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Meet Cheri Cowell!
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.
Hello! What’s your name?
What do you write and why?
I write about the deep questions of faith using stories, personal experience articles, non-fiction books, and Bible studies.
Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
I usually read a non-fiction and a fiction book at the same time. One is to stretch and grow and the other is to have fun or escape.
What is the title you are promoting right now?
Parable and Word Pictures from the New Testament is a workbook-style Bible study in the popular Following God Bible study series.
What is it about?
Most studies of the parables cover the forty or so stories Jesus told, but in my research I learned we are missing much when defining the word parable so narrowly. In my study we cover 118 New Testament parables.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing your book and how did you overcome it?
What to include and what not to include in a study of the parables. My study covers 118 New Testament parables, parables word pictures such as when Jesus refers to himself as the Good Shepherd, and what I call ‘parable sequels’ or extensions offered by Paul and the apostles.
What makes this book different from others in your genre?
In addition to the parables Jesus told, I also cover the ‘word pictures’ Jesus used such as when He called Himself the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. I also cover the many ‘parable sequels’ created by Paul and the apostles to extend the parables from the Master.
What’s the story behind the story?
In 2009 I was chosen by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism for a Christian Journalist’s Tour of the Holy Land where the parables and stories from the Bible came to life for me. I came home with a passion for others to hear the parables as they were taught, with the knowledge and insight I’d gained from walking where Jesus walked.
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 is your goal as an author?
To help the reader see their own lives as a living parable, meant to be read by others who in how we live our lives see a glimpse of the Ultimate Living Parable–Jesus the Christ. I pray my study will help people see the parables as our how-to manual for becoming a story shaped by the Greatest Story ever told, ever lived.
Are you working on anything new? Give us a preview of what’s to come!
I’m working on two projects: one is a book on what the church might be if it were to truly become a living parable. The other is a historical fiction project I’ve held close for over 25 years and I finally think I’m ready to do it justice.
Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
When a teenager I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and it changed my life. I was inspired, challenged, and a bit disturbed. I wanted to lead a life like that, and today I hope I can be a writer like that.
Where can readers find you and your work?
What’s your view on the self-publishing/traditional publishing thing? Ideally, which one would you prefer and why?
I am very excited about the opportunities non-traditional publishing is offering authors today. I started an e-conversion company that helps authors take advantage of this growing market. http://www.Living-Parables.com
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.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
What is the most important advice you have for aspiring authors?
Attend a Christian writer’s conference. I attended two a year for many years where I built relationships with editors before getting my first book contract. I am convinced my second and third contracts came from these early relationships. Writers are at writers’ conferences.
Is there anything else you’d like to say before we finish up?
I have a new YouTube video promo for my new book and I filed it before live sheep. What fun! I’d love to have your comments.
Awesome, thanks for allowing me to interview you!
Please pay Cheri a visit at the following links:
1. Parables and Word Pictures from the New Testament (workbook Bible study) by Cheri Cowell
2. Women of the Bible: Book One (workbook Bible study) by Barber, Rasnake, and Shepherd
3. Mocha on the Mount (Coffee Cup Bible study) by Sandra Glahn
4. Direction: Discernment for the Decisions of Your Life by Cheri Cowell
5. Direction Bible study workbook by Cheri Cowell
6. God: Knowing Him By His Names by Bill Bright
7. See For Yourself: Daily Devotionals (ebook DVD) by Cheri Cowell
8. Bible tabs
10. Bible highlighter
11. Hunter Green gift basket