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5/25/17 Good morning. I hope you had a good night’s rest after choir last night!Vicki and I have a friend that she worked for and with for several years. Alan was an accountantwith a funny dry sense of humor. He was always sharing some funny story or experience thathappened in his life. Often he would even give you a compliment, and then right at the endwould put an “ugly little twist or hook” on it. He was always doing it in jest.Following that example, or if you were not at choir, I hope you did not get much rest becauseyou were under conviction for missing choir practice! (Ha ha! I couldn’t resist the opportunity.)Seriously, I do miss you when you are absent! Maybe I hope you slept well? Seriously, I amjust trying to add a little humor to normally boring and mundane “Tingle Notes.”Sunday morning, the Choral Call to Worship will be “If My People will Pray,” from the hymnalwith the orchestra. The Choral Message will be “America The Beautiful,” Soloist: JamesParsons with the orchestra.See you Sunday, and I hope everyone has a great “Memorial Day” and a safe one as well!My hope is in Christ Alone,Randy TingleCarrying Others to Jesusby Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, MIssouriSome men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay himbefore Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up onthe roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in frontof Jesus. (Luke 5:18-19)Sometimes worship ministry can begin to be a drudgery. Between the time for rehearsalsand the early Sunday mornings, it can become time-consuming and wearying. In this midst ofthis, I find it easy to become self-centered and focused on feeling used or taken advantage of.When this happens it's time for a heart check to help me recognize that what I'm doing isn'treally about me at all.Some time ago I received an email from a woman named Julie Ann. She lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area. In her email she shared a great testimony. In part she said this:"During June a few years ago, I had the opportunity to worship God in the midst of heartache and chaos. On June 9, I was told at work that one of my close friends was on her deathbed, and I left to go see her. She was already in a coma by the time I got to the hospital, but I knew she had recently re-dedicated her life to the Lord. Sunday morning I was scheduled to sing on the worship team. While I was on my way to church, I got word that Wanda had passed away."A couple of weeks later, during a major summer storm that hit our area, a tree came through our home, stopping just short of the interior. The electric was out and we were displaced for an entire week. I went to church the next morning to a candlelight service. When the congregation began to sing "Amazing Grace" a cappella, I was undone. I was so grateful to know that my God was with me even in the midst of no power, no immediate home, horrific heat that week, and a heart that still ached for my departed friend. While the immediate circumstances were uncomfortable and frustrating, I had higher hope."If you ever wonder why you do what you do with the worship ministry of your church, let Julie Ann's testimony help keep you on track. Don't misunderstand my meaning here. Our worship is for God. But our leading of worship is for the people.Every week people come into your church, and mine, with hurts and heartaches that no one else knows anything about. Sometimes those pains are self-inflicted. Other times they are the result of harsh words from another person or situations over which they have no control. Maybe a son or daughter has declared they are leaving... and leaving their faith, too. Perhaps they have just received a negative medical diagnosis: cancer or some other serious ailment. Some of the things that trouble people can be minor and others can be life-threatening. All of them, though, are very real to the person who bears them.And just like the paralyzed man's friends, you and I have the privilege of helping to carry that person to the Lord. Oh, we don't usually physically carry anyone. Yet we get to, in a very real sense, lift that person before the Lord by guiding their eyes and heart and attention to Him.If we had an inkling of how often people are renewed in their spirits because of our ministry, we would jump for joy at the opportunity to be involved in worship ministry. We don't get to hear all of the stories, but those people are out there, just like Julie Ann.
Jesus told a deaf man whom He had just healed, not to tell anyone about Him. Yet, he finally had a voice and all his friends and family could not be silent! They “were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said.” (Mark 7:37)
5/11/17 Good morning everyone!Good practice last night as we got back to our normal schedule after our week of revival! I hope your week has been going well and hopefully the rest of the week will be even better!Sunday morning, the Choral Call to Worship will be “Sanctuary” from the hymnal with the orchestra. The Choral Message will be “Cross Medley.”There a lot of things going on at our church. I am amazed when I step back and look at all of the things going on in and the usage of this building every week. Just this week we will have had two high school banquets, both in our courtyard. We have two Bible studies every Tuesday, and today we hosted a group of church planters, led by the Alabama Baptist Convention in our building. This Saturday, we have our “Dance Recital” for our School of Performing Arts. The two school events combined with this Saturday’s recital we will probably have 400+ people in our building that do not attend here, most likely closer to 500. How are we using these as an outreach for our church? How many of our people are at these events to welcome and invite them back to visit with us on Sunday or Wednesday? It would cost us a LOT of money to get 500 people from our community, who do not attend here, to come to any one of our services or events. Yet right under our very “noses,” as they say, we have them in our building, and what are we doing to reach/recruit/invite them here? Just a little “FOOD FOR THOUGHT.”So, if you aren’t busy Saturday, come to the SOPA (School of Performing Arts) dance recital, starting at 9:00 am. Welcome and invite those visitors to come and try us out!My hope is in Christ Alone,Randy TingleAn Expression of Unbridled Loveby Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, MissouriI appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).A dear friend of mine pastors a church in northern Minnesota. There is a young boy, maybe 9 or 10 years old, named Isaac in his congregation. Isaac has Down syndrome. As is typical of such children, Isaac is very free in his expressions of affection. In fact, most of thetime when Isaac sees my friend the pastor, he hugs him. And not just a polite little squeeze either. Isaac gives his pastor a big bear hug at nearly every opportunity.When they celebrate communion at my friend's church, it's a bit more formal than in many evangelical churches. The congregation members file to the front of the sanctuary and kneel side by side to receive the elements from the pastor. Those who are younger and who have not been instructed in the meaning of the Lord's Supper, receive a blessing. The pastor stops, touches the child on his head or shoulder, and prays for God's strength and peace to rest on that child.One day as my friend was distributing the communion bread and wine, he noticed Isaac kneeling at the railing like everyone else. But out of the corner of his eye, the pastor noticed a big smile on Isaac's face. Just as my friend reached Isaac and went to pray a blessing on him, Isaac jumped up and gave him a big bear hug. Suddenly the formality of the moment was disrupted. The pastor had never learned about how to handle such a situation while he was in seminary. His training had not prepared him for this scenario. The pastor fought back tears as Isaac unashamedly demonstrated his love.Later my friend shared with the congregation that Isaac's disruption was a great example of how God wants us to act toward Him. A true expression of unbridled love. The Lord isn't looking for some sort of stoic formalism with no life. He wants our hearts expressed with real passion. Just like Isaac did with his pastor.I would challenge you to consider this as you help lead worship this week. Our job isn't to help get the congregation -- or even ourselves -- just to sing. Our job is to worship the Living God, and thereby help others to worship. We shouldn't be content to simply get them to say the right words. Instead, our desire should be for them-and for us-to truly connect with the Lord in an expression of unbridled love. Our goal should be, as Romans 12 says, that we would all present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him.
Romans 12:4-8 provides a list of spiritual gifts, though here they are called “grace gifts.” (The Greek word is charismata.) In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 there is a similar list, though there they are called “spiritual gifts” (pneumatika). Among the gifts from the Lord to us for His work in the world is “giving.” Romans 12:8 says, “[If a man’s gift] is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously.”As Paul prepared to go to Jerusalem to deliver an offering to the impoverished and suffering believers there, he was told that he would be arrested, which happened just as prophesied. Paul was compelled by the Spirit to go to Jerusalem. As he bade friends farewell (Acts 20:35), he said, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”This May, we have opportunities to contribute to the needs of others. This Sunday, Mother’s Day, we receive our annual offering for the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes & Family Ministries. On Sunday, May 28, we fill a cargo trailer with bags and boxes of packaged and canned goods for the Shelby Baptist Association food ministry. Some of us are collecting coins this month in world hunger banks, shaped as loaves of bread. One of the spiritual gifts evidenced by North Shelby Baptist Church is giving. It is a hallmark of this church. We have needs, surely, but the Lord is faithful to give to us that we may give for others. Philippians 4:19—“My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”I love you, Brother AllanPS: We welcome Ryan Sheffield, Matt & Chesley Phillips and Bella Phillips, and Keith & Jane Sides into the North Shelby Baptist Church membership.
Brother Jon Jeffries and I have been talking about ways to “make disciples.” Jesus commissioned us to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). How do we fulfill such a great commission?In the past weeks, I have twice taught an excellent book on the first phase of discipleship—evangelism: Share Jesus Like It Matters, by Steve Gaines. On Monday evenings we go to visit those willing to let us, with the goal of making the Gospel understood—that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, that He arose the third day and appeared to many. Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus. The Lord Jesus paid the price; “It is finished;” and we receive eternal life as a gift. Faith is sufficient for salvation, but is there more to “making disciples”?Jesus called 12 to be His disciples. They walked with Him, listened to Him, watched Him, and did what He asked of them. When He ascended back to Heaven, those disciples had the responsibility to live the Christ-like life and to preach the Gospel. We have the same responsibility. Are we prepared? Brother Jon and I are working to develop a discipling plan, selecting a curriculum to discuss and explain and organizing small groups to help one another be accountable to biblical principles. I anticipate that September will begin at least a year of small-group weekly meetings, five to six believers in each group, probably meeting on Sunday afternoons so that kids, as well as adults, will have appropriate activities at the same time. You may be invited to lead a group. You may be invited to help coach a group with another leader. You will be invited to join a group. The goal? That we all may be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ! I love you, Brother AllanPS: We welcome Moody and Joan Scroggins into the North Shelby Baptist Church membership.
4/20/17Good morning everyone!Good practice last night, good attendance, and one new choir member! Welcome MorganMoore!Sunday, the Choral Call to Worship will be “My Tribute” from the hymnal with the orchestra.The Choral Message will be “Be Thou My Vision.”Our revival will start Sunday, April 30th, through Wednesday, May 3rd. Please plan on comingand singing in the choir each night. On Sunday night, the service will begin at 6:00 pm. We willmeet in the Sanctuary at 5:40 to go over what we are singing, because the children and thestudent worship team will sing with the Adult choir for our Choral Message that night. Mondaythrough Wednesday night, the service will begin at 7:00 pm, and the choir will meet in the choirroom at 6:30 each night to rehearse our music.PRODUCTION TEAM: We will need a full team for every service. We will use the screensand we want to record each service, if possible. ALSO: On Sunday night, the Children’s Choirand Student Praise team will be joining the Sunday Morning Choir for our Choral Message thatnight, the 30th. We will need a wired microphone to pick up the children, who will be standingon the piano side top step. The students will need 4 hand held wireless microphones, and 4microphone cable hook ups with Direct Boxes, for (2-electric pianos, 2 guitars’), also 1 wiredmicrophone for the Drum Box. All of the Sunday night setup has to be set up and workingby 5:30 when everyone will begin the sound check/run through. We will also have a practicetime this coming Wednesday night, the 26th, if someone can be here to practice with us and get ajump on the set up sound check/run through at 7:30. If your team can have have everything setup for the Wednesday night practice then we can just move everything to the side for Sundaymorning making is much easier for the Sunday night set up. Just a thought, it’s totally your call.My hope is in Christ Alone,Randy TingleInterruptions or Opportunitiesby Mark Sooy, Hopkins, Michigan, www.MarkSooy.comJesus took the apostles "with him...so that they could be alone. But the crowds found out about this andfollowed Him. He welcomed them." (Luke 9:10b-11a)I don't know about you, but it seems to me that life gets busier with each passing day. We can have work to do, phone calls to make, children to shuttle from one thing to the next, and a myriad of other responsibilities that pull us in every direction. It is often overwhelming as we seek to care for our own needs, but also desire to care for those around us.Of course Jesus had a busy schedule as well. He devoted Himself to mentor twelve men in living as obedient believers and leaders. He taught regularly in the synagogues, the temple, on the beach, on the mountains and in the streets. His healing ministry caused crowds of people to gather around Him, if only to touch His robe and be healed of their infirmities.In addition to that, Jesus walked from town to town to share the Good News of the kingdom. His ministry spread over many miles and touched countless people. He seemed to be constantly moving, and noted at one point that He had "no place to lay His head."As the twelve began to be more involved in ministry, Jesus recognized their need for rest and time alone. After an especially demanding time of preaching and curing the sick, Jesus "took them with Him to a city called Bethsaida so that they could be alone" (Luke 9:10b). Jesus knew that the excitement and stress of ministry was great, and He attempted to provide for their refreshment.This was an excellent plan -- until the crowds found out about it. In the middle of this important retreat, throngs of people started showing up. They had many needs, and they knew that Jesus was the answer to their problems. They could hear the Good News to nourish their souls, be cured of their diseases to fix their bodies, and -- if they were lucky -- they might have a picnic lunch provided by Christ and the apostles!Each time I read this story I am surprised at the response Jesus has to these demanding, self-interested crowds that come at the most inconvenient of times: He welcomes them! He opens His heart and draws them into His love. Unlike my automatic response of irritation at the inconvenience, His consistent response is to reach into their lives. He talks to them about the kingdom of God, He cures their sickness, and in this instance, provides lunch! Jesus responded out of a gracious heart in every situation.This brings me back to the busy lives that we lead today. We all need a break from the grind of daily responsibilities, and often the rest that we plan for a weekend or some other time gets interrupted. We lie down for a nap, and the phone rings. We sit in our favorite chair to read, and our spouse wants to talk (or a friend, or son, or daughter).Even in the worship ministries of our churches the demands can seem overwhelming. We may have a tight schedule for rehearsal; we can't afford any interruptions. And when the rehearsal or ministry time is over, we're out the door, headed to the next all-important whatever.But... what if we took the time to care for one another? How might we respond in a more Christ-like way when inconvenienced by someone? Are there people in the worship ministry of your church who need a touch from Jesus that you could give? Are there folks in your church who need to feel loved after the Sunday service? Do we really need to be in such a hurry that we ignore such people?Of course, it's vital that we rely on the Holy Spirit's prompting to respond appropriately in each situation. Yet Jesus gave us a great example and His Word tells us to do likewise, bearing one another's burdens. So maybe part of our planning should be to leave some extra time to respond and, like Jesus, be aware of the people around us. We have something they need -- Jesus! Let us give freely of Him with an open and loving heart.
“Revival refers to a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of a believer. It encompasses the resurfacing of a love for God, an appreciation of God's holiness, a passion for His Word and His church, a convicting awareness of personal and corporate sin, a spirit of humility, and a desire for repentance and growth in righteousness.” (The preceding quotation is from www.gotquestions.org.)Charles Spurgeon wrote of revival— “It is clear that the, term ‘revival’ can only be applied to a living soul, or to that which once lived. To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life. Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term, the subjects of a revival. Many blessings may come to the unconverted in consequence of a revival among Christians, but the revival itself has to do only with those who already possess spiritual life. There must be vitality in some degree before there can be a quickening of vitality, or, in other words, a revival.“A true revival is to be looked for in the church of God. Only in the river of gracious life can the pearl of revival be found. It has been said that a revival must begin with God's people; this is very true, but it is not all the truth, for the revival itself must end as well as begin there. The results of the revival will extend to the outside world, but the revival, strictly speaking, must be within the circle of life, and must therefore essentially be enjoyed by the possessors of vital godliness and by them only. Is not this quite a different view of revival from that which is common in society; but is it not manifest-ly the correct one?”One of our revival hymns is “Send a Great Revival.” The chorus says, “Send a great revival in my soul; let the Holy Spirit come and take control, and send a great revival in my soul.” Do you see the object—“in my soul”? North Shelby Baptist Church needs revival, spiritual reawakening from stagnation and a desire for growth in righteousness. May we pray that God would send revival! (Our revival meeting is scheduled for April 30- May 3.)I love you,Brother AllanPS: After church, a kid from Children’s Church asked me to help her to be saved. I talked with her and her mom and brother. She received Christ as her personal Savior on Easter Sunday!
Easter attendance is always higher than a normal Sunday, 512 at NSBC last Easter, not only with visitors but with members we have not seen lately. (Preachers call them, “C&E members”—Christmas & Easter members.) I want all of our 800 members who live in the area to be here together in worship every Sunday, but we are at the church age and stage that 35% is the average membership attendance—except on Easter. I am grateful for each one who comes any Sunday, Easter included. I found the following interesting.From the Acton Institute blog (Joe Carter, "5 Facts About Easter in America," Acton Institute blog, 3-24-16):In 2015, more Americans searched for "church" on Google in the week leading up to Easter Sunday than any other week in the year. (When including the word "service"—so that the full search term is "church service"—Christmas exceeds Easter, though both Easter and Christmas exceed all other weeks in search activity.)Major television networks pay attention to these trends, and the four big networks usually run overtly Christian programming during primetime slot on their Easter Sunday schedule. Easter spending—projected at more than 17 billion dollars—is significant, though not necessarily religiously motivated. Americans spend more on candy for Easter than for Halloween. The average American celebrating Easter is expected to spend $28.11 on candy.I look forward to seeing you Easter Sunday. Come at 8:00 am, if you can. (I call that the “suburban sunrise service.”) We hope to be full for the 10:15 service, the Lord willing. Invite your neighbors. They might be “Googling” for an Easter church service to attend.I love you, Brother Allan PS: We welcome Nan Hopkins and Connor Waddell into the North Shelby Baptist Church family