Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

into poverty and need,
sin and greed,

The Holy One
in flesh and bone,
becoming one
with humankind.

Amid the
beasts stirring,
Virgin laboring,
stillness of the
small, heedless,
sleeping town--

A Child draws breath,

And Creator joins
with creation:

The Almighty
is doing a
new thing!

The Ancient of Days
in the trough.

Copyright [Psalmist], 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Published again!

Another anthem utilizing one of my texts has just been released. Because this publisher markets well and includes authors in their online search options, my name actually pops up prominently for the two versions of this new title. For that reason, I won't link to those pages...I do value my privacy and safety in this crazy online world.

Anyway, it turned out quite nicely. The composer anticipates very good sales, and we have a good deal with the publisher, so eventually I may see a little income from it. And it's nice to have a text receive positive feedback, which has come both from the composer(obviously, since he chose to use it) and from the arranger. The arranger in particular is well-known in the business and carries a fair bit of clout.

Finally, I've also signed the contract for another anthem collaboration with the same composer and arranger/editor. And the composer is asking for two more texts, one of which is for a commissioned anthem for a mutual friend.'s supposed to be about grace! What an inspiring theme! So I'm attempting to commit something good to paper. Yet I'm pop-in blogging...that's what happens when the words aren't coming along very well, I guess.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Of Silver Stars and Ingrates

Warning: Those who deny that women should be serving in the U.S. armed services, don't watch, on danger of being proved wrong...

Watch CBS Videos Online

Once I read on an infamous blog about an ungrateful male soldier who, after having had his life saved by a female medic -- one who just happened to be awarded the Silver Star for the heroism involved in saving his and another male soldier's life --had the ingratitude and tunnel vision to give as his sole comment for the story "Women have no business being on the front line," I simply had to watch the clip for myself. I hope you will watch it, too...but be sure to watch it all.

Then-Private Monica Brown saved the lives of two fellow soldiers at considerable risk to her own life. We laud male soldiers who shield their fellows with their own bodies and tell of their heroism decades and generations later. Yet one of the two men she saved, seemingly thinks she shouldn't have been there at all. And that, because it supported his misogynistic opinions despite the overwhelming witness of the other parties in the story to the contrary, is the only thing Bayly quoted from the entire story.

I'm not sure I'd trust the opinion of an ungrateful, badly wounded junior soldier over the witness of Private Brown's unit's Sergeant Major and brigade commander; they had somthing very different to say about this woman, who served with conspicuous bravery to save her fellow soldiers' lives. I think he -- actually, the soldier AND Bro. Bayly -- is really showing a highly stubborn, egotistic, sinful attitude: "I'd rather die than be saved by a woman."

Jesus offended many in his parable about the Good Samaritan for precisely that kind of reason. The Samaritan was the hero of the story, and the priest and the Pharisee were revealed for the self-righteous, callous sinners they really were. "Good" Jews would rather have died than be saved by a Samaritan, and for telling that parable, Jesus showed that the "good Jews" among his listeners would rather have died in sin than be saved by a Samaritan-loving Jew like Jesus. (Overly simplistic observation, perhaps, but one worth considering.)

Just who, I wonder, would you or I prefer to die than to be saved by?

Meanwhile, here's an old Army veteran and fellow Texan who wishes she could salute Specialist Monica Brown. I'd say she ought to wear her Silver Star proudly, but she's self-effacing enough that she maintains she was only doing her job. And isn't that the sticking point, really? She WAS doing her job, the job she was trained to do, and going above and beyond it in order to save lives under enemy fire. Despite certain blowhard misogynists' bigoted opinions, I suspect that an awful lot of women can relate to serving other people selflessly and at great personal risk. Perhaps much better than said bigoted blowhards can...

(Classic dogface sound-off here)
Monica Brown, you are indeed a hero. Long may your valor be remembered!

Checking back in

Hello to those who stop by.

Medical issue is in the myriad diagnostic tests and procedures phase right now. Surgery still seems likely sometime early in the new year, but how extensive depends on some more imaging and some pathology reports.

Move still isn't done, but slowly progressing. I had *better* make significant progress this weekend (I tell myself, sternly)...

I was briefly checking my Bloglines, and my least-favorite patriarchs-in-pastors'-clothing brothers are at it again concerning women in the military, this time in support of an ungrateful wounded soldier's denouncement of the heroic woman who saved his life.

I'll post about that next. Amazing...

A blessed mid-Advent to all.