The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web:
How Love Leads Us to Worry
Over at Her.meneutics, Amy Simpson shares a chapter of her new book Anxious, in which she helps us see the connection between love and worry. It’s no coincidence, she says, that Jesus’ command to not worry in the Sermon on the Mount is right next to admonitions about the things we tend to care about–money, for example. Simpson goes on to bring together that care and worry we tend to have for material well-being and our love for people–our families particularly.
- As I lay in bed one night, grieving over Mom’s troubles, begging God to help her and asking him to show me what to do, I heard God speak to me and assure me that Mom was not outside his care. He had not and would not let go of her—but I had to let go. I had to acknowledge that Mom was in God’s hands, physically and spiritually. I had to admit that terrible things could happen to her (and some did), but I couldn’t prevent them, and my worry was worthless. My prayers and my love were the very best ministry I could offer both her and me.
Listening to the Right Voices
There seemed to be a theme of concern in my blog roll this week. Heidi Johnston writes over at The Rabbit Room about listening to the right voices. She talks about her concerns for her daughters as she raises them, having recognized that all the parenting plans she had are not happening like she thought they would. Then she reminds us of the Israelites when they came to the land of Canaan. All the spies saw the same things, but those who trusted God were drowned out by those who feared the giants.
- The problem was that the voices telling the second story were louder. They told a tale of fortified cities and soldiers so big they made the Israelite army look like grasshoppers. As the story spread and their words took root, the images conjured in their minds struck fear into their hearts and turned their legs to jelly.
I don’t know what the future holds but I know there will be days when my children will stand in the long shadows of unwelcome giants. On those days, the story they listen to will make all the difference. I have a God-given responsibility to guide and nurture them and to lead them constantly to Him, however, I am beginning to realize that when I try to do it in isolation—determined to provide everything they need—I elevate myself beyond the truth of what I am.
Heidi reminds us to listen to the right voices, and to tell the stories of the faithful to our children. Read more.
Keller on Quiet Times, Mysticism, and Priceless Payoff of Prayer
Matt Smethurst interviews Tim Keller on the release of his new book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, and asks him about the hard work of prayer and the challenges of balancing study and reflection.
- Most conceptions of the evangelical “quiet time,” at least as I was instructed in them, tended to focus mostly on inductive Bible study. So it was more information-driven and less oriented toward communion with God. However, in reaction, we see lots of people talking about lectio divina—which can be defined in a lot of ways. But I’ve often heard it described as reading the Bible not for theological truth, but in order to “hear a personal word from God.” The trouble is that you hear what God is saying to you in any particular place by discerning the text’s theological meaning. You can’t be sure that anything that happens to hit you that day is God speaking to you in the Bible. Yet if you spend all your devotional time using commentaries and other texts to figure out a passage, it takes up all the time and energy, and your prayer time is often perfunctory.
Dear Moms, Jesus Wants You to Chill Out
Stephen Altrogge tells moms–in no uncertain terms–that a lot of them have got their biblical job description wrong.
- Moms, Jesus wants you to chill out about being a mom. You don’t have to make homemade bread to be a faithful mom. You don’t have to sew you children’s clothing to be a faithful mom. You don’t have to coupon, buy all organic produce, keep a journal, scrapbook, plant a garden, or make your own baby food to be a faithful mom. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but they’re also not in your biblical job description.
It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, and sometimes we need to hear that abrupt voice of reason reminding us to keep our eyes on Christ. Read more.
Around the Warren:
Helena Sorensen reminds us of the challenge it is to raise our daughters to believe the truth that they are lovely because God loves them–especially when we have trouble learning that truth ourselves.
- I look at her now, and I think, She’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. But I wonder if, when she is a little older, she will worry about her body, about how she looks compared to other girls, about whether or not she is beautiful enough to be desired, loved, admired, enjoyed. Someone will tell her the lie, one day, that something is wrong with her. Some sneering, insecure boy will make a comment about her legs or her nose or her hair or her weight. A magazine cover will make her wonder. A Barbie doll or a Disney princess figurine will cause her to question. And I hope, I pray that she will recognize the forked tongue behind the words and cast them out the window. I pray that when the questions rise again and again, she will vanquish them one and all.
Helena asks, “What if…WHAT IF, right now, I’m just the person I’m supposed to be? What if nothing is wrong with me?” Read more.
“Stories are soulfood.”
Words from our friend N.D. Wilson. Art from Paul Boekell.
Dreams Come True
Liz Cotrill introduces us to the Living Books Library, an endeavor that Sam Smith says is “the kind of thing we’re really excited about here at Story Warren…Do your own family a favor and get in on what this excellent gang is doing at Living Books Library.” In particular, Liz introduces Kate Seredy’s A Tree for Peter. She writes,
- When you read this book with your family, new dreams will enter your hearts and minds, the world will seem a more beautiful place – and it will be, because the gift Peter dares to give, the one that transformed his shabby life in Shantytown, will brighten your life also, and you will want to share this story with everyone you love too. If you have ever contemplated what one person can do to change the world, one helpless and lonely little person, your dreams will reveal the possibility anew as you travel into Peter’s world in the pages of A Tree for Peter.
Liz and her family are doing good work at Living Books Library. Read more.
Sunshine Stories by Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen, he’s not just about mermaids cutting out their tongues and killing themselves.He’s actually got lots of delightful stories, like this one, “Sunshine Stories.” Read more.
Something to Do with Your Kids:
My friend posted photos of the finished product after she and her kids made roses out of fallen maple leaves. It’s no secret that I’m addicted to autumn, but this might just been the coolest way of bringing it indoors. Learn how.
And Something to Watch
This video made the rounds on Facebook a while back. So you may have seen it. But it’s worth another watch. And if you haven’t seen it, well, let’s just say I’m pretty sure Luke is wearing pleather.
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.