Sunday, December 3, 2017

FULL EPISODE SEASON ONE DAVID n GOLIATH

ADVENT 2017 - A SEASON OF HOPE ...

...AND THE ANTICIPATION OF CHRIST

The First Advent Sunday Divine Preparations


Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means 'Coming' in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.


The wreath. The wreath's symbolism of the advent (coming) of Light into the world is clear. The continuing lighting of the four candles, one on each Sunday of the Advent season, combined with the liturgical colors of the candles (purple is the penitential color used during Advent and Lent; rose is a liturgical color used only on Gaudete Sunday in Advent and Laetare Sunday in Lent) help to symbolize not only our expectation and hope in Our Savior's first coming into the world, but also in his Second Coming as Judge at the end of the world.

 The wreath itself is also symbolic. The circle of evergreen in which the candles are placed represents everlasting life. The seedpods, nuts and cones used to decorate the wreath are symbolic of resurrection, and fruits represent the nourishing fruitfulness of the Christian life.

Gathering materials for the wreath-perhaps on an outing in the park or woods, or even in the backyard- and assembling it at home can be an interesting family project in which even the youngest children can participate.

On the first day of Advent, we can sprinkle the wreath with holy water and bless it before the first purple candle is lit. The appropriate Advent collect can be said as the candle[s] are lit each day of the week, followed by the blessing before meals, if you use the wreath at mealtime. The second Sunday two purple candles are lit; the third Sunday, two purple and one rose; and all candles are lit on the fourth Sunday.

On Christmas Day, all the greens and decorations are replaced with fresh ones, and four new white candles, symbolizing Christ, replace the colored ones and are burned throughout the Christmas season. The Advent season is a good time to pray the Angelus for family meals.


Blessing for the Advent Wreath

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth thy blessing upon this wreath and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the Coming of Christ, and may receive from thee abundant graces. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Blessing of Advent Wreaths

Prayer. Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. You sent your Son to be the Light of the world and to spread his light of love to all. Bless us and accept these wreaths of light made from our hands. May their ever-increasing brightness be a sign to us of the approaching nearness of your Son, that we might prepare in joy for his humble birth in a manger and be ready to receive him at his coming again in glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Director/Screen Writer
Producer/Gospel Lyricist/Author
Founder/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts




Saturday, December 2, 2017

SEASON OF ADVENT

WHAT IS ADVENT?

Tomorrow, Sunday, December 3, 2017, begins the Advent Season; and will be observed until December 24th.  For many Christians unfamiliar with the liturgical year, there may be some misunder-standing surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. Some may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. While this is very well part of the story, but there’s so more to Advent.

v  Advent Begins History
Advent is a four-week period that marks the beginning of the Christmas
season.  It is a time of spiritual preparation before the celebration of the
birth of Christ.  In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is also a time of penitence.  The period of Advent involves reflection about what it meant for the world before Christ came and preparing the church and hearts for the true meaning of Christmas.

The word "Advent" is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming," which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
  
In this double focus on past and future, Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a congregation, as they affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in the world today, and that He will come again in power. That acknowledgment provides a basis for Kingdom ethics, for holy living arising from a profound sense that we live "between the times" and are called to be faithful stewards of what is entrusted to us as God’s people. So, as the church celebrates God’s inbreaking into history in the Incarnation, and anticipates a future consummation to that history for which "all creation is groaning awaiting its redemption," it also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to "love the Lord your God with all your heart" and to "love your neighbor as yourself."


Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Screen Writer/Director
Published Author/Gospel Lyricist &Producer
FOUNDER/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

Friday, December 1, 2017

ABRAHAM'S JOURNEY OF FAITH

INITIATION OF THE COVENANT
Genesis 12:1-3 


ABRAHAM’S 1,500-MILE JOURNEY WAS FUELED BY FAITH

12 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


This passage indicates that God separated Abraham from his idolatrous family, in order to make him and his descendants the messianic nation, which would bring salvation to all Earth’s families.


KINGDOM DYNAMICS
12: 1-3 Prototype "Kingdom" Person, FOUNDATIONS OF THE KINGDOM.

Abraham is shown in both OT and NT as the prototype of all who experience God’s processes of seeking to reinstate man through redemption, first and foremost.  In his relationship to God by faith, without works (Rom. 4:1-25). But too seldom is the second facet of redemption noted. Abraham is also shown as a case of God’s program to recover man’s "reign in life" (Rom. 5:17). Abraham is designated as the "father" of all who walk his pathway of faith (Rom. 4:12).   

As such, he is God’s revealed example of His plan to eventually reestablish His kingdom’s rule in all the Earth through people of His covenant. Through Abraham, whom He wills to become "a great nation" (restoring rule) and whose name He chooses to make great (restoring authority). God declares His plans to beget innumerable children who will be modeled after this prototypical "father of faith."

This truth is confirmed in Rom. 4:13, where Abraham’s designation as "heir of the world" parallels Jesus’ promise that His followers, who humble themselves in faith, shall also be recipients of "the kingdom" and shall "inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:3-5).


In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Director/Screen Writer
Producer/Gospel Lyricist/Author
Founder/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts


Thursday, November 23, 2017

THANKSGIVING


Psalm 95:2
King James Version (KJV)
THANKSGIVING
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.


THANKS, thanksgiving, adorations, praise. This word is derived from the verb yadah,
"to give thank, to praise." The root of yadah is yad, "hand."  Thus, to thank or praise God is       "to lift or extend one’s hand" in thanks to Him. Todah appears more than 30 times in the OT, a dozen of these in the Psalms (50:23; 100:4). Todah is translated "sacrifice of praise" in Jer. 33:11.

An important key to entering into the presence of God
is to come humbly with abundant praise.


In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Director/Screen Writer
Producer/Gospel Lyricist/Author
Founder/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts


Monday, November 13, 2017

DIVINE HEALING

NUMBERS 12:1-16
King James Version (KJV)



DIVINE HEALING

12 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

2 And they said, hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.

3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

4 And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.

5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lordwill make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.

8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

9 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed.

10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.

12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.

13 And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.

14 And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.




Healing, Repentance and Humility.  This passage relates how Moses’ sister, Miriam, was healed of leprosy. She received physical healing through the intercession of Moses. However, her healing was delayed seven days because of her sin in defying the God-given leadership of Moses.

Is it possible that delays in receiving answers to our prayer may sometimes be the result of a sinful attitude? Is there instruction in the fact that the progress of the whole camp was delayed until Miriam was restored? Repentance and humility will not earn healing, but they may-as with Miriam-clear the way for god’s grace to be revealed more fully (see 1 Cor. 12:20-27).

(Ex.15:26/Num.21:5-9) N.V.


In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Director/Screen Writer
Producer/Gospel Lyricist/Author
Founder/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts

Sunday, November 12, 2017

LONELY

The eternal God is your refuge, 
and underneath are the everlasting arms.

DEUTERONOMY 33:27 


LONELINESS can be a cruel taskmaster of the soul, robbing us of our hope and joy. It turns our focus inward, pulling a dark curtain over our eyes so we can’t see God’s love for us. Even the psalmist cried out in complaint to the Lord, "You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; darkness is my closest friend" (Psalm 88:18).

But God desires to break through the dark clouds and restore our sense of purpose in life. He wants to deliver us from our loneliness so we can reach out to others again and fulfill our destiny. If we are living "solitary" lives. He wants to give us friends and family to connect with (Psalm 68:6).

Many Biblical heroes experienced feelings of rejection and loneliness, but during such times they drew near to God and discovered that He’s "a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24).

In Christ,
Janet Irene Thomas
Playwright/Director/Screen Writer
Producer/Gospel Lyricist/Author
Founder/CEO
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts