Song of Creation by Paul Goble — Book Review

Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer, this book for children age 5-10 is beautifully illustrated by the author, Paul Goble. With bright, delightful pictures that youngsters and parents will love, Goble shows every element of creation — birds and animals, day and night, ice and cold, sun and moon, winds and water, plants and air –worshipping and glorifying God, the Creator of it all. It’s a good reminder that God’s presence is all around us.

Each page includes a few verses in smaller type, reminding the reader that they can add verses and ideas of their own.

Children will enjoy and quickly pick up on the liturgical statement that is repeated over and over:

bless you the Lord: praise Him and magnify Him forever.”

However, parental involvement will be needed to unpack the meaning in a way children can understand.

VERDICT: 4 STARS

For more books for children see:

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

God is Hope by Amy Parker–Book Review

Katelyn’s Question #7

This is a continuation of the following posts:

Is There a God? If So, What is God Like?– Or Katelyn’s Question #1

Katelyn’s Question #2

Katelyn’s Question #3

Katelyn’s Question #4

Katelyn’s Question #5

Katelyn’s Question #6

How did everything begin?  How will it end?

Everything began through God and His creation of all things.  This is the main teaching of Christianity, and growing up in the church, what I was told to believe.  Genesis 1:1 says:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

God created the world through fiat, a Latin word meaning “let it be.”  When God said “Let there be,” it happened.

Creation is the way everything began, not only because of the existence of God, but the complexity of the world itself.  Only the creationist view can account for the intelligent design of nature and mankind.

Everything will end through an event called “the second coming of Christ.”  This is described as the day Jesus Christ will come again and all believers will rise into heaven to join Christ.  It can also be referred to as “the final judgement.”  Thessalonians 4:16-17 says:

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

The end of the world is based on the return of Jesus and his judgement of the world.  On that day true followers of Christ will go to heaven, while nonbelievers will descend to hell.  The Nicene Creed, which is a widely used statement of faith states,

“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”

 

In the Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.   Genesis 1:1

I’m writing this post from the Annual Conference of the AFLC (Association of Free Lutheran Churches) being held at Spruce Lake Retreat Center in Pennsylvania. The presentation on the first day of the conference was given by a professor on the topic of evolution vs. creation.  These days, it is assumed that everything, including mankind, came about through some sort of cosmic accident.  We simply evolved.  When looking at the evidence, this is revealed to be another example of what I call “stinkin’ thinkin’.”

Why?  Well, one indication that something was created by an intelligent designer is the complexity and specificity of the item.  For example, do you look at a picture of Mount Rushmore and say, “this was formed through centuries of wind and erosion?”  No.  You look at it and say, “this is so complex and specific that someone created it.  You can not only see faces, you can tell who those faces are meant to be.”

Dr. Bierle explained to us that each human being has a genetic code.  This code is comprised of four letters made into three letter words.  The letters making up genetic code for one person would fill 850 Bibles!  That’s pretty complex and specific.  Do you really believe this could occur by accident?

If you would like to learn more about how to speak convincingly about why the theory of evolution is not as plausible as belief in an intelligent creator, the link below will take you to FaithSearch International, which is Dr. Bierle’s organization:

https://faithsearch.org/

 

Who Sang the First Song by Ellie Holcomb — Book Review

This delightful little book was written by Ellie Holcomb, a musician who began her career touring with the Americana band, Drew Holcomb (her husband) and the Neighbors.  She was named Best New Artist at the 2014 Dove Awards.  Maybe some of her music could be reviewed on an upcoming post?  Beth Ann?

At any rate, this children’s book combines Ellie’s love for music with thoughts of God and His creation.  Who sang the first song?  Was it in the wind?  The waves?  The roar of the lion? Of course, we learn that the original singer was God Himself, who as Ellie says, “He wrote His song into everything.”  Everyone of us, and all of God’s beloved world are invited to make a joyful noise, because we were made to sing.

I enjoyed the fanciful illustrations(thank you Kayla Harren) and the brief, but inspiring text, and I think young children would enjoy this book as well.  A copy is definitely going on the Christmas list for my yet-to-be-born granddaughter, Hailey!

I give this book five stars!  If you want to purchase it, you can go to the following link:

http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/who-sang-the-first-song

 

What Do You Really Know?

We tend to think of our civilization as very advanced;  humankind has certainly come a long way.  We can cure diseases that were once fatal; we can access all sorts of information instantly via the internet;  we can fly any place in the world, and we’ve even reached the moon!  There is a temptation to feel that if we don’t know it all yet, we will soon.  How far from true that is!  Turn to the book of Job.  When Job’s life started going down the tubes, he questioned God and His plans.  He thought his situation was unfair and God was unjust.  Here’s God’s answer:

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell me, if you have understanding.

Who determined its measurements–surely you know!  Or who stretched the line upon it?

On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstones, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment.

From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.

Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?

Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?  Declare if you know all this.”  Job 38:4-18

In other words, God is God and we’re not.  There are many things about creation, death, and our own lives that we will never understand or know.  Real knowledge starts with humility — realizing how little we know, and how much we owe to God.

I Will Give You Rest

We can’t talk about spending our time without at some point coming around to what it means to rest.  Rest is sadly lacking in our culture.  The ability to “multi-task” is held up as a virtue;  we’re addicted to technology which connects us to work and to our “social network” constantly; we’re swamped with information, much of it worrisome– even if we quiet our bodies, it’s hard to shut off the continual thoughts and anxieties that beset us.

God knew that we needed rest.  At the time of creation, he established a Sabbath.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested from all the work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”  Genesis 2:2-3

Of course, we know that Jesus spoke out against a need to follow the myriad rules about the Sabbath created by the Pharisees.  All this keeping track of what could be lawfully done on the day of rest was decidedly unrestful!  Jesus knew that what people needed was true rest, the kind they could only find in Him.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Matthew 11:28

True rest is found in taking a break from competition, worldly cares and anxieties.  It comes from trusting God instead of ourselves, our government or even our family — all these things can fail.  It comes from discovering who we really are — God’s creation, made to serve Him and others.  It comes from realizing our true worth as God’s child.  For many of us find the best way to find rest is to set aside time to spend with God, get to know Him and His plan for our lives.  It can happen ever Sunday morning at worship services.  So this week — get some rest, real rest.

 

A Quote from G.K. Chesterton

This is a quote from G.K. Chesterton’s book, The Everlasting Man.

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.

I have to admit, I haven’t read this book, but the quote makes me want to read it.  What an interesting insight into the resurrection. In a recent Bible study we came to the following passage from Romans 8:19-20

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage of decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Sometimes we forget that just as we were tarnished by sin, so was the entire world and everything in it.  So the resurrection does not just offer hope to us, but to everything God created.

Has anyone following the blog read this book by Chesterton?  What can you tell us?