Behold He Comes! Rosh Hashanah Service: Listen for the Sound of Hope

This morning I got to blow the shofar for our celebration of Rosh Hashanah at Westchester Chapel.

Dr. Linda Warren speaks of the Feast of Trumpets (literally "Sounding") from Lev. 23: 23-25 as Pastor Jim Warren leads the congregation in Scripture readings and spoken worship of the Lord.  Rachel Taylor opens the service and the message with prayer.  Scriptures include Psalm 98: 1-6; Psalm 24: 7-10; Psalm 81: 1-4; Psalm 47: 1-7; Psalm 150: 1-3a; Joel 2:1; 1 Thess. 4: 16-17; and Rev. 21: 1-7.

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.






Recovering the Awe of God

This morning at Westchester Chapel Joyce puts recent events in the light of Scripture as she leads the congregation in a celebration of the Lord's Supper.

Pastor Jim Warren preaches on Recovering the Awe of God from Malachi, with references to Naaman and Jeremiah's letter to the exiles.   God will return to refine and judge His People out of His Great Love for them.

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 know more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

"The Narrow Path"

Photo by Jan Carroll, used by permission

“The Narrow Path” 
by Jerry Carroll, used by permission

Satan had his way
I was living in sin

Taking me down time and time 
again

The “Word” was there
But I refuse to hear

Crying inside but never
Shedding a tear

But from a “Fisherman’s” Heart
A “Carpenter’s” Hand

The Power of the “Spirit”
Let me understand!!!

When “JESUS” Speaks,  You Must Obey

The Narrow Path Is the only Way


We shared this with Westchester Chapel this morning, and Jerry and Jan, not knowing we'd do this today, happened to show up wearing the same shirt:


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

Expect a Holy Shaking!

Joyce opened today's service at Westchester Chapel praying on today's National Day of Prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Houston and badly damaged many other communities in Texas and Louisiana. Joyce also prayed for those students and teachers starting new school years and for Dr. Linda's message.

Speaking from Haggai 2:20-23, Dr. Linda Warren shares that God's People are to expect Him to shake things up, overthrow evil power structures, destroy the enemy's weapons and rule in His Peoples' lives.

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.

Weeping and Praising

Photo by Jan C.
I got to open the service this morning at Westchester Chapel talking about this photo of the Cross in the clouds.

Rachel Taylor preaches on Ezra 3:8-13. She shares her experience at the TAM Conservatory. Joyce prays over the sermon. Rachel mentions the final performance of Celebrity Confession August 28.

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 of Rachel courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

Rich and Dr. Linda Warren talk about the Wailing Wall containing stones
from as far back as Solomon's Temple.

The Solar Eclipse of 2017

Joyce and I walked down to the Hudson River today and filmed the time-lapse footage of the solar eclipse below.

My father told me that my great-grandmother remembered the total eclipse of 1918. She remembered that it freaked out the chickens.  

Two of the folks who shared our
eclipse glasses.
For us it was a delightful time of sharing our eclipse glasses with over 20 strangers from all over the world (London, Hungary, Italy, Pakistan) and just a few neighborhoods away. 

The solar eclipse is proof of the miraculous three-hour darkness in the sky at the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The longest total eclipse in America today was in Makanda, IL, and it only lasted 2:41 seconds. In the path of total eclipse people saw stars and planets, as early historians recorded about the darkness at the time of the Crucifixion. Phlegon, a Greek historian wrote around AD 137:
In the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad (i.e., AD 33) there was ‘the greatest eclipse of the sun’ and that ‘it became night in the sixth hour of the day [i.e., noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicaea.’
But at Passover, when Jesus became the final Passover Lamb, the moon was in the wrong place for a solar eclipse. In AD 221 Africanus wrote in History of the World:
For the Hebrews celebrate the passover on the 14th day according to the moon, and the passion of our Savior falls on the day before the passover; but an eclipse of the sun takes place only when the moon comes under the sun. And it cannot happen at any other time but in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last of the old, that is, at their junction: how then should an eclipse be supposed to happen when the moon is almost diametrically opposite the sun?
For more about the extra-biblical scholars who reported the darkness click here.



Because we're about 700 miles away from the path of a total eclipse we only had 71.4% obscuration.

If you're interested in a relationship with the One who blocked the sun longer than our moon can click here: www.RichDrama.com/MyPassion.

You can share this page with others via www.RichDrama.com/SolarEclipse2017


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

His Promise and his Presence

This morning Joyce taught on Haggai 2:1-9. She made reference to the Salvation Army's TAM Conservatory as well as The Glory Shop, which was launched by a Conservatory alumna.

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



This is a replica of the Second Temple, which Joyce mentions. It's at the
Holy Land Experience in Orlando.
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.

I teach annually at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers CampSubscribe to get a note that registration is open.

Conservatory Finale

The final performance of our students at the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory is now online. You can watch it below or by clicking here if you received this via email. My students' performance, which we created via sociodrama, is at 39:25. 

There's not much I taught Kathryn Higgins about dance, but her piece is at 35:38, based on one of my favorite verses: Isaiah 40:31. When they were asked for a title for their piece one of the dancers in the group heard that chapter and verse from Isaiah, not knowing what it was. It fits the choreography beautifully!

The pieces directed by my former student, Brad Cain, begin at 46:26, 1:03:05, 1:07:25, and 1:39:20.

I'm quite certain I taught Ryan Livingston absolutely nothing about visual arts, but he has incorporated drama into the presentation of his program's work. You can see that at 1:09:42 and 2:04:25. The form of the performance in the second section may be a world premiere! Ryan was inspired by sandbox art. He knew he wouldn't have time to set up a sandbox for the finale, so he created the work you'll see. I think it's unbelievable!

Mabel López-Cuevas attended one of my sociodrama workshops at a Christians in Theatre Arts Conference in Puerto Rico. She directed her students in creating one of my favorite choreodramas, which you can see at 1:33:43.

Students from the worship track created a song to go with our theme verse, Acts 1:8. You can hear the students who created the song singing it at 27:52 and all of our students singing it at 2:09:26.

You have to watch it on the main page to move to different times. 



I teach annually at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers CampSubscribe to get a note that registration is open.

Conservatory Report

This morning I got to share a report about the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory, and I made reference to a series of Divine appointments that occurred yesterday, which you can read about here.

Pastor Jim Warren preached on Haggai 1:1-15, 2:15 and 18. Pastor Linda Warren opened with prayer and later led in commissioning new board member Eva P.

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.

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I teach annually at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers CampSubscribe to get a note that registration is open.

God just blew my mind!

We never got all five faculty members
who were my former students together
for a single photo, but this is
Jonathon Shaffstall, Brad Cain,
and Kathryn Ballantine. 
All week I've been performing, teaching and directing at the Salvation Army's TAM Conservatory, where we've been meditating on Acts 1:8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

This morning during the send out I shared with the community how the Lord had been speaking to me about his long-term plans with the Conservatory. The Territorial Commanders, William and Lorraine Bamford, addressed our students after many faculty and students shared, and Commander William Bamford pointed out that we're approaching 1500 students who have been trained at the Conservatory, and many have gone on to do great things for the Lord. This year four faculty members had been my students at TAMC years ago, and one other was a student at a Christians in Theatres Arts event in Puerto Rico. I asked faculty members to stand who had previously been a student at TAMC, and I believe there were nine!

We had a BLAST catching up with
Sean and Cath Gaffney, who
taught me so much about writing,
acting, and teaching!
So, this morning I was on faculty at TAMC with Brad Cain, who had been my student at TAMC 15 years ago. Then, tonight Sean and Cath Gaffney messaged me that they were in NYC and asked if we were free. Sean was on the faculty at Regent University while Brad and Cath (Sean loved being a professor dating a student!) were working on their M.F.A.s in acting at Regent together.

But wait, there's more! Sean and Cath were in the city to see Samantha Sturm, who the three of us taught...wait for it... about 15 years ago! Samantha is now in her sixth Broadway show, CATS, and that's the Broadway show that brought Carol Jaudes, the founding director of TAMC and Susie Somerville Brown into their first collaboration.

OK, so now it gets really interesting: Samantha was 14 when we worked with her. On Thursday Susie worked with my students, who were 14 and up, and this morning a 14-year-old student of mine at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp a month ago was staying with her family at our place while we were at TAMC.

So the only four 14-year-olds I believe I've ever worked with were connected by this day.

Ryan Livingston was my student for
acting, and though he was on faculty
to teach visual arts he used his flair
for performance in the presentation
of their artwork.
Lord, raise up all of our students to co-create with You, the only One who could have even thought of arranging that many Divine appointments in a single day to blow my mind and encourage me to pray all the more diligently for my students, no matter their age!


#PowerToBe
#smallworldBIGKINGDOM


I teach annually at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers CampSubscribe to get a note that registration is open.

Full Circle

I've been having a blast performing, teaching and directing at my 13th Salvation Army TAM Conservatory. Our theme has been "Power to Be," based on Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth," and we've been seeing power and witness!

Early in our rehearsal for the finale there was a technical issue. I prayed that, since we've been learning to call upon the Power of the Lord, that He would help us with all of our technical needs. They fixed the problem so quickly that everyone got that it was the Lord and we all cheered!

Two of the actors and two of the dancers have trained this week not only to perform but to become leaders in the future. The quote that hit the slide before their dance was from Hudson Taylor: "The power of prayer has never been tried to its full capacity." That being said, our students did quite a lot of exploring!

Jonathon, Brad and Kathryn hanging
with me.
It's been such a privilege to be on faculty with five of my former students! Last night Jonathon Shaffstall and Kathryn Higgins made me laugh until the tears were streaming down my face with late night improv. The tears actually fell into my ears since I was a guest artist, playing a cadavre.

On Wednesday night Brad Cain taught a master class on directing. I felt like he put the brush strokes of a whole semester into the canvas of an hour!

Speaking of artwork, my former student Ryan Livingston brought his experience as a performer into his visual arts students' presentation of their work, including a board you just have to see to understand.

Mabel López-Cuevas attended one of my sociodrama workshops at a Christians in Theatre Arts Conference in Puerto Rico. She directed her students in creating one of my favorite choreodramas.

Friday morning I got to do a reading of John 4:1-45, The Woman at the Well, with Kathryn and her husband, Kyle Higgins. Then Kathryn's mother, Heather Ballentine, showed us the video at the bottom of this page. Heather and her husband Len led the Territorial School of Music and Gospel Arts (TSoMaGA). We talked this week about thin places, where we sense the reality of Heaven in a palpable way. TSoMaGA is one of the thinnest experiences I've known.

Heather reminded us that in non-Western societies miracles are being experienced more often: the lame are walking, the blind are seeing, the dead are coming back to life! She closed by inviting us to invite the Holy Spirit to have unfettered reign in our lives! It got seriously thin! We anointed each other with water, and waited on the Lord, who visited us palpably.

When our drama team gathered afterward we shared how the Holy Spirit spoke to us, and we did a couple of powerful enacted prayers.

Here's a powerful spoken word piece that was used early in the service:


If you received this via email visit http://blog.richdrama.com (8/11/17) to see the video.

More reports at #TAMC on Instagram and Facebook.

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Dr. Linda Warren opens Westchester Chapel's new series on Dislocation and Expectation, teaching on Jeremiah 29:1-14.

In this series, our leadership team will teach on the dislocation -- the difference between man’s view and God’s view . . . mysteries arise from the throne of Grace -- not unsolvable mysteries but those that are not expected. We are still a people with our own expectations but we should not forfeit the grace that could be ours for worthless dreams. Can we embrace the Lord's dreams even though they seem humble compared with the worldly measure? The Lord has more for us than we know, but our expectations can get in His way and hinder the working out for the millions. We must stand aside and let Him work. The sermon series will be launching from the time of Israel’s dislocation to Babylon and move beyond the Restoration. God’s works during the exile and restoration period did not match the people’s dreams and expectations. The Lord called the ancient people to embrace God’s dreams and God’s viewpoint. The Lord is calling us to release our expectations and embrace His for the good of millions.

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.

Salvation Army Conservatory Chapter 17

This will be the 13th out of 17 years at which I've taught and directed at the Salvation Army's Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory. Carol Jaudes, who runs the program, was in CATS on Broadway for five years before the Salvation Army brought her on to facilitate using the performing arts in a greater capacity. There are several faculty members who have been more regular than I have been! Carol pointed out that we keep coming back because there's something very special here, and that it is so because we really focus on the students. I also think it's because creating with the Creator is catching a glimpse of Heaven.

I’ll be directing a piece from the Book of Acts. We’ll create a sketch through sociodrama, exemplifying the theme of the week: POWER TO BE, based on Acts 1:8…But you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Pray we tap into the unsearchable wisdom of the Lord and create something that reflects his brilliance. I’ll also teach a technique class using exercises developed by Sanford Meisner, which put an emphasis on listening. I’m going to focus on the importance not only to listen to our fellow actors but also to the Holy Spirit. I’ll also be teaching enacted prayer.

Pray for stamina, Salvations, rededications, calls to ministry and missions.

If you're in the area, you're welcome to join us for our finale on Friday at 6:30 or 8:30 at the Salvation Army College for Officer Training, in their Lecture Hall at 201 Lafayette Ave, Suffern, New York.

Though the conservatory is only open to members of the Salvation Army, I also teach each year at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Sign up for the announcement that we're taking registrations for 2018.

Give Thanks to the Lord

This morning I got to lead Westchester Chapel in giving thanks for all the Lord has done for Westchester Chapel through Psalm 136.

Pastors Jim and Linda Warren bring 1 Chronicles 16:1-9 and 2 Chronicles 20 to life in a variety of ways. Dr. Linda leads us in the Eucharist. Pastor Jim mentions research that's been done on the effect playing violent video games has on those who play and society at large. You can read about some of those studies in the article "Trained to Kill."

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.

We've been in the Bible Study series "Pictures of Jesus," and here's Eva P.'s summary of the series, setting us up for the final Picture of Jesus: Jesus as King.

Check www.WestchesterChapel.org to find out when our next Bible study will take place.

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



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

Celebrate Fellowship

Rich and Pastor Joyce on the
Sea of Galilee.
Joyce and I were tasked with creatively summarizing Westchester Chapel's year-and-a-half-long sermon series, The Great Gift of Fellowship. I used a sociogram (though I didn't tell them that!), which is a tool developed through sociodrama. The results were fantastic!

I opened by telling a bit more about my performance for gang members imprisoned on Riker's Island: www.RichDrama.com/FatherDaughterDance.

Pastor Jim Warren shared announcements, and he mentioned Celebrity Confessions. You can find out more about the last two performances (July 24 and August 28) at www.RichDrama.com/CelebrityConfessions.

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.

Larry Belew's Memorial

I had the opportunity to sing at Larry Belew's funeral in Wichita, KS. I tell more of my connection to him in the introduction to the song, but he had a major impact on my life the first week I moved to NYC. 

You can hear my song at 1:18:20. 

Also, Mac Nelson, best man at our wedding spoke, and his stories about Larry were from an important time in my life. You can hear him speak at 28:40. 

Our friend, David Wallace, who played viola for my 9/11/02 performances of Five Bells for 9/11 and later recorded it for the play's soundtrack, wrote a profound letter to the family, which is read at 1:15:15.

I Was in Prison

I recently got to perform for gang members incarcerated at Riker's Island. Upon arrival there was some kind of a fight which required a lockdown: No one was able to move from place to place anywhere in the facility. So we started late. The half-hour I'd prepared to fill was reduced to about 10 minutes, so instead of the 20-minute Jonah followed by a message I did Lazarus and just followed it with an altar call. 

There were about 30 guys, and after telling them that the same power that raised Lazarus and Jesus from the dead could empower them to overcome any darkness in their lives. Then I invited them to give their lives to the Lord. I told them that if they already knew the Lord to pray aloud so people would know. One guy on our team said though he didn't look around during that prayer his sense was that some may have come in as Christians but they all left as new creations in Christ! Pray the Lord speaks into the new commitments and that they all attend the Bible studies that are offered!

My grandmother took me to visit inmates when I was in junior high. I know that gave me confidence that I can talk to anyone and that eternity is more important than fear.

Another prison connection happened last month when I got to accept the award for Best Animated Film at the International Christian Film Festival. I accepted it for a teenager: Garrison Hill. His family produced A Matter of Perspective for which I won Best Actor in a Short Film. You'll have to watch this four-minute film to see its connection to prison.

Click below to watch, or if you're reading this from an email you can watch the film at www.RichDrama.com/FatherDaughterDance.


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