Choosing music was one of the best things about planning our wedding. I loved it. But our job was simple compared to the task of choosing the music for today's royal wedding. Factbox has published the list of music that Prince William and Kate have chosen, which is 26 pieces long!
In case you miss the big affair, or if you would like to listen to some of the music again (though by different artists), here are arrangements of several of the pieces which I found on YouTube, while sipping on tea with milk and munching on scones and clotted cream. They are in order of their appearance throughout the wedding. Hope you enjoy them!
Sonata for Organ Op. 28 (Allegro maestoso and Allegretto) by Edward Elgar, one of the pieces before the wedding.
Farewell to Stromness by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, an orchestral piece before the wedding.
I Was Glad by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, the bride's processional.
The second hymn in the ceremony, Love Divine All Love Excelling, words by Charles Wesley, music by William Penfro Rowlands.
Fanfare, called Valiant and Brave, specially composed for this service by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs. Meet the trumpeters of the Central Band who will be playing this fanfare.
Crown Imperial by William Walton, the recessional for the procession of the bride and bridegroom.
Every morning when Tom leaves for work at 6:00, he climbs on the Bible Bus and away he goes! Since his car's CD player broke, he's been listening to the radio on his morning commute, and that's when Dr J Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible (thruthebible.org)program comes on. The program began in 1967, with Dr McGee teaching through the entire Bible. Even after his death in 1988, his five-year teaching series is still on the air. This month the Bible Bus started again in Genesis, and Tom is along for the ride!
And I start my mornings listening to a podcast of Haven Today with Charles Morris. His messages are pertinent, challenging and insightful, the music is varied and uplifting. It was from listening to Haven Today that I became aware of the Odes of Solomon, the earliest songs of the Christian church, The King's Chamber Orchestra, and Todd Burpo's book, Heaven is for Real. Mr Morris has a gift for communicating God's love to people who know Jesus and those who do not.
My other favorite radio program is Dr Randy Carlson's Intentional Living. It is a live call-in program where he talks with people about the one thing they can do that will make a difference in their lives, whether in their finances, their marriage, their parenting, or their spiritual lives. His godly counsel, kindness, and sincere desire to see people move toward wholeness impress me every time I hear the show.
What do you like to listen to? Have you got a favorite program you'd like to share with other readers?
While you're thinking about it, you might enjoy listening to Ray Stevens' 1972 recording of Turn Your Radio On!
Sometimes a book comes along that you just know will be good. So it was with great anticipation that I just placed a hold on a just-released title, The Year We Were Famous, by Carole Estby Dagg.
The novel is based on the true story of a mother and her 17-year-old daughter, Helga and Clara Estby, who walked from their home in Mica Creek, Washington (near Spokane) to New York City in 1896. With nothing but a seven-pound satchel each, the women set off on the 4600 mile trip in hopes of meeting the challenge made to them by a publisher: if they'd complete the trip in seven months he'd give them $10,000 in order to save the family farm! According to the author, "Their walk would also prove that women deserved the vote, because it would demonstrate that women were more resourceful, intelligent, and persevering than men gave them credit for."
Take a few minutes to check out Carole Esty Dagg's website to learn more about the book (be sure you watch the trailer on the website!). Then find your way to the nearest bookstore or library and get a copy for yourself!
I didn't think to write it down as it happened, but it wouldn't take long to come up with a list of all the things I've won in my life. It would be a short list indeed! Let's see now...
The sewing basket I won at my high school graduation all-night party. As I'm not a serious seamstress, it's still in pretty good shape, too!
The Auntie Anne's Pretzel gift basket I won at a drawing at a fair. We baked up a batch of delicious pretzels for the family and used the gift certificate for pretzels at the mall. Very satisfying!
Surely I'm forgetting something. No Alaska cruises, no set of dishes, no laundry-service-for-a-year (rats!). No, nothing else comes to mind.
But there are indications that my luck is about to change!
I'm playing Haggen's Monopoly game, and in the last six weeks I've dutifully collected dozens and dozens of game tickets, affixed my product stickers to the three game boards I'm playing, had Tom, my trusty sidekick, type my codes into the computer, turned in coupons for more game pieces, and mailed off 3X5 cards for a drawing.
There are 21 prize categories, ranging from $2 to a $250,000 mortgage, with nearly 12,000 chances to win something, not to mention the coupons for free products and additional game tickets that you occasionally come across. As many as 16,500,000 game pieces are being distributed to the 27 participating stores in Washington State. You automatically get one game piece just by shopping at the store, but you can get extras by buying their featured products. A couple of times other people have given me their game pieces, and I found one on the ground in the parking lot. If I go to the store ten times a week (a little high, but certainly worth it, don't you think?) I can get a whole bunch of game pieces. And the more pieces, the better chance of winning something!
So what do I have to show for all my effort? Well, so far I've won about 30 additional game pieces, a greeting card, and two packages of Jimmy Dean sausage. But there's still seven weeks to go. That should be enough time to make my rounds of all 27 participating stores. Maybe I'll find the pieces I'm missing and will be able to win the iPad I'm wishing for!
As soon as I post this blog, I'm headed over to Haggen. I can get a few more game tickets and redeem the coupon that's burning a hole in my pocket. It's for a free can of corn.
(Briana Gibson, the director of The Spot, YFC's youth drop-in center in Stanwood, posted this article on her blog. Thank you, Briana, for letting me share it with my readers.)
It is Easter week. So, I thought I might share my story of encountering Jesus.
It seems to me, the greatest hindrance to ministry and community in the body of Christ, is the idea that some of us are more needy than others.
For me, growing up in a Christian home, I had this idea that I just needed to follow the rules, keep up the image, and convince everyone around me I was good enough. I knew Jesus loved me, and I thought I loved Him. But, I did not know I needed Him. Bad people needed Him. This worked out ok until God showed me my heart apart from Him. What I saw completely wrecked me. I thought I had done enough “good” and not done enough “bad” so that my heart would be soft and pulsing with love.
This was not so.
Utter darkness. Emptiness. Horror. Filth. Complete absence of anything good. This is what I saw – I felt as if it would swallow me whole and I would shrivel into nothingness. All of those years I had spent striving for goodness and this was the result? It broke me. I knew Jesus would never want anything to do with me. How could He? I felt so naked and ashamed before His beauty.
“Lord, I do not deserve you. I can’t do it.”
That is when I heard him say, “I know you can’t. You will never deserve what I long to give you. But, I’m giving it to you anyway. Just accept it. I love you.”
“What? Didn’t you see what I just saw?! How could you love me?”
But, I knew He did. That is when I surrendered, and He took all of my “righteousness”(what Paul refers to as “filthy rags”) and filled me with Himself. I literally felt like I would explode! I thought I knew what joy felt like. But, let me tell you, I had no idea! It was as if the whole earth were joining my heart in song.
It was the first time I knew I needed the grace of Jesus as much as anyone. The lyrics of Amazing Grace, “a wretch like me”, finally made sense. I caught a glimpse of the greatness – the unthinkable enormity of what Christ had done for me… for all of us.
I will never be the same.
This is why we love The Spot. Not because “those kids” are so needy. But, because we are in desperate need of the Amazing Grace of Jesus. We can’t help but see ourselves in their faces. Once you begin to grasp that love, it fills you up and there is no way you can keep it to yourself. And when you know you could never deserve it, you stop withholding it from those you deem unworthy.
Not one of us is worthy. As my Dad always says, “God is good and the rest of us are jerks.”
Every time The Spot is open (and in meetings outside the walls) there are kids experiencing the love and grace of Jesus… and it isn’t just one of those “use words when necessary” situations. God is shared – and hope is stirred anew.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. –Ephesians 2:8
I was given a scarf yesterday. I noticed it on the shoulders of a Canadian woman originally from Fiji, who sat in front of me at Warm Beach Women's Retreat, and I leaned forward to compliment her on it. It was a brief interchange. Me: What a pretty scarf. Her: Thank you! That's all. Later, when we were preparing to receive communion, I noticed that she had draped it over her head as a covering.
We went forward to take communion and as I returned to my seat she turned around with the nicely folded scarf in her hands. "Are you the one who liked my scarf?" she asked. "I'd like you to have it." Then she introduced me to her sister-in-law sitting with her, who had purchased the scarf for her in Israel.
What an unexpected and precious gift that was for me! A complete surprise -- on Palm Sunday, a gift from the Holy Land via Canada to me! I think of the robes thrown on the ground before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem. My mind turns to the women who came to the tomb on Resurrection Day, their heads covered with their own shawls. I am reminded that we are brothers and sisters if we share a relationship with Christ, no matter where we come from in the world or how our customs may differ. And I marvel at the kindness of one of those sisters who would offer such a lovely gift to another whom she had only barely met.
Thank you, Eunice. I was very touched by your gift.
Yesterday marked my 500th blog post! I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog, which I began in September of 2009. Here are a few of my favorite entries:
Baby and Her Buddies
You should meet Baby, a Moluccan Cockatoo who belongs to my friends Steve and Janice. Baby's a character. She's mischievous, she's noisy, and she's a hoot!
In her screechy voice Baby announces, "I be good! I be good!" This, however, is not always accurate. Sometimes Baby be bad! Read more...
My Brother Tom
Yesterday morning I headed south on I-5 just about the time the sun came up. Mountains laden in snow drew my eyes again and again as the sun, filtered by billowy clouds, crept higher and higher into the sky. From the HOV lane I looked down on the Snohomish River valley, green patches through the winter trees, the meandering river, the foothills.
My brother Tom took the River Road each evening to his job at the cannery in Snohomish the summer of 1967. Read more...
How to Feed a Crowd in a Hurry
After seeing Julie and Julia in September, Tom reserved a video series from the library of Julia Child's cooking show. It was so popular that he didn't get it for two months. We just watched her Omelette episode filmed in 1972 and got a few good tips.
I'm certainly glad Julia has't had one of my Omelettes. She would probably call it "rubbery" because mine spend too much time in the pan. Read more...
It came up at the dinner table last night with Tom's sisters. Just where can you get the old fashioned sodas that we remember from our childhood?
Look no further. Just check out the Orca Beverage Company in Mukilteo, Washington You can get Bubble Up, Dad's Root Beer, orange, peach or strawberry Nesbitt's, Sioux City Sodas and Moxie The history of Moxie, which was originally designed as a tonic, is especially interesting. The drink was so popular in the early 1900s... Read more...
There have been a few times when we've received money that we didn't expect -- $30 in the pocket of a pair of pants we'd purchased at a thrift store, a refund from an overpayment, a birthday check. We've had considerably more change in our wallets since the library dropped its fee for overdue books. One quarter in college I went in to pay my tuition, only to find that someone else already had! I never did find out who. Read more...
This is a fascinating look into the life of a girl with autism. Carly has no spoken language, and, until she was 11, was thought to be mentally deficient. But she began to express herself through a computer keyboard, and her family and therapists were stunned to discover the girl inside. If you're interested in a longer version of her story, click here. (The audio is out-of-sync and it is nearly ten minutes long, so it requires a bit more perseverance to watch, but it is more in-depth, and very interesting.)
2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup mango nectar (We used Knutson Mango Peach)
2 mangos cut into chunks (you can buy canned mango but fresh is better)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup ice cubes
chopped pistachios to garnish, or maybe a few mint leaves
In a blender, combine yogurt, nectar, mango chunks and cardamom and blend until smooth. (I used pain yogurt and added vanilla. You can use soy yogurt to make it dairy free.) Add ice and blend until totally integrated. Pour into tall glasses and add a pinch of pistachios.
The final result is pure heaven. A refreshing drink on a hot day, or on a cool day when mangos are on sale, like they have been lately. Serves 4.
Thanks to my brother Tim for introducing me to this delicious drink.
During the summer of my 21st birthday, I traveled around the western United States with my parents and younger siblings. We went to a youth camp in Colorado, followed the Million Dollar Highway through the Rocky Mountains, and explored the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings. We found Grand Canyon to be breathtaking. Late on a Friday afternoon we pulled our trailer into a campground at Red Canyon. Mom was especially enchanted with the red dirt and the surrounding rocks from which it had come.
It was bright and clear as we drove up the mountain the next morning to visit Bryce Canyon, just 15 minutes away. We noticed the ditches alongside the road and asked what they were. "There must be a river that runs through here," Dad said, "but it's dry now."
We spent the morning at Bryce Canyon, exploring and bouncing our echoes off the rocks, and headed to the parking lot. Raindrops were just starting to fall as we pulled out of the park, and as we got closer to the campsite we discovered a rushing river in the dry "ditches" we'd seen only hours ago! By the time we got back to the campground, the river was nearly overflowing its banks!
There was red mud all around the tires of our trailer, and splattered on the side which was facing the rocks. We put together a quick lunch while Dad found the ranger and asked what we should do. Leave, he said, "but don't take the trailer. The bridge is weak and the trailer would put too much strain on it. Come back about 5:00, after we've been able to shore up the bridge. Now hurry so you can get out!"
Mom grabbed a small jar and, as we were ready to pull out of the campground, dashed to the river that was now a torrent and filled her jar. She still has her jar of Utah flood water.
We spent the afternoon not knowing if we would be able to get our trailer out, if we'd be able to get back to it at all, if we'd be caught up in the flash flood and die.
When 5:00 came, we were back in the campground, hooking up our trailer. The bridge had washed out and we were directed to a very precarious culvert to cross. Shortly after we passed over it, it, too, collapsed.
We were reminiscing about this the other day, and Mom said, "That was scary." But I don't remember that my parents showed their fear. And I don't remember that I felt much fear. We prayed for protection, of course, and we sang a lot that day, hymns in four-part harmony. And God blessed me with a quiet heart.
I'm reminded of the scripture in Isaiah 43 which says, "But now, this is what the Lord says -- He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel. 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.'"
Our peace is not dependent upon or circumstances. It is dependent upon the Lord who created us, who redeemed us, who knows us intimately, and who walks through life with us. Fear not.
You think it rains a lot in Seattle? Here are some facts (gleaned mostly from meteorologist Spencer Christian's children book, Can It Really Rain Frogs?) that might put Seattle's rain into perspective:
From August, 1860 to August, 1861, the town of Cherrapunji, India received 1,042 inches of rain, which would reach to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.
It rains 220 days a year in Juneau, Alaska.
Seattle's annual rainfall is 38.6 inches. New York City gets 42.8 inches of rain in a year, and Miami gets 57.7.
It hasn't rained for 400 years in some parts of the Atacama Desert of Chile.
As a news man, Christian tells some interesting weather-related stories. Here are a few of my favorites:
Snails fell with a slow, whirling motion during a light rain shower over Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1869, and a similar report of hundreds of thousands of snails falling from the sky came from Algiers in 1953.
A boy who was walking in the rain in Yuma, Arizona, in 1941, was hit on the shoulder by a falling clam.
Near Dubuque, Iowa, in 1882, a hailstone containing two live frogs fell to the ground. After the ice melted, the frogs hopped away!
"From 1965 to 1979 a herd of goats grazed on Mt. Nebo near Roseburg, Oregon. Local people who watched the mountainside every day noticed that the weather was fair and dry when the goats were on the higher part of the mountain, and overcast or rainy when the goats were grazing on the lower slopes. When the local radio station began giving the daily Goat Weather Forecast, news spread about the clever herd. The radio station made a comparison of the goats' behavior and the Weather Bureau forecasts, and discovered that the goats, who were right 90 percent of the time, beat out the pros, who were only 65 percent accurate! At the height of their fame, the goats were featured on national television and in magazines and newspapers around the world."
Tom's sister Carol has been in Western New York for the past six months. She sent me this BC comic strip to share on the blog; I think she's missing Seattle!
Norman Rockwell Exhibit
A faithful reader was going through past posts and sent the following comment on the Norman Rockwell story that appeared in November of 09. It's good information you might like to take advantage of: Did you know there's a wonderful exibit of original Norman Rockwell paintings at the Tacoma Art Museum right now, ongoing into May? It includes much of the information in your blog, a video about his working methods, plus photos, sketches, and a whole roomful of framed Saturday Evening Post covers from the 1920s through the 1960s. Granddaughter Annie and I spent a happy morning there yesterday!
Virtual Choir 2.0 If you haven't had a chance to see the video of Virtual Choir 2.0 (Sleep by Eric Whitacre and 2052 voices, which debuted on YouTube on April 7), you can click here to listen to it.
"What's your favorite smell?" the radio host asked. "Call in with your answer and we'll enter you into a drawing for a ham and a $50 gift certificate!"
I can smell that ham now, with some whole cloves poked in it while it bakes, drizzled in pineapple juice, with a sweet potato/sliced apple dish beside it in the oven. So, what's my favorite smell?
When I was a kid I seemed to be able to smell whatever Mom was cooking. She laughs that I would open the front door and could tell immediately if she'd made fudge. Or I'd come in for dinner, take a whiff, and say (pre-speech therapy days), "Ummmm, coun for dinner!"
Perhaps the smell that had the greatest effect on me was rubber! For years my favorite store was Les Schwab, and it wasn't for the popcorn!
Now I guess I'd have to say that the smell of "clean" is my favorite, not the residual fragrance of the cleaning supplies, but the freshness that you sense when you put a clean towel to your face or finish scrubbing the bathroom. Or when you bring the crisp, dry sheets in after a few hours on the line, where they've been hanging in the sun. Oh, that's so lovely.
I began to wonder what God's favorite smell is. I think it must be incense, as He included it in the sacrifice system that He instituted through Moses. In Exodus 30 He even gave a recipe for the incense to be placed in the front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where He would meet with the people. He told Moses, "Take fragrant spices -- gum resin, onycha and galbanum -- and pure frankincense all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred" (verses 34-36).
Ephesians 5:2 tells us that "Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." And we, as His followers, spread "everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing" (2 Corinthians 2:14, 15). The aroma of Christ through His people is the sweet fragrance of life: clean, pure, inviting and welcoming. The world needs the aroma of Christ. May we who follow Him be broken jars of His lovely fragrance.
When composer Eric Whitacre received a video of a 17-year-old girl singing one of his songs, he was impressed with her pure, sweet tone and the look on her face. It occurred to him that maybe he could develop a "virtual choir," with many people recording themselves singing their part, and putting them together as a choir. He went into the studio, "conducted in total silence, I could only hear it in my head," and got the word out to musicians all over the world. One-hundred-eighty-five singers joined him in singing his piece, Lux Aurumque. Here is Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir:
A second Virtual Choir recording will release tonight on YouTube. The piece is Eric Whitacre's Sleep, and the choir is composed of 2015 singers!
If you'd like to know more about the Virtual Choir, you can hear how it all began, or you can read an NPR report by one of the performers.
I've seen the back of Tom's head a lot in the past year as he has spent hundreds of hours sitting at the computer, scanning old slides!
He's transferred thousands of pictures to the computer that his dad took from 1949 till the late 60s, and his own slides of Europe during college and the military. And we haven't even touched the many boxes of photos from our 22 years together, or the notebooks of negatives I put together of my pictures before we met!
Here's the tail end of the last box of old slides, film canisters and camera filters, and the trash basket after one particularly busy evening.
As I look at the scanned slides on the screen, I am impressed with the record these pictures provide. Tom's family life unfolds before me, from the early days till the grandchildren came along. I see family trips, houses where they lived, their children and their cousins growing up -- these are sweet memories for Tom and his siblings. His dad had a wonderful sense of art and snapped some exquisite nature shots. Friends from church and the community come to life on the computer screen. Over the years changes in clothing, hairstyles and technology are documented. What history!
Here are just a few of the results of Tom's unflagging dedication to a task that has brought him great joy and has introduced me more fully to the family I married into.
It must have been quite an earthquake!* The foundations of the Roman jail were shaken, the prison doors flew open and the chains of all the prisoners fell away. You'd expect mayhem, prisoners bolting from their captivity, cries of victory on their lips.
The jailer woke up and, expecting to find an empty prison, was just about to kill himself. After all, prison officials don't look too well on a jailer who can't keep his occupants contained!
But what he found changed his life.
Paul and Silas, who had been severely flogged and thrown into prison the night before, called out to the jailer, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"
Why hadn't they all escaped when they had the chance?
Paul and Silas trusted God with their lives. That's why, even when they were in jail for setting a slave girl free, they prayed and sang hymns to God. They saw the prison as a place of freedom, not bondage. And the other prisoners listened to their praises and their prayers. It was the faith and courage of these men of God that influenced the other prisoners and kept them from running.
And the jailer? He "called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'" That night, he and his whole family turned to Christ and were baptized. He cleaned the wounds of his prisoners, fed them, and he and his family were "filled with joy, because they had come to believe in God."
As followers of Jesus, how do we respond to adversity? It could have a profound affect on others.
*This story is found in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 16, verses 22-34