Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, Part 2

We went to the last day of the film festival a bit later than the other days, missing the first hour and a half. We watched Live to Forgive in the large auditorium in the Municipal building. This was an amazing true story of a man who forgives and meets with his step-dad after he murdered his mom. We didn't agree with all the theology, exactly, and I didn't like some of the loud, rocky music, but otherwise it was very interesting.

Next we went to the other building to see Dispatches from the Front: A Bold Advance, which tugged at my heart, as well. We missed the first few minutes of it. The writing and filming were beautiful...but even more so was the love shown to others in countries where the gospel had not yet been given. The Christian converts in these countries shone with their love and words about Christ. We should be praying for them...and learning from their examples.

We broke for lunch after that; all three of us went to the food court in the mall.

Then we went to R.C. Sproul, Jr.'s lecture, where Mrs. Morecraft and her daughter, Mercy, were to announce the winners of her writing contest. I saw the Verrets and Lauren Bleser there, and sat next to them. Lauren said she'd cheer really loud for me and embarrass me if I won. :) I said I'd be embarrassed if I had to go up and say anything. Mercy did some funny country acting (pretending to be "Cousin Bertha Jean"). Then all the names of the winners were called, starting from the youngest category. As the list grew, including some ties, I grew more hopeful that my name might be among them. But no. Three of our friends/church members had won something, but not me. I was disappointed. It is in God's providence, though, and I'm sure it will help to keep my easily puffed-up ego deflated. I'm still writing poetry, though. It will always be something I enjoy, whether anyone else thinks it's good or not.

Annie and I had been thinking of leaving after the announcement to go see something else, but we decided to stay, as it was already pretty far into the hour and we thought it might be an interesting lecture. It was called "Where is God in Your Movie?" We are not really interested in becoming film-makers, but it was a good lecture in many ways. I could apply it to my writing, and life in general. I wasn't sure if I agreed 100% with everything he said, but the gist of it was good.

After that, we stayed to hear Kevin Swanson lecture on "Humor in the Family." It was good--not so humorous as it was thought-provoking. Our humor needs to be "attacking" what is bad, and endearing us to what is good, not the other way around, as some humor is.

In the break from 5:30 (? - our lectures went late, but I'm not sure how late) to 7:30, we went with Lauren to the mall's food court again. Lauren's new friend, Cindy, was there alone, so she joined us, though she had already eaten. Annie and Andy didn't join us at the round table, so I sat with just Lauren and Cindy. (My siblings didn't mean to be rude.) We talked as we ate, and I listened much of the time. Lauren and Cindy were talking about their pasts and conversions. I chimed in after Cindy's testimony, "That's how I was." And I told a little more about it.

Then they launched into a discussion on daughters staying home, as in the book So Much More.

After that, Andrew and Annie came over. We still had some time left before the Closing Ceremonies, so we headed to the Starbucks in the mall we were in and all (I think) ordered Pumpkin Spice Lattes (Annie and I shared one.) As I was waiting in line, I told Cindy a little more of my background and my dad, how he had died of cancer yet stayed strong in the Lord to the end, and how this had been in some ways helpful to me.

We talked some more as we gave them a ride in our van over to the other building. We were now talking about the churches we attended.

We separated. We met Mr. and Mrs. Marcic there and sat with them, though Annie didn't come until later because she was an usher. The closing ceremonies started with some ads for sponsors, I believe, or prayer, and singing. Mrs. Morecraft had sung in the opening ceremonies, and now the Salters/Amy Salter Rutherford played and sang. George Sarris also did his second Biblical dramatization--Jonah was the first one the night before (?) and this time it was Naaman the leper. I really enjoy those, the enthusiasm and character he puts into it.

Finally, the finalists and winners were announced! Not surprisingly, The Runner from Ravenshead won the Audience Choice award. The grand prize winner was Agenda: Grinding America Down. I was happy for them, and touched by their God-honoring story of praying and fasting and by the man's humility.

After the ceremonies, I got to have my photo taken with the little girl who played The Runner from Ravenshead. She seems as sweet as she looks. :) I also got my picture taken with Cindy B., the one I talked with earlier. I am glad to have met her. She is really sweet.

The next day, we went to the convention center for church services. Saw the Verrets again. We sat with the Marcics during the service. The preacher was Mr. Scott Brown, and he did an excellent job, on blessings and curses from Deuteronomy.

After the service and saying some goodbyes to our dear friends the Verrets and the Marcics, we headed home. Shortly thereafter, we left for the Sarratts' house, where we had a scrumptious meal. There were many other families with us. Annie and I sat and talked much of the time with Shanna Strackbein, who is easy to talk with and very sweet. She asked me about my writing, and we talked about Dickens and other books and movies. The Strackbein sisters and Shorts were talking about driving, and their trust in God even after being in some wrecks and close calls was encouraging.

On Tuesday, we had the Deamers over, along with a friend of theirs from Pennsylvania, who is a piano tuner, and his niece, Courtney. Annie and I got along well with Courtney, who is a soft-spoken but personable young lady. We had a supper of pot roast, potatoes, carrots, and a tossed salad, with chocolate cake for dessert. I was doing my share of talking during the meal, since Mr. Deamer was asking me some questions. Not that I took up all the conversation, or anything, but I was talking more than I usually do, at least during meals.

After supper (and a bit before supper, too), their friend, Michael, worked on tuning our baby grand piano. He said it was long overdue for a tuning. (When he was finished, the piano sounded much better--it had been more out of tune than we had realized! He also fixed the squeak that the soft pedal would always make when you lift your foot off.)

Annie, Courtney, and I talked and drank peppermint/chamomile tea together. Again, Dickens was mentioned. Courtney has some things in common with me, like liking to write.

I'm so thankful to God for such godly and caring friends, more than I ever had before. And for the peace that passes all understanding. :) I've been reading over some of my old journals lately, and I can see how fearful, inward-focused, and aimless I was before. Praise God for His sanctifying work day by day!


Kate said...

Hello Melissa! I'm so glad that you 'found' me! I'm now following your blog as well! :)
Blessings in Christ,

Melissa M. said...

I'm so glad I found you, too! I just saw you comment on one of Breezy or Emily Brookshire's posts, and thought--wait a minute, I know her! :)
Thanks for adding me to your list. :)
God bless!