Monday, November 25, 2013

Beyond Blessed

As I have written in the past, the day I heard James Embree preach on Easter, was the day of our first date. No, we didn't plan it that way. But, as the day enveloped, it was our first date.

On Sunday, I got to hear my favorite preacher.  You might like famous ones,  or dead ones like Luther, but I know this man.  He lives what he believes.  When he speaks, it is trustworthy.  I don't know if they will get the audio uploaded on the website.  But if you would like to read James' sermon on Ruth.  The Faith of a Foreign Woman.

Yes, he did tell a few jokes.  But that is acceptable.  In Africa, almost everyone of his jokes went flat.  I laughed, but no one else.  Yesterday, people got them.

However, the lessons of complete surrender to the Lord-forsaking everything like Ruth, standing with Integrity like Boaz, and renewed hope/life in Naomi makes this a hallmark channel redemption story.

Thankful for a godly husband that is what he preaches.

Answer to prayers..Again

This is my first play to direct, unless you count the backyard plays in Suburban Country Estates off of Whirlpool Drive in Wasilla.  So, this is a combined effort using the talents and gifts of other directors to add value and direction to this play.  Thankfully Lori Zulliger and my previous director Wendy Golter joined in the pool of giving some helpful advice by watching a rehearsal.  Lori even helped out with auditions.  Yesterday, I was able to ask Larry Bottjen who "happened to sit in front of me at church" to come and watch a rehearsal.  He is the one who directed the Wizard of Oz with many children to come to watch a rehearsal.  He said YES!  I am a giddy school girl.  Thank you Lord for being good to me.  

I am a huge fan of the Valley Performing Arts but wanted something on this side of the valley for actors/actresses to have something to work together for.  The Lord placed on my heart to create a quality community play with a good message.  

After perusing many scripts, the elders of our church agreed that this play based on the book by Barbara Robinson was it.  Thankfully, we have talented carpenters, set designers, choir director, seamstress, audio/visual staff to make this a whole church effort.  With the 45 person cast, this may be the "Best Christmas Pageant Ever".

After much hard work by Ken Allen, the play with the added angel choir WORKED.  It was amazing.  Not perfect, but it sounded good and the timing was getting ironed out.  I am thrilled with the opportunity to see God work through these amazing people from Lazy Mountain Bible Church.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Having the time of my life

I love drama.  My kids love drama.  My husband loves drama. Like my other post about Drama in the Church, felt that the Lord wanted me to have a quality show with a Good Message!

After auditions in September, the cast has been hammering out the rehearsals weekly.  Thankfully, I have some drama friends.  Twice we have had different guest directors come in and give me some feedback and direction for this growing group of thespians.

Total AWE of Him.  I have never seen so many people STEP UP to the call for service in our church.  God is bringing people from all creative outlets to technical people to make this play a huge success.  Just for an example, I had no sound/lights/projection and in one announcement we got SIX volunteers.  Yippee!

It is also a bit terrifying to do something out of my gifting (organizationally, sewing, detailed, mechanical, and many other things challenged).  However, like Gideon it is an added BLESSING to see God work knowing that my best efforts would result in ... a ...a....disaster.  Thank you Lord.

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" full length play featuring many youth and adults,   Performing THREE times. 12/13 @ 7pm, 12/20 @ 7pm (nursery provided 0-3), and 12/21 @ 2:30pm. 16005 E. Shawn Drive, Palmer Alaska! Free.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Love to be Christmas

I was listening to K-love tonight.  They were talking about being reunited with family.  And I thought, this is what I would say in less than 100 words to win a free trip about why I would love to have my parents together with us here in Alaska.

My parents were divorced when I was 10. On Christmas morning, I woke up abandoned. It wasn't until college, when I became a Christian after a hard life of anger and numbness. My parents remarried each other after being divorced for 23 years while my husband and I served as missionaries in Africa for almost 10 years. Now we serve in a church in Alaska and I haven't had a Christmas with both my parents since I was ten. Please let us have the joy of being together as a true family up here in Alaska.

There is only one day left in the competition.  But, it was a sweet longing in my heart.  I love and cherish these two people.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chew and Spit

All week long, I chew on the story. I study the story.  I research the lesson.  I listen to a sermon taking notes.  We host a life group in our home asking more questions about the lesson. I spend time on my knees for each of the girls hearing the story.   Then finnally after a few practice runs, it is Wednesday night and I can finally "RELEASE THE STORY" or Spit.

What a joy it is to teach, inspire, and love these 8-9 year old girls.  God uses His Word to teach me and to share with them the Story.  We were role playing and laughing all through the lesson.  

The big idea this week was "how big is your God?" If you don't believe, or think He is incapable; you run away.  But, like Joshua/Caleb you tear your own clothes and ask for obedience knowing that your God is Big!  Thank you for being a big God and walking me through tough times. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pour out...Pouring in

So my husband was able to attend a great conference in Seattle with some of the amazing pastors from our church.  Thankfully, I was able to attend as well (sort of).  It was free online.  I felt kinda funny walking around with a large ipad attached to my ear.  (I didn't bring headphones and the speaker wasn't loud at all).

I spent the first day (Tuesday) at home. So, while the kids were doing school, I escaped to the bedroom at first trying to see James through the live video feed, but then to listen.  I was taking a break from my pouring out to others to get full from the Word.

One of the biggest take away for me from the conference was the importance of letting your children to enjoy the ministry.  Don't let them think for one moment that they are serving a weak or poor King.  We have tried to communicate with our words the valuable role they play as being PK or MK.  However, I really wanted to show them.

So...We left!  We totally left.  I loaded up the car/Dane/popcorn/Milk/Cereal/audio books and  drove to Seward. We got a hotel room.  The kids were thrilled!

Since we had such a warm fall, no snow on the pass to Seward.  No snow anywhere.  But, the cloudless sky and the mountain pass with no town for 50 miles made a night of awe and jaw dropping star gazing.  I found a place to turn off the car.  Bronwyn laid on the ground looking up.  It was as bright as an African Night in the felt.

Back in the car, I see something a little off the road.  I do a quick u-turn.  It was a LYNX recently killed by a car.  It scared Bronwyn as she is so sensitive to animals.  However, I thought it was so neat to see.  (this is not a photo of Alaska now, we still have no snow on the flat lands.)

I was able again to listen to the sermons while the kids watched TV (we still don't have one so, they loved it).  But, after the last session, I encouraged them to jump in the car and we went beach combing.  We found a cove with no wind, jellyfish aplenty, and beauty galore.

The Seward Sealife center was open for only us (there was one other guest in the entire center). *Free on Wednesday. We got to watch sea lions dive while I listened again with the Ipad to my ear.  *note to self, bring headphones next time. I loved touching all the tidal pool stuff.  Fun!

I am thankful for the children and the God I serve that values them.  They are so wonderful.  I am glad that He fills me so that I can pour into them and love them well.
I am thankful for the time to stop doing and just be.
May the Lord always direct my steps as I seek to honor Jesus with my life.
Nor pain or hardship, I know my GOD is faithful and He will do it!
Praise the Creator of Heaven and Earth... His name is JESUS.