Thursday, November 25, 2004

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now, let the weak say, "I am strong,"
Let the poor say, "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done for us.

Give thanks.

This Thanksgiving, by all means watch the football games and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Just don't get too caught up in all the commercialism. Treasure the people around you, and give thanks to the one who put them in your life. Give thanks for God's bounty that fills your stomach to overflowing. Give thanks that you own a TV so that you can watch the games and the parade after you stuff yourself. You'll find, however, that watching the games and the parade isn't quite as fulfilling as praising the Creator of everything. And don't forget the ones who can't watch the games because they don't have a house, let alone a TV, and whose stomachs are far from full. Satisfaction comes from giving thanks to God and sharing what you have been blessed with.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

What's It All About?

Sermon: What's It All About? (Ziegler Award):
"There's a wonderful story from the tradition of the desert fathers and mothers who flourished as hermits in the early centuries of the Christian church. The story is told that Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph, and said to him, 'Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and I meditate, I live in peace, and as far as I can I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?' And the old man stood up, and he stretched his hands toward heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire. And he said to him, 'If you will, you can become all flame.' "

The text of a wonderful sermon written by a pastor that I enjoy reading and listening to, Anne Robertson. It won her the Ziegler Award in preaching and has been published in a couple of books.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Red Sox!

I almost forgot to write about the biggest sports news in years! The Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918! They defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series (ALCS), coming back from being down 3 games to none to tie the series and then to beat the Yankees in Game 7. They then took on the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Cards never had a chance to win a game before we took the title in Game 4! In other words, the Red Sox kicked out the Red Birds!
Hell froze over. Pigs flew. Money grew on trees. Charlie Brown kicked the football. The nerd kissed the Homecoming Queen.
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series!

2004 Boston Red Sox:

David Ortiz
Manny Ramirez
Johnny Damon
Jason Varitek
Orlando Cabrera
Mark Bellhorn
Bill Mueller
Trot Nixon
Kevin Millar

Pedro Martinez
Derek Lowe
Tim Wakefield
Curt Schilling

Bronson Orroyo
Keith Foulke
Alan Embree
Mike Timlin

Doug Mientkiewicz
Pokey Reese
Dave Roberts


Thought du Jour: Models vs. Critics

A quote for the day:
"Children need models rather than critics." ~Joseph Joubert

Why do parents complain about what their kids do wrong when they do exactly the same thing? If you swear, of course your child will! If you talk nonstop, of course your child will! If you don't do things in a timely manner, of course your child won't either!
In other words, don't carp about your neighbor's cleaning until your own house is spotless!
Hard thing to do, though, as we can see other people's faults before our own. We're all guilty of it. But still- it is not an unattainable goal, to not complain that other people aren't perfect when we aren't ourselves. We can't be perfect, but at least we can avoid complaining.

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

From my friend Cathy:

"You're boring. You do things the legal way."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Paul's Doxology

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."
-Romans 11: 33-36


"For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair- every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you." ~Proverbs 2: 6-11

"Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer." ~Proverbs 9: 9-12

The Priestly Blessing

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

~From Numbers 6: 24-26

Ran-dumb Thought du Jour

From my sister:

If the opposite of con is pro, what's the opposite of progress?

[That would be...Congress! =D]

Saturday, November 13, 2004

LOTR quote

"It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end, because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was, when so much bad happened. But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it'll shine out the clearer. Those are the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too young to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't, they kept on going. Because they were holding on to something. [What are we holding on to, Sam?] That there is some good in this world Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for. "
~The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Monday, November 08, 2004

Thought du Jour: Our Town

A quote for the day:
"Now, there are some things we all know but we don't take'm out and look at'm very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't earth, and it ain't even the stars- everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people that ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you'd be surprised how people are always letting go of that fact."
-Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Wow, so much has happened since my last post. Granite State Challenge ended and the play ("Our Town" by Thornton Wilder) really kicked into high gear. The final production was on Saturday. It was sooo awesome.
Backing up, before the play of course came tech week. The most high-stress time for me, as stage manager. But although I get stressed out- as my friends can attest to, I become a basket case- I enjoy the time that I get to spend there. You form some pretty close bonds under such circumstances. Sometimes I walk into a production not really knowing anybody, and I walk out with some of the best friends I could have. Things like that bring people together. Kinda hard to explain why. When you're working together in close, stress-filled quarters, you'll either make enemies or friends. Some make both. I almost always come out with friends-something I'm glad of. As I said, all tech week I'm a stressed-out basket case, but when opening night comes around- well, my peers on the stage crew said that the change was astounding. Fact is, opening night relaxes me. I'm rarely nervous- somehow I just know everything will turn out great. And any problems that occur, well, we'll fix 'em the next night. I just sit back and do what has to be done. That varies from play to "Our Town" it meant following along with the script, doing sound cues and some light cues, making sure the actors come on at the right time, and coordinating and helping with a few scene changes. I loved doing it.

Being a stage manager is a hard, sometimes thankless job. So what makes being a stage manager worth it? Lots of things. The friends I make in the actors and the crew. Being a part of the artistry of live theater. Hearing the occasional thanks from the actors, director(s), crew- just one person saying thanks makes it all worth it. Getting a front-row seat for the production. Getting to use a cool headset walkie-talkie. :-) Too many joys to count.

"Our Town" was a play that I enjoyed working on for many reasons. The play itself had emotional depth, and it really hits home when it is done well. The people were the absolute best. Directors, producers, actors, crew...guys and girls alike, they were wonderful. I was glad to be able to work with them.

After closing night, most of us went out to Uno's for a party. Soo much was midnight and we were drinking sodas, eating pizza and mozzerella sticks and nachos..some people ate pure sugar from the packets that were sitting on the table! We got a massive game of Telephone going (all the way around the five tables) and just kicked back and relaxed. I talked to Dan, Jacqueline, Betsy, and Ryan mostly...discussed movies, the spring musical, books, Betsy and Ryan's trip to Chicago...great times. Then Kevin drove Betsy and I back home and we were talking so much that he missed the exit and had to go the long way around...can't say I minded, it was fun to spend the extra time together discussing subjects too numerous and weird to mention.

Anyway, a few of my thanks go out to:
KEVIN, for the last-minute drives home, the backstage conversations, always saying thanks, being disciplined about your lines and keeping us all disciplined...
EMILY, for being a great friend, being very supportive, cluing me in on what I need to be clued in on, for always striving to be better, for always saying thanks...
ELISA, for always being there for a smile, for playing your three roles with such candor, and for always saying thanks...
EMMA, for being a kind, patient student director. Few people have the gift of being able to make people work together, and you're the most gifted person in that direction that I have ever met...
BETSY AND RACHEL, for always being willing to help me out and keeping me not too stressed...
DANIEL, SAMUEL, AND JACQUELINE, for the pre-practice movie discussions and political analyses...

There are so many other people that I could thank, but I'd better sign off...lotta work to do.
All best wishes.