The Good Book

I was always captivated by
“Once upon a time”:
the magical invitation
into a world not mine.
The world of giants and talking animals,
the world of spies and zookeepers,
pirates, pioneers and pilots–
I followed them through deserts and oceans,
deep space, rush hour traffic,
mountains and subterranean caverns.
I puzzled things out with Nancy Drew,
yearned for justice with Black Beauty,
cried with Jane Eyre,
whistled with Tom Sawyer,
and found my way to Narnia
through a dusty old wardrobe.
The stories of people long ago,
and of people yet to be,
mingled in my mind
with the stories of people just like me.
Hours spent turning pages
have helped me more than I can say
to walk in others’ footsteps
and imagine the lives they lead.
So I give thanks for authors,
for the feel of pages between my fingers,
for libraries and bookstores and friend’s shelves.
I give thanks for literacy and leisure to read.
I praise God for the good book.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

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