Monday Morning Recap (on Tuesday) for Sunday March 2, 2014

We had our Children’s Musical yesterday morning – “Coming Home.”  This was the 3rd musical that my wife has written, in as many years.

If you were able to join us on Sunday – you saw the story of Papa, his wife Lovie, and his granddaughter Allie.  We’ve been following these three through the course of all three of these musicals.  Papa has an incredible way of telling stories, and tying in Biblical parables and principles.  This musical picks up a few days before Papa’s church Homecoming service.  He’s explaining to Allie what a typical country-church homecoming service looks like – complete with worship, dinner on the grounds, and then back indoors for a singing!

We then pick up the action with a scene at church.  Papa, Lovie, and Allie sing through a few verses of Victory in Jesus.  We then hear a vocal solo of I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy, followed by a piano rendition of the Lord’s Prayer (Malotte).  As the pianist is playing the final few bars of the Lord’s Prayer – Papa’s leans his head back, and dies.

The rest of the musical deals with what Papa may have seen as he experiences Heaven for the first time, as well as the Peace that transcends all understanding invading a family completely in shock over a sudden loss.

The thing about that story… it’s completely real.  It really happened, almost 18 years ago.  Mandy and I, while we were still just dating, attended her grandfather’s homecoming service.  They had worship, then we had dinner on the grounds, and went back in for a singing.  We sang Victory in Jesus.  Her grandfather actually led the singing, and i even remember him saying “and ON THE LAST!”  Mandy then sang I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy.  After that – I played the Lord’s Prayer.  I was sitting at a keyboard, not 4 feet from the front row of pews where Mandy was sitting, along with her grandfather and grandmother.   The offering plate came.  He dropped $20 in the plate, and then passed $20 to Mandy, pressing it into her hand.  He then looked forward, and as I finished the “for Thine is the kingdom, power and glory forever” section of the piece, he put his head back, and was gone.  It was shocking, and beautiful, and tragic, and absolutely amazing.

I’m so proud of my wife, OMPC’s kids and the countless volunteers that worked so hard to bring this story to life.

With the full context of that morning – you may want to rewatch the video we showed…

// Coming Home, Main Sequence from Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

The musical included over 80 kids, and a slew of adult volunteers.  From choir leaders to sets to costumers to props; construction, painting, stage direction, dancing – it was remarkable to see so many people come together to join in presenting this amazing offering.

For those of you that don’t know, and care – my wife and I have an interesting process we go through as we put these together.  She started writing this one before the 2nd one had even been presented.  Mandy – with her incredible imagination, sees the entire musical, from set to scenery, dancers, music, script, actors, staging – all in her head, before a single note is written on a piece of paper.

She and I then sit down at our piano in the den – and she’ll sing the tunes, while I put some scratch accompaniment to it – most of the time we’re working from a melody in her head, with the lyrics that she’s written.  After we get a good scratch product together, we record it onto a voice memo on my phone.  I then bring it to the office to create charts and tracks.

Mandy starts rehearsing the choirs in August, and through the course of normal Sunday afternoon rehearsals, and many, many Saturday rehearsals with dancing groups, soloists, small ensembles, and actors, we arrive at what happened Sunday – a remarkable, beautiful reminder of the hope we have in Heaven.

Your kids NEED to be in children’s choir

Notice i didn’t say “should” or “might want to think about.”

If you’ve got kids – and they are ages K4-6th grade, they NEED to be in kids choir. Kids choir meets every Sunday night (following the LIFE group schedule) at 4:30. We have separate choirs for K4 and K5 – and the larger group (1st-6th grade) also splits up during rehearsal, but comes together for the musical.

Why do I say they NEED to be in kids choir? Music develops the brain. Unlike sports, reading, writing, TV, or really any other activity – music develops areas of the brain that aren’t used in other activities, and makes kids smarter. Studies have proven that musical training helps kids with math skills. Studies have proven that even kids with learning disabilities are not only stretched, but sometimes excel in learning musical skills.

Choirs help your children learn group dynamics, attentions skills, and working together toward a common goal. They’re not just learning how to sing, but they’re learning how to read notes, rhythms, balance, blend . . . Parents – how many of you have looked back on your childhood and thought “if only my parents had made me stick with the . . . [fill in the blank] (piano, guitar, choir, band)”

Our kids choir program associates music with Biblical principles. For example – this year, not only will your kids be challenged musically – but they’re also going to dive neck deep into the story of the prodigal son. They’re going to learn how the younger AND older brother’s struggles apply to us ALL – and point us to our need for Christ . . . Who wouldn’t want their children immersed in that story?

And finally – our kids choirs have some of THE BEST directors in the country. Our head director not only has a bachelor’s degree in music education, but also a masters degree in music education AND church music. Some of our other directors have music degrees, years of experience doing kids choirs – and some of the biggest hearts for children and children’s ministry.

Get your kids into the choir! It’s good for them. It expands their brains. They learn from each other – and they immerse themselves into solid Biblical stories.