Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three B Production, Jekyll & Hyde, Maumee, Ohio

Two more chances to see this excellent cast perform the musical Jekyll & Hyde at the Maumee Indoor Theater, 606 Conant St. in Maumee, today at 8 PM and tomorrow at 2:30 PM.

UPDATE: Show's over --I saw the final performance today. The following was written after opening night.

I was PROUD of my city's local talent --as my brother and wife from Indiana and my aunt and uncle from Savannah attended (she used to ride the train in to see Broadway shows frequently when she lived near NYC) --along with my 90-year-old mother and mother-in-law, 87. The grandmas were scandalized by the Red Rat Dancers, but we expected that. The whole idea of prostitution as a story feature is not something they could appreciate. And they probably couldn't hear too well, either.

It seemed faster-paced than some productions --I've seen 4 now (Croswell in Adrian, Waterville Playshop, Elmwood High School, and now Three B's.) This was a troupe of mature actors --I don't mean old, but experienced, with several theater and music grads and students with many theater credits to their names.

This show was outstanding in male vocals and acting talent throughout the whole cast, and a whole chorus of talented people really comfortable on the stage. I couldn't keep all the male characters straight --several tall, dark and handsome actors with beards were excellent vocalists/actors.

To mention a few, however:
Outstanding was Eric Hillenbrand as Sir Danvers Carew --who has sung with the Toledo Opera--and he was delightfully operatic, a commanding presence. Danvers plays the father of Jekyl's fiancee.

Rick Reed in his lead role was again exceptionally strong--amazing--reprising his role from Waterville Playshop's production 6 years ago. He has the "voice of an angel," my daughter says, and I agree.

John Carmack plays Utterson, Jekyll's attorney? He was the music director, and also a leading man talent, getting his Masters' in vocal performance and choral conducting.

Patrick Toth, a Springfield H.S. and Sienna Heights theater grad, played both Stride and Spider and showed off his exquisite theater diction and voice --he was heard clear as a bell whenever he spoke or sang.

Stephanie Heck was a great "Nellie" --the Madam of the Red Rat girls.

The lead girls, Joy Lemke as Lucy, and Kristen Basore as Emma, have a theater degree and vocal performance degree, respectively. Joy played Lucy, the happy hooker, very convincingly, and Emma was lovely as Emma, the fiancee of Dr. Jekyl.

The quartet with Emma, her father, Jekyll and Utterson --was beautiful.

The energy and professionalism in chorus numbers and choreography by Bob Marzola were very impressive for community theater. Too often, people with talent to be leads won't settle for chorus parts --and that makes for amateur aspects in shows. This show had a lot of talent willing to be faces in the crowd.

Damian Stout, as usual, was a genius at the keyboard, along with one or two ladies, very effective and never drowning out vocals.

On the whole, the choreography, strong acting, characterization, and overall professionalism made this a truly excellent production, directed by the very effective Joe Barton --perhaps elegible for awards. I saw Joe's Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Waterville Playshop (with Joy Lemke as narrator)--a real step up from Waterville's former productions --and the same for Les Miserables, directed by Joe at Springfield H.S.

The story is one worth telling --about a highly idealistic scientist/physician whose experiments with drugs bring out the worst in him and lead him and others to ruin --about the love and tolerance of a loyal sweetheart --about the longing in the soul of a prostitute for a better, wholesome life with the love of a wholesome man. It's about hypocrisy, also, with the members of the hospital board and the church being fakes in their regard for God's concerns. It's a dark story, compared to most musicals --and based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson --who didn't even get a mention in the program!!!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Monday, September 28, 2009


TWO COMPETING KINGDOMS! Christians abroad are being killed. Is this a Church wake-up Call?
Christians, what do you think of the following?

Erwin Raphael McManus wrote:

“Domesticated Christians are far too willing to abdicate the battle for the soul of the world. Civility focuses our energy on all the wrong places. We spend our lives emphasizing our personal development and spiritual well-being….In contrast Jesus calls us to a different way. He tells us this is a battle of kingdoms….To see from a kingdom perspective is to know that there is a conflict of invisible kingdoms and that people’s lives are forever changed by what happens in the unseen. We are called to be warriors of light in dark places.” (The Barbarian Way, pp. 108-109.)

I got the above from the director’s article by Tom White in the Voice of the Martyrs magazine, Feb. 09.

I have always said that, contrary to the charge that we are only railing against homosexuality and abortion, the American evangelical churches are focused on personal piety, spiritual ecstacy in worship, feeling love for all people and that we do not like to get our feathers ruffled or our feelings riled. Hence,the move by some away from political action and discussions regarding abortion and gay rights. After all, there are angry foes on the other side defending these sins as legitimate choices. The challenge for us is the same as for the wife of a polygamous cult: Staying sweet. Never showing tempers. Always feeling love and showing forgiveness –always feeling the joy of the Lord. So, many of us avoid conflict and the resulting unpopularity. Being civil in disagreement IS Christian --no name-calling or insulting of others' intelligence. But I think being so civil as to avoid controversy is to cater to the wrong kingdom.

Many such Christians are also involved in ministry to each other, to their extended families, active in church activities/ministries and givers to charity and missions. They may be prayer warriors. So, I'm not meaning to judge those who don't contend for the faith or confront the culture openly --but to challenge us to do so.

Love over hate and temper is part of the continual battle between the kingdoms ---personal spiritual well-being would include that as described by the above author. But the director of VOM cites John, author of Revelations, who goes back into the persecuted church instead of staying in exile where God gave him the Revelation of Heaven. Instead of biding His time on the Isle of Patmos, waiting for his transport to paradise, he chose to “identify with those who carried their crosses in the steps of the Savior.” This was when Emperor Domitian infamously executed Jews, Christians and his own relatives for not worshipping the emperor.

Then White tells that the VOM has a video tape they don’t show because of the horror and tragedy of it –a video of a 12-year-old girl stoned to death in Egypt because she accepted Jesus. He then calls us to be co-participants, helpmates and encouragers to those who suffer tribulation in dozens of nations.

He notes that “Muslim converts to Islam are usually very bold; such is the liberating joy that flows out of them.” He quotes a Christian convert from Islam, “If you think there is a place you will be safe when you follow Christ, you are wrong….but Islam is cracking. The crack is becoming bigger with those who want to know Christ the Lord. This is why the fundamentalists (Muslims) are angry.”

I think this is not a day in OUR nation to retreat from proclaiming the Truth of the Gospel where people hate Christians for their doctrines and their definitions of sin and the message to repent. This is a time to shine the light of truth in dark places –to be that shining city on the hill –that light on the lampstand –where all can see it. We ought not retreat from proclamation of the whole truth –including Biblical definition of sin vs. righteousness

And just because they hate us doesn’t mean our method is wrong or that we have truly behaved hatefully as charged. St. Paul proclaimed the truth about homosexuality in ROME where it was an issue. In the U.S., it is again an issue –as is abortion. No matter how you say it, liberals want to cast you as a “gaycist” –just as wrong as racists.

Yes, if people would truly convert and follow Christ, they would all agree on the social issues. The Bible is full of preaching and teaching against the sins of the day –that we may know what displeases a Holy God. We CANNOT avoid the issue of sin in our culture –we must stand against it in public square, in government, as well as in the church. The majority of those who are calling evil good are not IN the church to hear the messages –so how will they know what it is that they should repent of, if we aren’t salt and light speaking Truth to power and to our culture –even on places like blogs?

How have we helped people gain eternal life if we don't teach and preach the whole truth about God's definition of sin --Christ's command to repent of sin? Do we love people or not? If we love, we speak truth --kindly--but nevertheless, TRUTH --that sinners may be converted and gain eternal life.

Read more about today's Christian martyrs:


"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Monday, September 21, 2009

Agreed! Health Care Reform Needed!

I agree that reform is needed --but get the economy going first; get tort reform. As long as lawyers make their living by suing doctors and settling out of court because of suffering people --regardless of fault for their suffering, there will be no real reform in the high cost of healthcare. A national system will simply mean that you pay your exorbitant monthly insurance premium per month to the gov't in new taxes to squander wherever --instead of to the health insurer who would invest the money in order to cover your healthcare.

Profit-motive in people of integrity can mean efficiency and prudence in healthcare and business --the gov't purse covering everything guarantees greed and graft, inefficiency and sloth and ever rising pay for poor service. That's why we need to keep gov't local and small --and look for REAL reforms. Gov't and law should help to keep private industry honest and fair --not replace it. And they'd do well to start policing the malpractice lawyers --and limit their rewards for chasing ambulances.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Friday, September 18, 2009




6 TO 7PM: Rhoda is serving a picnic-type supper for $2, according to WPOS plan for these events which they hope to do now and then with the various local churches.

7 PM: Our worship team folks will lead a narrated worship segment about 45 minutes long –preceding a 15 minute segment by:

– a father and 2 sons, ages 14 and 10.

SO the kids will be interested in this!

The beautiful flute and vocal praise medley heard a few weeks ago by Steph and Chris at church will be performed with Andrea added.

A men’s ensemble, a mixed trio, Patty Bersinger’s Watch the Lamb and various solo leaders will be featured on gospel songs and contemporary praise in a narrated praise service of scripture and song.

Support our church, WPOS, and come out to fellowship and praise the Lord in music with other Christians in the WPOS audience.
Bring friends and relatives!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Obama

I like the guy's big FDR/JFK sort of smile. He lights up wonderfully when amused. I loved the Jay Leno fake interview with him on Jay's first show. I would like him to be successful in making America better, stronger, safer --and more virtuous/moral/family strong.

But I'm not impressed that he's any smarter than Dems thought Bush was--or as virtuous as Bush. He speaks faciley --but what does he say? contradictory things that have holes so wide in his arguments that you can walk right through them! E.g. --"no addition to deficit with a new healthcare 'option'". RIGHT! "You'll be able to keep your private insurance." Not if the employers drop them to save money --since everyone's taxes will ultimately HAVE TO be higher to cover all our entitlement progams. Everyone is happy to sign up for a gov't. freebie --but will it be what we want??? I don't think so.

However, if the economy were strong, then insurance for everyone WOULD be feasible --if it's like the systems that still do it through ALL private agencies --like Japan.
Right now, employee health insurance is a motivation to a person to get a job. Yes, most people want work and good new jobs are scarce --but we have a percentage in USA who do not want to work at the skill levels they have --who have, indeed, found it more profitable to not work --because they can get more gov't help than the money they could earn. Free healthcare, foodstamps, rent subsidies, welfare payments. It's not a rich life being on the dole --but some calculate that the benefits outweigh those from work for which they have skill.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

George Will on ObamaCare

Nobody is smarter than George Will when it comes to analysis of the political realities. See the whole article here.

Here are highlights from his column in Newsweek, Sept. 21, p. 26 --with my remarks in brackets:

On the 233rd day of his presidency, Barack Obama "grabbed the country's lapels for the 263rd time" --counting all his public speeches. His speech to Congress on health care was the 122nd speech on that subject.
[Didn't I tell you I was tired of his voice and the over-exposure of him.]
"His incessant talking cannot combat what it has caused: An increasing number of Americans do not believe that he believes what he says

[Even if I think he's dumb enough to believe what he says, I still think he's wrong. I concluded as he talked to congress that he is either an idiot on the realities of this topic or he believes we are!]
"He used to say that American's health-care system is going to wrack and ruin and requires root-and-branch reform --but that if you like your health care.. nothing will change for you."
[He still says the latter.] Geo. Will says BO had to stop saying that since analysts agreed that his plan will give many employers incentives to stop providing coverage for employees. Why should they pay for it if the gov't is paying?
"He deplores 'scare tactics' but says that unless he gets his way, people will die."

[The same magazine, on healthcare in comparable nations, says that the egalitarian view (the virtuous view--i.e. socialistic) of equal healthcare for all as a "right" will, of course, mean RATIONING. Therefore, working hard to buy the healthcare insurance you want, will not advantage the person who wants to put money into his healthcare, in order to have MORE of it and BETTER. (I wonder if there is STILL a double system in other countries --do they have private insurance available for those who want better coverage or have they made such coverage illegal?? --or have they just so impoverished everybody with high taxes that hardly anyone can afford private health insurance, which is what will happen here. Obamacare is currently an incremental approach to a single payer system. There is no way that the so-called "single-payer system" with gov't as the single payer --or a private gov't. option, won't destroy the private insurance industry. And people will all be equally disadvantaged as inevitable rationing occurs --partly because many doctors just won't work 24/7 for the government for the compensation that gov't now pays them for Medicare. There's waste in the system, alright, but it isn't all because of the high cost of doctors.

Meanwhile, Congress will continue to give themselves unlimited Cadillac care while rationing care for the taxpayers who elected them --just like the egalitarian Communist party leaders took care of their numero unos!

"He praises temperate discourse but says many of his opponents are liars."

Exactly!!! Just like the democrats to go after the So. Carolina Congressman for his emotional outburst, "LIE," when Obama was telling such egregious untruths --forgetting how nasty and discourteous they were to George W. How can Pelosi look herself in the mirror if she demands public reprimand for the congressman who already apologized for being intemperate, while calling a spade a spade?

Will notes that Obama praises Medicare on the one hand --[because people have been satisfied with its present in-the-red, nearly unlimited care] but then goes on to say that BO says,
"...Medicare is unsustainable and going broke, and [says] that he will pay for much of his reforms by eliminating the hundreds of billions of dollars of waste and fraud in this paragon of a program, and in Medicaid. He says Congress will cut Medicare (it will not)by $500 billion--without affecting benefits.

"He has said he will not add a dime to the deficit when bringing 47 million people into government-guaranteed healthcare. But Wed. night, 17 million people went missing, [as Obama said,] "There are now more than 30 million citizens who cannot get coverage." Almost 10 million of the uninsured are not citizens, and most of them are illegal immigrants. Presumably the other 7 million [from the former stat] couild get insurance but chose not to. Democrats propose fines to eliminate that choice.

[Most amazing of all,]
He says a "public option"--a gov't insurance program--would not be subsidized to enable it to compete unfairly with private insurers. (The Post office and the gov't's transportation "public option," Amtrak, devour pubic subsidies.)

Who can believe that sort of statement??? NOT ME! But most perplexing: if gov't healthcare is poorly run now and not sustainable, why would we want the whole system to be in the same boat???

He [Obama] says, "the time for bickering is over." Will notes that "presidents of both parties disparage as mere bickering all inconvenient arguments about what gov't can and should do.

We who oppose national healthcare at this time of great debt and deficit and failing economy, don't disagree that everyone should be cared for --and they are; they just don't pay for it --or some have bankrupted because of lack of insurance or good insurance and not being poor enough to qualify for gov't care. We Americans don't want to see anyone suffer or bankrupt over illness and tragedy --we believe in finding aid for such people and writing off medical debt --but everyone SHOULD pay who can get a job --but FIRST OF ALL, government cannot handle another big expenditure.

Take care of AFghanistan and the economy first, and then let charity and various write-offs undertake for the underinsured --as they so often do. And let people pay some of their burger, movie, video game and Cedar Point money for health insurance.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SAVE FOR RETIREMENT! It's an Obamanation!!!

I see Senator Obama has made a good Republican suggestion --encourage people to save more for their own retirement funds!!!

Meanwhile, the economy is so bad --and he has so indebted us trying to fix it, that the 401K's he recommended don't seem like a safe place to save!!

On top of that, he wants us all taxed more --sure, he says, those making over 250K, but the reality is that every government agency and every utility and college is RAISING PRICEs, fees, taxes --you name it. Inflation is here and escalating.

How can people save for retirement when they can't afford the high cost of living now!!! Granted, we've been self-indulgent as a society for too long, spending up the credit cards. And now some of the elderly are in debt because the band played on! and those of very modest means are used to restaurants and Branson and Florida trips! And are unable to live by that standard now.

He says out of one side of his mouth that we should save to take care of ourselves in old age --and out of the other side, that gov't should provide everything for everybody. He says the death panels are a fiction --but I heard him say it himself, that end-of-life decisions should be planned with these panels.

My husband does note that it's the people who are completely dependent on government who want a "full code" --everything done for Grandma even though she's out of it; the people who pay for things put a "no code" on their elderly who are demented and no longer able to make any decisions or do anything for themselves or enjoy life. Who don't even know their own family anymore, whose health is so deteriorated that nothing really can be done to prolong their lives in more than a vegetative and/or pained state. There is a time to let nature take its course --but no one likes a bureaucratic panel "helping us" to make those decisions. IT's just one more panel on government salary interfering with our lives!

Gov't healthcare surely means more impersonal bureaucracy --like the overworked welfare case workers.

Private sector needs to improve in insurance policies --(and gov't is some of the hinderance for them --because of the lack of tort reform, for one thing)--and competition and free enterprise are the way to get better insurance coverage. Gov't hires and maintains inept employees and burdens everyone with paper work. In fact, much of the doctor office paper (and money for the paper pushers) is because of gov't.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

A Ruined Holiday

While most of our family is enjoying the lake, my husband and I are stuck here on Labor Day Weekend because he has to take some online tests for the American Board of Family Medicine --in order to continue as a "board diplomate." Some insurance companies require it of him --and hospitals, etc. Does it MEAN anything to how he practices medicine? No. The tests have two knowledge assessment sections in areas he chooses, and then have a ridiculous element called a "clinical simulation," where he treats an imaginary patient online. That's just tricky to do in a computer format. Treating the patient isn't the challenge; it's making the format work!

He is not a computer buff. What he knows about computers is that they are always "down" at hospitals and occasionally at the clinic --along with the failing phone systems. And that he often waits longer for windows to open than he'd like. So that means that Rob and I guide him on the internet into the ABFM maze of a website --with all its tutorial materials that confuse rather than clarify. We're on phone with the help-desk guy, saying, "NOW WHAT!!!" And then my husband takes the phone to rant to the poor tech about these lousy tests! Only thing, THIS year, the tech is on vacation just when we need him! I tell you, if anything can make a good Christian lose his sanctification, it's these tests!

A test can TEACH if it provides the answers with the questions as a follow-up convenience --but first we had to figure out how to down-load the questions --and then he took the test on line, and sometimes the computer balked and the system refused his answers. Eventually, he marked his answers --then he had to go back and re-mark the correct answers on the hard copy --so I held the book and looked up the questions --as they weren't in the same order as on the screen --and then he'd mark all the right answers after the test for future study --just in case they show up on the national board exam he has to take in 3 years.

This online system enabled him to have a 3 year extension on the testing --so he wouldn't have to go study for the boards at some hotel for a week, after having the study hang over his head for at least a year -- and then go to a testing site and have his livelihood up for grabs every 7 years. This way, with the online updates every 2 years, he gets tested at a testing site with a risk to his career every 10 years. If you fail, you take it over. I don't think they can take away one's license, but with out the ABFM seal of approval, he can fall out of favor --even though he thinks their tests are esoteric, out of touch, and unnecessary to the practice of medicine. He also has found errors in their "right" answers --outdated info.

Continuing education for him comes from the doctor's speeches on Audio-Digest --for which he pays nearly a thousand dollars a year and listens in his car. Those are followed by tests, too, but they are more user-friendly.

My husband is one of those people who is NOT a 'test taker.' But if you want good healthcare, there are hundreds who will attest that they get it from him. He put off taking these boards until 14 years ago --when all the provider-payers made it a requirement. He passed twice. Now he would have to take it next spring, if he doesn't pass these on line tests. You CAN keep taking until you pass, I guess.

But he thinks the test-makers like to play, "Gotcha!" instead of being practical.

So many doctors have complained, however. Hopefully, the current on-line tests are more practical than they were. We don't know about the clinical simulation yet, because he still has that to do.

We wonder if these specialty boards are providing jobs for doctors who probably can't build a practice. Doctors pay a huge amount to belong to this organization just to be put through this grueling, agonizing rigmarole which threatens their careers.

Yeah, yeah --I know --doctors wanted some way to weed out the charlatans --or to provide continuing education and evaluation so doctors would be current.

It used to be less painful --the drug reps would pay an MD speaker to speak at a dinner --and the doc would get continuing education credit for it. I think they STILL DO have to get CE credit --that's what the Audio Digest CD's do for my husband.

NOW, ABOUT NATIONAL HEALTHCARE!!! It's bad enough what doctors do to themselves with these tests, but let's get some REAL REFORM! TORT REFORM. Get the lawyers off the doctors' backs --and you'll see an improvment in the cost of healthcare. Less of this "defensive medicine" which causes so much office rigmarole.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN AND DEMAND REAL REFORM. 1-202-224-3121 --and call the White House at 1-202-456-1111

People now know that all they have to do is sue and they and their lawyers will get a settlement --because the doctors do not want to risk a jury's sympathy for someone with self-imposed bad health or any condition regardless of the doctor's fault--a jury's exorbitant million dollar demand, thinking the insurance company should pay for a sad situation since the doctor has the insurance. Doctors would rather settle because of the hours away from their practices and the expense of defense attorneys. It may cost them more to defend themselves.

We need to enrich the economy, shame the lawyers, CEO's and the university administrations for their exorbitant salaries and bonuses while down-sizing and getting gov't subsidies --remove their gov't subsidies --make them return the bonuses--get back to fixed salaries for executives of subsidized companies who downsize. These CEO's don't need what they demand in order to stay in their jobs. If they threaten to leave, let 'em go!!! They are replaceable for a lot less money!!!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible