Saturday, December 25, 2010

Why Christmas is Dec. 25

I have had Christian people in the past who don't think we should celebrate Christmas.
(by the way, for some reason I have 3G service for my phone right now so it's easier to post something here)
So anyway, they don't think we should celebrate Christmas because it was a heathen/pagan holiday worshipping the sun.

Here's my thoughts on why Dec. 25 is the perfect time to celebrate the birth of Christ.

First, let me take you back to the time the Apostle Paul went to Mars Hill. He was given the opportunity to tell the people of Athens why he was a believer in Jesus Christ. As he was going to the place to speak he saw statues of all the Greek gods on pedestals. One didn't have a statue, but it had an altar "to the unknown god." And from there he explained that the God of creation had made Himself known. Then he told them about Jesus. All of this is found in Acts 17. You should read it to get the full story.

So what does that have to do with a pagan celebration turned Christian? I think this is so cool!

Way back in the dark ages the people had this sun celebration. They thought that the sun was dying because the days kept getting shorter and shorter. The shortest day of the year is sometimes on December 21, (like this year)but often it is on Dec. 22. So three days later when they realized the days were getting longer and the sun was not dead, they ceebrated! The sun is alive!

I don't have to tell you everything do I? Did you see it? Did you see why Dec. 25 is the perfect day for Christmas?

Just as Paul helped the Atheneans see the truth about worshipping "the unknown god," Christians a thousand years ago showed the Druids, or whoever it was - too hard to double check while blogging on my phone - that their big party three days after the sun had died was a picture of God's greatest gift and of the resurrection of the Son!

How awesome is that?

Merry Christmas!

Go celebrate Jesus' birth and resurrection today!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yes! The Tree will go on!

It's snowing! And it's a pretty snow, but it doesn't seem to be affecting the streets yet - maybe a little on the bridges.

But we're going ahead with this afternoon's performance.

Hope to see you at 3:00

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

A few things I learned at our Dress Rehearsal.

1. There's Thursday night football all of the sudden - although a friend of mine explained that after Thanksgiving the NFL has Thursday night games. Go figure. Anyway, between Titan's traffic and a bad wreck some of my orchestra members didn't get here until rehearsal was half over.

2. Teenage drama is always a possibility (this is why I don't watch Glee - too much teenage angst)

3. Calli Smith takes great photos. (I actually already knew this, but I'll post some here for you to see.)

4. We have some great sound and tech guys. Thanks to Perry for lining up Scott Tadsen for house sound, Ray Torrence for TV sound, Kevin Barron for tree lights and Mike Daniels for house and stage lights!

5. We have some great actors this year: Jesse Kriwox, Paula Williams, Joe DiFiore, Sidney Scott and Brookelyn Ambrose

6. School Christmas concerts always conflict with at least one performance or rehearsal. Glad it was a rehearsal this year.

7. We have some amazing musicians as part of our congregation: Michelle Dickerson, Mary Beth Mathews, Gena Tate (although she is singing not playing this time), Jayson Rivas, Tommy Hall, Brenden Ambrose... ooo, I shouldn't have started this list. I'll accidentally leave someone out.

8. Last, but certainly not least, we have an absolutely wonderful choir full of great singers, amazing soloists, extremely helpful, fun, supportive... now I've lost my good sentence structure... well, anyway, I'm so thankful for all of them.

9, Oh! and WOW!!! I love eating at Olive Garden and Carrabbas and Amerigo and Demos' and Macaroni Grill, but Kristi Huang makes the best lasagna I've EVER eaten! Molto squisito!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Carol Theology

I love Christmas carols.

They have beautiful, singable melodies. They usually have found memories associated with them, people love to sing them...

But just as important, they have great texts (well, most of them) with fantastic theological truths and statements.

Here's one example (and we're singing it this Sunday morning)

"Hail the heav'nborn Prince of Peace
Hail the Sun of righteousness.
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild, He lays His glories by.
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth.
Born to give them second birth.

Wow! Great, wonderful truths taken straight out of scripture. (and if it wasn't 2 AM and I wasn't typing this from my phone I'd add scripture references for you to look at)

We'll begin worship this Sunday with this carol.

We'll also sing at least a verse of each of these wonderful carols:
Joy to the World ( with Sing for Joy )
What Child Is This?
Away in a Manger
Silent Night

How could you miss out?
I'll look for you Sunday morning.

(Now maybe I can sleep!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Memory Monday - Advent

Since Advent has begun I think an appropriate verse to memorize would be one that fits in the season.
Advent means "appearing." When we talk about Christ's first advent we are talking about His birth in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago. When we talk about His second advent we usually say, "the second coming." Here is a great verse with a wonderful promise to all who have longed for (that's how the NIV translates "loved") Hi appearing.
As the Apostle John said, "Even now Lord, come quickly!" (Rev. 22:20)

2 Timothy 4:8 Holman Christian Standard

In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First Sunday of Advent

Trying to post on the blog fom my phone. Don't know how it will look, but it looks like it will post.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. Some people wonder why an old Southern Baptist would bother with Advent. (Sounds kinda "Catholic" dontcha think?) Well, first of all, it's not a "Catholic" thing. Many Christian traditions celebrate Advent. Here's why I like it.

The world is trying to change the meaning of Christmas. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now Small Business Saturday, the emphasis on buying more and stimulating the economy and wanting more and more stuff seems to be the only reason for Christmas.

Celebrating Advent helps us focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

Most people, when pressed to give the "real" reason for Christmas will tell you about a baby in a manger and peace on earth. But there is so much more.

Advent gives us the opportunity to go a little further into some great spiritual truths that can be seen through the full story of the birth of Christ.

On the first Sunday of Advent we light the Prophecy Candle. It reminds us that Jesus' birth wasn't a last minute plan God thought up when he realized man needed to be saved from his sin. No! We can see, starting in Genesis, God's plan of redemption. And then all throughout the Ild Testament God reveals His plan.

Here's a cool thing to do some time. Read the first several chapters of Matthew and see how many times he says "that the scripture might be fulfilled." Awesome to read!

On the first Sunday of Advent as we think of the prophets, I also like to sing a song about Christ's second Advent. Seeing how the prophecies were fulfilled in His first Advent gives us confidence as we look forward to His second coming.

So... (long intro into what we are singing tomorrow)

Days of Elijah will get us started.

Then we'll sing some Christmas songs. I don't remember exactly which ones right now. Let's see, "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "O Come All Ye Faithful."
And the choir is singing "Light of the Stable."
Oh, and "Jesus, Messiah"

There. I remembered them all. That's just not the order they're in.

Hope to see you all in the morning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Updated Dec. 5th Rehearsal Schedule

1:00 - Children’s “Special Events” Choir, wooden soldiers and angels

1:30 - Youth and Adult Angels & Toys

2:00 - handbells (start without me)

3:00 – shepherds & wise men & attendants & Mary, Joseph and Baby
3:30 – drum line

4:00 – ice skaters
4:30 – actors with speaking parts

5:00 – Adult choir run through of all songs

Hope of the World

Here's a poster you can print up to invite your friends, co-workers, family, etc. to this year's Living Christmas Tree. If you click on it you'll get a bigger version of it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rehearsals for "the Tree"

Hope of the World
Hilldale’s Living Christmas Tree
Rehearsal & Performance Schedule


Sun. Nov. 21 & 28 –
1:00 – Children’s “Special Events” Choir, wooden soldiers and angels
2:00 – handbells
4:30 – youth angels
5:00 – toy shop toys
5:30 – drum line
6:00 – shepherds & wise men
6:30 – actors with speaking parts


Wed. Dec. 1 - 
6:30-8:00 - Adult Choir rehearsal

Sat. Dec. 4 –
9:00 – choir in “the Tree” to tests mics and make sure it won’t fall over (just kidding about it falling over)
10:00 – strings rehearsal in the choir room

Sun. Dec. 5 –
1:00 – Children’s “Special Events” Choir, wooden soldiers and angels
2:00 – handbells
2:30 – youth angels
3:00 – toy shop toys
3:30 – drum line
4:00 – shepherds & wise men
4:30 – ice skaters
5:00 – actors with speaking parts
5:30 - Adult choir run through of all songs

Mon. Dec. 6 –
6:00 – make up rehearsal or extra rehearsal for actors

Tues. Dec. 7 –
6:00 – orchestra rehearsal with some soloists (choir can sing along)

Wed. Dec. 8 –
6:00 – rehearsal with all actors and all choirs

Thurs. Dec. 9 –
Everyone! All choirs, actors, orchestra, sound, lights… EVERYONE!

Fri. Dec. 10 –
6:00 – pre-tree call, mic check, etc.
6:30 – choir call
7:00 – performance

Sat. Dec. 11 –
6:00 – pre-tree call, mic check, etc.
6:30 – choir call
7:00 – performance

Sun. Dec. 12 –
2:00 – pre-tree call, mic check, etc.
2:30 – choir call
3:00 – performance

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

On the Way to 50,000

Oh my! We are less than 100 hits away from the 50,000 hits mark on our worship blog. How fun is that?

Since we're hitting such a big number I decided we needed a big prize for the person who gets the 50,000 hit, so...

If you are the person who gets to 50,000 on the counter (look over to the right and scroll down a bit) then let me know and I will send you a signed and numbered print of last year's Passion Play painting "Journey to Emmaus."

Ccheck back often for rehearsal schedules, etc. and of course for your chance to win!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Children in "the Tree"

Our "Special Event" Children's Choir is not only getting ready for the big VBS premier, but we are also working on being wooden soldiers on parade and angels in this year's Living Christmas Tree (which I fondly refer to as "the Tree.")

Our SECC ("Special Event" Children's Choir) meets on Sundays at 1:00 in the choir room. We rehearse until 1:45 or so.

If your child is in our choir here's what he/she will need for "the Tree."

Wooden Soldiers - black pants and a white shirt (preferably button down) We will put a red stripe down the pant legs with red tape. We'll have cool marching band hats and suspenders (ribbon pinned on) to make great looking soldiers. Black shoes are best but we can go with black socks.

Angels - white t-shirts and white shorts to go under the angel costumes. Dark colors show through.

Check in tomorrow for a complete rehearsal schedule.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Not Ashamed - Memory Monday, Nov. 15

We live in a day where we see many who want to water down the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They say that we're all not as bad as some think we are, or that we're all ending up in the same place anyway, or that since god loves everyone then surely no one is ending up in that imaginary "bad" place.

But if you read the first three chapters of Romans you'll see right away that there is a cost to our sinfulness and that yes, we really as are bad as some say we are.

There's so much more to say about this, but I'm just happy to put a verse up here for us to work on memorizing. (If you all are still joining me in this.)

Here's Romans 1:16 in the NASB. It's a verse we all should know.

16 For I am not 30ashamed of the gospel, for 31it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the 32Jew first and also to 33the Greek.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Busy Sunday

Haha! Aren't they all?

We'll begin the day with a wonderful time of worship. (You can join us at 8:30 or 9:45)

Here's what we'll be singing.

November 14, 2010

The Solid Rock
Everlasting God

Choir anthem – God of All

Recognition of Veterans

Fellowship song – Victory in Jesus

Testimony – Steve Kemmer

Who Can Satisfy?
Special music – Diane Carroccia

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – I Surrender All

Offertory – Jesse Huang and Bro. Lyndel (violin and viola duet)

Then the fun, busy part begins.

1:00 - Children's VBS and Christmas Choir
2:00 - Christmas Handbells
3:00 - ESL class
4:30 - Christmas Angels Rehearsal
5:15 - Toy Shop Rehearsal
5:45 - Christmas Drum Line Rehearsal

Then I think I'll be tired and I'll probably go eat supper.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

TOGETHER - Music for November 7th

Many people use the old excuse "I can worship God wherever I am" as an explanation of why they only come to church a few times a year. "I can worship God out on the golf course when I see how beautiful all of nature is." Well, yes, you can. But do you?

But besides that, there is great value in worshipping TOGETHER.

Others have started worshipping "on line." There are many churches that live stream their services (ours included) and some have gone so far as to actually set up their church where everyone just meets on line and chats and listens to a sermon. If you can't get out of your house because you are recovering from major surgery this is a great option, but there is great value in worshiping TOGETHER.

The same can be said for those who watch services on TV. It's a great option for those who can't get out and a good supplement if you want to hear more preaching and sing some more, but (again) there is great value in worshipping TOGETHER.

Together we join our voices in a great chorus of believers as we sing to God and about God and encourage each other with our singing. Together we show the world that in Christ people from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds are brothers and sisters. Together we share our joys and sorrows, we pray and care for each other, we model for our children how true followers of Jesus Christ live their lives, we live out Philippians 2:4 where we consider others as more important than ourselves...

Are you seeing the picture of how TOGETHER is important and better than by yourself?

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Haha! Did you notice that? There were people out golfing during worship back when Hebrews was written!

One of the things that I think is very important in the church in our worshipping TOGETHER is singing songs that different people like. It's important for the teenagers to sing songs that grandma likes because they are considering her as more important than themselves. It's important for those who have been singing great hymns for 60 years to sing new things that the younger people like because then they are encouraging them. It's part of being a family and being TOGETHER.

One of the ways I like to do this is by pairing a great hymn with a new song.

One of the best pairings of old and new songs is singing "How Great Is Our God" and "How Great Thou Art" together. First of all, they are in the same key. That's makes it easy to go from one to the other. Second, they have texts that compliment each other. One directs our singing to each other encouraging each other to sing "How great is our God" while the other turns our praise directly to Him, "How great Thou art!"

Join us Sunday morning as we worship our great God TOGETHER.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints Day

Today is "All Saints Day". (This is a repost from 2007.) (But it's All Saints Day again today. Well, actually it's always on November 1.)

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! You are one!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sunday's Music - October 31

October 31, 2010

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
You Are God Alone

Choir Anthem – Hear the Call of the Kingdom (You're gonna love this one!)
     Solo – Traci Koon (She'll be singing it at the Pastor's Conference too! As always she's wonderful on this one!)

Fellowship song – I Will Sing of My Redeemer

It is Well
I Will Rise

Special Music – Andrew Smith
Wow! Traci and Andrew in the same service? You might want to come to the 8:30 and the 9:45 services!
See you Sunday.

I Voted Today

Today is the last day for early voting in Tennessee.

So I made myself get around earlier than I wanted to so I could get to the election commission early and vote. I was there about 7:30. Well, it ends up that they don't open until 8:00. That explained the mostly empty parking lot.

So I sat in my car and listened to my Portuguese CDs. I'm still working on being fluent in Portuguese. Eu gosto de falar em Portugês.

Then about 5 minutes before 8:00 a looked over at the building and the entrance was surrounded by early voters. I was afraid I would have to wait a long time to vote. So I joined the crowd and ended up about tenth in line. They had 8 people checking your voter card or whatever ID you had so that just took a tiny bit of time. Then I went down the hall and there they had around 20 voting machines.

Since I live in the county and not the city I only had four things to vote on: Governor, State Representative, US Representative and something about whether you should be able to hunt and fish in Tennessee. I don't know what they think everyone is doing on the weekends but I guess we needed it in writing.

Total time in the voting place - less than 5 minutes. Total impact - at least 2 years of legislation and/or aggravation and unknown long-term effects from what these guys do.

How you vote is important. If you're not sure which fiscally conservative or socially conservative candidate to vote for send me a note. I'm happy to give you my suggestions. haha

If you miss today's early voting then you'll want to vote on November 2.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Every Good Gift - Memory Monday

I heard about one of the LifeGroup's class yesterday. (That's what we call Sunday School at our church. Long story - but a good reason why we call them LIFE Groups.) Anyway, they are studying Beth Moore's study about the ascension Psalms - I can't think of the name of it - and yesterday they were talking about God's blessings. This particular group couldn't think of too many things other than the usually - family, home, health, food...

But James tells us in his book, James 1:17 that EVERY good gift is from God.

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is 34from above, coming down from 35the Father of lights, 36with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

So the list is endless. If something is good or perfect it is from God: music, food, paintings, grass, trees, roses, air-conditioning and heat, friendship, love, literature...

"Wait a minute" you might say, "What does God have to do with giving me air-conditioning or beautiful art to look at?" The AC man fixes my air when it's out and I've seen a lot of 'art' that I'm sure God had nothing to do with.

OK. I'll give you a little for that, but in reality, if we have something good it is from God. God gives us the knowledge to figure out how AC works. He is the ultimate Creator and great art and music are possible because we are made in His image and He gives us the skill to create. Yes, we have to work at being good friends to have good friends, but in the end it is when we are like Christ that we have deep meaningful friendships.

Is this a stretch? I don't think so. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Memorize James 1:17 and spend some time meditating on it and I think you'll see more and more gifts from above.

I suppose this picture probably gives a more literal and perhaps a more accurate idea of the good and perfect gifts from above - grace, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control... (you can add to the list) These are the true good and perfect gifts from God. But I still say that other things in our life that are good are from God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

1 Peter 1:14-16 Memory Monday

I'm working on memorizing 1 Peter 1:14-16. They go along with "The Mind of Christ" Bible study that I am working through. The study suggested memorizing verse 15, but I'm trying to be an overachiever - haha - and learn the verses on each side of it.

1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to your former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, 16 because it is written, YOU SHALL BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY.

Holy means "set apart." It means not doing things the world's way, but God's way. It means keeping all the junk out of your life. It means if someone follows you around they see you living as a reflection of God and not your own usual selfish self.

I supppose that last paragraph isn't the one you'll find in a fancy Bible dictionary, but I was trying to sum it all up for you.

Memorizing these versese is the easy part. The difficult part is living that way. With the work of the Holy Spirit in your life it is possible, however, to live a holy life. I afraid our problem too often is that we don't want to. We've allowed ourselves to be conformed to our former lusts which we ours in our ignorance.

OK. Self-reflection time. What things in your life do you need to give over to God so that you can live a holy life? So often we say, "Well, that's just the way I am. Can't help myself." or "I don't feel like I"m holy or feel like I want to be holy." I guess we could rewrite these verses. "Be holy when you feel like it 'cause God knows it's difficult."
Ha! Holiness like so many other things is a choice we make. We choose to be obedient children or we choose not to be. Feelings should be a biproduct of what we do, not the driving force behind what we do.

I suppose if I was planning a sermon to preach I would go through this and put things in order and have nice connecting sentences to tie it all together. But I'm not. I'm just typing and hoping that you are following what I'm trying to say.

That's it. You have to decide now to be holy or to be conformed to your former lusts...

I hope you choose holiness.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The View Out My Window (Sunday's music)

I love this time of year! The colors of Autumn are incredible.
This is the view out of my office window.
These pictures were taken by Christi - one of our Administrative Assistants.

So how could I not plan an order of worship that gives us an opportunity to express our love and thanksgiving to God for His greatness, faithfulness and the beauty of the earth?

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

"All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays. Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow, flashing sea, Chanting bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee!"

God of Wonders
"Lord of all creation, of water, earth and sky, The heavens are Your tabernacle. Glory to the Lord on high. God of wonders beyond our galaxy, You are holy."
Choir anthem – Sing Alleluia
"All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voice and with us sing. Sun, moon and stars rejoice on high, praise to the Lord of light divine! Sing Alleluia!"

Great is Thy Faithfulness
"Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun. moon and stars in their courses above Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Great is Thy faithfulness."

For the Beauty of the Earth (not the old hymn but most of the same words)
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which even from our birth over and around us lies. Alleluia! Alleluia! Lord of all to Thee we raise. Alleluia! Alleluia! This our song of grateful praise.

Solo – Ramona Ambrose

Mums at my house - taken by my phone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

TMI !!! - an exception...

We live in an era of TMI - Too Much Information!

People share their entire lives on blogs, FaceBook and Twitter (and yes, I'm a little bit guilty of that) and often share TMI. I started to give some examples and decided that would be TMI! haha. The boxers or briefs question of presidential candidates a few years ago is a mild example of the overflow of personal information that everyone seems more than willing to share now.

Because we are raising our children in this era of sharing-every-moment-of-life-through-social-media we are giving them the idea that nothing is private and that everything is worth talking about. This is part of what led to the young man jumping off the Washington bridge after his room mate shared a live feed of an encounter in his dorm room. (If you don't know this story I'm only sharing this piece of it so I am not guilty of TMI. Google it.) The boundaries of what is proper to share and what isn't have been blurred so much they are no longer recognizable.

There seems to be one exception to our TMI world. We don't like to talk about...
Let me start this way.

I attended a funeral last Saturday. It was annoying and made me a little bit angry. Not because I sang for the funeral or because it took a lot of the day - OK, most of the day - but because it was unnecessary. The guy was only 59 years old. Being in my 50s myself I find going to funerals of 50 somethings unnerving as well as annoying. The thing that irritated me about this was the fact that this funeral and the two years of suffering before it could have been avoided.

I've blogged about this before and now because of this man's suffering (two years of doctor visits and chemo and surgeries and treatments) and slow painful death I must blog again. The man died of colon cancer.

If you are afraid of TMI stop reading (but beware that you may die a slow, painful preventable death).
We don't like to talk about colon cancer because the simple preventative is yucky! It stinks. You have to have a colonoscopy. This involves drinking a year's supply of laxatives in one afternoon which ends up running everyone out of your house from the smell. Oooo! Lyndel!! TMI!!! Yes. It is TMI, but it's a lot less trouble and stink than what you will get if you have colon cancer.

Previous posts on this blog that I tried to make fun to read.
Ron and Jan (warning. this one is very sad)

If you are over 50 you should have a colonoscopy. No one wants to talk about them. Besides the preparation, you then have to have them put something ... hmmm, click on the link about the exciting ending and read for yourself what they do. I tried to make it enjoyable reading. hahaha. Anyway, I had one. They found a polyp. They cut it off. Polyps turn into cancer. Now I have to have another one five years after the first one rather than ten years after. That's OK. That is an EASY treatment. One uncomfortable afternoon. A procedure you get to sleep through and maybe a snip of a polyp. EASY! and not really TMI. I have seen enough friends and others suffer long painful deaths that could have been treated with a snip if they had found a polyp rather than stage 4 colon cancer. You don't get symptoms until it has progressed that far.

So, if you're still with me, if you're over 50 and have never had a colonoscopy, call your doctor today. I don't want to sing at your funeral any time soon. If you are under 50 put an alarm on your smart phone to go off on the day after your 50th birthday (you don't want to mess up your birthday party) and label it "call dr about colonoscopy."

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's Happening at 10:10 on 10-10-10

Well, if we're on schedule, at 10:10 on 10-10-10 the message from our pastor, Dr. Larry D. Robertson will have started. Although I did tell some of the kids in choir the other day that at 1:10 on 10-10-10 they should jump up and say, "it's 10:10 10-10-10!" But I don't think they'll really do it!

Here's what will happen just before all the tens.

October 10, 2010

Come, Now is the Time to Worship
Crown Him with Many Crowns  - a verse or two then back to
Come, Now is the Time to Worship

Choir anthem – Revive Us Again

Fellowship song – My Savior's Love

Mighty to Save
Jesus Messiah

Special music – Remember Me

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Followed by The Lord's Supper

If you don't know Jesus Messiah very well yet try singing along with Chris. (He sings it too high for most of us, but you'll see how the song goes. Or work on some harmony parts! That would be nice!

Hope to see you Sunday morning!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kids Choral Connection 2010

Last weekend our 3-5 grade choir traveled to Cookeville for the Kids Choral Connection.
First everyone had to fill out paperwork that was notarized by Christi, Bro. Tim's assistant. (She really liked this picture so I had to be sure and include it here on the blog. And I must admit I took a good picture.)

We met in the parking lot and checked off our list and loaded up the bus.
(Please notice how sad the parents are in being child free for the weekend. haha!)

By the way - you can click on any of these pictures and see a larger view of them.
There was a wreck on I-40 at Lebanon, so we had the fun of seeing the back roads of Wilson County.
Even though it took THREE HOURS longer to get there, the kids were great on the bus and didn't complain at all. (Although some thought we were lost. Nope, just finding a road not shut down by a wreck.)
A funny side note you may have seen on my facebook page. Some of you need to get your kids out of Clarksville more often. As we were approaching downtown Nashville the girl behind me on the bus said, with great wonder in her voice, "is that New York City?"
Once we arrived we had pizza for supper then went straight to our first rehearsal.

Here are a few random shots of kids at the KCC.

 Of course this wonderful trip wouldn't be possible without our wonderful adult sponsors going with us. Here are a few of us.
Recreation times were a lot of fun.
 Some of our kids.

KCC ends with a wonderful time of worship and recording as we sing through all of the songs we have worked on. I didn't take pictures of the concert because 1. it was a worship service, 2. I didn't want the kids saying "CHEEEEEEZE" during the recording, 3. I didn't want clicking sounds on the recording 4. once you've seen a bunch of pictures of kids in red shirts you've pretty much seen them all.

Until next year!

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, Memory Monday

Today I began reading Hebrews again. It is such a rich book full of all kinds of deep wonderful truths. Here are the first three verses of Hebrews. I think they set the stage for the rest of the book.

1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

That's probably a little much to think about memorizing in a week, but maybe you can just remember these words. "He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature."

Many today think of Jesus as a really good man or a great teacher. And He was both, but to portray Him as less than God is to deny the truth of scripture. This verse states that very clearly.

What does that mean for us today? It's very important that we don't get caught up in the politically correct line of thought that each of us can determine our own truth. "What's good or true for you isn't necessarily good or true for me." If we believe the Word - which I do! - then these words from Hebrews are a powerful statement to the deity of Christ. We can't dismiss Him as merely a good teacher. We must declare with the writer of Hebrews (and Psalms - which is quoted here) in regard to Jesus the Son, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Best Picture I Have Ever Seen

Well, at least it's the best picture I've seen in months and months - and still may be the best one ever.
I just don't really remember. Right now it is definitely my favorite.
Or was it this one?

If you don't know who these adorable children are then I'm sorry I haven't been with you enough
for you to know that they are my grandbabies!

What do pictures of my grandbabies have to do with my worship blog?
Hmmm, well, they definitely are one of God's wonderful blessings in my life.
It's my prayer that they each grow up to love the Lord with all their heart and serve Him
and do wonderful things for His Kingdom.
That they will live a life of worship.

Romans 12:1 NASB

 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
You probably want that for your grandchildren too.

I think the best way for that to happen is for them to see it IN YOU!
Now get busy! :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Wednesday and We Have a LOT to do!

If you are in Hilldale's choir then you know we have a lot to do. If you are one of my thousands (haha) of readers around the world you can read to see how busy we are. This is just a reminder of why it is important to be in choir tonight (and next week, and the next, and the next......)

First of all we are getting ready to sing at the Tennessee Baptist Pastor's Conference in November. November seems like a long way away since October doesn't get here until tomorrow, but November is just a few rehearsals away. We'll be joining up with three other choirs! Grace Baptist in Knoxville, Grace Baptist in Springfield and Lion's Creek Baptist in Strawberry Plains. They say the choir loft holds 240. We will probably end up with more than that. It should sound glorious with that many people singing together!

You'll need to know "For Your Name," "Hear the Call of the Kingdom," and "Our God Saves" by memory! (I'm pretty sure they'll have a way to show us words, but we won't be holding books!)

Then of course "the Tree" is coming up in December. We have only ten rehearsals before the dress rehearsal. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY! TEN!

Here's the schedule:

Dec. 7 - 6:00 -  orchestra only (but soloists can come sing along)
Dec. 8 - 6:00 -  last rehearsal before the dress rehearsal
Dec. 9 - 6:00 - dress rehearsal
Dec. 10 - 6:30 call, 7:00 performance of "the Tree"
Dec. 11 - 6:30 call, 7:00 performance of "the Tree"
Dec. 12 - 2:30 call, 3:00 performance of "the Tree"

There are nine songs to learn. You can't learn them all in one week, so I'll be looking for you tonight!

However... as I say and have said over and over again.... The most important thing we do is lead in worship Sunday by Sunday. Of course we'll be singing songs for the Pastor's Conference on Sunday mornings in the next few weeks, and we have seen all of them in rehearsal, but for us to be our best we need all of us to be here on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. Thank you soooo much for how you show up and sing so beautifully week after week! I'll look for you tonight and Sunday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where You Live - Memory Mon/Tues Day - September 28

I've always heard people say that God's timing is perfect. They usually say that when they have been waiting on an answer from God and haven't gotten one - or at least not the answer they wanted. I think that shows great faith - knowing that God is in control and will accomplish things in His time.

Sometimes people say that after they see God's answer and they realize that if things had happened when they wanted them to that they would have missed a blessing or they wouldn't have seen God do something really awesome in their lives.

And I believe it myself, that God's timing is perfect. I know from a long story that I wouldn't be in the house I am in if things had gone the way I had planned it. God has blessed me and Cheryl more than I deserve. And now it looks like I may have actually sold my "vacation" home. WOOHOO! "Vacation" home is just what I have called my house in Whites Creek for some time now. It just sounds better than "that old house of mine that has been on the market for two years because I put it up for sale a week before the big housing crash that still hasn't recovered." Yes. I've been making two house payments for a year now. (We lived there and commuted for a long time before God opened a way for us to move to Clarksville.)

As I was thinking about Memory Monday/Tuesday I wondered if I could find some verses that gave a biblical basis to the old saying, "God's timing is perfect."

We see in Galatians 4:4 NASB "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son"

But we would expect that of Jesus. What about some old music guy who lives in Clarksville. Does God have perfect timing for me? I think so. But I'm not sure what verse I can quote for you. The one that keeps coming to mind while I type is Romans 8:28 NASB so that' going to be our memory verse for this week.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 26 - Music for Worship

Come, Christians, Join to Sing

Hear Our Praises

Choir Anthem –Your Name

Fellowship song – Your Grace is Enough

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Made Me Glad

Special Music – Traci Koon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The End of the Old - the Start of the New

"Memory Tuesday" just doesn't have the ring of "Memory Monday" but I guess I should change the name to be more reflective of what really happens. Many things distracted me from blogging yesterday.

One thing that I was working on yesterday was the script for this year's Living Christmas Tree - fondly referred to most often as "the Tree." I was reading about Gabriel's announcement to Zacharias that he would have a son in his old age and they he should name him John. Gabriel said "you will have joy and gladness and many will rejoice at his birth.  Then Gabriel quoted one of the prophets "He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children'"
So I had to look it up to see who Gabriel was quoting - and I probably already knew this, but was reminded again - that it was Malachi.

Now how cool is this? The very last two verses of the Old Testament are quoted by Gabriel as he is announcing the beginning of the New Covenant (with the birth of John the one to prepare the way for the Lord.) It gave me goose bumps to see that.

So that is what inspired today's "Memory Monday on a Tuesday."

ACTS 13:23 From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus,

That may seem like an odd verse to learn, but it reminds us that God keeps His promises and that Jesus fulfilled the promise made to David about his kingdom. Hundreds - maybe even thousands of other promises in the Old Testament were fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Read the first several chapters of Matthew some time and count how many times he says, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets." It's really cool to see!

Well, I'm back to script writing. Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Music for Sunday, September 19

September 19, 2010 AM

Holy, Holy, Holy
You Are God Alone 

Here's a YouTube video of "You Are God Alone." Phillips, Craig and Dean singing it. (some guy and his family took the pictures) It's a little slow and they don't sing in a key that a congregation can sing in, but they have an incredible sound! Such wondrful harmony and blending of voices. This is from their CD "Let the Worshippers Arise." You should go out and buy this CD.

Choir Anthem – Rise Up
     Solo – Stephen Tucker

Fellowship song – Friend of God

The Old Rugged Cross
Covers Me for Life

(I looked for a video on YouTube of Covers Me for Life and couldn't find one. I guess I need to put a video of us singing it on YouTube. It is such a great song!)

Special Music – Andrew and Calli Smith

Hope  to see you all Sunday morning at 8:30 or 9:45.

ESL Update

I ain't gonna say ain't no more cuzz me and Joebob is gonna learn you some good English.

If you don't have a problem with that first sentence ESL probably shouldn't be your first ministry choice. Just thinkin' out loud... haha.

I'm very excited about our new ESL Ministry. We have around 20 people who are part of our team. We have had some great responses from people in the community.

For example - I was at one of the local restaurants last week and gave a poster to the gentleman at the register. He said, "I'll have to tell everyone about it." I was thinking, "I know. That's why I gave you the poster." As I was leaving one of the employees came over to see what we were talking about. I heard her say - very excitedly - "Oh! English classes! We have to go!"

We have decided on a curriculum that looks very good. It's called "Side by Side." When I ordered the teacher books the lady at Delta Publishing said it was their most popular product and always had the most orders. I was happy to hear that.

On Sunday afternoon, September 26, we will have our first ESL class. The first day is just an informal getting-to-know-you type meeting. We'll have refreshment, fill out enrollment forms and everyone gets to take a test. A test? Yes. We need to know how many need to be in a beginner class and how many in an intermediate class. We probably need an advanced class too, but we need to have some more teachers trained.

Speaking of training teachers... we're working with the Language Missions folks at the TBC (Tennessee Baptist Convention)TBC Language Missions to have an ESL training here in Clarksville next winter. This will allow several on our ESL Ministry Team to take the training so they can be certified ESL instructors.

So what can you do to be a part of this ministry?
Pray for us as ESL Ministry Team members that God will guide us in what we do and that we will be effective in our new ministry..
Pray for our students that they will come and not only learn some English, but will see the love of Christ and want to know more about Him.
Pray that in the weeks to come that we will have opportunities to share our faith with our students.
Tell others about this learning opportunity. Are there people you work with that would benefit from English classes? (and I don't mean your Southern friends who say "ain't" and use double negatives. They had their chance in 8th grade to learn English. haha)

Maybe there are parents of some of your child's classmates whose first language isn't English. They may be very excited to know that they could improve their English with free classes. (And we'll tell them they ain't suppose to say ain't.)

I'll keep you updated about how our ESL ministry is going. We're all excited! Woohoo!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Memory Monday - September 13

It's Memory Monday time again. How are you doing with memorizing new verses each week? I would like to say that I know many more verses now than I did at the beginning of the year, but I'm afraid I don't review enough. That's the difficult part - especially if you don't have someone that you can check yourself with each week. I guess I should have Cheryl start checking my memory. Of course she is happy if I "remember" to put my socks in with the dirty clothes each night.

Since this is the week of prayer for Tennessee State missions, I think I'll work on a "mission" verse. Part of what we do as Tennessee Baptists is to meet the physical needs of people in order that we can then later share with them the hope we have in Jesus Christ and then meet their spiritual needs. Bro. Larry used this verse last night in his - hmmm, he said it wasn't a sermon, but I think it really was - anyway, in his "talk" last night. It's a good verse for all of us to memorize.

James 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works ? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works ; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."

You probably won't memorize 5 verses, but the verse in red will be easy to memorize. Reading it in context of the other verses will help you remember the point of it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Golden Offering and Sunday's Music

I've been a Tennessean for over twenty years now. I suppose I'll always be a Tennessean since my children and grandchildren are. Of course I'm still an Okie too. That's one of the cool things about living in the United States - everywhere you live you are part of that community and part of the United States but you're still connected to your home and roots.

One of the great things about being a Southern Baptist is that no matter where you live in the USA (or abroad) you are automatically connected to other Christians and wonderful mission work around the world. That mission work is funded primarily through the Cooperative Program giving of all our Southern Baptist Churches. Cooperative Program

As Southern Baptists we also support our missions through special offerings. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supports International Missions. The Annie Armstrong Offerings supports North American Mission Board missions and then in Tennessee we have the Golden Offering for State Missions. When I first moved to Tennessee it was called The Golden State Offering. I never could figure out why we were taking up an offering for California. Well, I guess I wasn't the only one that was a little confused, so they changed it to Golden Offering. Just like the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings the Golden offering was named after a lady who had a huge heart for missions.

At Hilldale (for my readers from around the world - haha) we don't actually push these individual offerings - which is a good thing. I know that sounds terrible coming from a man who is died-in-the-wool 100% Southern Baptist. Several years ago we began encouraging our people to give to missions every month. Those missions dollars are divided up between Lottie and Annie and other missions organizations. We found that our missions giving is 10 times more this way. Think of it this way. A person may have given $20 to the Lottie Moon in the past. Now that person is giving $20 a month to missions. I wasn't a math major, but it seems pretty obvious that in the end that is a whole lot more giving to missions.

So why tell you all of that on my usual day for posting about Sunday's music? Because this coming week, Sept. 12 - 19, is the week of prayer for our state missions. We're going to sing some songs about God's great gift of salvation as a celebration of what God is doing across the state of Tennessee through our combined giving through the Gold Offering for State Missions.

Here's the entire service.

Jesus Saves
Mighty to Save

Choir Anthem – There is Joy
     Solo – Diane C.

Fellowship song – Rise Up and Praise Him

There is Power in the Blood
You Are My King

Special Music – Shannon Jones

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – Are You Washed in the Blood?

Offertory – Debbie Bryant

See you Sunday! (If you live in Clarksville and don't go to another church already.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Music for September 5

Summer is over. The weather is supposed to actually be cooler this weekend! The tobacco barns are smokin'. School is in full swing. It's time for you to get out of your summer vacation mode and get back involved in worship. Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Let the Worshippers Arise

Choir Anthem – There Is Joy
     Solo – Diane C.

Fellowship song – I Could Sing of Your Love Forever

With Bro. Larry's new sermon series on the blood of Christ, I know these songs will go right along with what he has to share.
Nothing but the Blood
My Hope (I love!! this song!!)

Special Music – Stephen Tucker