Monday, July 09, 2007

FCP 2007 Annual Conference

Many of the puppeteers that are part of the online community are involved in Christian ministries. For those who fall under this category, the Fellowship of Christian Puppeteers is hosting their annual conference at Winthrop University in South Carolina on July 23-27. Anyone in the area may find this an educational opportunity to refine your puppetry skills, learn new skills or perhaps gain encouragement and inspiration for your ministry as you use this powerful medium. Information and registration is available here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America

I grew up with the idea that America meant something. America was a grand experiment in democracy laid out by our founding fathers whose vision allowed us, as a nation, to grow and prosper as a bastion of freedom for all of her citizens, or so I was taught…

In the earliest days, America started out as a home for people who wished to worship an almighty God differently than what was ordained by the Church of England. Facing dangers and disease, those brave few suffered and died for this idea of freedom to worship God, or so I was taught...

As the population grew and colonies were established, a handful of God-fearing men decided that England’s taxation was unfair and set out an edict with these immortal words: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. These men risked their lives for this notion of freedom and acknowledged “Nature’s God” as their inspiration for action, or so I was taught...

In declaring the right to freedom, many men lost their lives but eventually independence was won and the grand experiment, America, began and it began with the right to speak freely and the right to worship freely, or so I was taught....

Years later other wars against oppression, both external and internal, were fought to correct injustices that existed. Not all wars involved weapons, but also words and ideas. Each time freedom, not only for America, but for all peoples, was the goal. Brave men and women gave their lives for this freedom and are still doing so around the world, or so I was taught...

So what does America mean? I find the ideas behind the founding of America have been lost. They have been stolen and twisted by politicians, on both sides, who would rather posture themselves and argue against the other side instead of standing for something they believe. America has been torn apart by special interest groups who tell us whether or not what we say or believe is acceptable in their eyes.

America began because of religious persecution, but now I live in an America where freedom to worship is fine as long as you hide yourself so that no one else can hear you. I live in an America where I, as a Christian, cannot proclaim myself or exercise my rights as such without offending someone. I live in an America where freedom for Christians is quickly becoming a lie.

So who is to blame? We can only blame ourselves for letting our freedom slip away, but that’s what happens when the freedom is man-made and when we ourselves relinquish our rights by not standing up for them. Our forefathers believed they were God-given rights. Brave Americans have fought and died for our right to worship and we have thrown it all away.

Thank God that freedom, real freedom does not come from the hands of man, or so I proudly believe.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Game Day Central

Better late than never... I've written skits to be used with Lifeway's Game Day Central VBS program. Our hero, Dexter, takes the VBS Althetes (kids) for a behind the scenes tour of Game Day Central, only on ESPN, the Euphrates Sports Programming Network. Each skit introduces the key concept for the corresponding day of VBS.

All 5 skits for only $2.50. Give your Althetes your best by teaching them to be their best in all things.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

This day, Friday, almost 2000 years ago, a man was executed. This man was no ordinary man, however, this was God made in human form. This day He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor 5:21). I can’t imagine the suffering that Jesus went through in just a matter of hours. Any lesser man (than the Son of God) could not have bore the burden.

I woke up this morning with the desire to read Six Hours One Friday by Max Lucado over this Easter weekend. I’ve not read very far into it yet but already I have found a gem worth sharing. Mr. Lucado points out something I had never considered in the story of the woman at the well-

She left her water pot with Jesus.

The water pot, her burden, which she carried to the well, was left there beside Jesus as she ran to tell others that she had met the Messiah. Now I realize at some point this woman probably needed her water pot and went back to get it and that’s where the metaphor breaks down. Praise God that when we lay our burdens at the feet of Jesus we never need to pick them up.

Are you carrying a water pot? I pray that you will lay your burden down and this is an excellent day to start. Happy Easter.

The woman at the well is found in John 4.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I have found a very cool blog dedicated to self improvement. Brian Kim - Check it out.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

As Easter approaches, I wanted to share the lyrics of one of my favorite Petra songs (from Wake Up Call). The last verse has a lot of meaning. Hear a clip here.

Marks of the Cross
Matthew 10:39, Luke 9:62

These days shallow and feeble resolve abound
And true devotion and passionate fervor are seldom found
But there are those who often feel they're all alone
Those of whose identities are known
By the mark of the crucified Son

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
These are the marks of the cross
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line
Forgetting what you leave behind
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross

These days the search for detachment and solitude
Lead to retreating to fortresses no one would dare intrude
Then there are those whose restless burdens start to show
Those who unmistakably most know
There's no crown 'til we suffer the cross

All our identity rests in the knowledge
Of who we’re created to be
We are His workmanship, made in His image
For all of creation to see
The marks of His pain and His glory

Friday, March 09, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Check out this performance.

Thanks to Tom at Puppeteers Unite for alerting me to this.