Monday, January 31, 2011

Daemon Irrepit Callidus

Here's another choral work we are doing this winter.  It's beastly hard to learn but really a lot of "fun" to sing once it is learned!
The words are interesting... fit the piece quite well:

Daemon irrepit calidus,
Allicit cor honoribus.
Quid amabile Daemon dat
Cor jesu minus aestimat
Daemon point frauds inter cantus,
Saltus, Daemon!
Caro venaratur sensibus;
Sen sus adhaeret dapibus;
In aescatur, impinguatur dilatatur.
Cordis Aestum non explebunt, non arcebunt, Daemon! Daemon!

The Demon sneaks expertly
Tempting the honorable heart:
He sets forth trickery amidst praise, song and dance.
However amiably the Demon acts,
It is still worth less than the heart of Jesus.
The Flesh is tempted by sensuality;
Gluttony clings to our senses;
It overgrows, it encroaches, it stretches.
However appealing the Flesh is,
It is still worth less than the heart of Jesus.
Though the Universe may confer
Thousands upon thousands of praises,
They neither fulfill nor put out the desire of the heart.
However appealing the whole Universe is,
It is still worth less than the heart of Jesus.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I've Been in the Storm So Long

One of the joys of my job is coming across new and wonderful literature (music) all the time.  I find myself swept along in the music as well as the lyrics.   I can't imagine my life without music!  As a friend of mine says, "Music sweeps away the dust of every day life" (or something like that).  Being able to be involved in and create music is like being enveloped(past participle, past tense of en·vel·op (Verb)1. Wrap up, cover, or surround completely.) in an ocean, or universe, of sound and emotion. 
Having said all that.... here is yet another piece that has grabbed my heart.  The music and words combined move me to tears.  I'll be sharing about the rest of our music in the next few days... weeks.
"I've been in the storm so long.  
I've been in the storm so long, children.
I've been in the storm so long.
Oh give me little time to pray.
Oh let me tell my mother how I come along.
Give me little time to pray.
With a hung down head an' a achin' heart.
Oh, give me little time to pray....
Oh when I get to heaven, I'll walk all about.
Give me little time to pray
Dere'll be nobody dere to turn me out.
Give me little time to pray.
I've been in the storm so long,
I've been in the storm so long children....
Oh give me little time to pray."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This might explain it...

My students were really "squirrel-y" today!  They just would NOT stop talking and squirming!  And it wasn't just one class, it was every class today!
I don't know if there is any basis to this, but it seems like every full moon brings with it "the crazies"!  I checked just a few minutes ago, and - yup, it's a full moon today.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Unity in purpose and vision does not always mean God is in it.

Genesis 11
"Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.   As people moved eastward,  they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.  The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Of Budgets and Calories

I've been thinking how similar budgeting and dieting are...
You consume more calories than you need  - you gain weight.
You spend more than you have - you gain debt.

We are trying to get out of debt.  Boy is it hard at times.  We simply do not have enough income, but there are ways we can cut.  And -  we can decide to not use the credit card.  We will eventually get out of debt.... one day at a time.
I'm trying (once again.. always... ) to lose weight. This becomes my focus every January and I do well for a while, but about April - May I lose heart (rather than weight!). If I stick with this I will eventually lose weight... one pound at a time... one day at a time.
Then there are the choices about how I spend my TIME each day.  Will I spend it wisely in reading, in relationships, in loving and caring.  Or will I waste my time in worry, in anger, in gossip, or in wasted hours in front of the TV (or computer)?  

This - like everything else, is a daily thing and involves choices and decisions.
There's a song by Chris Rice that sums it up:

Every day is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there's plenty of room for writing in
All we do is believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessing
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketching

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Every day is a bank account
And time is our currency
So nobody's rich, nobody's poor
We get 24 hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest, or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who's under

Has anybody ever lived who knew the value of a life
And don't you think giving is all
What proves the worth of yours and mine

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
That somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much

Every day is a gift you've been given
Make the most of the time every minute you're living

Saturday, January 15, 2011

John Rutter Music combined with Sacred texts = peace

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
and all for thy mercy's sake.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek 
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
-from Saint Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226

Friday, January 14, 2011

Aslan speaks

"... I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings. Oh Adam's sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good!" - C.S. Lewis in The Magician's Nephew

 Lord, soften my heart.  Take down my defenses.  Don't let me become deaf to Your voice or blind to Your face! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Simple, wise words

"Let's talk to each other in a way that heals, 
not in a way that wounds." 
- Barack Obama in his speech at the memorial service for the victims of the shooting in Tuscon, AZ

Earth Song - Frank Ticheli

Friday, January 7, 2011

Continuing the Quest

We got a new game for Christmas, "Shadows Over Camelot".  It's a cooperative board game that can be up to 8 players (if you get the expansion pack)... Knights of the Round Table.  In each game there could be at least one traitor (or two, if you get the expansion pack).  The knights go on "quests" to defeat enemies, to retrieve "Excalibur", to find the "Holy Grail" etc.  One of the hardest quests to win is "The Grail Quest" (and here I'm getting to the point of this blog post).   Each turn you must do an evil deed (placing a seige engine, drawing a black card...) before you perform a heroic action.  One of the black cards is called "Despair".  This card is placed at the Grail quest.  If the Grail quest is filled with despair cards, the grail is lost (and has all kinds of implications for the rest of the game).  To win the Grail quest you place Grail cards.  The interesting thing in this game is watching the Grail quest go back and forth from Despair to Hope depending on how many cards are out.  It is true that as more despair cards are placed the more all of us "knights" lose hope. 

Hopelessness (i.e. Despair) is a dangerous thing.  It can cause you to just give up all together and quit the game.

And here's what I getting at.  Yesterday was one of hope.  It's as if, like in the game,  4 Grail cards were placed and we sensed the Grail (the hope for restoration) nearly within our grasp.  Today, this morning... Someone must have placed "Despair" cards while I was sleeping.   But I am persevering in hope: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."  (Romans 5:1-5)

So, there.  I am placing another "Grail card" and continuing my quest.  I will not be defeated by the enemy of despair.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


My picking a word for this year prompted by husband to do the same.  It really didn't take much thought for him.  His word for the year is HOPE.  I like it!  So, together we hope for restoration! :)  Seriously, he is full of hope for this year.  I don't know that he's picked any verses for this, but I'm sure he has some in mind.  I like that he is so full of hope and faith.  He is that way so much more than I am.  (Good thing we're together!)

So, two things happened today to give me that sense of hope:
1) Just as I was getting ready to go meet someone for coffee the phone rang.  It was a woman from our former church (the one that disintegrated  about 1 1/2 years ago).  She asked how we're doing and said she's been thinking of us and praying for us.  I told her about Jim's "word for the year".  She went on to say that she really believes that the Lord has something really great for us this year and also encouraged me/us in the gifts God has given us.  She said how she loved our church and did not understand what happened but it HOPEFUL that God will restore us.  I was so encouraged by that "out of the blue" phone call!

2)  I met a young woman for coffee who is planning to get married this year.  I am so impressed with this young couple and their desire to honor and glorify God in their relationship/marriage.  I really enjoyed talking with her today as we do when we meet with them together.  Doing this encourages me/us that maybe we CAN "do ministry" again!  We were so beaten down and discouraged ( dis·cour·age = to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.) after the fall of the church that we have often wondered if God could or would ever use us again.  I'm not sure who benefits more from our counseling times together... us or them!

Thank you, Father, for giving me HOPE today!  I have a brighter outlook on this year, and a sense of the hope for restoration! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Restoring order


"c.1300, "to give back," also, "to build up again, repair," from O.Fr. restorer, from L. restaurare "repair, rebuild, renew," from re- "back, again" + -staurare, as in instaurare "restore." "

Part of "restoration" includes restoring order to my cluttered house.  This means cleaning cupboards (which I started today) and then - in a few days, putting away the Christmas stuff (de-Christmas-ing the house as my kids say).  I love decorating for Christmas but I really enjoy the re-ordered house.  It helps me think a little more clearly.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Who Else Is in the Room? • EFCA Today

Who Else Is in the Room? • EFCA Today

We always believed this. With conflict happening so often in churches (and other relationships) it's pretty much a given that Satan is in the middle of it. Duh!
The first step in the restoration "process" for us is recognizing the real enemy.  It's so very obvious, I wonder why we don't recognize his tactics more often. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Safer Than a Known Way

"I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
'Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied;
'Go out into the darkness and 
put your hand into the hand of God,
that shall be to you better than light, 
and safer than a known way.' "
~M.L. Haskins~