Archives For God

Join the Compassion Blogger Network
This week, my blog assignment is to write a letter to God about child sponsorship.

Dear God,

When I think about these children, I feel frustrated. I shrink back from the images of children who are hungry and dirty. I think about all the things I feel my own children need. Then I feel angry that I cannot do much. I worry about how to actually take away from my children, my family in order to help at all. I know, deep down, that if I just gave up some lattes, or did a better job juggling the shopping budget I might could help more.

I wonder why you do not suddenly produce a way to help more. Then, I remember that when we do help out, when we do tithe and give to others, there always seems to be little coincidences where we have enough. I know we are not to test you, Lord, but I do remember this and I know that you would make this all come out right in the end.

Of course, what is the end? What do we need to give up to make any difference? Many people are saying not much, if we all do a bit. I know many people honestly do not have that bit right now and I pray that you multiply for those who will care and share and make it possible for them to do so. I pray that you help me to find a way to gather resources together that can be offered to touch just one life. I pray that others may be able to do this as well. There are many children who have been waiting a long time for a sponsor.

Go take a look at the Compassion page.

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want to get your child’s attention while learning about the Bible? Check out these Dvds

WOW. What a neat new way to teach kids (and Adults) about the Bible!

This Dvd series from VeggieTales® creator Phil Vischer, uses all sorts of fun things like puppets, skits, songs, graphics and videos to reach people with an understanding of what the Bible is, and what it tells us.

My opinion is that this is a wonderful Bible teaching resource.

I am amazed by how much I really remember after watching this first DVD with my kids. Before I watched these, I had an understanding of many things about the Bible, things like how many books there are and who wrote them, why they wrote them…but it was never so clear in my mind before!

In the Dvd we got to review: DVD 1: In the Beginning (Genesis), there are two main parts:

“Part 1: “What is the Bible?” How is it put together? Kids learn alongside Buck Denver, Sunday School Lady, Brother Louie and the crew that the Bible tells the story of God and what He’s done for us.

Part 2: “Who wrote the Bible?” Next, Buck and friends learn how God inspired people to write the Bible. They also learn how the first part of Genesis sets the stage for the rest of the Bible – and all of history!”WITB

 

These two videos taught so many Bible facts, explaining things like:

  • How many books are in the Bible
  • Where did the Bible come from
  • What is the Septuagint
  • What is the Apocrypha
  • How many sections are in the Old Testament
  • Who is Jerome

I think just from the above you can get an idea of the fact that a lot of the content is really an in-depth study. Yet somehow, they make this seem fun and keep a kids attention. I noticed my kids could only watch one at a time. That makes sense though. That is 30 minutes of learning.

The Dvd is a mixture of silly and serious. I will not forget either! Some of the little jokes embedded for the adults were hilarious, yet nothing seemed incorrect to me. My husband went to Wheaton, and has a good amount of biblical knowledge and he was impressed with the content as well.

My two favorite things from the video were the Sunday School lady (puppet) and the graphic art representing sin. What a neat visual for kids.

And, though this is a new series, there are already all kinds of kids activities online, like coloring pages, Bible Flashcards, a study guide to use with the Dvds, more clips, and I bet there will be more to come.

COUPON ALERT!

http://whatsinthebible.extole.com/a/clk/3qLLrF If you use this (my) link, you can save 20%. Also, you can go sign up and then you can share a link and earn credits for more Dvds.

WhatsintheBible

 

I was selected for participation in this review and given the What’s in the bible DVD as a member of The Homeschool Lounge Review Team All thoughts and opinions are my own. I also signed up for a reader referral thing where I can earn more Dvds, you can too!

 

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The Pelser's Shepherding Book Club

I have been reading Ted Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart. This is the second edition, 2005 version. The original was published in 1995. Right off the bat, Tripp talks about what he has seen and experienced in the years since the first edition…things that only make him feel more strongly that a biblical approach to child rearing is totally necessary for families today.

He points out: “God is concerned with the heart—the well-springs of life. Parents tend to focus on the externals of behavior rather than the internal overflow of the heart, we tend to worry more about the “what” of behavior than the “why.” (xi)

His theme is that when we miss the why…and focus on what, we miss the opportunity to teach our children to understand their own hearts…to see that “straying behavior develops a straying heart.” (xi)

From what I see so far, this is not an easy book. Tripp asks parents to delve deep into their Christian beliefs and act on biblical principles whether that is comfortable or not.

I really hope that Tripp’s book will offer the practical helps that are hinted at in the introduction.

One thing that I see very early in the book, (chapter 1) is that I will need to truly establish my thoughts on authority in order to listen to the author. I have no issue with honoring Biblical precepts overall, but authority has always been a kind of grey area for me.

Ask my Mom, I was born a bit rebellious. I still, deep down, think often I know better than some authorities…and so, you can see, I have some issues with this. Tripp mentions authority from the get go in chapter one. He asks us to consider how in the 60’s culture, people broke away from established authority roles. How this continues in out day. I like how he discusses that the past wasn’t perfect either, and authority can be used incorrectly. He points us to Jesus as an authority figure. A figure that shepherds.

I like how up front Tripp is with his answers to questions. For example, he wrote this “People frequently ask if I expected my children to become believers. I usually reply that the gospel is powerful and attractive. It uniquely meets the needs of fallen humanity. Therefore, I expected that God’s Word would be the power of God to salvation for my children. But that expectation was based on the power of the gospel and its suitability to human need, not on a correct formula for producing children who believe.”(xxi)

From this quote I realize this book follows a path…maybe a process whereby parents can show their children the how and why of the gospel, and how it functions in society…even in family.

Because parenting is not about ruling, or hiding…but raising and shepherding.

I will talk about chapter 1 later as this is so long! Want to join in this book club and chat about the book?

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emma holding Gabby's Stick to it Day Book

As you can see in the video, my daughter really enjoys Sophie and her guardian angel, Gabby. We have the two books that are currently available and I think this is a great series for little girls, ages 3-7, to collect and share with others. Sophie resonates with little girls and I know my little girl loves the idea of having a guardian angel.

The characters and events really help little ones see how our faith is lived out in the world. A memory verse is good, but teaching it through story makes the concept and meaning so much clearer.

I find the illustrations absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful colors, a bit of glitter and girly swirls. The facial expressions are so well drawn. This book is a pleasure to look at and I am glad it is hardcover.

Gabby’s Stick-to-It-Day

Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.

Author Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author. Visit www.sheilawalsh.com

Read more reviews or Buy the book. See our review of the first book in this series.

And there is more!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. || Read what people are saying here.

Enter today – Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together a prize package worth over $200!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A brand new KINDLE Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel
  • Gabby’s Stick-to-It-Day

But wait! There’s more …

The winner will be announced on the Gabby Landing page on 4/2/12. In the meantime, enter to win the Kindle Fire then head over to the TommyNelson site and download the Gabby coloring sheets, watch Sheila’s Gabby video, sign up for news about upcoming Gabby and Thomas Nelson products, and much more.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

*I received a copy of Gabby’s Stick to it Day for my review from LitFuse. I have received no other compensation and have given my opinion.

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Women of Faith Imagine
Some days blogging is just so fun! I am excited to share that I was just selected as a blogger to receive a 2011 Women of Faith Conference Pass…and a pass for a friend!

So, I will be on the road…and tweeting and facebooking all about my experience at the Washington D.C. Imagine Event in late August. I have not been to an event like this in years and I am really looking forward to the chance to listen to some great speakers, worship and meet new friends.

Usually, I would say I can’t afford this…or I’m too busy….what should I do with the kids…But, this time, with the support of Booksneeze and Women of Faith, it’s time to go! I even love the description of the event:

“Escape from the everyday at a Women of Faith weekend and be refreshed, encouraged and inspired. Because the God who loves you can do far more than you can ever Imagine”

Amen. He always does.

Here’s a taste of what I have in store:


And the speakers and singers look great!

Some of the Speakers!

Some of the Speakers!

To check out the Women of Faith 2011 events, visit the Women of Faith website and see when they will be in your area!

Facebook.com/Womenoffaith
Twitter.com/Womenoffaith

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I was blessed recently with the chance to review a new book by a blogger friend of mine…from the Mouths of Babes, Stories about Life, Children, Faith, and This World We Live In.

My expectations were high, because I have often read her blog posts and know that she is not frivolous, but rather a serious and thoughtful writer, and disciple of Christ.

Based on my interactions with the author, I believe her to be a person of integrity, a person who makes her relationship with God, her husband and her family a priority in today’s ever changing world.

In this book, Kimberly offers a friends advice…but not just any old advice.

During the time I was reading through from the Mouth of Babes, I heard a sermon by Alistair Beggs. He was speaking on Philippians 2: 19, and he said:

“You will never have a better friend than a friend who points you to Christ, by their life, by their commitment, by their service, by their example.”

In every interaction I have had with Kimberly, she has been that friend.

Being the friend who points to Christ can be a very sweet thing, but it is sometimes difficult and is not always popular. So, I appreciate that Kimberly writes with candor about many aspects of life and culture.

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Now, while the book is a compilation of short stories–and you can certainly just put your feet up and enjoy it that way–I have decided to use it as a devotional. With 170 pages of insights on the career of motherhood, living as a Christian and meditations on scriptures, I find reading this as a devotional is a pleasant way to start my morning devotions.

I especially enjoy reading about how Kimberly’s family goes through their days and holidays. It is always fun to me to take a “peek” into the lives of others.

Overall, while reading the book, I feel supported in my role as wife and mother while also challenged to examine my choices and my walk with Christ.

You can purchase from The Mouths of Babes on Amazon or on Kimberly’s website, Until The Day Dawn.

I received a complimentary copy of from The Mouths of Babes, for this review.

Oh, I love this kid! He just has such a happy personality and so often, he just lights up from the inside. He has a heart for understanding God’s Word. One thing I felt he needed was more factual knowledge about Christianity, the Bible, about Jesus…in short, more “head” knowledge.

A lot of people talk about their children needing more “heart” knowledge—and I agree that we can never stop seeking to have more of Jesus in our hearts…should never stop resting in him with our whole selves.

But, as a mom, I have had a strong conviction this year, that my child needs to work on working. Researching…learning to explore ideas and disciplines more thoroughly and at a higher level than he has before.

So, it was interesting that I was assigned to review a Bible curriculum from Positive Action for Christ, whose mission statement proclaims:

“Positive Action seeks to supply Bible study materials that teach the heart as well as the head…they strive to equip teachers to magnify the glory of God”

The heart AND the head.

God is always on time.

Anyway, the study we got seems quite scholarly to me! It is the high school curriculum The Life of Christ, From the Gospel of John. This is a in-depth study of the Gospel of John—it includes 35 very structured lessons.

Now, if you are familiar with the Gospel of John, you will realize that this is one of the most beautiful books of the Bible. John proclaims the deity of Christ without reservation and with such personal detail.

This study is designed to show Christ as a living reality—not just a historical fact. So the two portions of this study work well together for me. First, basing the study of the Gospel of John cannot help but lead to more “heart” knowledge, I believe, and secondly, the actual coursework is appropriate to push my highschooler a bit to earn some more “head” knowledge. And, this course is appropriate for highschool credits.

I liked the set-up of the materials. There is a nice binder full of teacher lessons, Quizzes and Tests. There are maps and illustrations and a CD with slides for use with teaching. The teaching plans are very thorough. You are going through John and studying Christ, his times and geography, just to mention a few things. I am finding that I really need to give myself time to study the lessons and plans before sitting down with Nick and doing the teacher lesson—I had assumed I could just pick up the book and work from it—kind of just filling in pieces that Nick hadn’t gotten, working through his manual–but the lessons do not just mesh up with what the student has in his book. They are more detailed and elaborate. So, no just filling in the blanks for my teaching! I have to study a bit also.

Nick’s manual is a nice softcover, with full color that he can easily cart around. I love it that he can just fill in the answers in the book and have this to keep. He seems to like the book and did well on several quizzes. He laughed and said he likes not having to print out anything to get his work done.

I could go on and on about what is included in the study—but you can see that on the Positive Action for Christ website. The Teacher’s Manual runs $41.95 and the student (deluxe) manual is $17.95. If you can, I highly recommend purchasing the hardcopy  pieces of the study we received—it is so nice to have all the items printed and setup for me and letting Nick use the workbook with all the color and maps and photos is a nice change from printing out “just what we need.” There are varying costs if you choose deluxe edition or downloads, etc.

Download sample pages from the student and teacher manuals.

Take a look at their Catalogs and several Free Resources they offer

Positive Action, has a long history of producing youth curriculum for Churches, Bible curriculum for Christian Schools and Curriculum for Homeschool and Personal use.

See what my crewmates have to say about Positive Action For Christ

I received materials from Positive Action for Christ through the TOS Crew for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

Click Above to See and Enter the Contest!

Click Above to See and Enter the Contest!

The New Living Translation is having a Bible Contest! Enter to win NLT Study Bibles, a Grand Prize trip to Orlando, FL, $250 in resources and more! Plus your vote will help three ministries Give the Word of God to those who desperately need it by generating a donation for Wycliffe Bible Translators, Oasis International, and The Dream Center.

Go to the NLT Facebook Page to find out more!