Andy Redfern

Andy Redfern

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It was so flattering and people were saying to me it was an

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A bad night’s fishing – New Drama based on John 21:1-14

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Here is a new drama (or skit for all my readers in the USA) based on John 21:1-14

Two characters. They are called Andrew and Nathan. (Nathan is Nathaniel and while it doesn’t say Andrew was present a number of unamed disciples were fishing that night.) They are stood on the deck of a small fishing boat reflecting on the night’s fishing. Both talk in Northern accents with a “grumpy old man” manner.

 

Andrew:     I reckon it’s your fault Nathan.

 

Nathan:      Oh here we go Andrew. What are you blaming me for now?

 

Andrew:     It’s your fault we caught no fish all night.

 

Nathan:      Oh aye? How do you reckon on that?

 

Andrew:     It’s your aftershave. The fish can smell you a mile off. You must stop going fishing after you’ve been clubbing.

 

Nathan:      Oh right, blame me. More likely to be those two at the back of the boat – Zebedee’s boys. Whoever heard of fishermen called “Sons of Thunder”? – it’ll be all their racket that’s scared the fish.

 

Andrew:     Still reckon it’s your fault. I’m from a family of fishermen like my brother Peter.

 

Nathan:      What? Peter? When future Gospel writers come to write his life story, it’ll say “When Jesus came across Peter, he was mending his nets.” He spends more time sewing than fishing.

 

Andrew:     Hey shut up. He’s listening. You know he’s not been the same since he…well….you know…let Jesus down. You know when he denied him three times. He blames himself for everything.

 

Nathan:      Aye and a good night’s fishing was supposed to put that right. Not much chance of that. I’ve seen more fish in the Dead Sea during a drought on a hot Bank Holiday Monday.

 

Andrew:     Hang on… there’s a nutter on the beach lighting a fire and waving at us. Better not be the People’s Front of Judea doing that Zealot thing again. Still haven’t had the last insurance claim settled….

 

Nathan:      No…listen…John says it’s Jesus.

 

Andrew:     Blimey again? He’s back again? He’s had more comebacks than Dr Who.

 

Nathan:      Hang on… your brother Peter’s jumped in and is splashing through the water. No chance of catching any fish now. He’s being a real muppet.

 

Andrew:     If that’s Jesus, why’s he shouting at us? What? Is he telling us how to fish? Does he know what we do? Does he know we do this for a living? He’s a carpenter from Nazareth. Since when did he go all Robson Green and give tips on extreme fishing?

 

Nathan:      Shut up idiot. Now you’re scaring the fish – just do what he says. Put the net in on the other side.

 

Andrew:     Oh right. Does he think the fish are just messing about? Playing hide and seek under the boat.

 

Nathan:      Look…the nets…they’re full.   There must be…153 fish in that net.

 

Andrew:     What? 153 fish? How do you know?

 

Nathan:      I just do. Google it later and see if I’m right. LOL.

 

Andrew:     I have no idea what you just said. Well this net is heavy. All these fish. I’m going to put my back out.

 

Nathan:      Do you ever stop moaning? Look! Jesus is cooking breakfast. He’s alive. He is risen. And he’s a man who cooks a mean breakfast. Now that truly is a miracle.

 

Andrew:     No, I’ll tell you the real miracle. He’s talking to Peter and he’s smiling and nodding his head. Perhaps this is just what the doctor ordered.

 

This drama was written by Andy Redfern is copyright. However, you can use it freely for non-commercial purposes as long as you provide attribution and reference this site.

Five Ways to Make Learning Lines a Little Bit Easier

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In my view nothing takes the dramatic out of a drama more than all the actors walking around with scripts in their hands. They don’t project their voices. They don’t make eye contact with each other or the audience. And they often still get lost when they try to look up and ad lib.

People will often site lack of time or “it’s only a small congregation” as reasons why they don’t learn lines. Well those may be good excuses but I reckon if it’s worth taking the time of people to watch it, it’s definitely worth taking the time to learn the lines. So how can we learn lines more quickly and more effectively?

  1. Get the script right – if you can’t read and deliver the lines comfortably then tweak the script so you can. If you feel the character wouldn’t say things quite that way, rewrite it so you are comfortable. Of course, you are only rewriting for delivery – make sure you don’t go changing the meaning!
  2. Record the script and listen to it – even if you have to do all the voices yourself most laptops, phones and MP3 players now have the ability to record and playback easily. Listen to it a few times perhaps while you’re doing something else like driving and you will soon be picking up many of the lines.
  3. Record the other speaking lines and then practise adding yours – I use an application called Evernote. It lets me record all the other lines as individual notes. I then play them back in order and give my lines when each note finishes. Great for practising when no one else can help out.
  4. Work with a friend – ask someone else to give all the other lines. Makes sure they encourage you to get the lines exactly right. If you end up getting a line wrong it can throw everyone else.
  5. Make time for rehearsals – there is no better way to polish your lines and your timing.

So next time go the extra mile – your audience or congregation will thank you!

Got any tips you’d like to share?

This city saw revolutions and bore the brunt of WW II but

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Love in Action

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In considering love this week, I’ve thought a lot about what love in action might look like. I was reminded of a friend I knew a few years ago. He was pretty hit and miss in his church attendance. He would not have been able to deliver his testimony from the front of church. He did not know his Bible inside out. He did not have all the right answers. But he did know the names of all the children in the Primary School where he was the Head. He did show an interest in every individual he met. He would do anything for anyone. He never had a bad word to say about anyone.

I remember one night at house group, we were talking about discipleship and David said –

“I’m not sure I know exactly what discipleship is, but I do get out of bed every morning and say ‘I wonder how I can love as Jesus loved today’. Is that what you mean?”

David died very suddenly in his mid forties and at his funeral, the church was overflowing with individuals from all walks of life whose lives had been touched by this extra special man and his extraordinary love.

And then just last week, I attended a retirement ‘do’ for the tutor of  my Living Theology Today course in Durham. He had tutored the course for ten years, each year welcoming in a new set of students and walking with them through their head and heart journey of faith and discovery. When I received the invitation, I knew I had to go, but was concerned that there would be no one else there from my course. How wrong I was. The room was full of people whose lives had been changed by this man. Everyone was there because they wanted to testify to the difference that this one man had made to their faith and life.

But Jim is not a loud, confident, charismatic individual. He is the epitome of ‘unassuming‘. He is reserved and shrinks from the limelight. He hates being the centre of attention and does not stand out in a crowd. His knowledge of theology is extensive and deep and yet he values fresh insights from much less learned individuals like myself. His love is patient, gentle and kind. He seemed overwhelmed by the good wishes of us all, as if surprised that he had had an impact on so many lives.

Of course, the very best example of love in action that has ever lived is Jesus himself. Look for love in his every action. Look for love in his every word. Love is there to be found in all that Jesus did and said.

He did not heal the sick to show how spiritual he was.

He did not turn water into wine to prove a point.

He did not pick these particular disciples to make himself look good.

He did not cast out demons to prove how much God was using him.

He did not tell parables to get in with the in-crowd.

He did not walk on water to impress.

He did not calm the storm to gain respect.

He did not feed the five thousand to become popular.

He did not wash the disciples’ feet to make people look up to him.

It was all out of love. Love for his followers. Love for the sick. Love for the lost. Love for God. In Jesus, we find a kind and compassionate love. A love that cares and meets needs. A love that nurtures, cherishes and forgives. A love that is patient and humble.

 

Let us be inspired and challenged by love in action.

 

Let us learn to say with my friend – ‘I wonder how I can love as Jesus loved today’.

New Sunday School resources from Traidcraft

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Just found that Traidcraft has produced an excellent four-week Sunday School (or Vacation Bible School) series on fair trade focusing on honey production in Bolivia.

The pack consists of a four summary sheets detailing activities and the programme plus activity sheets to photocopy for each child. The pack is available as a PDF download here. The pack is well recommended.

Making the Trinity make sense

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I have always struggled to make sense of the Trinity. Even more so when I have tried to explain it to my kids. I came across this that helped me and my kids:

 

Athanasius compared the Trinity to a lighted candle: the lighted candle is a flame; the flame is light and the flame is heat, but it is all one flame. The One God is the creator of all, the one God is the incarnated light of Jesus, and the one God is the warming presence of the Holy Spirit. All of these manifestations are at the same time the flame of the lighted candle. This remains the best analogy I have found to describe the Trinity.

Rufus H. Stark II, retired Methodist minister, writing to The Christian Century.

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