Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day!

Today is the day that protestants remember the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg. Growing up in a Lutheran church, we would have celebrated the reformation last Sunday. And as a Lutheran, we would have had a very robust singing of Martin Luther's A Mighty Fortress.

Since I didn't do a Musical Monday this past week, I'm going to go ahead and pick it up today and share the words of this great hymn. The video is a recording of a fantastic handbell choir performing a lovely setting of this. (I played in our church's handbell choir for a while, and I only WISH we could have been this great!) I also chose the handbell setting in part in honor of my long-time internet friend, Melly, who recently lost her husband to cancer. She has had the distinct honor of performing in a national handbell choir several times. She is an amazing woman, and I admire her deeply.

A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bi-partisan Humor

Just a short week til the election and we can all use a laugh. Someone over at PaperBackSwap linked to this and it absolutely slayed me. Enjoy!

Edit: Hmmm... the embedding feature seems to be not working. You'll have to click through to this link. It's still worth it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barack O'Lanterns

The kids and I carved pumpkins today. My good friend Tina had linked to this site on her blog and we thought it was very cool, so we did it. Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Real Americans

I'll warn in advance that there's some strong language in this. But dag. I'm getting tired of my patriotism being questioned because of my politics.

Real American indeed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The McCain-Obama Comedy Tour

For all of the rancor that has been flying around during this election, I was delighted to read this story this morning.

It makes me happy to see the two candidates taking jabs at one another and the media. Both made some great jokes, offered some great compliments, and I think they both came out winners.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday Drive

Yesterday Jason had the day off for Columbus day. The kids still had school, so Jason and I had a few hours to ourselves. I worked for a little bit in the morning, then asked Jason what he wanted to do. We decided to take the Monte Carlo out for a nice long drive. Gas prices have been going down, so we decided to take a look at the fall leaves.

It was a wonderful day. We decided to drive to Cameron, WV. It's a very small town in the northern panhandle. Lots of winding roads going up and down the mountains. The day was absolutely perfect for a drive. Blue skies, spectacular clouds, and stunning fall foliage. We passed churches. We passed schools. We passed rivers & creeks. We passed an old man out on his porch with his dog, playing the guitar. Just a nice leisurely drive with Matisyahu playing in the background.

When we were in Cameron, we stopped for lunch at a small diner. We had chicken and gravy and mashed potatoes and green beans and it was delicious! It was so nice to sit there and watch the people interact with one another -- I don't think anyone there was a stranger other than the two of us.

We had such a nice time, sitting in the car enjoying the beauty around us, just catching up for a few hours. So often it's easy for us to put off time together. We work, we take care of the kids, we volunteer at church -- when the evenings roll around and we have time to spend together, it's really easy to just flip on the TV and disengage. We could have easily done that yesterday. Just sat down and vegged out without really taking much time to enjoy each others company.

I'm so glad Jason suggested a drive!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Musical Monday

A quick post before I go to bed, especially since I missed this last week!

Today I'm sharing one of my favorite Charlie Hall songs. He was just in Morgantown last week, and Jason picked up his most recent cd. He remade my favorite song, and, incredibly, may have even improved it. The lyric is still the same, but the ostinato in the most recent version is just really nice. Major props for it! If you get a chance to pick that up, I strongly recommend it (I couldn't find it anywhere online to share here).

I think my favorite line is "we are stunned with wide-eyed wonder." I've seen that wide-eyed wonder in my kids at times, and it is one of the few times we get to see sheer joy. I love it.

Enjoy "You Are God" from Charlie Hall.

You're closer than our troubles
More present than any danger
More grand than gold and silver
You are God, You are God

You're the joy of man's desire
You are Father, satisfier
We are stunned with wide-eyed wonder
You are God, You are God

You fill our hearts with love and faith
You fight for us, You make us brave
You are God, You are God.
You walk with us, You lead us on
Faith, hope and love wakes up with dawn
You are God, You are God

Friday, October 10, 2008

Overhead Projectors

All overhead projectors are not created equal.

Growing up, we had a few opportunities to go to the Planetarium in Pittsburgh, and I always really enjoyed it. I now have children and we all enjoy going star-gazing. In fact, one of my favorite childhood memories is a time spent looking at the stars with my family.

Sometimes a $3M "overhead projector" is worth it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And the hits keep on coming!

Yesterday, Senator McCain did an interview with Steve Inskeep of NPR for Morning Edition. Near the end of the interview, when asked about some of the questionable statements from his campaign, he responded:
I'm proud of the campaign we are running, the ads are factually correct. And if someone named or anybody else doesn't agree with it, I respectfully disagree with their conclusions.

I find it fascinating that he doesn't think that has their ducks in a row, especially considering that he cited them in one of his ads, going so far as to name the ad "Fact Check."

Apparently he didn't like that the folks over at FactCheck were unhappy with the way their name was used in that ad, given that they had never said that the Obama campaign had spread any of the lies about Gov. Palin and they called him on it.

You know, I can understand sticking up for your campaign, but wow. Where is the integrity when you call the folks who keep you honest liars?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Where Colbert Gets His Material

In Colbert's first episode, he talked about truthiness. A very funny and entertaining look at the unfortunate way that we sometimes deal with the news. Great, but clearly satirical.

At least, I thought that until I was sitting here this morning watching this piece from CNN with James Carville and Fay Buchanan on Anderson Cooper 360. By all means, watch the full piece, but make sure you don't miss this gem at 7:29 where Fay says:
You don't speak with your mind if you want to reach American people.

I mean, wow. Have we devalued our minds so much that we need to have our politics felt at us? That as long as a candidate is "nice" we think they're qualified?

I understand that facts aren't pretty or exciting. And I understand that there is no candidate that is honest with us all of the time (one only needs to visit one time to figure that out). But wow. That we now have analysts telling us and candidates (because even if Senators McCain & Obama don't have time to watch Anderson 360, they have a staffer who is watching it) that you don't speak with your mind because it is only a hindrance if you want to reach Americans.

Well, time to take my kids to school. Maybe, if I want to have "good" voters someday, I just need to take them to a therapist.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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