January 2018 Posts

Tips for Memorizing Scripture in the New Year by Kathryn O’Brien

Tyndale Kids

The thing about New Year’s Resolutions is, well, they get old pretty quickly. No matter how resolute we feel on the first of January, most of us seem to lose that resolve by the time February rolls around. We should probably start calling them New Year’s Considerations. Or how about New Year’s Not Very Likelys!

With so many worthy resolutions out there, from getting healthy to getting organized, from spending less money to reading more books, why do we lose our drive? Why do we give up? Why do great intentions that start with such sparkle end up fizzling so fast?

Even the most worthy aims, the resolutions that would have the most valuable consequences for our families, can get lost in the busyness of a new year, new activities, new stress. One such goal, one that is bound to have significant implications on our children, is Scripture memory. Committing to learning and memorizing Bible verses is a resolution that goes far beyond dropping a dress size or growing our savings account; it’s a goal that could have an impact on the rest of our kids’ lives.

Knowing how slippery those New Year’s resolutions can be and that some goals, such as Scripture memory, are worthy of our very best effort, consider these ideas as we head into 2018. They are tips for making Bible verses stick the whole year through.


Make it a family affair. Instead of announcing Mom’s good idea or declaring that Dad made a decision, invite children into a discussion of valuable goals for the new year. Ask them for input, which will provide accountability for everyone involved, then write a resolutions list together. Suggest Scripture memory as one of the family goals, and together list reasons why this is a worthy task. Open the discussion, and lead your kids to think about the value of learning God’s Word.

Keep it simple. Instead of the huge, sweeping resolutions that tend to get overwhelming and eventually left behind, make Bible memory happen in small, doable, and therefore, more realistic steps. Especially for younger children, be sure to choose a reasonable list of shorter verses (I suggest one per month to start), rather than a multitude of lengthy or extensive Scripture verses. Looking for a place to begin? Check out Psalm 46:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 4:32, Luke 6:31, and Proverbs 3:5.

Plan it out. A great idea fades quickly without practical steps to put it into action. So the next time you’re out, pick up a 2018 monthly calendar then pull out the colored markers. Ask your kids to help you choose one color for marking the introduction of a new verse, another color for practice, and a separate color for checking progress. Add some variety to the schedule by reserving a few dinners each week for practicing together, or save the weekends for solely reviewing past verses. As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish!

Get a helping hand. There are many ways to make the commendable goal of memorizing Scripture a bit less daunting and a lot more lasting. Kids can create personal reminders by making Bible verse bookmarks or posters for the fridge. Use seasonal progress charts to keep track of the family’s progress. (Tyndale House Publishers offers several darling designs.) Ask relatives or friends to assist with accountability by checking in regularly. And be sure to reward all growth, big or small, with a fun family outing or a special meal.


So this year, let’s hear it for resolving to keep our resolve in keeping a great resolution! And instead of letting our desire for Scripture memory disappear with the melting snow, guide your kids in hiding God’s Word in their hearts for a lifetime!

To help even the youngest children get their first start on memorizing Scripture, check out Kathryn O’Brien’s Sit for a Bit series from Tyndale, coming soon in board book version!

 

Ways to Learn More Bible Truths as a Family This Year by Kathy Cassel

Tyndale Kids

For many of us, the ink is barely dry on our New Year’s resolutions; yet within a few weeks, those same resolutions are forgotten or ignored. The motivation has worn off, and the newness of the year is past. We skip the morning run and eat that dessert we swore off.

While those resolutions may be important, the best resolution we can have is to get into God’s Word in the new year—individually, and also as a family.

bible-reading

It is crucial that we have personal time for Bible reading and prayer so we can grow in our faith and be the role models God plans for us to be for our children. Yet, it is also vital to establish a time to dig into God’s Word as a family.

If the thought of a family devotion time causes dread or anxiety, you might be making it too hard or overthinking the matter. While family time needs to be a daily priority, it doesn’t have to be a long, formal time. Set aside fifteen minutes each day to plug into God’s Word.

Make it fun to learn more about the Bible. You can do this by using The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids, which will help you teach your children something new about the Bible every day. Even though the book is geared for youth, it’s appropriate for the whole family. You might learn something new too!

Each devotion starts with a trivia question about the Bible. Begin the year in the book of Genesis and end with Revelation. Since the devotion starts with a question, it might be fun to read the opening trivia question to your children in the morning (or write it on a white board) and let them figure out the answer before you meet at dinnertime or in the evening to read the devotion. Or if you prefer to have your family devotions in the morning, give the children the question the night before and encourage them to find the answer by morning.

tally-bible-trivia-competition

Some of the answers may be obvious, but others may be about Bible people or places that are unfamiliar. If children are reluctant to take part, make it a competition. You can have your children write their answers on a piece of paper and give them to you. Tally the right answers during the week, and have a prize at the end of the week for the child with the highest number of correct answers or for everyone who reaches a prearranged number of correct answers.

No matter what other resolutions you make this year, set a goal as a family to get into God’s Word each day to learn something new.


Katrina (Kathy) is author of several Tyndale books, including The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible and the One Year Book of Bible Trivia. She’s also the author of The Christian Girl’s Guide to Being Your Best, The Christian Girl’s Guide to the Bible and several other books for the teen/tween audience. Katrina has a BS degree in elementary education from Grace College, Winona Lake, Indiana, and a M.Ed. with a reading specialty from The University of North Dakota. Katrina has worked with children of all ages in a variety of educational and church settings. She and her husband have eight children and live in Panama City, Florida.

 

 

To learn more about Kathy, find her on Facebook, or visit her at her website, www.kathycassel.com.

5 Devotionals Your Family Will Love

Begin the new year with a devotional for your family! Browse the list below for the prefect gift for your family, or see the complete list on Tyndale.com. Save 30% through February 4, 2018. May the Lord bless the coming year for you and your loved ones!

Packaging

Kingdom Family Devotional: 52 Weeks of Growing Together by Tony Evans and Jonathan Evans

This new devotional from Dr. Tony Evans and his son Jonathan Evans will provide both single and married parents with a resource tool to maximize those family devotional times, such as the dinner hour or bedtime. The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic that will guide devotional times Monday through Friday. This is a wonderful way to build a spiritually strong family week by week, day after day—a perfect way to head into the weekend. Learn More HERE>>

 

 

Packaging

He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection by Carol Kent

When Carol Kent’s son was sentenced to life in prison without parole, Carol was consumed with grief, sadness, and despair. In the middle of her sorrow, Carol turned to the place where she had always gone for comfort—the Bible. She was desperate to hear God’s voice. She soon discovered that the best way for her to “listen” to His voice was to meditate on Scripture and then write out what she believed He was saying. She wrote it as if it was His prayer over her life, and it comforted her. It was as if He took her by the hand, as a father would guide a child, and He gently led her in the direction of unconditional love, renewed hope, and fresh faith. He Holds My Hand is a page-per-day 365-day devotional. Based on Scripture, this devotional is written as if God the Father is speaking His words of comfort and protection directly over you. Listen to God’s voice and put your hand in His. Learn More HERE>>

Written by the Adventures in Odyssey team, 90 Devotions for Kids provides fun, Bible-based devotions for families and will encourage children to spend time learning more about God. There are no better mentors than Whit and the folks from Odyssey to partner with parents as they teach their children about God’s Word and make the truths of the Bible accessible to their kids. Parents will find the tools they need to help start children on a path toward regular time alone with God, and families will be encouraged to spend time together as they share the daily readings. Learn More HERE>>

 

 

 

Packaging365 Pocket Prayers by Ronald A. Beers

Each year of life brings seasons of loneliness, doubt, joy, confusion, fear, reasons for celebration, and occasions for grieving. 365 Pocket Prayers lets you grow closer to God with each passing day. With this convenient, easy-to-carry, quick-access prayer guide you will be able to express your hopes and heartaches to the God who listens in times both good and bad. Look for other books in the Pocket Prayers series from Tyndale. Learn More HERE>>
 

 

PackagingLife Application Study Bible Devotional Daily Wisdom from the Life of Jesus by Tyndale, Livingstone, and David R. Veerman

Readers of the Life Application Study Bible—the #1 bestselling study Bible—will welcome the arrival of the new Life Application Study Bible Devotional. Let the life of Jesus sink into your mind and heart with 312 readings from the gospels—one for each weekday and one for the weekend. In the Life Application Study Bible Devotional: Daily Wisdom from Jesus, each week focuses on a different event in Jesus’ life—drawing out daily wisdom from his parables, teachings, conversations, miracles, and interactions with people. You’ll learn important biblical principles, become inspired to put God’s Word into practical action, and be forever changed by a year spent going deeper with your Savior. Learn More HERE>>

Seven Snow Day Activities for Endless Indoor Fun by Emily Bonga

Tyndale Kids

When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember the excitement of the phone ringing bright and early after a night of intense snowfall. Mom or Dad would answer the phone, and their face would say it all: We had a snow day! A whole day of freedom from schoolwork was a dream come true for my little, elementary-aged self; but I’m sure my parents were wondering how we would pass the time on these completely-unanticipated, stuck-inside kind of days. They would have loved a list of outside-the-box activities for me and my sisters that provided fun, active alternatives to watching television all day.

Below are seven interactive, indoor activities for your little ones the next time a snow day blows into town.

Enjoy!


play-dough

Make Your Own Play Dough—Play dough can be made from just four ingredients that are typically found in the home—flour, salt, warm water, and food coloring. Not only will your kids enjoy making the play dough with you, but they’ll also love using it to make their own creations after the mixing is finished! Click here to find an article that not only has a recipe for creating your own play dough, but also suggests various household items your children could use while playing with the dough.


story-travelers-bible

Story Travelers Bible Game—In The Story Travelers Bible, the Story Travelers, Lana Griffin and Munch, hop on an extraordinary bus and take a tour through some of the greatest stories in the Bible. The kids watch Noah build his ark, see Moses discover the burning bush, and stand on the shore as John baptizes Jesus.

Your kids can become Story Travelers, too, with the free, downloadable Story Travelers game! In this game, players must act out Bible events to make it to the finish line. You can make the game as long or as short as you want by printing out extra blank spaces. The game could go over furniture, under tables, or up stairs! The possibilities are endless with this story-traveling adventure.


hot-chocolate

Hot Chocolate—Who doesn’t love a cup of hot cocoa on a cold, snowy day? Here’s a list of fun mix-ins for your kids to add to their cocoa to make it snow-day-special:

  • Candy Canes (which double as stirring sticks for anything else you may be mixing in!)
  • Marshmallows
  • Colored Sprinkles
  • M&M’s or other chocolate candies
  • Whipped cream
  • Hershey’s chocolate syrup and/or caramel sauce
  • Pirouettes (which can also be used to stir)

Pool Noodle Race Track—Do you have a pool noodle in your garage or attic from summer days spent poolside or at the beach? Repurpose it into a racetrack for marbles or matchbox cars and enjoy the racing fun! Click here for materials you’ll need to get started and for instructions on how to set up your track.


your-magnificent-chooserYour Magnificent Chooser ActivitiesWe all have choices to make each day, even the youngest children. The choices we make play a large part in forming who we grow to be as adults. In Your Magnificent Chooser, author John Ortberg whimsically addresses the ability to make choices, inviting children to use the “magnificent chooser” that God gave them to make right choices every day.                                                            

Lots of free resources are available for you and your children as you apply the concepts found in the book Your Magnificent Chooser! Click on the links below to check out these various activities.


Create a Blanket Fort—Forts are warm, cozy spaces that are perfect for playing pretend, reading books, or sharing your favorite stories. Using extra sheets, blankets, couch cushions, or pillows that you have on hand, help your child create a blanket fort. When we made them in our house, we would pull out the kitchen chairs and use those to build the “outline” for our forts. Clothespins were clipped to the linens to close gaps between blankets or sheets. Be sure to have a flashlight on hand if your child will be reading inside the fort!


tea-party

Throw a tea party—Growing up, my sisters and I had a little, plastic tea-party play set that would keep us entertained for hours. Each time we threw a tea party, we would fill the teacups to the brim with “tea” (usually water from the tap!) and don our fanciest dress-up clothes as we sat cross-legged on the family room floor enjoying our oh-so-fancy snack that usually consisted of Goldfish crackers or pretzels. Tea parties provide a great way for your kids to exercise their imagination while also honing their etiquette skills!


Here’s to a future snow day full of creative, playful fun!


Sources:

https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-playdough/

https://familyfoodandtravel.com/2015/08/pool-noodle-race-track.html


Emily Bonga is the Marketing and Publishing Coordinator for the Tyndale Books team.

Start Your Year with a Powerful Non-Resolution by Stephanie Rische

Tyndale Kids

It’s the beginning of another new year, and I might as well make my confession now: I am terrible at resolutions.

Oh, I might make an impressive list of goals with corresponding sub-points. I might write them down in a pretty journal and even color-code them with fancy pens. But don’t be fooled. Before the Christmas decorations have had time to gather any dust, I will have forgotten all about my lofty aspirations and bullet-pointed lists.

So I’ve made a new resolution: No more New Year’s resolutions! Instead, I’m shooting for the “New Year’s for Dummies” version of goal-setting and choosing a word of the year instead. That’s right—no lists, no striving after a bunch of unattainable ideals, just a single-word theme.

The idea is that throughout the year, my heart and mind can settle on that one word and be open to what God wants to show me on that topic. This is a relief for a recovering perfectionist like me, because it offers a lot of room for grace. My yearlong quest won’t be about succeeding or failing; it won’t be about how many boxes I check off or how far off the mark I find myself come December. It will be about anticipating the transformation God is going to do inside of me in the year ahead.

As this new year begins, I’d like to invite you to join me on this adventure of non-resolutions. Whenever you can sneak in some moments of quiet—in the morning, while you’re in the car, or over a cup of coffee, ask God if there’s a word he wants you to focus on this year. And then, once you’ve settled on your word, jump in with both feet.

The beautiful thing is, there’s no wrong way to pursue your word. Maybe you’ll write the word on a sticky note and post it on your mirror or your refrigerator to recalibrate your thoughts throughout the day. Maybe you’ll read the Bible with an eye open for what God has to say on the topic. Maybe you’ll meet with a friend each month to share how you see this playing out in your life. Maybe you’ll find a book that speaks into this topic or tells the story of someone who lived out this word well. You might even have a family meeting and decide on a word of the year for your whole family.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few ideas to get you started, along with some books that go along with each theme. Some of the books are for you, some are for your kids, and some are read-alouds for the whole family. I trust that they will be good company as you pursue your word of the year.


 

story-travelers-bible-tracey-madder

 

breaking-cover-michele-rigby-assad

 

treasure-island

 

jungle-book-rodyard-kipling


 

the-giraffe-that-was-afraid-of-heights-amy-carlson

 

under-the-cover-of-light-carole-engle-avriett

 

the-red-badge-of-courage-stephen-crane


 

wow-dandi-daley-mackall

 

so-close-to-amazing-karianne-wood

 

loving-luther-allison-pittman


 

give-thanks-board-book-kathryn-obrien

 

long-days-of-small-things-catherine-mcniel

 

little-women-louisa-may-alcott

 

great-expectations-charles-dickens


 

one-year-book-of-bible-trivia-for-kids-kathy-cassel

 

oy-book-of-did-you-know-devotions-for-kids

 

chronological-life-application-study-bible


 

i-can-be-kind-amy-carlson

 

daily-acts-of-kindness-devotional

 

love-kindness-barry-corey


Once you decide on your word for the year, we’d love to hear from you. What word did you choose? How do you hope to see it play out in your life and in your family in the year ahead?

Happy 2018!


Stephanie Rische is a senior editor and team leader at Tyndale House Publishers, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Marriage Today, and Significant Living magazine. You can follow Stephanie’s blog at www.StephanieRische.com.