Monday, February 25, 2008

Gladys Aylward

Gladys Aylward: No Mountain Too High , by Myrna Grant
(Christian Focus, 2003), pb., 175 pp.
Ages 6+

I was really interested in this book because my wife read about Gladys Aylward in Noel Piper’s book Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God and her story is really amazing. This book gave my boys the opportunity to learn about this missionary, though this account was not told as compellingly as many other books we have read. Still I would recommend this book because it is such a great example of missionary service. Mrs. Piper’s account might be a good background resource as you read. This book does provide good opportunities for discussing missions, service, care for others, etc.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Accidental Voyage

The Accidental Voyage: Discovering Hymns of the Early Centuries
Douglas Bond
(P&R Publishing, 2005), pb., 257 pp.
Ages 8+

This is the fourth book in the Mr. Pipes series, and I have previously commented on our great enjoyment of the previous volumes. As suggested by the title, this book focuses on hymns form the early centuries of the church including well known hymns such as “All Creatures of Our God and King,” and “Be Thou My Vision” as well as many others which I did not know. As in the other books there is great discussion of theology, good hymns and music and examples of Mr. Pipes engagingly unbelievers with a winsome witness. These books are invaluable for introducing children to the value of good hymns and we recommend them heartily.

At one point in this journey Mr. Pipes, Drew and Annie visited a 13th century cathedral and were appalled to see it treated simply as a tourist attraction. The building reflected the awe and majesty of God, but the noisy people seemed ambivalent to this. In response Mr. Pipes says:

“when people stop believing, they stop worshipping; and when they stop worshipping, they come to the house of God only to see what man has done. … When we no longer come to his temple to render homage to him and to hear his voice, we then fill it with what we prefer- the chaos of our own voices” (89)
This is a good word for us today, when something similar too easily happens to our worship services.

This book did seem to us to be a bit less exciting than the previous ones, but it is well worth reading.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Out Due to Storm

I have not posted here much lately due first to being in Nepal for about 10 days and then due to the tornado which came by our house before destroying much of the campus where I teach. We are fine. You can see a post about my trip and the storm (with other news links) at my other blog.
I have several books to comment on as soon as I can get back to it.