Archive for February, 2014

Presha J – Throw it in the Air (Smylee Remix)

The original may be a little bit easier to understand, but this one is fun too.


Franz Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 104 (Performed by Bernard Haitink and the Vienna Philharmonic)

Probably Haydn’s most famous symphony, I played this last spring with one of the youth orchestras I was in. For our upcoming concert, the orchestra here is playing it. While I am not playing in this piece in particular on that concert, I was asked (and accepted) to substitute for the second horn player on Wednesday, who had other plans. Haydn still isn’t my favorite composer (to repetitive much of the time), but the piece has its moments (like the low A to open the fourth movement).

Brandon Heath – Wait and See

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

-Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)


Last week (the 17th) we had a guest speaker at Chi Alpha, Brett Fuller. Leading up to the night, I had heard most of the upperclassmen in the fellowship say something about how great he was going to be, but as with many experiences, it was all the more impressive to actually hear him speak. It is hard to pinpoint exactly what it was, from his voice to the Biblical references he made to his own personal stories he used to supplement his point, but he was very good at speaking to us. In the week since, I have been thinking a little about what makes a good orator, especially in the position of a Christian pastor or speaker. There are obviously several things that are important, but I determined that one that helps me understand things the most is the ability to put certain events or actions into context when their true weight might be overlooked.

Mr. Fuller used this additional context several times in his message to us, so I don’t remember all of his examples. Some of the ones that I do remember include:

  • Jesus was baptized by John at the start of his ministry because it was crucial for kings in Israel and Judah (like Jesus) to be anointed by a prophet (John) of God to designate that they should indeed be king.
  • John, in addition to being the one to baptize Jesus, was a really good orator and prophet, even being asked if he himself was the Messiah.
  • In response to such questions, John responded by saying that he was only leading the way for one so important that he wouldn’t be worthy to wash his (Jesus’) feet. Because people wore sandals and the roads were almost always just dirt, washing someone’s feet was a pretty dirty job usually reserved for the very lowest servants in a household.
  • John was a really big deal at the time, but when Jesus began his own ministry, John was willing to selflessly give all the attention he had gained from his life’s work to Jesus.

We discussed the baptism of Jesus a couple of weeks ago in Chi Alpha Bible study a couple of weeks ago, but the story takes on a lot more meaning with even just these three pieces of context that we missed out on in that study.

Speaking of Bible study, in Chi Alpha last Thursday, we talked about Jesus calling the first disciples, Simon Peter, James and John, according to Luke 5. It sounds pretty cool that Jesus just tells the fishermen to fish and that they catch a lot of fish, but that’s missing a lot of the point. At the time, fishermen worked mostly at night fishing in shallow water, but Jesus specifically told them to go out into “deep water” in the middle of the day. And even though the three hadn’t caught anything all night before, this time they caught so much that their nets began to break and their boats began to sink with the weight. This was all to show that there was no doubt that God had a hand in what was going on.

Even the decision to fish, in the middle of the day, in the wrong part of the sea, and after a long discouraging night took a great deal of faith, but for some reason Simon Peter listened to Jesus, a complete stranger, anyway. Something was different about Jesus that automatically drew attention to him, in a good way. Going back to Mr. Fuller’s message, we should reflect that “something different.” People should be able to tell that we follow Jesus simply by how we walk or act in normal life. That’s pretty difficult to do sometimes, but it is definitely something that I can work on.

Gustav Holst – The Planets (Performed by John Williams and the Boston Symphony Orchestra)

I don’t know how I’ve made it so long without posting this piece, which, although I’ve never played it (yet), has been such an important part of shaping my interest in classical music and my own musical career. I think I’ll make a separate, longer post about that.

Percy Grainger – Molly on the Shore (Performed by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and the North Texas Wind Symphony)

This weekend I listened to a strange mix of a playlist of Christian and instrumental electronic and pop music I made and (not on that playlist) wind ensemble/concert band music (LOTS of Ticheli and Mackey). I haven’t personally played this piece, but it would be a lot of fun to.

Pretty Good Week

Sunday: Spent the night with T, my brother, and watched Pirates of the Caribbean. Not exactly a devotion, but it was good just to hang out with him for a little bit.

Monday: Isaiah 30 and 31. Even though Egypt seems to be an ally, Israel should not rely on Egypt, because they will only turn on them, but God will help.

Tuesday: Isaiah 32 and 33. These two chapters kind of reminded me of Psalms or Proverbs, covering lots of topics, from praising God to warnings regarding folly, in only a couple of verses.

Wednesday: Nothing. I don’t remember why…

Thursday: We studied Luke 5: 1-11 (the calling of the first disciples) at my Chi Alpha core group meeting. A lot of the discussion centered around Jesus being awesome and what we need to be doing to follow him.

Friday: Chi Alpha had another Dive Deep event (the first being back in November), which I went to. There weren’t baptisms like the last one, so it was basically two hours of singing and prayer, which was a nice opportunity to have.

Saturday: Isaiah 34 and 35. God will destroy certain kingdoms on Earth, leaving them as deserts and wastelands, which will eventually become a place of praise and a path to Zion.