Gleanings from a book: “From God To You” by John Skinas

“The icon is a place of meeting where you and God can gaze at each other from the two sides of eternity.” ~ John Skinas, From God to You: The Icon’s Journey to Your Heart, Ancient Faith Publishing, 2014, forward.

John Skinas’ latest book, From God to You: The Icon’s Journey to Your Heart, by Ancient Faith Publishing, August 2014, takes young readers on a journey through the history of icons. Using icons as examples, the narrative offers a glimpse into Orthodox Christian history while explaining what icons are, and how/why they are written.

In the body of the book, each spread focuses on one icon. The spread consists of one full-color icon, its title, something specific to notice/look for in the icon, and a child-friendly explanation of the part of history which that icon was selected to represent. These descriptions not only help the readers to better understand part of Church history: but they also tie the icon back to the present, so that the reader can better understand what the icon depicts and how it applies to his/her life.

The book is geared towards children of many ages. It can be perused by very young children, who will love the beautiful icons on its pages. Slightly older children will enjoy seeking  the specific items that the “notice this” note points out in every spread. Older children will enjoy reading the descriptions for themselves and learning about icons throughout history. Sunday Church School teachers of varying grade levels could consider using the spreads in the book as a base for at least 12 individual lessons on icons, their history, and their use in the Church throughout history. The descriptions written in the spreads of the book will give Sunday Church School teachers and their students much to discuss, research, and consider, and teachers can easily find related extenders for each spread to round out the learning for a variety of learning styles. Both teachers and students will be able to benefit and grow together in their faith as they study the icons and words in this book.

“…Burned, smashed, and buried, icons have endured a great deal as they’ve made their way from God to you. They’ve reached you because He wants them in your church, in your home, and in your hands. But most of all, God wants you to keep His image in your heart…” ~ Skinas, first page

John Skinas’ book, From God to You: The Icon’s Journey to Your Heart, is available from Ancient Faith Publishing at http://store.ancientfaith.com/from-god-to-you-the-icons-journey-to-your-heart/.

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