Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dangerous Stories

UPDATE: Since writing this article, I have decided to post the story mp3s for free download instead of selling them on CD. You can access them here. I am hoping they are a blessing to many families.
When I was a child, my parents bought lots of children's story records. We listened to missionary stories, Ethel Barrett's Bible stories, and exciting Christian stories on the radio. In fact, I still enjoy Ranger Bill on Satuday mornings. But many of those old favorites are no longer being broadcasted. Unfortunately, they have been replaced with productions that don't always have the kind of content I want my children to hear. So, what to do?

Soon after arriving in Mentor, someone gave me the idea of recording my VBS stories onto CD. With a microphone and several pages of manuscripts, I began recording these adventure stories in the "Come back next time and you'll find out" format. I suppose you could liken it to the old time radio programs which always left you wondering what would happen to the hero next week.

The first two recordings were monologues recorded in our church's tape room. Then when Yooper Jim came along, I asked several students from my Bible class to chip in their talents. That took alot of work and lots of early morning recording sessions, but we finally finished all eleven chapters. Since then, the format has been changed to live recordings. It doesn't take as long and has a better sound than could be attained within the echoing walls of the tape room. Being live, you can often hear the laughter and responses of the children (and certain adults). To date, the Lord has allowed me to record seven stories.
  1. Boxcar Bob and the Runaway Railroad
  2. Detective Dave and the Case of the Missing Bible
  3. Yooper Jim: An Adventure in Iron Mountain
  4. Jean-Luc and the Voyage of the Fat Belly
  5. Jean-Luc and the Big Whopper
  6. Treg & Trevor and the Castle Builder's Contest
  7. Uncle Rudy and His Rough Riders
  8. Ricky Racer
I have enjoyed the opportunity the Lord has opened up for me with these stories. But something recently happened that may cause you to wonder if these stories are appropriate for any age group. A man in our church purchased the first four CDs presumably for his granddaughter. But I later found that he had been listening to them himself! (He just bought the rest of the set today.) The problem came when his car stereo quit working and he decided to listen to them with headphones and a portable CD player. He admitted that he had been pulled over by the police and given a warning for using headphones while on the highway. So, be careful. These CDs may not be appropriate for any age.

13 comments:

Sharon Rupert said...

Andy has a real gift with storytelling and an incredible imagination to go with it. As his wife, I have been blessed to have such a gifted man to be the father of my children. Our kids really enjoy the stories and love to listen to them--especially in the car. It has been fun to travel along with them. My favorites are Boxcar Bob--a tribute (of sorts) to his Grandpa Grimes who worked on the Erie Lackawana Railroad in Meadville, PA--and Yooper Jim as it "showcases" some of our friends that we love in Iron Mt., MI. But then, each one is special and addresses different issues--salvation, paying attention, truthfulness, facing peer pressure, living for the Lord--in a way that is enjoyable to young and old(er) alike. Of course you can't forget Uncle Rudy, who is my very own favorite Redhead!

Chris Anderson said...

Andy, my family has really enjoyed these discs (again and again and again and again). You have a special ability to communicate to children, and I'm glad you're making these more readily available.

FYI, I've posted a link and "" on my blog, as well.

I appreciate your friendship and ministry!

Chris Anderson said...

Mercy, Blogger is BAD with links. I previewed and everything. Sorry.

The text should read: "I've posted a link and 'blurb' on my blog, as well."

The link, though messy, is right.

Laura said...

Our family has been telling stories for years ("I love you! I love you! I love you! said the little chicks."), and Andy has built on this foundation with these stories. They are very enjoyable, and inexpensive, too! :-)

Dan Pfeifle said...

Hi! My name is Dan Pfeifle. My family has several of these story CD's and enjoy them very much. My children participated in the Vacation Bible School when the Treg & Trevor story was recorded. These stories all teach a Biblical truth and are easily understood by anyone. We travel a good bit on vacation or to visit relatives. These CD's are regularly requested by the kids as we drive. Even the youngest can recite whole sections of the stories and can tell Mom and Dad the lesson being taught. I highly recommend them for your family.

Anonymous said...

My name is Luis Cuadrado from Allentown, Pa. Andy is funny, fun, goofy, and Godly. These attributes that he has are also protrayed in the stories that he writes. Andy has a good imagination and a special gift. There are not many people who can sit down and write a story with such suspense. Instead of putting the book down and waiting until later to read the rest, you just want to keep reading and reading. I had the privilege to travel around the United States holding VBS's in many churches where I was able to carry Boxcar Bob with me. We took that great story of BoxCar Bob and taught it to young people. This story teaches kids so many lessons, especially how important it is to pay attention. If you don't, things can go down hill very quickly - just ask Boxcar Bob. Boxcar Bob had such a great impact in my life that I still carry him with me today. Any time I am with kids and do not know what to do next, Boxcar Bob is there to save the day. Thank you Andy for sharing with me that wonderful story and allowing me to share it with many young people. You may not realize it, but so many young peoples lives are impacted for the Lord, all because of your sacrifice and burden for teaching kids through stories. I believe that all these books should be in every home in America. Hopefully someday it will. Thanks Andy!!!

Andy Rupert said...

Thanks all for your kind comments. I am hoping that the Lord will use these stories in many families in the future.

Laura,

Sharon and I have memorized the Rupert Family version of Jack and the Bean Stalk.

Luis,

We have a lot of good memories. I hope you will write some stories soon. One of the first stories I told was the story of my life. You might try that some time. I called it the Rudy Stories (not Uncle Rudy) and took funny events from my life to teach truths. It's another way of giving your testimony. Try it.

Mary Rupert said...

The children's stories that Andy has on CD's are a good evangelistic tool. The gospel is clearly given and reviewed. I gave them out for "Trick or Treat" treats one year.

Chris Starr said...

I had the opportunity to work with Andy in Children's Ministry while we both were pursuing our master's degree. His creativity and imagination is revealed in the stories he has written and recorded. Character traits along with Scriptural truths are interwoven. Great resource to use for family devotions, as a reward for your VBS visitor bringer, or to stock in your church bookstore.

Anonymous said...

"The preceding announcement was a paid advertisement, and not necessarily the opinions of the blogmaster".

Drew, you ought to put these "testimonials" on every cd you sell!

Next time you're in town, I may want to pick up a few cd's from you, or, since we ought to be up for the OBF Conference @ BCC this spring, I may want to view several of your cd's. We should see you then!

BTW, my calling you "Drew" ought to be a give away as to who left this message!

Andy Rupert said...

Thanks *oug *orrow. The check for the amount of $*** is in the mail.

Barrett, M said...

Ethel Barrett is/was my grandmother. She told us stories when I was a kid and planted the heritage of storytelling in many generations after her. We all miss her. Thanks for mentioning her on your blog.

tk said...

This is a comment for M Barrett who posted on 12/24/06. My kids LOVE the Ethel Barrett stories that my husband put on DVD from his old records. Since you are her grandson, do you know of a place where we can buy more EB audio?

Thanks for any help you can give me here:-)