Purpose

My final quote in this series of Great Quotes is this next one, straight out of the Bible.  How amazing is it to know that, no matter your situation or struggles, talents or insecurities, failures or successes, you don’t have to “measure up” or “finally arrive” at some expected place of “being good enough.”  It’s all about our Savior, not about us.

I do not consider myself to have “arrived,” spiritually, nor to I consider myself already perfect.  But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ Jesus grasped me.  My brothers, I do concentrate on this:  I leave the past behind and with hands out-stretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal–my reward he honor of my high calling by God in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are spiritually adult should set ourselves this sort of ambition, and if at present you cannot see this, yet you will find that this is the attitude which God is leading you to adopt.  It is important that we go forward in the light of such truth as we have ourselves attained to…But we are citizens of Heaven; our outlook goes beyond this world to the hopeful expectation of the Savior who will come from Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will change these wretched bodies of ours so that they resemble his own glorious body, by that power of his which makes him the master of everything that is.  — Philippians 3:12-21 (PHI)

Other Music Activities

This post represents random photos from other music involvements through the years.  I always helped with children’s productions, such as this one from Missoula Children’s Theater:

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There were lots of church performances with kids too:

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We often included children in the Feast of Praise as well:

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We also put on special programs, such as “Bringing Home the Music,” where former musicians returned to town for a Balladiers reunion and to replay some of the great moments in high school musical theater.

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This program was called “Putting on the Ritz.”  It was great fun!

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My friend, Gail Martin, directed this program, as she did many others that I was involved in.Ritz7.1993

Here are the two of us performing together for another program of some type.  It was always fun to work with Gail.

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Sacred Music

Much of my piano playing through the years has been involved with sacred music, though I don’t have many photos, understandably.  Here are some old ones from the past though.  This first one is no doubt from a Christmas program:

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Sacred programs would include worship services (I have no photos from them), Christmas and Easter pageants, kids’ programs, community vespers, benefit concerts and The Feast of Praise, which was traditionally organized every other year.

These are all scenes from Feast of Praise performances:

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Our friend, Dr. Mark, has always been present to play bass:

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The Feast of Praise usually involves some elements of jazz, and a collection of donations for the local transient fund and for Compassion International.  I’ve been involved in sacred music, which I thoroughly enjoy performing (as it is a wonderful way to worship myself) for at least 40 years.

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Silent Night

Here are the lyrics to that beautiful hymn that was written (it is said) because the bellows of the organ had been destroyed by mice.  They needed something “silent” that could be performed with guitar rather than organ.  What a beautiful Christmas carol!

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin mother and child.  Holy infant so tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.

 

Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight.

Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing alleluia;

Christ, the Savior is born!  Christ, the Savior is born!

 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiant beams from Thy holy face, With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

–Joseph Mohr

 

Herald Angels

What do you suppose the word “herald” means?  Three things:

  1. An official messenger or representative of a monarch
  2. A forerunner, or person or thing that precedes or comes before
  3. A person or thing that proclaims or announces

Here is the hymn of the day:

Hark!  the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King:

Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”

Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hark!  the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King.”

 

Christ, by highest heaven adored; Christ the everlasting Lord!

Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity,

Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.

Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!  Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings.

Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die;

Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.

Hark!  the herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

–Charles Wesley

A Midnight Clear

This week I’m sharing some of my favorite Christmas hymn lyrics. Here is one of the beautiful ones we sing every year:

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:

“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, From heaven’s all-gracious King:”

The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

 

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low,

Who toil along the  climbing way with painful steps and slow,

Look now! for glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing:

O rest beside the weary load, and hear the angels sing.

 

For lo, the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old,

When, with the ever circling years, shall come the time foretold,

When the new heaven and earth shall own the Prince of Peace their King,

And the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.

–Edmund H. Sears

 

Ecuador

We have just returned from a trip to Ecuador to meet children that Chris and Sarah have been sponsoring through Compassion International.  More photos will follow!

Chris’ little girl, Maria:

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Sarah’s teenage girl, Mirella:

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