Over the past 20 years I’ve had the privilege of writing and illustrating almost 50 Christian children’s books and products.
Whilst I don’t have a favourite, my latest title, ‘50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ has a special significance.
It focuses on the work and person of the Holy Spirit of whom, until May 14th 1988, I had little knowledge or experience.
On that particular day I was attending a Christian conference and just before the lunch break the speaker put out an invitation for people to be baptised in the Holy Spirit.
To be perfectly honest I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about but what I did understand was that this was an opportunity to experience the power of God in a way I’d never done previously.
The Holy Spirit did not disappoint and my experience of God’s love and power that Saturday radically changed me forever.
One of the many fruits of that life-changing day was the birthing of a passion for bringing alive the Bible and the the things of God to kids.
Inevitably, my own journey with God has shaped the content of my books and I’ve been keen to not only impart information but to encourage children into the same dynamic experience of God which I’ve had.
To achieve that goal it’s vital that the Holy Spirit is positioned centre stage along with Father God and Jesus.
Sadly, that’s not always the case within the Christian church.
The Holy Spirit is sometimes the ‘elephant in the room’ and talk of him makes some feel uncomfortable or perhaps even fearful.
We have to change that way of thinking, not only for our own benefit but also for our children.
It was Jesus, who when speaking of the Holy Spirit, said ‘It’s for your advantage that I’m going away, because if I don’t go away, the Helper won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.’
If we want our children to live lives sold out for God then it’s imperative that they are introduced to the Holy Spirit as much as they are taught about Jesus and Father God.
In 50 Zappiest Bible Stories the reader gets an overview of the Holy Spirit’s interventions in Bible history, be that his involvement in creation or his empowering of the disciples on the day of Pentecost.
If you’re wondering how a Bible story can be ‘zappy’, here’s a snippet from the book by way of explanation:
‘The Holy Spirit is God, and there were times in the Bible when God gave certain people some of His power to help them do stuff for Him.
Because the Holy Spirit is so powerful, those people probably felt like they were being zapped by God – so that’s why this book is called what it is. Just so you know, ‘zapped’ isn’t a word you’ll find in the Bible, but you get the idea! That said, not every experience of the Holy Spirit is ‘zappy’ (in fact, some are quite ordinary!), and you’ll get to hear about some of the other amazing ways that the Holy Spirit showed up in the Bible as you read on.’
My prayer is that ’50 Zappiest Bible Stories’ opens children up to the same powerful Holy Spirit-filled life which I discovered back in 1988 and catalyses them into being dynamic agents of God.
Andy Robb is a popular and award winning children’s author and illustrator. He is the writer behind Derek the Cleric and the "50 Bible Stories" series. When he's not busy writing and drawing he is also the co-lead of Revival Church, Billericay alongside his wife, Jane.
April 21st, 2017 - Posted & Written by The Editor