Monday, November 28, 2011

Bethlehem Calls - Rehearsal Schedule

It's here! "the Tree" is being delivered even as I type. It will be put together Tuesday, greened up Wednesday, decorated Thursday and Friday.


So here are some of the last minute rehearsals. Be ready for more (especially if you don't know your lines. haha)

Wednesday, November 30
Choir - 6:30 in choir room
Angels - 7:30 in the Sanctuary

Thursday, December 1
Homeschool Handbell Choir - 1:00
Homeschool String Class - 2:00

Saturday, December 3
CANCELLED - Moved to Sunday at 5:00
Sunday, December 4
12 Days Cast - 3:00  IN COSTUME
Biblical Cast - 4:00
Choir - 5:00

Monday, December 5
Evening reserved for rehearsing whatever parts need extra rehearsal

Tuesday, December 6 
Orchestra only - 6:00-8:00

Wednesday, December 7
Dress Rehearsal (that means IN COSTUME) - Full Cast - No Orchestra - 6:00-8:00

Thursday, December 8
Dress Rehearsal with Orchestra - 6:00-8:00

Friday, December 9
Choir Call - 6:30 (arriving earlier is better than later)
Orchestra Call - 6:40
Performance - 7:00

Saturday, December 10
Choir Call - 6:30 (arriving earlier is better than later)

Orchestra Call - 6:40
Performance - 7:00

Sunday, December 11
Choir Call - 2:30 (arriving earlier is better than later)

Orchestra Call - 2:40
Performance - 3:00

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Favorite Psalm is Perfect for Thanksgiving Day

My favorite Psalm is a great passage for a day of Thanksgiving.

A Psalm of Praise, of David.

1 I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable .
4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 6 Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. 7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful ; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9 The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. 10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, And Your godly ones shall bless You. 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power ; 12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations. 14 The LORD sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. 16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The LORD keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christ the King - Sunday's Music

I'm a third or fourth generation Southern Baptist by birth and a Southern Baptist by choice. I am proud of our "free" tradition - meaning each church governs itself and weekly worship is decided by the local church's worship leader not by a Lectionary or a governing board somewhere. I'm not saying those things are bad, I'm just glad I can follow God's leading in my life each week.

A lectionary plans out Bible readings and hymns to go along with the church year. As Baptists, we only follow the church year to a certain extent. We observe Christmas and Easter and to a lesser extent, Pentecost. But there is much more to the church year and I like to include parts of it in our worship - even if I'm the only one in the room that knows. :-)

In the last few years at Hilldale we have observed Advent. The first Sunday of Advent is the first Sunday in the traditional church year. (I've posted about Advent in the past and will again.)

The last Sunday in the church year is Christ the King Sunday. I really like the fact that the church year begins looking forward to Christ's coming and then ends with us all proclaiming "Jesus Christ is King!"

So at our 8:30 and 9:45 services this week we will sing
Rejoice the Lord is King
Rise Up and Praise Him
and maybe one more I can't remember...

The choir will sing
All Your Promises Are True

However, it is also the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so we're singing a few songs of thanks -
God Is Good All the Time
Give Thanks
Made Me Glad

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rehearsal Schedule - Nov. 19&20

Rehearsal Schedule

Nov. 19

3:00 – Wisemen

3:30 – Herod, Priests, Herod’s attendant and wisemen

Nov. 20

3:30 – 12 Days

4:15 – Angels

5:00 – choir

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sunday's Music - November 13, 2011

November 13, 2011 AM

The Solid Rock
Everlasting God

Choir anthem – Revelation Song

Recognition of Veterans

Fellowship song – When We All Get to Heaven

You Are My King
The Wonderful Cross

Special Music – Angie Thomas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bethlehem Calls - Hilldale's Living Christmas Tree 2011

All through the Old Testament we see that God's promise of Messiah wasn't meant for Israel alone.

"I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations,
Isaiah 42:6 NAS

"Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isaiah 60:3 NAS

This year's Living Christmas Tree at Hilldale tells the wonderful story of Christmas with an emphasis on the three wise men. God's promise of the nations seeing the light of Messiah began when He revealed to the wise men through the wondrous star that a King had been born.

Tickets to see "the Tree" are free. If you attend Hilldale you can pick up tickets at the Connection Center at the Madison St. campus or at our Family Life Center on Old Farmers Rd.

Tickets are a great way to invite a friend to come with you.

If you would like to bring a group, call our church office for ticket information. 931-648-8031

Performance times this year
Friday, December 9, 7:00

Saturday, December 10, 7:00

Sunday, December 11, 3:00

You'll want to come early for a good seat!
Approximately 30 minutes before each performance enjoy "pre-tree" music provided by soloists, instrumentalists and our children's handbell choir.

For more information about Hilldale please visit

Click on the map to enlarge it.
Hilldale Baptist Church
2001 Madison St.
Clarksville, TN 37043

Monday, November 7, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas - Cast Information

Our "12 Days of Christmas" requires a huge cast. Here is some information you will need if you are part of this fun song in"the Tree."

Next rehearsal - November 20 @ 4:00

What to wear.

Drummers - "African" looking clothes. Bright colors, animal prints, head pieces (if you have a drum that looks sort of African let me know)
Pipers - sweat shirt and pants in either gray (first choice), white, brown or black and a bright t-shirt and shorts (like the mice in Cinderella.)
Lords-a-leaping - sweat pants and shirt in green (first choice) or brown or some other froggy color
Dancing Ladies - I'm working on this part
Maids - black dress or black skirt and black blouse
Swans - white (top and bottom)
Geese - footy pajamas or flannel night gown
Golden Ring guy - vest, gold chains (lots of gold chains)
Calling Birds - red hat with a feather, purple dress
French Hens - shirt with horizontal stripes or a t-shirt stamped with the fleur-de-lis
Turtle Doves - white
Partridge - brown/purple/orange with "bling"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Time Change - Some Options

Options? for Time Change Sunday?

I'm all about options so here are some I thought of for you.

1. Wait until after church services tomorrow morning to change your clock. You'll get to see what happens at church the hour before you normally arrive! I'm expecting a larger than normal crowd at 8:30 as all of the 9:45 service folks show up an hour early.

2. Set your alarm for 2 AM (the official time change moment) and fall back an hour then. At 2 in the morning you can really appreciate that extra hour of sleep.

3. Set your clock back an hour when you go to bed at your regular time and then come to worship all rested and ready to sing.

You can choose one of these options or come up with your own. Either way, I hope to see you in worship tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Guy in the Next Booth - Let My Words Be Few

I was at a restaurant the other day and was totally distracted to where I could hardly eat. Not that I'm a really big eater anyway, but that's not the point of the story. There was a person in the next booth who NEVER stopped talking. His voice was a bit whiny and he was complaining NON-stop. "Well, she blah, blah, blah and I've tried to show her respect but she isn't showing me any respect and I think you should... blah, blah, blah, and then she, blah, blah, blah, and I want blah, blah and then she, and I think, and I , and I ... blah, blah..."
I almost got up and told him EXACTLY why he didn't get any respect and that a real man doesn't whine to get respect and that if he didn't stop talking I would help him finish his meal by...

Well, of course I didn't.

Sunday morning Andrew and Calli will join me in singing a beautiful song titled "Let My Words Be Few." I was contemplating what this scripture means since it is the basis for the song.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. 2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

How many times have I been like the guy in the next booth, whining and complaining to God and telling HIm what He should do and making promises of what I think I'll do for Him and on and on and blah, blah, blah.

I appreciate the fact that for several decades now we have emphasized how God is our Friend. John 15:15 NAS "No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing ; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you."

But I'm afraid that in our efforts to help everyone understand that God loves us and that He is our Friend that we have forgotten that He is also holy and righteous and that His thoughts are not our thoughts. We treat God like our old pal with no respect or awe. Except for being redeemed by the blood ofthe Lamb why would we ever think we could start telling God what to do or our big ideas.

The guy in the next booth didn't even give the people with him a chance to say anything, much less have any input into his thoughts. Are we the same way when we come to a worship service? Do we have a list of things we want to say to God or do we come ready to listen to Him? Do we come whining about the week we've had? Do we come with a big list of ideas and things to say to God wanting His blessing? Or do we come with hearts waiting to hear from Him? Do we talk about God all Sunday morning or do we talk to Him and more importantly - do we listen to Him?

"You are God in heaven and here am I on earth,
So I"ll let my words be few.
Jesus, I am so in love with You."

Other songs we will sing Sunday include
Glorious Is Thy Name
Shout to the Lord
Power of the Cross - choir
Jesus Messiah
Grace Flows Down

I hope I'll see you in worship this week. Don't be the guy in the next booth. Let your words be few.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

All Saints Day is always on November 1. If you don't read the entire blog, you should scroll to the bottom and watch the video of the great hymn "For All the Saints" and be sure to see the awesome text of the last verse. 
As a side note, it is why we have Halloween - All Hallows Eve - the "hallows" being the "holies" or, the Saints. And as is the case with other sacred days, over the years what was once a time of reflecting on holy things has morphed into a time of unholiness. (Mardi Gras before Lent is another example.)

The idea behind All Saints Day is to remember the men and women of faith who have gone before us and to let their lives inspire us to live lives of holiness before God serving others and following the Great Commission to make disciples in all the world.

Hebrews 11 is often called "the Roll call of faith."

In it we read about some rather famous people - Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Jacob, Moses and David. There are also some listed here that aren't quite as famous - Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jepthah.

Some saw miraculous things in their lives - 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection

Others did not have happy endings to their stories - and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection ; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword ; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins , being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

But the writer of Hebrews tells us 39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
I love these old paintings of the "Cloud of Witnesses."

By faith they looked forward to "the Promise." By faith we look back at "the Promise," that in the fullness of time God sent His Son.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I've blogged several times about All Saints Day even though Baptists don't really observe it.
All Saints Day post you should read...

The thing I most want to emphasize from the previous post is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ then YOU are a Saint. (Aren't so sure about that? Go read the post. Click here to see why YOU may be a Saint

This is the dome of the Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel of Beeson Divinity School (Samford University) in Birmingham, Alabama.