Monthly Archives: June 2012

Zuno’s Pick

Splat the Cat faces a catastrophe: the first day of school. Wrought with worry and needing the comfort of a good friend, Splat stows his pet mouse Seymour into his lunchbox. Will Splat survive his first day of school? Will Seymour survive Splat’s first day of school? Check out Rob Scotton’s Splat the Cat.

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Cross Training

A Parade of Nations

I can’t wait for the Summer Olympics. Nation after nation will parade in the opening ceremonies. Athletes will proudly carry their country’s flag and wear their country’s colors. Some large, some very small, all will be present for the XXX Olympics in London this summer.

Long ago, God singled out a group of people, a small nation, to be his and to represent him to the world. He began with one man, Abraham, and through Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve tribes, built the Jewish nation of Israel. They alone were chosen as his.

However, when you look at the book of Psalms, the Jewish songbook, you find something interesting in Psalm 117:

“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.”

Psalm 117 tells us there is a place for everyone in God’s kingdom, every nation, all people. All are called to praise and exalt the One who created the earth on which we live. As great as the opening ceremonies will be, picture the parade of nations in heaven as believers from around the world give allegiance to God. As you watch the Olympics this summer, pray for the believers in the other nations. You’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with them one day.

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Gayle’s Gable

William Hobbs’s Crossing the Wire relates the struggle of Victor Flores, a Mexican teenager who tries to support his mother and siblings by scratching a corn crop from the Sonoran desert. When his best friend leaves the village for El Norte, Victor realizes America holds his best hope of providing for his family. Crossing the Wire details the harrowing events of Victor’s border crossing and his search for work as an illegal in the Promised Land of the United States. Hobbs crafts a thought provoking novel.

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Zuno’s Pick

Summer in Texas holds as much heat as a heap of jalapenos. Ten-Gallon Bart understands. Dog City heats up in the summer too and Bart longs to escape. Paradise calls his name, so Bart heads north for snow, gold, fishing, and sledding. But the critters up north give Bart the cold shoulder and he finds himself in over his head—literally. Will he ever see Dog City again? Chill out this summer with Susan Stevens Crummel’s Ten-Gallon Bart Beats the Heat.

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Cross Training

Because You Say So

“Because I say so.”

Ever heard this gem roll off Mom or Dad’s lips? Something about those words make us want to arch our backs like a cat and hiss.

I don’t like being told what to do. How that sin nature fights authority. Yet, check out this passage in Luke 5: 4-7 NIV:

“When he (Jesus) had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.’

Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”(italics mine)

You can tell, Peter is not thrilled about Jesus’ instructions. He’s been up all night. He’s tired, probably hungry too and all for nothing. Yet, he is willing because of the respect he has for the one speaking. Let’s see what happens in verse 6:

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”

Jesus had a reason for telling Peter to take the boat out—again. Mom and Dad have reasons for the things they tell you, too. Give them the same respect Peter gave Jesus. This is your training ground for following Jesus on your own someday. When you submit to Mom and Dad’s authority, you submit to Jesus.

When you disobey Mom and Dad, you disobey Jesus too. You can’t disobey one and be in obedience to the other, unless Mom and Dad are asking you to do something against God’s law. Possible, but not likely.

Train yourself to say with Peter, “Because you say so.” And watch to see how God blesses your obedience.

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Gayle’s Gable

In Susan Patron’s Higher Power of Lucky, Lucky eavesdrops on the anonymous twelve step meetings in her small town of Hard Pan. She hears of a higher power and wishes for one of her own. Lucky’s mother died when she was eight and her father dumped her on his first wife. Lucky knows it’s just a matter of time before Wife #1 returns home and leaves Lucky in foster care. She longs for love, security, and acceptance. Though she comes to realize that she already has all those things, the author neglects to point Lucky towards the higher power she’s been seeking. This book left me feeling empty. While Lucky comes to understand the love her guardian has for her, she knows, from experience, people come and go. God’s love and presence are forever and Lucky never hears this message. A disappointing book for me, but it may spark a good conversation with your kids.

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Zuno’s Pick

No one could ask for a better friend than Rabbit, but trouble follows this particular bunny. Join Mouse and his friend as the faithful Rabbit strives to retrieve Mouse’s plane in Eric Rohmann’s My Friend Rabbit. Rohmann’s simple story and hilarious Caldecott-winning illustrations will keep you smiling. Who is your special friend?

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