Stories I thought you should know – Christmas 2018

It’s been a big year for many people. There have been a lot of hard things to go through. There have also been a lot of great things to celebrate. I personally am happy to have been able to learn of some great stories coming out of the Middle East and Eastern Europe. There are also tragic stories I’ve heard, too. All this to say, here are some things this year (in no particular order) I thought you’d value.

BREAKING: AT LEAST 7 KILLED IN ATTACK ON CHRISTIANS IN EGYPT

Open Doors USA |Article – Length: 5 mins

“At least seven Christians have died and an additional 15 injured in Egypt today (Nov 2, 2018) after a violent attack on a group of Coptic pilgrims. The Christians were on their way to visit a desert monastery, when a group of masked gunmen stopped the bus and fired on it. The death toll is expected to rise.”

An Arab Evangelical Message to American Evangelicals

Arab Baptist Theological Seminary | Article – Length: 12 mins

” For millions of Muslims like Adel, Evangelical support for Israel and American foreign policy in the Middle East is a stumbling block for the Gospel. “

I Survived North Korea

SoulPancake (on Youtube) – Length: 6.20 mins

” Charles tells the story of his eventual escape from North Korea in 2008 at age 14. After a brief period of time in China at the age of 8, he was sent back to North Korea to work in a labor camp where he was starved and beaten… What have you survived?”

Pomplamoose – Living in a Bubble

Pomplamoose (on Youtube) – Length: 3.07 mins

How Open Doors Equips the Church in Nigeria

Open Doors USA |Video – Length: 3.44 mins

Kids Meet a Burn Survivor

Kid’s Meet|HiHo Kids – Length: 5.57 mins

This is a fascinating and moving encounter a burn survivor has with children.

New York Times – Length: Very Long

This photo-journal tells the stories of survivors and of the devastation of Aleppo, Syria. There is hope there, but it will be a long, long process of recovery. Note: There is limited free viewing of the NY magazine.

Love never fails

Tomorrow Clubs |Video – Length: 11:15

One of the latest, and right now, one of my favourite stories that I heard this year! Rostik’s story is one of tragedy and hope. Praise God.

Stories I Thought You’d Like (Late May)

Every so often I hope to share with you some stories that stood out to me and may be of interest to you, too.


Christian Living

If I Were 22 Again – John Piper (Desiring God) Length: Medium

“…it seemed to me I should go in the direction of, “What are the most important things I would do at 22?” Not in the abstract, but the real me where I was and who I was in 1968. What if I started over with all the same circumstances in place?”

Introducing the Pain-Pleasure Worldview – David Williams (Gospel Coalition Australia) Length: Short

“Guilt-innocence is eroding as the worldview of western culture. I think we are moving from being a guilt-innocence culture to becoming a pain-pleasure culture.”

Bishop Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon – CBS News (Youtube) Length: 13 mins

Curry’s sermon during the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan has many people buzzing for all sorts of reasons. Regardless of your opinion, it’s worth hearing it so you can use it as a springboard for conversation about the gospel. I’m now of mixed feelings about the content and delivery, but it’s doubtlessly entertaining, and hopefully useful.

Humor

Kellogg’s Introduces New Relient K Cereal – Babylon Bee – Length: Short

‘Relient K frontman Matt Theissen stated he was hopeful that this cereal would further the band’s career in a changing music industry. “I really hope this product will be my escape from the pop punk scene into a wider mass market audience.”’

That Story Show! – Keeping It Real & Real Funny

Stories have always had an appeal for me. Whether it was growing up with fictional adventures in books or movies or real-life ones from around the world, I love stories. I even made a couple of my own short stories over my school years. After discovering the world of podcasts, my search led me to ones that told funny true-life tales. I found there were a couple of clean comedy podcasts to enjoy, and I was set.


A podcast I’d like to share with you is That Story Show (Formally Nobody’s Listening). It’s a show that ran from 2006-2016 with 260 episodes. It’s creator is James Kennison, who was a children’s pastor at one point, and he had a range of co-hosts, including his brother David and friends, plus other guests.

The Rundown

In the show, the typical format is of a Weekly Update section, then Featured Story, and Listener Stories. There is then a Recap Song at the end to run over some key stories of the podcast. James and his guests start by sharing funny things that happened during the week, and bounce off one another with similar experiences. The featured story tends to be from the hosts, but could be a special one from a listener. Throughout the show James interjects with quick one-liner puns or comments, infusing each moment with energy.

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The dynamic nature of having two or more people on a podcast is what can make (or break) a podcast, and this show really works well with multiple hosts. As brothers, James and David had shared experiences, and were able to present the humour from both sides. Each co-host provides different perspectives and stories. I have yet to listen to all the 260 episodes with all the different co-hosts, so more fun is yet to be had! The longest running co-host was John Steinklauber, who was around for about 140 episodes. He stands out as my current favourite co-host with his genuineness, funny voices and laugh.

What I Enjoy

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James Kennison, host of That Story Show

One thing I value from the show is the hilarity of hearing awkward true-life stories told in interesting ways. I love good story-telling, and this show does it well. There is never a dull moment. Another thing I value is James’ openness to talk about being sick. From 2012 to 2014 he suffered through extreme depression with multiple disorders and stopped the podcast. Yet once on the road to recovery, James started That Story Show up again, and was able to share bits here and there about his experience. I’m grateful he didn’t hide his health troubles and was able to return eventually to making people laugh, and maybe getting a bit of joy back from it, too. That’s all testament to the support of his family and wife, whom he thanks in each episode with, “…thanks to our spouses for letting us record…,”. The public face of a podcast are the hosts, who get the praise, but the silent support of their family and spouses normally doesn’t get noticed or appreciated. I like that this podcast acknowledged that support each week.

Some Things To Know

That Story Show contains an abundance toilet-humour and the hosts are also not afraid to poke a lot of light-hearted fun at how Christians act and think. While I think these are good reasons to enjoy it, I can imagine they might put you off. While the show was running, there were months and years of long silence due to James’ sickness, etc., but listening to it now you won’t have the frustration of waiting for a new show!

If you’d like to check out That Story Show, or another podcast of James Kennison’s, hop over to NLcast.com for his full list. I’m sure you could find one right for you!

Thanks for reading!


NOTE: Pics taken from Sticher and James Kennison’s website.