The Ceremony of Twelve begins today as we read chapters seven through twelve of Lois Lowry’s The Giver. The Chief Elder selects Jonas for a special assignment, and the community honors Jonas above all the other twelves. What is the mysterious assignment and why was Jonas chosen? Look for ways Jonas’s community is different from ours.
Monthly Archives: February 2011
What did you think of Jonas’s community? Would you like to live here? When I first read The Giver, I felt uneasy. This community is nothing like mine. To me, Jonas’s community is like a doctor’s office, cold and sterile. Did you notice the rules of the community? Word choice, hair ribbons, how to park your bike, when you were permitted to have a bike. Reasons for all of the rules exist and we will soon discover them.
In chapter 3, what is going on with the apple? Any guesses?
Is being “released” good or bad?
On Monday, we will tackle the next 6 chapters. If you like this book, you may be interested in the other books of the trilogy: Gathering Blue and The Messenger.
We love a good swordfight at our house. With three boys, we have not only watched numerous swordfights (from movies like The Princess Bride, various Robin Hoods and Zorros, and The Scarlet Pimpernel) but also have staged many of our own. Plastic and foam swords leave little damage, but the real thing—it can take your neck off. As glorious as battles sound, they are bloody and leave many dead or disabled. Real swords hurt. With that in mind, look at Proverbs 12:18:
“Reckless words pierce like a sword but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Today, kids spar in put-down contests and while no one leaves missing limbs, the internal wounds are hidden but are bleeding all the same. Hurtful words find their mark just as swords do.
Yet, like a double-edged sword that cuts both ways, words heal as well as hurt. Encouragement, praise for a job well done, an “I’m sorry” when you are hurting, all heal rather than hurt.
What kind of swordsman are you? Guys, are you king of put-downs? Girls, are you the gossip queen? Or, do you use your words to help and to heal? If you aren’t sure, ask your parents or a close friend. Ask God to help you speak healing and encouragement to others. Give these a try this week:
Tell someone “Good job!”.
Encourage someone who is struggling.
Smile at everyone you see today.
Be a friend to someone.
Share your stories with us. What did you try and what happened?
Fitness Tip: Do you have some rollerblades in your garage? Dig them out and go skating today.
Can you believe it? Zuno has chosen a cat book this week—Judy Shachner’s Skippyjon Jones. Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat who thinks he is a Chihuahua. Break out your favorite version of La Cucaracha and start rolling your Rs as El Skippito and Los Chimichangos battle a frijole-stealing bandito. Parents, there are several Skippyjon Jones books; if you like this one, there is more fun available. Look for them at the online store.
Can you keep a secret?
When someone shares a secret, they are taking you into their confidence. Did you know that God takes some people into His confidence? Check out Proverbs 3:32b (NIV):
“…for the LORD detests a perverse man, but takes the upright into his confidence.”
God wants to be close enough to you to share secrets. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to get close to him. It’s always been that way. Look at this verse from Psalm 103:
“He (God) made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.” Psalm 103:7 (NIV)
Do you see the difference? God made known his deeds to the people of Israel. They were content to know about him. Moses wanted more. He pursued God and was even bold enough to ask God to show himself to Moses. (Read about it in Exodus 33:12-23.) Psalm 103 tells us that God made known his ways to Moses. God’s ways are connected to God’s character and God’s mannerisms—just like you know certain expressions or mannerisms that each member of your family has(what they do when they are mad, how they laugh, how they smile).
So, why the difference between Israel and Moses? Two things, I think:
1) Desire: Israel kept God at a distance. They had all the God they wanted. Moses wanted more and more. He couldn’t get enough.
2) Character: Israel rebelled against God again and again. Moses, though not perfect(He had a temper.), made the effort to obey. Glance back at Proverbs 3:32b. With whom does God share his secrets? The upright.
Ask yourself—are you game? How much of God do you want? Are you willing to back it up with obedience? Where do you stand?
Fitness Tip: Take your dog(or pet) for a walk or jog today. Go as long as you can. Let me know who got tired first.
This week, we begin The Giver by Lois Lowry. The first of a trilogy, The Giver introduces us to a world that is very different from our own. It is perfect, or is it? We meet Jonas, a boy of 11, who apprehensively awaits the Ceremony of Twelve. The ceremony marks the end of childhood for Jonas and he will receive his Assignment. What will it be? Join me as I read chapters 1-6 this week.
Did you finish? In the last chapter (16), Reepicheep prepares to go to the end of the world. Caspian suddenly decides to go with him. In this scene, Caspian struggles with his desire to go into the unknown and with his duty to return to Narnia and to rule. If you were Caspian, what would you choose? Why? How did you feel when you read this scene? My heart goes out to Caspian because I wanted to go too. Dreams and adventure can capture your heart. What is your dream? Could your dream and your duty ever be the same thing?