Thursday, July 29, 2010

Checking in the Mirror

Tuesday the pastors go to lunch together. It's always a fun time as we relax a little and just get to spend a little time together talking about the church and our families and a little bit of everything.

This last week we ended up going for breakfast instead of lunch. We went to Shoney's for the breakfast buffet. Yummmm.

While we were sitting there a young couple got out of their car across the parking lot and headed toward the door. About half-way across the parking lot they stopped. The young lady decided that it would probably be a good idea to check and see if they had any money before they ordered - at least that is what I was guessing. She was looking all through her large purse for something.

The young man was a stocky sort of guy in shorts and a muscle shirt. While his wife was looking through her purse he noticed his reflection in the windows of Shoney's. He turned a little bit sideways and flexed his arm. Mmm. Looked good. So he puffed up his chest and flexed a little more.


Meanwhile - oblivious to her husband, the wife kept pilfering through her purse. He didn't mind her taking so long because he was lookin' good!

"Hey look! I said, This guy is checking himself out in the window!" He had a bigger audience now and didn't even know it. Probably wouldn't have cared if he had known.

Another flex of the left bicep, a tilt of the shoulder and that "lookin' fine" look on his face; he could have stayed there all afternoon.

Ah! Found some money. They can go in.

But no! First he had to pull the leg of his shorts up and flex his leg in the mirror window. I'm not sure his wife was as impressed as he had hoped. She's probably seen this routine at home more than she wants. haha.

I told Bro. Tony, "I guess if I had leg muscles like that I'd check myself out in the windows too. haha"

Tony said rather dryly, "No, you wouldn't!"

I suppose he's right.

On our way out the door I decided I needed to check how I looked in the window. Hmmm, just as skinny as I looked that morning at home. I guess my muscles couldn't show through my long-sleeved shirt and dress pants. The other guys wouldn't look at themselves. They said they were afraid they were just as big as they were before - maybe bigger after the breakfast bar.

A little self-inspection and a look in the mirror really isn't a bad thing. After all, you don't want to scare little children as you walk around town.

The same is true for your spirit too. But what do you use as a mirror? Looking in the bathroom mirror or the windows at Shoney's will help you know if your hair is sticking up or not, but to look at your heart you need something other than yourself to compare with. The scriptures say

"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick ; Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9 NAS

It is only as we allow God to show us what is in our hearts that we see the true picture. I can compare myself to a lot of different people in the news and think I am doing really awesome. But when I compare myself to what God has asked of me - well, that's different.  Psalm 139 has this prayer from David "23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."

So how do you go about that? You have to spend time each day in the Word. That's where you'll find truth and direction and strength and more. Memorize scripture. Hide it in your heart.

"But it's impossible to live up to a standard like that" you might say. Yep. Impossible. Thankfully God's Spirit works through us and helps us live as new creations.

There's a lot more that could be said here, but I'm late for a meeting and if I don't hit "publish" now it's not going to happen today. Please finish this little sermon on your own. Im guessing that this isn't something you haven't heard before. This was just a little reminder and hopefully an encouragement for you.

See you at Shoney's!

Sunday's Music - August 1

My mom is in town. I know you'll want to sing your best Sunday morning so she'll be glad I'm at a good singing church. :-)

In case you want to practice before Sunday morning, here is what we will be singing.

August 1, 2010 AM

Blessed Be the Name
Days of Elijah

Choir Anthem – There Is Joy
     Solo- Diane Carroccia

Fellowship song – I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
Blessed Assurance
I Will Rise

Special Music – Stephen Tucker

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – I Give You Me

Monday, July 26, 2010

More of John1 for Memory Monday

Last week I suggested that we all memorize John 1:1-5. These words are the foundation of what we believe about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, God Himself, taking the form of man to live and die for our sin.
Phillippians 2 echos this same thought.
2:6-8 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbeld Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

This video takes John 1 and Philippians 2 and other verses and weaves them together beautifully. You'll recognize Philippians 2:9-11 in this video.

This video is of the Mississippie Baptist State Youth Choir singing a song called "The Word Was God" by Rosephanye Powell. They may take it a little fast, but I'll let choral experts argue what tempo should be used. I found YouTube videos at several different tempos. I just thought it was cool to see this many youth singing a fancy artsy version of John 1.

But what is this week's verse to memorize?

My guess is that you didn't memorize all of John 1:1-5, so I'm giving it to you again. Add verse 14 if you like it's a great verse. (You'll see and hear it in the first video here.)

John 1:1-5, 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sunday's Music - July 25

We have a song that I introduced a month or so ago on a Sunday night. It's not really a new song. It was written in 2000 by Darlene Zschech. She has written a lot of worship songs including "Shout to the Lord."

Anyway, below you'll find a video of Darlene and the Hillsong folks singing this song. Sing through it a few times and you'll be all ready for Sunday morning's worship time at Hilldale.

July 25, 2010 AM

Revive Us Again
Everlasting God

Choir Anthem – Rise Up
     Solo – Stephen Tucker

Fellowship Song – Your Grace is Enough

Worthy is the Lamb

Grace Flows Down/Amazing Grace

Special Music – Traci Koon

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Offertory – Michelle Dickerson

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesdays (and why I love choir)

I love Wednesdays!
Our local weather man calls them "Huuuuuuuuump day" and sounds sort of like Tony the Tiger when he says it. (It's a little embarassing.) (Leland, didn't mean to trash talk you here in front of the whole world.)
But I love Wednesdays - not because the week is half over, but because we get to sing in choir.

Singing lifts the spirit.
Singing lowers blood pressure.
Singing in a choir is fun because:
    you're with your firends
     it sounds better than just you in your car
     if (when) you hit a bad note there are others to help cover it up
     the director is wonderful (hahaha - was that too much?)
Singing in a church choir is great because:
     singing for the Lord is sooo awesome
     it's a wonderful way to worship not on ly on a Sunday morning in a worship service, but on Wednesday night too.
Singing in a church choir is great because the texts of the songs
     help tell your heart story
     help you express your love for God
     tell others of God's greatness and glory and wonder and more

OK. All that's just off the top of my head. Just think how much I could write here if I thought about it for a while.

Maybe YOU should leave a comment with why YOU think choir on Wednesday is such a great deal.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Memory Monday on Tuesday (again)

I took yesterday off from working in the office. I attended Teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) training from the North American Mission Board all weekend and needed to cut the grass at my "vacation" home in Whites Creek (which I'll put back on the market in August) and then went to Mt. Juliet to my son's new house to help paint so they can move in this weekend.

All of that to say that I didn't get to a computer to put a verse for Memory Monday on here.

I was thinking this morning about John 1. It is such a wonderful chapter. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

These beautiful pages are from the St. John's Bible

 an illuminated, handwritten Bible commissioned by Saint John's University and Abbey in Minnesota. This contemporary Bible is at once old and new: a masterpiece of the ancient crafts of calligraphy and illumination that could only be made by artists of today. Read more here

I was thinking about some men I have been praying for - that they would become followers of Jesus Christ. They are walking in darkness and need light and life from Jesus. I am praying today that the Light will shine in their hearts but that unlike the people of Jesus day, my prayer is that they will see and comprehend the Light. Will you join me in praying for these three men?
So what is this week's Memory Monday memory verse?
I am going to review the first five verses of John 1 (since I have memorized them before). I would encourage you to start with verse 1 if you haven't memorized these verses and then add as many as you can. There's a great sermon to be preached from verse 3 too. It corresponds with another of my favorite passages, Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 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. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Guess I should have saved that for next week's memory verse. We'll just call that a sneak preview!
So - again, for those of you memorizing scripture with me, here are this weeks verses. See how much you can memorize this week.
John1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Music for Sunday, July 18

To God Be the Glory
Blessed Be Your Name

Choir Anthem – God of All
    "God of All" is a song by Twila Paris. She has written a lot of wonderful songs through the year. (I think my favorite is probably "How Beautiful." I tried to find a YouTube video of this song, but there wasn't one.

Fellowship song – You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)
Resting in Your Love
Who Can Satisfy

There were a lot of YouTube vids of this song. What a great song! here's a nice rendition by the choirs of Lee University. They really liked it I guess 'cause they kept repeating the chorus.

Solo – Ramona Ambrose

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Sneek Preview of Tonight's Rehearsal

If you click on this picture it will open up bigger for you (I think) (it should) (let me know if it doesn't)

For our readers who live far away, I hope seeing a little of what we are doing will make you want to move to Clarksville.
For those of you who have been skipping out of choir for the summer I hope you will be encouraged to come back - TONIGHT!

We have CDs of the book we are working on this summer. They were made by the Sanctuary Choir at First Baptist Church, Joelton a few years ago. It's really good (if I say so myself). Come tonight and pick up your copy so you can sing these great songs all week long in your car. If your car doesn't have a CD player - well... it's probably time you bought a new car. LOL

Did you notice the 8 track player in this lovely 1981 Buick Regal?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Memory Monday - back on track?

It seems I've missed a few Memory Mondays during the Summer. With travel and all I've dropped a few weeks. Hmmm, or maybe just one week.
Well anyway, here's a verse for you to learn this week.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

This is just a good verse we probably all learned as kids, but we need to be reminded of it often. I'll try to write some more later. I've been listening to Christmas music all day. Haven't liked any of it. Now I've used up writing time. Well, write your own little sermon. I can't always do everything for you. hahaha

Have a great week.
I'll try to blog a little more tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Will Carry You

The choir will be singing a beautiful song this Sunday titled "I Will Carry You." The chorus says,

"O my child, when you can't go on another mile, I will carry you.
Through the heartache of your greatest trial, I will carry you.
My arms are strong and tender. My faithfulness is true; I will carry you.
You can trust Me and I, I will carry you."

The thing that makes it so powerful is that so many of us can sing these words from hearts made strong in our faith because we have experienced first-hand the words of this song.

For those of you at Hildale who will hear this song this Sunday, I hope you will come to worship with some of those difficult times in life in mind with the memories of how God brought you through them.

The other songs for this Sunday include:
O God Our Help in Ages Past
Rock of Ages
Friend of God
My Savior's Love
Made Me Glad

Come ready to celebrate God's care and faithfulness with us this Sunday.

Portuguese subtitles. :-)