The Word

That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is not a word. Rather, it is an emoji officially called “Face with Tears of Joy.” This image was selected as the ‘word’ that best reflected the mood and preoccupation of 2015.

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The Power of Storytelling

Rick Sessoms In 1984, my family and I were sent to Indonesia as missionaries. My assignment was to teach in a seminary. Since I was the “new kid in town” I got to teach the courses no one else wanted – one of which was preaching. At least it was a course I thought I knew something about. I taught preaching in the school while listening to Indonesians preaching in the local church. Their sermons were a lot like ones I’d heard and given in the States. Good stuff. Important stuff. Truth intended to change how people think, how people feel, and how people act. Solid biblical truth presented in three points and a poem. Trouble was, it wasn’t changing anybody. But I noticed a different style of communication whenever I attended Indonesian social events. When community leaders or even the government wanted to relay important information to their people, they used drama. They used songs. They used stories. For example, as the sun was going down, they would often bring out an old bed-sheet and hang it between two poles. Then they would use a light behind the sheet and little leather puppets. As the sun would go down, the stories would come to life. The people would sit and watch and laugh and listen – and learn for hours. Puppets and songs and stories impacted people in a way that the three-point sermons I heard in church and taught in the seminary did not.  They reached beyond heads into

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