- Pamela Jolicoeur
- Paul J. Dovre
- Anna Rhode â€™09
- Arland Jacobson
- Larry Papenfuss
- Polly Kloster
- Roger Degerman
- Stephanie Ahlfeldt
- Susan Oâ€™Shaughnessy
- Kristi Rendahl
- Dr. Heidi Manning
- Roy Hammerling
- Pamela Jolicoeur
- Jan Pranger
- Nikoli Falenschek '11
- Bruce Vieweg
- Dr. Paul Dovre
- Whitney Myhra '11
- Bruce Houglum
- Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad
- Dr. Paul Dovre, Interim President
- Nick Ellig
- Virginia Connell
- Per Anderson
- Vincent Reusch
- Larry Papenfuss
- Carl-Martin Nelson
- President William Craft
- Dr. Olin Storvick
- George Connell
- Robert Chabora
Bruce Houglum, Associate Professor, Music; Conductor, The Concordia Orchestra
3. "Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 4. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noonday. 7. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
Trust in The Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper - it lonely leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
I come to you today, speaking in chapel with more than a little fear and trepidation. Because here at Concordia, most of the time I say very little and often I can be found waving my arms wildly in the direction of a group of students. And sometimes I do this in public but with my back turned to the them I am mostly used to expressing myself by means of small black dots on the page that somehow transmit themselves to musical sounds. And these sounds have as little as possible to do with words - no offence to my choir colleagues. From today's scripture reading: "Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the land and shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way unto the Lord, trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not; those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth."
This year as I teach in my last year at Concordia, in conversation, people often ask:
"What will you do after you leave Concordia? What are your plans? " This is by far the biggest topic that people confront me with these days as I prepare to retire after being around here in some capacity for the past 38 years, plus five more elsewhere and four more before that, when I was a student here at the college.
My answer is always the same: "I don't know". I suppose that might be a fairly common answer among those contemplating retirement from something that has pretty much totally occupied them for so long. Many people have said "you have to have a plan, you have to know ahead of time what is going to keep you from going crazy with all of the extra time and change in responsibility." Indeed, even my medical doctor has been adamant. He says: "get it all planned out, I see too many people with mental and physical problems sitting alone when their careers are over". I can see their point. While I am looking forward to being done with work, I have truly enjoyed my time at Concordia. Many times I have collected my check at the end of the month and thought: "What?, I get paid for this too?" The students, oh the wonderful students, I easily remember each of them even from many years ago and many I still hear from regularly and count as friends and colleagues. I cannot imagine a better crowd to work with - what a privilege. And my colleagues in the music department and across the campus - the best! And the opportunity to prepare and perform the masterpieces of musical literature at such a high level - to communicate with the masters on a daily basis, I suppose you could say, (any would be conductor would probably give their right arm for a similar opportunity in this job market for musicians. So I can understand where everyone is coming from. However, I am not worried in the least. Psalm 37: Trust in the Lord and do good, so shall you dwell in the land and shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way unto the Lord, trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass. Those that wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. It sounds pretty simple. I have tried to live by those verses from Psalm 37 for many years and it has made all the difference. Key words: Commands, if you will. Trust in the Lord. Delight yourself in the Lord. Commit your way to the Lord. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently. Don't fret or be angry. Wait upon the Lord. But you see, each of those commands comes with a promise: Trust in the Lord and you shall dwell in the land and be fed. (Always a good thing when contemplating retirement.) Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (my goodness). Commit your way, and trust, and He will bring it to pass. Those that rest in the Lord and wait patiently shall inherit the earth. Pretty big promises for such simple commands.
Many years ago when Dr. J. Robert Hanson retired as conductor of the Concordia Orchestra, several people (including myself) encouraged me to apply for the position. These verses from Psalm 37 were going to be put to another test. As I had committed my way to the Lord years before, I felt that I was then in the right place concerning my vocation and I wondered if this was something I should pursue.
So I committed it to the Lord, trusted in Him, waited on Him and listened real hard.
It became clear rather quickly that this was not something for me to do. I should mention at this point, that over time, I noticed that when I committed, trusted, rested, etc. in the Lord and listened (waited) real hard, I began to discern subtle but definite signals that I firmly believe are from the Lord. So when I determined that the answer was no I have to admit that I was disappointed, but I tried not to fret and I rested and did the best I could to delight in this what I thought to be a rather curious decision. It turned out that that first search to replace Bob Hanson ended up to be a failed search and the department, in a tough spot for the coming year, approached me out of the blue and wondered if I would consider taking a one year appointment while the search continued a second year. So it was back to committing, trusting, waiting, delighting etc. However, this time as the deadline approached the answer was yes and everything fell easily into place. And still, again, I went through the same process when it came time to apply for the position during the second search. This time the answer was yes and I ended up being the successful candidate. I don't know why the answer to my prayer asking to apply was no in the first place, but, in hindsight, I am pretty sure I wouldn't have been the successful candidate in the first search. It was only in the substitute year, when I had a chance to have a free year proving myself that my value as the next director must have become apparent. I refer to this circumstance only to illustrate why I am reluctant to answer the questions of colleagues, friends and my physician. You see, I am still committing, trusting, waiting (now after many go-arounds with Psalm 37 through all these years) - waiting in delight about what will be next. I believe the promises! Right now I only know that now is the time to retire. And that is remarkable in itself because I have found in all of dealings I have had with the Lord that he is never late with his advice but he is never early either. Remarkably this direction to retire came early. (I think he was taking mercy on the music department search committee who are still sifting through more than fifty applications.) So, the point of all of this rambling is The Lord God is a good God, a faithful God who keeps his promises, a benevolent God who I firmly believe has only our best in mind. All he asks of us is to commit, trust, wait, listen, delight, don't fret or be angry.... and In return, He will give us the desires of our heart.
SOLI DEO GLORIA