Letters, February-March 2008

"Your magazine came recently, and it was fantastic. I am enjoying going over the articles and reading the Scriptures tied to them…Thank you again for all your good work and thoughtful writings."

JK, Pennsylvania

Just wanted to compliment the magazine on printing the article "Lovers of Pleasure." I totally agree with him and have noticed such a great change in the past seven years or so with young adults and their journey to have happiness and pleasure. One of the things that a lot of people noticed about my older daughter was her ability to find pleasure in the small things of life. Perhaps some of it is in each person’s DNA, but I think that parents, media, etc. are reinforcing looking for pleasure in physical and material ways, not spiritual ways. Most people are concerned with staying busy and not taking time to absorb God’s goodness.

JB, Georgia

In your article, "Discovering Handel’s Messiah," you mentioned that Handel was German, but somehow neglected to mention that he was Lutheran. I don’t know how much of a music historian you are, but here is a piece of music trivia that few Americans know. When the organist at St. Mary’s in Lubeck was about to retire, Handel, then 18 years of age, applied and auditioned for the position. The old organist was willing to name Georg Friedrich as his successor, but only if he fulfilled one condition. He had to marry the old organist’s daughter. She was 34 years old and, in Handel’s words, "...not fair to see." He and the other applicants, including Johann Matteson (and later, J. S. Bach) (all of them Lutherans) all withdrew their applications and presence from Lubeck. The old organist was the renowned composer, Dietrich Buxtehude (yes, you guessed, also a Lutheran). All this might prove is that despite the large quantities of beer consumed by all concerned, the fledgling composers saw well enough to avoid an unhappy marriage.

W. T. Kan (also a Lutheran), email

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