#168: Even Me


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


Lord, I hear of show’rs of blessing

Thou art scatt’ring full and free;

Shaw,rs the thirsty land refreshing —

Let some drops now fall on me.


Even me, even me

Let Thy blessing fall on me.


Pass me not, O tender Savior!

Let me love and cling to Thee;

I am longing for Thy favor –

Whilst Thou’rt calling, O call me.



Pass me not, O mighty Spirit!

Thou canst make the blind to see;

Witnesser of Jesus’ merit,

Speak the word of pow’r to me.



Love of God so pure and changeless,

Blood of Christ so rich and free,

Grace of God so strong and boundless;

Magnify them all in me.



Pass me not! Thy lost one bringing,

Bind my heart, O Lord, to Thee;

While the streams of life are springing,

Blessing others, O bless me.


How to Treat the Alien or Stranger


About two years ago I made comments in a post on one of my text books that I had serious issues with the way the author idolized the poor through a misuse of Scripture. Today, in our debate over immigration, I am afraid I am seeing the church do a similar thing with immigrants.

They are talking about the inclusiveness of the scripture, the passages in the Pentateuch about not oppressing the stranger. But they forget the regulations in the scriptures about the alien.

As you see the below scriptures, the alien is expected to follow the customs of the land. “one law to the homeborn” The stranger is to not be “vexed nor oppressed”, but also is to receive no special treatment. They need to follow all the laws of the land.

It can be summed up in: liberty and justice for all. No favoritism to the native born nor to the stranger. The stranger needs to be welcomed, put on equality, without special benefit.

See scriptures below:

Exodus 12:48-50King James Version (KJV)

48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.

Exodus 22:20-22King James Version (KJV)

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

Exodus 23:8-10King James Version (KJV)

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:

Fitness Update: Race Training


Last week I reported on my 5K. Well, four weeks from the 5K is the 10K. So I need to be training for the 10K and on to the half marathon six weeks later. That requires a training regimen. So I got the wellness center at work to design me the below schedule:








Wed Thurs Fri


Sat Sun


Feb 13 2 m XT 3 m 4 x 400M XT 4 m off
Feb 20 3 m XT 3 m 8 x 400M XT 5 m off
Feb 27 3 m XT 4 m 8 x 400M XT 6 m off
Mar 6 3 m XT 4 m 4 m XT rest RACE
Mar 13 3 m XT 4 m XT XT 7 m off
Mar 20 4 m XT 4 m 5 m XT 8 m off
Mar 27 4 m XT 5 m 5 m XT 9 m off
Apr 3 4 m XT 6 m 5 m XT 10 m off
Apr 10 4 m XT 6 m 5 m XT 11 m off
Apr 17 3 m XT 5 m 4 m XT rest RACE

I got into the schedule this weekend with a 4.4 mile run for the 4 mile run listed.I don’t usually have an issue with running the distance. It is staying on task for the running drills that I have an issue with: I don’t have an excessive sprint mode.  Fortunately, I only have two mroe sprint weeks left.

On other issues, I haven’t gotten to swimming yet, but the local warm weather has allowed for enough biking to finish the month’s quota and get ahead already: up to 539 miles — 39 miles into March already.

#167: Holy Spirit, Now Outpoured


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


Holy Spirit, now outpoured

Sent by our ascendend Lord,

Bless our gath’ring  here today,

Be our hallowed Guest, we pray.


Fill each hearth and reign alone,

Break the idols we have known;

Lead us to confession true,

Give us strength Thy will to do.


Guide into all truth, we plead,

Light the Holy Page we read;

Write in precepts deep within,

Till we’re kept from ev’ry sin.


May Thy quick’ning pow’r we feel —

Human doubt and weakness heal;

May Thy presence, like a fire,

Burn within — our zeal inspire.

Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet


Back in December I sang three times at the Nelson-Atkins Museum here in Kansas City, MO as part of their a capella open call:

A cappella Open Call
Thursdays through Sundays
November 25 – December 23 |12:30 p.m. (one performance per day)

Calling all choral groups! Transform iconic museum spaces through the power of your a cappella performance and help us celebrate the exhibition Janet Cardiff Forty-Part Motet. One choral group will be featured each day during a 15-minute performance. More information: nelson-atkins.org/sing.

I sang as part of the Songflower Chorale, Madrigalia Bar Nonne, and Carolers of Note. In doing so I acquired four tickets to get admission to the current exhibit: Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet.  Four tickets was important, because today I took myself, wife, and the two basically-adult kids to the exhibit together.

Below is the embedded official video explaining the exhibit, and giving you a taste of what it was like. Below the video I am going to give my own impressions:

The exhibit is 14 minutes long: 11 minutes of singing, and the 3 minute intermission.

Currently with the Songflower Chorale we are working on music that has some antiphonal patterns that we will be doing as “two choirs” for an April concert, where the one choir is singers, and the other choir is a brass ensemble. But that pales in comparison to the 8 separate ensembles that perform in the 40-part motet.

It isn’t easy to describe sound, but that is the task I have to explain the motet. The motet, arranged in a circle, gives a whole new meaning to surround sound. You hear the music coming from one set of speakers, one choral group, and then another comes in, and it shifts around to various parts of the circle. Sometimes part of the choirs are singing, occasionally all of them are singing.

And when they all sing, and you are standing in the middle, it is like being surrounded, encompassed, and penetrated with the power and glory of the sound. If you are familiar with the power of some of the heavy bass that is used in a lot of modern music, the sort of bass that shakes your whole body, and you literally feel the sound — this isn’t it — and yet the motet manages to penetrate your essence even deeper and more completely than that other bass.

I found myself on the verge of tears at times with the way the music overwhelmed and uplifted. It was all sung in Latin, and while I know some Latin from having sung it, my Latin isn’t good enough to really understand what they were singing. And yet I could feel the sense and presence of it all.

The music seemed to me a sense of what heaven is, or should be like, with heavenly choirs singing and praising. It wasn’t one continuous crescendo of sound, but waves of choruses working together, taking turns, glorifying in their sound and in their silence, passing back and forth and they answered and responded to each other.

It was composed with a sensibility of sound, and of the glory of the Holy, which was unique to the medieval world, and which, while we can perform its glory today, I am not sure if it could really be composed by someone today, since we lack their ultimate sensibility, though we can feel it through this performance.

Another thing that made it seem so glorious, and heavenly, was actually the intermission. As you heard in the video, they took a break during the recording for someone to use the restroom, and during that time they left the recording equipment going. You can hear people talking, clearing their throats, coughing. You can tell that these are real people, not “perfect” angels, doing the singing. Heaven is real, with real people, doing the glorious service.

The exhibit will be at the Nelson-Atkins Museum through March 19 — another four weeks. If you have any musical interest or appreciation at all, I highly recommend you go see it and hear it.


A Blast of the Past #84:


It has been just under a decade since these pictures were taken, but they were at the beginning of a very significant intercultural journey for me. The opportunities that have allowed me to develop relationships with people from the Indian Subcontinent have led to my working on my current Master’s Degree in Communications, and to focus on ways to help improve communications between the two cultures where the two can communicate with parity and equality  between each other.

I won’t claim to have become an expert, or a paragon of intercultural communication. But these pictures from a simple meal, where these intercultural visitors were invited into our home, show the way: an openness, and a willingness, on both sides, to meet, to make mistakes, and to understand.

These pictures also show the youthful enthusiasm of my son in greeting everyone.

McDonalds: The Bicycle Test


Okay, I’ll admit it, I was trying to create an incident.

I decided to ride my bicycle out on Sunday to go get treats for everyone for our evening snack: Shamrock Shakes from McDonalds. And since there was no bicycle rack to park my bicycle, I decided that the easiest way for me to make my purchase would be through the drive through. After all, I am legally a vehicle, I have to use the road and not the sidewalk. So I should be able to drive through as well as anyone else.

I went to the McDonald’s on Chouteau Trafficway near Interstate 35. It has two drive-through lanes with order stations. I chose the outer of the two, since it was empty, and waited for someone to ask to take my order. But no one did. I watched three cars go through the other lane and have the order taken, but no one ever asked me.

I read a sign that people with hearing  or speech issues could have their order taken at the first window, so I rode up to the window to ask how come no one had asked for my order.

The person at the window said her manager said she couldn’t take my order but that I could go inside and place one. I asked why and where I was supposed to park my bicycle, since they didn’t have a rack. She said I could chain it to the railing up front.

So I went inside and placed my order and talked to the manager. I explained being a legal vehicle not able to use her drivethrough. She discussed how the sensor didn’t register my presence to take my order because it needed a certain weight and had some sort of magnet, and that they didn’t serve the bicycles in the drive-through because of safety issues with cars whipping around them and running into a cyclist.

Now McDonald’s is a private business serving the public. I wish I could have used the drivethrough, but as a business they have a right to make their own choices. They saw a safety issue, and chose a way to serve me that wasn’t excessively inconvenient. It would have been nice to use the drivethrough, it would have been nice to have a bicycle rack. But they took steps to be accomodating and explained the situation.

So I give McDonald’s that particular store, a passing grade for accessibility and openness. I don’t give them 5 stars, but I do appreciate what they did, and how they explained it.

But that is only one store. Anytime I want to cycle to a different McDonald’s I’ll have to go through the parking issue again. At least I know they don’t design the sensors to trigger for a bicycle (which is about as bad as being a cyclist at a traffic light that doesn’t recognize you — but that should be the topic of another post).