Watch and learn…
The Undercurrent delves into the world of mass agriculture to ask how one company has such control over food supply. The name Monsanto was once synonymous with Agent Orange, but today it’s the dominance of the widespread herbicide Roundup which helps keep the company on top. But is the World Health Organisation’s claim that Roundup ‘probably’ causes cancer, cause for concern? And what about the company’s stance on patenting which sees farmers in developing countries unable to hold on to seed? Guardian Australia has joined forces with The Undercurrent – an online news show billing itself as an antidote to the five-second soundbite – for a four-part series over June and July. Brisbane creators Jen Dainer and Dan Graetz say it is the show they wish existed – so they created it themselves
I discovered Credo House online today and read an article from 2009. The title of this piece really grabbed me! 🙂 It’s a very honest article. Make sure you read the COMMENTS that erupted from folks who read the article. I thought it was interesting how some people think that God = ministry and ministry = God. In all things, God comes first. Is that true, too, for one’s ministry? Read on.
“God Comes Before My Wife” . . . And Other Stupid Statements
by C. Michael Patton
Here is a question I recieved from someone as a follow-up to my last blog.
I have a deep love for the lady who I’ve been dating and I’m getting set to pop the question to her.
I love apologetics. You know that. I love teaching it as well. However, apologetics is not God. It is not the gospel. No one’s ministry is God. I have told my Princess repeatedly that God will always be #1. She must be second place. I must put her before that without putting her before God. How can I teach and defend the gospel if I am not living it? Part of living it means giving my wife the proper place in my world.
So while I’m on that, let me ask you how you make a division. How do you keep up a life of study properly with a life of marriage? I know if I give all of my attention to study, well she’s deprived and that’s not right. On the other hand, if all I do is give her attention, well we don’t eat. I have to do both. I’d like your insight.
Let me start by saying that Kristie and I love each other deeply and we are totally committed to each other. However, we have not had a “good” marriage by any stretch. I am not sure I should be saying this. Not because Kristie would not approve, but because it exposes something that causes me a great deal of shame to reveal. I wish that I could say that I had even a typically decent marriage, but I don’t think this is the case.
Kristie and I are worlds apart. Not only in personality, but spiritually as well. Well, let me qualify this some. I am not saying that one of us is super spiritual while the other is a dud, but that we are different. Kristie has never resented my ministry and has, at times, served as an encouragement. But she is not that interested in what I do. Theology is not her thing. The same is true for me with regard to her priorities. Sometimes it feels as if we are like magnets turned the wrong way. Our relationship is, for lack of a better word, clumsy. We have good chemistry in a very real way (which I am so thankful for), but, from a human standpoint, we are not a “match made in heaven.”
There is a lot more that can be said.
I don’t, at this point in my life, have a nice red bow that is coming in the form of a “but…” I am just giving you some of the background so you can understand my answer. If Kristie and I were to allow our relationship to go in a direction that “seems” natural, I think we would drift completely apart, she in her world, and I in mine. I could very easily say to myself that my work and ministry are far more productive than the treadmill of problems that come by way of my marriage. My ministry could easily get separated from my marriage and become the de factopriority of my day (and it sometimes does when I am in one of “those” moods).
However, I would say from experience that if your marriage is not going well,nothing is going well. Your ministry, insights, and everything else will suffer when your wife is not your priority. And if it does not, then that may be an even bigger problem: apathy. Apathy toward your marital relationship. Solution: Redirect all passion to ministry. What a terrible place to be. Understandable, but terrible.
“But, but, I am doing so much good in ministry. I suck at marriage.” I know how it feels, but don’t separate the two. Your marriage is and should always be your first and foremost ministry. Even if it is not as “successful” as your other pursuits, don’t compare them. Before God, you are called to love her and give yourself up for her as Christ did the church, even if you are worlds apart. Christ and the church were worlds apart, too.
(Sheesh…what self-therapy here.)
“But what if my wife keeps me from ministry? What if she only serves as massive speed bumps to my ‘calling’?”
I try to keep this in mind: God does not really need me. As much as I like to think I am significant (i.e., if I don’t get this blog done, this class taught, this person’s theology corrected, who will?), my family must come first. It is so easy to forget this or to become bitter towards your wife. There is a reason why we are told to treat them tenderly.
Your passions should not be divided, but they often will be. When it comes to the big decisions, always choose your family. When it comes to the big decisions,always choose your family. When it comes to the big decisions, always choose your family. That is something, I believe, you will not regret on your death bed. God has numerous ways to get done that which we felt like we were supposed to. If you are married, your primary area of service is your wife.
“But who comes first, God or my wife?”
Not a good way to put it. Not good at all. It is like saying, what comes first, God’s commandments or God himself. Most certainly, there are times when you will have to follow God rather than your wife, but this is not saying that God will ever call on you to neglect your responsibility to love her in order to serve him. While it is true that you put God first, I don’t know how to separate that from putting your wife first. In other words, you put your wife first precisely because you put God first.
For those of you who have a passion for ministry, do not separate this from your passion for your family. Don’t become bitter, apathetic, or dismissive towards the wife that God has given to you. She is your first ministry. If you do well with her, you have done better than one who writes, speaks, blogs, and preaches for God to the neglect of his wife.
As hard as it is for me to say, if your ministry is not providing for your family, find something that will.
We officially started homeschooling when my daughter was 7 1/2 years old. Having, myself, been a product of private education, I naturally assumed that traditional education would be the best track for us. We went down that track and it was dismal and soul-destroying. It was only when I read, in a homeschooling book, that parents should observe what their children choose to do when they are free to do what they choose, that I suddenly woke up! I noticed how much my daughter loved illustrating. Her math notebook was full of drawings, portraits, fonts, fancy writing, and imaginative creations. So I started giving her more opportunities to just draw, read picture books with amazing illustrations, and talk to me about what she noticed, liked, and disliked about each illustrator’s style. Whenever she didn’t HAVE to do a lesson or study a subject, she reached for her pencil or crayons or felt pens.
Today, she is studying to be a graphic designer and illustrator. This is why I loved reading the above-mentioned article. Its truth resonated with me. Children are losing touch with their imaginative inner life because of the constant entertainment and clamor of technology, and the over-subscription to extra classes and extra-curricular activities. What might it be like for them to actually have chunks of time with nothing scheduled for them to do? Try it and see what you discover! 🙂
When people think about Shakespearean plays, they usually think “boring”, “too long”, and “hard to follow”. The combination of arcane language and obscure similes and metaphors make Shakespearean English sound like a foreign language. Finding the true emotion behind the words becomes a challenge when one cannot decipher what the words mean! Consequently, viewers can’t relate to the characters or their circumstances. Also, in many Shakespearean plays, actors tend to declaim their lines like a speech instead of just “talking” with each other. This lack of naturalness makes the audience switch off since the chasm between the text and felt experience seems unbridgeable.
The Court Theatre’s current production of Romeo and Juliet definitively smashes all of those negative preconceptions to bits so that people leave the theatre raving about the play, and exclaiming, “Wow!!! It was so much better than I thought!”
Here are the reasons the play deserves its laurels:
1) Stand-out performances – The actors are extremely well-cast. Romeo (Cameron Douglas) has the verve, high spirits, and passion of West Side Story’s Tony. Cameron Douglas is a superbly versatile actor. He never overplays his part but is always consistently true to character. He depicts Romeo as a young, eager, enthusiastic lover full of bright-eyed zest for a newfound love. Watching him evolve from young buck to depressed and suicidal lover was amazing.
Newcomer to the Court, Natasha Daniel, who plays Juliet, was feisty, feminine, and vulnerable, delivering a performance that was full of pathos, tenderness, and strength.
Bawdy Mercutio (Jonathan Martin) was electric and seemed to relish his role as the ribald, witty, cynical, fiery friend and confidant of Romeo. Romeo describes Mercutio as “A gentleman, that loves to hear himself talk and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.” Jonathan Martin’s fluency in the language saw him rattle off his lines with lightning speed as though Shakespearean English were his native tongue. Impressive!
Yvonne Martin, as the nurse, was flawless. Like very expensive wine, she only gets better with age.
Tom Trevella (Capulet) and Kim Garrett (Lady Capulet) have a way of demanding your attention when they come onstage so that it is impossible for your attention to wander. Their facial expressions, posture, tone of voice, etc. convey the distilled intensity of their emotions. Such a pleasure to witness professionals doing what they do best and obviously loving it! Even the minor characters, like the page who played Peter (Jack Marshall), were well-cast.
2) The actors obviously put in a lot of work to understand what their lines were meant to convey. As a result, they could converse naturally and fluently with one another, communicating the meaning of their words through their actions. Even if you don’t understand the arcane language they use, you are always aware of what they mean. Tremendous help when watching a Shakespearean play.
3) The play was skilfully edited down to 2.5 hours. Without any editing, it would have run for 3.5 hours, which would have been a real test for modern-day attention spans. Even at 2.5 hours, time flew by so quickly, you weren’t aware of the length of time you were in the theatre. Thoughtfulness and skill in the “literary surgery” was evident and welcome.
4) Attention to detail was brilliant. Costumes were luscious and opulent. The set was cleverly designed and versatile. Having an actual balcony for the famed balcony scene, was a real treat. Lastly, small gestures like the courtly hand-to-heart bow given by the players to each other every time they moved a piece of furniture on stage, added grace, elegance, and cohesion to the production.
5) Ross Gumbley’s direction was, as always, superb. As the audience, you sense that nothing was left to chance, and that everything that could have been done to guarantee the pleasure and ensure the comprehension of the viewing audience was done.
The play is filled with humor, passion, youthful vitality, pathos, and drama.
BRAVO, Court Theatre!!! With productions like this, you could very well create a new fan base for the Bard!
Romeo and Juliet
May 20 – June 30, 2015
The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch, NZ
Bovey Lee describes his exquisite paper cut-outs as “drawing with a scalpel”. Check out his intricate work below.
Also check out the stunning offerings of artist, Maude White. Patience + skill + creative vision = exquisite art