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September 30, 2012

 We Each Have a Part in the Song

How can we more fully share the inspiration that is part of every Southern Gospel music event? Hear what the Apostle Paul says on the matter:

1 Corinthians 14:15

J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

14-19 If I pray in a “tongue” my spirit is praying but my mind is inactive. I am therefore determined to pray with my spirit and my mind, and if I sing I will sing with both spirit and mind. Otherwise, if you are blessing God with your spirit, how can those who are ungifted say amen to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are talking about? You may be thanking God splendidly, but it doesn’t help the other man at all. I thank God that I have a greater gift of “tongues” than any of you, yet when I am in Church I would rather speak five words with my mind (which might teach something to other people) than ten thousand words in a “tongue” which nobody understands.

In our mind, or the understanding as some translations interpret, is where the experience of gospel music is truly mutual. Awakening praise for God's gifts with the desire to bring others to the light, Southern Gospel music presents the Good News of Jesus Christ in words and musical style that is accessible to all regardless of education, background and training. There are 'tongues' of musicality that may uplift the performer and yet be out of reach to most listeners. Thank goodness for the beautiful harmonies and instrumentation heard at numerous Quartet Conventions, carrying the message in a way that is effective and clear, prompting a silent or verbal 'Amen' from the Spirit within each of us.

Let us find in our prayers, singing and listening, an understanding and knowledge of the source of comfort so needed today. Each of us has a gift and purpose, and all are equally precious. Singing and praying both must engage the understanding in a way to bring others to God.

Submitted by Janice E. Blakney, a Denver organist and pianist who also provides technical support for the RMQC website.  In these challenging times, she trusts the Truth of the Gospel to guide us.
11:45 am mdt          Comments

September 1, 2012

FACETS by Shelbia Rae Birgel
As the summer season comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on what I will miss the most: The smell of barbecuing burgers, being able to walk out the door without a coat, wearing flip flops all day long, and sporting sunglasses at eight o'clock in the evening. I can also tell you what I won't miss - The incessant growth of weeds! At least in the fall and winter, they lie dormant long enough for me to forget they exist!
The variety of weeds I am exposed to in my yard is plentiful! Some of them grow among the rocks. As the soil tends to be more shallow, these are easy to uproot. This is not the case with some others. The "others" are those that, when grabbed just right, yield a long, carrot-like root; however, it takes a lot more effort to uproot thse wayward pests.
Sprouting without welcome and threatening to steal my joy, I've seen how subtly the weeds of OFFENSES threaten to invade the soil of my heart. There are little weeds, minor offenses, that are easy to forgive. For instance, careless drivers who take out their aggression on fellow travelers offends me! Yet, within seconds of their passing, my mind shifts to something more important and the offense is no more.
BUT the big weeds, the major offenses, take more work to uproot. In fact, I find that these have the tendency to pop back up within days of me dealing with them! Isn't it interesting that the major  offenses are usually caused by the people who are closest to us? Perhaps it is because our level of expectations for those around us are much greater than some driver on the highway. These are people who should know what annoys us. They should understand why something they do irks us so badly and that their "intentional disregard" is more than troubling!
The challenge we have can be found in Colossians 3:13. In it, Paul reminds us to forgive others JUST AS CHRIST FORGAVE YOU. Why couldn't Paul say, "Forgive once you have observed true repentence!" THAT would make life so much easier AND it would justify letting the weeds in our spirit grow knee-high! Although it takes great effort, we can CHOOSE to have a weed-free spirit every day of the year.
Shelbia Rae Birgel is a member of Starlight and youngest daughter of John & Rachael Moyers. She is married to John Birgel and employed by Oracle in Broomfield. Shelbia & Jon reside in Denver, Colorado. 
2:47 pm mdt          Comments

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 This first issue of FACETS is maintained here to help us keep its purpose in mind. The column will be authored by members of the RMQC staff and members of Starlight Quartet as well as a guest writer from time to time. Starlight Quartet will have its own page on the website in the future. I hear you asking the question now, "Who is Starlight Quartet?" Hold on. We will be introducing them soon.
 JUNE 2012 - Welcome!

Here is the first article on our inspirational page of the RMQC website, simply called FACETS.  Truth, like a diamond, has many facets.  Truth, unlike a diamond, has an inexhaustible number of facets.  There is a `diamond` with an infinite amount of truth within the reach of most of us.  If you are reading this on the internet, this diamond can also be found there, even if you do not have a hard copy.  I'm talking about The Holy Bible, God's Word.  So, regardless of the amount of and/or value of inspirational stimulation you may find on this website or any other, I point you to The Bible, the inexhaustible source of truth and wisdom.

This first installment of FACETS is a preface statement. There will not always be an obvious connection to Gospel Music.  But we will draw from the same reservoir from which the song writers, the singers and musicians get their inspiration.  It is an amazing recipe, that truth as described above, combined with the human experience, yields the most phenomenal stories.  We hope to give you food for thought with FACETS.