Light Overcomes Darkness

Arise, shine, for you light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and king to the brightness of your dawn

-Isaiah 60:1-3

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
 are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
 who will shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

-Matthew 2

At last night’s student-led worship service, the sermon was about these two passages. It was dealing with how we respond to the light. 10% of our life is what happens to us and 90% of our lives is dealing with how we respond.

When King Herod heard about Jesus Christ, he responded to the light with oppression. He ordered the Magi to find the baby in Bethlehem and worship him. In addition, he wanted the Magi to report back to him and say where the baby is so that he could worship him. But in reality, King Herod wanted to kill Jesus because he was opposed to the child. But when the Magi didn’t report back to Herod, he ordered that all baby boys under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed, but Joseph was warned in a dream to flee.

The same goes for real life. Do we oppose, feel indifferent, or do we worship the light? If we choose to feel indifferent to the light, the real tragedy is that it can lead to opposition. The best option of all of these is to worship the light. It doesn’t matter how we worship Christ. We can worship through singing Christian songs, praying, dance, coloring, or writing. When we encounter the good news of Christ, we can’t just sit there.

The light is stronger than the dark. The light will overcome all darkness. I choose to worship the light instead of opposing or feeling indifferent to it. My strong spirit helps me keep a close relationship with Christ. I feel like I am going on the right path towards working in Nonprofit and I trust God with all my heart. Christ came to fix all of the darkness and he died on the cross to save us from our sins. The gifts the magi brought to Jesus represent a desire for Christ.

Everyone needs Christ in their lives. He helps us when things are tough, stressful, or hurtful. Light is stronger than darkness and the same is true for love. Love and kindness is what humanity truly is. So if you have the desire to have Christ in your life, never feel indifferent or opposed to the light.

 

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My Special Love of Wicked and Les Mis

My top two favorite musicals are Wicked and Les Mis. Each of them are two very special musicals in my life. I even cannot pick which one is better considering how severely different they are from each other. Wicked is the powerful and emotional story of friendship between Glinda and Elphaba and is filled with spectacle/dance and also a musical comedy. On the other hand, Les Mis is the powerful, heartbreaking, epic, inspirational musical tragedy.

Wicked

Favorite songs: Popular (was my favorite song from the show when I was 12), For Good, Dancing Through Life, What is This Feeling, Wizard and I, As Long as Your’e Mine, I’m Not That Girl 

Favorite character: Elphaba (due to how much I relate to her)

Favorite costume: Elphaba’s act 2 black dress

Favorite cast: January 2016 Touring US Production with Mary Kate Morrissey as Elphaba

Why it’s my favorite: The magic, the fantasy, the dance/spectacle, the vulnerable and special and emotional connection to Elphaba-relate to this character so much, the powerful story of friendship and acceptance

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Les Mis

Favorite songs: On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, A Little Fall of Rain, Bring Him Home, Look Down (Prologue), Look Down (Paris), Drink With Me, Stars, One Day More, What Have I Done

Favorite characters: Eponine, Jean Valjean, Enjolras, Young Cosette, Gavroche, Barricade Boys, Fantine

Favorite costume: No idea

Favorite cast: Summer 2015 West End Cast with Adam Bayjou as Valjean

Why it’s my favorite: the sheer power and brilliance of the songs, the incredible depth of the storyline and characters, the emotional and strong emotional roller coaster, the way the heartbreaking and inspirational natures interlock together 

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Love in the midst of Darkness

Love rocks. Where there is love, there is no darkness

-Unknown

This is a lovely quote. One day at a school event, there was a station to make bookmarks. I picked a stamp and this quote was on that stamp. There is a lot of truth in that quote even though it doesn’t seem like that.

Love is the most powerful force of all. Even though there is always darkness, there is always less when there is love. Feeling love is important in life because it helps us thrive in dark times. Love makes us survive fearful and scary times in life. It still is hard to describe how there is no darkness when it comes to love. But I understand the importance of love. Everyone needs to feel love because we are social creatures and feel a need for intimacy. Love comes in many different forms and each one is so beautiful.

Love is even stronger than fear. God is love and he loves everyone unconditionally. We need to feel loved by God, our friends and family and others. If we feel unloved, than our lives could feel darker and even harder. That would makes us feel very alone.

Below is a blog post I wrote about the types of love in Les Mis. It is directly related to this post because Les Mis is covered with different kinds of love along with hope, compassion, and forgiveness.

https://megsdailymusings.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/to-love-another-person-is-to-see-the-face-of-god/

What you think about the quote I talked about?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Yesterday, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I wanted to watch this movie because I was a fan of Harry Potter growing up. I knew that this movie was part of the Harry Potter world and was looking forward to meeting the new characters and the new creatures. I even was looking forward to finding Harry Potter references throughout the film. I was even familiar with one of the actors, who was Eddie Redmayne, who played the main character, Newt.

I first saw Eddie Redmayne as Marius in the 2012 movie of Les Mis. I enjoyed him as Marius and could not wait to see his portrayal of Newt. The plot of Fantastic Beasts is as follows: Newt, a wizard with a suitcase full of magical creatures, goes to America when darkness is in the air. The dark and powerful wizard, Grindelwald has created chaos in America and at the time, magical creatures are not allowed to be let loose in America. By accident, some of Newt’s creatures are let loose and it is Newt’s job and his allies to recapture them. There are a lot of tensions set between witches and wizards and muggles.

Newt is this British wizard who carries around a suitcase full of magical creatures. He truly cares about every single one of them. I think Newt is a wonderful character. He is very caring, kind, and gentle when it comes to other humans and his wonderful magical creature collection.

Another major character is Jacob, a muggle from America. In America, non-magical humans are not known as muggles, but instead known as no-mag. He sort of is the reason why some of Newt’s creatures were released in New York City. Both Newt and Jacob have a matching suitcase and Jacob accidentally brought Newt’s suitcase home with him. Due to that incident, some of the creatures became loose. He eventually had to team up with Newt to recapture all of the creatures.

Queenie and and Tina, two sister witches are so close to each other and become an important part of the story. They each become valuable to Newt and help him recapture creatures. Tina thought that Newt purposely let the creatures loose and was trying to turn him in, but Newt still always defended that. So Newt, Queenie, Jacob, and Tina become this sort of team.

Overall, I loved the movie and I thought the cast was amazing. I loved being able to pick up on Harry Potter references throughout the film. You saw the necklace with the deathly hallows symbol, the Lestrange family was mentioned, and even Hogwarts and Dumbledore were mentioned. If I did not grow up watching Harry Potter, those references would not have been noticeable. You do not need former knowledge of the Harry Potter series in order to understand this film. It can work as a stand-alone film. It was fun discovering the new characters along with creatures. This time the powerful Grindelwald is like the Voldemort of Harry Potter.

So, if you are a former Harry Potter fan, I would recommend this movie. It can get dark at times. But overall, it is a very magical film with a lot of humor, which was created through Newt, Jacob, Queenie, and Tina. It takes place seventy years before Harry Potter and it was interesting seeing the wizard world through America and I loved seeing how different it was.

Ingredients to a Good Musical

What makes a good musical? What makes you drawn to the material?

For me, the first thing to look at are the songs themselves. For me, if the songs are good, the musical is also good. Something has to draw you to the characters and plot and that usually starts with the songs. When you fall in love with the songs, than you usually slowly fall in love with the emotions themselves.

The next things to truly look at are the characters and storyline. This also connects to the nature of the songs. Do the songs reflect the characters and the storyline? Do the emotions of the story also fit with the songs? In a lot of ways, the songs, characters, and storyline all depend on each other.

The best characters tend to always be some of the complex characters. In addition, almost always, the best storylines tend to reflect both positive and negative emotions and do not usually have a simple plot. That is just in general, but sometimes every so often, you can fall in love with a plot or character that is very simple or you can fall in love with a plot that doesn’t even have the negative emotions.

For me, sometimes the dance or spectacle helps me fall in love with a musical. I tend to look for that when I see a new musical. Sometimes the dance helps strengthen the characters or storyline. It even can help with the setting as well.

But overall, the most important aspect to look for in a musical is an emotional connection. Do you have an emotional connection to the material? Was it worth feeling all of the characters emotions? Did you have joy feeling the negative emotions if they were present? Did you feel like you truly care about the characters?

Listed below are some of the best musical songs (only one per show):

  1. Tomorrow
  2. Seize the Day
  3. Some Enchanted Evening
  4. Corner of the Sky
  5. Edelweiss
  6. For Good
  7. On My Own
  8. Seventy Six Trombones
  9. Memory
  10. Seasons of Love
  11. Music of the Night

Now listed below are some of the best musical characters:

  1. Elphaba
  2. Eponine
  3. Crutchie
  4. Annie
  5. Pippin
  6. Maria (Sound of Music)
  7. Mimi
  8. Don Quixote
  9. Nellie
  10. Grizabella

Now I am listing some of the best musical plots

  1. Wicked
  2. Les Mis
  3. Newsies
  4. South Pacific
  5. Sound of Music
  6. Annie
  7. Rent
  8. Music Man
  9. Fiddler on the Roof

So, the songs are key to a wonderful musical. You can fall in love with the characters and storyline, but if the songs are bad, it can make everything else kind of boring. Bad songs lead to you not caring about the characters and the emotions. Good songs can help bring out the best in the characters and allows you to stay emotionally connected.

In your opinion, what do you think makes a good musical?

Business of Life

Life is very difficult, but so beautiful and wonderful. Even though life is fragile, it is so worth it even if our time on earth is so short. It doesn’t seem like life is short, but it really is. Life is so fragile because there are times when we are going to enter a period of darkness and during those times, it can feel like there is no hope. But in reality, there is always hope even in some very painful times in our life. Life is chaotic because you never know where it will lead you.

Life is like a gigantic roller coaster. There are so many twists and turns. Things happen in life that we have no control over. We need to know how to handle periods of darkness. There are many healthy ways to heal and thrive during those moments. One simple way is just to be out in nature. Even music has a wonderful way  of healing. Just coloring or reading can allow you to cope. The same goes for writing and I believe this blog has helped me cope with the stress of college.

The chaotic nature of life also comes from time management. As a college student, I understand how important time management is. It can be hard to balance the academics with all of the social aspects. I love to learn, but at the same time I can dislike studying at times. I spent a good chunk of this semester writing a gigantic paper in Sociological Theory. The social aspect of college is just as important as the academics. I have been able to volunteer with my club, hike, and even nights of arts and crafts. Even hanging out with friends is very important. I try to stay ahead of the game in order to find time to do all of the social aspects. College is one of the best parts of my life and my school has a wonderful community.

Chaotic

Things to Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! This is a list of thing I am Thankful for.

  1. My family, which includes the dog
  2. My friends
  3. My school
  4. My blog
  5. My massive love for musicals
  6. My love for Christian music
  7. The person I have become
  8. Having God in my life
  9. The wonderful life adventures I have had
  10. My strong spirit
  11. My outgoing, optimistic, smart, determined, funny, curious personality