". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tooting My Own Horn

I'm allowed to do that here, right? :-)

My most recent article at The Federalist has gotten noticed by a few other sites. First, it was linked by Instapundit and Hot Air. I knew about those. But I recently discovered that it was also mentioned at The American Conservative as well as a couple of other blogs. WOOT, Or maybe that should be . . . TOOT!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Today was our second Sunday with the new piano. It is still settling in to its new home and is not holding the tuning it received after the move. The Cantor does have a tuning hammer, though, so last night we downloaded a tuning app to my iPhone and spent some time trying to adjust some of the worst strings. It helped, but if you have a good ear for such things you will still be able to hear some discrepancies.

For right now the piano has been located at the back of our sanctuary to one side. Several pews had to be removed to make room for it. The long-term goal is to remove even more pews and relocate the entire music area to the same place, walling off the current music space and turning it into a storage and warm-up area. Big plans!

Today I videotaped for the first time in a while. The new set-up makes it a lot easier. For several of the pieces I was able to prop up the camera and just let it roll. Evan helped me with a few others. So for those who are interested and not on Facebook to see these, here's a sampling of our worship today. One of these days maybe we will be able to permanently install equipment that will get much better picture and sound than I am able to get with my little handheld. I think people would be greatly blessed by it. I don't know why, but it always surprises me to hear how many people enjoy these videos that I post.

The Prelude.
Even though we were down a few choir members for the three-day weekend, I think this is a wonderful illustration of how far our choir has come in the last few years! The balance is a little heavy toward the men because they are closest to the microphone. Luckily they sound great!

"Lord, Make Me to Know Thy Ways" (Psalm 25:4-5) from Cheryl on Vimeo.

The Entrance Rite with Opening Hymn (organ & trumpets), Russian Kyrie (a cappella), and special Hymn of Praise (Alabare with trumpets and percussion).

Pentecost Sunday Entrance Rite from Cheryl on Vimeo.

The Verse of the Day (from Liturgy Solutions) with a solo by my eldest.

Verse for Pentecost from Cheryl on Vimeo.

The Voluntary, arranged, played and sung by my husband.

"To God the Holy Spirit, Let Us Pray" from Cheryl on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


There were two items on the topic of forgiveness in my news feed this morning, both excellent, both from (surprise!) Lutherans.

The first is a Federalist article by Mark Hemingway that asks, " . . . [D]o we want to live in a society where everyone feels they’re justified in their self-centered critiques, or do we want to live in a society where when we’re confronted with something that offends us, we seek to understand and forgive?"

The second is from my friend Susan. It is a clip from a Milwaukee call-in show. The topic is a recent random killing in Wisconsin in which one of the victims, before he died, called for forgiveness for the shooter. The caller in the clip is Susan's pastor. I only wish the host had let him talk a lot more. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Church Pianist

A Facebook friend shared this. She did not make it and we have no idea who did! She found it on the "Christian Memes" Facebook page, which has 384,000 followers. For readers who may not know, that is my husband, bottom right. I love that he is the "what I really do" picture because yes, that is what he really does. :-)  

Speaking of being a church pianist, here he is doing that today for the first time on the grand piano our church just acquired!

First Sunday on the new piano!
Posted by Katie Wogisch Haddad on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Week of Goodbyes

My son is about to graduate from college. I was talking to him a few days ago and it hit me that as we prepare to have him come home for the summer and prepare for the next phase of his life (grad school!), he is in the process of leaving an entire world behind. For four years now he has spent the majority of his days in a different city in a different state. He has built a whole life there, going to classes, making friends, working, and attending church. He will spend this week saying goodbye to all of it.

So often as parents we look at our kids as extensions or reflections of ourselves. When they are little, we experience everything with them. As they grow, they do more and more on their own. But while they are still living at home we at least get daily reports and see them frequently enough to keep pretty close tabs on the landscape of their lives.

But then they move away. And sometimes days pass when we don't directly communicate with them. They handle more and more on their own. They experience things, small and large, that we will never even know about. That is as it should be, and is something I knew intellectually but was reminded of in a more profound way as my son shared with me his plans for his last week at school. I was focused on the beginnings: the beginning of summer, the beginning of his graduate school career, the beginning of the rest of his life. But before all those beginnings, there is an ending.

God bless your week of goodbyes, Trevor. And thank you, city of Lincoln and University of Nebraska, for being such a good place for my young adult to build his first adult life.