Living a Devoted Life

Bible Reading: Ephesians 5:19-21

I highlight three things here:

  1. Our motivation in singing will help us get the point of what we are trying to share through every song we sing in our ministry. We must be alert of singing with no intention or in other word those beautiful lyrics and tones just merely come out of our mouths but not from our hearts.
  2. Having a true concept of the aim of our ministry will help us understand the purpose in praising the Lord. The Lord has taught us to sing and we must be responsible for every word or lyric of the particular song/s we sing. How we deliver or express our songs reflects our personal acknowledgment of the Lord and of our life.
  3. Music has a big impact in our lives. It’s inevitable that music could affect our spiritual life. So, we must be wise to choose the kind of music that are acceptable or suits us.

Let us have a deep contemplation on every song we sing in this ministry all for the sake of the exaltation of the glory of God. Let our lives be changed to be a truly devoted life to Him for we know that life is fragile and one single stigma could lead to another if we doesn’t live our lives according to His purpose. Hopefully, Romamti-Ezer Family Singers will remain forever in a upholding His special calling to us through this choir ministry. This way, we learn to always live a devoted life. Amin

By Evain

Fulfilling His Word

Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 16:26-36

This Bible passage is a part of David’s songs of thankfulness to God for His greatness. It’s very interesting because that’s the first time David “committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the LORD.” As we know, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun were appointed by David for the ministry in the house of the Lord, and Romamti-Ezer is one of Heman’s children.

I’d like to explain a little bit about the name of Romamti-Ezer. It means “exaltation  of the glory of God”. In the Bible, Romamti-Ezer and the rest sixteen children of Heman (together with the children of Asaph and Jeduthun) “..were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the LORD, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God.Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king.” So now, we quite understand what our real job is!!

Next..

In the past, some outsider ever argued about the name of this choir, Romamti-Ezer, because to them it refers to the real craftsmanship and that we didn’t deserve attaching such name to our ministry.🙂 Sometimes I get bored to think of their narrow sense about singing in choir just to merely win or be the champion in some certain choir competitions. It’s not-worth-it to think of.🙂 To make it clear, we could explore more to the very first time a choir was formed in the past, and why?

To be the real craftsman or artist (read: choir singers) we need to continue practice regularly. But that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is KEEP APPLYING HIS WORD!

One thing for sure, Romamti-Ezer Family Singers will stand forever to exalt God. Forever! I even think that we could be “the last choir standing”🙂 On the second coming of Jesus Christ, we will welcome Him with our songs of praise!! Trust me, it’s really happening because we can see there is a regeneration here and we are in it. But don’t be arrogant since we have no idea if there is another choir in this world who also have the same vision like us and so we are not the only one! Who knows?!?

For the new comers who just joined this ministry (and still in the probation time) as well as the ‘old’ ones, we are all a part of God’s plan through this choir. We are taking part in fulfilling His word! But through His wisdom, we can see that “..many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14). So, be determined with your commitment!

Happy are those who ‘survive’! YES we CAN!!!🙂

Back to our reading today, verse 35 & 36 say,

   “Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.”

Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the LORD.”

Certainly, our songs of praise will be forever! AMIN

By: Wilson

Set an Example

A reflection prior to the rehearsal time

Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

We should take great pleasure in being Christian youths who are chosen by the Lord to serve Him through choir ministry for the glory of His name. He chose us to be a light in the world and a blessing for other people.
Lord Jesus has given us talent in singing so we have to work on it very well, cherish it, and continue to improve it according to our ability.
But we have to keep ourselves from being arrogant. Let us keep counting on the Lord and acknowledge Him in everything we do, say, and think. Remember, all that we are and all that we have, it’s all come from the Lord. Arrogance will only take us away from Him and lead us to destruction.
As Christian youths, let us watch our way, be ourselves, and keep on with our ministry in Romamti-Ezer Family Singers.

By Iko’ (January 24th, 2012)

A Privilege of the Chosen Ones

A reflection prior to rehearsal time ( February 7th, 2012)

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-5

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will .”

My beloved friends in the Lord Jesus Christ, everybody wants to be the chosen one. In political realm, one would be so excited if s/he wins or is elected to be a governor. We might also feel the same if we could be the delegates representing our region to partake in a certain national event or competition like “Miss Indonesia” or something like that.

Being the chosen ones among so many contestants would bring us a great joy, of course! As a believer, I would like to ask whether you feel that you are among those who are chosen by God. To answer that question, let’s read this Bible passage again. Verse 4 says, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” It’s clearly stated here that before this world exists, He has chosen us in Christ Jesus. Isn’t it a privilege? At school, you might be so happy if you are chosen to be the chairman in your class. We should be even happier that we are chosen to be the children of God.

But then another question arise: Do we live a life that really reflects what the children of God suppose to live?

I think all of us have quite understood of how we suppose to live our lives. For example, when we wake up in the morning, we will surely seek God and His will before we start doing our activities; through prayers!

There are quite a few examples of being the role-models of God’s children and we need to learn to apply them in our daily life. In fact, we already know how. Therefore, I would like to encourage us all, who have been chosen by God through Christ, to keep living a life to fulfill His very purpose in each of us like having a positive-thinking, be calm and patient in coping with our struggles, be a down-to-earth person, and willing to help others.

Friends, refer to the reality of our existence in Romamti-Ezer Family Singers Choir, I remember a verse in the Bible  that says, ..many are called but few are chosen.. We should be grateful because among many of our friends who long to join in a service like this, we are numbered among the chosen ones. So far, we have experienced so many people walk in and out of this choir.

Why should we be grateful, then? The answer is because God wants to use us to testify His marvelous works on earth. We should be proud of serving Him in our young age and continue to serve Him forever more. It is said in the first verse that God “…has blessed us in the heavenly realm..” Isn’t that wonderful? Being the children of God, living a good way of life, testifying His love and power, bring us to a divine guarantee: eternal life with our Heavenly Father. Amen..

By: Novita

A Price to Pay

Scheduled Reflection prior to the rehearsal time

Psalm 42:1-5 (NIV)

My beloved sisters and brothers in the Lord, do you realize that our existence in this choir is part of our respond to God’s calling to follow and serve Him? So, have you put Him in the very first place in your life? To please His heart through our talent in singing is something that we could offer Him as long as we live.

All of us must have a desire to live with Him in heaven. But sometimes we are tempted to go with the flow of this world that makes us feel like being lazy to partake in the ministry or in rehearsals. But I strongly believe that we can be supportive to one another and bring those who seem to walk away back together with us in living this choir ministry. That’s what we are here for.

When we dare to pay the price, I believe that God shall lead us into His wonderful plans He has in store for us all.

Hereby, I would like to share my testimony about paying the price.

Some of us know that I ever quit from this choir for about a month. The reason is back to the year 2010 when Romamti-Ezer Family Singers went to Bandung to take part in a choir competition at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). Due to some reasonable reasons, I was able to get there but just not in time! I supposed to be there in time to join others performing on the stage but as a matter of fact, I couldn’t make it. They were off-stage already when I got there..

So, back in Tomohon, knowing that ‘tragic’ moment & hearing unnecessary things from some people, my parents then didn’t allow me to continue partaking in this choir. I was in a big dilemma of obeying my parents in one side and leaving the choir ministry behind in the other side. Sometimes, I had to argue with them when I got home after the rehearsal (at about 9 p.m) and found that the door was locked from the inside so I couldn’t come in.

But then my parents could see my progress at home, how I change in my attitude & behavior. Amazingly, as time goes by, God touched their hearts so they turned to support me in my ministry here. Now, they are the ones who keep reminding me of the rehearsal time and asking me to go. The bottom line is when we patiently want to pay for the price, God will surely help us, show us His way and lead us to His promise land that in the end we could testify His mercy and kindness in our life.

By: – Mercy –

Living a Christian Life

A reflection prior to the rehearsal time

Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-11

Some Biblical experts say that these verses refer to the devastation of Jerusalem and some say that they talk about the end of days. Certainly, this is a reprimand from Peter regarding all things that we should be aware of.

According to the Mayans the end of days will happen in 2012. As Christians, we should surrender into the Lord’s hand instead of believing such thing. It’s the Lord who is in control over all things! We have to believe that no one else knows except the Lord. However, we must be afraid and scared when hearing about that issue.

Whenever the end of days will be, could be next year, next month, next week, or even tomorrow, we have to prepare ourselves and ‘be clear minded and self-controlled’ (verse 7). Keep praying and always surrender to Him.

In the following verses, we are told to do good and pleasing deeds to the Lord by loving one another deeply with all our hearts and also ‘offer hospitality to one another without grumbling’ (verse 8 & 9). Then in verse 10, it’s about serving others and ‘ministering God’s grace’, also testifying the Christ and keep serving Him ‘with the strength God provides.

Then, we are told to keep praising and exalting Him, and keep our faith in Him even in our darkest time.

It’s so clear that by joining Romamti-Ezer Family Singers, which main goal is to serve the Lord through choir ministry, actually we are partaking in the salvation God has provided for us when the end of time comes. So, let’s re-check our motivation in serving Him..it’s not for showing-off! Let’s do our ministry with passion and discipline ourselves to take part in it.

How if today is our last day? Not just in a perspective of the end of days but in a way that we stop breathing? So now, let’s say that today is our last day. By this, we will surely do our best to do good things. If our time is in fact not tomorrow, how if it happens the day after tomorrow or on the following days? It means that we could do good things today, tomorrow, and on all days to come, till we come to our final end & be saved.

But it would be a great satisfaction if we do good things to please the Lord’s heart and not merely do it for the sake of our own salvation.

By Keke’

Our God is Great!

Personal reflection prior to the choir rehearsal (January 20th, 2012)

Bible Reading: Psalm 95:1-7

Nowadays, crisis of confidence & faith seem so indisputable that many people strive to enrich themselves with earthly things but become poorer in their spiritual life. Young people are trapped in a crisis of identity as the result of being absorbed into the temporary pleasures & ignoring their spiritual growth.

Learning from this reality, I would like to encourage each and every one of us to keep in mind the last passage in our reading today, “Today, if you hear his voice,” (NIV). Let us live our daily life by saying, “As for today, we want to hear Your voice!”

My beloved brothers & sisters in the Lord,

A three-year-old child asked his dad, “Daddy, is it possible if we live our life without sinning for one year?” His daddy answered, “Wow! It’s impossible!!!”, “How about one month?”, he asked again. “One month?!?…hmmm… No way!”         With a great curiosity, that child asked again, “One week?”, “hmmm…no (shaking his head) we can’t!” his daddy replied. “One day, then?”. Then his daddy thought of the day he has been living and said, “It could be…but not really!”.

That little child started to be frustrated but still he asked, “Daddy…how about one hour?”. His daddy answered him, “I think it’s possible but not gonna be easy. We have to try very hard…” Then, the child’s face shone with excitement and said, “Then I will live my life from now on hearing God’s voice and do it continuously in the following seconds. Let every precious time God has given me be spent accordingly by hearing His voice.”

Sometimes we consider something is too big or too impossible to achieve so we become pessimist and do what it takes to make it happen, even by doing things that are contradictory to God’s will. Sometimes we ignore the fact that we have a great God, as the Bible says that He is the Rock of our salvation, a great God, King of kings, the Lord of heavens and earth.

Some of us admire those who have a huge land, big mansion, and so on. But if we go to, for example to Bukit Inspirasi Tomohon, then we could see that it’s all not that big. Our sight is even limited and we could only see a part of God’s creation, the Owner of this universe including us.

Come on time in every rehearsal, practice well and seriously, come on time in our monthly ministry, sing with your heart, and something alike, are some small things but have a great impact if we do it consistently! I think it’s all the implementation of living our lives by listening to God’s voice.

Let us start every single day God has given us on our knees, worship Him, ask for His guidance to lead our ways and be determined to persistently hearing His voice otherwise we could ‘be tumbled-down like the walls of Jericho’.*🙂

* not included in the original reflection

By: – Desty –

Christmas Caroling 2011

As our vision is to serve the Lord through choir ministry, we thank God for all His guidance to us throughout this year. On December 23rd, 2011 we could wrap up our ministry this year through the annual program of Christmas caroling at Bethesda Public Hospital in Tomohon. Actually, we supposed to hold it also at Sam Ratulangie International Airport in Manado but it was in fact not as easy as we thought.

We held our Christmas caroling this year at Bethesda Public Hospital Tomohon. We sang 14 Christmas carols from ‘Adeste Fideles’ to ‘Zither Carols’. We performed in three different spots namely at women’s ward, at men’s ward, and at children ward. We could see how enthusiast they were, both the patients and their family who look after them, in welcoming us into their rooms. Wearing red t-shirt with red & green head accessory called ‘bando’, made our performance this year different from the past 3 years.

It’s so heart-touching moment to greet each and every body a Merry Christmas after completing the Christmas carols in every ward. Yet, we were quite amazed that the hospital is almost empty or there are just few patients stay in because others have checked-out to celebrate Christmas at home with each of their families. Hope after Christmas and New Year celebration with many tempting foods & drinks, they won’t come back anymore…Mean it!

Thanks to Oky & Sweetly for all the photos!

P.S: Editted on January 18th, 2012

Choir Tips from Anne C. Lundell

In 2010, when we were just back to Tomohon after taking part in FPS XXII ITB 2010, we got a chance to talk to one of the juries for TICC 2010, Anne-Charlotte Lundell. How could we? It’s through the kindness of Mrs. Ria Lolong who called us to sing at Lokon Boutique Resort that night. We were all so excited to join the private family gathering of the owner of LBR (Mr. Theo & Mrs. Ria Toemion – Lolong) and got a chance to sing some choral songs. Thank you!

At the Toemion's Mansion in Jakarta

We are so thankful to Anne C Lundell for her motivational words, suggestions, and critics to us. Hope someday we will meet her again and have more time to dig more about choral works & singing.

Left: Anne C. Lundell; Right: Alfrie Rampengan

What a special occasion we had that night because we could spend hours talking directly to Anne C Lundell & Mrs. Ria regarding some tips in choral singing (some points are based on our performance that night). So, the list below contains of some tips from Anne C. Lundell for us.
Technically:
#1. Our intonation in singing is good. What we need to improve is the blending of our voice
#2.Pay attention on the vocalization and accuracy to the score
#3.There is NO wrong or right in choral singing
#4.Song selection plays an important part when we decide to take part in a competition. Select the songs that the conductor believes the members have the ability to show off
#5.When learning a new song, have, for example, 4 women and 4 men to sing the melody first while others are listening so we could get the whole melody of the song. After that, try to sing it in SATB composition but start it with 4 members first then add up to the next 4 until the whole members take part in singing the song
#6.In our rehearsal, try to sing the song this way: SATB stands face to face so we could hear one to another’s voice and accord
#7.Getting nervous is very common in choral singing especially when we stand on the stage for a concert or competition. There are some ways to overcome it, for example before get on the stage while waiting on the meditation room, bring our minds as if we are just having our regular rehearsal. Give ourselves positive energy. Energize ourselves with positive thinking by saying: ‘I know the song we are going to sing. I know my part (as Alto, Soprano, Tenor, or Bas)’; ‘I know the quality of our choir’; ‘I know my friends will sing well’; ‘I believe our conductor’
#8.Another way to overcome our nervous is at the backstage, give a plastic bag to every member and blow it and say: ‘I leave all my nervous in this plastic bag!!! All my worry and nervous, I’m gonna leave it here at the backstage, inside this plastic bag!’
#9.Mirror effect. It happens when the members are nervous while the conductor is not. When singing on the stage, our nervousness will affect our tone of voice and it affects the quality of our singing. The conductor will automatically send a signal to the choir with a certain expression. As the choir sees the signal they will be affected and so on until we found that we end it up badly.
Romamti-Ezer Family Singers continues to practice in a regular basis (every Tuesday & Friday) until now. May God make a way for us to expand our ministry abroad…someday…hopefully..
But more than that, we hope that we can join the angels singing at the Heaven’s gate to welcome other believers who victoriously make it to the end.. “Glory to God!”

Find Rest My Soul…

Scheduled Reflection prior to the rehearsal time (January 13th, 2012)

Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)

Addressed to all members of R-EFS

Still you remember the date, month, and year when you first came to join Romamti-Ezer Family Singers? Still you remember the reason why you made up your mind to join or to re-join (for those who ever quit but then join again) this choir? Can you try to count how many years/ months / days you have been partaking in R-EFS’ rehearsals and ministry? Now, think of how or why on earth that you are still exist in this choir. Take your time to reflect those questions.

As time goes by, we are now living our first days in 2012. According to some scientists, it’s going to be the last year in human civilization on earth. Hmmm..a friend of mine wrote, “Since when did the Mayans gain credibility to determine the end of our time?”🙂

Apart from such scientific research and any possibilities that might happen in 2012, I’d like to take you back  to the prehistoric time, to the Old Testament period. This Bible passage is started with an introduction phrase, “For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.” The first part variation in some other translations use ‘For the choir director’ and ‘For the choirmaster’, etc. In this context, it refers to Jeduthun, who was one of the three Levites musicians at that time that were appointed by King David to serve in the house of the Lord “for the ministry of prophesying , accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.” (1 Chronicles 25:1). The other two Levites are Asaph and Heman; just to remind you, Heman is the father of Romamti-Ezer.

Since the very beginning, the children of Jeduthun, Heman, and Asaph have been assigned for that ministry. Intermezo, since I was a little child I often hear about a favorite Christmas phrase saying ‘..two thousand years ago..’ (I mean can you imagine or count of how many thousands / millions of years have passed since that choral ministry  disappear from the regular church service?). Then here we are, the present child of Heman, restored to continue that previous ministry.

Related to the board’s plan to open an audition for new members, can it be that we are given a new vision to reach out for our sisters and brothers (children of Heman) or our friends (children of Asaph and Jeduthun). It could be in a direct way (by joining R-EFS) or in an indirect way (by encouraging other Christian choirs to actively serve in the house of the Lord and not just merely partake in every competition).

Considering the world situation in 2012, should we necessarily worry about it? The end of the world, the second coming of Jesus Christ, isn’t it all written in the Bible with all its details and chronology? Or maybe some of us see the Bible as no more than just a fairy tale so we become very concern on that end-of-time-issue by now? Moreover, the changing climate and the rumbling volcanoes that make the headline news lately, seems like so convincing to make us believe that it’s about time! In fact, the Bible tells us that nobody knows about it, even Jesus the Son of God doesn’t know the time because He is awaiting for His Father’s command.

In respond to such terrifying issue, let us take all our fears and worries to the Lord and cite this Psalm of David:

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge.”       Selah

By: -OP-