secretary and a great choir/ensemble member and friend and she's the one that married the guy who's brother was in Denver. I'm glad she won. She's been a faithful reader of our worship blog for a year or so.

I hope all of this is making sense because I still have a lot of drugs trying to kill off the acute bronchitis and I'm trying real hard to not fall asleep while I type this.

I have an early Christmas present for our 40,000th hit. A little Christmas stained-glass panel. It has pretty swirled green glass and an etched bevel in the middle. (Brenda, I'll get your address on Facebook.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Is Today Your Day?

This is a repost from Nov. 1, 2007 originally titled "Today Is Your Day."

Today is "All Saints Day".

It's a day to remember the Saints who have gone before us. (Hebrews 11 is a great place to start.) And I like to think of it as a day to remember that we are all Saints. Some of our friends in other faiths believe you have to be nominated by a really important person and then a group of folks check to see if you've had any miracles attributed to you or to your likeness (or something like that) and then somehow you get bumped up from regular heaven attendee to Saint and you get to put St. in front of your name.

Then , if people like you, they'll paint pictures of you like these and they might even pray to you.

However, if you check scripture (always the best place to go for such matters) you'll find that those of us who know Jesus as Lord are ALL saints! Yes - even you!

And there's some cool stuff about being a saint.

You are called as a saint Ro 1:7

Jesus intercedes for you Ro 8:27

You've got an inheritance Eph 1:18

There's also some responsibility with being a saint!

You need to fight (contend earnestly) for the faith Jude 1:3

Love the saints Col 1:4

Support the saints 2Co 8:4

Live without immorality, greed and other bad stuff Eph 5:3

Hebrews 12:1 (HCSB)
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us,

Oh, and if you want your "official saint" picture painted, you might want to work on the official saint hand signal all of these guys have.

Now... go live like a saint! If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are one!