Seasons Changing


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A stunning number of my photos are just about the sun

Are you looking forward to the seasons changing? (It is not fall for another 2 weeks)

I’m not. Summer is the only season I like at all. I can vaguely appreciate the joys of the other seasons, but I would be happy with eternal summer for a very, very long time. I revel in sun and heat and long days.

So this Sea Wolf song (Seasons Changing) has me thinking: Continue reading

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What are you listening to?


I listen to music a lot. I wouldn’t say I’m especially interested in music–despite many years of piano lessons and a mostly musical family, I’m only tangentially conversant in it. But I listen constantly. While I’m writing, while I read, while I bike, while I run. I use Pandora almost exclusively. I like cultivating stations with specific music for different purposes.

My first (and so far only) OTSP secret sister introduced me to Continue reading

Words of Trust


This blog has been host to many of my ideas and interests, but I have kept one thing off of it – my religion. I have mentioned it vaguely, briefly, but never explicitly. There are a myriad of reasons for this. When I started my blog, I was not particularly strong in my faith – like anyone, I experience ups and downs in my walk, and that was a down point. Another reason is that I did not want to turn off readers who dislike religion. However, there are some reasons I am going to talk about it now. My faith in Christ is deeply engrained – it is a huge part of who I am, and affects every turn of my life. I have no interest in hiding that. I don’t purpose to offend anyone, but I also don’t promise to be someone different just so that people will agree with me. Even if you are not Christian, or believe in no god at all, I don’t mean to convert or offend you, and you may be interested in the perspective my faith can provide.

In the last year, there have been many, many times when I felt my world spinning out of control. My only defense has been trusting God. However, I’m extremely bad at that unless I am constantly reminding myself why I trust God – His goodness, His love, His perfect plan. Outside of Scripture reading, music has been my go-to help for times of trust. The worship-focused melodies and lyrics run through my head incessantly, encouraging me to constant peace and trust. Today has been one such day. I am basking in the words of trust, reminded of how marvelous, incomprehensible, and close my God is. I wanted to share with you my playlist specifically for trust songs. Perhaps they can be an encouragement to you as well.

1. Make My Life An Alleluia – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

2. Trust in God, My Soul – Soundforth (Depths of Mercy) – This song has become one of my very favorites over the last year. The words resonate with me and remain in my head for days after. I often find myself listening to it on repeat, trying to burn the attitude of faith into my own heart.

3. Blessings – Laura Story – I just learned this song at school, first from my friends, and then from my new church. It took on new meaning when I watched our music director, whose son lay close to death, lead us in a praise service with this song.

4. Immortal, Invisible – Laura Story

5. In My Weakness – Soundforth (A Quiet Heart)

6. Renew Me – Matt & Christy Taylor (A Gentle Voice)

7. I Run To Christ – Anderson & Habegger

8. Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer – Galvin Evangelistic Team (Consider Him)

9. Mercies Anew – Steve Pettit (So High the Price) – “May this journey bring a blessing, may I rise on wings of faith, and at the end of my heart’s testing, with your likeness let me wake.”

10. Merciful God – Steve Pettit (So High the Price)

11. More Love – Steve Pettit (Higher Ground)

12. All I Have is Christ – Galvin Evangelistic Team (By Faith)

All of these songs have special meaning to me. I could take a single post for each one and explain why I love it, but I won’t. They are all available on Grooveshark, or if you are interested, feel free to contact me and I will share my playlist with you. Obviously, there are many more terrific songs out there, even on the subject of trust. These happen to be the ones I fall back on. I would love to hear your favorites or your thoughts on religion and trust. The only thing I ask is that you remain respectful. My religion is my choice and while I never mind discussing it, I have no intention of arguing about it.

Opera is not just socially acceptable torture


Confession: College makes me feel very uncultured. I am at a liberal arts university, where my exposure to music and drama is considered as important as my classes. I love it. Especially the drama! Plays are very cool. As are concerts….I attended a cello concert last semester and loved every minute of it.

Tonight there was a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at my school (first time in 25 years, I found out). I mostly went because I had a bunch of friends in the choir and my dad told me I should (I trust my dad’s taste in music). But it was still opera….so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was amazing. I was mesmerized. For a sleep-deprived college student, it’s saying something that I stayed awake through an hour and a half of singing. At the very beginning I wasn’t impressed. But after a section or two, I managed to keep up with the Latin (yay for translations in programs!). When the “Dies irae, dies illa” section started, I was hooked. To use modern terminology, it was epic. Stupendous. Awesome in the most traditional sense of the word. Full choir, booming orchestra, bone-shaking drums….it definitely makes an impression. The guest singers did a marvelous job…I’m particularly biased toward the mezzo-soprano, who was extremely classy and had a wonderfully rich voice (Latoya Lain, if you’re interested).

On a spiritual level, I had not anticipated how rich the lyrics would be. It was like reading a prayer. A gorgeous, rich, almost scriptural prayer. I was also happy that I could understand some of the Latin. 🙂

Give opera a chance…give culture a chance. It may be one of the most beautiful things you ever experience.