Build a Better World & Shine

Summer is always a busy season as I juggle summer reading activities at the library, vacations, the garden, time to enjoy the creek and my family. This week is unusually busy because we’re winding up the summer reading program at work and it’s VBS week at my church.

The national summer reading theme for libraries is “Build a Better World. When I shared the idea of inviting the architect who designed and managed the construction of the library, the children’s librarian bit her lip. “Okay, she said, if you think the kids will enjoy it.” Her voice sounded skeptical.

I said, “I think he’ll be great.”

Last week, the library’s architect presented the program to 135 kids and I missed it due a speaking engagement. When I returned to the library I asked, “How did the program go?

The children’s librarian beamed a smile. “Jeff did a great job. His slides showed every stage of the building project, he engaged the children and they asked tons of thoughtful questions.”

I couldn’t suppress a smile.

“When you suggested this program, I had my doubts, but he surprised me with his enthusiasm.”

Our architect is soft spoken, and if you passed him on the street, might assume he’s a scholarly professor, but I know something our children’s librarian didn’t.—the architect is passionate about his work. His buildings are like his children and they are his baby’s forever. When he talks about his work, his face lights up, and he doesn’t tire of questions.

This week,  I’m working with second and third graders in VBS each evening and our theme is SHINE. I hope the children can see the same passion and excitement on my face as I speak about Jesus and His love for us. This may be our only chance to reach some of these children. I pray it will be a wonderful experience and they beg their parents to return to church.

As church attendance across the nation is declining, perhaps we, as church members need to find out passion for Christ, again. Is He our first love? When you speak about the church, is it with joy? Is passion for Christ the missing ingredient?

Please pray for me this week and pray that I can live up to the themes of both programs.  Pray that as I work with children at the library and at church that I can exude a joy and passion for my work and “Build a Better World by shining His light.

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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

5 thoughts on “Build a Better World & Shine

  1. Chris Mayhew

    Amen so so agree we should have the passion for Christ that exceeds everything else. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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