Posts Tagged ‘Stories’

I just discovered that my Kindle book on the book of Job “Above the Storm” is now on the Best Sellers List at Amazon.com rated at #2,668,129 (That’s popularity not sales).

This indicates that I have a little way to go to be in the top #20 and I would love it if you could help me in my quest.

“Above the Storm” is a book of short creative fictional and non-fictional stories used to illustrate the truths of each chapter of the book of Job. It was a lot of fun to write over a period of years and reading over some of the chapters still makes me smile and reflect on valuable lessons from the Book of Job.

Hope you can help me in my quest to break into the top #20 of Kindle books by purchasing a copy. I am confident that you will think that it is worth the more than reasonable purchase price.

Above the Storm is an exploration of the book of Job for the creative mind. Job sought to explore the untraveled path of grief because his life had catastrophically changed.

Above the Storm is willing to address the tired, age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” but be prepared for unexpected answers.

Within this book, you will find an Elephant and a Termite, a man called Misery, a Hitman, a Dump Truck driver and many others who answer that question and beyond. Each article is brief enabling you to explore specific sections of the whole book of Job, a commentary like no other. You will also find beautiful and creative illustrations, artworks and photographs to enhance your journey.

With each page, you will come across parables and illustrations that creatively bring home the depth of the message of Job with relevance and challenge. Be prepared. You may even find yourself revising your own assumptions about God because of a man called Job.

Joy Kennedy, (Counsellor, Chaplain and proofreader), says, “… Ross, I am in awe of your gift for writing and give God praise that I have been so privileged to be enabled to spend some quality time reading your work and reflecting on your thoughts. Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy your creative ideas!

It occurs to me that this work holds much merit as a potential textbook for people studying Christian Counselling and for students in Christian schools, to assist them to gain a fuller understanding of the need to gain greater skill in the “art of listening” and in overcoming any tendency to need to have all the answers. I too have learned a lot from your work! …”

Pastor Ross

Matthew 13:34-35 – HEY! THAT’S ME IN THAT STORY! – Part 15

Hey! That's me in that story!

Back in the 60’s my parents allowed me to go to the city cinema and watch movies about Tarzan. The back yard then became my jungle and I would act out the whole movie again. I still have a tendency to be a product of the last movie I have seen, book I have read, conference I have attended? I PUT MYSELF INTO THE STORY and I find myself aspiring to the values of the hero.

Julie writes beautiful children’s stories. In each book she has written for our grandchildren, she seeks to encapsulate who they are through one of the characters and the adventures they have. She puts them into the story with the hope that one day they will be inspired to seek their God given destiny. There’s something about a story.

Why does Jesus speak in parables? Why doesn’t He explain all His stories? Matthew 13:35 says that He spoke in parables because “This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.” Surely there is MORE TO IT than just fulfilling an ancient prophecy about being a storyteller.

I tried to discover which prophet Matthew refers to. It seems it was the person who wrote Psalm 78:2-7. He says “for I will speak to you in a PARABLE. I will teach you HIDDEN lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about His power and His mighty wonders. For He issued His laws to Jacob; He gave His instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. SO EACH GENERATION SHOULD SET ITS HOPE ANEW ON GOD, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands.” (NLT) There it is. Stories DRAW YOU IN. I can imagine children in the time of this Psalm playing out games about Moses and other characters from the Bible, PUTTING THEMSELVES INTO THE STORY, taking on the character and aspiring to the values of the heroes. That’s the point of a parable. It’s a truth that is meant to be lived out.

What I also notice from the prophecy in Psalm 78 is that Jesus is not so much teaching something NEW but He’s explaining through parables truths that have been HIDDEN IN THE PAST. That’s what He says in Matthew 5:17-19 (NLT). “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose…”

Even Jesus has put Himself into the story. In fact as God puts Himself into our story by entering into the world and dying on a Cross for my sins, He gives me the invitation to be a part of His story, to discover His purposes and will for my life. As He lived a perfect life, I now can exchange my sinfulness for the righteousness of Christ. As He died on a Cross so too I choose to take up the Cross and follow Him. I exchange my story for His. He is my life. For me to live is Christ and die is gain. Through Christ I understand God’s Truth. He has written me into the pages of His story (History).

Jesus says “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” (Matthew 13:43 NLT). It’s interesting to me that Jesus is not trying to cater to everyone. He knows that the Pharisees are not really interested in the story except to try to trap Him or misrepresent Him. In Matthew 13:14-15 (NLT) He says “…For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to Me and let Me heal them.’” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NLT) says “…Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. ….” 

Some things only God is able to reveal to us. Jesus says in John 14:26 (NLT) “…the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” When it comes to the crunch, the parables will come alive in me through my everyday experiences as I allow the Holy Spirit to apply His Truth in me.

The invitation is to have the SPIRITUAL EARS TO HEAR. Those who God gives the ability to understand will be those who actively and intentionally put themselves into the parables and see and hear how they are enacted in our lives today.

Pastor Ross