Posted in Avondale United Methodist Church, Music

Pass the plate, pass the platelets

Yesterday Avondale United Methodist Church sponsored a blood drive. The goal was 16 units, and 25 units were collected.

I mentioned the drive yesterday afternoon to the people at my Madrigalia Bar Nonne rehearsal, and someone talked about them passing the plate and then passing the  platelets. It was a good enough pun that I had to share it here.

Blood is the gift of life; physical life. In the church we are in the business of sharing the gift of life; life abundant — spiritual, mental, emotional, physical.

I shared a special music number yesterday: Scandalon by Michael Card. It talks about sharing that life abundant, that it is unexpected, a stumbling block, hard for many. as the lyric goes “many will be broken so that he can make them whole — and many will be crushed and lose their own souls.”

Everyone will come upon the Scandalon, and either let it make them whole, or crush themselves upon it. We do them no favor by making it easy, something they can “step over.”

Posted in Music

#26 Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart

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


Rejoice, ye pure in heart, Rejoice, give thanks and sing;

You festal banner wave on high, The cross of Christ your King;


Rejoice, (Rejoice), rejoice (rejoice), Rejoice, give thanks and sing.


Bright youth and snow-crowned age, strong men and maidens meek;

Raise high your free, exulting song, God’s wondrous praises speak;



With voice as full and strong As ocean’s surging praise;

Send forth the hymns our fathers loved, The psalms of ancient days;



With all the angel choirs, With all the saints on earth;

Pour out the strains of joy and bliss; True rapture, noblest mirth;



Still lift your standard high, Still march in firm array,

As warriors thru the darkness toil Till dawns the golden day;


Posted in Family

A Blast of the Past #24: Carly’s Second Birthday


Going from Christmas to birthday in the pictures shows a connection in the gifts between the two. The Unfinished Furniture store was getting a lot of business from us. Well, maybe not a lot, but all the business we had available.


The big gift of the birthday was a toddler bed. Like the toy chest for Christmas, it was a piece of unfinished furniture that we stained.  Unlike the toy chest, which we still have, once both kids and their cousins outgrew it, we didn’t have a reason to keep it, and still managed to store it away in our basement. I think we finally gave it away on the recycling web group last summer (or was it the summer before that), when I was doing my neatening up of the basement and trying to get rid of all the things we had. I was a little sad to let it go, but the pictures here cheer me with happy memories, and it is much better being used than sitting in our basement waiting decades for another user.


Another big gift was a tricycle. That got a lot of use over the years as well, between her, her sibling and the cousins.  Somewhere along the way it got enough wear to actually split in two along the main weld that held the front and back sections together. It stayed in a junk pile in our basement for years after that. In fact, we didn’t get rid of it until earlier this month, when we finally schedule a large trash pickup with the city for a broken sofa and broken chairs and etc.


I cannot comment on a birthday without pictures of the cake either. Apparently no really messy pictures, like the first birthday.


Posted in Family

A Blast of the Past #23: Christmas 1998

Browsing through the pictures this way often allows us to date memories that we have. From the pictures I can see that Christmas 1998 was a significant year for memorable objects.

It was the year the letter trains. We gave both our daughter and her cousin trains that had cars made of letters that spelled their names.


It was also the year we gave Carly the toy chest that she still has. We bought it unfinished and then I stained it for her, and stuffed it with her other presents to open.


The biggest present of those was Big Bear. We had no idea at the time how important Big Bear would be. He became her constant bedtime companion, and still is favored to this day, though he is somewhat flatter than he used to be, due to all the attention he has received.CarlyYear20228


Posted in Music

#25 The Great Creator

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


How I praise the great Creator,

Who did make this world so fair;

As I scan the realm of nature

I can see His image there.


In the steep and on the hiltop,

There I find His royal throne;

And the God who made the mountain

Ever loves me as His own.


Tiny buy and lovely flower,

All the fragrant bloom of spring,

Show the sweetness and the beauty

Of my Sov’reign and my King.


Bubbling spring and swirling river,

Lapping lake and tossing sea,

All declare the might and greatness

Of the one who cares for me.


How I prase the great Creator,

Who did make this world so fari;

For I too am His creation,

And I love Him for His care.

Posted in Education, Family, Houghton College

A Blast of the Past #21: College Reunion


I wrote a blog post about ten years before the reunion that is the subject of today’s post. For this is the 10-year reunion.

At graduation I had no idea where I was headed.

At the five-year reunion I saw many people who were couples, and I was single. Yet my college sweetheart (we did have one date) was also single. So I started courting her.


Now it was five years later, and it was our turn to show up with someone on our arm, and someone running around at our feet.


Much had changed, both for us, and for Houghton College. Fancher Hall was still around, but in a different location. There was the new academic building in its former place.


Friends had also changed. My college roommate and his wife showed up with their two kids. Interesting how many of those kids from back then are now already high school graduates now.


Yes, for now it has been more than 10 years again. Changes have come again. It seemed so long between reunions, and now they seem to come so fast. And social media means the gaps seem even smaller.

So here is to another look back, and the amazing changes, potential and promises that keep us going forward.