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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Monday, September 19, 2011


There are fifty-six separate accounts* in the Gospels where Jesus used parables to get His point across. We think of Jesus as a great orator proclaiming the love of God from the temple or a hillside as He preached to thousands. But the people to whom He spoke weren’t always the wise and learned. More often than not, Jesus spoke to ordinary people—shepherds, fishermen, those working in the vineyards or the marketplace, and townspeople. He used the art of storytelling—that’s what a parable is—to illustrate the attributes of God and explain how God forgives sin in a way common folks could understand and apply to their own lives. In doing so, Jesus set the example for today’s writers of Christian fiction.

This week I’m traveling to St. Louis to attend the annual American Christian Fiction Writers conference. The offering of classes and workshop is as diverse as the various genres available from the local bookstores, and there is something for every level of the writing journey. Beginners and veterans alike will have the opportunity to hone their craft and become better storytellers. One thing stands out—no matter if an author writes suspense or romance, westerns or fantasy, women’s fiction or young adult. Every author attending the conference desires to write the best story he or she can for God.

Jesus valued the art of storytelling. He used word illustrations to paint mental pictures for those listening, and by doing so, He removed the veil of confusion and oppression from those who were under bondage to sin, false gods, and legalism. As writers of Christian fiction, we want to take back what the world stole and reclaim it to honor and glorify the One Who placed the gift of words within us. For if Jesus used the vehicle of storytelling to reach the masses, how can we do any less?

I am humbled when I think of how God has allowed me to pursue my dream, only to remember He was the One Who instilled the dream in my heart in the first place. God won’t start something in my life that He does not intend to finish. Attending a conference like ACFW means equipping myself to follow the path in which God has directed me. If God can use my words to minister to a hurting heart or open the eyes to one in bondage, then I will be a very blessed storyteller.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.

*There are thirty-nine parables—some are accounted two or three times in different Gospels.