Growing with Jesus as we Read

We love to read. In fact, as we move forward in our home education I am thrilled to find more and more books that are powerful teaching tools. And have wonderful lessons of faith and integrity; characters of great value – Simple truths!  It is especially fun when we receive these as gifts, for a simple review.  So right now, and many of these are related to the season, and our children – this is what we are reading. 🙂

I was thrilled that Fly By Promotions offered to us for review “Easter Stories – Classic Tales for the Holy Season,” compiled by Miriam LeBlanc. I love to find stories to share with my children that show the true meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection. While we choose to focus on Passover in our home, I do appreciate stories that are able to show us the Holy Week and are well written, high quality, engaging stories for all ages. These stories contain a wonderful combination of suspense and drama, capturing the attention of young listeners from beginning to end.

There are so many great stories that I had never read before that capture the true essence of what we ought to be honoring this time of year. These stories capture the meaning of the sacrifice that Jesus made and the transformational power within the born again experience that we all can share. Many of these stories are told to encourage us to consider how we perceive and treat others, to examine ourselves for that heart of Christ as we show the love and hospitality of Christ himself. As a mother and home educator I want nothing more than for my children to grow up with an understanding of what it truly means to live for Christ and to take up their cross as He did for us.  These are wonderful, historical, inspiring stories ~ Some of the tales retell bible stories like “John,” by Elizabeth Goudge, however most of these are parables and fables that share the Gospel message itself.  The pictures are beautiful black and white woodcuts (I love black and white myself) by Lisa Toth at the beginning of each story.

This 374 page softcover book contains 27 stories from authors such as C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Anton Chekhov, Ruth Sawyer, and Selma Lagerlof.  All truly wonderful stories to share and grow by!

 

 

HOW DO YOU TEACH YOUR CHILD ABOUT JESUS?

“Jesus Sees Us” Doll and Book!

Our children love the Bible, church, singing and worship ~ It’s all about Jesus, but not being able to see Him, how do we encourage and grow that faith, especially as they get older?
  This doll is a great visual aid, and a reminder to ALL of us that Jesus sees.
http://jesusseesus.com
My daughter, who is 3, loved the doll right away.  It’s a soft body but a hard head, a friendly, joy filled face, and arms open wide.  And it comes with a lesson book too 🙂
According to the creators:
The Jesus Sees Us accompanying book is designed to be read with your child. The illustrations and easy-to-read lessons, along with the Jesus Sees Us doll, have the power to ignite your child’s love of Jesus. The book will assist them in their comprehension of who Jesus is and all the amazing things He did while He was on the earth. Children are able to understand the key concepts of the lessons and will amazingly begin using them in their everyday lives.  A child’s ability to learn about Jesus comes in stages. Jesus Sees Us assists your child in taking those first steps by breaking down many of the most important lessons that make up the root of our Christian faith. Each illustrated story introduces Jesus in a relatable way, allowing them to better understand how they can carry out regular everyday tasks that make Jesus smile. The Jesus Sees Us book is illustrated in a way that draws children into the pictures, and therefore, into the lessons. Children learn about God’s love when they learn about Jesus’ actions.
http://jesusseesus.com
We have read and continue to read this one, engaging in conversation (mostly with my older son who is 9 and his brother who is 5)  about how each story relates to our own lives and experiences. This is a great little book to read and growing; as our children get older what a great way for them to see how the Bible is so much more than just a book of stories. No doubt if we are not teaching them how to live this out, there is much that they will miss out on of the Gospel. May we show them what it looks like to live out this powerful faith and how within it too!
Jesus Sees Us is available for purchase:
And right now the creators, Maureen & Kelly, are offering a $10 off promo code to our readers ~JSBlog10~

 

 

Holy Days and holidays   ~ It can be confusing for us as adults, so how about for kids? As I said before we partake in the Holy Days rather than the man made holidays but we do feel it is important for our children to understand the history of these days. And I love materials that can help point my children to the Word of God itself that they may grow to be as the Bereans…

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Why Easter? and Why Christmas? are written by Barbara Reaoch, and illustrated by Carol McCarty. Both of these books have short and simple daily readings, about twenty-eight in each book. Each reading directs you to the scripture itself, as well as providing a memory verse, and questions for discussion (I especially like this for my oldest son). There is also a song for each week of “study” within the book, another great benefit, since all three of mine love music!

This is so much more than just Bible stories; rather Why Easter? and Why Christmas? consist of a Bible passage, a Bible lesson, discussion questions, a song, and Bible memorization for each day, in small portions ideal for little people!

I believe parents will find Why Easter? and Why Christmas? to be helpful additions to their library, and our children will definitely enjoy the interactive Bible lessons within these books. Why Easter? and Why Christmas? are very well-written, and full of beautiful, yet simple, illustrations. While these are two holidays that we do not partake in ourselves, it is wonderful and refreshing to be able to have materials that we can use with our children that point them to God’s Word itself in every way.

 

mission

 

We are all called to be missionaries, to preach the Gospel, where we are which is exactly where God has planned for us.

Not sure how? In A Field Guide For Everyday Missions, there are 30 days and 101 ways to demonstrate the Gospel, right there for you.

From the Back Cover

Surprise-If you call yourself a follower of Jesus, He calls you a missionary!

 

You may never go halfway around the world, but because of God’s work in you, you are on mission. As everyday missionaries, God has sent us to live out his Great Commission in the ordinary, all-too-busy, and even mundane moments of our lives.

But what exactly does an everyday missionary do?
Where and when does everyday mission happen?
And how can you possibly share the gospel without killing your relationships?

Your reading begins with six different questions: 1 – Who is my everyday mission field? 2 – What does an everyday missionary do? 3 – When does everyday missions happen? 4 – Where does everyday mission happen? 5 – Why should I even care about everyday mission? and 6- How do I share the gospel without killing a relationship?

This book is compiled of six week segments with daily readings and ideas for applying what you read, to your mission field.  If you need a better understanding of what the mission field is, how to be a missionary yourself, this is quite helpful and will give you a new perspective on how you can reach out and help to build the Kingdom of God.  This is such a down to earth, practical book. ILet’s face it, we could all do more and this can help us to take it to the next level and really “live missionally” and “do evangelism”.  After al if theKing of Kings came, not to be served, but to serve, how much more ought we to seek opportunities to serve?

 

prayer life

Prayer is powerful. It is so often neglected too. We are all so busy; I have felt that way too often myself. I forget, or I do a great disservice to Jesus in my prayers to Him.  You know those kind…the ones that we quickly mumble before we eat, or before we roll out of bed. They are so empty and meaningless – our relationship with Him does not grow because of those prayers. And they stink. There is no sweet fragrance to them going up. So I was curious to read Prayers for Today by Kurt Bjorklund: A Year Long Journey of Contemplative Prayer. Filled with so many quote-able sayings, and prayers there is much to learn within this little book!  Inspirational and encouraging 🙂

This is much like a devotional too. Each day begins with a scripture, which leads into an historical prayer sometimes by a saint, pastor, or even just one unknown from long ago. From intercession to thanksgiving and surrender, renewal and wisdom ~ these are powerful prayers to meditate upon as you grow in your own prayer life.

 

Can you Discern the voice of God? Let’s face it we live in a day in age where it can be a challenge. Between the busyness of life in general, and all the spirits that are about us, we must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.  Do you know:

Throughout the Bible we see how He spoke to His people.  To Moses through a burning bush, to Daniel when he endured the lion’s den, to Jonah in the belly of a large fish….the list goes on. Today many wonder where He is today but we are the ones who limit God! Certainly it is most important to ensure that what we hear aligns with the Word itself since God never changes and we know that He cannot lie. His word, it is always true and faithful. May we consider when we hear those voices: Will it bring glory to God? Is it consistent with His truth? Is it confirmed by external circumstances? Do you have a sense of peace, even if the decision is challenging? While there were some times that scripture used, seemed to be, to be rather, made to fit, certainly we are able to wait on the Lord, to be still, and to search as the Bereans, to ensure what we are told lines up with what He says in His Word.

 

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

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