Through the Looking Glass

EXPO_2014_LogoHalloween is not my favorite day. I can remember taking my young son trick-or-treating when he was a toddler. We went to a neighborhood that went all out with their decorations. House upon house had darkened their porch, made hatchets with dripping blood and had recordings of howling and moaning. Decorating with Evil. I remember my baby boy and the fear mixed with desire because he knew that if he could walk past the evil he would get…candy.

Halloween is about masks and disguises. It is about dressing up and pretending to be someone or something else. You’ve had that moment that someone walked up to you in a mask and just stood next to you. Standing there uncomfortable you wonder who it is…

Moses wore a mask. Really the burning bush, part the red sea, let-my-people-go, guy wore a mask. He had been up on Mount Sinai. Exodus 33:11 says, “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to a friend.” While up on the mountain with God, Moses asked for something huge…he asked to see God. Not just a burning bush or a cloud but to actually see the glory of God. The problem is to see the face of the holy God would have utterly destroyed Moses.

So God set Moses in the cleft of a rock and covered his eyes until after God passed by. Moses was able to see the result of God’s glory – the trail that came after. That trail was enough to set Moses face aglow. When Moses came back down his glowing face freaked people out; they were terrified.

So Moses put on a mask. The Bible actually calls it a veil.

Seems like a pretty good idea right? I mean that way the people would not be afraid and could actually hear God’s message for them. And that worked pretty good until Moses started liking the mask a little too much. Remember the mask was not God’s idea…it was Moses’. The glowing face would fade the longer he was away from God’s presence.

The problem according to the Apostle Paul is that Moses would keep on the mask even though the glory of God faded from his face.

The commandments given through Moses were hard to keep. People make mistakes and sin. Sin takes us out of favor with God, and we no longer reflect His glory. That changed with Jesus. His death and resurrection changed things. He became the ultimate, eternal sacrifice for our sins. His sacrifice actually takes away the veil and we are able to fully reflect the glory of God.

Paul says, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is Spirit – makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” (1 Cor 3:18 NLT)

As Christians our dwelling in Christ transforms us into His image and reflect our Holy God to those around us.

Our theme for CYT in 2014 is “Through the Looking Glass”. It is based on 1 Corinthians 3:18 that we would reflect the glory of the Lord. The when people look at us they would see Christ. By ourselves we are not perfect but in Christ we are made clean and holy – for God’s glory.

Contributed by Pastor Tom Kirkendall, CYT Inc. Board Member

The World is a Stage

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Castlepinesconnection.com recently put the spotlight on the CYT Denver community.

CYT student Ally Fritsch told the media outlet that she loves everyone at CYT because, “they are all so friendly and accepting of others.”

“For example, on my first day of rehearsals for my first show, I had just barely walked in the door when a really nice girl came up and befriended me.  She is one of my best friends now!”

Fritsch’s mom, Nancy, said the shows require a ton of effort to make them happen.

“There is so much love and dedication and it really shows in the high-quality productions,” she said.

The True Culture of CYT: Affecting Lives One Performance at a Time

Greenfield picCYT is a blessing to my prayers.

In June of 2013, I lost two of my relatives from heart attacks. Major anxiety attacks put me in the Emergency Room at Kaiser, twice. I was put on medication and told to get counseling. The medication helped a little. But I knew there was something out there that would assist my problems without medication.

My pastor told me that praying and having faith are the best things to do. I started praying to God, asking for something to come my way so I could get back to my normal life. My prayers to Him included help with my anxiety, my family losses, and financial problems.

Several days later I was handed a contract at work, asking me to work an event here on the Greenfield Campus, in San Diego. The contract was from Area Coordinator, Tina Filley, from CYT SD. I looked at the contract, sat down and prayed to God, “Please Jesus. Let this be the answer to my prayers.” I hesitated for a moment before signing the contract, but as I signed it, a warm feeling tingled through my body telling me this was the answer to my prayers. I felt as if God had answered my prayers, and low and behold my prayers were answered.

Every day that CYT practiced or performed, my mind was put at ease. All the children were well behaved and very polite. As I watched them perform, little-by-little my anxiety started to leave my body. There was never any tension when CYT was there. It was like CYT welcomed me to their family as a person, not just the custodian covering their event. All the CYT staff had very encouraging words that helped me make it through tough times.

CYT helps people bring out the real person they should be. Every person has hidden talent, but it takes special people like the CYT staff to bring that out of us. I know, first hand. I want to thank all of the kids who helped me see that there is more to life then pouting. They made me feel happy with their outstanding performances. I want to thank Tina, CYT volunteers, and the sound and lighting crew, for all their knowledge and greatness. I hope to see everyone back here in Febuary 2014.

P.S. I am still singing the Mr. Morton song. It’s stuck in my head, keeping out the bad thoughts that were causing my anxiety.

Contributed by Thomas J. Stotler, Sr.

CYT Phoenix’s Annie Cast on Fox 10 News

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A couple days ago, the cast of CYT Phoenix’s Annie appeared on their local news station, FOX 10.

“Steven, who plays Daddy Warbucks, was such a trooper to shave his head for the role- and on TV, no less!” said Artistic Director, Tambra Lamb. “He has been an awesome addition to CYT, and has the most amazing eyebrows ever!”

You can purchase tickets to Annie at www.cytphoenix.org.

The Cast of CYT Tucson’s Oliver! on The Morning Blend

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Earlier this morning, CYT Tucson stopped by a local news station, The Morning Blend, to discuss their latest production of Oliver!

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Randy McDonald and Sydney Alexis talked about their roles in the show, as well as how they got involved with CYT, and Amanda Valenzuela performed “As Long As He Needs Me.”

According to Artistic Director Kathy Thuerbach, McDonald, Alexis and Valenzuela make her proud.

“[They] represent CYT in a most spectacular way!” she said.

Click here to see the video.

Invest in CYT Birmingham

photo-1CYT Birmingham’s Parent Meeting was a success.

The meeting took place the last week of Sept., at the Hunter Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Co-founder and CFO, Sheryl Russell, was in attendance to cast the CYT mission and vision.

“Everyone who was there was very interested in what we’re up to. Sheryl was a big hit, and quite a blessing,” said Steering Committee member, Mike Bratton.

Bratton is continuing to communicate with churches, local media, and parent groups.

“For [those] who are interested in helping CYT Birmingham, we need investments of time as well as financial investments,” he said.

If you’d like to make a donation you can do so, here. You can also join the CYT Birmingham community on Facebook.