July 22, 2009
I've been meaning to write this post forever, and now Dolly has given me a great reason to do it!! She has linked to an interview with the author of one of my favorite books, and I just have to share it, too.
I've been promoting this book to my inner circle for a while now, so you may have heard me mention it once or twice. It's called The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. It's by far, the best retelling of the Bible presented for children that I've ever read. And believe me, I've got stacks and stacks of toddler Bibles, Girl Bibles, etc. This one is incredible. Each story is linked by the central theme of Jesus! Every old testament story points towards the coming of Christ, and how since the Garden of Eden, we have needed Him- needed a Hero, a Liberator. Every story in the New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled those needs, how He rescued us. The continuity of the Bible becomes so clear, so obvious-- it's ALL about Him!! The language is beautiful, enchanting-- and so theologically sound that it gives me chills. I am in LOVE with this book for my children. I am honestly, filled with joy when I read these stories aloud to them. For them, and for me.
(To clarify, though-- this is not a Bible translation. It's not all inclusive, obviously-- it's written for children. It is not verse by verse, so it will not replace your family Bible, or scripture reading with your children. It's just a retelling, a weaving of stories together-- it would be supplemental to your children's Biblical instruction, not a replacement. Just had to include that explanation, lest you think I'm advising you throw out all your others!)
So, anyway! Is this post a glowing review, or what? I'm telling you, it's unlike anything I've ever read before. Whether you've got children or not, this book will open your eyes, and move you. I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to share it with you-- but better late than never!
And you might not even have to buy it for yourself if you're lucky!! If you'll click on the link to the interview, the author is doing a giveaway. She's presenting a copy of the new deluxe edition coming out soon to four lucky commenters! You could be one! Just leave a comment, and she'll contact you if you win. Thanks, Dolly, for passing this link along. You're the best!
However you lay your hands on a copy, you gotta get one. After one or two stories, you'll be as hooked as the rest of us!! :) Here's a little taste, just to get you thinking. This exerpt is introducing The Story:
"Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done.
Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you'll soon find out) most people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.
No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne- everything- to rescue the one he loves. It's the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is- it's true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle- the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture."
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day-- but wait. Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning...
Amazing. And that's just the introduction.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:50 PM | Comments (4)
April 15, 2009
"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
Amazing quote passed along today from our old pastor in B'ham. Even though it is hard sometimes to live in this fallen world, as we struggle against the currents of culture and sin-- how beautiful to be alive to do it. How glorious the fight, how blessed we are to have been given the gift of the striving!
This quote reminds me, I don't want to be a floater. I want to be a fighter.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)
November 26, 2008
Just a thought.
Being a Christian doesn't exempt us from being human, with the whole range of emotional states and faults. Sometimes, we are discouraged. We are depressed. We are jealous, we are ugly. We are lazy, we are apathetic. We are exactly the opposite of what Christ commands us to be. Joyful. But the truth is, Christ asks us to do and be that which we can't do, or be, on our own. We simply CANNOT be joyful in all things, it takes Him to do that in us.
When we are down, (and friends, I am down and can't seem to crawl out of it on my own), then we cannot expect to overcome it, if we are not immersing ourselves in His Word. Why should I expect peace in my soul, when I am starving it? How can I expect joyfulness to expand, when I do not ingest the seeds of it? How can I be full or satisfied? How can I expect anything to go right, feel right, be right, when I do not stop and partake in the words of my God?
This quote came today in Rich's church email, and it landed squarely upside my head, though for different reasons than evangelism.
Eugene Peterson on the movement from Scripture reading/meditation to mission:
Christians feed on Scripture. Holy Scripture nurtures the holy community as food nurtures the human body. Christians don't simply learn or use Scripture; we assimilate it, take it into our lives in such a way that it gets metabolized into acts of love, cups of cold water, missions into all the world, healing and evangelism and justice in Jesus' name, hands raised in adoration of the Father, feet washed in company with the Son. Readers become what they read. If Holy Scripture is to be something other than mere gossip about God, it must be internalized.
This quote reminded me of our absolute dependence on God's word. Everything about who we are and what we are called to do is THERE. And truthfully, it's not important enough in my life. It gets shuffled down to the bottom of the list way too much. I have got to stop viewing it as a luxury, but as a necessity. Would I skip my meals for days on end because I was too busy to eat? No. Because I would die, I would waste away if I did that. I would grow weak, unable to do more than lift my hand. It is no different when I deprive myself of the Scripture. How can I walk as He commands, without the nurturing, sustaining food of His Word? Just can't. It's why I feel so drained, so tired. It's why I stumble and fall, and lay in the middle of the path feeling sorry for myself. I cannot help myself, I cannot help others, I cannot do anything.
I am starved for Him.
So, today. Are you depressed? Stressed out? Do you think God has forgotten you, or doesn't care? Do you think He's angry with you? Are you struggling to see the sense or purpose in your life?
Then you're with me, because that's where I've been over the last few weeks. We can spend so much time agonizing over these questions, wallowing in them, whining even, that we forget that we already have the answers. I don't know why we want to look everywhere else in the world but in the very place we KNOW the answer to be. Fallen nature, I guess. Rebellion. Stubbornness.
But you know it, and I know it. God's Word is there, on our nightstand, on the countertop, and it is exactly the answer to what's wrong. All we have to do is reach out, and take it in our hands. All we have to do is open our Bibles, and God will feed us. Wisdom, peace, purpose, strength, clarity, endurance, joyfulness-- a feast awaits us. We need not starve at the Creator's table. But He will not force feed us, because that is not His way. He is the most gentle of Hosts, He waits for us.
I'm tired of hunger pains, I'm tired of being faint of heart. You, too? Well then, let's sit together, and share in the abundance before us. What better time than Thanksgiving, when the table groans under the weight of harvest, when we bow our heads and count our blessings?
When we are fed in body, let us be fed in Spirit as well. Read your Bible, and I'll read mine, and we'll find those things we need.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:48 AM | Comments (4)
October 14, 2008
This quote comes from Brandy, who scours the net for encouraging, uplifting words for moms. She is a master of finding just the right thing I need to hear on a particular day. I really love her blog. The quote originates from this site.
Once a lady went to visit her friend. During the visit the children of the friend entered the room and began to play with each other. As the lady and her friend visited, the lady turned to her friend and said eagerly and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words: "Oh, I'd give my life to have such children." The mother replied with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came: "That's exactly what it costs."
There is a cost of motherhood. And the price is no small sum. And if you are not willing to pay this price, no amount of encouragement about the joys of motherhood will satisfy.
But the price of motherhood is not fundamentally different from the price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christian mothers see their duty as mothers flowing from their calling to Jesus Christ. And what is this cost?
Christian motherhood means dedicating your entire life in service of others. It means standing beside your husband, following him, and investing in the lives of children whom you hope will both survive you and surpass you. It means forgoing present satisfaction for eternal rewards. It means investing in the lives of others who may never fully appreciate your sacrifice or comprehend the depth of your love. And it means doing all these things, not because you will receive the praise of man -- for you will not -- but because God made you to be a woman and a mother, and there is great contentment in that biblical calling.
I appreciate these words-- in a way I couldn't before I had children. Oh, I knew, it would be hard, gross even at times (and boy was I right!!). But I had no idea of the spiritual excercise that motherhood truly is. It is the hardest thing I've ever done, because it requires me to battle my selfish nature every single day. There is no doubt, motherhood is a blessing, children are a gift from God. But beyond the tender moments, the Mother's Day cards and macaroni necklaces, the blessing can come in the form of potential, possibility. Motherhood presents constant opportunities to grow spiritually-- you are given daily, hourly chances to self-sacrifice and bear the fruits of the spirit (kindness, gentleness, self-control). Sometimes, I fail miserably-- I am so far from patience or meekness that it's sad. But the blessing continues, and I'll have another chance to work on that, in fifteen seconds flat.
I needed to be a mom. My soul needed it. God knew it, and gave me four amazing children who help me to work out my salvation every day. It's hard work, but everything that's worth something is. Motherhood costs a life, but it gives you one, too.
Anyway, just a few thoughts on a midmorning Tuesday. On to the day.
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)
April 25, 2008
Because it's stupid.
Anyway, I chuckled over these famous "convoes" I snagged from somebody else's blog. (Um, A. Harner's I think.) Enjoy.
Posted by WonderGirl at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)
November 21, 2007
"Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all
entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable."
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:06 PM
October 18, 2007
|"Do you know how lucky you are?” She smiled at him wryly. “Not most of the time.”|
Oh, how do I love Meg, how do I love this book! It was the first piece of literature that caught my imagination on fire. I remember reading it as a child in utter amazement that there could be stories so fantastical, so adventurous. I was in awe at the idea of worlds different from my own, of creatures and things brought into existence only with an author's words. Madeleine L'Engle hypnotized me with her story, entranced me with her characters and language. Before I read this book, I understood sentence structure and plot lines and happy endings. I understood card catalogs and main points and "the moral of the story". But I had never been swept away, never cried along with the storyteller. I had never felt my heart pounding with excitement and fear, never before walked to school with my nose stuck in the pages, leaving my feet to find their way alone on the gravel road.
This is the book that called me by name.
It's why I want to be a writer.
But more importantly, it's why I want my children to be readers. I want them to discover what words can do, where they can take you. I want them to be swept away, to cry, to laugh. I want them to live on different worlds with strange creatures. I want them to sail ships, and fight dragons, and rescue the needy. I want them to befriend monsters, and discover treasure, and ride dolphins.
What better gift to give?
I don't know who put A Wrinkle In Time in my hand. I don't know if was a birthday present, or a Christmas gift, or a hand-me-down. But I do know who gave me the love of reading- my parents. My mother, who pulled us onto her lap and read Dr. Seuss, and Giving Away Susanne... my dad, who read passages from The Hobbit, who used scary voices for giants, and deep and wise voices for wizards. My parents, who let us, all four children, get our own library cards. Who took us faithfully every week to the Summer Reading Program. My parents, who insisted we learn the meaning and spelling of words, who cared about our English grades, and spelling tests and book reports. My parents, who gave (and read) me books of all sorts, knowing that eventually, one would be the key that unlocked a lifetime of reading.
Thank you, Mom and Dad. What you did for me, not all parents do. Thank you for taking the time, for caring. It is a heritage I will pass along to my own children, and they will have their grandparents to thank for it.
"Do you know how lucky you are?" asks Calvin O'Keefe.
Oh yes. Yes, I do.
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:00 AM
October 16, 2007
I thought this, posted on Cindy's blog today, was just beautiful.
If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world
.....So let it be.
(A Scottish Blessing)
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:45 AM
August 1, 2007
"There are fashions in reading, even in thinking. You don't have to follow them unless you want to. On the other hand, watch out! Don't stick too closely to your favorite subject. That would keep you from adventuring into other fields. It's silly to build a wall around your interests." Walt Disney
Posted by WonderGirl at 11:40 PM
April 4, 2006
Yesterday, I saw a bumper sticker- plain white with black text. It read,
"I Saw Something Nasty In The Woodshed"
I find myself intrigued, and slightly horrified. What did you see, you poor thing? Did it require therapy to overcome? It wasn't some V.C. Andrews scene, was it? What, just tell me!!
I googled the phrase, and "Cold Comfort Farm" comes up, which is a novel by Stella Gibbons. Apparantly, Aunt Ada sees "something nasty in the woodshed".
Well, I'm hooked. I just gotta know, now.
Posted by WonderGirl at 9:04 AM
March 29, 2006
I'm not a lyric poster. But I'm making an exception for this little lady and her song, Hide and Seek. This song rips me up. Love. It. It's a cappella- and totally haunting. If it didn't make me want to jump off a bridge, I'd listen to it more often. (but in a good way- if there is one.)
Try to listen to this one, if you can.
Hide and Seek
Where are we?
What the hell is going on?
The dust has only just began to fall
Crop circles in the carpet
Posted by WonderGirl at 6:57 PM
January 17, 2006
Hey, don't blame me for that one. Mayor Ray Nagin was the genius behind those words, in a speech about rebuilding New Orleans and maintaining a black majority in the population. "This city will be chocolate at the end of the day." Mmm. Lovely expression there, Mr. Mayor.
Who cares? Seriously- why does it have to be an issue at all? What difference does it make? Peoples is peoples. That's what I say. Rebuild the dang thing and let whoever wants to come back, come back.
(Rest of the article here.)
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:48 AM
October 10, 2005
Quote for the moment:
"This isn't mere exercise, I tell her silently.
This is desperation."
from The Time Traveler's Wife
Posted by WonderGirl at 1:10 PM
September 19, 2005
"Tears are a river that takes you somewhere…Tears lift your boat off the rocks, off dry ground, carrying it downriver to someplace better."
Posted by WonderGirl at 4:37 PM
June 23, 2003
"Why am I doing this again?"
"When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack."
"And why am I wearing the watermelon on my feet?"
"I don't remember telling you to do that."
Anybody know what that's from?
Posted by WonderGirl at 10:09 AM