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Chip's Blog

A Card-Carrying Member

By May 1, 2018 No Comments

It’s official. I am no longer Medicare ineligible. And you know, strangely, there’s a certain sense of…is that relief? No, relief would feel good, so that isn’t it.
Whatever it is, it’s something that I had not anticipated. And I didn’t experience it until I woke up this morning and thought, Holy cow! I am sixty-five years old!
It occurs to me that I guess it’s always been in my head that 65 was a finish line. A time when you’re done. Whatever you had planned to do with your life, you had either already accomplished it…or you wouldn’t. Either way, it didn’t matter, because when you hit 65, they quit keeping score. Nobody’s left in the stands.

Let me just say that I totally reject that.

I have this theory. In fact, I wrote a whole play (Joey Hallelujah! God Loves America!) based largely on the idea that life is a whole lot like a game of football. It’s played in four quarters. Four quarters of 21 years. Now my wife says that she plans for her game to go into double overtime. But however long the game turns out to be, that fourth quarter is the one that counts. That’s when the game is really won or lost.

So I’m just barely into that fourth quarter, and this morning I came out of the huddle, and am just about to start what I hope will be a touchdown drive.

Today my first novel, The Undeniable Possibility, goes up for sale on Amazon Books. I’m pretty excited about it, because a few days ago, as you probably know, I offered a free download of the book. We had a little over 250 downloads, and in just these few days, there have been several who have already read the whole book. That’s really something, because it’s over 100-thousand words. And I’ve had a few notes and calls from those people, saying they couldn’t put it down. That has been incredibly encouraging.

I’m hoping that a lot of those folks will go on Amazon and give it a good review, and we end up selling a bunch of those books over the next few years. And I have several more lined up behind those. In November I plan to release Bethlehem & Pentecost, which is based on two musicals, which I wrote some years ago. I’m working on that one now, and I’m really enthused about the way it’s going. We’ll release that book when we stage Bethlehem this Christmas.

I can’t wait to see our next play, The Psalmist. Having Christopher Smith and Michael Williams as God the Spirit and King David is really exciting. Chris will be singing during  this play, and he has that pure, stirring quality that makes any song sound amazing. I’ve composed a musical version of the Twenty-Third Psalm, and it gives me cold chills just thinking about what Chris can do with that one.

And if you remember Michael in a previous portrayal of David at the end of Gates of Paradise, you’ll get why I’m so anxious to get this one on the stage. It is something to have such wonderfully talented young people offering their gifts to the ministry at Ragtown.
With that in mind, we have several new plays on the drawing board, and some new and exciting plans about the music that I think you’re really going to love. Plus, Glenn and I have been talking about doing something that will be a great challenge, but could be the biggest thing that’s happened since we started the theater in 2007.
No, we’re not ready to reveal it yet, but I will say that the threat of losing the theater to the fire…well it sort of lit a fire under us!
For those of you who downloaded the book, I want to thank you, and encourage you to read it and let me know what you think. A review on Amazon would be especially helpful. And, by the way, by the end of the week, you can order print copies, if you’re not an ebook reader. We will likely have those available at the theater at some point as well. And I’ll be producing the audiobook version over the next couple of weeks.
So no…this is not the finish line. I’m just getting to the exciting part. My O-line is ready, the coach has called in the play, and I’m carrying the ball. I’m 65 years old and I’m at the top of my game. This is going to be a great fourth quarter! Don’t leave the stands yet!

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