mary and joseph

Lost Child

Ozzie Chambers writes, "Is the Son of God praying in me or am I dictating to him?"

This question has ravished me this morning.  My intimacy with God has been on my mind and heart heavily the last few days.  I spend time nearly every morning in the WORD, but come to realize last night that my intimacy is none the better for it.  Now why and how could that be?

My intimacy is flourished in times of communion with God, and I could only study my Bible every day for hours at a time and be no closer to the heart of God...not because of the Bible, of course, but because I have only studied the Bible.  When he Bible becomes a source for study alone, it is only a textbook and it will not contribute much to communion with the Father.  To intimacy!

My intimacy with Christ has been moved around like a puzzle, and has eventually taken a back-burner to my Biblical study.

I desire intimacy with my Father and Abba.  That happens when I come to God as the child I am.

I am reminded of Christ as a child becoming a man in Luke, Chapter 2.  Jesus is in the temple talking to the elders.  Mary and Joseph are freaking out looking for Jesus.  Mary finally comes across Jesus in the temple.  She remembers her worry, fear, and terror only seconds ago. "I lost the Son of God.  God gives me one thing and I lose him.  What am I going to do about this?  My child is gone!  I am going to spank that Savior so badly for leaving my side (or put Him in time out for a while...depending upon your particular parenting style...I am sure the Bible supports whatever your style in some way if you make it.)

Anyway, side track aside, Mary gets pretty pissed.

She says, "Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior," (because a mother's anger is expressed best by addressing you by your full name), "Why do you do this to me?  Your father has been worried sick about you.  We've been looking all over for you?"

Of course Jesus is....well.....Jesus, so he's always pulling THAT card.  He says to Mary, "Why were you looking for me?  Didn't you know I would be in my Father's house?"

Even Jesus knew what it was like to be a child.  A child always wants to be with his Father, and we are reminded that Joseph was not Jesus' Father.  To Jesus, only God was his Father, and Jesus was with God in child-like communion.

How much do I come face-to-face with my Father?  I desire to be with God like a child.  To be in such union with my Father that my prayers are coming from Jesus within me.  I want Jesus within me to pray and act through me as the child who just longs to be in his Father's house all the time. I want the child Jesus within me to pray for me to our Abba who wants great intimacy and tender loving connection with us.

I want to be so identified with the Lord's life that I am simply a child of God.  I want the SON of God within me.

The Story of Christmas - review

The Story of Christmas is retold by Gwen Ellis as a book for children. Beginning with the story of John’s birth to Zechariah and Elizabeth and leading seamlessly into the foretelling Jesus’ birth, there is a quick interaction perfect for children to engage. It is not made very clear why John is so important to the greater story of Jesus. So that clarification may be left to the reader.

The layout of the words, while short and quick, is a bit awkward. The sentence flow can be a bit confusing for the audible reader due simply to the line breaks on the page. I read it out loud as though reading to son or daughter and stumbled over the line breaks a few times. It is important to stress it is solely due to the line breaks of the layout and nothing to do with the grammar of the writer.

At the bottom each second page, there is a question to prompt discussion with whomever you are reading. They engage the reader and listener with the heart of what the story really addresses. There would be a pretty strong disservice to overlooking the questions to skirt you way to the end.

The game in the back is a good idea to challenge the reader and listener to determine whether or not they could put the entire story in the right order using only pictures illustrated by Steve Smallman. Overall, the illustrations are lively and appealing to children. It is bright and attractive. All the characters look incredibly similar, and that is not a comment on the reality they are all Caucasian save one lone wise man. The reality is the characters all have the same nose and face with different hair color.

The accompanying DVD begins with an obvious menu created in iMovie, which automatically brings to mind something I could do on my macbook in my home office. It is a little off-putting.

The story chapters on the DVD are quite short. One may say they are shorter than the average child’s attention span. A little more effort could have been made to make each story open up more.

The DVD goes beyond the story portrayed in the book, extending into the story of Jesus as a boy teaching in the temple. There is a quick retelling of the temptation of Jesus as well as a very brief unfolding of the entirety of Jesus life of healing and teaching.

I cannot recall the last time I heard the term CD-ROM, but the DVD does have a CDR option available on it complete with printable coloring pages and a couple computer wallpapers if you are interested. The pictures are primarily of animals, and the wallpapers are open to taste.