Fool Moon Rising

If you were a reader of this blog back in 2007, Tom Fluharty needs no introduction. You’ve already heard about my love and respect for this man. While my family and I lived in Minneapolis we met Tom, his wife Kristi, and their wonderful family and I doubt our lives have been the same since.

Tom is a world-class painter/illustrator and the only thing more amazing than his family and his artistic skill and his passion to lead worship in his local church is the story of how God broke into his life and converted him. I sat down with Tom two years ago in Minneapolis to record his testimony.

Today I’m honored to announce that Tom and Kristi have completed their first children’s book, Fool Moon Rising (Crossway 2009). The book is now available for pre-order and will be available at the end of September. Parents and grandparents now have at their fingertips an attractive book that will help them explain to their children the stark contrast between a self-glorifying life and a God-glorifying life. This distinction is a very critical lesson in life, but it’s not always a spiritual lesson that parents find easy to articulate to children, and especially in a way that highlights the importance of our Savior. This book does it!

I’ve read this book 20 times and I love it! My kids love it! I think any reader of Fool Moon Rising will be compelled by the lively illustrations and hear the unmistakable urgency of its message.

To help you get a feel for the book’s storyline, development, its purpose, authors, and to see examples of Tom’s illustrations, see the following website:

foolmoonrising.com

Here is the publisher’s description:

This rhyming, rollicking tale tells of a crime of cosmic proportions: the moon, blinded by pride, fails to see the true source of his abilities—the light provided by the sun. He boasts of his ability to shine, to change shape throughout each month, and to swell the tides. One day, overwhelmed by a piercing ray of sunshine, the moon repents of his pride and changes his ways, and from that point on he is happy to reflect the sun’s light.

This beautifully illustrated book introduces the concept of humility to children. Readers will be reminded that everything we have, including our gifts and talents, is from God. Just as the moon learns to boast only of the sun, children—and their parents—learn that to boast of anything other than the Son is utter foolishness.

6 thoughts on “Fool Moon Rising

  1. Has it every occurred to you that at times it seems like we are doomed to unhappiness? I am inherently sinful, thus I want to sin, and I instinctively do not want to do good. But I know that sin ultimately has consequences. So it seems as though I am torn between on the one hand living a life of debauchery and enjoying it fully until the inevitable punishment falls upon me and I am miserable, or else on the other hand day in and day out trudging through the heavy responsibilities of being good thus denying myself happiness while avoiding final punishment.

    I enjoy gossiping, and lust, and swearing, and fighting but these all will condemn me.

    And I my faith shall not be dead by my works of going to church, giving to the poor, visiting nursing homes and orphanages, all activities that are devoid of enjoyment.

    Furthermore what of our actions? The actions that are immediately enjoyable have no lasting or fulfilling or satisfying outcome-having fun and partying and being with friends. On the other hand those activities that have a rewarding and worthwhile outcome-training for a sport, or honing a skill as painter or musician-are not enjoyable in the moment but rather arduous. So am I to live a life of discipline and regime, denying myself pleasure, so that I can have a rewarding ending with a worthy goal attained. Or am I to live a life that is very enjoyable in the moment, but leaves me hollow and unfulfilled?

    Quite the dilemma.

  2. No dilemma at all. You should pursue what gives you the greatest pleasure in life. But none of us needs this in command form, do we? It’s inevitable. We all run towards that thing/person/experience that provides us with our greatest (percieved) pleasure. The sad truth is that the things of this world we run towards, those things separated from God’s, employed for selfish use, will always fail and leave us with a greater emptiness within. We will be empty if we continue pursuing these pleasures. What we need is a new heart, we need transformed souls. We need a new will with new affections with godly ambitions and a new outlook to see the pleasures of God. We need God to act upon us. We need a heart that thirsts after God because it wants nothing more than to enjoy the unceasing pleasures from God’s right hand. The question is not whether we want joy or monotony.

    CS Lewis: “If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    Great quote! For more on this theme I would recommend the ancient book Augustine’s Confessions, and the contemporary preaching and writing ministry of John Piper:

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ And especially Piper’s message “Let Your Passion Be Single.”

    Pursue pleasure, Corey! Find it in the One who offers it forever (Psalm 16:11)! This offer from God is precious, it is the promise of regeneration, offered freely to sinners like me because of the death of Jesus Christ for our sins.

    Tony

  3. I just happened to read this after reading Tony’s review of Jeremiah Burroughs’ “Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness”, one of a few books calling to me right now as I’m striving to dive deeper into the problems of the heart regarding discontentment and coveting (the results of worldly passions that wage war against our souls) contrasted with the contentment we have in Christ. Burroughs has another wonderful book, “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment” that is also very much worth reading. I highly recommend it.

    In addition, I would highly recommend John Owen’s Mortification of Sin (or the book “The Enemy Within” by Kris Lundgaard, which is sort of an distilled version of Owen for the modern reader). The memorable quote by Owen in his classic work “The Mortification of Sin” is “Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.” That is, the more you feed it, the more it wants to eat. Indulging gives it life; starving it helps kill it, though it will not die until these mortal bodies pass away. It is work, and our sinful nature and our lusts are hoary beasts, and we must be ever vigilant against it. The Lord says to me even as he said to Cain, “Sin is crouching outside your door and it desires to have you.” I believe that this is what Jesus meant went he said “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.” Peter says that we must live like exiles and passers-through in this world, abstaining from the passions of the flesh “which wage war” against our souls.

    Now that is not all there is to the Christian life, however, and I am thankful for the great hope and joy that we have in Christ. I must say that if you do not find any join in serving God, there is something wrong and you need to examine your heart. Although we are called to a life of service and sacrifice, there should be joy in it! I have to admit that when I give of my time, money, strength or other resources to serve my brothers and sisters, labor with them, pray with them, study and discourse with them, share the gospel with them… these are blessed times that warm my soul. I can honestly say that whereas I once found great joy in sin (with little shame or guilt in its commission), since God’s Spirit has begun to work in me to change my heart, I now find very little peace or joy in the sins I once enjoyed. The satisfaction fades so quickly and the guilt bears upon me so strongly that it no longer seems like a source of joy at all. Not that I do not still struggle and toil against temptation, but things I once gave myself over to fully do not hold the same promise of satisfaction at all they once did. At the same time, spending time in the Scriptures and in prayer, visiting people at the hospital, serving others–basically, spending time in GOD’s kingdom instead of my own–these things now bring me GREAT joy, as I believe they should.

    I think sometimes we can feel trapped in Romans 7, forgetting about the great hope and promise the apostle goes on to speak of in chapter 8. I would encourage you to start there and read those two chapters (actually, read the whole book – it is wonderful!), and to *be* encouraged! One more thing I would say, borrowing from Owen, is that it is important to remember that we are incapable of fighting this war on our own. It is essential that we depend on the Holy Spirit working in us to wage this war against the flesh, for it truly is His war to fight and to win within us.

    My brother, I pray that God will be your encourager, and that by His Spirit you will find those tainted rivers of sewage wear you once drank and found satisfaction so utterly detestable that they become offensive, and that the Living Water who is Christ would become so sweet that you will continually refill your cup in that great stream and drink to the glory of the God who created you, and reveals to you with power the wonders of Jesus Christ and His cross.

    “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:11-14)

    Grace and peace to you in Christ ~
    Simple Mann

  4. By the way – I can’t wait to read the children’s book. It sounds like this might help communicate more clearly some things I have been struggling to teach my own children. My wife and I have recently been watching Paul Tripp’s “What Did You Expect?” DVD series on marriage and he spends a lot of time talking about Kingdom of God vs. Kingdom of Self. Your description of the book (self-glorifying vs. God-glorifying) made me think of some of the things that he has said. And even though it is presented here in a children’s book, it is a message we grown-ups need to hear and learn as well!

    Thanks for the review. I look forward to reading this with my family soon.

    Blessings,
    Simple Mann

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