Have a blessed Christmas Season!

In a time when darkness, strife, and division seem to reign--very much like the time Jesus was born--we pray Joy to the World!
Joy to the World; The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King:
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the Earth, The Saviour reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding Joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground:
He comes to make His Blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the World with Truth and Grace,
And makes the nations prove
The Glories of His Righteousness,
And Wonders of His Love.
As darkness increases, His Light shines brighter. "He comes to make his Blessings flow / Far as the Curse is found." We've seen his blessings flow in large measure in 2018! I performed in 15 states and eight nations, and Joyce spoke in six of those. Here are a few of the highlights:

January
Rich played Walter and served as acting coach, while Joyce was a key crew member, keeping actors warm between takes in "There," a short film that takes place during a rain storm! Joyce also played the mother of my character's daughter during a sociodrama to help her get ready for an emotional phone call, so we're counting Moriah's character as our 22nd screen child! You can watch "There" now: www.RichDrama.com/There.

February
A 20-year prayer was answered, and Rich got to perform at Christian Cultural Center.

March
Annual workshop at Princeton University, where we visited Jonathan Edward's gravestone which inspired a post about revival.

April
Performed Jonah for a gang unit on Rikers Island.

May
Performed in It's a Life Worth Living and The King's Messengers on the same day! That was a first! Later that month I performed several roles for The Adventum, a wonderful audio drama of the Book of Genesis, which is now available.

June
Taught, coached and performed at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp, where we produced "Return on Investment."

A revival broke out in the theatre
department on our last night of the
Lamplighter Guild for CreativeDisciplines.
July
Taught and directed at the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines.

August
Performed in Denmark and Sweden on the same day! That was a first!

September
Performed in Norway, Finland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland.

October
Performed at the Hollywood Divine International Film Festival.

November
Performed I Dreamed I Was Free in New Mexico, the 43rd state in which I've taught and/or performed. Another first!

December
"Milk and Oranges" released, which was our film at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp in 2017 and the directorial debut for Joyce. I'm reprising my role of Elijah (which I perform in a one-man one-act play, "Prophet of Fear") in an audio drama I'll announce through our Frequent Email Updates list soon.


Here's my prayer for the Mastermedia Christmas party, which is for us all... though we don't wish a broken boiler on anyone! Click the arrow below, or if you're getting this through an emailing, visit www.RichDrama.com/Christmas2018.





We're quite close to announcing the opening of registration for the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp June 23-29. Be sure you're signed up to get the announcement.

EuroTour 2018 Photos

We finally sorted all of our photos from our trip to Europe this fall. You can find all the albums at www.SwinglesEuroTour2018.Shutterfly.com.

Here are the individual albums:

We started our trip in Copenhagen, Denmark...

Follow us into Tivoli Gardens and to other wonderful sites
in Copenhagen.
Then we presented in Denmark and Sweden on the same day...

Joyce was translated (through headphones) into Danish. Swedish translations
were used for Rich's performance of Big Fish Little Worm that evening.

We spent a couple of days in Randers and Ørsted, Denmark, where Joyce's grandfather and great grandparents lived...

Solve the mystery of the golden boot in
Randers and Ørsted, Denmark
Back to work in Oslo, where Rich performed I Dreamed I Was Free at the Nordic Black Theatre and Joyce shared her testimony...

...and we had a shockingly great time in Norway.
Then to Finland to perform for the Nazarenes and catch up with Timo, the Swingle's foreign exchange student when Rich was in college...

This church was our first stop on our tour of Helsinki.
Next we spent time in Sweden with Niklas, a foreign exchange student from Rich's youth, who inspired this whole trip. We were delighted to meet his wife, Jenny...

We loved spending the day with Niklas and Jenny on the island of Öland,
Sweden.
Then to Frankfurt to perform I Dreamed I Was Free, and Joyce brought the Sunday morning message...

After our presentations we relaxed with dear friends in the Rhine Valley,
Germany.
With all major presentations out of the way we started our 21st honeymoon in Switzerland...

We found lots of swans and lots of references to Rich's ancestor's brother,
Ulrich Zwingli, in Zurich, St. Gallen, and Wildhaus, Switzerland.
... with a stop in Liechtenstein...

...where we did an enacted prayer for the nation and stopped in
Triesenberg, Liechtensteinwhich Rich's mother's
family is named after. 
...and then a 24-hour stop in Iceland on the way home...

It doesn't look like it, but we were about to dive into that water, which
was actually quite warm in Iceland.




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


You can perform at Carnegie Hall!

This morning Joyce and I joined New York Media Initiative for breakfast with Keith and Kristyn Getty. What a joy to hear their passion for the Lord and for honoring the many biblical mandates to sing unto the Lord. Keith said it doesn't matter how well you sing, just so long as you honor the Lord's commands to sing praises to His name. During the Q/A someone asked them where they get their inspiration for writing songs. He said it's a lot of hard work. Hymnals used to only select songs the publishers thought would still be sung 25 years into the future, and that's what they strive to do. She added that Keith is a collaborator, and is quick to draw others into the process of taking their hymns to the next level.

My question during Q/A was what they've picked for next year's global hymn sing. Last year I put together a short film of Olympic champion, Eric Liddell, reflecting on how he led the crowd at Waverly Station in singing "Jesus Shall Reign" before he left fame and fortune behind to serve China as a track coach, science teacher and missionary. I tell the rest of his Chariots of Fire story in my one-man play about Liddell, Beyond the Chariots. I was glad that, after their talk, I got to tell Keith and Kristyn about the short film and give them the link (www.RichDrama.com/EricLiddellHymnSing). Keith is a huge Eric Liddell fan, and that may be why he chose "Jesus Shall Reign," since he immediately acknowledged that he knew about Eric leading the crowd in that great hymn.

The Gettys are performing at Carnegie Hall tomorrow night (12/13), and they'll be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the writing of "Silent Night" by having Phil Keaggy (who you can see in my Compassion video) play it on guitar. It was the first hymn ever played on a guitar, because the church's pipe organ broke down. They'll be inviting the audience to sing along, which is how you can perform at Carnegie Hall. Hope you can join us!


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.

Breakthrough

In October I got to perform at the Hollywood Divine International Film Festival, where I was up for Best Comedic Performance for "All God's Children." But the real highlight for me was meeting Jason Noble, who was the pastor of John Smith, the young man featured in the upcoming film, Breakthrough. It tells the true story of how John (played by Marcel Ruiz of One Day at a Time) fell through ice, where he wasn't recovered for a full fifteen minutes. His brain was without oxygen for a full hour. Jason (played by Topher Grace of Spider-Man 3) was in the room when John's mother (played by Chrissy Metz of This Is Us) walked in when the doctor (played by Dennis Haysbert of 24) was ready to declare her son's time of death. She called on the Lord and her son's pulse came back. You can see that much in the moving trailer below (if you get this via email you can see the trailer at www.RichDrama.com/Breakthrough), but the rest of the story is just as dramatic! It's one miracle after the next.

Jason told how he was being interviewed on a show, and the guy in the greenroom struck up a conversation with them. On their way out, after the interview the guy said, "Do you know who I am?" They just assumed he was there to make sure they had what they needed before and after the interview, but it was Devon Franklin (producer of Miracles from Heaven and Heaven Is for Real). He told them he wanted their story to be his next film. You can hear Devon's version of that story here:
Christian Movie Made by Major Studio is Full of Miracle Stories: Behind the Scenes of BREAKTHROUGH.

It's now slated for 2,400 screens across America, opening April 12.




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.

Lessons About Grace

Since 2001 I've been a Freedom Finder for Graceworks. In this MAX talk our founder, Carol Doscher, shares how she got the name and founded the firm...

If you're getting this as an email you can watch the video at www.Blog.RichDrama.com.



Registration is about to open for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Be sure to get the announcement.

Advent 1 -- The Word Became Flesh

This morning I got to open our service at Westchester Chapel. Pastor Jim Warren preaches on John 1:1-14, one of my very favorite passages, pointing out the unique nature of this opening to the fourth Gospel. He mentions human attempts to altar life. You can hear more examples at Dr. Michael Guillen's talk at Mastermedia. He was ABC News Science Editor, and through that post he appeared regularly on Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline and World News Tonight.

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



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.

Milk and Oranges

Here's our short student film from the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp in 2017...



"Milk and Oranges" is based on a true story told by Nathan Ashton, who shares seven film credits with me.

This marked Joyce's directorial debut:








We're getting close to opening registration for next summer's Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. Sign up for the announcement: www.RichDrama.com/Updates.