Who Wrote It? Reverend Art Schoonveld on "The Greatest Stories Ever Told"

By Josh DeGroot

January 30, 2017

Josh DeGroot – Welcome to todaydevotional.com’s Who Wrote It, where we get to know our Today authors better and understand the inspiration behind their writing. Joining me on the line, a regular when it comes to writing inspirational and informational devotions, Reverend Art Schoonveld. Art, thanks for talking with us.

Art Schoonveld – You bet.

Josh DeGroot – I was instantly excited for the month when I saw it was related to Jesus’ parables because, quite frankly, everyone loves stories. I feel like your Todays are so relatable, and I love how you incorporate so many of your own stories into your writing. What kind of processes do you go through each month to find out what you want to write about, and how did you land on this topic of: The Greatest Stories Ever Told?

Art Schoonveld – Well, I guess the answer to that would be that word you use, relatable…I think the parables are really relatable. They really point to us and they speak to us, and I have been studying the parable of the Good Samaritan for a message, and that made me think that it is so easy to miss the point of our lives and not to realize how God is speaking to us. We have four Gen-X children who don’t want a lot of words. They want to know: What is God saying to me and what does the Bible mean for me? So, I thought that writing on the parables would be just extremely helpful. I don’t know how many Millennials or Gen-Xers read those Todays, but that is kind of what was behind why I wanted to write.

Josh DeGroot – Excellent! What is the greatest satisfaction to writing a full month of devotions to a Today audience that is continually growing and is reaching a whole lot of people?

Art Schoonveld – Well, I think the idea that – for me, anyway – that I have had the privilege over several years, since, I guess, 1986, to be able to write an occasional Today, that the Lord allows me, and gives me the privilege of reaching so many people; because I just think it is  crucially important that we spread the Gospel and that we talk about this. So, I feel really honored. I guess if you had asked me what I consider one of the highlights of my ministry, it would be writing one of the Todays because when I am done with it, it just gives me tremendous satisfaction that the Lord has allowed me to do that.

Josh DeGroot – All right, let’s get deep here, Art.  Monday, February 13th, there is a devotion you entitled: Whose Neighbor Am I? I think loving your neighbor is one of the hardest things that Christians have problems with. In a time where the political landscape has divided many people all over the country, what can you say to our readers and listeners who share the love of Christ with one another, yet in extreme situations may not even speak to each other because, you know, so-and-so voted for this political candidate?

Art Schoonveld – I think that loving our neighbor is probably, you know, one of the hardest things for people to do; and really, within our circles, too, we are not very good at it because we are not very good at accepting people the way they are, accepting the differences in how we look at things, and I think you can see it in our country today; and I think the churches have to speak out. We don’t have to make any political statement, but we have to keep saying: People, the Lord is in charge and the second most important commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. So, we need to learn to have tolerance, to have compassion, to accept people as they are, and allow others to think differently from us; and I think that message just has to keep on going; but personally, I haven’t always been very good at that, too. So, I feel that we need to say that honestly, and then do something about it, and pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to start loving people such as they are.

Josh DeGroot – The Lord is in charge, indeed. Art Schoonveld. He has written the February Today devotional, as well as many others. Thank you for your time, Art, and most importantly, thank you for your writing.

Art Schoonveld – Thank you for allowing me to express myself.

Josh DeGroot – I am Josh DeGroot. Together, let’s refresh, refocus, renew at todaydevotional.com.

About the author — Josh DeGroot

Josh DeGroot is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago. Josh began as a sound engineer with Back to God Ministries International in July 2008. In addition to the "Who Wrote It?" interviews for Today, Josh works on almost every audio project produced by Back to God in the US. He also writes and produces episodes for our sister ministry, the children's program, Kids Corner. Josh lives in Alsip, IL with his wife. They are expecting their first child.

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