Alien Sighting!

11713854_10206920410949615_4605392444251628789_oAliens have invaded the earth! They come from a dark world with an atmosphere unlike ours. They do not look like us, think like us, or behave as we do. What do they want? They leave enigmatic mounds, and sometimes crop circles like the one to the left (from the burners of one of their spacecraft?) which mysteriously appeared in my yard!

It’s finally happened:

11188337_10206920442790411_6155843280041027341_nI’ve seen one! And now I can tell you with absolute certainty that it’s true! They are not human. They are here among us. They are winning. And it is only a matter of time before our world is completely theirs!

You have been warned!

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The Parable of the Good Mormon


Part One

I’m not a Mormon, nor am I a fan of Mormon teachings (although I know and love quite a few Mormons). But that’s not what this post is about. Read on…

Some years back, my comedy act Mitch & Allen did a live show sponsored by a group of churches in Ogden, Utah. We’d been there twice before and built a strong following, so this time they moved us to a large university auditorium. When we got there, it was standing-room-only!

Scary, but cool.

We were a faith-based team, so churches expected us to close with a message. As always, I sought God’s guidance, but the answer I got was so dicey, I questioned whether I’d heard correctly (I’m always cautious not to confuse my “vibes” with God’s leading).

The performance went well. In fact, we received a standing ovation. Then, as the applause died down, I stepped up to the microphone. My Bible was still marked where I’d been reading before the program, at Luke 10:30-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I shot up an emergency “are you sure about this, God?” and got an unnerving, “Duh, Mitch” in response. “Well, OK, then,” I brain-whispered.

What I was nervous about was this: The crowd was made up primarily of non-Mormons, a minority in Utah, home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are two common strains of spiritual pride in Utah: Mormon “We’re-the-only-true-Church” pride, and non-Mormon “We’re-the-people-who-left-that-false-church” pride (a large percentage of Christians there are ex-Mormons). My heart was with the minority. In fact, I’d been asked to consider pastoring a church in Ogden and had studied Mormonism’s unorthodox teachings at length. So I was as surprised as anyone when God led me to re-tell the story in Luke, Chapter 10, as…

The Parable of the Good Mormon.

I felt like I was beating sheep. Because so many of those ex-Mormons had been disowned by their families for leaving “the true Church,” had lost jobs and community standing, had given up everything to do what they believed was right. And there I was, telling them the parable of a “good Mormon” who compassionately aided a stranger when other “godly” people passed him by.

When I finished, there was deadly silence. I began to explain: We think of samaritans (with a small “s”) as good guys. But in Jesus’s time, Samaritans (with a big “S”) were a Jewish schism—just as Mormonism is a Christian schism—one that had reinvented Judaism and labelled themselves the only true Jews. Result? Jews hated them. And they hated Jews. So why did Jesus cast a Samaritan as his hero?

To make a point.

It’s not knowing the right stuff that makes us good or righteous, it’s what’s in our hearts. The Jewish prophets had been gifted with revelations from God, and the Samaritans had not (Jesus acknowledged this). But that didn’t automatically make all Jews good, or all Samaritans bad. What mattered to God, Jesus insisted, was the disposition of a person’s heart.

“OK, go on…” said the sea of silent faces before me.

This story will conclude on Monday.

Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith, Story Power | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Verb or Noun?

Some things can be both a verb and a noun (fish, call, ride). But I only know of one thing that must be a verb before it can be a noun: Love

Yesterday was World Refugee Day, by the way. A perfect time to be practicing the verb. Here’s a good place to start: World Relief.

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The Wishing Map 121

Life is not just about fulfilling dreams. It’s also about overcoming curses. We were put in this world to help each other do both.

Mitch Teemley

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Note: To read The Wishing Map from the beginning, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter Twenty-Three: Return to Rennou (Continued)

Previously: B’frona confessed his failure to overcome the kidnappers who captured Gina’s dragon.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

He stood steeped in anguish as Sh’renn, his adoptive sister, picked up the narrative: “I left my sleeping mother and went to the marketplace, knowing that I would find him there. I found him, yes…beaten and bloodied, this courageous boy. But the Dragon of Rennou was gone. I washed his face and waited. When he came to his senses, he told me what Skelljaip and Artifíga had done. And then…”

To Gina and Zack’s surprise, B’frona took Sh’renn’s hand and finished the sentence for her: “We smelled smoke and rushed to the widow’s house. When we arrived, the flames—”

“He tried over and over to enter,” said Sh’renn. “He still has the…

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A Filmmaker’s Journal

World’s Biggest Little Monster Movie Enters Pre-Production!


(Teaser video below)

We’ve entered pre-production on my late 50s/early 60s era B-picture monster movie spoof Notzilla. Which means long hours, too much to do in too little time (casting, hiring, location scouting, prop building) and, oh, yeah, fun! Because if you can’t have fun making a movie called Notzilla, something is seriously laughably wrong. While not a faith-based movie like my last feature (Over-the-Rhine), Notzilla will be a family friendly comedy with a bit of an underlying message (when do I not have something to say, right?).

As during the making of Over-the-Rhine, I’ll be cutting back on longer blog posts, reposting old faves, and visiting my blogger friends on a more catch-as-catch-can basis. So here’s my “cereal apology” in advance: sorry about the flakiness!

Seven years ago, in order to help find funding, some friends and I shot a zero budget quickie one-day teaser trailer, using household toys, and neighbors as extras. Our budget for the feature Notzilla is precisely a gazillion times more (although precisely two hundred gazillion times less than the upcoming Hollywood Godzilla sequel), so it’ll be a full professional production. Which is a relative term when you’re talking about a wildly over-the-top farce with a guy in a rubber suit on a miniature set! Here’s the Teaser:

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Dear God

dear-godHey, it never hurts to ask.

“When you bear one another’s burdens, you fulfill the law of Christ.” ~Galatians 6:2

Posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Love is Like That

Both of my kids were unexpected gifts. Nevertheless, when my first child arrived I fell instantly in love with her.

So much so that I was afraid I could never love another child as much. I needn’t have worried. When Beth arrived I fell so in love with her that I was afraid it would eclipse my love for Mandy.

Happy-Fathers-Day-Images-6Instead, my love doubled. That’s love’s curious economy: the more we love, the more we have to give.

Years later, my mom told me that I too had been an unexpected gift and that my dad had reacted precisely the same way.

“Ah, yes,” I thought. “Love is like that.”

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