Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Monday, 27 January 2014
In 1997 Francis Spufford sat in a London café reeling after a recent fight with his wife. He felt hopeless, and, although he was a longtime Christian, he was grappling with his belief in God. How does one reconcile an omnipotent, all-good presence with such a dark world, one full of disputes and broken hearts? “I could not see any way out of sorrow that did not involve some obvious self-deception, some wishful lie about where we’d got to,” he wrote about his dilemma.
Then, a server in the café put on a cassette tape.
The novelist Richard Powers once said that Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto sounds like mercy. What this means exactly is something that’s difficult to fathom. The song is, as Spufford puts it, “patient,” and each time one listens to it the waves of the strings interceding before the clarinet takes over is a moment where the entire body begins to move with the song’s ebb and flow. The second movement, the slow section (the adagio), is the piece’s best part for it is a movement of rejoicing, and yet it is also a movement that is rather sad. The orchestra lifts the clarinet in a patient excitement, whereupon the clarinet delivers the news that this will not be a frenzied, ecstatic song, but one of truth, of pensiveness.
When it began to play in the background at the café, the strings swelling up, ready to hit the very A note that it had started out with, the song seemed to transcend even the emotions that Mozart had so carefully imbued it with. Scribbling down notes, trying to sort out his life, Spufford noted that his faith was restored over the course of this song:
“What I felt listening to Mozart in 1997 is not some wishy-washy metaphor for an idea I believe in, and it’s not a front behind which the real business of belief is going on: it’s the thing itself. My belief is made of, built up from, sustained by, emotions like that. That’s what makes it real.”
But how could one song, one burst of emotion, so quickly change a man’s heart?
Music creates emotions faster and with greater regularity than any other type of art. In a book, a film, or a play, catharsis comes after growing with a character, seeing him/her change from experiences, and, by the end, both the character and you (the reader) have learned something new about the world, perhaps gained a new perspective on humanity. Good music though somehow transcends all of this, quickly guiding you through a visceral adventure, delivering surges of excitement or melancholy or thoughtfulness or sheer happiness each time it reaches its chorus...
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
Thursday, 9 January 2014
AFTER THE STORM
As I remember
You were not unfamiliar with storms,
On the sea and in the Temple.
You calmed the one
And caused the other.
In both you made the point
That you are Lord of all.
Quieting winds from fishing boats
Upsetting thieves and tables
Settling once for all
Is God for us or against us.
With every move you made
The answer gave
Love is the beat
Of the Omnipotent heart,
The cross-winds you faced
Salvaged our soul-drown
And made a place
For God to live
In hearts – surrendered.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Here are just a few...
Psalm 23:4...Ps 27:1...Ps 118 :6...Deut. 31:6...
1 Chron.28:20...Isaiah 41:13...Isaiah 54:4..
.Matthew 10:28...1 Peter 3:13-14...
Jeremiah 46:28...Ezekiel 2:6...
Daniel 10:12...Joel 2:22...
Zechariah 8:13...Luke 1:30...John 12:15...
Acts 27:24...Revelation 2:10
Thursday, 2 January 2014
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
A NEW YEAR . . . A NEW LIFE
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (1)
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." (2)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. (3)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (4)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (5)
~ 1.Jer 29:11...2 Lamentations 3:22~24...3 Rom 12:1~2..
.4 Proverbs 3:5~6... 5 Rom 8:18 ~
.4 Proverbs 3:5~6... 5 Rom 8:18 ~