Tyndale Kids Posts

Ebenezer: Memorial Stones to Guide Our Children by Sarah Rubio

Tyndale Kids


Monday, we will celebrate Memorial Day. If you visit or drive by a cemetery or war monument, you’ll see wreaths and flowers laid to honor and you’ll remember those who sacrificed their lives while serving in our country’s armed forces. These flowers, and the stones they decorate, serve as memorials—reminders—to those of us who have benefited from that sacrifice.

Thinking about memorials reminds me of my favorite biblical monument, the one Israel’s last judge, Samuel, called Ebenezer: “Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means ‘the stone of help’), for he said, ‘Up to this point the Lord has helped us!’” (1 Samuel 7:12).


The Ebenezer monument commemorates a miraculous victory God won for his people against one of their greatest enemies, the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 7:3-13). Following Samuel’s instructions, the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah to recommit themselves to God. The Philistines got word of this convocation and decided to attack. The terrified Israelites begged God to save them, and the Lord responded in dramatic fashion: “The Lord spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them” (1 Samuel 7:10). After the battle, Samuel set up the Ebenezer stone to remind Israel of their God’s faithfulness.

I think remembrance is one of the most important reasons we start recounting the Bible’s historical narratives to our children from such a young age—not just because they are entertaining, or an engaging entry point into Scripture, but because of what they help us remember about God. The creation account reminds us that God is our Source, that he is joyful and creative, that he delights in what he has made. The story of Noah and the Flood reminds us that God preserves even as he purifies. In the story of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac, we remember that God provides (see Genesis 22:14); his provision of a ram to sacrifice in Isaac’s place foreshadows his greatest provision of all—Jesus, the perfect sacrifice and substitute.

It has been my privilege in recent years to edit some beautiful Bible storybooks for Tyndale Kids—books that I use to set up “memorial stones” for my own children, and that I hope and pray will become such memorials for thousands of other parents and children. Here are some of my favorites:



God Made the World by Sarah Jean Collins—Author/illustrator Sarah Jean Collins celebrates God’s artistry with her beautiful geometric illustrations. The fun shapes and bright colors are a feast for grown-up and tiny eyes alike, and the sturdy board-book pages are easy for little hands to turn. This is the perfect first Bible storybook for babies and toddlers. (Releasing October 2017.)



The Faith that God Built series by Gary Bower—These four cumulative rhyming stories (The Beautiful Garden of Eden, A Patch on the Peak of Ararat, The Hurry-Up Exit from Egypt, and The Frightening Philippi Jail) commemorate big moments in the history of God’s people in a fresh way. Each book points the reader back to the Book with a key Scripture verse and a reference to the entire passage the story is taken from.



The Story Travelers Bible by Tracey Madder—This 85-story volume is a great entry into the world of the Bible for young grade-schoolers. Kids join Lana, Munch, and Griffin on an epic adventure to find out more about the people, places, and events of the Bible. The book includes informational features, application points, and memory verses to help kids go deeper, and each story includes its biblical source reference.

It is good and right for us to place or contemplate one of the memorials honoring our fallen soldiers this weekend. But I pray that you will also take some time to place a memorial of God’s faithfulness in the life of a child dear to you. “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”—and because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)—we know that he will help us through every point ahead.

sarah-rubioEditor Sarah Rubio grew up as a missionary kid in Ecuador and holds a bachelor of arts in communication from Wheaton College. She joined Tyndale’s editorial team in 2007, working mainly on Spanish books until transitioning to English nonfiction and children’s in 2014. One of the first Tyndale products she encountered was a One Year Bible that her father read with her every year from the age of eight to eighteen. Sarah loves challenging authors to be better writers while they’re challenging her with the ideas in their books. She lives in Chicago’s northwest suburbs with her husband and children.

Find more #tyndalekids books today for your young readers at tyndale.com/youth.


Have a Family Fun Night with The Story Travelers Bible!

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.

If you don’t have a time-traveling bus like the Story Travelers, you can still take your kids on a trip through Bible times with a family fun night!

Make biblical foods, turn your living room into a game board with The Story Travelers Printable Game, and then finish up with a bedtime story from the book.

For biblical foods, make authentic Middle Eastern food like lentil stew and roast fish, or try some themed food like “quail and manna” chicken and dumplings or some “locust and honey” sweet rolls. Hummus and pita bread are simple and always a win with kids! 

Then, download and print the Story Travelers game. You and your kids are the pieces in this game where the 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, up stairs, or even outside!

Finish your night with a bedtime story from The Story Travelers Bible.

Choose a favorite story, or pick the one that your kids had the most fun acting out.

What to Eat:

What to Play:

What to Read:

Read a story from The Story Travelers Bible that goes along with one of the night’s activities, or pick one of these classic favorites!

  • “An Overnight Stop in the Den of Lions,” p. 163
  • “A Very Long Walk for a Queen,” p. 167
  • “Staying with Friends,” p. 239
  • “Children Welcome,” p. 243

We’d love to see your kids playing The Story Travelers Game! Tag #tyndalekids when you share photos on social media!

Because I Said So: Why Parents Don’t Need to Give Reasons

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.—Ephesians 6:1

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.—Colossians 3:20, NIV

One Sunday when Willie and I were visiting a church in the mountains of North Carolina, the pastor happened to be preaching on parenting.

It quickly became obvious that he had been greatly influenced by psychological theory because his sermon could have been taken right out of my college child development textbook.

He was talking about how important it is for parents to help their kids develop high self-esteem and how children need lots of attention and praise.

Toward the end of his sermon, he said, “I don’t think it’s right for a parent to say, ‘Because I said so.’” Willie and I looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

Had this pastor never read Ephesians 6:1 or Colossians 3:20? Those passages simply instruct children to obey, and the only reason given is because a child’s obedience is pleasing to God.

A parent’s authority is assigned by God. As such, a parent is called to reflect God’s unconditional love and unequivocal authority.

It is a sufficient reason for us to obey God because he is the one holy and almighty God—because he says so. That is, therefore, a sufficient reason why a child should obey his or her parents (assuming that they honor God in their parenting).

Note that Paul does not say that children should obey their parents because their parents provide good reasons. Rather, children should obey “in everything” simply because that’s the way God wants it.

Children who experience the joy of obedience to their parents are taking a huge first step toward experiencing the joy of obedience to God.

To Ponder and Discuss

Do you often feel obligated to give your children “good” reasons for the decisions you make and the instructions you give them? If so, can you identify the social and cultural factors that have caused you to try to reason with your kids?

Do you find yourself engaging in frequent unproductive arguments with your kids? Are you ready to reclaim your authority and stop arguing with children who are only satisfied when they win?

From Grandma Was Right After All! by John Rosemond

Today’s parents are all but completely disconnected from the commonsense parenting wisdom of their parents and grandparents. The self-esteem parenting revolution has erased the practical insights gathered by generations of parents about the best way to raise kids. In this book, John Rosemond seeks to recover this wisdom by resurrecting what parents of yesteryear tended to say. Maxims such as “because I said so,” “children should be seen not heard,” and “you’re acting too big for your britches” are more than cute sayings for John. They are parenting principles, springing from a biblical view of the world. John makes the case that these principles from the good old days are just as valid today and will help parents to pass on values to their kids so that they can succeed at life. Grandma was right after all!

Learn More HERE.

A Mother’s Prayer

TyndaleKidsMotherhood is a big job, and you may worry if you’re doing enough: if you’re packing Instagrammable lunches, if you’re throwing Pinterest-worthy parties, if your kids are hitting the same milestones that your Facebook friends’ kids are. There is so much pressure to present the picture of a perfect family to the world, and that pressure falls directly on you, the mom. Of course you feel exhausted! Instead of trying to do everything on your own strength, be encouraged to ask your Father for help. If anyone can handle the parental pressure, He can.

Tyndale authors Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley wrote a prayer for mothers that can help you cast some of your worries on the Lord. The prayer guides you through praying that the Lord would keep your children safe, that they would have strong spiritual lives, and that He would give them wisdom. The prayer also guides you to ask for your own patience, strength, and grace, and that the Lord would keep your family strong. Social-media-worthy events are a fun bonus for your kids, but what they really need is a mom who teaches them to rely on their God. When the pressures of motherhood start to make you feel frazzled, you can pull out this prayer and let it help refocus you.


Download this free printable and hang it somewhere to remind you that you don’t have to handle this motherhood thing all on your own.

FREE Devotions for Active Boys

The One Year Devotions for Active Boys devotional includes 365 upbeat devotions, each with a special twist or dose of humor to keep active boys engaged.

The devotions combine Scripture and a spiritual message with jokes, riddles, puzzles, and hands-on activities to engage tween boys.

Themes include how to navigate the Bible, make good choices, discern God’s will, use good and uplifiting language, avoid temptation, choose good friends, trust God, etc.


Click on the cover below for the first 7 devotions!

Learn more about this devotional HERE.