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Speaker and Author Rob Bell Comes to Fresno


FROM THE 2019 Articles,
andBooks & Tales,
andLorie Lewis Ham

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Rob Bell is the New York Times best selling author of Love Wins, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, The Zimzum of Love, How To Be Here and What is the Bible? His podcast, called the RobCast, is the #1 spirituality podcast and iTunes named it Best of 2015. He’s been profiled in the New Yorker, toured with Oprah, and in 2011, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He has a regular show at Largo, the legendary comedy and music club in Los Angeles, where he lives with wife Kristen and their three children.

I have been listening to Rob Bell’s preaching and teaching, and reading his books, for years! He is my favorite author and speaker, and always makes me think about things in a new way. His work inspires, encourages, and challenges me. So I was very excited when I heard that he was coming to Fresno on May 9! And even more excited to get the chance to interview him about the tour, and more!


Rob Bell

KRL: Your current tour is called An Introduction to Joy-how would you describe this talk? What is An Introduction to Joy?

Rob: It’s somewhere between stand up and a sermon and guerrilla theatre-I show around 80 photos I’ve taken on my iPhone over the past years, which get mashed up with what I call the wisdom after wisdom tradition…I’m creating a space in the show for people to come face to face with just how fragile and uncertain and temporary life is because that’s where the joy is found…

KRL: Where did the idea for this tour come from?

Rob: It comes from a deeply personal experience I had in my late twenties with the tragedies of life and my search to make sense of what I’d seen and how to reconcile it all-and then I kept taking these pictures that made me laugh really hard and it all gradually turned into a show.

KRL: What do you hope people will take away from this tour?

Rob: A terrifying beautiful sense of how extraordinary and sacred this experience is that we’re all having that we call life.

KRL: How would you describe your podcast?

Rob: What an interesting question. I see everything as spiritual, all of life has infinite depth, there’s more going on in any moment than we could ever fully grasp-that’s how I see the world and that what I talk about-so art, politics, surfing, silence, it’s all part of it.

KRL: How do you come up with the topics for your podcast?

Rob: I follow my curiosity. If something is compelling, I see where it takes me.

KRL: I know the story of how your podcast started, but for those who don’t would you share that with us?

Rob: I had a TV show and it was cancelled and I thought, “What should I do now?” My son had an old mic under his bed he let me borrow and I plugged it in and started talking.

KRL: My introduction to your work was Velvet Elvis which I loved and I have read almost all of your books since then-how do you feel your writing has changed since Velvet Elvis?

Rob: Oh my, that question would take a while. I find everything a thousand times more interesting than I used to. How’s that for an answer? (The series that Rob Bell just started on his podcast kind of ties in to this question-you can find his podcast here.)

KRL: Are you working on a new book? If so, can you give us a hint of what it is about?

Rob: Energy I spend talking about something is energy I could spend making it, know what I mean?

KRL: How did you end up deciding to come to Fresno?

Rob: I’ve never done a tour stop in Fresno, this is the first one ever for me. I get to walk out on stage and say “Good evening Fresno!!” for the first time in my life. How great is that?

Rob Bell will be at the Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts, 809 E Olive Avenue in Fresno, CA on Thursday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online and at the box office. You can learn more about Rob Bell on his website and be sure to check out the RobCast!

Speaking of podcasts, if you love local theatre and mystery, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can check the podcast out on iTunes and Google Play, and also on podbean.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janna Christensen April 25, 2019 at 6:20pm

Please send the Tower Theatre this interview link with Rob Bell. We’d love to air it and share it! This is so cool!


2 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
April 26, 2019 at 9:36am

I assumed when I sent it to the promoter that it was going to Tower Theatre as well sorry. I have now sent to the 2 Tower Theatre emails I have so hopefully it’s all good now. Please feel free to share from here as well. Thanks!


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