Don’t Forget To Give Thanks

To all of my blog followers and visitors, I just wanted to remind you that as we are observing Thanksgiving this week, enjoy time with family and friends and be truly greatful. God has blessed us to see another Thanksgiving and for all the ways it COULD have turned out, it didn’t turn out that way. That alone is enough to be thankful for, but I’m sure you all have so much more to be thankful for.

happy_thanksgiving_t

Where this blog is concerned, I am thankful for you, the reader. Hopefully all that you’ve read up to this point has either fascinated you, encouraged you, enlightened you, made you laugh, made you think, or just made you feel better. Ultimately, I appreciate each and every one of you.

Bottom line, don’t forget to give thanks on Thanksgiving. Have a great week. Blogs will reconvene on next week. In the meantime, I would like to share with you one of my favorite gospel selections. This is “Be Grateful” by Walter Hawkins (an oldie, but a goodie). Enjoy!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!

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Time to L.E.A.R.N.!

TODAY’S YOUTUBE CLIP: This week I’ve been talking about some of the musical staples from the church I grew up in and one of those staples (that I think anyone who grew up in a black Baptist church can relate to) was the person who played the tambourine. Every church has one (I think my church had at least 2-3), BUT they never played it like this. This is “Advanced Tambourine Techniques” with Jim Greiner from the company “Latin Percussion” (r).

If I heard this in my church (past or present), then I’d be under a pew. Check it out:

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

The Church Covenant [supplemental]

If you happen to be interested in studying the Baptist church covenant a little futher, here are some supplemental online resources for you. As always, my general DISCLAIMER (with some slight modifications) goes a little something like this: “I do not own the rights to this song (or, in this case, the written information located in the links below). The video (link) included in this blog is only intended to bring musical (spiritual) awareness to the reader.”

“Church Covenant” (wiki)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_covenant

“Covenant Theology” (wiki)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_theology

“The Baptist Church Covenant” from the Twinbrook Hills Baptist Church website **
http://www.twinbrook.net/index.php?p=1_139_The-Baptist-Church-Covenant

**best concise explanation in modern language

“The Church Covenant” by Wayne Reynolds
http://www.independencebaptist.org/Online%20Books/The%20Church%20Covenant.pdf

The Church Covenant [Part 2/2]

(continued from previous blog)

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintance; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavouring in the purity of heartand good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.

We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other’s reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other’s joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another’s burdens and sorrows; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Saviour in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report, and good report, to seek to live to the glory of God, who hath called us our of darkness into his marvelous light.

When we remove from this place, we engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s word.

One can only imagine how great the church would be if we adhered to the basic rules found in this covenant. Things like “seeking the salvation of our kindred and acquaintance” or “guard each other’s reputation” and even “participating in each other’s joys” would make a genuine difference in the overall body of Christ.

It’s just a thought.

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.

The Church Covenant [Part 1/2]

I was raised Baptist and one of the staples of the Baptist faith is the “Church Covenant”. I haven’t read it in years, but I was chatting with a cousin of mine over this past weekend and it came up again so I decided to re-read it. The “Church Covenant” is scripturally based and being that I’ve had a few years to really dig into the Word for myself, I can see why this covenant (along with others across the Christianity-based religions) are important. This is the one I grew up with from “The New National Baptist Hymnal” (c) 1977 (aka the red hymn book). Here’s the first half:

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour; and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, towards its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. In case of difference of opinion in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern.

(part two next blog)

Time to L.E.A.R.N.!

TODAY’S YOUTUBE CLIP: Today’s vocal group was suggested to me to post by a cousin of mine. In an attempt to expand your mind on all things musical, I present to you Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing “Hello My Baby”. Enjoy.

I wasn’t too familiar with the history of the group… but Wikipedia is and the article summary reads:

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a male choral group from South Africa that sings in the vocal styles of isicathamiya and mbube. They rose to worldwide prominence as a result of singing with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland, and have won multiple awards, including three Grammy Awards. They were formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1960 and later became one of South Africa’s most prolific recording artists, with their releases receiving gold and platinum disc honors. The group has now become a mobile academy, teaching people about South Africa and its culture.

In my opinion, this group is definitely a great study in vocalese. For more information, check out the entire article at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladysmith_Black_Mambazo

As a musician, 90% of what you do is listening. Music is too much of a universal language to get stuck on one dialect. Therefore, today’s blog is dedicated specifically for you to LISTEN (to the clip provided), EXPAND (your thinking on music in a way that you may not have considered before), AND ROCK NOW (with more musical knowledge added to your repertoire)!

What do you think? Shared wisdom makes us all stronger.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the rights to this song. The video included in this blog is only intended to bring musical awareness to the reader.

Merry Happy Christgivingsmas Day

I was in the grocery store yesterday hunting for a few more of those “after Halloween” candy sales (I don’t celebrate Halloween, but I do love a sale). I know it’s late in the month of November for such a hunt, but it never hurts to try. I turned down the “multi-purpose aisle” (you know the aisle… the one with all the random seasonal stuff in it) and to my surprise my eyes are bombarded with red, green, silver, snowflakes, and Christmas themed candy. Keep in mind that not even a week ago, this aisle was almost a barren candy wasteland where Halloween themed candy used to live. Now, it’s Christmas.

Then I had a thought, “Did we even get to Thanksgiving yet?”

I know the marketing gurus in corporate America love Christmas (if nothing more than for the marketability), but it almost feels like Christmas keeps getting earlier and earlier every year. Funny how Christmas gets earlier every year, but daylight savings time NEVER SEEMS TO END.

But I digress…

Consider this… time flies fast enough on its own so we (or the corporate machine) don’t need to push it any faster. When we rush to the destination, we miss the journey and life (as we know and love it) is MORE about the journey as opposed to the destination. Christmas is coming (no doubt about it), but if we zip past Thanksgiving trying to get to the next holiday sale, then we’ve totally missed the purpose of setting aside a specific time to give thanks to God for all He has done for us throughout the year.

Ergo, we sacrifice a spiritual opportunity for a selfish opportunity.

Bottom line, take the time out to GIVE THANKS on THANKSGIVING DAY.