Whiplash: God, grace and the pursuit of perfection

"But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." — Matthew 5:48, NLT Terence Fletcher is a sadistic, Machiavellian jazz instructor who believes the only way to create the next generation of musical greats is to push young musicians to the breaking point, and beyond. Andrew ... Continue reading

Blue whale crooners

Like Italian crooners and Latin lovers, male blue whales serenade potential mates with song. Scientists have been recording these songs since the early 1960s, first in the Atlantic, then branching out to listening stations around the globe. A few years ago they reached a startling conclusion: year ... Continue reading

Depressed by jazz

I don't grok jazz. My local PBS station plays jazz at night, and I listen from time to time, hoping that my mother's asparagus theory will win out. (Certain disgusting vegetables, like asparagus, are an acquired taste, according to my mother. She claimed that if I kept choking them down, I'd ... Continue reading

Sinéad’s Theology

Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war... I observe a lot of violence done in the name of theologies of various religions, but when you study the actual texts of those religions you find that they don't ... justify war or violence or anything really which is unloving of ... Continue reading

Oaxacan Valentine

This was the scene in the Zocalo (town square) in Oaxaca, Mexico on Valentine's Day. I'm here on a long business trip and had a chance to visit Oaxaca's famous gathering spot for young and old. The Zocalo was severely damaged in the recent unrest, but now that peace has been restored this ... Continue reading

Turn: A review

  The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi, where are ... Continue reading

On this Rock

I can feel Your love watching over me. From the rise of a silent peace, we sing our praise to Thee. I can see Your hand reaching over me. From our knees comes an awesome cry, God of Majesty. As Your love enfolds around me, so my soul cries to Thee. On the wings of tomorrow, we will sing unto ... Continue reading

The speech of angels

Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite. —Thomas Carlyle Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. —Victor Hugo Music is a ... Continue reading