Thursday, October 20, 2016

Diligence Pays Off

I am beside myself with delight for a young lady in our church orchestra who I was able to help get into lessons with a St. Louis Symphony member! Madeleine, who is a junior in high school this year, has been chosen concertmaster for our district 6 ILMEA Senior orchestra! LaRae and Rachelle worked with Madeleine on the ILMEA music this summer as well, so I'm delighted for them too. :)

Madeleine has worked hard, and I am so proud of her!

She has a beautiful solo on the second movement of this terrific Khachaturian Masquerade Suite.

Listen and enjoy!

And if you want to hear Madeleine, come to the November ILMEA district 6 Senior concert in Edwardsville, IL on November 5th. Usually the Concert time is 5:30 if I recall correctly. If I find out it's slightly earlier or later, I'll post an update.

Oh, and by the way, Caleb, who is also in our church orchestra, will be sitting 2nd chair, 2nd violin. He is a highschool freshman, is studying with the same symphony member as Madeleine, and worked all summer long with Rachelle and LaRae on ILMEA music. His brother, Nathan, is principal cellist!

I'm deeply grateful for young people who are willing to discipline themselves to the degree it takes to accomplish this sort of honor. Seven others from our church orchestra have worked hard and will be a part of the district 6 Jr. and Sr. ILMEA orchestras. May God bless each and every one of them!

November 5, 2016
Edwardsville High School 
6161 Center Grove Road
Edwardsville, IL 62025

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's a Confusing World?

I slip through the stores, looking around quietly from one item to the next. It's great to see some modest, feminine blouses. I guess the designers have worn out the "let's-see-how-little-material-we-can-use-and-still-call-it-a-piece-of-clothing" style or the "how-can-we-make-this-top-look-like-bare-skin" style! I hope I'm right and this new look is around for a while.

I listen and watch and mosey through stores and down sidewalks of an outdoor mall.

Music plays, a young girl singing, "It's a confusing world, a confusing world. It's a confusing world."

"It's a confusing world"?

I remember feeling confusion in late high school and early college days. It was unsettling. My daily duties were hard to perform well because my mind was troubled. I was experiencing feelings and situations I never had before. I didn't know how to process what I was going through. I lost weight. Didn't sleep well. It was difficult to talk about. But I wanted out of the confusion. I wanted peace of mind more than anything else, so I kept listening and thinking and eventually talked to those I believed understood the world better than I did at that point, and after some time, things started to come together. As I more fully understood and embraced the message of Jesus and insisted that my life line up with that understanding, the confusion began to clear up. Naturally, there are times even now when I find myself in a confused state, but it never fails to clear up once I see how the dots are connected, how each situation fits into the bigger picture of what God has going on.

But for people who aren't embracing truth, for people who aren't building their understanding on the revealed mind and will of God, it must remain "a confusing world."

What about this young girl-singer, song-writer? I wonder what kind of life she lives? What about the young man I saw at the coffee shop this morning who was talking about his boyfriend, as though such a discussion and relationship were as normal and acceptable, moral and good as my drinking my cup of clear mountain water since I was thirsty after my morning walk.

"It's a confusing world."

Later, on my way back to our room, I pass the dinging, ringing, clanging slot machines in the lobby of our hotel. I see the weary souls leaning into screens, craving a win, an adrenaline surge, all they know of fun. Most will go away with less money and emptier souls. They drink, even as they pursue their fun to escape what they already feel.

"It's a confusing world."

"How often would I have gathered" you together, "as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not."  Luke 13:34

There is a place where confusion melts away. I pray you, my reader, have found it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Live-Streamed Service for Nancy Ferguson

This coming Sunday afternoon at 3pm we will have a Celebration of Life service for my mother-in-law, Nancy Ferguson. Here is the link for anyone interested in watching.