26 July 2011

Somebody Else's Thoughts, No. 2

"Psalm" by Reed Whittemore, from The Past, the Present, the Future

The Lord feeds some of His prisoners better than others.
It could be said of Him that He is not a just god but an
indifferent god.
That He is not to be trusted to reward the righteous and
punish the unscrupulous.
That He maketh the poor poorer but is otherwise
undependable.
It could be said of Him that it is His school of the germane
that produced the Congressional Record.
That it is His vision of justice that gave us cost accounting.
It could be said of Him that though we walk with Him all
the days of our lives we will never fathom Him
Because He is empty.
These are dark images of our Lord
That make it seem needful for us to pray not unto Him
But ourselves.
But when we do that we find that indeed we are truly lost
And we rush back into the safer fold, impressed by His care
for us.

21 July 2011

In Response, No. 1

This is a response to a comment on this article made by this individual.

First of all, the dragon is a cultural symbol of Wales where the choir festival took place. It would be the same if the festival took place in the U.S. and a grand eagle were on display or if it took place in Japan and there was a sun.

Secondly, the songs were classic and historical pieces that have beautiful meaning.

What would you say to musicians who said they played music for the Lord in a part of town where there were thieves and harlots, underneath the signs and paintings of a secular culture? Or how about a men's chorus that performed in war zones? Or how about an old man who works for a government under the banners of a heathen god? Because actually these people were all in the Scriptures. They played music and worked underneath banners of foreign symbols, but it didn't mean they had accepted and beheld sin. (Joshua 6:20, 2 Chronicles 20:21, Esther 2)

The Bible also uses the ocean and water as symbols of the congregation of evil and darkness, (Revelation 21:1), but does that mean any symbols of water or the ocean are of evil? The fish was a symbol of a pagan god in the Old Testament, but we know early Christians used the fish as a symbol of their faith.

That dragon is simply a symbol of the Welsh festival, and inscribed on the seal is the motto of the festival "Byd gwyn fydd byd a gano. Gwaraidd fydd ei gerddi fo" which translates from the Welsh as "Blessed is a world that sings, Gentle are its songs."

The voice is the only directly God-given instrument. And this festival celebrates the assembled unison of that gift. The festival's motto reminds me of the words from a hymn, "This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears - All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres."

This choir or any choir will find it can only sing the music of the spheres, the song the angels sang at the world's first dawn. I'm sure this choir came to competition with only the intent of praising the Lord. I think it's about time an Adventist choir took front stage to witness. We've been afraid of being afraid of secularism or paganism because of the spotlight for too long.

Let us show the world that our gospel is not shared by meaningless Bible-bashing, but by the song in our hearts.

"Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them."

19 July 2011

True North

I recently took a brief excursion to Canada. Of all the places I travel, I always feel quite comfortable in British Columbia, probably because it's not a rural country place or in the South.

On one of the evenings I was sitting alone in a steam room at the hotel when one boy popped his head in the door. "Um. Hello," he said awkwardly, as he came in followed by a crew of other boys, ranging from 6 to 16. After intermittent conversation with each other, the room was silent. One of them greeted me in an attempted obnoxious fashion, "Hi."
"Hi there."
"What's your name?"
I responded.
"Are you a traveler?"
I figured maybe I should pretend I'm student roaming around, and I responded so.
"Where are you from?"
"America"
"You don't look fat like an American. Not that you're fat or anything, or Americans are fat. or.."
"No I understand. I have these premonitions of Canadians as well. Do you put maple syrup on everything?"

And we continued from there.
They told me about the polar bears they had to ride to school from their igloos, and admitted they joked that Americans live in McDonald's restaurants, all while purposefully concluding their sentences with something that sounds like the first letter of the alphabet. I'm not sure.

One of the more intelligent ones explained that Canada's right-wing is not as right as America's, which is why homosexual marriage is legal there. I was at least glad they approved of Obama, while showing contempt for his predecessor.

I was getting tired of acting like a foreign journalist talking to children in an underprivileged country, so I excused myself. A younger Canuck quipped back, "Come back and we can ice fish at my igloo eh?"