Nicole Parker has worked as a Bible worker, literature evangelist, English teacher and counsellor, currently serving as adjunct professor in the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, USA. She is mother of four teenagers and recently completed her fifth book. She talked about writing about God’s love while re-telling Bible stories.
What was the genesis of the series of books you have written?
After taking a class at Andrews University, I was so excited about the beauty of our sanctuary message! I drove home from my week-long class longing to share our message with everyone behind the headlights on the other side of the freeway! But when I looked around for resources to teach my children what I had learned, I found only boring diagrams and lists of texts. I didn’t want my kids to just understand the Sanctuary—I wanted them to experience it! Since I was home-schooling them at the time and one of my assignments was to write something for young people on the sanctuary, I did the most natural thing for me—I wrote a story for them.
After Sanctuary Light, people urged me to write more. I began writing a book about the same children experiencing Passover, but gradually realised it would take at least four books to cover the plagues and Passover!
What makes these unique in their re-telling of Bible stories?
First of all, I want readers to feel and experience the gospel (and sound doctrine) meaningfully. Stories unlock hearts and help us “connect the dots” between the head and the heart! That’s why Jesus used them constantly. The story of the Exodus answers deep questions we all must ask, such as why God allows suffering, and how to heal from injustice and abuse. For example, the true sanctuary message frees us from the grip of fear-based perfectionism. Multiple parents have told me their young children have sobbingly confessed hidden sins after reading Sanctuary Light, because they wanted the joy and peace the book portrayed when hearts are fully surrendered to God’s love.
An accurate picture of the beautiful love of God unleashes love for God and others! That’s why I’m weaving all 28 fundamental beliefs into the series. As a biblical counsellor, I’ve seen sound gospel doctrine release people from all kinds of spiritual and emotional bondage.
Finally, I’m carefully researching every detail in inspired writings, history, and archaeology. Several prominent theologians and an Egyptologist review the manuscripts to be certain they are as accurate historically and theologically as possible. We work hard on making the illustrations both accurate and racially inclusive, too.
Do you have a favourite among your books?
That’s a hard question! Each book’s distinctive message is vital to me. I apply the foundational principle of Faith Roots regularly—trusting God to make things right in the end. Humble Stones describes God’s humble, self-sacrificing use of power as the Head of the universe, and explains secrets of overcoming prejudice. Wings of Love explores trusting God’s lovingkindness as the perfect blend of justice and mercy. I have a soft spot for Sanctuary Light because of its portrayal of the love of Jesus in dying as a sacrifice so we can live in the joyful freedom of perfect surrender. But I think the upcoming Joseph’s Bones might be my favourite!
What contribution do you hope your books make to your readers and their families?
My deepest prayer is that readers will experience the love of God as never before, and respond by falling in love with Him. I’m writing them as evangelistic tools to share with unbelievers or seekers, as well as to help parents lay foundations for their children to experience God’s love in deeper ways. Many parents have told me they read the books themselves, tears falling down their cheeks as they find answers to hard questions they’ve wrestled with for years. I want readers to experience biblical healing from heartaches caused by abuse, to forgive, to catch the gleams of glory from heaven as they contemplate the love of a covenant-keeping God as they have never understood it before. My dream is to meet readers in heaven who found courage to trust God as they discovered Him for the first time, or their love was rekindled, by reading my books.
Sanctuary Light and other books by Nicole Parker are available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand or online from the Adventist Book Centre website.