Monday, September 28, 2009

With Excellence

When a church sets as one of its core values to honor God through the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of its ministry, watch for amazing things to happen. Like having 168 church members work for four months to produce and present a Broadway-caliber performance and to then give out tickets for free.

I witnessed this firsthand over the weekend as I sat in the audience for Christ Chapel Bible Church's presentation of The Music Man. The church exhibited excellence before the show even began by seating approximately 1,000 people in 12 minutes, giving out high-quality playbills, and luring in the audience with incredible sets to marvel over (i.e., a locomotive in center stage sprayed steam into the air every few minutes). And when the orchestra struck up the first few notes of "Seventy-Six Trombones," I knew we were in for a treat.

The cast's talent could easily have competed for parts in the Broadway version of this classic; the singing and dancing was flawless. The man who played Professor Harold Hill displayed more energy than Robert Preston did in the 1962 movie version of the musical. And at numerous times during the play, the stage was filled with fifty or sixty children and adults, and yet the dancing, singing, and choreography flowed seamlessly throughout.

The message of the musical is one of unconditional love, a love that we can all experience in Christ. Such love was demonstrated in Christ Chapel's production of the The Music Man as the cast and crew gave of their time and talents to thank God and to draw others to Him.

All too often, I seem to get in a hurry and offer God whatever I have left. Christ Chapel's production of the The Music Man served as a beautiful reminder to me to strive for excellence in all that I do because God deserves nothing less than my best.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Common Theme

Do you ever have those times when you start to hear the same verse or the same theme talked about over and over during a few days or even weeks? That happens to me often.

Most recently, I heard a speaker who wrote a book on the following verse from Joel, "I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . . ." (2:25) I can't say I've ever heard that verse discussed, and I don't recall ever reading or studying it on my own. And yet, within the span of a few days, I heard that verse several times from several different places and couldn't help but notice.

Maybe it's because I'm about to turn 35 and am finding that particular number is hard to say out loud. Maybe deep down I want to be restored to the days of college youth when my family was only 32 miles away and my friends were in the room next door, down the hall, or in an apartment just across the parking lot. Life sure seemed lighter back then.

But I don't want to take this important verse and bend it to fit my desires. Instead, I remain watchful, looking to see what God will restore possibly in or around me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to Blogging

The past two weeks have flown by. Many blog-worthy events occurred; I just had no time to write about them. So here's the recap:

The day after Labor Day served as our "first day of school" at work - the day when things start afresh with a new fall schedule. My small group kicked off its fall study. And then I attended the sixth annual North Texas Christian Writers' Conference where I caught up with Ashley Boone, Britta Coleman, and Mary DeMuth and spent time hanging out with Andrea, Michelle, and Tina from my writers' group. (We missed having TJ and Renae and Sarah with us!)

The next day, I had the pleasure of hosting my mom and sister for a week. It has been several years since I've had both of them here for a visit at the same time. So, this was the first time I got to take them to my church.

They were gracious enough to come up and cheer me on while I had one of these and one of these. With a family history of colon cancer, events like these will be part of our lives for years to come. Thankfully, I've found a wonderful doctor and had an anaesthesiologist who got me to sleep this time, so I am grateful that I have no memory of this event unlike a previous time.

With that out of the way, we were free to eat and shop our way through the city. But most of all, it was just fun to be together, even if it rained every single day they were here. We understand each other's humor and seldom go an hour without laughing. It's absolutely delightful. And it was a rare treat to have a week like this together before the holidays.

This week, I hope to get into a fall rhythm and get back to blogging more regularly. Thanks for your patience over the past couple of weeks.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Not much laboring going on here.

Just sunbathing.



And preparing to head back to work tomorrow.