Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Animals Stories and Prayers and Deuteronomy 6

There are things more precious than gold at our house.  Mustard, butter and cheese are at the top of the list.  None of them are available locally, and when a friend stops by from the States with such goodies in their bag they receive a warm welcome indeed.  Recently our friend Pam Mosby was by our house.  She came bearing mustard and something even harder to find, a Bible story book. 

Bible Animal Stories for Bedtime by Jane Landreth is a delightful addition to our library.  The book is set up with more than 50 Bible stories.  For each story there is a cartoonish illustration, a quote from the Bible, a short (4-6 paragraph) retelling of a bible story, and an application based prayer. The paperback includes not only the obvious animal stories (Noah, anyone?) but several really obscure ones.  Did you remember that Solomon kept apes and baboons?  Me either.

The story "The snake on a pole" is a good example (Numbers 21). First it's not a story that always makes it into children's Sunday school curriculum.  The author did a great job retelling the story and then delivers this last line, "If we ever feel the bite of sin, all we have to do is look to Jesus.  He'll save us!"  I was amazed at how well Ms. Landreth made a complex theological point applicable and easy to understand. Even more astonishingly she does it over and over!  Still though, my favorite thing was the prayer.  "Dear God, help me not to grumble when I don't get what I want.  And thank you for Jesus.  He's the best Savior ever. Amen."

My youngest daughter is a great listener.  Her sister was too.  The afternoon after Pam brought us this book we spent almost an hour snuggled up in our cozy chair.  My girl loved the stories.  I loved the prayers. For one thing I think application is an important part of Bible learning even for 4 year olds.  For another I think its time for my girl's prayers to be stretching past "God bless Mommy, Daddy and Sissy."  Beyond the philosophy though, I have to confess I loved the prayers because I needed to say them.  Let me repeat.  "Dear God, help me not to grumble when I don't get what I want."

We live in the midst of Deuteronomy 6:7 "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."  We are always looking for new ways, new books, new strength to fulfill this verse in the lives of our daughters.  This little book though reminded me that it starts with Deuteronomy 6:6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart."

So my prayer for today, after I finish reciting the one about not grumbling one more time, is this.  "Dear God, please overflow my heart with your Words. Let me spill over with your commands when our family is sitting around, when we walk to the market, when my girls are going to sleep, and when they are waking up. In the name of that Word-Jesus Christ, Amen."   
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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