Friday, April 21, 2006


Tonight was opening night for the high school's annual Dinner Theater, performed by the Vocal Music Department. My wife and I began attending Dinner Theater back when our oldest daughter was in the choir. And now, the tradition continues with our youngest daughter, a proud freshman who is breaking into the wonderful world of vocal music. She was looking forward to the Dinner Theater, with only one stipulation: she did not want to wear a dress! Since the theme was "Big Band to Bandstand" and covered music from the 20's through the 50's, my daughter found the perfect period costume:

Meet the famous Rozie the Riveter!
Each choir member must dress in period costume plus design and decorate a table.

The Rozie the Riveter table (notice the factory as the "centerpiece").

Another pair of creative costumes
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's vintage Superman! The comic covers were scans. Had they been real, the girl who designed the table could probably retire, buy a fast sports car, and pay off her college tuition in advance!
Following a delicious meal of baked chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and green beans (and a choice of decadent desserts), it was time for the concert. It's 40 minutes of a non-stop medley of tunes spanning three decades (all tunes well before I was born).

The sillouette in front of the choir (a little to the left) is Terri Steinhorst. Combining a love of music, love of students, technical precision, and the work ethic of a Marine drill instructor, Mrs. Steinhorst never fails to amaze us with her work in the school.

It's always a joy to share the evening with friends from our church.

Ken and Jean are KidServants who work in our church's Bible Story Time ministry. They also attend the adult class I teach as well as maintain a devoted and active prayer ministry.

Lorna and Tracy, who serve the Lord in Awana and Bible Story Time, as well as other avenues of our congregation (Tracy is also one of our deacons). Their son was also in the choir...dressed as a 30's gangster!
One of our elders, Dan, also came tonight. And sitting next to us (or behind us, depending on your point-of-view) was Paul & Lynette and family.

So there you have it....Dinner Theater 2006. If you are a local, I hear there are still a few tickets available for the matinee on Sunday afternoon...get 'em while their available. And thank you to the high school choir for a wonderful evening.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Happy Easter everybody!
My oldest daughter just called...she's safe and sound after driving back to school following a whirlwind weekend at home for the holiday. She's got finals and then home for the summer. This just topped off a very pleasant day. Easter....a time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus! Our church holds two indentical worship services on Easter (no Sunday School hour), so I had the privilege of doing our Large Group Celebration (aka Children's Church) twice. Let me tell one celebrates like kids!

Some adults however....

I love apologetics...the systematic defense of the Christian faith. I love study and theology and all of that. And I love a good debate! I guess that's why I'm in the position of getting to teach children one moment and adults the next. But there are days in which I get tired of hearing the doctrinal "axes" that some people have. It's almost as if I'm all prepared to rejoice and have fun and get excited about the fact that Jesus is alive, and some pseudo-intellectual wants to rain on my proverbial parade.

I won't let them!

Yes, I know that Easter was originally a pagan holiday. So was Christmas. But through the centuries, Christians have turned them around so that we are celebrating something good, something true. So what....are we supposed to abandon the observance of something right because pagans once used it to practice wrong? That doesn't make sense to me.
In the last month, I've had no less than three articles come to my attention about whether Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday or a Friday. I will not bore you with my own insightful analysis or conclusions about this issue. All I will say at this point is that two of the articles make this a condition for saving faith and go as far as to say that if you do not believe in a Wednesday crucifixtion, then you are calling God a liar, have denied the faith, and are worse than an infidel.

Please....PLEASE repeat after me:


I didn't intend to blog about this particular subject tonight. But on the television right now as I type are four experts on religion trying to demonstrate that the Jesus of the Bible is a myth and that there was no resurrection. Line them up...I'm ready! But to the brethren, the ones who believe that Jesus came alive after being killed and buried in a tomb, I say, Let's take a moment, set aside our charts, and celebrate the resurrection together! We can dialogue on the rest later. For now...


Monday, April 03, 2006


When it was announced that Disney was going to make the Chronicles of Narnia into a major motion picture, children's ministry departments around the country sprang into action. Themed environments, lesson plans, and special emphases were created to tie-in to the December 9 release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (LWW).
Our church, however, had an already full schedule in December. So we sat out the motion picture premiere and patiently waited for the DVD release. Well, Tuesday brings the long-awaited video to homes and so we did a little Narnia decorating on Sunday for the kids. Our environment was not a special-effects wonder, but it had heart and it got the kids talking.

This is Dan, one of our faithful KidServants (and an elder at our church). He and I spent the better part of Saturday night getting set up. He built the "wardrobe" in the hallway to the fellowship hall (where we have our Sunday Morning Celebration).

The lamp was funny. At first I tried a black trash bucket with a yellow flame thingy on the side. Stick it up on the pole and viola! We had what looked like a black trash bucket on a pole. Then I tried to make a box out of black construction paper, complete with a panel cut out for the "flame." But it was too flimsy to sit up on the pole straight. So I decided the easiest, most effective route was a simple cut out. The result looked far better than my previous efforts (and before you ask: no, we did not try to get a volunteer to donate a real Victorian lamp).

When Sunday morning came, we welcomed the kids to Narnia! There was quite a buzz from the children and their parents about the decorations.

When the kids walked through the "wardrobe", we could hear them say, "wow...this is just like Narnia!"

Last week at Celebration, we began our "Countdown to Easter". Part of the countdown is a special four part "Playtime Parable" (for an explanation of this toy and video teaching tool, see my post here.). The series is called "Dorothy's Fantastic Voyages". Part one was last week and hooked up the characters from the Wizard of Oz with a wise man who showed them that wisdom, power, and love come from God. In the end, Dorothy returns home and decides to play hide and the big wardrobe in her room (I think you see what's happening here!). Part two, which was Sunday, was Dorothy in Narnia (yes, it fits, but don't ask for a detailed explanation right now). Parts three and four will fall on Palm Sunday and Easter and promise more surprises.

I love children's ministries!