Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Memory for 2011

Last December I shared a precious Christmas memory from my childhood, helping my father prepare his traditional family recipe for plum pudding. New readers can refer to my archives if they would like to read that article.

This year's special memory is of the first Advent season I spent at Mount Saint Agnes Academy when I was ten. In what I call a mysterious move by God, I was enrolled by my Anglican father and Jewish mother, neither of whom attended any religious services, in a Catholic school. It seems that when they married, they agreed not to impose either of their religions on my brother and me. We learned respect for God through our nightly prayers with our mother, but we did not have a clear understanding of who Jesus was.

It was the custom during Advent for the nuns to give us each a flyer containing directions for making a "crib" for Baby Jesus It listed various prayers and recitations, each of which represented an item needed to prepare a baby's bed. For example, the mattress might be ten Our Father's, the sheet might be fifteen Glory Be's, and the blanket ten Hail Mary's. In addition, there would be a pillow and a pillowcase. As a child who had never been exposed to any details of the Christian faith, I was absolutely fascinated with this ritual. I was to have the honor of preparing a crib, in reality my heart, where the Christchild would be welcomed.

Now, as an adult, I believe I know why this so appealed to my young spirit. Through this symbolic exercise, God was giving me a tangible point of contact to begin to place my faith in and build  my anticipation for the One whom I would eventually receive into my heart as my Lord and Savior.

Praise God for the mysterious ways in which the Good Shepherd leads us into His fold.

                                                                                     Laura Allen Nonemaker

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Announcing the Winner of the Benny's Angel Blog Tour Grand Prize

Congratulations to Grandma Carol B, whose name was drawn by as the winner of the grand prize gift package.

Thank you, Carol, for leaving your comment at the blog tour for Benny's Angel, which appeared on Abi Buening's blog, Your prize is on its way!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sheila McKinney DeChantal's Review of Benny's Angel

This book was sent to me as part of a tour with KCWC Blog Tour.  While this book is short and sweet, it packs within its pages a powerful message about our joy and how we are in control of the way we respond when things go wrong. 
  I remember when my boys were growing up and they would come home all upset about what someone had said to them.  Maybe it was name calling, or maybe it was a comment about how they played a game or answered a question.  I always told my boys that they had the power to choose how they responded, a kind response or none at all can really take the power away from the offender, after all – they are fueled by the reaction.  The same goes for the message within this book, while Count Slime wanted to see the animals of the garden have sorrow and feel scared, when that reaction was missing – the Count goes about his way… defeated.
 I think even as an adult I need to remind myself sometimes that I choose how I respond to situations that may be difficult or painful.  Knowing that, somehow makes me feel better.
 This book would make a wonderful addition to a Christmas stocking.  The book also includes a code for a free download of the audio version of the book.  What fun to play the audio version while paging through the colorful illustrations that go along with this story.

 Thank you to KCWC Blog Tour and Tate Publishing for offering me this book for review.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Joy of Writing: Benny’s Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker

The Joy of Writing: Benny’s Angel by Laura Allen Nonemaker: I love finding new picture books that beautifully communicate the finer points of God’s Word and theology to young children. Benny’s Angel ...

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Grandmother Reads Benny's Angel to Her Granddaughter

Thank you to this grandmother for her touching account of reading Benny's Angel to her 3 yr. old granddaughter.

BENNY'S ANGEL: Who stole the flowers in God’s Secret Garden?

Photo/Benny'sAngelBookCoverMy 3-year-old granddaughter, Julia, found my copy ofBenny’s Angel, a new children’s book by Laura Allen Nonemaker, during Thanksgiving. As I read it to her, I was amazed at how quietly she sat in my lap. In fact, she asked me to read it to her again later. Julia laughed as we read about Benny and his animals friends—I think she liked the silly voices that I used as I read her the story.

I enjoyed reading Benny's Angel to Julia—sometimes it's fun just to observe at a simple tale through the eyes of a child. Even though this book skimmed the surface with its biblical teachings, it opened the door for me to talk to my grandchild about prayer in a way that she could understand. 
The tale also seemed to captured Julia's imagination. With all the technology available to entertain children these days, it's refreshing to find a book that helps me to connect with my grandchild, using simple concepts, words, and pictures. So, I’m grateful to add this enjoyable little story to my children’s books at home. BLESSED, kj