Fireflies

What I would like to capture in this virtual space are moments of joy. Like the moment C.S. (Jack) Lewis’ big brother Warnie squatted down beside him, perhaps breathless, shirt tail coming untucked, holding in trembling, grubby hands a tiny botanical world in the overturned cover of a biscuit tin. Over the next sixty years Jack would go back to that crystalized moment and re-feel his delight.

For me, birdsong does it. For Connie, fireflies. (Until I read this, I thought fireflies were a mid-Western phenomenon, like flying squirrels. Apparently they’re a far-Eastern one, too!) I love the smells and sounds and stillness that draw me right into the experience with her: Deep damp earthy smells. . . bits of swirling mist. . . mountains beyond the forest thicket mirrored in the smooth-as-glass waters of the rice fields and silhouetted against a moonlit sky.. . little golden lights blinking and disappearing through the forest over the rice fields and between blades of grass. . . Careful where I walked. . . arms out, palms up. . . fireflies landing on our hands, arms…sometimes my hair!

The frogs and the river singing their night song. . . occasionally accompanied by a giggle in the dark. . .coming from a child enchanted by the little golden creatures of light. . . Children fresh from a Japanese bath smelling like soap walking carefully, their hands cupped–gently holding their lighted treasure. . .

[M]agical. . . honestly magical…

From http://connienaka.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/not-since-i-was-a-kid/
Originally posted on June 6, 2012 by Jessica Renshaw

 

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JESUS IS COMING (2): Two Stages

http://cclb.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=120675&programId=180200

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ISRAELI INVASION OF GAZA BEGINS

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“Immediate humanitarian crisis”–but not ours

Say you’re the head of the Department of Offense in Iran and you let everyone in the world know you’re developing nuclear weapons so you can destroy Israel.  Suppose Israel doesn’t appreciate the idea and bombs your labs and munitions manufacturers before you quite finish the first nuke.

You gather your guys around and say, “How can we wipe the little Satan off the map when they won’t let us finish designing and building the nuclear weapons to take them out? How can we stop their pre-emptive strikes against our facilities–when we don’t yet have the nuclear weapons for our pre-emptive strikes against their people?”

Someone has a great idea. “Bring civilians and children into the facilities and let the international media know it! Then the issue will be all about protecting the innocent children and not about what we’re doing!”

So you do–and it works! Now the whole world is turning against Israel because they have the chutzpah to risk destroying a handful of children as collateral damage when they target the labs and munitions plant designing weapons to destroy all Israeli children (and every other Jew on the planet)!

Now say you’re the most feared terrorist in Central America and you want access to the United States to systematically destroy it from the inside out. You gather your sous-terrorists and drug warlords and kidnappers and rapists and after you all laugh until your sides hurt at how stupid and gullible the North Americans are, you tell them,

“We know immigration control in the States is a farce and we can get over the border without any trouble already. We know they give preferential treatment to illegal immigrants over legitimate immigrants, even refugees, as well as their country’s own veterans and citizens. We know the President and Congress reward those able to bypass and break the laws of the United States by coming into the country illegally. We know laws in the United States don’t amount to a hill of beans.

“It’s a great game making idiots of the North Americans. What if we make it even easier and more fun? Why don’t we use kids? What if we kidnap teenagers off the street–or encourage them, by promising them a free trip to the United States, whatever works–and send them across the border, distracting and harassing the border patrols with unaccompanied minors who need to be housed, clothed, and fed–until they have to abandon the border altogether?

“Then–how about this?–what if we get the guards themselves to do our work for us, spending their time busing the kids all around (this will drive them crazy) while we saunter in, disperse, and create terror wherever we want to. What if we get the President to make it all about the children, calling it an “immediate humanitarian crisis,” instead of a criminal diversion, and saying citizens who oppose this nonsense and want to get back to protecting the border aren’t “compassionate”?  Maybe we could even get him to send out riot teams to help us divide and conquer.

“All they have to do is seal the borders, then take every child currently detained, load them aboard 747s headed to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, and seal the border so the problem won’t occur again.

“But trust me, North Americans aren’t going to step back, see the big picture and do the obvious thing: remind illegal immigrants that what they are doing is illegal and will be prevented, dumping the problem back in the laps of the Central American governments and humanitarian organizations. No, they’ll see it is their own problem. Best of all, we’ll get the American taxpayer to foot the whole thing! They won’t mind–in fact, they’ll urge the government to pay for the absurdity. They’ll be too concerned about the ‘poor little children’ to notice us taking over and instigating 9/11′s all over the country. Since we don’t give a damn about the children, the whole country will fall into our hands like ripe fruit.

“What’d ya say?”

 

 

 

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Everything

  • these circumstances: ______________________
  • this season of life:_________________________
  • this job situation: _________________________
  • this living situation: _______________________
  • this relationship I struggle with:_______________
  • this addiction: ___________________________
  • this temptation: __________________________
  • this thing about myself I can’t accept: _________________
  • this mental/physical pain: _____________
  • this which makes me angry: _________________
  • this which makes me depressed: ______________
  • this which makes me afraid: _________________
  • this which brings me joy:____________________
  • this for which I am grateful:__________________
  • this loss: _______________________________
  • this gain:_______________________________
  • this hope:______________________________
  • my biggest need: _________________________
  • my deepest hurt: _________________________
  • this thing I can’t let go: _____________________
  • this desire of my heart: _____________________

right here,

right now,

                                          in everything–

                                          I give thanks.

I Thessalonians 5:18

—–

 

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JESUS IS COMING (1): Why Jesus is coming

Our pastor, Jerry Rueb (“Reeb”) has just finished a wonderful series, “Jesus is Coming.” I’d like to post his video messages here over the next few Sundays. When you click on the link below it may take a moment to load. Don’t forget to turn up your sound. I hope these reminders of what’s coming will encourage you to “look up” in anticipation!

http://cclb.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=120675&programId=179812

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C. S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce” on stage

Having enjoyed “The Screwtape Letters” on stage three times, Jerry and I are happily heading out soon for the 4:00 showing of “The Great Divorce” in Glendale; there’s another showing tonight at 8:00.  From July 17-20 the play will be in Irvine, California.  For tickets call 1-949-854-4646, Ext.1.  Check http://greatdivorceonstage.com for stage productions in other states.

“WORLD CLASS THEATRE.”  World Magazine

FASCINATING.” The Arizona Republic

“A JOY TO WATCH” Charleston City Paper

Audiences agree with the critics that Fellowship for Performing Arts’ stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ THE GREAT DIVORCE entertains, engages and starts conversations that continue long after the curtain comes down.

Simply breathtaking. Creative and thought provoking.” Judy, Phoenix

The set and the effects were exceptional.” Gary, Kansas City

We are still talking about it. Mary, Birmingham

In C.S. Lewis’ THE GREAT DIVORCE veteran Broadway actors bring some of Lewis’ quirkiest, hopelessly flawed but still worth redeeming characters to life on stage in 90 humorous, witty and enchanting minutes.

Showcased in an imaginative stage design that transforms the world of the play from bleak and dark to lush and beautiful, THE GREAT DIVORCE takes audiences on a fabulous bus ride from a suburb in Hell to a celestial new world on the outskirts of Heaven.

Fellowship for Performing Arts is best known for its nationwide theatrical hit sensation, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. And THE GREAT DIVORCE—featuring the keen observation of human frailties and profound supernatural insights that are C. S. Lewis’ trademarks— makes the perfect choice for FPA’s newest production.

“Our challenge was to turn a complex theological fantasy into an accessible stage adaptation that entertains and provokes lively discussion,” says FPA Founder and Artistic Director Max McLean.

World Magazine found it up to the task: “Max McLean’s stage production of THE GREAT DIVORCE rises to the challenge, raising questions of eternal significance with disarming ease.”

”The actors are working magic…a joy to watch,” declares the Charleston City Paper. ‘As far as a standard theater-going experience goes it was surreal. As I left the theater, I heard theatre-goers talk about heaven and hell and the play’s merits and faults. If art is supposed to be beautiful, this production of THE GREAT DIVORCE is certainly art. And if art is meant to stimulate discussion, to make you think, to make you wonder and talk to your neighbor about your doubts and fears, then THE GREAT DIVORCE is certainly art.”

The Arizona Republic agrees, “Lewis lively wit and generous sense of humor shine through… THE GREAT DIVORCE succeeds bringing Lewis’ voice to life onstage with engaging performances and a dash of visual panache.

C.S. Lewis’ THE GREAT DIVORCE stars Tom Beckett (Bobby Boland, Epic Proportions and The Father on Broadway and “Elbridge Gerry” in HBO’s John Adams), Joel Rainwater (The Lion King, National Tour) and Christa Scott-Reed (The Pitmen Painters on Broadway).

Fellowship for Performing Arts is based in New York City with Max McLean as Founder and Artistic Director. Adapted by McLean and Brian Watkins, THE GREAT DIVORCE is directed by Bill Castellino, with the creative team including Executive Producer and General Manager Ken Denison of Aruba Productions, Scenic Designer Kelly James Tighe, Costume Designer Nicole Wee and Lighting Designer Michael Gilliam. Original Music and Sound Design are by John Gromada with Projections by Chris Kateff.

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