JESUS AND THE LION’S DEN
ISBN 978 1 784 984 335
NEHEMIAH: BUILDER FOR GOD
ISBN 978 1 845 501 693
HEZEKIAH: THE KING’S CHOICES
ISBN 978 1 781 919 736
TO DIE IS GAIN
ISBN 978 1 527 105 300
VANYA: A TRUE STORY
ISBN 978 0 884 190 097
ISBN 978 1 781 915 899
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act – or so said George Orwell.
John Knox said something similar: ‘Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God’. Now both these quotes rang true to me this week as I sat in church singing Psalm 12: ‘You, Lord … will protect us forever from the wicked, who freely strut about when what is vile is honoured by the human race.’
Our children are increasingly going to need to be able to speak truth to power.
How do you start? God’s word is being challenged. Christians are struggling. The world is lurching from one disaster to the next…
Go to the Bible. God and His people have tackled this sort of thing before.
Daniel, for example. He was in a position of influence but he chose to honour God rather than those in power. The Good Book Company have an excellent edition of his life entitled Jesus and the Lion’s Den. I love how this book takes one of my favourite themes – Jesus Christ in all of Scripture – and illustrates it beautifully too.
The Christian Focus series – Bible Wise and Bible Time – have several characters who were faced with tyranny in one shape or another. Nehemiah: Builder for God and Hezekiah: The King’s Choices are two characters that don’t always get a lot of coverage in children’s Bible stories.
How about today? I’ve reviewed Do Great Things for God before, which explores the lives of Christian women – one of the characters in this set is Corrie ten Boom. She is an excellent example of someone who stood firm for Christ in the face of fear and adversity.
For teens, John and Betty Stam feature in the Christian Focus trailblazer series. To Die is Gain shows two individuals who stood up for Christ while knowing full well what the risks were.
For older teens, if they are able to read something emotionally difficult, I’d recommend Vanya: A True Story by Myrna Grant, published by Creation House. This is available on Kindle and covers the persecution of a Soviet soldier in the 1970s. Ivan Moiseyev was originally from Moldova and part of the underground church before he was drafted into the Soviet army and tortured for his faith. As I said, it’s not an easy read. Growing up in the 1980s this book had a huge impact on my own Christian faith. We need to face up to the reality of what our sinful world does when rebelling against the LORD.
In uncertain times we must cling to the certainty of God. Let’s challenge ourselves to start a God routine where each morning or before you go to bed at night you read God’s word and pray. My parents did family worship with us as kids and it is something that only needs five minutes start to finish. Dip your toe in the water with Family Time by Andrew Brannigan.
Catherine MacKenzie, Children’s Editor for Christian Focus Publications