Melvin Bray | The Stories in Which We Find Ourselves, Vol. 2

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Spoken Word: Storytelling Spoken Word: Radio Drama Moods: Spiritual
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The Stories in Which We Find Ourselves, Vol. 2

by Melvin Bray

Beautiful, just, virtuous re-imaginings of Bible classics. Probably not what you remember from Sunday school! This volume includes the Cain & Abel and Noah sagas, each a creation story. Read by the Emmy® award-winning storyteller Melvin Bray.
Genre: Spoken Word: Storytelling
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. God With Us: Episode 1 (feat. Eugene Russell IV)
12:17 $1.49
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2. God With Us: Episode 2 (feat. Eugene Russell IV)
11:17 $1.49
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3. Saving Grace: Episode 1 (feat. Eugene Russell IV & Sim Stevenson)
10:45 $1.49
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4. Saving Grace: Episode 2 (feat. Eugene Russell IV & Sim Stevenson)
9:29 $1.49
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5. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Episode 1 (feat. Eugene Russell IV & Sim Stevenson)
10:33 $1.49
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6. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Episode 2 (feat. Sim Stevenson)
5:47 $1.49
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7. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Episode 3 (feat. Sim Stevenson)
8:44 $1.49
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8. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Episode 4 (feat. Eugene Russell IV & Sim Stevenson)
10:09 $1.49
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9. Makes Me Wanna Holla (feat. Eugene Russell IV & Sim Stevenson)
6:42 $1.49
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
WHAT YOU'LL FIND...
1. God With Us, Episode 1 - Two groups with divergent interests start to fight over resources. Go figure!
2. God With Us, Episode 2 - Someone ends up dead. Whose fault is it? Could it be everyone's?
3. Saving Grace, Episode 1 - You mean there's a way to have faith and not to be hostile toward everyone and everything? What you talkin'bout God?
4. Saving Grace, Episode 2 - Wait a minute! Isn't this supposed to be the story of God giving up on humanity and wiping out everything?
5. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Episode 1 - Yeah, the idea of the entire food chain converging on your home all at the same time is probably a bit more worrisome than we think.
6. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Episode 2 - Like we really believe it could have all come together without any women involved.
7. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Episode 3 - So this thing you call "The Ark," is it a circus... a zoo... or more like a preserve?
8. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Episode 4 - Like the old song says, "Get on board, little children. Get on board, little children. Get on board, little children! There's room for many a-more."
9. Make's Me Wanna Holler - "All I'm saying is simply this: that all mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be—this is the interrelated structure of reality. John Donne caught it years ago and placed it in graphic terms: No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main... And then he goes on toward the end to say: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. And by believing this, by living out this fact, we will be able to remain awake through a great revolution." ~MLK


FROM THE STORYTELLER HIMSELF...
How to pass along a faith worth having? That is the question. Or if you're a kid reading this (or simply like me), perhaps the question is: What is a faith worth having?

Both are extremely important yet difficult questions to answer. My intuition is that the answer will be found somewhere in the faith stories we share with each other. One type of story would lead us in one direction, and another would inspire us in a very different way.

As a storyteller I often ask, "How can I tell faith stories in such a way that others—particularly my children and their peers—don't have to re-traverse the same valley of shadows through which I've come to retain faith?" I am not alone. Many parents are realizing that if we share the stories of scripture with our children the way they were told to us, our kids could grow up as miseducated as we ourselves often feel. Why not equip them to chart new territory?

Now, admittedly, that's not all parents, but the great thing is that faith is something that each generation has to work out for itself. So if you are a parent and that's not you, you don't have to need something more to bless your child in their journey and let them know it's okay that their faith carries them into adventures beyond your own. If you're a kid (or if you prefer, "young adult"), and your parents just don't get how faith is stirring inside of you, that's okay. There is something to be learned from their cautions and concern. Don't ever just dismiss them, but don't be afraid to trust your own journey either.

As I used to read to my three children from the bible story series and authors with which I grew up, I would find myself in the awkward position of trying to rewrite on the fly the inane triumphalism that infects the stories that taught me to believe. Moreover, I was embarrassed by my children's insightful questioning as to whether David or Esther, Mary or Jesus actually looked like their mid-20th century, pro-Anglo, pro-West depictions. There are only so many times the response, "That is just one person's imagination of how it might have been," can cover a multitude of sins. My only recourse has been to re-tell the bible stories from scratch, which is not altogether unpleasant for one like myself, but my heart goes out to those less disposed to such flights of fancy.

One of the truths realized in this post-colonial/post-modern era is that no telling of any story is neutral. As Pres. Obama's first appointment to the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has now famously posited, we—and our stories—are products of our unique personal experiences. Snow White's "Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose the fairest of them all?" is not innocuous. It is far and away time to raise our children on honest images of the people to whom Jesus was born and the times in which they lived. It is also time that we acknowledge the uncertainty, or perhaps better said, humility with which bible heroines and heroes held faith. In so doing we bequeath to our children a faith that includes them and a way of holding it that includes others. What could be more sustainable?

It is my hope that this release continues to take valuable steps in the direction of faith sustainability. I imagine my particular telling of these ancient myths will anger some and encourage others, but either way I hope it excites some response. Faith is not something to which we should quietly assent, it is that which compels us onward into increasingly beautiful ways of being human.

This project is particularly targeted at 9 - 14-year-olds in terms of language, content, ideas, because surprisingly that age group seldom has anything written specifically for them. The early creation stories stretch down relatively easily (my kids love them!). The language can be a bit challenging for younger ones and the imagery of murder and flood can be a bit scary for some, so be selective. The insightfulness (if I can say that about my own work) of the stories will also be appreciated by those a little older (at least this is my experience working with high school and college students).

This recording is immeasurably enriched by the artistic investments of Grammy® award-winning producer, composer and musician Sim Stevenson, who provides accompaniment for the stories, and theater and music artist Eugene IV, whose song "Bloodshed (shuffled)" serves as our theme. Independent artists like these two make the music that will change the world for the better. Support them! Find out more about each at their respective websites simslab.com and eugeneiv.com.

Thank you for being a part of this dream come true for me (the release date just happens to be my 40th birthday). I wish you all the best in your faith journey and would love to hear your stories. Find me online.

In the adventure,
Melvin

P.S.- By all means, share these stories with as many young and courageous at heart as you possibly can, and feel free to give respectful, even if dissenting, feedback. Visit our website—findourselves.blogspot.com—to download or read more Stories in which We Find Ourselves. Our hope is that these stories will in time resource the non-profit Kid Cultivators' future work helping rescued child sex slaves find themselves again (kidcultivators.org).

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