Bible Class Adventure: “Talking Donkey” Gathers Flock Through Social Media

Date Posted: 10/9/2014

 
Being a leader often starts with merely sharing your life. Reading the Bible in 90 days turned Memorial Drive UMC, Houston member C.A. Williams into a social media evangelist and book author. Read her personal essay to learn how her Bible class adventure unfolded into a laity-unleashed type of leadership opportunity.
 
It was just this time of year—sometime between Trunk Treats, Pumpkin Patch, Phantom of the Organ, and endless other church activities that blow in on the autumn wind—that I heard about a class called “The Bible in 90 Days.”
 
Given the fact I barely had 90 minutes to spare, much less 90 days, I was still tempted to take the class. A structured, minister-led class that required me to read 12 pages a day and encouraged me to attend weekly discussions might actually get me past Exodus before I put my Bible back on the shelf where it could go back to collecting dust.
 
When my husband, Paul, decided that he wanted to take the class, it was suddenly, “Game on!” I had to do it if he was going to do it. And, so, after managing to put it off for 50 years, I was suddenly committed to reading the Bible. The whole, incredibly long, all-but-impossible-to-understand Bible. In 90 very short days.
 
Hoping for encouragement from friends and family, I posted a message on Facebook the night after I started reading. It said: “Off to bed to read. What, you ask? The Bible…” along with a snippet of something that I had read on Day 1 about Lot’s daughters getting him drunk and sleeping with him. (True story, by the way.)
 
That one simple social media posting started my Facebook friends asking for more Bible stories night after night. So, almost every night for the next three months I posted a paragraph or two about something that I had read that day.
 
By the time I had finished reading (and retelling) the Bible, friends the world over had come along for the ride. I knew that, for some of them, this was their first exposure to reading the Bible. Suddenly, I realized that I wasn’t just writing tongue-in-cheek stories about “things you would never learn in Bible School”—I was actually sharing the gospel.
Once the class (and my nightly stories) ended, I compiled them all into a little book entitled, “Sometimes it Takes a Talking Donkey.”
 
The name was based on the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. It was also, however, a very apt description of a first-time Bible reader/storyteller who found her flock on Facebook.

Here is an excerpt from Williams’ book:
 
“Like a Gold Ring in a Pig’s Snout”
It seems the majority of Proverbs concerns wisdom and foolishness, but there are hundreds (if not thousands) that pertain to everything from gossip and gloating to wealth and wickedness. Here is a sampling that I found interesting for one reason or another: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” From experience, I beg to differ. “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” Agreed. “Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Amen. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Fair enough. “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” I’m not pointing fingers. “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” It sure does. And, possibly my favorite yet, even though I have no idea what it means. I just like the way the first bit rolls off the tongue: “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
 
Facebook comment:
“I have the righteous man with a beautiful head of gray hair and I’m keeping him! And, I believe that I’m his crown as I possibly only disgraced him the one time I got caught by our neighbor when I was outside late at night in my PJs with my lighted fairy wings on.” – Cheryl Brogan, The Woodlands, Texas.