Thursday, December 13, 2007


rhap·so·dy audio (rps-d) KEY

pl. rhap·so·dies
  1. Exalted or excessively enthusiastic expression of feeling in speech or writing.
  2. A literary work written in an impassioned or exalted style.
  3. A state of elated bliss; ecstasy.
  4. Music A usually instrumental composition of irregular form that often incorporates improvisation.
  5. An ancient Greek epic poem or a portion of one suitable for uninterrupted recitation.
Latin rhapsdia, section of an epic poem, from Greek rhapsidi, from rhapsidein, to recite poems : rhaptein , rhaps-, to sew; see wer- 2 in Indo-European roots + aoid, id, song; see wed- 2 in Indo-European roots

Provided by Houghton Mifflin

I've chosen this term to indicate a post where I mix together unrelated elements. Yet in the grand scheme of things it is all ultimately related in import and ideology. It's musical, poetic, eclectic, diverse yet harmonious. To illustrate the diversity in my own life I offer to you another round of Bela Fleck:



Fusion Jazz brings styles together in unique ways. Bela not only incorporates styles, but he brings together instruments that are not typically used together. Who would think to use a banjo, steel drums and bassoon together? My life is like this. A mixture of cultures, endeavors, gifts and abilities. I don't know that any of the men in this band are Christian. I would pray that they are or that they are made alive in Christ if they are not.

I've been reading the Bible with the kids in the evening. They've gotten to where they really like this. They beg to read yet another chapter. We always do a psalm with whatever we read and we have been doing them in order as we go through Matthew. They have been astonished as to how the Psalms seem to match up with what we just read as though it was planned that way. Last night, Hope tried to read ahead to see how they would match up. I feigned scorn and said, "Don't do that! What are you trying to do, read the Bible or something?"

Two nights ago we read the end of Matthew which included the tearing of the veil at the time of Jesus' death. I looked up a drawing of the tabernacle and explained how the temple was built to be like a "permanent" tabernacle. The veil separates us from the holy of holies where God's presence was to be. Once a year a priest would go in and if he did one thing wrong he could die. The other priests would have to drag him out without going in there themselves. So I asked the kids what the veil was for.

"It separates us from God," they concluded after thinking about it a short bit.

"What happened to it's purpose when it was torn," I asked?

"We weren't separated from Him anymore," Luke said with a smile.

Hope's eyes got big and an excited smile came across her face. "Hey! I know why Jesus had to die," she exclaimed. "If we do something wrong, we die. He died so that we wouldn't die if we messed up."


My friend Kim posted some pictures of her Christmas decor, so I'll return the favor. I endeavored to photograph the lights and played around with the manual settings on my cheap digital camera. Here are the results:

This is the front of the house.

Paul and Hope sitting on the porch railing under the icicle lights. Icicles in the NC piedmont? They're rare and never this large.

Detail of the stuff hanging on the lattice.

The tree in the front room. Yes, it's in front of the fireplace. We rarely use the fireplace anyway, but it would be nice to decorate the fireplace and put the tree elsewhere. However, there is no elsewhere for the tree.

Detail of the tree with knick-knacks on the mantle. The partially occluded bear is definitely part of the Christmas decor. The painted terra cotta doll is from Venezuela. The framed thing is a wedding invitation that someone colored and framed and presented to us on our wedding.

Most of the ornaments on the tree are an ecclectic collection of gifts and crafts. It's homey, but meaningful, and certainly fits the Rhapsody theme.

And, since I am a bit of a Trekkie, I took this silly Star Trek personality quiz:

Your results:
You are An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Deanna Troi
Beverly Crusher
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Will Riker
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard
Mr. Sulu
Mr. Scott
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Since your accomplishments are seldom noticed,
and you are rarely thought of, you are expendable.
That doesn't mean your job isn't important but if you
were in Star Trek you would be killed off in the first
episode you appeared in.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Ok - That's disappointing. I'm expendable. I may sing the occasional solo at church, but by and large what I do, or what I can do, indeed goes unnoticed. The solos are fluff.

Look back at the previous post and see the photo of me dressed up like the 1940s. I've always said that the 40s was my era. WWII was my war. Glenn Miller was my band leader. There was a man named Mark Ma who saw that the gospel had progressed westward since the Great Commission. Now the great frontier of the gospel was China. In the 1940s, Mark Ma had a vision to take the gospel beyond China and traverse the nations between China and the Holy Land to take the gospel to the people of those lands back to Jerusalem. His vision was halted by the Chinese government. Over the years the vision dimmed and was nearly lost when it was discovered by Chinese Christians over a decade ago. Now the vision is in full swing. Last night I heard from Chinese missionaries that the vision is being realized with the sending of Chinese missionaries into the "-stan" countries.

Mark Ma was stopped and never saw his vision realized. He was marginalized and passed into the next world unaware of the impact his vision would have. He was expendable, but he will not be forgotten.

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Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

Pember-Rhapsody - good stuff bro!

Can't relate to the music, but can relate to the bag of unrelated assets that predominantly seem meaningless, but found useful on occasion. They are like recipes in a book that I often remember they are there, but never get used. Always using the same couple of recipes that are required, such as a main dish, but never the desserts. LOL Maybe it's God's way of putting value in our lives. We can see value in it, but the world can't see it. Maybe one day God will open a door and give us a chance to allow Him to shine through us. I don't think God made/makes a mistake by giving us these nuggets. One day we'll know.

What an encouragement on the results of reading Scripture to your family! My desire is to do the same, but not there yet. Still in the children books.

LOL, just took the Star Trek test and I'm 75% Geordi LaForge! Second is Data (just like you). Funny stuff.

Merry Christmas bro!

Love the photos of the lights!

Fri Dec 14, 04:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

"Can't relate to the music..."

You got it. That's why I put it there. I'm a hard guy to relate to and I know it. You have to admit, those guys are incredible musicians even thought the music is a little different. I seem to be able to pick up well on a wide variety of music. That's why I want to be a musical ethnologist in the mission field when I grow up.

Reading scripture in the family is one thing I want to encourage the men in our congregation to do. We need to learn to study the Bible on our own, learn to share it with each other as men and teach it to our families. I've been working on a men's conference we have scheduled for late February. We have some men's Bible studies and a one-on-one discipleship program to implement following the event.

Fri Dec 14, 08:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

Dude, as I was listening to the song again, and reflecting on what you said, God totally gave me the perfect analogy. Through the hands of the Maker, God has simply given you more shades paint on your canvas of life. Some colors are quite distinct, whereas other colors have blended into even more shades. It may be easy for us to see the numerous colors, but at His angle, He sees a perfect creation.

That's best I could describe the image in my head. LOL Funny how God works.

Oh, besides the love of a good hymn, I do love organ music. My dream is to one day see AND HEAR a fully working Midmer-Losh Organ up in Atlantic City at the Convention Center. That would totally be awesome! I doubt I'll ever see it working, but one can dream. If you go to the ACCHOS site you can listen to a couple older recordings of it partially working. I listen to these recordings and other organ works at work pretty much 100% of the time. Every now and then I'll listen to WDAV out of Davidson. I can't really listen to music with singing because it's a little distracting. Good classical or organ music is the best.

Anyway, I somehow got a bit wordy. Must go to bed...

Sat Dec 15, 01:39:00 AM GMT-5  

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