Wins & Losses (August 13-19)

Wins

  • I started an anthem in the LEBC choir rehearsal on Wednesday night. The Majesty and Glory of Your Name is one of my all-time favorite choir anthems (as in, top 5). But, it is not an easy anthem to sing. I went in to choir rehearsal expecting to learn one big section and by the end of it, the choir had sung (rather well, I might add) three good sections of the song. I was floored and thrilled at the same time, and absolutely cannot wait to conduct this wonderful song again.
  • The live shows for America’s Got Talent started last week and the Brasher house is PUMPED. We love this show so much and are excited to watch all the wonderful acts. Despite a few disappointments, my favorite acts moved forward in last week’s quarter-final round. Darci Lynne Farmer, a 12-year old ventriloquist, is our house favorite right now and we envision her going VERY far in the competition.
  • Thanks to a more established routine and the fervent prayers of our LEBC Choir family, Reagan is sleeping about 11-12 hours every night now (goes to bed around 6:45). She hardly wakes up in the night, and when she does, she quickly puts herself back to sleep. We are enjoying the time as husband and wife in the hours after she goes to sleep, but do wish we had more time in the afternoons with her once we come home from work.
  • We spent Friday afternoon & evening and Saturday at Horn Lake HS for the Mixed/Women’s/Men’s Choir retreat. We had an absolute ball hanging out with the students and rehearsing some great music. Reagan came with us and was a trooper for just about the entirety of the day.

Losses

  • For my non-vocational ministry friends, consider this your occasional reminder that ministry is hard. Don’t let our appearance on Sundays/Wednesdays give off the impression that we have it all together.
  • Last week was LOOOOONNNNNNGGGGG. Becca and I both had open house at our respective schools, which made Tuesday feel a little shorter. But Wednesday, Thursday, and especially Friday dragged on like cold syrup on a pancake. I thought we would NEVER get to 3:45 on Friday. Students and teachers alike were exhausted and happy to see the weekend when it came.

Sunday Song 8.20.17

Today’s Sunday Song was carefully placed in the order of worship I planned three weeks ago. “Speak, O Lord” is a beautiful prayer-like hymn by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend that I have come to love. The hymn starts with the line, “Speak, O Lord as we come to You to receive the food of Your holy Word; take Your truth, plant it deep in us, shape and fashion us in Your likeness.” In the order of service today, it has been placed between the reading of God’s Word and the preaching of God’s Word. It’s a reminder to me (and I hope all believers) that the only perfect part of a worship service is when God’s Word is read.

Friday Poll: Music Listening

In this day and age, the avenues we have to listen to music are ever increasing. I’m interested to know your avenue choice!

What is #FakeNews?

What is “fake news?”

To some, it’s anything news network other than Fox News. To others, it’s any negative story about Donald Trump. You might have seen people who identify #fakenews as any news story that doesn’t satisfy their mindset or worldview.

Unfortunately, this term has been spun around so many times that no one really can place a definitive meaning to it. If you mosey on over to the Wikipedia page dedicated to this term, you’ll find all sorts of definitions, historical examples, differences by country, and much more. But what actually is it when it’s broken down to its basic components?

It’s just as its name suggests. “News” that isn’t real, authentic, or legitimate. It is simply stories that have no legitimate backing or source or documentation. For our humor, some websites are completely dedicated to writing and posting stories that are completely made up. For our dismay, these stories are usually crafted based on current events and can easily be confused for actual stories seen/heard on NPR, New York Times, PBS, or other legitimate news sources.

As a nation, our sense of credibility and desire for authenticity in the reporting of current events has been completely thrown by the wayside. We read an article (or better yet, the title of an article) and immediately react without taking in the context or the source from whence it came. Of course, there are publications that have obvious biases and agendas. Examples of that would be Conservative Tribune, Independent Journal Review, Liberty Writers, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Chicks on the Right, etc. These articles may stretch the truth, but cannot be considered satirical or completely bogus.

Satirical websites (website that intentionally publish made-up stories) are strictly there for the sake of humor. Examples would include The Onion, Babylon Bee, The End Times, National Report, Christwire, Weekly World News, and a host of others (for a complete list, click here). These websites must not be taken seriously and if shared, should only be for the sake of humor. It wouldn’t hurt to include a comment explaining that what you’re sharing is not real.

Also, http://www.officialmikepence.com is anything but official. Bogus in every sense of the word.

I urge each of us not to call something “Fake news!” simply because we disagree or are angered by what is being reported. Sometimes, the people we like mess up, and the people we don’t like do good deeds. When President Trump does something stupid (threatening North Korea with nukes and firepower) and CNN reports it in a cautionary fashion, it isn’t fake news. When you hear a news network/station interview someone and they say that the Confederate flag is offensive to them because it reminds them of slavery and racism, it isn’t fake news. It’s that person expressing their honest opinion.

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not real. That just means you won’t accept reality and are living in a fantasy world.

Wins & Losses (August 6-12)

Wins

  • The first full week of school is done. We both survived, but had forgotten how tired the two of us can get by the end of the day. Our schedules work out pretty well because I  can drop Reagan off with the babysitter in the morning  (school doesn’t start until 8:25) and Becca can pick her up in the afternoons (school lets out at 2:46).
  • A canceled choir retreat last Saturday gave me some valuable time needed to clean up our house. With the school year now in full swing, a clean house got put on the backburner real quick-like. So while Becca and Reagan were in Horn Lake for Becca’s choir retreat, I managed to sweep, dust, put away, Clorox wipe, and wash clothes all day. Despite my loathe of cleaning, it was quite productive and I felt proud of it by the end of the day.
  • Late last week, I noticed a video tweeted out by my congressman in Washington, Steve Cohen. I don’t believe I have ever had anything positive to say about this man because I haven’t found anything positive about him (he has already declared he intends to run for re-election in 2018 AND 2020). Anyway, this video he tweeted out was all about him being able to brag on himself (viewed X amount of times, liked Y amount of times, and shared Z amount of times). It was quite nauseating and not befitting of a “public servant”. So I called him out on it and told him to quit flattering himself. Moments…and I mean MOMENTS…later, I got back on his Twitter page only to find out that he BLOCKED me. I don’t believe I have ever been blocked before, but it was a proud moment for me. It may be a theory that you have to have thick skin to be a politician, but Steve Cohen, who obviously lacks a thick skin, sure knows how to work his way around it.

Losses

  • With a child in tow, it is become much more of a mission to prepare everything in the morning. Despite my not wasting time, I still am always battling the clock to get out the door by 6:45 each morning. Reagan is a trooper and never gives me trouble. But making sure I have all of her things as well as everything I need for the day keeps me on my toes all morning long.
  • The absolute and total unrest in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend is heartbreaking at the least and infuriating at the most. I would like to elaborate here, but I think it would take an entire blog post to fully explain my thoughts. I’ll cook one up and try to have it out by tomorrow.

Sunday Song 8.13.17

A major tenet of the Baptist faith is the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. It goes by other names such as “eternal security/salvation” or “once saved, always saved.” The further along I trod in my spiritual walk, the more I realize how foreign a concept this is to other denominations. However, if we believe that Christ calls us to salvation, we are assured that He will keep us in the palm of His hand, just as Scripture promises.

Today at Leawood East, we will sing a song that proclaims this pillar of faith. Sovereign Grace put this song out in 2003 and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. It’s incredibly deep, theological text paired with a singable melody make this a perfect choice for congregational worship. Happy Sunday!

Friday Poll: Tennessee’s Best City

In an effort to make my blogging more of a regular thing, I’ve created a new series in addition to Sunday Song and Wins & Losses. Each Friday will feature a Loganotes poll and ask readers to vote for their favorite answer based on the question. These polls will come from a variety of subjects. Some may pertain to you, some may not. I’d still love your input.

This week’s poll features voting on Tennessee’s best. We have quite the rivalry here in the Volunteer State on which of our four major cities is the best. Let’s see what the Loganotes readers have to say! Don’t forget to comment (within the blog) to defend your choice!

Wins & Losses (July 30-August 5)

Wins

  • The first “week” of school got off to a great start despite a few mishaps here, there, and yonder. We had two days of inservice followed by two days with students. I was able to memorize the names of all my students rather quickly (a big accomplishment for me), and learned that I only have to plan for one class a day since I teach it three times. The administration has been very helpful in my getting accustomed to the new system here.  I’ve gotten to know quite a few teachers despite our very large staff (135 approximately) and I really think I’m going to enjoy working here.
  • I’ve joined the faculty book club at school, which means I have started a new novel. The Glass Castle is a memoir in a fiction-esque style. You might have seen previews for the movie that is set to come out this week. When I heard that this was the book to be read in book club, I decided to join in and have it read before going to see the movie. With Saturday’s great weather and my front yard swing being neglected for the most of the summer, I managed to get in about an hour’s worth of reading during the afternoon. So far, so good!
  • I understand that boasting is a poor quality to possess. However, when I managed to garner up enough coupons and organize the grocery list just right and get out of Kroger with all of this week’s groceries for under $65, I stood up  a little taller when I walked in our house. Annnnnnnnnddddd I may have sent Becca a picture of the total with the caption, “I slay” before leaving the store.
  • I’m glad to see a good number of candidates in the race for Tennessee’s next governor. I’m honestly quite excited about the possibility of each of the Republican candidates with the exception of Mae Beavers (who has absolutely no chance of winning). I’m even okay with the possibility of the two Democrats in the race. So far, the major candidates for governor are:
    • Mae Beavers (R)
    • Diane Black (R)
    • Randy Boyd (R)
    • Karl Dean (D)
    • Craig Fitzhugh (D)
    • Beth Harwell (R)
    • Bill Lee (R)

Losses

  • While we both felt quite prepared for the first school day, we weren’t prepared at home the night before. Getting home from church around 9:15 every Wednesday night is no  bueno. Because on this particular Wednesday night, we had to: bathe the child, put the child to sleep, wash and dry the child’s laundry in preparation for the babysitter, boil bottles in preparation for the babysitter, and finish our lesson plans for the next two days. All of this kept us up until 11:30 and we paid for it the next day with headaches. But we’re still here!

Sunday Song 8.6.17

When I first started learning hymns on the piano (around 5th grade), this was one of the first ones I learned how to play. Mrs. Geneva had me purchase a Faber & Faber hymns book for intermediate pianists, and in it, I found this song. I really enjoyed playing it and I love singing it too. It’s on the order today at Leawood East and I sincerely hope that today, you “worship the King.”

2017 Summer Look-Back

As Becca and I prepare to welcome students in our respective classrooms tomorrow, I wanted to take just a minute and look back on the summer of 2017 and all that it entailed:

  • Dedicated Reagan to the Lord back in May
  • Traveled to Orange Beach, AL for a week-long Brasher family vacation
  • Experienced our first concert at the Levitt Shell
  • Bought a Baldwin grand piano from my parent’s church for our music room
  • Participated in our first American Choral Directors’ Conference conference at the state level.

Logan

  • Accepted a job offer from Southaven High School to be the new piano/general music teacher and choir accompanist.
  • Taught music at a two-week theatre conservatory for children ages 7-12. Culminated into a showcase of acting, singing, and dancing at Playhouse on the Square.
  • FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO PLAY SPADES. Now I can finally enjoy playing with my in-laws.

Rebecca

  • Finished her first year of teaching with flying colors
  • Successfully planned and booked a trip next school year for her middle school choirs, despite a few setbacks