The Bible is filled with many familiar stories of mystical experiences-Moses and the burning bush, Samuel in the temple, the angel's visit to Mary, and Paul's Damascus road experience. John Sumwalt has discovered that there are many modern Christians who also have powerful vision stories. This remarkable collection shares 69 authentic, life-changing narratives that demonstrate the Lord's power and presence. Many of these intensely personal accounts have never been told before, and whether they concern visions, healing, or answers to prayer, they all bear witness to the indescribable joy, comfort, and peach that comes from encountering the divine. Each illustrates a scripture passage from Cycle B of the Revised Common Lectionary-so Vision Stories is an especially valuable resource for lectionary preaching. But even more, it's inspiring reading for personal devotion and spiritual growth.
* What if Moses had never told anyone about the burning bush?* What if Paul had kept quiet about his experience on the road to Damascus?* What if John had never written a word of what he saw during his exile on Patmos?The Bible is filled with mystical stories, yet modern culture is often uncomfortable with the concept of spiritual visions. Though a recent study showed that as many as 44% of Americans have had some sort of mystical experience, people are frequently hesitant to share holy moments that might seem strange to others. But John Sumwalt discovered that whenever a small group is gathered together and a vision story is told, two or three others will recount a similar episode. Almost everyone has either a personal vision story or knows of a friend's experience -- and if they know that its sacredness will be honored, most people want to tell their story.This remarkable collection shares 69 authentic, life-changing narratives that witness to the Lord's power and presence. Many of these intensely personal accounts have never been told before, and whether they concern visions, healing, or answers to prayer, they all demonstrate our spiritual thirst, as well as the indescribable joy, comfort, and peace that comes from encountering the divine. Each illustrates a scripture passage from Cycle B of the Revised Common Lectionary -- so Vision Stories is an especially valuable resource for lectionary preaching. But even more, it's inspiring reading for personal devotion and spiritual growth.This wonderful collection of stories reminds us of a fact our world desperately needs to know -- that God is alive and well and ready to be at work in our daily lives.J. Ellsworth KalasAuthor of New Testament Stories from the Back SideJohn Sumwalt has given us a treasury of God's meetings with the daily lives of people. Too often we think of God as hidden away in the stories of the Bible. Here we see God now encountering people in surprising ways of grace. May these stories encourage us to tell one another our stories of God's meetings with us as well.Dwight JudyAuthor of Quest for the Mystical ChristI am very impressed with Vision Stories as a resource for preaching, teaching, and spiritual formation reading. These stories help us to meet what may be the greatest spiritual need of our time -- to know and to share the experience of the reality of God and the spiritual realm in a materialistic world.Charles R. GipsonAuthor of The Three-Year Community for Spiritual FormationThrough stories and scriptural comparisons, Sumwalt offers insight into the extraordinary spiritual experiences of ordinary people.Cheryl KirkingAuthor of Ripples of JoyA noted storyteller, John E. Sumwalt is the senior pastor of Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The author of CSS' acclaimed Lectionary Stories series, Sumwalt leads seminars and retreats on sharing and understanding visions.
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