Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name

I'm about to confess something rather unexpected. You who know me well would have been surprised to discover me hunched in the corner of the children's section at Barnes and Noble tonight with my scarf pulled up around my face. As clandestine as I felt, I was on the search for something I couldn't find through my beloved Barefoot Books. I was on a mission to browse the Christian books for a Bible for June. Of course, Barefoot Books doesn't sell Christian books (yet!) and certainly not Bibles. They also distinctly disapprove of the "big box" bookstores like B&N and so do I. HOWEVER, all that aside...I found the book I was looking for. If I had browsed online I'm sure I would have found it as well, but I needed to touch it and flip pages as would any good bibliophile. The unfortunate truth is that there are many poorly written and poorly illustrated Christian books for children. The fortunate truth is that this book is not one of them. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name is written by Sally Lloyd Jones, an award-winning British author who has a way of explaining difficult Biblical concepts in a way that any two year old or reluctant theologian could understand. Not only that, but it is illustrated by the amazing Jago, who has also illustrated for Barefoot Books. This book was published over a year ago, so I'm sure I'm a little late on the blog-train, but I couldn't resist sharing this with you!

The Jesus Storybook Bible tells more than stories or history, it tells the underlying purpose of every page of God's word: Jesus. Jones relates every story, from creation to revelation, to Jesus Christ. At the end of the story of the fall of man she writes: "most stories would now be at THE END... But not this one..." continuing on to tell the promise that God lays out in Genesis 3:15 that a Redeemer would come who would crush the evil that so easily entangled Adam and Eve (and all of us).

Jago's artwork reflects the fantastical quality of Jones' stories. Fun, colorful (dare I say "whimsical?") and ethnically appropriate (one of my BIG pet peeves with Christian children's books), my two year old will easily sit through a full page of narrative with one of his pictures in front of her to spark her imagination.
I had to share this with you all, my faithful blog-readers. While you consider all the great Barefoot Books you want to buy for your kids, don't forget about the greatest Book of all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Change is in the air-

All across the blogosphere, people are furiously typing, impassioned by a speech that may be the best I will ever hear in my lifetime. Some people are weeping in frustration, others are elated with hope, a few are just happy to get back to real life. I'm sitting here, in a pool of tears and soap bubbles; I clean when I'm emotional- you should see my kitchen...

I'm moved by the idea that a man whose parents could not sit together on the bus or even go to the same school, could be President of this country. I'm amazed that the year which marks the 40 year anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination could also be the year we see racism turned on it's head in The United States. I'm moved mostly by the idea that people in this nation still believe that hope and passion truly are the forces that move us towards our loftiest goals. So much of our rhetoric in recent years has been garbage- spin doctoring, dog wagging, pork barrels, subtle twisting of truths that become unrecognizable, greed, outright puppetry... somewhere in the midst of all that, a man was able to circumvent Washington politics and resurrect a vision that we all wanted to believe was still out there.

Ultimately, my hope is in God. But I believe God can work through Barack Obama to:

1) Funnel money towards helping people in need- health care, social services, financial crisis management

2) Raise awareness for social injustices across the world- including religious persecution, race, gender, etc.

3) Unite generations broken by politics and dischordant ideals

4) Remind us all to live with intention and integrity in our lives, unspoiled by the deep brokeness surrounding us, but moved by compassion to change it

I'm proud that my daughter is part of this generation. I'm sure there will be regrets, setbacks and disappointments. But right now, in this moment, I'm actually proud to be an American. And those words are rarely, if ever, spoken by me.