Another Great Lesson From The Theater

Recently I wrote a post about “The Greatest Advice Came From The Theater.” My Drama Teacher – Mrs. Bettler – her advice from that post is wisdom that has been true for decades. Fortunately, that was not the only advice gained from my time in the theater. Instead, the next suggestion might sound familiar, “never steal the spotlight when you’re not the star!”

Mrs. Bettler dispensed this advice to me when I was trying to steal the show as a supporting role in the play. Desiring so, I proceeded to mingle in the background as instructed. As I remained in character, but then I began to leap up and down with glee. Immediately, Mrs. Bettler stopped our rehearsal, making a tactful point where she instructed us to “never steal the spotlight when you’re not the star!” Hearing her words, I instantly realized she was talking about me. Also, I appreciated that she did not call me out publicly. Furthermore, I had no idea I had even made the error, and it was a glimpse into my soul. A reveal where I wanted more attention than I ever knew.

Today everyone still wants to be a star. The only difference is the platforms used for attention. In the mid-90s, the limelight centered through MTV, VH1, athletic competitions, and other public platforms. Now social media is the vehicle used to communicate one’s goal for attention. Some might say that young adults – even all adults – are more star crazed (narcissistic) than yesteryear. Perhaps, or perhaps not. Keep in mind, Mrs. Bettler’s advice came to me in the mid-90s a decade before social media even began, let alone a full decade and a half after social media has grown larger. No matter who is right on a generations hunger for the spotlight over another, Mrs. Bettler’s advice remains valid: “Don’t steal the spotlight!”

Mrs. Bettler’s advice is still correct. Why? Because I focused my attention on where it was needed most than trying to steal it from others, I ended up winning “Best Supporting Actor” for the play. Many others even said after the performance, “Mike, you make a great nerd!” Now, one can joke about how much of an act my nerdiness was or was not, but I think you get the point.

Admittedly, I’m still working on this one, but I have become a lot better…I think. Over time, I have given others the spotlight. Be it giving others credit for the work we did together, allowing other family members to shine in conversations over myself, or more. Doing so, when others shine, everyone wins in the end. Let’s then shine our spotlight onto others than ourselves!

The Greatest Advice Came From the Theater

Believe it or not, but I was in the theater both in high school and college. During high school, I played a country mechanic, a cynic, a nerd where I won “Best Supporting Actor” at my school (Yea, I know. It might not have been too far from reality!), and a corrupt preacher (insert your own joke here). During college, I took classes than performances. Regardless of the level, one of my greatest lessons in life I owe is because of the theater. The lesson: “No one knows you’ve made a mistake unless you let them know!”

Continue reading “The Greatest Advice Came From the Theater”

My One-Word Goal For 2019

New Years has come and went; so are the resolutions many of us do not keep. Perhaps you made some resolutions, maybe not. Either way, I want to encourage you to restart by doing what I have done the past few years: choose a one-word goal.

In 2015, I did my first one-word goal by choosing to focus on hope. That year I learned a lot about hope, I gained a strong foundation on the topic, and I have since built on the theological virtue.[1]

Following hope, in 2017 my word was peace. Unintentionally peace has been my one-word goal for the past two years because I took multiple years to develop a solid foundation with the word. Now that there is a solid foundation, there is also room for peace to grow in my heart, which I look forward to explaining in future posts.

In 2019, however, it’s time to transition from the one-word goal of peace towards the foundation of a new one-word goal: The theological virtue, faith.[2]

Faith became my 2019 one-word goal after watching a montage of Billy Graham videos. At one point in the video, in his famous North Carolina draw, Graham addresses Phil Donahue with these words, Continue reading “My One-Word Goal For 2019”

Highlights From My 2018 Reading List

Previously I shared my 2018 reading list. Within that list are a variety of books. Some were fun, some were serious, other books I wish I never started. The later books I will not spend anytime on. Rather, below, I want to share with you my big picture reflections over the books I read and the impressions they made.

Authors – In 2018 I read a lot from the same authors. Be it Richard Blackaby, Tim Keller, Eugene Peterson, or others. By reading the same author continually I read more books. Plus, since many authors emphasize consistent themes across their works, it is easier to retain the points they emphasize.

Francis Schaffer – Schaeffer resonated with me after finishing the biography on him. While reading this biography I discovered a kinship with him. Overall, I closely identify with his views on culture, worldview, theology, and ministry. As a result, I read two more works of his in 2018 and purchased the hardback version of the entire Francis Schaeffer Completed Works: Volumes 1 through 5. In 2019 I look forward to reading Schaeffer more with another author who I identify with.

Eugene Peterson – Peterson is another author I continually read in 2018. Across Peterson’s works I found an author who shares my ideal way to relate to God: through contemplation. Be it reading, writing, quietly thinking, music, and most of all praying, Peterson advocates to actively contemplate and see God at work. He believes we can see constant reminders that Jesus is on our side due to the free gift we have received through Christ alone. In response to the Peterson’s works, I have been reading, writing, and praying more. In 2019 I am looking forward to seeing how my faith grows and how I get to share Christ with other more through these contemplative disciplines. Continue reading “Highlights From My 2018 Reading List”