Music, to me, is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind. It comes in various types to fill all the different portions of our lives.

We all have likes and dislikes - that's the thing that makes us different and more interesting as individuals.

My phone rings with "Fanduuml;r Elise," a Beethoven composition I played at piano recital as a teenager, and still play today for my own enjoyment. I like good jazz and bluegrass, but I'm not much for rock, and I can't stand rap. If I'm subjected to it involuntarily for any length of time, I find myself getting angry - and when I hear today's youngsters referred to as the angry generation, I wonder if that could be partly to blame.

As a member of my church praise team, I love the old hymns. A lot of our churches today don't seen to sing many of the old ones very often, but we do. Have you ever wondered about the stories behind some of those wonderful old songs?

One of my favorites is "It is Well With My Soul," by Horatio G. Spafford. This hymn came out of a traumatic time in his life, and reflects his faith in God.

In 1871, he suffered losses in business, and his 4-year-old son died of scarlet fever.

In 1873, he planned a visit to England with his family- his wife and four daughters. At the last minute, he was detained by a business matter, and sent his family on ahead, on the Ville du Havre, planning to take a later vessel to join them.

During their journey, their boat collided with another, and sank. Although his wife survived, all four girls were lost. During his trip to join his wife, he wrote the words to the song.

The music to which his words were set was written by Philip Bliss, who not long after, along with his wife, died in a train wreck in Ohio. Sometimes, out of great tragedy, we are given beauty.

andbull; Music will ring out at the Methodist Church on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. An old-time music and gospel sing will be held, and all are welcome to come and bring and play instruments, sing, or just listen and enjoy.

Requested instruments include guitar, banjo, mandolin, autoharp, fiddle, bass, harmonicas and spoons. If interested, call George at 464-8151, or

andbull; The second Kaballah class for the Temple Beth Shalom folks will be held this morning at 11 a.m. at St. Timothy's Church in Brookings. The class will be led by Rabbi Les Scharnberg. Tuition is $25 per person, and there is required reading.

andbull; Redwoods Family Worship Center is having a series of revival meetings with evangelist Ed Forsythe of Fresh Fire Ministries.

Services will begin at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, then Monday through Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

The church is located at the corner of Parkway and English Lane. You are invited to experience the word of God through worship, preaching, and prayer. All are welcome.

andbull; Valentine's Day will be celebrated - though not on that exact day - at two churches so far.

At St. Joseph's Catholic Church. on Feb. 9 will be the Portugese Community Valentine Dinner, with two seating times, 6 and 7:30 p.m., and 7:30 to 9 p.m. Limited tickets are available at $30 for adults and $15 for kids under 12.

Tickets are available at Del Norte Office Supply, Coast True Value, The Mail Room, and Frank's Refrigeration and ORCA Heating. All proceeds will help with the financing of ADA-approved rest rooms in the Parish Hall.

A Valentine Potluck at New Life Community Church will take place following the service on Sunday, Feb. 10. Church starts at 10:30 a.m., and the potluck just after noon. Why not attend both?

Bring a dish to share if you can. The church is located on the corner of Second and D.

andbull; Easter season will be here soon, and should bring a number of nice programs.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or email