Friday, February 2, 2007

Another Good Book

Thanks to PaperBack Swap I've just finished another good book.

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Of course - as with several other good books - I've seen the movie. But -- as with other movies made from classics -- it doesn't hold a candle to the book! ;)

I was loving the book, devouring it actually, when I came across this statement and just sat in awe that it was in a children's book.

One of the new things people began to find out in the last century was that thoughts -- just mere thoughts -- are as powerful as electric batteries -- as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it has got in you may never get over it as long as you live.

Believe it or not -- I've read that before somewhere... now where was it. ;)

(Philippians 4:8-9) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Matthew Henry says:
We are exhorted to get and keep a good name, a name for good things with God and good men: Whatsoever things are true and honest (Phi_4:8), a regard to truth in our words and engagements, and to decency and becomingness in our behaviour, suitable to our circumstances and condition of life. Whatsoever things are just and pure, - agreeable to the rules of justice and righteousness in all our dealings with men, and without the impurity or mixture of sin. Whatsoever things are lovely and of good report, that is, amiable; that will render us beloved, and make us well spoken of, as well as well thought of, by others. If there is any virtue, if there is any praise - any thing really virtuous of any kind and worthy of commendation. Observe, 1. The apostle would have the Christians learn any thing which was good of their heathen neighbours: “If there be any virtue, think of these things - imitate them in what is truly excellent among them, and let not them outdo you in any instance of goodness.” We should not be ashamed to learn any good thing of bad men, or those who have not our advantages. 2. Virtue has its praise, and will have. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; and then, whether our praise be of men or no, it will be of God, Rom_2:29.
In these things he proposes himself to them for an example (Phi_4:9): Those things which you have learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, do. Observe, Paul's doctrine and life were of a piece. What they saw in him was the same thing with what they heard from him. He could propose himself as well as his doctrine to their imitation. It gives a great force to what we say to others when we can appeal to what they have seen in us. And this is the way to have the God of peace with us - to keep close to our duty to him. The Lord is with us while we are with him.

That is a good reason to choose the best books out there for our children to read. I believe Ambleside Online is really making that a goal for the parents who use it. I'm so glad Barb recommended AO to me. We've been using it faithfully for 16 weeks now, with my 11yo and my 7yo. I'm doing a lot of reading of the books they recommend for free reading, as well as reading some of the required books ahead of them -- I want to KNOW what they are reading for school -- and what a lot I have learned. There are some fantastic living books out there for children, and I don't understand why a parent would allow a child to wallow about reading twaddle when there are so many good choices available to them.

So -- here is another recommendation from me. Get The Secret Garden as soon as you can. NOT the movie -- although if you are looking for a good family movie -- that would be better than BRATZ or something along that line. If you must watch TV... then you must... but Oh -- the joy of snuggling up with 5 kiddos and cracking open a new "living book". The conversation that will start! "Hey kids... does that paragraph remind you of a certain verse in the Bible? How do you think that applies to Master Colins' situation? If you were an invalid like him, would you throw tantrums? If you didn't have a mother to love you, how would you react when your father left town for months on end? What is your favorite thing to think upon when you are feeling gray and cold? What if..." °Ü°