I have a story for you. It’s about a boy who, like me, had a drug problem. No, don’t panic not that kind. The kind where ever Sunday my mom drug me to church. Well he was drug to summer camp one year. He couldn’t care less about summer camp, much less church and not much for Jesus he confessed to me recently. It just so “happens” at that summer camp there was this old drama guy impersonating all theses Bible characters and giving invitations to accept Jesus. Yes, he did. To be honest I didn’t remember him. He said I wouldn’t. He was one of about one hundred that accepted Jesus that camp. That was six years ago. But he just emailed me to say he was at that camp again. Not drugged. He was the drama guy this time, presenting Biblical drama and extending invitations to come to Jesus. He wanted me to know. He wanted to thank me, because at that first camp he was mesmerized by the drama and began his own drama ministry. Thank God. That’s a God thing. And God’s way. And a sweet reminder that not only are there spiritual children to this ministry, but grandchildren as well! I wanted you to know.
As I begin the arduous yet most rewarding task of writing this year’s pageant script it is with a bit of nostalgia. It will be my twentieth pageant. Twenty years seems like a looonnng time, that has screamed by in a blink. Twenty years ago I had more black than grey (hair). I had a few less pounds. I moved a little easier around the stage. I had a “real” job too. Well sort of. But I did not have what only these years in ministry could mean to many and to me. As you know, this ministry was birthed from the pageant, because I was mesmerized by the drama—the narration. Then, the first year I was on stage, in front of some 3,000 folks, it hit me like a blinding flash of the obvious. I was in love. And in many ways I have had a love affair with the stage and the audiences and biblical drama ever since. Many have asked if I ever wanted to go pro. Like Hollywood. Hah, as if—but of course it crossed my mind. It also crossed my mind that the appeal of performing in storefront churches or to the Boy Scout Clubs or men’s groups or jails could diminish or fade completely under the lure of “success.” Besides look at where this has taken the Gospel and this ministry - many prisons - over five hundred churches – all across America – Israel – Scotland – Turkey – Greece – the Isle of Patmos – youth camps—all because of a church with a vision and the grace to allow me to spread good news dramatically with them and as an extension of them with your faithful support. Pretty cool.
Another extension—my third little novel is due out the first week of November. It’s the story of Hadad. No, you are not suppose to recognized the name, I made it up. I confess I live in a bit of a biblical fantasy land. Hadad is the innkeeper in Bethlehem. The back story as I like to say. Actually in my fractured fairytale imagination he’s more of a barkeep than innkeep. But he is a life touched and changed because of Jesus, even baby Jesus. There is more to the story of the innkeeper than we have in the Gospels as is true with everyone mentioned in the Gospels. Just as there is more to your story too.
I review my donor list from time to time and thank God for you often. I’m amazed—in a blessed kind of way—at so many being so faithful and think how poorly I am at thanking you often enough. I trust God has His way of reassuring you in His own way. In fact I’m asking Him to do just that real soon, real good, if not right now.
Blessed and grateful -