Hymning and Hawing


I’m glad I’m not alone in all this . . .

Cat Rotator's Quarterly

I grew up listening to spirituals as lullabies and ended up sort of saturated by classical and 1950s-60s folk music (Ian and Sylvia, Odetta, Judy Collins, the Limelighters, Kingston Trio). My musical interests continued as I grew older. When you are a semi-professional musician, especially one with an interest in pipe organ, you get exposed to a great deal of sacred music. Many of the great works of the western canon were written for use in worship services, or for a particular religious celebration or commemoration, or to retell a story (Hayden’s Creation, for example). You also learn the basics of music history, from Medieval through the Romantic in most cases, either in a formal class or through osmosis. And you understand why certain lyrics and musical patters go together. Or at least, did until now.

At some point, I suspect in the 1960s in the United States, certain…

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Nocturnal Interlude, by Amanda S. Green. Book Review


Nocturnal Interlude (Nocturnal Lives, #3)Nocturnal Interlude by Amanda S. Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nocturnal Interlude is the third book in the Nocturnal Lives series.

I have not read the first two books in the series. However, I did not find it difficult to follow the plot in this at all, though no doubt, certain allusions would make more sense if I had read the first two books.

I really enjoyed reading this book, which is a combination of police drama and urban fantasy. The book centers on a family of shifters, people who can change from human form to that of an animal, and the community in which they live, as well as the greater community of shifters with which they interact.

There is excitement and drama and on nearly every page. I found it exciting to read through, though she did give us room to breathe frequently. By the end of the book everything is resolved nicely, the sheep though she did leave some hooks that could go for future books relating to the community at large and the leaders of it.

Note: there is offscreen torture. We don’t see this, but we do see people planning for it, as well as having to deal with the results.

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Obama and Romans 13:8


Be Swift, Be Precise

While taking a trip earlier this month, I saw this scrawled on the back side of a billboard on I-64 while headed westbound in Indiana — graffiti-style:

Obama was appointed by God — Rom. 13:8

I found this a very interesting idea. My mind instantly thought of:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.

Romans 13: — wait a  minute Romans 13:1.  What exactly is Romans 13:8?

Owe to no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Now I am entirely clueless, as a Biblical scholar, how Romans 13:8 relates to the assertion, so I’ll go on the assumption that Romans 13:1 was the intended reference, and make my commentary on that basis.

Whoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of…

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More Top 40…


Be Swift, Be Precise

Following up to yesterday’s blog, this is the processed video — first section. Nathan leads off, and can be heard again at 9:31 doing the Henry VIII I Am .

See the link here.

The latter is in a fun section that includes the Ballad of Davy Crockett and a song from the Chipmunks.

The rest of the Top 40 review can be seen in the second video clip here.

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Top 40 at Eastgate choir concert


My son . . . I’m so proud of him.

Be Swift, Be Precise

Eastgate Middle School had its spring choir concert Wednesday, May 14. The 8th grade choir did a 30-minute Top 40s medley. My son Nathan was the narrator at the beginning, and also did the Henry VIII I am solo. Here are a few pictures from the medley (featuring Nathan, of course) and the soundtrack.


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Lift Thine Eyes from Elijah


Be Swift, Be Precise

(Had some issues with the sound rendering from my recording device delaying today’s blog.)

Today’s special music was a trio of Suzy Conaway, Betsy Lightfoot and Shannon Lowe doing Lift Thine Eyes from Elijah.

The Anthem was  “A Mother’s Love.”

Here are the Lyrics for the Elijah number:

Lift thine eyes to the mountains, whence cometh help.

Thy help cometh from the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.

He hath said, thy foot shall not be moved,

thy Keeper will never slumber.

Lift thine eyes to the mountains, whence cometh help.

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Electric Guitar at Avondale United Methodist Church


Be Swift, Be Precise

Today’s blog is another Sunday music summary.

The artist for the today’s special number is Michael Card, and the song is actually quite an old one by certain standards. “What Will it Take (To Keep You From Jesus)” was originally released in 1985 as part of Card’s Life of Christ Trilogy.

The song is written with an 8-bar electric guitar interlude, so when I decided to perform it, I asked the church’s music director Aaron Redburn if he would play guitar with it. My thought was for him to do the guitar during the solo section, but by the time we got through with our rehearsal “jam sessions” the guitar was getting laced through the entire number. The solo also was improved by Redburn’s own ad-libs. Having seen Card perform his own works, I know he would have approved.

Below you will see tracks for both services.  There are subtle…

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Be Swift, Be Precise


Today I ran my first 5K.

I didn’t train.

Well, that isn’t precisely true.  I didn’t do any RUNNING to train for running a 5K.

I have been doing weights and working on my swimming to prepare for the Kansas City Corporate Challenge swim meet. So I was getting my strength, and more importantly, my cardio in.

Since I am signed up for one event for the KCCC, that means I have signed the waiver, that makes me eligible for any other event. Earlier in the week (or was it the end of last week), they sent out an e-mail saying the 5K team had some age slots open that still needed a competitor.  Lo and behold, Men age 45-49 was open.


Since I knew the coordinator from the Bible Study Group at work, and since I am also a coordinator for the swim team, I knew what it was…

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