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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

MIND BLOWING BLESSING (audio of Advent message 3 of 4)

This is the 3rd of 4 messages in this year’s Advent/ Christmas preaching series.  This sermon focuses on the events between the visit of the shepherds and the visit of the wise men.  The message is called: MIND BLOWING BLESSING.


Listen well.

If you can’t get the audio on your device, visit the main podcast page at http://revandersongraves.podomatic.com/   

 --Anderson T. Graves II   is a writer, community organizer and consultant for education, ministry, and rural leadership development.

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes the popular blog: A Word to the Wise at www.andersontgraves.blogspot.com

Follow me on twitter @AndersonTGraves 

Click here to support this ministry with a donation.  Or go to andersontgraves.blogspot.com and click on the DONATE button on the right-hand sidebar. 
Visit the ministry’s website at baileytabernaclecme.org

Support by check or money order may be mailed to 
Bailey Tabernacle CME Church
P.O. Box 3145 
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403


MOSES ON THE MIC, A FREESTYLE FOR THE LORD (a lesson from Exodus 15)

Blogging Exodus 15:1-21

Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:
“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
2  The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
. . .
20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
21 And Miriam answered them:
“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”  

Yesterday was Exodus chapter 14.  Yesterday,  the most powerful military on the planet surrounded the escaped slaves whom they intended to murder and/or re-enslave.  The Hebrews and the mixed multitude of sympathizers with them were trapped between the soldiers and the lake or gulf that they called a Sea but might as well have been an ocean because the Hebrews didn’t have boats.  Yesterday, they were all about to die. 

But that was yesterday. 

This morning the Hebrews had walked across the dried bed of the Red Sea but the armies of Egypt had been drowned behind them.   

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. . . But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left (Exodus 27-29).
  
  
JOY!  had come in the morning.  When Moses looked back with wonder and how he and his people had got over from over from enslavement to emancipation, Exodus 15 says that he wanted to sing.  He wanted to shout!  He wanted to thank the Lord for all He’d done for them!

But there were no such songs for Moses to sing.

The sons and daughters of Africa snatched from their homes to serve European and American pharaohs brought their songs and rhythms with them.  In America, they adapted English and remixed the content for censoring overseers but the flavor, the soul sung on the sugar cane plantations of the Caribbean and in the cotton fields of the Confederacy were the sounds of peoples who had traded with King Solomon when their masters’ ancestors were praying to trees and stones.

But the emancipated souls on the free side of the Red Sea had no such songs.

There are no songs in Genesis.  That doesn’t mean that no one sang before this moment in history.  Genesis 4:21 relates the birth of a musical tradition, and Genesis 31:27 alludes to joyful songs for a going away party.   But there are no actual songs in Genesis, no psalms of praise survived from the patriarchs. 

Genesis 15 found souls bursting with praise and no established form for sharing it.

So Moses freestyled.

 “I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him (Exodus 15: 1-2).

There was no choir, no order of service, no approved agenda for the bulletin on the shores of the Red Sea.   Moses sang without an organ, without a hymnal, without any guide or limit on “the right kind” of worship music.  WHICH MEANS that right praise is NOT determined by a tradition.  Right praise is NOT confined to a particular portfolio of selections.  All you need for right praise is faith and a story of what God has done for you.

Moses finished his song and  Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances (Exodus 15:20).

Miriam responded the call to worship by organizing the first women's praise dance team.

When someone praises God from the heart, but their style doesn’t align with and established tradition, the correct response from the congregation is not CRITIQUE. The correct response from the congregation to faith-full, spirit-full, spirit-ual praise in an unfamiliar style is ---- WORSHIP.

Moses spit the verse and Miriam ad-libbed vamp.

And Miriam answered them:
“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”  (Exodus 15: 21)

The first song in Scripture was a freestyle, an ad-libbed hook, and an impromptu dance routine led by a prophet and a prophetess, performed by male and female with no tradition. 

Something to remember when those young folks wanna “do something different” in praise and worship.
---Anderson T. Graves II   is a writer, community organizer and consultant for education, ministry, and rural leadership development.

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes the popular blog: A Word to the Wise at www.andersontgraves.blogspot.com

Email: BaileyTabernacleChurch@comcast.net
Follow me on twitter @AndersonTGraves 

Click here to support this ministry with a donation.  Or go to andersontgraves.blogspot.com and click on the DONATE button on the right-hand sidebar. 
Visit the ministry’s website at baileytabernaclecme.org

Support by check or money order may be mailed to 
Bailey Tabernacle CME Church
1117 23rd Avenue
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401






Wednesday, December 12, 2018

EULOGY FOR SARAH MAE HARRIS



This eulogy for Ms. Sarah Mae Harris is titled: THE MOTHER ON THE SHORE.

Listen well.

If you can’t get the audio on your device, visit the main podcast page at http://revandersongraves.podomatic.com/   

 --Anderson T. Graves II   is a writer, community organizer and consultant for education, ministry, and rural leadership development.

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes the popular blog: A Word to the Wise at www.andersontgraves.blogspot.com

Follow me on twitter @AndersonTGraves 

Click here to support this ministry with a donation.  Or go to andersontgraves.blogspot.com and click on the DONATE button on the right-hand sidebar. 
Visit the ministry’s website at baileytabernaclecme.org

Support by check or money order may be mailed to 
Bailey Tabernacle CME Church
P.O. Box 3145 
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403



Tuesday, December 11, 2018

NOT WHAT YOU PLANNED BUT EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED (audio of Advent sermon 2 of 4)

The 2nd of 4 messages for Advent 2018.  This sermon is titled: NOT WHAT YOU PLANNED BUT EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED.


Listen well.

If you can’t get the audio on your device, visit the main podcast page at http://revandersongraves.podomatic.com/   

 --Anderson T. Graves II   is a writer, community organizer and consultant for education, ministry, and rural leadership development.

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes the popular blog: A Word to the Wise at www.andersontgraves.blogspot.com

Follow me on twitter @AndersonTGraves 

Click here to support this ministry with a donation.  Or go to andersontgraves.blogspot.com and click on the DONATE button on the right-hand sidebar. 
Visit the ministry’s website at baileytabernaclecme.org

Support by check or money order may be mailed to 
Bailey Tabernacle CME Church
P.O. Box 3145 
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403


Monday, December 3, 2018

MIRACLES THAT MAKE MIRACLES MAKE SENSE (audio)

The first of 4 messages for Advent 2018.  This sermon is about MIRACLES THAT MAKE MIRACLES MAKE SENSE.


Listen well.

If you can’t get the audio on your device, visit the main podcast page at http://revandersongraves.podomatic.com/   

 --Anderson T. Graves II   is a writer, community organizer and consultant for education, ministry, and rural leadership development.

Rev. Anderson T. Graves II is pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He writes the popular blog: A Word to the Wise at www.andersontgraves.blogspot.com

Follow me on twitter @AndersonTGraves 

Click here to support this ministry with a donation.  Or go to andersontgraves.blogspot.com and click on the DONATE button on the right-hand sidebar. 
Visit the ministry’s website at baileytabernaclecme.org

Support by check or money order may be mailed to 
Bailey Tabernacle CME Church
P.O. Box 3145 
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403