TLC IN MUSICAL FORM
When the Tennessee Ladies Chorus was formed in 2000, the decision to name the group was partially reached due to the acronym, “T.L.C.” which, of course, is well known to also represent “tender loving care.”
The Tennessee Ladies Chorus just returned from a four-day trip to Iowa where they ministered through music to our brothers and sisters in Iowa Baptist churches, and proclaimed the Gospel through music and other forms of ministry. The women, like the men, found opportunities for impromptu singing in eating establishments, and in the case of the ladies, even in a fashion store at a mall. In each instance, these musical offerings in unusual places turned heads, prompted applause, and best of all, prompted conversations about faith in Jesus. It is good to be “on mission.”
The music of our Tennessee Ladies Chorus has from its inception been sensitive and richly musical. In this director’s opinion the sound and musicality has matured over these twelve years, but the maturity runs much deeper than a musical difficulty or acoustical challenge. Everytime I hear them sing I am touched by the beauty and moved by the application of ministry to the moment as the Spirit takes control. The beauty is enlivened by a servant spirit that permeates the group’s members. A bond of unity among these singing sisters is immensely inspiring. It is amazing to see women who come together from all corners of the state of Tennessee spend only a few moments together before they are sharing life stories and prayer needs with one another. Their concern is not limited to the group itself either. For example, by our first ministry stop, members of the group had talked with Carol, the Charter bus driver, enough to know her background and spiritual condition. A relationship between Carol and group began to form from that moment and continued to flower right up through the goodbyes and cheers that emanated from the group before Carol had to leave to return home with the bus. Her own last words to the group included promises for prayer and a repetition that they had “brought God into my heart again.” Thanks be to God for the work of the Holy Spirit through His people and their music.
During the meetings of Iowa Baptists where certain tensions seemed inevitable, the Lord spoke peace through music selections of the TLC, each of which seemed to speak directly to burdens and challenges at hand. The Lord spoke emphatically to musicians in each gathering through the four days. For example, at the convention a 17-year-old pianist along with his 19-year-old brother were deeply moved to remain diligent in their preparation for music ministry. A church soloist determined to collect other women in her community to form an ensemble for ministry. A music minister’s wife working on her Phd in vocal performance was “moved to tears in a way I have not been in recent memory,” as she indicated intentions to be more proactive in soliciting students from the church to teach them singing.
A time of reflection among this sisterhood of song stirred sharing at a level of transparency that every pastor would desire for his people. As with church choirs, worship bands and other church musicians, the process of music-making together touches the deepest recesses of the heart of the artist(s). The very best beauty through music as other forms of art is simply a reflection of Christ living in us. Observing and participating at some level in these seasons of soul-stirring through music is a joy beyond measure. They are gifts from God. Lord, let there be more times such as these, at home and away as we seek to serve You, pouring out our lives in worship.
Please remember these in prayer who we met on our trip and discovered needs:
Reagan, Rebekah, Adam, Scott, Kathy, Sally, Kat, Samantha, Dawn, Mike, Penny, Doris, Roselle, Donna, Rhonda, Josiah, Moniche,
Pastors Roger, Eric, Dan, Dan, and Deacon Jared, Darren, Jake, Sean,
State Convention: Sandy, Tom, Roger, John