Posts in Schools - Music

Access Granted

November 11,2009

It’s day four on our illustrious journey and God is still moving. This morning we made our way back to Port Glasgow High School. There were over 300 students who met us in the school theater. Little did they know that what they would receive would be more than a presentation. What they received was nothing less than pure gospel. From start to finish the students were immersed with Christian culture. We started off with songs from the youth music team, a skit from the drama team, and a personal testimony by one of the team members from the youth sports team.

Then a local minister showed a slide presentation that left the students thinking. We were then rushed off to our first class where we were given a lively Scottish initiation with a history and demonstration of bagpipes. After this class, we met a wonderful teacher who assisted us in vocal warm-ups and exercises. By the end of our last class we had realized that we were the ones being blessed as much as the students were by our presentation. We left hugging the teachers and giving the students hi-fives. All of this was because access was granted. It’s true that the prayers of the righteous avails much. Now I pray that we see Port Glasgow High at the rally on Friday night. It is my desire for some young person to meet God there and maybe for the first time in their life hear the words, “ Access granted!”

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A Class Act

November 10, 2009

Today we were off to Port Glasgow High School.  It is the second day of our musical journey and judging from yesterday’s victory, we were ready for another adventure. The school, though old in structure, was filled with life and energy by the students.

We started off our first class with an education of the history of gospel music. One of the team members spoke on the origins of black gospel music and the influence of choirs. It was surprising to see the many kids who had never heard of or this form of music. We reminded them of some of the songs sung by slaves’ in the field in times past songs like “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” which spoke of the promise of leaving this earth for a home in heaven. The students seemed to be enlightened.

Next we did a variety of vocal warm-ups and exercise, which consisted of lip trills and proper diction while singing.  The main goal of the day was turning the entire class into a gospel choir. This proved to be our most exciting time and to our surprise, many of the students were willing and able to accomplish this task. We divided up the class into three sections, soprano, alto, and tenor. We then proceeded to teach them the song “Bless the Lord”. What can I say other than, “They exceeded our expectations?  I know that God did something great. The bible says, one man plants the seed, another waters it, but God always gives the increase. I pray that many of the students from Port Glasgow High School be a part of that increase.

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Shopping never felt so good

November 7, 2009

Yesterday the youth music team journeyed to Oak Mall to worship with the Elim Church of Greenock. That’s right, a church in a mall. What a joy it was to see people walking past the doors of the church inquiring about what was going on. Led by a young passionate pastor, Elim has positioned itself as a place of refreshing for any and all who need it. We started off with a hearty welcome and them worshipped and gave some testimonies.

All of this was effective but what stood out the most was the altar call. It was simple. Bow your heads and repeat after me. We then proceeded to pray the sinners’ prayer out loud. With eyes still closed the pastor asked if there was anyone in the room who prayed that prayer and meant it. We waited patiently with eyes still closed hoping someone just came into a relationship with Jesus Christ, that He was now their Lord and Savior.

Then we heard pastor say, Thank you, I see you, I see you, and I see you, thank you, and thank you. All in all we counted three thank you’s and three I see you’s. That was a total of six. It reminds me of a song sung by one of gospels greatest groups, “The Clark Sisters.” They sang a song that said is my living in vain? Is my speaking in vain? Is my singing in vain? Is my praying in vain?

It poses a good question for the Christian who continues in his relationship with God and sometimes doesn’t see results right away. Yet, the song goes on to say, “No, of course not, its not all in vain. Cause up the road is eternal gain! We didn’t see the people who accepted Christ into their lives but we know that one day we will. One day up the road people will thank you for singing, praying, and speaking up about your faith. That to me is already our eternal gain!

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There is Life Beyond the Fog

November 9, 2009

The time was 8:45 A.M. Our driver, Donnie, had just picked us up and rushed us off to the loading dock where the local Greenock ferry takes its customers to and fro. Our destination; Dunoon Grammar school in Dunoon Scotland. There we would conduct a series of religious education classes for the students. From the moment we stepped off the boat and walked into the school we were excited. We had no way of knowing what we had actually planned would work.

The first class, second class, and third class went well. The students loved the singing and the testimonies seemed to be hitting home. It is amazing to see what God will do with a yielded vessel. It’s like what Paul wrote, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

The highlight of the day came at the very end of the day with the last class getting ready to leave. Our youth music team leader ended the class with a testimony about how God had given him peace through his storm. He expressed his gratitude for God’s love in spite of his present physical condition. We then saw a little hand pop up. She was a petite little girl, just shy of becoming a teenager and you could tell she had something to say. “I used to not be able to sleep a couple of months ago, she said.” I would toss and turn but could never get any sleep. One day I prayed and asked God to give me some sleep, and you know what, I slept.”  With a smile on our faces we left to get back on the ferry to make it to the nightly meeting. Mission accomplished!

 

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First things First!

November 7, 2009

By now Times Square Church knows a thing or two about international outreaches. Yes each trip brings new possibilities and new discoveries. No one trip is the same yet each and every trip yields the same results.

First thing first, God is first. Self comes never. This revelation came to light after partaking in the local firework show on the river. It was our first night here and through tired, we went ready to share with people about our purpose in Greenock. Who we found astounded us. I say who because I thought we would be passing out flyers to the more mature crowd of Greenock. To my surprise the fields were ripped with young people. There were teens everywhere. To the right, to the left, in front of me. They were here for something. They had a purpose for being here and they were fulfilling that purpose. It was then that I realized first things first, God is first and these young people deserve to have the same opportunity I had to know this truth.

I see the revelation. I am excited. I am no longer tired. I know we have a purpose. These young people will soon come to know it too!

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