Thursday, February 24, 2011

Music for February 27

Sunday begins our "Every Believer a Witness" revival, so we'll begin our service singing "Mighty to Save" followed by "Tell Me the Story of Jesus." When we sing it we'll perk it up a bit with a little bit of a Latin feel and I've added a little chorus to it.
We'll also sing "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High." This little chorus has the complete gospel in a nutshell. "You came from heaven to earth to show the way. From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay. From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the skies. Lord, I lift Your name on high."

The text to Tell Me the Story of Jesus was written by Fanny Crosby.
Fanny Crosby wrote the texts to some of our best-loved hymns. Here's a partial list of songs you probably know and like to sing that were written by her.

"All the Way My Savior Leads Me"--bef. 1875, music by Robert Wadsworth Lowry

"Blessed Assurance"--1873, music by Phoebe Knapp

"Close to Thee"--1874, music by Silas J. Vail

"Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home"--1883, music by George C. Stebbins

"He Hideth My Soul" --1890, music by William Kirkpatrick

"I Am Thine, O Lord"--bef. 1875, music by W. Howard Doane

"My Savior First of All"--1891, music by John R. Sweney

"Near the Cross"--bef. 1869, music by W. Howard Doane

"Pass Me Not, O Gentle Saviour"--1868, music by W. Howard Doane

"Praise Him, Praise Him"--bef. 1869, music by Chester G. Allen

"Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It"--bef. 1882, William J. Kirkpatrick

"Rescue the Perishing"--1869, music by W. Howard Doane

"Safe in the Arms of Jesus"--1878, music by W. Howard Doane

"Saviour, More Than Life to Me"--1875, music by W. Howard Doane

"Tell Me the Story of Jesus"--bef. 1880, music by John R. Sweney

"To God Be the Glory"--1875, music by W. Howard Doane

Notice the poll over there on your right. Vote on your favorite Fanny Crosby hymns. You can vote for more than one.

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Tell me the story of Jesus; Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard.

Tell how the angels in chorus sang as they welcomed his birth,
"Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth."

New chorus
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Living and dying He set me free.
Hallelujah! Sing His love for me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pondering the Music Selections for Sunday, February 20

Here's our music for this Sunday.

It's interesting - the thought process that goes through my head at times - well, maybe it's not really interesting, maybe I meant strange... maybe I'm not sure what I mean...

Well, anyway, here's what I'm thinking. I try to "say" different things on different weeks. I don't want to always sing about the exact same thing because there are many things in the Christians life and many things about God that need to be said. You can't sing about God being our refuge in times of trouble every week because then you wouldn't ever sing about the cross. You wouldn't want to sing about Christ's birth every Sunday. If you did, when would you sing about the resurrection? Singing great songs of praise are always good, but when do you sing about being a sinner in need of a Savior?

I planned on singing this past Sunday about God's love - since it was the day before Valentine's Day. "God is love" is always something to sing about!

So I started out with
To God Be the Glory ("great things He hath done. So loved He the world...")
God of Wonders

Choir Anthem - You Never Let Go (a great testimony of God's love)

Love Lifted Me
Shout to the Lord

Since Geron Davis was here last week we didn't sing these songs, so we're going to sing them this week. Since then, however, I have found out that a man I have been praying for - for over a year now - is going to be here Sunday morning. He's an Army Ranger guy, mean as a snake and needs to know the Lord. I've been joining his brother and mother in praying for him. (You are invited to pray for him too!)

So now I'm questioning my song selections. Should I sing songs about salvation? But then I thought how there are people here EVERY week who need to get saved - who need to become followers of Jesus Christ. Do I need to sing about that every week? This takes me back to my opening thoughts - I can't sing the same songs every week. There are many facets to the Christians experience and we need to be able to express them all.

So how does it work? The answer is rather easy. The Holy Spirit is at work in all of our lives. He takes the different elements of a service and through His power speaks to everyone who has ears to hear. And since HE is the one who brings conviction of sin and the power of salvation into a person's life, I can fully trust in Him to speak to a mean, hardened army guy this Sunday.

Besides... what better testimony to a lost person than to see and hear and experience the love we have for our Savior? As we sing with all our hearts that testimony is sounded loud and clear that we have been changed, redeemed, saved from our former lives that were enemies of God and we now are His loved children.

Sing your testimony this week. "Love lifted me!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More Family Art 2011

If you missed the first post of Family Art Projects, look here First Family Art Post

Here are the rest of the collages made from pictures of The Family Art Project 2011. I hope they will inspire you to create something beautiful this week.

Phyllis has wanted to paint this picture for years. Now she has. Isn't it wonderful?

This one is of each of their favorite Bible stories.

Pretty gray abstract that will look lovely in their living room.

They are going to add coconuts to the tree and put their names on the coconuts.

Pretty stenciling. They had a picture up on FaceBook of it hanging on their living room wall before I got home that day.

Initials of family members (including the cats of course)

Monday, February 14, 2011

True Love!

I've been to lots of weddings - perhaps thousands. I've sung, played the violin, played the organ, played the piano and even been the preacher. Now and then I've even just been a spectator.

Of course the best wedding ever was way back when on a beautiful June afternoon after a string quartet played some lovely music a beautiful young girl walked down a really long aisle to join a really young guy in holy matrimony (we used fancy words like that back then) and the lovely Miss Cheryl Lynn became Mrs. Lyndel Littleton. Haha! We also wore powder blue tuxes with big ruffles on our tux shirts!

Anyway... at MANY of these weddings I've heard this rather famous passage of scripture read out of many different translations. Today you'll see it in the Holman Christian Standard.

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong
or a clanging cymbal.

If I have [the gift of] prophecy,
and understand all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I give my body to be burned,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind.
Love does not envy;
is not boastful; is not conceited;

does not act improperly; is not selfish;
is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs;

finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

Here's the kicker.

This passage was not written for lovers. It wasn't Paul's gift to wedding coordinators and wedding chapel preachers.


This passage was written to the CHURCH! This is how we are supposed to treat each other. This is how the world will know that we are different. This is how the world will know God's love - when they see it demonstrated - lived out - in the church.

Jesus said, "By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

That means we show love in all the ways that are listed in 1 Corinthians 13 to each other in the church. Of course marriages are to be an example of Christ and the church, so the passage definitely applies to couples. (but that's a whole other post)

Let me encourage you to show the love of God - as seen in 1 Corinthians 13 - this week. (since God is love, He is all of the things listed here)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Family Art Project - a few pics

We had a wonderful time at the Family Art Project 2011.

Here are three of our beautiful creations. I will put more up next Monday.

My lovely wife and I painted a chocolate background with touches of orange, gold and copper in it and then I painted a blue music staff. We then had each of our grandbabies paint a flower on the staff (instead of musical notes).

Here it is in our living room.

Geron Davis - Sunday's Music

We have a nice mid-winter treat for us this Sunday morning as Geron Davis comes to Hilldale and leads us in worship.

Here's a video of Geron and some other people singing one of his songs.

Of course if you've been at Hilldale for a few years then you are familiar with Geron and Kindred Souls because they have sung here a few times in the past.

Our choir will be singing "Thine Is the Kingdom" with him.  It's one of my favorites!

Bro. Larry will still be preaching, they are just leading the music part of the service. This is a great "excuse" to invite someone to come with you Sunday morning. See you then!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Choir Testimony

I received an e-mail today from a choir member with a story that I hope will encourage all of the singers out there in blog land. Even if this exact thing hasn't happened to you, it could/should.

I have to tell you a story.  I was in church last Sunday, came in about 5 minutes late and didn’t get to sing with the choir.  I had been out again due bronchitis and was feeling better.  I have been down some, wondering if my voice even made a difference or if I was now too old and my voice was no longer pretty.  I sat behind an elderly gentleman and his wife. I was singing away (loud and clear).  After the service, the man turned to me and said “miss, you have the most beautiful voice, I kept listening to you sing, you should be up there on that stage.”  I thanked him and thanked him and said “I am in the choir, I have been sick and trying to get over bronchitis; however, you just made my day because I was wondering if my singing was any good anymore”.  Sometimes if we are sitting next to someone who can really sing, we need to invite them to choir.  Telling them they can really sing might make a difference.  Actually that is one of the reasons, other than serving God, why I joined the choir.  Someone in the choir told me that in the year 1978.  Feeling better now about my singing and hope to be there if it doesn’t snow.  I love choir. 

Now a word to all of our choir.
Your singing really does make a difference. We are our best when ALL of us are singing together. And I know there are others in our congregation who should be singing with us so that they can bless us and we can bless them as we sing and worship together. Maybe you should invite them to join us.

I hope we get to have choir rehearsal tomorrow night! I'm praying that the snow will go up North somewhere where they are used to it. haha.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Music for February 6

February 6, 2011 AM

Sing to the King
O Worship the King
Fellowship song – Jesus Messiah

‘Tis So Sweet with Resting in Your Love
All That Thrills My Soul
Who Can Satisfy?

Special Music – Diane Carroccia

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation Song – Whiter than Snow - Haha. Maybe they'll be snow on the ground here Sunday morning.

Offertory – Mary Beth Mathews

Social Networking and Sharing the Gospel

If you are my "friend" on FaceBook then you know that I'm happy to let everyone know my opinion about the groundhog or other weather items, share pictures of my family or events at church, let you know that my roses are doing well, etc. etc.

If you don't have time to read all of this, skip to the end. It's the cool part of today's writing!

If you are one of my contacts on Skype you know that my computer is almost always on line and that I'll be happy to chat just about anytime.

But I also like to use these "Social Networking" tools for some Kingdom work.

"How so?" You may ask.

I have "friends" from all over the world on FB. Most are friends from church or churches where I have served in the past. I like to use FB to encourage everyone to be in worship or to pray for missionaries or persecuted Christians.
I write about many of those things here - on this blog - and then I use FB to let everyone know that I've rattled off something else and I hope that many will then click the link and be encouraged in their walk with the Lord.
I also have friends on FB that are artists that I network with through Etsy. We encourage each other with our art and advertise a little for each other and those kinds of things. For some of them, I am the only Christian they know. Will they become a follower of Jesus Christ because I am their friend on FB? I don't know. But at least they see a believer in the real world trying to live out his faith for others to see.

I have many contacts on Skype. Many of them live in Brazil. I met them on which is a place where I am working on my Portuguese. (I'll write about busuu in the next section.) These guys know that I am a pastor. I love it when this one guy calls me Pastor Leeendol. Haha. I love his Brazilian accent. So anyway, we talk about God and church things as well as how the weather is. We go back and forth in English and Portuguese.
I also use Skype to send quick messages - sort of like a text message. Just today a friend on Skype asked me to pray for him because he felt like the devil was trying to mess things up in his life. I was able to tell him that I would be praying for him and then I sent him this verse.

James 4:7 NIV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This is the picture of me on busuu. If they ask about it - which happens a lot - I always tell them that I'm the guy on the left.
You wouldn't think a site that teaches many languages to people all over the world would be a place where you could witness, but it's actually a wonderful place. On bussu you have a lesson where you learn some new words. Then you have a place where you write about what you just learned and native speakers then correct your writing. You are then asked to correct someone else's writing. Someone who is learning English. After that, you are supposed to talk to someone who speaks the language you are learning. This is where I have met so many Brazilians who I now have as contacts on Skype.
Here's the cool part!
So today I had busuu open. I wasn't really studying Portuguese at the time. And I had a beep indicating that someone wanted to chat. It was a guy I met here from Russia. He is in the Russian Army studying engineering. He is 22 years old. We talked about the weather and things like that. He then asked what I do for a living. I told him I was one of the pastors at my church. He talked a little more about the snow in St. Petersburg and then he asked what religion I had.
Long story a little shorter. He is Russian Orthodox. He was Christened as a child because he is young enough to have been born after they were "free." I asked him if he felt like he was a follower of Jesus or if he was just happy that he was Christened. He said, "Probably the later." and then he asked me when I was Christened. I was able to share a little about my faith and I told him I was glad that his parents thought it was important for him to be a Christian. He agreed. So while we were talking I sent a Skype message to a friend and told him to pray for the guy. And then another friend called me and I asked him to pray for the guy. I guess I should have posted it on FB too!
We'll see where it goes. We said we would talk again soon. I hope you'll join me in praying for V.
I also hope you'll look for ways God can use you in His Kingdom work as you spend time with social networking.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Big Apple Adventure Premier at LifeWay


Oh how I wish you all could have heard and seen our kids as they premiered "The Big Apple Adventure" for over 800 people on Thursday night and again Friday night (to a different group of 800+) of last week. The audience was Children's pastors and VBS leaders and Children's workers from all over the USA. And they were a great audience!! They clapped and cheered and carried on - and all for good reason. Our kids were AWESOME!!!

Here are a few pictures for you.

We got there a little early Thursday night, so we had our picture made with Billy Graham.

The actors were wonderful and all knew their lines. (Well, Bro. Tim had his hidden - sorta - in a Bible and on a clip board)
Traci did a great job teaching the kids all of their really cool moves. And they were wonderful.
Here's "Tourist Tim"

Look in the middle of the back row and you'll see the world famous - or at least VBS famous - Jeff Slaughter. He's the one who writes the music each year and comes up with all the cool dance moves.
(Of course we don't call them dance moves because it freaks out some of my Baptist friends.)
I'll post more pictures tomorrow.