Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


The Generation that Nearly Killed Music

There once was a promising people.
They birthed unconventional children
With oversized ears and craniums.
They were not only unusual.
These were a special generation.
For they birthed ordinary children
Into a special family of love;
They dedicated themselves to God.
These strange, extraordinary people
Enrolled their children from infancy
Into music master classes, and
Exposed their babes to the world’s greatest.
“Aaaah!” exclaimed the masters nonpareil
In the pure vowels of a trained voice,
“These bambinos were made for music!
Just look at their ears! Their brains! Their limbs!”
936 hours of class;
They learned musical complexities
That could rival physics equations.
Without fail, they acquired perfect pitch.
They denounced a hasty vibrato,
Discerned the best from the consummate,
Perceived a string’s every overtone,
And named a piece with one measure played.
These strange ones, given every blessing
From God, parents, and education,
Turned out very unexpectedly.
For none of them became musicians.
They refused to sing and blushed to touch
The ivories or a violin.
They set their lips and squinted their eyes;
They quite avoided making music.
They would applaud and write rave reviews,
They would speak with all the convincing
Vocabulary of an expert.
They listened with full understanding.
They looked the part; nay, they talked the part.
They rejoiced to listen to the part;
They verily pretended the part.
Save that they demurred to play the part.
They had the music from long ago;
They had the instrument given them free;
They spoke the language with fluency;
Heart, they had not; action, they failed in.
Ergo, these children of such promise
Died a most ignominious death
Of wistfulness for wishes undone,
Scorned by the world for gifts ungiven.
The pieces were unlearned and unplayed.
The next children existed untaught.
Indeed, their generation accquired
More knowledge than any other.
But the passion for spreading music
Waned more than at any other time
Because they failed to play and have heart.
They saw; they knew—but they failed to do.

Artwork created by Mikaela.


In Theory...

Blowing in the Wind
Photo Credit

I wonder if Thomas Edison were one of our generation whether he would have theorized 10,000 possibilities for creating the light bulb, but never actually tested them. 

I wonder if Paul Revere were one of our generation whether he would have moaned about the poor colonists who were about to be taken unawares, but never actually mounted a horse to warn them. 

I wonder if George Washington Carver were one of our generation whether he would have estimated three hundred uses for the peanut, but never actually created them.   

I wonder all this because our generation is one brimful of theories and ideas but sadly lacking in gumption, grit, and good old follow-through.  This theory overkill is akin to studying the violin and all the theory that goes along with it (harmonics and sound waves and diminished arpeggios to boot!), but never actually picking up a bow or touching the instrument. 

The result is that your brain is certainly stretched, but the silence is never altered by the music that you never make. 

Likewise, we know it all.  In fact, we wax eloquent on it all.  And anything we don’t want to know about, we complain about.  But there’s one simple thing we rarely do: we rarely act. 

We leave the match unstruck next to the candle wick. 
We leave the light switch turned off. 
We leave the floodlights on our house dark. 

We are a generation that has more knowledge than any before, yet indulge in passivity. 
We leave the books unread.
We leave the lost untold.
We leave the exercising undone.
We leave the song unwritten.
We leave enslaved unfreed. 
We leave the note unsent.
We leave the gifts God has given us tragically unused, still lying under the Christmas tree of our salvation. 

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”-James 4:17

All of those un-acted acts are a theoretical waste, but when will they become a literal waste to each of us? 

Photo: h.koppdelaney
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


The Excitement of the End


If you keep up on the little happenings of the U.S.--the agony of finding someone compromised enough to recite a meaningless "prayer" come inauguration, or the sexual orientation firsts in the Senate and the Oregon House, or the gun control snowball that won't stop rolling--then you, like me, might be feeling like Eeyore when he has lost his tail and sat upon his house.
Guess what, though? It's not the darkness of your corner, but the brightness of your light.
The pessimism of this age is a tangled net that traps us before we've even spotted it. But with difficulty and hardship comes relationship and blessings. With persecution and ignominy comes love and humility. And with a wicked and perverse generation comes great opportunity to shine as lights in the world.
Have you ever taken the time to read Joel 2:28-32? It's incredible:
"And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on [My] menservants and on [My] maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass [That] whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls."

Have you called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved? You have joined millions of saints around the world at this very moment. We are the remnant whom God has called, and we have been given every necessity to glorify God in this generation.

In Acts 2:38-40, Peter has this to say after quoting the passage from Joel:

"Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.' And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.'"

Scripture tells us that the world will end, that the last days will bring scoffers and wars and natural disasters and perversions. These are merely dissonant preludes to the end--the great and awesome day of the Lord. To focus solely on these events is like standing on the beach of the Pacific Ocean at sunset and stubbornly staring eastward, with your back to the beauty unfolding behind you.

God is on the move and doing great and exciting things. Don't miss it!

Photo Credit: h. koppdelaney


Laughs, Chocolate, Traditions, Family, and the Birth of a Baby

Christmas Eve we traditionally indulge in fondue.  This year was no exception, with the cheese fondue preceding our amazing Christmas Eve service, and the chocolate fondue kicking off the rest of the evening's festivities!  No laughter was had when angel food cake refused to stay on the fondue fork, let me tell you!

 Another Christmas Eve tradition: opening up a gift of pajamas!

 I'm realizing we have a lot of traditions: this is our traditional pajama pose.  Then I had a brilliant idea: "Okay, guys, now we need to pretend like we are going to drop her.  Ready?"  

From left: Susanna, Mikaela, Jonah, Lauren, and Micah.  Melanie is the lucky one being dropped! 

 Christmas morning dawned cold but clear, and Mikaela discovered the pickle ornament in the tree, which bestowed on her the privilege of opening the first gift!  (Another tradition!)

 Our gift-unwrapping system is slow and methodical: age order, and one at a time!

 Uncle Dan and Aunt Linda joined us for Christmas Eve and stayed until the day after Christmas!  We were so thrilled to have them here, and we fit in much memory-making and chatting in between all the festivities!

Jonah: C'mon, open it up and see what I got you!
Micah: Ooooh!  What's this?  (They were cleats!) 

I am sniffing delectable tea, a gift from Mama and Papa!

 Jonah received a train set, and wasted no time in reading the manual like a novel and 
assembling it like a pro!

Susanna models her gifts!

A pre-dinner game of Monopoly monopolized much of the family's time.  We had never owned the "original" Monopoly, only the Seattle version.  So playing this version was quite the education for some of my siblings!

The feast is prepared!  Roasted winter vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, focaccia bread, roasted garlic cauliflower, honey ham, and several other dishes overflowed our plates!

I hope you had a Merry Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior!  This Christmas our family focused on why He came: our own desperate sin; our own lost state without Him.  For His salvation, I will rejoice and celebrate Christmas every day of the year!  How's your Christmas spirit today?


Lord, Let Me Declare

Journal Entry

On my nightstand, one book has had the place of honor for a decade. This book, which began life as a charming black-covered creation with vivid red corners, is now a shabby stack of over 200 bound papers. The cover is long gone, the edges are curling, and the first ten pages have escaped the binding. This book, you see, began in the ninth year of my life, is my journal. Her name is Louisa, and here I offer you a look at my life through the last decade, complete with authentic spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors (oh, my!).

January 1, 2000, 12:00 AM
Happy Year 2000, Happy Millinium!!!! Happy Century!
Nothings happening. What I mean is, the lights are on and everything!!!
I feel…joyous!!

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2000
The Bird-duck is gone. Lauren brought it outside to play. A cat—Tigger actually—scared duck into the bushes. We’ve been looking for duck all evening. But I yielded duck to God. It’s God’s duck. And this is hard to say, even if God wants duck to die—that, that is alright.
Saturday, June 9th, 2001
…When Papa came home…he had a surprise for us—and it’s better than a birthday—the strike is OVER! I want to shout, to tell the world! Praise the Lord! So we’ve been enjoying our Papa for the week!

Sunday, February 3, 2002
So that my children will always know when I lost my last tooth!
I ask Mama and Papa when they lost there last tooth—same answer—“I don’t know.”
So I will always remember.
“I was 11, it was February the third, I was eating a carrot.” =)

Friday, May 10th, 2002
It’s born! It’s born!! Can you believe it? HE’S born! Jonah Adam (? They’re not sure about the middle name). He’s 6 lbs 15oz and 19”. Sounds small!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2003
I am quite disappointed with myself. I am horrid. And I don’t mean to give you the same old self-pitying ‘sob story.’ My main faults are 1. Lack of serving, 2. Lack of humbleness (i.e. pride, but ever so much more than that, like lack of respect etc, etc.) I am also extraordinarily bossy. It’s to bad you are not ‘real.’ If you were I would be begging you to pray for me! That is the only hope….

Sunday, May 4th, 2003
On Thursday we left for Spokane. Today we ran in Bloomsday! All year we’ve been training for it. It has about 60,000 people who run in the race…It is 7 ½ miles (12 kilometers) long and has “Doomsday” hill, which is a rather long steep hill. My time was 1 hour, 17 min and 56 seconds. We arrived 1 hour and 15 minutes before it started. It was cold, especially since we only had shorts and t-shirts on. To entertain themselves, people were bouncing balls in the air. Then they used tortillas!

Saturday, May 1st, 2004
I was thinking; why do I keep a journal? Well for one thing it is to record my growth in the Lord.
The main second reason is for my kids....It is my proof. I was a kid once to, with kid-struggles and kid-problems. Not only that, but I have lived through once-in-a-lifetime events (i.e. September 11 etc).
If my kids are ever reading this then I want to tell them something. I am only 13; perhaps your age. Only a kid; just like you…And across the decades that separate my childhood and yours—Jesus is the only way. Give him everything. Especially your conscience. After reading this, you must know that that is my biggest struggle. Remember that if you are ever convicted to confess something.
(Was that corny?)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Tonight was Philharmonic practice. Last week was chair tests, and I kept my principal second violin place! I’m really excited, and I think that the leadership position has really helped my playing and my confidence. Also, I’m really enjoying taking lessons from ---. Now, the only thing I need to complete my “musical bliss” is some music students. That would be a dream come true.

Thursday, April 6, 2006
…at the funeral today, someone….[read] a verse that she said Aunt Ina quoted; my eyes filled with tears when I heard it, and I resolved right then and there that that verse would be my life verse. Lauren just let me borrow her Bible, and I looked it up, so here it is:
“Oh God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.” Psalm 71:17-18

Saturday, Aug 15, 2009
So another year has passed and it seems that I am suddenly and inexplicably nineteen years old….And then I realize that, in the blink of an eye, I will be gone. And you, dear reader, may be my daughter or son, my grandchild, or even my greatgrandchild, wondering at the impossibility of me being 19 with the same struggles, hopes, and dreams that you have.
Happy Birthday—and don’t take any of it for granted.

And there you have it. As of January 1st, 2010, 2:13 AM, I finally finished this book. She will live out the rest of her life in leisure while I turn to a new, slick, leather-bound, slim volume that's been waiting patiently for several years. Somehow, though, it just won't be quite the same.

Do you keep a journal? Have you ever kept one in the past? When I first began mine, I remember modeling it after those of the great men and women of faith, such as David Brainerd, whose personal accounts still inspire and convict centuries later. I certainly knew that I wanted my journal to have no resemblance to a catty, secretive, tell-all "diary." If you do write, are your purposes the same as this and the ones I mentioned in the entries above?

First posted here on January 5th, 2010.
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