There

Joyce and I will joined my former students William and Morgan Willer who directed and produced the short film, "There."

Joyce served on crew, and I played a father in search of his daughter during a storm who finds that he has to decide between getting her to safety and bringing a woman in labor to the hospital in his two-seat car.

Joyce played my character's wife while the cameras weren't rolling. It was a sociodrama to help get our 22nd screen daughter ready for an emotional phone call. We were all deeply moved by the experience, and hopefully you'll hear that in her performance.

They created this brilliant fundraising video for the project:



William and Morgan attended the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp in 2016. William was on the filmmaking side, and Morgan was one of my actors. Our film for that year, "Felicia's Pledge" was just posted: www.RichDrama.com/FeliciasPledge. This summer the siblings switched places and I got to work with William. Our short film "Milk and Oranges" is forthcoming. Sign up for the announcement.

We'll also be joined by another Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp alumna, Rebekah Stought. She did both camps in the summer of 2015, when we offered two week-long camps back-to-back. Click here to see the film Rebekah directed and the two in which she performed.

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

More Divine Appointments!

I didn’t notice it until just now, but less than an hour BEFORE I posted my grandma’s interview about her prison ministry today, I received a link to the testimony of a prison ministry recipient below.

I met Buckie on a train last week. I made the decision to take that train, though it had a longer route than another option, because I wouldn’t need to transfer. I would have been on a much earlier train had I not stopped for dim sum with colleagues after recording a song.

So, on the train and in the car I was supposed to be on, I overheard someone giving his testimony to a friend about having found the Lord in prison. So I was praying. When the Christian got up for his stop I handed him my card and asked if his testimony was online. So it was a #DivineAppointment on the train and in the timing of him sending the testimony! I picked up the baton and kept sharing with the other man about the Lord for a few more stops.

Hope you enjoy it. You can watch it below or if you’re receiving this via email, visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com (Thanksgiving Day).




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.

Thankful for this memory...

Hope you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

This interview with Ruth Friesen and my grandmother, Hilda Miller, is in 1987. I digitized it from a VHS cassette in 2009, and searched the web for Ruth Friesen and her show, Beauty of Life. I wanted to get her blessing to post the program, but there was no online record of the show’s name paired with her name. 

Recently my wife, Joyce, and I have been involved with Christian Union’s Great Experiment. We’ve committed to five disciplines for a month, and one of them is asking the Lord every morning what he wants us to do that day. Joyce calls it a concrete kindness for the Lord. Two days ago I felt like the Lord was asking me to look into posting this interview. This time the internet pulled up Ruth’s name in her obituary. She died this April. I reached out to her family by Facebook and noticed that they’re friends with Grandma’s niece’s husband. I reached out to him, and he said the son-in-law just Friended him on Facebook! Soon the family got back to me with their blessing, and then I saw why the Lord had prompted me now. One of Ruth’s daughters pointed out that this will be their family’s first Thanksgiving without her mother. I'm so glad they'll have this wonderful memory to share today.

The interview is mostly about Grandma’s prison ministry, and it reminded me that I was 10 years old when Grandma first brought me in with her to minister to the first prisoner she mentions. I continued to go with her from time to time throughout the rest of her ministry. 

Throughout my career I’ve performed and taught in a few prisons, and I know that was on my heart because of Grandma's prison ministry. My most dramatic encounter was earlier this year in the gang unit on Riker’s Island. 

Grandma talks about how much energy the Lord was giving her, but within a year she sensed him telling her, “Get your affairs in order.” As a high schooler I remember thinking, “Does God want her to clean her room?” July of 1988 she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The Lord kept shining through her right to the end, which was three months later. She was a tremendous witness to the doctors and nurses attending her. One of the nurses told me how she was feeling a bit down one day, and there was Grandma, jaundiced and taking her final breaths to encourage her. 

I count Grandma my greatest spiritual mentor and pray I can encourage others right to the end.


For those of you who watch this who aren’t family, I can’t expect that you’ll be as blessed as we are by this interview. I’m writing this after just having seen it for the first time in eight years, and I’m a blubbering mess! I do pray it will give you a sense of gratitude for family members and friends who have represented the Lord well to you. 

Watch the video below, or if you're receiving this via email go to www.Blog.RichDrama.com (Thanksgiving Day).




For more information on Grandma’s mission work in Kenya click here.

To read about the miracle that kickstarted Grandma's ministry click here.

To find out more about a relationship with the Lord, visit www.RichDrama.com/MyPassion.


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 Sword of the Spirit Interview

This morning I got to chat with with Donald James Parker on his first video interview for The Sword of the Spirit. You can watch below, or if you're receiving this via email, visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com.



Here are links to some of the things I mentioned:
Beyond the Chariots
Providence
Donald James Parker joined us for the
premiere of Providence.
Beyond the Mask
Alone Yet Not Alone
The Unexpected Bar Mitzvah

My other films
Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp
Lamplighter Guild
The Giant Killer and Escape from the Eagle's Nest
The Salvation Army Territorial Arts Ministry Conservatory
My Workshops
Schools where I've taught
• In Chariots of Fire it was Jackson Sholz who hands Eric Liddell the piece of paper saying, "In the old book it says: He who honors me, I will honor.” (I Samuel 2:30) In reality it was an American masseur who gave him the paper.
Eric Liddell Centre
On Wings of Eagles
Judah Ben Hur, the musical in which I performed in Singapore
Drama Evangelist for the Church of the Nazarene
My bride, Joyce's performances
Eric Liddell's student, H. K. Cheng
Eric Liddell's daughters
What it means to live in relationship with the Lord



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.

All God's Children

Robert Puncher played our 21st screen child.
Joyce and I performed in this short film by Joseph Holmes. Joyce played an anxious woman, and I got to play the role of God, for which I've been nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Short Film at the International Christian Film Festival.

It's now online.

Though we didn't play husband and wife. Her character had a son, and I played [Spoiler alert! Highlight the following text to see my role: the Heavenly Father of the young man], so we're counting him as our 21st screen child.



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.

Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness

Eric Metaxas, who kindly let us use his testimony for a site we set up for people we encountered in Russia during the Sochi Olympics (www.WhoistheFish.com), has written a brief but thorough chapter on Eric Liddell in this book featuring six other luminaries in the Kingdom of God. Metaxas is a skilled writer, and he brought me to tears with material I’ve known for years. I was also delighted by some surprises.

He found an interview with Horatio Fitch, who raced Liddell in the 400 meters at the Paris Olympics. Fitch had broken the world record in one of the semi-final heats, and in his interview in 1984 Fitch said, “Our coach told me not to worry about Liddell because he was a sprinter, and he’d pass out 50 yards from the finish.” The 1981 movie Chariots of Fire shows how Liddell was expected to prove himself the fastest man alive in the 100 meters, but refused to run a heat on a Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Liddell ended up breaking Fitch’s world record in the 400 meters, beating him by five meters. It was decades before the spread between first and second in that race was greater.

The new film about Liddell, On Wings of Eagles, shows him being challenged to run on a Sunday in the internment camp in which he was incarcerated in China, and the movie does not really flesh out that challenge. I had been meaning to look up more about Liddell refereeing athletic events on Sundays because fights were breaking out when he wasn’t there. Metaxas captures that with a quote from Joyce Stranks Cotterill, who later married one of Eric’s roommates in the internment camp, Joe Cotterill. Joyce said Liddell

came to the feeling that a need existed, [and] it was the Christlike thing to do to let them play with the equipment and to be with them…because it was more Christlike to do it than to [follow] the letter of the law and let them run amok by themselves.

In the new film Eric’s reason to run was also more Christlike than following the letter of the law, in fact he saw it as a matter of life and death. Joseph Fiennes (who plays Liddell in the film) does a fine job carrying the weight of the challenge in his countenance. I was just disappointed that it wasn’t explored more in the film.

My favorite discovery in Metaxas’ book comes from a blog post quoting Eric’s teacher in college (high school in the American system), A. P. Cullen. I call him Uncle Rooper in my one-man play about Liddell, Beyond the Chariots. It was a childhood nickname that somehow followed him into adulthood. Eric followed him to China where they taught alongside each other, and they were later imprisoned together in the Japanese internment camp. Cullen recorded what he said at Liddell’s funeral:

He was literally God-Controlled, in his thoughts, judgements, actions, words to an extent I have never seen surpassed, and rarely seen equalled. Every morning he rose early to pray and read the Bible in silence: talking and listening to God, pondering the day ahead and often smiling as if at a private joke.

Metaxas does a brilliant job summarizing every chapter of Liddell’s life but one. There’s no mention of Liddell’s world-class running that continued in China. Beyond the Chariots portrays how he tied the winning times for the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928 at a meet in China with Olympic athletes from France and Japan. For a fuller exploration of those athletic exploits I recommend David McCasland’s Pure Gold: Eric Liddell and John Keddie’s Running the Race. I count McCasland’s the authoritative biography on Liddell, and Keddie was a Scottish runner himself and tied Eric’s time on at least one track.

I believe the fact that Liddell continued to run at world-class speed after moving to China only one year after winning Olympic gold amplifies his sacrifice to leave all of that glory behind to give his all to the One who gave His all for him.



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.

Beyond the Chariots featured on ChristianCinema.com Facebook page

ChristianCinema.com is featuring my one-man play Beyond the Chariots on their Facebook page today! We'd be ever so grateful if you'd give it a Like and a share! The more likes and shares the more of their core base will see it in their news feed. This is our greatest opportunity to reach the maximum audience. Click here.

Bless you!


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story by arranging for a public license or by booking a live performance of Beyond the Chariots.

Friday's chat after On Wings of Eagles

We were delighted to rewatch On Wings of Eagles debut on the East Coast and to field questions afterward.

You can hear the questions and answers below, or if you're receiving this via email you'll find it at the top of www.blog.richdrama.com.



Unfortunately I miscalculated how much space was left on my recorder, and it ran out just before a woman in attendance shared how she had the theme from Chariots of Fire played at her wedding!

Seeing it as second time there were a number of details that caught my eye and ear that I'd missed the first time around.

Early on there's a glimpse of A Tale of Two Cities, which Eric Liddell loved because of the Christ-like giving of one life for another. He was memorizing that chapter while pumping water for people in the camp.

There's a line in which Flo says, "I know what kind of a man I married," and this time through it reminded me of something I'd just read in David McCasland's Pure Gold: Eric Liddell. McCasland made the comment that before she married Eric she never hear anyone say a negative thing about him. In all the research I've done, and in all the dozens of people I've met who remember him, I can't recall a single negative statement about him!

I'm doing one more talkback after tomorrow's 11am screening. Find details and my full review of the film at www.RichDrama.com/OnWingsOfEagles.


See the rest of Olympic champion Eric Liddell's Chariots of Fire story at www.RichDrama.com/BtC or by booking a public screening or live performance.

Beyond the Chariots is now online!

Click for trailer of Beyond the Chariots at the Singapore Expo.
I'm very excited to announce that Beyond the Chariots is now ready to rent or purchase at www.RichDrama.com/BtC!


For licensing of group screenings or to book a live performance of Beyond the Chariots visit www.RichDrama.com/Booking.