I'm starting with a review of the Fort Worth Symphony Concert from last night. They played two selections, both by Hector Berlioz (Romantic period music). The first was Three Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, Opus 17. The excerpts were played in this order; Love Scene, Queen Mab Scherzo, and Romeo Alone; Festival at the Capulets'. I am not at all familiar with this piece, so I can't really give an objective review of it, although the performance was "nice." The music was lovely, although I can't help but feel that there were some serious precision problems. John Nelson conducted, and he is not the Music Director for the Ft Worth Symphony, so there could have been some problems related to an unfamiliar conductor. He also did not use a baton (?), highly unusual for an orchestra conductor. Where's the beat? There were several times that I was unable to find it. The second selection was Symphonie fantastique, Opus 14. This is one of my favorite orchestral pieces, which is why I was at this concert. The best that I can say was that the performance was largely uninspiring and lackluster. The balance between instruments was bloody awful (french horns blatting at the most inopportune times), and frankly, I don't think the FW strings are up to performing a piece of this magnitude. Again, there were SERIOUS precision problems. The woodwinds and strings were simply not together many times. The piece really seemed to drag at times. I was baffled by the mostly standing ovation that the performance received. Bass Hall is a pretty place, but the seating is extremely cramped. That may have something to do with the fact that we were sitting in the cheap seats (along with most everybody else; there were many empty seats in the orchestra section).
Ok...on to the spiritual stuff. Today's My Utmost deals with sanctification. The scripture reference is 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." Chambers says this: "We take the term sanctification much too lightly. It will cost an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God. Sanctification means intense concentration on God's point of view." What does this mean for me, practically? It means that, in order to be "sanctified," I must be ready to give up anything in my life or my interests that does not line up with what God is interested in. It means I need to spend a lot of time figuring out what God is interested in, and the only way that I know of to do that is to immerse myself in scripture study.