I Like Music! What a Great Life!

February 17, 2016 9:32 pm Jubal's Jottings

(This post was written prior to 2016, in a blog entitled “Jubal’s Jottings.”)

So, I found myself at Christmas concerts and services over the past weekend…like many others. As I sat and listened and joined the music of the season, I found myself with more than an occasional moment of emotion. You know, the simple singing of “Silent Night, Holy Night” is really pretty profound in many ways! I further found myself thinking back over the last couple of years…I wrote a LOT of little black notes on some score paper – hundreds of pages of music…Jubilate! Concert Mass, the Lausanne project in Africa… I thought once again at not only the joy and wonder of music as a listener and participant but also the joy of creating it! I even went one step further in my thoughts. Many people like music but don’t have the privilege of understanding, enjoying, and creating music professionally, but I do! Many people don’t even like what they do for a profession, but I have the privilege of working with music and people making music virtually every day. I am blessed! I like music!

Jubal, thank you for creating things that made music so that all these years later, I could have a privileged life centered around music. Even more than thanks to Jubal, thanks be to God!

A couple friends had commented on the original post, as follows:

Sue Munson: “I am still very appreciative of everything you taught me about music and worship–and sticking to it until someone convinces me, from Scripture, that I need to change my thinking.”

Doug Brendel: “Ed Willmington was a study in contradictions: a towering talent, a brilliant musician, yet quiet and gentle; a studiously proper gentleman, yet with a keen, dry wit. He may have appeared to be the classic conservative, but there was an electric undercurrent buzzing in him, an insistent hum of creativity.”


Christmas Carols & Theology

February 16, 2016 1:23 pm Jubal's Jottings

(This post was written prior to 2016, in a blog entitled “Jubal’s Jottings.”)

We sing these phrases once a year…”God and sinners reconciled…Offspring of the Virgin’s womb…Veiled in flesh the Godhead see…Hail the incarnate Deity…Born that man no more may die….” The good part is that we DO once a year ingest these great theological statements of Christian belief into our hearts and minds through the gift of song. The sad part is that we sing them quickly, without due explanation or significant contemplation…and poof, we don’t sing them again for another year!

In the following link, several people offer their interesting thoughts on Christmas songs and theology. Not all Christmas carols have totally accurate statements in them, so we should perhaps practice care when arbitrarily singing them. The authors in this link describe differing views as to how to handle these treasured carols with great care!

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/december/2.16.html/ (article preview for non-subscribers)

Christianity Today Article Preview – 11/23/2010 (PDF article preview for non-subscribers)

Jubal, as for me, I just wish the leaders would take a moment each Christmas to remind me what I’m singing about!


Yay for Disneyland!

February 15, 2016 10:33 pm Jubal's Jottings

(This post was written prior to 2016, in a blog entitled “Jubal’s Jottings.”)

Through a gracious invitation, I attended the Candlelight Ceremony at Disneyland…yes, the home of Mickey and Minnie! It was a grand event in the style and standard of excellence that you would expect from a Disney production…right down to the classy ushers. The stage was well laid out and ready for the program…the lights were tested…mics in place…again, just as you would expect from Disneyland. Jon Voight came to the lectern to serve as narrator. His first words were something to the effect that secular society had turned Christmas into something it wasn’t. Christmas is about Christ and His birth. He proceeded throughout the program to read directly from the Gospel of Luke…the Christmas story. It was intermixed with Christmas carols that were familiar to all. The words “God,” “Jesus,” and “Christ” were mentioned liberally during the evening…perhaps more than some churches will do in their attempt to make the message of the season palatable to all! In all of our “cultural sensitivity,” have we turned Christmas into something other than Christmas…and Disneyland has to do the world a favor by keeping that message pure and simple? Maybe so…

So Jubal, you would have approved of the program. Those herald trumpet players up on top of the Disneyland train station were blowing in the cold wind, but nailed every note! You would have been impressed!

They ended the program with the reading of the James Allan Francis poem, “One Solitary Life.” If you haven’t seen this, or it has been a long time, here is “One Solitary Life.”

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him

He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself

He was only thirty three

His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth

When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend

Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life

Dr. James Allan Francis © 1926.


To Advent or Not to Advent?

February 14, 2016 9:33 pm Jubal's Jottings

(This post was written prior to 2016, in a blog entitled “Jubal’s Jottings.”)

I went to church yesterday with anticipation of celebrating the Advent season…since it was the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Entering the church, I was immediately struck with the beautiful decorations…lights, Christmas trees, HUGE star hung at the back of the platform…yay, it’s Christmas! The band came out and started to play…sounded good…then as we went from song to song to song…nothing about Advent, Christmas…nothing! The songs would have worked just as well in July as they did on the 2nd Sunday of Advent! I was disappointed.

I understand that there is no rule that any church must sing Advent songs on Dec. 6. I do know that, BUT this is one of the great seasons of the church year. We not only celebrate the 1st Advent…a Savior was born! That’s a big deal! We should give attention to that! We also are in the preparation mode for the 2nd Advent – Christ’s return…or do we not really believe that? Hmmm…? I heard more real Christmas music outside of the church than inside this weekend. Is that the right statement to make about our beliefs? I hope not!

Jubal, I know you were around before even the first Advent, but don’t you think there should have been some indication for the reason for the season except for the nice lights and trees and star…?


To Africa and Back!

February 13, 2016 2:23 pm Jubal's Jottings

(This post was written prior to 2016, in a blog entitled “Jubal’s Jottings.”)

After the Jubilate! mass, I did probably an ill-advised thing by jumping into a 30-hour journey to South Africa! I mean, I was at the airport literally less than 24 hours after the Chapel service where we did some portions of the mass, which was the morning after the full concert! The big picture schedule dictated the timing, but it was weary on top of weary, for sure.

So, why South Africa? The Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization is holding a gathering of 4,000-5,000 people from all over the world at the Cape Town International Convention Center in October 2010. Our Brehm Center group has been asked to participate in some areas of leadership for the conference, specifically in designing and producing the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. This trip was an opportunity to meet many musicians who hopefully we can gather to assist in the project and to see the convention center facility. What an overwhelming and exciting opportunity!

If you’d like to know more about this gathering you can do that by looking at www.lausanne.org.

Jubal, the challenges don’t stop…this is a great way to impact the cause of Christ around the world. Wish I could assign you some of the tasks I have ahead of me! Where are you when I need you?


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