Long time no bloggie! Life called and the old blog, as infantile as it is, did not make the cut when it came to how I spent my time. I have missed it though! I was talking with some quality women yesterday and we talked about what energizes our soul when it comes to how we spend our free time. I have a hard time pinning down what this is for me. For Eric, it’s being on the river. Period. I just don’t really have a “river” equivalent. I love being with and laughing with friends and having great conversations with them. But something that just I do? To feed my soul? Not sure. I’m not saying that blogging is my river, but I do really love having somewhere to my put thoughts and it does sort of feed my soul in its own weird blogosphere kind of way.
So in the Young Life club “talk sequence” we sometimes dedicate a whole talk to debunking some of the misconceptions about Jesus. We have to expose who Jesus is NOT in order to tell them who He really IS. So you gotta know, that there is some REALLY BAD representations of Jesus out there. I mean, bad. And now that I have a child and we have been infiltrated with “Jesus for kids” paraphenalia, and I have had a little time to sort out the bad from the ugly. Just because a book says Jesus or Bible on it does not a quality book make! Case in point - please feast your discerning eyes on the following pictures from one of the paraphrased bibles given to Harper:
Image 1: ‘Roids Adam
What? You didn’t know? The forbidden fruit was actually human growth hormone. Nice pecs, Adam. Can’t you just hear him, “Hey Eve, make me a friggin’ sandwhich would you? And you could thank me for that rib every now and then!” Not to mention the squirrel perched on his overgrown forearm. I doubt squirrels were indigenous to Eden, just saying.
Image 2: From Eden to Sacramento
Apparently when Adam and Eve were banished from the garden they strolled onto the set of Grease 2. Poor Eve - she screws things up for all of us and then has to get a hickey from Kenickie. Sheesh.
Image 3: Virgin is to Mary as Elephantitis is to Joseph
The poor guy can’t catch a break - not only are his hands grossly disproportionate to his body, the Inn (it just straight up says Inn - culturally accurate I’m sure) pictured behind him has no room.
Image 4: The Original “Old Guy in the Sky” God
There are many out there who envision God to be old, irrelevant, distant, and Santa-esque, and with this image out in publication, can you blame them??!!! Since when does the eternal God go bald and need a cane? Bonus - look at the giraffe, craning his neck, trying to get his spotted mug in this picture. His face is all “am I in the frame? Are you getting me in this shot?”
As frustruating as these images are, don’t be dismayed! There is a light! A big, bright, beautiful, precious, bring you to tears light! And it’s called the “Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name” by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
I cannot say enough about it. The heart of it is to use every bible story, paraphrased into playful yet poetic kid-friendly language, to point kids to Jesus. And it does so better than I have ever seen, read, or heard. We bought the deluxe edition, only around $16 on amazon, which includes an audio set and Eric and I have both wept as we drove around listening to it. True story.
If I have yet to convince you,allow me to give you a little sampling of this goodness:
It offers a quick-witted, yet accurate, account of the tower of Babel, which ends this way:
“You see, God knew, however high they reached, however hard they tried, people could never get back to heaven by themselves. People didn’t need a staircase, they needed a Rescuer. Because the way back to heaven wasn’t a staircase; it was a Person. People would never reach up to Heaven, so Heaven would have to come down to them. And, one day, it would.”
Or how about this ending to the story of Abraham and Isaac:
“Many years later, another Son would climb another hill, carrying wood on his back. Like Isaac, he would trust his Father and do what his Father asked. He wouldn’t struggle or run away. Who was he? God’s Son, his only Son - the Son he loved. The Lamb of God.”
Come on, people!
So I am sure that plenty of faulty, lamb-toting, sandal-wearing images will continue to run amuck. But as for me and mine…we will stick with what’s good.
And this book is really good.
Go get it - whether you have kids or not.
Because every story really does whisper His name.