Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lovin' life...

Christians should love life the most.  I sung this hymn in church this morning.  They say this kind of stuff happens when you fall in love; I want to fall in love with Christ.

Heav'n above a softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green!
Something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen;
Birds with gladder songs o'erflow, flowers with deeper beauties shine,
Since I know, as now I know, I am his, and he is mine.
Since I know, as now I know, I am his, and he is mine.

Words: George W. Robinson, 1876 

Friday, February 20, 2009

The true hope

Tonight the director of my community orchestra told us that funding for our organization is being cut by the private high school that sponsors us.  I've been feeling annoyed recently by the bad economy. Annoyed is the right word because it has not affected my life yet. The forecasts show that I could be affected very soon, though.  

Being a musician or music teacher is definitely one of the less secure professions.  I've been unemployed once in my life and I never want to have that feeling again. I try to think of what measures I could take against that ever happening to me again.  Nursing school?  I don't know...

But I realized when I was listening to a sermon tonight, though, that that feeling of security that I crave is no less God-less than a pagan pursuing the American dream.  I want my life in the here and now to be neatly tied up and I want to be able to present it to others as a resume complete with a good education, achievements, and a comfortable lifestyle.

But the apostle Paul asks us keep our mind and thoughts elsewhere.  
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you... in this you rejoice, though for now for a little while, if necessary you have been grieved by various trials...  

(Read the entire passage here.)

This life is "a little while", and my focus should on what I'm going to get in heaven.  Thank you, Lord, if my world here gets a little tenuous and forces me to remember eternity.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Riding in the cool van in youth group

I found the blog "Stuff Christians Like" a couple of months ago, and pretty much lost an entire week of productivity. 

I have since cured my addiction; however, I just agreed to chaperone our church's Youth Retreat, and it reminded me of this post.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I hired men and woman singers...

This week I feel great about my personal education goals.  I practiced voice more consistently than usual, played Poulenc and Handel with my community chamber ensemble, and went to the Apple store for a training session. 

Also I started listening to all the Beatles albums in chronological order as part of my music history education, and am reading Antigone because I was teaching my 8th grade about the Greek chorus. (Yes, I'm admitting this stuff on my blog because somewhere in my upbringing I derived the idea that being nerdy is oh so cool.)

But during the week a thought kept coming to the back of my mind.  I think the uncompleted thought went something like this: if I learn everything I want to know, then what next? My idea of success is being smart.  But will I be satisfied when I get the knowledge I thirst for?

So the thought turned into this verse: 
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Christ is the only new knowledge I need, and the knowledge I've got to get no matter what.

The verse has come to me several times over the week and that is God's grace.  

I am thankful that the Lord helped me to be somewhat productive this week, but I am also glad for the joy, mixed with a little emptiness, that new knowledge brings.