Dear ones, it’s not every week that I get to give away a book that speaks not only to my heart, but also to the hearts of my children. Trillia Newbell’s new book, God’s Very Good Idea, gives validity to each and every part of the Kingdom; it has especially been a GIFT to give my children language around the color of their skin. So, keep reading to hear more from Trillia, and leave a comment to win a copy of the book. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? Sure! I’m a wife, mom, writer, and speaker. I love fitness, so along with writing, I’m often cycling, lifting weights, or slowly running (Ha! I’m not a strong runner).
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? One of the last pages of God’s Very Good Idea sums up the central message of the book well. “This is God’s very good idea: lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. God made this very good idea. People ruined it. He rescued it. He will finish it.”
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? About a year or so ago, I taught a children’s Sunday school class on the image of God and racial harmony. It was such a joy for me to watch the kids think through what it meant to be equally created by God to reflect his image, that God created people different and we can enjoy those differences, that Jesus died for all those different people, and that we can all be brothers and sisters in Christ. I remember a friend telling me later that afternoon about a conversation she had with her daughter, “Me and Sydney [my daughter] are made in the image of God. We aren’t just friends, we’re sisters!” At that point I knew I wanted to attempt to write something that parents and teachers could use with kids to share this wonderful message. I also discovered there was little to no material out that I could find on this topic for children.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? So often this topic is framed around politics and history. I wanted to address it differently (although those other contexts are important) and give parents and children a foundation for why it’s important to God and how the gospel affects this discussion and our understanding of race and ethnicity. If we can build a foundation based on the Truth, then I think it will be easier to tackle those other areas that touch on the topic of race and ethnicity. And, ultimately, this is about people made in the image of God. So, if we can gain understanding about how all of us are created equally by God and all of us need the same saving grace, then perhaps we can begin to work towards really loving one another. And I hope that as we truly love one another, we also begin to celebrate our differences!
My prayer is that the church would reflect what heaven will look like for eternity: every tribe, tongue, and nation together worshipping God. I wanted to close God’s Very Good Idea with a focus on the church because that’s where the world sees our love (a theme in the book). Jesus says that the world will know us (Christians) by our love for one another (John 13:35). If this is true, then we should learn to love those in the church.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? The concepts covered in God’s Very Good Idea (imago dei, the fall, redemption, adoption, etc.) are weighty and theologically deep, we have books upon books about them, and yet, they are also rather simple. The gospel is simple enough that a child should be able to be understand it. As Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones once said:
We must be careful that we do not modify the gospel to suit various age groups. There is no such thing as a special gospel for the young, a special gospel for the middle-aged, and a special gospel for the aged. There is only one gospel, and we must always be careful not to tamper and tinker with the gospel as a result of recognizing these age distinctions. At the same time, there is a difference in applying this one and only gospel to the different age groups; but it is a difference which has reference only to method and procedure. (Knowing the Times [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1989], 2)
I don’t want to be immature in my knowledge of God, but I do want to strive for childlike faith. Writing this book helped remind me not to overcomplicate the great things of God. It also reminds me that there are reasons, many reasons, to celebrate and be glad in all that God has done.
How and where can we find you on the internet? Thanks for your desire for folks to find me. If you can spell my name, which is difficult, then you can find me! My website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
So, you in? If you want to win a copy of Trillia’s new book, God’s Very Good Idea, all you have to do is leave a note for the author below. What intrigues you about what you’ve read thus far? Contest ends Friday, November 24th. Good luck!
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