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!