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Archive for February, 2010

I’ve never been a big fan of Bible storybooks. This is partly because I didn’t think about them, partly because they were wholly unattractive, partly because they were so insipid and watery.

With five little ones, I have been looking around and have found a third one I can wholly recommend.  Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Storybook by Starr Meade is a great pick. I’ve been test-running it on a classroom of 1st graders and I enjoy using it and it is well-received.

Meade says in the introduction that, “the reason for telling stories of God’s mighty acts is to make known the wonder of God’s great character.” I believe that is well accomplished here and sufficient attention is given throughout each lesson to pulling the theme into every story.

The format of the book is 90 individual lessons working chronologically through the Bible, almost evenly divided between the Old and New Testaments. Each lesson is three pages long, has one large picture and one small picture. Each lesson has a couple of discussion questions and a complementary verse.

The pictures are adequate, but not very compelling. It’s a great hardcover, easy to hold and sturdy.

The content is decidedly Godward, as each lesson is not primarily about the characters in the story, but about the God over the story. I love how even the subtitle of each chapter draws the reader back in to remind us how the lesson relates to God and what He is accomplishing through the story. There is good continuity, good sense, good flow. It teaches big, important lessons in a very good way.

I think that sometimes when you’re a careful parent, choosing carefully what to put in front of your children, a book like this may end up feeling regular and almost common. But it’s not. In the big scope of things, it’s a rarity today for a book to be so comprehensive, useful and important. In the small scope of things, Crossway has put out another gem of a children’s book to complement the wonderful Big Picture Story Bible [which we are re-reading at home right now and is officially for ages 4-8 but I think as young as 2 is great] and The Jesus Storybook Bible [for ages 4-8 officially, but through seminarian as far as I care].

This book officially releases in two days on February 28th from Crossway.

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Lots of crazies going on at the Rubix Cube championships…

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Oh, Canada!

I have a dozen family members, or so, who live in Canada and have been there (or through there, making it sort of a land bridge from MI to NY) almost a dozen times. I’m not a pooh-pooher, but I have allowed my provincial snobbery to overtake my spirit at times. This is a stunning and inspirational tribute, or marker, for us to enjoy and be helped by…eh?

…oh, and they have an amazing anthem:

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Vittles

The Joke Men

A good article extolling loving your wife by giving yourself up for her. “He exalts her by helping her–which includes increasing his field of competence…”

HT: Sean Dennis

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Naps Help You Learn

I would like them to have mentioned the 22 minute version of a nap, not the 90 minute version. My conscience isn’t clear enough to take a 90 minute siesta…on most days.

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On Guns

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the underdog is a sine qua non ["something essential" lit. "without which not"] for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or police.” Adolf Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938

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J.A. Henckel’s Twin Grip Colored Paring Knives

These are fantastic knives. Be sure when buying Henckel you only buy the Twin (two guys) series. They are a much-higher grade.

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I write kids’ books because I can tell the Truth, and the Truth is that The Real is throbbingly fantastic. Ask the nearest grasshopper or rodent or turtle. Ask the nearest star (but show some respect and don’t look directly at her—she’s powerful enough to peal your nose and blind your eyes). I want to paint a picture of this world that is accurate (if impressionistic), and I don’t want a single young reader to grow up and look back on me as the peddler of sweet youthful falsehoods. I want them to get a world vision that can grow and mature and age with them until, like all exoskeletons, it must be cast aside—not as false, but as a shallow introduction to things even deeper and stranger and more wonderful (and involving more dragonflies).

Nate Wilson teaches me to love reality…and to see it more clearly. I’ve said this before here. This is a portion of a great article you should read…now. Children’s Books, Truth and Adultish Readers

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Vittles

Beneath the Sun

Choking realities in the scope of God’s cosmos. Danielle writes of a baby’s struggles, hopes and then…

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A Place to Call Home

A tour of Al Mohler’s amazing, personal library.

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First & 20

I think it’s interesting to see what other people put on the home page of their iPhone. Some good ideas.

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Some of my favorite books come off P&R Publishing’s presses. I had good hopes for this one, but it didn’t fit the bill.

Small Things, Big Things: Inspiring Stories of Everyday Grace by Michael A. Milton was released in November. I love the premise. I love the idea of finding God in all the details and parts of life. I want to see how I am just a small part of a much bigger story.

I did myself a disservice by flying blindly. I hadn’t heard of Milton previously and should have gotten to know him better before I read this book. The book has a lot of biographical tidbits in it, and they were slightly difficult to piece together at the same time as I was trying to hear the 52 lessons he was teaching. Milton wrote this book over an extended period as letters/essay to his Chattanooga congregation. The writing was very pastoral. I think understanding him better, becoming more familiar with him, would have helped. Even watching these videos first would have helped.

His writing kept reminding me of Max Lucado’s for some reason, though they didn’t pull me in as far as Lucado used to (it’s been a dozen years since I’ve read him). His home-spun, salt-of-the-earth, devotional illustrations were often quite enjoyable. And I’m sure this genre will fit the bill for a good number of people.

The book itself is beautiful. It’s a great cover, a wonderful size that feels right in the hand, bright paper; it smells great [I hate having to mention how much I like the odor of books]. But the content didn’t stir me like I was hoping. I look forward to hearing though how it will be a help to others.

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