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Birmingham News Articles About Sacred Harp Convention

Sacred Harp syllables take shape at National Convention in Birmingham, Ala.

Fortissimo is the preferred volume level — the only one, in fact. Singers in four voice categories sit in a “hollow square” — altos facing tenors, basses facing trebles — with the leader in the center.

Sacred Harp singers meet in north Shelby County
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Sacred Harp singing going strong with younger, non-Southern devotees

“When (director) Anthony Minghella came to do ‘Cold Mountain,’ one of the things he ran across was Sacred Harp,” says Buell Cobb, the Birmingham author whose research is documented in his book, “Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music.” “He said that when he heard it, he knew he had a film.”

Some of the singers that will gather next weekend for the 29th National Sacred Harp Convention were in the movie. Most of the 500 or so expected at First Christian Church in North Shelby County are part of a changing demographic that includes more young people and more from outside the South.

“When I first got started in Sacred Harp, many of us had serious doubts about its ability to survive into the new century,” Cobb reflected. “Then a curious thing began to happen on its way out. It began to be discovered and popularized in folk festivals and college music departments. It’s almost like two orbs that were about to pass each other collided and spawned a whole new wave.”

See also Sacred Harp Singing – Losing Its Heart

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Who’s To Blame?

2 girls put on wrong Continental Express flights

Continental Airlines said it has taken steps to ensure that proper procedures are followed after two unaccompanied girls were placed on wrong Continental Express flights over the weekend.

An 8-year-old College Station girl erroneously ended up in Fayetteville, Ark., and a 10-year-old Massachusetts girl was mistakenly sent to Newark, N.J., after boarding planes operated by ExpressJet, which is under contract with Continental.

Houston-based Continental said in a statement Tuesday that the mix-up was a “miscommunication among staff.”

“I have never seen so much incompetence in all my life,” Wendy Babineaux told the Houston Chronicle. Her daughter was headed to Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday to see her father. She was sent to Fayetteville, back to Houston and then to Charlotte. …

Who is at fault here?

Is Continental really at fault?

Nope. The parents are at fault!

Parents should not expect a company such as Continental to babysit and supervise children as young as 5 years old (Airline Rules).

It is just shocking to me that a parent would let someone as young as five years old fly by themselves, much less think about the poor five year old.

I don’t even let my five year old go to public bathrooms by themselves much less fly across country – checked like a piece of baggage.

Why do we insist on hired hands taking care of our sheep when we as parents are to shepherd our sheep?

John 10:11-15
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep
.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
ESV

Add to that the parents shouldn’t be divorced to begin with!

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Swine Flu Vaccinations and our Children

Are you going to be given a choice about vaccinating your child for Swine Flu?

AP INTERVIEW: Kids may get swine flu shots first

Schoolchildren could be first in line for swine flu vaccine this fall — and schools are being put on notice that they might even be turned into shot clinics.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she is urging school superintendents around the country to spend the summer preparing for that possibility, if the government goes ahead with mass vaccinations.

“If you think about vaccinating kids, schools are the logical place,” Sebelius told The Associated Press.

Contrarily to all the media hype sometimes the vaccinations are worse and more damaging than the disease.

Just so you know, I do not have an axe to grind and refuse all vaccinations. My college and work background were in the medical fields (albeit animal). I had a special interest in parasitology and microbiology (even took extra human medicine classes on them).

Our children have received most of their vaccinations but not all of them, most specifically the Varicella (chickenpox). Our decisions are made on the risk of injecting a foreign substance verses the actual disease itself.

I’m also knowledgeable with the testing of vaccinations and medicines. Animal trials for medicine safety and side effects are cut very short and are essentially useless, now. No medicine stays in research long enough to determine potential side effects especially long term effects.

What happened during the last flu crisis when people were encouraged to get vaccinated due to the threat of an epidemic?

1976: Fear of a great plague

On the cold afternoon of February 5, 1976, an Army recruit told his drill instructor at Fort Dix that he felt tired and weak but not sick enough to see military medics or skip a big training hike.

Within 24 hours, 19-year-old Pvt. David Lewis of Ashley Falls, Mass., was dead, killed by an influenza not seen since the plague of 1918-19, which took 500,000 American lives and 20 million worldwide.

Two weeks after the recruit’s death, health officials disclosed to America that something called “swine flu” had killed Lewis and hospitalized four of his fellow soldiers at the Army base in Burlington County….

1976 swine flu outbreak

Alarmed public-health officials decided that action must be taken to head off another major pandemic, and they urged President Gerald Ford that every person in the U.S. be vaccinated for the disease. The vaccination program was plagued by delays and public relations problems, but about 24% of the population had been vaccinated by the time the program was canceled. Only one person, the Fort Dix army recruit, died from the flu.

There were reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralyzing neuromuscular disorder, affecting some people who had received swine flu immunizations. …

Overall, about 500 cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), resulting in death from severe pulmonary complications for 25 people, were probably caused by an immunopathological reaction to the 1976 vaccine.

So be sure to make an educated decision before letting your children become human guinea pigs in the Swine Flu Vaccinations planned for public school children.

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Whose Flag Are You Flying?

Lately piracy in the seas around Somalia has been in the news. Just this past weekend the Captain of the Maersk Alabama was rescued from pirates after being held captive for five days. The US military ships surrounded the lifeboat containing the four pirates and the American ship captain. After a standoff, the Navy Seals shot and killed the pirates and rescued the American when the captain was deemed to be at risk of being shot.

Today the news has included several more reports of hijacking and piracy attempts. A pirate has stated that they are actually searching for American ships with the plans to hijack and kill all the Americans. They are specifically looking for the American Flag flying over a ship. This is in retaliation for the Navy killing the pirates in the rescue.

When a ship out at sea is found to be flying an American Flag that means something. What does it mean? It means that the ship is backed by the US government. All terrorism and attacks against the ship run the very high risk of retaliation by the US government.

My studies in military history have shown there is much in a name. While a small country could be at the mercy of pirates, larger countries are not helpless. Countries such as the US can escort ships and they can retaliate in the case of an attack. Also the US has political sway over other countries, granted not as much as before, but we still do. Small countries are dependent on their political allies. This is much of the reason for the First Gulf War – protecting Kuwait from Iraq. There are Fillipinos who have been held captive by pirates since November and there is little their country can and will do about the situation.

So how does this apply here in our Christian Life?

Whose flag are you under? Are you under the flag of the Lord?

In the Bible, the phrase Yehovah Nicciy means Jehovah my banner. Nec (root word) might be translated as banner, flag or standard while the word Degel is also translated flag, banner or standard.

Exodus 17:15-16
15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:
16 For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
KJV

Exodus 17:15-16
15 And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord is my banner,
16 saying, “A hand upon the throne of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
ESV

Psalms 60:4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah ESV

Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. ESV

Isaiah 13:2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. KJV

We as those who Christ as ransomed have been sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13-14
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
ESV

We are flying the Lord’s Banner or Flag with the Holy Spirit as our guarantor.

When others decide to “mess with us” then they run the risk of facing the full wrath and fury of the Lord. We are backed by the Lord and all His resources.

However, just like today with the shipping situation, those under the Lord’s banner also risk being singled out by Satan for attacks. Satan hates the Lord and by association us. Satan will do all in his power to attack those flying the Lord’s banner.

As a matter of fact, the Lord has warned us that this will happen.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. ESV

Just as the US has warned American ships to be extra vigilant during the recent pirate crises; the Lord has warned us that Satan is sneaking around looking for those who are caught off guard.

But we shouldn’t live in fear because the Lord is on our side.

Psalms 118:4-8
4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7 The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
ESV

Having the Lord as our protection and shield is better than having all the military might of the whole world behind us.

Psalms 18:2-3
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
ESV


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Now This Is a Football Game!

I dislike football tremendously. Alabama can think of nothing else but football during football season. Since we don’t watch football and often don’t watch the news, guess where we hear the most information on who won and who lost? From the pulpit!

But this is a game I would have loved to have attended! I wish more games would be done like this.

There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning. by Rick Reilly

They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team’s fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, “Go Tornadoes!” Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

“I WOULDN’T EXPECT ANOTHER PARENT TO TELL SOMEBODY TO HIT THEIR KIDS. BUT THEY WANTED US TO!”

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

HT: Strengthened by Grace

Sure sounds more Christ-like than this:

Girls Basketball Coach Fired After 100-0 Win

On its Web site last week, Covenant, a private Christian school, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 shutout win over Dallas Academy. “It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition,” said the statement, signed by Queal and board chair Todd Doshier.

Grimes, who has been criticized for letting the game get so far out of hand, made it clear in the e-mail Sunday to the newspaper that he does not agree with his school’s assessment.

“In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School Web site, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed,” Grimes wrote in the e-mail, according to the newspaper. “We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”


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Vermont Least Interested In Religion

Just because 85% of those in Mississippi say they are interested in religion means nothing other than they were raised with religion being a part of their lives. That doesn’t mean that religion or their faith means anything more than the football they watch on the weekend.

But just as an interesting tidbit, my son checked Google Analytics just a few weeks ago on the Berean Wife website and found that it has been visited by several from most countries and every state in the US, except Vermont! He had said that Vermont obviously was lacking in Christians.

Maybe Vermont should become the next frontier of missions.

My home state of Alabama was ranked second with 82% saying that religion was an important part of their daily life. What that really means is that most of Alabamians think they are Christians because they’ve “been there, done that” in regards to walking an aisle in a church or else being raised in a church environment. Most are only cultural Christians.

Mississippi most religious, Vermont least, survey says

Want to be almost certain you’ll have religious neighbors? Move to Mississippi. Prefer to be in the least religious state? Venture to Vermont.

A new Gallup Poll, based on more than 350,000 interviews, finds that the Magnolia State is the one where the most people — 85% — say yes when asked “Is religion an important part of your daily life?”

Less than half of Vermonters, meanwhile — 42% — answered that same question in the affirmative.

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The Gospel Can Be Found Even In Tragedy

A very sad series of events have forever joined to families in grief. Please pray for Pastor Bart Barber and the Scroggs families. They have a funeral today. But the post link that follows written by Pastor Bart Barber is his recognition of the gospel being present in even very tragic times.

Thoughts from a Man Who Can’t Stop Thinking

…There you go. That’s the way I see it. God’s masterpieces tempted to do very dangerous and foolhardy things and meeting up with terrible consequences that too often destroy them and hurt everyone at ground zero. This is the story even of good people.

Are we doomed just to suffer with this condition? Knowing the Lord, I recognize the gospel in there. This story is exactly what the Bible says about us. It further says that God did an intervention. Jesus took the worst of our consequences upon Himself. He saves us and then sends us out to warn people away from the danger while we’re walking with them. When they don’t listen, even when we’ve done everything that we can, it hurts something awful. I don’t even want to imagine what it feels like when we didn’t do anything to stop it. …


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