Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Music!

I Corinthians 14:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. NASB

There are so many great songs for Resurrection Sunday - aka. Easter.

Here are the ones we'll be singing - with orchestra: brass, woodwinds, strings, and band: guitars, drums, bass...

Alleluia! Alleluia! (exciting, jazzed up version)
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today! (again, a great new arrangement)
He Lives!

and one of my new favorite resurrection songs

Alive, Forever, Amen!

"Why do you seek the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen!"

Colossians 1:18 NIV And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Revelation 1:4 NIV Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Passion of Christ - Memory Monday

Passion week is the perfect time to read Isaiah 53.

I would also suggest you read the Passion of Christ this week. Not from someone's retelling, but get out your Bible and read.

Matthew 26 & 27
Mark 14 &15
Luke 22 & 23

John adds some of our favorite teachings of Jesus in his telling of the last events of Jesus' life. The last supper is told in John 13.
Here are some favorite verses from John 14-17
"Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
"I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the Spirit of Truth"
"If anyone loves Me he will keep My word"
"I am the vine, you are the branches"
"This is My commandment, that you love one antoehr as I have loved you."
"Great er love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
"when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth"
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace"
"And this is eternal live, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent"

Then we see John's account of Christ's Passion in chapters 18 & 19.

If you can't wait until Sunday to read the exciting ending, read Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 or John 20!

Our Memory Monday verses have been from Isaiah 53 which is his foretelling of Christ's Passion. We've learned (or at least read) verses 3 & 4. Here are verses 5 & 6.

5.But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities ; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

6.All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way ; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Memory Monday on a Wednesday

I guess you can tell it's Passion Play time and many things are vying for my attention.
Some time in the night last night I realized that I never put up a verse for Memory Monday this week.

We've been memorizing some verses from Isaiah 53
We've learned part of verses 3 & 4. Today we are going to add verse 5.

3.He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief ; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4.Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried ; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5.But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities ; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
We have made crosses into beautiful things. (And that's OK.) I have several ornate metal crosses in my office. Many wear beautiful gold crosses on necklaces.
But in reality, the cross was a horrible means of execution.If we were to actually witness someone dying on a cross we would be horrified - even if the person had committed terrible offenses we wouldn't want to see him die that way.
But it was that horrible death - spoken of in Isaiah 53 - that brought our forgiveness - our healing.
5.But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities ; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy - Sunday's music - March 21

Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy

I have come to find out that many in our office have never heard this beautiful old hymn.
The words were written in 1759 by Joseph Hart. The music is a pentatonic early American folk melody that seems to have first appeared in 1835 in Walker's Southern Harmony.
"What is a pentatonic scale?" you may ask.  Pentatonic has the same root word as Pentagon (five sided shape) and Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) So have you figured out that a pentatonic scale has only 5 notes?
Brethren We Have Met to Worship is another tune based on a pentatonic scale.

Here's what it looks like on the staff and on the piano keyboard.

Here is a beautiful recording of Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy with scenes from "The Passion of the Christ" movie.

Sunday, March 21
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
You Are God Alone

Choir Anthem – Cover Me
     Duet – Traci K and Mark B

Fellowship Song – At Calvary

The Wonderful Cross

Special Music – Brenda Radford

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song  – Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy (I Will Arise and Go to Jesus)

Haha! Watch this one and you'll get a nice "Riverdance" version.

And since "Come Ye Sinners" first appeared in a Southern hymnal, what could be better than hearing it on a dulcimer?

Offertory – Michelle Dickerson

Baptism (830) Song Reed, Amanda Phillips

Closing – Bro. Tony Lewis

See you Sunday! Sing out on the invitation and help those who don't know it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Memory - ummmm, Monday?

Thank you Ms. Irene for reminding me about our Memory Monday verse. It's kind of a crazy busy time getting ready for the Passion Play, but I should have remembered...

Last week I mentioned memorizing verses from Isaiah 53.
Last week's verse was Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; (that's actually just the first half of that verse. Some of you may want to memorize the entire verse, but the Beatitudes used up a lot of memory room for some. lol)

Today's verse is Isaiah 53:4
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows, He carried.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Updated Passion Play Rehearsal Schedule

Click on it to make it bigger.

A Compliment?

I've always thought it was a compliment when someone - after seeing something you have done or played or whatever - makes a comment like "You make that look so easy." or "I think I could do that too." or "Is that all you had to do?" not knowing the practice and effort and work and training that went behind what you just did.

So that's how I am going to interpret the following events with my two oldest grandchildren.

A week ago Sunday I was leaving the house about 6:45 (which is when I leave every Sunday except Deacon's Meeting Sundays) and Gibson (7) was already up.

"I want to go with you, Papa."

"No, not this morning. I have a lot to do to get ready for church this morning."

"But I really want to go with you," his typical response.

"Not this morning. I'll see you in a little bit." and I was out the door.

Laster that morning as my lovely wife, Cheryl, aka. Grani, was driving to church with Gibson and Haven (6).

"Grani, I really wanted to go with Papa this morning when he came to church. I was already up and ready to go."

Grani replied (she always has my back), "You can't go with Papa on a Sunday morning. He is getting ready for the services and has to concentrate."

To which Haven replied, "What does he have to concentrate for? He doesn't tell the story."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

This Sunday is Daylight Savings Time.

Beautiful daffodils by the creek that
runs through beautiful Bear Hollow

Don't forget to set your alarm for 2:00 AM Sunday morning so you can then change your clock to 3:00 AM.

Or if you want, I suppose, you can just set it ahead an hour when you go to bed Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Choir Tonight

Of course there is choir tonight. It's Wednesday!

We were going to record a few songs tonight, but the equipment isn't around right now. I don't really remember the story of what happened to it, but I trust Perry and Scott and they say we can do it next week.

So instead of recording tonight we will begin about 6:15 and sing straight through the Passion Play music. We'll do our best to not stop so we can sing all of it tonight. (We mentioned 6:15 last week as a starting time rather than staying later.)

Don't forget group rehearsals next week.
Group A - Monday at 6:00.
Group B - Tuesday at 6:00
Group C - Thursday at 6:00

These will be short (maybe 45 minutes) but very important staging rehearsals.

I'll post an updated rehearsal schedule here later today.

See you tonight!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ron and Jan

My friend will be walking into the church by himself this morning.

He will have many people around him, but the love of his life will not be by his side.

I want to be there to cry with him...
I want to hear the fond memories friends and family share of his wife...
I want to sing songs of faith and hope with other believers...

But the funeral service is in Denver.


The bonds between believers in Jesus Christ are strong and last through the years. Ron and Jan were our dear friends the three years we lived in Denver. You know the kind. You didn't ask "Do you want to go out after church tonight?" You said, "where do you all want to go tonight?" I remember being in their backyard on the Fourth of July wrapped up in blankets watching fireworks. (There's something very wrong with needing a blanket in July, but that's a whole other story.) Ron is the one who taught me how to shift a standard drive jeep without using the clutch. We were young and away from home and family. Ron and Jan were exactly ten years older than us. They took us and our children in as family. They shared the love of Christ with us through great times and very difficult times.

We left Denver in 1989. We only saw them a few times in the twenty plus years since. Last year Jan had finished her chemo treatments and sorta felt like traveling. They headed to Florida and came through Nashville with their best friends Alan and Pat. We spent the day together - the six of us - and had a wonderful time. You would never have known over twenty years had gone by. Those kinds of relationships come from God's Spirit living inside and from shared lives - spending time together.


This month is colon cancer awareness month. If Jan could offer a word of advice to us she would first want to know for sure that you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. She would probably then insist that if you are over 50 that you have a colonoscopy. Colon cancer, when detected early, is very easy to treat. When you notice symptoms it is too late. Jan had some symptoms. When she went to the doctor to see what was wrong she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. That was about two years ago. I'm sure she would tell you that the uncomfortable feelings you have when you think about that proceedure is nothing compared to what all she went through the last two years to try and treat her cancer.


13.But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

14.For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

15.For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

16.For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

17.Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

18.Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Memory Monday - March 8

We've had several weeks of challenging verses to memorize as we've learned the Beatitudes. So this week we'll go with something a little easier.

Since there are three Mondays before Good Friday I'm going to work on some verses from Isaiah 53 the next few Mondays.

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

These last few weeks before Easter are a good time for us to reflect on the Passion of Christ. Let me encourage you to spend some time re-reading all of Isaiah 53 and then read the last few chapters of each of the Gospels. Use a different translation so the words are fresh.

Journey to Emmaus - Advertising Poster

Here is a poster you can print up to help advertise our Passion Play. We noticed form the commetns at Christmas that most of the people who attended The Living Christmas Tree - Dreaming of a White Christmas, came because of a personal invitation. Billboards, newspaper, radio and door hangers were a part of the reason for a packed house each night, but it was the personal invitation that got most people here.

You can click on the poster and it should open up to the size of an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Just perfect for your printer. If you want a larger size send me an e-mail and I can send you one for 11 x 17.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Is that Violin or a Viola? Music for Sunday, March 7

Hmmm, I don't know if I'll remember everything. I didn't get around to posting this while I was on my church computer.

Here's what I remember.

To God Be the Glory
God of Wonders

Choir - Lord, You're Holy - great song! You'll remember it if you heard it last year.

The Solid Rock
My Hope

Special Music - Diane Crroccia

and then I'm play Word of God Speak for the offertory on my viola.  Jesse and Allison will play their violins to accompany and the band will play along.

People often ask me the difference between a violin and a viola. A viola is sort of like an alto violin. It's a little bit bigger, wider and longer.

The viola has a more mellow sound. The viola's first three strings are the same as the three lowest string of the violin. It then has a lower string 5 notes lower. An intersting thing about a viola is that it reads a different clef - the alto clef. The point in the middle indicates where middle C is. (If it points to the fourth line it is a tenor clef. Pretty cool, huh?) You'll notice that the alto clef fits right in the middle between the treble and bass clefs. The viola uses this clef because that's where most of it's notes lie.

So there you have it. You found out about Sunday's music and learned a little about violas too. Don't you just feel a lot smarter now?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Can we Actually Live This Way? (Memory Mondays cont.)

Memory Mondays are still happening. This week we finish up memorizing the Beatitudes. Here are the first ones we have already learned. (New American Standard Bible)

Matthew 5:3-10
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blesed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The last one is a long one.
Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This seems like a lot to memorize. I find myself mixing them up - taking part of one and part of another and putting them together.

But it's good to learn these verses. When the crowds heard these words of Jesus they were a strange concept to them. I've mentioned before how they are strange ideas to modern Americans too. Gentleness and mercy are not qualities that are valued by our society.
We hear things more like these.

"Stand up for your rights."

"Don't let them get away with that."

"He was weak. He deserved what he got."

When was the last time you heard someone say they longed to have a pure heart or that they hungered for righteousness? You won't sell much advertising on a TV show that shows people longing for pure hearts.

Can you imagine a "reality TV" show that celebrated the virtues listed in the Beatitudes?

More importantly than memorizing the Beatitudes is striving to have these in your life. Wow! That is pretty much impossible without the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Hearing and then following His voice is the only way.

What changes will you have to make in YOUR life to live a life marked by these words of Christ? What TV programs do you need to give up? What video games will you not play? Where will you become a peacemaker? Where and to whom do you need to show gentleness? (This is not an exhuastive list. This is just to get you thinking.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment if you like.

My Preacher Missed Something Important (in yesterday's sermon)

Haha! I would never really just put up a post critical of my pastor's sermons, but I thought that might catch your eye and that you then might read my post.

My Sr. Pastor, Dr. Larry D. Robertson, is preaching a great sermon series from the book of Nehemiah. They are titled "What's the Difference?" You can hear them / see them on our church website.

Yesterday's sermon was "Rebuilding a Wall or Rebirthing a Witness." It was taken from Nehemiah 7 and a verse or two from Nehemiah 11.

So... as we read some verses from Nehemiah 7 I saw something very important that he left out.

OK. I know when you are preaching through a book of the Bible that you can't mention everything or you would never finish. There are so many wonderful truths in the Bible we can study it every day and each day the Holy Spirit shows us more truth about God, ourselves, etc. etc.

I'm not criticizing Bro. Larry at all. It's just fun to say "he missed something" because he always has such wonderful sermons.

Here's what I saw. Nehemiah 7:1
"Now when the wall was rebuilt and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed,"

Here's what I see. The wall was rebuilt so it was important to get some people in place. The most important positions to fill would naturally be the first ones filled and the ones mentioned.

Look at the list again. Gatekeepers - really important for protecting the city. Levites (the priests) - really important for taking care of the sacrifices and teaching scripture.
Did you see the other group mentioned?  The singers!

I've said this many times and this verse just says it again. God loves choirs. God loves for His people to sing His praises. The musicians who lead in worship have always been important: just as important as protecting the city, just as important as the sacrifices. It was the singers full-time job to be singers in the temple - to practice together, to develop their skills, to lead in worship, to BE worshippers.

The biggest choir we should have every week is our congregation as we sing together. But more importantly is the need for trained musicians (instrumentalists and singers) to lead in worship. People who will spend time each week in rehearsal so they bring their very best to worship Sunday by Sunday.

For those of you who have answered God's call to sing in a choir - hooray for you! (I know some of my readers live other places besides Clarksville. Thank you for singing in your local church choir.)

For those of you who used to sing in a choir but for one reason or another have sort of dropped out - this is the perfect time to get back in choir.