Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"Es ist Vollbracht!"

For those of you who like to memorize things, or just reflect on the Passion during Lent,here's a thought about the 7 words from the cross:
Three sayings were for his friends and enemies,
Two were to His Father,
One was for himself, but
"It is finished" for everyone

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I used to think that mission statements were best done via the Dilbert "Mission Statement Generator" (C'mon, you know the website...)
But today I was at an introductory meeting for Christian small business owners/entrepreneurs, and they asked for one as part of the meeting feedback and contact info. Since my PDA isn't currently able to connect to the Internet (long story), I had to write my own, and I think it came out well. What do you think?
"To glorify God by providing innovative tools to doctors for the human side of healing"

How to leave comments, criticisms, rave reviews, maps to buried treasure

I am trying to be profoundly SIMPLE here. To leave a comment. Click on "Comments(0)" at the end of each post. I think it's that simple. Nothing is THAT simple. To my longsuffering friends--I have changed settings to allow ANYONE--even my friends(!)--to post without registering.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do music and dating mix? You decide

Here's a list of the worst pieces to take a classical music novice to see:
Benjamin Britten: War Requiem [death and destruction set to really loud, really LONG music, with words by a poet killed during World War One]
Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex [eyes gouged out--you wish it was your ears instead]
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 [the slow movement can be compared to prayer or even sex--but not for those who fall asleep halfway through an uninterrupted 27 minute crescendo of astonishing intensity]
This is more or less a listing of pieces to which I took my wife before and during our now-terminated marriage. She actually enjoyed Prokofiev Pf. Concerto No. 3, but I can't claim credit--Dave's parent's couldn't use their tickets. My ex-wife had other issues, but perhaps you sympathize with her, and even admire her patience.....
More recent mistakes:
Wagner: Mild und Leise (Mild and Soft)Simple title, intense piece...where have I heard thatbefore.... So, I listen to it with a woman I just met,and later, in my casual ignorance, call it "Our Song." Are you laughing yet? This is more commonly known as"Liebestod" or "Death by Love" where Isolde pours out her soul before dying from the intensity of her love for Tristan. Not recommended as first date listening.
Yes, a human being (that would be me) has actually made all these mistakes. Never a dull moment, eh? Oh, the list should also include a piece neither my ex nor I ever heard in concert:
Bela Bartok "Bluebeard's Castle"
Why is this a masterpiece? And why do I have TWO recordings of it? Please leave your comments below. It's getting lonely around here... even though I really like the Bruckner 8th on iTunes

Buried in Controversy

Being too cheap to subscribe to the Boston Glob, and being nearly buried in paper anyway, I read the freebie "METRO" that I pick up at the Newton Corner bus stop. Having heard that a certain prof. Tabor [sic] thought Christians shouldn't worry if the "husk" of Jesus' body was left behind while his spirit soared to the skies, I was inspired as follows[emphasis as published in METRO the next day]:
NEWTON . Regarding“Buried in controversy”(Feb. 27): Thanks for news about the ossuaries, but I must differ with prof. Tabor: If Jesus’ bones were in that box until a few months ago, Christianity is toast, washed up, nonsense. But what are the chances those bones lay for years a few meters from the people who had the most to gain, and lose,from their discovery? The Romans had shovels,and could’ve found the bones if they were there. Ditto for the local religious leaders whose status was threatened by Jesus and his followers. As for those with a lot to lose: Do you really believe articulate, sensible first century people such as Peter and Paul let themselves be executed for something they knew to be a lie? Crazy, right?No, warts and all, Christianity was founded by people with more sense and integrity than that. Their early enemies would’ve never allowed such a deadly secret to lie under a few inches of earth.Thanks, but it’s all too incredible, coming on the heels of those nifty Dan Brown novels. But I’ll expect Metro to keep me posted, since my TV’s broken!
Think I'm kidding about this being published? Check this out; if it's on the Web it's got to be real, right?

"Sibelius in the Snow" or "You can't subdivide Infinity"
I would like to share with you some thoughts about music, written during a snowstorm last year.Do you LOVE music? Are there pieces you find painfully beautiful? I once heard a woman preach a sermon where Bach’s Air on the G String was used as an [excellent] illustration preceding her insights on beauty. The week before, she asked a conductor who attended church for help in arranging the music. Later, he and I shared other pieces that rose to the heights of searing, heart rending beauty. He suggested some of the Shostakovich quartets; my choice was the slow moment of Faure’s last piano trio. But today, in snowy Boston, is a "Sibelius Day. " Even the few short minutes of "Andante Festivo" moved me to tears. Does that happen to you? Maybe when the trumpets enter in the last movement of his Symphony No. 2? What about the English horn at the beginning of the 6th Symphony? Can you listen to "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" (Make, O Lord, my heart pure and clean) from Bach's "St. Matthew Passion" without weeping? Has the first note of "Aus Liebe" --- For Love [My Savior Died]--- ever made your eyes moist? That even surprised me, but I knew the soloist, and I knew she was singing of love that had transformed her. Do you have a favorite piece you can only hear in Heaven? The last duet from Turandot? I remember a dream about Heaven, where giant angels, looking like tall gray statues, were singing Bruckner’s "Te Deum. " That’s sometimes used as the finale to his 9th Symphony, once thought incomplete. I want to hear him conduct it, complete and perfect, in Heaven! Anton Bruckner will be there, he who dedicated his symphonies "To God, should He choose to accept them. " So, I was thinking that maybe I’d missed the heavenly premiere–but I don’t think I missed it at all. How’s that? Time only exists on earth. I think every moment in Heaven will be the first moment, when we see God face to face, and know as we are known. "You can’t subdivide infinity. " How can there be time without the sun? Heaven has no need of it, for the Lord Himself is the light, eternal and beyond time. Well, that’s an engineer-who-loves-music’s view of Heaven. And now, back to earth!