Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Boy and the Ocean, Max Lucado

The Boy andthe Ocean, Max Lucado
Paintings by T. Lively Fluharty
(Crossway, 2013), hb., 48 pp.
Ages 2-6

This is a simple little story which holds up the vastness of God’s love. It is not profound, but simply seeks to affirm the greatness of God’s love by comparison with the ocean, mountains, and the night sky. It also provides a positive setting with a boy enjoying time with his father and mother as they enjoy nature and talk about God’s love.

The best part of the book is the beautiful illustrations by Fluharty. The words of the story are exhausted quickly, but you can continue to look at the paintings for some time. The little puppy staring into a puddle and the look on the boy’s face as he flies on an eagle in his dream were favorites of ours.

The book affirms the comforting reality of God’s love. It does not raise the issue of sin or the reality that we are blocked from God’s love apart from Christ. This basic information is useful for the very young audience for which it is intended, though the price is a bit high for what it offers. 

Two Recent Articles on Fathering

Anthony Esolen and Grant Castleberry have recently given us moving, helpful articles on fatherhood.

Readers of this blog will not be strangers to Esolen, whom I have linked to and commended before. In this essay he eventually speaks to the the current situation of the Boy Scouts. However, the bulk of the article simply articulates a healthy view of masculinity from the view of a father seeking to nurture his son. In typical Esolen fashion it is powerful and motivating. I believe he is correct in asserting, "In this time, it is impossible to raise any real man without trying to raise a godly man"

Then, Grant Castleberry has written a particularly moving piece reflecting on the impact of the loss of his father and how his father's faith and purity shaped him even though his father died when he was young. The story of the photo was particularly powerful to me.

I hope these articles can encourage you as they have me.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Calvin on the Value of the Daily Tasks of Motherhood

The Reformers often stress the value of daily faithfulness in the seemingly insignificant things. This was one of the key truths recovered in the Reformation, that God is honored and pleased with obedience in everyday living, not just in what was considered "spiritual."

In Calvin's sermon on 1 Timothy 2:13-15 he makes this point in speaking to wives (and husbands). His comments are important for us to remember today, as well- plus, the reference to killing fleas is a bit humorous today!

although it seems to be a vile thing, a matter of no account, for a woman to take pains about housewifery, to make clean her children when they are arrayed, to kill fleas and other such like, although this is a despised thing, yes and such that many do not even want to look upon it, yet they are sacrifices which God accepts and receives, as if they were things of great price and honorable ... If we take pains, we serve God and not men. 

... and let them consider that when they do their duty and execute their office, God accepts well of it, although men despise it.
 there are a number of fools that when they speak of women’s distaffs, of seeing to their children, will make a scorn of it and despise it.  But what then?  What says the heavenly Judge?  That he is well pleased with it, and accepts it and puts it in his reckoning.  So then let women learn to rejoice when they do their duty, and though the world despise it, let this comfort sweeten all respect they might have that way, and say, “God sees me here and his angels who are sufficient witnesses of my doings, although the world does not approve of them.” 

Labels: ,