Tag Archives: curriculum

Second Child as Birth Control and Becoming Christlike

Do you have kids?  I have two boys, 4 1/2 and 3 years old.  Jack is my oldest and is a very compliant, sensitive, thoughtful little boy.  Luke is…not.  Luke reminds me of my younger sister growing up – very funny, very sweet at times, but if things ever so slightly go awry or not the way they want, watch out.  My wife and I jokingly call him “Lukifer” at these times.  I find myself at a loss with him multiple times a week (and I’m not the primary care-giver!).

As a dad, I think I am involved, and take my role as the leader in the house seriously.  I have also discovered that I am not nearly as patient and unselfish as I thought I was.  I have read many books and watched many parenting studies.  Quite often, these gives tips on training your children and communication and discipline.  That is all well and good, and have found many of the resources helpful.  One parenting study, though, that I have been going back to is Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.  This study looks at how children shape our souls to become more like Jesus.

Sacred Parenting looks at how parenting changes the parent, not the child.  Thomas calls parenting a school of spiritual formation, and our children are our teachers.

I think this is such a great study, that I want to give it away today.  Here’s what you need to do to get the DVD and Participant’s Guide free:

  1. Watch the full session on YouTube here: http://zndr.vn/KajKtK
  2. Answer Gary’s question at the end of the video about a particular challenge that you are facing (or faced) with your children and leave it in the comments on YouTube.
  3. Paste the same comment below here (so we can connect with you about sending the resources to you).
  4. Available today only.

Also be sure also to visit the Small Group Bible Study playlist on YouTube.  Watch full-length small group Bible study sessions free from authors and pastors like Timothy Keller, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Mark Batterson.

If you’re dirty, you’re having fun

My boys (4 & 3) and I have a saying, “If you’re dirty, you’re having fun.”  The last several days we have been working in the back yard, including digging up a dead lilac bush.  The boys love digging in the dirt, lifting up rocks to see what creatures they might discover, and trying to find worms.

They have also really taken to a curriculum series Zondervan recently published called, The Nature of God.  Ideally, both of the 9 lesson curriculum DVDs (one based in Hawaii, the other in Michigan) are for children’s church, Sunday school, or even a home school curriculum and for ages 6-9.  However, both my boys not only love watching the lessons, but learn a lot from them as well.

Peter Schriemer hosts each lesson and takes children on a journey through creation that is applicable to their day-to-day, spiritual life.  Kids learn about humpback whales and why it’s important to obey; forest floor creatures and whether God will take care of them or not; and Great lakes dunes and God’s forgiveness.

Children watch the 10-12 minute video and then teachers or parents can print off the activities and lessons from the DVD-ROM.  Each DVD-ROM has unique lessons for grades 2-4 for church or school.  Watch the full first lesson from Great Lakes Discoveries below and the full first lesson from Hawaiian Adventures at this link: http://zndr.vn/L0nL0G

YouTube Preview Image

Also be sure also to visit the Small Group Bible Study playlist on YouTube.  Watch full-length small group Bible study sessions free from authors and pastors like Timothy Keller, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, and Mark Batterson.

[image courtesy of Abraham Piper]

Distraction or Destruction

My 4-year-old has a curious word choice as he plays with his toys.  He recently got into batman, and his grandparents gave him some action figures this past Christmas.  So when he is playing, he says that the joker is coming for batman to “distract” him.  He means destroy but he is much more familiar with the word distract.

Over the weekend, I thought that the joker in our story, the devil, does the same thing.  he means to destroy us, but (one way) he does so with distractions.  How often have I done less for the kingdom merely because I was distracted?  Too often, I’m afraid to admit.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have never been very political.  I believe that God calls us to be good citizens, and to take our responsibility seriously as citizens.  That said, many times it seems that politics distracts us from who our allegiance really belongs to.

In Jesus for President, Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw say that “having power at its fingertips, the church often finds ‘guiding the course of history’ a more alluring goal than following the crucified Christ.”  Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be political, just that we should remember that our hope does not rest in the governmental systems and people of the world, but in the one, true King.  He places monarchs and dictators and presidents and gives them their position.

I just finished reading through the book of Jeremiah, and in 43.10, God says, “Then say to them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them.” (emphasis mine).  God is sovereign over all and to whom our allegiance ultimately lies.

In this voting year, let’s remember to love one another, to be respectful, and to serve Jesus.  As Shane Claiborne says, “enough donkeys and elephants.  It’s time for the Lamb.”

See below to watch the first portion of the Jesus for President Tour Film, and visit our playlist on YouTube for first sessions of over 75 new and best-selling curriculum for free.

YouTube Preview Image

Everyone is a winner

Yesterday was Super Tuesday and we had the super giveaway.  Today is really the super giveaway because for every person who commented, we will send each product involved:

Thanks for all the great responses!

Love is an Orientation blog tour is coming

We’re excited to announce the Love is an Orientation Blog Tour! During the week of March 12 Zondervan will be sharing blog posts of  reviews and thoughts on the new DVD curriculum from Andrew Marin, Love is an Orientation: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community.

Marin aims to equip Christian communities to find peaceful, productive ways to build bridges with the gay community. In the introduction, Marin writes:

 Rooted at or near the center of the constant social unrest and political culture wars that cover our landscape today seems to be the disconnect between the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, evangelicals, and conservatives in general. Each group has become subhuman to the other; a mere voting bloc that is preyed on and pressured by extreme activism tearing the fabric of our churches and government apart. It’s our time, right now, to step up and lead our culture forward by practicing what it means to build bridges among division, letting our surrounding world know that impact and authority are earned through those who know what it means to have love as their orientation.

It’s a topic that generates a lot of strong opinions on both sides. Marin has lived his message in his Chicago neighborhood, and his lessons are demonstrated in the DVD curriculum. The stories of lives that have been transformed by love are significant and the possibilities for further transformation in cities across the country are endless.

Keep an eye out for the blog tour coming in just a couple weeks. In the meantime, you can view a trailer for the curriculum here and watch the first session from the DVD below:

YouTube Preview Image

Thursday Giveaway – Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum

The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum is 50 weeks of curriculum for 6-9 year old children, based on the award-winning Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  She has teamed with Sam Shammas of Redeemer Presbyterian Church to make this curriculum featuring activities, notes for teachers based on material from Timothy Keller, memory verses, printable student handouts, and more.

The curriculum invites children to join the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation – and at the center of their story too.  Building off the 44 stories within the Jesus Storybook Bible the curriculum has 44 individual story lessons and adds 6 review lessons (available online here) for a full year’s worth of curriculum (see the scope and sequence here).  Each lesson provides 45-60 minutes worth of material for the class.  It can be customized to work with younger children, but many of the activities are geared toward children that can read and write.

We are giving away The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit to 3 random commentors below.  Simply answer this question in the comments below to enter and come back Friday to see if you have won.

What is a favorite Old Testament story that points you to Jesus?

I’ll go first…the story of Boaz as the kinsman-redeemer for Ruth is a beautiful picture of Jesus redeeming us.

Don’t forget Jesus in your small group

There is only one thing that I don’t like about the Jesus Storybook Bible…there are only 44 stories in it.  I’ve read it and re-read it and re-re-read it, and, well you get the picture, to my boys since before they could hold their own heads up straight. That is one reason I am so excited about working on the Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum that just released.  This amazing resource takes children (and adults) through a transformational journey.  The Bible is not about us, Jesus is the hero.  This past week my pastor spoke about reading the story of David and Goliath.  Too often we project ourselves in that story and see ourselves as David and our problems as Goliath when we should read it as Jesus is the hero and sin, death, and Satan are Goliath.

In our small groups we sometimes forget that the Bible is all about Jesus, not all about us.  I was recently in a men’s group talking about the end of Sermon on the Mount.  Most of the guys were talking about how we need to make sure that we always stay on the straight path and keep to following the rules so we produce good fruit.  I’m not arguing that we need to be antinomian, just that we never forget the Gospel is one of grace and is all about Jesus, and what he has done.

We cannot keep everything in the Sermon on the Mount, and we don’t have to (not that we don’t try) because Jesus did.

The curriculum around the Jesus Storybook Bible is a full year’s worth of material for 6-9 year old children and helps them frame the Bible correctly – that it is a grand story about Jesus.  As the tagline for the Storybook Bible says, “every story whispers his name.”  In the curriculum, there are activities, notes for teachers based on material from Dr Timothy Keller, animated videos for each story, and handouts for children that reinforce how that week’s story pointed to Jesus.  Here is one of the videos included on the curriculum, God’s Wonderful Surprise:

YouTube Preview Image

Tomorrow, we will be holding a giveaway for 3 people to win a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum.  Be sure to come back for that.  Until then, what is a section or story from Scripture that you have heard applied to us that should be applied to Jesus?

Announcing the Made to Crave Ministry Kit Winners

I have picked the five winners of the ministry kit and will post their names a below.  However, I feel that if each person follows through for the next 40 days with what they wrote, every one will be a winner.  Cheesy, very much so…but true.  The majority of comments fell into 3 categories:

  1. Listening to God via his Word or his Spirit
  2. Talking to God on a daily basis
  3. Carving out time to spend with God as a family

Honestly, what would the next 40 days look like if we each did this?  Many of you commented about being stay-at-home moms, having crazy schedules with kids, and wanting more time with God as a family or couple.  What would you, your marriage, your family, and our churches look like if we all did these three things the next 40 days?  I’ve never done this, but after reading the comments, I really would like to pray for you all:

Jesus, you see the hearts of each of these people, and know their desire for you.  We long for you but like children are easily distracted and lose focus.  Please focus out minds, our hearts, and our time on and for you, not only for the next 40 days, but for all our lives.  Thank you for meeting us and desiring relationship more than we do, and thank you for forgiving us for getting distracted.  We love you Jesus.  Amen.

Thank you all for your comments.  Here are the randomly chosen winners:

  • Erin

I am working to have an extended time of Bible study and prayer time each and every day, and also I just started volunteering at a local women’s shelter every few weeks.

Thanks for the opportunity to win this awesome study! I am the head of a women’s ministry at a large church, and we would LOVE to have this to share with our ladies!

  • Shannon

Our family is stepping out in faith and I am struggling with a bunch of different emotions and fears. I want to be on my knees and in His word to put to death all off the fears and anxiety.

  • Becky

I am seeking guidance. I know that God has a plan for my next step. I am determined to overcome my addiction to food. I take it one day at a time, one bite at a time and turn it over to God. God has given me the courage to share my past with others. I was always afraid to share for fear of being judged, but I know that what God has helped me to overcome can help someone.

  • Andrea

I’m making more time to read my Bible but also keeping track of my prayers…remembering to thank Him for my many blessings.

  • Amanda

I want to make time for scripture reading and prayer, but I want to GET UP and GET OUT. I want to be a DO-ER of the word and NOT a forgetful listener. I want to serve the widow, the fatherless, and the stranger. I want to serve Jesus!!

Many of you are in women’s ministry, so you may be interested in viewing our new women’s ministry catalog online.  Click here to view.  Thanks again!

Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2014 Engaging Church