Things have been busy, busy, busy around the Rigney home lately- but in a fun, not-pull-your-hair-out, sort of way, which is great! I have a family update in the works that I will be posting soon, but thought this fun little bit of exciting news deserved a stand-alone post.
Tuesday marked the official release of my husband’s first book entitled, Live Like a Narnian: Christian Discipleship in Lewis’s Chronicles! It is an incredible, must-read book- especially for those who share a love for C.S. Lewis and his brilliant work.
This little treasure trove of Narnian wisdom, insight, and encouragement has been bouncing around in my husband’s head and heart for a few years now. Little did he know that the class he taught at our church way back when would actually turn into a book one day.
Here’s a brief description of Live Like a Narnian:
Careful readers of the Chronicles of Narnia know that there is more to the stories than meets the eye. There are layers of meaning in these fairy tales, spiritual gold beneath these Narnian hills. Those who delight in Lewis’s magical world love to journey further up and further in, returning to Narnia again and again so that the same old stories can awaken our minds afresh to the wonder and glory all around us. But just how are these stories meant to change us? When we tumble back out of the wardrobe, in what ways should we be different?
Drawing upon Lewis’s other writings and the Chronicles themselves, Joe Rigney shows the intricate and sometimes subtle ways that Lewis intended his beloved fairy stories to shape our hearts and minds. In doing so, he commends Lewis’s Chronicles as a fruitful part of Christian discipleship, so that in reading the Narnian stories, breathing Narnian air, and seeking to live like Narnians, we are wonderfully transformed into the image of Jesus Christ—the Great Lion and High King Above All Kings.
This weekend, my husband will be speaking at the Desiring God 2013 National Conference, a conference honoring the life, imagination, and work of C.S. Lewis on the 50th anniversary of his death. Live Like a Narnian was written and published with this conference in mind. It would be impossible to unpack everything in a 45 minute message, so be sure to read the book for yourself so as not to miss anything!
How can I buy my own copy?
What are others saying about Live Like a Narnian?
“As a long-time lover of C. S. Lewis and the world of Narnia, I have read countless books about both. Joe Rigney’s Live Like a Narnian is one of the best. It overflows with an authentic sense of Narnian brightness, wisdom, and wonder. Rigney seems equally at home with Lewis’s fiction and nonfiction. He draws them together beautifully, with truth and imagination. I highly recommend this delightful book!” – Randy Alcorn, author, Heaven and If God Is Good
“Joe Rigney is a writer who really knows how to love something. I am glad that he loves Narnia.” –Douglas Wilson, author, What I Learned in Narnia and Father Hunger
“In our journey to Aslan’s Country, we tend to look to the right and to the left to see who’s coming with us. There is much to share, and in the sharing, we feel the fullness of resolution and the resolution of fullness. This book is stuffed full of the must-share Narnian “Aha!” moments that keep you turning just one more page. Even the moments you’ve only whispered to yourself about. I’m betting that Live Like a Narnian will prove to be a trusted companion to future Narnians who will read and re-read the Chronicles for generations.” — Gloria Furman, author, Glimpses of Grace, daughter of Eve, and a queen of Narnia
“Live Like a Narnian has the quality that all good writing strives for: it is both insightful and delightful. Joe Rigney captures not only the power and poignancy of C. S. Lewis’s beloved Narnia series, but also its fun and merriment.” – Devin Brown, author, A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis
“I have long awaited a brief book that labors to excavate the major theological themes in Narnia in a simple and clear format, a book that calls on Lewis’s non-fiction writings as a commentary to illuminate his Narnian stories, and most of all, a book about that bright gold creature more terrible and more beautiful than anything in all of Narnia and this world combined. The wait is over. Live Like a Narnian by Joe Rigney is a masterful achievement.” – Tony Reinke, author, Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books
“It’s evident that Joe Rigney has deeply breathed the air of Narnia for a long time, and he creatively applies Lewis’s masterpiece to Christian living with wit and wisdom.” – Andy Naselli, editor of Themelios Journal
“Halfway through reading Live Like a Narnian, the chapters had already had their intended effect and deepened my appreciation and understanding of Narnia. They made me want to slow down, savor them, and keep learning from them while breathing anew the Narnian air one more time. I heartily commend this book to you.” – Matthew Lee Anderson, author, The End of Our Exploring: A Book About Questioning and the Confidence of Faith
“The immediate effect of Live Like a Narnian: I want to. Written with a fun, lively, muscular style, it succeeds both as a work of popular literary criticism and as a readable call to follow Aslan all the way to the end. If you want to recover the wisdom and beauty of the original Narnia, that vision that captivated so many of us in our youth and that continues to work its edifying magic, dive into Joe Rigney’s stirring introduction.” – Owen Strachan, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology, Boyce College; author, Risky Gospel: Abandon Fear and Build Something Awesome
Other recent interviews and articles surrounding Live Like a Narnian’s book release:
Recovering the Lost Art of Chivalry- Desiring God Blog
Why You Should Breathe Narnian Air: A Conversation with Joe Rigney (Part 1)- The Gospel Coalition
Living Like a Narnian: A Conversation Continued with Joe Rigney (Part 2)-The Gospel Coalition
Discipleship in the Land of Narnia- The Gospel Coalition
Why You Should Read and Live Like a Narnian- Steve Childers
Joe Rigney Wants You to Live Like a Narnian- Jim Hamilton
How to Live Like a Narnian- Faith Village
Live Like a Narnian- Andy Naselli
Live Like a Narnian- Matt Perman
On Labor Day, we loaded up the van and headed to the Great Minnesota Get-Together for our annual trip to the State Fair. It’s our favorite way to end the summer (or kick-off the fall) in Minnesota.
In years past, we’ve always gone in the afternoon and stayed late into the evening. We changed things up a bit this year since the forecast was predicting beautiful weather all day long. We stayed for ten hours and could barely walk to our car when it was over, but we had the best time.
Our boys (especially Sam) were at such a fun age to enjoy everything. We rode rides, visited animal barns, watched the parade, cheered at the rodeo, and tried our best to sample every form of corn the fair had to offer (kettle corn, roasted corn, high-fructose corn)! A few highlights for us were seeing some of our dear friends throughout the day and securing our boy’s future careers as a farmhand (Peter) and a beekeeper (Sam).
It was everything a trip to the State Fair should be.
“Get that corn outta my face!” (name that movie)…
A few weeks ago, we had a second baseball party for our second birthday boy this summer. To celebrate Peter’s special day, we had a very simple little family party out on the back deck of our grandparent’s home in Rockport.
After pizza, cupcakes, and presents (Sam didn’t mind receiving a few belated birthday gifts for himself either!), we headed to Corpus Christi for the evening to see the Hooks play. The Hooks are the farm team for the Houston Astros, so it worked out well that we were able to attend the game with my family, being the devout Houston Astros fans that we are. It was a beautiful evening in Corpus, we all had a great time.
It was the perfect way to celebrate our little boy turning two.
This past week, we’ve been spending time together with my brother’s family in Rockport. This vacation provided me the perfect opportunity to take some family pictures for them (something I haven’t done in a few years). It’s no secret that I enjoy taking pictures for people, but there are few things I love more than taking them for my own family. Yes, I took the pictures for them, but I really took them for me.
God has given my brother a beautiful, godly wife in Melinda and two delightful children in Colin and Rylee. My heart swells when I look at their faces- their beautiful faces- with so much love and gratitude to God for their lives and for what he has done in and through them. When I think about the man my brother has become and the family that God has given him, I can’t help but give thanks for his steadfast faithfulness. He has not once turned away from doing good to them.
“And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” - Jeremiah 32
Here are a few of my favorites from our time together. Enjoy!
Today our delightful little Peter turns two. Which for us means, that for two years now we’ve had equal parts sweet and spicy bubbling over in our home. Peter is the perfect balance of the two. He has brought us more joy than we thought possible, he’s also left us laughing and scratching our heads more times than we can count. We are often surprised by the amount of personality and energy and sense of adventure packed into this little guy. He keeps us on our toes, for sure.
To celebrate your special day, we are giving you a few special gifts that we think you will love, but let there be no mistaking- you are the real gift, Peter, and we are the grateful ones.
For all the times that we find you digging in our drinks for ice, walking hilariously around the house in your Daddy’s shoes, playing independently by yourself, chasing your big brother through the house, eating everyone’s food from their plates, building towers with blocks, reading books quietly in your bed, announcing “Ta-Da” just because you walked into the room, counting to 10 without numbers 3,7,& 8, trying to keep up with all the older kids, bouncing around the house to the beat of your own drum, and laughing hysterically at something silly you and Sam have come up with. All this and for so much more, we love you.
Peter William, there is something about you that makes our hearts melt just so.
Happy 2nd Birthday, dear one. Our cup runneth over for you.
For a glance back at the past year with Peter:
This year, like last year, we are in Texas during both of our boys’ birthdays. Living so far from family limits the holidays we get to spend together, so it’s been very special to celebrate the boy’s summer birthdays with our extended families.
We decided to go with a baseball theme this year for Sam and Peter’s parties since both boys really do love baseball (they come by it honestly), plus two of our favorite minor league teams were scheduled to play while we were in town visiting.
Later this month, we’ll be celebrating Peter’s birthday in Rockport and head to Corpus Christi for a Hooks game. For Sam’s fourth birthday, we were in Midland for Joe’s brother’s wedding, so we had his party at the Midland Rockhounds game.
It was a group effort, really. Greta (Sam’s grandmother) generously provided all of the baseball tickets for the game and the suite to have a little party; it was wonderful. Alison, (Sam’s aunt) went to work the second I told her our plans; she made all the little details so special. She handmade a baseball birthday banner, picked out all of the party supplies, and decorated the cutest little baseball cupcakes. My job was easy: I made cupcake toppers, goodie bags, wrapped presents, and then called it a day!
The most anticipated moment of the day was when Sam was given the opportunity to throw the first pitch of the game (a rite of passage for all birthday kids at the Rockhounds game)! He practiced for days to make sure his left-handed pitch would be perfect. And it was. He walked confidently to the “mound” with Daddy and threw with all his might. It was a proud moment for all of us and Uncle Robby was sure to get it all on video.
A great time was had by all. We watched the game, sang “Happy Birthday” with Rocky the mascot, opened presents, ate cupcakes, and finished out the day watching Sam run the bases at the end of the game.
If you were to ask me who won the game, I couldn’t tell you. I think that’s the sign of a good party!
Yesterday, I posted some pictures I took of Becky and Stella while I was in Texas a few weeks back. Today I have a few more pictures to share from the rest of my time with the Crowell family!
The wonderful thing about taking pictures for such a good friend is that she will go along with whatever ideas I have for pictures. We snapped a few at a nearby park and then headed back to their home for some more relaxed shots.
Becky has a beautiful family; it fills my heart with joy every time I get to watch her mother her little ones. The cherry on top when we’re together, is that we now have children who can play together; it gives Becky and I a little window into what our moms must’ve felt like watching the two of us play when we were little.