Monday, October 2, 2017

Good People!

Waking up to headlines of 50 plus dead and hundreds injured, I need a reminder that there are good people doing good things in this world. I need to read some of the many scriptures that profess God's good influence in the world. As we pray for Las Vegas (and those still suffering from storms and earthquakes), let us notice the goodness that lies in most people most of the time and be thankful while brokenhearted.
Picture Book: Good People Everywhere
Author: Linea Gillen 
Illustrator: Kristina Swarner
Summary: This is a simple book filled with simple ideas, but such ideas ground us and give us hope for a better day. 
The context is a community of normal people doing normal things, good things, the kind of things that make a huge difference but may not be noticed. 
Carpenters are building or repairing the structures we need for safety and contentment. 
Family members provide sustenance with loving dedication 
and others provide meals for those who have no home. 
Doctors and midwives deliver babies - good people of the future - 
while teachers prepare us for that future. 
Artists, such as musicians and dancers, 
risk their hearts and invest their time and bodies to create beauty. 
Farmers, forgotten heroes, plant seeds 
and glean harvests. 
Then people transport that good food to us. 
Children are affirmed here... for studying, 
caring for others, 
 and being friends. 
The wrap-up declares that millions of people will do millions of good things today and encourage readers to consider what good things they will do. 
 Hanna’s Comments: The last 2 pages encourage application. The suggested activities  could easily be transformed into a faith-based devotional and sending forth. The simple practices of acknowledging and expressing gratitude for simple gifts, ordinary graces, and humble work leads to hope, perseverance, and resilience which are especially needed when the news or  events are discouraging. As you read this book, at each double page spread, encourage your audience to think of related acts of goodness and verbally give God thanks for each of these people and their good work. For instance, at the pages of the baby being born, talk about nurses and grandparents. In the section about food production, explore more thoroughly the seed to feed process and express gratitude for all whose humble work makes so many choices available to us in grocery stores, farmers' markets, and restaurants. If you want to take this further, acknowledge God's presence and influence in the situations on each page. Making the ordinary sacred is a founding principle here at PBT. Don't forget to talk about the humility that is present in many of the illustrations and point out how humility and meekness are encouraged in the scriptures. Lastly, be clear that God's love is the source of all goodness. 
Original Publisher & Date: Three Pebble Press, 2012
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6); I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13); Oh, how abundant is your goodness (Psalm 31:19); Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5); All things work together for good (Romans 8:28); Let love be genuine (Romans 12:9); The fruit of the Spirit is …goodness… (Galatians 5:22-23); Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17); Who is wise…? By good conduct, let them show works in meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13) 
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children in your faith family when discouraging news abounds.