A better way to present the fruit of the Spirit for kids

the Fruit of the Spirit for kids

INSIDE: ‘The fruit of the Spirit for kids’ shares a way to teach kids this concept without making it another list of virtues or rules. It includes a craft and a video to explain, as well as a review of a children’s picture book on the topic.  I live in central Alberta, Canada, and we’re still in the thick of winter. Every time I sit down in my van, I squeal from the cold touch of the seat on my thighs. There are days that my nose hairs freeze up simply from breathing. Jealous? 😜 One thing I appreciate about winter is that I get to dream about my garden (no hard work involved)!  We live in a fairly small house in the middle of a suburb, but that hasn’t stopped me from turning my front (and back) yard into a lush, fruitful garden. Each year I am delighted by … Read More

The Bible is not about you (why we have to stop looking for “life application”)

I grew up assuming the Bible was about me. I mean, my Sunday School teachers taught me that every Bible story had a personal life application, so I assumed that held true for every part of the Bible. And that included the really long lists of names in Numbers, the prophecies about all the nearby cultures that were depraved, the bit about long hair being a woman’s glory…all of it. I spent years trying to fit “life application” on top of every word in the Bible. Then, I spent the next decade trying to figure out what the Bible is actually about. And I discovered something. The Bible isn’t about me. It’s not about you either. (Hate to break it to you, but it’s true.) Do you think Jeremiah had 21st century North Americans in mind when he was talking to the exiles? Nope. He didn’t even have 21st century … Read More

One fun (and surprisingly meaningful) way to celebrate Advent

Wise men search for Jesus

Written by Melinda Biel I grew up in a wonderful, God-loving, Jesus-preaching Christian home but for some reason I have not really learned how to celebrate advent other than scarfing down chocolate from a cardboard window. (I actually don’t consider that advent related…I thought it was just a yummy countdown to Christmas Day.) Now that I have 3 kiddos of my own and hear the word ‘advent’ popping up frequently, I decided this year was the year I was going to “take on” advent for real.   Thankfully that’s also when Christie posted her blog article concerning advent. Just as she suggested, I skimmed for ideas first and then read the details of the ones I liked. The idea of having The 3 Wise Men search for baby Jesus (a play on ‘elf on the shelf’) seemed perfect. Simple, fun, doable, and advent-ish enough to check “take on advent” off … Read More

3 Ways to Slip Jesus Into the Lives of Your Grown Kids and Grandkids

grandparenting

Susan and I share a heartbeat: we both long for parents and grandparents to truly understand their great influence in the spiritual lives of kids. It’s an honour to welcome Susan to my home-on-the-web today. Susan is a pastoral counselor, author, speaker, mom and grandma. I’d love for you to check out her FREE 5-day online mini-course called Paving the Way: 5 Ways to Attract Your Grown Kids to Jesus. You can get the details and jump into the video course here. Doesn’t it just rip you up inside when your grown child shows no interest in the Lord? Maybe you raised your kids in the faith, and maybe you didn’t. Either way, your faith, the most important part of your life, is ignored—set aside as ancient history or labeled “Emergency Use Only.” And you wonder where you missed it? What could you have done differently in raising this child? And then … Read More

Grow your child’s faith through God stories

INSIDE: Why stories, particularly God stories, are crucial for the spiritual development of children, and 3 free stories. Dav was the type of kid that got in trouble a lot in class, so he spent a lot of time in the hallway. In the hallway, he wrote comic books.  He was later diagnosed with dyslexia, so reading, in general, was hard for him. ​In a recent interview, he talked about having dyslexia and becoming discouraged with reading. His mom, realizing that he was getting discouraged, decided that she would try to encourage him to read anything. Rather than focusing on what he was reading, she got him a library card and let him get anything he wanted.  “There was no judgement whatsoever. And so I read all the time, and I think that’s really what changed me. Fun leads to habits, and habits lead to skill. And before you know it, I … Read More

Getting your child’s faith to stick

We’ve all heard the stats about children drifting, walking, and even running away from God when they reach adulthood. Is there a solution? A magic bullet even? Let me introduce you to Sticky Faith, a book written by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark after years of research into the topic. They isolate several significant factors which families with children whose faith “stuck” seem to have in common. I’ll give you a brief overview, but, of course, I’d encourage you to read the book yourself! The key factors are as follows: 1) Sticky faith – the firm foundation “At the heart of Sticky Faith is a faith that trusts in God and then understands that obedience is a response to that trust, in everything.” – p 34 This type of faith is much more difficult to pin down than a faith that is based on morals or sin management, but … Read More

helping your child connect with God through nature

Ideas to help your child connect with God through nature.

A little boy woke up with the sun one day, and discovered the beauty of the sunrise. “God made the sky for me and it is so beautiful! It makes my heart happy!” he exclaimed to his mom. Some children are hardwired with a love of nature. They thrill in the silky design created by a spider, they are deeply moved by the surprise of a rainbow, or they sit in a sandbox and let the grains fall through their fingers as they revel in the sight, touch, and smell of it. Allowing your child to discover God’s handiwork within nature is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child, because nature is all around us. Whether we live on a farm or in an apartment in the city, we all have God’s creation around us: sky, grass, trees, bugs, pets, and people. The best way to help … Read More