Ths is a repost from April, 2010 as we prepare for Resurrection programs and presentations....

ANGELS: Who do you seek in the tomb, O Christians?
MARYS: Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified, O heavenly ones.
ANGELS: He is not here. He is risen. Go and annound that He is risen from the tomb as foretold.
~ Quem quaritis - (Whom do you seek?) c.950
     This is the season when many churches are planning productions for  Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Day (Easter). These presenations include drama, dance, pageantry, or a combination of all three. In larger churches, cast members may audition for these productions, or in smaller ministries everyone is invited to participate, making it an exciting time for teaching and learning.
     Liturgical drama as we know it, evolved from a four-lined 10th century scene known as a trope. The trope was a short musical interlude in the church service that was used to teach the Bible to those who could not read Latin. The earliest and best known trope was the Quem quaritis - "Whom do you seek", performed during the Easter service. Over time, the dramas became more complex, involving more detail with costumes, props, and characters. The most popular form of liturgical drama was the Passion Play, depicting the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and has taken on many variations through the years. It is amazing that the elaborate church productions that we enjoy today originated from only four lines!
     Whatever type of production you are doing this year, there are some basic things to remember:
(1) If you have never been in a production before, have fun, and don't be afraid to ask questions. We are all here to tell a story that someone else needs to know.
(2) If you are experienced, don't look down on those who are less skilled than you are, and be available to share your knowledge with others -- but remember that there is only one director.
(3) Be on time! in professional theatre, the saying is: "If you are on time, you're late", meaning, if a rehearsal starts at 7:00, be there at 6:45, ready to work at 7:00 and please don't drag in at 7:15. (That goes for directors too)!
(4) Study your character, understand their motivation. Even if you are part of a crowd that yells: "Crucify Him!" know why you are saying it, and to whom you are talking.  Who are you? a shopkeeper, a farmer, or a elderly person? What did He say or do that caused you to want Him dead? Where are you? When does this take place? Why are you part of the crowd?
(5) Don't talk during rehearsals. If you are waiting for your scene to come up, listen to what others are saying and doing and don't be a distraction. You might miss important information that the director will get tired of repeating.
(6) Mark your script with any notes and cues that are given to you with a highlighter and a pencil, and remember them.
(7) Know your lines and the ones before and after yours, just in case someone misses a cue and you have to keep going. You would be surprised how often this happens, even in professional theatre. Remember, this is live, so there are no retakes.
(8) Speak clearly. There is something actors are taught to do on stage, which is called "popping consonants". It means to pronounce the beginning and ending of each word, so much that even though it sounds exaggerated to you, the people in the audience will hear the words normally.
 (9) Project your voice - speak so the people on the back row and in the balcony can hear you. This does not mean to yell your lines, but it does mean that you have to use your diaphragm to speak. If you are not familiar with this, your director will be able to teach you.
(10) To combat stage fright, stay focused on what you are doing, and remember that people in the audience want you to do well. If you make a mistake, don't show it, even if you have to make something up to get back on track. It has happened to everyone.

    Last of all, be excited about going on stage for Christ, and don't forget your Passion for Him!


The Hem of My Garment

     I remember going on the bus to the fabric store downtown with my grandmother, who was a professional seamstress. I watched while she inspected yardage, looking for the tiniest flaw and haggling with the shop owner to get the best price, recognizing quality fabric and knowing its worth. As she sewed, she would often sing an old hymn called She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment:

Oh, touch the hem of His garment!
  And thou, too, shalt be free!
His saving power this very hour
    Shall give new life to thee!

  ~by G.F. Root

     Among movement ministries, there has been a welcome increase in the number of garment makers, bringing a wide variety of styles and price ranges from which to choose. The downside of this is that some garment makers have become competitive and territorial, and some dancers have become more concerned with buying expensive garments than enriching their spiritual man. We should always invest in the best garments we can afford, but we don't have to purchase all of them at once! And we definitely should not be made to feel that the God's anointing will not be upon us if our garments are not the most elaborate, or  look down on those who wear garments that are simply made.  Remember that the anointing of God was ON Christ before it was IN His garment (Mark 5: 27-30), and the anointing also moved through Peter's shadow when he walked past people (Acts 5:25).
     God works from the inside out (Acts 1:8), and whatever we wear is secondary to what is in our hearts. Wearing beautiful garments means nothing if we are empty on the inside, have no Christ-consciousness towards others, or are hiding insecurities about ourselves underneath what we have on. God is All-Powerful, and can take someone who knows absolutely nothing about garments and move through them for His glory---because their hearts are pure (I Sam 16:7). So, before you put on that beautful dance garment, remember that what you are wearing inside is even more important than what is seen with the natural eye.

    Be blessed by this video...


Risk Takers

positive expressions
   unique communications
words out of context, redefined to fit a new dimension
    with the uninhibited totality of prose, given over to inspiration,
the impossible suddenly becomes plausible
and instead of asking "Why?" we begin to ask: "Why not".
(c) 2008 Poetry of Motion!

How often have we condensed our speech to fit into another's way of thinking, putting ourselves into a box and afterwards finding ourselves unable to get out? And if we manage to find our way out, how quickly do we get into a similar situation where we end up in the box again?
To live well, we must learn how to live dangerously, by any means necessary. Keeping ourselves out of the box may mean that we are alone much of the time, but sometimes it is the only way to stay alive.
Look closely around you and you will see, that there are people in your life who carry boxes, ready for you to occupy. It will be your decision to get into the box to keep the people in your life or to refuse to occupy the box they have prepared for you, and risk losing them forever.

I pray that you would become a risk taker.


Ministry or Performance? Pt. 2

     In our last discussion, we learned from Webster's Dictionary that the word performance refers to a public presentation, and also explored some of the controversy surrounding the use of that word in the Worship Arts Community. Performance has often been confused with entertainment, which is to amuse, or divert. Worship Artists always present an aspect of God's Word to their audience through their art-form, which transcends entertainment So, the goal of a worship artist is never to entertain, but to leave something of God with the audience when they perform, which is equivalent to ministry. Let's look further at some of the roots of this misunderstanding.
     The article entitled The Prejudice Against Theatre by Debra Bruch, Ph.D., states that many of the beliefs that Christians have about arts in the church came from theatre practices during the Roman Empire. At that time, theatre was used to persecute Christians and even massacre them in horrendous ways, which was very entertaining to the Romans who would commit all kinds of indecent acts while watching the Christians being tortured. Entertainment was not just a simple diversion to them, but a means of genocide. Because of this, the early Church leaders discouraged Christians from attending the theatre, and actors who did not leave acting were not allowed to take communion, and could not be buried on church grounds. During the Reformation, actors and dancers continued to be looked down upon among the lowest class members of society. Since Christians historically associated entertainment with death and destruction, it is easy to understand why any reference to it would be rejected. But God's Word commands us: "Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do, and whatever else you do, develop good judgment" (Proverbs 4:7). It is too easy to believe and repeat what we hear others say, without knowing why we are saying it, or where the saying comes from. Words can take on different meanings over time, but can still hinder or harm others who have been uniquely gifted by God. Let's think before we speak, and not put others in bondage regardless of what words we use to describe what they do.