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Amber Schamel: How Veggie Tales Inspired a Biblical Novella

Posted by Julie on December 27, 2016 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

How Veggie Tales Inspired a Biblical Novella

It was a summer evening, I was in the kitchen making dinner while my little siblings (for some odd reason) were watching The Toy That Saved Christmas, a Veggie-Tales movie. My publisher had asked me to write a Christmas story and I was deep in thought wondering what I should write when I suddenly tuned in to what was playing on the screen.

Grandpa George was reading a scripture to Bob, Larry and Buzz-saw Louie. “And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in baby clothes and laid him in a manger.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute, the passage didn’t say baby clothes. In the King James it says swaddling clothes. That got me to thinking, what exactly are swaddling clothes? Are they just baby clothes? Or is there another meaning to them?

I looked up the passage in Luke chapter two and noted that it was mentioned not only once, but twice that Mary wrapped her first-born son in swaddling clothes. So I began my research.

I found out that swaddling clothes did not necessarily mean that Mary and Joseph were poor or destitute. Swaddling clothes were used by people of all classes to wrap a newborn in hopes that it would help their limbs grow straight, as well as calm the babe. But if swaddling clothes were so common during that era, why was it specifically mentioned as a sign to the shepherds of who the Messiah would be? So I searched some more.

Another source said that in the eastern countries they would use a cloth to put between the yoke of an ox, and the ox’s shoulders. When Mary and Joseph were in the barn, they had nothing else to use, so they used this ox’s cloth that was translated as swaddling cloth to wrap the Messiah that would carry the yoke of our sin and bondage.

Many hours and websites later, I emerged armed with a ton of information, four different theories, and a story forming inside my head. So, I guess you could say that my new book The Swaddling Clothes was inspired by a Veggie Tales movie.

The things that inspire people, or give them an idea is very interesting to me.

What are some odd things that have given you an idea or inspiration?

 

 The Swaddling Clothes Synopsis:

Through the ages, many stories have been told about Mary, Joseph and the birth of the Messiah. Stories of shepherds and sheep, kings, angels, and stables. But there is one story that has never been told. One story that has remained hidden in the fabric of time. The story of The Swaddling Clothes.

Mentioned not once, but several times in the Scriptural text, what is the significance of these special cloths? And how did they make their way into a stable in Bethlehem? From the author that brought you the Days of Messiah series comes a whole new adventure critics are calling “intriguing…thought provoking… a fresh twist on an age old story.”

“I get tired of Bible stories sometimes, but The Swaddling Clothes brings the story to life.”

“Heartwarming…truly inspired. A story you will want to read again and again. Rich details and a suspenseful plot will keep you reading while giving you a glimpse of God’s wonderful power and His amazing love.”

Purchase Swaddling Clothes HERE

 

Author Bio:

 

Amber Schamel, author

Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”.  She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/ and download a FREE story by subscribing to her Newsletter!

 

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Faithful Bloggers Prompt: Why I’ll Always Answer with Esther

Posted by Julie on April 21, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Uncategorized |

Have you checked this out yet? Courtney at Faithful Blogging has great prompts going on and the prompt I’m using today is this:

What is your favorite book of the Bible and why?

My answer hasn’t changed since the first time someone asked me in the mid ’90’s.

Esther.

I’ve been mocked for choosing a book that doesn’t even mention God’s name. Somehow by answering this way I’m less holy or I lose favor in some popular Christian club I don’t want to belong to. Whatever others think, my answer remains.

Esther is a book filled with symbolism, courage, wisdom, grace, forgiveness and miracles. It’s so action packed that yes, her story has been made into a movie. I’ve been reading the Bible for years and I’m still learning from Esther. I believe this will be true until my dying day. Just last week I learned that when Esther was prepared with the beauty treatments it was not a spa experience like I imagined.  The fragrances were literally rubbed into her skin until the anointing was a part of her.  Told you it was full of symbolism.

Do you know Esther’s story?

In my contemporary nutshell she was a virginal orphan raised by her uncle Mordecai, a man devoted to God. The King, Xerxes, had a wife named Vashti and he summonsed her and well, Vashti said no. That was a huge no no so she was deposed. A call was made for a new queen and Esther, known as Hadassah, was taken to the palace with other virgins to basically apply for the job. There was quite a process before candidates were brought to the king and Esther went through everything. She found favor with many, including King Xerxes.  He chose her as the new queen.

King Xerxes had a right hand man named Haman who thought he was way more important than he really was. He had an enemy though, Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.  Mordecai saw right through Haman and knew he was an evil man and didn’t bow down to Haman’s demands once. Haman was obsessed with getting revenge on Mordecai so he decided to persuade the king to create an edict that would wipe out the entire Jewish race (think Hitler). The king created the edict and Haman rejoiced.  Mordecai would be eliminated.

But the edict meant Queen Esther would have to be destroyed as well.  Mordecai approached her in sackcloth and ashes, mourning attire. When he told her the news she went right to action. She went on a fast and asked her servants to do the same. They sought God’s will and timing on how to save God’s people, the Israelites.  She was scared knowing Vashti’s story didn’t end well when she broke protocol, but to stop the massacre about to happen, Esther would have to step up and approach her king. Mordecai encouraged her by letting her know her role as queen had purpose.  She was born…for such a time as this.

What happened?  Well…I’m not telling. I love this story too much to give up the ending. But I’d love you to read the real deal. You can find it in the Old Testament in Esther. If you are new to reading the Bible there are different versions and some will work better for you than others. I suggest for new Bible readers they read a version called The Message or New International Version. You can find a Bible right online. Trust me, it’s worth finding and reading over and over again. When you are done with Esther, why not try a chapter of John, in the New Testament, a chapter a day for a month?  It’s a life changing experience.

I also am not afraid to say I got a great grasp on the Bible through Veggie Tales. I’m not legalistic so I’m ok knowing that the characters in the Bible were not really singing vegetables.  Yes there is some dramatic license but the essence of their stories aren’t just true, they are memorable. Their take on Esther: The Girl who Became Queen is a good one. It’s available on Netflix as well.

Another dramatic look at Esther is through the movie, One Night with the King. Here is a glimpse of it:

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