Archive for the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

Eight years of expensive schooling, hidden away at a mundane and “unimportant” job, a disappointment to parents and loved ones who had seen so much promise at the start… but I realized tonight, if David hadn’t been at that simple wasting-of-life-and-talents job, he may have never noticed the hidden sequence. The countdown. And the whole series of events would have changed and we would have lost him, the president and the world.

But perhaps I shouldn’t build my reassurances or life philosophy on a science fiction movie. Perhaps I should be looking elsewhere…

And what do I find there?

A simple cupbearer hidden away under exile who happened to be in the right position to rebuild and help restore the wall and the people…

A young lady taken for a harem in a strange land who happened to be in the right place and time to save her people from annihilation…

A lad with stars in his eyes who was sold into slavery (by his own family) and then ended up in prison which just happened to be the perfect position to save his family and all of Egypt…

A child with so much potential and promise who ends up a man hidden away as a mundane shepherd in the wilderness which just happened to be where God wanted him to call him onward?

A foreign young woman, her dreams and potential now as low as her widow’s covering, who chose the un-exciting, no-potential path of staying with her mother-in-law who just happened to end up in the right field of the right man and ended up an ancestor of kings and the Messiah!

And speaking of which… a “family runt” shepherd boy as warrior and king?!

The story is always the same.
And the story is never the same.

Big ways and small ways. Affecting families, kingdoms and the world.

“For who has despised the day of small things?” says the Lord to Zechariah. Or in another translation, “The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.”

And it was true when rebuilding the temple
—a temple that was a far cry in stature and pomp from Solomon’s—
and it’s true in many other situations…

…whenever God is at work (often behind the scenes) and we respond to where we are and what we have in our hands with trust in and obedience to Him.

Big ways.
Small ways.
Every way.

And I start this as a Facebook status, feeling facetious with my Independence Day metaphor, but it grows long so I decide to switch to a blog post and when I do my eye catches the mini notepad-on-magnet-clipboard on the magnetic note board by my desk—the one I questioningly scribbled a thought on way back in January—a thought about, perhaps, what this year was to be about. How it would be framed and focused.

And it wonders:
a year for “Little Things”?


May I not despise the day of small things.
Instead, may I trust and obey—
here where I am,
with what all or what little I have,
big ways,
small ways,
every way.

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The day after April posted about her girls' nativity, another friend with a new baby boy shared this picture saying, "I have a feeling this will be our house in a few years"

The day after April posted about her girls’ nativity, another friend with a new baby boy shared this picture saying, “I have a feeling this will be our house in a few years”

I don’t have any children. But most of my friends do.

In recent days it has become apparent to me that children can make for some great theological insights at Christmas time.

Take my friend Lydia, for example.

Lydia has 5 boys. Under 8. The other day she posted to Facebook:

Though I’d love to have those flawless, beautifully crafted porcelain nativity figures to arrange and display (up high; up very high), with their smooth, painted faces just beaming the glory of Jesus’ birth, a Fisher-Price version is what we’ve got right now. This morning I sat here feeding Levi and watching the boys play war with the little plastic shepherds and the angel (WWIII happened in the stable this morning) and something occurred to me… this plastic set is more realistic- more what it really was like that first Christmas morning… There was no hoity-toity fanciness; there was no “hands off” sign hung above the manger. Jesus made himself accessible, reachable, hands-on to all people– lowly farm-hands, kings, thieves, prostitutes, politicians, the rich, the poor, the clean, the dirty, and most definitely- the children! He is for everyone. So yes, kids; play with this nativity set. Play war, play house, play the donkey pooping on the shepherd- but play knowing He is accessible to you!

Her children’s play reminded her that God put on flesh, this baby-child-man was Immanuel, God with us.

The Message paraphrase of John 1:14 goes begins with this:

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.

And in story after story in the gospels he was indeed making himself accessible. He stretched forth his hand and gave the blind sight and touched the untouchables. The sickly, unclean woman knew that she could reach out and touch him.

Indeed, Lydia said it well, “There was no hoity-toity fanciness; there was no “hands off” sign hung above the manger. Jesus made himself accessible, reachable, hands-on to all people… He is for everyone.”

And not only is Jesus for everyone, he is always here, even when we don’t see him. Which is what Lydia was reminded of as they began to clean up after their play, trying to “find all the pieces after they’d exploded all over the living room”…

“Where’s Baby Jesus?” someone asked.

Of course no one knew, so the search was on. And you know, sometimes it’s that way in real life… you can’t see Him; you know Jesus is there, but you have to look for Him.

Gabe hollered out, “I found a wise person!”

Yep, you need those along the way, too, kid.

The funny thing was, you know where I found Baby Jesus?? I was sitting on Him. He was right under the edge of the rug. He was right there all along.

He was right there all along.


So I have another friend, April, who has 3 girls and a baby boy. The day after Lydia’s post, April was amused at her children’s Nativity set…

So baby Jesus has some interesting visitors at our house; the girls’ nativity currently has 4 dwarfs, rapunzel, minnie, cookie monster, big bird, and 4 little people in cars (along w/ the ‘normal’ characters)…

And judging by the comments on her post, we adults were cluing in on what the children do so naturally – allow anyone to come and worship the Baby Jesus.

One friend’s daughter helped a 2 ft dinosaur come to worship at their nativity.

Another friend was enamored by the scene, “Surely everyone is welcome at the manger!”

And as for me, it reminded me of a poem I’d read in college. It is found in a book of “Uncle Handsome’s Redneck Poetry” which was introduced to me by none other than April’s husband when we were in undergrad together.

The poem is entitled “Flamingos in the Manger Scene” and it goes like this:

There’s flamingos in our manger scene
We put ’em there this year
Leavin’ ’em standin’ off by themselves
Just seemed a little queer
With them other critters all gathered ’round
A-worshippin’ the baby Jesus
Them flamingos stayin’ across the lawn
Just somehow didn’t please us
So we pulled ’em up and set ’em there
‘Tween the wise men and the manger
Some folks think it’s a little strange
But I’ve seen a whole lot stranger
I reckon they do stand out a bit
Bein’ so pink and all
But the way they sway on one leg in the hay
They look so handsome and tall
Folks from town’ll come drivin’ around
And they’ll slow way down and grin
At them flamingos there with the camels ‘n donkeys
And them three fancied up wise men
And every now and then folks’ll stop their cars
And come stand by our white tire fence
And take pictures and laugh at our pink flamingos
But to us it just makes sense
For all of God’s critters to gather together
And worship at this time of year
And now that I stop to think about it
We left out the plastic deer!

Sometimes it takes those who see the world a little differently, like children, to help remind us of what we celebrate at Christmas:


God with us.

Present. Touchable. Available to all.



(And, by the way, if you liked “Uncle Handsome’s” poem, you can find more funny, witty and poignant Redneck poems in The Road Less Graveled by Brent Holmes.)


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#12,097 Mime Hugs

“Mime hugs” made my gift list that night. And I’m not talking about those awkward never-touch-the-other-person hugs that another mime ministry I often associate with is rather known for… I’m talking real hugs. From people who do mime.

See, there’s this mime troupe that is very dear to my heart and is located not-too-close yet not-too-far-away from me. Some of the troupe I’ve known for more than a decade and some for about 7 years and some for about 4…  And about once a year they hold a concert that I make the 2.5-ish hour trip down for and then every other year or so they host a workshop with Innovo. And though I’ve only made it to one of those actual workshops, I do make sure I make it down there for the performance at the end.

There are always many friends to see.

And you know it’s always welcoming down there. Going to see people you haven’t seen for awhile and whom you hold dear to your heart… and it’s so lovely to see their eyes light up when they recognize you and run and give you a hug.

So it was that a few weeks back a friend and her daughter and I reached the venue in time to watch them wrap up a quick run-through of the group piece before the show started. And even in the dimly lit sanctuary with almost nothing but the stage lights on as they received final instructions and then turned to their appointed tasks, it was fun to see them spot me and smile and come over and give me a hug.

Yes, mime hugs made my gift list that night.

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I think often things come upon us and when we get through them we look back and see how God used that to work out something in our lives that needed worked out… Though there are times, and perhaps more frequent for those who are contemplative by nature or highly aware of their own spiritual journey, when we can see what God is working in us in the midst of it.  But have you ever known ahead of time what was coming up?

I haven’t even hit the curve yet, where the road bends back around that huge precipice which blocks my sight.  I’m not there yet.  I can’t even really see it.  But I know it’s coming.  I know the road will be rough and the terrain unfamiliar and the vegetation won’t agree with my stomach and the flowers will give off a smell that is almost too much for me.  I will meet strange creatures which I will fear but who are really only trying to befriend me…  Yes, somehow I know the road ahead.  And though I continue forward, I do so almost with a fear and trepidation.

Three things have begun to be woven into my life.  Or, rather, there are three strands which have now taken on a distinctive color and have captured my eye and are coming closer and closer together on the tapestry.  (And yes, I switched metaphors – I do that frequently.)  First of all, over the past couple of months, and perhaps through a particular friendship, I have become more and more aware of my OCD tendencies and how they affect little parts of my life.  I had already become aware in grad school that when I get stressed, I clean and organize more – as if trying to control the portions of my life that are left to my control!  But in recent months more little aspects of the OCD have been seen (and understood) more plainly.  Numbers, organization, order, lack of spontaneity, lists, patterns, social issues and control.

Control has also come up a great deal in the book I’m reading.  Invitation to a Journey frequently mentions how even when we have a relationship with God we try to control it and grow on our terms.  Over and over again – or perhaps I simply pick it out because I need to – he talks of relinquishing control fully to God.  In every aspect.  And to be honest, he mentions many areas in which I had never thought of control as being controlled or controlling.

And then there’s mime.  Mime.  O how I love mime!  I love the beauty of body and space and movement and expression and creating stories without saying a word.  I love the silence and depth.  I love the technique and teaching and creating and performing pieces.  I love mime!  But I hate the box.  I hate statues.  I hate anything that has to do with doing mime “on the street” and I really hate improv.  Now it is true that I enjoy mime improv more than speaking improv. And it is also true that I have already come a ways in growth with improv – in fact, I taught a mime improv class at the National Creative Arts Festival back in 2006.  But that’s just it.  I taught.  And to teach you have to have a plan.

I like plans.  I dislike improv.

I have come to realize more fully over the past few weeks (but it’s been gradually culminating for months) that the reason I hate telling random people that I am a mime is that I fear they will ask me to demonstrate, or to come and “mime” at their party or for a street event.  And the reason I hate this is because I don’t know what to do.  Not that I don’t know technique.  But I don’t know how to let my mind come up with it spur of the moment.  I simply don’t know how to play.  And it’s even worse when others are around.  For then I over analyze and I fear they will lead me down a path I don’t want to go on. (I was the same way in  acting class, always fearing during improv that someone would give me a title or position or past that I didn’t want.)  And, really, what’s at the root of all this?


There it is again.  And so I clearly sense that God is preparing to work in me on this issue.  And to work hard at that.  And I sense that mime and learning how to play and improv is actually going to be a means to and/or a way to show how God is working in my life.  And is it ever going to be difficult and painful!  I am actually quite scared.

But like that dream I had, where I stood upon the banks of the river of fire, knowing full well I must cross, I will not give the fear a foothold.  I will dive into that river of fire.  For though I may feel the burning of my skin, I know it will not be the death of me.  I will allow the river of fire to burn through me and purge me of this area so that I may come out the other side, pure and clean and light, no longer with that burden on my back…

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I am finally stepping forward from the crossroads!

I wrote my “at a crossroads” post on April 10th.  By the 18th I was pretty sure I knew what direction to head, but I felt there was something yet keeping me from embarking on that path.  And there was never a “big” moment, really.  Just lots of little nudges and the more I headed toward the path ahead, the more it seemed that is where I was supposed to be going. But I knew if I was going to dive in, fully, no looking back, I wanted to make sure the water was deep enough!  (Well, so to speak.)

I had an interesting, though good, meeting with my pastor.  About what I sensed God wanting me to do with the gifts and skills and passions He’s given me and if there is a place where I can fit in and serve the local body at my church.  The short and long of it is, there isn’t.  Not now.  In some ways I left with more questions than answers, but it got me seriously thinking about the possibility of needing to move to a bigger area, where arts are more prominent (which is a thought I’ve conveniently avoided for nearly four years).  The meeting also really brought me to the point where I knew the commitment to my path had to be a firm one…

And then there were conversations with my boss (also a pastor) and my parents and a couple of friends.  There were repeated songs that I kept hearing in various places.  There were hints and whispers in my devotional time and prayers.  There was even a wonderful release from a ministry I was about to plunge into that was not where God wanted me.  There were also cropping up hints of opportunities and possibilities and the dream I had been given originally was being revived.

And then there was the overwhelming sense that God was saying to me, “why do you keep standing at this crossroads asking me which path to take when you know very well what path I already had set you on.  Get on it and stick to it.  Don’t wander.”

And perhaps one of the best parts of all this is that I know it’s not going to be easy.  It’s not going to come quickly or easily and it will involve hard work.  And yet I’m filled with an overwhelming joy!  Far different from the good things I’ve gotten involved with that were exciting and hard work and yet did not fill me with joy (but instead left me worn and weary).

I was going to write this post last weekend.  But I am glad I didn’t.  Because we had a prayer meeting Sunday night at church.  I went because I felt that I needed to be there.  No particular reason (and I fought a hundred excuses not to go), but I knew I had to go.  I kinda figured I’d pray for friends who had recently lost loved ones and other requests for friends and family and the like… I didn’t know God wanted me there for myself.  The prayer meeting was organized and included worship and guided prayer and it was very well done.  There was a time of confession.  Began with a group confession and then silent time for our own.  And I felt strongly led to confess my wandering off the path God had put me on and repent (meaning to turn away from the wrong and to the right). And so I did.  Later in the service the altar was opened for personal prayer and I found myself going forward – to consecrate myself for this path and to pray for strength (and physical health) to go forward on it and not look back or wander this time.  And my pastor prayed with me.  So not planned.  So of God!

So here I am, boldly (yet humbly) stepping forward.  The path laid out before me is that of mime and the arts and teaching (and even some performing).  There are low hanging tree branches and hills and uneven turf and sometimes the road winds and sometimes it’s dark and sometimes it’s rainy, but it is the path I must walk.  And I will do so.  With joy.  Because that is where God has called me!

So I’m taking dance classes this month.  In July I’ll be teaching a 5-week mime class at the dance studio (with great floors and mirrors) – and they’re even paying me for it!  My chiropractor was pleased at my last exam and I’ve been exercising and conditioning and stretching regularly.  I’m hoping to offer some more “mime intensives” like I did last summer and there are other opportunities around the corner as well.

God is good.  And I am so thankful for the grace given me even as I have doubted and wandered!

I am stepping forward.

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This is a God-story as much as it is anything.

It was 12 years ago last month that I first really saw mime. An excellent team presented several pieces throughout the week at camp and I fell in love with the art-form watching “In The Light.” I attempted a few of my own pieces during my senior year of high school and then got to see the team again the following summer, prompting me to add a theatre minor when I started college that year which got me into their “fresh faces” show where I teamed up with a senior theatre major and presented a mime piece. It was on stage that night that I felt God calling me to pursue mime. Another college student in the audience that night who attended the church I would later end up at would shortly thereafter recommend me to the pastor do to the children’s program at Friend Week and thus our college team was born. During the same time in doing research for a class paper I ran across Mimeistry’s website and then later that spring decided to look again and discovered an announcement for their summer workshop.

It was that first workshop, 10 years ago last month, that has perhaps had the most profound influence on these past 10 years and where I am today. Though the other God-directed steps were important, the workshop was key.

And so I would like to briefly spend some time reflecting upon my very first Mimeistry workshop and the profound effects it has had on my life.

First of all, some interesting & funny excerpts straight from my journal: “breathing class – think I nodded off during some of the relaxation parts! • Took elective on Todd Farley by Mimeography (oops, other way around). Was the first time I’d seen Todd. Seems cool. • Did isolations in first class. So fun! • All day I’ve been fighting between ‘I want to learn this’ and ‘I can’t do this.’ • Kelly took me to the ER between 7:30 & 8:00. Gave me Ultram. • I’m absolutely loving it here! I’m learning so much! • Basically stretching our improve muscles! Can you believe it – I got up and did something!”

Some other highlights I’ll never forget: Seeing these 2 guys (Cary and Chip) walking down the terminal at the airport at midnight, one in bare feet, and knowing they just had to be the mime guys who were there to pick me up (flight delays)… experiencing creative worship for the first time – with dancing and flags and banners and streamers and all… hanging out at the plaza in Kansas City and watching VeggieTales over the weekend with my new friends…

And then there was seeing Mimeistry perform for the first time. I’d missed orientation and knew nothing of them before my arrival at the workshop other than what I’d read on their website (and this was pre-YouTube days). So Sunday morning after the first week of classes I got to see them. My journal says they did 7 or 8 pieces. But this is what I remember – 7 Ways 2 Praise (with Chip as the 3rd guy who falls over bowing), Kelly doing a solo to “Breath of Heaven” on pivot (on pivot! I was awestruck!), Todd doing Ananias “sitting in the window praying,” and I’m pretty sure that was the first time I saw Marilyn do “Grain of Rice” (which I’ve seen several times since and could always stand to see again)… and it was the first time I ever saw Storyteller. The music and a few lines from that piece still echo through my head from time to time and make me absolutely yearn to see it again!

Those were good days. I learned so much. The past two weeks (currently) I had a young mime student here learning from me and I was amazed at how much I really did learn that first workshop and how much I remember (as well as how much I’ve forgotten)! And after that first workshop I attended 3 more consecutively (winter/summer) plus one in 2003… but I’m getting ahead of myself now….

So in addition to the mime itself – and let me tell you – a whole new world was opened up for me those weeks! – two things happened which pretty much changed the course of my life….

First of all, I’ll never forget that first Friday morning sitting in the chapel listening as Todd talked about the MAP program. He also talked about the mime college out in Pasadena (I’d never heard of such a thing) and for a few moments I feared God wanted me to quit Huntington and go there. But that wasn’t where God was leading me at the time – in fact, I remember God (as clearly as possible) whispering into my ear (or heart), “finish the course I’ve set you on for now, finish at HC.” So I did. But I also set about continuing with workshops and working on my own and getting stuff together to get into the MAP program. But there was something else that Todd mentioned that morning. He mentioned some seminary called Fuller (that I’d never heard of) that was working on a degree program for theology and arts. I’d never even heard of arts theology or biblical foundations for the arts until my first workshop… but that had pierced my heart as much (if not more than) the technique itself did.

And here’s the God part… remember how He’d told me to stay the course? Turns out, the year I graduated college and then (that fall) headed out to Fuller was the first year they officially opened up their theology and arts program! Even more so, because of my introduction in 1999, subsequent workshops, growing interest in arts theology and the fact that I finished my youth ministry degree at Huntington – I ended up hooking up with two great mime ministries, one of which I did my college internship through. And that is countless hours of me teaching and presenting mime across the states and – even cooler – countless hundreds of awesome people I have since met and been blessed by – and (so I’ve heard) God also used me to bless them.

This whole “creative arts consultant” thing which was really born out of a vision I had around 2003 – was actually from a seed planted and a course set back in 1999. Looking back now, 10 years later, it is so clear to see the hand of God at work in all of this!

The second big impact on my life began with a conversation I had with my mother during my first week of mime training. Now you have to understand that I had been having wrist problems for nearly 2 years on top of another host of health problems the docs could never seem to figure out. The pain is why I went to the ER during the workshop. Here’s another excerpt from my journal:

“Mime class on ‘characters’ extremely painful and disheartening. Sat out last part of the class. Tears trickling down my cheeks. Suffered through Pulpit Support. Basically kicked out of my group (‘cause of wrists)… Talked to Mom & Dad. Mom said Candy (her cousin) said my symptoms sounded like fibro-something that might disable me from miming. Praying and hoping with all my heart and all my tears it isn’t.”

But it was. I remember clearly standing at that pay phone in tears at the very moments I was falling in love even more with mime and listening to my mother speak the word “fibromyalgia” for the first time and tell me all the horrible things it entailed. I was diagnosed on August 6 1999. And nothing has been the same since.

On one hand it’s almost ironic that my greatest joy in life and my greatest hardship would coincide like that. To say that the past 10 years have been difficult would be a vast understatement. Doctors, medicines, questions, tears, symptoms… The fibro has seemed to throw a wrench into the whole thing. It has slowed down my own conditioning and training and progress in the MAP program. It has kept me from several things I would have liked to have done. And it has made many things so very, very hard….

And yet, and yet now, 10 years later, I can look back and see the hand of God in this, too – this time holding me up and providing me strength when my own was gone. I mean, how else can one explain the 4 other Mimeistry workshops plus the Saturday institutes that I’ve been to? Or how I got through college – and then seminary? Or how I’ve survived an Alaska trip plus two East Coast Mission Trips through AIM? Or taught dozens of classes at some 7+ AIM camps and workshops?

And then there is how papers and projects for all classes in seminary tended to revolve around two things – mime and arts theology or suffering. In fact, by the time I left seminary I had created some 5 solo pieces related to that topic (when I had no solo pieces coming out of college) and was able to do create (and present) a full solo show revolving around that topic less than a year after graduating seminary. Now THAT’s God.

So I still struggle with my fibro and its symptoms and I am still working towards completing those MAP requirements and getting even better at the mime. But as I’ve been reading through my journal entries from 10 years ago, I am simply amazed and awed by what God has done in my life. How He has guided and where He has directed and the countless numbers of people whom I love and respect dearly and celebrate that they are in my life . How He has provided and upheld and given strength and vision and dreams and talents and passions and joys…. God is simply AWESOME. And as much as this is my mime story, it is also God’s story.

So to those of you who taught me at that first workshop – Todd, Marilyn, Cary, Kelly, Helen, Barbara, Chip, Paul, Anita & Liz – I thank God for you!

And to those of you whom I met and became friends with at that first workshop – Tara, Sara, Stephen, Laura, Dan, Janine, Jane… I thank God for you!

And to those of you whom I have met since because of that first workshop – various Mimeistry (and now Innovo) students from 2000-2006, Fuller people, AIM people, Silent Witness people (all too many to name individually at the end of such a long post) – I thank God for you, too!

I simply thank God.

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I came across this the other day… I had written it like 3 or 4 years ago for a writing challenge on FaithWriters.com and thought it would be good to post here (now that I have a blog)!! It is actually a written description of a mime piece my team did in college. Enjoy!

Music begins, simple guitar strings. A deep bass string gives an ominous overtone to the lighter plucked ones. Jesus and His disciples enter the garden. He motions for them to keep watch and pray. He walks further and collapses to His knees.

Across town, one of the chief priests empties a bag of silver coins into the hands of Judas. The clatter of the coins echoes through the night like seeds falling inside a hollow branch. Judas informs them that the signal will be a kiss. With Judas in the lead, the chief priests and guards march towards the garden. Their feet fall heavy to the steady rhythm of the bass string.

In the midst of the garden the disciples are already drawing heavy eyes. Jesus prays; the thick night mist enveloping Him like a fog rolling onto the shore from the depths of the sea. He looks up, seeing in a vision what will come to pass in just a few hours. It is morning, He is bloody and beaten, dragging a heavy wooden beam towards Golgotha. Jesus shivers. Lightning flashes through His mind, illumining the pain He must endure. A cold stormy wind cuts through Him, chilling His bones and His soul. His fists clench as if to grasp some sort of light, some sort of peace, but the cup He is about to drink offers nothing to hold onto. It is a rolling ocean. Jesus picks up the cup and stares into the dark depth of sins it holds. He pushes it away in disgust. He looks to His Father.

The heavy thumping of the marching mass draws nearer. Jesus stands and returns to His disciples. They sleep. He wakes them and asks again for them to keep watch and pray. He returns to His solitude and begins to pray again. He looks up a second time, seeing another vision. This time He is at Golgotha, a hardened Roman soldier nailing a long spike into His wrists. He cannot breath. Fear tries to creep into His heart. He begs for mercy for the visions. A silent weary tear makes a path down His face as He glances to where His friends have fallen asleep yet again. He knows that they mean to love Him, but He is just a lonely sailor on a stormy sea.

Jesus spots the cup. Picking it up again, He smells the wretched wickedness which fills its golden filigreed adornment. The stench is overwhelming and He thrusts the cup away from Him. He looks again to His father. Must I? Somewhere in the heavenly realms thousands of angels sing a mournful song that sounds like wind whistling through sails on a stormy sea. He stands to go and wake the disciples, pleading with them to pray. But He decides to let them sleep. Dropping to His knees again He runs His finger along the rim of the cup. He dips a finger into the cup, barely touching the vile liquid. It burns His finger.

The music picks up, the bass string getting ever louder and ever menacing. The pounding of hundreds of marching feet cause the ground beneath them to tremble. As Jesus prays once more, a final vision is given. It is three days later, the stone is rolled away and His grave clothes are neatly folded. He walks out of the tomb. He lives. Jesus knows the end, yet this distant triumph is no real friend as He faces the stormy night ahead. He looks to His father for comfort, knowing how much His father loves Him. He knows what He must do. He glances down at His calloused hands. They have healed the sick and calmed the sea. He gently touches each wrist. He can already feel the spikes.

Jesus picks the cup up a last time. The chief priests and guards enter the garden. Jesus nods in acceptance of His father’s will. The pounding beat of the music grows louder. Jesus drinks the cup. The ground trembles under the marching feet. Jesus stands. He calls for His disciples. They stand, disoriented. Judas leads the mass to his master. His heart beats violently. The disciples shudder. Jesus is calm. He turns to Judas.

The music returns to the simple rhythm with which it began. Judas takes those last few steps toward Jesus. The final strum of the bass string resounds as Judas leans in to kiss His friend. The world is motionless. The music ends.

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romantic comedies…

Mom and I watched a romantic comedy tonight. And I got to thinking tonight about this popular genre. You know, boy and girl miss each other, boy and girl meet each other, boy and girl have mis-communications and issues that drive most of the plot, boy and girl finally get together, tears shed. “It’s so beautiful!”

And there are a few things that all romantic comedies seem to have:

  • Someone always gets drunk
  • There’s always a scene in the rain
  • There is always a mis-communication
  • Someone always either moves or loses a job
  • Someone always has sex before/outside of marriage (perhaps this explains the conflict?)
  • The best friend(s) of the main characters are always comedic, often one-dimensional
  • There’s always a small (romantic) gesture or momento that turns the plot around and finally brings the couple together
  • There are always long speeches on love (whether for good or ill)
  • They are full of cliches
  • Yet there are always one or two lines that actually stand out as good and true
  • Usually, one of those comedic best friends are given one of those lines and so it usually gets lost in the fray…

We watch (or at least I watch – and I imagine many others do to) because we like the emotion, the romanticism of the thing… we enjoy being swept away with all our emotional theories of love…

And while I still enjoy a good RomCom now and again, I find the whole thing getting predictable and feeling rather empty. Empty of a Christian worldview and the biblical principles of love and marriage – which are far from our culture’s.

Which reminds me… I want to see Fireproof. I’ve heard it’s good. (Oh, but please don’t tell me there’s a rain scene in it!)

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Here’s the promo video for our Christmas musical at church.  Check it out, share it with others and be sure to come see the musical on

December 14th and 15th 
starting at 7 PM 
at Mt. Pleasant Church in Chambersburg, PA!

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So this Christmas I am directing the drama part of the musical at church.  Which is almost funny to say because there really isn’t any drama inherent in the actual cantata.  Just some narration which is mostly scripture.  But God gave me a beautiful idea and now it is like choreographing a huge mime piece – it’s all silent drama to the songs (in between narration).  I’m pretty excited.  Also excited about the promo material I’m creating…

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