Thursday, January 20, 2011

BEEtween the Pages: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

"... the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story...It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is the missing piece in a puzzle--the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture."

~Excerpt from
The Jesus Storybook Bible:
Every Story Whispers His Name
by Sally Lloyd-Jones~

A few days before Christmas, a friend and I chatted about ways we could share our love for and faith in Jesus with our young children. My friend mentioned a children's Bible she found valuable in imparting her faith to her sons. After our meeting, I hurried to a nearby bookstore and purchased this book--The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.

Since Christmas, my son and I have been reading the stories in this Bible as part of our bedtime ritual. We've both been richly blessed with the stories and their messages. Over the years, I've purchased several different children's Bibles for my son, and this one ranks at the top as my favorite. With content targeted for children ages four to seven and colorful illustrations on each page, my son is eager each night to read a story from this Bible. And as a mom, I'm thrilled that this book not only teaches him about the different characters and stories in the Bible, but it also whispers Jesus' name in each story, just as the subtitle promises. This book shows children that from the beginning God had a beautiful and marvelous plan to send a Rescuer to save us.

I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible for families with children ages four to seven.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BEE Fulfilled: My Heart's Desire for 2011

"No matter where you live and what your days look like, you have a choice each day to depend on yourself, to live safely, and to try to control your life. Or you can live as you were created to live--as a temple of the Holy Spirit of God, as a person dependent on Him, desperate for God the Spirit to show up and make a difference."
~Francis Chan in Forgotten God:
Reversing Our Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Like many, I've spent the last couple of weeks contemplating what resolutions I might set for this new year. In doing this, I reflected on what I learned in 2010 and how I could carry those lessons forward to 2011. Last year was a year rich in learning--learning about God and the Bible, about my family and friends and their needs, about the craft of writing, and about myself.

As I reflected on 2010, the lessons I learned from one of the Bible studies I participated in stood out. During the last three months of 2010, I completed a study of Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit with some dear friends from my running group. This study challenged me to reexamine some of my longstanding beliefs about the Holy Spirit and my motives for wanting the Spirit's presence in my life. It also challenged me to seek the Spirit and follow Him in all areas of my life, which is a day-by-day journey. I marvel at the growth, wisdom, and understanding each lady in the group gained during the study. Friendships deepened and God transformed hearts. I love how God does that!

So for 2011, instead of jotting down a long list of resolutions, I only have one desire for this year: to follow the Holy Spirit to wherever He wants me to go. That's it. No small feat, I know. But I can't think of anything else I want more in my life. I yearn to be more dependent on God and to be obedient to what He calls me to do each day.

Chris Tomlin's song "I Will Follow" encapsulates my heart's desire for 2011, which you can listen to below. May this song and desire touch your heart as it has mine. :0)