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With the holidays here and churches celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, one of the most memorable moments of a Christmas Cantata was the one I experienced on Dec. 18 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Highland Heights.
Every month, I volunteer to do the slide presentation for the worship services.
I had signed up for Dec. 18th and found out it was going to be the Christmas Cantata. Not only was I going to be doing slides, I was going to be displaying a DVD up on the screen with music lyrics and videos of the birth of Christ and an emotional, tear-jerking short film called, “The Gift.”
During choir practice on Dec. 14, Doug Coyler, the choir director, asked if there was any way I could skip two songs in the middle of the DVD presentation without the congregation not seeing the menu screen.
We looked for ways to get the dual screen to work because the program PowerDVDX doesn’t give you the choice to skip to the next song or get a transition slide up while getting the next song in order.
Our next issue was that the sound from the computer wasn’t loud enough for the choir to hear. The choice was then to try to sync the video with the CD.
It was looking like it was going to be a disaster.
However, when we took a closer look, we found that the program playing the DVD was not up as loud as it could go, so once we got that situated, it looked like the program was going to go off without a hiccup.
God had other plans.
We started the service and learned a wonderful message from Vern Hicks about Christmas being the birth of Christ and that he gave the greatest gift of all, his life for us.
Now it was time for the Cantata and time for God’s humor to shine on Asbury.
We got through the first few songs without a glitch. That was until we got to “Candlelight Medley.”
The DVD just froze in the middle of the song and immediate panic came into mind on what do I do. The choir sang a couple of more verses, but also stopped because of no tune.
I was praying right then, what do I do and went to restart the song.
“Just play it from the beginning and it’s OK, the congregation is already nodding off,” Doug said jokingly.
Once it restarted the rest of the program ran smoothly.
In between services, I ran into Jeff Baker and he told me, “God must have wanted to hear that song twice.”
I went back upstairs to make sure that it was ready to play without a hiccup and it looked like it was going to play fine so I waited for it to begin again.
God again had other plans.
Within the first few seconds of the first song, it froze. Here we go again. I panicked and went to get it to restart and it froze again.
To avoid another catastrophe, we decided to just play the CD and then try to play “The Gift” when it came time to.
After cleaning the disc, and placing it back into the computer, we noticed that the song was playing in two different spots. God’s humor was at work again.
The CD was turned off and the DVD back on and the whole time through, I was holding my hands together, praying to God that it wouldn’t skip. It didn’t skip again.
So take this story as a message that God shows his humor in many ways. Take this time of year as a time to share memories with loved ones and to thank God for his ultimate gift, his Son, Jesus Christ.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year.
(Matt Birkholtz is the sports writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 859-824-3343.)