Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gabi, Gabi!

As i type, i am listening to a South African spiritual called, "Gabi, Gabi" sung by 338 Youth in a Mass Choir called Youth Project in Jackson, TN. WOW! Not only did they all do a great job, but the whole choir together did a wonderful job of working together over the course of just under 48 hours of intense rehearsals and rest.
 One of our own church students named Jonathan was chosen to Narrate part of the Script and he is just one example from our church of being ready to serve when called upon, he had about 2 hours preparation before recording. What an attitude of service - one that speaks strongly that of the Attitude of Christ, the Servant Lord who resides in many of the teens at our church - others are coming to know Him on a daily basis.

My heart and mind are moved to write about MUSIC and what the Bible says about Praise. In a simple search of the NIV on - PRAISE turned up 363 instances from Genesis to Revelation. Not all are the same type of praise or the same references. What we know of Praise is that God intends it to be returned to Him. There isn't a way that we have to do it - Music speaks to each of us differently and we know that we can be moved to emotion by music, but these are associations that our brains teach us after repeated hearing of the type of music used for scary, cheerful, mournful, etc.
Psalm 102:18 says “Let this be written that a future generation, a people not yet created, may praise the Lord.”. This is true of the Bible and of Music which is why it is the Theme of Youth Project - a project of the Tn Baptist Convention Music Department. 
Music speaks to young people - but we owe it to our children and Youth of our churches to expose them to good music - not just the music they resonate with from the radio and culture. Now they are singing, "and we all bow down...He is the Light of the World & the King of the Cross...and we all bow down, and worship Jesus. You are the Love, the Unfailing Love of God" There is not a soul in the sanctuary that is not moved when 338 Youth sing of the Love of God. They aren't raising their hands and dancing - but they are no less moved - I have heard them talking about the songs they love from this weekend. Good music, music about our Lord gets in the Human System and uplifts the soul! I know of churches where the Youth Choirs have dwindled away and sometimes the students with the programs. I sit here on the back pew typing and my SOUL IS WORSHIPING! My heart is full of pride for the Youth of our Church and State - youth culture is not lost - they just need to be directed & PRAISE TO THE LORD is a great motivator for the soul - Young & Old! 
Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD."
   Won't you Praise the LORD?


Saturday, January 22, 2011

We SOO Need One of These Nearby!!!

 Check this out! Being a Youth Minister - something about Trampolines and Dodgeball still excite me!
Wonder if we can Lobby for one of these in NW Tennessee!?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cuckleburr Downhill 2010

Over the Christmas Break I took my last week of vacation. This year, we raced Northeast ahead of a Snow Storm and a White Christ-mas! We arrived in Central Kentucky at my in-laws farm just hours ahead of the snow and woke up 12 hours later to a blanket of white and visions of high speed runs down the rolling hills on my daughters new sleds - OKAY, those were just MY thoughts! However, I have a good evidence that my daughters were thinking similar thoughts - although they didn't have decades of other races and other snows to fondly remember.

This year we were able to add to our 100-yard+ sledding runs; a 4 wheeler to bring us back up the hill - with our socks and scarfs filled with explosions of cuckleburrs and bits of grass from our graceful wipe outs at the bottom of the hill. I was still smiles; but my daughters? - not so much, once they discovered cuckleburrs much more personally on Day 3.

Where we were - 3.5 inches of snow and sit-in molded plastic sleds were our 2010 combination for hours of cool, icy fun. In the past, I have sledded inside a Samsonite Suitcase (Hard Vinyl, zero control, Very Fast on Ice), I have sledded on a Metal Runner Sled (ideal for icy conditions - able to sled down Ky Mountain Roads - been there, done that), I have used Cardboard Boxes (very nice if you raise the front and have something to hold onto - they work till soaked with water), I have accidentally sledded on my rumpous-maximus while snow skiing (I fell and had a yard sale of all my equipment and couldn't stop on a black diamond run) Needless to say - I have used it all and love the snow. We got to sled 3 days this past December and made bunches of memories with film, video and snapshots of the mind.

Standing atop the hill looking at all the scenery - I was caught that God uses all manner of ways to get the attention of people whom He loves. He uses Creation, He uses Children and People, He has used and still uses the Supernatural through Miracles, but all of those venues have been ignored or have been ignored by the ones He loved - So He sent HIS SON - JESUS to be the Banner of Love - the Billboard of the Blessing - the One that would get the attention of the world - and keep our attention in some form or other this time of year for over 2000 years. It's true, you know - even those who don't acknowledge Jesus as Lord, still give gifts to their loved ones in remembrance of the Worship and Gifts of those in the Stable Inn. The World puts up decorations of God's Declaration; many thousands including the star that shined on Bethlehem or an image of the Proclamation Angels atop their tree.

God will continue to use a variety of means to cast the Gospel Seed to the Nations. The real question you must answer is will you be one of those tools? This New Year - will you share Jesus? I will.