May 2015 Posts

Kid Talk Tuesday: Remembering our National and Eternal Freedom – guest post by author Joshua Cooley

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The flowers fell to the earth that spring day long ago, resting on the tombs of men dressed in blue, others in grey. These countrymen shot rifles, fired cannons and charged at one another with bayonets affixed. Now, they were buried together.

On May 30, 1868, three years after the U.S. Civil War ended, thousands of Americans walked a somber path through Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, decorating the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers interred there. The event was part of Decoration Day, one of the first official precursors to what is now known as Memorial Day. On that solemn occasion nearly 150 years ago, Union Army Major Gen. John A. Logan said, “Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

As Americans, we love to memorialize special moments in our nation’s history. This is good. Remembering the past helps shape our future. But this mindset does not just spring from cultural tradition; there is biblical precedent.

When Jacob awoke from his marvelous ladder dream in Genesis 28, he built a stone pillar to commemorate the event. After God led Israel out of Egyptian bondage, Moses commanded the people to “remember this day in which you came out from Egypt” by celebrating the annual Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 13:3). When the Lord miraculously led the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Joshua built a 12-stone memorial as a witness to God’s mighty act (Joshua 4:20-24).

God has always wanted his people to remember his greet deeds and saving works. Psalm 78:4, one of my favorite verses, says, “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” This is why I wrote the Heroes of the Bible Devotional.

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Heroes, a 90-day devotional for kids, shines a spotlight on the glorious deeds of the Lord through his work in the lives of biblical heroes. God’s wonders started in eternity past—that mysterious, timeless period before Genesis 1:1—when the Creator foresaw humanity’s future sinful rebellion against him and commissioned his Son to be the reconciling Savior we so desperately needed. As Ephesians 1:4-5 says, God “chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”

Romans 8:29-30 provides another beautiful window into the inner workings of God’s age-old plan of salvation: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Incredible!

Because of his great love for his creation, God unfolded this astounding salvation strategy in very personal ways here on earth—person by person, year by year, generation by generation—and recorded it for us in Holy Scripture. Ever since Genesis 1:1, he has been weaving his master plan into the tapestry of human life through people such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther, John the Baptist, Mary, Peter, Paul and many others.

Through divine power, these biblical heroes accomplished great things for the Lord. The Heroes of the Bible Devotional tells their stories, using their experiences, triumphs and failures to ultimately point to the God who loves and saves us.

Today’s children—“the coming generation” of Psalm 78:4—need to hear about the glorious deeds of the Lord. They need to stand in awe of God’s mighty works throughout history. And above all, they need to put their faith in Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God and the culmination of the Lord’s eternal rescue plan. Based on his finished work on the cross, Jesus Christ is the greatest hero of all!

As you pause this week to remember the great sacrifices made for your national freedom, I encourage you to spend much more time reflecting on the great sacrifice Christ made to purchase your eternal freedom. Pick up a copy of the Heroes of the Bible Devotional and tell the coming generation the wonders that God has done!

 

Josh’s newest book, One Year Devotions With Jesus, a 365-day devotional for pre-teens and teens, will be available through Tyndale on October 1. You can learn more about Josh and his writing on his website, www.joshuacooleyauthor.com, or follow him on Twitter.

Meeting with God

Womens Sanctuary Bible

A sanctuary isn’t just a place to run to; it’s a source of refreshment and renewal. It’s a place for meeting with God to grow an intimate, life-changing relationship with him. The Women’s Sanctuary Devotional Bible will help you set aside the diversions of life and focus on God, his Word, and his desires for you.

What makes this a sanctuary? 

  • The New Living Translation speaks the language of your heart while challenging you to grow spiritually.
  • The Finding Your Sanctuary feature includes reading plans, introductions to each book of the Bible, and devotionals to help you prepare your heart as you meet with God.
  • My Daily Sanctuary will help you meet with God every day via devotions specifically chosen to bring encouragement and growth. Every Monday you will find a heartfelt prayer and Tuesday through Friday enter God’s presence through the eyes of real people who have walked God’s path before you. You will find the greater truth of God’s love in and through the circumstances of your life.
  • My Weekend Sanctuary encourages you to spend your weekend with God in worship. Fifty-two hymns and the stories that inspired them offer a window to heaven.
  • Also included are a topical index, a dictionary, and a concordance.

Your turn! Is there a passage of scripture or a reading that brings a special peace to your heart? We love hearing from you, join the conversation here or on Facebook

 

Checking in with Flash the Donkey

Have you met Flash? He’s the star of one of our newest releases and has he been busy with all the book release festivities!

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This week is #FlatFlash week – you can play along too! Just visit FlashtheDonkey.com and download one of his pictures. Take it with you this week and take pictures of all your adventures. The more you share the more chances you’ll have to win. All the details are over on his site, check it out!

Also, did you catch the webinar Flash and Rachel did with Priscilla Shirer? You don’t want to miss this delightful message. Well, Rachel was able to offer one lucky viewer a trip to meet Flash and her winner was Jolanthe Erb, a homeschool mom who’s been following Flash’s story for quite a while. Stay tuned to see more about their visit later this summer!

If you’re not following Flash or Rachel, you really should! And be sure to check out the free devotional that Rachel is sharing on her blog – such great thoughts to help you connect with God a little more each day.

Happy reading!

Kid Talk Tuesday: Tips and Tricks for Summer Sanity

This week’s post is from Linda Howard, Acquisitions Director for Children and Youth at Tyndale. How do you fill summer days with your kids? We’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below!
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As the school year comes to an end and summer vacation begins, many parents are wondering how to keep their children occupied through the long days at home. Below are a few ideas to keep the learning process going for kids in a fun way, and provide parents with a bit of sanity in the “dog days” of summer.

1.  If your kids are too old for naps, institute a quiet time each day for reading. Visit the library or store with your child and make a list of the books they are interested in reading over the summer. Work with your child to create a chart for their reading goals and provide small incentives along the way as they meet the goals (For example: when they finish their first book, they get an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.) While your kids are reading for 30 minutes to an hour each day, you can get other things done around the house, or maybe even just sit down for a few seconds.

2. Take nature walks and document what you see along the way. Have your kids decorate their own notebooks to take along as they walk. Allow time to stop and draw or write about the plants, animals, or other treasures they find. Bring a camera along to capture favorite sights as well. If no one can identify the object during the walk, spend some time on the computer when you get home researching and learning more.

3. On rainy days build a fort out of sheets and blankets and have a pretend campout in your living room or basement. Make popcorn, read stories by flashlight under the “tent”, and maybe even watch a show or two on TV.

4. Make your own bubble solution and play with it in your yard.
Recipe:
6 parts water
2 parts Joy dishwashing liquid
3/4 part corn syrup

5. Most importantly, spend time with your kids while you can! Eat together, play together, and even cry together. Enjoy these special times getting to know the precious gifts that God has given you.

It has been said many times, but it bears repeating: You blink your eyes and your children will be heading off to college or getting married. It happens so fast. I know – my daughter is married with three kids and another on the way. Wasn’t she just three years old?? I treasure the moments we had together when she was young: getting Slurpees at 7-Eleven, playing in the water, reading together, and just hanging out. Today, I get to do the same things with my grandkids – what a blessing! I am the first one my daughter calls when she has a question or needs something. That foundation was built, among other times, during our summers together. Make this summer a revolutionary time in your relationship with your kids and have fun!!

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3

Kid Talk Tuesday: Left Behind: The Kids Collection Giveaway!

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Between now and May 25th you can enter to win the first three books in the repackaged Left Behind: The Kids Collection series: Taken, Pursued, and Hidden! These books parallel the stories told in the bestsellers Left Behind, Tribulation Force, and Nicolae. With over 10,000,000 copies in print, this series is set to capture the hearts of an entirely new generation of kids.

Taken
Millions of people have been raptured, and those left behind must choose to accept or reject the Savior as they move forward with their lives in the aftermath. Join the Young Trib Force as the world falls apart around them and they must band together to find faith and fight the evil future that threatens all of humanity.

Pursued
With Old Testament prophecies coming true before their eyes, the Young Trib Force begins publishing an underground newspaper to tell others about Christ. Their stand puts them in a position to be persecuted—even imprisoned—for their faith. How will they respond when the oppression becomes a danger to their very lives?

Hidden
The Young Trib Force finds themselves in some of the most dangerous and frightening situations yet. As they search for a missing member of their team, they come face-to-face with a top Global Community official. World War III is erupting, and chaos is everywhere. Will they survive and continue to spread the gospel?

Here’s how to enter:

Fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and follow the directions for sharing. We’ll chose a winner on May 26th to win all three books.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway