Thursday, September 24, 2009

Come, Just As You Are to Worship

"Come, now is the time to worship.

Come, now is the time to give your heart.

Come, just as you are to worship.

Come, just as you are before your God.


Some people interpret this to mean that you can show up for worship in your shorts and flip flops - you know, just as you are when you were out mowing the lawn.

This is bad theology. Our great, holy God deserves and requires our best in worship. If you look at the Old Testament worship the singers were paid like the priests were so they could devote themselves to worship and preparing to lead in worship. They washed themselves and put on clean clothes before they entered the temple to show that they were coming before God with pure and clean hearts.

What "come as you are" means is that you don't have to be sinless and "good enough" to come to God. He takes us as we are then makes us "new creations." 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Many people use the excuse "I can't come to church, you don't know what all I have done" or "I'm not good enough." This is exactly what this song is speaking about. Don't use not being ready or good or smart or holy or whatever as an excuse. Come as you are to worship. God is the one who will change you and make you into the person you need to be.

What this doesn't mean is that you show up to Sunday morning worship with a cup of coffee and the morning paper in your bathrobe and house shoes. The God of the universe, the great I AM deserves better from you.

Does this mean you need to show up in a three piece suit and a $100 silk tie every week? I don't think so. What would you wear to see the President of the United States? You might be a little more casual if he were a personal friend, but you still wouldn't present yourself at the White House in ratty jeans and a holey t-shirt. The attitude of the heart is what is important, but the attitude of the heart is often reflected in outward appearance. Only you and God can judge your heart, but our casual, try to be sloppier than your neighbor culture shouldn't carry over into sloppy flipant attitudes in worship.

I'm not going to tell you how you should present yourself before God when you come to Him in a corporate worship service. I think if you are honest with yourself and with God you'll know. Obviously there is considerable more that could be - and perhaps should be said about this, but I like to get my readers started thinking and let them sort through things themselves. I'd be interested in your comments.

My original thought for this post was to list Sunday's order of worship for you. So, here it is.

September 27, 2009 AM

Come, Now Is the Time to Worship
Crown Him with Many Crowns

Fellowship song – Your Grace Is Enough

Choir – My Offering

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Made Me Glad

Special Music – Shannon Jones

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation – Change My Heart, O God

Baptism – (9:45)

Closing & Announcements – Bro. Tony Lewis

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Little Inspiration - Smile

It's sometimes difficult to smile when you are up in a choir loft. (We have video to prove it. hahaha.) If you are in my choir you'll often see me mouth the words "smile, your still on camera!"

I was sent a video the other day that shows just a little of what we are looking for on a Sunday morning so that our choir looks great on camera. Be sure and watch to the end (or fast forward if you have a short attention span) because it has a really cool ending!

Don't forget choir rehearsal tonight at 6:30. We'll sing some Christmas music tonight as well as get ready for the next few Sunday mornings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sunday, September 20

September 20, 2009 AM

Welcome to HBC & Opening Prayer

Sing to the King

O Worship the King

Choir anthem – Our Great God

Fellowship Song – I’ll Fly Away

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder
When We All Get to Heaven
I Will Rise

Special Music – Angie and John T., Lynn B. and Bro. Lyndel

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation – Lord, I’m Coming Home

Offertory – Gena Tate

Closing - Bro. Tony Lewis

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If It Wasn't Written Last Week It's Too Old

I actually have heard of a music guy who actually said that. "If It Wasn't Written Last Week It's Too Old." Seriously?!

I totally believe in singing all the newest and latest songs. There are so many wonderful new songs being written. I've written a few myself and we have sung them at Hilldale (I just don't announce, "O, by the way, I wrote this next song. Sing purty now!")

However, those who want to throw out the old songs just because they are old are missing out. I've come up with a short list of things they are missing.

1. Great, deep, theological truths expressed in rich language

2. A connection with the Saints who have gone before us, (this is important) the great cloud of witnesses of Hebrews 12:1 NIV

3. Many people in each congregation like some of those songs that weren't written last week

4. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's good. A song should be judged on it's text and the craftsmanship of the song. A bad melody or uninteresting chord structure can't be overlooked just because it's new. Bad theology is never excusable just because you or even someone famous wrote it and you like it.

Hmmm. My list changed from things missing to other things too, but you get the idea.

My latest poll gives you a chance to vote on your favorite hymn written before 1800. Wow. We still sing a lot of these.

The Winning 9

Our poll about your favorite 9 has closed. In case you missed it, here are the results of the voting. We had a tie for first place.

Pluto before it was demoted - 6
Months before Jr. arrives - 6

Third place went to Innings in Baseball - 5

We tied again for fourth place
Beethoven's last symphony - 4
September - 4

From there:
The atomic number of florine (whatever that is) - 1
Cat's lives - 1

I was surprised that a NASCAR option came in dead last with zero votes.
The number on Kasey Kahne's car (not that I know who that is - sorry, Kasey)

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Time for a new poll.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Directions to Jonathan Creek

This coming weekend is our annual Choir Christmas Retreat. We have some really great music to learn this year and all those going on the retreat will have a good head start in learning it.

It's not too late for you to join us. We have a couple of empty beds reserved.

Please Note: Although our address is 3043 Beal Road, Hardin, KY, DO NOT go to Hardin, KY to find the conference center.
Jonathan Creek is located approximately 4 miles west of Aurora, KY.
We are approximately 120 miles northwest of Nashville, 200 miles southwest of Louisville, and 200 miles southeast of St. Louis.

1. Take Interstate 24 West to Cadiz (Exit 65)

2. Turn left off exit and proceed west on Highway 68/80.
3. Cross Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake (Two bridges)
4. After crossing the second bridge, turn right at the top of the hill onto Highway 68 (it is poorly marked).
Stay on Highway 68 and go approximately 5 miles until you reach the Dinner Bell Restaurant on the left.
The Dinner Bell is approximately 2 miles from Aurora.
(If you come to a small bridge called the Jonathan Creek Bridge, you have gone too far)
5. Turn left onto Beal Road immediately past the Dinner Bell Restaurant. It will look like you are turning into a parking lot
6. Travel 1.5 miles on Beal Road until you come to a white water tower.
7. Turn right about 100 ft beyond the water tower and enter the grounds to Jonathan Creek Camp and Conference Center

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sunday September 13

I'm trying something new. I'm seeing if I can put a new post on our worship blog from my phone. It looks like it working!

I'm at a retreat with the TN Baptist Men's Chorale. Retreats are a great time to build relationships and learn music and have some fun. Our choir's retreat is next weekend. You still have time to sign up and go with us.

Here's Sunday's music as best I remember.

Days of Elijah
hallelujah, Your Love Is Amazing
choir - I Will Do the Same
my Faith Has Found a Resting Place
Ancient Words

solo - Cara Manns

see you Sunday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lucky 9

There are allllll kinds of things about the number 9. You can check them out on Wikipedia and other sites.

Here's a little music trivia that has to do with 9.
First you have to remember that 3 is the number of the Trinity. Therefore it was considered a good meter (or time signature) for sacred music.

If you take the beat of a song in three time and divide the beat into two you get 3/4 time. Examples would be "Come, Thou fount of Every Blessing" and "Ancient Words."

If you take the beat of a song in three and divide the beat into 3 you get 9/8 time. This of course then would be very sacred back in the days when numbers meant so much and I've heard is the reason Bach used that double Trinity time of 9/8 for his beautiful song "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring,"

Here's an interesting fact you may not know - possibly because I'm making it up even as I type. When there are nines in the date on a Wednesday it means it's the perfect time to be in choir! So with today having 3 nines in the date is is like triple wonderful time to be in choir. How cool is that? I'll be looking for you tonight!

That's Greek to Me

I wanted to post this today, 09-09-09, at 9:09... didn't make it. But it is an interesting date.

Each day I get an e-mail from Merriam-Webster OnLine - the word of the day.
I get this so I can try to keep up with Bro. Larry.

Today's word was "ennead."
: a group of nine

Surely Bro. Larry won't use "ennead" in a sermon. Really! Who would ever use it? Here is the example sentence from MW.

Example Sentence
Immediately following the show, viewers will be able to call or text in their votes for their favorite among this ennead of remaining contestants.

Can you hear Ryan Seacrest saying that sentence on American Idol? I don't think so.

Picture this: Sunday morning, introduction of Psalm 113 as the passage for the day. Bro. Larry says, "the ennead verses is Psalm 113 speak of the majesty of God and of His willingness to condescend to us to help the poor and needy."

Ennead comes to us from the Greek. I think they should have kept it.

Hahaha! I try to always remember to hi spell check before I post to my blog. Ennead showed up as a misspelled word. Hmmm.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

As the Deer and Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hahaha! I always like to add a picture to my posts (for my friends who just look at the pictures - you know who you are) and so I searched for "As the Deer" and it ended up that the picture I clicked on was from my own music blog! How funny is that? I guess I like this picture.

September 6, 2009 AM

Everlasting God
Fellowship Song – Jesus Saves
Mighty to Save

Choir anthem – Our God Saves

As the Deer
Higher Ground
Draw Me Close

Special Music – Tyson Harris

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation – I Surrender All

Branded a Spammer Again

Last year I had to blog about Charter thinking I was spam.

I included this picture.

So I wanted a different picture this year.
I gagged several times scrolling through the Spam pictures.
Did you know Spam comes in special flavors. (just gagged again)

All this as an introduction to the e-mail I sent out today that many of you did not get.

Here it is for you.

Many of you won't get this. We've been put on a few SPAM lists and can't convince one or two that we aren't spammers. So you'll need to check our worship blog to see what you missed.
If you know someone who works for the State of TN (like Shannon) you might forward this to her because I already know form earlier this morning that she can't get e-mail from me right now.

Open mic night THIS Sunday night at the Labor Day picnic.

Some of the bands we thought we had lined up can't come this weekend. (Three bands and a quartet all had different reasons for not being able to bring a little entertainment to our Labor Day picnic.)
So… I want YOU to bring a CD and sing something. Maybe even two songs. Don't be shy. Sing a duet if you want. Get your kids to sing too. This will be a fun family night where everyone needs to sing something.

Welcome new choir members (and some returnees)

Lena (Song) Page - S
Lois Ann Gassdorf - S
Lil Smith - S
Jasmine Chong - S
Michelle Wilson - S2
Brittney Brake - A
Melissa Woodling - A
Rick Stephenson - T
John Woodcock - B
Tim Baggett - B

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Comments from Yesterday's Post

Before you read today's post you need to look at yesterday's.

I have received a couple of e-mails in regard to yesterday's post. Since they didn't leave a comment with their name I'm going to remove their names from here, but I wanted you to see what they had to say and encourage you to add your own comments either to this post or yesterday's.

"For me worship is a love song filled with joy and thankfulness, sung to my God, my Savior, my King! "

"Your blog yesterday was so encouraging. My Sunday school class got into a discussion about worship. Everything you mentioned that was not about worship they said. Some stated that southern gospel music was real worship; others blamed the imperfections of people that caused them not to worship, etc…. NO ONE mentioned loving, adoring, thanking, and praising God. I was so saddened.

The best way I can describe worship, since I am a visual person, is to picture myself in a sanctuary where everything is dark and a spotlight from Heaven is shining down on me. You do not see anyone around you, just you and God, and you spend time with Him. That is the main focus of worship, Jesus. Maybe we need to hear the words again from the song, “The Heart of Worship”, “I’m coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus. I’m sorry Lord for the thing I've made it, it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus”."

Your turn. Has this discussion got you thinking about worship?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to Have Fantastic Worship Every Sunday

I work with a lot of wonderful musicians. Some weeks the music is really good. Some weeks the music is really great! Some weeks are better at one service than the other.

However... it's possible to have fantastic worship EVERY Sunday. Here are just a few ideas for you to help you make your time of worship - at Hilldale or wherever - a great time with God.

1. Remember that you are at church for God. It's not really all about you (don't mean to hurt your feelings). If your focus is on Him and not on hoping to hear your favorite song then true worship can happen.

2. Don't rely on the worship pastor or the band or the choir to get you all revved up or feeling good. Feelings are great, but in reality, worship is telling God how great He is and how much you love Him.

3. Worship with your mind as well as your heart. So many of the songs we sing have really terrific texts. We sometimes sing songs so many times that we just sing along and don't even think about the words. But the words are really the point. They tell of God's greatness, they encourage us, they teach us, they inspire us...

4. Come to worship expecting it to be wonderful. In most things in life you get out of them what you bring to them.

5. Pray before you come. (don't make me tell you everything. figure this part out yourself)

6. Worship during the week. It's good practice and your heart will be more in tune with God.

7. Some thinking about others more than yourself. (Ooops. There we go again with the "it's not all about you part.") Be happy to sing some old song knowing it speaks to the hearts of so many others. Be happy to sing that new song you don't know because it speaks to the hearts of so many others. (Get the idea?)

Well.... there are probably more, but these are the first things that popped into my head. Why don't you leave a comment with YOUR ideas of how to have worship be wonderful every week. I would love to hear from you.