Friday, August 14, 2009
Bibles for Children and Lessons for (Kate's) Parents
This week, during a conference call, I was reminded of a very important truth about God's Word: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." --Hebrews 4:12
God's Word IS living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword. I am guilty of taking the Word of God for granted--but remembering the truth about Scripture reminds me of what a gift we have in the Bible.
It is my prayer that Kate will one day appreciate the Word of God for the precious gift that it is. I am so grateful for the various Bibles and Bible storybooks that Kate already has, many gifts from family and friends. I wonder if she will one day comprehend how blessed we are to live in a country where we can read the Bible without fear ... where we can own several Bibles in our home and not worry about the consequences ... where we can carry our Bibles to church and out into the world and not be afraid of the ramifications.
Some Christians in other countries do not have such luxuries. Some fear imprisonment or worse for as they smuggle the Word of God into their homes and read and memorize it in secret. What a contrast to my life--one in which I will sometimes let several days go by before I read a word of Scripture. And one in which I can recite lines to movies and songs without hesitation and yet can't remember where a verse is in the Bible--or worse, not even recognize something as coming from Scripture. And I have been a Christian for years, so I have no excuse. Shame on me. I also need to be doing a better job of setting an example and of fostering a respect for God's Word in Kate.
Toward that end, I thought I would share some of Kate's Bibles and Bible storybooks with you--and please feel free to share with me your favorites for toddlers and children.
In the bottom row of the above photo, you will see two small New Testaments, which make such sweet baby gifts--and nice keepsakes, too. What better gift is there to give to others than the Word of God--which is a gift to us from God and something to be treasured. Next up is Read-Aloud Bible Stories, Vol. 1. This was a special gift from Kate's Aunt Cindy, Uncle Joe and family. It is a great book with big, colorful illustrations, which are fantastic! This book is ideal for preschoolers and younger school-age children.
In the middle is pictured The Jesus Storybook Bible. I first read about this book on my friend Bethany's blog. I had made a mental note to look into this storybook, but I had forgotten about it until last month when my friend Jennifer asked if Kate had this Bible storybook yet. I thought it was the one Bethany had written about, but I wasn't sure. Anyway, Jennifer went on about how great it is and how she uses it to teach a children's Sunday school class at her church, etc., etc.--and then she gave a copy to Kate for her birthday! What a wonderful gift!
Next is Children's New Testament: A Collection of Bible Stories. This is an Usborne book which I ordered when another friend of mine named Jennifer had an Usborne show. This is a great collection of Bible stories for older children (older than Kate, anyway), and the illustrations are good, too. I like how it has a variety of long and short stories as well. I couldn't find it online, so I don't know if this one is still available, but I did find The Usborne Children's Bible (which seems pretty popular) as well as a few other titles.
And now ... on the top row: The first Bible story book was my mother's when she was a little girl; it was a gift from her Sunday school teacher. What a treasure to still have after all these years! And to think ... the stories inside the book are just as relevant today ... and yet also as unchanged ... as they were when my mother was a child--and for hundreds and hundreds of years before that! The next two are board-type Bible books and are a good for Kate's current age, I think. She can physically handle them, and I don't worry about her ripping the pages, etc. Plus, I think the content is age-appropriate. Both of those were gifts--one from Sandra, a special family friend from my home church in Tennessee; and the other from Kate's cousin Kylie. Here is a picture of Kylie with her special gift for Kate when Kate was just a few weeks old:
Again, how blessed Kate is to have so many resources for learning the Word of God at her fingertips. Now it is up to Tanna and me to encourage her and to help her learn the truth of Scripture, which I hope will be her guide throughout her lifetime.
And in the process, I know that we will learn as well ... because the Word of God is living and active ... and sharper than any double-edged sword.
Additionally, as Isaiah 55:11 also reminds us, God's Word does not return void: "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. "
Thanks be to God!