Category Archives: Blog Posts

A Singing Faith

We find from the Bible that ours is a singing faith. The people of God are ALWAYS singing: From the shores of the Red Sea to the shores of the Promised Land; from the Book of Exodus to the last chapter of Revelation. And then there are the many songs in the Book of Psalms and all the canticles: both those from the New Testament and those from the Old… Read More »

A Treasure to Cherish, Nurture, and Share

When we are given a treasure, we are also given great responsibility. Whether the treasure we receive is of an earthly or of a heavenly nature, it always comes with a responsibility to first cherish the gift and thank the giver; to then protect, grow, and nurture the gift; and then finally to share the gift with the world around us so they too can be blessed and nurtured by… Read More »

Celebrate Christmas with the Peoria Bach Festival

Celebrate Christmas this year by watching the Peoria Bach Festival 2012 performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. You can find it on the Peoria Bach Festival YouTube page by clicking here or following the video links below. Although the performance is in German, English subtitles are provided making the story easy to understand and follow. The translation is a literal one so that the original meaning of the German is as accurate… Read More »

Choral Music Provides “Epic!” Expressions of the Faith

A few Sundays ago, I had the privilege of singing three settings of the Te Deum – that great text of proclamation, praise, and thanksgiving – with the Bradley Community Chorale accompanied by the Bradley Orchestra. What a great experience and great opportunity to enter deeply into that great text of Christendom and into the minds of three great composers. The settings we sang were by Franz Josef Haydn, Antonín… Read More »

Dedication of Trinity’s Musicians

Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise… Read More »

Did You Know That the Lord Rejoices Over Us?

Today’s Verse of the Day from the YouVersion Bible really struck me. We tend to think that it is our “job” to rejoice in God and what He has done for us. But, here is a remarkable passage from the prophet Zephaniah that helps us realize that actually it is the other way around. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will… Read More »

Emergency Procedures for Churches

Our thoughts and prayers this week are with all those who lost a loved one or their homes and belongings in the recent tornados that passed through Central Illinois. We pray in this difficult time for their healing in body, mind, and soul and that the Lord will show us how we can help in the best possible ways. This is also perhaps a good time to mention that several… Read More »

Fanfare, Fugue, and Chorale on CRUCIFER (Brass Choir)

The best sacred music is not “background” music, but rather music that proclaims the eternal truths of Scripture whether it is a simple song or one in which the message is written into the music. The hymn “Lift High the Cross” (CRUCIFER) has become an iconic one for many Christians because it highlights the centrality of the crucifixion of Jesus to the faith. Martin Luther speaks powerfully to this dogma in his Theology… Read More »

Handel’s Messiah – Biblical, Christological, and Eschatological

In anticipation of the 40th Annual Peoria “Sing-It-Yourself” Messiah tomorrow on the Trinity Concert Series (www.trinityconcertseries.org), I would like to offer these thoughts on the work. Arguably the most popular musical work of all time, Handel’s Messiah sets to beautiful and awe-inspiring music Old and New Testament passages that proclaim the salvation story. According to one scholar,  the librettist Charles Jennens (1700-73) “intended Messiah as a statement of faith in… Read More »

Instruments in the Bible – Bells

It turns out that we have two bell concerts on the Trinity Concert Series this year (www.trinityconcertseries.org). Just this past weekend we welcomed handbell soloist Kristine Stout (www.joybelltheater.com) to our church and on May 17, Dr. John Behnke will bring the Alleluia Ringers from Concordia University, Wisconsin for a concert. Bells are mentioned only seven times in Scriptures and only in one context. However, it is obvious from the context… Read More »