The Word Reveals

This morning I got to pray over Joyce's teaching at Westchester Chapel. She teaches on Psalm 119: 65-72. The world makes sense when you see how the Lord deals with us through his Word! Are you listening to the world or to the Word? Pastor Joyce refers to her husband Rich Swingle's play I Dreamed I Was Free.

Dr. Linda Warren opens, Rich prays over the sermon, Rebekah W. introduces our craft for our Operation Christmas Child boxes, and Thomson M. prays over the boxes.

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.

Since we've been in the Book of Psalms so much during this sermon series, we thought this might be a good time to share this video from The Bible Project...

We packed our boxes for Operation Christmas Child today, and we watched this moving story about how a box impacted a life...
Posted by Westchester Chapel on Sunday, November 18, 2018

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit

I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before the Civil War in America.

Return on Investment

Students of the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp study training videos before arriving, so once they're there we can jump straight into making a short film. This year's project was just posted, and you can see it below, or if you're reading this in an email, visit

The dates have been set for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Mark your calendars for June 23-29, and sign up to get the announcement that registration is open.

Jonathan Edwards and Great Awakenings

I recently did a workshop in Albuquerque, NM, (my 43rd state in which I've performed and/or taught). Afterward people told me how encouraged they were by things I said in the Q/A following the workshop about how the Lord is moving in NYC (more churches per capita than since the 1940s, etc.). I told them about the the work of Christian Union on the campuses of all eight Ivy League universities. They were curious why more people don't know about it, so I thought I'd post the following draft I started in March...

Every year since 2007 I've had the opportunity and privilege of teaching a workshop at Princeton University. This year I was told by a friend in my discipleship group that the cemetery was not to be missed. So I trudged through the snow to President's Row, where I found, among many luminaries, the tombstone that drew me most: Jonathan Edwards. He was the third president of Princeton, though he was only in office a few months before a smallpox epidemic swept the town. Being a man of science as well as what some consider to be the greatest theologian in American history, he was inoculated against the disease. Unfortunately, in 1758 the inoculation went awry, and his body was ravaged by the disease, killing him in his prime.

I knew of Jonathan Edwards not because he presided over Princeton (a surprise to me), but because he was at the heart of the Great Awakening of the 1740s. There have been a number of Great Awakenings in the US. These were periods in which there were extensive revivals pulling our nation back to the God in Whom we trust.

It was interesting to me to stand at Edwards' tomb on what feels like the eve of our next Great Awakening. The largest student body group on the Princeton campus is the Christian Union. The last I knew they had over 400 students there and a presence on all eight Ivy League campuses. When I spoke on a panel at their Congress on Faith and Action, hosted by Harvard, it blew me away to see about five hundred students from all eight campuses worshiping the Lord with all of their might, not only in their vibrant praise songs, but also in their life commitments to use their prestigious degrees to serve the Kingdom of God around the world.

Now Christian Union is moving beyond the ivy covered walls into the nation at large, challenging all to join the Great Experiment. Joyce and I were a part of it in the fall and it brought our spiritual lives new vitality. [Note from the present: We've been a part of all three Great Experiments they've hosted, and there are more to come:]

There are five commitments in the Great Experiment:
1. Spending 30 minutes every morning reading the Bible and praying, and also spending time in the evening doing the same (Luke 18:1-8).

2. Consciously repenting every day of all known sin and putting away everything that may hinder our devotion to Christ (Hebrews 12:1, 2).

3. Seeking God in the morning for the thing the Holy Spirit most desires for us to do that day, writing it down and following up that day (Psalm 143:10).

4. Looking to share Christ every day and speaking about Christ publicly (Acts 1:8).

5. (For those participating in groups) Meeting once a week for encouragement and accountability (in-person, skype, or conference call), and staying in touch during the week through whatever works best, e.g. group text, email, etc. (Hebrews 10:24-27).
We experienced such amazing stories of the Lord's guidance through this process, and through the group gatherings heard that the Lord was at work in mighty ways in other lives as well. Sign up for the next Great Experiment at

These commitments were employed by Jeannine Brabon, a student at Asbury College, in 1969 with a handful of friends. Then each of those students invited a handful of friends to participate in a new group, and then the whole campus was invited to sign up, and about 200 did. Then one day those students shared in chapel what the Lord was doing in their lives, and it went for eight days straight, 24 hours a day. The presence of the Lord was so thick that no one wanted to leave!

With the brightest students in the land leading the way at Princeton and all of the Ivy League colleges and beyond taking part in these commitments, who knows how soon it will be before the next Great Awakening will sweep our land. We certainly need it. Let's pray for it day and night!

You can see footage from the chapel during the second day of revival as well as a talk from the Asbury president at the time, Dr. Dennis Kinlaw here (if you're receiving this in an email visit

Here's Jeannine Brabon's account of what happened at the Asbury Revival of 1970, speaking on Asbury's campus shortly after they had a fresh revival in 2006 (if you're receiving this in in an email visit

Sign up for the announcement that registration is open for next summer's Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

The Adventum

This summer I got to perform in San Diego in a new audio drama that brings Scripture to life with a focus on God's plan of redemption. It's from the makers of the Jonathan Park Audio Adventures!

It's so well conceived and written! I was thrilled to be a part of it, and I was performing with some seriously great actors! The sound design by Luke Guenot is extraordinary, too. It's just a fantastic project all the way around.

And, it's available now:

Here are the roles I played:
Ham and Jebuluah in "New World"
Three workers in "High Hopes"
Puth and Captain in "White Lies"
Eliezer, Kedorlaomer and Lot's herdsman in "Decisions, Decisions"
Israelite Officer in "I've Been Thinking"
Eliezer in "Three Visitors"
Businessman, Angel 1, and Hamus in "Fire and Brimstone"
Eliezer in "Heir Apparent" and "Sacrifice"
Eliezer and Isaac in "Bride for Isaac"
Isaac in "Passages"
Isaac and Older Isaac in "Playing Favorites"
Older Isaac in "Cleaning House"
It was really fun for me to play Eliezer and Isaac, especially when they were in the same scene! But probably my favorite scene was when I got to pull together the moment when language is confused at the Tower of Babel! I came up with phrases in languages I've studied over the years that express confusion in some way and distributed them among us actors. It was such fun!

Kimba Henderson came by
the studio to talk about her
script in an interview.
Kimba Henderson came by the studio one day to talk about her script in an interview. She has developed an outstanding script that brilliantly fills in the gaps for readers unfamiliar with the cultures to which Scripture was written. She added something to the Noah story I really love: She heightens the urgency for Noah and his family to tell their neighbors of the impending judgement. She also does a masterful job of making the stories feel as if they're happening in the context of today's mixed up world. Prior to finalizing the script, The Adventum was thoroughly reviewed, edited and vetted by trusted, highly qualified, Biblically-based, evangelical pastors and Christian leaders.

John Fornof at the helm.
John Fornof is directed us in this "movie for the ears," and it's always a joy to work on his projects. He knows just how to bring a scene to life! There were so many times that he helped us add things that enhanced the great script. He also directed me in The Dragon and the Raven in London and The Giant Killer through Lamplighter Theatre. Later in the summer he directed a short film at the Lamplighter Guild, and he pulled me in as casting director. One night on The Adventum he said that one of his rules is to have fun, and we were certainly obedient!

My friend Garry Nation is in the cast. We had a blast playing Abram/Abraham and Isaac together! Friends David Sanborn, who I've been working with since 2001 in Singapore, and Nato Jacobson, who shares six credits with me, performed their roles remotely. I was bummed to discover they wouldn't be in the booth, but their contributions are top notch!

I was thrilled to reconnect with Nicole Franco, who performed a chilling reenactment of Lot's wife turning to salt, and that was just in the studio! When completed with sound effects it's just outstanding! We ran in the same circles in NYC 20 years ago.

I also got to reconnect with Stephanie Mielke, when she arrived with her brother Bryce who played Teen Isaac, one of my character's younger self. Bryce did a fantastic job! Stephanie was a student of mine at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Bryce knew about the auditions for this project because I send casting calls out to my students.

Mark Rache conceived and produced this wonderful project. He's on the right, and here's a better shot of our director, John Fornof:

Sign up to get the announcement for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

The Word Guards

This morning I got to open the service at Westchester Chapel by praying over those affected by the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Pastor Jim Warren preaches from Ps. 119: 9-16 on "The Word Guards" as part of The Word is Marching On series.   He explains how the Word helps guard our purity by helping us maintain consistency upon the path the Lord sets out for us.  Pastor Jim cites 2 Peter 2:12 and Galatians 5: 16-26 as examples of the wrong path and the Lord's path.  Following the message, Pastor Jim and Pastor Linda Warren lead the congregation in taking the Lord's Supper, using Luke 22: 14-20 as the text.

Pastor Linda prays over the message and later leads in prayer over the offering.  Rebekah W. explains this year's Operation Christmas Child initiative and Board Member Eva P. explains this year's missionary giving, which will be to the Jesus Film Project.

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

Here are the photos Pastor Jim mentions in his opening:

Here's a film Rich Swingle helped create with the students of the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines, which shows the two paths Pastor Jim mentions:

Pastor Jim mentioned how we really have to have God's Word living inside of us. We can't just pull it off a shelf when disaster strikes. It reminded me of a great story our friend Torry Martin tells in his book, Of Moose and Men...

Pastor Jim also mentioned Tony Loeffler's testimony which you can see here:

Tony was recently interviewed on The Gate Radio, and you can see when that will be aired by clicking here. There you can also listen to Rich Swingle's interview with Tony when they "happened" to be performing at the same church in Cuba on the same day!

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

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

Friend Interviews Friend

Our friend George Flores interviewed our friend Tony Loeffler on THE GATE this morning.

Earlier I posted the rebroadcast times of the interview, but the times were all pushed back one week because Phil Keaggy has a concert in NYC on November 4:

I got to meet Phil in Honduras on a Compassion artists retreat ( I was seriously impressed by his talent and humility.

So here are the interview time slots:

Sunday 8:40AM
Monday 9:40PM
Tuesday 1:40PM
Wednesday 8:40AM
Thursday 9:40PM
Saturday 7:40AM

Those will be Phil's interviews starting 10/28 and Tony starting 11/4. All times in the Eastern Time Zone.


We were planning to perform in a church in Cuba, and the pastor told us there would be a musician there that morning who knew who we were, but the pastor couldn’t remember the musician’s name. It was Tony! We’ve known him since the mid-90’s. 

After a three-hour service the people were dismissed, but they just kept dancing and singing and praising the Lord. Tony leaned over to me and said, “This is happening all over Cuba.”  

Here's an interview I did with Tony that day, December 11, 2016. Click the arrow below, or if you're receiving this in an email visit (10/22).

Find out more about Tony's incredible worldwide ministry at

Here's more about our trip to Cuba:

See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

The Word Endures

This morning Joyce taught on Isaiah 40:6-8, challenging us to rely on the Word written thousands of years ago to speak directly into our lives today. In a crazy, rocky, wacky world, you can stand on the Word. She mentions the liberation of Pastor Brunson from a Turkish prison. You can read more about that here: Pastor Andrew Brunson Free! She also mentions the home that withstood Hurricane Michael, and you can see it standing in the midst of desolation below...

Here are the Psalms Joyce prays over our congregation:
Psalm 2
Psalm 16
Psalm 18
Psalm 20 (for Pastors Jim and Linda Warren and our government leadership)
Psalms 56-60
Psalm 91
Psalm 126
Psalm 133
Pastor Jim Warren opens the service and addresses coveting.

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

Photo courtesy of

See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

Searching for Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland

I'm descended from the brother of Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss reformer and contemporary of Martin Luther. While we were in Switzerland we did some sleuthing...

If you're receiving this via email, visit to watch the video.

Click here for photos we took in Zürich, St. Gallen and Wildhaus, Switzerland.

For more stories from this eight-nation trip, click EuroTour2018.

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

Dr. Michael Guillen's Talk at Mastermedia

Jonathan Graham, NYC President
of Mastermedia, interviews
Dr. Michael Guillen. 
This morning I got to listen to three-time Emmy award winner, Dr. Michael Guillen, speak to members of Mastermedia. He opened by sharing his testimony of studying at Cornell University as an atheist and hearing Carl Sagan teach about what life is. Dr. Guillen found the answer unsatisfying, and he searched a variety of spiritual answers that didn't line up with what he was learning about science. A Valentine's Day card slipped under his door led to a reading of the Bible with the "best looking girl on campus" and an understanding that science and the Bible are confirming each other's world views. He later wrote Amazing Truths: How Science and the Bible Agree. He told us the more science progresses the more clear that this is the case. He says the things we disagree about are really minor, and the more science develops the more they will confirm each other. "Truth doesn't cancel out Truth," he said.

He spent the bulk of his time with us talking about his new book, The End of Life as We Know It: Ominous News From the Frontiers of Science. He believes the new advances in science will bring a pall over the land worse than the invention of the nuclear bomb: "This stuff just takes it an exponential step further." He ended on a high note: The Christian voice is essential as scientists are, even now, using their reason to lead them to create interspecial chimeras and the like. He believes for us not to fall into oblivion, a Golden Age of Christianity must be on the rise. He closed with, "We can provide hope to a scared world."

After getting his Ph.D. in physics, mathematics and astronomy from Cornell University, Dr. Guillen went on to teach at Harvard and became the ABC News Science Editor, and through that post he appeared regularly on Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline and World News Tonight. Here's a more complete bio: Michael Guillen: Emmy Award Winner and Bestselling Author.

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

Science and God

Our friend Eric Metaxas shows that expanding technology reduces the plausibility that the universe could have existed without a Creator.

Eric allowed us to use his testimony when we were performing in Sochi during the 2014 Olympics: Eric Metaxas' Story of the Fish. We had it translated to several languages on

See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance.

Hollywood Divine International Film Festival

I'm at the Hollywood Divine International Film Festival near Harrisburg, PA. If you can't make it, you can actually start watching films before we do! Most of them are available online through October 17.

I'm up for the Divine Inspiration Award for Best Comedic Performance for my portrayal of God in "All God's Children," and I contributed to five others. Details below, or if you're reading this in an email you may need to visit (10/10). 

I served as acting coach on two of the nominated films, and one of the directors, Gwendelynn Martindale, was a student at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Sign up for the announcement that we're taking registrations for next summer.

The Word Is a Fire and a Hammer

This photo from a church we just visited in Helsinki is a great illustration of the fire and hammer Jeremiah is talking about, as Pastor Randy Solomon shares below.

Early in the service Joyce and I shared about our recent trip to Europe.

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

Dr. Linda Warren's opening and our report on the trip:

Here's the enacted prayer I mention:

You can hear Joyce's talk in Oslo by clicking here.

And here's Pastor Randy Solomon's sermon on Jeremiah 23:23-32 with references to Daniel, who would have heard Jeremiah's word. He mentions the book The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripkin. Dr. Linda opens:

The audio elements of this service are 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

For more stories from our trip to Europe click EuroTour2018.

Photo courtesy of

I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Review in paper near Frankfurt

This is a Google translation of a review in DER BERGEN-ENKHEIMER 13.09.2018,
Mosaikkriche präsentiert Rich Swingle's Theaterstück:

Still up to date: the subject of "slavery"
Mosaic Church presents Rich Swingle's play

Bergen-Enkheim (zbs) - The old slave Dolly had a dream in South Carolina, in the United States of the 18th century. She had run and walked until she got to the sea and went swimming there. For people like her then an impossibility. The New Yorker Rich Swingle took up the story and presented the one-man play I Dreamed I Was Free in English for the Mosaic Church Bergen-Enkheim.

Dolly served with other slaves of a Christian white family in the country. John Woolman was the first in the family to think more deeply and philosophically about what it means to be a Christian, but still possess, sell, and trade in serfs as if they were animals. Woolman has kept a diary in his day that is still quoted today when it comes to slavery.

Rich Swingle performs regularly with his one-man play

More than 200 years later, in 1997, Rich Swingle had the idea to write a one-man play out of this story, with which he performs regularly. On his tour through Europe he visited Copenhagen, Brussels, [We did perform the play in Oslo at the Nordic Black Theatre. I performed another play, Big Fish Little Worm, on that trip in Helsinki, Arrie (Sweden) and an excerpt in Greve and Copenhagen (Denmark).] and Frankfurt, more precisely: The Riedsporthalle in Enkheim. "We were really happy when Swingle agreed," says Katharina Steinhauer, Pastor of the Mosaic Church, who made this event possible.

It's about faith in God, anger and despair

In the English-language play in which Swingle's wife directed [served as house manager. The original director was Kris Hilgaertner, and revisions to the play were directed by Mac Nelson.], it's all about faith in God, anger and despair. In the work, the protagonist tells an anecdote that describes the key message well: John had heard two slaves talking on his travels. One said to the other: "If these colonists attribute everything they do to their God and Jesus, then they must be the most terrible characters." [Actual quote from a dream: "If Christ directed them to use us in this sort, then Christ is a cruel tyrant."]  He then felt obliged to do something about the situation in his country and for the slaves, no matter how much it took to release them.

Rich Swingle takes on nine different roles in the play

Swingle took on a total of nine different roles in the play. He slipped from a sublime white slave owner and within seconds was in the skin of a dying young black man who will never see his child again. The story showed the transformation of the characters of Woolman, the slave Dolly and the slave trader Michael Worthington.

In the first part of the play John Woolman was presented as a small child. In the second part he is 19 and later he returns after a long journey as a 38-year-old and wants to convince Michael how immoral he acts.

The spectators are also required in the theater performance

Another special feature of the evening was how interactively Swingle designed it. So the spectators acted as "participants" in the "Philadelphia Yearly Meeting." They stood up against slavery and were so quiet between the first and second parts for several minutes after the request of the artist [to experience Quaker Silence], that you could hear a pin drop.

After the end of the play Swingle sat down on the "Hot Seat" and everyone could ask him questions about the characters, or to himself, of course in English. [Though people were encouraged to ask their questions in German, since there were people present who could interpret.] The approximately 100 spectators asked if the problem of slavery was still up-to-date and if so, what Woolman would do about it today. "Unfortunately, there are currently almost more serfs than at the time, though not in the US [in every nation on earth]. It is still very bad. In total there are nearly 30 million worldwide. What we can do is fundamentally change our behavior towards people of whatever origin. It is now, more than ever, important to show love and to believe," were then the words of the actor.

For more stories from this eight-nation trip, click Europe2018.

I Dreamed I Was Free tells the story of Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, who spoke against slavery a century before our Civil War.

Moses at Sight & Sound

We got a sneak peek of a filmed performance of the Sight & Sound production of Moses, which is heading to movie theaters on September 13 and 15.

I've wanted to see a Sight & Sound production for about 20 years, and I noticed some obvious differences between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Sight & Sound's stage is about twice as large as the average Broadway stage, they have at least twice the cast of the largest Broadway shows, and Sight & Sound has real animals: goats, sheep, horses and even a trained rat.

The only way Broadway trumps Sight & Sound is that they don't have Broadway stars, but that just puts the focus more clearly on The Star: the Lord.

The staging far surpasses anything I've seen on Broadway or the West End. Set pieces which would be too big for Broadway leap on and off stage, and video transitions are mind-blowing! Moses' staff, the burning bush, and the plagues are wonders!

I thought about how to depict the running in my one-man play Beyond the Chariots for months. I ended up going with running in place, which I've been told is effective, but one of the ideas that I explored was a treadmill. They have one, and it helps Moses run or walk in any direction at key transitions. I was most impressed!

I'd always heard about the spectacle of Sight & Sound, but what surprised and delighted me was that the script, music and performances fill those massive set pieces very well! There are lines that made Joyce and I gasp they were so insightful and poetic, and I'm still whistling the theme.

Another impressive element is the costuming! The variety of styles and color is dazzling!

I cry at the drop of a hat, but I've found personally that the bigger the spectacle the less likely I'll be moved to tears. This one got me! It's because it's not just moving the heart but the soul. Many times and in creative ways they point forward to Jesus.

I think I can objectively say this is best stage production I've ever seen.

Oh, here's another difference between Sight & Sound and Broadway: Broadway is twice the price. For the difference, a family in Manhattan can drive to Lancaster and stay overnight. But on September 13 and 15 people all over the US can go to theaters and pay a fraction of the cost of Broadway. Visit

Parents should know: Some stage violence.

See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story in Beyond the Chariots. Watch it online and book a live performance. No treadmill, but it's an amazing story!

Joyce teaches on Jeremiah in Oslo

Joyce taught on Jeremiah for the Church of the Nazarene in Oslo, Norway. It is a Portuguese community with people from Cape Verde, Brazil and Norway.

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

Before Joyce taught, Rich performed Jonah. We were both really moved to share with this community.

Afterward we got to see the city, including the Oslo Opera House, which is in the photo above. That's Joyce in the far right.

We were in the city to perform I Dreamed I Was Free at the Nordic Black Theatre. Everyone seemed to feel that it went really well, and we're talking about a return with a longer run. Here's my report...

This is the first of a series of posts I'm planning that will share details from this trip with performances in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany: Europe2018.

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