Wednesday, July 31, 2002

We sang a song at the church I visited on Sunday called "They'll know we are Christians by our love." Since it was written in 1966 and therefore necessarily is copyrigted, I'll quote the source. Needless to say, I really couldn't bring myself to sing it. At least we skipped verse three.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
we are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored:

and they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
and they'll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
we will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
and together we'll spread the news that God is in our land.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
we will work with each other, we will work side by side,
and we'll guard each one's dignity and save each one's pride:

All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
and all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son,
and all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one:
(Text and music Peter Scholtes, copyright 1966 by FEL Publications)
Jon linked to an article about the Million Atheists March. The article mentions the American Atheists' "Wedding the Atheist Way". I thought I'd read it.

Funny thing...in Ms. Murray-O'Hair's attempt to completely remove God from weddings, she recommends classical music you can have played at your wedding that isn't religious.

At the top of the list with the most pieces mentioned? J.S. Bach.
I thought I'd look and see how people are finding my blog (inspired by Rick).

I get about 10 hits a day from people searching for "SPQR" on Google. My blog comes up fourth. A UK search engine has my blog first.

The second-most popular search is for "this good day" or "Fernando Ortega."

Friday, July 26, 2002

Well, Jen came down and said that the right people aren't even here to take of the...umm...problem. So, there's a good chance they won't clear the drain out.

Fumet du chat.
Fumet du chat mort.
Fumet rance du chat mort.

Umm, umm, good!

My parents have a really nice screened-in porch off the back of their house that we like to sit in when I'm here with Bailey. Bailey can be in the fresh air and we can sit in nice chairs and visit.

Yesterday my Mom and I noticed a funny smell - well, a bad smell coming from the back yard. It was quite unpleasant, and in my condition, it wasn't making me feel any better.

My sister, who is the assertive one in the bunch, called the guys with County drainage. They came out this morning and the guy said it looks like there's a dead cat down the drain. (Yeah, Rick, go ahead and say it...) They didn't want to pick it up, but my sister convinced them to try to get it out of there...maybe. I'll spare you the details, but its pretty disgusting.

Needless to say, Bailey, my mom, and I are quarantined to the basement for a little while.

Monday, July 22, 2002

What I have been suspecting has been confirmed...those 4:00 a.m. posts on Saturday morning were in fact insomnia due to a peanut in the broiler. (God has given us another little one!)

Well, the insomnia...and maybe throwing up at a Greek restaurant on Thursday...and finding myself nauseated in church on Sunday, which definitely doesn't normally happen...

We are very excited and thankful, but I am very scared as well. Bailey is so high-energy, I hope this next one is a little more laid-back or I might not be able to keep up. I hope Bailey will love the new baby very, very much. The new baby is due just a week after Bailey's birthday - on March 21st.

Please pray for all four of us.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

1. Saddest movie you've seen: Lady Jane

2. Funniest movie you've seen: Grosse Pointe Blanke or Life of Brian

3. Irrational fears you had as a child: I used to lay on my side in bed at night and I thought my heartbeat that I heard in the pillow was the sound of dinosaurs climbing up the basement stairs to get me. I knew we had 13 stairs, and so when I counted more than 13 steps, I held my breath and waited for them to get to my door. I usually fell asleep before they got there. I guess they gave up on me and went back downstairs.

4. Was there a book you had as a child that you were scared to read because the pictures were scary? Where the Wild Things Are

5. If you could have one talent in the word, it would be... to be a truly accomplished musician.

6. Language I'd most like to master in my lifetime: German or Italian

7. What is your favorite city? Annapolis

8. What is your favorite memory about the city in #7? I love the look, smell, and sounds of main street and the harbor at Christmas. There is just something about the old brick streets, the houses, and the atmosphere that is so nostalgic.

9. Do you root for the favorite or the underdog? underdog

10. Left-handed people are: absolutely amazing!

11. Animal you'd most like to see on the endangered species list: spiders

12. Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? dark

13. Movie with worst casting decision: Exodus with Paul Newman as the tall, dark Ari ben Canaan.

14. Most interesting foreign accent: Does Scottish count?

15. Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well, or just plain tartare? Medium rare

16. Have you ever had fondue? Yes, and I love it. My mom used to make it all the time for dinner. You can eat yourself sick on French bread and gruyere!

17. Something interesting you've learned listening to NPR: Chemists have no idea what really happens during the Maillard Reaction and don't know why the reaction makes the brown bits in your pan taste so good. The mechanics of why an egg, when spun on its side, will eventually turn upright and spin like a top.

18. Can you balance a redox equation?: Funny thing. I love chemistry, and I actually used to balance them for fun.
This morning we sang a beautiful metrical arrangement of Psalm 84 written by Leonard Payton. Good stuff!

Saturday, July 20, 2002

I bought a 1935 Episcopal Hymnal at the Monroe Symphony Book Sale last month for a quarter! It is chock-full of good stuff. It has a bunch of plainsong chants and some great metrical chants, too. But the crown jewel was finding The Lorica. We sang it at Providence whenever there was a baptism.

If you've never heard it, you've got to find a copy of it. (The Cyber Hymnal actually has it.) St. Patrick wrote the words and the tune is a traditional Irish melody - very much a jig. Bill Hoover could really crank it out on the organ. Watching him play it was like watching an aerobic workout tape. (Those of you who play the organ know what I mean.)
I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same, the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever, by power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river, his death on cross for my salvation.
His bursting from the spiced tomb;His riding up the heav'n'ly way;
His coming at the day of doom: I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself to power of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well Done" in judgment hour; the service of the seraphim:
Confessors' faith, apostles' word, the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord, and purity of ransomed souls.

I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heav'n,
the glorious sun's life-giving ray, the whiteness of the moon at even.
The flashing of the lightning free, the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old undying rocks.

I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay, his ear to hearken to my need;
The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech, His heav'nly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I just can't get the Magnificat out of my head. You know, the one written by Samuel Wesley? In its genre I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces written. I would love to chant it sometime in the harmony that is written.
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
For He has regarded
the low estate of His bondservant.

For behold, from this time forth
All generations shall call me blessed,
For the Mighty One has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

And His mercy is upon generation after generation
Toward those who fear Him.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imaginations of their hearts.

He has brought down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty handed.

He has given help to His servant Israel,
So as to remember His mercy forever;
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed.

Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be, age after age. Amen.

Well, I have three students for my first adult Greek class.

We'll be using Machen. I broke down and ordered the answer key today. I don't like to use it unless I have to, but I will probably lose confidence around Lesson XXX or so.

Speaking of Machen, I've really been helped out with pronunciations lately. I had no idea that Schilder is pronounced Skilder - silly me, I though it was Shilder. Rick set me straight AND congratulated me on the correct usage of Schilder's terms.

I have always heard Machen pronounced Maken, then Doug Wilson tells me it's Machen (the right way).

What do you do with words you have to use on the spur of the moment that you have never heard pronounced? Duane and I had a discussion one time about britches. I'd always seen it britches, he said it was breeches. Turns out they are both correct.

I guess you just rely on the kindness of more loquacious people to help you out. However, I have still never met anyone who pronounces tomato "tom-AH-to". That, I think, would be pretentious.
For all you bibliophiles out there...do you think eBooks will ever replace paper books?

Is there something about the smell of a new book that just compels you to open the book and turn the pages? What about an old book that has been on the shelf for a long time - one that smells slightly of the oil from your hands and a little dust that has gathered? I don't think it gets better than that.

I always wondered about how the other crew members on Star Trek: The Next Generation felt about the Captain being the only person allowed to have printed books aboard the Enterprise.
I just finished reading Mark Horne's paper "Is God the God of the Mature, Professing Christian Only? The Response of a Reformed Paedobaptist to Greg Welty's 'A Critical Evaluation of Paedobaptism'".

Good stuff! I was hooked from the first page. I think that is one of the first papers I've read that defends paedobaptism from a true covenantal perspective. I need to read Rich Lusk's paper, too, but I don't know if I have enough brain power left tonight. It's hard for me to read off the computer screen for long periods of time.
Can you be sad while eating an ice cream cone?
Okay, Duane. Thanks for the viola jokes. :)

Friday, July 19, 2002

I just got a call from the fellow who manages the Monroe Symphony. My friend Charles had emailed the conductor letting him know I "play" the viola. (Yeah, bring on all the viola jokes...I can take 'em!)

I played in the Belleville Philharmonic back in St. Louis, which, although its claim to fame is that it is the second-longest-continuously-running neighborhood philharmonic in the country, isn't a very professional act. The players mess around, no one really cares, the conductor picks music that is WAY too ambitious for the group. The second violins all think they're concert masters and the cellists like to gossip. There were some good players in the group, but you couldn't hear them for all the other stuff going on.

Anyway, I balk at auditions; I've never been able to audition for ANYTHING. I'm more scared of failure, I suppose, than of the actual audition. I think I watched Flashdance too many times or something. I hadn't approached the symphony because I didn't want to audition. But the manager told me I won't have to audition - they don't audition strings and they really need violists. I hope my stand partner is tone-deaf so they won't kick me out.

It would REALLY be my dream to sit high chair on a stand someday so I don't have to turn the music. I think I played one concert high chair in my life - Carmina Burana - because my stand partner couldn't reach V position so he deferred. Whatta gentleman! Boy, was it nice to not have to turn pages!

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Seems I'm having a similar problem with Blogger, too. It's not publishing anything I send and I'm getting a 503 error.

I'm also having trouble reading sensus plenior posts. The entry will say 9 comments, but I can only read 4. I've cleared the temp files, I've cleared the cache, reloaded the page, and I still don't see them.

I hate computers.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

I was on my home several days ago and was listening to an interview with Jim Bowers (the missionary whose plane was shot down about a year ag) on AFR. "All Things Considered" hadn't come on yet on NPR.

The interviewer asked Jim how his son, Cory, was handling the strain of the loss of his mother and sister. His sister, Charity, was an infant when she was killed. Jim responded that people pray for Cory daily and that although Cory "knows all the facts" about Jesus, he doesn't profess to be a believer. So right now, there is no hope for Cory (my impressions from the interview) for immediate comfort because he isn't a Christian. It seems to me that a young child dealing with a loss like that who is also excluded from the very body he so desperately need to be a part of would have a great struggle ahead of him.

However, Jim said that he is convinced that his wife and daughter are only separated from him for a small number of years and then they will be reunited, so somehow he believes his infant daughter was saved.

I grieve for this family, I really do. My point is not at all to make light of the loss, but there is a grave error being made in the way Jim views his son. How can he believe his infant daughter is with Christ but his seven-year-old son does not belong to Christ? HIs son, who has probably been raised attending church every week, attending Sunday School, being taught in the home, being admonished, corrected, and disciplined, is considered to be an enemy of Christ because he has not "professed belief."

Before I had a child, I didn't fully understand the beauty of the family, of covenant succession, and of covenant promises. I still don't, but I have a less clouded view of the covenant. I pray that God would move Jim Bowers to understand that his son should rightly and rite-ly belong to Christ and inherit the promises that are to us and to our children.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I was fixing myself a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for lunch today. It's one of my favorites. I turned the heat on the grill up too high, so the bread toasted before the cheese melted. The cheese did a halfway-melt thing where it got oily on the outside but was still cold on the inside...I think I'll call it "New England Puritan Halfway-Grilled Ham and Cheese".

Technically, it's a grilled ham and cheese because I put it on the grill, and the bread did get toasted. However, since the cheese did not melt all the way, it's not really worthy to be called grilled ham and cheese. So, I'm not going to think of it that way until the cheese finishes melting.

Woops. I ate it.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I have been enjoying GLAD's music for about twelve years now. I called them when I lived in Illinois to inquire about bringing them to our church for a concert. It turned out they required a greater number of seats than our church had, and I didn't have the time or energy to work in the community for a place to have a concert.

I've always preferred their acapella works over their band pieces, so I was excited when Acapella Hymns came out many years ago. As the years went by, however, their work shifted from primarily acapella to more P&W music. Bob Kauflin with PDI used to be a member of GLAD and did a lot of composing and arranging. He did some nice stuff - one of my favorites is his arrangement of "And Can It Be". PDI is a parachurch ministry affiliated with Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, home of Josh "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" Harris. PDI is strangely Calvinist Baptistic in theology (WCF, Sproul, Gerstner, etc., but without paedobaptism) but very charismatic in worship (tongues, holy laughter, etc.).

Recently GLAD jumped on the P&W bandwagon, hooked up with Kauflin and some others, and released "A Pure and Holy Passion" which has to be the most disappointing release I've ever heard from GLAD. However, I would recommend that if you don't have their Acapella Hymns or their first Christmas Album in your library, you ought to buy it. They did a beautiful harmonization on "All Beauty Speaks of Thee" and though it is only one verse (I can see why - I dug the original hymn up and the other verses are awful) it is amazing. They did good stuff back in the old days - I'm tempted to write them and ask why the change. I wish they would release an album of really, really good stuff - the stuff that won't sell.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Alsdenn so wirst du mich
Zu deiner Rechten stellen
Und mir als deinem Kind
Ein gnädig Urteil fällen,
Mich bringen zu der Lust,
Wo deine Herrlichkeit
Ich werde schauen an
In alle Ewigkeit.

Therefore then shalt thou me
Upon thy right hand station
And me as to thy child
A gracious judgment render,
Bring me into that joy
Where on thy majesty
I will hold fast my gaze
For all eternity.

I believe All praise to Thee, my God, this night is one of my "new" favorite hymns. We sang it in the Lord's Day evening service at Providence. I love how it ends with the doxology. The music is beautiful, too. The tune is Tallis' Canon and I believe it is #341 or thereabouts in the Blue Trinity. The tune has been flattened out in the Red Trinity.
All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the judgment day.

O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.

When in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.

O when shall I, in endless day,
For ever chase dark sleep away,
And hymns divine with angels sing,
All praise to thee, eternal King?

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

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