Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day Musings...

Life is a leaf of paper white
Whereon each one of us may write
His word or two, and then comes night.

Greatly begin! Though thou have time
But for a line, be that sublime -
Not failure, but low aim, is crime.

[As quoted in Pillars of Leaders, Dr. David Vaughn, Cumberland House Publishing]

Today, being Memorial Day, we take a look back at those "leaves of paper white" and look over the words written on them by the lives of our forebears. Some had many years and their lives wrote long inspiring messages, others had but few years and in their very brevity we find a poignant inspiration. Oh, certainly there are blots and typos to be found on the pages, some leaves beckon tears over the futility and selfishness contained therein, and some have been lost altogether, and yet how much can be learned through their perusal!

Appropriate for today, as they were the day they were first presented, I beg leave to submit to you all a few excerpts from the opening speech Josh gave at this year's Liberty Day celebration.

...Dr. David Vaughn comments in his book, The Pillars of Leadership: “We are not so na├»ve as to think that yesterday’s leaders were perfect. They were not. Each one was subject as are we, to the fatal flaw of original sin. So, to discover their failings takes no talent at all. C.S. Lewis observed, a critic is always a second-rate man. It takes no virtue to discover vice. But it does take virtue to emulate virtue.”

Today we find again a need for principled leadership... Like our heroes of the past, we need to study our forefathers and learn the secrets to their strengths. Then we need to ask, do we have the virtue to emulate their virtue? Are our children being raised with the virtue and understanding necessary to carrying on the work when we are done, and facing the battles of their own day?

The Pillars of Leadership
, Dr. Vaughn also observes: “Since imitation is natural, [we] will search for, and find, examples to copy. The urgent questions is, therefore, who shall serve as models? The drugged rock stars and corrupt celebrities of the present, or the noble leaders and virtuous examples of the past? With few reliable role models in the present why not mine the rich resources of past achievement and valor? Why be improvised by a meager modernity when we can be enriched by a prosperous past? Why not hold before our eyes, and the eyes of our children, images of courage, and duty, and faith, and sacrifice that have passed the test of historical scrutiny? In short, why stumble over pygmies when we can stand upon giants?"

The heroes and legacies left by the church of Christ over the past six thousand years are the greatest giants we could stand upon. But we cannot stand upon them unless we understand why they stood; where they stood; why they stood when they stood; what they stood for; how they stood – and for Whom they stood. Admiration alone will not enable us to see what they saw and stand as they did... we must so understand the vision and principles that, given of God, inspired their lives, that in the times of greatest ease or pressure we live them out.

Hundreds of thousands of men and women throughout history have given their lives so that they might hand to their children a land, a church, and a heritage even better than the one they themselves had received. Our lives, however simple or profound they may be, will add for better or for worse to the heritage that we leave to our children.

...We have been given a vast treasure. What are we going to do with it? What will be left of it when we give it to our children? It IS in our hands and will be effected by us. Will our handling it enhance its richness? Or will we merely leave the evidence of smudged fingerprints. We can neither deny bearing the mantle, or our role in legacy building. Nor can we pretend that the little things of our daily lives don’t matter. They do.

In short we must ask ourselves: Will we stumble with the pygmies? Or stand upon the shoulders giants?

Perhaps the events of Grandpa Muligano's death early in May, Aunt Ella's death this past week, Grandpa Erber's visit to the emergency room (in the middle of the ICHE convention) that ended in bypass surgery this past week, various families in our church facing death or serious illness in their extended families, and even remembering the legacy of the vonTrapp family, bring again into even sharper focus the brevity of life and the importance of investing our every moment wisely. Soon, our days of writing will be past. What message will we hand down on our "leaf of paper white" for our children's children to read?

"So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Friday, May 27, 2005


"Say, what?" . . . Caroline Joy Erber

More Convention Pictures!

Crowd control. Looks like no one dared get close!

Advisory board members Mr. Jim Skarin & Mr. Dick Moeller (also treasurer) stop a moment to chat. They and their families were wonderful to work with through out the weekend! Mr. David Johnson is also on the advisory board, but he had just stood up to help someone when I snapped the picture!

Caroline & Corrine both survived their first ICHE convention just fine! Caroline was the adored mascot of the Resounding Voice crew, and Corrine was happy to just sleep in her mommy's arms. HOWEVER, this photographer failed to get a photo of either of them! But, Richard Carlson was another young one who experienced his first convention. He seemed to be enjoying it!

Since the vendor hall was in a separate building about 1/4 mile down the road, we had a few shuttle buses that ran back forth between the buildings. Thanks to Answers in Genesis for sponsoring the service! Here Mr. Carlson boards the bus to head to the vendor hall in search of his wife and children...

Monday, May 23, 2005

ICHE Convention 2005

Ken Ham was one of the keynote speakers at ICHE's 2005 convention where we welcomed around 3700 attendees! It was a wonderful (yes, and exhausting) weekend.

ICHE Board members (l-r) John Gibert, Ken Sisson, Roger Erber

Resounding Voice enjoyed a busy and successful weekend, too. Using the NIU campus this year instead of Calvary Church meant many more miles put on as they ran to start the recordings in the session rooms back to the booth, checking on the recordings midway through the session, back to the booth, back to pick up the recordings, back to the booth...

(l-r) Luke VonHolten, Nathan DeLadurantey, Aaron Englund, Joseph Erber, Nathan Back, Adam Back, Jeremy Erber, Isaac Back, Joshua Erber, Jonathan Erber, and Dustin Webb, as Resounding Voice staff....

... and as ushers/bodyguards for the von Trapp family! They did a great job handling the 1,700+ crowd of von Trapp concert attendees both before and after the concert.

The Friday night concert was greatly enjoyed by all!

More later... maybe after some more unpacking, catching up - and a nap!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Convention Weekend!

Hello Blog Readers,

We apologize for any disappointment amongst you for the lack of exciting news and pictures on this blog as of late. Our time has been rather consumed in preparations for ICHE's 2005 Annual State Convention for which we are leaving in just a few minutes. If you want to check out what's going on - for those of you who won't be there in person - visit: and click on "Conventions & Events" from the lefthand menu. We're very excited this year to also welcome the von Trapp family for a special Friday night concert. Should be fun!

See you all next week!

Monday, May 09, 2005

New Piano!

Well, it wasn't easy, but we finally have a wonderful grand piano in our home! Jonathan got it for only a fraction of what it is worth. So on Saturday, Jeremy, Josh, Jonathan, Joseph & Luke VonHolten made the trek down to downtown Chicago to a third story apartment to take a look at the piano. Yes, third story apartment. Like I said, it wasn't easy!

It's an extremely heavy 1984 Kawai Grand Piano, that hasn't been tuned since 1991, and has been moved twice since then. But aside from that it is in excellent condition - beautiful and the tone quality is wonderful! It took them nearly 2 hours to maneuver it out of the apartment down the stairs and into Jer's truck. Several construction workers who were working on a neighboring apartment just stood by and watched as the boys worked, grunted and sweated. The former owner of the piano also watched, but couldn't stand to watch... she was so attached to her piano. However the boys apparently met her approval as shortly after they left she called and left a message for Mom saying how wonderful they were, etc. She has also requested that Jonathan mail her pictures of the piano in its new home. In her words, it was like sending her baby off to college.

The boys got it safely home and then moved it up the porch and into the house... and then decided that they still had enough strength and energy to go and play a few hours of football and basketball at a church gathering that evening!

As you might imagine, we are excitedly looking forward to having the instrument tuned. Ahhh!

Friday, May 06, 2005


George Anthony Muligano
June 4, 1924 - May 4, 2005

On Wednesday morning we received a phone call informing us that my mom's father had been hospitalized due to a severe reaction to the radiation treatment he was receiving. Thanks to the generous help of some friends, we were able to get Mom on a flight to Florida that evening. But that afternoon, Grandpa suffered from cardiac arrest and as Mom headed through the airport security, the phone call came informing us that he had passed away. We are all somewhat in shock still, and it is hard to realize that he is gone.

Mom is now in Florida with her mother. My mom's two sisters and her brother were able to get there the next morning (from Illinois, Maine, and California), and Dad flew down there today. The funeral is planned for Monday, and Dad and Mom plan to fly home on Wednesday. Please pray for strength and peace for them, and that they would also be enabled to be minister Christ's comfort to Grandma and others gathered there during this difficult time.

We are very grateful for the sympathy and support that has been expressed by so many of you. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by loving friends and family through the trials of life.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Recital Weekend

Music, music, music! What a delightful thing it is! This past weekend held spring recitals for Joanna, Josiah & Jonathan. Plus, we had the opportunity to attend the senior recital of our neighbor, pianist Jacob Bernhardt. Jacob's recital was one outstanding piece after another, including an Italian song sung by his sister, Jessica, and an impressive Sibelius violin concerto performed with a friend, violinist Daniel Ziessmer.

But more to the interest of most of our readers, would be the string recital at the Rockford Music Academy and the Piano recital at the Mendelssohn Club.

On the campus of Rockford College, in one of the dance studios, gathered moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers... and the performing students!

Josiah took the stage early on in the program to perform "The Happy Farmer" by Robert Schumman. Although we had a couple false starts (something needed to be adjusted with the cello end pin rest), once we finally got going, he played it through without a hitch! And yes, that is me accompanying him.

Joanna performed "Humoresque" by Antonin Dvorak. With a smile on her lips, she stood before the audience and performed as if she was quite comfortable there.

And here's a post-recital shot of Josiah with his cello teacher, Miss Abbey Wakefield.

Over at the Mendelssohn Club in Rockford, a more formal recital took place as the students of Mrs. Charlotte Bendorf took the stage. Jonathan was the only Erber represented here, and none other was needed!

During the recital, Jonathan performed all three movments of a Beethoven Sonata, Opus 10 #1

And after the recital Jonathan tore up the Steinway with a Rachmoninoff Prelude which he played - at his teacher's request - for a fellow student.