AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: The big scary Bible DATE: 3/03/2009 09:00:00 PM ----- BODY:
Little Bird and I like to go to the library. We read in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night before bed. We love books. I quickly learned that books are expensive, and that even though Mama gets bored of the same board books morning, noon, and night, it just isn't in the budget to keep buying books. And why should we when we can just go to the library?

Our trips to the library are short, as Little Bird mainly likes to pull books off of the shelves and place them in the bins around that are for reshelving. He also likes to stand at the little short shelves of board books and pull them out one at a time, examine the front and back of each book, and then hand it to me. I put some back and pull some to check out and take home.

The very first book Little Bird "selected" yesterday was a big sparkly book about Noah's Ark. We haven't started learning Bible stories yet - unless you count him chucking the baby Jesus from his Fisher Price nativity set with me crying out, "Noooooo! Don't throw the Son of God!" so I thought it would be good to start. I'll bet the Reverend Nana agrees.

When we got home, we sat down on the couch to read. I opened up the Noah's Ark book, and began,

"Noah was a good man.
He lived a holy life.
He had three grown-up sons,
And a kind and loving wife."

Okay. That's a nice story. Next page.

"God will send a frightening flood
To cover all the land.
And as the water rises,
There'll be no place left to stand.

I have to wipe the world clean
Because my people are so bad.
But I'll save you and your family,
So Noah, don't be sad."

Holy crap. I know the story. I went to a Presbyterian day school. I know all the stories. It hadn't occurred to me how freaking scary they are until now.

Evil snake in the garden. Cain and Abel. Job and the series of unfortunate events. Daniel getting thrown to the lions. Jonah and the whale. Then of course, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus. They are all freaking nightmare stories.

I believe in a God of grace and mercy. I want for my son to know of the goodness and kindness. He should know of the grace.

I guess that you have to tell the stories like these to get to the grace. I mean, the story of grace in my life involves death, divorces, and miscarriages. It's not a pretty story, it's just a happy ending. But without the first part of the story, there can be no grace.

Tell that to a 13 month old. No thanks. For now, I'm skipping over the story of the flood and just talking about the animals on the big boat. I think I'll leave out drunken Noah too, just for good measure.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous nikki DATE:Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:46:00 PM EST This made me laugh and cringe at the same time. It's always struck me as odd that Noah's Ark is such a popular theme for children's books/toys/etc. - when it's actually a morbid little tale.

I've been meaning to write an entry about scary themes in children's books, because of a Dr. Seuss book (of all things) that A. got for her birthday. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Daily Verses DATE:Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at 9:47:00 PM EST I understand your thoughts. It is a fine line of balance, teaching the Bible to children. I often have to think through what and how much I will tell my 4 1/2 year old daughter. Faith is both simple and complicated, as is grace. Follow your instincts and you will lead Little Bird in the right direction, in the right time. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kim Moldofsky DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 8:55:00 AM EST I suppose you'll be holding off on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, too. It's definitely an R-rate book in parts. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Susie DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:27:00 AM EST I like to focus on the positive side of that story - that Noah planned ahead, that he carried through with a task despite how ridiculous everyone thought he was, and that in the end - the world was renewed with hope, rainbows and dry land. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Laura DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 12:51:00 PM EST That's all leading to the perfect question: "Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?" (Never mind that I'm 5, and the idea of "die" is a little fuzzy for me.)

The flip side is being able to deal with smart-*** teenagers. 6th grader asked, "Preacher, where's the sex in the Bible?" He got kind of embarrassed when Preacher started reading Song of Solomon. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 4:53:00 PM EST The scariest thing I've ever read was the Precious Moments version of the Old Testament. The pictures are, well, precious, but the words they've chosen are the scariest ever.

Yeah. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous pastormargaret DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 7:51:00 PM EST You hit the nail on the head. An interim minister we had once defined Grace as "God's riches at Christ's expense." I don't claim to understand the whys and wherefores, but just am thankful that I am a recipient of those riches. You will know when it is appropriate to teach CC that there are consequences--but that grace is bigger! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Marty, a.k.a. canape DATE:Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 11:15:00 PM EST Dude, Whymommy. You SENT that book to us! It really frightening. I would have quoted it too if I hadn't PACKED IT THE HELL UP.

Snicker. I love that you sent it. Made me laugh. A lot. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Beautifully Unique DATE:Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:51:00 AM EST I totally understand where you are coming from. I searched through several books before I decided on the right one for us. I purchased Sister "My First Read and Learn Bible" from Scholastic and the wording and all is a lot less harsh than some of the other books. You might look it up if you get the chance. The parenting stuff is hard work, lol. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children DATE:Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 4:19:00 PM EST For Carson's baptism, he received a toddler bible. One of the stories is about men burning in a fire, complete with pictures. I always skip over that story. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Friday, March 6, 2009 at 12:34:00 PM EST I'm with you! Teach him the joy of the stories, not the fear!

Good luck. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 9:56:00 PM EST In my defense, I told you beforehand that it scared the hell out of me, right? Right?

It was in some forboding translation too. Not even King James, as I recall, but one with harsh tone, totally inappropriate for the infants the pictures were aimed at.

And good. I was wondering where that book had got to. ----- --------