…from glory to glory

Archive for the tag “excellence”

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Goodness

arc art bass bowed string instrument

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Good morning, everyone. From out of the confinement of covid-19 quarantine, I am sending greetings. Confinement has not been all bad. I have been studying in one of Ligonier Ministries’ volumes entitled “Developing Christian Character,” which is an in-depth exploration of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. In a world where we see much of the manifested fruit of the fallen human spirit, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit wherever it is manifested is like life-giving sweetness.

One of the manifestations of God’s good gifting to us in this fallen world is Goodness, and Goodness is what breathes in truth and in beauty. Evangelical Christians tend to limit the expression of goodness to that of works of mercy and kindness. This is needed, to be sure, and a fitting offering to God. But Dr. Sproul went on to widen my understanding of Goodness to that element of all that God intended for this earth to yield and produce under our stewardship.  We deny these in many ways, and the world has taken the arts and made them into expressions of corruption rather than the beauty intended to glorify God. Therefore, one of the life applications assigned to his students has been to take time each week to exercise our appreciation for the good, beautiful and true by visiting an art museum, reading a classic novel, listening to some of the classic works of music by Bach and others, taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of nature, etc.

I have been able to find music, a blessing which has lain dormant in my life for a long time. Now, in these months of yearning for some goodness and beauty, God has led me in my pursuit to a young European musician. If you have not already seen and heard this young artist, I am introducing Mr. Stjepan Hauser, cello maestro.

Stjepan Hauser

Stjepan Hauser

June 15 is a Monday, and Mondays can be challenging and disheartening even when we are not in any level of covid-19 quarantine. God has seen fit to bless this world with beauty and goodness in the life of a young musician whose artistry is a winsome blend of excellence and energetic charm. With his versatile expertise and talent, Stjepan Hauser could choose to remain aloof from all the commoners and reserve the blessing for the elite and moneyed classes, denying the rest of us any fruit of the labor he has invested in coming into the excellence of his art. Instead, he has generously and humbly given this world music and shared beauty that God has given him. It’s yours to enjoy while God still blesses us with the mercy of technology.

The link in his post below is the second concert in his series he titled, “ALONE TOGETHER.” Click on that link on Monday, June 15. See the times for the live stream in your time zone.

In the meantime, here is the link to his first concert in that series titled “ALONE TOGETHER,” which was aired in April:

 Among other pieces, it features the music from his first solo classic recording, titled CLASSIC HAUSER.🎶👌

With my spousal caregiving commitment, I can no longer travel; but if I could, I would pay good money to attend one of this young man’s live concerts. If you can travel and if you want to enjoy the blessing of attending a live concert when his tour resumes, here is the link to his website for information on his current schedule and ticket availability: Hauser Official – Tour Schedule 2020

May the goodness and beauty of this gift lift your soul to give thanks to God for His mercies new every morning…

Re-discovering music…

…hath charms.

Music is a giftApril has been a challenging month for many around this world. Waiting is not something we humans do very well; and in the USA, we find waiting and being quiet especially upsetting, disquieting, and even a torment to the soul.

I am no stranger to waiting, but this month has tested whether I will truly discover the Providence of God even in unsettling circumstances. People who know me well know that I am an avid, daily student of the Word of God; many know of my unwavering labors of love in prayer for people whom I know and for fellow humans enduring temptations, testings, and trials this side of glory on a fallen planet. But not many know how much I value music for living well this side glory.

One of the most pleasant of surprises has been becoming re-acquainted with music and how it stirs up joy in my life. I am thanking Spotify for that pleasure; it has enabled me to develop playlists of music my husband and I have enjoyed from early in our life together, but which became eclipsed by the onslaught of much to do, and the demise of the best musical programming on broadcast radio.

We began our joint musical library back in the late 60s with vinyl discs and open reel tapes on high quality stereo equipment. (Although vinyl discs are emerging as a respectable medium for recording and playback, I reckon that only professional musicians nowadays know what open reel tape systems are.)

“Finding old MUSIC you used to love is like

getting back in touch with an old friend.”

As the media transitioned from vinyl discs and open reel to cassette tapes, we transferred favorite albums from our library to the cassette medium, and onward up the tech chain to digital media. We still own our audio stack comprised of stereo amplifier, stereo turntable, dual audio cassette recorder, and dual disc recorder/player, with two speakers which would make modern speakers sound pathetically anemic. However, operating all that equipment has become more like work than pleasure. Spotify to the rescue! Within a matter of a few hours of browsing, voila! Favorites galore in various genres from long ago to more recent artists.  And Spotify streams vibrantly through our laptop wired through our amp and stereo speakers.

Music never diesOne of the many joys of life this side of glory is beautiful music. The world of my mind and my heart is touched deeply by music.  I am moved to sing and to write and to live more deeply by the melodies and rhythms I hear. They must be melodic and lyrical to impress me as beautiful. They must have rhythm and resolution or I am left despondent, agitated and ill of soul.

“Music and Rhythm Find Their Way into the Secret Places of the Soul.” –plato

I am as gladdened by a stirring rhythm as any true music lover; I am known to dance and do a little controlled head banging to the beat of a great piece of rock and pop music performed well. I can groove and praise God at the same time.

There is, however, an entire genre of sounds which are peddled as “music” but which are nothing more than irritating harrassment and vexation to the mind and heart. Any musician who contrives the mischief of pointless cacophony and vain discord punctuating it with an unrelenting, stomping, jack-hammer percussive beating, leaves a harmful imprint on the human soul. Music ought not to be used as a weapon of a wrathful and vulgar spirit, but as the gift from God it is meant to be: good and true and beautiful. 

“Your heartbeat changes with the music you listen to.”

Since music is a fair and glorious gift from God…

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”

Psalm 95.1-2 NIV

This is a time for us who are trusting in the sovereign providence of God over all things to be…

…speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5.19 NASB


Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3.16 NASB

Here is a link to a long ago favorite, newly captured on my Spotify playlist:

“Jalousie” – Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops

Here is a link to a old classic newly discovered and captured on my Spotify playlist:

“Classical Gas” – Mason Williams

Here is a link to a worship piece on one of my playlists:

“Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad” – Paul Wilbur

Note: I am not receiving any compensation from Spotify for my references and links to my playlists. However, you can sign up for a free Spotify account to listen to these shared pieces.  

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