Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Nana’s Bible Stories Blog Tour
It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to share some of my personal thoughts and experiences as a new author with you, LaShaunda, and the Sormag readers! I am so blessed to see the work you are doing to help and encourage each other!
There are so many gifts lying dormant in the lives of women—just waiting to be discovered or understood. I pray not only that my book, Nana’s Bible Stories will be encouraging to the children in your life—but, also that my personal story will be of encouragement to many of you as you pursue your calling.
Why did you decide to write Nana’s Bible Stories?
ROBERTA: Books are such an important element in a child’s life. Books with stories of the Bible are wonderful, because kids can start at an early age, learning wonderful lessons from this great book. The Bible has more adventure and excitement than any book ever published.
I wanted so much to write stories that were warm, exciting, with the emphasis on how much Jesus loves children, and how He was such a wonderful loving person on this earth, even though He was the Son of God! I wish for children know how important they are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was passionate about them and I want kids to be passionate about Him!
Bible literacy is so important! The Bible is the most influential text in all of Western culture – in fact, ninety percent of high school teachers in a 2005 study said that Bible knowledge is critical to a good education. Yet, sadly, the rate of Bible illiteracy among teens entering college is alarmingly high and is severely limiting their ability to understand classic and modern literature, art, music and culture.
You are a Jewish believer. Do you think your Jewish heritage played a role in the telling of Nana’s Bible Stories?
ROBERTA: Yes, yes, absolutely yes! I always look on the Bible as a Jewish book to begin with. However, my love for Israel and the Jewish people is a big help. I have been to Israel too many times to count, and am in touch with the people and the culture. The land is exquisite, and when I am writing stories, I can picture the people, and the place in which the story takes place.
I do believe that often, we forget Jesus was Jewish, and many things He said and the content of the stories He told were very Jewish.
I have worked closely with the illustrator, Susan Mitchell, who was wonderful illustrator for my book. It was great fun inspiring her with pictures and describing the people as she brought Israel to life through her illustrations. I think she did a great job, in color and characters!
Why do you believe it is important to introduce our children to the Bible when they are young?
ROBERTA: I do believe, and it is also scripturally true, that if you train up a child in the scripture, and encourage that child to have a personal relationship with God, then when he/she grows up they will truly not depart from it. I have done this, and seen the results. I can truly say that all my children, and their children, know the Lord!
If we can promote the Bible as interesting, exciting, etc. then children will want to know the content. I want my stories to be exciting and truthful, so that my book can serve as an introduction to the Bible, and they will want to read more!
We need to reach kids when they are young, when their minds are open to accepting new concepts, characters etc. Look at how easily young kids can pick up new languages. When I was five years old I went to a Welsh school, where no English was spoken. I could choose to hide in a corner, as I did the first day, or jump in and learn the language. I chose to learn, and learn I did!
The minds of children are so open, and accepting. When kids learn the Bible at an early age, it teaches them great values, and greatly influences the development of their character!
I think it would make such a positive and wonderful difference in children’s lives if they were required to learn Bible stories!
Some of your royalties from Nana’s Bible Stories will be going to children’s charities. Please explain.
ROBERTA: While we were working with Jane Seymour on her narration, we learned about all the wonderful work that she was doing on behalf of various children’s charities. It was touching to see first hand the work that is being done and actually meeting some of the young people who are benefiting from her charity work. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of my book will go to these charities, including City Hearts in Los Angeles.
I am also involved the Children’s Trust in Barbados. They do a marvelous job of helping, sick, and underprivileged children on this island.
It is a great joy to be writing, knowing that the Lord is blessing children both spiritually and financially through Nana’s Bible Stories.
Do you think we ever become too old for God to use us?
ROBERTA: Absolutely not, not, not! As long as we have breath we can be used. As long as our heart is ticking, we can move out of our comfort zone! Even if bad health or accidents get in our way, we can pray, pray, pray!
Thank you for allowing me to share a part of my life and calling with you. If you would like to learn more about me or my book, please go to www.nanasbiblestories.com. You may download one of my favorite stories, The Butterfly and the Cross—the story of the crucifixion as told through the gentle and tender eyes of a butterfly. I have also included a special devotional for the story which you may share with your children this Easter season. Cuddle up with a child and enjoy!
Nana’s Bible Stories are narrated by two different readers: Red cover is Jane Seymour, Blue cover is Sheila Walsh.