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Simply Stories Podcast

Nov 7, 2019

Today’s episode is with author Erin Bartels. Talking with Erin is a very similar experience to reading her books. It’s time that is full of beautiful words that make you think harder, ask better questions and make you glad you just got to be there. 

Erin and I talk about the process of making writing a part of your life, the role of stories in the church and how we view our neighbors. Her newest book The Words Between Us is like a love letter to words and classic literature and its truly unique from much of the modern fiction books that exist just now, particularly in the Christian Fiction market. It is a fascinating read and would be a great gift for anyone who really enjoys classic literature or is looking for a modern novel, even if they aren’t a fan of Christian Fiction. This is one of those novels that I think can be a great segue for conversation, but it has hope attached in the layers. 

I think books and conversations like this preach a gentle reminder to me about being who you are and seeking God from that place. He doesn’t ask us to clean up before we come to Him, but just to come, no matter how long its been, and to invite our neighbors to come alongside us. You matter to Him, He wants you just as you are. 


ELCA Church 

American Baptist

Michigan State

Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (affiliate link)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (affiliate link)

The Crimson Cord (Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1): Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith (affiliate link)

Ash Abercrombie and Rise of the Truth Teller (affiliate link for her book) and here’s her episode on Simply Stories!

Erin’s Books: The Words Between Us and We Hope For Better Things

Scripture References:



Luke 3:21-23

Fascinatingly enough, this scripture: “Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” is in 3 of the 4 Gospels. Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17, and Luke 5:31 from the calling of Levi (or Matthew), who was a tax collector, as a disciple. Levi hosts Jesus, his friends and “other sinners” at his home for dinner, and the Pharisees don’t like it one bit, and this is Jesus’ response not to shame his dinner guests, but to point the Pharisees to see that ALL people have worth and have need for a Savior. 

John 10:10

Galatians 5:22

Philippians 1:6

Psalm 118:6

Hebrews 13:6

Psalm 63:1

Psalm 42

Connecting with Erin: 





*Intro and outro music by*