German Music Recital

 

On Thursday, February 18,  I attended the senior recital of mezzo-soprano singer Charity Barker at Oral Roberts University.  Usually, I am not one to pick out concerts for vocal qualities.  I tend to prefer the more instrumental performances.  However, I did attend Ms. Barker’s recital and feel it was a good experience for me.

Ms. Barker has a strong vibrant voice.  As vocal majors are required, Ms. Barker sang songs in Italian, German, French, and British and American English.  Since I do not understand most of those languages, I followed along in the little flier in the bulletin. I was surprised at the depressive lyrics to several of the songs.  The song Son tutta duolo especially was full of saddened lyrics.

The Italian piece, Orontea somehow reminded me of aristocratic gardens as one would watch out a large window pane.  It seemed to flow gently.  Even though I could not understand the lyrics, they held the quality which made me think of a lady missing her lad who was away.

As I listened to the music, I took notes so I could write some of the feelings I was having as I listened.  I described the German music as heavier and darker than the other pieces.  Of the German pieces I wrote, “Tries to be light and jovial but doesn’t quite make it.”  The German pieces somehow had a heavier sound.  Perhaps it was the guttural sound of the German tongue or just the style of those pieces.   The American pieces by Gershwin held a light sound with a hint of frivolity.

Overall, I think I gained a better understanding of what the different language styles and at least a little more appreciation of vocal music by itself.

Nepal and India Conference Ministry

I visited India and Nepal in 1998 with a ministry team from Oral Roberts University. Here are some of my notes from that time from a letter I found recently.

When we first arrived in India we met our contact, Tom Adleta (he is a whole story in himself) after rushing our baggage out of the airport and into jeeps we were just in time because a rainstorm hit.  Boy!  When it rains in India it really rains. The jeeps took us across the countryside toward Nepal several hours away.

This area of India is mostly tea plantations.  The plantations were originally English endeavors from when England colonized India until 1947.

Even in the rain there were harvesters working under their umbrellas to gather the yellow leaves from the tops of tea bushes which are more than 100 years old.

After stopping at the border to fill out the customary paperwork we made our way through the streets of Karkavitta to the Hotel Rajat (King Hotel) where we would stay for the next week and hold our first conference.

Friday, Saturday, and most of Sunday we rested and prepared for the conference.  Even though it was named the “King Hotel” we had friendly geckos to keep us company.  Well, at least they helped keep the bug population down! It got pretty hot and the humidity was awful so we drank lots of water and did our best to stay cool.

Outside of my window I could see the dirt street and one morning I watched an elderly man as he washed his face at a spigot and offered water and his morning prayers to his gods.  Seeing this was just the beginning of my realizing the spiritual oppression of the people of this area.

The conference was organized by a disciple of Tom’s who he has been training for some time to take over this aspect of their ministry.  Tom is focusing on equipping pastors from Bhutan to minister there. (Bhutan is one of the most closed nations in the world.  Several weeks after this conference a church in Bhutan was raided by police and about 15 people and the pastor were placed in jail.

We held the conference in a little (10’x 30′) storage room attached to the hotel.  When the electricity went out (a common occurrence throughout the whole trip) we sweltered and prayed that it would come back on and run the two ceiling fans again. Cure for heat?  Drink water. All day long

We may have been told that it would be a “youth” conference but “youth” means anyone between 13 and 70.  What an honor to be able to speak to these people several of which were pastors themselves!  Glory to God who fills us up and then uses us if we are willing to serve.

The Conference which began Sunday night and ran until noon Wednesday.  Since we were given freedom in what we would teach on each of us took our rest time to pray and study so we’d be prepared for our session.

I can see how important it is to be, as Paul told Timothy, Ready to preach in season and out of season.  It was very interesting to see how the Holy Spirit guided each teaching to follow a single theme about growing in the Lord.  I taught on putting on the armor of God.

Preaching can be very enjoyable when you can feel the Spirit speaking through you but when He doesn’t it can really be a struggle.  I experienced both types of preaching on this trip.  A hands-on lesson on relying on God and not on self.

The crowd we were speaking to consisted of about 60  pastors, lay Christians and at least one Hindu teacher who stopped by. Some of these people were Bhutanese refugees staying in India, some were Nepalis and some had traveled for days to come to this conference.  It is very humbling to see how much they desire God yet I know that I often don’t have that fervor for Him.

About the Hindu teacher.

God specifically had him show up one evening and hear Michael Homan’s teaching on Jesus Christ.  After that session Tom told him to stay for the evening session when he taught the Salvation message again.  The Hindu teacher was ready and accepted Christ that night!  There were several others as well and rededications also.

During different services we prayed for healings and had reports of at least one lady being healed of joint problems. Praise the Lord!

Something about Nepali customs:  all through the services everyone sits on the ground and the ladies sit on one side while men sit on the other.  In Christian circles there is no longer any caste system but the women still have few privileges.  Still, those ladies worship with their whole hearts and pray with fervor.

Wednesday evening we rented an entire bus to take us the 14 hours to Kathmandu.  With seven of us on the team plus Tom; his friend, Reuben; our baggage, and the seven Adleta children (Nathaniel, Matthew, Joy, Jonathan, Jubilee, Honour, and one more), we needed the whole bus. In 14 hours it is amazing, how many different positions I tried to get comfortable….  Stretched across my seat, leaning against the window, kneeling half-on and half-off the seat.  I slept some but it wasn’t until later in the trip that I learned to sleep just about anywhere.

Another rainstorm cooled things off so the ride was really quite nice as we made our way up one of the few highways in Nepal and on toward the Kathmandu Valley.

TRAVEL ALASKA

Part I

Alaska and the Eskimos

The United States is known for its diversity — diversity of land and diversity of people.  People have immigrated from all over the world to join what has been dubbed “the melting pot”.  Since acquiring the region of Alaska from Russia, the U.S. has gained a marvelous addition to this melting pot of cultures and societies.

The natives of Alaska called, Eskimos, are the proud descendants of nomadic travelers, brave sailors, and explorers who have learned to survive in the land of the midnight sun. The first visitors to this harsh environment of the north are thought to be the Tlingits and the Haidas (settlers of British Colombia), the Athabascans (inhabited the Alaskan interior), the Aleuts of the islands, and the Inuit (Eskimo).  These people came from Asia across the land bridge which linked Siberia and North America approximately 3000 years ago1.

Inuit Past Continue reading

The Story of Sadhu Sundar Singh

Story Of Sadhu Sundar Singh by Cyril J. Davey presents the story of the life of a young Indian mystic who rebelled against God.  After struggling with his life, he finally sought God and received an answer when the Lord Jesus appeared to him.  From that point on Sundar Singh lived the life of an Indian holy man who was totally committed to Christ.  His ministry stretched across India, into Tibet, and around the world.  All this took place during his 39 years of life.

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929), the son of a wealthy landowner in the Punjab plain of India, was a prime candidate for becoming another honored member of the “Singh” (lion) family.   God had other plans. Continue reading

Sociolinguistics studies affect on practical TESL

#3 Discuss how the topics in sociolinguistics will affect your practice in TESL and other relationships.

This Sociolinguistics class covered a variety of topics, and has proven very enlightening about communication styles and political attitudes in the United States concerning language education and very practical in how to deal with communications between cultures and genders. Continue reading

Nikon’s Mega Lens 1200-1700mm

The mega lens!

Popular Photography shared an image from the Italian newspaper La Stampa showing Reuters photographer Dylan Martinez using  the mega  Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P IF-ED in Rome.

According to Popular Photography the lens that Nikon briefly made in the early 90s, which sold for $60,000-$75,000. Apparently it weighs about 35 pounds!

Read Reuters description of using this looooong lens in France back in 2007 (although they modified it to fit a Canon body).

 

I remember getting to borrow a Nikon 400mm lens when I was at the Mountain Workshops in Kentucky for shooting off the top of a bell tower. I thought that was pretty cool but imagine shooting eyelashes from three blocks away with the 1200-1700mm!

Here are other incredible lenses that are worth checking out for the extremist photographer!

Bad News: Is knowing better than ignorance?

“It’s something you’d expect from Ebenezer Scrooge: Firing 20 employees of a sandwich shop days before Christmas.” That’s how WGN-TV described the firing of 20 workers.

For me, as difficult as that news may have been, I think I’d rather know bad news like this before the big Christmas day instead of right afterwards especially considering how people often overspend in preparation for Christmas. At least the newly unemployed could cull their gifts to something that matches their new budget instead of trying to convince family members to let you have their gifts back or to look for cash exchanges for the gift cards they gave you!

What about you? Would you want to find out after Christmas or before if you were about to lose your job?

Communication Styles

Compare and contrast the communication style of American Indians, Israelis, and Black Americans based on readings, include why they choose to communicate in certain ways.

Being a part of community is vital to interaction between societies of every background.  In this essay we will consider some of the ways American Indians, Israelis, and Black Americans retain their sense of community between those who belong to those communities and exclude those who do not belong within their communities. Continue reading

Charity Publicity via Reddit

Heifer, the non-profit that helps poor by providing training, and animals around the globe, just received a big publicity boon from none other than billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates.

He participated in Reddit’s Secret Santa gift giving and made one Reddit user very happy. It also was a great marketing promotion for Heifer!

Read the story here:

Bill Gates Shares The Holiday Spirit With One Very Surprised Reddit User – Forbes.