Monday, December 31, 2012

In the coming year...

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” 
~Neil Gaiman

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Remember...

“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts. You have to remember this when you find yourself at the beginning."
~Sandra Bullock

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking forward...

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”
~Carl Bard

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

As Christmas is behind us...

"I would rather be able to appreciate things I can't have than to have things I am not able to appreciate." 
~Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

If you didn't make it yesterday...

I hope you will take time to enjoy Les Miserables at a theatre near you. I realize musical theatre is not for everyone and that this particular story is seen by many as being quite depressing, but if you value a well-told story, I would encourage you to check it out. Les Miserables is a story of courage, idealism and the redeeming power of love. From time to time, we need to be reminded of what a man can be if he overcomes his past, changes his stars and determines his own destiny.

Here is a brief feature about Samantha Barks, the West End actress who was chosen to play Eponine in the film. You may have seen her before in the O2 25th Anniversary Concert were she previously played this role. Director Tom Hooper drew both praise and criticism for choosing her to play this part over Lea Michele, Evan Rachel Wood, Scarlett Johansson and, most notably, Taylor Swift.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

From me...

Dear Readers,

I hope your holiday season has been bright and special. I am thankful for the last year we have spent together on LWTM. Your comments, both through the blog and face-to-face, have encouraged me to continue to post here each day. I hope that the articles, quotes, videos and devotional thoughts have made your life a little brighter and perhaps made your load a little easier to bear.

Please feel free to let me know about anything you would like to see here in 2013. LORD willing, 2013 will be even better than the past year has been. I hope and pray that your year ahead will be one which allows you to grow into the person that God intends for you to be. As I commonly mention here, please do not miss the lessons you can gain from both your successes and your struggles. Always seek to grow and learn from every challenge whether great or small.

Have a Merry Christmas,
~Will

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Of the child in all of us...

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The season of caring and sharing...

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Friday, December 21, 2012

Musical Theatre Friday!



Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Eddie Redmayne as Marius in the soon-to-be released film version of Les Miserables. Looking forward to the film's release next week on Christmas Day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Companions...

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
~Groucho Marx

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review: Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night

I recently picked back up my habit of reviewing books from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. I am sure glad I did and glad I pick this book to review.  In Yours Is the Day, Lord, Yours Is the Night, the authors engage the reader in the world of written prayer.  Coming from a primitive faith tradition, rote prayer has always been something which fascinated me but seemed very foreign to my faith experience. Jeanie Gushee, accompanied by her husband, David, introduces the reader to literally hundreds of prayers from across a broad spectrum of the Christian faith. The prayers are arranged day-by-day through the calendar year beginning with January 1 and ending on December 31. In addition to being arranged by the days and months of the year, the readings are also loosely based around the liturgical calendar that many Christian traditions observe. Readings for Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter are placed on their corresponding days. Each day contains two prayers: one prayer for morning reading to start the day and a second prayer for the evening to close the day. The content of the prayers reflects the time of year and time of day in which they are to be read. By far the best aspect of the book to me was the broad pool from which the prayers were drawn. From the writings of the Old Testament to contemporary Christian leaders and everything in between, the book provided a wide-open look at Christianity's varied prayer traditions. Catholic, Coptic and Eastern Rite prayers were included in addition to the expected Protestant prayers. The authors emphasize that the prayers are to stimulate and motivate personal prayer rather than replace it.
Overall, I would highly recommend this book for personal devotional use. I have already purchased the book again to give as a gift for Christmas. Any Christian wanting to feel apart of the flowing stream of our faith's history I believe could appreciate this book.

Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A good motto...

"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late."
~ William Shakespeare in The Merry Wives of Windsor

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas from Meghan...

This is an original Christmas song by Meghan Tonjes...

(Once the video starts, skip to 1:36 in order to miss the advertisement for a deal that is now three years old.)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Perspective...

At the end, The Blessed will say - “We have never lived anywhere except Heaven.” 
The lost will say - “We were always in Hell.” 
Both will speak truly.
~C.S. Lewis

Friday, December 14, 2012

One More Musical Theatre Friday...



Encore performance of "One Day More" at 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables. Great performance by four combined companies including both current London casts, the concert cast and the original London cast.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remember...

"Strength does not come from success - strength comes from struggle."

Look at yourself...

"The true measure of your character is what you would do if you were sure no one would ever find out."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Truly...

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
~Jonathan Safran Foer

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On reading...

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
~William Styron

Monday, December 10, 2012

Words to start the week...

"Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."
~Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Of Pain & Purpose...

One day this past week, I was in quite a low mood. Everything that day had gone poorly. A strange dream the night before had brought up some bad memories which we only compounded by seeing reminders of the past throughout the day. The failures of the past several years seemed to be visible everywhere. My energy level was low, my workload for the week largely unfinished and hanging over my head and my outlook somewhat downcast. To put it in words: I was having a bad day.

Then I received a call from someone needing my help. A real tragedy had taken place and this family had thought of me as a possible help to them. In comparison to their situation, the events of my day suddenly seemed minor and minimal. True hardship and hurt in the lives of others made me realize my need to move on from the situations that were holding me back and go forward toward greater peace.

I firmly believe that sometimes we are broken by life, so that we can help mend the brokenness of others. No trial or difficulty or struggle do we find enjoyable when we are forced to endure it, but when later the knowledge and emotional strength gained from that struggle are realized, we can then see that there was in fact a purpose for our pain.

No doubt each of you reading this article has endured difficult challenges. Divorce, death, depression, disease and despair are all common elements in the lives of the human family. Never forget that in the midst of your suffering you are also being prepared to fulfill a ministry that only you can accomplish. The hand of Providence can take all of my mistakes and misfortunes and use them as tools to help build my character and, through me, to help rebuild the lives of others. We do not need to be afraid of our pain for it will become the means of our salvation. When we are willing to endure, we will come to realize that God has not called us to pass through the fire for naught. Every scar, whether physical, spiritual, mental or emotional, is a testimony to the strength of character and the faith in God that brought us through.

The next time you are experiencing suffering try to remember that your temporary hardship may eventually be the source of someone else's deliverance. In our brokenness we can be blessed if we are able to gain strength and seize upon the lesson that suffering is attempting to teach us.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh, What A Night!


Looking forward to the afternoon performance of Jersey Boys at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. 
The musical, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, has been a big touring hit and continues its original run on Broadway.



Friday, December 7, 2012

From the Big Screen to Broadway...

The Sister Act franchise is one of many hit movie series that have recently been turned into hits on Broadway. The following is a clip from Sister Act 2 starring Whoopi Goldberg and Lauryn Hill.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Truly...

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."
~Andy Warhol

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It is true that...

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
~Aristotle

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Remember today...

"At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love."
~John of the Cross

Monday, December 3, 2012

Truly...


"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning."
From The Prophet  by Khalil Gibran

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Today's Will's Words...


Sometimes life takes an unexpected turn.  Whether it is an accident, an injury or even a pleasant surprise, things happen to us over the course of our day that can change the direction we are headed.  Often we are not prepared to deal with the situation initially and we grow by coming to terms with the new reality we are experiencing.  We must change our approach, our outlook or our actions in order to make sense of the change and use its momentum to move us forward.
In the Old Testament, we have recorded the story of Job.  As you remember, Job was an upright man who feared God and sought to serve Him.  Job even prepared for the unexpected by offering extra sacrifices on behalf of his family.  What Job had not reckoned on was the amount of trust that God had in him.  Job believes in God, but just as importantly, God believes in him.  God knows that Job is not a fair weather disciple but rather a true believer.  With God’s permission, Satan destroys Job’s life.  His possessions are taken, his children are killed and his health is snatched from him.  When his wife criticizes his persistent faith, Job calls her foolish.  It is not that Job enjoys this cruel attack, but rather he realizes that all he had was given by God and therefore God’s to take way, decrease or increase.  Because of his faithfulness Job endures, and he is blessed far beyond what he dared believe possible.
Unexpected things happen to us.  It is not a question of if but rather a question of when.  If we can keep our eyes fixed on our Father and our hearts set on Him, we can be blessed whatever the situation.  We may never know why things happen to us, but through faith, we can learn from each experience and know that no trial is endured in vain.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It has been said...

"You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it."
~Samuel Butler