Author & Illustator's Spiritual Journeys
Michael James Dowling, author of Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables, and Sarah Buell Dowling, his wife and illustrator of the book, both have experienced dramatic journeys to faith in Christ. Prior to their marriage in 1979, God graciously brought Michael out of the New Age Movement and Sarah out of the occult.
“When I was in my thirties and living in Boston, I was into cults like Silva Mind Control and EST (Erhard Seminars Training),” says Michael. “I went to psychics, studied A Course in Miracles, and practiced positive thinking, extrasensory perception, visualization, and meditation. The generally accepted beliefs in these circles were that all spiritual paths are more or less equally valid, truth is what you experience, and Jesus was an enlightened teacher who came to show us the path to enlightenment. Back then, the thought systems that captured my attention were on the fringe, but today they are even infiltrating many churches. That’s a major reason why I wrote Frog’s Rainy-Day Story.”
Sarah’s father died when she was fourteen, and her mother tried to communicate with him through involvement in the Spiritualist movement. “Not long after his passing, I heard and felt breathing on my neck while in bed at night,” explains Sarah. “I was terrified at first, but my mother told me it was my father, and that led me into deeper involvement in the occult. Mom used to take me to seances where I witnessed paranormal events, like seeing cookies being eaten in the air and smelling the aroma of the room instantly changing from roses to magnolias. In my twenties and early thirties, before I met Michael, I was very much into Eastern religions. While at a ten-day Buddhist meditation retreat at an old converted monastery, I saw an image of Christ up in a window in the sanctuary. I knew deep inside that I had seen the Truth. A short time later, God led me to a Catholic charismatic prayer meeting, where I was delivered from the demonic. ”Michael and Sarah equip parents and grandparents to communicate biblical values more effectively to the next generation.
“The eight fables in our book show how things get out of whack when culture departs from biblical truth,” says Michael. “A page at the end of each fable juxtaposes the Wisdom of the World, exemplified by quotations from cultural icons like the Dali Lama and Ralph Waldo Emerson, with the Wisdom of the Word, expressed through selected passages of Scripture. I want readers to see how these two worldviews are often so at odds that they both can’t be true.”
“We are so grateful to God for … allowing us to present Scriptural truth through this book.”
“We are so grateful to God for redeeming our rebellious pasts and allowing us to present scriptural truth through this book,” comments Sarah. “We hope it awakens people to the dangers of the unbiblical notions that today have become so accepted and influential.”
“Awaking people is my passion,” adds Michael. “In Matthew 10:34, Jesus is quoted as saying, ‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.’ We’re living in a culture that reverences tolerance, and the Bible is intolerant about some of the most important issues of life, such as the unique identity ofJesus Christ and our need to find life in him. Sarah and I are praying that Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables will help parents and grandparents more effectively apply biblical truth to their own lives and pass it on to the next