I'm Teresa Jackson.
I never planned to have kids. Instead, I was going to go save the world. I became a journalist instead, trying to bring good news to the world along with the other news the job required.
Then I fell in love, got married, and moved to the middle of nowhere. (No offense, fellow Central Oregonians.)
After hearing Francis Chan speak at The Justice Conference in Portland in 2011 (I think), my husband and I decided that we needed to take the Bible's call to care for the orphan seriously. We started doing foster care.
For the past four years, we've watched two darling children grow from a toddler and a baby into a precocious preschooler and a determined kindergartner. Our kids are bright and funny. And they scare easily sometimes.
I started looking for a Bible that would focus on the good news — because that's what the gospel is.
Instead I found cute little drawings of David with giant grin after he'd chopped the head off Goliath. This wasn't a message I wanted to share with my kids. Not yet. When they're older, they'll be able to wrestle with the complexities of this story, of how God was faithful, but how David wasn't allowed to build the temple because he was a warrior.
I found that all the Bibles geared for my little ones had stories that did one of a few things: a) scared them (getting thrown in a fiery furnace); b) were confusing to adults (Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac); c) didn't focus on the two commandments Jesus said were the greatest: Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Right now, I'd rather they know that Jesus said, "People who make peace are happy." They can understand that, and it will help them right now. When they're fighting over their toys.
So I grabbed a stylus and a computer and set to work to create a Bible that's age-appropriate for my kids and is sensitive to the fact that they've faced trauma in their lives and don't need more in the name of God.
There will be plenty of time for those stories when they're older, and their brains are ready to process them. For now, let's focus on love.
You'll eventually find free videos of all the stories I've been working on, as well as what I left out and why. There's a resource page with information I've found helpful, and a page on how to work for justice even when you're staying home with kids.
There are printables of scriptures, too.
Everything is available somewhere for free because these are God's words, not mine. If you want to pay for them to support this work, that's welcome, but not necessary.
My qualifications (and lack of them)
In case you're wondering what I do and don't know, I have a B.A. in Intercultural Studies from Northwest Christian College (now University), combined with minors in Cross-Cultural Ministry and Music Ministry.
I did a semester stint at Emmanuel School of Religion in Johnson City, Tennessee, before I was offered a job teaching English in South Korea, which I jumped at.
In my long and varied history, I've taught a variety of subjects — including Bible — at a Christian school, and worked as a community news reporter and a copy editor. I've been a secretary, a camp cook, a telemarketer (I was desperate), and eHow.com editor. So I've done a bit of everything.
And I'm completely obsessed with board games. So much so that I have a whole 'nother blog devoted to them.
If you want to know more, drop me a line or leave a comment. I'd love to connect.