Saturday, July 28, 2012

Restoring Love

Tonight we experienced a very different kind of history class. It was held in Dallas Cowboys Stadium with 65,000 classmates, and the teacher was Glenn Beck. There were videos on the Jumbotron overhead, a small army of live performers on stage and we did "the wave" eight times around the stadium cheering.

Nevertheless, it was just an American history class. The class was the feature event of a three-day long gathering that included faith leader meetings, political organizing workshops and documentary film screenings.  Yesterday tens of thousands of people gathered to volunteer at 30+ sites around DFW, from food pantries, homeless shelters, dilapidated neighborhoods etc. 
Before tonight's event began, the Jumbotron was cycling through quotations from people such as Gandhi, King, and RFK. In his history lesson, he passionately invoked the Civil Rights movement and the legacy of the Abolitionists. 

Beck taught the class himself and did so with brilliant showmanship. He brought to Dallas several striking physical relics -- "worth over 30 million dollars" -- to powerfully anchor each part of his lecture. He knelt before a blood-drenched beam from a Revolutionary War hospital tent. He held one of the first Bibles printed in the United State -- "printed by Congress!" He sat in Lincoln's White House chair, at Lincoln's White House desk, and read from a young lawyer Lincoln's personal letter denouncing slavery.
With this event following the day of service there was a distinct message that if we want less government in our lives, we need to do more.  American history shows us what good people can do when duty demands.  
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.  Deuteronomy 30:11

Monday, July 16, 2012

Six Flags Over Texas

Every summer we spend at least a day or two at Six Flags Over Texas.  Six Flags has a reading program called Read to Succeed that awards youth a free ticket for reading a specifed number of hours during the school year.  The great thing is they also award teachers a free ticket too! This program is open to public, private and home schools.  We road most of the BIG rides today like Titan, Superman, Runaway Mountain, Texas Giant, Pandemonium, Sidewinder, El Aserradero, La Vibora, Gun Slinger, Aquaman, Roaring Rapids and the Tea Cups!

“God has brought me laughter,
and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
Genesis 21:6

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jonah Vacation Bible School Night 4

Finally the fish spits Jonah up on dry land.  Jonah makes his way to Nineveh and the people of the city repent and turn to God.  The story tonight stopped short of Jonah caring more about his shade than the people of Nineveh that is a lesson for another day. 
I joined Mr. James back on stage to recap our story and Caleb portrayed a guard to the King of Nineveh.  I love the picture above with Jonah still having seaweed around his neck, nice touch Mr. Brad!

When God saw what they did
and how they turned from their evil ways,
he relented and did not bring on them
the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah 3:10

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jonah Vacation Bible School Night 3

Night 3 we continue with the story of Jonah with Jonah inside the belly of the big fish, or whale if you read the American Standard Version.  Ms. Ruby & Ms. Tracy did a fabulous job on the back drops for the whale and I love Ms. Jennifer's colorful costumes for the fish. 
This would have been a GREAT black light story, but our auditorium doesn't get dark enough for the use of black lights, too many stained glass windows.  Several years ago McDermott did the story of Jonah, the kids and I created a giant black light room where the youth could sit in the belly of the fish and learn the Bible story.   Black light is always a memorable teaching aid; I've used it with the stories of Daniel in the Lion’s Den and; Saul on the Road to Damascus.
for as Jonah was three days and three nights
in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man
be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matthew 12:40 (American Standard Version)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jonah Vacation Bible School Night 2

In tonight's VBS performance Jonah head to the docks at Joppa, which he should have never done since Nineveh is a land locked city!  I played the ship's captain, ala Disney-esq Captain Amelia.  There was a little sensitivity to not being scary pirates in front of two & three year olds!
For the first time in a decade I sang a solo in front of an audience. I sang Adele's Rolling in the Deep.  To clarify, all of my singing experience includes chorus/choir in high school and college and singing with my mother-in-law in Sweet Adeline’s, not solos!  
Caleb did a great job as one of the deck hands loading the boat.  Our Involvement Minister, Mr. Mark stole the show as the parrot!  He was wonderful! In the pictures you can also see the giant fish, or whale if you read the American Standard Version, that came out and swallowed Jonah!  

“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,”
he replied, “and it will become calm.
I know that it is my fault that this
great storm has come upon you.”
Jonah 1:12

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jonah Vacation Bible School Night 1

Tonight we kicked off our Jonah Vacation Bible School.  If you know your Bible or Veggie Tales then you know Jonah was a prophet.  In our opener tonight Jonah receives a message from the Lord God Almighty that he is to go to Ninevah.  Jonah knows that Ninevah is a very wicked town and does not want to go.
Having worked on VBS at the Owasso Church of Christ for a decade and then the last several years with Ms. Tami at McDermott, it is a given that if it is VBS then I will be signed up to help.  McDermott has done drama productions for the last several years but this is the first year to do a musical! Ms. Jennifer has amazing musical talents and rewrote iconic pop numbers to fit our scripts.  We worked together as she showed me where in the Bible stories she wanted to insert the songs.    I love working on the scripts because it is the chance to feed the kids the wisdom from scripture and insert humor. 
We began each night with our pulpit minister Mr. James introducing each night in a Mr. Rogers meets stand up comedy routine.  This is just a way to settle the kids down from the sing along and excitement and prepare them for the Bible story drama.  I stepped in as the Lucille Ball to his Mr. Rogers only I was the straight man and he was the comedian. 
Tonight Caleb was the dingy, slightly misguided Jewish boy that interact with Jonah after he receives word from the Lord. Frankie was assisting with her beloved four year olds and Abigail was working with the kindergarten class.

“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it,
because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Jonah 1:2