Over the past four decades, I have witnessed and experienced a lot of different things. One conclusion that I have settled on from all this life experience is that we are all different. Shocking, I know! We each have different fears, dreams, likes, and dislikes; we each learn differently and come to faith differently. This epiphany struck me one morning while sitting in the back of the classroom and assisting the fifth- and sixth-grade preteen ministry at Sun Valley Community Church in Gilbert, Arizona, several years ago. Patrick Hodgkins was the instructor. I was amazed at how engaged the kids were when he would break down complicated but important Bible stories and parables with stories of his own that the preteens could understand easily. Guess what? As a forty-year-old, I was also learning from Bible stories that I had heard many times but still did not grasp completely until I heard them retold to a room of fifth and sixth graders. Not only were we all entertained (Patrick is an amazing storyteller), but we were also educated and enlightened; I believe the former led to the latter. That’s when it hit me:
Maybe more people would understand the important messages within the Bible if they learned them in a way they could understand or grasp just a little better. At that moment, I decided to retell Bible parables and stories in a way that was entertaining and educational. That way, all readers could get the powerful messages of hope, grace, love, forgiveness, and redemption that might create a thirst to read the original scripture in the Bible.
I chose to write short stories in Hope Refreshed, so virtually anyone can read an entire story and get a quick dose of hope in twenty to thirty minutes.
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