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:
What Do You Have in Your Hands?
Over at Reclaim, Hope International's mission is highlighted in a blog post, but the words go far beyond an organization and to the heart of each of us. After learning about Hope's focus on helping those around the world use what they have to accomplish their dreams, the author asks,
What have you been given that you have stored away, that you haven't thought enough of to actually build upon or utilize. Those gifts you have, they aren't as common as you may think. Is it the gift of encouragement? Or maybe the gift to create something beautiful? Whether it's the tangible or intangible, your gifts are valuable and worthy of being shared. Stop comparing your gifts to everyone else's, stop thinking about all that you lack.
Holy Relics: A Rocking Chair
At Christ and Pop Culture, Martyn Wendell Jones is writing a series exploring artifacts unique to the Christian subculture. This piece delighted me, in part because it simultaneously was so familiar and something I'd never considered: the ubiquity of rocking chairs in church nurseries.
Surveying a landscape of jigsaw foam letter tiles and piles of plastic figurines, the adults in the room are a visible analogue for the Lord. Belief comes naturally to Church kids before they even graduate to Sunday School because the nursery teaches them the unspoken signs of providence. Each week the toy bins are full before the children arrive, even when left in disarray the preceding week. Something like justice is meted out when towering judges arbitrate in cross-family disputes. Like Elijah, some of these kids have even been swooped away into the air, usually to be pulled away from edible-looking substances of uncertain origin.
Near to the Brokenhearted
I thought immediately of Jill Phillips' new album, Mortar and Stone, when I read the title of this post. Jill has a song called "Close to the Brokenhearted," in which she begins, "You do not leave us in sorrow/ You won't abandon your children./ Even in the deepest of valleys/ You will be a faithful companion. Rachel Wojnarowski helps us remember these truths as well, reminding us,
- From dark, he spoke light into existence.
From dust, he created men.
From fragile shells of human souls, he reshapes spiritual fragments into exquisite masterpieces.
On those hard days, it is good to remember who God is…and that He is close to the brokenhearted. Read more.
The Helper of the Hurting
Tim Challies shares a prayer from a book he's been enjoying called Prone to Wander. It is a confession of our weakness and of God's strength.
- Holy spirit, melt our hard hearts, for we cannot soften them. Cause us to see how we have been rescued by our great Savior, and give us the desire and ability to open our eyes, to look around us, to see people as they are, and to love them deeply from a heart of gratitude and concern. Help us to enter the worlds of others, to celebrate with them, to grieve with them, and to walk alongside him with caring hearts and hands that are ready to help. May we grow into people who love as we have been loved and who serve as we have been served.
Around the Warren:
To a Beginning Reader
Kelly Keller writes a letter to her child, who is just sounding out the first simple words of the English language. It starts with "at," and it will be one of the greatest adventures in life.
- Your excitement is childlike as you embrace a skill that you’ve seen your older siblings master. You are eager to follow in their — and your father’s and my — footsteps. You long to be able to decode the words and sentences…the stories that all those brightly-colored books contain. You learned a long time ago that there is more to them than just pretty pictures.
“Fiction loves to thwart the filing systems of the mind.”
As always, good words from N.D. Wilson and a good picture from Paul Boekell.
Read It To Me Again: The King of Little Things
Gina Smith shares a new discovery, a book her 2-year-old daughter wanted to read again and again—and Gina didn't mind doing so.
- Not only are David T. Wetzel’s illustrations in The King of Little Things beautiful and full of fun details, but the composition of the story itself is a delight. Author Bill Lepp has crafted a fetching fairytale. It’s got rhymes, alliteration, brilliant (yet not distracting) adjectives and adverbs and interesting words to help expand little vocabularies.
Mr. Johnson and the Selfish Mole
Something to Do with Your Kids:
If you're not covered with snow yet (sorry North Central USA) and you're not in a part of the world that doesn't do leaf-dropping, then this could be a great project for Thanksgiving table name tags!
And Something to Watch
Some folks in North America got walloped with snow this week. It's a early in the year, and if my Facebook feed is any indication, reactions are mixed. But, well, there's no doubt how this guy feels about it:
Thank you for reading. We're on your side.