Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday, July 25

"Write Your Blessed Name" ASYC Alumni Song from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Counselors version of "You Pulled Me Through" from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

It was a great ASYC tour year. I hope you will remain secure in your faith in knowing how much God loves you. - Michael

Greystone Baptist Concert, July 25 a.m. from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6. I know that at the beginning of the week, I wasn't feeling my best for ASYC. I knew that for the past year, since I missed ASYC, my life fell apart. However, coming to a concert last year helped me remember that God is always there for me, no matter what happens in my life. This week, ASYC has brought happiness, sorrow, sympathy, anxiety, and strength and comfort. For years, I have been struggling with radioactivity in my system and also dealing with the loss of family and close friends, but even in the midst of the storm, God is there.
I felt so lost and confused through so many situations as I worry about the future, but last night, as I was speaking with Parker Young, God told me not to worry about my FUTURE but be SECURE in the present. That's what that scripture (Proverbs 3:5-6) is all about. I love God so much, and at times, I have doubted God before, but after letting me go through circumstances, all He wants is for me to cling to Him! I am secure in His arms, and I pray that even as I go to college next month, I will remember that God is my rock and my refuge. In Him, I WILL find security, peace, strength, and comfort. This family, even if only for a week, has awaken my sleeping potential for spreading Christ's word, and I hope and pray that everyone this week did gain something life-changing as I have. "No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that Rock I'm clinging. Since Love (Christ Jesus) is Lord of Heaven and Earth, How can I keep from singing?" Be Blessed and remember GIGAT (God Is Good All the Time!).

I have spent 4 weeks of my life with this choir and I can honestly say they have been some of the absolute best. Every year has meant something to me in a different way. I love every single one of these people whether I have met them or not. ASYC has a special place in my heart and it's sad that I wont be back. I plan on being at A LOT of concerts over the next years. If you are reading this and you have the opportunity to be in ASYC, please audition. Be a part of this awesome ministry. If you have the chance to be a 4 year, be one! My 4 years were great and I can't wait to hear the choir next year. I'm going to miss this so much. :(

I feel so blessed to have been a part of this youth choir for the past three years. The impact that this group and my experiences here have had on my life is tremendous. I have met some of the most wonderful people in the world through this group. I struggled throughout high school to find a close group of friends, but every summer when I come to All State I know this is where I belong. No one is judgmental of me and I am completely confident in who I am. This week was special for me because I realized that I have worries and feelings about certain things that have happened in my life that I need to take care of. Before coming to All State this year, I just pushed back my emotions and it was tearing me down. I realized this during our visit to the Mental Hospital. This past November, a family in my
church was lost because their father suffered from a mental illness. When we were at the Mental Hospital I realized that I had not dealt with my feelings about what had happened. I am now willing to talk about what happened and to share my feelings about it with others. I also felt God telling me to major in Psychology, which is what I have always wanted to do. With this major I will be able to help people who suffer from mental illnesses and to hopefully keep someone from losing loved ones in the same tragic way that I did. All State has been such a blessing to me and I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of it.

Last night was our final family group time for all of the members in All State Youth Choir; aka cry night. I honestly did cry. I cried because i did not want to leave such a loving family and that how much we could minister to people. I think about it now and i realize that i can still communicate with this family, and minister to people that i have here. But most importantly i cried because my life is changed forever. This week has showed me that God is with you no matter what, and the people that love Christ will never leave you either. They'll check up on you to see if you are doing ok, if you have any troubles or doubts. They are always there for you. This is the final day of All State Youth Choir. It is hard to face to think about because i don't want to leave this family that i've joined. You can really feel the presence of God and the love for each other all around. Anyone that thought about doing this and reading this, i'm begging you to join next year. You will really enjoy being in a such a caring, loving setting that is for the Lord.

As a four year member and someone who has not blogged yet this week, I look back and reminisce on all of the laughs, cries, and times spent as a member of All-State Youth Choir. I can honestly say that nothing in my life has been equal to All-State, and I don't believe any other experience can match the joy, friendship, love, and openness that are associated with ASYC. Last night was the final sharing time (aka cry night); but unlike past years when all I can do is sob and reach for the tissues/rolls of toilet paper, last night I laughed more than I cried. I was curious as to why this was, and in my contemplation, I realized that this year's songs and themes have touched my heart in different ways than the music from 2007's Light Your World, 2008's Never Give Up, and 2009's Pass the Peace. The music and theme chosen for this year have given me the confidence that God is with me always and that I can go off to college and be secure and sure of my faith; and this realization brings me such joy. The music of this year is powerful and joyful: It puts a smile on my face and brings me happiness. I'm pretty sure tonight will be a tearful time, for it will be my last time singing as a member of ASYC; but I know that the friendships and connections I've gained from being a four year member will last me a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing the friendships I've made with the other All-Staters going to Appalachian. If you are reading this and still have time to be a part of All-State, try out and join without any hesitation, for ASYC is AWESOME!!! And All-State has taught me that I honestly don't know how I can keep from singing. :) I love you and will miss you guys!

It's honestly hard to think it's over already. I admit I came to it not knowing quite what to expect, very quiet and self-conscious; but almost instantly I was welcomed warmly and brought into this close-knit family. All of it was fun: the people, the songs, even the bus rides (though sometimes they did edge toward tediousness). My only regret is that, as a senior, I won't be able to come back next year, as much as I'd want to. It's a sad thought... I encourage those who have considered trying out, considered joining the choir: do it. Try it. It's exhausting, and sometimes it's frustrating, but... all in all, it's well worth all the trouble. Since Love is Lord of heaven and Earth, how can I keep from singing?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday, July 24

It's hard to believe that the tour is almost over. Today we went and had some fun at Wrightsville beach, sang at the gazebo and then enjoyed the ocean some more. Afterwards we went to Winter Park Baptist Church to get ready for our concert. The people there were awesome and very helpful just as every church we had be to. We gave our best at the concert and it seemed to mean a lot to the congregation. Tonight we have our final sharing time together.

Winter Park Baptist Concert, July 24 from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

There will the opportunity to purchase a DVD of either Saturday, July 24 or July 25 performance for $5 each. Orders can be made at the final concert in Winston-Salem. Michael Bentley will be making the video. Shipment of orders should be expected in 2-3 weeks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday, July 23 Journal Entries

Today, we sang outside at Southpoint Mall in Durham, then shopped some and had lunch there. In the afternoon we sang for the residents at Central Regional Hospital in Butner. Tonight we are singing at Oxford Baptist Church. There will be some videos posted throughout this blog page. Below you'll see numerous blogs from the students.

Because I haven't blogged at all I have a lot to talk about. I came into this week knowing that it would be a blessing, but didn't realize just how much of a blessing it would truly be. I arrived being the very last person to check in and felt like I would be an outcast and kind of separated. I should have known that with this
amazing group of peoplethat it would not be that way. The first days were pretty tough with LOTS of singing and rehearsing but was so much fun! We had our first concert and I was very nervous! It was a blast though. I was informed that Wednesday we would be helping the homeless with hands on stuff and I was pretty nervous and scared with what was to come. Needless to say, the experience was amazing and it felt so good to help people out and not get anything in return but just know that you have impacted someone else's life and that you let the light of Jesus shine through you so that they could see Him in you. Today we went to the mall and had a little free time and that was fun, but it was also fun just singing for the people there. I may never know if we left a mark on a person there that listened but I hope that we did or at least planted a seed in someone's life. After that we went on to Central Regional Hospital which I found out soon enough was a mental hospital and I got very nervous. But that was probably one of the greatest experiences being able to sing to them. There was a little old lady sitting in a wheel chair that just cried and cried and I wanted to just give her a hug but we weren't allowed. It felt great to know we touched her heart and I think the greatest thing was that I was thinking and realized that even though they were in a mental hospital God can still pull you through. No matter how great the heartache pain and sorrow, God is always
there with you carrying you when you are down. But I thank God for being able to know that he will ALWAYS pull me through!
- Devon

This week has gone by so fast- I can’t believe it’s already Thursday night! But God never ceases to amaze me by revealing new truths to me through the music we sing every night. The theme of being secure in God is really starting to sink in for my life as I’m getting ready to head off to college. My senior year has seen its share of ups and downs, but I feel as though it has helped me to really grow deeper in my relationship with God and understand that I can always feel secure in the Rock that is my God 

Southpoint Mall Concert on Friday, July 23 from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Hi there everyone this is Steven. I am a first year singer in this group. If you have seen clips of the talent show online then you would know me as the guitar player in the bro-sis combo who played Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. This week has been an amazing experience for me. I have seen many people touched by our voices throughout this week during all of our concerts. I can honestly say that this is pretty much the best week of my life. I have made so many friends and everyone is accepting of who you really are so that makes this group feel like a family to me. For all this I thank the Lord. For the Lord is my Savior and Creator.

Today, we gave a concert at the Streets of Southpoint Mall. Singing at a mall is always risky because there is no telling who will show up or walk by to listen. After lunch, a group of about six of us were walking back to the bus. We decided to start singing Jenga as we walked through the mall. As we passed by stores, people peeked out their heads to listen. The further we got through the mall, more All-Staters joined in the the group. The computer died, I'll journal more tomorrow.

On Thursday, the choir went to my hometown church in Lumberton at FBC. I was excited the whole day and I could not wait to get there. The dinner was amazing that was made by my music minister and everyone loved the decorations. I expected only a few people to be at the concert, but when we walked out it was so uplifting to see so many people. All the “great jobs” that I heard to all the choir members made me happy knowing that they truly loved our performance. I’m ready for the rest of this week and I want to say THANK YOU for all the L’ton people who attended the concert!
Love –Kelsey

When I first heard the song “In the Sweet By and By”, I thought it was a pretty song, but that was it. I didn’t really think about the words as I was singing it, until Thursday night, when we were singing at Lumberton. I was very comforted by the song’s lyrics “We shall meet on that beautiful shore”. It made me think of my Grandpa, who died last fall. I had been grieving for a while, but that night, I was able to think of being reunited with my Grandpa when we all get to heaven. I would like to praise God for the comfort that he gives, and for how he knows each of our hearts.
Love, Kaitlyne

Oxford Baptist Church Concert, July 23 from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

After a short, hot concert outside the Southpoint Mall, we finished singing and felt somewhat unaccomplished at the small size of our audience. While walking back to the parking lot, an elderly woman came up to me and the group I was walking with asking if we were a Christian singing group. As we replied and explained where we were headed to next, she was amazed at all that we were planning to do. She expressed how grateful she was, that this “young generation’ was doing so much. Its awesome to know that not only our singing, but our presence alone, all with matching shirts, can make a difference.
Love, Georgia
When I first came to All State I was enthused and ecstatic about the challenges to come. But the fact that all my friends from home were out having a blast at Camp Caswell without me my senior year didn’t make me happy. II totally lost that train of thought when we were helping out at the Baptist Men’s camp. Working out in the heat and some passing out, I was reminded constantly of how fortunate I am to have a family and friends to support me with anything I do. Having All State is an amazing way to be myself and reach out to others! I love it
Love, Joanna

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 22

Today, we spent our daytime hours doing hands on ministry at the Red Springs Baptist Men's Center. We divided up into several teams. One team stained a couple of buildings, one team painted a porch, one team unloaded generators and chain saws off a truck, one team mowed the property and another team went off-site to clean up a ladies yard so that it could be mowed. After this grueling day in the 110 heat index temperatures, the choir was fed lunch at the Baptist Men's Center and took showers there.

Afterwards, they traveled to FBC, Lumberton to prepare for the evening concert. They were treated to a delicious New Orleans style meal by the host minister of music, Rev. Tim Little and helpers. Our meal on Wednesday prepared by Sharon Thompson and helpers had a Mexican theme. These meals really energized the students to perform well after two days of being outside and being involved in hands on ministry. We appreciate the churches hosting this choir and are blessed by their hospitality. Looking forward to another fun day tomorrow going to sing in Durham and Oxford. Check out all the pictures in our photo gallery for today.

Thursday, July 22 Concert Video from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday, July 21 Journal Entries

Hello! This is my first year in the ASYC as well as my first time "blogging." When I first came to Campbell for the first day of this tour, my first impression was amazement. This amazement came from hearing the blessing, the doxology. But it has so many different harmonies. It is something that is hard to explain. The people here are so friendly and welcoming. The moment I came, I felt a part of the family. So far this week has been full of learning the music, (go alto 2s!), making friends, and trying to keep hydrated. One of the most inspiring parts of the trip so far has been at the feet washing. There was this one man who was getting his feet washed at my station who was just so thankful that we were doing this and that he got a pair of free shoes. Just seeing how thankful people were made it all worth while. Showing them that we all love them in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. While all of this has impacted me so much, I must confess, one of my favorite things to do so far has been getting to know my suite mates. They are two of the sweetest girls I have met and I am glad that we are able to meet. I love everyone at home, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready to go back. Luckily, its just Wednesday. I'm sure the rest of this week will be full of some many more good memories and full of the spirit of Chirst.
That's it for now!
Love, Claudia

Okay Hi Ya!! I am here with 7 members of my church, GO FBC SHELBY! haha anyway ASYC is a blast. This is my first year here and its only Wednesday. I have been having such an amazing time! The fellowship and just the love that everyone here is sharing and showing is just amazing. Today we had the opportunity to work with the homeless and the less fortunate. We were able to wash their feet for them and provide them with new shoes. The love that was shown today was so breathtaking and touching... just so hard for me personally to describe. And then, of course, I can't forget to mention how wonderful our singing is! During every performance the power of the Lord is truly there. I love ASYC, highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try out next time! ASYC will truly change your life. :) PRAISE GOD!!!

Raleigh Rescue Mission from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Hello everyone! I'm from First Baptist Church of Shelby, NC. This is my second year at ASYC, and I can say that this year has truly been a blessing. I was thrilled to be able to return to ASYC this year and see everyone again. Tonight we had a concert in Raleigh and it went very well. Stephen Aber played played piano during the offering tonight and it was the most amazing thing that I have ever heard played on piano (and for those of you who heard last year's, you know that is incredible). Prior to the concert we were washing the feet of the homeless and giving them new shoes and socks. We also took a tour of the Raleigh Rescue Mission. We were told by many that those who washed the feet blessed those whose feet were washed. The love that was shared today was tangible, and it was truly fantastic to watch the interaction between us as high school students and those with whom we came in contact.

Hi: ) I am from Fayetteville, Nc, Snyder Memorial Baptist Church. I am what I guess you could call a "newbie"...but I'm ok with that because All-State is truly one of the most awesome things to be a part of. Some may think it would be odd to spend a week of your summer singing when you could be doing anything else. But to me, it is such a blessing. Every single youth in this choir has such a heart for singing and through that we are able to praise the Lord with joyous noise in each concert we sing. Today we got the opportunity to serve the homeless by washing their feet, just as Christ washed the disciples' feet. We also provided them with socks, shoes, and survival kits which they were greatly appreciative of. Being able to serve the homeless and treat them just as Christ would treat any of us was truly humbling. Our director Clif has been so awesome, supportive, and patient through long rehearsals and while preparing for concerts. I am so excited to be able to sing
under his direction this week. Tonight our concert in Raleigh at Forest Hills was in my opinion, aweeesome. You could really tell that everyone listening was really connecting with each song and really experienced Christ's presence. Shout out to our accompanist, Stephen who played THE most beautiful, awesome piano piece tonight...truly awesome. Today was such a great reminder of God's overflowing abundant love. I am so blessed to be a part of something so wonderful and touching. To God be the Glory!
- Lindsay

Stephen Aber, piano solo from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Hello! I'm from Winter Park Baptist and this is my first year at ASYC, and so far it's been really fun. I enjoy the music.

Finishing out the last first concert I will sing with All-State is bittersweet.
While I certainly don't have the attachment that four year members do, the end of all-state means the beginning of a new season in life. As we ministered to the homeless today I was struck with their faces. Names still play in my head as I remember the stories they told, songs they sang for us and the gratitude for even the simplest things. I was awestruck as several people ministered to ME.
They made a point to present the gospel to me and to ask me if i came in the name of Christ. What a privilege to be able to work with such wonderful people!
As Phil said earlier in the week: you get out of all-state what you put into it.
"With all of my heart and soul I sing to the Lord most high, with all of my mind and strength I lift up His name". Please intercede on our behalf for the lives we touch this week. That we would have rest and health to give God all the glory.

This is my first year with All-State and I love it. My favorite experience so far was working with the homeless shelter in Raleigh. We gave out shoes, candy bars, and survival kits to the homeless people. It was a very humbling experience. I also like singing in concerts and seeing the peoples faces out in the audience as we sing.
It is a lot of practice but definitely worth it.

So today at Moore park in Raleigh, we met an adorable little girl named Autumn. She had a vibrant sparkle in her eye. I, Tyler, went up and talked to her, told her how beautiful she was, and gave her the attention that she had probably been lacking for a long time. I, Carter, went over and asked her about the multiple bracelets she had on her arms. They were in the shape of spaceships and planets. Her favorite bracelet was in the shape of a moon. The subject of dancing came up and before we knew it Tyler, Gail and Autumn were twirling through the park and Autumn went flying through the air like a little angel. After the dancing episode, I (Tyler) told Autumn that Carter is super fast and she said she is obviously faster. Then she started chasing me (Carter). So she proved it by running in circles around me in a super intense game of tag. Eventually, I let her win, and it most definitely made her day. Because we were using the eyes of God, we could see her need for love and attention. What seems like just another ten minutes of our lives, hopefully showed her that someone cares and that God loves her.
-Carter and Tyler (Duet Buddies)

Today, after two days of what seemed like endless rehearsal, the All-State Youth Choir boarded the buses and headed to the Raleigh Rescue Mission. It was there we were met with a unique mission and experience. Remember when in the Bible, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet? Well, today, that is what we did. We set up in Moore Square, right around the corner from the Raleigh Rescue Mission, and allowed homeless people to come, have their feet washed, and walk away with new socks and pair of shoes. A man named Mike came to me and my teammates’ station. He told us he had just moved to Raleigh three weeks ago from Virginia. However, on the third day he spent in Raleigh, he was robbed. Mike was so grateful for the shoes and socks we gave him and walked away with a smile. I am sure he and all the others we helped saw the light of Christ today.

Today we were given the opportunity to work with the Raleigh Rescue Mission and serve the less fortunate. We served about 50 homeless men and women by washing their feet and giving them shoes, socks, and survival kits. Just as Jesus had done, we were able show God’s love through a simple act of kindness that showed he cared. Talking with and singing for these people was an amazing experience that opened my eyes to what can be done in my own neighborhood and how God has gifted all of us with talents to do so.

Working with those less fortunate than me, who still held a faith as solid as any Christian, was such an humbling experience. I learned so much today from a man I talked with beneath a large tree where he sat with most of his belongings. While our conversation started with topics of country music and revolutionary war battles, he soon began sharing his trust in God. Knowing that he had made many past mistakes, didn’t keep him from believing that God was still watching over him. With nothing but a few personal belongings and his faith, he planned on starting a new life, going back to school, and becoming a minister. “No storm can shake my inmost calm, when to that rock I’m clinging.”

Wednesday Night Concert at Forest Hills Baptist from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

I believe that so far this week, I learned that there is light in the smallest, the darkest, and the most unknown areas to us. When you tread in the unwanted and thought to be dark areas, you find the brightest beacons for Christ of all. I met a homeless man by the man of Anthony that told me, “Being what the world wants you to be isn’t worth it, because when you become what the world wants you to be, it doesn’t want you anymore.” The fact is that Jesus still wants you no matter what. The song “You Pulled Me Through” says, “I was in the shadows. Lost, nothing left to lose. But You, You pulled me through.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, July 20

Singing for the Cafeteria Staff at Campbell from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

The choir began with rehearsals this morning, then sang for the cafeteria staff at lunchtime. In the afternoon we rehearsed in the beautiful Butler Chapel and then presented a concert at 7 p.m. followed by an Ice Cream Social. That was a big hit with everyone. Below is a video montage of most of the soloists in the concert.

Tuesday Night Concert at Butler Chapel from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday, July 19

This is our long day of rehearsals as we prepare for our first concert on Tuesday night. We divided into sectionals to work on notes for the ladies and men's pieces. This afternoon we will have solo and talent show auditions. Tonight is the talent show. There will be a video later tonight of the talent show and today's rehearsals.

Monday's Rehearsal Video from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.

Talent Show Was Outstanding! from NC Baptist All-State Youth Choir on Vimeo.