National Day of Listening

James writes, “let every man be swift to hear” (1:19). Five years ago StoryCorps launched what has become the largest oral history project in the world. Their mission is to “honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.” This Friday, November 28, 2008, has been declared by StoryCorps the first National Day of Listening.

The idea is to record and interview someone about his or her life. StoryCorp even has a place for you to upload clips of your interview for others to hear.

This is a great idea for people of all ages, but especially for children and grandchildren. In our times of family worship we recently started reading through Ecclesiastes. I was struck by 2:16 which says, “For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.”

Oral histories will not prevent this from happening completely, but they can provide wonderful ways for stories to be passed down from one generation to another. For Christians, the stories of God’s grace in our lives may prove to be encouragement for our children and our children’s children to “set their hope in God” (Ps. 78:7).

Check out StoryCorps. They have helpful tools that can assist you in recording the stories of someone you love and respect.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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