Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Another Year Is Dawning" by F.R. Havergal

As we welcome 2012, allow me to share with you the lyrics of poet and songwriter, Frances Ridley Havergal. This hymn is still considered as one the finest New Year's prayer of consecration ever written.

Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-1879
Another year is dawning; 
Dear Father, let it be
In working or in waiting, 
Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, 
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving 
Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, 
Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness 
In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning 
Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, 
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service, 
Of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training 
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning: 
Dear Father, let it be
On earth, or else in heaven, 
Another year for Thee.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to My First Love

If I were to write a list of the non-material blessings I received this year, going back to theater would definitely make it to the top ten. Yes, I had several opportunities to direct concerts, musicals and other events, not to mention our weekly Gospel Jam, but I haven't been directing or acting in a straight no-nonsense play for many years now. Sometime in the middle of the year, Chancel Repertory Theater asked me to direct a non-musical play by Paul McCusker called "Family Outings," and that production allowed me to collect a whole treasure chest-full of memories and character-building lessons, and I'm still collecting.

This project is also a major milestone in the history of Chancel Rep because we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, which led us to challenge ourselves to mount twenty-five performances of this play in various churches and schools, all free to the public. We had our premiere at the United Evangelical Church of Greenhills in August of this year, followed by more shows at the Grace Gospel Church, Grace Christian Church, Greenhills Christian Fellowship, Quezon City Evangelical Church, Jubilee Evangelical Church and Hope Christian High School, wrapping up the year 2011 neatly with ten performances up our sleeves.

I will be writing more about this play and our upcoming performances in future blogs, but what I want to emphasize in this post is that we should not stop pursuing the areas of artistic endeavors that we are most passionate about - in my case, it is theater. More often than not, our passions and interests are good indicators of our calling and purpose. But sad to say, for many of us, these "luxuries" need to be set aside as we focus on other more pressing concerns, such as "making a living."

This coming year, I challenge everyone to seriously pray about those things that you wish you had the time and the opportunity to pursue. The Lord designed our artistic sensibilities. He must have a much higher purpose why He placed these burdens in our heart, far more than we presently understand.

My fellow artists, this could be the year to rise to the challenge.

Welcome to "Curtain Call"

I've long wanted to create a special blog for people in every area of the performing arts ministry - music, theater, dance and other related fields. Not because I presume to know everything there is to know about it, but perhaps through this blog I could find kindred spirits, so to speak, who are also in the process of defining, affirming and pursuing their calling to serve God through the stage. Not because I can claim to have a flawless track record of faithfulness when it comes to ministry, but perhaps I could encourage and cheer on those who are likewise struggling in their pursuit of excellence and obedience in service.

If you are a Christian performing artist, in the broadest sense of the word, whether amateur or professional...

if you have acknowledged that your talent and gifts come from the Ultimate Artist, the Creator of the universe...

if you have made a conscious willful decision to use your abilities and the resources made available to you for the greater glory of Jesus Christ...

and if you have every intention of pursuing your higher purpose as an artist and your calling as a servant of God with excellence...

then I welcome you to this blog. Soli deo gloria!