Radical: A Reflection on 1 Corinthians 10-11

"Radical" is a risky word to apply to scripture; it often signals controversy, anticipates antagonism, and puts hearers on edge as they consider the violence associated with many forms of radicalism. But to be radical is not necessarily to be selfish, violent, and angry. In fact, in this turbulent age, it might just be to…

On Prayer: 1 Peter 5:5-7

This is probably the first year since I could hold a pen that I didn't make New Year's Resolutions. After recently taking the enneagram and discovering myself to be the "Reformer" (wing "Achiever") this is rather surprising. I love goals and lists and plans and I work, practice, study, and exercise consistently. However, while I…

Preeminent Performance

In my "Redeeming Culture through Music" class, we were asked the following question: "Which is most important in music: the composer, the performer, or the listener?" The class more or less unanimously expressed that the three persons are equally important. After all, if there is no composer, there is nothing to perform and if there…

Three Principles

As I was practicing piano the other day, I wrote a series of three questions to ask myself as I worked on each detail: Is it clean? Is it beautiful? Does it mean something? First, I work technically, listening even to exercises to discern if they are played with clarity and precision. Are they clean?…

The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding was beautiful: the flowers, the music, the gown, and- of course- the fabulous array of hats. But this event was not just a stunning example of a wedding ceremony, but of a liturgy. It was set in a gorgeous chapel, featured traditional English hymns, and presented a rich theology in both the message…

Mariners

We are mariners, mariners we, made for the land, parted from sea from that second day and still - striving as on the earth to fill- drawn by its alluring, billowy waves- we drink down the depths to find watery graves. . We hear the call, that age-old call, a whisper first, a breeze enthralls,…

Non-Writing Writer

I was inspired this morning as I walked to practice piano for an upcoming recital... this would have been great, had I been inspired to practice. Rather, I was inspired to set the opening of Wordsworth’s The Prelude to music.  My roommate (bless her) stopped me just in time: “Ryanne, if you write a melody and…

A Sunset Reflection 

I took this photo on a sunset run and added the words (surprise! They were not actually fabulous skywriting!) as I was doing some reading later. The exercise, combined with the wisdom of St. Hildegard, were a welcome relief to an emotional day.  Sometimes on overcast days like today, we fail to remember the sun.…