Monday, September 28, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Children's Book Review: The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones

Mike Berenstain has continued his parents, Jan and Stan's legacy, by continuing to create Berenstain Bear books. The Bears have spent years teaching children positive lessons. In this storybook they are sharing stories of the Bible, including Noah's Ark, The Good Samaritan, and the story of Jesus resurrection. This book for little ones is based on The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible and features eight stories from the Old and New testament.

I love the bright, cheerful illustrations used to tell the stories. You can't go wrong with the Berenstain Bears. Mike chose eight stories from the Bible often taught to little ones. He simplifies the stories yet keeps them full of faith and hope. The board book is easy for little hands to hold. This would be a great book to read to a young child snuggled on your lap or sitting on the floor in Sunday School. I recommend this book for children aged eighteen months to five years old. 

I received The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones from Booklook Bloggers in exchange for a fair review.

Lack Wisdom?

James 1:5-7
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 

Each day on my way to work, I pass the senior living apartments that sits at the bottom of the hill. A small pond with a spraying fountain enhances the property. As I drove by one morning my thoughts ran to the fountain of wisdom that must be living in those homes. My grammy shared her wise words with me on many occasions, just as my mom shares with my daughters and me. It's a travesty when young people don't take the time to listen to grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, or any experienced person  in their lives.

When I read the scripture, I see that God values wisdom. James tells me if I want wise thoughts, ideas, words-- ask God. As a faithful believer, I know God answers me and shares with me what I need to know. I don't know how many times I've sought out God for wise words to give my children, and he's answered. Believe me, if not for Him I would flounder. Each week as I write these devotions, I pray for God's guidance and many times when He's given me words, someone contacts me and tells me I wrote just what they need. That's all God not me. As a follower of Jesus, be bold and ask with confidence for wisdom. God will provide. Praise God for his wisdom!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review for Parents and Children: God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies by Justin S. Holcomb & Lindsey A. Holcomb

God Made All of Me starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth---the doctrine of creation---to kids and their bodies. It equips parents to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others. God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes.

My Review:
The authors have done a great job writing a book that opens the door to educating children about their bodies and safety. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb use scripture to introduce children to the idea that God made them as amazing and wonderful people. In the story Mom and Dad teach their children through conversation about their bodies, from nose to toes. As the parents teach the kids they are in charge of their own bodies, they assure them it's okay to say no, to tell, and to not keep secrets. At the end of the book the authors included an excellent guide for parents on how to protect children from sexual abuse.

Unfortunately, parents need to prepare their children to protect themselves. God Made All of Me opens the door to this difficult conversation. The authors do an excellent job through text and pictures explaining how God created them and what parts of the body are private. And they teach that if they don't want any part of their body touched, it's okay. The authors have education and experience which makes them a valuable resource for the topic. This book is a necessity, a copy should be in every parent's and/or caretaker's library.  5+ stars

I received God Created Me in exchange for a fair review.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

God Made Madagascar

Genesis 1:20-25
And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

I was watching WildKratts with my grandson the other day. The main characters, Chris and Martin traveled to the island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa. They introduced viewers to lemurs, chameleons (they change color!) and hissing cockroaches, now that's quite an array of creatures.  If you aren't familiar with the show, it's on PBS and teaches kids about animals. I enjoy the show as much as Eli because I've always been fascinated with God's creation. When I think about it, I'm in awe of the multitude of animals He's made.

Almost every day I see deer, squirrels, rabbits, and red-winged blackbirds on the wooded rural campus where I work. I spend time with our dogs, who are so smart and loyal. I may not be able to debate a scientist about how the world came to be but I know without doubt that God created everything. Through faith I believe. Faith is the evidence of the things I cannot see and the things hoped for in Jesus. God's fingerprints appear everywhere, on all of his design. Praise God for his amazing creation!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

the sunflower


waves on tall thin stem 
good-bye summer, welcome fall--
view from the porch