Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Monday
Jan022012

AARON & MOSES: SKETCH CARDS

To stage a Bible improv sketch, each actor receives a card, which describes his or her role. The sample cards below are for the sketch "Aaron and Moses".

With the sketch card, the actor then has the responsibility – as with any role – to get inside the character. With Bible improv sketches, the major sources of information are the relevant Bible passages. Because the improv sketches are set in Scriptural gaps, the actor also has to imagine the situation, along with the character’s backstory, feelings, attitudes, and characteristics.

Each actor sees only his or her own sketch card – and not the cards for other actors.  And the cards are different, with conflict built in.  So, the first rehearsal has many surprises. The actors need to remember the surprises and build on them.

The top line of a sketch card looks like this:

AARON & MOSES                             Exodus 3 & 4                            Aaron

Title                                        Essential Bible Knowledge                        Role

With the information above, you can now read the sketch cards for Aaron and Moses and imagine how the sketch can be staged:

 

Now that you’ve studied the cards, compare your reactions with mine. The next chapter is “Aaron and Moses: The Play”. It’s the sketch, written out as a conventional play. It shows in detail one way to do the sketch. Which version do you like better, yours or mine?

WHY DO BIBLE IMPROV?

1. Provide an entertaining Bible experience for those who don’t know Jesus or the Bible well.

2. Deliver an exciting way to teach the Bible.

3. Present script outlines that experienced improv players can do effectively, with minimum rehearsal.

4. Provide sketches that can be done anywhere, with few costumes or props.

5. Get the audience involved after the sketch, with the actors staying in role and dialoging with audience members.

-- We use shills to get the questions started, and the first question is: “What parts of the sketch were from the Bible and what parts were made up?

-- The question and answer period is often when the most memorable improv happens, the biggest laughs occur, and the best learning results.

-- At the end, the MC can say, “This show succeeds only if we stimulate you to read the Bible. Check out the passage we performed – Exodus 3 and 4. You should understand it better because you saw the sketch. If you haven’t read the Bible yet, start. It’s how you prepare for your final exam. But don’t start at the beginning. Start with Mark and Luke – they were written for you.”

And then, depending on the situation, we can witness for Jesus and have an altar call.

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Purpose of this blog is to compile a book for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright © 2011 by Jack Towe

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