Showing posts from January, 2009

Lyrics worth living, one day at a time

It isn't often a dying man leads us in song. Last night was special.

Last night The Salvation Army's National Capital Band played at Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church (GPC). James B. Anderson directed his thirty talented band members. This was the second year the band played a hymn sing just prior to the church's annual Chili Dinner.

Earlier in the day, I asked Ann Schmidt, GPC's director of music, if this would become an annual event. Ann didn't know. She said the director had cancer and doctors had given him only 3 months to live. That was in July.

Last night, I listened and watched James Anderson as he joyfully directed the young musicians. From time to time, Anderson recited lyrics or told us background information about the Salvation Army's origins. His lyrical Scottish accent had a music all its own. He never mentioned he was dying. Joy filled his face and energized his movements.

I was impressed.

If I had only a few months to live, would I be conducting a co…

Inauguration views from a speck on the Mall

A record-breaking crowd of nearly 2 million met on the National Mall to witness the Inauguration of President-elect Barak Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Lauren and I were there. We were two specks in the flag-waving faces on the National Mall.

Whenever the announcer would say, "You can now be seated," the crowd laughed. Where we stood, sitting was a luxury we wouldn't find for hours as more and more people gently pushed their way into the area.
Speeches and announcements boomed from speakers positioned along the soggy grass on the National Mall. If not always the sights, at least the music and the messages of the day's events were audible to those who were tall enough to see and those who huddled between them. When human pillars around us shifted positions, we strained to catch glimpses of the Capitol building or watch sharp shooters on museum rooftops or stare at images flashed on jumbotrons. The large screens displayed politicians and dignitaries …

Room to be a part of history

Matt, Lauren and I drove around Washington, D.C., today. We wanted to see and be part of a moment of history in the making.

Inauguration preparations decorated D.C. I've never seen so many police cars, temporary fences, fur coats and lines of port-a-potties near the National Mall. Crowds of pedestrians clogged major intersections. We didn't mind since it gave us a chance to snap photos.Tomorrow, when even larger swirls and streams of pedestrians are let loose in Washington, Lauren and I plan to be a pair of specks among the many, perhaps millions, who are drawn to the area and the moment.This week large screens flank and festoon areas near the Washington Monument and the Capitol grounds. Not everyone will see Obama's inauguration in person tomorrow. Many will look toward one of those large screens as, simultaneously, millions of others witness the events in homes, businesses, and on palm-held devices around the world.Why will people stand in the cold tomorrow to watch histo…

Seeking God's Smile

This week's topic in The Writer's View 2 (TWV2), an AOL online writer's group, yielded a painful truth: few writers earn a living only from writing.

Today, the panelist who initiated the discussion, focused a spotlight on a more important truth among these harsh realities of the publishing field. Cec Murphey wrote these faith-filled words to other Christian communicators:
Dream big. Work hard. If you truly believe that God is sovereign, it means your responsibility is to be faithful as you continue to improve your craft and send out manuscripts. One day God might smile brightly on you.

Cecil ("Cec") Murphey
www.cecilmurphey.comDoes faithful and hard work pay off in writing or in any area of life? Maybe not in blockbuster sales or six-figure salaries. But God rewards his servants in amazing ways -- seen and unseen. Consider the hope the Apostle Paul shared with believers:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move …

"When my spirit grows faint within me . . ."

"When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who know my way." Psalm 142: 3a (NIV)David wrote this psalm from a cave where he hid from King Saul's soldiers. David didn't feel safe. He didn't feel supported by enough others to meet the challenges he faced. In the dim light of that moment, David called on God to rescue him and show him a path to a future place where he could praise God's goodness with others. David asked for and hoped in God's help. History teaches us that David eventually received what he asked for in ways beyond his dreams.

How about us? We may not have a platoon of soldiers hunting us; but, in these economic times, we can feel besieged by fears about jobs and finances and worries about the future. Like David, we may yearn for a sense of safety, freedom and a path to a future time when we can celebrate with others in God's faithfulness and goodness to us.

God is in the business of freeing prisoners and giving hope to those who call o…