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:
A Place at the Table: Schmoozing Through the Christmas Season
Anna McShane (which, in full disclosure, I must tell you is a pen name of my mom) writes at The Missionary Blog about hospitality—a key skill in missions, but also one we could all cultivate in our lives.
- If you want be missional, either at home or on the other side of the world, learn hospitality, learn to sit and listen, learn to schmooze. I grew up thinking discussion and banter at the table was normal – but I find it sadly lacking among most followers of Jesus today, at least in my country. Hospitality has been replaced with “entertaining” which brings a whole new need for show with little substantive discussion.Hospitality is just place, presence, and people; something for the soul, something for the spirit, and something for the stomach.
I grew up in “Anna McShane’s” house; she’s writing what she lives. Read more.
Best Picture Books of 2014
We’re entering that time of year when “best of” book lists begin popping up all over the place. This one has some definite winners on it. Here are two of my favorites from the list.
- Book with no Pictures by B. J. NovakYou might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . . BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Hilarious!
Quest by Aaron Becker
Quest is a gorgeous picture book written only in pictures that will transport you to a magical world. My kids and I poured over every beautiful detail in the pictures and so will you. You’ll follow a boy and girl with a purple (magical) bird on their quest to save the king and his kingdom. Awe-inspiring. What quest are we really on?
Just Be Faithful
Marilyn Gardner writes at A Life Overseas about the simple, incredibly difficult practice of faithfulness.
- So I think about what being faithful to God means in this moment. In this moment it’s as simple as not taking the handicapped seat. But I want it, oh how I want it. And it’s there and it’s empty and what if some young 20-year-old takes that seat? It’s not for them! It’s for the handicapped and I feel handicapped at the moment. Just be faithful. Don’t take the seat. I sigh and move on down the squished train. Faithful – it means I won’t push my way through, it means I’ll give up self and make sure others are okay, it means I’ll notice the person that needs help. That is all I am called to, nothing more — but nothing less.Just be faithful.
Noah: A Wordless Book (Giveaway)
At Together with Family, Angela has a book giveaway of Noah: A Wordless Picture Book. It looks like a gorgeous book, definitely worth entering a giveaway!
- This lavish reimagining of one of the greatest stories of all time will fascinate children and adults alike. Nuanced and playful, yet meticulous in following the biblical narrative, Mark Ludy’s world-class art digs deeper than the Sunday-school tale of cuddly animals, exploring noah’s relationship with his family, the natural world, God – and a formidable engineering challenge.
Around the Warren:
On Tenderness (and Cuddling)
Glenn McCarty writes about the tension he faces between what culture tells us about what it means to be a dad and the need for tenderness (and cuddling).
- My years as a young father have forced me to confront this painful truth – I, like perhaps many other men, struggle to speak the language of tenderness. I too often lapse into passivity, mimicking the habits of my father, and perhaps his father before him. I am hesitant and awkward at breaking that invisible wall and drawing my children close for a tender, wordless moment. I give in to the darker voices that ask if, in some way, too much tenderness shown at a young age might undermine a boy’s ability to be “a man” when he is grown.
“Your job is discovering…”
Suzanne Tietjen’s words. Paul Boekell’s art.
The Ordinary Ones
Laura Peterson highlights a few of her favorite “ordinary” characters in books, the ones she wouldn’t worry were too cool for her.
- I actually had quite a difficult time naming characters who were more gentle and less attention-seeking, more muted and less sparkly. I think some of that trend has to do with the type of personality that moves a story along and the necessity for action. Give a protagonist a larger-than-life personality and maybe some magical powers and of COURSE things will begin to happen. There is absolutely a place for those kinds of stories, but I was thankful for Rebecca’s reminder that the quiet ones matter, too. I spent a few hours pondering my favorite slightly-introverted book heroes, and here is my list to share with you. I like to think that Mandy, Louise, Rob, and Curdie would be my pals in real life; I wouldn’t spend time being worried that they were too cool or talented for me to hang out with.
Revisiting “The Happiest Grey Squirrel”
Something to Do with Your Kids:
Now that Thanksgiving is over, I feel like I can begin to really think about winter. I know some friends have been thinking winter for a few weeks already; and others live in parts of the world where seasons don’t change, or they run opposite to North America. But wherever you are, these are adorable.
And Something to Watch
What would you do if you had access to the world’s largest vacuum chamber? I mean, why wouldn’t you test out the theory of gravity?
Thank you for reading. We’re on your side.