Archive for November, 2006

Wicked – The Play

I’m grateful that Corey and Johnny invited me to the prequel to the Wizard of Oz. I didn’t know if I would like it. I’m not sure where I stand on the whole “Wicked” title and the fact that it’s about witches. However, I found it to be AMAZING with potential for great discussion opportunities for those old enough to process it (my recommendation would be mature junior high, high school and on up).

Elphabai is born out of an adulterous relationship (which you don’t see visually, but is insinuated) and is battling rejection and is searching for significance and her father’s love. I’ve seen the second half of that line (the yellow part) up close and personal in youth ministry time and time again. Glinda begins the play as a spoiled brat. We get to see her move from being inward focused to outward focused throughout the play.

I started to drift a little right before they hit this scene known as Defying Gravity. It’s where Elphabai has had enough. Wow, it was POWERFUL. I wish I could have of replayed it a few dozen times! Interesting enough, that was the students’ favorite scene as well. There was something that resonated in our souls. Read some of the lyrics.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by
The rules of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
And leap…

I’m through accepting limits
Cuz someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try I’ll never know
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost

With a lot of things, there is a dark and light side of the lyrics…depending on the PERSPECTIVE you CHOOSE to take. But what a great conversation starter. Especially the fact that it was the favorite scene of most there.

I understand and respect the views of those who support seeing the play and totally respect and understand those who choose not to. I know the verses that can support both sides. However, for me, this provoked a lot of thoughts within that will be fun to chew on in the coming days. If I had a kid, here are dinner discussion questions for after the play.

1. How does her mother’s sin (adultery) affect Elphabai? What other sin do you see in the world that affects generations to come?

2. What deep hurts is Elphabai facing from the get go in regard to her relationship with her father? Do you ever struggle with rejection, significance or feeling loved? If so, when? In what situations are you most susceptible to feeling that way? (Hurt, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Etc.) What are positive ways to deal with those situations and feelings? (This question alone could take you all dinner long)

3. Who else in your life do you know that might be feeling a little green like Elphabai (hurt, rejected, insignificant or unloved)? How can you help?

4. What scene hit you the most and why?

5. How can the words that Elphabai said in the Defying Gravity scene be looked at as good? As bad? (Good: It’s important that you don’t let other people define your worth or determine your potential. Bad: Could stir up a rebellious spirit against authority which we are called to submit to.)

6. There’s a famous quote “hurt people, hurt people.” What does that mean and where do you see it in the play?

7. How do you feel about the fact that Elphabai, the wicked witch, turns out to be mostly good … and Glinda and Dorothy not as good as you originally thought? Does that confuse you?

8. Tell me about the transformation you saw in Glinda from the beginning to the end.

9. Some people would object to you seeing this play. There is Biblical evidence that supports it, what is it? What Biblical evidence supports you seeing it? Why do you think I wanted you to see it? Why do you think it’s important for me to download with you what you saw tonight?

10. What is the one take away lesson you got from seeing this play?

Yes, I fully realize that I’m probably the only geek on planet earth that would come up with disucssion questions for a kid I don’t have at a ridiculous hour in the morning (it’s 1:07 a.m.). The good news is that I stopped at 10 questions, I easily could of came up with 30.


Grace College Youth Ministry Students

A week ago Wednesday, TK brought up about 25 of his students from Grace College to observe Oasis. I had a chance to hang with them afterwards for about 45 minutes and cast vision for what GCC and Oasis is all about. They were pretty sharp. This is the third year they’ve been up. They go and observe a youth minstry and then process the experience together. I totally love that.

Turns out that Grace College kind of sub-contracts out to The National Institute (aka CE National) for their youth ministry program (I’m sure that’s not the correct terminology, but is how the business world would describe it). I think they’ve got a good thing going on. It’s one thing to learn from a book, it’s another thing to experience it from a number of different perspectives up close and personal. Both are important.

I was impressed with TK that he followed the visit up with a thank you note and a free t-shirt. Everyone can use a thank you note and a free t-shirt, it’s like pie and chips.

Just Do It

I was on my way out of town and wanted to drop a good friend an email. It wasn’t much of an email, in fact I almost didn’t send it becasue I didn’t have the time to write a whole lot. But she was on my mind, so I zipped one off and pray for her every time she comes to mind. Here’s part of her response.

hey judy,
…i almost cried when i got your email … just knowing that you love me and are praying for me is everything i could ask for…

Why do I share it? Because chances are there is someone you care about that you’ve been meaning to email that you’ve held off on because you don’t have time to say in depth what you want to say. Just do it. A small something is better than silence. One of my big learning points a couple of years ago was that if you fail to say anything, people begin to write their own story – even your own family and friends. A friend has taught me well that you can’t tell people they’re amazing, you care about, you’re thinking about them, etc. often enough!

Potatoes, Pizza, Penguins, Parties and the Pause Button

Zowee! What a Weekend.

It started at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday when we zipped off to Feed the Children to pack 30,000 pounds of potatoes into 10 lb bags. It was fun but they made me sneeze. Brandon and I took on this one box and conquered it in no time, then off to another. Not a ton of students showed up, about a dozen or two which is totally cool since we had 155+ last weekend. We had a blast and finished by 11:45 p.m.

Then it was off to celebrate the students who did the 3 week Bible Challenge through the book of John at 12:30 p.m. There were nearly 30 of us. We did a CiCi’s pizza run where it was fun to hang out for awhile, then it was off to the movie Happy Feet. I didn’t do my homework on this movie which makes me want to smack myself. I know most students didn’t catch what I caught, but I hated the Penguin spirits, inappropriate song and the adult humor that they tried to slip in to make it fun for parents and kids. However, there was some clean humor that made me laugh out loud and I enjoyed the storyline (incredibly close to Rudolph and the island of misfit toys though). Next time I think it’s going to be a 3 week Bible Challenge where we celebrate with Pizza and Bowling.

I didn’t think I was going to make it for the 20th year picture for those that have been at GCC forever. It was scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. and we didn’t get back until our scheduled time of 4:15 p.m. I called Loretta and she said if I busted it I could still make it. I threw on my shirt and jacket in my office (I didn’t think that people would appreciate the sweatshirt I had on that smelled like Potato dirt) and jumped in for the final snap. Good times.

It was off to service that night to celebrate 20 years. Very cool, very cool. God has had GCC on an amazing journey…AMAZING. Even though it’s been phenomenal, I really do believe the best is yet to come. I’m glad I get to do the next 20 with my sister by my side.

Among a half a dozen other things on Sunday, we celebrated my sister’s birthday. Great fun was had by all at Olive Garden. None of our family discussions ended in a trainwreck which was awesome. At one point I did sense a conversation that was going to quickly tank, so I redirected our topic. Family dynamics…they’re a great training ground for life, work and ministry.

I’m looking forward to the next two days. I’m hitting the pause button and devoted them to complete solitude at Oakwood. I’ll be working, but it’s a different kind of work. It’s not the daily rush to address the immediate and important, but a couple of days set aside to address the really important.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

Great Quote by Donald Miller in Searching for God Knows What

“It makes you feel that as a parent the most important thing you can do is love your kids, hold them and tell them you love them because, until we get to heaven, all we can do is hold our palms over the wounds. I mean, if a kid doesn’t feel he is loved, he is going to go looking for it in all kinds of ways. He is going to want to feel powerful or important or tough, and she is going to want to feel beautiful and wanted and needed. Give a kid the feeling of being loved early, and they will be better at negotiating that other stuff when they get older. They won’t fall for anything stupid, and they won’t feel a kind of desperation all the time in their souls. It is no coincidence that Jesus talks endlessly about love. Free love. Unconditional love.”

The Best Fundraiser Ever

Totally missed out on it. I’m on a conference call with youth pastors around the U.S. right now and they are talking about the bank they are making on PS3’s. They currently have one on Ebay with three minutes left…price right now $5,300. Ugh.

It’s Got Me Thinking

Went to one of Corey’s links and find this quote from Tommy Barnett…

“If you take care of the people that nobody wants, God will send you the people everybody wants.” I’m sure they have said that a hundred times. But it is true. Tommy told me, “we believe money follows ministry” and he also told me “in the last five years I have had 15 people give me $1 million…that never happened before the Dream Center.”