November 06, 2019

Silly Love Songs, and Stories: A Writing Journey by Bob Jones

The November 2019 IWO posts are a celebration of God’s leading in writing journeys. 1967 was the year my creative writing journey began. I was a 13 year-old Junior High student in Etobicoke, Ontario. My English Composition teacher gave us the choice between writing about Canada’s centenary or the Vietnam War. I picked the Marines over the Maple Leaf. For two months I pecked out my story on a Brother typewriter using two fingers (the same method used to craft this post on my MacBook Pro keyboard).

My historical fiction account of a US Marine in the Battle of Hill 882 was a labour of creativity and naivety. The diary I wrote ended with a “bloodied” page and an unfinished sentence. Though my project earned an A, I had no clue about the trauma of the young Marines pictured in the pages of LIFE magazine.

Over the next ten years my writing consisted of silly love songs and poems, composed for girls that I had a crush on. I was Paul McCartney and Barry Manilow in my imagination. Patti, Grace, Carol, Wendy, and Bonnie never knew these were their songs. Not until Jocelyn Blades heard my co-opted version of Lennon/McCartney’s, “I Will” did I know that words and music could truly move a woman’s emotions. When Jocelyn stopped giggling our relationship started. I was still singing my songs; she was still needing and feeding me when I turned 64.

During the early years of being a pastor my love of writing was applied to journaling, columns for the local newspaper, and articles for denominational magazines. And then life got busy. Kids came along, responsibilities increased, and creativity was applied to other endeavours. Journaling was my sole writing outlet. Twenty years later something sparked and I resumed writing devotional columns for our local paper and articles for Enrich Magazine and the Pentecostal Testimony.

I wrote the first blog post for our church website on January 10, 2011. Blogging became a thing in 1994 and I was way late to the party. Three people read the first post. The content was a rehash of my Sunday messages. I thought the messages made for good reading but readers didn’t think so. For two years I tenaciously shared scriptural insights to the sound of crickets.

In October 2013 I wrote a story about a woman from our church. Rena and her husband made a work-related move to Australia. She was the victim of childhood sexual abuse. Rena turned her pain into redemption by visiting men incarcerated for sexual crimes. Her prison visits in Australia inspired me. The story I shared inspired readers. The post went from single to triple digit engagement. That was my “aha” moment. What resulted was a clear trail to my purpose. When I wrote informational pieces, people yawned. When I crafted stories, people shared them.

Since then I have written three books of stories. “Ornament: The Faith, Hope and Joy of Kristen Fersovitch” was my first published work and sold 4,500 copies. Then came a memoir entitled, “Phyllis: Love Never Let’s Go.” The third book contained eleven stories of women who found hope after facing sexual abuse, cancer, mental illness or loss. Currently I’m working with the founder of Little Warriors to publish her biography. 


I am a recovering perfectionist who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks iced tea. The walls of our home are adorned with our sons’ framed football jerseys, and my bookshelves, with soul food. 

My writing grows hope, inspires people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.

Follow my writing an book reviews at


  1. You're Gonna Be Okay is sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. And I agree, well-crafted stories trump informational pieces every time.

  2. Of course songs get to a women's heart, even if they are giggling! I love that story. And you writing is a testimony of how it is story that connects us. Thank you for that reminder! We must keep telling & writing stories as God directs.

  3. It reminded me of Sigmund's Brouwer's key point from this year's Fall Conference: Story is everything!! Enjoyed hearing about your journey.

  4. Wonderful story! I also like to read true stories - learning about real people is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi Bob! We're around the same age and we both like writing from real life. I've retired from pastoral work but my heart still has a love for people. Thank you for sharing this story with us,my friend.

  6. I enjoyed reading the background of your “storied” career. You tell it like it is, Pastor Bob, and with heart. I appreciate and can learn from your truth telling about real people. My husband and I are past the 64 mark, but I still need him and feed him too. :-) I’ve had a few giggles at my husband oral stories too--no songs, however.

  7. I too enjoyed reading about your storied career. You mentioned in an earlier blog that you wrote books of stories. God used that blog to urge me to finish my book, still in the computer, and publish it.


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