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Messiah for the Universe

Author Interview
Rev. Steven J. Boint Author Interview

Did Jesus Die For Dogs? examines the relationship between nature and God’s salvation. Why was this an important book for you to write?

We miss so much when we ignore the full scope of salvation: understanding, joy, and purpose to name a few things. What I mean by understanding is, for example, we all know that Jesus was born in a manger. The focus in Christmas sermons is almost always on his humility. But, where else COULD he have been born? If he is the savior of the whole creation, it is only fitting that he be born surrounded by humans AND ANIMALS. The first Adam was born surrounded by plants and animals, the same needed to be true for the second Adam. The lyricist of “Joy to the World” understood this; when explaining the meaning of Jesus’ birth he wrote: “. . . let men their songs employ while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy. No more let sins and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the Curse is found [the Curse being the twisting of the universe by sin].” He understood that the Messiah would bring in a renewed universe where the lamb would lie down beside the lion. The Curse would be lifted and Eden would return. Christ was messiah for the universe.

We miss joy because we miss God’s presence around us. The Gospel of John starts “In the beginning was the logos. . . “ Logos is usually translated as “word.” But to many if not most of John’s original audience, they would have read it in accord with popular stoic philosophy which used logos to refer to the rational structure of the universe. The very foundation of the universe became flesh. Johannes Kepler, founder of modern science and a Lutheran pastor, explained to an acquaintance that he studied science to understand the regularly repeated acts of God’s self-revelation. For Kepler, and biblically, each reflection on a body of water is placed there actively by God. Wind is God moving each molecule of air. All things hold together because God actively holds them together. The universe is not a machine wound up and now running on its own. In other words, God surrounds us and the whole world is holy.

And although I don’t draw these implications in the book, we miss purpose because we think only preachers and evangelists matter to the Kingdom of God. But this whole world is loved by God. We scratch God’s heart when we misuse creation. Global warming, plastic in the oceans, habitat reduction . . . how can Christians stand by and let what is loved by our Creator and Redeemer be decimated? Once we understand the depth of God’s love for bees, songbirds, frogs, polar bears, the need to defend them is obvious.

What do you feel is a common misconception people have about God’s salvation?

Certainly most Christians view salvation as a ticket out of hell and into an otherworldly eternal church service. The biblical picture is much different. Salvation is a never-ending process of being engulfed by the whirlwind of God’s creativity. God built a physical universe and we are physical parts of that universe. This universe, though twisted now, will be restored and become the arms of its creator wrapped around each one of us. God did not create us to live in an ethereal realm, that’s why, according to the Bible, the universe will be physically renewed and we will be physically resurrected.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

Assurance that all parts of this creation matter to its creator. God will not lose what God has created. All will be restored. It is as true for critters as for people, “God is God of the living, not of the dead.”

This book certainly has an attention grabbing title. What was the inspiration behind the book’s title?

I’ve watched the sadness, almost despair, of believers who have lost a pet. The church seldom offers any consolation although it should because salvation embraces animals as well as people. I wanted to drive that home with the title. The subtitle “What does the Bible say?” lets readers know this is a study of actual scripture. Other authors have covered this material from a history of theology standpoint, but presenting the biblical picture is less common. I wanted to let the audience know that the Bible affirms the everlasting value of the relationships we form with animals.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads | Website

Do animals go to heaven? Are humans the center of God’s universe? Is polluting Earth a sin? Is fighting to sustain habitat a form of witness? Decide for yourself! This theological discussion lays bare the major biblical themes that involve nature, allowing each reader to draw informed conclusions within his or her Christian tradition. Noteworthy not merely for what it includes, but also for what it leaves out, “Did Jesus Die For Dogs?” examines the relationship between nature and God’s salvation as revealed in scripture. Limiting discussion to the main thread of salvation history, this discussion avoids favoring one Christian tradition over others while highlighting biblical themes that theologians from all traditions should include in their understanding of the work of Christ. And . . . YES!

Your Pet, Your Pill

Your Pet, Your Pill®: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life by [Margit Gabriele Dr Muller]

We all know pets are one of the best parts of life, and owning one adds value to our time here on Earth. They bring us joy, comfort us in times of great sorrow, and help keep us on our toes. Were it not for pets, many of us would have long ago lost our sanity and given up on the mania of the world around us. Nowhere is this more evident than in the stories laid out for readers in Dr. Margit Gabriele Muller’s book, Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life.

Dr. Muller’s book, Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to a Happy, Healthy and Successful Life, details the exceptional ways many pets impact the lives of their owners. These short stories are just the burst of hope many readers need in uncertain times. From horses to parrots, Dr. Muller covers it all and manages to bring out the most touching moments in each owner’s life with his/her pet.

As someone who recently suffered the sudden loss of a pet, I can easily relate to the ways in which the owners portrayed in Dr. Muller’s book cherish their pets as members of the family. This book was just the thing I needed to help put my time with Zac into the proper perspective. Much like many of the dogs described in the short chapters, Zac was a comfort to me in difficult times and seemed to understand my emotions. As a rescue pet, he was special to our family in many ways. Reading about others who have the same connection with pets of all types provides a unique kind of bonding experience for the reader.

Dr. Muller’s personal experiences are included in the book, and it is quite obvious that she has a deep love for all animals. Her writing is expressive and conveys a genuine kindness that is palpable to readers. There is no love like that given by a pet, and Dr. Muller reminds readers of that with every chapter.

I would highly recommend Your Pet, Your Pill as a gift for anyone who is facing the death of an older pet or has recently lost one. This book is a quick read and offers readers multiple opportunities to share in one feel-good moment after another.

Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08FBCL24M

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The Adventurous Life of Dogs

Julia Seaborn Author Interview

Julia Seaborn Author Interview

Butterball Gets Lost follows a fun-loving poodle who gets lost while looking for fun and can’t find her way home. What were some influences that guided this books development?

All of my books have a general theme about the adventurous life of dogs. My aim is to incorporate a fun and happy story with some learning opportunities.

My favorite scene from the book is when Butterball gets stuck in the rabbit hole and the lizards are watching. What is your favorite scene from the book?

My favourite scene is when Barny the Owl helps Butterball find her way home because it gives the book a happy ending.

What were some educational themes you wanted to focus on with this book?

The story gives young children information about the characteristics and behaviours of some animals. Also basic number skills.

What can readers expect in book three in your Butterball the Poodle series?

Book three in the Butterball series will be a Christmas book.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads

BUTTERBALL Gets Lost (Butterball the Poodle Book 2) by [Julia Seaborn]

Butterball is a curious fun-loving poodle who doesn’t like being left home alone. She is looking for fun and digs her way out under a fence, but Butterball wanders too far.

How will Butterball find her way home?

Join Butterball on her adventure and meet Binky the bunny, JillaRoo the kangaroo and Barny the owl. This easy-to-read picture book features cute illustrations, supports the development of literacy and numeracy skills, and includes some fun activity pages.

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Sasha and His Red Leash

Sasha and his Red Leash: A picture book about safety and fun for dogs lovers (The secret Diary of a Lucky Pup 1) by [Yossi Lapid, Joanna Pasek]

 

 

Sasha and His Red Leash is the first installment of Yossi Lapid’s “The Secret Diary of a Lucky Pup” and introduces young readers to a cute little dog named Sasha as he interacts with his loving family. Of particular focus in the book is his relationship with the red leash his Big Boss Bob puts on him when Sasha is taken for a walk.

Joanna Pasek does a wonderful job of illustrating this delightful children’s book; the charming pastel watercolor illustrations throughout create a world with calming and serene imagery. Yossi Lapid is able to educate young readers about the importance of keeping their dog on a leash by using Sasha’s dislike of his red leash to spark conversation about keeping beloved pets on a leash while outdoors in order to keep them safe. This instruction is done in a child-friendly, participatory manner that presents different scenarios involving Sasha and asks readers for their input on Sasha’s safety. Sasha and His Red Leash is a fun and educational book that is a great story time addition for young readers who are between preschool age and 2nd grade.

Pages: 25 | ASIN: B0852C55DV

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