Archive for October, 2013

Michael Jackson – Thriller

I may not be going trick-or-treating, but it is Halloween after all.

A-Ha – Take On Me

We got new music in marching band for our halftime show on Saturday, and we’re playing an arrangement of this. It’s a lot of fun, but sixteenth note runs at 160 bpm are pretty challenging, especially on mellophone.

Sock Wars: Dead for Lack of Underwear

Well, I’m dead. As I was walking from chem lecture to my horn lesson today, a girl I recognized but had never talked to before gently pushed me on the shoulder, then asked if I was Samuel Johnson. I almost took off running, but realized that she had touched me with a sock already. I was a little bit upset, but more because the kill was less climactic than I had hoped. I wanted to be taken down after a high speed chase on foot away from the band building, or something like that. Ah well.

There are basically two reasons why I got out. The first was that I was not doing the immunity, which was to be wearing underwear over your pants. That just crosses my line of embarrassment. The second was that I was simply not paying attention. My plan for the day without immunity was to be careful until rehearsal, then just run going to and from the band building. I was actually kind of looking forward to it. I should have recognized my killer though, because I knew the person who had me was a cymbal player (from a tuba player who overheard the cymbal line talking), and I can recognize most people in the drumline, and should have noticed her coming straight at me with a sock.

So I’ll need to wait til next year for more Sock Wars. As it was, it was likely that I would time-out on my kill tomorrow. My target was one of our drum majors, who tend to take the game fairly seriously, and trying to make a kill tonight without an immunity would have been risky. As it is, I am going to be playing in another game of Assassin with my dorm starting a week from today. It’s considerably smaller, and I think the band game is more fun, but that’s okay.

Something Isn’t Working…

When I started my Daily Devotion category, I planned for it to keep me accountable in studying the Bible or praying daily. For a while, it did its job very well, with only a few missed days. The past couple of weeks though, that plan has begun to backfire a little bit. As my work has ramped up into the normal school year, it has become increasingly difficult to find time to make such posts. On top of the ten to fifteen minutes it takes me to really read and study the passage I’m focusing on or get into prayer, I have found that it commonly takes me up to forty or even fifty minutes for me to write a post about it. That was fine when my workload was smaller than it was in middle school, but it is much more difficult with a full ~18 credit hour courseload each week. So especially the past couple of weeks, I have fallen into the trap of not doing a devotion at all if I can’t write a post about it. It’s kind of silly, but what I meant to hold me accountable has ended up doing the opposite.

For this reason, I’ve decided that I’m going to do my Daily Devotion posts a little bit differently from now on. I will continue to read or pray every day, but instead of attempting to make a post about it every single day, I will write one post at the end of each week listing what I read and maybe a little bit of what I learned. In the end, it will be much less work, but I think it will still be enough to keep me going with my devotions. This will also free up a little bit of time that I can use to make other posts that I’ve wanted to for a while, which I’m excited about. All in all, I think this method will work much better and be less time consuming and almost equally rewarding.

Gungor – God and Country

Press Play – #LITO

Band Bible Study: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and Sackbuts

Well, this post is a little bit late. Three days late, in fact. I think that’s a record in the short life of this blog.

In band Bible study on Thursday night, contrasting with the first couple of discussions, we talked about music being used in ways that don’t praise God, starting with the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It has been a long time since I last heard the actual passage from Daniel, probably some time in elementary or middle school, but has some really good points for children and adults especially those in between. For one thing, the three followers of God should be models for how to live by faith. When faced with the option to bow before an idol or be put to death, they definitively choose the latter. But they don’t die. Even as they are brought to the furnace they are to be incinerated in, they tell the king Nebuchadnezzar that “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand… [but even if he doesn’t] we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. (Daniel 3: 17-18) Inside the furnace, however, they are unharmed and come our alive because of their faith.

The lesson that stood out to be more, however, dealt with the idol Nebuchadnezzar built and the worship of it. There were many interesting comments, especially about the act of worshipping such a statue, brought up by the other members of the Bible study group. One pointed out how the fact that all of the land was supposed to worship together plays on mob mentality, drawing many people into the action that might question it in other circumstances. Another suggested that the idea of worshipping to music (the signal to worship the idol was music) could have made the act seem routine or more harmless than it actually is. A third made a comment that challenged me personally about what “line,” if there is one, between simply liking something and worshipping it. In today’s pop culture and capitalist economy, there are more idols than ever, but almost none that are as obvious as Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue. Wealth, sex, video games, the “American Dream,” comfort, fame, famous people (think American Idol?) and many others draw our focus away from the single entity we should worship: God. Obviously we need money and other earthly possessions to live, but at what point does our interest in such things become worship?

I don’t think I could name specific idols that I struggle with in my life right now, but I think it is important to keep in mind who we should  be “idolizing” all the time. If anything gets in the way of that, I pray that I may notice it and appropriately “take care” of it.

Oh, I almost forgot. As is normal, we had some fun just talking and joking about things at Bible study. One of the things that I found really funny was in the wording of one of the versions we read from. In Daniel 3: 5, as well as a couple of other places, it lists instruments that will be played during the worship of the golden idol. In the King James Version, which one of the other people in the Bible study was reading, it mentioned “sackbuts.” For those of you who don’t know, a sackbut is basically just an early (15th and 16th century) version of the instrument we now know as a trombone. The instrument itself isn’t all that exciting, but the name, you have to admit, is pretty funny. We had some fun with that, and may attempt to make calling our trombone section the “sackbut section” a thing. We’ll see if that works out…