Friday, November 18, 2011

Blog Break

As much as I'd like to keep my blogging going, I'm too busy with Walk Through Bethlehem. So friends, I'll be back Dec. 12.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Walk Through Bethlehem (WTB)

Since I'm cutting back on blogging just a bit in November due to our Christmas play, WTB, I've had a few people ask me about the play. If you're interested, here you go...

The angel scene has really grown over the years. It's beautiful to behold.

Walk Through Bethlehem (click here for webpage)
Join Thomas, a shepherd tour guide, as he searches for the newborn messiah. You'll meet angels, Roman Soldiers, beggars, merchants, gossipy women, a grouchy innkeeper, and more! By the end of the tour, you'll find the true meaning of Christmas...God's greatest gift to us, Jesus.

Merchant Scene - This photo is from a rehearsal. When the scene is fully decorated, it has tents, authentic foods, fabrics, and every kind of bazaar item! Our set designer, Anne Hill, is AMAZING!
How I started WTB at my church:
About 6 years ago I found a website to a mid-western church that put on a Christmas play that took audiences to several stations around their church. They posted the script on-line and it was free to use. Once our building project was complete (4 years ago), it was time to try WTB at our church. I chose locations on the 1st floor of our church:

Roman Soldier Census Scene
Tour Ticket Desk (lobby)
Audience Waiting Area (1/2 Family Life Center)
Angel scene (1/2 Family Life Center)
Roman Soldier Census scene (choir room)
Beggar scene (hallway)
Merchant scene (sanctuary annex)
Women at the Well scene (sanctuary)
Innkeeper scene (hallway/door)
Bread-making home scene (preschool room)
Stable scene (chapel)
Salvation Story (library)

I've modified the script slightly over the years to add characters.

We have 700-1000 people attend in the 6 hours we perform!

Do you have any questions about WTB? If so, ask in the comments and I'll add and update in the post!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Taking the Weekend Off

I need a little R & R, so I'm taking the weekend off. See you next week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

See * Photo * Write

Here is my entry for See Photo Write over at 1st Writes!


Jamal heard the village shouts from his place on his straw mat. His looked over to Mama, but she didn't move. He pushed her arm. She only groaned. 

He got up and walked weakly to the hut's makeshift wall and peeked out. His neighbors were running toward a truck that three white men had just gotten out of.

Visitors were sometimes bad, like when the soldiers took his brother, and sometimes good, like when they passed out food and clothes. He thought these white men looked good. He glanced back at his mother. What would she do? He looked over at the satchel. He knew what to do.

And imitating his Mama, he said, "Mama, you stay here where it is safe. I will see what the white men have for us."

He put the satchel on his naked body and had to hold it up so it didn't drag on the ground. Then he ducked under the doorway's black fabric and slowly walked toward the crowd. He only stumbled once.

Mama would be so proud of him. He was the man of the family now -- now that Rakoor was gone.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

ShoutOutSaturday (S.O.S)

Every Saturday I SHOUT OUT a favorite blog or post!
Today's love goes to: Holly Lisle's Weekly Writing Tips Newsletter

I subscribed to Holly's weekly email on writing tips a year ago. The tips have been fabulous. Holly's style is not for the faint at heart--she tells it like it is, but I highly recommend them for fiction writers. So, if you want to learn some awesome writing tips, sign up. It's like getting free mini-classes!

Here are examples of some of the email topics she's covered in the past:

*Ask how.
*Why write fiction.
*Learn more words.
*Know yourself.
*Read fiction.
*Make your description matter.
*Plot loosely.
*Don't breed characters.
*Be an actor.
*Give your hero the best lines.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Writing Devotions - Part 2

Susan Kane from The Contemplative Cat had some great questions about writing devotions on my post on 1st Writes, so I'm making a Part 2 to Writing Devotions. Thanks Susan!

Read Part 1.

Writing Devotions -- Part 2

How do you write a devotion?
1. Choose a publisher and follow their specific writer's guidelines.
2. Pray for God to help you write.
3. Think of one experience where you felt God's presence or guidance.
4. What is the theme of this experience (what did you learn)?
5. Write about the experience and stay focused on your theme.
6. Find scripture that fits the theme.
7. Write a short prayer that fits the theme. 
8. Have someone critique your devotion.

9. Pray that your devotion can be used by God to help someone else.
10. Double check that you've followed all writer's guidelines and submit to publisher.

Should a devotion have an overall theme?

Yes. Your devotion should not be a testimony or life story. It should focus on only one experience or reflection. Devotions are short, uplifting stories that will help a reader grow closer to God.  Theme examples: grace, love, tough times, depending on God, etc.

Where do you go to submit devotions?

Here are some publishers of devotions that I've looked into:

Upper Room
Weavings (by Upper Room)
Alive Now (by Upper Room)
Pockets (Devotions for Children by Upper Room)
Devozine (Devotions for Teens by Upper Room)
Wesleyan Publishing House (Vista)

Granola Bar Devotions (on-line)

For more on writing devotions, read Help! I Want To Be A Christian Devotion Writer by Donna Shepherd

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bloggie Break

Hi friends, 
I need a short bloggie break, so I'll only be posting 2x a week (Friday and Saturday) for a bit. I'm hitting my busy time of year as I get ready for our church's Christmas Play, Walk Through Bethlehem.

Come mid-December, I'll be back to normal (for what that's worth...LOL).

So, what are your plans or traditions for the Christmas season?