Monthly Archives: February 2012

Zuno’s Pick

William J. Bennett’s Children’s Book of Faith contains not only familiar Bible stories like “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”, but also legends, poems, and testimonies of God’s goodness. Authors like Tolstoy, Browning, and Hans Christian Anderson take their places here as do stories like the legend of Saint Christopher, the story of Hanukkah, Louis Braille, and John Newton.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Zuno’s Pick

Cross Training

Hateful: #4 – Good Guys Gone Bad

            “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

            haughty eyes,

            a lying tongue,

            hands that shed innocent blood,

            a heart that devises wicked schemes,

            feet that are quick to rush into evil,

            a false witness who pours out lies

            and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

It’s hard to imagine God hating anything. Yet, here it is: God’s Top 7 Hate List. Today, we’ll work on number four.
#4: A heart that devises wicked schemes.

Movies and TV fill screens with good guys gone bad. Star Wars’s Anakin Skywalker becomes the evil Darth Vader. Batman’s prosecutor Harvey Dent morphs into the criminal, Two-Face. The Incredibles’s Buddy turns into the maniacal Syndrome. Each possessed great potential for good, yet chose to use their gifts for evil instead.

We all begin life on the dark side until Jesus comes and replaces our heart with His own. He changes our very core and now, we have a choice: good or evil. Romans 6: 13 NIV says:

“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

We have a debt to pay. God, through Jesus, has brought us from death to life. We now have a responsibility to Him. So, what does this look like?

If you’re a people person, do you encourage and build others up or do you spread gossip and quarrels among friends? (see #7)

If you are skilled in athletics, do you model good sportsmanship? Do you help the weaker members of your team improve their skills? Or, do you take cheap shots at the other team, foul unnecessarily, and put down your teammates when they don’t perform to your level?

If your grades are stellar, do you help those who are struggling? Or, do you complain about the one point you had taken off for spelling?

Use your heart and your mind (and all your other parts) for God and His Kingdom. Keep your scheming focused on things that benefit the Kingdom and please the Father. Be an instrument for good. Don’t be Two-Faced.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cross Training

Gayle’s Gable

Lois Lowry’s Silent Boy touches the subject of special needs children in the early 1900’s, an era that was ill-equipped to help such kids. We learn, through the eyes of six-year-old Kate, about Jacob, a boy who Kate’s father describes as “different.” A friendship grows between Kate and Jacob, though Jacob rarely speaks. When a sequence of events leads to Jacob’s arrest, is Kate the only one who understands what really happened?

Leave a comment

Filed under Gayle's Gable

Zuno’s Pick

The Children’s Book of America, edited by William J. Bennett, showcases the values that contributed to our country’s birth and success. Bennett collects tall tales, legends, biographical sketches, and songs. Generals, priests, women, and slaves, all are part of the story that is America. Which is your favorite?

Leave a comment

Filed under Zuno’s Pick

Cross Training

Hateful: #5 – Speed Work

            “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

            haughty eyes,

            a lying tongue,

            hands that shed innocent blood,

            a heart that devises wicked schemes,

            feet that are quick to rush into evil,

            a false witness who pours out lies

            and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

It’s hard to imagine God hating anything. Yet, here it is: God’s Top 7 Hate List. Today, we tackle number five.

#5: Feet that are quick to rush into evil.

I’m a runner and while I’m not always training for a specific race, I am always training. My weekly running workouts include speed work. In speed work, you practice running fast. When I run a speed workout, I don’t do it on the local middle school cross country path, which consists of running the fence line around a large open field. That path presents too many opportunities to sprain an ankle in some hidden hole. I run on the track instead. I know every divot or rough spot on the track and can avoid the uneven spaces. Because I know the track well, I can go full speed without fear of injury. Check out these verses from Jeremiah as well as our number five hate list item today:

“This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.”     Jeremiah 14:10 NIV

“…feet that are quick to rush into evil,” Proverbs 6:18b NIV

The wandering feet in Jeremiah and the quick feet in Proverbs bring pictures to my mind of someone who is impulsive and lacks self-control. Contrast those feet with these in Psalm 119:101 NIV:

            “ I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.”

This verse speaks of self-control and a runner who has a purpose and a plan to what they are doing. Impulsive choices and wandering from God’s best can be like the cross country course—opportunities for stumbling, twisting an ankle, or worse. You can run it, but it’s not without risk.

Where are your feet taking you? Are you quick to go off road or like Psalm 119:32, do you say “ I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free?” Stop and think about where you’re going.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cross Training

Gayle’s Gable

Great-uncle Matthew, G.U.M. for short, collects fossils. He happens upon three rare specimens in his travels—Pauline, Petrova, and Posy. Care for these new “specimens” falls to his niece, Sylvia, and her nurse, Nana. G.U.M. disappears for years at a time and the family finances dwindle. Pauline shows promise as an actress. Petrova loves anything mechanical, and as the title, Ballet Shoes, indicates, Posy was born to dance. Yet, lessons, school, and clothes drain the budget. What will happen to the Fossil girls and where is G.U.M.? Give Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild a twirl.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gayle's Gable, Uncategorized

Zuno’s Pick

William J. Bennett’s Children’s Book of Home and Family points readers to the true treasures of life—those we love and with whom we do life. Faithfulness towards one another, respect for the elderly, and a grateful spirit represent just a few of the values that flow through the pages.  This picture book includes classics like “Penelope’s Web”, sobering stories like “What Bradley Owed” and “Grandmother’s Table”, and humorous tales like “The Husband Who Was to Mind the House.” You’ll be sure to find a favorite.

Leave a comment

Filed under Zuno’s Pick