Recently a friend of mine updated her blog and started it with something like this, “I’m writing in my blog…is that even a thing anymore?”
I will admit, I’m slow to follow the crowd. I waited until people didn’t really read blogs anymore to start mine. I waited until the craze of YouTube died down to start my own channel…you name it…I probably waited too long.
In thinking about my weaknesses—I think I wait too long to stand up and speak out as well. I don’t like being attacked…I don’t like arguing (I’m bad at it..I could never be a debater because I don’t make my arguments well.) I don’t have confidence in the way I read the facts, so I hang back until I think I understand them. So I keep quiet.
How many of you are like me? We just want to get along. We want to show the love of God, even now, as we see the attack on Christianity growing stronger and the number of Christians speaking against the evils of the world growing smaller.
The power of evil. The power of hate.
Here is the truth: If we don’t stand up for ourselves no one will.
You might not agree with every Christian with every stance they make, but I hope you will applaud their right to do so.
Watch our video below…it is sad to see how many hate comments have followed Chad as he took this stand. What do you think?
Until next time-this is just me-talking to you-from the wings,
Have you ever heard that “nothing is original anymore”?
I sometimes think that is true in theater as well. Or maybe we follow, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” instead.
Since “Wicked” came to stage there has been a serious trend to COPY the success of the skeleton of musicals, I.E. the rap of Hamilton lead to more rap in musicals…Jersey Boys led to Motown and much more.
I admit at one time I saw all the little cheerleaders flooding in to see “Bring it On” and thought about writing a musical about anything that millions of kids would want to see solely because it was about their favorite sport? or whatever” Think Karate Kid or a high school gymnastics team or Harry Potter–but I didn’t or I would have probably been filthy rich and famous by now.
Dispite the success of these copycat productions, the “wicked” syndrome is giving me a cause to think.
Watch the video below for why.
Until next time-this is just me talking to you from the wings–
I believe in imagination, dreaming, and love at first sight. I love cheesy Hallmark movies– movies–eveneven if there is fake snow. But none of that really involves a miracle.
When I was younger, I believed that miracles were something that rarely happened. I thought that they occurred in Bible times–but rarely any more. The older that I get, I realize that sometimes miracles are all around us, but we don’t see them because we don’t realize how truly rotten our sin nature is.
What am I trying to say?
Left to our own selfish desires–we wouldn’t show God’s love; we wouldn’t look past our own goals to put someone else first;we wouldn’t be kind or take the time to give and care for others; we wouldn’t forgive.
He reached into this desperately wicked heart of mine and helped me to see others and sometimes helps me to forgive. I admit. I’m worse at it than I used to be…and that saddens me. I really don’t want to become cynical or stop believing that there is hope for this world. Sometimes the news and facebook posts, etc., just steal that hope.
Today though? I believe in miracles. Let’s continue to pray that God puts a hedge of protection around His children so that the dark doesn’t snuff out the light. Let us all remain faithful.
Take a moment to watch the lesson that “Miracle” teaches.
Thank you, Rebecca Leland for sharing the stage with me!
It would make my day if you would take the time to follow us and share!
Until next time–this is just me talking to you from the wings!
Why is it that I have stories dancing around in my head, but the process is so difficult to put down on paper?
They dance and swirl and, in my head, are so vivid and meaningful…and then I put my computer in front of me and all creativity stops. I read a little, dream a little, watch things on TV, and try again. Sometimes I repeat that step over and over until I can crank out one scene or chapter.
Such was the process of writing, Tuesday Morning #Neverforget. To make matters worse I still haven’t fully recovered from my heartbreak of last summer. I’m better, but at times it haunts me and I’m just plain and simply….sad.
A sad person researching tragic events? Ugh! Sadness enveloped me…I would cry and have to put away the story and yet it kept calling me. I really didn’t know WHY it was an important story? Why this story would be any different from the facts everyone knew?
And then it clicked. Where was God? Is it possible to see God in the midst of disaster?How do you hold on to hope when everything around you seems hopeless?
That one thought became the focus of my story. Yes, the story is about the four flights that tragically crashed that day. Yes, the story is about the last words of many of the passengers on those flights. Yes, the story is about the people who stepped up and rescued thousands of people in the World Trade Centers….many losing their own lives in the process.
But then the hope started coming through. Lisa Beamer focusing on Bible verses that she had studied and memorized in the past. Lisa Jefferson committing to “speak out” for God and not be a silent witness. Countless tales of people who prayed, sang songs, quoted Scripture to comfort and heal. In short, people holding on to hope that God has a plan…a purpose and His ways are better than ours.
I do believe that.
I didn’t like reading about Joseph and his brother’s betrayal and yet God put Joseph into a place that he saved a whole nation. Maybe God gave Lisa Beamer that as well. Her book, Let’s Roll, gave us a picture of Todd and his faith and Lisa’s hope even in the face of great loss. He was just a regular man, but Lisa’s story made us see GOD. It is crazy to think that Todd went from ordinary man to a hero that has caused many to know God because Lisa wrote a book that told his story.
He’s in my story too…not just Tuesday Morning #Neverforget…but my story...my pain from last year that continues. I know God didn’t CAUSE the pain, but I know He holds my heart and that He understands and that one day He will wipe the tears from my eyes.
I would love it if you would follow my blog and better yet subscribe to us on YouTube. If we say something either place please share….I keep thinking God has me writing for a reason…maybe there is a message that someone needs to hear!
Watch below for thoughts from our cast!
Thank you, Rebecca Leland for your work on this!
Until next time this is just me, talking to you, from the wings.
Every week I think, “I want to write about this.” And every week I cannot seem to scrape together the time to write even a few sentences. I’m not sure why….I mean, it doesn’t feel excessively more busy than summers BEFORE COVID and yet every time I sat down to work on the play I was writing for this fall-something big would happen that needed my attention.
We went into the summer thinking we were ahead of schedule for our summer production and it literally came down to the wire…and all along I kept repeating….”I just need ONE day by myself to finish editing my play.” And it NEVER came. After awhile you just start to think forces are against you.
The good news? We are having a successful summer show! It is beautiful and people are loving it. In fact, we could probably add a show if we wanted because we are all sold out and we still have 8 shows remaining!
The bad news? It really took a toll on all of us. People were working non-stop to get this show ready. And I was doing a lousy job of thanking people that were keeping Overshadowed going in all the other areas. So I learned a lot of lessons this summer. I’m not sure I’ll be any better next time, but I’m trying really….really hard.
There are so many areas to consider in running a not-for-profit, but the key thing is that it takes people many, many people to do all the things and I am sooooo very thankful for all of them, but if I don’t make them know how important they are…I have failed.
So. Enough of the past…moving on to the future!
Next up….an original play I have written based on the heroes of 911. Please do me a favor and watch the video below…and then? Consider being a part of the team for this one! You can email me to tell me if you want to get a ticket, audition, or be part of stage crew, sets, props, tech or costumes!
Until next time–this is just me–talking to you–from the wings.
And before I forget…original music in our video is played and written by Casey Bender! Isn’t he amazing? And a very special thank you to our From the Wings editor! Thank you Rebecca for all you do!
When I was a freshman taking beginning speech we all had to memorize “The Ten Rules of Effective Speaking.” When we talked about it last year I’m sure I said that I didn’t really appreciate those rules in speech class and certainly didn’t really understand them.
I do now.
I want to be effective in my speech. I want people to listen to me and I want my words to matter.
Is it possible?
I think it starts with the core essence of who you are.
If you want your words to matter—you need to be the kind of person that I respect enough to listen to.
We have so much that competes for our attention. We have social media, and a constant stream of Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, that gives us a 24-7 watching window. Each and everything you watch or listen to has a message it is sending.How do you choose what or who is worthy of your time and respect?
Would it make a difference in the world if we all started to ignore the message if the messanger wasn’t worthy? I hope it would.
Let me know what you think about the second rule of the effective speaker!
Until next time this is just me taking to you from the wings–
Did you ever say this prayer when you were younger?
“Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should did before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
As a child I was full of worry and anxiety. My parents would take Bible verses and paste them on the doors and mirrors to remind me that God is in control and that worry is a sin.
Knowing that it is a sin doesn’t automatically help you stop worrying. The fact is you have to convince your mind and heart to trust that no matter what comes it’s okay, because you trust that God has a plan and that plan is perfect.
I remember praying that prayer over and over when I was young. Nighttime was always the time I was most fearful. I would lie in bed and pray that God would watch over me and protect me and that if I did die He would take me to heaven.
I was not doubting that He would take me–I was really asking that He protect me.
That was then.
Looking back, I realize that our world is far more dangerous than when I was a child. All around me are people who are afraid, people who suffer. There is no peace and there is certainly no unity.
Do you remember the questions you asked when you were younger? Am I pretty? Is there going to be another war? Do you think I’ll get married? What kind of job do you think I’ll have? Never once did I think that when I went to school that day that my danger might be that someone would come in and shoot me. I also never worried that someone would shoot my children.
And yet now, with yet another shooting tragedy we are reminded that our world is wicked. The drills children do in school are more than tornado drills–no–our innocents have to learn active shooter drills.
How do we have peace in this broken world??
I think of my mental image of Jesus. In my mind, He is sitting on the hillside and children are all around him–in his lap, by his side and His arms are wrapped around them. It is a perfect picture of Jesus loving us and especially the children.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
So many parents sent their children to school on Tuesday not knowing that it would be the last kiss or hug that they would ever get from their precious child. I am at a loss for words. What can we possibly do??
Pray. Pray. Pray.
So much to be afraid of.
And yet, I hear God’s voice whispering in my head, “Do not be afraid. Do not be Dismayed. Be anxious for NOTHING.”
I don’t know the answer, but I have to trust that my God will somehow bring peace to all of us and those who have experienced such devastating loss.
Tonight before I close my eyes I think I will pray…
“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
Until next time this is just me talking to you from the wings–
“Why, if you are interested in the country only for the sake of painting it, you’ll never learn to see the country.”
“No, You’re forgetting,” said the Spirit. “That’s not how you began. Light itself was your first love: you loved paint only as a means of telling about light.”
“Oh, that was ages ago,” said the Ghost. “One grows out of that. Of course, you haven’t seen my later works. One becomes more and more interested in paint for its own sake.”
“One does, indeed. I also have had to recover from that. It was all a snare. Ink and catgut and paint were necessary down there, but they are also dangerous stimulants. Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him. For it doesn’t stop at being interested in paint, you know. They sink lower-become interested in their own personalities and then in nothing but their own reputations.“
–C.S.Lewis. The Great Divorce (pp. 78-70)
And that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it? We have to fight to still be interested in God. We rationalize and reason and the next thing you know we don’t even see the snare.
It is a very interesting world we live in . More opportunities and technology than you could ever imagine. Entertainment has been redefined and envisioned and is BREATHTAKING. What is your responsibility? Do we have one?
I say, yes.
Just like God has given us responsibility and wisdom to take care of our earthly world and nature to perserve it while we are here–I think-He wants us to redeem entertainment for Him as well.
How do we do that? Where is the line on what is Okay to see and portray if it is done for Him?
Join the discussion here:
Thank you Rebecca Leland and Katie VanderKooi for being such wonderful guests!
Did you ever sing this song when you were younger?
“Oh be careful little eyes, what you see Oh be careful little eyes, what you see For the Father up above is looking down in tender love So be careful little eyes, what you see.“
I’m not exactly sure who wrote the song, but I do believe that it is wrapped in wise advice. Entertainment has many options for you to consider. Many of them are filled with language, nudity, and corrupt moral circumstances.
Why is this bad?
Because Satan is wandering seeking who he is going to devour. As the world slowly conditions us to not being as offended when we see or hear certain things…then our hearts aren’t as pure.
Did you hear what I said? Once you see something you CANNOT UNSEE IT.Once you hear something you CANNOT UNHEAR IT. If it is in your mind- it can make its way to your heart. This isn’t new to any of us and yet….we watch and don’t turn it off…..we listen and ignore the words.
Eyes. They can get us into trouble.
“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”
Proverbs 4:25-27, KJV
Listen! Isn’t that exactly what Satan did in the garden?
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Genesis 3:6, KJV
People! I am horrified at what is on TV these days. I’m horrified at the things that people are now accepting for the sake of entertainment. Please. Please. Be aware of what is going on around you. Please be aware of what tricks Satan uses when he entices us through our eyes.
So why then did I begin to watch the show? I was fascinated when I heard how popular the show was. I first thought it was a Disney show so I wanted to see what Disney was doing, but no…it is just a show with a Disney star and, people, THOUSANDS of people are watching it.
Please take my word for it. DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW. It is evil and you can never unsee it. I write to warn you. If people you know are talking about this in an innocent way and going to “parties” etc. There is nothing good about it. In fact, it might be too real.
Why do I write? All it takes is a simple look for Satan to plant the seed of temptation in our minds. Believe me that I think it is best not to support such shows and companies that have no regard for morality and are in fact encouraging corruption in our youth. Join me in speaking up against truth being twisted into a new narrative. I’m not sure how, but when the time comes we must be ready. Forwarned is forearmed.
Determine to equip yourself now as Paul said,
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
2 Corinthians 10:5, KJV
Until next time–this is just me-talking to you-from the wings,
Many of you know that the catch phrase of Overshadowed Theatrical Productions is “Theater With a Difference.”
There are many things that make us “different.” At the top of that list is that we don’t produce and perform primarily for entertainment. We perform because our God is a creator and has given us the means to tell stories. Some of these stories entertain, but many of them inspire or point others to Christ.
At the heart of being “different“, we also want to treat others with love and kindness and show them what it would be like to be in Christ’s family.
This month I had the chance to sit down with Darren Lawson, Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Communication at Bob Jones University. To say that I was treated with kindness and love would be an understatement. True to their educational philosophy, they loved on me and shared wisdom and education to both Rebecca Leland (From the Wings editor and videographer) and me.
Have you ever wondered what kind of student you would be if you could go back and do it again? Or how great it would be if things were like they are now–back then? Or maybe even wondered if you should have majored in something different?
Darren answered all the things I have always wanted to know.
There are many reasons you should watch the video below, but I’ll start with this one–
If you have ever wondered if there is a place for you in the arts and what that would look like on many different levels…start here.
I am so humbled to have had Darren, David Lurtey, and Kathryn Gamet take time out of their busy schedules and encourage us, insprire us, and teach us. Thank you all for pouring into, not only your students, but us old grads and friends as well. It was an amazing experience.
I hope you will all watch the video below. Remember to follow us on this platform as well as YouTube.
Dean Discussions | Interview with Darren Lawson Pt 1
Until next time–this is just me talking to you–from the wings.