Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Some Resolutions I'd Like You to Make

Happy New Year! There's something very satisfying, and allegorically Christian, about putting the past year behind and starting a new one, clean and filled with hope and purpose.
We all make resolutions, whether they are official or not, about things we'd like to do differently or better in the new year. I'd like to challenge you to go beyond personal areas, such as promising to work out at the gym more often, to offer 2008 to the Lord for His purpose, whatever and wherever that may be.
Figuring out what that purpose is doesn't need to be difficult. If you have skills and talents in the arts, God has given them to you to glorify Himself and to minister to the church. Resolve to do that whenever and wherever. And do it to the best of your ability knowing that you are in service to the King of Kings.
Resolve to:
·Prepare spiritually for the service you are giving. Spend time with God in prayer, in His Word and in learning about Him-- every day.
·Practice your music or script and come to rehearsal and to the service or church event fully prepared.
·Come on time. Make sure you show up when you said you would and don't have some last-minute excuse that causes you to decide other things are more important than the service to which God has called you.
Resolve to:
·Share the news about Jesus with those who don’t know him. Make time to get to know visitors at church (don’t just hang out with the worship team between services.)
.Invite your neighbors, coworkers, friends and family to church services and events. If you’re an artist working in a secular area, make sure your conduct reflects Him and look for opportunities to share what a difference He has made in your life and can make in theirs.
·Speak positively about people, or don’t speak about them at all.
·Support others serving in the arts. Mentoring is so important. Find a mentor or be one.

I love this contract from Pastor Rick Warren. Sign it and make 2008 your best year ever!

A Call to Radical Commitment
By Rick Warren
Today I am stepping across the line. I'm tired of waffling, and I'm finished with wavering. I've made my choice; the verdict is in; and my decision is irrevocable. I'm going God's way. There's no turning back now!
I will live the rest of my life serving God's purposes with God's people on God's planet for God's glory. I will use my life to celebrate his presence, cultivate his character, participate in his family, demonstrate his love, and communicate his Word.
Since my past has been forgiven, and I have a purpose for living and a home awaiting in heaven, I refuse to waste any more time or energy on shallow living, petty thinking, trivial talking, thoughtless doing, useless regretting, hurtful resenting, or faithless worrying.
Instead I will magnify God, grow to maturity, serve in ministry, and fulfill my mission in the membership of his family.
Because this life is preparation for the next, I will value worship over wealth, “we” over “me,” character over comfort, service over status, and people over possessions, position, and pleasures. I know what matters most, and I'll give it all I've got. I'll do the best I can with what I have for Jesus Christ today.
I won't be captivated by culture, manipulated by critics, motivated by praise, frustrated by problems, debilitated by temptation, or intimidated by the devil. I'll keep running my race with my eyes on the goal, not the sidelines or those running by me.
When times get tough, and I get tired, I won't back up, back off, back down, back out, or backslide. I'll just keep moving forward by God's grace. I'm Spirit-led, purpose-driven and mission-focused, so I cannot be bought, I will not be compromised, and I shall not quit until I finish the race.
I'm a trophy of God's amazing grace, so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God entrusts to me.
To my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I say: However, whenever, wherever, and whatever you ask me to do, my answer in advance is yes! Wherever you lead and whatever the cost, I'm ready. Anytime. Anywhere. Anyway.
Whatever it takes Lord; whatever it takes!
I want to be used by you in such a way, that on that final day I'll hear you say, "Well done, thou good and faithful one. Come on in, and let the eternal party begin!"
What does this mean?
Today, I affirm this commitment to God and submit to his plans and purposes for my life, no matter what it takes.

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Contract used with permission. Click on the space here for a free subscription to The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional, your daily inspiration via email. © 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

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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/.

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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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