Friday, October 15, 2010

The Bible Made Easier for Children

The Big Red Holy Bible is definitely child oriented - easy to read and filled with colorful pictures. It’s a great first Bible for children. Youngsters can understand some of those complicated stories we’ve all struggled with because it’s written in plain English – no interpreting. Of course, that means it’s been interpreted for the reader, which may be a problem for some. The Big Red Holy Bible includes a dictionary and an index that are also easy for children to use.

But I was disappointed that it comes with a paper cover instead of a hard cover. It’s too large a book as a paperback, especially in the hands of young children. Other than that I think it’s a good version for children to start reading before graduating to a more mature version.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Your Children will love A Christmas Knot

William Bentrim has done it again! His latest children’s book, A Christmas Knot, is just delightful to read – for both child and adult. It tells a sweet story about Hardy who is helping his Dad put up Christmas lights. Dad is called away for awhile. Hardy and his cousin Mardi decide to lay out the strings of lights so they’ll be ready to go up when Dad returns. Great idea. But Tiny, Hardy’s pup, sees a squirrel. Well, we all know where this is going. After the wild chase, there sits Tiny entangled in a ball of Christmas lights.

Dad returns and realizes Hardy and Mardi were just trying to be helpful. So off he goes to the hardware store to get new lights. Rather patient Dad, I’d say. I’m not sure if I would have been quite as calm. But there seems to be a lesson here for parents also.

The ending of the story brings us back to the meaning of Christmas. Dad decides to offer the large ball of lights to the local Nativity scene and it lights up as the Christmas Star.

Mr. Bentrim has created a fun story for children with a wonderful lesson for both children and their parents. And he brings in the true meaning of Christmas all at the same time. Read Bentrim’s A Christmas Knot to your children. You won’t be sorry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Transforming Church in Rural America

Transforming Church in Rural America, by Shannon O'Dell, is both a story and an instructional manual. The story tells how Mr. O’Dell came to accepting his role as a pastor of a rural church and making it come alive. He was happy as a lark in his large urban church but kept being called to pastor a small, dying church in Nowhereland, Arkansas. Having been an active member of many suburban churches I can only semi-relate to the problems of both the urban and rural churches. But I can see the issues of many churches, no matter where they are located, are similar.

I’ve been part of churches that had the masses exit within weeks and months. I’ve been part of churches that worked hard on coming back after the exodus. It’s never easy. It takes a lot of work and a change in attitude by the pastor and the members.

Mr. O’Dell knows what he’s talking about. Not all of his suggestions would work for all churches but any pastor (no matter where his or her church is located) can come away with good ideas after reading this book.

His many good points particularly include his V.A.L.U.E. (Vision, Attitude, Leadership, Understanding, Enduring Excellence) system. I feel the Vision and Attitude are the most important, and the others should follow, with a little bit of help from our friends and prayer.

No matter what you get from this book you will find the points delivered with a good sense of humor. I laughed out loud in many parts of the book. Read it and see what you come away with. It’s good for any pastor, any leader in the church, anyone who volunteers in a church, or anyone who is simply a member with little participation. After this book, I think every reader will volunteer to help the life of his or her church.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book Reading and Signing at Barnes and Noble

Come by to see me at Barnes and Noble on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. I'll be reading and signing A Surprise for Grandmother Rabbit. Barnes and Noble is located in Brunswick Square Mall, 753 Route 18, Brunswick Square, East Brunswick, NJ. The event will be in conjunction with the Book Fair Fundraiser to support Monroe Township PTA-Oak Tree School. Hope to see you there!