Monday, February 27, 2012

Words to Live By?

Up until 1963 (the year of my graduation from high school), Bible reading and prayer were allowed by law in public schools. (Some experts say that year was the beginning of the downward slide in American education.) Our high school homerooms began each day with a brief Scripture reading (usually chosen by a student) followed by the Lord’s Prayer. In those days, we read almost exclusively from the King James Version. One clever clown in my class decided one day to read as a passage Jeremiah 13:1-5 (or one similar).

Thus saith the Lord unto me, ‘Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.’ So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came unto me a second time, saying, ‘Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.”

Giggles all around!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Does God Want to Hear?

In looking at my Bible I find that of all the pursuits, singing sits fairly far up on the list. Oh, yes, we read about praying and begetting, even fighting, but singing seems to appear from Genesis to Revelation. Yes, we read about singing more than any other occupation we will have in Heaven.

When I think about the references to singing in the Bible, I don’t read too often that we should leave it to a soloist. Sometimes choirs do the job, but most of the time, singing is done by EVERYONE.

When I think of the activity of singing during my lifetime, I go back to my childhood where I sat next to my parents in church and heard them lustily participate with all the other farmers and wives, unashamedly. Yes, they sang, not thinking anything particularly strange about doing so. We sang around the piano at home. My sister and I sang while we washed and dried the dishes after the evening meal. We even sang rounds together.

When I think about singing now in the 21st century, it amazes me how ignorant, how self-conscious, how reticent people act. (By the way, I hope the thousands of music students I’ve had during my life of teaching are different!) After hearing and seeing on TV how strongly the Canadians sang their anthem at the last Olympics, I am ashamed that we do such a poor job of getting everyone to join in when our anthem is presented in public. Why do we think we need some pop singer to “interpret” the song in his or her genre, making it impossible to sing along?

When I teach children singing, even church children, I find that many have rarely sung before I introduce it to them. Even when I do get them to sing in unison, they have a difficult time holding a pitch, or hanging onto a line of a familiar song enough to try singing in a round, thus revealing their dependence on others.

I blame the adults who seem to think it is more sophisticated to “listen” to music rather than to “make” it. What a disservice we do to our children and to ourselves.

One of the joys God gave us at creation was singing, and He will expect us to honor Him in Heaven with our voices. Will we even know how? I hope so!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Preacher's Wife

Many people saw the movie Preacher’s Wife, in which Whitney Houston played the lead character. But how many remember the song which she sang? It follows:

I love the Lord, who heard my cry
And pitied every groan.
Long as I live and troubles rise,
I’ll hasten to God's throne.
I love the Lord, who heard my cry
And chased my griefs away.
O let my heart no more despair
While I have breath to pray.

I wonder if Whitney knew the reality of those words. Do you?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Denomination

the Orthopedic Presbyterian Church (ORPC)
(where we operate to bring you back!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Scream Rooms

The U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office is reportedly looking into whether officials at Farm Hill School in Middletown [CT] discriminated against children with disabilities by putting them in areas denounced as “scream rooms” where children are put inside small, windowless spaces until they calm down.

Administrators initially defended the use of what they referred to as “timeout rooms.” They had apparently been in use for some time, but many parents said they only recently learned of their existence.
Parents’ outrage grew as they learned of nine separate calls to 911 concerning students inside the room.

Nineteen advocates and lawyers recently filed a complaint with the department. State officials are also investigating.

Middletown’s superintendent of schools, Michael Frechette, says he has directed staff to limit use of the so-called “timeout rooms” to students who have a special classification under a state law that allows for seclusion of those with disabilities

—from the Hartford Courant, January 31, 2012

I don’t know much about “scream rooms.” BUT, I do know that I approve of them—FOR TEACHERS!