Cornerstone Baptist Church

"Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation." (NLT) Joel 1:3

I was mesmerized as I listened to the animated story teller enthusiastically speak each sentence into being with the assistance of a simple felt board and felt characters. As I became caught up and focused solely on the story, it appeared to me that the felt horse was actually galloping magically across the board on its own power. The story and the characters came alive and remained a permanent happy memory. Unfortunately, those days are gone! The art of story telling is quickly fading into our present day electronic age. I recall story telling competitions being a part of our summer city playground programs.

Face to face, verbal story telling is very powerful and imprints lasting images on the brain. Television and movies are a story telling medium, but are not true story telling. Most of the stories are simply untrue. You have no choice what to visualize. It inserts visions into your mind against your will, but true stories help to create a vision for preserving memories. Sharing stories of past experiences helps us to navigate the future. The miracle of face to face story telling allows the mind to create its own visions. You see and hear emotions of the teller that allows you to form your own word pictures and draw your own conclusion.

God also speaks to us through inspirational story telling. I thank God for the blessings, comfort and knowledge within the stories told to me from the Holy Scriptures and other historic writings. Stories that "spoke into being" the characters and events of the past. Characters and events that will remain imprinted on my memory forever.

I am reminded of the talented, inspirational song writer, Fanny Crosby who wrote the well known hymn, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus." She reminded us to tell the stories of the past when she wrote: tell me the stories of Jesus, write on our heart every word; tell of the birth, tell of the triumphs, the sorrows, the labors, and the joys. I remind you of the hundreds of years of being blessed by sharing stories through songs of traditional Christmas Carrols. These musical stories tell of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ from so many different perspectives.

I often yearn to hear stories that "speak lost loved ones into being." Studies show, bereaved people who recall and retell stories of times with their loved ones will spend less time grieving. These folks also do better moving forward with their life than those who do not share happy memories of the past. Animated story telling goes far beyond simple entertainment. It is a method of helping us find our way through life. Survivors have a significant role in keeping lost loved ones forever in the hearts and minds of those left behind. You can find peace and comfort during grief and loss by speaking your lost loved one into being through sharing their story. Stories that will bring affirmation to your experiences together; those experiences that verify the attributes and footprints of a significant life lived. Pass it forward; imprint those cherished memories on the minds of future generations.

"Anyone who tells a story speaks a world into being." (Michael Williams)

Stories of the past give family & friends a sense of identity and origin. It is our privilege and responsibility to keep their memory alive; speak their world into being. And, in this year's Christmas celebration and acknowledgement of our Savior's birth, tell the stories of Jesus' coming by singing the stories of the beautiful Carrols. Don't just sing the words, but quote the words! Bring them to the attention of other's. Use them as your personal testimony. Remind others of the real reason for having joy in this season and your reason for having hope for the future.

This Christmas season give yourself and others a new purpose for Christmas Joy. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to become a 'story teller' of the greatest story ever told! Bring joy and The Good News;

"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the new born King. Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled. Joyful, all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with Angelic Host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark the herald angels sing, Glory to the new born King."

by Jane Barrick