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December 06, 2006

Playwriting and Final Performances

Xp01 I wrote a play last Spring for the Tulip Time Playwriting contest. Last I updated you, it was one of the three finalists. I made my revisions and sent it back in for the final round at the end of October. Blind copies (author identities hidden - in fact, at this point only one person knows the identity of all the playwrites) of the three plays were sent to three different judges. From what I hear, these are some respectable judges. Members of the Scriptwriters Association and one of the judges has authored what has become major motion pictures - sheesh!

Anyway, the winner will be announced December 15th. Union Street Players is going to have a staged reading of the first 15-20 minutes of each of the three plays and then announce the winner with a reception following. The winning play will be produced next May for the 2007 Tulip Time. The staged reading and reception will be at the Joan Farver Kuyper Auditorium in the Pella Community Center (712 Union St. - Pella) and is open to the public. Anyone who wants to attend is welcome.

Speaking of theatre, It's been great to have a few days of rest from our run of "The Christmas Post". My voice and energy level were pretty well shot by Sunday night. We had a quick 90 minute rehearsal last night to run the lines. My voice is still ragged, and I'm glad I have a couple more days before Thursday night's performance.

If you haven't seen it, there are two more shows to catch! Thursday and Friday at 7:00.

Chapter-a-Day Luke 3

But John intervened: "I'm baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I'm a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned." John 3:16-17 (TM)

The fruit of a true relationship with Jesus is life-change. The change might happen slowly & organically - or it might happen in a spiritual whirlwind that makes a clean sweep of your life in the blink of an eye - but change will happen. Faith in Jesus results in His dramatic work in our lives - which will result in our work for the Kingdom. Faith without works is dead faith. Faith in Jesus is the ignition of "a kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out."

What has changed in me this year? What has Jesus swept clean in me? What trash in my life has been burned? What has His fire ignited in me? Can others see it?

December 05, 2006

Chapter-a-Day Luke 2

This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many in Israel, A figure misunderstood and contradicted— the pain of a sword-thrust through you— But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are. Luke 2:34-35 (TM)

Yesterday I thought it interesting that Mary claimed she could grasp what Gabriel was saying to her. I made the point that I don't think Mary saw all the pain and problems that were ahead for them. At Jesus' circumcision, Simeon prophesies and raises another red flag for her. We picture Jesus as a man of peace and healing, but he was just as much a man of division and ripping asunder. Jesus himself would proclaim, "I didn't come to bring peace, but a sword" and "division." This sword would "thrust-through" his mother as she stood and watched his ultimate sacrifice.

December 04, 2006

Vander Well News Briefs - 12/04/06

  • Newsbox_3 The Christmas Post is a bona fide hit! We had a great opening weekend, with attendance growing with each show. Sunday afternoon matinees is usually a small crowd and there were people lined up down the hallway of the Pella Community Center to buy tickets at the door! The place was packed. It's a nice pay-off for all the time and energy Wendy has put into the show!!
  • Thank you to everyone who has been praying for Madison. She's made steady progress since the doctor changed her anti-biotic last week. She returned to school this morning. Praise God!
  • It was great to have family and friends come down for the show this weekend. We didn't get to spend as much time with everyone was we would have liked, but with Christmas around the corner we'll have that chance in a few weeks.
  • Wendy has been keeping so busy with the show that she hasn't had much time to think about her job situation. She's looking forward to a few more weeks of rest before she begins to think about what God has in store for her employment-wise.
  • Taylor is getting excited about her mission trip to Panama. She leaves December 27! She's raised enough money for the base expenses. She just has a few hundred dollars left to pay for her plane ticket.

Chapter-a-Day Luke 1

Yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say. Luke 1:38 (TM)

I don't know that Mary sees "it all" when Gabriel announced her immaculate conception. I doubth she saw the pain and problems that would follow. Nevertheless, the important part is not Mary's omniscience, it's her willingness. God looks for servants with simple faith and a willingness to serve, no matter the assignment.

Am I "ready to serve" today?

December 02, 2006

The Curtain Rises on The Christmas Post!

Well, things have been so crazy that I didn't have a chance to post yesterday. We've now had two performances of the The Christmas Post under our belts. The show has gone very well. When you have a cast over over 50 people (many of them children) of various stages of experience - well, anything can happen. There's been the occasional dropped line and stage mishaps - but the show has been really well received. We had 133 people Thursday night - don't know about last night, but the place was packed.

The most important thing is that everyone (cast, crew, & audience) has been having a blast. That's what community theatre is about: community. Can't wait to have the VW's & Kiethley's tonight - the Hall's on Sunday!!