Saturday, January 18, 2020

I JUST SAW CHRIST ON THE LA METRO RED LINE

My son Josh and I were riding home from the Clippers game at 10:13 p.m. Tuesday on the Red Line subway. A white, homeless man five rows in front of us was rambling to himself, disturbing the other riders. He appeared to be in his sixties, and had an unkempt salt-and-pepper beard. The train made a stop at Hollywood and Highland, and a young black man boarded with his girlfriend. They sat in the empty seat in front of the homeless vagabond, who started yelling the N word at them. "F*%king n@%ger, F*%king n@%ger, F*%king n@%ger," he yelled, chanting the racial slur over and over. The black man stood up quickly, looking down at him. My first thought was. "There is going to be a confrontation." The black man reached into his pocket and gave the man a box of raisins, then opened his wallet, removing a wad of cash. He lovingly spoke to the homeless man, giving him the money. His generosity and deep Lou Rawls voice calmed the man who was spewing hate at him seconds before. The angry man sat in silence, blanketed by a Spirit of Peace. The black man sat back down beside his date and they had a thoughtful conversation about the play they had attended that evening. My son and I discussed how we had just witnessed one of the most tangible demonstrations of the Spirit of Christlike compassion and grace we'd ever seen.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

HEROES

I've had some experiences meeting heroes, some good, and some bad. I live in North Hollywood, and have been shocked to meet famous people who on TV play very kind characters but in public are really rude. Then, I've also met very powerful and famous people in the film business and became their friends and they are extra humble and nice to everyone. And, I've also known famous preachers who their whole shtick is speaking about following Jesus but they treat people like crap.  I wonder if who we are one-on-one in private moments with people is just as important if not more than the public persona? Maybe a hero is a true hero when no one is watching.    

Sunday, August 04, 2019

POST-SHOOTINGS PRAYER FROM MY HEART


(I wrote this after the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio)
Almighty God, raise up prayers that don't stop with prayer alone, for faith without actions is dead. Touch and bring forth up prophets of justice and love that will confront the racist rhetoric that demonizes other cultures and countries. Let leaders emerge who can call out and condemn white nationalists, haters, and supremacists as domestic terrorists. Anoint those who have clean hands, not corrupted by money from lobbies, as voices to reverse this increasing violence. Unite people of peace and goodwill to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally disturbed. Let Thy LOVE overcome this HATE epidemic, for Your perfect love casts out fear. God, root out every demonic gristle of racist supremacy, white nationalist terrorism, and
the demonization of the desperate and the poor. Amen.

Monday, July 08, 2019

A POEM FOR PETE

Tonight, I wrote this poem for Pete, my youngest brother who died. I was missing him so writing is a great way to release feelings, a form of prayer. Below the poem is a pic of Pete, age 8, with me, age 14.

A POEM FOR PETE (Richard Rossi 7/7/19)
Last Tuesday at Ten p.m. my son sang a song he wrote about you, his uncle, my baby brother.
"Close your eyes....I will be there..." he sang in the Federal bar, a brick bank building in NoHo.
Since then, I've seen you, even when my eyes are open. I looked at my hands tonight, and I remembered your long dirty fingernails when you played in the dirt with me, kids digging for China because we saw Bugs Bunny do it on the Saturday morning cartoon show.
Then I remembered your lightning-fast fingers flowing over a Fender fretboard.
My son's song rings true that you will never die. You are free since you deposited your body in the earth, in the place of your birth.
You're released from relationship squabbles, aging, romantic or sexual issues, addiction. You don't need weed, or alcohol, or someone to text or talk to late at night because you believe lies about yourself or God. You are free from aging, cancer, from arthritis or Parkinson's slowing down your lightning fingers like it did for Dad.
When you were born, you cried as we smiled. Now we weep missing you, but you smile because you are free.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

MOST LOVE JESUS, BUT CAN'T STAND HIS WIFE

Many love Christ but dislike Christians
Who act-self-righteous & don't even listen
Jesus said "They'll know My followers by love"
But many name His name but aren't connected to above
The church would be more respected if they live like Christ
But instead they choose legalism, the black and the white
They use Jesus to back bullies with a need to dominate
If they only had Love, the world would have no reason to hate
They love our Christ but hate us Christians
But lets try to flip that and see who actually listens.
Some say the church is the bride of Christ
But most love Jesus, they just can't stand His wife.

Friday, March 08, 2019

CAN YOU SEPARATE ART FROM THE ARTIST?

WHAT IF THE ARTIST IS A TWISTED GENIUS WHO IS ALLEGED TO HAVE ABHORRENT DEEDS? Our culture wants to throw out an artists work because of alleged or actual personal pathologies. (#rkelly #michaeljackson music taken off the air, #billcosby shows not shown, for example). If we are consistent with this, there goes a huge chunk of art throughout history, as many books detail many creatives having issues with addiction, mental illness, bipolar, sexual problems, breakdowns, bad behavior, etc...(Reference "Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament" by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatrist specializing in the study of artists through the ages, and the biographies of artists you like).
Some want to go after Elvis next, because his wife was 14 when they met. Is trial by media sufficient to decide which artists can be played on the radio? Appear on TV? Is Internet now a way to beat media censorship because it could become the only way to hear banned artists and entertainers? Can you separate art and artist? Will you not watch a film by someone accused of a heinous act like Woody Allen or Roman Polanski? What if the allegations are only "anecdotal evidence" of stories presented in interviews from one point of view without corroborating evidence that has been legally vetted? Are there some times you can separate it because you like an artist, and other artists in which you can no longer enjoy their work?
THOUGHTS???

Sunday, November 11, 2018

DAVID vs. GOLIATH: Your Liabilities are really Assets

Remember DAVID vs. GOLIATH? What is seen as a liability is an asset. David was smaller and didn't have heavy armor like Goliath. He was quick, agile. He had faith that Goliath didn't have. Two huge studios had films in development about Aimee Semple McPherson and Roberto Clemente when I was making dramatic feature movies on their lives on a shoestring. They said I should quit because they were doing it. But as a small filmmaker, not hampered by needing to get hundreds of people in a big organization to approve everything, I was the first to put out both biopics on lives of Aimee Semple McPherson (http://facebook.com/SisterAimee) and Roberto Clemente (http://www.facebook.com/clementemovie) while the big boys projects still languish in development hell to this day. When David faced Goliath, everyone around him was talking about the giant. They were saying, "Goliath is so big." They said, "David, are you crazy? You can't fight Goliath. You're too small. You don't have any experience." But David shook it off. He went out to face Goliath, and Goliath began to laugh. No matter what you may be facing, no matter how big those goals and dreams may seem, move forward in the freedom and blessing in store for you!