Sounds of Summer

It’s Sunday and our family room slider is open. We’re just about into our favorite Sunday pastime–naps. But first, let me tell you about my favorite part of summer—the sounds.  Mornings with birdsong outside the window. The squeal of children playing outdoors. The beautiful flowers, the sunlight needed for them and me, and the opportunity to be outside.
 
Today we’ve been listening to the sounds of our neighbor’s grandchildren. When we moved here, this couple’s children were in preschool and grade school. We used to hear the happy sounds of that generation and now the next.
Weekends for our neighbors are busy. But the joy and laughter heard from that backyard is a pleasant thing. Laughing in the pool. Chasing each other around the yard. Swinging and climbing. And then the other sounds supplied by nature’s own. Dogs barking and squirrels scurrying up trees. And woodpeckers, crows, and Steller’s jays making raucous music. 
 
There’s also the sound of busy people caring for their lawns and gardens. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers melodiously humming a tune. For those into building, their nail guns, saws, and hammers provide percussion.
 
And the beautiful sound of families gathering around the table at the end of the day. 
 
Such a cacophony of sounds! And yet each one bears the gift of joy and happiness, thanks to the Creator’s magnificent hand.

Musical Sunday

First things first on Sundays. Once awake and with my feet under me, I prepare breakfast. It’s simple and quick. I have other tasks to do before leaving for church.
 
This Sunday is special as it’s musical from beginning to end.
 
At church, we expect the sounds of our Children’s Choir. Hearing these young voices is always a joy-filled experience. Children present the fresh and unadulterated faith we all should carry in our hearts.
 
Under the direction of a talented young man, the children sing a new arrangement of Down by the RiversideOur choristers range in age from kindergarten through grade school. Their abilities follow the same range. Their performance gets rousing affirmation with applause.
 
From here, we dash for a cup of coffee and some fellowship with friends and new faces. We can only stay a short while as we have other places to be. 
 
Early afternoon and after a bite of lunch, we head out to attend a concert by the Bach Cantata Choir. This organization is made up of some very talented vocalists and musicians. The choir’s goal is to sing all Bach’s cantatas in 30 years. I have no idea where they are in accomplishing this.
 
Yesterday’s concert was billed as “Super Bach Sunday.” The group’s director offers this concert as a substitute for an annual football game on TV. We were blessed with some awe-inspiring and spiritual cantatas by Bach. Pieces by siblings, Felix and Fanny Mendelsohn, and Handel finished the program. We left feeling overwhelmed in a joyous way. We commented to the director that yesterday was a WOW! performance.
 
It was a beautiful blessing, both morning and afternoon. The feeling will carry us through this week.
Image attribution: Moreland Presbyterian Church

Did Jesus Really Die? | A Day in the Life (Episode #8)

Children have a way of catching you off-guard, don’t they? Specifically, they have a way of asking the wrong question at the wrong time, literally.

The following incident happened several Easters ago. Yet, each Easter since it’s a memory I still recall with a combination of joy and trembling.

One of our choir members had brought his four-year old granddaughter with him to the early service (8:00 a.m. *yawn*). Her grandma was home preparing Easter dinner for the family. Monica, the granddaughter, and I were good buddies so her grandpa asked if she could sit with me while the choir warmed up and during the service. Not a problem!

As the service progressed, our pastor stepped forward to bring the Easter message. In it, of course, he made reference to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

At the words, “Jesus died on the cross…,” she turned to me and in a whisper others could hear said, “Jesus died?”

Via Google Image
Via Google Image

The stricken expression on her face told me I needed to quickly respond with something comforting. But what would a four-year old understand about death and resurrection? Talk about feeling put on the spot!

Quickly I asked God’s help and just as quickly received an answer.

Giving Monica my full attention and getting down on her level, I quietly told her that yes, Jesus died on the cross as a gift for us. I also told her God brought Jesus to life again.

I then indicated we needed to be quiet and encouraged her to ask Grandpa more about it once they got home.

Her response? “Amazing!”

Yes, Monica, it is amazing and stays so year after year.

Romans 6:23
Via Google Images

Have you ever been put on the spot by a child asking similar questions? Perhaps you’ll be willing to share below if you have.

Header image attribution: Via Pixabay/no attribution required