By Grace, Through Faith

Good morning. It is Sunday, June 7, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is clandestine. This is an adjective, meaning, “marked by, held in, or conducted with secrecy : surreptitious.”

Today is Chocolate Ice Cream Day. I did go ahead and look at the other two choices, but there really wasn’t any point in doing so. As soon as I saw “Chocolate Ice Cream Day,” I knew that was the one I would pick. I feel kind of bad for any other “holiday” that falls on “Chocolate Ice Cream Day.”

What an amazing weekend this has been!! I almost can’t come up with words to describe it. Yesterday’s “rehearsal” was truly the high point of the weekend, and I was extremely sad when it was over. I don’t know when I have ever seen four hours go by as fast as they did, yesterday. I couldn’t begin to name off all the pieces we played, but I remember that there were several marches, two by Sousa, and one Henry Fillmore, march, “The Circus Bee,” which we played twice, because, in Mr. Keene’s words, “The trombones aren’t bleeding yet.” 😀 After we finished that piece the second time, he said something that touched all of our hearts deeply. He said, “The reason we were just able to play that is because Neill Humfeld taught trombone players.” The thing is, there were a number of people who are still playing. But there were just as many, if not more, who had set aside their instruments, a number of years ago, myself being in that category. I told people it had been 20 years since I have played consistently. I think that might actually be an underestimation, but I figure after five or ten, it doesn’t really matter how many more you tack on.

I began “warming up” for this event back in November. I started getting a little more serious about it a couple months ago, but still wasn’t up to a point where I was playing every day, and not once did I practice for more than thirty or forty minutes. I was apprehensive about this practice session yesterday. But when we started playing, after a couple of scales and some long tones for tuning, the sounds coming out of my trombone were much better than they had any right to be! And while I didn’t play every note perfectly, I kept up pretty well, even on “The Circus Bee.” I later told some people that I figured out that all I had to do was double-tongue and move the slide. 😀 I’m sure that, had I been playing all by myself, it wouldn’t have sounded that great. But, in the group, it didn’t sound bad enough to stick out, so I’m very, very pleased. We all sounded pretty fantastic, especially when you consider that we had not played together in thirty-five years!

During the lunch break, I had lunch with a different group than the dinner group the night before, of which I am glad, because I got a chance to meet and chat with some people from later years of ETSU. Our waiter took a group photo with several of our phones.

ETSU Keene Reunion lunch, June 6, 2015

There were so many great moments in this weekend, that I really don’t have time to write about them, right now. But I will post one other picture that I am the most proud of.

Mr. Keene and me, June 6, 2015

That is the one and only Professor James Keene beside me. It was a most wonderful day.

So, today, it’s almost time to head back home. I will be very glad to be back home with Christi and Stephanie. As soon as I finish the blog, this morning, I will finish packing up and head out. Then tomorrow afternoon, Christi will be flying to El Paso with nine other people from USBC, to bowl in a tournament, as a “team building exercise.” She’s pretty excited about that.

It was on this date in 1975 that Sony introduced the ill-fated Betamax to the public. It would eventually lose the battle to the VHS format, even though many people believed it to be much better technology. On this date in 1892, Benjamin Harrison was the POTUS to attend a baseball game.

Today’s birthdays include Beau Brummell (English fashion leader), Paul Gauguin (painter), Jessica Tandy (actress), Dean Martin (singer/actor), Tom Jones (singer), Jenny Jones (talk show host), Thurman Munson (baseball player), Liam Neeson (actor), Colleen Camp (actress), Prince (musician), Dave Navarro (guitar player, Jane’s Addiction), and Michael Cera (actor).

Dave Navarro is the guitar player for the group, Jane’s Addiction. He is also a founding member of the group. Another “claim to fame,” if you will, is his four-year marriage to actress/model Carmen Electra. Dave was born in 1967, making him 48 years old today.

Here is a video of their song, “Just Because.”


To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.
God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him!
As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!
But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

Psalm 68:1-6

(From Solid Joys)

And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Today’s reading is “We Live By Faith.”

“Faith is a perfect fit with God’s future grace. It corresponds to the freedom and all-sufficiency of grace. And it calls attention to the glorious trustworthiness of God.”

From Galatians 2:20, we can draw the conclusion that the faith that justifies and the faith that sanctifies are one and the same. When we are sanctified, we are being made holy, or transformed more into the likeness of Christ. But this, just like our justification, is all by grace, and is accomplished through faith. “For faith is the act of the soul that connects with grace, and receives it, and channels it as the power of obedience, and guards it from being nullified through human boasting.”

Paul makes this connection, in Galatians 2:20, when he says, “I live by faith.”

“The simple reason why the faith that justifies is also the faith that sanctifies is that both justification and sanctification are the work of sovereign grace. They are not the same kind of work, but they are both works of grace.” And if both justification and sanctification are works of grace, it is natural for us that they both be by faith.

Father, I thank you for the grace that justifies and sanctifies. I also thank you for the faith that you have given me, that I might believe in this grace that justifies and sanctifies. There are plenty of times in my life when I feel neither justified nor sanctified, but I believe that both are true in my life. I am justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and I am being sanctified by grace through faith, by the power of your Holy Spirit. All praise and honor belong to you, my God!

I pray for this day. As Christi gets ready to do grocery shopping, I pray for her safety and that she can get things done quickly and efficiently. I pray for safe travel back to Fort Worth, this afternoon. I pray that we can have some good time together, this afternoon and evening, before she has to head to El Paso for her trip. I also pray for the safety of Christi and the others on the trip. May your grace flow through the lives of Rachel, Justin, Stephanie, and Mama today. Give us all, this day, our daily bread, and may your will be done, on earth, as in heaven.

I thank you for this wonderful weekend of remembrance, and the reflections that it has brought to me and others.

Your grace is sufficient.

We do not need different kinds of faith for justification and sanctification. We life by faith, we are saved by grace, through faith; the same faith, that is a gift from God, not of works, so that we may not boast about anything.

Not I But Christ

Grace and peace, friends.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.