Saturday, December 19, 2009


Here are some FAQs I can think about, related to today's program.

Freqently asked questions:

Q:  What should I wear for the Christmas carol at the begining?
A:  Dress code for Sunday School Christmas Carol is Santa hat; black pants, red shirt for boys and black skirt/pant, red tops for girls.

Q: When does the program start?
A: The 10th graders should plan on being onsite around 1:00 PM, after eating their lunch.  The actual program starts at 4:00 PM per secretary's mail.

Q: When is our 10th grade play?
A: As of this writing, I do not know when our play is.  Let's expect it to be in the second half, towards the end.  The Secretary will post the program details on the notice board.  As soon as I know of it, I shall inform you.

Q: When do we change into our play costume?
A: Since we don't have any complex costumes, we should plan on changing into them right after the christmas carol. Get help from your parents to change into your respective costumes.

Q: If I am in other plays, how do I manage costume change?
A: To the best of my knowledge, your other program will not be back to back.  Inform me, if you run into such situations and I will help you.

Q: I want to watch the programs.  How can I do this, if I wear the costumes?
A: It is perfectly ok to get ready in your costume and go sit in the audience, along with your parents or friends, to watch the rest of the programs. I can come get you.

Q: How am I doing in terms of acting, based on our rehersal yesterday?
A: If you have not heard from me, then you are doing ok.  I have contacted those of you who need to improve.

Q: When does the program end?
A: It's hard to say the end time, but let's assume around 9:00 PM.

Q: What if I become hungry in between?
A: Arrangements are being made for some snacks in the fellowship hall, to provide refreshments.  Eat a good lunch before you leave home.

Q: When is the food served?
A: Food is planned to be served at the end of the program.

Q: Who will take care of the CD track?
A: As your teacher, I will take responsibility for that task.

Q: What if I mess up my acting?
A: I know you will do your best.  In case something goes wrong, do not worry.  You still gave your best try.  Pray to God before you get onstage.

Q: If somebody gets hurt, what should I do?
A: Bring it to the attention of any Sunday scool teachers, and they will take care of it.  I expect you to be watching the programs.

Q: If someone asks me to do some voluneteering activity, what should I do?
A: The 10th graders are busy with the Christmas play this time.  You can do volunteering activities later on.

Q: What are some of the things I should not be doing?
A:  Do not carry your cell phones on stage, do not panic, do not loiter around in the campus when the program is going on, and do not go anywhere far.

Q: Are we recording our play, and posting it on youtube?
A:  I will do my best to record our play and make it available online, once I have everybody's consent.

PS: I will have to leave home around 10:00 PM.  If our program is not done until 10:00 PM (which is highly unlikely), then I have a backup plan to work from our class room.


Yesterday we are done with our recording.  It did not come out 100% right - but let's live with it.  I am going to edit few dialogs to make it bit short - just a couple of them.  

Today, I will be there at Church between 12:00 noon and 1:00 PM.  If you are there, at that time, we can discuss some more about the play.

Overall, all of you now have a good grip on your role.  Practice more and you will be alright.

Bring your costumes.  Try them on before you bring it to the program.  Make a list of all that you need and bring them in.

Let's wish good luck to all the teachers and the participants for their programs to do well.  Everyone is working hard to make their's better.

Eat your lunch and come, so that you don't get hungry soon.  See you in few hours.


Santa’s primary language is North Polish. Santa and Mrs. Claus live in an icicle built for two and that he loves tending his three gardens and exulting, “Hoe, hoe, hoe!”

St. Nicholas is the main Claus. His wife is a relative Claus. His children are dependent Clauses. Santa’s elves are subordinate Clauses

On Christmas Eve, Santa eats a jolly roll, leaps into his sleigh, and urges his toys to hop in the sack. Santa’s sleigh always comes out first because it starts in the Pole position. It also gets terrific mileage because it has long-distance runners on each side.

Kris Kringle especially loves all his reindeer because every buck is deer to him. When traveling in the sleigh in inclement weather, Santa gets icicles in his beard and calls them chin chillas. He sometimes removes all the bells from his sleigh and travels silently through the night. One day he hopes to win a No Bell prize.

Santa is so Santa-mental that he sometimes spends all his money on the toys that he brings to children everywhere. At those times, he’s called St. Nickeless. But when flying to Cape Canaveral he’s a palindrome (A SANTA AT NASA)

Santa loves sliding down chimneys because it soots him. But he actually has a fear of getting stuck. That fear is called Santa Claustrophobia. Since Santa has to go up and down a wide variety of chimneys on Christmas, we recommend getting a yearly flue shot.

Credits: James Fennimore Cooper

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mail from Sunday school secretary

Hello All,

Dress code for Sunday School Christmas Carol is Santa hat; black pants, red shirt for boys and black skirt/pant, red tops for girls.

The program will start at 4pm with Sunday School Christmas Carol, please make sure that all the Sunday school students are present in the Church before 4pm.

The Program schedule will be put in the Church, Fellowship hall and Sunday School notice boards and also will be available with the Sunday School teachers.

Please make sure that the students for their respective programs are ready in the back room of the stage atleast before 3 programs.


Task list

At work my team wants me to focus on our Christmas play.  Hence I  took the rest of the day off, and can be there at 5:00.  Here is what we need to accomplish today:

Do the voice recording and burn a CD.

Practice our play with the recorded voice.

Review the costumes.  Refrain from using red costumes since the backdrop is red.

Collect all those props necessary for our play.

The weather is not very good today.  So, be careful while driving to church, and wear some warm clothes as well.

See you in the evening.

Christmas shopping

It was few days before Christmas, and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?”

“Doing my Christmas shopping early,” replied the defendant.

“That’s no offense,” said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?”

“Oh, about an hour or two before the store opened,” countered the prisoner.

Nativity preparation

While preparing for a nativity for a Sunday school Christmas program, a Sunday School teacher told her students about an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, warning him about danger to the baby Jesus and telling him how to escape from it. After the story time, the students were given an opportunity to draw a picture about the story.

Most of the pictures were predictable, but Johnny’s had an odd element in it.

“Johnny, I see Joseph and Mary with the baby Jesus but they are flying in an airplane. Where did you come up with that idea?”

“Well, teacher, you told us all about the flight to Egypt.”

The teacher caught her breath. “Oh, my. But who is the THIRD adult with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus?”

“I got that from another Bible story. It’s Pontius the Pilot.”

Christmas Riddles

Q. What happens to Santa if there’s a fire in the fireplace?
A. Santa becomes known as Krisp Kringle.

Q. What day of the year can we all honestly say our children are gifted!?
A. December 25th

Q. What three phrases best sum up the Christmas season?
A. “Peace on Earth”, “Goodwill to Men” and “Batteries not included.”

Q. What do you have in December that you don’t have in any other month?
A. The letter “D”.

Q. What do reindeer have that no other animals on earth have?
A. Baby reindeer.

Q. What do you call a chicken at the North Pole?
A. Lost.

Q. Where does Frosty the Snowman keep his money?
A. In a snow bank.

Q. What is Santa’s favorite breakfast cereal?
A. Frosted Flakes.

Q. Which of Santa’s reindeer got a part time job to help in a poor economy?
A. Comet cleans sinks!

Q. Where did the mistletoe go to become rich and famous?
A. Holly-wood.

Q. What do you call a cow at the North Pole?
A. An Eski-moo.

Q. Why did Frosty go to live in the middle of the ocean?
A. Because snow man is an island.

Mom's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you’re hauling big ticket items this year I’d like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, “Yes, Mommy” to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting “Don’t eat in the living room” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don’t mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

P.S. One more thing…you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prepare well

Yesterday I contacted some of you about the costumes and other things.  If you have any trouble, do let me know ahead of time and I can work on it.  Others - do you have ride on Friday?  After your test, whenever you want to take a break, read your lines and practice them saying it at a slow pace.  As discussed, we are planning to do our recording on Friday, and that should be the last part.  I almost forgot that I have to go home and bring Chris to our voice recording as well.  So, let's plan on being there between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.  

Really looking forward to talking to you.  

At work, my team did a trial run for the Dec 19th activity (similar to our practice session at Sunday school) and we have a good feeling about it. Our team decided not to add any bonus stuff between now and Saturday - all of them want to relax today and tomorrow.  I told them about our Christmas play and they read our script. They liked it and gave me some tips.  

Once again, good luck on your exams.  

Secret of Success

"Takes pain," said the window.
"Keep cool," said the ice.
"Drive hard," said the hammer.
"Be up to date," said the calender.
"Never be led," said the pencil.
"Be sharp," said the knife.
"Make light around you," said the fire.
"Stick to it," said the glue.
"Be bright," said the lamp.

Do angels dream?

Do angels dream? I believe they do
There's one who surely dreams of you,
Who hopes your future is secure,
Was with you through challenges you had to endure.

Do angels dream? Sure they do.
The dream of an angel has seen you through.
Continue to grow and strive for the best.
This angel will help you pass the test.

Do angels dream? Of course they do.
Look up and say "Hi" to one who sees you.
When you're happy or sad or just feeling blue,
You're a special angel's dream come true.

Credits: Grandma Rodgers

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting ahead

Hope you are doing well on your tests.

Here is the update we have:

We meet at Sunday school on Friday as discussed. Plan on being there between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. Since I am driving from downtown which is not my usual route, I don't know the traffic but will be there at my earliest. James Joy is going to call you and check your conveience.

I am confident you can do a good job, based on what I have observed so far. Remember those tips I gave you during practice and follow them at home - you will do better. Call me if you still have any questions.

Guess what - at work, things started falling into place since today morning. All I did was pray to the Holy Spirit for things to go well. Not only am I on target, but also ahead of the schedule as of this morning :-).  Whatever I do between now and Saturday is going to be a bonus.  Therefore, I feel relaxed, and have lots of time at hand. All my problems seem to be disappearing (magically).

If you prayed on my behalf, thank you!!

God answers prayers

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder:

"Does God still speak to people?"

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God.. If you will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk.He shook his head an said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply an started on toward home. But again the thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. The young man though about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started of toward home. As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will". He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semicommercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either.

The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people of the houses were already in bed. Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here." He walked across the street and rant the bell. He could hear so noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?"

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

"What is it?" The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you." The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying.

The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me. How to get some milk." His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

Moral: God picks some of us and direct us at certain times to accomplish His tasks.  All we have to do is to listen to His instructions, have faith in Him and follow the path to accomplish His wish.  In the end, only 'His will' will be done.  We are just pawns in His magnanimous game of chess.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This week

Most of you have tests this week.  Focus on that - it is more important.

Do not worry about the Christmas program.  Let me worry about it - that's my job and I will take care of it.  We are done with our script, and you have a good idea of what needs to be done.  Sound recording is being taken care of.  We'll do it inside our classroom.

Based on what I noticed last Sunday, all of you are doing good.  We just need to have couple of practice sessions, which we can hold on Friday when we meet. Bring copy of your script when you come in.

One important question I have for you - Is anyone having any sort of fear on stage?  Do let me know that ahead of time.  In that case, we need to talk.

Costumes - we talked about it in detail last Saturday and Sunday.  Anybody any questions?  Can you bring your costumes on Friday when we meet? I would like to see it beforehand so that we have no surprises.

I am having another fun filled week at work.  Nothing is going well or as planned, since yesterday.  Something or the other keeps popping up at random.  All I can do just sit here and laugh (like a mad person), because certain things are way beyond my control.  When things go really hectic, I step outside the building and take a brisk walk, enjoy the weather and come prepared to hear the next problem.  Hope I will not lose my sanity by this weekend :-)

Saving the train

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass thru freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance thru the dimming twilight and caught sight of the trainlights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.

But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.

They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Moral: In the process of saving something, we may have to sacrifice something valuable to us.

Voice of Jake and Jiby

With the intention of making it easy for Jake and Jiby on Friday, I communicated to them that they need NOT come on Friday to record their voice.

Instead, they can be present during the play and read out their lines thru the microphone backstage.

Jiby responded to it, agreeing to this idea and I hope to hear from Jake soon.

Rest of us, let's plan on meeting on Friday at 5:00 PM in the class.

Test of faith

This is a true story told by one of the first missionaries to enter Russia:

In Russia before the Berlin Wall came down and freedom to worship freely was against the law, many Christians were forced to get together in secret to worship the Lord. One group of Christians were gathered together in a simple house studying the Bible when suddenly the door was thrown open violently and three Russian soldiers burst in with rifles. One of the soldiers bellowed out that anyone who wasn't a Christian could leave immediately but anyone who had come to worship God should stay.

After a moment of silence many people fled out of the house leaving a few people behind. One of the soldiers closed the door behind them and locked it, then all the three soldiers put down the rifles and explained to the remaining few that they also were Christians but they only wanted to worship with true believers.

Could you pass such a test of your faith?

Stand in faith

Stand in faith
Even when you can’t see your way
Stand in faith
Even when you feel like you can’t face another day
Stand in faith
Even when the tears want to flow from your eyes
Stand in faith
Knowing that our God will always provide
Stand in faith
Even when you feel that all hope is gone
Stand in faith
Knowing that He is always there for you to lean on
Stand in faith
Even when you feel like giving up
Stand in faith
Because He is there ... saying, "Just look up"
Stand in faith
Even in those times you feel so all alone
Stand in faith
Hold on and be strong, for He is still on the throne
Stand in faith
Even when it’s hard to believe
Stand in Faith
Knowing that He can change your situation, suddenly
Stand in faith
Even in those times you feel it’s hard to pray
Stand in faith
And believe that He has already made the way
Faith ... is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
So stand in faith
Because you already have the victory!

--Evangelist Johnnye V. Chandler

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hang in there

As we go through these tough times, here is a story for you:

Nicolo Paganini was a well-known and gifted nineteenth century violinist. He was also well known as a great showman with a quick sense of humor. His most memorable concert was in Italy with a full orchestra. He was performing before a packed house and his technique was incredible, his tone was fantastic, and his audience dearly loved him. Toward the end of his concert, Paganini was astounding his audience with an unbelievable composition when suddenly one string on his violin snapped and hung limply from his instrument. Paganini frowned briefly, shook his head, and continued to play, improvising beautifully.

Then to everyone's surprise, a second string broke. And shortly thereafter, a third. Almost like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood there with three strings dangling from his Stradivarius. But instead of leaving the stage, Paganini stood his ground and calmly completed the difficult number on the one remaining string.

We will complete what we have started, no matter the number of strings that are broken.  All we need is God to be on our side, and I know He is.  

Sound recording

Our sound recording did not go well yesterday, due to some technical difficulty.  Here are the implications due to it:

1.  We have to re-group again on Friday at 5:00 PM at church.

2.  We may not be able to add any special effects to the sound - let's give it a try.

3.  We will be able to hold only limited practice sessions with the recorded voice - practice your role at home.

Let's do our best.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Very busy

In case you are wondering what's going on with me, these days:

I am having an extremely hectic schedule and stressful time.  So many things are due in the next one week from my side.  Work, home, Christmas program & church matters are keeping me occupied so much, that I am unable to focus on anything to my satisfaction. I am doing a poor job at everything, because of my lack of attention.  

Since last Monday, I am sleeping very less and most of the time, am not thinking clearly.  Oh - I am also being forgetful about lots of things.  At times, I forget to post something on the class blog (even though I want to).  Wish I had an extra pair of hands, twice the time, and half the problems.  If I forgot something, kindly remind me.

I am not being productive at all.  Despite spending lots of time on simple things, I am unable to show any results.  This will pass and things will be alright. At times, I may need your help.

Thank you for listening, your support and all your help. When I see you, I forget about my problems temporarily, and focus on things to complete.  I am praying for the strength; particularly to get thru this week.

Please do not hesitate to talk to me, if you need to.