The Overthinkers

My friends and colleagues Joseph Holmes and Nathan Clarkson are running an amazing podcast called The Overthinkers.

It's a very thoughtful deep dive on various topics at the intersection of Christian faith and culture.

Below I talk briefly about my favorite episode so far...


I absolutely love their discussions and most of their observations. I have a quibble with two elements:

Joyce and I are very prayerful about the media we consume. You are what you take in when it comes to media choices, and they actually talk about that in their first (I think) episode. But they talk about shows we've avoided. Seek the Lord's peace on everything you take into your spirit.

Holmes and Clarkson close each show with each of them mentioning one creative expression (most have been TV shows, films or books) that they'd like to bless and one they'd like to curse. It's a creative version of the rating system Siskel and Ebert used. For those who don't remember, they gave shows thumbs up or down. It's not intended to be a true curse, but the Lord has been speaking to Joyce and I about the power of words, and curses are powerful. Romans 12:14b says, "...bless and do not curse..."

Those caveats aside, their shows are a great exercise for your gray matter.

You can find The Overthinkers on Spotify.


I released “Pentecost: Beyond the Imagination,” a scene from my one-man play, The Actsat www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.


Interview on The Gate

I was interviewed on The Gate Radio by my friend George Flores. I let him know that I'd released the scene about Pentecost from my one-man play The Acts, and he invited me to talk about that and several of my other projects as well.

It will was aired at various times between May 29 and June 1 on The Gate Radio. I got permission to post it here for those of you who missed it:



Here are links to some of the things I spoke about:
The Adventum
Beyond the Chariots
www.RichDrama.com
Five Bells for 9/11

I Dreamed I Was Free
The Revelation
Big Fish Little Worm
The Acts
www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost


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.

Pentecost


Since 1991 I've been performing one-man plays in theatres, schools and churches. Since no one's been bringing me into their communities lately due to the pandemic, I felt led to start making some scenes from my plays available for churches to stream for their online services and in their sanctuaries once they start meeting again.

I thought the first one I would make available is the scene describing how the Holy Spirit was given to the Lord's people at Pentecost from my one-man play The Acts, and it's now available for Pentecost Sunday, which is May 31 this year.

Photo courtesy of Ken Bizzigotti
 of Times Herald-Register.
Joyce and I lived through 9/11 in NYC. I wrote a play about how the Lord walked with three individuals on that dark day, Five Bells for 9/11. In the wake of that horrific tragedy people flooded the churches looking for answers to their questions. W. Scott Lamb, of The Washington Times, said that, "...four out of ten (evangelical congregations in Manhattan) were started in the decade after 9/11...." Lamb is reporting on the research of Tony Carnes, president of the Values Research Institute, who says NYC has become a "postsecular" city.

We're praying for a similar worldwide revival in the wake of this pandemic, and we hope offering this scene about Pentecost will help spark a hunger for a new work of the Holy Spirit in our day and intensified prayer to that end.

In my one-man play The Acts the main story teller is a fictional character named Nathan who was hired by Saul of Tarsus to spy on the followers of Jesus. Nathan realized that they were telling their stories as if they believed them, and Nathan's faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ began to grow. In this scene, Nathan brings an old codger named Ulrichus off the streets to tell his first hand account of how the Holy Spirit fell on followers of Jesus.

I hope you enjoy the scene, and if you do, please encourage your pastors to download it to play on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, this year. You can send them to www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

I've now taught and performed in 39 nations, so it's my prayer that this will literally be shown around the world, and I hope some of you will create translation subtitles.

Let's pray that the Holy Spirit moves in a powerful way during these unique times we're experiencing!

To watch it in your home we suggest a donation of $2 (www.RichDrama.com/Donate)

To download it to show for a group and to stream it as a part of a service (please do not post it online on its own) we suggest a donation of $20 (www.RichDrama.com/Donate).

Once you've made a donation, click this link. Praying it blesses you and your whole congregation for Pentecost or any Sunday! To show in churches, look for the download button below the video on this page.



Rather than sharing the link above, please send others to www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.



Credits:
Written, performed, filmed and edited by Rich Swingle
Concept: Through Fran Warren
Producers: Jim and Linda Warren
Dramaturgy: Jim and Linda Warren, James Masters, Joyce Swingle
Language Coaches: Adam Rudinsky (Hebrew), Tim Tsohantaridis (Greek), Wojtek Typrowicz (Latin)
Costume: Fran Warren
Costume consultant: Selah Cohen
Acting coaches: Selah Cohen and Judy Dodd
Consultants: Micah Derksen, Ethan Hill, Jenny and Niklas Holmgren, Paula Kasica
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100564 Artist: http://incompetech.com/


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.

Ravi Zacharias

One of my heroes passed away today. Ravi Zacharias was a profound apologist for the Gospel. He was always so gentle, always honored those asking questions, but he was always as sharp as a tack. Having been raised Hindu, his observations of how Christianity compares to other faiths was always insightful. He said:
Outside of the cross of Jesus Christ, there is no hope in this world. That cross and resurrection at the core of the Gospel is the only hope for humanity. Wherever you go, ask God for wisdom on how to get that Gospel in, even in the toughest situations of life.
I've posted his videos of his talks at Ivy League universities on this blog several times. You can find them at www.RichDrama.com/Ravi

Here's his obituary: Ravi Zacharias 1946 - 2020.

Here's what he had to say about truth:




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 religions are not alike

Whenever I hear people say all religions are the same I think of all the religious practices we've come across on our journeys to six continents and about 40 nations, living in NYC where every nation on earth is represented, and just observing the world:
• In Israel we encountered the Druze. Their male leaders wear baggy pants in case they give birth to the messiah.
• In Singapore there was a Hindu worship practice that was so gruesome it's illegal in India: The practitioners carry a metal home for their god over their heads with hooks digging into their flesh.
• We have a friend, Kara M, who partnered in ministry with a Christian couple in India who adopt the children who are conceived when men "worship" their goddess with temple prostitutes. Hear her story by clicking here.
• Some Hindus worship rats.
• Animists worship everything.
• When I was working on my master's thesis, a gentleman in the drug rehabilitation center, where I was teaching sociodrama, told me that his higher power was Mickey Mouse.
• After performing a piece that addressed witch doctors while we were in Africa we were told many there still go to witch doctors even after becoming Christians.
These religions are obviously not all alike!

So when I saw a Ravi Zacharias talk entitled "How do you know that Christianity is the one true worldview?" I passed it by because I have so many reasons to know that it's true and all other religions are counterfeits. I finally took the 9.5 minutes to watch the video, and I was surprised to discover so many things I hadn't heard before.

If you're a Christian, this will really encourage you.

If you're not a Christian, and you're honestly seeking truth I really encourage you to watch with an open mind.

Click the arrow below, or if you're reading this in an email, visit www.Blog.RichDrama.com to watch.



And Dr. Zacharias addresses a similar question here:



My grandmother had a similar glimpse into Heaven as Dr. Zacharias describes. I got to share that story at her funeral.

If you want to know more about becoming a Christian, 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.

Hope in the Lord

Joyce and I were guest presenters on this morning's Zoom service for Hope Community Church of the Nazarene. I performed "The Potter" from my one-man play Big Fish Little Worm, and Joyce taught on our marriage verse: Jeremiah 29:11. She frames up ways to hope in the Lord during this strange season of pandemic.

Click the arrow below, or if you're receiving this in an email, you can find it at www.Blog.RichDrama.com (May 17).



If you'd like to know more about a relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit www.RichDrama.com/MyPassion.



I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Beyond the Imagination

I submitted a short film to The Quarantine Film Festival with two minutes to spare! It's an adaptation from my one-man play The Acts.

I ended up reshooting it and it's now available to watch at home and for your church through www.RichDrama.com/Pentecost.

If your church is interested in showing it, please contact us through the contact form at the very bottom of this page.

I didn't have time to put credits in the film, so here they are:
Written, performed, filmed and edited by Rich Swingle
Concept: Through Fran Warren
Producers: Jim & Linda Warren
Dramaturgy: Jim and Linda Warren, James Masters, Joyce Swingle
Language Coaches: Adam Rudinsky (Hebrew), Tim Tsohantaridis (Greek), Wojtek Typrowicz (Latin) Warren Costume: Fran Warren
Acting coaches: Selah Cohen and Judy DoddConsultants: Micah Derksen, Ethan Hill, Jenny and Niklas Holmgren, Paula Kasica
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100564 Artist: http://incompetech.com/


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.