All You Wanted to Know about the BHBC Music Ministry (and more)

Archive for December, 2014

MUSIC NOTES: 12.23.14

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP: 12/24 – 5PM – BHBC WORSHIP CENTER

How many times have you gotten to hear St. Nick speak on Christmas Eve?

Well, join me tomorrow evening, 12/24, at 5pm in the BHBC Worship Center (54th & Slide Rd.). This will be a throwback, of sorts, to all those years in Youth Ministry when, every Wed. evening, I led the music, then promptly preached the message/lesson.

Join me as, after singing a few of our favorite carols, we take just a few minutes and travel back to those dusty Palestinian roads of the early 1st century. Let’s, together, take yet another brief look at Bethlehem. Something is happening there. Something *beyond* us – yet *for* us. We’ll close by singing together the hauntingly beautiful “Christmas Hallelujah” & “Silent Night.”

A harpist & cellist will begin playing about 4:40pm to fill the room with beautiful sounds as we prepare our hearts to encounter our King.

I love you all.

Merry Christmas, St. Nick

BHBC - wide

BHB - close

 

THIS SUNDAY, 12/28 – ONE SERVICE AT 10:30am  (No Sunday School)

NO CHOIR
PREACHER: Jim Gerlt

 

DEAR JORDAN, MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY SON…

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 30:17)

Just one week ago, this section included a photo of Michelle singing “Hallelujah” during our Christmas Musical on the 14th – it was a picture of God’s continual restoration of our family.

This past Sunday, my daughter, Kelsie, was here. And God continued to move mightily within us. Below is a link to a Facebook post I wrote the following evening. It’s a “letter” to my son.

May what Christ is doing in our lives bring encouragement and hope to all who are hurting.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2014/12/23/dear-jordan-merry-christmas-my-son/

 

JOY TO THE WORLD (in 45 seconds)

 

REHEARSAL INFO FOR REMAINDER OF THE YEAR

Adult Choir: We are DONE with rehearsals for 2014! Next rehearsal is Wed., Jan. 7, 2015.

Praise Team: No more mid-week rehearsals until 1/7. But we will meet at 8:30am this Sunday, 12/21.

Handbells: You will NOT play in the Commons this Sunday, 12/21. Next rehearsal: 1/25; 4pm.

 

QUOTE(s) OF THE WEEK

Jesus Loves You – So Much… “We can no more catch a hurricane in a shrimp net or Niagara Falls in a coffee cup than we can grasp the [infinite love of God for us.]” – Brennan Manning (one of my all-time favorite quotes)

“Often a work of God comes with two edges: great joy and great pain. And, in that matter-of-fact response, Mary embraced both. She was the very first person to accept Jesus on His own terms, regardless of the personal cost.” – Philip Yancey

“The more I come to terms with the sheer engineering prowess of the cell, the more I am becoming convinced that the argument from biological design is perhaps the single most powerful argument for God’s existence — I now consider it to be stronger than even the cosmological and teleological arguments. ID (Intelligent Design) as a scientific proposition, of course, doesn’t necessitate God as designer. But it is certainly a very compelling part of a cumulative body of evidence for theism. Catching just a glimpse of the beauty and sophistication of the cell should be enough to render absolutely anyone without excuse.” – Jonathan McLatchie (McLatchie holds an honors degree in Forensic Biology, a Masters degree in Evolutionary Biology, and a second Master’s degree in medical and molecular bioscience. Currently, he is a PhD student in cell biology.)

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

Q:  How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?

A:  Nothing, it was on the house!

Q:  What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?

A:  Ribbon hood.

Q:  Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?

A:  Because he had low elf esteem.

BONUS: My favorite Christmas “Far Side” Cartoon…

Far Side - Wise Men

 

GRACE NOTES: “The Manger I Never Knew”

“How could i not know everything about the nativity stories in the New Testament? I’ve heard them a hundred times.”

And therein lies the potential for “missing it.” The problem actually lies in the story’s familiarity – we’ve heard it so many times the tendency is to forget or, at best, minimize exactly what “went down” that critical night in Bethlehem.

May this narrative commentary bring depth and richness to your Christmas season.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2014/12/23/the-manger-i-never-knew/

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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MUSIC NOTES: 12.16.14

THIS SUNDAY, 12/21

Choir: “Carol of the Bells” & “Celtic Blessing w/Silent Night”
Preacher: Jim Gerlt

A VERY MERRY MUSICAL SUNDAY!

During both Worship Services this coming Sunday, 12/21:
1. Mike Lewis breaks out his saxophone
2. Randy & Donna Hudson will play their cello & harp
3. Kelsie Watts will sing a mini-concert

THE HEALING POWER OF REDEMPTION

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 30:17)

Beverly McBeath snapped a few photos from the Christmas Musical this past Sunday evening. After posting the one below on my Facebook page, one of our dear friends commented: “I can literally smell the sweet fragrance of worship rising from broken, yet healing hearts.”

Christ has used you, our dear friends – His Body – to carry us, to protect us, to nurture us back to health. We still have a ways to go but, thank God Almighty, we are nowhere near where we used to be!

The photo below is a visual reminder to me, Michelle, Kelsie & Macy that, as Rick & Kay Warren stated after their son took his life last year, “even a broken tree can bear fruit.”

As God continues to whisper His will to mine & Michelle’s hearts, we know we have a responsibility to tell the world about this Christ who, come what may, heals our wounds & sets us free.

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REHEARSAL INFO FOR REMAINDER OF THE YEAR

Adult Choir:  We are DONE with rehearsals for 2014! Next rehearsal is Wed., Jan. 7, 2015.

Praise Team:  No more mid-week rehearsals until 1/7.  But we will meet at 8:30am this Sunday, 12/21.

Handbells:  You will NOT play in the Commons this Sunday, 12/21.  Next rehearsal:  1/25; 4pm.

CHRISTMAS EVE SARAJEVO (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) – BHBC; Dec. 2014

Thanks to Melissa Walker (wife of one of our guitarists) for capturing this on her phone. This recording was taken during rehearsal and, as such, my “chimes” guy was unable to be there until our performance so you won’t hear him hammering those huge chimes. But, it’s still cool. (NOTE: During the actual performance I lost a page – an ENTIRE page – of music. I calmly searched for it with my left hand while I played the piano at Mach 4 speed with my right hand – who says I can’t multi-task! Found the page about two measures before I needed it….thank You, God.):))

MERRY CHRISTMAS vs. HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Personally, it doesn’t offend me in the least when someone tells me “Happy Holidays.” (I simply think they’re very kind to say anything at all.)  That said, I thought this article from the Washington Post was enlightening, not to mention encouraging.

Excerpt from the article: “65 percent of Americans believe all four key elements of the Christmas story (Jesus was born of a virgin; was laid in a manger; was visited by the Magi; His birth was announced by angels to shepherds) are to be taken literally. This is more than the percentage who express confidence in evolution, global warming, or the efficacy of vaccines.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/15/the-war-on-christmas-is-over-jesus-won/?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

QUOTE(s) OF THE WEEK

“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous . . . There are two equally dangerous extremes: to exclude reason; to admit nothing but reason.” ― Blaise Pascal

When Mark Twain said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt,” he may very well have had the following scripture in mind: “There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.” (Proverbs 29:20 NLT)

“Since we as Christians are called and commanded to have a reason for the hope within us (1 Peter 3:15), it is the responsibility of Christian teachers, pastors, mentors and educators of all kinds [to equip the saints in this regard. Church leaders] are remiss if they avoid, denigrate, or minimize the importance of apologetics to biblical living and Christian witness.” — Douglass Grouthuis, Denver Seminary

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LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

Q: What do you get when Santa goes down the chimney and the fire is lit?

A. Krisp Kringle

Q: What kind of cars do elves drive?

A: TOY-otas

Q: What’s the biggest difference between the regular alphabet and the Christmas alphabet?

A: The Christmas alphabet has NOEL.

And a Bonus!….

I was sent this and just thought it was awesome. Someone videoed it on a 2009 trip to DisneyWorld. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll love it. If you are also an MC Hammer fan (throwback to the 80’s) you’ll REALLY love it.

GRACE NOTES: “Angels Would Give Anything to Have This”

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2007/10/17/angels-would-give-anything-to-have-this/

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 12.10.14

THIS SUNDAY, 12/14

CHOIR: SonShiner Choir
PREACHER: Jim Gerlt

SONSHINER CHOIR (Sr. Adult): WONDERFUL JOB!

Sonshiner Choir

HANDBELLS: WONDERFUL JOB!

NOTE:  Handbells: will play in our Commons the next two Sunday mornings, 12/14 & 12/21.

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JUBILATE CHOIR: WONDERFUL JOB!

Jubilate

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS MUSICAL! DEC. 10th; 6:30pm

And the music just keeps coming. Join our children as they say “Merry Christmas” through music on TONIGHT, 12/10; 6:30pm; BHBC Worship Center.

CHRISTMAS IN THE KEY OF HOPE: WHY THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING – SUNDAY EVENING, 12/14; 6PM

Next Rehearsal: Wed., 12/10; TONIGHT; 7:15pm, immediately following the Children’s Choir Musical – We will begin rehearsal in the Choir Room behind the Choir Loft, then move into the Worship Center as soon as it’s clear. Please be prepared to stay until 9pm.

Christmas Music Rehearsal Info: I had sent an email on Monday notifying you all of a possible rehearsal on Sat. evening. I have since learned that my daughter is performing at FHS on Saturday evening so rehearsing that evening will not be an option. It is possible that I ask you to show up early on Sunday afternoon to “tie up musical loose ends.” I’ll make a decision based on tonight’s rehearsal.

Hope…  Consider the depth of this word’s meaning.  Our very Christian faith is based on it.

To the hurting, the lonely, the searching – Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Join us on December 14th, 6pm, in the BHBC Worship Center as we gather for something truly special. :))

Hope

KELSIE WATTS – MINI-CONCERT: 12/21

For a final project for one of her classes, Kelsie was assigned to arrange and record a song comprising multiple voices – but all the voices had to be hers. I was so impressed with it that I put some background behind it and uploaded onto YouTube.  Here it is: (I’ll be showing it this coming Sunday).

“HALLELUJAH”

The word “hallelujah” is actually a combination of two Hebrew words: “Hallel”, which means “praise”; and “Yah”, short for “Yahweh”, the covenant name for God. So the word has great depth of meaning in Christian doctrine. Scholars believe the “Hallel Psalms” (113-118) may well have been recited and/or sung in that Upper Room, during the Last Supper, the night before Jesus was crucified.

The band, Cloverton, re-wrote the lyrics to Leonard Cohen’s hauntingly beautiful, “Hallelujah,” last year. We sang it at BHBC then. We’ll sing it again this year.

Christ has come. Joy to the word. Hallelujah….

“EXODUS: GOD & KINGS” (in theaters this weekend)

I must confess, after viewing the movie, “Noah,” this past year, I have little faith in Hollywood producing anything anywhere close to being true to the “Script(ure)” anymore. The following movie review is solid and informative. “Exodus: God & Kings”, based on the life of Moses (kind of, sort of) hits theaters this coming weekend.

http://www.bpnews.net/43883

9 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE BIBLE

It’s shocking how little the average Christian knows about the Book we claim to be our supreme authority. But, it’s never too late to start learning. :))

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-the-bible/

QUOTE(s) OF THE WEEK

“It’s a fine thing, I suppose, that we honor a sacred holiday with such homey sentiments. And yet when I turn to the gospel accounts of the first Christmas, I hear a very different tone and sense mainly disruption at work.” Philip Yancey

“Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live forever, and this must be either true or false. Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever.” – C.S. Lewis

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

Q: Why are Christmas Trees so bad a knitting?

A: They always drop their needles.

Q: What did the gingerbread man put on his bed to keep warm at night?

A: A cookie sheet.

Q: What do Santa’s elves go to school to learn?

A: The Elfabet.

santa cartoon

GRACE NOTES: “Angels Among Us”

For years, I have taught the biblical doctrine of angels during the Christmas season due to the heightened interest the season brings.  As tempting as it is to allow Hollywood to influence our understanding of angels, we must be careful to make the Bible our one source of authority when making conclusions about these mysterious beings.  Part 2 includes what I still consider to be a personal encounter with an angel I had over 30 years ago.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2007/12/04/angels-among-us-part-1/

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2007/12/11/angels-among-us-part-2/

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

MUSIC NOTES: 12.2.14

THIS SUNDAY, 12/7

CHOIR: “Tapestry of Carols”
PREACHER: Jim Gerlt

 

SONSHINERS (Sr. Adult) CHRISTMAS MUSICAL! DEC. 7th; 5pm

Oh, you do NOT want to miss this. Alice Smith directs this precious choir and their attendance has been exploding. What a wonderful way to kick off the BHBC Christmas Music this season.

 

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS MUSICAL! DEC. 10th; 6:30pm

And the “music of the season” just keeps coming. Join our children as they say “Merry Christmas” through music on Wed. evening, 12/10; 6:30pm; BHBC Worship Center.

 

“CHRISTMAS IN THE KEY OF HOPE: HOW THE GOSPEL CHANGES EVERYTHING”

Hope…  Consider the depth of this word’s meaning.  Our very Christian faith is based on it.

To the hurting, the lonely, the searching – Paul wrote, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Join us on December 14th, 6pm, in the BHBC Worship Center as we gather for something truly special. :))

Merry Christmas, St. Nick

Hope

 

ADULT CHOIR NEWS

Next Rehearsal: Wed., 12/3; 7:15pm – in CHOIR ROOM BEHIND THE BAPTISTRY. (The Children are going to rehearse in the Worship Center at 7pm this Wed. evening, 12/3, in preparation for their musical the following Wed, 12/10. After the children are through rehearsing on 12/3, we’ll move into the Worship Center.)

Christmas Musical Rehearsal Info: At rehearsal on 12/3, I will let you know, based on our progress, if we will require additional time to prepare, and how much.

 

HANDBELLS

12/6: (Sat) Rehearsal & play Christmas Bells at Carillon/Lunch/Mall
12/7: (Sun) BHBC Worship Services (both services – prelude only)
12/9: Jubilate Performance – be at church ready by 7:15pm
12/14: Play in BHBC Commons
12/21: Play in BHBC Commons

 

MARY, DID YOU KNOW? (Gorgeous arrangement by Pentatonix)

“…an angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew’s gospel; chapter 1, vss 20-21)

 

AND YOU THOUGHT THE LINE AT WAL-MART WAS LONG…

From CNN on Sunday, 11/30:

(CNN) — For many fliers Sunday, it was holiday travel woes, round two.

As of 6:30 p.m. ET, more than 3,000 U.S. flights were delayed and more than 190 were canceled, according to FlightAware.com.

The line for security screening at Chicago Midway International Airport on Sunday morning was so long that reporter Denise Whitaker of CNN affiliate KOMO measured it: (wait for it) 1.2 miles!

 

A MINION MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

FERGUSON & THE GOSPEL

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’re well aware of the news surrounding recent events in Ferguson, MO. I met Voddie Baucham several years ago when we had him in to speak for a huge youth event. The following editorial was written by Baucham – and he nails it.

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/thoughts-on-ferguson

 

THE WISDOM & CONVICTION OF ABE LINCOLN

It’s no wonder this man is memorialized in a giant sculpture at the end of the Washington D.C. Mall…

“We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity
of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” – Abraham Lincoln (from his 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation)

Lincoln

 

“WORTHY IS THE LAMB WHO WAS SLAIN…AND HAS CONQUERED”

An outstanding blog by HBU President, Dr. Robert Sloan:

http://robertbsloan.com/2014/11/19/this-is-why-we-worship/

 

QUOTE(s) OF THE WEEK

Immediately below is a brilliant quote by Donald William, and a one of the reasons I chose HBU as the place to pursue my Masters Degree in Apologetics. I finish up my first semester this week. Next semester, I take an entire course on the genius known as C.S. Lewis. Here’s the quote:

“We Christians have a number of people who are good at rational apologetics. We have a few perhaps with powerful imaginations. People who are strong in both areas are very hard to find. And it wasn’t just that Lewis was good at both–it was the way they worked together seamlessly in everything he wrote. You have those wonderful analogies (from the imagination) supporting the arguments in Mere Christianity, and the wonderful rational arguments (Professor Kirk using the Trilemma, the conversation between Puddleglum and the Green Witch) in the Narnia books. That wholeness of vision is the reason C. S. Lewis is still relevant today.” – British Professor/Lewis Scholar, Donald Williams; From his contribution to a panel on the current state of Lewis Scholarship at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in November, 2014.

 

Keep in mind – the following quote exposing the holes in Darwinian evolutionary theory is not from a Christian, but a professed atheist from NYU:

“…no viable [scientifically-supported] account, even a purely speculative one, seems to be available of how a system as staggeringly functionally complex and information-rich as a self-reproducing cell, controlled by DNA, RNA, or some predecessor, could have arisen by chemical evolution alone from a dead environment.” – NYU atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel, positing questions for the origination of human consciousness, cognition, value, and reason.

 

“[Most popular atheist books] are second rate. And that is a euphemism for ‘downright awful’.”—Atheist Michael Ruse

 

LAUGHTER IS GOOD MEDICINE:

Q: What did the Zero say to the number Eight?

A: Nice belt.

Q: What kind of motorcycle does Santa ride?

A: Holly Davidson

Pie Chart

spider man

 

GRACE NOTES: “Atheism Failed Me”

In the early hours after finding my son dead I tried desperately to prove there was not God.  For me, that would have made more sense.

http://nickwattssoulfood.com/2014/12/02/atheism-failed-me/

 

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

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