Friday, May 11, 2007

FIRST Post Tribulation House

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! An extra special post is coming out
today, May 11th, for
an extra special author. The man who started to ball rolling for FIRST,
Chris Well, has a new book out and we have decided to give him an extra

So, give all your attention to:


and his


(Harvest House 2007)


Chris Well is founder of FIRST. He is
an acclaimed novelist and award–winning magazine editor and has
previously written the “laugh–out–loud Christian thrillers” Deliver Us from
and Forgiving Solomon Long(one of Booklist’s Top 10 Christian Novels of
2005). He has also contributed to 7ball, Infuze, and Alfred Hitchcock’s
Mystery Magazine. Chris and his wife live in Tennessee, where he is
hard at work on his next novel.



I might as well just tell you right now, I killed Reverend Daniel
Glory. Back there at the church, in his study.

But this is my story. Don't let anyone tell you different. My dad
always said we all write our own story. Of course, I guess that's why it
worked out so well for him.

Why did I kill Reverend Daniel Glory? Sure, it was an accident. More or
less. At least, I think it was.

I don't know, we were arguing about the Rapture and it kind of got out
of hand and then I just --

Wait. Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

This all started about three months ago, when Reverend Daniel Glory
told us we needed to do our Tribulation House earlier than --

Oh. Wait.

Okay, I guess this actually started last year when Marvin Dobbs left
the church. Our church. The Last Church of God's Imminent Will.

A year ago last summer, Marvin left with some of the other families to
start a new church, and he took his Armageddon House" multimedia show
with him.

You do know about Armageddon House, right? Every Halloween for the past
three or four years, Marvin and our team put together a special
multimedia presentation explaining the Great Tribulation, which ends with the
Battle of Armageddon.

Wait -- you don't know about the Great Tribulation? It's that
seven-year period between the Rapture and the Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ,
as described in the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostles
Paul and John. After the Lord Jesus takes His Bride home, there are
going to be seven years of horrible judgment inflicted on those who are
left b --

What? The murder of Reverend Glory? I'm getting to that.

Well, anyway, when Marvin left to form his little offshoot splinter
group, we discovered he had actually trademarked the name "Armageddon
House." Imagine that.

When the board at church met to discuss the matter, we considered doing
Armageddon House anyway without him. Just reconstruct it from memory
and copy or use materials from previous years. Use the same name,
business as usual. Just ignore the cease-and-desist letter, let God and His
angels work that out.

But we decided we didn't want to be associated with Armageddon House
anymore. I mean, if Marvin and his new "fellowship" planned to stage
their own Armageddon House, the risk of confusion in the marketplace was
enough to rebuild ours as a brand-new event.

Which is how we ended up with Tribulation House. It was an opportunity
for a new beginning. We went through a whole list of potential names --
I came up with Kingdom Come, but was voted down -- before we settled on
Tribulation House.

We sat down and worked through the whole grid. Instead of imagining how
to simply explain or show a picture of each bowl of wrath and each
trumpet of judgment, we created an entire theatrical event.

Yeah, we could have set up the charts and graphs and the overhead
projector. But today's audience, this last generation, they're kind of jaded
about flannel graph presentations, know what I mean?

These kids today, with their Spongebob Squarepants and their
American Bandstand and their Buffy The Vampire Slayer,
they need the bells and whistles and the like.

The kids don't need a lot of explanation. They need a demonstration.

You see, that was the challenge, wasn't it? It's one thing to say "the
moon was blackened" or "the waters turned to blood" or "men were stung
by enormous flying scorpions" -- but how do you make it happen right
here, right before their eyes?

In the end, we created Tribulation House: A full-sensory immersive
interactive dramatic theatrical evangelistic event that simulates what it
will actually be like to live through the events of the Great
Tribulation. An entire full-service prophetic experience.

You'd be surprised how much of it we accomplished with sound and light.
We developed the various rooms throughout the church basement. Some
college kids created soundscapes for each event. We wrote up a full script
for the actors; they played everything from people caught up in the
events, to the world armies fighting the Most Holy, to the father of lies
himself, bound and thrown into the pit for a millennium.

The murder of Reverend Daniel Glory? I'm getting to that.

So we were working out the blueprints for creating Tribulation House as
a major theatrical evangelistic full-sensory ministry outreach. We had
debated the merits of various slogans for the event -- the leading
THE TIME IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK. While the first slogan was a
favorite of several board members, for its bracing, truthful stance, in the
end we worried that the neighbors would misunderstand. So we went with
the second slogan, for its simple, instructional message.

And I remember that our chief carpenter, Bill Broadstreet, was giving
us his estimate for the physical construction to be done on the project.
Suddenly, Reverend Daniel Glory burst in with some news.

"Friends!" There was a glow on the Reverend's face unlike we had seen
before. The man stood there in the doorway to the church basement,
leaning against the doorframe, wheezing to catch his breath. "Jesus is
coming back!"

The room was silent. We all stared. At first, we wondered why he was
saying this right then. After all, he preached on this topic every week.
But then he dropped this bomb: "And I know when!"

Okay, that was a new one. Collectively, everyone in the room gasped.
One of us, I don't even remember who it was, asked, "When, Reverend?"

"October 17."

Five months.

"5:51 a.m." Reverend Daniel Glory waved the papers clutched in his
hand. Later, I would wonder what he was waving at us. His Bible study? His
calculations? All I know is he grinned ear to ear and said, "The
Rapture is going to happen at 5:51 a.m. on October 17."

Everyone around the meeting table reacted differently. Some were
stunned into silence, others screamed with joy. One noisy woman loudly sobbed
and clapped.

Reverend Daniel Glory came into room, face aglow with thrill and
exhaustion, and dragged a chair from the wall over to our table. He sat,
waiting until everyone was silent again. "I now have incontrovertible proof
that the Rapture takes place this coming October."

I'm sure I grinned bigger than anyone in the room. "What reason do you
have to say that?"

Reverend Daniel Glory looked at me and winked. "Why stop with one
reason, boy? I got one hundred and seven of 'em!"

Of course, you know what this meant. We were going to have to step up
the production of Tribulation House.

(I still can't believe it's not Kingdom Come.)

Chris Well’s laugh–out–loud Christian
thrillers appeal to the millions of readers who gobble up the
rollicking crime fiction of Janet Evanovich and Elmore Leonard. TRIBULATION
does not disappoint!

1 comment:

M. C. Pearson said...

Thanks for posting for FIRST! I just got DSL, so I can actually visit my FIRST members!