Let the Children Come

Afternoon at Forsyth Park

Me: Want to learn some Bible words?

Five year old: OK.

Me: In the beginning …

Five year old: In the beginning …

Me: In the beginning God created …

Five year old: In the beginning God created …

Me: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Five year old: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Woman rolling by in a wheelchair: Amen!

Me: Very good! When we get home, I’ll show you these words in the Bible.

Five year old: OK.

That evening

Me: Do you remember the Bible words you learned today?

Five year old: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Me: Very good! Want to see the words in my Bible?

Five year old: OK.

Me: Here they are, right at the beginning.

Five year old: Let me see.

Five year old, suddenly recognizing the words: In … the … begin-ning … God … creat-ed … the … heavens … andtheearth!

Me: Very good!

My grandson owns several children’s Bible storybooks. He has listened to Bible stories since he was very young, and now he can read them himself. And I’ve written and edited Bible curriculum, Bible stories, and Bible storybooks.

But helping him memorize Genesis 1:1 and pointing out the words to him in an actual Bible was a thrill.

Let the children come!

– Diane

Roma Downey, God’s Sweet Story, and Me

Cross-posted from the Christian Children’s Authors site.

We all need an entry point into God’s Word. Children too.

That’s why I’m so thrilled and blessed that The Sweetest Story Bible now comes in a deluxe edition, with all the stories narrated on two audio CDs by Roma Downey.

The forty stories in The Sweetest Story Bible focus on helping little girls get to know God–who he is and what he does. And each one relates in some way to the everyday sweet moments in a little girl’s life.

Here’s one little girl, Scottlyn, enjoying her book!

Scottlyn’s grandma asked me to autograph a copy of the deluxe edition for her.

Nearly a year ago, on my birthday, I got an e-mail from a Zonderkidz editor letting me know about the deluxe edition and that Roma would likely be the narrator.

Quite the birthday gift!

But nothing like actually hearing Roma read the stories I wrote! I waited a day after my sample arrived–there’s something quite scary about hearing your own words read back to you, especially by someone with such a wonderful voice. Finally I got brave and sat down to listen. Chills and tears!

We just have no idea, sometimes, what might happen with our small efforts, do we? May Scottlyn and so many other girls like her grow up to have a sweet relationship with God through his Son, the Word, Jesus Christ.

– Diane

Make Me

My friend Lynn Lusby Pratt loves Jesus and loves God’s word. She’s an excellent editor and a creative, prolific writer too. (Check out her book Devotions by Dead People.) This guest post is adapted from one of Lynn’s many published articles.

Psalm 23 woke me up.

Groggy, for I had slept badly, I tried to rise up on one elbow. Before I was even conscious of having a thought, I found myself thinking, Psalm 23.

Giving in to the lethargy I felt, I lay back down. In the 5 a.m. stillness, I whispered, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He . . .”

Something didn’t seem right. Maybe the part about still waters came first.

I started over several times but could not get past the green pastures. Then I noticed a different emphasis: “He makes me lie down.”

I sighed. How wonderful that would be, if the Lord would make me lie down in green pastures. My need for rest and comfort began to turn into a dreamy hope.

Lying down in green pastures. I could almost feel the breeze combining with the warm sun to cause goosebumps. I smelled the alfalfa field of my childhood and saw monarch butterflies. 

Make me. Usually a phrase of defiance, isn’t it? But over a period of several weeks, I turned the “He makes me” of Psalm 23 into a “make me” prayer: Make me lie down, Lord. Make me lie down in the green pastures of your care.

And I wondered. What else might the Lord make me do or what kind of person make me be if I would allow him?

Exodus 31:13 (and others). “I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”
Make me holy.

1 Samuel 2:6. “The Lord brings death and makes alive.”
Make me alive.

Job 36:10. “He makes them listen to correction.”
Make me listen to correction.

2 Corinthians 1:21 (and 1 Peter 5:10). “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.”
Make me stand firm.

Psalm 4:8. “You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 7:9. “O righteous God . . . make the righteous secure.”
Make me secure.

Psalm 90:15. “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us.”
Make me glad.

Psalm 119:98. “Your commands make me wiser than my enemies.”
Make me wise.

Matthew 4:19. “I will make you fishers of men.”
Make me a fisherman.

1 Thessalonians 3:12. “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other.”
Make my love increase.

1 Samuel 12:22. “The Lord was please to make you his own.”
Make me your own.

I hope these prayers strike you with the same awe they did me. I have prayed them over and over. And I’ve learned to close my prayers with Psalm 95:6. “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

Make me, Lord.

What other “make me” verse would you add to Lynn’s list?
photo: Evgeni Dinev, freedigitalphotos.net
– Diane