Friday, April 30, 2010

Keep praying for Aviana

Many of you prayed for my cousin's daughter, Aviana, last year when she ran into traffic as a two-year old. I'm in Sacramento, CA, where I finally got to meet her. Pray for increased functionality, for speech and motor control.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Danny Cahill

I just discovered that Danny Cahill, who was the biggest loser on The Biggest Loser, and played the food critic in A Christmas Snow, is a Christian musician and motivational speaker: TheDannyCahill.com

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another "coincidence"

At the Lausanne Conversation I just happened to sit next to a pastor from England who's prepping to teach a session in Edinburgh on Eric Liddell, who I portray in my play Beyond the Chariots: Eric Liddell: Muscular Christianity and Missionary Service.

I had noticed him and his wife on the street passing by, trying to get a sense of what the meeting was all about. They had heard of Lausanne and stayed as long as they could before they had to leave to see a Broadway show.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Christmas Snow now available

I played Claud, a French chef in an Italian restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the film A Christmas Snow.

You can see it on TV throughout the Christmas Season.

Or click here to order a DVD.



After screening A Christmas Snow at our church, Westchester Chapel, there were so many positive comments. One woman said she thought it would just be a sweet little Christmas film, but didn't expect it to be so powerful. Another woman went through the cast list saying she identified with so many of the characters for very specific reasons. But the one that really blew me away was a man who shared that his wife asked him to leave, and after he honored her request and moved out, she told their daughters that he had abandoned them. He's giving copies of A Christmas Snow to both of his girls and--as the film inspires--hopes to reconcile with them this Christmas.

These are my closing remarks after the screening...

This mini-message is available for download on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast.  Search for "Rich and Joyce Swingle" in the iTunes Store, or click here.

This was an interview I did on the set with director, Tracy Trost...




I had a phenomenal time with cast mates Craig Walters (Martin) and Catherine Mary Stewart (Kathleen).

Monday, April 19, 2010

Olympic Hero in China

I ran into some Chinese who have only been in the US for 3 months. I promised to upload the Mandarin narration of the documentary I helped create on Eric Liddell, Olympic Hero in China.

Friends, it's uploading right now. Once it's ready the URL I gave you will be redirected to the documentary, which you can download.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Larry Poland visits NYC, anticipating Winona Lake

Larry Poland, who founded MasterMedia in Hollywood 25 years ago, visited MasterMedia NYC recently, and he said he's looking forward to being a master class instructor this year at MasterWorks.

He founded the organization when he was working on his doctoral dissertation. He would walk into the offices of CEOs, presidents and vice-presidents of major media conglomerates and ask them about their faith. He's still doing it today: this morning he met with a billionaire.

He shared how his mother was having such a difficult pregnancy with him that she told the Lord to end it unless He had something special for her child to do. At that moment Larry moved in her womb for the first perceptible time.

But, with all the influence Larry has had on today's media, he shared that his response to the question, "How would you sum up your ministry?" was, "He must increase; I must decrease." Then he expounded John 3, where John the Baptist made that his response to the people who were wondering what he thought of all his disciples following "that man on the other side of the Jordan": Jesus.

Larry said that when he was growing up in Winona Lake, IN, now home to The MasterWorks Festival, his father told him that he had so many gifts they could get in the way of what God wanted him to do. His father advocated that he focus on developing availability and dependability. He's always sought to be available to God, no matter what he's called to do or not do, and he's always sought to be dependable in the things to which he was called.

I told him that would be a pretty good message for the MasterWorks community, when he preaches Sunday morning, July 4. He smiled and said, "I'll be available to whatever the Lord wants me to share." I'm sure he'll be dependable to do so.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Notes from the Lausanne Conversation

David Epstein, who pastors our host for tonight's Lausanne Conversation, Calvary Baptist Church.

Tim Keller led a conversation on the importance of reaching the cities. He said we should be resident aliens. We should inspire and condemned by most of a secular society, and if we're only condemned or only praised, we're doing something wrong.

The speakers were asked to sharewhat they hope to seein Cape Town:
Relationships, trust, re-calibration when the global church worships together, blessings on Cape town, listen, learn from Christian leaders who don't have the crutches of affluence. Keller closed by quoting CS Lewis, saying that you need a community to know Jesus, and it's his hope that when so many cultures share thei faith in Jesus, we will all know Him better.

Rich Van Pelt, who Joyce and I met at Michael W. Smith's ranch, and have reconnected with in a couple of countries with Compassion International. Rich shared a quote by Dwight L. Moody that encouraged me after one of my early performances when some children dedicated their lives to the Lord. Moody told his wife two and a half people gave their lives to the Lord after one of his talks. She said, "Two adults and a child?" "No," he replied, "Two children and an adult, who's life is half over." He said we should plant into the 4-14 window: Most people come to the lord between those years. To sponsor a child now visit www.RichDrama.com/Compassion. I asked a pastor wo runs a Compassion site in Honduras how many sponsored kids give thei hearts to Jesus. He looked at me like I was nuts: "All of them," he said.

Here come the questions:

1. What personal "sufferings" and challenges have you experienced living and ministering in the city?

Tim Keller said his wife said there's no better place to live, so long as you have someone following you around with a wheelbarrow full of money. He concluded that everyone sacrifices to be here.

The pastor from South Africa has had automatic rifles held to his head three times. But he said it's not hard labor. The Lord's burden is light. He said he wouldn't change a thing.


2. Given the city is a means to globally evangelize should we as Believers push to improve public school systems and public safety.

One gentleman is working with churches to adopt schools in the hope that they'll impact the whole system.

Tim Keller said churches must proclaim the Gospel and demonstrate the Gospel.


3. How does the church address the reluctance towards the city held in the hearts of Christians.

Tim Keller said, "Tell them to stop it!"

The church can't inspire people to reach the cities from the suburbs. They need to move toward the cities.

Tim Keller said the city is a magnifying glass: you see the best and the worst. The city doesn't create the darkness; it's the human heart. He said, "If you can live in a city, please do."


4. What can be done so that Christian leaders can think and pray together to reach their city?

It's a mission field. Praying together is the most effective way to break through all the stuff and bond in Christ.

Take on something that's bigger than any of you can do.

Tim: Prayer and justice work will not only attract people from all parts of Christendom, but working for justice will also draw pre-Believers.


5. Do people in thriving cities really know what suffering is and accept that part of the Gospel?

The South African answered in light of the broad spectrum of persecution.


6. Is thereany place left for "direct evangelism" in our era of cities?

Yes, but more investment in people's lives is called for.

We hold within us the hope of Glory. Sometimes we meet people in the 9-month part of someone's walk. We shouldn't hold back when we get to the 9-second part when they're ready.

The South African is heartbroken that we've moved away from direct evangelism.

In 1974 the corrective was to bring more action to our words. Now we need more words to follow our actions.

If you've been reading this and don't have a relationship with the Lord, I hope you'll read my story: www.RichDrama.com/MyPassion.


The pastor who closed in prayer pointedout that we should be inviting people not to just live for ever and ever but have erernal life right now.

Follow the global conversation: www.CapeTown.com

12 Cities 12 Conversations

The Lausanne Congress will be bringing 4,000 delegates from 200 nations to Cape Town, South Africa, this October to explore strategies for sharing the love and justice of Christ with the world: www.12cities12conversations.com.

On the road to Cape Town, there are 12 gatherings in 12 cities, where key leaders and thinkers are speaking into the worldwide movement. The second half is open to questions posted to connect@12cities12conversations.com. So post away if you're reading this before 9pm EST. I'll be posting my notes here, so hopefully you'll get a sense of the panel's answer to your question. Post your question as a comment here and I'll see what I remember from their answers.

Not a hero: "I'm a Christian."

A spot ran on tonight's evening news, and the CBS affiliate ran this article on their site: Queens Man Rescues 3 From Fast-Moving Blaze - wcbstv.com: "When asked if he felt like a hero doing what he did, Clas said, 'No, I'm a Christian. That's what Christians do.'"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pawn's Move

Pawn's Move, the film in which I portray Sheriff Hansen, is now available in Christian bookstores, Netflix, and at www.ChristianBook.com.

The film won "Best Family Film," and "Feature Film Audience Choice" at the Bare Bones International Film Festival, after which the director, Caleb Vetter, said, "The screening went very well and I got great positive feedback from several people after the film!"
I found the shot on the right in an article by Sharon Wilharm. She published it 16 days before casting me as one of the leads in Providence.



The Dove Foundation has given Pawn's Move it's seal of approval with a 5/5 Dove rating, calling it an "inspiring story for all ages."

Here's my audition:


Here are the other roles for which I auditioned:

Frank


Conrad


Guy


Baracaldo

Monday, April 12, 2010

Teaching at Princeton University

We've been teaching presentation skills every spring at Princeton's School of Architecture, and the secretary said they look forward to us coming every year!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spirit and Truth

I'm opening worship this morning at our church (www.WeschesterChapel.org) and sharing this quote from Richard Foster's classic Celebration of Discipline:

"Worship is our response to the overtures of love from the heart of the Father. Its central reality is found 'in Spirit and in Truth'. It is kindled within us only when the Spirit of God touches our human Spirit. Forms and rituals do not produce worship, nor does the formal disuse of forms and rituals. We can use all the right techniques and methods, we can have the best possible liturgy (a form and arrangement of public worship laid down by a church or religion) but, we have not worshiped the Lord until Spirit touches Spirit. Singing, praying, praising, all may lead to worship, but worship is more than any of them. Our spirit must be ignited by divine fire."

Friday, April 09, 2010

Coaching in San Francisco

Just as I snapped this shot of the Bay Bridge I heard a trolley car ring its bell.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Heading for Northern California and Southern Oregon

Rev. John Calhoun was my pastor in New York City at The Lamb's Church of the Nazarene, and I continue to attend a Nazarene church north of the city, where my wife and I serve on the pastoral team, thanks to her ordination (though I do have 1/3 of an MDiv; I switched from pulpit to stage and got my MA in theatre).

Scripture and church history are filled with art and story, and over the years I've seen those stories inspire, bring hope, salvations and re-dedications when told dramatically. And they're memorable. My wife just got her MA in counseling, and she learned that memory is linked to emotions. I recently had someone tell me they remembered something I'd performed years and years ago.

All that from something that's fun and so easy to invite a friend to attend!

I'll be coaching some architects for a presentation (Acting 101) in San Francisco on April 22, so I'll be available for performances in churches, schools, theatres, prisons, etc, from April 23 to May 4. I'm open to bookings in San Francisco, Sacramento and anywhere in between those cities and Medford, OR, where I'll need to be on May 5 for a booking.

I perform nine different one-man plays with themes from Scripture or church history. On this trip the plays I can offer are:

Big Fish Little Worm (RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm), which tells the stories of Jonah, Gideon, Jeremiah and Lazarus, with my own story of having grown up on a farm near Medford, OR, and having performed now in 19 nations...

and/or

Beyond the Chariots (RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots), which takes off from where the four-time Academy Award winning film Chariots Of Fire leaves off, telling how Eric Liddell left Olympic glory behind to serve as a missionary, teacher and track coach in war-torn China. The play was performed in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics, Beijing during the last Summer Olympics, and it will be featured in the Olympic Village this August during the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore.

and/or

A workshop (RichDrama.com/Workshops). For the past five summers I've directed the theatre program at the MasterWorks Festival, where I've taught alongside Broadway and Hollywood professionals (RichDrama.com/MWF). This summer I'll be co-directing The Miracle Worker with John Kirby, who has been the acting coach for Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Word of Promise Audio Bible, and on most of Jim Caviezel's films. I would love to offer an acting workshop in conjunction with a play or on its own.

For more about the work I've been doing in the performing arts full-time since Rev. John Calhoun empowered me to do so in 1995 visit RichDrama.com.

To set something up this spring contact Associates & Savidge (Savidge.com/contact.htm)

I hope to partner with you in ministry soon.

in Christ alone,
Rich

To churches in the Northern California District Church of the Nazarene

Rev. John Calhoun was my pastor in New York City at The Lamb's Church of the Nazarene, and I continue to attend a Nazarene church north of the city, where my wife and I serve on the pastoral team, thanks to her ordination (though I do have 1/3 of an MDiv; I switched from pulpit to stage and got my MA in theatre).

Scripture and church history are filled with art and story, and over the years I've seen those stories inspire, bring hope, salvations and re-dedications when told dramatically. And they're memorable. My wife just got her MA in counseling, and she learned that memory is linked to emotions. I recently had someone tell me they remembered something I'd performed years and years ago.

All that from something that's fun and so easy to invite a friend to attend!

I'll be coaching some architects for a presentation (Acting 101) in San Francisco on April 22, so I'll be available for performances in churches, schools, theatres, prisons, etc, from April 23 to May 4. I'm open to bookings in San Francisco, Sacramento and anywhere in between those cities and Medford, OR, where I'll need to be on May 5 for a booking.

I perform nine different one-man plays with themes from Scripture or church history. On this trip the plays I can offer are:

Big Fish Little Worm (RichDrama.com/BigFishLittleWorm), which tells the stories of Jonah, Gideon, Jeremiah and Lazarus, with my own story of having grown up on a farm near Medford, OR, and having performed now in 19 nations...

and/or

Beyond the Chariots (RichDrama.com/BeyondtheChariots), which takes off from where the four-time Academy Award winning film Chariots Of Fire leaves off, telling how Eric Liddell left Olympic glory behind to serve as a missionary, teacher and track coach in war-torn China. The play was performed in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics, Beijing during the last Summer Olympics, and it will be featured in the Olympic Village this August during the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore.

and/or

A workshop (RichDrama.com/Workshops). For the past five summers I've directed the theatre program at the MasterWorks Festival, where I've taught alongside Broadway and Hollywood professionals (RichDrama.com/MWF). This summer I'll be co-directing The Miracle Worker with John Kirby, who has been the acting coach for Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Word of Promise Audio Bible, and on most of Jim Caviezel's films. I would love to offer an acting workshop in conjunction with a play or on its own. I'm on the Media and Arts planning committee for the upcoming Lausanne Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, so I would love to create a script with your group that may be seen by 4,000 delegates coming from 200 nations.

For more about the work I've been doing in the performing arts full-time since Rev. John Calhoun empowered me to do so in 1995 visit RichDrama.com.

To set something up this spring contact Associates & Savidge (Savidge.com/contact.htm)

I hope to partner with you in ministry soon.

in Christ alone,
Rich