A Concert of Sacred Metaphors — Water and Stones


As I mentioned on the previous blog in this series, the prelude flows straight into the first song. This one, by Michael Card, is called “The Baptism”, and talks about the Baptism of Jesus by John in the Jordan.

I love the sense of flowing water you get from the accompaniment.  Listen closely and feel it bubbling by.

The lyrics also talk about Christ as the Stone that makes men stumble, and the rock that makes them fall. Listen for how the metaphors are used.

A Concert of Sacred Metaphors — Prelude


It is now over 8 years since I did my one solo concert at a church in a Congregational Church in Wisconsin. I was fortunate enough to have a Kodak camera with decent audio, and filmed the whole thing. So every so often I pull out the video, or the audio clips I ripped from the video, and watch/listen. It is half appreciation and half grimace at the things I hear myself do.

The concert was titled: A Concert of Sacred Metaphors. I chose each of the pieces because of the metaphors used by the song-writer. The first half of the concert featured composer Michael Card; the second half featured classic hymns, half of which were by Fanny J. Crosby.

So today I am going to start pulling out the clips for the blog — create a sporadic mini-series. This first clip is the prelude. Title is Meditation. I don’t sing on this track, but it musically flows straight into the second track, where I do sing — but that is getting ahead of myself. You will have to wait and hear about that when I feature the next track.

I had a good pianist — she worked well with me, but she wasn’t as flexible as my favorite pianist. I got spoiled growing up and in my early adulthood by living near my sister, and having her as a built-in accompanist (as I was her built-in accompanist).

For the concert 8 years ago, the pianist did a nice job on Meditation, but I would have upped the tempo, and the push-pull of the rubato, more than she did. Never quite convinced her to my way of feeling this piece.

So here it is:

Beware one-size-fits all programs


Just a quick quote for thought today:

“Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to
do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow
and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward
forces which make it a living thing.”
“Such are the differences among human beings in their sources of pleasure,
their susceptibilities of pain, and the operation on them of different
physical and moral agencies, that unless there is a corresponding diversity
in their modes of life, they neither obtain their fair share of
happiness, nor grow up to the mental, moral, and aesthetic stature of
which their nature is capable.”
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)

This is why the type of equality we pursue is important.

The Lord is Risen!


For those who don’t know (I didn’t until I went to college), the traditional Easter greeting is:

The Lord is Risen!

To which the traditional reply is:

He is Risen Indeed!

Today’s post is going to be that greeting to all.  That and this clip or our choir anthem for today: Risen Indeed!

Day of the Dinosaurs


Today is going to be a big photo show. We went to Worlds of Fun for the first time, and went to their dinosaur exhibit.  It opened last year, but cost extra, so we didn’t go.  This year it was included in the season pass price, so we went today.

A lot of fun an interesting displays — showing all the assumptions they make from limited evidence — along with a few things that they had to “correct” over the years. Worth seeing, if you don’t take the “science” too seriously.


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Is Chocolate Milk the real issue?


My son has an argumentative essay to write on an article they gave him to read in his social studies class.  I read the article and then looked to find an actual link to it online, since according to the ending blurb:

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

So if you follow the link you can read the article. My son is supposed to do a five-paragraph argumentative essay on it. His assignment:

Based on what you read do you think flavoured  milk should be banned in schools? Using the information in the text, argue why your position is more reasonable than the opposing position.

Since I was stymied for a blog topic today, I thought I would take his assignment and see just exactly how difficult it is for me to write an essay.

So here goes:

The article by Christina Hoag presents statements from people both for and against the serving of flavored milks in schools. The chief arguments seem to focus on the questions of the nutritional impact of its presence or absence: will the removal of chocolate milk encourage healthier nutritional choices for kids, or will it lead to greater nutritional deficiencies? Lost in this whole debate is the question of individual freedom, choice and power. Once we examine the article from this perspective, I think we can come to a better conclusion about the impact of flavored milk in schools.

The underlying assumption of the entire article is that it is the business of our public schools to make nutritional decisions for their students, rather than for students and parents to make the decisions for themselves. In one sense that is correct: if students don’t bring a lunch, they are held captive to the power of the school cafeteria for the nutritional choices available to them. But in another sense this is wrong: while the pressure of what is available around us and what others are doing is certainly there, it is the individual’s opportunity to choose that is ultimately important.

The evidence for chocolate milk includes a joint statement by some impressive groups: School Nutrition Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association, and National Medical Association. They note that the nutritional value of the milk outweighs the harm of the added sugar. They also note children who drink flavored milk are not more obese than those who don’t drink milk.

They are offset by people who mention the obesity epidemic, and compare flavored milk to candy. The article also references TV chef Jamie Oliver and his crusade against flavored milk in schools. The article furnishes statistics on the amount of sugar consumed by students in the form of flavored milk. There is an underlying idea that sugar is bad.

What can be seen from both these sides is vested interests determining what is best for students in the place of the parents, and battling over which view is allowed to be imposed on the parents and students. If the milk is removed, choice is diminished. If the milk remains, the stamp of the school’s educational aura “teaches” students that flavored milks are a viable nutritional option. Either way the debate is structured as a win/lose situation. Either way the role of the parent and student is diminished and their control and freedom decreased.

So how do we remove the power players from this decision and return control to the parent and the student? Removing flavored milk won’t do it. Leaving it might — but only if the parent makes a conscious decision with their student about the role of flavored milk as part of their dietary intake, and takes responsibility again for their own family’s eating habits. For that reason I say flavored milk needs to remain.