Thursday, October 15, 2015

In the time of waiting.

There are many times of waiting in life.. sometimes whole seasons....

Waiting to see if they'll call

Waiting for the baby to be born

Waiting to hear if a loved one landed safely

Waiting for a spouse to get home from deployment

Waiting to hear if your child made the wise choice

Waiting for the test results

Waiting for the college's decision

Waiting for the doctor's call

Even waiting for someone to take the last breath. (Those who have seen a loved one through  hospice care can understand this one.)

Sometimes we are waiting for good things, sometimes sad events. Other times we are waiting for answers and do not know whether we will be rejoicing or mourning.

I find that, for me, it's easy to slip into an anxious state in the time of waiting. I worry, I overthink, I am tempted to fear the worst. But that is not what we are meant to do. We are meant to trust and, by trusting, to wait in peace.

*Sigh* I wish it were easier. Often I wonder how we are cast our cares upon Jesus and leave them with him. Through prayer, through imagination.. .but what of the times when these don't work? We need to learn to rest in God, but the specifics escape me sometimes.
Here's hoping I'll learn...

How are you with waiting?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Song for Sunday: Five Pieces for a String Quartet.

Erwin Schuloff was poised to become one of the premier composers of the 20th century. He was prolific. His music was varied. He was acclaimed.

But, his life was cut short in August 1942. when he died in a Nazi concentration camp. His full potential was never realised.

Many lives were cut short by those concentration camps. Also in the Khmer Rouge, the Armenian genocide, the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda.

And the shooting of nine students at a community college in Oregon.

Here, we lost a future pediatric nurse, a prayer warrior, an assistant professor of English and many others. We lost a lot of promise, a lot of potential.

As we did in all cases of violence against people.

I heard Schulofff's story at a concert by the Aeolus Quartet which featured Schuloff's Five Pieces for a String Quartet. It was inspiring to hear them, to view them and to speak with them afterwards. They are a group that formed in music school and is dedicated to reaching out to the community with music. They spend a lot of time in schools.

The composition is formed of five dances, including a  Viennese Waltz, a serenade, a Czech folk dance, and a tango. The last movement is a tarantella, a "dance against death." I have made it this week's "Song for Sunday."

This is a link to a perfomance of the fifth movement of the composition, played by the Kontras Quartet. 

Let's "dance" against death, working to end violence in all it's forms. Amen?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Faith Before All: A Bit of Sports History

 It's not all that common to see a professional athlete -- or pretty much anyone else for that matter -- stand up for their faith in a sacrificial way. 

Fifty years ago today, on October 6, 1965, Sandy Koufax made baseball history by refusing to pitch the first game of the World Series because it fell on the most holy day of the year for Jews. Yom Kippur, or "the Day of Atonement," is observed on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. On this day Jews attend synagogue, confess their sin, and  fast from food and drink. Other traditions include not washing, not wearing leather shoes, not using perfume or oil, and refraining from marital relations. Yom Kippur is observed even by many Jews who don't participate in other aspects of the faith. 

Sandy Koufax put God and his religious community ahead of his work and ahead of potential fame. He was a great pitcher, considered unhittable, and would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. His biography states:

"Koufax also made headlines for adhering to his faith. With Game 1 of the 1965 World Series slated to fall on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Koufax famously sat out the game in observance. He returned and lost the following day, but won Games 5 and 7 to clinch the championship for his team, further cementing his status as an icon to both his religious community and Dodgers fans."*

 I think Koufax did right. God is more important than money, than a job, than a team. For this, he is a good person to emulate.

*Quote from The website, Sandy Koufax Biography

My fourth post for the October 2015 Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Song for Sunday: 2000 Years

Billy Joel is an athiest. Reportedly, he woke up one morning with this song in his head and tried not to write it. He said to Howard Stern, "Who the hell was I to write this gospel song?"

It includes some biblical imagery and is overall a lament that we haven't improved much since the year 0 -- the time of Christ.

To my mind, this song echos Christ's frustration with the disciples: "He said to them, 'Do you still not understand?'"  

We humans have a tendency to need to be taught the same things over and over. So we still go to war, we endure mass shootings, we forget to love our neighbor. 

Billy Joel is an athiest, but he seems to speak for Christ here. 

Today's "Song for Sunday"  -- 2000 years -- by Billy Joel. Here's the link:

Post #3 for the October 2015 Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What is there to say?

What is there to say?

President Obama says we have become numb to mass shootings, that it has become routine.

I think he's right. No one is talking about. I have had exactly one conversation about the shootings in Oregon, with my son. There is no real horror, it's barely on the edges of awareness.

People, really this is war. A spiritual war. A battle against apathy and indifference. And a battle against violence itself.

We need to pray. We need to teach our children non-violent solutions. We need to fix the mental health system. We need to watch out for our neighbors. We need to stand up to rampaging gunmen. And, yes, we need to do something about guns.

We need to talk. We need to have real conversation about this in our homes, our churches, our communities.

There is no one answer. No one possible path. Our first solutions may not work, but it's easier to adjust the course of a moving ship than to get one off the dock in the first place.

So let's get to work.

I am going to have two conversations this week with different people about this topic. Don't know with who or how they will go, but that's my commitment.

I also challenge every church to pray about this situation at worship tomorrow.

Let's get something done. Even if it's just a baby step.

What's your commitment?

Post #2 for the October 2015 Ultimate Blog Challenge.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Every once in a while, here at Musings, I need to start over. I haven't written in so long, it's likely people have forgotten to watch. In this case it's been over two months -- since July 19.

So what do I have to say...

 A lot's happened.

 CYC, my favorite ministry, celebrated it's 100th anniversary! There was a Gala Banquet with alumni, staff, and even a few campers. It was amazing. We all knew the same songs and how to respond to code phrases, chants, etc. It was a celebration of continuity, of ministry, of changed lives. And it was fun!! Very loud, very enjoyable.

On the personal side my son started 10th grade and we are wading into geometry proofs, Tinkercad and writing resumes. Plus, we are reading 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

I've started a new job, as youth leader of a local church, and taken on the position of planning chair for CYC.

Human trafficking continues to be on my brain.

Oh, and I am working an a recipe for S'mores Pie.

I hope to write a few times a week and I am planning an update to the look of the blog.

Hope you'll follow along!

What's new with you?

Blog post #1 for the October 2015 Ultimate Blog Challenge.