Friday, July 24, 2009

Sforzando String Camp 2009 - Concert Schedule

Please join us for the following concerts. They'll be wonderful, are free, and everybody is welcome, indeed invited to attend!

Faculty Recital ~ July 27 ~ 6:00 P.M.
Come listen to our wonderful faculty perform. Featuring both classical and sacred works, this recital will include pieces on violin, viola, cello, and more! Join us for dinner at 5:00 P.M. and get to know the instructors!

Church Service ~ July 29 ~ 7:15 P.M.
Come hear the stirring sounds of sacred works lifted in praise to our Lord. This service will close with a piece featuring all of the string camp students at once!

Morning Recital ~ July 31 ~ 10:45 A.M.
This morning program will feature the advanced chamber groups and Pre-Twinkle students. Don't miss this opportunity to hear this unique variety of levels and pieces!

Final Concert ~ July 31 ~ 7:00 P.M.
A perfect way to close the week of camp, this dynamic concert will feature all three of the camp orchestras playing a variety of pieces that you will not want to miss!

Marquette Manor Baptist Church
333 75th St.
Downers Grove
(630) 964-5363

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thoughts on our Nation

Praise the Lord that, as Isaiah 59:1 says, "Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear..."! He is more than able to help and bless us - as individuals and as a nation! However, it continues on to say, "...But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear". God is not the problem, folks, it's us.

Could it be that, not just as a nation, but individually and personally we have ignored and rejected His truth?

Jeremiah 22:21 ~ "I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice."
Isaiah 30:9 ~ "That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD".
Proverbs 30:11-14 ~ "There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men."
Could it be that some of these terrible descriptions characterize some of us? I'm sad to say that we do fit into one or another of these categories from time to time. Some of us might be guilty more often then others perhaps, but all guilty nonetheless. Maybe we think nobody knows about our sin, but our Holy God knows, and He cannot bless us when we are harboring sin in our lives - whether or not the people around us know it.
Psalm 66:18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me". Praise the Lord, however, that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we but confess our sins. (I John 1:9)
Our God is a wonderful and merciful God, and His word is full of promises, all of which He faithfully keeps! We must recognize though, when we look at them, that many of them are conditional. When God puts a condition on them, we must do our part if we want to have to blessing of the fulfilled promise.
Zechariah 1:3-4 ~ "...Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD."
James 4:8 ~ "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you...."
II Chronicles 7:14 ~ "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
May this be a description of us, and of our children: that we have clean hands, and a pure heart; that we have not lifted up our soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. May we be able to receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of our salvation. Might we be described as a generation that seeks God, and seeks His face! (taken from Psalm 24)
I want to be sure to thank our soldiers for everything they go through that we might enjoy our freedom. We can never thank them enough, but we should express what we can of our gratitude and we ought to pray for them as they continue to serve their country.
Here are a couple drawings/paintings of George Washington praying at Valley Forge.

We must remember to be praying for our country and for our leaders.
May we remember the faith of our forefathers and may we learn from their examples and from seeking God by spending time in prayer and in His Word that our faith might be increased.

Faith of our Fathers:
Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!
Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.
Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach Thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.

My Statue of Liberty:
In New York Harbor stands a lady
With a torch raised to the sky
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me

I’m so glad to be called an American

To be named with the brave and the free
I will honor our flag and our trust in God
And the Statue of Liberty

On lonely Golgotha stood a cross
With my Lord raised to the sky
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saints can testify

I’m so glad to be called a Christian
To be named with the ransomed and whole
As the Statue liberates the citizen
So the cross liberates the soul

Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty
It was there that my soul was set free
Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my Statue of Liberty

May God be merciful to our nation and not leave us up to our own destruction, but may He yet draw our nation back to Himself, and pour out His blessing on those who turn (or re-turn, as the case may be) to Him, and fill them with His Holy Spirit.