Hope this Friday night, came in the way of a man dressed in purple, with a mask and a message... Bibleman, is one of the only full action figure, Christian heroes. His stage presentation...a light hearted., high tech show with a very deep message...
While children, are astounded, amazed and amused with their super hero...most parents are moved with the story of the man behind the mask. Bibleman man to them is better known as Tommy or Buddy. Willie Aames is the creator, producer and character of Bibleman.
For an older generation he is more famous for roles years ago, as Tommy in "Eight is Enough, the hit t-v series in the 70's and 80's. Aames was also a hit in the T-V series "Charles in Charge. But the millions from T-V stardom are gone now. Drugs and Alcohol were Aames downfall. Someone who knew the heights of stardom, fell into the pitfalls of a troubled life. "There was a point in my life I had to make a change," says Aames, "I lost everything, I had no money, was divorced, lost my family, lost my kids, and I was working for 30 dollars a day on commercial dive boats scrubbing toilets. The passengers used to stand around a laugh at me because I was cleaning up their feces and they'd say look at the big movie star now."
The road to the Bibleman Children's ministry has not come easy. Faith like Bibleman's was never really a part of Aames life. Until he heard a preacher on the radio years ago who mixed humor and religion. Aames decided to go to his church. "They had something I never had and that was hope," recalls Aames, "I'll never forget setting in the back of that church going that's it, that's what I need, is hope, if your hopeless there is no alternative your doomed. They were offering me hope and that hope was through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I had heard about Jesus, been told about Jesus, heckled with Jesus freaks in the 60's, throw stuff at them...but He had never been presented to me as a source of hope, and for whatever reason I got it...and I became a Christian that day...and a girl that was with me became a Christian that Sunday morning and six months later we were baptized together and married that same afternoon and she has been my wife for almost 18 years.
But something like Bibleman was not part of Aames idea for the future. To get away from the trappings of Hollywood, Aames moved to Kansas City. Then one day he got a call from some producers, with an idea... "That is the worst idea I have ever heard, in my life," Aames recalls his reaction, "what do you mean...I said come on...how cheesy is this going to be...I mean Bibleman...couldn't you come up with a better name."
But after much prayer, Aames took on the job eventually becoming not only actor, but writer and producer. 11 bibleman videos are now available, most have gone platinum. You'll find big displays in almost every Christian bookstore, complete with music, action figures and other toys. One would believe, Aames must have a special love for children's ministry. "People would say gosh you must just love and have a heart for kids, nope...nope...love my own, don't know if I love yours," says Aames, "they kinda look at you like...you gotta be kidding me...and I say no, all I ever wanted to do was be obedient."
Obedience has led Aames across the country performing stage shows dozens and dozens of times a year. His prayer now that Bibleman will can offer a simple message of hope much like the one that saved him from a life of despair. "I want people to find out who is Jesus, why did he come, why do we need him and how do we get him, simple, the basics...and I think we accomplished that in this show this year.
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