July 2014 Posts

Kid Talk Tuesday: Guest Post by Dandi Daley Mackall

This week’s guest post is from author Dandi Daley Mackall, you can visit her website, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Kids notice everything.
Anyone who’s had a younger sibling knows that nothing gets past those little people. Three years younger than my big sis, I noticed every new freckle on her nose before she did.
I am blessed with two granddaughters, ages 3 and 5. Last week, five-year-old Ellie touched my forehead. “Why do you have an extra line there?” she asked. I consulted the mirror and discovered a lovely new wrinkle.
Ellie and sister Cassie love everything about the great outdoors (except bees and wasps). No caterpillar crosses their road unnoticed. They catch butterflies with their bare hands, releasing them after a moment’s observation. They delight in sparrows, roly polies, mourning doves, and baby anythings.
But I know what happens.
Somewhere along the way, most of us stop noticing the little miracles in our own backyards. And even if we do notice, if we hear birds singing outside the window, we might not pause long enough to thank the Creator for the miraculous music.
I need Psalm 49:1-2, urging me: “Pay attention, everyone in the world! High and low, rich and poor—listen!”
I need Jesus, encouraging me to have “ears to hear.”
One of the reasons I love writing about animals and nature is that it makes me pay attention. There are so many animals in the world that no one can agree on the number. Estimates run in the trillions, with a probable 30 million unidentified species of insects. Psalm 19:1-4 says that the heavens proclaim the glory of God and the sky shows off God’s craftsmanship, making God known everywhere. I’m thinking the same could be said about God’s handiwork in creating animals.
When I was writing My Bible Animals Storybook, I noticed a moth flying about, and I remembered that God didn’t just create moths—Jesus used them as a warning: “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20. Moths—amazing little creatures, who don’t like cotton or spandex, but love silk, cashmere, wool, and furs. I learned that it’s the moth caterpillars who dine on our clothes because grown-up moths don’t have mouths.
And what about scorpions? “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children,” Jesus said, “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” Luke 11:13.
God packed mystery and intrigue into scorpions. Some have six eyes, others 12. Babies ride on their mother’s back for the first few weeks of life. And scorpions are tough. A scorpion can live on one insect per year, if he has to. And you could put one in your freezer all night, and it would crawl right out in the morning.
Other Bible animals appear in My Bible Animal Storybook, creatures that should fill us with childlike wonder:
• Sparrows—Although they’re so common that 7 out of 10 birds you’ll see today will probably be sparrows, each sparrow can sing you 21 songs.
• Fish—So many fish in the sea! The fastest, the sailfish, could keep up with cars on the highway, and the slowest, the seahorse, would need two hours to swim across your bedroom.
• Bees—Bees are born fully grown, and they never sleep, only mini-naps (which might explain why they’re so grouchy?).
From hardworking ants to hapless, frightened sheep, the Bible is filled with amazing animals.

“Pay” is the right word to put with “attention.” There is a cost—in time, thoughts, priorities. Maybe we should all pay ten minutes a day observing creation. And in return, we might recapture what was so natural when we were kids–a childlike astonishment.
That’s what I’d like to see happening as parents and grandparents read My Bible Animals Storybook to toddlers. I love imagining the shared wonder that leads to appreciation—because appreciation leads to heartfelt praise.
The everyday world should astound us, should stop us in our tracks and poke us to praise our Creator. All we have to do is pay attention.

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This week at Tyndale Direct we’re offering the first book in three different Karen Kingsbury fiction series for only $5 each!


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E-Book Deal Alert: The Well-Played Life

The Well-Played Life
For a limited time, you can download Leonard Sweet’s book, The Well-Played Life, for $2.99! This offer ends on 8/2/2014.

Do you secretly think that the harder you work, the more God is pleased with you? You can live like that—for a while. But imagine what it might mean instead to unclench your teeth, loosen your grip, and actually experience God’s pleasure in you—not just in everything you are doing for Him? The Well-Played Life is a journey of a life filled with richness, fruitfulness, and creativity of living in God’s pleasure. Renowned author Leonard Sweet explores what it means to please God in the nitty-gritty of life; how that changes from the time we are 5 to the time we are 50; and how in every age of our lives, in everything we do, we can experience God’s gift of play. The Well-Played Life offers a new spiritual direction of enjoying (and being enjoyed by) God. Discover how a Sabbath way of Christian joy is not only possible, but also how we were designed . . . and a core part of God’s plan for our lives.


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Free E-Book Alert: Sinner’s Creed

Sinner's Creed
For a limited time, you can download Scott Stapp’s memoir, Sinner’s Creed, for free! This offer ends on 08/03/2014.

Sinner’s Creed is the uncensored memoir of Scott Stapp, Grammy Award–winning leader of the multiplatinum rock band CREED. During CREED’s decade of dominance and in the years following the band’s breakup, Scott struggled with drugs and alcohol, which led not only to a divorce, but also to a much-publicized suicide attempt in 2006. Now clean, sober, and in the midst of a highly successful solo career, Scott has finally come full circle—a turnaround he credits to his renewed faith in God.

In Sinner’s Creed, Scott shares his story for the first time—from his fundamentalist upbringing, the rise and fall of CREED, and his ongoing battle with addiction, the rediscovery of his faith, and the launch of his solo career. The result is a gripping memoir that is proof positive that God is always present in our lives, despite the colossal mess we sometimes make of them.


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Free E-Book Alert: Death Trap

Death Trap
For a limited time, you can download The first book in Sigmund Brower’s Robot Wars series, Death Trap, for free! This offer ends on 7/31/2014.

Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery—a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. In the first adventure, the Mars project is in trouble and only Tyce holds the key. In the second adventure, Tyce has discovered there may be killer aliens on the loose.
Robot Wars is a repackaged and updated version of Mars Diaries. There are now five books in the series; each book contains two stories. These new books contain a foreword about how far science has brought us.


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