The Christian Biographies for Young Readers series introduces children to key figures from church history. Author Simonetta Carr and illustrator Matt Abraxas offer a compelling and beautiful historical account of the life of each Christian figure profiled in the series. To date, the series includes volumes on John Calvin, John Owen, Augustine of HIppo, Athanasius, Anselm of Canterbury, Lady Jane Grey, and now, John Knox.
One morning, about two weeks ago, I woke to the sound of my four-year-old son screaming at the top of his lungs. In a response that has become more instinct than will, I jumped out of bed and ran to find him. He was in the bathroom, standing in front of the toilet, wailing with all the angst and fury a preschooler can muster against the injustice of life. His stuffed rabbit—the one that has been with him since birth, the one that we search for every night before bed, the one that has accompanied us on every road trip, vacation, and doctor’s visit—was floating in the bowl. And in that moment, I remembered what day it was.
It was Monday.
In our culture, Monday holds a certain psychological mystique. It’s the bully of the week. The day that knocks you down and laughs. The day that steals your lunch money. The day that many of us just hope to survive. In the words of Alexander, Monday is a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”
A lot of this is because Monday is the first day back to normal after the weekend. It’s the first day back to business—the first day back to school lunches and briefcases and time cards. The coming week looms large before us, and instead of being invigorated, we feel helpless. Instead of charging forward, carpe diem, we drag and slide and haul ourselves forward, bleary-eyed and overwhelmed.
Republished from The Faith Pulpit (March 2002). First posted at SI in 2009.
(Related audio: 2007 interview with Robert Delnay).
Years ago a few Fundamentalists had occasion to identify with the Keswick movement, also known as the “deeper life,” or “victorious life.” Others have slurred the movement in somewhat the same way that New Evangelicals have slurred the Scofield Reference Bible. The point is worth some notice.
While the movement traces back to the perfectionist movements that in the 1860’s produced Holiness, it went in a somewhat different direction. Credit seems to go to William Boardman, who in the 1860’s was preaching a higher life, and to Pearsall Smith and his wife Hannah Whitehall Smith. Smith held meetings in England in the early 1870’s, making considerable impact. Then in the summer of 1875, Smith badly smudged his reputation and left the ministry. Thereupon Canon T. D. Harfoed-Battersby, vicar of St. John’s church in Keswick, up in the Lake District, not far from the Scottish border, announced a week of meetings in Keswick near his church. The meetings were to be a time for spiritual refreshing and earnest seeking after God, and they began a series which has continued to the present.
If you haven’t stumbled across Simonetta Carr’s excellent set of “Christian Biographies for Young Readers,” you and your children are missing out. Each of the six titles in the series are beautifully illustrated, historically accurate, age-appropriate biographies for upper elementary-aged children. In the last couple years I have reviewed three of the titles and wanted to share about them here for our readers.
Athansius is one of the most important early Christian leaders, perhaps the only one with a Creed named after him. But like many Christian young people, I grew up without learning much about him at all.
Simonetta Carr hopes to remedy this problem through her latest addition to the “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” series from Reformation Heritage Books. In Athanasius, Carr gives young readers a vivid account of Athanasius’ life. Complete with beautiful illustrations from Matt Abraxas, the book also includes a timeline, maps and lots of background facts about the time period of Athanasius’ life.