Something You May NOT Have Known About the Three Wise Men…

Were there more than 3 wise men?  When did they visit the Baby Jesus?  Was it at the stable?

I picked up a kids’ book at the library entitled The Fourth Wise Man Retold by Susan Summers but based on the story by Henry Van Dyke.  It appears as well under the title The Greatest Gift:  The Story of the Other Wise Man.  This tells the story of a Fourth Wise Man named Artaban who did not make it to Bethlehem in time to see the Baby Jesus and spent his whole life searching for this teacher.

Along the way, he lives a godly-life, helping those who cross his path such as a sick man along the road.  He sells his beautiful home in exchange for gifts to give the child.  Slowly, he ends us selling everything he owns (including his beloved horse, Vasda) to follow the path of Jesus.

His last act came at the foot of the cross where Artaban gives his last precious gift he was saving for the King of Kings to a girl to save her from slavery.

He hears a voice at the end, saying, “As often as you did these things for the least of my children, you did them for me,” and he dies finding the King.

Great book promoting how to live a life full of God even through the disappointment of not finding what one is seeking right away.  All through faith.

After reading this book I wanted to find out where the wise men were listed in the Bible so I could read it to my kids.  I found this website listed below that collaborates the story I had just read.  I did not know most of this!  Like most kids, I had grown up with the tale of Three Wise Men as popularized in modern culture.  This website is fabulous!


The Beauty of Aesop

Aesop, believed to have been a Greek slave who lived around 600 BC, accomplished what most writers can only dream of:  longevity.  He wrote timeless, meaningful pieces that have been told and retold for over 2500 years now.  Wow!

I was reading a collection to my kids when one particularly hit me.  It’s called The Lion and the Donkey.  It is a very short but the point hit home.

A lion is walking through a forest and all the other animals are making way for him except for the donkey who brays a scornful remark.  At first the lion was angry until he realized it was only the donkey, a fool, who had spoken.  He walked quietly on, not even deeming to respond.

Moral:  Do not resent the remarks of a fool.  Ignore them.

I wish I could do that.  I do take things so personally.  I couldn’t get over 30 comments of people telling me where to go in my newspaper column.  I just couldn’t.  The same with this blog.  The hurtful things people have said in the past still stings.

Part of me wishes I would.  But the other part doesn’t.  Because I think it’s this part that makes my writing better than average.  That makes it unique.  That tells the story as only I can.  That will one day fulfill my dream.  And purpose in this fleeting life.

This is at least what I cling to.  Hope.  God.  Family.  Purpose.

The Magician’s Nephew

One of the best parts of having kids is you get to relive your childhood all over again and experience the things you might have missed as a child.

Somehow I missed the captivating Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis when I was a kid.  Never heard of it really.  But since the movies, I have purchased a complete set and when we are on road trips I read one whole book to my family.

Last weekend we read The Magician’s Nephew, the first in the series that was written after the others in order to explain the creation of Narnia itself.

As you may or may not know, C.S. Lewis was a Christian writer.  He wrote tons of books for adults on the subject.  But he also wrote kids books.  And in the Chronicles of Narnia, God and the battle with good and evil are skillfully woven throughout allegorically.  It’s magical really.  You can read the whole series and see God everywhere or you can read it and not see God but you are left wondering about a Creator of the universe.

The Magician’s Nephew tells how Digory (the nephew) discovers Narnia as it is being created by Aslan the Lion.  However, Digory unwittingly brings the Witch (evil) into the world at the very beginning.  The Magician who forced Digory to time travel cannot hear the Lion’s voice.  Aslan explains why:

“This world is bursting with life for these few days….But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice.  If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings.  Oh Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourself against all that may do you good!”

I LOVED this.  Absolutely loved it!

For I think:  how often God does speak to us but we cannot hear Him?  How we have made ourselves unable to hear and we do only hear growlings and roarings.  How God only wants good for us but we somehow misconstrue the message by our own actions and Free Will.  How we are so consumed by something miniscule in our lives that God’s voice is blocked.

Then Aslan gives the Magician the one gift he is able to receive:  the gift of sleep.

This struck me as well since many times over the past year I have gone to sleep just so my mind would rest.  Just so the growlings and the roarings would stop and I’d have a chance to hear God speak.

These books are classics, timeless, and ingenious.  This is something I strive for in my writings.  Making God seen and teaching life’s lessons to those who desperately need to hear it.  To both believers and non-believers.  As I needed to hear this one.

I cannot recommend all of these books enough.