Horn Happenings

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Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


The "week of the films" has now come to a close. During that week we were blessed to host a new friend, Ashley, for both the Filmmakers Academy and Film Festival, as well as old friends, Mark and Amy Stubblefield, during the latter event. Seeing friends from around the country, and growing closer to those who live nearby, is such a special and integral part of Vision Forum sponsored events.

Monday of last week saw the start of our hands-on involvement as I was privileged to assist at the registration/information table while our guest, Ashley, attended the Academy. Excitement was in the air as students eagerly learned from some of the most intelligent, creative, humble, family-integrated filmmakers of our time. What a delight to see these godly men surrounded by their honor-giving sons and daughters while instructing future filmmakers in both the theological and technical aspects of this demanding craft.

One of the few sessions I attended at the Academy was Mr. Carpenter's lecture where he instructed students on the practical aspects of building and running a productive Christian film company. Although not gifted in the area of filmmaking myself, Mr. Carpenter's wisdom regarding filmmaking flowed into other areas of life as well, particularly his exhortation to continually stive for excellence. A favorite moment of mine during the Academy was my discussion with a book reviewer for a Christian Canadian magazine regarding some of the products sold at the book table where I was assisting. While reviewing our conversation in my mind later that evening, I was overwhelmed at the blessing it is to be associated with a ministry which stands unapologetically for truth and publishes books that touch lives with their Biblically-based messages.

Thursday afternoon, Mom, John and I headed downtown to begin our volunteering for the Festival, joined by our sweet guest, Ashley. Working at the registration table where I am able to greet attendees and welcome friends from afar is a special delight I have enjoyed at each San Antonio based conference since our move here last year. Mom found herself a representative seeing to needs in the vending hall while John performed his duties as a hall attendantdent that afternoon.

Mr. Phillips' introduction at the Opening Ceremonies thursday night was an exhilarating springboard to start off a film-packed weekend. An extra measure of excitement filled the air that evening as the knowledge of Mrs. Phillips imminent delivery of a baby girl was shared.

Friday and Saturday, in between various tasks and responsibilities, most of us were able to attend a few films and lectures at the Festival. The Oath of Desormeau, which won both the Audience Choice Award and the Best of Festival Jubilee Award, was a definite favorite of attendees and judges alike. Although it had room for improvement in areas, the combined effect of excellent scriptwriting, and above par acting, cinematogrophy and post production, joined together to produce the best film entered in the 2006 SAICFF. I look forward to watching it again when the Best of Festival DVD's are in our possession.

Saturday night, following the breakdown and clean-up at the Convention Center, a whole group of young people converged upon Denny's for the traditional "end of festival" feast. Discussion of films, funny event happenings and sharing of stories filled the next few hours as our weary eyes were propped open with laughter. The crew behind the Best of Festival winner were also partaking at this establishment, and we had the opportunity once again to commend them for their accomplishment.

Following the meeting of our church on Sunday, we enjoyed the gracious hospitality and fantastic cooking of the Sarratt family. A round table discussion of young ladies ensued with lively debate and sharing of thoughts regarding films recently watched at the festival. A growing understanding of what makes a film superior or inferior was shown while discussing the quality of musical scores, cinematogrophy, acting and scriptwriting in the making and viewing of God-glorifying films. We may not all be able to create our own films, but our ability to intelligently critique films has definitely increased following the instruction given at last week's events.

Conference weeks are always brimming with great conversations, new ideas and instruction, forming of friendships, laughter and little sleep. Our love for these times are due to the afore-mentioned aspects (exept perhaps the sleep factor:)), but I have to admit that though eagerly anticipating the next event, I am grateful for the somewhat slower pace which now reigns in our home. Renewing and recharging . . .

Monday, October 02, 2006


Mix time spent chopping celery, carrots, onion and potatoes with History of the World lectures on diverse subjects such as John Knox’s impact on the Scottish Reformation and the Japanese Chrysanthemum Dynasty. Simmer vegetables in chicken broth while simmering new historical understanding in your mind. :)

On a more serious note, life here is now back to a somewhat normal routine. Last night, Tim arrived home from his trip to Nashville making the family complete once again. Between all our various travels I think the total count on meals eaten with the whole family in attendance equals one in the past month. Thankfully we’re all here to stay now, for the time being at least.

Dad’s brother, Rick, was in from New Jersey for a few days last week to visit our grandfather, and we enjoyed taking him around a portion of the greater San Antonio area. From the River Walk and Alamo, to Garner State Park and the accompanying drive through Texan ranch country, we showed him a few of the faces of this State. At Garner State Park some of us indulged in the delightfully relaxing effects of a good swim in the river. Amazingly not one of us experienced sunburn (still a possibility here even though it’s officially fall) although my face was a bit “sun-kissed” from our adventure.

It truly feels great to be home again with my family and back in the kitchen. After a quietly busy day spent cooking, cleaning, listening to lectures and organizing old pictures, my spirit feels completely happy and at rest. Now let's just hope the soup turns out. :)