ONE MORE WEEK!

Join us this Christmas season as the Metropolitan SDA Church Youth and Young Adults present a compelling story about family, brotherhood and relying on God during our darkest hours. You won’t want to miss this period piece with a message that transcends all eras!

Admission is $5. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by contacting us via email (jillianfortin@gmail.com) or text/phone (713.594.1707). Presale tickets are guaranteed premium seating. Tickets are also available at the door.

All attendees are invited to a fundraiser dinner following the performance. Plates are available for a donation of your choice.

We thank you all for your continued support of the Metropolitan SDA Church Youth and Young Adults. All proceeds of the performance will benefit the Metropolitan SDA Church Youth Pavilion Fund.

Thank you and God bless!

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CAST & CREW:
Joanna Fortin • Ely Don Lagazo • Maria Paguinto • Mervyn Baysa • John Paguinto • Michelle DeGracia • Edwin Morales • JJ Tungpalan • Sydney Rhodes • Leslie Rosete • Melissa Sandoval • Hannah Docdocil • Ashitaka Porter • Raymond Maquio • Lauren Morales • Alexis Tristan • Jordan Rhodes • And More!
Written and Directed by Jillian Fortin
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If you’d like to support us by purchasing a “Buddy Blessing” in our Souvenir Bulletin, please follow this link. $20 for a full page and $10 for half a page. Thanks for your continued support!

A Soundtrack for Crazy

Any other year, I’d typically have Christmas music streaming out of my nose and ears.

This year is a bit different. This year, I’ve got crazy* all around me. (*see also: insanity, mayhem)

I found myself taking comfort from this song as a mother’s lullaby might console a newborn baby (because God knows I’ve been wanting to weep like one).

And then I decided. This is all I want for Christmas.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY9b6jgbNyc]

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

On The Death Penalty

So I thought to myself, “Self, now’s a better time to share my opinion on the death penalty,” given the recent uproar regarding the execution of Troy Davis, a (must I add?) African-American man convicted of murder in 1991 for killing an off-duty, (must I add?) Caucasian police officer.

I question whether or not I need to add race, because even though it has been added (and it’s mostly because all the media outlets find it absolutely necessary to do so), I still feel really funny about the amount of importance placed upon those details.

I don’t know how to describe the “funny.”

I haven’t publicly shared my opinion on the death penalty since I got in a heated argument in 2002 with boyfriend-at-the-time about it, and I’m not planning to wax poetic about why you should think the way I think.

I’d never ask you to do so.

I shall simply share two things with you. The first is a little gem from a favorite trilogy of mine:

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” (Gandalf, LOTR)

And last but not least, some words of wisdom from The Book:

“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24)

“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.”(Isaiah 11:3)

A True Example of Tomorrow’s Brighter America

I can’t get enough of this!

Bless her little heart, 11-year-old Carolina Gonzalez of Forney, Texas, was named Mayor for the Day by winning a Facebook contest  (you’re gonna wanna remember this) designed to spark government interest in young people, according to the Washington Post.

Okay, that’s cool. Getting kids excited about the powers that govern us. That’s awesome. I could eff with that. No problem. Good on ya, City of Forney.

But then sweet little Carolina rolls up into the office, all like, “Get outta my way, ingrates! I’ve got business to tend to; I’ve got work to do!” (cues Ace Hood’s Hustle Hard) “Closed mouths don’t get fed on this boulevard!”

Well then, on which boulevard do they get fed, Carolina?
Why, “Justin Bieber Way”, naturally!

Says Carolina, “I just really like Justin Bieber and I thought it would be cool if we had a street in our town named after him.”

I’m probably not one to hate, especially since I don’t particularly dislike the Biebs, nor could I deny the fact that if that had been me, I may have considered naming a street after Jonathan Taylor Thomas or Devon Sawa. But I do know that my parents would’ve looked at 11-year-old me like, “Seriously? You could have done anything, and you chose… well, this?”

With great power comes great responsibility, babycakes. Or is Spiderman way before your time?

Image credit: Courtesy of City of Forney via Entertainment Weekly

“There’s Always A Reason…”

And finally. What I’ve been asking for. A higher purpose to last week’s tragedyMy boss-who-asked-me-not-to-mention-her-name sent me the following screenshot of a text her husband sent her yesterday.

You’re welcome, world.

And now I can eat chicken again.

Well, maybe.

Update: 8/17/2011 @ 6:01 p.m.

And more keep coming! Just got this Facebook post from my friend Rosalynn:

Y’all are the best. Forreal.

Dear Duck I Accidentally Hit With My Car

I barely knew you. But I shall remember you forever.

I will never forget the afternoon I first laid eyes on you. You were with another adult duck (your wife, presumably? or domestic partner… I won’t judge) and several baby ducks. I wish I had seen you and your family sooner. Perhaps this all could have been avoided. Perhaps you would still be with us.

I remember thinking, should I slam on my brakes and risk getting hit by the guy trailing me? I remember seeing the gigantic gutter to the right of my vehicle. I remember the panic that took over me as I swerved, hoping to avoid both your family and the gutter at the same time.

My heart broke into a million pieces when I heard and felt the thud on my bumper. My body went cold when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw you rolling. I knew that my attempt to steer clear of you all had failed miserably, and as I saw you rolling I knew that you were gone. I slowed down to make sure your companion and baby chicks all made it safely to the other side, but I couldn’t help but be horrified about what I had done to you.

I could have been more careful. I could have gone slower. I could have been more cognizant of the construction that was taking place on that country road. I wish there was someone I could blame – the city of Sugar Land? your owners? – but at the end of the day, there is no one to blame but myself.

I hope that you are happy and at peace, wherever you are. I am so sorry that your little ducklings will grow up without one of their parents, but I know that there are good people out there (like Anna Pacquin’s character from the 1996 film “Fly Away Home”) that will make sure your little ones get the care they need. I also promise to be extra kind if/whenever I see little ducklings, even if it’s years from now, since they might be your grandbabies. I thought about you before I went to bed last night. I clutched my little animal baby, Brodie, and apologized to him profusely for the crimes I had done against the Animal Kingdom. I hope the message came across somehow. I know that no amount of penitence will make up for taking your life, but I do want to let you know that I am truly sorry for my lack of care on the road. It will never happen again. You have my word.

And I’m also never eating duck again. Or poultry, for that matter. At least for a really, really long time.

Love always,

Jillian

P.S. To all my human friends – please be careful on country roads, especially in the southwest Houston/Sugar Land/Katy area. Namely 1464. Only we can prevent accidental vehicular duckslaughter.

All the Good

I am always super happy when I hear about businesses and companies being socially responsible. As a gal who got a taste of the NPO hustle and bustle (and holds a deep, dear place for it in her heart), I can’t help but to send kudos to my friends and loved ones who have devoted their time, toils and labor to these very important missions.

The first of which is my cousin, Ron, who for the last few years, has been the executive director of a school in Antigua, Guatemala. He is passionate about what he does; it’s obvious when you talk to him. He used to lead the corporate 9-5 lifestyle and had a great job, but he felt God’s calling and took up the challenge, leaving in what it seemed to be the blink of an eye.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/11554097]

An example of one of my cousin’s vlogs about his time in Antigua

It’s no secret that moving to Guatemala and working for a non-profit meant a pay cut for my cousin, but when you’re doing God’s work, He always takes care of his children. Ron found opportunities to play saxophone at jazz venues (and he’s EXTREMELY good; check out this video from 2006!) which has allowed him to start up a new business called Homeschool Spanish Academy. I’ve been helping my cousin out with this project over the last few months and am VERY excited about what’s to come (like my trip to Guatemala next February! WOOT!)

I received another exciting update from my good friend, Richard, who’s moved probably like, four times since I met him three years ago. When I first met him, he was living in Houston and working for Red Bull. During that time, we went to the Philippines on a mission trip to Luna in the northern part of the country. Then, he moved to some state that starts with an “A”, and then swiftly moved to California where he was working for a film company there. All throughout this time, he was a co-founder and partner of a disaster response organization that did major relief work in Haiti. This sparked his love for mission-based organizations, and he has most recently found himself in Reno, Nevada, as the VP of Marketing for a foundation whose sole purpose is to provide water purification systems to third world countries. I had the pleasure of speaking with the president of the organization and the way he put it really hit home: “The people who need it the most are the people who can’t afford it.” And this is why it’s our responsibility to help.

I haven’t officially been in the non-profit game for almost a year now, but my heart is still 100% tied to it… and I anticipate it will be forever. There’s so much good to be done, and so little hands to actually see it through. When I was back in Austin, I would oftentimes return to the office scowling or with a frown on my face. I’d tell one particular co-worker about a frustrating meeting or annoying situation, and he’d always say the same thing: “Hang in there. It’s you doing all the good.”

It’s me. It’s you. It’s them. We all have the potential to do the good that needs to be done in this world; are we taking up arms like Ron and Rich and doing it?