Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Author Bio: 
Author, speaker, and sidewalk theologian, Cheri Cowell is passionate about discipleship and challenging the body of Christ to holiness of heart and life. As the author of Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life (Beacon Hill, 2007) and over 300 articles, Cheri’s love of story and the Holy Word shines through in her writing and teaching. In 2009 she was one of six journalists chosen for a tour of the Holy Land by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, a blessing that only deepened the love of the parables Jesus told. Cheri is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary where she learned the Inductive Bible study method used in this study to encourage, challenge, and equip the body of Christ to live story-shaped lives. 

Parables and Word Pictures from the New Testament is a 13-week workbook-style study of 118 parables from Jesus, Paul, and the apostles. This comprehensive look at the New Testament parables will help readers develop an ear for the message they convey—that the Kingdom of God is both here and near. Through the study readers will be challenged to live faithful and holy “Kingdom lives” in a broken and unholy world. 

Of the thirteen weeks, the first nine explore the parables of Jesus in the four gospels; the next three look at the parables in Acts and those from Paul and the apostles. The study culminates in a look at what the author calls living parables, with Jesus as the Parable of all parables. Through Him we come to know God the Father, and through Jesus we come to live as living parables in a world begging to “see God.” Living story-shaped lives allows others to see God in
us—this is Kingdom living.

The workbook includes a chart of parables in chronological order, a chart of parables alphabetically arranged in the four gospels, a chart showing the locations in Israel where the parables were taught, and an index of scriptures to make finding parables quick and easy. A Leaders Guide is available.

What passion drove you as you wrote your new book?
I LOVE the Word and I love storytelling and I want others to fall in love not only with the Word but also with the concept that they can become a living parable, a living story pointing others toward the Ultimate Living Parable––Jesus Christ.

What surprised or otherwise impacted you as you wrote your book?
There's not a consensus on how many parables are in the Bible or even what defines a parable.

What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
That the parables are not isolated stories only used for sermon illustrations, but when read together they give us a picture of how we are to live as kingdom people. Through the parables we learn how to become living parables in a world desperate to "see" God.

What book(s) do you have on your nightstand right now?
I'm reading two books, Cynthia Ruschti's They Almost Always Come Home and Calvin Miller's Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition.

What life experience, education, or training helped you become an author?
I am a writers' conference fan, having attended and taught at more than 40 over the last ten years. I wouldn't be where I am today as a writer without them. I also received a Masters in Theological Studies from Asbury Seminary, where I learned the Inductive Bible study method I used in writing the parables Bible study.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
My husband and I love to travel, to see nature and all the beautiful places God's created for us to enjoy. National Parks are our favorite destinations. In June we will travel to Yellowstone.

What is God teaching you right now?
That we all have a story to share and in sharing our stories we hear how God is moving, in listening to other's stories we begin to see how our own story is shaped by the interweavings of so many stories to form a God-story.

The title of your study is Parables & Word Pictures; just what is a “word picture?”
There are some teachings of Jesus, such as when He says, "I am the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep" that aren't technically parables but are what I call parable word pictures because the image tells the whole story.

It has been said that Jesus spoke in parables to “confuse and confound” and you say you have a “key” to making these less confusing and confounding to modern-day readers. What is this key?
It wasn't until I studied the parables as a whole that the whole message they convey became clear, so the key is a comprehensive look at the New Testament parables. This is what the study brings to the reader.

The study concludes with a look at the Parable of all parables. Tell us about this because this is the heart of your study.

I remember the moment when in preparation for writing this study I received the revelation that Jesus not only taught parables, but He was a parable––a living parable. In fact, He was the Ultimate Living Parable who lived His life as an example of what a life shaped by the truths taught in the parables should look like. Likewise, you and I have been invited to live parable-shaped lives so we, too, might become a living parable in a world begging to see God.

Thank you, Cheri, for sharing your new book with us.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Amy Campbell said...

Parables and Word Pictures from the New Testament sounds interesting.

Southwest VA

Anonymous said...


karenk said...

what an intriguing book...please count me in ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
...from pa...

aussie monica said...

Sounds amazing!

Monica Toronto Canada

Sapphire said...

This sounds *awesome* - I love trying to figure out the parables. :-)

Sapphire from WY

Patsy said...

I have always wanted "the key" to understanding the parables. Sometimes when I read one I think and think to get the meaning. This study would be great! I know I would really enjoy it.

from South MS


Julia said...

I love the following God Bible studies!

Julia Reffner from upstate NY

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

rubynreba said...

I enjoy parables! Thanks.
Beth from Iowa

Cheri Cowell said...

It is great to hear from all of you and glad you are interested in the parables. I'd love to hear what your favorite parable is and I'll chime in later...

P V Ariel said...

Its really good to know about this newly released book, no doubt this is a timely one, such a book with lot of illustration in its will definitely help the readers to understand/grasp the meaning of the parables of our Lord. I am sure this will be a good guide to the younger ones and the stalwarts alike. You missed a vital thing in this post, you should have added at lease one or two pages, the inner portion of the book here, I mean the text with the illustrations. So that, that will give a partial picture about the book content, pl. scan it and add it.
I got really attracted to the concluding answers of the author and I quote: “I remember the moment when in preparation for writing this study I received the revelation that Jesus not only taught parables, but He was a parable––a living parable. In fact, He was the Ultimate Living Parable who lived His life as an example of what a life shaped by the truths taught in the parables should look like. Likewise, you and I have been invited to live parable-shaped lives so we, too, might become a living parable in a world begging to see God.”

The writer well said and I repeat “that Jesus Christ is the Living Parable” Let us emulate His path…
I congratulate the author and wish all success to her and the newly launched book.
I also express my thanks and regard to the author of this blog for introducing such a wonderful author and her wonderful creation.
God Bless.
With kind regards

Please remove the word verification, it irritate your readers those who want to comment. Tks.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Philip, thanks for your insightful comments on my blog.

The word verification was added to the blog comments when my blog reached a large enough audience that it became a target for spammers and bots. The word verification is the only way to keep bots from using my blog for their own ads, ads that I often did not want on my blog because of content.

Angela Carpenter said...

Would love to win this book...my husband is a minister and this would be wonderful to read....Angela C. Ohio

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win
live in ND

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