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NRB Chronicles Last Year 2020 - The Gospel Of Santa Claus

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore
The Truth Network Radio
July 16, 2021 5:00 am

NRB Chronicles Last Year 2020 - The Gospel Of Santa Claus

The Christian Car Guy / Robby Dilmore

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July 16, 2021 5:00 am

Wayne Van der Wal tell his vision for the book

It’s Christmas Eve, and a troubled Joe and Mary and their three children are taking the train to visit family. Suddenly, a bearded stranger with a twinkle in his eye takes a seat and begins spinning a provocative tale that intrigues, delights, and inspires. Masterfully weaving past and present through story, lessons, and devotions, The Gospel of Santa Claus follows the incredible story of Saint Nicholas, born in third century A.D., who overcomes childhood tragedy, feels called by God to take a vow of poverty, endures horrific persecution for his religious faith, and goes on to become one of the most beloved, generous, loving, and famous figures in human history. A meaningful, touching story to be shared with the entire family, Wayne Van Der Wal’s powerful debut historical novel will raise important questions, ignite hope, and reaffirm your faith in God and the human spirit.



Welcome back to Kingdom Pursuits, where we hear how God takes your passion and uses it to build the Kingdom. Now, you don't find everybody every day that has a passion, at least at the NRB, for Santa Claus, but I'm sitting here with Wayne Vanderhall. Wayne wrote the book on it. It's called The Gospel of Santa Claus, inspired by a true story of Saint Nicholas.

So welcome, Wayne. How fun. What a neat book, and what a beautiful time. How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus?

What a beautiful time. How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus?

How does a youth pastor from Reno, Nevada end up writing about Santa Claus? He was born in the country called Lycia, which today is Turkey. And so, if he was around today, he'd be Turkish. But at that time, it was a Greek culture. So imagine being this young Christian family in a Greek culture, Greek country, ruled with all their Greek gods, ruled by the Roman Empire with all their Roman gods, and then Emperor Diocletian at that time proclaiming himself a god. So very diverse, very unique period of time for Nicholas to be born in. And what's miraculous to me about that is his family was actually wealthy. So to be Christian in that time and period, in that location, and to be wealthy was incredible. Tragically, his parents died when he was young by the plague, and so he inherited their vast fortune. He felt called by God to give it all away to the poor, the sick, and the suffering.

And that started his legend and the tradition of him being generous and a jolly soul, as far as all that goes. He went on to become a priest and a bishop in the church, and again, that was during Diocletian's time, Emperor Diocletian, who persecuted Christians and hated them. So Nicholas was persecuted and was actually imprisoned for five years.

So Santa Claus has done time in the big house. A lot of people don't know that, and persecuted for his faith. So us learning about the tragedy, learning about him. He experienced loss and grief and pain at such a young age, and then went on to suffer persecution and hate for his faith. He experienced all that, but yet he overcame it all and got through it all with his faith, faith in Jesus. He was sold out for Jesus. He loved God. So what happened? Did they take his wealth when he was in prison?

I'm curious. Well, at that point, he had pretty much given it away. As a priest and bishop, they're living off of people's tithes and offerings to the church.

But yeah, just to finish my thought on what happened with us, just learning how he survived all that and got through it, through with his faith, and joy and love, all the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, that he is able to suffer through all that, but yet still turn the cheek and be loving and caring and be the person that we know him to be today as far as that goes. His wealth, going back to your question, he was poor at that point. At the point he got out of prison, so do you know how old he was when he got over prison? My guesstimates, I have them in the book in his late 20s, early 30s.

It's hard to say specifically when. Diocletian, well, yeah, he was 30 to 35, basically, yeah, during those five years. What happened after that? Well, after that he got out, and Diocletian had sickness, and so he was actually the first Roman emperor to ever step down from being emperor.

They were usually killed, assassinated, or died of old age, and so he was the first one to actually ever step down, and so then it changed hands, you know, people were fighting for leadership through that. During that time, we're talking 305 to 310 AD at this point, and then what happened by 315-ish? Constantine became emperor and was held onto that, and we know how things went from that point with Constantine. So it's interesting, Nicholas, his life coincided with Constantine, and during that time, and Constantine's known for creating the Council of Nicaea, or Nicaea, however you want to pronounce it, in 325 AD, and he called 300 bishops to get on the same page about the Holy Spirit, about when Easter's going to be, about all these different and very important topics to have the Christian religion consistent throughout, and Nicholas was part of that council, and so he is around with Constantine, and part of Constantine's, during Constantine's rule, Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire, and so Nicholas was a part of all that during that time, which is fascinating.

Absolutely, absolutely fascinating. So you came to the conclusion here in the title of the Gospel of Santa Claus, how do you relate that to the Gospel itself? So yeah, it's a little controversial at first when a friend had mentioned that title, and I had thought about it along the way too, but let it go because it sounds a bit sacrilegious, but when you break it down, the word gospel means good news, message, and so the Gospel, good news, message of Santa Claus really is the Gospel, good news, message of St. Nicholas, who we know was sold out for God, and then, so I just liken it to the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and it was the good news of Matthew, you know, sharing about Jesus, the good news of John, the Gospel of John, sharing about Jesus, and so the Gospel of St. Nicholas, or the Santa Claus, who we know, is really the Gospel of Jesus, just sharing about who Jesus is. Which is what his life really was, wasn't testimony to that.

Pardon me? St. Nicholas's life itself was a testimony to his own faith. Exactly. If he was here today, sitting here, he'd say, no, the story is all about Jesus, it's not about St. Nicholas, God was allowing me to love my culture at the time with the gifts, including wealth, that he'd given me, so what a beautiful story, and so here you've translated for all of us, so we would enjoy the next season, so it may be a bit before Christmas this year, but hey, what a cool book to give as a gift. You could go to Amazon and get five or six, and then by all means come back and rate it. It's the Gospel of Santa Claus by Wayne Vanderwaal.

Vanderwaal, yeah. Thank you. And may I make one comment about the format of the book? Please.

Sure. So what I did was, one of my pastors mentioned, boy, I'd love it to be like a devotional where I can read to my grandkids, and so what I ended up doing was splitting it up into 30 chapters to be read the 30 days before Christmas, and so starting on November 25th, families, because I'd read to my children before bed, and so what I meant to do was to break it up so families can read it together each evening. So sort of an advent. Yeah, exactly, and it goes along with the advent season also, so read a chapter a night starting November 25th, and it climaxes and it ends on December 24th, actually, Christmas Eve. There you go.

I can count to 30. No, sorry. And so I also added devotions at the end of each chapter for those who want to go a little deeper with the content of each chapter. So yeah, I'm really excited about it. There you go, the Gospel of Santa Claus. How fun.

Yeah. Again, inspired by the true story. It took me seven years to write. I'm a school psychologist, and so I could only have time to write on Christmas, Easter, and summer vacation, so it actually took me seven years to write, and so those seven years was a journey for me in my own personal walk, and so this book in a lot of ways was therapeutic for me and spiritual for me, so there's a lot of personal things, difficulties and joys that translated into the book itself, just from my own personal life as well.

So yeah, it is a personal book, very personal. It is. All right. Thank you, Wayne. God bless. Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it, Robbie. You're welcome. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-22 01:28:46 / 2023-09-22 01:32:50 / 4

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