Wartime Music Warms Weary Hearts

 

Mom and Dad

For his birthday this week, I gifted my husband with tickets to a live musical performance of In The Mood, a choreographed rendition of music from the 1930-1940 era. Judging from the snowy hair covering the heads of those around us, I could see this music still held memories for many. 

This is the nineteenth tour of this show, having started in 1993 when World USO  chose In The Mood  as the official entertainment for the fiftieth commemoration of  World War II . Since its initial run, the show has visited forty-eight states, Canada and Europe. Performances have included performing arts centers, state fairs, arenas, corporate events and even an inaugural ball. 

The show’s creator, producer and artistic director Bud Forrest has captured the flavor of the era with choreography and songs that take the listener back in time to a pre-war world. Mr. Forrest is a Juilliard trained pianist and he has accompanied other shows, including the Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Combining his talent with the String of Pearls orchestra and the In the Mood Singers and Dancers for this show, Mr. Forrest’s genius in artistry paints a musical picture of this era.

 As the program progressed, I could envision my own mother and father. Caught up in the reality of being drafted and the uncertainty of love in a war-torn world, they recited their vows before a justice of the peace in order that my father could leave for his stint with the army the next day. As the dancers jitterbugged across the stage, and the singers, dressed in military uniforms, performed “I’ll Never Smile Again” and “O Danny Boy” I could feel the tears on my mother’s cheeks as she waved her new husband off to war.

 I’m glad God gave us the gift of music, for melodies and tunes reach our hearts in ways nothing else can. In Psalm 150:3-4 (NKJV) we are encouraged to praise God “with the sound of the trumpet, Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes.” Music means a lot to all of us, especially to a loving heavenly Father.

 For more information on the tour, visit www.InTheMoodLive.com

 

Honoring Our Veterans with Thankful Hearts

Every November my husband and I make our yearly trek up I-5 to watch the Annual Veterans Day parade in Albany, Oregon. With more than two hundred entries and as many as 40,000 spectators, the parade boasts of being the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi. The event is organized and run by volunteers from the Veterans Commemoration Association, a local group.

The variety of entries never fails to amaze me. The Viet Nam veterans led the parade en masse on motorcycles of every make and size. People around me estimated the group of riders to contain at least two hundred bikes. The noise suggested the group might even be larger.

Veteran soldiers from wars past and present rode like royalty inside cars with signs posted on the vehicles telling of the soldier’s service, rank and the war in which he or she served. Marching units included all the branches of the military, men and women alike. Families of fallen soldiers rode in memory of their loved one, his or her picture mounted for all to witness.

Even the Civil War was represented by re-enactors dressed in period costume. Confederate and Union soldiers walked or rode horseback. Women dressed as wives, widows, and sweethearts followed. Marching bands from the local schools, a sheriff’s posse, and local businesses completed the parade.

The commemoration is a reminder our freedom to live as we do in the United States came with a price tag in the form of human lives. The strength of our military has protected us from aggressors who would like to see our way of life destroyed. No one likes war, but the sacrifices made by these men and women, past and present, should not be forgotten or taken for granted.  They gave that we might live. Psalm 27:1-3.

 Have a thankful Veterans Day.

A Humane Response to Hurricane Sandy

 

                                 

As a child growing up in Oregon I lived through a windstorm strong enough to tear the roofs off buildings, and a flood rapid enough to move homes from their foundations, I can only imagine how devastated many citizens in the wake of hurricane Sandy feel today. 

In years past I traveled to New York City and I can’t fathom the Big Apple without its subway system.  Nor can I understand the dilemma of a friend’s grandparents who are trapped n their home in New Jersey, safe, but isolated.  My heart broke when I watched media clips of those one hundred and eleven homes burning to the ground in Queens, leaving countless numbers of families homeless. To say life on the East coast is being lived one day at a time would be an understatement. 

It’s easy to feel helpless when tragedies like these strike. Compassion for the loss seems so useless when you are on the other side of the continent. Yet God has given us the spirit of power and truth in His gift of prayer. In James 5:16 (NKJV) we are told to pray, confessing our trespasses, that we, and those around us, might be healed. “The effective prayers of a righteous man avails much.” 

Won’t you join me in praying for those who suffer in the aftermath of the storm, for the restoration of their homes, for the return to normalcy, for God’s comfort of peace? 

Free Book Giveaway 

Want to win a free book? A blogging friend and critique partner, Karen Barnett, is hosting a free book giveaway now through November 9, 2012. All you have to do is log into her blog and leave a comment about your sister or sisters. The book to be given away is The Bride Wore Blue by one of my favorite authors of historical fiction, Mona Hodgson. 

Paste this into your browser and leave a comment:  

http://cannotbeshaken.blogspot.com/2012/11/book-pick-and-giveaway-bride-wore-blue.html  

Enjoy the contest and don’t forget to vote on November 6th!