Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wisdom - The Proverbs Challenge

James 1:5-8 CSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect anything from the Lord. An indicisive man is unstable in all his ways.

Wow! What a great promise we find in these verses. I know I need God's wisdom. My guess is that you do too. I first started praying this verse - asking God for wisdom - when I was a very young married man with children and a church to care for. I needed God's wisdom because at 20 I sure didn't have any of my own.

God will answer that prayer for wisdom. I know that He will.

One of the chief ways He gives wisdom is through His word.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 CSB All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

So... to help all of us in our pursuit of wisdom from God I've started

drumroll please ............

The Proverbs Challenge!

For each day of June (June starts tomorrow) I'm challenging as many who will, to read a chapter of Proverbs a day. On June 1st read Proverbs chapter 1. On June 2 read Proverbs chapter 2. (If I have to keep explaining how it works past that then you have other learning issues that someone else will need to help you with. hahaha)

As you read the chapter I'd like you to first pray and ask God to speak to you through His word. Proverbs isn't just some cool old sayings like from Confucius. This book is included in the Bible and when Paul wrote "all scripture is inspired by God" Proverbs was part of his Bible.

Each day I will post a verse or two from that chapter and maybe tell what God was saying to me that day. I think it would be really awesome if several of you out there in blog land would post comments each day telling us what God said to you that day through His word. (You can post with your name or anonymously.) Perhaps the proverb reminded you of another passage of scripture. Perhaps God will encourage you in something you have started or will remind you of something you should stop doing. Whatever it is, it will encourage others as you share.

I'll be looking for you every day for The Proverbs Challenge!

Starting tomorrow!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Have You Missed? - On the Way to 60,000

If you are a regular reader of my Worship Blog - bless your heart. hahaha. I hope I've entertained a little, inspired a lot and passed on information that you have found useful.

I can't believe we are getting close to 60,000 hits! Part of what is really cool about that is that people from all over the world have visited this blog.

How do I know such things? Well, look over on the right. You may have to scroll down a little bit. See the box with flags from around the world in it - well, I guess most will be USA flags when you look at it. It's a deal called "feedjit" that tells me where people have come from who visit the blog. I can see now that in the last day I have had visitors from Brazil, England, Canada, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sweden, Singapore and the USA.

How cool is that? Why do they come to my blog - other than the obvious "Wow! You're so famous!" reason? People do google searches and my blog shows up in the search because it has so many hits. What I like most about this is that now and then someone will click on another feature of my blog - the flags that say "Choose your language." These flags take you to "The Four Spiritual Laws" in the language of that flag's country.  Try one and see for yourself!

The post that seems to have recieved the most hits from Google is this one More Fun with Amazing Grace

The posts that recieved the strongest reactions, like "Why would you post about that?!?!" are the ones that mention colonoscopies! haha.
Ron and Jan (warning. this one is very sad)

Of course I'll have to have a prize for the person who is the 60,000th visitor. Give me some ideas.

Oh, and if you're the 60,000th visitor leave a comment so I'll know it's you and then we'll figure out how to get your prize to you.

Music for Sunday, May 29

Sunday's Music

May 29, 2010 AM

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name
Shout to the Lord

Memorial Day Remembrance
Fellowship song - My Country 'Tis of Thee

Blessed Be Your Name
Amazing Grace

Special Music – Diane Carroccia, Alyssa Harris, Calli Smith

Message – Dr. Larry D. Robertson

Invitation song – Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Offertory – Michelle Dickerson

Sunday afternoon at our Memorial Day picnic at the Family Life Center you'll get to hear Josh Ford, Andrew and Calli Smith, Ramona Ambrose, Diane, Alyssa and Calli, Angie Thomas, Tracy Lilly and our youth band (Brenden, Jacob, Jake, Zack and... I hope I'm not leaving out someone...)

It will be a great day of music and worship!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Proverbs Challenge


What is a proverb? According to a nice explanation in my new Holman Christian Standard study Bible, "a secular proverb seeks to state a general (not absolute) truth... it is typically pithy, that is, it is brief but rich in meaning:"no pain, no gain." A proverb is practical; it gives advice that is useful in the real world."

My guess is that you know a lot of proverbs.

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
The pen is mightier than the sword.

I'm sure you can think of a lot of other proverbs that we use to deliver some truth or make a point. The writer or teller of a proverb is probably trying to get the listener to take what is said and apply it to life.

There are many ancient Chinese proverbs "Before telling secrets on the road, look in the bushes" and Ben Franklin wrote many in his "Poor Richard's Almanac"  - "Well done is better than well said" for one.

Some - over the years - have quoted old proverbs so much that they think they are biblical. "God helps those who help themselves" is one such proverb that is quoted as from the Bible, but it's really not.

So what's the difference between an everyday Chinese Ben Franklin kind of proverb and a biblical proverb? A biblical proverb not only offers practical advice, but the book of Proverbs will also guide the reader to eternal life: "For the discerning the path of life leads upward, so that he may avoid going down to Sheol." (Proverbs 15:24)
And since Proverbs is a part of scripture we know 2 Timothy describes it's content.

2 Timothy 3:16 CSB
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,

I challenged a couple of friends of mine to take a "Proverbs Challenge" with me in June. The challenge is to read a chapter of Proverbs each day for a month. On June 1 we'll read Proverbs 1:1-33. On June 2 we will read Proverbs 2:1-22. (It's the entire chapter if you're trying to figure it out.) Then each day we are going to e-mail or text each other the verse that spoke to us the most that day - and maybe why or what God is trying to teach us, etc.

So... I wanted to invite my blog readers to join us in the challenge. I'm going to post a verse or two from each chapter of Proverbs here the day before, and then I invite you all - on the actual day (ie. June 1 Proverbs 1) to post a comment telling us which verse spoke to you on that day. You can just put "v.5" or you can write it out "1:5 a wise man will listen and increase his learning" or you can leave a comment like "it's my prayer that as I read Proverbs this month that I will listen to what God says to me and increase my knowledge of Him and His ways - v.5" 

I hope you'll join us. I think it will be a good encouragement to all of us who participate. If you miss a day don't quit! Just jump right back in. I'm posting this now so you can make plans to join us a week from tomorrow, Wednesday, June 1.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

QR Scan - What is that???!!??

Have you seen these?

They are all over the place and more and more are showing up. I found one today on my cup from Taco Bell. (Why I ate there - and why I wish I hadn't - is another story.) When I scanned it I was taken to a web site and a free music download! The one above will take you to our church web site. How cool is that?

They are called QR codes. Your smartphone can download an app where your phone will read them and when it does it either takes you to a web site or to a map or a phone number or gives you information lilke a business card. The apps are easy to find.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about them.

QR code
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.[1]

The technology has seen a large uptake in Japan and South Korea. However, in the West there has been a slower adoption of QR codes.[2]

Here's a few more to try if you have the app.

They will take you to my art web sites. (I know... shameless self-promotions.) I'll put some more up here later. Have fun with your phones!

Military Tribute

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Orchestra and a Family Choir - July 3

On July 3 at Hilldale Baptist Church we're having a special patriotic celebration. All three services will be combined into one great service at 9:45.

As part of our morning celebration we're having a "Family" Choir and a special event orchestra. I'd love to see 100 people in the choir that day. Even if you don't usually sing in choir, you and your family will love singing with us on July 3.

We're going to have a few rehearsals on Sunday afternoons June 12, 19 and 26 at 4:00. We have rehearsal CDs that you can listen to as you drive around town taking the kids to baseball and gymnastics.

We'll be singing songs from a musical titled "Homeland." It has great songs in it like This Land Is Your Land, Salute to the Armed Forces, Battle Hymn of the Republic and The Star-Spangled Banner plus a new song that you'll reallllly like called Livin' in the Homeland.

Of course the congregation will be singing too.

If you play a band or orchestra instrument we'd love for you to play that day.  High School students (maybe 8th grade too) and older will want to be a part of this special patriotic orchestra. I can get music to you early. Give me a call at the church office or send me an e-mail.

For those of you who like to shop, we'll be wearing red, white and blue that morning, so let's go shopping!

In Memory

Jan Fox loved singing in choir. She sang in choirs in California, Tennessee and maybe several other places. And she talked about how much she loved singing for the Lord and for her church and how much she loved her fellow choir members.

So her LifeGroup decided that they wanted to do something in her memory that would show how much she loved singing for the Lord in choir. They took up a love offering and with it I am going to purchase a really cool dry erase whiteboard for the choir room from Gamble Music. It is plain white on one side and has music lines on the other. How cool is that?

There have been so many times over the past few years that I have drawn music lines on our tiny little white board so I could explain some notes or a rhythm or whatever. This will make it so much easier to do that. (and the lines will be straight and won't erase when I erase a note, etc.)

So thank you to Jan's LifeGroup for a wonderful gift in her memory. I'll use it every week - not only in choir but with string classes and handbells and other music groups. (And the choir may actually learn something - whether they want to or not. haha)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How We Do Things 'round Here

Last Friday night there was a Home School Talent Show in the Sanctuary.
The kids were great. A lot of talent!!

Afterwards Bro. Tim said, "Bro. Lyndel! The exit signs are still covered up from the Passion Play."
We cover them up because
1. it's very difficult to exit out those doors with the set and
2. there's something wrong about watching the crucifixion with a big red EXIT sign
glowing in the background behind the cross.
"I'll go get a ladder."
"No. Just sit there on the rail and I'll carry you over and you can pull the cardboard off."
So I agreed. Bro. Tim and I always work so well together and always have a fun time!

So I got on Tim's shoulders and he carried me over to the "exit" sign.

TA DA! Got it.

I thought he would take me back to the rail.
Oh! Nope. He headed across to the other side!

He was hollerin' "Hold still!"
"Stop leaning!"
"Your tie is in my eyes! I can't see!"

I was just trying to stay balanced so I didn't fall off while he lumbered across the floor!

Almost to the other side.

Working on the other sign, hoping I don't fall and kill myself.
Bro. Tim is panting and I'm afraid he's about to have a stroke!

Got it! And he held me steady. (I thought he was going to drop me.)
Such strength!

Back to the rail.

Mission accomplished.
And now you know...

That's how we do thing 'round here!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Corporate Worship - Why It's Important

"I can worship at the golf course."

"I can worship while I'm hiking through the Rockies."

"I can worship seeing a beautiful sunrise as it comes up over the lake."

Yes, if a person is paying attention to his surroundings he can find countless reasons to give praise and to worship our Great Creator. Years ago I hiked through the Rockies with some friends and the majesty of the mountains and the wonder of 100 ft. tall waterfalls and the crystal waters of mountains lakes and streams, the countless shades of greens and browns in the forests and rocks... well, I could go on and on... all of it gave us many times to just stop and thank God and worship Him for His amazing work.

I hope all of you have those times when you are out in nature where you can stop and take a moment to worship. Look what Colossians 1:15-17 have to say about Jesus and creation.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.

But individual worship is not enough. We need corporate worship. (Corporate worship means worship together as a congregation.) Hebrews 10:23-25  Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Our congregation at Hilldale has had some very emotionally tiring weeks lately. We've had the highs of a great Passion Play and Easter morning celebrations and the lows brought by sickness, trials and memorial services for family and friends. As we gather on Sundays and worship our sovereign King together we share each others burdens, we rejoice together, we encourage each other...

This Sunday we will begin our worship services celebrating the great things God has done in our lives as we sing:

To God Be the Glory
Hear our Praises
Friend of God

But because we have met so many times lately to offer words of comfort to those who have lost family and friends in death, it is important that we offer up together words of  faith, comfort, and hope. We will do this as we sing these two great song:

It Is Well
I Will Rise

We've celebrated the power of the Resurrection in the last few weeks and this week we can join the song of heaven.

"And I hear the voice of many angels sing 'Worthy is the Lamb.'
and I hear the cry of every longing heart, 'Worthy is the Lamb!'"