Friday, June 5, 2015

The Power of a Story: Guest Post by Katy Kauffman

Five years ago, I attended a writing conference for the first time. I was sixteen. My mom was with me, and we hadn't a clue of how the conference worked. 

But thankfully, we met the Kauffmans--a really sweet family who took us under their wings that week. The daughter, Katy, and I have remained writing friends ever since. 

In 2013, our first books were even released within a month of each other:

Katy and me last year at the Blue Ridge conference holding our first books. =) 
Today, I've invited Katy over to share how the power of storytelling is used throughout the Bible. Be sure to check out her latest Bible study at the end of this post!
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Their stories shape us.

Nine unlikely friends embark on a mission to destroy the one ring of power and save middle earth. Their courage, endurance, and humor are forever etched into our memories.

Four siblings step into a wardrobe and step out into a magical world of talking animals and dangerous adventures. The symbolism they encounter reminds us that a great King loves us and was willing to give His life for us.

Countless tales have been passed down through time in the form of legends, books, and movies. At times the storytelling is so gripping, we feel like we’re living in the stories ourselves. We sit with King Arthur’s knights at the Round Table, fight swashbuckling pirates in the Caribbean, and race through the Death Star at breakneck speed.

The characters we meet often inspire us in our own adventures and bid us to become like them. What heroes and heroines have you admired the most? What caused you to like them? Did you ever want to have their courage, wit, or strength?

When I was 28, I desperately needed one particular story. Tim Burton’s movie Alice in Wonderland, a more grown-up version of the classic story, showed me what courage looks like, as embodied in the main character, Alice. She had a choice to make: to believe that she could face the most wicked, powerful creature in the land—the jabberwocky—and conquer him, or to be held back by her own fear and doubt. It had been foretold that she would slay the jabberwocky on the Frabjous Day, but she didn’t believe she could do it. Fear and doubt were keeping me from facing my own “jabberwocky” at the time. But when I saw Alice’s courage, I realized that I could depend on God to slay my dragon.  
As writers, we can harness the power of story and use it for good. God did.

The stories in the Bible aren’t made up, but are the real-life tales of people who faced fears and
formidable enemies, and had the choice to depend on God for victory. Their stories “were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4 NKJV). So we could have hope. So we would know how to win victory in our own lives.

Their stories shape us. If we let them.

When we need courage to go against the cultural norm and stay faithful to God, we can read about Daniel, whose quiet courage enabled him to remain faithful to God in a foreign land. His determination to follow God can strengthen our own.

When we need to overcome fear, we can read about Esther, whose love for her people caused her to petition the king to spare them from annihilation. The same kind of love can move us to do good to others even when we are afraid.

When Satan tries to discourage us and make us afraid, we can refuse his schemes as Nehemiah did. We can learn from Nehemiah’s strategies for winning victory, and make our own spiritual battle plans.

In the pages of His Word, God has harnessed the power of story, and captured for all time real-life adventures of love and struggle, courage and faith. The stories in the Bible show us who God is, who we can be as we depend on Him, and how to handle life’s adventures and problems. I’ve needed those stories again and again.

As we allow the principles of God’s Word to shape our lives, we will know how to live life with God to the fullest. We will also know how to help other people to know God. The words we write and the lives we live can show the amazing love of God and the strength, fellowship, and hope that He gives.
So as you write, remember the good stories that have shaped you, especially the stories found in the Bible. Learn from them to grow as a person and as a writer. Let the principles of God’s Word shape your character and courage, and build up your faith and relationship with God. Incorporate into your writing the principles God has taught you, and may He use your writing to change hearts and rescue lives.  

© Copyright 2015 by Katy Kauffman

About the Author:

Katy’s new book, Faith, Courage, and Victory, captures the adventures of 24 people in the Bible and gives application for everyday life. Take a walk through the pages of Scripture and see how real people struggled with faith and courage and won the victory over doubts, fears, and enemies.
Katy is a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies and an award-winning writer. Her passion is for people to know and love God, understand the richness of His Word, and fulfill His plan for their lives. She makes her home near Atlanta, Georgia. 

Connect with Katy at her blog and on social media:
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  1. So true, Katy. Stories of joy and peace have inspired me. Stories of faith and courage have strengthened me. Even stories of people who made horrible choices have taught me the warning signs as I make my own hard choices.

    You are right, Tessa. The Kauffmans are a precious family!

    1. I love it how God uses stories in His Word. It's pretty cool also to learn from good books and movies. Thank you for your kind comment about my family, Sherry!

  2. Oh great post! The Bible is full of stories, if applied, may help guide us, strengthen us and prepare us for our daily life.

  3. Love this Katy, thanks for reminding us about the power of the story. It is one of my favorite things, sharing and telling and hearing stories, I loved reading yours this morning!

    1. Thank you so much, Lindsey! We can use the power of story for good. May God bless your writing and story-sharing!

  4. i like the stories in the Bible - cos' they're not just stories - they're real life lessons :D

    1. Definitely! Thanks for stopping by Tessa's blog, Andi!

  5. Katy, I love how you apply the people in the Bible and their stories to our lives. Sometimes I forget how much I can really learn from the Bible. I also like how you say that we can use our writing to help other people know God...that is my hope! I hope that as I write, I am helping others to see the beauty of Jesus more clearly.


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