Counting Your Blessings At Christmas & Children’s Book Giveaway

a star for me

Typically Thanksgiving is the season we count our blessings, but this sweet new book, A Star for Me, teaches us to continue counting our blessings through the Christmas season. This beautiful large board book (8×10) is accompanied by a sparkling gold star ornament. As you read through the book, you can move the star ornament up the tree until you reach the top. You can read the entire story in one sitting or a few pages at a time through the Advent season.

Oliver, the youngest camel in the caravan, learns to travel and notice the blessings along the journey. Ollie notices that sometimes the things we fail to remember to be thankful for are often the simplest things in life. Designed for ages 4-8. A Star for Me will encourage your child to remember God’s blessings and focus on the greatest blessing of the season, the birth of Jesus. This book is a great one for the family to read together!

Easy to read, rhyming words make this book a pleasure to read and listen to. The problems Olive encounters are easy to relate to and hold a simple humor element that children love. I personally felt that this sweet book opened up conversation about continuing to give thanks, especially at Christmas.

I thought you would enjoy seeing a preview of this sweet book!

 

Who wants to win a copy of this wonderful new Christmas book that is sure to become a Christmas bedtime favorite? I thought you would! Just follow the Rafflecopter.

For more information, check out A Star for Me right here.

It looks like I will have the 2015 Bible reading challenge ready to go at the first of next week! Woohoo!

Have a great weekend!

Rachel

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Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

 

Helping Children Memorize Scripture

** Post includes a book giveaway!

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Memorizing Scripture is such an important part of growing our faith as Christians. In the Christian school where I attended, each student in the school memorized a section of Scripture every month. Each day during assembly we would read the passage together aloud. Sometimes it would be a whole chapter and sometimes it would be about 10-15 verses. I still remember the passages we learned and can recite them today. All these XX number of years later. (Sorry, no guessing on the years allowed.)

Helping children memorize Scripture is a vital part of their growth!

Recently I shared with you a great list of books that are wonderful ideas to give as gifts. Two of the books on that list are perfect to plan now and begin at the start of the new year. Both of these books are specific to learning and memorizing Scripture and I just love them.

The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses Every Believer Should Know

What is the Joshua Code? As the leader of Israel, Moses’ successor, Joshua had some big shoes to fill. What was his secret to prosperity and success? His secret is found in Joshua 1:8:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

In order to be obey God’s Word, we have to know what it says. I know that for my kids, I often fail in my parenting to emphasize what the Bible has to say on a particular topic. Our house rules have a Bible verse associated with each rule and I try to use this list as a reference as often as I can. But purposeful parenting in this area requires focus. That’s why I’m excited to delve into this little jewel:

I Can Learn the Bible: The Joshua Code for Kids: 52 Devotions and Scriptures for Kids

This incredible tool, I Can Learn the Bible, is a guide for teaching your child 52 passages of Scripture that everyone should know. The features in this book are the perfect guide for parents to use on a daily basis, but I love that this book is very doable for both adults and children. The parent can work through the Joshua Code while the child is working through I Can Learn the Bible and both are working on the same verses. Work on one verse a week and by the end of a year, your child will have learned 52 Bible verses! What a great design.

At the beginning of the book, the author, Holly Hawkins Shivers, has included a letter to parents with a daily breakdown of ideas on ways to emphasize and memorize the verses as you read through the book.

So here’s a list of just a few ideas I had to join in with Holly’s on helping children memorize Scripture:

1.Make up a song about the verse. Just pick up whatever musical instrument you have in the house and have fun!

2.Write out Scripture Art using the verse, then post it to your fridge for the week.

I’ve recently fallen in love with the Scripture Art that is popping up all over Pinterest. I’m not a pro, but I decided just to break out my old teacher chalkboard skills and try my hand at a verse. It doesn’t have to be perfect- just fun and focused on God’s Word! Here’s my quick try, wrinkles and all:

shepherd

 

I’m excited about future Scripture art projects! I’ve developed a love for fonts while working on my book cover recently and I now I want to buy some new markers or colored pencils and just have a little fun.

3.Use the Scripture art in a journal and have a beautiful keepsake at the end of the year!

4.Take a moment to break out the playdough and sculpt through the verse. For example, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the sky and the earth.” Talk about what the earth looked like and shape a ball. Use a plastic knife to make land and water separated.

5.Use Logos Bible software to create a word search on the passage you are memorizing (according to the age and ability of your child.) Instructions here.

6. I found this super cute easy craft at Danielle’s Place for writing out verses.

If using this fabulous book, you could do the craft on the first day of the week, then keep it close by throughout the week, perhaps having your child carry it in their pocket and pull it out during waiting times or car rides.

7. Check out this list of 6 Ways to help you with Bible memory verses. and adapt the ideas for children according to age and ability.

Ok, friends. That will get you started; I’d love to hear your ideas! Today I’m pumped to give away one copy of I Can Read the Bible. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Rachel

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Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

4 Tips for Parenting Teens In A Digital World

 

 

Parenting teens in a digital world***Post includes a giveaway of  Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

As children grow, their needs change. Every parent realizes this fact early on, but during the teen years, it seems we become acutely aware of the world in which we are raising our children. With all the instant access to friends via social media networks and endless opportunities of online connections, the world can seem more troubling each day. I love digital connections, but teaching our teens to appropriately manage a digital world is extremely important.

About nine years ago, my oldest daughter was allowed to own her first cell phone. At this point in the cell phone economy,calling and texting were about the limit. Since then, social media and gaming sites have significantly broadened the reach of a cell phone user. Today I wanted to provide a few tips on parenting teens in a digital world.

1. Decide on a digital-free time zone as a family.

What works for us may not work for you;but for us, this digital-free time zone is meal times at home. I will say that we have made the exception at restaurants on occasion because waiting times have been longer than usual or the restaurant atmosphere is not conducive to conversation. Maybe your time is the last hour before bed. Decide on a family time together when everyone purposefully looks in one other’s eyes for good, old-fashioned conversation. ;)

2. Address self-image issues with a Biblical foundation.

No matter the age of the user, online comparison is a trap just waiting to happen. You can always find someone who has a better senior photo, more friends, or a stronger sense of fashion. But when I was a teen, we only saw that someone in social settings. Now they come through the phone into your teen’s bedroom via Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and every other social media network. Teenagers need verbal encouragement from their parents on a consistent basis in order to proactively sculpt the right Christian self-image. Feel free to use this list of Bible verses for when you feel “not good enough” to reinforce how much God loves them just as they are.

3. Set behavioral expectations for cell phone, tablet, and all electronics usage.

Making wise decisions about who you trust with very personal information is extremely important. Remembering that every digital action and reaction leaves a traceable imprint is priority.

4. Emphasize that digital access of any kind is a privilege.

Just like any other privilege, if your teen’s phone or tablet or gaming device is used inappropriately for any reason, then that privilege can be withheld.

Parenting a teen in today’s culture is challenging to say the least. My son is in middle school and he is one of the only kids in his classes who doesn’t own a cell phone. While there are many reasons for making the decision of when and how much online and media access to give to your teen, today my hope was to provide a few thoughts to stimulate proactive parenting in this tough teen area.

Recently I was introduced to a newly-released book, Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture by Candy Gibbs. This book is packed with practical tips for not only the murky waters of technology, but also the deep waters of sex, sexting, abortion, communication, family expectations,and more. Candy is the Executive Director of CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, TX. I’m privileged to be giving away 2 copies of this awesome book today; just follow the Rafflecopter to enter.

For more information on this wonderful resource, check it out here:
Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

Have a marvelous Monday!

Rachel

 

Disclosure: Product provided by Publisher; all opinions are my own.Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.

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