“Gabriel, Move Over to Second Trumpet”

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Music, Trumpet

Powerline reports that Maynard Ferguson died yesterday:

Maynard Ferguson (1928-2006) died yesterday. His name is familiar to every trumpet player and everyone who used to play trumpet--like me. Probably 90 percent of those who, as kids, grew up playing trumpet in band class, and tried to emulate a great trumpet player, tried to emulate Maynard. There was nobody like him in the business--his sound was unique in its virtuosity of power.

Count me among those who tried to emulate his sound. I still remember the evening of a high school wind band concert, during warmups, when the director was taking the band through arpeggios, and I accidentally started on middle G instead of low G, and the director went two octaves instead of just one. In a fleeting moment of brilliance, I nailed every note in tune up through the double-high G and back down - then sat red-faced, both from the exertion and from the embarrassment of the director's look of astonishment and his pronouncement that, "ladies and gentlemen, Maynard Ferguson is with us tonight!"

Apparently, he died of liver and kidney failure, due to an abdominal infection. (According to the article, a memorial service will be held here in Saint Louis.) In life, he impacted many, and with more than just his musical abilities.

In the words of friend and manager Steve Schankman:

Someone just said, 'Gabriel, move over to second trumpet,' He was the last of the greats. That era is closed. There is no Kenton, no Basie, no Ellington, and now, no Ferguson.

The music world lost one of its greats.

Indy Still Tops in Housing Affordability

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Economy, Indiana, Indianapolis, Missouri, Saint Louis

Good news for my parents, since they are currently looking for a home in Indy, now that they have retired (emphasis added):

The Indianapolis area had the most affordable housing among major metro areas in the second quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.


Eighty-seven percent of Indianapolis-area homes were considered affordable for families earning the region's median household income of $65,100.

Here are the '06 Q2 report, and official press release for the NAHB-Wells Fargo HOI:

In the nation’s most affordable major housing market of Indianapolis, 87.4 percent of homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families earning the area’s median household income of $65,100. The median sales price of all homes sold in Indianapolis during that time was $120,000, which is up from $113,000 in the previous quarter and equivalent to the median sales price for Indianapolis homes sold in the final quarter of 2005.

Interestingly, Saint Louis isn't all that far behind: the median house price is $127,000, which is affordable for 79.1% of the population, at a median income of $65,800.

Another note: I apparently missed a golden opportunity to buy a house, as housing prices plummeted in 06Q1, and then recovered in Q2.

OYB August 25

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: 16-19
NT: I Corinthians 16
Ps: Psalm 40:1-10
Pr: Proverbs 22:1

Today´s notable verse:

Do everything in love.

I Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog comments:

Beautiful Proverb verse 1 to start off the 22nd Chapter of Proverbs! "Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold." Do you believe this Proverb to be true? Which do you seek after more - a good reputation or money? You know though, the more I think about this Proverb I have some concerns about it. Only in that if we seek after having a good reputation, then we may really be focusing on ourselves and how other people look at us, rather than focusing on Kingdom things. We may decide to do something because it's "popular", rather than it being "right." We may give to the poor with blazing trumpets because this will help our reputation - but Jesus clearly said we should not do this. Does this make sense? I mean given the choice of a good reputation or being rich, this Proverb is clearly true. But it's not enough. That's why we need to read the entire Bible to get the full context of everything else that surrounds any 1 particular verse in the Bible, like this one. One verse is not enough. It's truth. But not enough. We need the entire Bible.

First, let me say that I agree that context is an important consideration for Scriptural study. How easy would it be to read a line from yesterday's readings - "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die," (I Corinthians 15:32, quoting Isaiah 22:13) and take it completely out of context, to mean exactly the opposite of what both Paul and Isaiah were trying to say. However, I don't think the verse in question here risks such error.

Maybe it is because I'm using the NIV, and Mike here appears to be quoting from the Message, or a similar paraphrase, but I think the exact wording here is important. The NIV reads: "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." The key isn't so much the difference between "reputation" and "name" as it is the importance of the adjective "good". The proverb does not say "popular", but rather, "good" - and "good" is defined not according to our standard, but according to God's standard: that is, holiness and perfection. Thus, to pursue a "good" name, per the proverb, would be to pursue a reputation of one who is godly.

One who would pursue popularity and vainglory is normally easily distinguished from one who pursues godliness, since the ambition of the former is rooted in selfish pride, while the ambition of the latter is grounded in selfless humility. I think this truth is fully encapsulated in this one verse.

Fresh Start at Shelbyville

Filed in Personal, SportsTags: Indiana, Shelbyville, Tennis

My cousin made the local paper again. He's playing #2 singles for the high school tennis team this season.

OYB August 24

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 12-15
NT: I Corinthians 15:29-58
Ps: Psalm 39
Pr: Proverbs 21:30-31

Today´s notable verse:

Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

I Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB August 23

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: 8-11
NT: I Corinthians 15:1-28
Ps: Psalm 38
Pr: Proverbs 21:28-29

Today´s notable verse:

For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

I Corinthians 15:22 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB August 22

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 4-7
NT: I Corinthians 14:18-40
Ps: Psalm 37:30-40
Pr: Proverbs 21:27

Today´s notable verse:

17 "What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, 18 that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?

Job 7:17-18 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

Church of the Week

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Missouri, Saint Louis

My church, Destiny Church of Saint Louis, is featured this week as the 700 Club's Church of the Week:

Destiny Church of St. Louis provides ways to get their members involved in evangelism.


For making a difference in St. Louis and throughout the world, The 700 Club commends Destiny Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

The articles quotes my pastor (and occasional tennis partner) Jim Stern and my friends Alicia and Nikki, and references the church's Serve St. Loius efforts, including sending care packages to troops in Iraq and pillows to children at a local hospital.

Sunday School Scandal in Watertown

Filed in Politics, Religion, Social IssuesTags: Christianity

In The Agora has a post about First Baptist Church in Watertown, NY, dismissing Mary Lambert from her Sunday School teaching position, which she had held for 54 years, citing I Timothy 2:12 (NIV):

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

The pastor, Timothy LaBouf, issued this statement on the church's web site.

The church also has a blog, but it appears to be only for posting weekly sermons.

There appears to be some history, both with church members taking church matters public, and also specifically with Ms. Lambert, according to this statement from the Diaconate Board. The part that puts the church board and the pastor in a tenuous position is that the dismissal letter referenced only the Scriptural rationale for Lambert's dismissal, yet the board's statement indicated that the dismissal had only a small part to do with that rationale:

In the specific case of Ms. Lambert the Board’s decision to remove her from a teaching position was multifaceted and the scriptural rules concerning women teaching men in a church setting was only a small aspect of that decision. Christian courtesy motivates us to refrain from making any public accusations against her.

According to the pastor's statement:

We had originally intended to include the various multifaceted reasons for the dismissal in our corresponds however after legal review it was recommended that we refrain from including issues that could be construed as slander and stick with “spiritual issues” that govern a church, which the courts have historically stayed out of. With threats of lawsuits in the past we wanted to try hard to not go down that road again.

I'm no lawyer, but it would seem to me that this course of action would only invite more legal scrutiny...

Perhaps, before making such a drastic decision, rationalized based upon a single Scriptural reference, the church should remember this Scripture:

Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

II Corinthians 13:1 (NIV) (See also: Deuteronomy 19:15)

More importantly, if the church wanted to dismiss Lambert for other reasons, they should do so, and state them, rather than hiding behind a "Scriptural rationalization" out of fear of legal ramifications.

OYB August 21

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Job 1-3
NT: I Corinthians 14:1-17
Ps: Psalm 37:12-29
Pr: Proverbs 21:25-26

Today´s notable verse:

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Job 1:20 (NIV)

Amazing that, in the midst of such suffering and loss, Job's example is one of surrender to the soverignity of God. I wonder how often our response is even but a shadow of his, in the face of but a fraction of his suffering?

So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

I Corinthians 14:12 (NIV)

Here, Paul gives a great reminder that we are given gifts and abilities - in this case, specifically, Spiritual gifts - for the purpose of the edification of the church and to the glory of God, not for our own edification or glory.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;

Psalm 37:21 (NIV)

Wow, ouch! Talk about a reminder truly to leave no debt outstanding...

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.