4/2016 New Testament Story

April, 2016

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me

PAUL AND FESTUS (Acts 25:1-27)

By Wayne S. Walker

    After being arrested in Jerusalem and transferred to Caesarea, Paul was left in prison for two years until Felix was replaced as governor of Judea by Porcius Festus.  After taking office, Festus went up to Jerusalem where the high priest and other leaders of the Jews renewed their accusations against Paul.  They asked that Paul be brought to Jerusalem, intending to have people lying in wait along the way to ambush and kill him.  Festus probably knew nothing about this plot, but he told them that Paul would remain at Caesarea and that they could come there to make their charges.

Some ten days later, Festus returned to Caesarea and the next day brought Paul before the judgment seat.  The Jews who had come laid their charges against him, but Paul answered that he was innocent and that they could not prove their accusations.  Festus wanted to do the Jews a favor, so he asked if Paul would be willing to go to Jerusalem and be judged there.  Paul knew that he could never get justice in Jerusalem, so he appealed to Caesar, which was his right as a Roman citizen.  He even said that if it could be proven that he had committed any serious crimes he would not be afraid to suffer punishment but again claimed total innocence.

A few days later, King Agrippa and his wife Bernice came to Caesarea to greet Felix.  The governor explained to the king about Paul’s situation and told him that Paul was being kept until he could be sent to Rome.  Agrippa expressed a desire to hear Paul, and Felix agreed to another hearing the next day, this time with Agrippa present.  The king and Bernice came with great pomp into the auditorium.  The governor began the proceedings by saying that hoped to learn something that would enable him to be more specific in listing the charges against a prisoner whom he was sending to Caesar.

Questions

  1. Who was the new governor of Judea?
  2. Why did the Jewish leaders want Paul brought to Jerusalem?
  3. What was the response of the governor to this request?
  4. How many days later did the governor return to Caesarea?
  5. In trying to show the Jews a favor, where did the governor ask if Paul would go?
  6. To whom did Paul appeal?
  7. What king came to greet the governor?
  8. What was the name of this king’s wife?
  9. Why did the governor agree to another hearing of Paul with this king?

Ephrata Academy

ephrata academy

Ephrata Academy

Ephrata Cloister

632 West Main Street

Ephrata, PA 17522

One of America’s earliest religious communities, the Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers seeking spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards. Gathered in unique European style buildings, the community consisted of celibate Brothers and Sisters, and a married congregation of families.  Conrad Beissel, founder of Ephrata, was born in Eberbach am Neckar, Germany, in March 1691. As a young man he learned the trade of baker.  Joining the Pietists, a movement to reform the established, state supported Protestant churches, Beissel met with small groups not sanctioned by the church to read the Bible and pray.  In 1720 he immigrated to Pennsylvania, where William Penn’s policies offered freedom of conscience. After spending a year in Germantown, just outside Philadelphia, Beissel moved to the Conestoga area, just east of present day Lancaster. There he affiliated with the Brethren, an Anabaptist group.  In 1724 Beissel was appointed leader of the newly formed Conestoga Brethren Congregation, but his radical ideas of Saturday worship and promotion of celibacy soon caused a split within the congregation, and in 1728 Beissel withdrew his membership in the church. His charismatic personality continued to attract followers until 1732 when he left the Conestoga and sought the hermit’s life along the banks of the Cocalico Creek in northern Lancaster County. Soon after his move to the Cocalico region, Beissel was followed by like-minded men and women who wished to follow his teachings.

What began as a hermitage for a small group of devoted individuals grew into a thriving community of nearly 80 celibate members supported by an estimated 200 family members from the region at its zenith in the mid-18th-century. During the period from 1735 to 1746 the community constructed no less than eight major structures, dormitories or meetinghouses, in addition to a number of smaller dwellings, workshops, and mills.  With the death of Beissel in 1768 the society quickly declined.   By 1813 the last of the celibate members died, and the following year the remaining members of the married congregation formed the German Seventh Day Baptist Church. By 1929 the remaining church members living at the Cloister entered into a disagreement with each other on the disposition of the site and its artifacts, and in 1934 the court system revoked the incorporation charter for the Church at Ephrata. The property was placed under the care of a court appointed receiver, who in 1941, sold the remaining 28 acres of the historic site to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Today the National Historic Landmark is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Daily tours, special programs, and on-going research continue to inform and educate visitors to the site about Ephrata’s surviving legacy and the people who built it.

The Academy was opened by the Householders in 1837 as a private school for their children and those of the area. The tradition of teaching school at Ephrata dates back to the mid-1700s when Brother Obed or Ludwig Hocker conducted lessons for neighborhood children. Most of the teaching focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic. In the early 1840s, the enterprising teacher Joseph Wiggins also offered chemistry, measuring, surveying, and astronomy. In the mid-1800s, the building became a public school serving several generations of students until it closed in 1926.

http://www.ephratacloister.org/index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephrata_Cloister

Camargo Guarnieri and his Dansa Brasileira.

guarnieri

Mozart Camargo Guarnieri (February 1, 1907 – January 13, 1993) was a Brazilian composer.Guarnieri was born on February 1, 1907, in Tietê, São Paulo, and registered at birth as Wolfgang Mozart Guarnieri.  Guarnieri’s father was a Sicilian immigrant who married a Brazilian wife and gave each of his children a name honoring a great composer. One of his brothers was named Rossine (a Portuguese misspelling of Rossini) Guarnieri, another one Verdi Guarnieri.  At age ten, Guarnieri began to fulfill the implied promise of his name by beginning musical studies. In 1923, the family moved to São Paolo, where he took piano lessons; to help support the family and to pay for further musical studies he played in silent theater orchestras and in café bands. He also took classes in piano and composition at the São Paolo Conservatório, a Musical and Theater Conservatory, studying composition and conducting.

By the time Guarnieri was 21 he had written his Brazilian Dance and his Canção Sertaneja, highly popular pieces (the dance is his best-known work outside of Brazil) that put him on the road to renown. In 1927, he was appointed to teach piano at the Conservatory. His reputation was bolstered by the appearance of the early installments in his body of songs, one of the most important by any Latin American composer.  When he began a musical career, he decided his name was too pretentious and subject to puns. Thus he adopted his mother’s maiden name Camargo, and thenceforth signed himself M. Camargo Guarnieri.  In 1935, the city of São Paulo founded its own Department of Culture. Guarnieri took over its conducting position and gained special esteem as a choral conductor. In 1936 he was the first conductor of the Coral Paulistano choir. In 1938 a government fellowship enabled him to study in Paris. He took counterpoint, fugue, composition, and musical aesthetics courses from composer Charles Koechlin, undertook conducting studies with Franz Rühlmann, and, like so many other twentieth-century composers, attended master classes with Nadia Boulanger.

In 1942, Guarnieri’s violin concerto was the first prize of the Philadelphia Free Library Fleischer Music Collection. His small symphonic piece Encantamento became especially popular. Early in the 1940s, his first two symphonies were premiered in Brazil and the U.S. The Symphony No. 2 became known as a “Symphony of the Americas.”  Some of his compositions received important prizes in the United States in the 1940s, giving Guarnieri the opportunity of conducting them in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago.  In 1945, he was appointed conductor of the São Paolo Symphony Orchestra.  In 1948, he legally changed his name to Mozart Camargo Guarnieri, but continued to sign only the initial of his first name.

Guarnieri’s Symphony No. 3 (1952) was dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the founding of São Paolo. Some critics consider his Symphony No. 6 his finest achievement in the form. Aside from opera and other stage genres, Camargo Guarnieri wrote in virtually every genre of classical music. His violin sonatas are particularly well respected among chamber music players, but the crown jewel of his oeuvre is his series of over 200 songs. These adroitly reflect the main currents of Brazilian music: Portuguese, Afro-Brazilian, and Amerindian. Many of them have been adapted by Brazilian popular musicians.  A distinguished figure of the Brazilian national school, he served in several capacities; conductor of the São Paulo Orchestra, member of the Academia Brasileira de Música, and in 1960 Director of the São Paulo Conservatório, where he taught composition and orchestral conducting. His works include symphonies, concertos, cantatas, two operas, chamber music, many piano pieces, and over fifty canções.

Guarnieri began to adopt 12-tone elements in his music around 1960, but then took time off from composition to reconsider his aesthetic approach. Finally he returned to his established style, if anything increasing the emphasis on national and popular elements. Guarnieri is universally recognized as the most important Brazilian composer after Heitor Villa-Lobos.  He was a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity.  Shortly before his death, he was awarded the Gabriela Mistral Prize by the Organization of American States as the greatest contemporary composer of the Americas. He died in São Paolo on January 13, 1993, just a few weeks short of his 86th birthday.

After the era of Heitor Villa-Lobos, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Camargo Guarnieri became the best known Brazilian composer. His music is as imbued with the same quality of “Brazilianness” as that of his predecessor, and it is not as polyphonically complex. Most of his music included a variety Brazilian national elements.  Guarnieri’s work in the popular music field and his contact with the nationalist Brazilian ethnomusicologist Mario de Andrade influenced him to adopt Brazilian popular and folk influences in much of his music.   Camargo Guarnieri is particularly noted for his art songs and dance pieces, many of which have also been successful as popular songs.  His completely violinistic sonatas for violin and piano, Nos. 4-6, written in 1956, 1959 and 1965, are a fascinating addition to duo repertoire.

My collection includes the following work by Camargo Guarnieri:

Dansa Brasileira.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

April, 2016, Monthly Meditation

April, 2016

Monthly Meditation

DO NOT TRUST IN PRINCES

By Wayne S. Walker

     “Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3).  I have always been interested in politics because I believe that a Christian has a civic obligation to the government of the nation in which he lives (note Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17).  I also believe that my civic obligations are one way that I can fulfill my responsibility before God to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16).

One aspect of this responsibility is expressed by the statement, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).  Therefore, I choose the political party with which I identify myself and the candidates whom I support based upon how likely they are to reflect a respect for the principles of righteousness.  At the same time, I try very hard not to make my political convictions any kind of standard by which I judge others, especially my brothers and sisters in Christ.

However, there have been times when I have been sorely disappointed.  Politicians for whom I have voted have failed to do what they promised and what I expected of them.  Even the party in which I claim membership has sometimes strayed away from what it says that it stands for and what I believe to be right.  While this always perturbs me, I do not put my trust in these “princes” because they are but “sons of men” who are weak, frail, and subject to making mistakes.

Rather, I put my trust in the living and true God who “rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:33).  He still sits on the throne of the universe and works out all things according to the good pleasure of His will to accomplish His divine purpose.  Oh, I still try to elect the people who I think will best represent His virtues, and am glad when they win.  But my trust is not in them.  “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (v. 5).

Little Greenbrier School, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

Little Greenbrier School, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

LittleGreenbriarSch

The Little Greenbrier School is a former schoolhouse and church in the ghost town of Little Greenbrier in Sevier County, TN. Located near Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it was built in 1882, and was used as a school and church almost continuously until 1936. When the residents of Little Greenbrier asked Sevier County to provide it with a teacher, the county replied that if the community would build a proper schoolhouse, the county would pay the teacher’s salary. The land on which the school was built was donated by Gilbert Abbott, and the logs were provided by Ephraim Ogle and hauled to the site by oxen teams. Dozens of Little Greenbrier residents gathered on an agreed-upon day in January 1882 and raised the schoolhouse.  Classes were first held at the Little Greenbrier School in fall 1882. Richard Perryman was the first of 39 teachers who would teach at the school until its closure in 1936. Students throughout the Little River Valley attended the school, some making a 9-mile daily journey from the Meigs Mountain community. The school was also used for church services by a local Primitive Baptist congregation, which established the cemetery on the other side of the road.  The schoolhouse, located near what was once the center of the Little Greenbrier community, is one story with an attic, and measures approximately 20 feet by 30 feet. The walls are built of hewn yellow poplar logs resting on a stone foundation. The interior consists of a sawn oak board floor and a sawn chestnut ceiling, and was accessed by a white pine door on iron hinges. The school’s gabled roof is covered with rived oak shingles. The chimney, located in the center of the building, was built of bricks, and fitted with an iron pipe and cook stove.

http://gosmokies.knoxnews.com/profiles/blogs/thanks-to-all

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Greenbrier_School

Petrus Alamire and T’andernaken

alamire

Petrus or Pierre Alamire (c. 1470–June 26, 1536) was a German-Dutch music copyist, composer, instrumentalist, mining engineer, merchant, and diplomat, of the Renaissance, who was one of the most skilled music scribes of his time, and many now-famous works of Franco-Flemish composers owe their survival to his renowned illuminated manuscript copies; in addition he was a spy for the court of Henry VIII of England. He was born around 1470 with the probable birth name Peter van den Hove (or Imhoff, Imhove),  to a family of merchants in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Holy Roman Empire but came to the Seventeen Provinces (Holland) at an early age. Alamire was not his real name; the name was a musical reference, “A” (the musical pitch) plus the solfege syllables “la”, “mi” and “re” (scale steps six, three and two respectively). Most likely his actual name was van den Hove although details on his family background are slim.

In the late 1490s he began to receive commissions for work in the Low Countries, for example at ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Antwerp, where his impressive skill at musical copying and illuminating were immediately valued. This was the period when the explosion of musical creativity in the Low Countries was at its highest; that region was producing more composers than all of the rest of Europe combined, and these composers were emigrating into other areas, especially into royal and aristocratic courts who had the means to employ them.  By 1503 Alamire had already created an edition of music for Philip I of Castile, and by 1509 he was an employee of Archduke Charles, shortly to become Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. His manuscripts became extremely valuable as gifts, as most European nobility at the time prized music, and many votes for the upcoming election of the Holy Roman Emperor would need to be bought.

Alamire moved from Antwerp to Mechelen sometime between 1505 and 1516. Although he traveled frequently, Mechelen was to remain his permanent home from 1516 on.  Between 1515 and 1518, under cover as a merchant of manuscripts, chaplain, singer, and instrumentalist, he traveled between London and the continent, as a spy for Henry VIII against the pretender to the English throne, Richard de la Pole, who mainly resided in Metz. He was aided in this enterprise by a Flemish sackbut player, Hans Nagel. In June 1516, he went to the Kingdom of England for instruction by the king and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, carrying music manuscripts and instruments along with him.

Henry VIII and Wolsey came to distrust him, however, and indeed soon learned that he was working as a counter-spy for de la Pole himself; Alamire, valuing his head, wisely never returned to England after this discovery. Unsurprisingly, few English composers are represented in his manuscripts.  During the 1520s Alamire was a diplomat and courtier in addition to continuing his activity as a music illustrator and copyist. He carried letters between many of the leading humanists of the time. Erasmus described him as “not unwitty”, and Alamire’s frequent commentary on contemporary singers and players bears this out; many of his letters survive, and they are filled with epigrams and clever insults.   Music was not his only skill; he received a generous payment on behalf of King Christian III of Denmark for instruction in the “craft of mining” (unless that was a metaphor for spying; but more details of this commission are not known).

Fifty-one calligraphic manuscripts and ten fragments survive from the workshop of Alamire.  They form the largest set of northern Renaissance sources extant, offering us over six hundred polyphonic masses, motets, and secular songs, by some seventy composers.   Most of the works of the first rank of Franco-Flemish composers are represented in Alamire’s manuscripts, including Johannes Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Pierre Moulu, Heinrich Isaac, Adrian Willaert, and Pierre de la Rue; indeed de la Rue, the favorite composer of Margaret of Austria, has by far the most pieces of any composer, and almost his entire output is preserved in Alamire’s manuscript collection.

Manuscripts copied by Alamire can be found in many European libraries, including the Habsburg court library in Vienna, in London (the Henry VIII manuscript), the Vatican (a manuscript for Pope Leo X), Brussels, Munich, and Jena, which has the court books for Frederick III, Elector of Saxony.  Only one work is attributed with certainty to Alamire, a four-part instrumental piece Tandernaken op den Rijn; however his evident skill and experience as a composer suggests that many of the anonymous works of the time may be his.  In 1534 Alamire received a generous pension from Maria of Austria, for whom he had written a number of manuscripts in the early 1530s, and he disappears from court records after that time. He died at Mechelen on June 26, 1536.

The following work by Petrus Alamire is contained in my collection:

T’andernaken auff dem Rheine.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

Seal and “Kiss from a Rose”

220px-Seal_2012

Henry Olusegun Adeola Kwassi Olumide Samuel (born February 19, 1963), called Sealhenry and better known by his stage name Seal, is an English singer and songwriter who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and is known for his international hits, including “Kiss from a Rose,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1995 film Batman Forever. Seal was born on February 19, 1963, at Paddington General Hospital, in London, England, to a Nigerian mother, Adebisi Ogundeji, and a Brazilian father, Francis Samuel.  Raised in the City of Westminster in inner London by a foster family, he received a two-year diploma, or associate degree, in architecture and worked in various jobs in the London area, including electrical engineering and designing leather clothing.

In the 1980s Seal spent a short time singing in local clubs and bars. In 1987 he joined Push, a British funk band and toured with them in Japan. In Thailand he joined a blues band for a while before separating from the group and journeying throughout India on his own. He returned to England, sleeping on the couch of friend Julian Bunster, then a model. He sometimes asked him, “Do I sing well?” to which he often received the response that he sang better than most current artists. His break came when he met the producer Adamski. He was given the lyrics of the song “Killer,” which was a huge hit in 1990.  The single eventually reached number one in the UK.  Seal subsequently signed to ZTT Records and released his self-titled début album (produced by Trevor Horn) in 1991.

Seal was positively received by critics. The singles “Crazy”, “Future Love Paradise” and his own rendition of “Killer” performed well on the charts. In particular, “Crazy” became an international hit in 1991, reaching number two in the UK Singles Chart and number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.  Seal stole the show at the 1992 Brit Awards held at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, with the first hat-trick of wins in the history of the event. He won in three categories: Best British Male, Best British Video (“Killer”) and Best British Album (Seal).  In April 1992 Seal performed with the surviving members of the rock band Queen at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert held at Wembley Stadium.  Seal performed on his own singing the 1986 hit “Who Wants to Live Forever” and joined the rest of the acts for the all star finale singing “We Are the Champions.”  Also in 1992 Seal appeared on the Red Hot Organization’s compilation CD Red Hot + Dance, contributing an exclusive track “Crazy (If I Was Trev Mix).” The album, featuring George Michael and Madonna among others, raised money and awareness in support of the AIDS epidemic by donating all proceeds to AIDS charities.

After regrouping with Trevor Horn, Seal’s second album, also self-titled, was released in 1994. A success, the album featured the singles “Prayer for the Dying” and “Newborn Friend”, later receiving a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. “Prayer for the Dying” became a minor pop hit in the U.S., peaking at #21 on the Billboard charts. A third single, “Kiss from a Rose,” originally written in 1987, performed modestly when released but was later featured to much wider popularity when it was remixed for the soundtrack to Batman Forever the next year. “Kiss from a Rose” won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1996, becoming Seal’s best performing single on the US market (it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in late August 1995) and hit number four in the UK.

In 1998 Seal released Human Being. The album was the product of a turbulent time in his life, including a split and later reconciliation with producer Horn as well as Seal’s parting with ZTT Records and his signing with Warner Bros. Records in 1997. The album provided three singles, “Human Beings,” “Latest Craze,” and “Lost My Faith.”  In 2001 fans awaited the arrival of a new album, announced as Togetherland.  One single was released from the album, “This Could Be Heaven,” in the US and was featured on The Family Man soundtrack.   Seal co-wrote and provided vocals for the hit single “My Vision” from Jakatta in 2002. He also recorded a successful duet with the French singer Mylène Farmer called “Les Mots” during that same period. Also in 2002, Seal lent his vocals to the song “You Are My Kind”, the fourth track on Santana’s album Shaman.

In 2003 Seal released his fourth album, which was again self-titled. Singles from the album included “Waiting For You,” “Get It Together,” and “Love’s Divine;” this last was released in 2004 and was a big hit in several European countries.  In 2004 a greatest hits album entitled Seal: Best 1991–2004 was released, including a cover of the Bacharach / David classic “Walk on By” and a cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s song “Lips Like Sugar.”  Also in 2004, Seal performed shows at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, France. The July 6 show was recorded and released about one year after as a CD/DVD package, simply titled Live in Paris.  Seal first began dating German model Heidi Klum in February 2004.  Seal proposed to Klum on December 23, 2004 in Whistler, British Columbia.   On May 10, 2005, the couple married on a beach in Mexico near Seal’s home on Costa Careyes. The couple have four children, sons Henry and Samuel, and daughters Leni and Lou.

In June 2005 Seal recorded a special concert which was subsequently released in 2006, entitled One Night to Remember, as CD/DVD combination.   System was released in the UK on November 12, 2007.  Seal performed “Amazing” and The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance.  Seal also performed “Amazing” at the 2007 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in December, as well as the duet “Wedding Day” with his wife.  Seal’s sixth studio album Soul was released on November 3, 2008.  On March 14, 2009, Seal performed a song from the album and coached the participants on the “Top 9-Show” of the sixth season of the German TV show German Idol.  On December 4, 2009, Hits, a compilation album was released. It contains two new tracks, “I Am Your Man” and “Thank You.”

Seal’s seventh studio album, Seal 6: Commitment was released on September 20, 2010. This album was said to be inspired by his wife, Heidi.   On November 7, 2011, Seal released his second cover album of classic soul songs, Soul 2 through Reprise Records.  On March 10, 2012, Seal shared the stage with Kanye West, Soul Rebels Brass Band, and Snoop Dogg at Brad Pitt’s Night to Make It Right Foundation New Orleans after-party, hosted by comedian Aziz Ansari to raise money to build homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. On  November 15, 2014, Seal joined the charity group Band Aid 30 along with other British and Irish pop acts, recording the latest version of the track “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, to raise money for the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa.  Seal was cast as Pontius Pilate in Tyler Perry’s musical rendition of The Passion, which aired on Fox on March 20, 2016.

My collection includes the following work by Seal:

Kiss from a Rose

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources