The Christmas Cantata: A Short Story With a Remarkably Fecund Ending

Does anyone perform a cantata any more? What is a cantata anyway? When I was young, they were everywhere: a strange blend of musical theater, opera, and Handel if Handel had written for Evangelicals who sang SATB. John W. Peterson was the Man of Many Cantatas and oddly enough I enjoyed them. One year in [Read More…]

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“Man of the Worldly Mind”- Scrooge and His Simplistic Materialism

Scrooge has a great many problems and one of them is a weird irrationality about the world. He is a materialist. He thinks (!) that nothing exists, but matter. When confronted with a refutation of his beliefs in the form of a ghost, he refuses to be convinced. Here is the exchange: “You don’t believe in [Read More…]

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Christmas around the World and in Our House

Jesus loves the whole world and Jesus loves my little family. Our family is about as American as one can be by history and habits, but our faith is global. We learned to celebrate the coming of Jesus (glorious!) as Americans and so good traditions work for us that would not work elsewhere: A Charlie Brown [Read More…]

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Follow the Star: the Folly of Certainty

Beauty, Truth, and the Good are real. What do I mean by that? Beauty, Truth, and the Good exist independent of human minds. They exist in the Mind of God (at least) and so can be known. If the Good can be known, the moral life is possible. If the Truth can be known, then [Read More…]

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Give Money to Have Less Money: God Will Bless You, Every One.

Scrooge got angry with his nephew Fred over a “Merry Christmas” claiming he would like to see such humbugs boiled in their own pudding and buried with a stake of holly in their hearts.* This is a far worse reaction to Christmas than a Starbucks red cup. Scrooge loves money because he thinks it keeps [Read More…]

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Praying for Mr. Trump (After Eight Years of Praying for Mr. Obama): Five Requests

Recently I marked a change in my daily prayers: I began to pray for the President Elect after praying for President Obama for eight years. The old order is changing and is giving way to the new. That is the way of a Republic. I pray for our head of state, because I should. Why? [Read More…]

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Advent: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Let’s celebrate the coming of Jesus, but not quite yet! We are “between” in the United States and every school teacher feels the joyous tension of being past Thanksgiving and yet weeks from Christmas. Even our college students feel it, the anticipation with so much left to do. If you are not a teacher, work [Read More…]

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Mozart and a Quiet Moment Without a Moment of Drowsiness

Listening to Mozart live is one of the few musical experiences where I am made calm, yet not sleepy. I was lucky enough to hear Jeffery Kahane conduct and play piano for a packed house in Houston.  We have had a wonderful, but busy holiday with much to do later to get ready for the work [Read More…]

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The Glass Bauble Was Beautiful . . . God, so Beautiful

We put up the Christmas tree today and the entire time was lovely. We went to the great parking lot of trees and looked for a humble tree . . . avoiding the dreaded “proud tree.” “A proud tree,” you ask? And there is no good explanation except to say that long ago a wise [Read More…]

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Born to Free: Advent is Coming

Everyone is born to be free, but soon finds themselves in chains. This is not because of politics, unless referring to the governance of the soul. Within each person, desire fights with reason and desires too often win. Not that desire is bad, in place, desire adds sweetness and joy to life, yet we so [Read More…]

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