Nobody-Somebody

I don’t have to be a nobody,
Just struggling to become,
Spending all my energy
And getting nothing done,

For what I am is beautiful–
To some if not to all,
And if I show it, they will know
The joy to which we’re called.

I don’t have to be a somebody,
Concerned about myself,
All decked out in my achievements,
Sitting proudly on the shelf,

For I am just a servant,
Though I do more than the rest,
And I’m here to serve a master
Who is worthy of the best.

My life does not consist
In either liberty or rules,
For all those things are relative–
They have their place as tools.

But faith is most important,
As it works thru selfless love,
For that is where the power’s found
To make the mountains move.

In righteousness I have a part,
In heaven I’ve a share.
The Spirit is the guarantee
That one day I’ll be there.

Christ Jesus has provided
For my true identity.
His slave of love, I’m nobody,
I’m somebody,
I’m free.

By Dan Eumurian
Comment to Facebook or to: hope4you (at) CenturyTel.net

Farm Country

I was born and raised in the “farm country” of western Wisconsin. In 1978 I was hired as a researcher-interviewer for the Kickapoo Valley Association History Project, and was assigned to write on the history of agriculture in the valley from 1840 to 1940. The family farm crisis was in full swing at the time. I attended a La Crosse Peace and Jobs Coalition workshop, joined the Wisconsin Farm Unity Alliance, and began writing farm songs. “I Love My Tractor” highlighted the hypocrisy of government aid going to corporate megafarms while worthy family farms went out of business. “Farmbo,” inspired by Story City, Iowa artist Rodney Bohner, compared the family farmer to the prisoner of war abandoned by his country. “Hot Potato” talked about sharing food resources. “Junior Mind Your Manners” and “Yo-Yo” addressed the twin problems of the flight to the suburbs and gentrification. “Making Hay (Farmer Helping Farmer)” honored the participants in the Great Haylift of 1986. On a lighter note, “Wisconsin Cheddar Moon” asserted, in Dixieland style, that the moon is made of Wisconsin cheese. The CD includes a total of 20 songs, performed by over 30 Wisconsin musicians. It’s available for $12 plus $3 shipping and handling from Come Thru Music Co., BMI, 1634 Barlow St., La Crosse, WI 54601.

God Who Created My Cat

God Who Created My Cat
By Dan Eumurian

God who created my cat,
Let me hunger for your Word,
Let me long for your lap.

Let me thirst for your Spirit
As an alley cat laps expectantly at a faucet.

Let me yearn for heaven
As she gazes from chair back, window sill, bedspread, tower and screen door
At the homeland of her freedom.

Let me wear with joy
The license of belonging you purchased for me,
Knowing that my name is written securely
In the holy city hall.

May I squeeze out my sin and let out my impurities
In the litter box of your mercy.

May I squeal and jump away from spiritual danger
And wait, eyes, ears and tail alert
To pounce on spiritual opportunity.

May I grow fat in spirit,
Even as I retain the delight of my kittiness.

May my antics, vitality, and independence bring you joy.

Let me seek more and more and more
Of the loving stroke of your hand.

Let me scare away mice
And attract neighbors and friends.

Let me jump incredible distances and sink my claws
To get close to you.

O God, who saved me from the alley of misery and destructiveness,
Teach me to play richly with my fellow pets
As we race around.

May I be contented at home in your house
Until I tread on your bed,
Stretch,
And curl up behind your knees.

© 2014, Dan Eumurian, dba Come Thru Music Co., BMI
1634 Barlow St., La Crosse, WI 54601
CD info and blog at www.PianosNSongs.com

Pilgrim’s Song, by Count A. Tolstoi & P. I. Tschaikowsky

(English version by Paul England) “My blessing fall on this fair world, On mountain, valley, forest, ocean, The clarion winds in ceaseless motion, And heav’n’s blue banner high unfurl’d. And blest the staff that hither bore me, The alms that help’d me on my way, The boundless plain that lies before me, The glowing morn, the evening grey! The very path by which I wander Shows glorious, golden, bath’d in light. No blade of grass that glistens yonder But seems a star from Heaven’s height! Oh! might I in my exultation To all the world this joy impart! Would I might clasp the whole creation , Lovers or strangers, foes or brothers, Would I might clasp them, the whole creation, With fervent rapture to my heart! (Copyright, 1899, by Wlllcocks & Co., Ltd. Public domain) My high school choir director, Pat Swinghamer, introduced me to this great song back in the 1960s.

Flatland

In 1884, Edwin A. Abbott published a delightful social commentary entitled _Flatland: A romance of many dimensions_, based on the world of geometry. In this world, women are points and men are line segments, or if they are of higher class, polygons–triangles, squares, pentagons, etc. The highest class are the circles. One day the high class men are having a convention. The doors are locked and protected. Suddenly a point appears in the middle of the room. The leaders exclaim, “How did a woman get in here?” The point becomes a small circle, then a larger circle, then smaller, then a point again, and it disappears. Can you guess what has happened? A sphere has passed thru Flatland. We 21st century geniuses think we have everything figured out. Could it be that there is a dimension that can see us and affect our lives, but which we can’t calculate, measure and control? Email me at hope (the number four) at CenturyTel.net and tell me what you think, especially if you’ve read the book.

Funny antismoking songs

The following is the songlist of my 16-song CD of humorous antismoking songs, with the artwork done by artist Michael Martino, a fellow resident of La Crosse, Wisconsin. The CD and songbook are available for $15 each from hope4you@centurytel.net

1. Jingle Bells, Smoking Smells
2. My Name Is Flem
3. Pop! Goes the Air Sac
4. Censored by a Cigarette
5. One More Cigarette (Thirty Things to Do with a Dead Camel)
6. Free as a Bird
7. Inside of Young Smoker
8. My Body
9. We Three Queens
10. A New Wrinkle
11. One Hundred Kisses
12. My Sky
13. La Cigaracha
14. My Bro
15. Nicotine Fit
16. When the Camel Is Put Out

NOTE: The songs on this album are not intended to cause disrespect for people who smoke or who view tobacco as a sacred gift. They are meant as a challenge to those who promote this deadly, addictive substance, and as a way to encourage people to choose freedom and health.

I would welcome any questions regarding this album, which has received international acclaim.

WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT THE SONGS OF DAN EUMURIAN:
“Thank you very much [for the song] “Censored by a Cigarette.” The satire is excellent and the content very appropriate. I found myself wishing there were even more verses to further develop the rationalizations and dissipations experienced by smokers. ”
Prof. Richard W. Pollay,
Curator History of Advertising Archives
The University of British Columbia
“… I think that [the title] “Censored By a Cigarette” is more straight-forward in its message…you don’t need to know any other political info to get the message it is true no matter what nationality or interest group is hearing it. ”
Dr. J. Leslie Oganowski
Professor Emeritus of Health Education
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
“The “Flem” song is appropriately disgusting, the “100 Kisses” is very powerful, and the messages of “Censored by a Cigarette II and the song about a fire/death caused by a cigarette are right on. ”
Anna White
Global Partnerships for Tobacco Control
Essential Action
Washington, DC
“‘Pop goes the air sac’ favourite lyric so far! Josquin des Pres had nothing like that. …”
Dr. David Simpson
Editor, Tobacco Control newsletter
London, England
“Thanks for music with such MEANING!”
Mary & [Dr.] Craig Bartos
Onalaska, Wisconsin
“…a CD containing non-smoking jingles that I think is an excellent tool for teachers of young school kids. I could see a teacher setting aside 15 minutes per week engaging the students in a sing-a-long in tandem with the CD.”

Jack Lohman
Director, Wisconsin Institute on Smoking & Health
Sincerely,

Dan Eumurian, B. Mus. in Mus. Ed., M. A. in Theological Studies
Registered Piano Technician
The Piano Technicians Guild, Inc.
dba Eumurian Piano Sales & Service and
Come Thru Music Co., BMI
1634 Barlow St.
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 788-8637
cell 790-8863
hope4you@centurytel.net
www.PianosNSongs.com

FREE

Back in the 1970s I earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Wheaton College Graduate School. My major professor was Dr. Charles Horne. Dr. Horne was also a musician whose major instruments were French horn and cello. On one occasion I directed a volunteer choir of grad students in a song for grad chapel, with Dr. Horne playing cello and students playing, respectively, classical guitar, flute and violin. In our Theology of Salvation class, Dr. Horne shared a three part concept: Historical fact: Christ died and arose; theological interpretation: to forgive us and justify us before God; ethical summons: How do we respond? Dr. Horne passed away shortly after that, but his widow gave me permission to expand his concept into the following: It’s a solid Fact of history: Jesus lived, died, arose.
The Maker stepped into the game, took our side against our foes.
Common sense demands it–the facts are clear to see.
Faith understands it and acts accordingly,
And we are FREE!

The Reason was forgiveness–the love that brings salvation.
He paid our sin taxes, bought our justification.
With him when they nailed him to die upon the cross
Were all the ways we’ve failed him; he pulled victory out of loss,
And we are FREE!

All this doesn’t matter unless it moves the heart.
There must be an Encounter for the healing work to start–
The Holy Spirit’s working to strike the waking chord,
Causing us to turn and follow, calling on the Lord,
And we are FREE!

Then comes the Expression of humble gratitude,
For reaching down to save us, to cleanse us by his blood.
We look for ways to thank him by serving him and others,
Praising him and sharing with our sisters and brothers,
And we are FREE!

Fact, Reason, Encounter, Expression, FREE!

© 2013, Dan Eumurian, in “Shiny Tim and the Hum Bugs.”

Someone has said that becoming a true Christian is as easy as falling off a throne–and inviting Jesus to take his proper place. What turned my life around was realizing that I didn’t have to do all the fighting and seeking for myself; Jesus had won the battle for me and wanted me to be his friend. See John 10:27-30, and respond as your heart tells you to. God would love to hear from you. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Adam, the Watchmaker, and Darwin

Yesterday I showed the three pastors of my church an article by Andrew J. Wilson, published in Christianity Today magazine in October, 2013, entitled “Where Do We Come From?” Wilson suggests that it is possible to believe in a literal Adam and Eve, as did John Milton, author of the famous poem Paradise Lost, while still believing that the universe was designed and that it came about through the process of evolution.

One pastor commented that the main point of the creation accounts in the Book of Genesis had to do with the issue of obedience. God created our wonderful world and gave us freedom within limits. We have rebelled against God and rejected the limits he has imposed.

Another pastor raised the issue of the sin of Adam and Eve and how the Bible says it led to death. God said in Genesis 2, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” If the earth was created 6,000 years ago and there was no death until Adam and Eve sinned, how could there be fossils of dead animals and plant dating back millions of years?

The third pastor asked about transitional species. If God created plants and animals “according to their kinds,” and if there are no fossils of plants and animals part way from one species to another, how could evolution have occurred?

My pastors and I agree that God created everything. I believe that he did so in a way that fits with what most scientists believe–basically starting with a Big Bang around 14 billion years ago. You might say that another big bang occurred when God entered human history in the Person of Jesus Christ around 2,000 years ago. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead could be compared to a big bang, and when a person gives his heart to Jesus and is forgiven for his or her sins, still another “big bang” happens. This leads to an exciting, expansive adventure of new life guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, producing results that will last for eternity!

My first pastor was right. Genesis is about obedience–not the submissive obedience that stifles curiosity, inquiry and challenge, but the “obedience” of a lamp cord when it discovers it was intended to be plugged into a wall socket.

My second pastor was right: sin leads to death. Adultery creates alienation in a marriage. Deception and betrayal by political leaders leads to a loss of trust and respect. Abusing and neglecting our bodies can result in a loss of muscle tissue, liver function and brain cells. The creation accounts in Genesis make this point, but also look ahead to the redemption that would be offered by Jesus sacrificial death, similar to the protective and covering coats of skins given to Adam and Eve. Dr. Davis Young responds to the surface meaning of the Genesis text by pointing to an ancient lava formation with fossils under it. See his book Christianity and the Age of the Earth.

My third pastor was right in a way. If God “evolved” the earth over a long period of time, there should be transitional fossils. Darrell Falk discusses some of these fossils in his book Coming to Peace with Science, starting around page 102. John H. Walton, in Genesis Unbound, talks about  the real meaning of the biblical creation accounts.

Vic Eliason of the VCY Radio Network recently criticized Pat Robertson of TV’s 700 Club for speaking out in support of theistic evolution. Mr. Eliason is passionate about his late date (6,000 years ago) creationist beliefs, just as I was when I held similar beliefs decades ago. The Bible warns us, though, about “zeal without knowledge.” The good news of new life in relationship to Jesus does not depend on adherence to a shallow interpretation of biblical texts.