Tuesday, February 21, 2023

TWOsday ~ learning to appreciate stories

I bought a couple of books written by a man who was in the fifth grade Sunday school class I taught at Signal Crest United Methodist Church in the mid-1960s.  He became a storyteller and says:
"Stories are how we remember, whereas narrative is how we think.  No one recounts the events of a day by saying, 'I had a brilliant thought today that came to me in three parts.'  No, what people say is, 'I got in the wrong line at the store, and you will never believe what happened!'  They tell the story of their day."
A Storyteller Looks at the Parables ~ by Charles W. Maynard, 2022, stories, 170 pages

Jesus used storytelling as the method that would carry the message of the Kingdom of God the farthest.  He "stuck" his truths in people's minds by telling stories.  Often, we rush past Jesus' stories to determine their meaning, and we rarely hear the story itself.  Many outstanding commentaries and sermon collections have been written about the parables.  This book, however, is designed to help you see the art of Jesus' storytelling and learn to appreciate it.  It also aims to assist the reader in hearing and experiencing the stories.  When you are caught up in a truly remarkable story being well told, you don't analyze it.  You listen to it.  You feel it.

This book is divided into two sections.  The first section includes five chapters:

(1) How to Read, (2) Is the Bible True?, (3) Words at the Right Time, (4) DIY (Do It Yourself), (5) Listen and Enjoy Don't Explain.

The second section includes ten meditations:

(1) Dirty Story, (2) For Heaven's Sake! Do Something!, (3) Tiny Beginnings, (4) Leave it Alone! (A Story of Manure), (5) Room at the Table, (6) People are the Problem, (7) The Owner of the Vineyard, (8) Wheat and Weeds, (9) The Fool's Prayer, (10) The Final Exam.

A Storyteller Looks at the Gospel of John ~ by Charles W. Maynard, 2022, Bible study, 202 pages

This book is appropriate for study during any season of the Christian calendar.  Each chapter includes questions intended for discussion among groups.

Charles Maynard is the author of more than 30 books in several genres, with more than 20 published historical books to his credit.  In addition to being an historian and a noted storyteller, Charles is a pastor at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.

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