Dealing Out Hope by Dr. Ryan Fraser
I want to thank Elaine for inviting me to guest post on Everyone’s Story. I count it such an honor and am grateful for the opportunity to interact with this special community. I promise not to be boring.
The first indication that I was destined to write was when my marvelous fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Howell, informed the class that we were going to be putting on a play for our parents and families. The production was entitled, “The Small Miracle,” and would be based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. She then proceeded to ask for some volunteers to write the script.
Her challenge captured my 10-year-old, starry-eyed interest. “Wow,” I thought to myself, “this sounds cool!” Without a second thought, my hand shot up along with a friend of mine. Surprisingly, nobody else took the bait. We were encouraged to share the workload, but within a couple of days, it became clear that my buddy’s initial enthusiasm had evaporated and the responsibility had fallen squarely on my skinny shoulders. But that didn’t bother me, and, quite frankly, I reveled in the chance to excel at something—to shine.
After several exciting days of writing and editing, the script was finished. We rehearsed for a couple of weeks and the play was a huge success. In fact, I was given the lead role of St. Francis. The panty-hose bald wig I got to wear was absolutely fantastic. Anyway, this was my first real writing project that required true vision and commitment. I was hooked. I relished the creative process and delighted in the sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a worthy and inspiring project. It was enthralling to me.
Throughout my life, I have had an ongoing love affair with words. Whether preaching or writing, painting word pictures for my audience invigorates me. Finding subtle and unique combinations of words, especially when employing the art of alliteration in turning a phrase, truly brings me joy. I can feel my chest warm as the words are welcomed like newborn babes to the white page and take on a life of their own.
The writing I do nowadays has shifted just a bit since the fifth grade. As a minister, counseling professor, clinical therapist, and preacher, my focus relates primarily to pastoral care and practical theology. I feel that God has blessed me with the tools, training, and talents to make a positive impact in the lives of those who are suffering and struggling. But my lived experiences have, of course, shaped me the most as a Christian and writer. I am a “hope dealer.”
As a sixteen-year-old growing up on the mission field in South Africa, I suffered a fluke gym accident and broke my neck resulting in two months of hospitalization. It changed my life forever and later led me into the ministry. In 2005, my son was diagnosed with leukemia at age four and our family went through three grueling years of chemotherapy at St. Jude. During that same time period, my wife’s kidneys failed and she required a kidney transplant. A couple of years later, she developed endometrial cancer. I am thankful to report that both she and my son are doing fine today.
However, these traumatic events have affected my priorities and perspectives in life and ministry. Whether I’m writing about marriage and family issues, anxiety, depression, grief, or guilt, it’s my passion to communicate biblically sound concepts and ideas that help people to live faithfully no matter their circumstances.
So why do I write? To me it’s a spiritual calling and stewardship. Writing is a unique ministry that touches people at a deep and profound level. Whether I’m writing books, magazine articles, weekly newspaper columns, blogging, posting on Facebook, or Tweeting, I seek to challenge believers and non-believers to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. I want to point them heavenward.
Thanks again, Elaine, for this opportunity to share my thoughts. It’s good to remind myself of why I write. People need hope and encouragement. I want to help them find God’s peace along life’s pathway. This is why I deal in words.
Dr. Fraser's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
What’s a “hope-dealer”? Dr. Ryan Fraser! Find out why on Everyone’s Story. (Tweet This)
Dr. Ryan Fraser shares his life experiences that shaped him as an author. (Tweet This)
What do you have in common with Dr. Ryan Fraser? (Tweet This)
Raised on the mission field in South Africa, Dr. Ryan Fraser has been happily married to his college sweetheart, Missy (Housel), for 25 years. Together they have been blessed with two wonderful children.
Ryan holds a B.A. in Bible and Master’s in Ministry from Freed-Hardeman University, a M.Div. from Abilene Christian University, and a Ph.D. in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling from Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University). He teaches courses in the graduate counseling program at Freed-Hardeman University (since 2006), has a private counseling practice, and counts it a privilege to serve as the pulpit minister and an elder for the Bethel Springs church of Christ.
Dr. Fraser has recently written a book entitled His Heart, My Hands (Caring Like Jesus) that should be available in bookstores soon. Another work based on his doctoral research was recently published, entitled: The Spiritual Narratives of Adoptive Parents.
Ryan likes 80’s music, is an avid hiker, thrives on Indian curry and Thai Food, and loves hanging out with his wife and kids.
Places to connect with Dr. Fraser: