Monday, December 31, 2007
For those of you who like to put things on your calendars here are some dates you need to know. (don’t worry, there will be more!)
March 13 – dress rehearsal
March 14-15 – evening performances
March 16 – afternoon performance
Friday, December 28, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Let earth receive her King!
Why December 25th? The Romans had a winter festival in honor of the unconquerable sun. The early Christians either had to get rid of the festival or redeem it. Here's what I think is really cool. The festival was on Dec. 25th - three days after the Winter Solstice which is the shortest day of the year. They at one time had thought the sun was dying but by three days after the Winter Solstice it was obvious that the sun was alive! I suppose it is way too obvious for me to point out the symbolism there. It's kind of like when the Apostle Paul went to Athens and he told the men there how he had seen an inscription "to the unknown god" and he said he was there to tell them about Him Ac 17:23 . I think that's pretty cool.
[the following paragrpah was added later] OK, Cheryl just read this post and she said I didn't put enough words in and she didn't get it. So I'll try again. The Romans were already celebrating the resurrection of the sun - how three days after they thought it was dead they celebrated the fact that the sun was not dead. So, just as Paul explained to the Athenians that the unknown god they worshipped was Jesus, the Romans were celebrating the resurrection of the Son before they knew about THE resurrection. I hope that is a clearer explanation.
Here's an article with more interesting Christmas facts http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0%2C1703%2CA%25253D164506%252526M%25253D200743%2C00.html?
I pray you have a very merry and blessed Christmas! I'll be looking for you all Sunday in worship.
Monday, December 24, 2007
8 In the same region, shepherds were living out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for you see, I announce to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 because today in the city of David was born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors! 15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go straight to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the manger.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
What else is there to say? Incredible! Super-duper! Excellent! Inspirational! Worshipful! Fun! Exciting! Beautiful! Magnificent! Muy bien!
The singing, the acting, the sound, the orchestra, the lighting, the bells, the flags, the costumes, the decorations, the story tellers from each country, the solos and trios... God used all of your hard work, practice, commitment, willingness... to speak to people's hearts.
Gracias! Obrigado! Danke shane! Merci beaucoup! Thanks ya'll!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Carnations are beautiful flowers. You can find them in many shades of red, pink, white, yellow... But originally - before plant breeders worked with them - they were only found in biege and "flesh" colors. That's why they have the name "carnation" - referring to the flesh color of the flowers. It comes from the same Latin word from which we got the word "carnal" - which means "fleshly" and "carnivorous" - refering to animals and plants that eat flesh.
This is the same etymology (how's that for a really cool big word?) behind the word "incarnation" which means - well here - I'll just paste it in from Merriam-Webster
1 a (1): the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form (2)capitalized : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ
Here is one of my favorite passages about the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; 16 because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. 19 Because all the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him, 20 and to reconcile everything to Himself through Him by making peace through the blood of His cross -- whether things on earth or things in heaven.
We'll be singing these words Sunday morning when we sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
Veiled in flesh the God-head see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.
Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily.
As we celebrate Christmas and pray that "every tribe and tongue" will rejoice and that we want to "see the nations worship", please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who risk all to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
China: 270 House Church Pastors Detained for Alleged Illegal Religious Gathering
China Aid Association reports that 270 House Church Pastors have been detained for what Chinese officials are calling an "illegal religious gathering." According to ASSIST News Service, China Aid says that on December 7 at 1:30pm, House Church pastors in Hedeng District, Linyi City, were gathered for a Bible Study when their meeting was disrupted by police officials. According to Pastor Li, an eyewitness, 40-50 policemen from 12 different towns were involved in the massive detention. The pastors were then handcuffed two-by-two and taken to the local police station for questioning. As of this week 150 pastors remain in custody. Others have been released on a 300 Yuan ($40 USD) interrogation fee.
For more information about the persecuted church and to seehow you can help check out these links.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Here are some "up close" pictures I took earlier today.
The rehearsal before the dress rehearsal and the dress rehearsal are about as up close to the real deal as you can get. And usually they are a little rough - no often they are verrrrry rough. But Wednesday night wasn't too bad and tonight went very, very well. I know it seems a little wild and unorganized when you are looking at it from the Tree, but any time you have 3,264 people involved in one production there are going to be a few people roaming around aimlessly - or so it seems.
I was verrrry pleased with tonight's rehearsal. The choir sang great. The sound was great. (However, we do need to hear all of the trios and solos before 6:00 tomorrow to set some EQs). The acting was wonderful. The non-speaking acting was great. The words on the back screen went well. (and Mark and I fixed the words to African Noel)
What more can I say? Yeah team!
I'll have Star send me some of the pictures she took tonight and I'll get some from Julie and I'll post them in the morning.