Thursday, November 26, 2015

Over the river........

The truth is, there is a lot of misinformation and myth that has gone into our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, here in these United States. The story of the happy Pilgrims, celebrating a bountiful harvest, along with their Indian friends, is a tall tale with little truth, that was taught to all of us in grade school. The Pilgrims, our honored forefathers and mothers, are not the black and white costumed thanks-givers that we have always believed them to be. They didn't even really invite the Indians to dinner! The Indians just heard all of the hoopla and stopped by just to see what what going on. Then, they stayed for the feast!
According to scholarly research, only one person wrote an account of the first "harvest feast" of the Plimoth settlers. That description was discovered two centuries after the fact. No one recorded the eating of turkey, cranberries or even pumpkin. We do know that they grew corn, shot a lot of deer and some ate some type of wild fowl, perhaps partridge. And, we certainly do not know if those birds were in a pear tree!
The whole story is just a bunch of hooey!
But, truth or not, I'm still glad we celebrate Thanksgiving. I treasure memories of Thanksgivings past and look forward to celebrations of the future. I'm going to eat my fill of turkey and dressing. I love jellied cranberry sauce (and yes, I will slide it out of the can and cut it in rounds!). I'll prepare green bean casserole and pour turkey gravy over the whole plate. I'll eat leftovers for days.
What difference does it make whether the story of the first Thanksgiving is true or not?
No matter what, I am truly thankful. God is good.

Thank you Lord, for our many blessings. We praise you name and honor your presence in our daily lives. We know we should be truly thankful for your steadfast love and guidance, everyday.
Open our hearts and our minds to your leadership and strength.

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Mississippi Melody"

My mental picture of Hell includes listening to sopranos...a lot of strident sopranos, which would explain why I was not particularly thrilled about attending a entire concert of high voices. But, because I love the man who invited me, I went. I surprised myself and actually enjoyed the evening.
Yes, the Vienna Boys Choir (the choir that performed annually on the Ed Sullivan TV Show) is actually made up of preadolescent European boys (You could tell they were singing phonetic English, on numbers like "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland").
The group consisted of about 16 middle-school age boys, all high voices. If you have ever dealt with middle school mini-men, you know that 10-14 year old males have not only a wide range of stature,  they also exhibit a wide range of maturity.
While listening to the group, I was reminded of many middle school performances I have attended, over the years. Most of them were unmemorable, but a few were outstanding.
One performance, that has come to mind, was a musical rendition of "Tom Sawyer". The boys who played Tom and Huck, were typical middle school mischief makers, good one day and rotten the next. And, because they were so much like the characters they portrayed, they played their roles well.
Those two boy sopranos grew up to be a  respected educator and a successful doctor.
My hope is that the current members of the Vienna Boys Choir will have the same bright futures as Tom and Huck.
(The young man who played the piano for "Mississippi Melody", turned out to be pretty special, too.)

God of everyone. Hold us in your hands. Help us to realize that we are all different and that we are all the same. Show us how to recognize the potential of everyone on this planet.
Guide us and help us to do your will.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Patience and Prudence/ Phil and Don

I am lamenting the loss of close harmony in pop-music. It's gone.
Remember the do-wop singers of the late nineteen fifties? The Everly Brothers and Don and Juan. The Temptations and the Supremes. Even Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Those folks could harmonize.
There is no such thing today. People can't sing together.
Do you know why?
The solo artists of today are all over the scale with one note! It's the style.Two or more folks couldn't sing like that and do any type of harmony.
Just think of the last time you heard a solo artist sing "The Star Spangled Banner". I imagine you could hear five or six tones for every note of the melody. No one could harmonize with that. Why even the fans at a ballgame can't sing along!
Oh, my. Just another good old thing lost forever.

Dear Lord. Change is hard. Most of the time we don't like it one bit. Sometimes we just have to learn to accept the change, forget about the "good old days" and move on.
We are but a tiny speck in the universe.
Dear Lord, help us to focus on what really matters. Help us to lead better lives.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dumb and Dumber

Years ago, there was a sports celebrity in our city, who took advantage of his fifteen minutes of fame and started making commercials for a local product. He was a spectacular ball player and years later went on to achieve a place in a National Hall of Fame.
He had great skills on the ball field, but he must have been working on his expert ball handling instead of learning reading, writing and arithmetic in the classroom.  In every one of his several commercials he mispronounced the word "statistics." The guy kept saying, over and over, to check the SA-TIS-TICS. He was phonetically challenged, for sure.
Thankfully, our local sports hero chose to continue his career in the front office of the ball club, rather than attempt a career at sports casting, or making any more commercials. No doubt he spent many a day, checking his sa-tis-tics.
I hadn't thought about those commercials for years, until I recently heard a national broadcaster mispronounce the word "quarter". He said COR-DER. Didn't he know that "quarter" means one quarter of the game? One-fourth of the game, twenty-five per cent! The last time I checked the guide in my Webster's, I recall reading that QUart is not pronounced in the same manner as COrd.
All of which causes me to wonder why we as a nation put so much emphasis and value on sports and so little on the things that actually make a difference in our lives.
Like ....Love God and Love each other.

Good Lord. Help us to focus on the things that really matter. Help us to accept the gifts and graces of others. Show us how to get our priorities straight.
Help us to become more like You, and give us patience withourselves and others..

Monday, November 2, 2015

Measure twice...cut once!

My "Grammy Award Winner Husband" has joined a new church choir. He is enjoying the group, and although the church is not a denomination that we are very familiar with, we are comfortable with the service and the people in attendance. The choir members have been welcoming to my husband, and he is enjoying singing with the group.
The director of the choir is an excellent communicator, and she often sends out emails to inform the choir members about last minute details and directions for their upcoming Sunday morning musical offerings.
This past Sunday, as Scott was headed out our front door to church, he decided to check his email for any messages.
Dressed and ready to depart, he opened his emails and was informed that it was All Saints Sunday. He was also directed, he read, to wear White Socks.
Well, it was way too late to change his footwear. If he made this last minute change he would be
late for the Sunday Service. So, he left for the church, wearing his usual black socks.
All the way to the church, he worried about being "out of uniform". He reasoned that his robe was pretty long, so that perhaps his black socks wouldn't be noticed by the congregation. He also wondered about the unfamiliar and peculiar Presbyterian Liturgical custom of White Socks.
Upon arriving at the church, he observed that the choir members were all attired in robes and White Stoles...not White Socks.
A definite case of Mistaken Item...nity.
Good Lord: When are we going to get it right? We have great directions from you, through the Holy Scriptures. We keep trying and we hope that it is enough.
Our mistakes are many, but our love for you is great.