Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer" Will Not Be So Lazy

Summer is finally here!  At least, it is for me.  School is done, registration for next year is complete, and my classroom is clean.  I don't have to go back to school until August.  (Although, knowing me, there is a good chance I will go back at some point, at least to drop some things off.)  This summer is going to be very busy.  We have an almost two week long vacation (that I am really looking forward to).  I will be in San Antonio for a week, volunteering for the LCMS National Youth Gathering.  (Peter will be there, too, but with the youth group, so we probably won't see each other much, if at all.)  Then,  my good friend Katie gets married later in July, so we get to travel to Kalamazoo and even make it to camp for their annual chicken dinner.  (Thanks, Katie, for scheduling your wedding for the same weekend.  It made things work out perfectly!)
However, even amidst all of these plans, I have some personal goals for the summer.  Of course, I have things I want to do to get ready for the upcoming school year, but I am not including those items on this list.  These are the goals that I want to meet for myself only.  I figured that if I wrote them down, I would be more accountable.

1) Reread Jane Eyre.  (I plan to read lots of books this summer, but I always pick a classic to read or reread every summer.)
2) Memorize the piano part to the Starke/Holst "We Praise You and Acknowledge You, O God" out of the hymnal.  (Memorizing is something I have always struggled with in piano, and I want to get better at it.  Plus, I love the hymn.)
3) Re-learn calculus.  (I actually enjoyed calculus in high school, and I am sad that I don't remember any of it.  I don't need it, but it is a good mental exercise.)
4) Finish the deck.  (This has been a summer project for a few summers now.  This one does largely depend on the weather, though, which is why it wasn't completed last summer.)

I guess I have a lot to do this summer.  I'd better get started...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Hymn of the Month - "Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven"

Pentecost this year falls on May 19.  Pentecost happens 50 days after Easter, and 10 days after Jesus' ascension into heaven.  On Pentecost we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples while they were camped out in an upper room.  While we worship and celebrate all three persons of the Trinity throughout the church year, the very nature of Pentecost helps us remember the gift of the Holy ,Spirit.  So, for this month, I have picked a Pentecost hymn called "Holy Spirit, the Dove Sent from Heaven."  This hymn was written by Philip W. Blyker and has has been translated from the Spanish buy Stephen P. Starke.

Holy Spirit, the dove sent from heaven,
Ever one with the One who is Three,
From the Father You came,
Word of of peace to proclaim,
Come and comfort us, speak tenderly,
You, the fragrance of life we are seeking;
Fill Your temple, Your altar make clean.
Joyous shelter of love,
Gracious friend from above,
In Your care we are resting, serene.

Holy Spirit, the fire celestial,
Who on Pentecost came as foretold,
To descend from on high
And the Church occupy
As the cloud filled the temple of old;
All the baptized You seal with Your promise,
All believers Your gift there receive,
So that all the elect
All in Christ may expect
To enjoy what by grace they believe.

Holy Spirit, the unction of blessing,
Sacred oil of the green olive tree,
Giving heat, giving light,
As the tent lamps ignite
And as Aaron praised God joyfully.
Blessed living and life giving water,
Now preserve us from evil within;
For in Jesus, God's Son,
All believers are one
In this washing that cleanses from sin.

Holy Spirit, the wind of great power,
Source of strength and of peace and of love,
Truest Comforter, plead,
As You bring all our need
To the throne of God's glory above.
Be the light that enlightens the Scriptures;
Keep our feet from each devilish snare;
Only You can make whole
All that troubles our soul;
By Your chrism, Christ's triumph we share.