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Good practice last night, even though the Sopranos and Altos were limited in singers!
Last week, I played a funny song for everyone to hear, “Fruitcake song.” This week, I played and we went over two songs that we have not sung in several years. One of the songs we have not sung in a very long time, but it is a great song which we will sing in a few weeks, “Who Can Satisfy My Soul” medley.
This Sunday the Choral Call to Worship will be “Almighty” from the hymnal with the orchestra. The Choral Message will be “Jesus Saves,” soloist: James Parsons
See you Sunday!
A Heart At Rest Is Active in Loveby Ellen Baum, Farmingdale, Maine
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. (1 John 3:18-19)I work for a state association where part of my job is to format a monthly newsletter. After gathering and placing the written materials, I must edit the newsletter. It's my responsibility to correct typos, fix grammatical errors, replace dropped words, and be sure the style is pleasing and proper. I've been to seminars and read books on editing. I've learned some helpful hints that can be used to catch mistakes. One such idea is to read through an article backwards. Such a different perspective may highlight mistakes. Hints like this can help locate errors, but no matter how diligently I work to create an error-free newsletter, I sometimes find mistakes after it has been printed and distributed. I want the newsletter to be perfect, but because I am imperfect, mistakes are made.Here's the reality in all this: My lack of perfection means that I need help. After I have edited the newsletter, I give copies to two co-workers. They proofread the work and highlight any remaining mistakes. They catch things that I didn't see. Even then, though, some errors are missed and are not found until the publication is actually printed. No matter how hard I try to create the perfect copy, my work is not perfect.As a member of a worship team I play an instrument and sing. My goal is perfection but I am imperfect. I practice, but I need the rest of the team to help me see my mistakes. We need each other. I thank God I am part of a worship team. When I am too loud, I need to know that from my fellow worshipers. When I am singing a wrong note, I need to be corrected. Our common goal is to do the best we can as we endeavor to lead worship in the congregational setting.It's not about me being perfect. I will fail. It is about pointing to the One Who is perfect. I can beat myself up over missed fills or wrong notes. I can criticize and roll my eyes at the mistakes of others but what good comes from that? I need my heart at rest in His presence (1 John 3:19b) because my heart will too readily condemn me. A heart at rest, according to our verses for today, is active with love and truth.In my job I want the newsletter to deliver its intended content, in spite of typographical errors. Through our music, we want God's message of love delivered. That can be seen as worship team members relate to one another in love with a common goal of directing worship toward God.
The Lord is good! It is my privilege to be your pastor since March 24, 1995.
We have journeyed through changing times and places—from a shopping center to a donated vacant church building, adding a metal sanctuary and four Sunday School trailers, to the slope of beautiful Double Oak Mountain, building two fine structures and now having a total of 31 acres—all debt-free!
We began as a conservative, Bible-believing, committed-to-missions, traditional Southern Baptist church and we are that still. North Shelby Baptist Church is “an alternative to the alternatives”—a newer church with time-tested values.
This church has been a leader in sacrificial giving, and in recent years we have added even more “hands-on” mission projects.
But, in recent years the church has begun to plateau—still strong, but not expanding. I believe I have led you as far as I can.
I am now 66 years old, and my Mary is not far behind me. My mind is still good, but not as sharp as I used to be. I have had some vascular “overhauls” in recent months, which evidence the aging process. I am strong and expect renewed strengthening, but likely not to what I used to be. It is time to retire as Pastor of North Shelby Baptist Church, effective January 31, 2018.
We are not planning to move. I can still preach your funeral or officiate at your wedding. I deeply love each of you. No one is pressuring me to retire, not even Mary, but I believe it is God’s leading to take this action.
I want North Shelby Baptist Church to continue to be loving and strong and to reach many more for Christ!
I announce my retirement six months in advance, so that the Personnel Committee can gear up for the search for a new pastor. Let’s end this phase of ministry together well and discover what God has in store for all of us for the future! Be praying….
I love you,
Good practice last night! If you were not there, you were missed.
I played a funny song for everyone last night, the “Fruitcake song.” It’s been around for several years, I think it is just a “tap your foot and sway with the music” song. Maybe some time we can sing it?
This Sunday, the Choral Call to Worship will be “How Can I Keep from Singing.” The Choral Message will be “Jesus, Hope of the World.”
See you Sunday!
Why Didn't I Get Some Land? by Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, Missouri"And no portion was given to the Levites in the land, but only cities to dwell in, with their pasturelands for their livestock and their substance." (Joshua 14:4) When the Israelites went into the Promised Land, each tribe received a large portion of the land, sort of like one of our states. Every tribe is listed with geographic markers to show the exact area where they and their offspring would dwell for generations to come. Even the half tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim were given specific sections of land. They all got roughly between eight and ten per cent of the land. All of them, that is, except the tribe of Levi. For some reason, the Levites were left out of the land distribution. Don't misunderstand. They still were allowed to have property and houses. But their homes, unlike all the other tribes, were scattered throughout the land. As our opening scripture declares, they were given some cities here and there. Yet it was clearly nothing like what the others received.In reality, though, those Levites received something better. "The Lord God of Israel is their inheritance..." (Joshua 13:33).No one is sure exactly what that means. Scripture does not clearly define it for us. Did God show Himself to them in a special way? Was His hand of blessing on their families in a stronger way than the rest of the Israelites? Although we can speculate any number of possibilities, we just don't know.Is it possible though, that they could have felt slighted? After all, the others all received something that was seemingly much more tangible. And the Levites were clearly singled out as not having received any land. Isn't it conceivable, perhaps even probable, that they could have been envious of their relatives? Can't you hear the lament? "Why couldn't I have born into the tribe of Judah or Reuben? Look what they get just because of the tribe they're in. We get nothing. It's just not fair!"Of course that could never happen to you or me today. We would never covet the thing that God gave to someone else, would we?"I wish I could sing like JoAnn." "Why can't I play piano like Jim?" Sometimes our envy can even take on a righteous tone. "If I could do what Paul does on the guitar, I could really shine for Jesus." All in all, though, it's still all the same covetousness.Of course, I am not saying emphatically that the Levites coveted what their brothers had been given, nor am I saying that you do that either. But perhaps it would be good for us to take some time and examine our hearts. Why? Well, I don't know about you, but I find that envy has a way of creeping in unexpectedly and rearing its ugly head at the most inopportune moments. We need to be vigilant about guarding our hearts against being envious of others, even the people right there in the worship ministry of your church.
I worked with my dad the summer I was 15, for 50 cents an hour, making walking deliveries of car parts to the car dealers and garages in our small town. I worked 50 hours a week and made $25 a week. On Friday of the first week, I remember be-ing tired and sitting on one of the metal customer stools in front of the service desk. Dad said, “Get up, son, come behind the counter. Leave those seats for customers. Don’t let the boss see you loitering.”I have never wanted the Boss to see me loitering. My Boss is the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is no hiding from Him. It is foolish to try.Another thing about my Boss, He does not need explanations or prompting. We work for Him; He does not work for us. We should wait for Him to direct us in our work, but we are foolish to dictate to Him or to negotiate with Him.The major tasks my Boss instructs me to do are simple and hum-ble. John 13:13-17 — “You call me “Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one an-other’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”I love you,Brother AllanPS: Thank you for praying for me. I am feeling better all the time. Heart doctors said mine was a “textbook case.”
Good day, everyone!
Choir attendance was a little disappointing last night.
We will not be having choir practice or orchestra practice next Wednesday night, the 28th.
Several members of our worship leadership team will be in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at “WorshipLife.” This is a conference by Lifeway Music for music leaders, accompanists, and participants in Southern Baptist church music ministry. It will be a very busy week for the nine of us attending the conference and workshops. The conference begins Monday afternoon and goes non-stop through Thursday night. Our days start at 8:00 am and usually are not over till 9:30 or 10:00 pm each night. Pray for us as we travel that we will have a safe trip and that we will hear some good new music that we can bring back for our choir’s and other groups to sing in the months ahead.
We have finalized our Christmas musical plans at this conference for the last several years. That is just one of the special events we will be intently looking at.
This Sunday the Call to Worship will be “High and Lifted Up.” The Choral Message will be “I Am Redeemed.”
See you Sunday!
Heaven on My Mindby Fran Moore, Imperial, Missouri Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4) There was a Christian chorus that was very popular during the early '70s: "Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace." This song was actually written by a lady named Helen Lemmel in the early 1920s. The second verse says, "Through death into life everlasting He passed, and we follow Him there; over us sin no more hath dominion for more than conquerors we are!" Obviously, this sister was familiar with this passage from Colossians. As a young believer, I struggled with the idea of trying to be "in touch" with the things of heaven while my 5-foot frame, carrying its bushel of books, was jostled and shoved through the halls of my high school. My eyes and ears too frequently witnessed the profanity and shallowness of the daily zoo. I remember closing my eyes and imagining that my friend Jesus was by my side, pushing through the whirlpool of sweaty athletes, the cigarette smoke seeping out from under the door to the girls' restroom, and the overbearing perfume of the covey of pom-pon girls just ahead of us. Indeed, He was there with me...but how I longed to travel in His stomping ground instead of mine.There is a reason we, as believers, are to set our minds on things above the level of this earthy existence. It is because we died. The stuff of the world ought to mean nothing to us, really. The things that make "normal" people tick should seem distant and odd to us. It is not that we should act or put on an air of being better humans than any other humans; the fact is that we are now beyond human, but not in the neo-evolutionary sense. Now the only life we have of any significance is that which springs from our spiritual birth, given us by no expenditure of our own.So what is happening beyond the things of earth... before the throne of God? At any given moment, we can expect worship to be surrounding the Almighty. True worship, untainted and unhindered by the things of earth swirls about Him continually. (see Revelation 4:8)So, if we're to set our hearts on things above, then worship should be going on in us, too. Yet, I must live in this world: I work, I walk the dog, I check my e-mail, I plunk around on my guitar, I throw a pizza in the oven, I clean a toilet, and perform a million other tasks in an average day. What should continually be in my heart and mind, though, are the things happening in the kingdom of God. My heavenly "ipod" should be playing in my spiritual ears all the while I am doing what must be done to function here on earth. I should be speaking with the Father, interacting with the Holy Spirit, fellowshiping with my Savior, Jesus, much the same way someone might text message friends while standing in line at the store or walking down the street.As those involved in the worship ministry of your church, I would challenge you to consider: where is your heart? Is it really on things above? As we focus there and worship Him, the things of earth will, indeed, grow dim.
Soon after 3,000 were baptized on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, the first church started with all 11 Disciples leading. People gave their offerings and shared what they had with one another. It was great, but organization and administration issues soon surfaced. They were saved, but they were still human beings with tender emotions and not-so-difficult to be offended. Believers who were “Grecian” Jews complained against believers who were “Hebraic” Jews, thinking that the widows who were Hebraic (“locals”) were getting preferential treatment over the Grecian widows (“immigrants”). To make sure all would be fairly treated and properly fed, the Disciples asked that they be allowed to focus on teaching, preaching, and praying. They asked the church to choose seven men, “known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom,” to take care of needs and ensure fair treatment.It appears that the church leadership role of “deacon” was thus born. I have appreciated my partnership with deacons through 47 years of church ministry. We all want the same thing—to glorify the Lord through helping folks get saved, discipled, and helped. When I came to North Shelby Baptist Church in March 1995, we had five deacons serving three-year terms, with at least one-year off to rest before possibly being chosen again. Every family in our resident membership, active or inactive, is assigned to a deacon. At this moment, we have 27 deacons serving. Deacons and I work at keeping up with our members, praying for them, helping them as we know their needs, and reaching out to them.Now is the time to nominate for the term to start September 1. We need to expand the number from 27, the Lord willing. Seven deacons rotate off, and we ask each member to pray about nominating up to 15 men to begin service. We have some 73 that we know have been deacons and/or have been ministers. Each member may submit one Nomination Form, nominating from one to 15 men, submitting the form by Sunday, July 9. We have mailed every active member family a letter with one form. Additional copies are available through the church office. I am praying for the Lord to provide the help needed. I love you, Brother Allan PS: We welcome Tim Missildine into the NSBC family! VBS was great! Thanks, Mrs. Julie and all the VBS faculty!
Good morning. I hope everyone is having a great day!
It’s Vacation Bible School week around here. (Eeeeek!) All kidding aside, it has been a good VBS so far, and that’s good news!
Last night’s practice was very short! And in the words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Sunday, “Father’s Day,” we are going to have an all men choir. The men will meet in the choir room at 10:00 am. They will not wear robes. I want them to sing a couple of verses of one of our congregational hymns, “Amazing Grace.” Invite all the men you know to help us fill the choir loft. I am sending out a request to all of our deacons asking them to come join us on “Father’s Day” by taking the lead in church and sing in the choir on that one day. It is not a permanent commitment! However, if anyone does take a liking to it they are more than welcome to come back and join us every week as we lift our praise from the front of the church, leading our congregation to worship.
This Sunday the Call to Worship will be “He Knows My Name” from the hymnal led by Daniel. The Musical Message will be “Wonderful Grace of Jesus” sung by a group of our men with the orchestra.
See you Sunday!
My hope is in Christ Alone,
An Unexpected Act of Praiseby Luane Guyton, St. Louis, Missouri
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. (Luke: 7:37-38)Our worship team practice was over. We had learned the new song, nailed down chord changes, and smoothed out transitions. We talked about dynamics, worked on the build of the opening set, and solidified the solo. It was a good practice. Before heading home, we sat together on our sanctuary floor. Someone handed out Bibles and everyone turned to Luke 7. Taking turns reading aloud, we made our way through verses 36-50. Jesus, in the home of Simon the Pharisee, was reclining at the table. A woman came up behind Him, knelt at His feet and weeping, began to wash them with her tears. She used her hair for a towel and then kissing His feet, she anointed them with perfume.We tried to imagine what it was like to be there. What if we were reclining at the table with Jesus when this happened? Immediately, we felt uncomfortable. We wondered why. What brought the discomfort?Someone suggested we throw out words that describe this woman's actions. Maybe we could find a clue to our discomfort in our perception of what she did. Here's what followed:Authentic -- She didn't try to fake it. Courageous -- Scripture tells us she led a sinful life. It's very unlikely she was invited to the dinner party. Crashing it was a brave move. Transparent -- She didn't put on airs or try to hide her gratitude.Personal -- She didn't send someone to act on her behalf. She washed Jesus' feet herself. Risky -- A sinful woman in the house of a Pharisee... the risk she took was great. It's possible she could have been stoned.Active -- She didn't stand back and observe. She acted.Intentional -- When she heard where Jesus was, she picked up her alabaster jar and intentionally put herself near Him.Sacrificial -- The perfume was expensive. Some say it cost more than 3 months wages.Expressive -- Her actions were filled with emotion. The words and descriptions above are very positive. So we asked each other again; why the discomfort? We eventually came to the conclusion that it was because this woman was willing to do things many of us were not. Worshiping Jesus was worth everything to her and she demonstrated it by what she did. It wasn't until after we prayed together that someone noticed the first letter of these words, when in the right order, spelled "Act" and "Praise." We were both challenged and excited by what God revealed to us, and we left desiring to praise our Savior in greater ways.Maybe you, too, need to be challenged to praise the Lord in greater ways. Is there something in what we saw that makes you uncomfortable, also? It may look differently for you than it did for us, but is there a way He wants to stretch you? Let's ask Him to help us love and praise Him more.
Last week’s newsletter was ready Monday to email to The Alabama Baptist by 2:00 pm for inclusion as our back page—but we had computer trouble. It was soon resolved, but The Baptist was already at the printer’s, without our page. We are dependent on technology.Adam Alter wrote in The Guardian, a British newspaper: “Not long ago, I stepped into a lift on the 18th floor of a tall building in New York City. A young woman inside the lift was looking down at the top of her toddler’s head with embarrassment as he looked at me and grinned. When I turned to push the ground-floor button, I saw that every button had already been pushed. Kids love pushing buttons, but they only push every button when the buttons light up. From a young age, humans are driven to learn, and learning involves getting as much feedback as possible from the immediate environment. The toddler who shared my elevator was grinning because feedback – in the form of lights or sounds or any change in the state of the world – is pleasurable.”We see people in almost every setting, playing games, listening to music, communicating by e-mail or text or surfing the internet on their handheld devices. Technology is “pleasurable.”Technology, however, often robs us of eye to eye contact and voice to ear communication—human interaction, talking, giving undivided time and attention to one another. I urge you to discipline yourself to put down the device, take time to seek out family and friends for a handshake, hug, or pat on the back, and a smile, with words of affirmation and affection. Prayer takes time, too, but it is well worth it to interact with the God of creation and salvation!Think about it. I love you, Brother Allan PS: We welcomed last week: Sheila Flowers and Brad & Jamie McClaren, with baby Brian, into the NSBC family! Our teens had a super week at camp! We have a construction mission team in Gatlinburg this week. PPS: I will have a heart procedure on June 28, a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)—a new aortic valve—in the hospital a night or two, off work for one week. Appreciate your prayers.
6/8/17 Good morning. I hope you are having a great day!Last nights practice went very well. We had a new member tonight, Pam Anderson, WELCOME!Sunday, we will not have a choir or orchestra because of the VBS set. The Musical Message will be presented by our Ladies ensemble. I am looking forward to hearing them again!Also, we will not have choir or orchestra practice next Wednesday night, the 14th, because of VBS. The following Sunday, June 18th, is Father’s Day and I want to have an “All Men’s Choir” that day. The Musical Message that morning will be by a group/ensemble of men from the choir.Amanda Metcalfe shared this with me today written by one of the song writers whose music we use. “How quickly we forget what it’s all about. We can get so strategic that we worship so our church will grow, not because He is worthy. But we’re doing all this because God is worthy and we want to worship Him.” – Tommy Walker (One of Tommy’s songs is “He knows my Name.”)See you Sunday!My hope is in Christ Alone,Randy TinglePeter's Miserable Nightby Tom Kraeuter, Hillsboro, MissouriBut Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60-62)He went out and wept bitterly. What a contrast this is to the Peter we see so often throughout the gospel accounts. Generally, Peter is recognized as cocky, boisterous, self-confident, and even arrogant at times. It was only hours before this scene that Peter confidently declared, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away... Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!" (Matthew 26:33, 35).Suddenly, though, Peter found himself broken, defeated, and deflated. Did his earlier boastful words ring loudly through his mind at this point? He definitely remembered what Jesus had told him when Peter made his brash declaration: "Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times" (Matthew 26:34). And, recalling those words, He broke down and cried. No, actually, the translators captured the full essence of the Greek in this verse: Peter "wept bitterly." He wasn't just sad. His sorrow was exceedingly overwhelming. Peter was a broken man. He knew that not only had he completely failed Jesus, but Peter also recognized that Jesus knew he had failed. So he wept bitterly.It must have been a miserable night for Peter.Fast forward though. The Peter we see in the gospels is a very different man than the Peter we see in his writings. Have you ever read his New Testament letters? Oh, he's still confident, but now his confidence is in Christ only. He's definitely no longer arrogant or even brash. Peter changed dramatically.I would suggest that if it hadn't been for that dreadful night -- if Peter hadn't come to the end of himself and lost his deep-seated self-assuredness -- that his later ministry would have been far less effective. God doesn't really need our amazing abilities. He wants our hearts. And He doesn't truly get that until we reach the end of ourselves.It's only when we recognize our complete and total dependence on the Lord that God can fully work through us. When our confidence is in us, we're sunk. "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).I know that you might be a really good vocalist or instrumentalist or whatever your role might be in the worship ministry. It's possible that you are the very best in your church at whatever it is that you do. But you know what? Although people may be quite impressed with your musical prowess, God isn't impressed.Don't misunderstand. Whatever gifts we have were given to us by the Lord Himself. He loves us and created us just the way we are. But just like Peter, until we come to the end of ourselves, we will never reach our full potential with those gifts and abilities.