Saturday, February 18, 2017

Living Word

My 50th state will be North Dakota.

I could have checked it off the list years ago! I was performing in Moorhead, MN, and I drove past the bridge into Fargo. I passed it by thinking I'd already been to ND. I got back to NYC and looked at a map on my wall: South Dakota! It was South Dakota! But I'm working with some wonderful folks now, and it probably wouldn't be happening had I crossed that bridge all those years ago.

---


A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Case for Christ documentary

We just watched the documentary The Case for Christ with interviews with Lee Strobel and scholars who helped him gather evidence that Jesus Christ lived, was crucified, resurrected and changed the world.

Lee was an award-winning legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune. When his wife became a Christian he used his skills as an investigative journalist to disprove Christianity. After a two year journey he sat down with a legal pad and wrote down evidence for and against in separate columns. He said when he looked at the avalanche of evidence that the major claims of Christianity were true he realized it would take more faith to believe it didn't happen.

Looking forward to the major motion picture coming out in April.




Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snow Day

We canceled today's service at Westchester Chapel due to inclement weather, so we're catching up by posting sermons that were recorded but not posted. Click the sermon title below to go to the sermon, which has been posted on this blog in the order of the date preached:
Do What Jesus Did, March 8, 2009: Pastor Joyce Swingle teaches on Acts 5:12-15.
Holiness Unto the Lord, July 17, 2016: Rich Swingle teaches on Exodus 28:36-38.
Breaking Paradigms, October 9, 2016: Pastor Joyce Swingle teaches on Matthew 16:13-20.
Forgiveness and Fellowship: Peacemaker or a Peace Faker? February 5, 1017: Pastor Pastor Joyce Swingle teaches on Matthew 18:15-20.
Here's a song I was going to introduce today, but Dr. Linda Warren will lead it next Sunday. You can get a head start learning it:



If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.


Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

They Called Him Coach

I just had a delightful surprise watching this documentary on John Wooden, who holds all kinds of records as a basketball coach for UCLA. The one that impressed me the most is that he holds the all-time 40 season winning percentage of .813 (Dayton High School, South Bend Central High School, Indiana State Teachers College, UCLA). That's a whole lotta winning! Along the way came a record ten national championships, seven of those were consecutive (another record), and an 88 game winning streak over three years, and the records go on! What!? Unbelievable!

They Called Him Coach spends some time on his success, but most of the focus is on the foundation of his success and how it was all built upon his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every year he started the season handing out his Pyramid of Success, but he never talked about winning! His Pyramid is a number of foundational, biblical principles established through faith and patience to have a successful game... and (always his real point) a successful life.

One of the producers of this film is David McCasland, who produced a documentary on Eric Liddell, also for Day of Discovery. David wrote what I believe is still the authoritative biography on the world-record breaking Olympian-turned-missionary. I got to have dinner with David and his wife Luann after a performance of my play on Liddell.




Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Our Last Stand

ISIS destroyed this church in Syria.
A few years ago,  Jordan Allott was interviewed on FOX NEWS during the same program as Father Gabriel Adde, a Syrian Orthodox priest. After the program Jordan met with the Adde family and soon struck up a conversation with Fr. Adde's daughter Helma. After college Helma, born in Chicago, had lived six months in her family's hometown of Quarmishli in Northern Syria. Jordan was telling Helma about plans to return to that part of the world to film a documentary about the persecution of Christians there, and that Quarmishli was on his itinerary. Helma felt a tinge of jealousy that an American with no ties to the Middle East would be visiting a place she loved so much, but before long Allott asked her if she would like to join him for the journey. He had been looking for someone who knew the cultures of both places to be a bridge for Western viewers.

Last night I saw the documentary of their trip, Our Last Stand, at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. They begin their journey in Iraq visiting Christian refugee centers, then they cross the Tigris River into Syria and visit the front lines where Christians are defending themselves against ISIS. When ISIS moves into an area, they identify Christians and other religious minorities and give them 24 hours to either move away, become Muslim, be executed or pay a very high fine.

During the Q and A session following the screening, the Sheen Center's David DiCerto asked Jordan and Helma what they think of the temporary closure of our borders to refugees from Iraq, Syria and other nations that cultivate terrorism. Jordan referenced an interview in the film with a little boy in Iraq. You can see part of it in the trailer below. The boy says that ISIS left them with nothing, and he said he and his people just want to live, and he hopes a country will take them in. Jordan said he would love for all those who have been displaced by what has recently been recognized by the U.N. as the ISIS genocide to have a home in the U.S. He went on to say that it saddens him that this situation is being used as a political statement against the current administration. He asked where the outrage was when President Obama used an executive order to halt the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy with Cuba, leaving many who were in transit deported back to Cuba. He spoke about how Christians and other religious minorities do not feel comfortable staying in UN-sanctioned refugee villages because they know they'll face persecution from Muslims there. He asked where the outrage was when the UN refused to share resources with Christians who created their own refugee camps in churches.

David asked Jordan why he named the film Our Last Stand. Jordan and Helma both made it clear that this is a tragedy for all Christians, and that in a matter of years there truly may not be any churches or Christians left in that part of the world where followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians.

I was interviewed after the event by NET TV for a program featuring the film and screening which will air tonight at 7:30pm Eastern. NET TV is also streamed online.





Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Colonel Papa Cubano

Joyce and I just finished our first short film! It's about a family we met in Cuba. It's the true story of an atheist who becomes head of the Salvation Army in Cuba and one of the stories that helped him get there.

It stars Marco Santiago (America's Next Top Model), Patricia Mauceri (Courageous Love, The Farmer and the Belle, One Life to Live) and I narrate it.

We'll let you know when it's released via RichDrama.com/Updates.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The King's Messengers

I performed in two of the four parts to this mini-series set in the fictional nation of Zanora. Once again, Daniel Knudsen has brought truth to the screen in a delightful way. This is my sixth collaboration with Daniel, and it's always a joy!

It was selected for the 2017 Christian Worldview Film Festival, and is available online.



Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Recommended Reading for Spiritual Formation

Here are some books that have helped me grow in my walk with the Lord over the years:

• The Bible. I read it cover to cover every year: www.RichDrama.com/BibleReading
• A Discipleship Journey by David Buehring
• Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald. For a season I read chapter three, "Caught in a Golden Cage" at the start of every year. It explains the differences between being called and being driven.
• Knowing God by J.I. Packer
• The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. I've been blessed to know both women who played Corrie in the movies based on this book.
• The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
• God's Smuggler by Brother Andrew
• The Intercessor by Reese Howells
• No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green
• Evangelism Explosion by Dr. James Kennedy

Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Fellowship with Jesus by Asking Questions

Joyce teaches on Matthew 17:24-27, and I breaks into the recording to talk about the algebra of God. Opening by Pastor Jim Warren. Dr. Linda Warren leads the pastoral prayer.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.


Registration is now open for the 2017 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another sketch!

Some of the Cubans we worked with to
create a sketch while we were there.
I just heard that the church in Cuba where we helped create a new drama is working on their next! Hurrah!!!


I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Cuba Report Report

At our apartment complex for performing artists we get to use a room for performances, and I asked if I could perform Views of the Manger, the one-man play I performed in Cuba a couple of weeks ago, followed by rough cuts of some short films we shot while we were there. They said we couldn't do it during December, but there were plenty of dates in January. I figured no one would want to see a Christmas play in January, but then we realized it was a perfect fit for Epiphany, the celebration of the Wise Men visiting the Lord, especially since the narrator of the play is one of those Magi.

We couldn't have been more pleased with how things went on Epiphany Eve (the closest we could get to Epiphany itself). We had a good turn-out, a great response, wonderful follow-up conversations, and the huge bonus of having someone in the audience we'd crossed paths with in Cuba! He joined us for our Q and A at the end, and he gave more details about one of the stories I told in one of the short films, and he was able to share much more about Cuba, having visited many more times than us.

You can find out more about the trip at www.RichDrama.com/Cuba.


Photos: Nancy Kronemann Buchanan
Find more by clicking here.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Year of Mission!

Joyce teaches on Matthew 28:16-20, with an illustration from Acts 2:42-47. She mentions teaching in Cuba, and you can hear that message at www.RichDrama.com/Cuba, where you can find out more about our January 5 NYC presentation on Cuba. She also mentions teaching in Taiwan, and you can hear that message by clicking here. Joyce mentions one of our spiritual mentors, Fran Warren. Her funeral is Westchester Chapel's second most-visited service.

Pastor Jim Warren opens the service, reading Psalm 148. He mentions that our Church will be reading through the One Year Bible together. You can order a copy through Pastor Joyce or start the Reading plan on the YouVersion application for your mobile device. Dr. Linda Warren leads and defines communion.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email you can click this link, to play the service:



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top 100 Films for 2016

I'm blessed to have performed in seven of the Top 100 films for www.Christian Cinema.com:

#1 Beyond the Mask (which was mentioned as having moved up from 3rd)
#2 Alone Yet Not Alone (which was mentioned as having holding 2nd place)
#14 Princess Cut (which got special mention for moving up from #43 last year)
#23 Polycarp
#35 The Messenger Box
#74 Providence (which got special mention for its numerous awards)
#100 In His Steps



I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Baptisms on a Beach in Cuba



If you're reading this in an email you can see the video at www.RichDrama.com/Cuba.

One Day... in Cuba

I announced the release of the short film One Day from Cuba!


The actual release date is yet to be posted, but there will be a premiere in Freeport, IL, on January 22.

If you're reading this in an email visit www.RichDrama.com/Cuba to watch the video.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Farmer and the Belle


I just got to work on a really fun and profound film, The Farmer the Belle, a Christmas comedy. Their goal is to get it into theaters by next Thanksgiving, so watch for it.

Great message!

I was a New York City assistant producer, and I played Conrad, the manager for the lead, played by Jenn Gotzon​, making this our fifth film together.

#RealLove
#TheFarmerAndTheBelle
#ChristmasComedyMovie

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Season!

Joyce and I just got back from a profound week in Cuba where I performed Views of the Manger, and Joyce taught on Jeremiah 29:11, our marriage verse. 

We've posted her message and more about Cuba at www.RichDrama.com/Cuba.

As soon as we got back I switched gears to perform in and serve as a NYC producer on the upcoming film The Farmer and the Belle, the seventh film project I worked on this year. Two of those are short films about Cuba we're now editing, one is unannounced, and the others were A Matter of Perspective, Felicia's Pledge and One Day

Proof Rich married an angel!
Joyce spoke of how Jeremiah's encouragement was to the exiles in Babylon, and how Daniel would have been one of the recipients. Daniel saved the magi by interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, so they were able to read the Hebrew Scriptures and, generations later, recognize the Star of Bethlehem for what it was: The birth announcement for the King of Kings. 

We're blessed to see that seven films in which I performed made the Top 100 of 2016 for ChristianCinema.com, including the top two. Four of them were mentioned in the opening article. Praise the Lord!

I got an app for tracking my trip mileage, and this year I covered 46,788 miles, almost circling the globe twice, performing and/or teaching in 17 states and six film projects.

Click here for Facebook's review of our year.

Joyce brought the Christmas Day message at Westchester Chapel, and you can hear it by clicking here.

Joyce just read about a Christian member of congress who said people pray them into office, but then don't pray them through their terms. He said he can tell when people are praying and when they're not. I can tell many of you are praying for us the year round! Thank you so very much!!! Please keep interceding for us... and our leaders.

Have a blessed Christmas, everyone! 
Though there are now Christmas
trees everywhere in Cuba we never
thought to have our picture taken
next to one! This is as jolly as we got
for the camera:
Christmas-colored lollipops!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Joyce teaches on Revelation 19:1-10. She mentions my performance of "La Gente Que Jesús Conocia" (The People Jesus Knew). Find out more about it at www.RichDrama.com/ShortPieces. Find out more about our trip to Cuba and our upcoming report on January 5 at www.RichDrama.com/Cuba.

Pastor Jim Warren opens with a reading from Isaiah 43:10-19 and prayer. Pastor Linda Warren prays over the service.

Click the arrow below, or if it's not there click this link, to play the service:



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Message in Cuba: Choose God's Plans

Rich and Joyce Swingle in
Havana, Cuba, near where she
preached this message.
Joyce teaches in Cuba on Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 12:1-2. She speaks with translation.

Click the arrow below, or if you received this via email click this link, to play the service:



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Teaching and Performing in Cuba

In twelve hours we'll leave for Cuba to teach, perform and encourage the people! 

I've been invited to teach three workshops at a Bible school and train young people how to do enacted prayer and how to create their own sketches through improvisation. On the last night they'll perform a brand new sketch just before I perform Views of the Manger with Spanish translation slides, which were just finished a couple of nights ago. ¡Mil gracias, ayudantes!

We've been amazed at the Lord's timing related to this trip.  In the aftermath of Fidel Castro's death, the government called for a moratorium on any special events at churches. We believe the ban has now ended, but we appreciate your prayers for a smooth journey and smooth events!

When we prayed about whether we should accept the invitation, we sensed the Lord urging us to go and encourage the people there with the Love of our Lord and the Good News that they are not forgotten but were bought with a Price. We pray we can bring the Precious Scripture to Life in their minds and hearts through the play and workshops. Pray they hear and understand All the Lord has for them, and that Joy, unspeakable Joy will be the hallmark of the trip!

Our local hosts are not able to cover our travel expenses, so if you're able to help, please do so at www.RichDrama.com/Donate

Thanks so much for your prayer and assistance!

In Christ alone,
Rich and Joyce Swingle


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story by booking Beyond the Chariots.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Send a Blessing to Cuba

Joyce and I are going to go to Cuba on December 10. I'll be teaching workshops and performing Views of the Manger with Spanish subtitles. Just before that performance I'm going to show a video of greetings from people around the world. 

When we prayed about going we felt we were to tell the people: 
• To encourage them.
• Let them know the Lord regards them highly and loves them very much.
• They are not forgotten by Christians around the world.
• To water seeds the Lord has planted in their hearts.

If you can put together a short message with one or more of these thoughts I would be happy to include it in the video. Feel free to touch on more than one point. 

In the video, please mention where you live, and if you speak in a language other than English or Spanish, please include an English transcript so we can provide them with subtitles.

Please upload it to YouTube as an Unlisted video or to Vimeo with a password. You can also send it via Dropbox. Below I've pasted instructions for sending a video from your phone...

Also, please download our waiver, sign it, scan it, and return it with the link to your video via the contact form at the bottom of www.RichDrama.com/Booking.

I'll need to receive it by December 9 since internet access there is not fast enough to download videos.

Thanks for helping us bless the people of Cuba!
Here are instructions for recording from your phone:

• You may already have a YouTube app installed on your phone. If not you can download it from your App Store or (on Androids) Play Store.

• Once you open the app you'll see a video icon in the lower right corner. Click on that.

• The next screen will show videos that are already on your phone and another video icon. Click that.

• Click the icon that makes your phone film from the side of your camera so you can see what you're filming.

• Turn your phone on its side.

• Click the record button.

• Look into the camera lense and deliver your message.

• Click the stop button.

• Click OK. Don't worry if it's not perfect. I can edit it.

• In the title put your name.

• Under Privacy select Unlisted.

• Hit the arrow in the upper right.

• Once it's uploaded click on it.

• Turn it on its side and click the arrow that will appear in the upper right corner.

• Click the copy link and send it my way along with a scan of the signed release form. You'll probably need to start the email on your phone and then add the scan on your computer. Look in your drafts folder and the email you started on your phone should be there.

Your phone may be set up slightly differently from mine, but I hope that helps!


A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Jesus Is Our Peace


After the opening prayer by Rachel Taylor I spoke about the painting above and mentioned how it includes William Penn signing a peace treaty with the natives after paying them a decent price for Pennsylvania. Pastor Jim Warren preaches on Isaiah 11:1-9. He mentions the effect violence in media has on society. For more information read, "Trained to Kill."  Joyce prays and gives a pop quiz. Rachel leads communion and prays over Joyce and I before we leave for Cuba to perform Views of the Manger and teach workshops.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an emailclick this link, to play the service:



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

Here's the video Pastor Jim mentioned of the tiger and the goat lying down together:



If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.


A Clear Leading tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.