Monthly Archives: April 2011

Stories that Feed the Soul

Stories that Feed Your Soul
By Tony Campolo

I grew up in the church, went to a Christian college, and have sat through thousands of services, devotionals, and small groups. And while I appreciate the sermon, it’s almost always the story – or the sermon illustration – that I walk away remembering. Even in life, my favorite moments are almost always recalled with the statement “so this crazy thing happened to me today – let me tell you the story…”

When I received Tony Campolo’s new book in the mail, with a requested review date right around the corner, I thought the deadline would be impossible. I work. I have responsibilities. I like to take Tony’s writing and chew on it a bit. This review cannot be finished in…

I started flipping through the book. The longest chapter was 3 pages long.

I can do this.

Stories that Feed Your Soul is just that. A collection of stories centered around the themes in Romans 8. Tony is a known storyteller, and these recollections are about the day to day. The good, the bad, the sacred, the simple. Lessons about the daily struggle to examine ourselves and see just how best we can be servants and disciples. Lessons about thankfulness, grace, humility. Lessons simply about life.

Like most of Campolo’s work, Stories focuses heavily on social issues, our attitude toward our neighbors, the poor, the widow. But in these short stories, we get to see mirrors of our own lives. So many sounded familiar, like I might have heard the story in school about a great activist, politician or pop culture figure. Many just gave tidbits to chew on in my day.

So many stories stand out. Mae West talking about Christians. A piece on St Francis of Assisi. A question about if a Buddhist Monk will go to Heaven. Another on a man who said “Making ten million dollars before I was 40 didn’t turn out to be as wonderful as I thought it was going to be.” A story on a boy with one arm who won a judo championship.

I had originally told my father, a pastor, that I would give him the book for sermon ideas after finishing this review. However now, I’m going to need to just buy him his own copy. This book will be re-read many times as I believe it was intended, one story at a time. I’m imagining many of these stories will fuel many a devotional and blog of my own.

Thank you Tony for writing a collection of stories truly inspire and Feed the Soul.