Wins & Losses (September 10-23)

Due to my incredibly busy schedule last week, this volume of Wins & Losses covers two weeks of life with the Brashers. Enjoy!

Wins

  • The work week (Sep 11-15) was rather uneventful, leaving us with time together as a family at home. With the week ahead, we’re grateful for any time like that. Monday was college day at Southaven High, which meant I got to wear a Union shirt with jeans. That’s always a good thing.
  • The first 9 weeks is winding down at school. We have two more weeks of the quarter, which, in my case, will culminate in a piano recital featuring all my students from this quarter. They are working to memorize their recital pieces, and it looks like the transition to the 2nd quarter will be quite smooth.
  • We got together with some dear college friends as well as members of our church choir to sing together on the 16th. Before we sang though, we combined everyone’s favorite combination: food and conversation. We enjoyed catching up and reminiscing over Moe’s tacos before we sang one of Becca’s compositions for a recording. Though our time together was short, the time we did have was well spent.
  • I spent half of last week in Nashville attending the Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing! It was an absolutely wonderful conference covering a broad range of topics based around congregational singing and family worship. Plenary and breakout speakers included Alistair Begg, David Platt, Paul Tripp, Joni Eareckson Tada, Bob Kauflin, Don Carson, Steve Nichols, Thom Rainer, Mike Harland, Laura Story, and many others. I was greatly encouraged and loved learning new things to incorporate in my own family and ministry. I even got to sing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House during the Hymn Sing! A brief highlight of the trip was seeing my dear college friend, Jenaye, who was working the conference. We only got about 3-5 minutes to talk, but it was enough to catch up on life before we both had to get back to our respective roles.
  • We said goodbye to Comcast (Xfinity?) and became an all-AT&T family last Saturday! We’re saving about $50 a month, and enjoying what we have so far.
  • Last Saturday also found us downtown at the Orpheum for the first show of the 2017-2018 Broadway season. We enjoyed a wonderful performance of The King & I from our new seats in the orchestra section. My folks came up to Memphis (with absolutely NO hesitation) to babysit Reagan while we enjoyed our weekend date.

Losses

  • As much as I enjoyed the Getty conference, one thing I won’t do again is sing in the conference choir. Getting to sing on the Grand Ole Opry stage was great, and working directly with the Gettys was a neat experience. But the time constraint was so tight that I barely had time to breathe before the next event. In one instance, I missed a breakout session that I was really looking forward to (I’m getting sent a link to view the missed session). But the thing that got to me most was the self-centeredness I observed throughout the choir. There were WAY too many instances of “I want this…will you increase the font size…why didn’t I get that…why did they get this and I did’t…why don’t we have time to visit the souvenir shop…will you change the background on the screens?” By the second day, I’d had my fill of it. I just made sure to try to avoid those whom I saw as sticks in the mud/thorns in the flesh, and made an intentional effort to enjoy the experience as best I could.
  • Tennessee football disappointed two weeks in a row, one with a lost (against FL) and one with a win (against UMass). I fear that Butch Jones may not make it to the end of the season.
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Sunday Song 9.24.17

One of the most talked about attributes of God is His grace, along with His mercy. It is the grace of God that defines our destiny, and literally everything around us. His grace is unmatched, unmerited, unconditional, and never-ending. Singing of His grace today will remind us of the gospel and I pray it motivates us to scatter everywhere to proclaim that grace to lost souls in the world.

 

Friday Poll: What defines a church?

The title of today’s poll is a bit misleading. The only true definition of a church is Jesus Christ and His gospel. However, I want us to think in societal and cultural terms. Is it music, programs, preaching, people, or something else? In our day and age, churches are defined by a plethora of things aside from Christ. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Music can really change a person. And a few thank-you’s.

Yesterday, I was in my car a lot. Driving to and from work (with a morning stop to drop off Reagan and an afternoon stop at Kroger) & driving to and from Walmart to get some tools. Each time I was mobile, I had some music going. It might have been my favorite radio station (95.3/97.7 The Rebel) or it could have been my iPod on various settings. While listening  on my last trip home, the following five songs played successively:

  • “End of the World” by The Carpenters
  • “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery” by Matt Papa
  • “All My Exes Live in Texas” by George Straight
  • “Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (excerpt)” by the London Symphony
  • “Neverland” from Peter Pan by Mary Martin

On the last note of “Neverland, ” I began thinking about how my music tastes have changed over time.

Before I graduated high school, my tastes were very limited. I hated country music and pretty much only listened to The Carpenters, showtunes, southern gospel music, and K-LOVE. As a musician of 17 years, that probably surprises a lot of people. I had what I liked and had no desire to change-up many things on my iPod. My musical interests began to shift upon entering college in the fall of 2010 when I discovered Adele (thank you, Mary Margaret Reynolds). They continued to shift as I stopped listening to K-LOVE (thank God), listened to other radio stations, came back to my love for country music, listened to LOTS of classical music in my program of study, and discovered new musicals with addictive showtunes. I made use of these new interests through Pandora. But my ever-evolving interests were made even better when I downloaded the wonder known as Spotify. That was a beautiful day.

Up until recently, I didn’t listen to a specific artist or album while casually listening to music. I kept it on shuffle most of the time. But I soon remembered the anticipation of listening to a brand new album all the way through. So I started doing that again with albums that I owned. I also began listening to specific artists, analyzing how their style has changed (for better or worse) over the span of their career. I listen to full symphonies and movie soundtracks.

So it’s VERY safe to say that I am not the same person, musically speaking, that I was in 2010. And although my interests have a lot to do with that, it mostly comes from the exposure to various kinds of music by my music teachers. That being said, I want to take a moment to individually thank my music teachers and show how they’ve shaped me over time.

Mrs. Rosalind Massey, my very first music teacher. I looked forward to your class every single week in elementary school. Not only were you a fun music teacher, but a loving music teacher. You introduced me to names like Beethoven, Mozart, and Handel. It was here where I first heard “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. It was also here where I gave my first public performance on the piano (thanks for teaching me how to bow before and after the performance). By the way, you’ll never know how much it meant to me that you came to my senior recital at Union.

Mrs. Geneva Seaton, you took a chance on me 17 years ago when I wanted to take piano lessons. After watching my mom play for 8 years at home and in church, I wanted a turn. Thank you for getting me started, introducing me to music of the church, and acknowledging the Lord for His gift to me.

Mr. Scott King, Mr. Frankie Congiardo, & Mr. Brandon Salmon, my junior high/high school band directors. Mr. King had to endure my horrendous saxophone playing for six months before I gave up and quit. After Mr. C heard me at a piano recital, you convinced my mom (unbeknownst to me) to sign me up to play percussion. You adjusted my schedule (again, unbeknownst to me) and had me in beginning/intermediate band for two years. With Mr. King’s and Mr. Salmon’s assistance, I learned through the AHS Band program the meaning of hard work and the joy when it pays off (2 state championships while I was there). Thank y’all for showing me what it means to work hard at something you love.

Bro. John Simmons, easily the teacher who influenced me the most in my years of music education. I went to you for piano lessons in the 8th grade and would do it again in a heartbeat. You furthered my love for church music, became a mentor, and taught me how to appreciate, and later love, classical music. I learned about the organ and how it works, which still fascinates me to this day. You taught me how to improvise and express myself through music. You even gave me a few voice lessons when I wanted to improve my singing. I am thrilled that we have continued to keep in contact over the years through friendship and your awesome piano tuning service.

Dr. Chris Mathews, my collegiate choral conductor. You taught me how to conduct. You taught me how to be a professional musician, no matter the circumstance. You followed the steps of Brother John and Mrs. Geneva in exposing me to more incredible church music. Your professorship and mentorship would later lead to your performing of the wedding ceremony between my wife and I. I continue to go to you when I need advice about church ministry and you never fail to instill some more wisdom (because Topher never runs out).

Mrs. Kathie Cepparulo and Dr. Terry McRoberts, my collegiate piano teachers. Mrs. Cepparulo, you were a whole new world for me, telling me like it is at every lesson. Once you even said, “I don’t like the emotion you’re giving me in this piece.” While it was a bit intimidating at first (you still are), it pushed me to not slack and keep my head in the game. The first day in the studio of Dr. McRoberts, you told me that I would “learn to play sounds that I could not yet imagine.” And you were right. Three years under your tutelage formed me not into a better pianist, but a better musician. I know you believed in me more times than I believed in myself, and I KNOW you got frustrated with me on many occasions. But you never gave up on me and I will be forever grateful.

Thank y’all. You’ve done and continue to do good things for the world.

 

Wins & Losses (September 3-9)

Wins

  • Labor Day weekend was well-spent. We got a good bit of quality time with each side of the family, including two days in Adamsville. The weather was absolutely perfect and a Tennessee game (and win) was a great way to cap it off. And with Labor Day giving us the day off on Monday, that made for a shorter school week. The week went by rather quickly, and it was nice to enjoy the weekend a little earlier than usual.
  • Reagan is growing all the time. She’s not a chubby baby by any means, but she is LONG! And with passing the 6-month mark, she’s grown out of more clothes. That meant a trip to Babies ‘R Us for fall clothes that would fit. She got quite a few cute outfits and some interchangeable clothes here and there. It’s a good thing too. It’s getting chilly out. Which reminds me…
  • FALL WEATHER HAS ARRIVED. My favorite season is upon us. Fall weather means football,  cooler temperatures, warm clothes, band competitions, fall decorations, and pumpkin-flavored everything. I hope to go to the pumpkin patch this year and get some nice mums for the front of the house. It was a lovely touch last year and one I’d like to continue.
  • I worked the first half of Southaven High’s football home opener on Friday night. I wasn’t looking forward to it because I wanted to be home with my people. However, I really enjoyed it (game and halftime) and enjoyed being back under football lights again.

Losses

  • Despite a short week, teachers and students alike (particularly the Brashers) were extremely tired. Just because we have a shorter week doesn’t mean we have less work to do. 5 days worth of stuff still needs to be crammed in. The weekend was, as always, welcomed with open arms.
  • You’d think replacing a shoer head would be a rather simple task. And when you review the steps needed before you begin, it further confirms that. However, when the house you live in has 46-year old house pipes paired with a who-knows-how-old shower head pipe that decides to break off IN the 46-year old house pipes, the project becomes a little more difficult. Two trips to Ace Hardware still didn’t get the job done. For now, the Brasher Bathroom Saga continues with the guest shower being the primary bathing location. Stay tuned.

Sunday Song 9.10.17

My years in the Englewood Baptist Church College Ministry were a great time of spiritual growth for me. I was under some great teaching and formed several friendships through serving in the worship team. Through Zach Thompson, our worship leader, I learned some incredible church music that I had not been exposed to. One of those songs was “The Same Love” by Paul Baloche. I still remember the first time we played it and I’ve loved it ever since. I still have my folder with all the music we ever did, and that’s one I love to go back to from time to time. Our choir is singing it this morning with hopes of incorporating it into our music rotation soon. Happy Sunday!

Friday Poll: Public vs. Private School

Having taught now in both the public and private school settings (after attending both public and private schools), I have come to realize the many differences between the two. I have my opinions and want to hear yours!

I am aware that many factors go into deciding where a child will attend school (activities, sports, reputation, level of academics, administration, etc.). But in the grand scheme of things, let me know your thoughts on the following poll.

Wins & Losses (August 27-September 2)

Wins

  • It made my heart glad to see the release of the Nashville Statement. In short, this document expresses an affirmation of biblical standards of marriage, human sexuality, and how Christians are to live our lives according to what scripture says regarding it. I willingly and enthusiastically added my name to its list of signatories. It’s seen its fair share of backlash, but I was made even more happy to see the president of my alma mater, Union University, add his signature.
  • Not long after the Nashville Statement was released and had gained national prominence, I somewhat worked with three other guys from Union to craft a document for current Unionites and Union alums wanting to show their support of Union’s administration and its stance for scriptural authority. I was very pleased with its final draft and it has gained quite a following form current students and alumni. My heart was again made happy.
  • It’s always nice to get the first paycheck of the school year, especially when it’s for more than expected.
  • College football is back and I am PUMPED. I got my first fix on Saturday when Louisville played Purdue and came out with a victory.

Losses

  • Despite the great documents that are The Nashville Statement and Stand with Union, a document came out between the two of these that was disappointed in Union’s stance for biblical sexuality. The Union University Alumni Response had some major problems:
    • It’s name…implying that all UU alums agree with this statement.
    • The shock of the author and the signatories…like you didn’t know Union believed int he authenticity and authority of scripture.
    • It’s main author, when interview by a major newspaper, couldn’t even provide a scriptural citation when she claimed that the Bible supporting transgenders and affirmed gay marriage.
  • Thursday was all sorts of crazy. We were enduring what was left of Hurricane Harvey in the Mid-South. And for my readers who aren’t familiar with Memphis, just know that when anything (and I mean anything) falls from the sky, Memphians forget how to drive all together. Rain fell for over twelve hours and a tornado warning in the middle of school lunches did not help matters. We had students checking out in droves and at one point, I just decided to quit trying to accomplishing things and made a goal to just make it to the end of the day. We made the best of it with a Brasher-Waycaster sleepover at our house.

Friday Poll: The Nashville Statement

Basic RGB

Earlier this week, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, along with a coalition of theologically conservative evangelicals, released a document entitled “The Nashville Statement.” In it contains fourteen articles confronting confusions that have abounded regarding human sexuality and biblical marriage. These articles were drafted to clearly communicate what Scripture outlines for us as to what human sexuality, gender roles, and biblical marriage should look like. Almost immediately upon its release, controversy ensued. Counter statements, tweets, Facebook arguments, and the like took over social media throughout the week. To read the statement in its entirety, go to nashvillestatement.com. I’d love to see where you fall on the spectrum of agreement and disagreement. Leave your thoughts in the comments (on the blog!) if you wish to expound on your selection.

P.S. – For those that are confused as to why “Nashville” was included in the title, allow me to give you a bit of history. Historically, large-scale Christian documents/manifestos/statements that were crafted for the purpose of outlining doctrine were given titles based on the locations in which they were drafted and/or signed. Examples include the Nicene Creed, Synod of Dort, Westminster Confession, New Hampshire Confession of Faith, Philadelphia Confession of Faith, etc.  

 

Rebranding Thoughts

Loganotes turns six years old this month. Looking back on my blogging years, it’s quite evident how my writing has evolved and matured. Timehop reminds me of posts made on a certain day in previous years. My greatest memories throughout college, bachelor life, and the early stages of marriage/parenthood have been chronicled on Loganotes. Looking back also brings to mind new ideas to make this site even better.

I’ve toyed with the idea of rebranding this site for quite a while. The posts will remain constant with you weekly doses of Sunday Song, Win & Losses, and the newest series, Friday Poll. However, the title, tagline, and theme need some updating. I’ve done some searching on other blogs to try and come up with a creative title, yet thinking session leaves me more puzzled than before.

It’s at this point that I welcome all sorts of ideas for new names and taglines for the site. You may leave your ideas in the WordPress comments or in the social media comments. Seriously…all ideas are welcome. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!