Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Onstage!

Runs November 16December 26, 2019
Indiana Repertory Theatre (140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis)
Adapted by Tom Haas

A delightful ensemble of players brings Scrooge, Tiny Tim, four spirits, and all of Victorian London to life on our snow-covered stage for this holiday treasure infused with music and song. In the darkness of winter, we all need the shining light of forgiveness, redemption, and love. Come celebrate the joy of the season and the spirit of giving.

Approximate Run Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes, with no intermission

A Christmas Carol is an adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale that contains imagery that may frighten young children. Recommended for patrons 4th grade and above.

“I am excited that A Christmas Carol is getting a fresh new look! Linda Pisano’s new costume designs are beautiful and her research and attention to detail lifts this important story in a magical way. We will have some long-time Carol actors and Indy favorites joining us again this holiday season, while inviting some new spirits into the tradition. Additionally, there will be new songs along with our favorite Christmas Carols. All of these new investments of time and love to Carol come from our commitment to keeping the production fresh, accessible and relevant for our community.”

Benjamin Hanna, Associate Artistic Director and Director of A Christmas Carol

Tickets begin at $25. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Indiana Repertory Theatre online!

Twelve Angry Men, Onstage!

Runs September 429, 2019
Indiana Repertory Theatre (140 W. Washington St., Indianapolis)
By Reginald Rose

A young man’s life hangs in the balance as a trial jury meets behind closed doors to debate his guilt or innocence. Did he kill his father? Or is there reasonable doubt? What is justice, and how do we achieve it? You will be on the edge of your seat as a dozen men with different viewpoints try to agree on one verdict. This classic American drama from the 1950s could have been written yesterday with its provocative look at power, prejudice, and clashing perspectives.

Approximate Run Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission

Twelve Angry Men is a classic American drama that contains profanity and mild violence. Recommended for patrons 9th grade and above.

“The season opens with the classic American 1950s courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men. We select a play of this nature to unite the adult and student populations with a play that holds power for its strong dramatic tension, as well as its heated debates on the efficacy of the American justice system. It will pack a content and a style punch, and we’re excited to open our season with this quintessentially American high-stakes debate play that feels ripped out of today’s headlines.”

Janet Allen, Executive Artistic Director

Tickets begin at $25. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Indiana Repertory Theatre online!

The Screwtape Letters, Onstage!

4PM | Saturday, November 2, 2019
Clowe’s Memorial Hall, Butler University (4602 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis)

“I have no intention of explaining how the correspondence, which I now offer to the public, fell into my hands.

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.

“Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true, even from his own angle.

“There is wishful thinking in Hell as well as on Earth.”

C.S. Lewis, July 5, 1941

This acclaimed and faithful stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ satiric masterpiece follows Screwtape, a senior tempter in Hell, as he schemes to capture the soul of an unsuspecting human on earth and reveals spiritual warfare in vivid, humorous, and powerful ways.

Run Time: 90 minutes; no intermission.
Age Recommendation: 13 and older. Children under age 4 not admitted.

This play is produced by the Fellowship for Performing Arts, a Biblical Christian organization founded by Max McLean. Tickets will be onsale soon! For more information, visit the Fellowship for Performing Arts online.

Q&A

What is the Fellowship for Performing Arts?

Founded by award-winning actor Max McLean, FPA is a not-for-profit New York City-based production company producing theatre from a Christian worldview to engage a diverse audience.

Where do you produce your work?

In addition to an annual season in New York City, FPA tours its productions in major cities from coast to coast and internationally.

What plays have you done?

FPA recent productions include the international hit The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert, Martin Luther on Trial, Mark’s Gospel, Genesis, Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, and the first New York revival of the Tony-nominated play Shadowlands.

How do you choose your productions?

FPA carefully selects works from great authors and themes that can articulate the Christian worldview in a way that is imaginative, multi-layered and relatable to audiences from any faith perspective, or none at all.

Truth at Work 2019 Conference

Friday, November 8th | 8AM-1PM
Northview Church (12900 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel)

TRANSFORM THE MARKETPLACE

This annual conference cultivates, encourages, and inspires leaders and those who desire to serve the Lord in the marketplace. If you want your work to have eternal significance, even if it means going against cultural norms, come, network with likeminded leaders, and learn from national experts on how to live out your faith so you can impact the marketplace for Christ.

Join thousands of other Christians in business for a powerful one-day event designed to equip and inspire you.

SPEAKERS

WHAT TO EXPECT

A day together that will equip and fortify you through learning how to become a transformational leader. This type of leader affects change in many ways, including:

  • Demonstrating Generosity
  • Building a Championship Culture
  • Creating a Vision
  • Disrupting Industries & Traditions
  • Leading through Service
  • Influencing Society

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from some of America’s top thought leaders on how to transform your leadership, business, and in turn, society.

Who should attend?

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Business Owners

Discover best practices, practical resources and a local community to help leverage your company as a platform for Christian ministry

Managers & Executives

Learn practical ways to live out your faith and model Christ-like servant leadership to your team and co-workers

Emerging Leaders

Learn how to build your career on proven biblical principles so your work brings honor and glory to the Lord

Pastors & Church Leaders

Equip, encourage, and empower marketplace leaders in your church to impact their workplace for Christ

For anyone wanting to integrate their faith and work, learn what God’s Word says about the integration of faith and work and how you can begin to do so right where you are.

For more information, see the Truth at Work website. To order tickets, visit the itickets event site.

Who Are You?

If someone asked who you were, what would be the first description you’d run to?

Do you define yourself by your job, your family, your successes?

Recently, Victory Hollyfield from Engage Magazine looked at the Apostle Paul’s life and found that after compiling an impressive resume, he shreds it:

“If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

The Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:3-11

Victory concludes: “There is nothing wrong with acknowledging your earthly culture as it lines up with Scripture. Paul knew he was a Jew and owned that identity, but he boasted more of being a bondservant to Christ. Nothing compares to being a part of God’s royal priesthood.” Read more…

I’ve Not Forgot

“Oh, no!” says the Lord.
“That’s not your lot.
“Look unto me; I’ve not forgot.
“Give Me your hand,
“And come my way.
“You have a future.
“It’s a brand new day.”

Margarett Inez Bates

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Christian philosopher, Bible teacher, author, and prolific poet, Margarett Inez Bates is a graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. Actively involved in Christian service for over forty years she currently resides in her hometown, Kokomo, Indiana. Margarett has published two books: Poetical Insights: Lifting Up a Standard, and Poetical Insights Vol. 2: A Closer Look. You can read more of her work at Kokomo Poet.

So God, What is the Next Step?

The room is filled with deafening silence except for the tick of the clock and the periodic roar of the blood pressure cup inflating. We find ourselves once again in life’s waiting room. Dad has just come back from having his heart cath. He sleeps. I write. We both wait for the doctor to inform of us of the next step.

These days seemed to be filled with waiting and unknowns. My prayers of adoration often become overshadowed by prayers of desperation. “God, what is the next step? Just tell me and I will do it.” And just like we wait now for the doctor, I wake each day waiting for God to step in and provide light for my next step. Next steps for…

  • Dad’s health
  • Wisdom for caregiving
  • Guidance in my job
  • Answers for hurting friends
  • Stewardship of time and resources
  • Strength for my weary body

I glance toward my father. His deep breathing now adds to the rhythmic sounds being played out in this room. As my eyes witness the gentle rise and fall of his chest with each breath, my mind replays his favorite verse. The one I need to hear right now in the wait.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.
 

Isaiah 40:31

This “doing heart” of mine is unnerved with waiting. You too? To just sit seems so counterproductive. I would much rather be busy, moving around. At least then things are accomplished. But are they the right things? Are they the best things? 

As I reflect on this familiar passage, my eyes move past the phrases at the front end and land on the “doing” words. “They will walk, they will run, they will soar.” These are the words that grab my attention when steeped in turmoil. However, these action words give me a false sense of control when life is filled with uncertainty.  Then God draws my attention to the first half of that scripture.  My eyes shift and I stare at the uncomfortable part of this passage… they that wait. 

It is in the waiting light is given for the next step we take. It is in the waiting wisdom is gleaned for the race we run. It is in the waiting courage is gained so that we may soar higher than we dare dream.  

Perhaps this is due in part to the desperation that comes in the silence of waiting. Our hearts yearn for comfort, direction, and wisdom.  We intentionally lean in anxious to hear answers to the prayers we have poured out in the night season. We strain to hear the Father whisper hope to our worn heart. 

My friend, maybe you can relate to the season of waiting. I am right there with you. One thing I know…God speaks in the wait. It may not be within the realm of our comfort zone, but He does speak.  So, we must resist the temptation to rush ahead. The slow pace of waiting affords us precious time in His presence that is often stolen by the fast pace of life. It is in this time, waiting at His feet, that He does a transformative work in our hearts.

Let’s hold tight to Him knowing that He is with us in the wait. He is renewing, strengthening, and transforming us.

Until next week, let’s find hope in the journey.
Evelyn Sherwood

Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of Evelyn’s columns, see her blog Hope for the Journey.

For My Sake

Jesus Christ on the excruciating cross of human salvation is a frightening image, one upon which only the very crassest among humanity would gaze and ask: “What’s in it for me?”

Fact is, none of us wants exactly that – the cross of Christ – as Christian life’s promise.  Believe in Jesus, be Christ-like, do Godly things with a Godly attitude, love God, love others, read the Bible, go to church, be selfless, kind, obedient … and what do we get?  A horrendous and humiliating public death?  No thanks.

That’s not the deal anyone is looking for.

We must be especially wary, then, in our Christian witness and preaching, to be very clear what it is exactly that Jesus did on the cross.  The world sees punishment, shame, payment, retribution, and maybe feels a little (or a lot of) personal sin and guilt.  The neurotic Christian may wilt with remorse: “That agonizing passion on the cross is my fault!  That bloody end is what I deserve!”  The arrogant libertine may be repulsed and dismissive: “How can a good God allow that to happen to His son?  I don’t believe any of it!” A devious theologian may see a means to control people with fear and guilt.

What we see on the cross is less a picture of God than of what a perfect human will do to glorify God. In that sense a little neurosis about our fate is quite apt.  The wrathful God of the Law is the same loving and sacrificial God of the New Testament.  God never changes, but the enormous gift we are given through Christ is to see the true nature of a Godly human: Jesus is our example of what a perfect human in God’s eyes actually is.  Our fallenness makes it hard to see that.

We are – each of us individually – a great mess of conflicts, fear, aspirations, hope, and pain-avoidance.  The sneaky truth of Christ that takes a while to truly see is that our greatest human joy – and our highest, most God-like humanity – is the picture of Christ humbly sacrificing himself for others.  Seeing the cross as God’s love and mercy for us, rather than seeing it as God’s anger and wrath for our sin, changes everything about what kind of Christian we can be: loving? … or judgmental?

Our greatest joy, then, is in serving others in freedom, freedom not just from sin but freedom to be all that God created me to be… what He created each of us in His own image to be.  I get that the cross is a picture of humanity’s gross failings and sinfulness, but more importantly it is the picture of God’s love, Christ’s humility, and the Spirit’s illumination of truth.  In this picture are glory, love, self-sacrifice, humility, restoration, forgiveness, repaired relationship, covered sins, eternal life, the conquering of both sin and death… and overwhelming peace that exceeds all understanding.

As much as we fallen humans focus on “being forgiven,” in Jesus’s entire last prayer – indeed His final teaching we see in John 13-17 including foot-washing, the last supper, the vine, His relationship with God, the Kingdom as life, God as Father, Jesus as Son, the Spirit as comfort, plus persecution, glory, faith, and perseverance – there is not one word about forgiveness of sin.  Instead, there is assurance of God’s truth.

When the chips were down and His own end was near, Jesus prayed humbly for God’s glory, His own restoration, and for our faith.  So should we.  It’s part of the deal.

That’s the best thing I can do for my sake; that’s what’s in it for me.

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) notes that humility frees us from pride. Duh. For more of Walters’ columns, see commonchristianity.blogspot.com. For his books, see www.lulu.com/spotlight/CommonChristianity.

When All You Have is a Silent Prayer

My drive into work finds the car filled with an unfamiliar silence. This space is typically flooded with prayers and contemplation woven together with an outburst of worship songs. But not today. Fatigue weighs on my shoulders like a wet blanket…pressing down, smothering. I am trying hard to pray, but nothing escapes my lips but a deep sigh. “Lord, there’s nothing I can say that I haven’t already said.  I am worn. So, if it is ok with you, I will exhale a silent prayer.” 

I wait in uncomfortable silence. Will He speak? If He does, will it be the answer to so many prayers I have wept? Will strength find its way to my weary bones? 

Then in the quiet, I hear that still small voice, “Look around.” Hands clutched tight around the steering wheel I glance to the left. The sun is peeking up over the eastern horizon spreading rays of vibrant orange, plum red, and canary yellow across the sky. I turn to the right and catch a glimpse of cornfields, swaying gently with the rhythm of the wind. My heart inhales deep gratitude for the farmers who thought their fields would lie in muddy waste this year.  My eyes are waking up as I spy geese skimming the diamond-studded ponds on either side of the road. The fog begins to lift off of the landscape and my heart as I take in the wonders of His handiwork.  

He speaks.

“My child, you have prayed all your wants, concerns, and needs. Though I long to hear your heart, there is something you are missing. You are consumed with expressing your weaknesses, while I am more concerned that you understand my strength. This life is less about you constantly remembering your inefficiencies and more about embracing my all-sufficiency. Remember me, who I am. I am God.

God

With that simple yet profound word whispered to my heart partnered with the visual reminder of His creative power, hope and strength begin to rise. 

There are books of the Bible that get referenced abundantly when we face trials. David paints a picture of the authentic heart throughout all of the Psalms. We get a front-row seat to his deepest struggles and his resolve as he concludes that God is God. Somehow, his version of man’s inner wrestling is easier to identify with than say that of Lamentations. Just the mention of Lamentations and I feel as though I have watched a movie where all the heroes die in the end. 

Yet today, that is precisely where God led me. Tucked away in this book of deep grief is a passage that solidifies what God has been speaking to me in the car. Written by someone whose prayers were steeped in more pain than the ones I have been praying. But someone who in the middle of the crushing remembered the very character of God…and that was enough. 

But this I call to mind,
and therefore, I have hope:
 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore, I will hope in Him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

There is truth to be gleaned from the old hymn Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

It has been quite some time since I have shifted my gaze toward Him. I had allowed the weight of my circumstances to nag at me, reminding me of lack. But one glance in his direction was all I needed to remind me that He is enough. No matter what surrounds me, He is enough to face it head-on. 

What about you? Do the voices in your head pull your gaze away from the one who loves you more than you love yourself? Are your eyes locked tight on your failures rather than His faithfulness? Then maybe these verses from Lamentations will guide your vision back to His glory like they did mine.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:25-26

Oh, my friends, life gets so busy and burdens pile up. It is in our nature to grab hold of our failures rather than reach for His faithfulness. But if we are to be a people of hope in troubled times, then we must turn our gaze away from our inadequacies and behold the One who is more than enough. 

“Father, the landfill of my failures continues to pile up. But You, oh God, are the faithful one. Today, fix my eyes on you the one starter and finisher of my faith. Remind me of all the ways you have led me up to this point in my life. And as I remember, may hope rise out of the ashes. May I see with a fresh vision that you God, who created all things, is the very one that cradles my heart in your hands.”

Until next time, let’s find hope in the journey,
Evelyn Sherwood

Hi There! My name is Evelyn. I am a lover of all things family, faith and Fall. So grateful that you found your way here. The chaos of life can leave us feeling a bit worn around the edges. Sometimes a little ray of hope is all we need to provide courage for the next step in our journey. So come on in, take a deep breath. My prayer is that in this space, you will be able to grab hold of hope. For more of Evelyn’s columns, see her blog Hope for the Journey.