I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me...
This past weekend began another chapter in our daughter's family's life journey. There is a lot going on for this little family as they follow God's call! Just a couple of weeks ago her husband was sworn-in as an officer to the US Navy Chaplain Candidate Program, and on Sunday he was ordained as a deacon into the Orthodox Church.
Our son-in-law will be ordained as a Priest when he finishes seminary. I love the parallel foreshadowing seen in this photo - my youngest grandson, like a little sheep, is rushing up to hug and greet his newly ordained Deacon Daddy, while at the same time glancing tentatively towards one of the Priests.
A Priest is a shepherd after all, called by God to encourage us in our lives. Today I'm doing a giveaway to celebrate shepherds and sheep: one about a rather unconventional shepherd, the second about sheep and other farm animals.
Aimed at early elementary readers, this book will find a niche with 8-10 year olds (although it would make a good story for parents to read aloud to younger children as well).
The central characters in the story are a Corgi dog named Saucer and a hurting, troubled 10-year-old boy named Sam.
Have you ever had the chance to visit an Orthodox monastery? I highly recommend it, and a monastery farm is the unique setting of this book! It is the happy home to some sweet nuns and their quirky animals, one of which is Saucer.
Melinda Johnson's engaging storytelling - at once humorous and tender hearted - is just plain fun. I appreciate that the children in the story are typical kids, very relatable to young readers.
As the action moves through the chapters, Saucer is searching for a herd to shepherd, and a lonely and angry Sam is trying to push love (and anything that resembles it) away. Tenacious Saucer won't give up on his herding or on Sam. In an exciting ending, Saucer takes charge and finally finds his purpose.
According to Melinda in this podcast interview, Saucer has a message for us: God will show you what he wants you to be, if you never give up. And it can happen in unexpected ways (just ask my daughter and son-in-law)!
Now on to the second animal-themed book I have to giveaway today: a new offering from Animal Planet, Animal Bites: Farm Animals (for ages 4-8).
Your young children will have fun while they learn about how animals survive and thrive on busy farms.
In many ways, farm animals are just like us. They need loving caregivers and shepherds. But we need animals too - like Saucer, they can help us heal and feel loved!
To enter for a chance at this giveaway...
- Please leave a comment with your first name and last initial.
- Tell me who you'd like to share these books with, or how an animal has had a healing influence in your life.
- Giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, October 26, 2016. Winner announced a week from today on Thursday, October 27, 2016.