River Jordan: The Power of Story
Thus spake River Jordan at the Calvin Festival in mid-April. I had wandered into her talk titled "Truth Finds a Way," acting on an impulse. And that spontaneous decision turned into one of the highlights of my time there.
River (yes, she did change her name to "River," which her mother now calls her) writes both fiction (Saints in Limbo, Miracle of Mercy Land) and non-fiction, but she is probably best known for her memoir, Praying for Strangers. In it she tells that at a time when both her sons were being deployed, one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan, she happened to make a New Year's resolution to pray for a stranger every day for a year. She didn't even plan to tell these strangers what she was doing for them. And she planned to stop after 365 days. But sometimes she did tell them, and amazing conversations happened. After a year she felt compelled to continue what she then felt had become a "spiritual discipline"... until she did it for another year, and another, and now it's simply part of who she has become.
When River started writing as a young girl, she thought people had a limited number of words they could speak. Consequently, she was rather quiet. Only in the third grade did she discover she had an unlimited word count. By three years later, she had been discovered as a writer.
During those formative years her friends would go play while she would craft stories—a process she describes as "controlled schizophrenia." Killing one of her characters, she says, was like losing anyone who had ever been close to her.
She points to literary author Kevin Brockmeir as an influence, and she describes the first three pages of Leif Enger's book, Peace Like a River, as some of the best prose ever.
When she asked our audience a question... I don't even remember what it was...the sight of many hands flying up surprised her. She exclaimed, "Beautiful! Like dolphins jumping." That right there explained a lot. The woman must think in simile and metaphor.
Raised in the rural south, River says she grew up "where truth grew out in stories." The first line of her first novel is, "I was in Memphis the night I had the dream." She loves the Chick-fil-A Youtube video because of its reminder that everyone has a story:
"Be inspired by your very life," she said. "You do not have to tell everyone your stuff. But tell the truth. Tap into the truth of your life." She encourages writers to tell "what's important to you and it'll be important to other people.... All of us have been hurt.... I am a blessed mess. Don't wait till you are perfect."
- Adam Smith published the blogpost The Simple Things in Life – Tiny House Living – Vincent Russell.
- Courtney Rowland published the blogpost Creamy Parmesan Leek and Mushroom Pasta #SundaySupper.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost “Real Women Leading” iPad Mini Giveaway and “Leading with Values” Facebook Party 3/20!.
- Kelly Pigott published the blogpost Ashes, Tattoos, the Sign of the Cross, and my Friend Connie.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Be thou removed: Prayer of a man they called “Consecrated Cobbler.
- George Krickl published the blogpost Poor in Spirit: Paul and Barnabas Discipleship Continued.
- Jennifer Collins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Doris SwiftOur greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” ― D.L. Moody
- Doris SwiftEmerge from ordinary into extraordinary; rise above, set apart, walking in the plan as He directs the steps...
- Doris SwiftIf you're feeling stuck in your writing journey~remember, every new idea-every word written propels you forward
- Jon StallingsIf we focus our prayers just on Jesus delivering us from the trials of life, we have set up our own life as an idol
- Melcome Feldspar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Leon Bloder published the blogpost Shouldn't All Christians Be Universalists At Heart?.
- Jennifer Alayo-AguilarI am so excited to be here. This is something new that I have never tried before. I am glad to be alive to witness this, a blog post check-out site for Christians around the country, the world to connect with one another. The mini-neighborhood is pretty good. Say prayers for me, my husband, and the rest of our family as we get our lives back together and get on the right track with Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Livestream Simply Youth Ministry Conference be a part of it!.
- George BullardMarch 8th: Transform Congregations By Radical Missional Engagement #365SSIFTC http://bullardjournal.blogs.com/bullardjournal_microblog/2014/03/march-8th-transform-congregations-by-radical-missional-engagement-365ssiftc.html
- Jennifer Alayo-Aguilar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Greg Winfield published the blogpost The Blessing of Struggle – Do You Know What You’re Made of?.
- Stephanie L Burr just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Reasons Why Youth Ministry Is A Strategic Career Choice.
- Evan Nehring published the blogpost Announcement: Life Sentence Publishing Partnership.
- Matthew Tan published the blogpost "Justice, Unity & the Hidden Christ": Review in Ethika Politika.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read The Week Of March 3rd.
- Nathan Wheeler published the blogpost Prayer, a beautiful mistake: Atheism For Lent Part 1.
- Allen O'Brien published the blogpost Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Tactics Trigger A Golden Age For Christian Publishing.
- Brad Russell published the article FaithVillage Expands Church Partnerships with 10 New Features.
- GREG WHITAKER just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost How To Supercharge Your Productivity With Evernote.
- Jotham David Parker published the video Truth (Christian Dance Hymn. Full Song with Lyrics).
- Myra Lee just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- FRANK NADJOMBE created a new gallery