Showing posts from March, 2017

Spring Has Finally Sprung

I know - some of you might be reading the title of this blog and thinking, "What is she talking about? This winter wasn't that bad! It almost seems like we've been in springtime since the beginning of February!" Let's face it - winters are hard. There's cold, there's snow, there's ice, there's wind, there's darkness, and there's that unpleasant feeling of having your routine messed up thanks to some storm that has brewed up.  But do you know what is worse than a harsh winter? A mild winter.  I have experienced a few mild winters in a row, and they are not fun. I was told last fall - my first fall back in Michigan in eight years - that this winter was going to be especially tough. The waters of Lake Michigan were especially warm in the fall, and that usually spells a lot of moisture for our area.  There was a lot of moisture, but it was joined with warm weather from the south and was rain instead.  The problem with mild

The Big 3-0-0

I am presenting to you my 300th Blurb! How crazy is that? Thanks to So You Think You Can Dance recaps, wistful nostalgia, and daily breakdowns of the Olympic Games, I have made it to 300 articles on this site. For me, this is something worth celebrating. Birthdays are just the start of another cycle around the sun, but this is a milestone! Who would have thought when I first started writing articles in the high school newspaper (which, to be honest, was more like a newsletter) that I would still be writing something other than field trip reminders, Spelling words, and hymn text that need to be memorized? Not me! I do wish now that I had thought more seriously about going into journalism. I don't think it even crossed my radar as I considered careers. I thought of people that wrote newspaper articles as shady guys looking for the next big "scoop." I hadn't opened enough newspapers and magazines to see how a well-constructed, well-researched article was written. J

New Year's Resolution Update

Back on January 1, I told you about my New Year's resolution . I made it my goal to write something  every day of the year. Typically, New Year's resolutions die out near the end of February for many people. They go gung-ho in the first month, but then it becomes too difficult to continue as the days and weeks wear on. But here I am, still writing. I'm not saying it's been easy. There have been a few times where I have been ready to go to bed and I think, "Shoot! I haven't written anything yet!" Or I will sit in front of my computer and think, "Shoot! My mind is a complete blank!" Or I finish writing something and think, "Shoot! This is terrible!" However, there have been other days where I've known exactly about what I was going to write. Those are fun days. This has been an interesting challenge for me, since many of my posts are here on the Blurb. It means people aren't just aware that I'm doing the challenge, b

The Procrastinator's Review: The People vs. OJ Simpson and OJ: Made in America

In the course of a week I watched two shows that premiered last year on FX and ESPN: The People vs. OJ Simpson  and OJ: Made in America . The former was a fictionalized 10-part series by executive producer Ryan Murphy, and the latter was a 5-part documentary by filmmaker Ezra Edelman. It was fascinating to watch because I remembered more than I thought I did. I was 10 years old during all of that chaos, and it was hard to not  hear about the Bronco chase, the trial, the characters, and the verdict, even as a kid. However, there's also the parts that I didn't understand then that are a bit clearer now, and I know that both television series helped educate me. The basics were familiar: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were found dead in Nicole's home, OJ jumped in a white Ford Bronco and rode down a Los Angeles freeway while helicopters chronicled his every move, the trial took forever, he tried on gloves that didn't fit, Johnnie Cochran said "If it don'

An Instrument of Peace

Back in 2001 my high school concert choir started work on a piece called “Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace.” The original text is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, and is a prayer to God. In it, we ask God to use us as channels of His work. The song quickly became of my favorites that I sang in the MLS Concert Choir – after all, it greatly featured the alto section! But the words stuck in my mind, especially because while I’d never heard them before that year, I can’t stop hearing them now. If we were to look at this prayer with a law-gospel mindset, the prayer would probably end up on the chopping block. There is no mention of Jesus Christ and His saving work for our sins. Instead, it focuses on showing God’s love through how we act to others. So can we as Christians use this prayer? Absolutely! When we sing these words as Christian women and men, we are asking God to have us reflect His love on others. The only way we can do that is if we already have that forgiven

My Musician Achilles' Heel

I have been playing a keyboard instrument since I was seven years old. I have been playing consistently ever since, starting with piano and moving to the organ. I play regularly for church services and I can accompany choirs, soloists, and instrumentalists. Overall, people might say I'm a pretty decent organist and pianist. But what they don't know is my biggest problem. I have one issue that I've never been able to fix. Amidst all of the practice, practice, practice, I never practiced this, and now it's kind of rearing its ugly head. My weakness? I can't turn pages and play at the same time. I never thought of this as a problem until I started seeing other experienced organists play. Instead of unfolding pages of copied music on the organ, they opened the book, started playing, and without breaking the rhythm of the song  turned the page! I see that and my jaw drops. How in the world did they do that? Do they stop time and turn the page? Do they have an i