A few months ago my brother called me to let me know he’d be in the state, and we tried to meet up (though it didn’t work out). He was going to be visiting his girlfriend, Cristina. The week he called me though, she was getting ready to visit Ireland. I took the opportunity to ask if he could ask her to get me some sort of keychain or something with “Erin” written on it.
Ever since my school announced and finished construction on its new theatre, and the first production season in that theatre, I’ve been counting down the days to see the final performance: Phantom of the Opera. We are actually one of the first colleges to be able to get the rights to do this performance…I guess the rights become available after a show has spent a certain amount of time on Broadway. While in college my girl friends and I always “talked” about seeing shows here, but never did it. So we themed the night “little black dress night.”
|Dinner..they were out of crab legs :0(|
|The only picture from the show…since its copyrighted.|
The performance was amazing! *Warning* If you haven’t seen the show yet, please wait to read this. The show opened to an auction, exactly like the movie in 2004. It seems slow, then the auctioneer says, “Let’s see if we can’t scare these ghosts away” Then, they raise the chandelier over the audience in tandem with the amazing overture music. It was an incredible hair raising moment–to be part of the show in that manner.
The characters acted their parts perfectly! My favorites included Carlotta, and Meg. Much of the show is very similar to the recent movie, but also included other smaller scenes and songs that helps to explain the overall story and plot better.
My favorite scene was when Christine and the Phantom entered through the mirror and traveled through the bowels of the Opera House. I was wondering how they would do this scene. There was smoke, and some sort of motor powered boat that they traveled around in on stage. Once they arrived to the Phantom’s lair there were actors dressed in black costumes holding lights, in essence being the candelabras. They danced around Christine, and were even hanging from the ceiling. This led to a funny moment when one of them was unable to balance his body weight; he got quite a bit of blood rushing to the brain.
Other creative uses of the stage included: the Phantom taunting the audience and characters from the catwalks, the viscount and new managers of the Opera were sitting in box suites set on the edges of the stage, and using the depth/backstage area of the stage to create the labyrinth of the Opera’s backstage area.
Overall, it was an amazing experience! I love the story and music from Phantom, and watching it live was perfect. The cast was able to surpass the expectations of the audience for such a well-known production.
When I was a kid, I often used to bounce around the living room pretending to be a ballerina performing to the soundtrack from the Lion King, or attempting twirls on the wooden plank dividers on the playground. These stunts usually resulted in landing on the side of my foot, bruising my ankle.
I am still that clutzy young girl who has slidden down the stairs head first on more than one occasion. (This has caused a severe fear of walking down high/long flights of stairs. This is often why avoid high heeled shoes, considering that I can trip over “thick” air in tennis shoes).
The true disappointment is the lack of grace and composure in my personality. I desire to be that woman who’s gentle and peaceful spirit is evident in her outward appearance. I want to be the dainty hostess who is kind to ask questions of others, instead of yammering about herself. I want to be the woman who guards her emotions instead of being subject to them. I want to be secure in my identity as a woman in Christ, that I do not have to be anything else: competitive, perfect, witty, funny, or feisty.
To be fair, I’m not sure how much of that is an imagined persona considering I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who completely embodies those traits. My encouragement is found in Philippians 1:6. The promise that Christ will finish what He began in my life. Of course, the trick is getting caught up in His plan for my life, and not my own.
Maybe the best description is that I want to radiate as a grace filled woman; to reflect God’s love from His acts of redemption and forgiveness.
And yet, He graciously uses us in our imperfections!
2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us
I am the clay–He is the Potter.
How it works is that the wheel must spin the clay as the Potter molds it, such is our experience in life. We must continue, as He invisibly molds all of our aspects into a clay pot that will most show His glory, not our own.
POST EDIT: Literally moments after writing this post, I began research for a paper I have to write this weekend. I read the words in John Piper’s Sex and the Supremacy of Christ:
“A gentle and quiet spirit is not a personality type. A simple definition for a gentle and quiet spirit is a steadfast peace because of a steadfast trust in God” (Piper, 2005, p.205).
Oh, God makes me laugh in His irony!
Being a Baptist located in the southern half of the country (yes sweet tea is my blood type) Palm Sunday may have been a special day at church, but it is not a special day within the community. According to the Pastor on Sunday, in the North East, Palm Sunday means that many businesses will shut down, and he was surprised when he relocated that this was not the case in the Bible Belt.
Personally, Palm Sunday was educational, often accompanied with a drama presentation, maybe some giant leaf fronds, or singing, most often it was gearing up for Easter itself. However, during the Pastor’s message the overriding principles of Palm Sunday struck me.
You’ve probably heard the story tons of times: Jesus is in the town, He rides a donkey, the people throw their coats down on the road, they wave palm fronds, and shout “Hosanna.” (Of course only to have their opinions about him change within the next few days). They thought their foretold King was coming, and they did get that part right. The problem is, that they imagined Jesus and His purpose to fit their plans. They had false expectations. It is true that Jesus came to save the people, but instead, to save them from their sins, not to (immediately) save them from the oppression of Rome. They expected a conquering King who would lead them to victory, and Jesus instead showed him a compassionate lamb who would go wordlessly to the slaughter. (And trust me, Jesus is not the “love only type”…He can bring it better than Yoda in Episodes 2 and 3. Jesus is all loving, but in and through His love, He is perfectly righteous and just, which requires the punishment of sin)..
It makes me reflect on how much I struggle day to day with false expectations of Jesus, how He promised my life would be, how I plan/think my life to be. Within the past two years I’ve graduated college, gotten married, and really begun my life as an adult. I am also the type that needs a plan for my life. I like having my agenda to write things in, to color code my classes and events (mostly because it looks pretty). I think that because I am a Christian my life should be the following: good (based on my definition), easy, without trials, and I nor the people around me should ever fail. Then, when those things happen, when I experience miscommunication with the Husband, frustrations with a paper I’m writing, or delayed in traffic, I can become so frustrated and bitter with my life. I think “you know, Jesus, I’m a Christian, I’ve surrendered my life to you….now can’t you give me what I want for my life? Can’t you bless my marriage, can’t you help me by never being stuck in traffic or never experiencing car problems? Remember, I’ve laid down my life to be called by your name” haha. Of course most of that is based on the ideas presented within culture that I am prone to adopting (the other part is my own sinful nature).
Exodus 20: 4-5a 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them
I have been the countries like Thailand, where people are literally bowing down to a Jade statue of a religious figure. It broke my heart, I was frustrated about how in the United States so many Pastors will teach on the “idols of …. money, sex, popularity” when there are people around the world who really worship empty statues. However, the truth is, to worship any false imaged, even a false image of God and Jesus, is just like bowing down to an empty statue with stone features.
|Outside of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand in Summer 2009.|
What false images of God and Jesus are you worshiping today?
Last Sunday a friend my group had lived college with was going to be in town viewing a theatre production, so we planned a group hang out. I suggested this restaurant “Stikfire” which I kept hearing great reviews about, but had never gotten around to visiting. I was looking forward to eating “food on a stik” wondering if it would be like Chicken satay from Thailand or a Brazilian Steakhouse.
After church we drive to the restaurant and we see the lot empty, the blinds down, and this sign:
I had finally decided to go, and its CLOSED???!!!
That would happen to me.
So, after some quick thinking we decided to eat at a local Indian restaurant…which I had never actually eaten Indian. I was hesitant at first, because I don’t really enjoy eating spicy foods. In Thailand the curry and other spices got to me, and I got sick of rice so I actually kind of stopped eating (Note: I do NOT recommend that).
I pretended I was overseas and tried a little bit of everything. I LOVED it! It was a tangy spicy, but easily overcome with neutral tastes like rice, vegetables, and yummy pita like bread. I went back for seconds (it was a buffet). That day consisted of great conversation, great friends, and great food. I definitely plan to return (maybe on a date night with the Husband).
Plus– Fun fact: It was the end of the missions conference at the church I attend. During that time they encouraged everyone with international clothing to wear it. So, I had decided to wear my reddish pink dress from Thailand with elephants on it. I felt that was pretty fitting for eating Indian food.
Indian food is now one of my new favorites!
|I got to meet their new puppy!|
|Ranking and traveling around the board.|
|Picking up a yellow task card and the blue pawn is in the lead. hmm who might that be? :0)|
|Oh no! Blue has fallen behind!|
|And Blue takes back the lead!|
|Blue is much farther in the lead now…|
|Oh no! They are neck and neck!|
|Right at the finish line…what will happen????|
|Victory: my advice and the task for the advice.|
I give this game an official 5 stars! :0)
In the missions organization that I work with, our biggest promotional events take place during CFAW or College For A Weekend. During this event high school students are checking out the college. This is the perfect opportunity to tell them about how they can go on a missions trip making new friends, AND earn a scholarship towards the college equal to the cost of the trip. Its a pretty sweet deal, I wish I would have known about it as a high school student. This was the final CFAW of the year, and this time our Directors and fearless leaders were going to be in Costa Rica. We had all assisted at these events countless times, but this time we would be leading them. The six supervisors would have to band together to lead; can I add that I really learned a lot about everyone’s personality and leading styles this weekend.
|Everyone worked so hard, I love them!|
|Our new pretty banners in action.|
Our largest goal is to get interest cards for people who would like to be called by our calling center, and to inform everyone about our Missions Seminars on Saturday. Overall, this went really well! We survived not clogging the hallway (this would mean the end of our participation in this event) and obtained several interests cards.
Friday: Johnsonville Brat Fundraiser
|I am the Queen of this Booth!|
|Sports Action Mode with my new Nikon coolpix|
|The video of this is hysterical|
|Team Italy and Friends|
|Great advice! Wish I would have followed it :0(|
|I was the stereotypical blonde damsel in distress–I hated that!|