Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Storytelling God by Jared C. Wilson

Subtitled:  Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables

Some of my favorite, and most memorable, times are when you hear a great storyteller craft a yarn. Time seems to fly by as you hang on every word.  Often you might not know where the story will go next.  Although I have known many good storytellers, none were better than Jesus.  He used parables to tell stories that anyone could relate to and think they understand.  Most of the time i believe the message did not occur to the listeners until after he was finished.

Jared C. Wilson demonstrates how Jesus not only used the parables to explain morals but, like all of the Bible, how they lead us to Christ.

Some of my favorite lines from the book:

The parables give us a direct portal to the kingdom of God being done on earth as it is in heaven.

The parables, as the wisdom of God, are aimed not only at the mind but also at the heart.

I would recommend that you follow the author as he takes a fresh look at the parables.  Maybe he will open your eyes to something that has been in front of you all along.

The Truest Thing About You by David Lomas & D. R. Jacobsen

From Amazon:  There are many true things about you—true things you use to build an identity. Parent. Introvert. Victim. Student. Extrovert. Entrepreneur. Single.

These truths can identify you, your successes and failures, your expectations and disappointments, your secret dreams and hidden shames. But what if your true identity isn't found in any of these smaller truths, but in the grand truth of who God says you are? In other words, lots of things are true about you—but are they the truest? 

David Lomas invites you to discover and live out the truth of who God created you to be: you are loved, you are accepted, and you are made in God's image. It's time to move beyond the lesser voices and discover why everything changes when you become who you really are.

Throughout history, mankind has struggled to determine its identity.  Over time, people have identified themselves by what they do, which family they belong to, who they are married to, how much money they have, and too many other ways of making them stand out.  But is this the way a Christian should go about it?

Satan tries to make us focus on our identity as the way the world sees us. The group Big Tent Revival sang a great song called "Two Sets of Jones" that demonstrates the difference between a worldly and a Christian viewpoint.  The song shows what happens to two families named Jones when they have children.  If you have not heard it, look it up and listen to it as a reminder of what this book is all about.   

The authors of this book showcase a similar theme.  Too often we are caught up in Satan's lies as to what our identity really is.  Lomas and Jacobsen use a very reader friendly method of demonstrating the way the Gospels show us the different way Christ looks at us.  Just like when Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water, when we keep our eyes on Jesus life is the way it should be.  When we start looking at all of the turmoil around us and what the world says, our identity suffers.

Highly recommended.