Sunday, October 15, 2017

Love of Monday is the Root of All Evil

Not a lot of people know what a bad rap Herbert Hoover has gotten.  He had the misfortune of being President when the Great Depression began.  But before that, during World Was I, called The Great Was at that time, Germany had invaded Belgium and left it in ruins.  People were homeless and starving.  And Herbert Hoover, long before he was president, organized a great relief effort for the innocent civilians of Belgium, who had been caught up in a war that was not their fault.  Hoover contributed much of his own fortune to the effort.

What a contrast to a current very rich man who happens to be president and claims he can't help the people of Puerto Rico.

Reminds me of an old saying, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Very Messy Question

Why is the world such a mess?  Why is God allowing these things to happen?  Hurricanes, fires, riots, mass shootings, stupid politics, nuclear threats, man's inhumanity to man (women,too) in general.  Well, there are three options, I've been told.  Either there is no God and it's all chance.  Or if there is a God, he doesn't care.

The third option is the hardest to understand.  That God created humans with free will, and therefore it's our own choices that have led to where we are now.  So why doesn't God fix it?  I ask myself (and God) that quite often.

Here's something I read in a book by British pastor and theologian J.B. Phillips: 

"Once we admit the possibilities of free will, we can see that injustices and grievances are inevitable...We may not agree with the risk that God took in giving man the power to choose.  We might even have preferred God to have made a race of robots who were unfailingly good and cheerful and kind.  But it is not in the least a question of what God could have done, but a question of what He has done.  We have to accept the scheme of things as it is.  If we must blame someone, it is surely fairer to blame mankind, who has chosen wrongly and so produced a world awry."

From "For This Day, 365 Meditations by J.B. Phillips" copyright 1974

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Peaks Saga is Being Reborn

Okay, I know it's been too long. I have been busy editing and rewriting my first books. And the BIG NEWS!! I have just signed a contract with First Steps Publishing to publish all my books. the new version of "The Peaks at the Edge of the World" and "Searching for Maia" will come out first. Then the "Beyond the Peaks Trilogy", which will be in three separate books as before. Covers will be brand new and amazing, I'm sure. I have been working very hard on improving my writing craft, so I can say what I really intend to. And yes, there are more books in the works, too, "Journeys on This Side of the Peaks."
I'll keep you posted on publication dates. Now my books will be more widely available at bookstores, online and anywhere.

A Musician's Point of View

Winter is already arriving in Glacier National Park, but the fall colors here in the valley are beautiful. Most of the time I avoid the news channels because they stress me out too much. Instead I want to share some musician's tidbits about national songs and anthems. Our current national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner", is based on a poem written by Francis Scott Key, during a naval battle in The War of 1812. It was set to the tune of "Anacreon in Heaven" which was a British drinking song. We might as well have stuck to "Yankee Doodle", or perhaps "America" which is just an adaptation of "God Save the Queen."
Personally, I prefer "America the Beautiful" written by Katherine Lee Bates when she was inspired by the view from Pikes Peak. The music was written to go with it by Samuel Ward. I especially like verse 3, which is little sung:
"Oh beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Til all success be nobleness and every gain divine."
I'm wondering if it wasn't favored as a national anthem because it was written by a woman. I do know for a fact that "God Bless America" wasn't considered seriously because Irving Berlin was Jewish. Shame on you, America!
Oh, and another reason I like "America the Beautiful" is it isn't a song born out of war, though it does give homage to those who have given their all for her, as is proved by the verse I quoted above.
Or maybe we need a new song that acknowledges the diversity of our country more. Just some food and musical facts for thought.