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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!


The Masterpiece Giveaway (Southern Africa Exclusive)

Exclusive contest for our readers in southern Africa!  If you live in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho you are eligible to win an advance reader copy of Francine’s new novel,  The MasterpieceThank you to our retail partner, Christian Art for making this possible.


Simply fill out the information below and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 10 copies!

The contest will end on November 17th.



The Masterpiece Giveaway (Southern Africa Exclusive)


5 Letter-Writing Prompts for Kids (Plus Free Stationary Printable!)

Tyndale Kids

letter writing stationary with just sayin Is there anything more fun than getting a letter in the mail from a friend? In this world of quick text messages and social media posts, a note written on paper and dropped in the mail can brighten the day of both the sender and the recipient.

In Just Sayin’, the main character Cassie isn’t allowed to use a cell phone. That means that when her friend Nick moves away, the only way she can communicate with him is through letters. Just Sayin’ is an epistolary novel, which means it is told entirely through letters written by the book characters. As Cassie and Nick write their letters, they start to understand that words can hurt and heal those around them. They also learn that writing and receiving letters is a really fun way to communicate!

Letter writing is a great way to teach kids to think about others, but the thought of sitting down and looking at a blank page can be intimidating. To make letter writing a little easier, we created some cool printable stationary for kids! The stationary has blanks to guide your child through the proper formatting of a letter. Encourage your kids to show their creativity as they write their letter. Use the stationary as a jumping off point, but allow them to play with the format as they write!

From the Desk Of: This is for their name, of course! They might want to put their full name for a more formal effect, or perhaps they want to put a nick name, or even a made-up name!

Date: Write the date the letter is written, or maybe they could write the occasion. It could be March 15 or “My Birthday.”

Location: The location could be their address, or maybe “my house,” “Planet Earth,” or “by the lake.”

Dear _____ : This is where they write the name of the recipient. It could be the recipient’s real name or a fun nickname.

The Body of the Letter: This is where your kids can really let their imagination run wild, but it can also be challenging to think of something to write to fill up all that space. Try these prompts with your kids! Remind them that the letter should be about both them and the person who will receive the letter. They can tell the recipient about their own lives, but don’t forget to ask questions!

I think the tastiest food is _____. The best place to eat this food is _____ with ______. What is your favorite food?

My favorite place to go is _____. To get there, I have to ______. When I am there, I love to ______. Where is your favorite place to travel to?

The best present I ever got was _______. ______ gave it to me. I love to use it to _____. What is your favorite gift you’ve ever received?

My favorite subject in school is _______. I like it because I learn about _______. What is your favorite subject?

When I grow up, I want to be a _______. I think this is a good job for me because _______. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Sincerely, _____ : “Sincerely” means “honestly.” To sign your name to a letter means that you meant everything you said! Encourage them to use their own special signature that is unique to them. Maybe that means they use cursive, or maybe they dot their Is with hearts or stars!

P.S.: P.S. stands for “postscript” which means “after the rest of the letter.” This is where they can write an additional note to their friends. Some great examples of postscripts are…

Oh, I forgot to tell you…

I can’t wait to see you next time we…

Don’t forget to…

I will pray for you when you…

Good luck on…

Download your free Just Sayin’ stationary here or click on the picture below.  and give your kids the gift of letter-writing. Be sure to let us know if you download the stationary! Post a picture and tag us on social media with #tyndalekids.

just sayin stationary

Looking for more books to encourage young writers? Check out Love, Lexi: Letters to God and Larger-than-Life Lara!

Flat Luther Photo contest

Discover the little known love story of an infamous man in Christian history, Martin Luther. Celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the release of Loving Luther, a novel chronicling the love of Martin and Kate.

More about Loving Luther:

Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows—a choice more practical than pious—but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

Enter the Loving Luther Giveaway

What do I do?

Color your image of Flat Luther (link below), cut him out, tape or glue to a stick and take a photo of Flat Luther in your yard, at a city landmark, or with a pet.  It’s your chance to get creative! Download your Flat Luther here – click here.

How do I enter?

Post your photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #FlatLuther and #LovingLutherNovel. Submit your photo using the Gleam form below. Follow the directions to earn extra entries. We’ll choose the winner at random on 9/29.

What can I win?

A signed copy of Loving Luther, along with your own Little Luther figure, a bobble head of Martin and Katharina, and a few books celebrating the life of Martin Luther.



Flat Luther Giveaway

The Promise of Breeze Hill Mississippi Gift Basket Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Pam Hillman’s latest novel, The Promise of Breeze Hill, we’re giving away this fantastic gift basket!


Win this Mississippi Themed gift basket filled with Southern goodness including 2 fabulous dessert recipes!  Fill out the Gleam form below to enter, and follow the directions to earn extra entries. The winner will be chosen on 8/20!
The Promise of Breeze Hill Mississippi Gift Basket Giveaway

More about The Promise of Breeze Hill:

Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe? LEARN MORE HERE>>