First Focus


I invite you to join the youth choir this Sunday, March 5, as we present Dessert Theatre 2017, comprised of songs from Oliver, Cinderella, Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, and The Music Man! The doors open at 1:30 and the bidding begins at 2:00. The Silent Auction is going to be fantastic, and a love offering will be collected to help to offset the cost of the youth choir mission trip to Philadelphia this summer.

Here are a few reflections and principles in preparing for a production like Dessert Theatre that I hope will encourage you in your faith as you read.

Every life is valuable and precious. For the past 6 weeks, I have looked over the top of my piano and watched teenagers practicing. On one particularly long rehearsal day, I looked over once again at our youth, sweating and working hard to learn the dance steps and I was struck with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe at how great our God is to create these beautiful and precious lives! The choir is full of different personalities, races, backgrounds, and talents. Isn’t it amazing how God, the Author of life, created each one of us in His image? His creation of human life is beautiful and I celebrate that!

For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
— Ephesians 2:10

A great production begins with faithfulness to rehearsals. The first rule in creating a strong production is that you must show up for rehearsals. Whether you feel like it or not, you must attend. Let’s take this principle and apply it to our faithfulness in gathering together as a church on Sunday mornings. How are you doing in your faithfulness on Sundays? Is it too easy for you to find an excuse not to come? May it not be so. As believers, we are called to gather together in corporate worship.

Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
— Hebrews 10:23–25

Productions are beautiful and come to life with the right costumes. Susanne Folsom, our costume mistress, and her assistants, Mary Lillian Hemmeter and Charlene Latimer, have given countless hours to fittings, designing and sewing, and crafting accessories so that every performer can look just right for the part! What attention do you give in your spiritual life to how you are dressed? Do you take care to clothe yourself in the things that matter to God and the body of Christ?

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
— Colossians 3:12

You develop as a performer with a combination of encouragement and correction from your teachers. Lisa Mitchell, AmyLynn Harrington Smoot, and Shelley Green have done an outstanding job of teaching and encouraging our youth to polish and refine in order to be “performance ready.” At times, they have given very pointed and critical direction. Why? Because it is the only way to set the standard for what is acceptable and what is not. Where do we, as followers of Jesus, receive the correction we need to understand what is acceptable and pleasing? Do you allow the Word of God to encourage and correct you? Turn to God’s Word. Read it. Memorize it.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
— 2 Timothy 3:16–17

To God be the glory,
Pam Cooke