Monday, December 26, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Daphene Flewelling, their Executive Assistant sent the following report:
I was able to review the response cards we received after our Friday and Saturday night shows, and I’m excited to tell you that we got 14 cards that had the “I rededicated my life to Christ today” box checked, and 13 of the “I prayed to personally accept Jesus as my Savior today” box, so that’s totally exciting!
I don't think this included one woman who prayed with the pastor to receive the Lord long after they stopped collecting the cards. The octogenarian's family had been praying and fasting for years for her salvation.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Go to FireOffBroadway.com.
SAVE 20% by using code "Mar17" when ordering. Offer extended through March 17, 2006.
SAVE 25% for Seniors and Students. Use code "SenStu".
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Turns out one of the co-creators is Michael Capecci, who co-produced Schoolhouse Rock Live! when I was on staff at The Lamb's Church. The live rendition of the Saturday morning classic had quite a run in the downstairs Lamb's Theatre.
He's done a fine job with Follow Me. There are two shows left. See it if you can.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Roger Nelson, who's renting Theatre 315 with me, just sent his Journal of John Wesley mailing out to a few thousand folks. Please pray that they arrive without mishap and that many will give generously toward our endeavor to reach the Broadway community with the Gospel. You can download of PDF of the Journal by clicking here.
You'll notice that Roger is offering his subscribers a free ticket for every donation of $50 or more. I'd like to offer the same.
Also, if you prefer, I'd like to send you a DVD of Changing Lives: The Peter Cooper Story, a 15-minute documentary for which I performed the voice of Peter Cooper. PBS is interested in airing a longer version.
We hope you'll partner with us in this ministry endeavor. Both plays articulate the Gospel clearly and dramatically.
To make a tax-deductible donation and receive a thank you gift, click here.
In Christ alone,
Monthly Reminder: My itinerary can always be found at RichDrama.com/Itinerary.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Our pastor, Jim Warren, who used to be Creative Director at MTV, spearheaded the creation of a replica of the Ark of the Covenant.
It's about to be uncovered.
My next play will be about the Covenant, and the Ark will be a part of that production.
For now, we're going to have manna, prepared for us by our own James "Moses" Rath, a VP at Tom Cat Bakery.
I just found out that he helped save Limestone College, where I performed Five Bells for 9/11! Click here to read the article.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
After the play Pastor Terryl of Grace Community Baptist Church summed it all up by saying that Jesus is a hitchhiker. Some of us drive on by. Others pick him up and engage in some dialogue. And then there are those of us who let him take the wheel. He invited people to do that tonight, and eight people went away with a little book called 10 First Steps for a New Christian! No Christmas gift could top that for me, but tomorrow night they're sold out. Pray with me that more will be sold out for Jesus.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
This time I was backstage. I went there at the end of communion so I could partake without making myself rushed as I was getting into costume. So I was putting Christ on as I was taking Him in. As I realized the juxtaposition I was overwhelmed.
In the moment I prayed for that kind of connection during devotions. I pray it again now.
In Christ alone,
Friday, December 02, 2005
I just performed my Christmas play, Views of the Manger, for the first time this Season at Alliance Theological Seminary, just across the Hudson. Joyce earned her Masters there, though most of her credits were at their Manhattan campus.
Because I've been so focused on prepping for BEYOND THE CHARIOTS' Off-Broadway run I'm afraid my rehearsals have been just about making sure my lines and blocking are solid. Well this morning all the weight and wonder of Christmas gave me a solid whack in the head right in the middle of my performance.
Now this happens every year: the fresh realization that the Creator of the Universe came to earth in the hay and slobber of work animals to the poorest of parents, thought by most to be moral reprobates. I always bawl like a baby when it finally hits me...every year. This year it happened on stage, and Harvey the Innkeeper was a blubbering idiot!
Let the Season begin!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
To sponsor Mork, click HERE.
Then select the following:
Age Range: 6-9
If he's not there, someone said, "Nanoo nanoo," before you did, but there are plenty of other terrific kids who will think you're out of this world if you sponsor them.
Monday, November 28, 2005
We'll be performing William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream , under the direction of Harvey Johnson, who directed Anne of Green Gables last year.
Also returning are Patricia Mauceri, a regular on One Life to Live, and Susan Somerville Brown, who was in the closing company of CATS on Broadway. I'll be directing the program again.
The dates for 2006 are June 25-July 23. If you or a young artist you know is interested in exceptional training as an actor (the program also has world-class artists teaching piano, guitar, dance, opera, and every orchestral instrument) send them to MasterWorksFestival.org.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Joyce and I are celebrating the day with our pastors' family and their dog, Willie, pictured here.
This season we're quite grateful for your prayer support throughout the year. We've certainly felt it!
May the Lord bless you and yours.
In Christ alone,
Rich & Joyce
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
We're figuring that our budget will be about $10,000, and we'd love to have you partner with us in this endeavor by making a tax-deductible contribution:
Go to A1ManPlay.com and click on Donations in the left column.
Follow the instructions, to donate either by PayPal or with a credit card.
On the final screen there will be a window that says, "Message to Seller." Please put the code "BTC NYC" in that window.
If you prefer to donate with a check, make it out to "The Friends of John Wesley" and send it to:
The Friends of John Wesley
Attn: BTC NYC
1716 1/4 Sierra Bonita
Pasadena, California 91104
Please put "BTC NYC" in the memo.
Either way you contribute, in January you'll receive a letter thanking you for your tax-deductible contribution.
Thanks so much for helping us bring these plays to the Broadway community.
You can also contribute by making purchases through my online Book Store.
Monday, November 21, 2005
If you don't have that kind of assurance, read on.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
We had a guest speaker there named Vergilio. He told us about his work with children who lost both of their parents to AIDS. The theme of the week was Be a Hero, so the youth decided to be heroes by raising money for an orphanage in Nigeria that Vergilio said needed it the most. These young people challenged themselves to raise $10,000 by December 1, and $50,000 by the time they return to TAM next August. They've raised $8030.02, which means they have less than two weeks for the remaining $1969.98 of their first goal.
If you'd like to help them help AIDS orphans in Africa, I encourage you to purchase a DVD of the final program at the Conservatory. It was filmed by students in the AV track. The piece I directed is called "The Heroes of Righteousness and Justice," and you should also watch for "The Story of Rachel" directed by Susan Somerville Brown.
The DVDs are $15 (suggested donation), and I'll cover the postage for the six that I have. Click here now for instructions on how to order.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Tony Campolo is pictured here as he addresses the Men's Retreat for my church's district (Church of the Nazarene). Dr. Campolo's been something of a hero of mine since college, when some of his books were required reading for my sociology degree. My sociology mentor, Mike Allen, quoted Campolo often.
So it was an honor to perform an excerpt from my latest play, Beyond the Chariots, before he spoke yesterday morning. And I was thrilled to hear him say, "Good job."
You can order Dr. Campolo's four talks for $15. Make it out to Valley Community Church and send it to:
50 Gretna Hill Rd
Pleasant Valley, NY 12569
Make sure to include a return address. Expect a couple of weeks for processing and handling.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Wish I'd missed the announcement that night we banked over Times Square.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I was going to perform Beyond the Chariots (RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots) tonight, but as we got close to finalizing, the pastor who was arranging my performance discovered that another pastor had already contracted with a band to perform that night.
So I was blessed with a marvelous dinner with Dan and Lydia (see below), and then by Rodney and Katherine! The light of the pool was turned off by the time I got to my room, but it's down there in one of the dark spots in this photo. I went there to relax in the jacuzzi and ended up having a marvelous divine appointment with this pastor and his wife on a second honeymoon here in Cancun...well that's where they would have been if it hadn't been hit by a hurricane. They redirected to this tropical paradise (actually the Lord blessed them with 79 degrees when they got off the plane) so they could visit The International House of Prayer (IHOP.org).
Where ever, when ever you're reading this, someone is praying there.
Please join me in praying that God will use the IHOP to inspire Rodney and Katherine to the next level of their ministry.
Friday, November 04, 2005
David Ivany is Territorial Youth Secretary for the Salvation Army. He works with youth and youth workers across Canada and Bermuda. He's grateful both nations are a part of the same territory since he's required to make visits!
I just found some of my students from the Territorial School of Music and Gospel Arts (see August 26-September 5 on my blog) on David's site: StartTheRevolution.blogspot.com. I can definitely recognize nine, right there in the front!
Pray for my students and for David, that planted seeds will be watered and bear much fruit.
If you go to MasterMediaIntl.org and sign in as a Guest, you'll see Peter Parros, who was one of our master class instructors at MasterWorks. He's pictured above with myself and Susan Somerville Brown.
Lift up all those in the industry that attend, that watch the DVD later, and that will be influenced by this breakfast in some way.
Sunday is declared a National Media Prayer Day. Feel free to post a prayer in the comments below. (If you're reading this as an email, click the link at the bottom, then scroll to the bottom of the page).
You can also pray for the 365 most influential leaders and artists in the media by ordering, printing, or sending to your PDA the Media Leader Prayer Calendar at their site.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The farm that they show in the video is the one on which I was raised.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The following is her testimony, and I highly recommend it...
Oct. 18, 2005
South Nassau Christian Women’s Club
“A Harvest of Thoughts”
How are you doing today? I’m doing great these days. That hasn’t always been the case – nor is it always the case. But today, this day, I’m doing great.
It was a little more than 10 years ago, when I sat on the couch in my little studio apartment in Manhattan and contemplated my life. After years of striving, I had finally arrived! I had a glamorous job at a well-known magazine, I had an apartment – albeit small – in Manhattan, I had a boyfriend, who looked like he might actually ask me to marry him, I had everything I had wanted and had planned for.
Why, then, I thought to myself, why do I want to kill myself?
Oh, I knew I would never actually kill myself – too much pain for those I would leave behind – but the wondering was there which led to the natural question – why, if I have all I wanted, isn’t it really what I want? What was I missing?
Turns out, I was missing God! I certainly didn’t think I was missing God b/c, after all, I grew up in a Christian faith, was baptized, confirmed and all that. I even went to church now and again. When that church began to feel empty, I explored other spiritual options --- none of them seemed quite right. No, it wasn’t God I was missing, was it?
At the time, I was working for a woman who was a “born-again.” I had been working for her for about two years, watching her….watching her…
I knew about those born-agains….they’d been after me for years: first in high school, then in college, then in the workforce. They came after me with their big, thick Bibles, those huge wooden crosses around their necks and those long, sad faces. When I met them, I always thought, “No wonder they’re born again….Their lives are so sad, they clearly need God!”
This woman I worked for, though, she was different somehow. Her faith didn’t seem to weigh her down….in fact, she seemed almost joyful! She laughed a lot, didn’t take herself too seriously, even though she was one of the smartest business persons I had ever worked with.
Around the time of my apartment contemplation of my life, I had been working on a big project with her and she noticed that I was disturbed. So she asked me about the project….I told her that from my perspective the project was failing…so many things were going wrong and I couldn’t get it perfect….she told me that her perspective was otherwise and then she asked me an important question. She asked me, “Joyce, what can I do to help you gain confidence?” “Well,” I said, “if I knew that, I would do it. I’m the kind of person who fixes what’s wrong.”
“Joyce,” she said. “I know what is wrong.” And she proceeded to tell me that my problem was that I didn’t know God and His love for me. She took me to breakfast the following day and I will never forget how she used the salt and pepper shakers and the knife and fork to show me how I was alienated from God because of my sin and how Jesus Christ came to bridge that gap between me and God through forgiveness of sin.
Well, I’d heard this before….but it was like I was hearing it for the very first time that morning.
Later that afternoon, I went to her office and prayed that God would forgive me my sins because of Jesus and that He would set my life on the right path.
At my baptism not long after, God gave me my life verse – which has become our marriage verse, as well – from Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I remember this verse often.
I remembered it when God began the very hard work of cleaning up my life. I found the process of changing my habits and especially changing my opinion of myself, which was bad, to God’s opinion of me, which is a beloved daughter. I remembered it when God called me to forgive those who had hurt me throughout my life … a long season of recalling past hurts and releasing those responsible from my debt by forgiving them.
I remembered the plans God had for me when I was harassed in my workplace by someone who didn’t like God. Ultimately, I was forced out of that job and into one that was less desirable.
I hung onto the promise that God’s plans were to prosper me and not to harm me as my longtime friends found that my faith was too much for them and they began to avoid me. My loneliness and isolation was crushing at times.
I recited this verse: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future,” when I was one of the few people in the company to be job-eliminated – again by the very same person who had forced me out of the more desirable job earlier.
And I saw the realization of this verse, when God served as yenta between my husband Rich and I in 1997. You see, God had called me to be open to dating….I guess that was when I realized that I probably hadn’t been! We met at the most unlikely place – a singles’ retreat! Rich was performing and I was speaking. Mutual friends had prepared the way, by telling each of us about the other. “He’s your soul-mate,” they told me. I think to myself, “Who are they kidding? He’s an actor...I’m a business executive! We have nothing in common!” But the Lord reminded me that my plans for my love life had blown up in my face time and again. It was time to try His plan. His plan works, by the way.
And I remembered that God’s plans were to give me a hope and a future when in Feb. 2000, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a non-curable and progressive disease of the central nervous system. I’ve carried this disease for five years, with no visible deterioration. I hang onto God’s good plans with all my fingertips – especially when earlier this year, I developed heart failure because of the medicine I was taking for the MS. Now I’m off the MS meds and on the heart meds.
And I remember these good plans that God has for me when in June I was promoted to a position at my job that has global responsibility….one that expands my sphere of influence to the upper reaches of my company and the outermost parts of the globe.
And I remember these plans when, in July, I went to the hospital for a ambulatory surgical procedure that went awry, leaving me with an incision in my abdomen and once again, drawing upon that great insurance plan my employers provide.
You see, though my life has its ups and its downs, God’s plans for my life – His desire to bless me and to bless through me – have resulted in a harvest of righteousness. I’ve learned through hard experience that God is smarter, wiser and more powerful than I. I’ve learned that though we might have the same goals in mind, his way of getting to the goal is the best way and I’ve learned to allow Him to take control of my life – at least most of the time. Sometimes, of course, I get in the driver’s seat and then, watch out, there is usually some carnage in the streets and whiplash for me.
No, I’ve learned that God’s plans for me are to prosper me and not to harm me, if I relax and let Him lead. I’ve learned that those plans are to give me a hope and a future. I believe that like I believe in God Himself.
When I was spiritually dead, I had a lot of plans for myself. Fortunately, I never acted on the vague thought to kill myself. But now that I’m alive, I’m learning to let God do the planning. I can see now that He always planned that I would love him – He sent me those “born-agains” to soften me up -- so that when the time was right, when my boss told me that I was empty because I had no relationship with God, I actually understood. You see, she told me that I was separated from God by my sin. That Jesus Christ, who is God, lived a perfect life, died on a cross and rose from the dead in order that I could believe in Him. In believing in Him, I trusted Him to forgive me of my sins and make me new again – alive again – yes, born again! By this forgiveness of my sins, I could establish a real relationship with God. I could be remade into God’s image, like it was in the beginning before sin entered the Garden of Eden. I could be set upon a course of right living because I was connected to the source of all living, God.
What I needed to do, though, was to say yes to this forgiveness of sin, yes to this relationship with God, yes to being remade into God’s image. I needed to say yes….it wouldn’t just happen without my yes….it wasn’t enough to have been born and baptized a Christian, I needed to agree with all my being to being in the relationship with God. See I knew the gospel here, but I never knew that God would not force His friendship upon me. I never knew that He was waiting for me to say yes to Him….yes to all His love, His forgiveness, His plans for me.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Stay tuned for more details.
Friday, October 14, 2005
When I was in third grade my parents blessed us with a trip that included a stop in Chicago. The view from atop the Sears Tower at night blew my little mind. I'm sure it was one of the things that God used to plant a love of travel in my heart...and the ability for this farm boy to live on Times Square.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I've performed several times in Bill and Melanie Jeschke's church, just outside Washington DC.
I'll be doing a workshop tomorrow morning in Chicago (no rain here), so if anyone catches the show, please post a report in a comment below.
In Christ alone,
Tune in to the TODAY Show this Friday morning Oct 14 and when they scan the crowd outside of Rockefeller Center, be on the lookout for our dear friend and adopted sister and auntie Inece Bryant (she'll be wearing bright yellow and holding a big sign), her friend Toni, niece Amber, and me. We're going up to celebrate Inece's 50th birthday and she wants to publicly thank my husband Bill for donating his kidney to her so that she could live to enjoy 50 years of life (and many more!) Please read her letter below to the Today Show.
PS Let's hope and pray that she gets her birthday wish and will be on the show!
Author of The Oxford Chronicles
From: Bryant Inece
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 7:41 PM
Subject: Just to say "Thank You"
Hello Today Show!
I am part of the millions I like to think of as "family" who enjoy watching you each morning. I particularly enjoy the health, cooking, and human interest segments. However, I must say my favorite is the interaction that happens when the "1st Family" are outside and talk with the many people who come see them.
For that reason I wanted to write you. Next week at this time I will be in New York. I'm coming solely for one purpose and one purpose only. I want to say "Thank You." Please hear me out.
In 1994 I was diagnosed with Renal Failure. I was told that I would probably need a Kidney Transplant within 10 years. In 2003 that came true. My kidney function was down to about 10%. Thousands of people die every year waiting for an organ transplants. When my time came I did not have to wait. I had four people in line to be tested. The forerunner was William H. (Bill) Jeschke. You may wonder why (a) good looking "white" man of nine children would donate his kidney to this single black female. Well, for that answer you need to ask Bill. I personally look at (his picture) and wonder why any one unrelated would be so compelled to donate their kidney. Bill and Melanie have been married close to 30 years and are the proud parents of nine beautiful and talented children and 3 adorable granddaughters. They are both graduates of The University of Virginia (UVA). Bill isthe Pastor of The King's Chapel in Fairfax, Virginia, and coaches soccer. Melanie taught English for two years before starting their family, then became a stay at home mom, homeschooler and writer/author. Bill is one who lives his faith passionately. He's a kind man with a big and generous heart. When I told him he didn't have to do this, his response was, "Inece, this is a no-brainer. You need a kidney, I have two. I only wish I had more I could donate to others." A "no-brainer" he kept telling me. This is still incomprehensible to me. Even though I'd been friends with the Jeschke family for 16 years, I didn't expect this. I didn't even ask him. He just so willing came forward (no pomp and circumstances). In 2001 both Bill and his youngest daughter (who was 18 at the time) donated blood to me when I had to have another surgery. Now, we are more than friends. We are a family bonded together not only by Jeschke blood and kidney, but by a loving God who continues to show us that agape love goes beyond race, gender and class. It looks at the need and heart of humankind and responds accordingly.
I could never repay Bill for what he has given to me, but I intend to thank him for the rest of my life, for my life. Since October is Clergy Appreciation Month, the anniversary of the first Kidney Transplant and on October 14th, my 50th birthday, I just wanted to find a way to thank him (and the many donors and donor families) for the gift of life that's been given to me.
On October 14th I'll be at Rockefeller Center holding my sign with the attached photo on it to say a big "THANK YOU" to this wonderful man with a huge heart. I haven't a clue as to where to stand but I do hope and pray you will see me (and a few other friends including Melanie Jeschke) and put it on for him to see (and the many viewers). He's a special person who deserves a special thanks. I might not have reached 50 if it weren't for Bill and the many wonderful people who prayed for me as well.
Thank you for reading this and thank you in advance for your assistance.
My Very Best Regards,
Inece Y. Bryant
Talitha asked her mom if she could sit on my lap when I played Jesus during the scene pictured here. She told her it was too late to add that to the blocking, but I had the same idea and asked if she wouldn't mind sitting on my lap.
The disciples Peter (played by Juan, who's hand you can see) and Andrew (played by Dave) look on as I portray Jesus teaching about God's provision. Pray for Dave's family, as his father just went to be with the Lord.
One of the prayers prayed at the Feast of Sukkot is for rain. For those of you who don't live in the NYC area, it's pouring! Today is another Jewish festival: Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. As God's cleansing rains come down, pray that many would recognize Yeshua as their final atonement.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Okay, it wasn't this spectacular (as much as a phone cam can replicate spectacular) all the way from Heathrow to JFK, but we chased the sun as best we could.
As I'm remounting Beyond the Chariots, my play about Eric Liddell, I'm adding some phrases in French, Mandarin, and Japanese. Translating the French phrases in France only took three tries, but God sat me next to a Mandarin speaker on this flight! Thank you, Lord! I pray Japanese comes as easily.
By the way, I did discover the sand of Nice. It was like a big beach blanket, 30'x70'. Most people were choosing the stones.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Between Denver and Nice I was hired to do the voice of Peter Cooper for a documentary. Cooper was an inventor, business man, philanthropist, and founder of Cooper Union, the first free school in America. Next Thursday the documentary will debut as a part of A Celebration of the World of Peter Cooper: Social Justice and Entrepreneurship in 19th century New York at The Great Hall of Cooper Union. There's no charge for the 7pm event.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Okay, the patch of sand we found in Italy was nothing compared to Cannes. I think Hollywood producers must have had it shipped in so American stars wouldn't bruise their feet on the stones, which line the rest of the Riviera that we've seen.
Our guidebook says that the film awards given here are more prestigious worldwide than the Oscars. We did a prayer walk on the way back to our car. Join us by inviting God to do a work in this city and through it touch the world.
Friday, September 23, 2005
We drove along the coast on what are considered to be some of the most dangerous roads in the world (by people who have never traversed NYC in a cab that's about to go off duty!) to snooze on the first patch of sand we've found. All the beaches thus far have been covered with pebbles: though mostly smooth they're still a bit rough on the feet.
We've crossed into our fourth country: Italia to the locals, Italie to l'French, Italy to us. Worth the drive just for the gelato!
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Our 90th monthaversary begins our 9th honeymoon...in Nice...nice.
My bag was crushed, the zipper broken, and all my stuff was strewn on the conveyor. We were estimating how much we'd lose in time and money (the dollar's pretty whimpy here) searching for a new suitcase, when the woman from British Airways came out with a brand new one! I did a happy dance right then and there! She said, "You were delayed three hours at Heathrow, your luggage was destroyed, and you are happy?"
Everything that at first looked like a curse has been turned into a blessing. We asked for a window/aisle combo, but after forgiving the fellow for misunderstanding we praised God for five middle seats all to our horizontal selves.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
The congregation built it debt free! Of course they have ten times as many people as our church has and real estate in Northern Idaho (though climbing) isn't what it is in White Plains, NY, it's still a tribute to how God can motivate a people to great things.
The title of this painting that hangs in their lobby is "Faith."
By the way, cycling down the ski slope in Vail was amazing!
Monday, September 12, 2005
I found out that Sandy and Dick Wild, who organized this trip, were praying that it would be for me revival and respite. Well the revival happened on the first full day and the respite has happened on the last. After four performances yesterday in two venues (in the second the service had already begun when I pulled up), God has blessed this day of Sabbath respite with sightings of deer, jack rabbit, Great Blue Heron, and a sea plane take off. I got to kiak, swim in the lake, and now I'm taking a leisurely stroll on the longest floating boardwalk in the world at 3300 feet. Ahhhh.
I'm out here on a tour (RichDrama.com/Itinerary) of the great Pacific Northwest, land of my birth. I'm staying in a marvelous guest house overlooking Hayden Lake (Idaho). The first morning I woke up to this view I had my own personal revival, praising God out of control to the Sounds of the Revolution.
That CD is made up almost entirely of the musicians that led us to the Throne up near Toronto. I highly recommend it (ArmyBarmy.com). Every Nation is worth the price of the album. Conceived and sung by one of our chaplains there, Danielle Strickland, it empowers you to pray for every nation in the world in the course of a really cool song. There's also a justice remix that cranks it up a notch.
For those of us who were at Territorial, Sounds of the Revolution is a reminder of our experience there. It also reminds me to pray for Josh Ivany's healing. He's a very gifted worship leader, but he suffers from asthma. We did an enacted prayer for him in which a student representing asthma was crushing my chest as I played the role of Josh. When God was pulling asthma from my chest I actually experienced asthma for a moment before it was completely removed. I (as Josh) then stepped up to full and unhindered worship, supported by fiancee, Jenn Burr. Lord, hear our prayer.
Jenn, who I recognized years ago as a young women with great talent, wrote one of songs on Sounds, to which her future husband lends his voice.
A word about the mustache: I shaved an S into my beard to play Sludge, a rock musician, up at Territorial. We were so busy ministering to those kids I only took the time to shave off the bottom of the S.
Monday, September 05, 2005
I was so glad I got up early yesterday to share what had happened through the week. Our song leader, Dom Crincoli, ended up adding a couple of songs that weren't in the line up so we could bask in the Spirit a bit more. I recognized it as a direct answer to one of our enacted prayers: I stood in as a father and leader of youth. The girl playing this man's daughter danced before us to explain how the Spirit had moved during the week. I was rigid and unaccepting until God, played by one of my drama students, grabbed my head and looked deep into my eyes. Then I joined in the dance and invited the youth to join us. I told our congregation this prayer was answered through us (at least). I mentioned Graeme Press' analogy. Our church was in the slow dance, gazing into the eyes of our Lover. It was awesome.
The students are (top row, l-r) Les, Mike "Gobo", Andrew, Trudy, Jenna, Jess, Tommy; (middle row) Esther, Jenn, Mike, Matt; (bottom row) Kat, Janelle, Alex.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
Last night we had our final program in downtown Toronto.
The Worship Stream (that means worship was their main course of study for the week) closed the night with with a song called, "I Want a Revolution!" The photo hardly captures the moment, but these kids were praising God with all their might.
The body surfing was harkening back to the enacted prayer in which the girl was lifted over head and the young man was lifted up in prayer. It was awesome.
I woke up this morning at a bit past 4am to fly back to New York and carry the Fire to our church.
Next stop ID (RichDrama.com/Itinerary).
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Last night was Elective Night, and one of the featured electives was the one for children of faculty. They did an enacted prayer (pictured here) for us. The prayer was that the children could help us adults taste and see and hear, touch, and smell that the Lord is good!
Stephen court is advocating MMCCXX: Two thousand cell groups in 200 countries/territories in 20 years. Young people are getting together in groups of four to six, moving to a new city or country and getting jobs there for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. The concept is laid out in Stephen's book (which he co-wrote with Aaron White): Revolution. It can be ordered at ArmyBarmy.com.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Last night one young man took the mic and shared that he had run all over the camp grounds and could hear us everywhere. He said we should praise God so loudly that we could be heard in the next town over.
Later something moved him and he fell on his face at the paper cross that had been set up for prayer. I knelt down to pray for him, and though he was shouting his prayers and my ear was only inches from his mouth the praise was so loud I couldn't make out a word. He sobbed through the cross as you can see in the picture. Several other youth joined in a prayer huddle, and during a "slow dance" with the Lord they prayed over my ministry: a very powerful moment.
Later, completely refreshed, the young man who had sobbed through the cross came running up to me to say we had been heard in the next town over. Three young men came to rock. One of them stuck around until curfew. He said he's coming back tonight. Pray he brings his friends and that they all fall on The Rock.
The band set up in the middle, and we danced with the Lover of our souls for almost 3 straight hours! Our worship was only broken by scripure reading, testimonies, prayer, and an enacted prayer.
One young man has been watching it all but had never been stirred himself. Last night he asked God to reveal himself, and He did. The young man came sobbing to the mic, confessing sins and testifying to God's movement in his heart. We physically lifted him up, over our heads to pray for him. Later I was told that he acccepted the Lord as his Savior there on the "dance floor."
The highlight for me was to see the young man who accepted the Lord after The Revelation, Monday night, dancing with all of his might before his new Intimate.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Company 150, a troupe of young people from around the Territory, just performed a choreodrama (mix of dance, mime, and acting). Wow.
They base their name on Psalm 150 and have been doing drama, worship, and choreodrama, drawing everything that has breath to praise the Lord all summer, culminating here at Territorial.
They led the way into a session on holiness that went over by almost an hour the Spirit was moving so powerfully on us. It wasn't in an ecstatic way like on Monday after The Revelation. Graeme Press, who flew over from from Sydney, Australia, gave us an image: Monday night was the fast dance; this morning was the moment when you look into your partner's eyes and realize who it is you're with.
Tonight is known as Cry Night. Jesus, meet us on the dance floor.