Posts from — November 2011
One of the albums I’ve had on repeat for the past little while is This is Where We Are, the debut effort from Texas-based band Seryn. (It’s on Spotify.) Their constantly changing instrumentation and exuberant harmonies put a smile on my face; and although they are most often described as “joyful” I find the album has a satisfying ratio of foot-tapping and more mellow tunes.
Seryn is probably best known for the track “We Will All Be Changed” (available for download at Paste magazine); one of my favorites is “Of Ded Moroz”:
Being a sucker for new Christmas tunes, I’m excited to see they’re releasing a holiday album at the end of the week. In the meantime, you can download their take on Go, Tell it On the Mountain for free:
November 30, 2011 No Comments
“You are great, Lord, and greatly to be praised. Great is your power, and of your wisdom there is no end. And man, who is part of what you have created, desires to praise you. Yes, even though he carries his mortality wherever he goes, as the proof of his sin and the testimony of your justice, man desires to praise you. For you have stirred up his heart so that he takes pleasure in praising you. You have created us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
- St. Augustine, Confessions
November 27, 2011 No Comments
“Grace begins when one person is full and another is empty. One person is a have and the other a have-not. One is rich; the other is poor. Then grace comes into action as the emptiness of one is filled up by the fullness of the other. What we do not have is supplied by what he has. Our poverty is replaced by his wealth.
And all that not because we deserve it, but because Jesus is gracious.
His riches are free. Therefore, gratitude wells up in the hearts of those who “receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness” (Romans 5:17). This gratitude to Christ, which marks all true believers (Romans 1:21), is more than saying, “Thank you,” or trying to return some service; it is more than being glad you are free from condemnation; it is being glad toward Jesus for the riches of salvation and the way he made it ours.
When the grace of Jesus penetrates the human heart, it rebounds back to God as gratitude. Christian gratitude is grace reflected back to God in the happiness we feel toward Jesus . . .
The wonderful thing about the gospel is that the response it requires from us for God’s glory is also the response which we feel to be most natural and joyful, namely, gratitude for grace. God’s glory and our gladness are not in competition.”
- John Piper (source)
November 23, 2011 No Comments
“Be thankful for the smallest blessing, and you will deserve to receive greater. Value the least gifts no less than the greatest, and simple graces as especial favours. If you remember the dignity of the Giver, no gift will seem small or mean, for nothing can be valueless that is given by the most high God.”
- Thomas à Kempis
November 20, 2011 No Comments
“I do not, in my personal capacity, believe that a baby gets his best physical food by sucking his thumb; nor that a man gets his best moral food by sucking his soul, and denying its dependence on God or other good things. I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
- G.K. Chesterton, A Short History of England
November 13, 2011 2 Comments
Why yes, I will add to the palindromic goodness of this day by listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela’s “11:11″ at 11:11 on 11/11/11. Enjoy.
November 11, 2011 No Comments
This name is so terribly hilarious I had to share. Thanks to my brother Steve for discovering this gem, belonging to an espresso catering business based in Seattle. According to the “About” page,
“Our name “Magna Cüm Latté” is a silly pun based on the latin phrase Magna Cum Laude that means “With great distinction” and is usually associated with education and academics. In 1995 we received federal protection for this name!”
Sadly, they no longer have a storefront or I would so go there to take photos. And start a business named “Summa Cüm Latté” across the street (also my brother’s idea).
November 10, 2011 No Comments
“The best thing you can do for your fellow, next to rousing his conscience, is not to give him things to think about, but to wake things up that are in him; or say, to make him think things for himself. The best Nature does for us is to work in us such moods in which thoughts of high import arise. Does any aspect of Nature wake but one thought? Does she ever suggest only one definite thing? Does she make any two men in the same place at the same moment think the same thing? Is she therefore a failure, because she is not definite? Is it nothing that she rouses the something deeper than the understanding–the power that underlies thoughts? Does she not set feeling, and so thinking at work? Would it be better that she did this after one fashion and not after many fashions? Nature is mood-engendering, thought-provoking: such ought the sonata, such ought the fairytale to be.”
- George MacDonald, The Fantastic Imagination
November 6, 2011 No Comments
An old Wendy’s training video from the 1980s. No words.
November 4, 2011 2 Comments
I’m very excited to announce a project I’ve been working on for the past several months: Parnassus Project!
The official description: Based in the greater Seattle area, Parnassus Project seeks to bring chamber music to a cafe culture. Part concert and part social gathering, our events offer top-notch performances, food, and drink in intimate, relaxed venues and encourage interaction among musicians and audience members. Our goals:
- To feature emerging local professionals playing music they love.
- To provide audiences with a fresh take on the classical concert experience.
- To create community-building experiences through partnerships with local businesses and collaborations across musical/artistic genres.
The less-official description: it’s a chamber music concert series aimed to connect emerging classical musicians with the community — both the greater artistic community and the community at large. The idea is to have a couple concerts in “normalish” venues and a couple in less-traditional ones. Whatever the venue, I also hope to involve artists from other genres — whether it’s a visual artist displaying his/her work; a chef sharing some delicious eats; or a non-classical ensemble in a collaborative performance.
Our first official event is next May, but in the meantime I’m working on getting together a few other performances in non-traditional venues around the Seattle area. It’s been really encouraging not only to find several other great musicians who are excited about taking part in this venture; but also to see the interest that neighborhood joints have expressed in hosting classical music.
I’m excited about this; but it’s also kind of scary because the more I work on this the more I realize how little I know about many things. Thank God I have friends and family who have a) shared their expertise and/or b) listened to me think out loud while trying to figure out what I’m doing.
Your support and your prayers are greatly appreciated!
November 2, 2011 No Comments