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Thursday, September 28, 2006


Editing Vegetables Is Just Wrong

NBC has been chopping brocolli lately. Or tomatoes at least. I'm a little late on this news, but I just had to post it.

It's a good reminder to me as an editor. The audience is only one factor in any revision. The author's integrity is another. Most important is the integrity of the work itself.

Update: The ap picture of Larry Boy in armor mysteriously turned into some guy with glasses and a goatee, so I took it down. Also, you might be interested in Big Idea's statement about their agreement with NBC.

HillCountryWriter Category: Church stuff Publishing
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Sunday, September 24, 2006


Asthmatic Aladdin

I haven't posted any poetry in awhile. Here's one about my son.

My son flushed a binder clip down the potty.
I don’t know when or why. One day
he ransacked the desk drawer and toddled
into the bathroom carrying the clip
like an anchor. Flushing, a new skill, a joy,
pull the lever. Listen to water giggle and slide
down that hole. When I was young I imagined
an evil genie lived in the toilet. Each flush,
the noise and rush of everything, might rouse him
from that kink in the porcelain—the one I followed
with my hand at night when asthma came.
My parents ran a hot hot shower then sealed the room.
I’d lay alone, on the bath mat feeling the cold
porcelain bowl and kink with my hand
while the mirror turned white with steam, my breath
caught, my pipes clogged. My son’s turned
two. I’m told asthma’s not likely anymore.
The auger I bought won’t hook the thing he flushed.
We’ve no shortage of binder clips and don’t miss
the one now trapping paper and sludge so my wife
must traipse across the house each night.
I also try sulfuric acid. No kidding.
The label warns do not inhale, and application
Requires inverted bowls to catch the fumes.
It takes a plumber finally. But he is kind
and quick. The binder clip makes him laugh,
still shiny after acid and water. You’d never know
it slowed our flushes so long. “Did you do this,
sweet boy?” the rugged man asked my son, tussling
his hair with a clean scratchy hand. The toddler smiled,
looked away, then giggled and slipped into his hole
of a room, waiting for our hope to summon him forth
conjured again in puffs of joy and destruction
that always fulfill our wishes.

HillCountryWriter Category: Poetry
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Friday, September 22, 2006


Philosophy of Children's Worship Drama

My wife and I are the volunteer drama ministers at our church, First Baptist Church of Kerrville. This is part one of a series, Page to Stage, that will walk you through our process for bringing drama to life in our church.

Writing drama for church is tricky and backwards. It is an attempt to communicate a descriptive truth, rather than a prescriptive truth. However, the organizational process often includes sitting down the curriculum or sermon. Then asking, how can I illustrate this moral?

This is precisely the wrong way to write good descriptive truth. (Or good anything for that matter.)

You're probably wondering what I mean by descriptive truth. In "Behind the Lens", Hollywood director Scott Derrickson defines it well.

He writes,
"The church loves truth in its prescriptive form, truth that says, "Here's what's wrong, and here's how you fix it. Here's the diagnosis, and here's the cure." The truth of the artist, although far more often descriptive, is still truth. Church people are uncomfortable with too much descriptive truth. It's often ugly, confusing, disorienting, problematic, wild and sensual. But prescriptive and descriptive truth don't cancel each other out. They coexist. Films and screenplays can contain prescriptive truth, but unless they're also saturated with descriptive truth they won't work." (emphasis mine)
Sir Philip Sidney, a writer who inspired Shakespeare, made a similar claim four hundred years ago in his essay Defense of Poesy. He wrote that good writing should teach and delight. Sidney wasn't talking about Hollywood or Christian drama specifically, but his advice holds true for writing today.

So what does all this have to do with children's drama? Do we really need to consider our philosophical approach to art when we're just reenacting the story of Moses striking a rock at God's command?

Yes, yes, yes!

If any message deserves our utmost attention in the telling, it is the gospel message. If any audience deserves our most thoughtful philosophical approach, it's our children.

"Of course," someone might say, "Sidney and Derrickson are talking about art, not children's drama on Wednesday night."

Oooooh. I hate that. If you don't like watching cheesy, didactic propaganda, why do you think kids will? Kids especially know a good story when they hear one. Finding Nemo is a good story. Doogal is not.

As I write drama for our children's ministry I try to remember one thing: this is a chance to bring the gospel story to life. This is not about bringing sermon illustrations to life. This is not about creating an elaborate pneumonic for memorizing biblical details. Good drama is a chance for the body of Christ to make the Word become flesh again—through our own flesh and the visceral stories of descriptive truth that come from our flesh.

I promise to get practical in the next post.

HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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Page to Stage

My wife and I are the volunteer drama ministers at our church, First Baptist Church of Kerrville. We do everything from write sketches, find and adapt sketches, act in sketches, direct others in sketches, help others write sketches, etc. This year we are also helping direct the drama portion of our Christmas musical. Page to Stage is a short series that will walk you through our process for bringing drama to life in our church.
1. Philosophy of Children's Worship Drama
2. Organizing and Writing
3. Recruiting and Communicating
4. Rehearsal, Rehearsal, Rehearsal
5. Performance and Curtain Call
HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Blimey! Ye squiffy readers of me ol' blog, today be "Talk Like a Pirate Day" when all us old coat stripey's on account with the jack of coins can talk the shanties of the sweet trade!

And to me loyal readers (both of ye) I be bilge-sucking at work to help keep the ol' wench afloat. Thus, me current retreat to the briny deep of blogdom. I hope to resurface soon.

Fair winds to all!

(Also, I have two posts on "Myths of Publishing" in the works--the myth of book stores and the myth of bestsellers; and a new series "Page to Stage" walking through the details of a week in the life of drama ministry.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Myth of Agents

When I started working as an editor just over a year ago, I began to learn about the strange world of publication. In this series, I'll be your inside man on books. I'll get you the hook-up, the scoop, the hush-hush, the low-down. This is part four of a series where you'll learn the real deal.

Did you know I have a manuscript? Several actually, but let's not count the ones I wrote in high school and college. But one manuscript in particular became my training ground. I rewrote it five or six times. Now it's pretty polished.


I hear this line from so many people. Authors with no contract think an agent will get them a contract. Authors who sell a few thousand books think an agent will help them sell a hundred thousand. Authors who sell a hundred thousand books think an agent will help them sell a million.

Agents are not fairy godmothers.

The pasture of publishing is not greener on the other side… where the agents are.

As Rick Christian says: Even with an agent "you're not guaranteed a hot date to the ball."

Speaking of Rick Christian, go read these two Christianity Today articles: No Longer Left Behind and the rebuttal No Secrets about Agents, Man.


Don't misunderstand. A good agent in a good match with a good author who has a good manuscript—this is a powerful formula for publishing success.

When Don Pape gets with Ragamuffin Diva, one book becomes a franchise. When Steve Green and Upwords help Max Lucado focus, a few inspirational books become the model for branding.

Any break down in the formula can lead to problems.

Obviously, avoid bad agents. This means upfront fees. An agent is not an editor and vice versa. Beware of "literary representatives" who are not agents. Also, be aware of the different kinds of agents. Some focus on more on contract law, others on marketing, others on fiction, others on nonfiction. I have researched good agents of all types. Take a close look at the books and authors they represent. Compare the client lists of Nunn Communications and Alive Communications. Clearly, these agents serve different kinds of authors.


And take a closer look at that formula. Here is what it is not:
Good Agent + Good Author + Good Manuscript = Good Match
No, no, no, no, no!

The "good match" is a necessary ingredient—not the end goal.

The end goal is publishing success. A publishing contract, good sales into the stores, and good sales out of the stores to readers.

Which raises a more specific question each writer must answer for himself or herself: How will you define success?

HillCountryWriter Category: Publishing
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Monday, September 11, 2006


The Crucible and Cake Like Communion

On September 11, 2001, I was teaching English at Sandra Day O’Connor High School. My classes all voted to continue reading The Crucible rather than watch the news nonstop.

One of my students turned 16 that day. Her friends brought her a chocolate cake. She shared it with me, and it was holy like communion.

Other people are sharing memorials. I wasn’t going to share, but Andre and ZeFrank reminded me that it is important.

To remember.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


The Five Minute Exodus (with Pirates)

The Five Minute Exodus (with Pirates) was our first official sketch for the children's program at our church. It was an overview sketch, previewing the entire semester (which is covering the exodus and up through Joshua as per the Group curriculum). We thought the kids could use a refresher course on some of the beginning parts of Exodus, so we added in the 10 plagues, too. (Plus, it just makes a fun scene.) I added my own little theological thoughts about Jesus at the end. This sketch was also a follow-up to our teaser announcement on Sunday morning to get the kids excited about the program.

If you are looking to do something like this at your church, here's how the dirty details of our process. Amy and I emailed our drama team (InnerMission) a week prior with the schedule. I heard back from four people, and I wrote under the assumption that they might not all make it. Thus, the Israelite lines can be one person, with the narrator picking up some. Also, the Rock and Pharaoh can be the same person if you just give Pharaoh's last line to the Rock.

Last year, we started our drama ministry with regular rehearsals after choir, but we ran into scheduling trouble. Plus, that rehearsal schedule had us occasionally meeting when there was no specific "gig" in the pipeline. We used those times to discuss drama in general, practice acting, and pray together. But sometimes it felt compulsive rather than necessary. (Compulsive prayer? Yes, remember we had all just spent time in devotion and worship during choir practice for an hour and half.)

We now rehearse for specific sketches one week prior at the same time as the performance. We met August 23 (for an hour). Since this was a new group, we also squeezed in an additional performance after Monday night choir practice (another 45 minutes). Then we met 20 minutes prior to the performance on August 30 to run through it again and get all the blocking fresh in our heads.

In the future, I don't anticipate needing quite so much prep time, but we are a new group. And this is a new format for them. At Oakhills we would meet 1 1/2 hours prior to performance, assign parts, block, memorize, and go. It was pretty wild sometimes--but some of us had worked together for 10 years under the leadership of Jeff Pickens. (Great man, we love you, Jeff.) Next time, I'll try to remember to get some photos with our recently refurbished digital camera.

The Sketch:
Feel free to use the sketch at your church, but please see my two stipulations.

FW Friends Kick-Off Event

Cast: Teacher, Bumblemonkey, Pharaoh/Rock, 1-3 Israelite(s), Moses
Props: Moses’ Staff, 2 Paper Sacks, Bottled Water or Squirt Gun, Stuffed Animal, Rope, Whip, Pirate hat/accessories, 3-5 Bible robes

Teacher: (enters and talks to kids from podium stage right) Good evening, kids. My name is (your name) and I’m here to tell you all about FW Friends tonight! Does anyone know what FW Friends stands for? (wait for answer). That’s right! Faith Weaver Friends. That’s what we are here. We are friends helping each other weave a stronger faith. And do you know how we weave a stronger faith? (wait for answers) That’s right, we study the Bible! This Fall we’re going to be studying the story of Moses and Joshua.

Bumblemonkey: (entering) Arrrrgggghh!

Teacher: Not you again.

Bumblemonkey: (seizing the teacher) I be Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey, and I took ye captive on Sunday.

Teacher: I remember. Well, Captain Andrew—

Bumblemonkey: Bumblemonkey.

Teacher: Right. That worked okay to get people’s attention on Sunday, but now we’re trying to have a Bible lesson.

Bumblemonkey: For the FW Friends, I know, Ma’am. But ye wouldn’t let me help educate the young sprogs, so I had to take ye captive.

Teacher: (to the audience) Look, feel free to just ignore him…

Bumblemonkey: (nonplussed) Free!? Ye be no longer free, Ma’am. Ye be my captive.

Teacher: You can call me your captive all you want, Andrew—

Bumblemonkey: Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey!

Teacher: —But God has set me free. Just like he set the Israelites free.

Bumblemonkey: God has set ye free, ye say?

Teacher: That’s right.

Bumblemonkey: (considers this) Drivelswigger! Sounds like trick. (to the kids) What think ye, sprogs? Could God set her free? (wait for their answer) I don’t know.

Teacher: It doesn’t matter what you know or don’t know, Andrew.

Bumblemonkey: Captain—

Teacher: Whether you will admit it or not, God has set me free.

Bumblemonkey: Arrrrggghhh! Tell ye what I’ll do. You have five minutes to convince me. Then (serious) ye walk the plank.

Teacher: You promise to be quiet for five minutes while I tell the Bible story of Exodus.

Bumblemonkey: (moves in closer) Aye.

Teacher: Exodus in, um, five minutes then.

Bumblemonkey: Aye. (stands over her shoulder)

Teacher: Andrew?

Bumblemonkey: Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey, Ma’am!

Teacher: Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey, then. Could you at least stand over there.

Bumblemonkey: Oh, aye, Ma’am. (He goes to stage left.)

Teacher: Here we go. (Israelites enter) Exodus starts with the Israelites in captivity in Egypt.

All Israelites: (enters, waves) Hi, we’re the Israelites.

Bumblemonkey: But there’s only three (or whatever number you have) of you!

Israelite 1: We didn’t have enough actors.

Teacher: (ignoring them) Now a new pharaoh came to power in Egypt.

Pharaoh: (enters with small whip) I’m the wicked pharaoh of the west. (Israelite cowers)

Teacher: (Pharaoh paces in front of the Israelites and snaps the whip at them) Pharaoh was mean to the Israelites because he thought there were too many of them. He ordered the slave masters to treat them harshly and even drown their baby boys in the river.

Bumblemonkey: (to Pharaoh) Ye dirty dog. (to the Teacher) Four and a half minutes left.

Teacher: Skipping a bit, (Moses enters and goes to front center) God called Moses to lead Israel out of captivity.

Moses: Hi, I’m Moses. God appeared to me in the burning bush.

Israelite 2: (steps forward) Hey, you’re one of us! (steps back)

Moses: That’s right. (to Pharaoh in a big voice) Pharaoh, let my people go!

Pharaoh: (as Wicked Witch of the West, comes front center next to Moses) Going so soon? I wouldn't hear of it. Why my little party's just beginning.

Teacher: When Pharaoh refused, (Moses goes to stage left) God sent 10 plagues against Egypt.

Moses: Their rivers turned to blood.

Pharaoh: (the plague lines go very quickly, Pharaoh is tortured front center throughout) Ewww.

Israelite 3: Then frogs came.

Pharaoh: Frogs?

Moses: And lice. (Pharaoh scratches head)

Israelite 1: And flies. (Pharaoh swats at head)

Moses: And their livestock died. (Pharaoh turns and moos)

Israelite 2: And they got boils. (Pharaoh scratches arms)

Moses: And hail destroyed their crops. (Pharaoh mimes getting rained on)

Israelite 3: And locusts ate what was left.

Moses: And darkness came. (Rock turns out the lights)

Pharaoh: (serious) And then the worst of all, every first born son in Egypt died. Including my boy. (to Moses) Take your people and go. (Pharaoh turns his back and goes up stage. Rock turns the lights back on.)

All Israelites: We’re free! (move to front center with Moses)

Teacher: But Pharaoh changed his mind by the time Moses and the Israelites reached the Red Sea.

Pharaoh: (as Wicked Witch again, pointing) I’ll get you my pretties, and your little dogs too!

Bumblemonkey: (to the Teacher) Four minutes left.

Teacher: But the Lord said to Moses, “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water.”

Moses: (Moses raises staff) So I did.

Israelite 1: (Moses and Israelites walk to stage left) And we walked across on dry land.

Teacher: Pharaoh led his army across the Red Sea after them. (Pharaoh runs in place in stage center) And the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians.”

Moses: (Moses raises staff) So I did.

Israelite 2: And the waters rushed back.

Israelite 3: And swept the Egyptians away.

Pharaoh: (dramatic death scene, turn in circles and fall spread eagle on the stage) I'm melting! I'm melting! Ohhhhh.. What a world! What a world!

Teacher: (clears throat) And swept the Egyptians away.

Pharaoh: Oh, right. I’m leaving. (gets up and exits; Israelites and Moses move to center stage).

Bumblemonkey: (to the Teacher) Three and a half minutes.

Teacher: Now the Israelites were in a desert and had no food.

Israelite 1: If only we had died in Egypt.

Israelite 2: (to Moses) You brought us into the desert to starve.

Moses: God told me he would send bread from heaven for us to eat. (Israelites and Moses mime that it is snowing)

Israelite 3: (after a pause) Wow! It’s like snow.

Israelite 1: It tastes like wafers made with honey.

Israelite 2: What is it?

Teacher: The Israelites asked. So that is what they called the bread: “What is it?” or in their language “Manna.” And in the evening God sent quail.

Israelite 3: Manna and meat, but what’s to drink?

Teacher: God told Moses to go to the rock at Horeb . . .

Rock: (enters, wearing a paper bag on head) Hi, I’m the rock at Horeb.

Teacher: . . . and strike the rock with his staff.

Moses: So I did. (Moses hits Rock on top of head with his staff)

Rock: Owww.

Moses: Sorry.

Bumblemonkey: (to the Teacher) Two minutes.

Teacher: And water came out. (Rock hands out bottled water to everyone or Rock squirts Moses with a water gun.)

Rock: (lifting bag to peak out) Can I go now?

Teacher: Sure. (Rock exits) Then Moses met God at the top of Mount Sinai.

Moses: (to Israelites) Wait here. I’ll be back after I talk to God. (Walks out into the audience and guides the students through their lines)

Teacher: On Mount Sinai God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. (Commandments read aloud from cards by oldest students, preselected. Give each student a copy of the next ten lines, with their line highlighted.)

Student 1: You shall have no other gods before Me.

Student 2: You shall not make for yourself an idol.

Student 3: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

Student 4: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Student 5: Honor your father and your mother.

Student 6: You shall not murder.

Student 7: You shall not commit adultery.

Student 8: You shall not steal.

Student 9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Student 10: You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor’s.

Teachers: Meanwhile the Israelites created a golden calf to worship. (Hands Israelites a stuffed animal, they worship it in a silly way.)

Israelite 1: Well, Moses took so long.

Moses: (angry) So God sent a war and a plague that killed many people.

Israelite 2: (nonchalant) Bummer.

Moses: And I ground the golden calf into powder and made the people eat it. (Moses throws the stuffed animal off stage/out of room.)

Israelites: Ewww.

Teacher: Then God wrote down the Ten Commandments for Moses again. He told the people to build him a house.

Moses: (Front center, deliver to audience) The Living God will inhabit his tabernacle. He is not a manmade idol.

Teacher: So the Israelites built the tabernacle exactly as the Lord commanded them. (Israelites mime superfast hammering and sawing) And Moses assembled the tabernacle exactly as the Lord commanded him. (Israelites give “tabernacle pieces” to Moses) And no one could enter it because the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Israelites and Moses step back from front of stage) The End. (Moses and Israelites take a bow)

Bumblemonkey: (to the Teacher) And time to spare, Ma’am.

Teacher: Whew. We did it, kids! (Rock and Pharaoh reenter; Moses, Israelites, and Rock rejoice)

All: Yea! You’re free!

Bumblemonkey: (move to center stage) Heave to, there Ma’am. You still be walkin’ the plank.

Israelite 1: (step up to Bumblemonkey stage right) But she told the story of how God set us free.

Bumblemonkey: Aye, that she did. But she did not show how God has set her free.

Moses: (step up to Bumblemonkey stage left) But don’t you see? The Tabernacle prefigured the temple.

Bumblemonkey: Prefigured?

Teacher: That sort of means the Tabernacle was an early version of the temple.

Rock: (taking bag off head and stepping forward with Pharaoh) And the temple prefigured Jesus himself.

Israelite 2: (stepping forward) Jesus said he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days.

Moses: He was talking about his death, burial, and resurrection.

Rock: (stepping forward) His body was the temple.

Israelite 3: (stepping forward) And now the church is his body.

Teacher: (stepping forward to front stage center) Jesus Christ has set me free just like God set the Israelites free. (pulling Bumblemonkey forward to front stage center) Just like he can set you free, Andrew.

Bumblemonkey: Ain’t I free already? Flyin’ the sheets and sailin’ the seas?

Pharaoh: As long as you’re a captive to sin, your ship is just a floating prison.

Bumblemonkey: Aye, it do feel that way sometimes.

Moses: Andrew, we’ve all been just where you are. But…

Moses, Pharaoh, Rock, and All Israelites: Jesus set us free.

Bumblemonkey: Yer offerin’ me an act of pardon and grace?

Teacher: Why don’t we all go outside, and we can talk about it some more. (Cast agrees and exits)

Teacher: Kids, I hope you enjoyed the five-minute Exodus. It’s just a preview of all the wonderful things you’re going to learn during FW Friends. (And we didn’t even get to the talking donkey!) I’m going to go talk to Andrew now. I think next time you see him, he’ll be a reformed pirate.

HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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Thursday, September 07, 2006


The Gutenberg Blog Scavenger Hunt

We are in the middle of an awakening and a renaissance. You might have heard about it. When Gutenberg created the movable type press, he made information more available and accessible. Arguably, that revolution of technology in 1447 served as a catalyst that spread renaissance ideas across Western Civilization.

The Internet has catapulted us into an information age that is doing the same thing. It’s old news really—harkening back to dotcom prophesies in the 1990s—but it’s gotten new spin recently with the Web 2.0 hype about blog marketing and social media. Christian bloggers are even having a convention.

I write this because some of my friends have questioned my sanity of late. I start talking about blogging as worship, and they get these worried looks on their faces. So I’m sending all of them on . . .


Start by clicking on "Comments" at the bottom of this post. Keep the comment window open for recording your scavenger hunt findings.
1) Find a one-sentence nugget of truth about faith and daily life from the comments on RealLivePreacher.com. Paste it into your comment window with the URL or a link if you know html. (If you are interested, read more about Gordon Atkison here.)

2) Find a one-sentence nugget of truth about faith and daily life from the comments on Jesus Creed. Paste it into your comment window with the URL or a link if you know html. (If you are interested, read more about Scot McKnight here.)

3) Find a one-sentence nugget of truth about faith and daily life on It Takes a Church. Paste it into your comment window with the URL or a link if you know html. (If you are interested, read more about Tod Bolsinger here.)

Dig Deeper?

If you want to dig deeper into the strange world of blogging, marketing, and "movable byte" publication, take a look at these links, articles, and posts:


Influential Interactive Marketing's 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization

CopyBlogger's Social Proof: Herd It Through the Grapevine and Viral Marketing

Wired Magazine’s Monkey Bites: Web 2.0 Champions and Stinkers

SEO Book's 101 Ways to Build Link Popularity

SEOmoz's 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic

HillCountryWriter Categories: Blogging Church stuff
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Sunday, September 03, 2006


Meet Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey

Last week my wife and I performed a sketch on Sunday morning to promote our Wednesday nights kids program (Faith Weaver Friends from Group Publishing). It was a pretty zany sketch for Sunday, but it ended up working pretty well.

Here's the pitch: a Bible school teacher refuses to let a pirate help teach the kids, so he takes her captive.

The adults thought it was cute. And, of course, it was great fun for me to wear a huge Captain Hook hat and yell "ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!" But we knew it was a success when we heard this story.

At the end, I put a rope around the teacher's hands and lead her off to captivity. One five-year-old girl asked her mother, very seriously, "Mommy, is she going to be okay?" The mom explained that we were just pretending. Then she added, "But you should go to Bible class on Wednesday just to make sure."

Heh heh heh.

Here's the entire sketch. It works to promote just about anything, though we worked in some references to their theme of study so the sketch was more than pure Monty Python. Feel free to use the sketch at your church, but please see my two stipulations.

Bible Study Promotion (with Pirates)

Teacher: Good morning. Parents and kids, you’ve probably noticed that summer is ending. Labor Day’s around the corner. School’s starting again. And you know what that means. FW Friends on Wednesday nights at First Baptist! Starting this Wednesday at 6:30. There’ll be games and snacks and projects, music and memory and surprises. Best of all, we’re going to learn about God’s chosen people—how God saved Israel out of captivity and gave them the ten commandments and brought them to the promised land…

Bumblemonkey: (entering) Arrrrgggghh!

Teacher: Um. Who are you?

Bumblemonkey: (bowing) I be Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey, the scurviest old coat did e’er sail a yawl up the Guadaloop.

Teacher: Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey?

Bumblemonkey: Aye.

Teacher: I see. Well, Captain Andrew—

Bumblemonkey: Bumblemonkey.

Teacher: Right. I’m trying to make an announcement here…

Bumblemonkey: About the FW Friends, I know, Ma’am. That’s why I’m here. To be educatin’ the young sprogs. To go on account with the Jack o’ Coins. To sign me X, and join yer crew.

Teacher: (to the audience) Oh, that’s a good point. We always need more adults to help teach the children.

Bumblemonkey: (to the audience knowingly) Savvy?

Teacher: But, Mr.—

Bumblemonkey: Captain

Teacher: Bumblemonkey. You really think you’re the best role model? (stage whisper) Aren’t you a bit over the top.

Bumblemonkey: This here personas fer the kiddies, Ma’am.

Teacher: It’s a little brash for Sunday morning.

Bumblemonkey: Thank ye, kindly.

Teacher: In fact, it’s a little brash for Wednesday. The story of Exodus is exciting enough on its own. God performs some of his greatest miracles and Moses is one of the greatest leaders in the bible. (Bumblemonkey says “aye, aye” throughout). We don’t need some ridiculous pirate.

Bumblemonkey: (hurt and surprised) Drivelswigger! I’m an old coat stripey of the sweet trade!

Teacher: I think it’s best if you didn’t help.

(Bumblemonkey walks away sadly)

Teacher: Like I was saying. This Wednesday at 6:30 is our kick-off event for FW Friends. We’re going to learn about the Israelites and how God led them out of captivity.

Bumblemonkey: Arrrrggghhh! Captivity, say ye?

Teacher: You were supposed to leave.

Bumblemonkey: But I didn’t, ma’am. I’m a commandeering this here event. Takin’ ye captive—like yer story’s about.

Teacher: No, no. It’s the Israelites who were captive. But God set them free.

Bumblemonkey: Aye, aye. (removing his hat and speaking with reverence) He’s a great, grand Creator, and that’s no lie. But now it’s you who’s captive, by the hand and hook of Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey! (He starts to take her away.)

Teacher: (to the audience) I apologize for this.

Bumblemonkey: Come with me, Ma’am—and you, kiddies—if you want ter see the loverly lady again—tell yer parents to bring you e’ery Wednesday night at 6:30 for FW Friends! See yer bulletins for more information (pronounce “informahsheon”). Arrrggghhhh!

Translation of Captain Andrew Bumblemonkey’s Pirate Speak from "How to Speak Pirate":
Drivelswigger: nonsense
Jack o' Coins: the paymaster
Go on the account: to embark on a piratical cruise
Savvy: you understand?
Old coat: a veteran sailor (see "stripey")
Sprogs: raw, untrained recruits
Stripey: long-service able seaman (named for the many stripes on his sleeves, indicating an "old coat")
Sweet trade: the career of piracy
Yawl: four-oared ship's boat or small sailing boat

HillCountryWriter Category: Drama
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Friday, September 01, 2006

Derek Webb has a new CD and it's free! So go download Mockingbird.
You know, I love free stuff. Here's the announcement from his site explaining why he's giving it away:
on september 1st, we're launching freederekwebb.com, a place where anyone can go online and not just hear but actually download, keep, and share 'mockingbird' completely for free. In addition, freederekwebb.com will give you an opportunity to invite your friends to download 'mockingbird' in order to get them in on the conversation as well.

we hope this bold campaign will provide a jumping off point for conversations about all of these issues, and communicate my commitment to playing my part in starting them. so please help us spread the word: on september 1st, 'mockingbird' will be set free!
You should know in advance that when you get the album, it will say, "Now that you've saved $10 or so on a free record, consider giving it to some of these good people."

That's not really fair because I wouldn't have spent $10.00 on the album. I just wouldn't have bought it. Now I feel like I'm cheating somebody for not donating. My penance is to post a link to the three charities:
(Also, it took me two tries to get the download to work because I didn't download the zip file.)

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