Friday, March 11, 2011

Maestro Peter Jaffee

This man not born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley, Peter was transplanted in Stockton and became transfixed by the gentle wave of the Delta and the thrush of winds that bend the old trees. Jaffee harmonized with the talent and the eager ears that wait to hear such symphonics from heaven! Taking extra time to adorn myself with a style appropriate for a concert of violins, the Sunday evening performance opened like a flower. The sounds triggered visions of what it would be like bouncing from cloud to cloud in heaven. Maestro Peter Jaffee waved his hands in tiny gestures, then swept wide, with luxurious sways, and light pokes directed at certain musicians with a smile. A magical team streamed melodic sounds and rhythms caused my soul to tingle. The violins played, the horns trumpeted, drummers dangled, clip clops clopped perfectly, flutes flew in, as the oboe obeyed its call. Watching Peter Jaffe conduct with such vigor, humor and passionate interaction made the experience more memorable! The music ebbed and flowed— delicately and ephemerally for moments that were interrupted with robust participation from the percussion and the brass. A collection of about 100 musicians made harmony with strings, violins (smallest, and highest in pitch), violas, cellos, and doublebasses, Woodwinds—flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and related instruments. Brass—trumpets, horns, trombones, tubas, Percussion—the drums, bells, and other fascinating paraphernalia that are struck, plucked, rubbed, to include the kettledrums, the harp, and for tonight a special guest at the grand piano. Just like basketball players who take shots and practice moves before the game, the musicians warmed up their muscles and focus their concentration. The music spoke, it awoke a time to purely enjoy! Preparing for the performance by reading the program notes and listening to other interpretations of Piano Concerto No. 5. Alon Goldstein was the featured guest artist on a sultry Sunday eve inside Atherton Hall at Delta College. A graduate of the RUBIN ACADEMY OF MUSIC in Tel-AVIV, Alon performed in Germany, London, Italy, Israel and thrilled me with his artistry. He premiered a piano concerto written for him by rising star Avner Dorman with the Kentucky City Symphony, conducted by Michael Stern. He has played with the Phillips Collection in Washington DC and he can be heard on WQXR in New York and BBC radio 3 in the UK.

■Ibert: Escales … luxuriant “travelogue in tones” evokes lush, exotic, and stirring reminiscences of lands visited by the Baltic sea
■Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”… A world-soloist interprets Beethoven’s treasured pinnacle of piano concertos. A profound eloquence captivates listeners.
■Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte … beautiful tribute to a Spanish princess through the lens of an elegant Frenchman
■Gershwin: An American in Paris … Gershwin and Ravel each visited the other in his homeland. Gershwin’s Parisian visit resulted in a dazzling score included romantic café interludes, and signature jazzy tunes.

AFTER such a soul swelling performance, the path to my secret parking place was in tune with my hummming spirit! The neighborhood back roads swirled to land at a quiet bistro DeVega Brothers. Romance oozed through my ear canals as the drip of melodies so sweet added to the culinary artistry that swarmed my taste buds, I was completely satisfied. "Love believes in all things, hopes in all things" 1 Corinthians 13:7 - Lord, guide me, lead me and keep me patient as I wait for the BEST You have selected for me. Help me to love all people despite our differences. I know that You love the weak, the broken, the ragamuffins - and that through them, You do impossble things. Oh Lord help me to love radically, not superficially. Open my heart that I may SEE with Your divine eyes ~ the light in all those I encounter. Just as each unique musical instrument was necessary to create the symphony, Lord Jesus, You are the Conductor, and I feel Your nudge, Your gentle encouragement. You have empowered me greatly with Your Holy Spirit and I shall do my best to create more harmony in this world! Your Name is above all names. AMEN


This young man took two years to research that which took real courage ~ the TRUTH. The world is dazzled by the tales he chooses to direct on film. As the young director of the new JANE EYRE, we can appreciate his sensitive approach and his fresh perspective. He captures the spirit of a maturing teen in Jane. He directs his audience to AWE with a magnificient script that is steeped in a gothic stage. We then witness the brilliant courage of a character whose confidence was built by an earthquake of misfortune. The new adaptation of Jane Eyre––directed by Cary Fukunaga with Mia Wasikowska (as Jane) and Michael Fassbender (as Rochester)––tells many stories. On one level it’s a timeless romance; on another it’s a creepy gothic chiller. But one facet... that’s often overlooked is how it tells a tale about child in a foreign hostile hood. It draws us to feel compassion for a young orphan girl betrayed by her family, tormented at her school, and left to her own devices to make her way in the world. For Cary Fukunaga, the subject of children struggling in the world connects Charlotte Brontë’s 19th century novel to his own 21st century tale of Latin American immigration in his first feature Sin Nombre. Since our world has millions of war orphans and more recent disastor orphans in Japan ~
Jane Eyre gives us a model of HOPE.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Music to His ears

When we take time to call on our Father and ask for His favor, it is music to His ears. Just like when we call our parents, they are always glad to hear from their chidren. When we recite the psalms outloud, we are singing to our Father and He is pleased. We are always welcome to join His choir, He gave us the voice that He loves to hear.
"My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content." PSALM 131 ~ For this moment I put my hope in the LORD both now and forevermore. The best intentions, on our own, always fail to meet our promises to God or our hopeful outcome. But with the Lord all things are possible because God said in His living Word "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 11:19 ~ Halleluiah! LORD thank You for the NEW LIFE, for the indwelling Holy Spirit that responds to our earnest prayers, for a heart made of flesh that FEELS a holy compassion for the broken and needy, and a heart that loves You Lord above all else! Our New Years resolutions are fragile, that is, they are easily broken. With childlike faith we call on our Lord Jesus ~ With a genuine desire to be "changed" by God we bow and earnestly pray these New Year prayers and TRUST that they ascend to the throne of God, that God hears our crys, our requests like music to His ears! We have faith that He will respond to prayers that match His will for us, in His timing, in His holy ways. We acknowledge His ministering angels and trust that they are always in motion. 2011 shall be more like heaven as we PRAY for our Father's mercy, grace and helps. Lord may our MINDS and HEARTS be stayed on Thee! Lord we bow before Thee in reverence and PRAY these requests alone and thank You for Your loving ear ~ Dear heavenly Father, our most gracious King I thank You for the priviledge of asking for More Devotion- Lord Jesus, I rededicate myself afresh to You today. I want You to take my life this coming year and use it for Your glory. "Take my like and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee." More Pure- I pray You will keep me from sin, from anything that would bring dishonor to Your Name. More Growth- Keep me in tune and willing to be taught by the Holy Spirit. Give me Your discernment. Help me progress, increase my faith Lord, please keep me from becoming complacent and stagnant. Take me out of my comfort zone. More Christ-centered-May my motto this year be, "He must increase; I must decrease." The glory must all be yours, help me not to touch it. More Prayerful- Teach me to make every decision a matter of prayer. I dread the thought of leaning on my own understanding or doing things "my way". I am not mother Teresa Lord and I know that I must not compete for your love, mercy or grace ~ for I have been set apart with specific gifts to implement. Show me clearly Lord in Your Word and by the doors that open wide ~ where I am to go, and how I can effectively and winsomely share Your love, and the good news of the gospel. More Holy-Separate- May I die to the world and even to the approval or blame of loved ones or friends. Lord give me grace enough to step back and encourage others with words that come from You. More Edifying- Keep me from gossip and criticism of others. Rather, help me to speak what is edifying and profitable. Give me apt words to speak to those You bring before me.More Evangelistic- Lead me to needy souls. May I become a friend of sinners, as You are. Give me tears and compassion for the perishing. Let me be the needle in Your great tapestry of love. More Kind and Patient- Lord Jesus, keep me from becoming cold, bitter, or cynical in spite of anything that may happen to me in this life. More Disciplined with money- Guide me in my stewardship of money. Help me to be a good steward of everything you have entrusted to me, including time. More Self-Controlled- Help me to remember moment by moment that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. May this tremendous truth influence all of my behavior. More Expectant- And Lord Jesus I pray that this may be the year of Your return. I long to see Your face and fall at Your feet in worship. During this coming year, may the blessed hope of Your return stay fresh in my heart, disengaging me from anything that would hold me here...Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly! AMEN and HALLELUIAH!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Little Fannie Price of Mansfield Park could well be a little girl that delights in play about the waterfront of a town once known as Tuleberg. The Jane Austen classic of MANSFIELD PARK herein offers the view from a ten year old: "Of all my relations, My Aunt Norris has a shrill voice, however she is the one responsible for negotiating my stay at Mansfield Park. Her sister, my beloved Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, became Lady Bertram of Mansfield Park. Sir Thomas Bertram affords my fortunate aunt ~ with all the comforts and consequences of a most handsome estate. Mansfied Park is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the Bertrams have the income to maintain these vast acres very well while keeping the enormous barns filled with gallant stallions. Aunt Norris married Rev Norris who had not the luck of possessing such a fortune. My aunt Frances married a sailor and became Mrs Price and without sufficient income, gave birth to me, Fannie Price. Such is my luck, my fortune, to reside at Mansfield Park with cousins Juila Bertram aged 12, Maria aged 13, Edmund aged 16 and his brother aged 17. At first the grandeur of the house scared me. It did not comfort as it was too large to ever console me with memories of play on the floor with my brother William. The rooms were entirely too massive to feel warmth. They were decorated with furnishings too elite to be touched without fear of injury. Within my first week my cousin Edmund found me near the attic stairs, weeping. His gentle kindness was shared with exquisite manner and it was he that persuaded me to pass through the shrubbery and delight with him. Cousin Edmund, six years my senior inquired about my siblings during our first walk about the garden. Brother William was age 11 and Edmund urged me to write him a letter to make me feel better ~ and it did! Any Human Heart is refreshed when it has the occasion to rest in a city park. A family values time in parks for reunions and celebrations of love at weddings, birthdays or just basking in a good read. Children love playing in the fountain at Webers Point in Stockton. With the annual VINTAGE VALUE event soon coming ~ one can feel the electricity of anticipation building! Let us all renew ourselves and the fine City of Stockton with voluntary acts of interest in croquet with a view of the Delta on the waterfront~ Enjoy the inter active spring of water, and fill your soul with the sound of children at play or simply stroll the promenade and enjoy the panoramic river view.

Little Dorrit

Dickens is telling a story far too near to his own with the theme of these families forced to see many generations live behind prison walls for the want of a few pounds. The story is one of his strongest and this series tells it honestly and with an incredible strength of cast and script. Little Dorrit was born inside a debtors' prison and has lived her entire life working unendingly and without complaint to make her father's decades long imprisonment there more bearable. She is the first child born there; this fact and his former stature as a gentleman gives him an informal social superiority inside that he enjoys and uses as possible to his personal benefit. The arrival in London of Arthur Clennam from China to share with his mother the news of his father's death, pushes an already moving story into many surprising turns. Rich and poor, good and bad, people of all social circles find themselves pulled into confronting their changing fortunes. Some who find themselves well-off deal with their new situation far less well than those dealing with adversity. The scandalous secrets, strangling bureaucracy, and crippling debts collide in the compelling BBC/Masterpiece Classic adaptation of Charles Dickens' weighty novel, which debuted in serial form in 1855. Mrs. Clennam (Judy Parfitt), a shut-in, kicks the complex storyline into action when she hires 21-year-old seamstress Amy Dorrit(Claire Foy) just days before her son, Arthur (Matthew Macfadyen), returns to London after 15 years at sea. Amy lives with her proud father, William in Marshalsea, the debtor's prison where Dickens' own father did time. Despite his mother’s denials, Arthur becomes convinced that there's a connection between the Clennams and the Dorrits, so he attempts to solve the mystery on his own, with help from sniveling rent collector Pancks and hindrance from surly servant Flintwinch and the aptly-named Circumlocution Office. "Dash my buttons!" A good dialogue line to use for this award-winner set in 1820's pre-Victorian London. Dickens wrote about class tiers within society, levels of wealth, and the injustices that caused. The Emmy writer, Andrew Davies, condensed the novel, reorganized it's events, and added dialogue into making a series actually considered by some to be better than the Dickens book. That it won 6 Emmys. Dickens style was not lost. The series includes the caravan of peculiar, grotesque, quirky, and funny characters; the names being equally odd: Flintwich, Pancks, Fanny Sparkler, Pet, Tattycoram, Chivery, Tip, Affery, & Tite Barnacle. Dickens suspense was mingled throughout the 14 episodes, with the overriding plot related to "Do not forget" inside a watch, and "Make it right" a dad's dying last words, which remains unrevealed till the end (unless you've read the book). Each individual episode ends with suspense, just like Dickens wrote it originally when published in magazine form. PURE Dickens, but BETTER. Fabulous scenes, locations, costumes, hair, dialogue, props, cast, it's all perfection even Dickens would be proud of. You will fall in love with Amy, Little Dorrit way before Arthur! It tis a delightful adventure into period drama, humor sprinkled, intoxicating, till you can feel the grime of Marshalsea Prison, and sparkle to the glamor of the rich in Venice. A sensual presentation of a rags-to-riches tale.

Friday, March 4, 2011


When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies, leaving all his money to his first wife's son John Dashwood, his second wife and her three daughters are left with no permanent home and very little income. Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters (Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret) are invited to stay with their distant relations, the Middletons, at Barton Park. Elinor is our heroine in this epic novel and she is sad to leave their home at Norland because she has become closely attached to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her half-brother John. However, once at Barton Park, Elinor and Marianne discover many new acquaintances, including the retired officer and bachelor Colonel Brandon, and the gallant and impetuous John Willoughby, who rescues Marianne after she twists her ankle running down the hills of Barton in the rain. Willoughby openly and unabashedly courts Marianne, and together the two flaunt their attachment to one another, until Willoughby suddenly announces that he must depart for London on business, leaving Marianne lovesick and miserable. Meanwhile, Anne and Lucy Steele, two recently discovered relations of Lady Middleton's mother, Mrs. Jennings, arrive at Barton Park as guests of the Middletons. Lucy ingratiates herself to Elinor and informs her that she (Lucy) has been secretly engaged to Mr. Ferrars for a whole year. Elinor initially assumes that Lucy is referring to Edward's younger brother, Robert, but is shocked and pained to learn that Lucy is actually referring to her own beloved Edward. In Volume II of the novel, Elinor and Marianne travel to London with Mrs. Jennings. Colonel Brandon informs Elinor that everyone in London is talking of an engagement between Willoughby and Marianne, though Marianne has not told her family of any such attachment. Marianne is anxious to be reunited with her beloved Willoughby, but when she sees him at a party in town, he cruelly rebuffs her and then sends her a letter denying that he ever had feelings for her. Colonel Brandon tells Elinor of Willoughby's history of callousness and debauchery, and Mrs. Jennings confirms that Willoughby, having squandered his fortune, has become engaged to the wealthy heiress Miss Grey. In Volume III, Lucy's older sister inadvertently reveals the news of Lucy's secret engagement to Edward Ferrars. Edward's mother is outraged at the information and disinherits him, promising his fortune to Robert instead. Meanwhile, the Dashwood sisters visit family friends at Cleveland on their way home from London. At Cleveland, Marianne develops a severe cold while taking long walks in the rain, and she falls deathly ill. Upon hearing of her illness, Willoughby comes to visit, attempting to explain his misconduct and seek forgiveness. Elinor pities him and ultimately shares his story with Marianne, who finally realizes that she behaved imprudently with Willoughby and could never have been happy with him anyway. Mrs. Dashwood and Colonel Brandon arrive at Cleveland and are relieved to learn that Marianne has begun to recover. When the Dashwoods return to Barton, they learn from their manservant that Lucy Steele and Mr. Ferrars are engaged. They assume that he means Edward Ferrars, and are thus unsurprised, but Edward himself soon arrives and corrects their misconception: it was Robert, not himself, whom the money-grubbing Lucy ultimately decided to marry. Thus,x Edward is finally free to propose to his beloved Elinor, and not long after, Marianne and Colonel Brandon become engaged as well. The couples live together at Delaford and remain in close touch with their mother and younger sister at Barton Cottage.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Austen Fest in Bath 2010

The Jane Austen Festival in Bath occurs annually in September. It attracts thousands from all over the world. Fans of anything from the 1800's travel across continents to attend. Many take the time to prepare wardrobes to wear during the Promenade, the ball, and the teas. They enjoy the slower tempo of life and enjoy walking through gardens and playing croquet. Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley or Edmond Bertram could be seen to cause women to swoon! Darcy and Lizzy, Emma and Mr Knightley and Fannie Price and Edmond Bertram would spin with delight to see us at breakfast the day of the ball ~ then when we arrive at the grand ballroom we could expect a friendly hello!


Oh my goodness, we GOT THE POWER to multiply the BLOSSOMS on the Vine, to magnify the BEAUTY of GOD's PRESENCE with a single Word of truth! "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 ~ and then to be reassured that all concern about what to say will be master fully handled! "But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." Luke 21:14-15 As appointed Ambassadors of Christ we are equipped with the full authority of the indwelt Holy Spirit! We do not need to blend in, we are set apart, to stand out, and to speak up as it is our blessed priviledge to use our voice on behalf of Jesus. "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." Paul spoke this to the followers in Corinth. ~ 2 Corin 5:20"Calling the twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits." Mark 6:7 "With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith." 2 Thess 1:11 "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest whom we confess." Hebrews 3:1 "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3 "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall" 2 Peter 1:10 "A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God." Isaiah 40:3 Thank You Lord Jesus for calling us by name. We hear our Shepherd's call and we willingly and gladly follow. AMEN "But I tell you the truth: It is good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you but if I go, I will send Him to you." John 16:7 ---The summary of what John 16:8-11 means to me: "The Counselor comes to comfort, convict and guide us as He glorfies Jesus." As we pray for the Holy Spirit to teach us before we read our Bibles ---and as AMBASSADORS sent out to make His appeal --- when we utilize the exercise of listing the FACTS / LESSONS / ASKING QUESTIONS and RESPONDING to what God spoke to us ---this exercise enables us to discover the eternal truths revealed by the Holy Spirit. We can then share the method with others of how they too can personally hear God's voice speak to them. The method that Anne Graham Lotz teaches is like a recipe that boils down the Word in order to hear the voice of God speaking directly to your heart. We allow the Scriptures to simmer in our spirit, and it becomes more rich in flavor, more satisfying, more edifying as it feeds our hungry souls. We trust that whenever we ASK the Holy Spirit --- We receive. When we boldly ask for a personal message from God, we can then listen and expect to hear God speak to us personally through the Holy Scriptures. With this exercise we experience a fresh encounter with our first Love, Jesus, the Lover of our souls.
We ASK for the Holy Spirit to give us UNDERSTANDING, we pick out the FACTS, God gives us a personal LESSON in the TRUTH, we formulate a QUESTION, and the Holy Spirit convicts us to RESPOND, thus equipping us in our vocation to be His authentic voice in the wilderness. Halleluiah ~ AOC = Ambassadors for Christ. In Stockton they work at the Homeless Shelter feeding the hungry and doing acts of kindness while equipping those that ask "Where does your hope come from?" Recyle HOPE, Reuse HOPE, Restore HOPE. The Holy Spirit compels us to speak words. As Jill Briscoe says FAITH is just "doing it scared" while trusting the Holy Spirit to do His work. Loving Jesus with all our Heart, Mind and the Soul, requires us to mobilize our feet with acts of kindness. WE GOT the Bible babe! Let it empower you to speak and reconcile the lost to our Father who loves all, in all ways, eternally!


America's First Great Master of the Violin: "'Listen to Maud Powell's violin. If you want to be transported to a heaven of delight by the pathos of a simple sweet song, -- if you want to feel the uplift which an evening of aesthetic enjoyment gives, or if you want to feel a thrill of patriotism because a great, modest, unaffected, true and vibrant talent has been born in the Western Hemisphere--in short, if you want to find out how much can be got out of a fiddle, go -- listen to -- Maud Powell.'" Maud Powell was born on August 22, 1867, in Peru, Illinois, on the western frontier in the American heartland. A pioneer by inheritance, she was endowed with the same extraordinary passion, integrity and vision that characterized her missionary grandparents and unconventional parents. Her grandparents had been Methodist missionaries in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois before the Civil War. Her father William Bramwell Powell was an innovative educator; superintendent of the public schools in Peru, then Aurora, IL, and finally Washington, D.C. Her mother Minnie Bengelstraeter Paul Powell was a pianist and composer whose gender precluded a career. Minnie and Bramwell's sisters were active in the woman's suffrage movement. Maud knew that "girl violinists were looked upon with suspicion," Powell boldly walked into a rehearsal of the all-male New York Philharmonic in Steinway Hall and demanded a hearing from Theodore Thomas, then America's foremost conductor. Deeply impressed, Thomas acknowledged his "musical grandchild" and hired her on the spot to perform the Bruch G minor violin concerto with the New York Philharmonic on November 14, 1885. New York critic Henry E. Krehbiel acclaimed the 18-year-old's debut performance: "She is a marvelously gifted woman, one who in every feature of her playing discloses the instincts and gifts of a born artist." At that time, American appreciation for her art was in its infancy with only five professional orchestras, no established concert circuits, and few professional managers. Solo engagements were difficult to obtain; doubly difficult for a female artist and an American since all orchestra players and conductors were male and generally German. Maud refused to be lured into a comfortable career in Europe. Her pioneering spirit preferred to face the challenges of the raw, uncultured American continent. From 1885 forward, Theodore Thomas's "musical grandchild" made it her mission to cultivate a higher and more widespread appreciation for her art by bringing the best in classical music to Americans in remote areas as well as the large cultural centers. As one of the most capable and thoroughly artistic violin players of her time, with a nature richly endowed with genius, character, and spirit. Maud Powell pioneered the violin recital as she blazed new concert circuits throughout the country, even braving the primitive touring conditions in the Far West to reach people who had never heard a concert before. Maud Powell's life of achievement ended the same year that the Nineteenth Amendment granting national suffrage to women was ratified. Upon her death on January 8, 1920, the New York Symphony paid tribute to this "supreme and unforgettable artist": "She was not only America's great master of the violin, but a woman of lofty purpose and noble achievement, whose life and art brought to countless thousands inspiration for the good and the beautiful."