Thursday, August 18, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 13 & 14

I left sunny Cooroy at 6AM Tuesday morning and spent the day driving to Dubbo. What a beautiful drive! The ranges, valleys, little towns, open plains. So varied and enjoyable. About 6PM I rolled into Dubbo and discovered something unexpected...

Everything was booked! Every bed in all 68 Motels/Hotels & Caravan parks in Dubbo was full. By the time I realised this, the towns around started filling up. When I returned to the Caravan Park and booked a tent site at 8PM there wasn't a bed available within 100kms of Dubbo! Luckily I had a camp chair and table with me. So, I set up and ate mu Hungry Jacks while answering a day's worth of emails and Facebook messages. Then, I climbed in the car, wrapped myself in the blanket the Caravan Park man loaned me, laid my seat back, rested my head on the pillow also loaned to me and slept for 7 hours with only the occasional realisation that I was in a bucket seat, not a bed!

The next morning I had an early shower (with a borrowed towel!) and headed to McDonalds for breakfast. When I got there, and went online, I received a real shock. An email from Westpac...

During my night sleeping in the Mini someone else was busily charging things on my credit card. Nearly $10,000 in just a few hours! So, the bank saw the anomaly and emailed rather than calling do to the time of day. I called them immediately and was blown away by their service. I called at 7:10AM and everything was fully resolved by 7:45. They cancelled the card, went through the account and picked out every false charge and emailed me a document to review the fraudulent transactions, sign and send back. I sent that back today (as Jenny had to sign it).

After getting off the phone with Westpac, I headed over to Dubbo Christian School and spent the morning with 500 great kids! They have a huge hall that seats the entire school. The whole school assembled and I told them the story of 2 Kings 6 - Elisha capturing the entire army of Aram. It's a ripper story!

Next I headed to the library and ran a "Little Authors" workshop for 100 students (grade 3-6). It was great fun! The story they created as a group was wonderful. I hope a few of them write it!

Chatting afterward leaded to a few sales and then a big order! Well over 30 books! I was one happy boy when I hopped back in the Mini and finished the drive home.

I pulled into my driveway at home at 10:10PM. Home sweeeeeet home!

END Road Trip

Monday, August 15, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 12 - Book Launch

Today, Nathan Brown and I launched "28 Stories" in the morning meeting. The South Pacific Division and Signs Publishing Company worked together to provide 700 copies for the attendees. Everyone present at the convention was given a free copy!

I have never signed so many books in one day. I am pretty sure I signed over 300 books. In each I wrote:

Dear "NAME"
This is your story!
David Edgren (signature)

There were so many very happy people! Book are very expensive in the islands. In Papua New Guinea the currency is 1/3 the Aussie dollar. And in the Solomon Islands it is 1/3 the PNG currency. So, a book that is $25 here is nearly $200 Solomon dollars. This is more than many islanders make in a week. So, a free book is a awesome gift!

I was very honoured and proud to be involved in such and empowering gesture of good will!

I am looking forward to hearing the stories of how "28 Stories" has been of use in churches, youth groups, schools and more!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 10 & 11 - Move with The Power 3

Well, the first two days of MWTP3 have passed. There are 700 youth leaders from every corner of the division attending this training weekend filled with workshops, worship and sermons by numerous well known preachers. Most of the attendees are from the islands - Solomons, PNG, Fiji, NZ, and more. About 1/5 are from Australia.

It is very heartening to see how much trust our young leaders put in their division youth department. Each of the islanders have spent an amazing amount money to come to this event. I hope they are getting all they need to fully empower the youth they will return to.

Yesterday afternoon, I attended Nathan Brown's workshop: "What is right with the Emerging Church." It was a very interesting and encouraging conversation.

This morning, when the ABC opened, Nathan and I went in and got a copy of the 28 Stories journal. It was the first time I had seen the finished product. It looks amazing! Tomorrow morning we are giving a copy to every person at MPWTP3. Hopefully some of them put it to good use in their youth ministry at home!

Road Trip Diary - Day 9

Friday morning was great fun! I went to the Noosa Christian School in Cooroy, Qld. First period the primary school students entered the chapel and I told them stories about the golden rule and treating others as equals.

The next period, I spoke to the high school students in chapel about the history of the golden rule and the joy of reading the Bible for the story and truth it contains.

After the chapels were finished, the principal gave me a tour of the beautiful new library built thanks to a $2 Million grant from the government. It is a truly remarkable building!

For the next hour or so, I wandered around the school during recess talking to kids and teachers. Then I returned to my Dad's house where I relaxed for the rest of the day. It was nice to have a day without a long drive!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 8

I did not know how beautiful Lismore is! With rolling hillsides and a river meandering through, the town is dotted with bridges and parks. To get to Blue Hills College you travel up a steep hillside road to the top of the world and descend into a lovely glade in which the school is tucked. Such beauty!

My first visit today was with the Primary Principal/Librarian who happily purchased a set of my books for the school library. So far, every school I have visited has taken a set of books for the students to read. This makes it really easy to recommend the books to the classes. First I show them the books then I tell them their library now has them. They get so excited!

For the first hour of the day, I joined the combined year 5 and 6 classes for the story seat workshop. In the story seat workshop I first teach the CGCV concept I explained in the Day 7 Diary and then I give them “the legs a storyteller STANDS on” … The two sections together (CGCV and STANDS) create a diagram of a three legged stool or seat. I’ll take a picture of the board the next time I teach it, so I can post it here.

The legs of the seat – the legs a storyteller ST-AN-DS on are the three things a person must know to be a great storyteller. They are: ST – your Style of Telling; AN – your Audience’s Needs; and DS – the Details of the Story. When you have a good understanding of all three of these things, you become a fully confident storyteller.

After the story seat workshop, I visited 3 classrooms – 4, 3, and combined kinder/pre-kinder, In each, I told the story of Hillel who gave the “one foot Law” to a young sceptic. You can read the story in “The Kingdom Scroll” in the chapter titled “One Foot Law.” This story is my favourite way to teach the Golden Rule.

Once I was done talking to kids, I visited the library and then hopped in the car and headed to sunny Queensland. Now, I am safely residing in my Dad’s holiday home in Cooroy. Tomorrow I visit one more school and then head to the opening night of “Move with the Power III” – Another great day coming up!

Road Trip Diary - Day 7

After leaving Macquarie College on Tuesday , I drove to Kempsy and had a great night chatting with my good friends Michael and Bethany Chapman. We had a lot of laughs – sharing favourite yotube clips and telling stories of life. Great times!

The next morning I went to the Kempsy Adventist School for a day full of fun with kids. I spent the morning with the 3 upper primary classes – 40 minutes in each – teaching story structure and helping them get started on writing stories of their own. It is so much fun to see kids emerse themselves in creating stories.

For those of you who are wondering, the story structure I teach is CGCV – every good story has all four of these key elements: Characters, Goals, Conflict and Values. The more time you spend developing these four areas before you start writing the story, the less time you’ll spend deleting and rewriting stuff!

After lunch, I spoke to the high school students for their Week of Worship program. The week is based on the life of Joseph. They have a ripper of a drama that both students and teachers perform each day. The Wednesday section of the story was when Joseph was in jail and interpreted the dreams of the baker and butler. The topic I was assigned: How do you live by God’s values when you are in a horrible place? I talked about living by Kingdom values – no matter where you are. Jesus taught how to be free even when living in a country occupied by the enemy. He taught a way to live in quiet rebellion to the laws of domination and be free in your mind and heart.

After chapel, I drove to Lismore where I found an inexpensive caravan park and holed up in a cabin for the night!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 6

Today was a fantastic day with the kids at Macquarie College in Wallsend. The school is really well laid out campus and looks great!

To start the day, I spoke to the High School kids for chapel. The topic was "The Golden Rule." I talked about the experience I had in Mildura with the school and newspaper reporters. (see the story from a few weeks ago on this blog).

Then I did a Bible story activity with the kids from Grade 2, 4 & 6. We had lots of fun learning that we can destroy our enemies by making them into friends.

Finally I went to the library and read a chapter of the Serpent Scroll to the grade 6 kids.

I have never been to Macquarie College and was very impressed by the staff, students and campus. I was also really excited to see how many book orders the students had brought in! I signed heaps of books.

After I finished all the stories, reading and signing I had a long chat with the Chaplain, Pr Brad, about doing their week of spiritual emphasis next year. They call it "FLAG Week" which stands for Fun Learning About God Week. We did some brainstorming about the week and now I am really excited about coming back!

This trip is getting more exciting by the day!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Road Trip Diary - Day 5 (3 schools in 1 day!)

This morning when I punched the address for Sydney Adventist College into the GPS I was told it would take 21 minutes. After 58 minutes of leisurely Sydney traffic I arrived! I am soooo glad I don’t live in Sydney.

I visited three schools today. The first school was the Strathfield campus of Sydney Adventist College where I took staff worship and then lead out in a 90 minute Story-structure and storytelling workshop.

Next I headed over to the Auburn campus of Sydney Adventist College and told Bible stories to the cutest little kids in Sydney! What a great bunch of tiny people! We talked about what it means to live in the Kingdom of God by living a life committed to the Golden Rule.

Third, I headed to the Hurstville Adventist Primary School where I did the Kingdom of God talk for the entire school. Boy are their pre-school kids (front row for story time!) well mannered and very cute! After story time I headed up to the grade 5/6 class where we had a Story workshop.

I then hopped in the car and drove to Cooranbong and pulled up in front of the wonderful Franklin residence! Tonight I am catching up with old friends – Chris and Leeanne Franklin. Chris’ year 4 class in 2008 is the reason I finished writing the my first kids book – the Serpent Scroll. Without Chris, I would most likely not be a writer today!

Road Trip Day 4 - Travel time

Mikey and I headed to the airport early Sunday morning and put him on a plane to Melbourne. He is the first of our children to fly on his own and he did great!

After dropping Mikey off, I drove to Sydney. I arrived at the San Hostel in Wahroonga at about 1pm and spent the afternoon and evening blogging and watched a movie with lunch and another with dinner! What a relaxing day!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Road Trip Day 3 - Sabbath with Canberra National

Sabbath was a full and fun day with the Canberra National Church.

For Sabbath School I told the lesson story in Kindergarten which was heaps of fun. Just by a fluke of God's sense of humour, the story was Naaman! So, I was prepared by the night before!

For church I shared with the group that meets in the Hall. My topic was "Turning your Experiences into Testimonies." I shared the story about my visit to Mildura and the newspaper interview. You
can read a shortened version of the story further down on this blog.

After a delicious lunch, Mikey and I went the the National War Museum. What an amazing place! We both learned so much. Here is Mikey barely escaping with his life.

Later in the afternoon we returned to the church to join in with the Canberra Pathfinders. Mikey got involved in a really creative activity building houses with nutrigrain and chocolate icing. What a great idea! Looks awesome and tastes yummy.

At 5:30 the 50+ pathfinders all gathered together in the hall and we had closing Sabbath. I taught them the angel song and we did the fun activity to go with it and then I told them the story of Elisha capturing the entire army of Aram without anyone getting hurt. The point of the worship: By treating others as friends we destroy our enemies!

After worship we had a yummy Tea and then Mikey played indoor footy with the boys while I talked to people about my books and signed a few copies.

It was a wonderfully enjoyable day!

Road Trip Diary - Day 2 (Part 2 - Big Idea Youth Bible Study)

Friday night I spent the evening with the Canberra National Church youth group. We had dinner, played a hilarious game of "animals" and then moved into Bible Study time.

I have been using a group Bible Study model for a few years now that I call the "Big Idea" Bible Study. I have used it with primary school kids, youth and adults.

I draw a grid with 6-8 large columns - one for each person in the group (unless it's a big group, then I do six and take comments from the willing students).

The format of the Study is


Roughly, this means

: the passage

! what big idea that stands out for you

? a question emerging from the !

. . . Answers from the group

The :!? are done individually, then the ... (three answers) are discussion

You can click on these images to zoom in.

Many of the observations from young people amaze me. This one is a conundrum of God's Control

Powerful but helpless (Naaman)
Helpless but powerful (servant girl)

God's Kingdom is a topsy turvy place!

Cool thought!

We turned the big piece of paper over and did the four H's of faith - Head, Heart, Hands, Horizons.

This person realized a great truth about God. Sometimes God blesses people who are not his own. Why? To expand his boundaries!

That's an awesome God.

And another cool thought!

Before introducing the Big Idea concept, I talked about faith being more than "consent". Faith is more than what we "know." It is bigger than "I agree." That is the Head part of faith. But faith is so much more!

I used Jabez's prayer as an illustration of someone who had all four H's of faith fully active.

1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

Head - Jabez trusted God would answer
Heart - Jabez "cried out" "oh!" He felt it.
Hands - Jabez called God to action & protection.
Horizon - Jabez knew influence comes from God.

Each table of 6-8 people had a large piece of Yellow paper with room for each person to write their "big idea" details. On the back was the HHHH area.

Each group only had a few verses
Group 1 - 2 Kings 5:1-3
Group 2 - 2 Kings 5:4-8
Group 3 - 2 Kings 5:9-14
Group 4 - 2 Kings 5:15-18

Road Trip Diary - Day 2 (Part 1 - a Day with Mikey)

On Friday, Mikey and I went sight seeing. Parliament house was the first place to which we journeyed. We started at the information desk where a lady gave us a map and walked us through it imagination style (she said, "We are understaffed today and cannot give you a guided tour."). Mikey listened carefully to her map description and then took me on a tour. He could easily get a job there! He's a natural! Here's a few pics of Mikey on the job.

Ever heard someone say, "He lost his marbles" ?
Here is where they all went.
They merged together and made the foyer, stairs and pillars of Parliament House.

Mikey abreast of a crest of Australia.

The Senate is not sitting.
Neither is Mikey.

They tried to convince us this was worth $25 million!
Mikey said, "25 Million? That's WEEIIIRRDD. It's just paper!"


After leaving Parliament House, we went to the Australia National Museum where Mikey made a friend.

The resemblance is uncanny.

Believe it or not, that was the highlight of the museum for Mikey. That, and the Circa theatre. Very cool!

Next we trundled off to the shops and bought Mikey some new clothes, had lunch, watched a movie and then headed to Youth vespers at Canberra National Church.

Road Trip Diary - Day 1

This marks the beginning of my tripple state/territory (quadruple if you count where I started!) storytelling, book signing, school visiting, workshop running, youth group Bible study guiding, church preaching, book launching, book listening (while driving!), blog writing, two week ROAD TRIP!

I've had heaps of fun dreaming it up and planning it out, now I'm living it.

This weekend has been the part I have lovingly titled the, "Mikey onboard" section of the roadtrip.

Mikey and I left home at 5am on Thursday morning and drove to Albury where we visited Border Christian College until lunch time. They were having Week of Prayer with Lili Panozzo as their speaker. I have heard kids rave about how awesome Lili is as a speaker and now that I watched the mistress of mayhem in action - I CONCUR! My giddy gumdrops, the woman is crazy! No wonder kids love her to bits. Not only did I witness her woo the masses (as she did two chapels - one for the primary school and one for the high school), I observed as she worked her way through heaps of personal and group conversations with the kids before and after chapels. That's where ministry happens and Lili was all over it! Love your work, Lil!

During the morning programs I was invited to introduce the kids to my "Adventures in the Bible" trilogy and tell a story to the Primary school kids. I had heaps of fun!

Thursday afternoon we drove to Canberra and went bush bashing in the Mini to Clare Barnes family home. What a Kangaroo lovin' place! Mikey made fast and furious friends with the family dog, Ishka - a male Siberian Husky. This was a beautiful thing to watch, as Mikey is not fond of Dogs. Ishka loved Mikey and Mikey loved Ishka. It was a fur flying, boy laughing weekend!

The Barnes were absolutely the most gracious and hospitable people to stay with. They made Mikey and I feel truly at home. We arrived on Thursday night and left early Sunday morning. Although it was a busy weekend, we even had time to have few really fantastic conversations.

Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...