Liam Takes a Stand, Troy Wilson, Owlkids Books, 2017.
Liam loves his older brothers, Lister and Lester. The brothers are twins who are competitive with one another. They strive to outdo the other.
Liam, however, just wants to play.
Liam wants to be with his brothers so badly, that when they each open their own lemonade stand, he offers to work for them. Even for free. But his brothers reject his offer.
Instead, Liam takes on various odd jobs in the community, from walking dogs to cutting grass. When Mrs. Redmond pays him with a basket of apples, it inspires an innovative idea. While his older brothers were trying to attract larger crowds, Liam opens an apple juice stand.
Pretty soon, Liam’s stand takes all of his brother’s business, and they go into debt. They end up coming to their little brother asking for a job. Liam hires them to work and to play.
I read a lot! From Batman comics to works of theology, current events to historical reflections. Here is a sampling of what I have read over the last several months.
A former speechwriter for President Ronald Regan, Noonan has been a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Her book pulls many of her pieces together in one collection. A gifted writer, Noonan is able to share critical observations about current realities without being overly political. But don’t let that fool you. She praises Regan as one of the best presidents and is overly critical of the Clinton’s and Obama. That said, it is important to remember that this collection of essays is being read out of context. Weekly columns deal with the present. Perhaps the best part of this book is the introduction. Noonan offers a glimpse into her writing process. For any person whose main form of communication is the written word, Noonan provides a primer in writing. (3 out of 5 stars.)
Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior, Ed Clayton, Candlewick Press, 2017.
During a road trip one summer, Megan and I made a stop in Birmingham, Alabama. There, we went to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. As we walked through the museum, retracing the steps of the Civil Rights Movement, we walked pass Martin Luther King Jr.’s jail cell where he wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Crowded with large families, summer school programs, and other vacationers like us, the Institute was challenging to navigate. I noticed a museum employee pulling a cart through the crowd, politely asking people to make a path for him. On the cart was a bench. I watched as the employee took the concrete bench to the Birmingham jail cell.
Very Veggie Bedtime Prayers, Pamela Kennedy and Anne Kennedy Brady, Worthy Kids/Ideals, 2018.
The latest children’s book from the VeggieTales franchise is a padded board book of bedtime prayers. Complete with colorful illustrations from Lisa Reed featuring the well-known, and well-loved VeggieTales characters.
There are short, easy to understand, rhyming prayers that can be used as part of the evening ritual of reading books before bed. The prayers in this little collection are designed to help child and parent reflect on their day and prepare for the day yet to come. Scattered throughout the book are verses from the Psalms.
Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God, Mark Batterson, WaterBrook & Multnomah, 2017.
Let’s face it. It’s hard to hear the voice of God.
Especially when we consider the multiple voices, alerts, and notifications we listen to. There are the voices (and tweets) of politicians, gurus, and talk show hosts. They are loud and overbearing. There is the constant 24-hour news cycle. And the notifications that pop up on our smartphones.
Then there are the coworkers, family, and friends who give us advice. There are iTunes, podcasts, and newscast. Then there are demands at work, at home, and at church. The demands on us continue as we pack lunches, help with homework, pay bills and manage money.
Our lives are full.
And we are supposed to hear God?