Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Pursued

"And they heard the sound of the Lord God in walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, 'Where are you?'"
-Genesis 3:8-9

"The Lord God said to the serpent...'I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.'"
-Genesis 3:14-15

"And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, 'Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God."
Revelation 12:10

Early in the morning, my alarm rings.
I hit the snooze a few times, then pick up my phone to read from The Book of Common Prayer groggily.
The theme, the line, the heart of God throbbing in the (randomly?) selected readings opens wide the eyes of my mind and heart.
I am stirred.
"Where are you?"
God never stops looking for me.
"He shall bruise his head."
Jesus-the One who came to defeat death and Satan brings life to my soul.
"The accuser of our brothers has been thrown down."
One day, the evil that touches my life will be no more.
The Lord, the Lord,
Strong in battle, My Deliverer, "The authority of his Christ has come,"
His grand story of chasing after those he loves is before me in these verses.
My story.
He will never stop pursuing me or fighting for me.
I smile in the morning darkness.
My heart sings.

Friday, January 8, 2016

What I'm Reading

Happy New Year!  If you're like me, you're still basking in the newness and glow of your resolutions.  Mine have included working out regularly again, consistently reading the Bible to my kids, and writing more.  I've already failed at a few of them, but I was prepared for that this year better than I have been previous years.  When you fall, pick yourself back up and keep going, right?

Anyway, here are a few books I've been reading while on a break from my classes that I would recommend:

The Whole Brain Child:  My sister got this for me for Christmas.  It is a great book full of easy to understand scientific concepts concerning children's developing brains.  The authors include not only tips for parenting in a way that helps kids integrate all parts of their mind, but also comics for kids that parents can read to them to help them understand how their brain functions.  I've really enjoyed it for the science, for the tender, non-condemning voice of the authors, and for the strategies it supplies that have helped me build a better relationship with my kids while helping them have healthy minds.

Keep Your Love On:  We've been studying this book for the Mom's group I meet with twice a month.  Although I have serious reservations about the theology (the little of it) presented in this book and feel it would've been a better read without the spiritual angle, the communication and relationship tips included in this book are great and very practical.  I would recommend it for anyone looking to show love and also establish healthy individual boundaries.  Next on my list is the parenting version of this book.

What Child is This?: I read this over Christmas and it is a story that will haunt me for a while.  It's fictional account of youth in the foster care system and a teen's girl's struggle for meaning in the midst of her parents' affluent, but  meaningless lifestyle.  A great, quick read that will introduce you the inner world of children in the foster system and their struggle to relate with others.

I start my last class on social issues in child advocacy for my graduate certificate in a couple of weeks and will be reading quite a few books on poverty, inequality and child trafficking.  The idealist in me is chomping at the bit!  I will share the list of those books and my thoughts on them soon.

Happy reading, friends!