June 18, 2012
Leaving for Tanzania in 2-1/2 weeks. In addition to teaching pastors how to meet their people’s needs through counseling, I’m preparing a men’s retreat and two Sunday sermons for an English-speaking church. Here are some of the details. Still needing additional financial contributions to meet expense, so if you feel moved, please send to East-West Ministries (see bottom of letter below).
June 4, 2012
A magnificent organ like this required an incredibly gifted musician to play it. The two came together last night when Colin Howland played at recital at our church (Park Cities Presbyterian Church). His talent provided world-class entertainment; his commentaries gave us an education; his selections led us in worship of the Lord.
Colin graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and continued study at Baylor University. He not only serves as Director of Music and Organist of PCPC, but also has traveled throughout the United States giving organ recitals for over 20 years.
His commentary on the 1812 Overture (written in 1880) brought some ironic humor to Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. He explained that the two national anthem themes (French and Russian) had not yet been written in 1812. Ironically, this piece has become a favorite fare in our Fourth of July celebration of the independence of the United States on the opposite side of the geo-political spectrum from those two countries.
Selecting three pieces that depicted the Passion of Christ focused our hearts on our Savior’s death, burial and resurrection:
The footsteps of Christ carrying the cross could be discerned. Finally, the victory of the resurrection lifted everyone’s hearts.
The opening selection, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue by Bach, introduced a theme that carried through the program and lingered on to the next day. Bach, himself, said it best: “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” So, when all was said and done, that theme that Bach signed at the end of most of his scores lingers: SDG (Soli Deo Gloria, “To God alone be glory”).
Thanks, Colin, a good man who is doing a good thing in our community.