Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What Gospel Parenting Looks Like {Giveaway}





This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.  

Between personal readings and reviews, I have read a plethora of parenting books.  So many that I rarely read new publications.

Yet one grabbed my attention. And I am very thankful that I agreed to review it.

Parenting:  14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family is the newest release by author and speaker Paul Tripp. Unlike any book that I have ever read, on the second page of the Introduction I knew this book was going to forever change my view of parenting. 

To begin, let me share with you just a fraction of the points that I underlined while reading.
Connect everything you require of your children in behavior and belief to the story of redemption. . . . You should look every day for every opportunity to point your needy kids to the presence, promises, power and grace of Jesus. . . . If we are going to teach our children to run to Jesus daily, we must run to Jesus daily as well.

God doesn't call people to be parents because they are able. . . . God did not create human beings to be independently able; he designed us to be dependent. . . . God calls unable people to do important things to that he will get the glory and not them. . . . He calls you to do the impossible so that in your search for help, you would find more than help - you would find him. . . . God never calls us to a task without giving us what we need to do it.
We think that if we speak just a little bit louder, or stand a little bit closer, or make the threat a little bit scarier, or the punishment a little more severe, then our children will change.  And because the change doesn't happen, we tend to bring it on even stronger. . . . But what needs to change in order for that change to last and bear fruit is something inside [the] heart.  
We can admit our powerlessness as parents and not live in constant panic and frustration . . . because as parents we serve a gloriously loving and powerful Redeemer.  The same mind-boggling power [God] exercised to raise Jesus from the dead, he now unleashes to give sight, conviction, power, and desire to our desperately needy children.  
Parenting is not a series of dramatic confrontation-confession events, but rather a life-long process of incremental awareness and progressive change.  
Don't settle for winning a battle about the thing, but rather each time fight for the heart behind the thing.
I could go on and on as many other pages of my book contain highlighted sentences.  Points of wisdom that are helping to mold my view of  Biblical parenting.


Is this book for you?

If you are a parent, I suggest this book to you.  No matter what the age of your children, you will glean wisdom.  If read with an open heart, you will understand your Biblical role in parenting, the importance of parenting, and how to parent the child's heart. 

With that said, this is not a how-to book.  This book will not tell you how to deal with specific issues like potty-training, cell phone use, or lying.  Instead this book will get to the core of the parenting and will force you to look at your hearts - both yours and your child's.

For all families, I encourage a marriage of Parenting:  14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family with either Love and Logic for Early Childhood or Have a New Kid by Friday (for older children) by Dr. Kevin Leman. Both are fantastic how-to books. 
Giveaway 

I wish that I could give Parenting:  14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family ($16.30) to everyone as I feel it along with Love and Logic should be the parental basis for every home.  But I am thankful for the opportunity to give away one copy! 

Click on the rectangular image below to enter.  This giveaway will end on Monday October 31th @ 12:00 p.m (CST).  Winner will be announced November 1st on this blog so be sure to come back and see if you have won!
http://goo.gl/forms/QsoXyR99x6
Or click - https://goo.gl/forms/YXSLrDH2aGMNFK3w1
One entry per household, US residence only, Click to read our Giveaway Rules.



If you are a subscriber to this blog, look at your email or RSS feed for the link to the ABCJLM Thanksgiving Activity Workbook.  Not subscribed yet?  Click to sign up for weekly emails or RSS feed and you will receive the link next week!



Thank you to FlyByPromotions for the opportunity to provide this honest review and for sponsoring the giveaway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Released: Thanksgiving Activity Workbook




Two years ago I released to all blog subscribers the Lego Christmas Activity Workbook.  Last year, the Easter WorkbookThe response has been amazing!  You have loved the simple activities helping your family redeem the seasons.  And I am super excited today to share with you the ABCJLM Thanksgiving Activity Workbook
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to focus on this commandment.  But for the past few months, God has been teaching me that is more than thanking God each November.  When thanksgiving becomes a way of life, our entire lives will be changed.  Instead of drowning in our circumstances, we begin seeing God as Sovereign Lord, a provider, and a protector.  To help your family and mine begin this life changing process, I have created the Thanksgiving Activity Workbook.

Objectives for the Workbook:

1.  To place God at the center of the Thanksgiving holiday. 
2.  For the child to understand how much God has done for us and why He should receive praise. 
3.  To teach the child various ways to praise God. 
4.  To create traditions that draws a family together. 
5.  To “impress” Christ on the child (Deuteronomy 6:7).


Key Points:

1.  Psalm 100 is one of the most popular chapters for praising God.  For this reason, this Workbook centers around memorizing this psalm using a storyboard and actions.
2.  Weekly crafts, songs, and activities to support the learning.
3.  A Thanksgiving Tree to develop an ongoing list of praise.

New:

Because you may not be familiar with the traditional songs used in this Workbook, I have created YouTube videos to allow you to hear each song and see the actions.  Links to these videos are provided in the workbook.  (Please do not share the links to these videos.)


Please share Our Out-of-Sync Life with your friends and family.


How can I get the Thanksgiving Activity Workbook?

If you are reading this blog post in your email or in a RSS feed, scroll down and you will see the link for the workbook at the bottom of your email or RSS feed (look for the blue arrow).  Follow the directions after clicking on the link.

If you are reading this blog online or through Facebook and have not subscribed, the FREE link is available to blog subscribers.  But don't wait because the link to the PDF file is only shared once a week on Tuesdays.  Click to sign up for weekly emails or RSS feed and you will receive the link next week!

Can't wait to hear what you think and how you adjust the ideas for your family!


Looking for more ideas?  Check out these ideas on Pinterest.
Fall/Halloween and Thanksgiving




PS.  The Christmas Activity Workbook will be re-released in the coming weeks. 



This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

When Marriage Isn't Meeting Your Expectations: 3 Tips to Change It





We were in a rough season.  A valley of sorts. 

We weren't seeing eye-to-eye and every word said was being twisted and doused with lies.

Even the best of marriages go through valleys where you simply want to run and hide for a few because it feels broken and hopeless to change.  Fingers are being pointed and the blame thermometer is dangerously high.

Been there?  Yeah, probably so. 

One morning we awoke both praying that finally the tide would turn.  Yet just three sentences into the day the words were cutting and connection severed.

Frustrated, I retreated to our room with my phone and pull away from reality.  1% battery life, it told me. Searching all over the house I finally located a charging cord.  Taking it back to our bedroom, I found that all along a cord was sitting beside my bed. 

And it hit me...

The Holy Spirit laid on my heart, "Stop looking for help.  You know where it is."

Right beside the cord was my inductive, Bible devotional and my Quiet Time Journal.  I turned to the day's verse of focus and read. 
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  I Peter 3:1-2
This isn't the first time that I have read these timely verses but I always thought these verses applied to women who were married to unsaved men, thus not applying to me.  But as I dove deep into each word I looked at these two nuggets of truth with new eyes.



...Wives, be subject to your own husbands

Depending on the translation, it may read "submit" or "be subject to."  While submission is a Biblical concept, it has been twisted greatly in last 50 years.  But I love how The Message translates it.  "Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs."  I knew immediately that no matter what my husband had done or said to me in those past few days, I hadn't been a good wife or responsive to his need for me to hear his heart. 

...so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,

While I wasn't perfect in my actions, I felt justified because of his behavior to me.  I felt he wasn't portraying the godly man God commanded him to be, that I desired, or the man that I needed.  This verse quickly brought to life that it didn't matter.  Whether he obeys all God's commands or none in my eyes, I am to be a good wife to him.

...when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

I wasn't showing respect; my actions weren't pure or holy.  To make it worse, my heart toward my husband was dishonoring.
Nothing I was doing or saying was supporting my husband be the godly man he yearns to be. 
Nothing I was doing was helping us have the godly marriage we desire.
Nothing I was doing was reflecting the holiness of God that is to be reflected in a Christian life and marriage. 

For some of you these thoughts don't appear to be helpful as your situation is different than ours.  And if we could sit down for coffee or tea, I would say that while these three tips may not bring about change to every marriage, I encourage you to find truth from the Scriptures, to pray, and to seek wisdom from a godly woman in your life. 

I am thankful that this rough spot is in our rear view mirror and God has brought healing.  But for those of you in a valley right now, I pray that God will use these verses to bring healing to your marriage too!


https://www.facebook.com/events/1639112416230273/
Rescheduled:  Join me for a Live Broadcast on Wednesday, October 12th at 10:00 am (CST) where I will share ideas of how to teach Bible stories to children.  Learn more...



This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.

Beginner's Bible Giveaway Winner




Thank you to all who entered to win The Beginner's Bible ($16.99) shared in last week's post.

Out of 164 entries, the randomly chosen winner is:
Entry #154 - Emily (email Emi.trou...@)
Please contact me within 48 hours using the winning email address.   Thank you to everyone who entered and thank you to Zonderkids for providing this giveaway.

Be watching for today's full blog post on Marriage to be released in a few hours. 


Share Our Out-of-Sync Life with your Friends and Family!




 This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bible Stories vs Memory Verses: Which is More Important? {Giveaway}




Which is more important...the Bible story or Memory Verse?

This was a question asked in our ABCJLM Facebook Group.  And, I completely understand the question because it can become very overwhelming covering all our children need to know by the time they are 18.  Bible stories, memory verses, work ethic, character...and the list goes on.

But in my mind this is similar to choosing between bread and water. I don't think you can choose one because both are essential in different ways.

According to the Bible, we are to teach our children the Scriptures (Deuteronomy 6:5-9) but we are also to "hide" God's word in our hearts so we can stand against sin and guard our hearts (Psalm 119:11, Joshua 1:8).

Bible stories allow us to see how people in the Bible handled situations.  We learn about God and His character. 

Memory verses are a snapshot of truth.  They are for immediate memory and provide specific promises from God.

Here's one more analogy.  One would never walk through life only looking through binoculars or a microscope.  But in the reverse, the view of life is limited when only depending on one's eyesight. There is a purpose for both - a wide-view and a focused view. 

Because of this, I believe Bible stories and memorizing Scripture should be in a marriage that one can not split.


How to Get Started

If you have not been teaching your child Bible stories or memory verses, here are a few ideas to get you started. 

There are 100's of children's Bibles available to read with your children.  I have created a list of our favorites and ideas to help you choose the best Bible for your child.  The ABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum includes ideas to help teach the story and crafts to support the learning.  Also read ideas on How to Teach Bible Stories to children

Looking back, I believe that I let memory verses slide too often during the preschool years of our children.  I especially missed the opportunity while my kids were sponges for learning. But that is the great thing about memorizing Scripture - you can learn verses whether age 1 or 101.  Check out these ideas to get started:  Memorizing Tools, Ideas to Memorize Scripture, Memory Verse Cards, How to Teach Child Bible Verses Video

Giveaway 

The Beginner's Bible is my favorite children's Bible for preschoolers. Unlike many children's Bibles, this one tells the Bible stories without adding the storybook element.  Today a brand new edition is available included three-dimensional art.  And I am so excited to be able to give away one of these Bibles!

Click on the rectangular image below to enter.  This giveaway will end on Monday October 10th @ 12:59 p.m (CST).  Winner will be announced October 11th on this blog so be sure to come back and see if you have won!
http://goo.gl/forms/QsoXyR99x6

One entry per household, Click to read our Giveaway Rules.


https://www.facebook.com/events/1639112416230273/
Join me for a Live Broadcast on Wednesday, October 12th at 10:00 am (CST) where I will share ideas of how to teach Bible stories to children.  Learn more...



This post may contain affiliate links. Without any cost to you, when clicking on these links you are helping to support the further development of this blog and the ABCJLM website.