Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Being in the World, But Not of It

This week I began Beth Moore's bible study on the life of Daniel. She is a gifted teacher and has real skill in interpreting scripture and making it come alive for today. We're looking at Babylon, to which Daniel is taken captive, not only as an ancient city, but as a metaphor for the culture in which we live today.
Babylon was the center of everything. Daniel and the other young men brought in captivity from Judah must have been blown away by all that it had to offer. The king of Babylon's plan was to find the most desirable young men, those of royal or noble breeding, good looking and quick to learn (does this remind you, as it does me, of a young actor arriving in New York or Hollywood and of a typical audition process? so that he could indoctrinate them in to the language, ways and religions of Babylon.
Daniel resolved, however, not to be defiled by food from the king's table not prepared in accordance with Jewish requirements and asked the person in charge whether he and a few of his companions may be given vegetables and water instead.
How often, I wonder are we in the performing arts field, tempted with choice foods from the kingdom of Babylon. The answer, I believe, is every day.
How many of us have felt tempted to take a role that might catapult our career,(or just pay the rent) but which calls for us to appear immodestly, or to use unacceptable language, or to appear in sexually immoral scenes? How many of us interact with friends and coworkers who have adopted lifestyles not pleasing to God, but we are afraid to let them know we stand with Christ because we are afraid they will reject us, label us as "judgmental" or cause difficulties for us as we try to further our careers?
Let's try Daniel's approach and resolve not to be defiled. Suggest another way the line or scene might be played. I have heard many Christian performers share that they have done this and that their suggestions have been met with great enthusiasm and incorporated into the production.
Don't be afraid to let people know you love the lord. If you hide that, you keep from them a large part of who you are and perhaps throw away an opportunity the Lord has created for you to be able to share him with them.
By remaining true to who God wanted him to be, Daniel was able to learn about the culture he was in, to understand how it worked and to be a witness for God in it without letting the culture take control of who he was. You can do the same. Remember, we're aliens in a foreign land, just as Daniel was:
"Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives."
1 Peter 2:11-12 (The Message)

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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