Friday, April 30, 2010

On Mission Conference - Sunday's Music

Our On Mission Conference begins tonight (Friday, April 30) and concludes Sunday morning. We will sing some great songs that emphasize two things.
1. Salvation through Jesus Christ
2. Us sharing that Good News to the world

We'll begin with Jesus Saves and Hear Our Praises
The chorus of Hear Our Praises has the phrase "from the heavens to the nations hear our praises rise to You." That's the whole point of missions - to bring more worshippers to Jesus Christ.

The choir will then sing a song called "Here Am I, Send Me." I hope this song will give voice to your desire - or that it will inspire in you the desire to say, "Here am I, Lord, send me. Send me to praise Your name. To all the world proclaim. With all of my heart and soul, Lord, I'll give all I have to make You known. Here am I, Lord, send me."

Then we'll sing just a verse of "Tell Me the Story," a verse of ,... um... I can't remember.. and end up with a song that may be new to some of you, "Song for the Nations." Play it a time or two here so you can practice for Sunday morning. It's easy.

Oh, and by the way. I've totally lost my voice. I can only wisper. This had NEVER happened to me in the 34 years I've been leading worship. I'm praying I can sing Sunday, but YOU all may have to sing out more to help me out.

See you Sunday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Looking for Love - Memory Monday

A friend of mine and I are going through the Experiencing God study by Henry and Richard Balckaby. It is an awesome study. If you have never gone through it you realllllly should. Experiencing God book

This week's study is about Kingdom People and World Missions which fits in perfectly with this coming weekend being our On MIssion Conference at Hilldale Baptist Church.

Henry Blackaby uses a different verse than you might expect when talking about missions. Your first thought - perhpas - would be Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age." (Which, of course, is the perfect verse for missions.)

But what Mr. Blackaby has as the memory verse for this section is I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin."

What does that have to do with missions or impacting the kingdom? I guess in a nutshell it might be summarized with Jesus' words found in John 13:35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Are you connecting the dots here? As Johnny Lee once sang, the world is "looking for love in all the wrong places." But they ARE looking. What better witness of what the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He offers each of us than to SEE it in how we love our brothers and sisters in Christ. When the world see true Christian love they are drawn to it and to Jesus. Simple truth.

So for our memory verse this week (those of you still memorizing with me) let's memorize some great verses from 1 John. (You should read the entire book. There are lots of verses about us loving each other in 1 John.)

1 John 4:11-12 Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Even if you can't memorize it - go LIVE it.

Wow! Big Number of Hits

I just looked at my hit counter and we are just 80 hits away from 45,000 hits! Cool! I suppose I should have a prize for the 45,000th hit, hmm would you call that person the hittER? or hittEE? or something else?

So someone - a non-blogger type person - the other day asked me what the point was of blogging. I thought that was a valid question. So I thought about it a little and came up with a list of things that I hope are accomplished by this blog.

1. Entertainment - I'm at least entertaining myself with some of the things I write about.

2. Inspiration - It's my prayer that through the words/messages posted here that you and other readers will - at least a few times a month - be inspired to join a choir, read your Bible, join others in worship this week, etc.

3. Education - Now and then  readers of my blogs should learn a little something - perhaps a spiritual truth you hadn't thought of before, what an alto clef looks like, when our next performance is... those kinds of things.

So... it looks like we're all winners when we read Hilldale's Worship Blog. (Does that mean I don't have to have a prize for hit 45,000?)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Georgia on My Mind

I have a fun weekend ahead. I'm going to Georgia! and not just for the boiled peanuts.

(Actually, I think I've only had boiled peanuts once and I remember they were NOT something I would put in my mouth a second time.)
Ah, If it was fresh peach season. Mmmm. There's nothing like fresh peaches!

But that's not it either. I'm going for handbells! I have the distinct priviledge of being the director for the Georgia Baptist State Handbell Festival. We'll be meeting at FBC, Marietta. There will be over 20 choirs there all playing together and I will be the one who gets to direct them! How cool is that?

I'm sure I'll be updating FaceBook via Twitter while I'm away, so if you want to know the latest from Georgia you'll know where to look. hahaha

Earth Day - Sunday's Music

I just heard that today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Without wanting to stir reaction from any of the extreme camps on this issue, Earth Day fits in great with this Sunday's music so I'm going to blog about it.

The beauty of the earth. Wow! You could write for days and not tell all of the beautiful things God created as part of this wonderful earth: desserts, oceans, mountains, valleys, coast lands, wet lands, red dirt, black dirt, waterfalls, lakes, streams, rivers, trees, flowers, grass, the sky, rain, clouds...

Do we need to take better care of the earth? Absolutley. One example... There's a spot in the Pacific Ocean - Great Pacific Garbage Patch - that some say is the size of Texas. Others say it is the size of the continental USA. Either way its a big mess that we should be concerned about and actually DO something about.

Do we have global warming? Hmmm, not so sure on that one. The numbers in some of the studies were cooked. Oh, that's funny. Cooked numbers about being cooked. Haha. An accidental funny.
Cherry tree at my home in Whites Creek
(The house comes with the tree. Call me. I'll make you a deal.)

Is the world a beautiful creation of God? If you don't know the answer to that one you haven't been paying attention. This Sunday - since we're right in the middle of Spring and everything is soooo gorgeous - we'll be singing All Creatures of Our God and King, God of Wonders, and For the Beauty of the Earth.

The choir will be singing The River of Life.

Here's are some verses for your consideration on this 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

Genesis 1:1 NAS In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

One of my favorite verses (and chapters) about Jesus.
Colossians 1:16 NAS For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Copy of Today's E-Inchoirer

In case you didn't get my e-mail, here is a copy of today's E-Inchoirer.

Hi everyone!

I hope you are having a great week.

I'm looking forward to choir tomorrow night. We had a great number last week. I'm sure we'll have even more this week.

Don't forget we've started a new collection of songs in a book called "High Praises." It has some awesome songs in it. You'll want to get in at the beginning of learning this great music.

If you can come a little early Wednesday night - you know how you just kind of drive around for a little while to kill time until choir starts - then come on in and help us with a project. We're going to move all of the costumes that are eating up robe room space to the costume room upstairs. I know you can hardly wait to help - knowing you'll not only be a big help but will also get a little exercise walking up the stairs - but try to wait until 5:30 to come help.

See you tomorrow! Bring somebody with you. This is the perfect time to join choir.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is It Level? - Memory Monday

Is it level?

A friend of mine, Jesse, is helping me build a nice storage building in my backyard. I'm one of those people who thinks he can do anything (except play football) and Jesse is a guy who built buildings all over Iraq with the help of some of his Army buddies. So we make a pretty good team.

The biggest challenge - and the part that seems to take a whole lot more time than we wanted it to - is making sure the foundation is level.

We also had some help from some of the grandchildren. Here's Jesse and Elam checking to see if this corner block is level.

There's an important part to getting your foundation level - and you have to make yourself do it.
You can't trust your eyes.
If you take a quick look at this layout of the bottom boards you'll think we are way off of being level. Look how high up the back blocks are. There are three of them - 7" tall each - stacked on top of each other. The opposite corner has just one block but it is buried 7" deep!
But we checked and doubled checked. Our foundation is level!

So what does that have to do with Memory Monday? (Haha. I told Jesse there was a sermon illustration in this whole leveling and building deal.)

Our spiritual lives are the same. We need to have a level foundation in our lives but we have to have a way to check level. Jesse and I have talked about some of the crazy things some people believe. He and I are going through the Bible study "Experiencing God" together. In it we have seen how God speaks to people and how He wants a relationship with each of us. I think one of the most important things we've seen in this study is the importance of scripture. A lot of people say, "God told me this." But how do you know if God really told you or someone else something? You have to look at it in the light of scripture. God won't say anything to you or me or anyone else that contradicts scripture.

The Bible is your level. That's why Memory Monday is important. A person has to have scripture in his mind and in his heart so when he "hears" something and thinks it is from God he has something to check it against. 

Our eyes and our own hearts can deceive us. The world has a way of distorting our view. We see things so much we begin to think they are straight (level) when in fact thy are way off. The only thing we have to tell us God's thoughts and God's heart are His words found in scripture.

So here's this week's Memory Monday verse.

2 Timothy 3:16.All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness ; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The New International Version translates "inspired" as "God-breathed."
So... make sure your life is level with God's word. To do that, you have to read it. You have to spend time in it. You have to know it, memorize it, meditate on it, live it, breathe it, be transformed by it...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's that new song?

April 18, 2010

A few years ago at another church we sang a medley of songs. In the medley was a new song I had written titled "In the Morning." It's a song about seeking the Lord and hearing from Him in the morning. Hmm, let me think... I believe I was using Psalm 143:8 Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning ; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk ; For to You I lift up my soul. as my inspiration.
After the service a lady - I'm guessing late 20s, maybe early 30s - came up to me and asked me about "that song." "I've never heard it before. It was beautiful!"
"Oh," I replied, "that's a new one I wrote a few weeks ago." and I said something about the words or tune - I don't really remember. Then she held up her bulletin (We put the order of worship in our bulletin there.) and she said, "No, not that one, this one." And she pointed to one of the other songs in the medley, "In the Garden."

Hahaha! So much for that beautiful "NEW" song. The song that was so beautiful to her was that wonderful old hymn. It was "new" because she had never heard it. She hadn't heard it because we didn't sing it much and she was new to the church. It's not very "contemporary" after all.

Her response kind of proved a point. Many people say they don't like any song that wasn't written last week. Everything else is "old stuff." There are so many songs that we have loved for many years because they have beautiful melodies and well-written texts. All that most of them need is a little change of the accompaniment so they don't sound like something that needs to be played on an old upright piano.

If you are one of those who only likes loud guitars and music written last weekend, let me encourage you to find an old hymnal. Read the words. Listen to the melody. Let these "old" hymns touch your heart in a new way.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Choir - Majestic

Fellowship Song – Mighty to Save
In the Garden
Draw Me Close

Special Music – Laughrie, Traci, Jimmy and Pat - Jesus, What a Friend 
Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – I Give You Me

Offertory – Bro. Lyndel Littleton

Baptisms - Both Services

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Music for April 11

I read an article this week about how faith traditions celebrate Easter for seven Sundays in a row! The reason it is seven is because that takes you to the next big Christian event Pentecost. (more about that later)

Baptists have joined most all other faiths in having our weekly worship times on Sundays. That's because the early believers gathered on the first day of the week to worship because that is the day Christ rose from the grave. We use Sunday as our Sabbath - our day of rest and worship. So in reality, we celebrate the resurrection every time we meet on a Sunday.

Even so, I always like to sing at least one "resurrection" sort of song the week after Easter. Usually - and is the case this year - I like to lead our congregation in singing "Crown Him with Many Crowns."

Try reading the words like a poem rather than singing them so you can absorb the richness of this wonderful text. Click on the video and you'll hear the Mississippi Baptist State Youth Orchestra play as you read.

Crown Him with many crowns, The Lamb upon His throne;
Hark! how the heav'nly anthem drowns All music but it's own:
Awake, my soul, and sing Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King Through all eternity.

Crown Him the Lord of life, Who triumphed o'er the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife For those He came to save;
His glories now we sing, Who died and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, And lives that death may die.

Crown Him the Lord of love; Behold His hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified:
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou hast died for me:
They praise and glory shall not fail Throughout eternity.

Sunday we'll follow that great hymn with "Shout to the Lord."

The choir will sing "Thine Is the Kingdom."

Then we'll all sing together "Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone."

Because Jesus triumphed over the grave and through His amazing grace our chains of sin are gone when we choose to follow Him as Savior and Lord.

It will be a great day of worship. I hope you'll join us.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enjoy a Night Off

Our choir put in a lot of extra hours of rehearsals and listening to their CDs and working on costumes and building/decorating sets, etc. There are many hours of work that are never seen to make the Passion Play a success every year. I'm so thankful to ave so many people who help in so many different ways.

So... not that one Wednesday night makes up for a lot of work... we are going to take this Wednesday night off from choir rehearsal. We WILL sing this Sunday. We'll sing one of the songs from the Passion Play. Then the next Wednesday we'll dive into our new book. It has a lot of great songs in it.

Help me spread the word - No Choir Rehearsal THIS Wednesday, April 7.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Memory the Monday After Easter

This week is an easy week. It will give you a chance to catch up on some of the harder verses if you need.

Luke 24:5b-6a NASB

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

What a wonderful weekend of celebrating we have had at Hilldale.
The Passion Play was a wonderful re-telling of the great story of Jesus' death and resurrection as seen through the eyes of the two men on the road to Emmaus.
And then Sunday morning's worship services were full of music of celebration as we rejoiced with Christians all over the world as we remembered that resurrection morn.

In the early church as Christians gathered to worship (and still in many faith traditions) the worship leader would begin the service saying "Christ is risen." and then the congregation would respond, "He is risen indeed!"

We may practice that a few weeks before Easter next year. I really like that. Have a wonderful week!

Christ is risen!

(did you say it?)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gibson's Baptism

I had the joy and priviledge of baptizing my oldest grandson this morning at the end of our 9:45 worship service. I put some pictures up on my Papa Lyndel's blog if you would like to see them.

Gibson's Baptism