Remember the flannel graph? Characters cut out. Placed on a board covered with flannel. Welcome to my childhood.
I’m certainly not knocking the flannel graph, but let me ask you…
What would a “Digital Flannel Graph” look like?
I think it would look like Eikon Bible Art. (Though you won’t find the word “flannel” on their website. I checked.)
Their tagline is “Stunning graphics for all forms of children’s ministry.”
We hear that word all the time.
“That meal was amazing.”
“What an amazing movie.”
“I had an amazing afternoon.”
Here’s how Dictionary.com defines the word “amaze:”
to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly.
So…let me ask you again: When was the last time you were truly amazed?
If you type “Bible games,” “Sunday school resources,” or “kid’s Bible” into your favorite search engine, you will get more suggestions than you could ever wade through. If you actually click on any of the links you will likely run into my typical frustrations with these sites:
- Most of the sites are horribly designed. It’s either too hard to navigate or so ugly I don’t want to look at it. There are so many free, easy-to-use tools for design, that time and money no longer has to be an excuse for why something looks bad.
- The content is typically lame. The games are too simple…or too complicated. Or, there’s simply not enough there to make any kid, parent, or teacher ever want to come back after the first visit.
- Most of these sites are riddled with advertising. So many sites are obviously set up so that the site owner can make money by selling you other stuff. While I’m not against someone making money online, when I’m looking for a site I can send my kids to, I don’t want them “accidentally” buying a year-long subscription to a Sunday School curriculum! (NOTE: I won’t call out the site, but when searching for “Bible games,” I even found one site had a huge, vertical banner down the entire right side advertising a trip to Las Vegas. Hmmm…)
I was recently asked to review the new Adventure Bible Website by Zonderkidz. I love The Adventure Bible – and trust the person who asked me – so I agreed.
Put simply: I haven’t been this excited to recommend a resource for helping kids fall in love with God’s Word in a very long time!
For those of you who like to see things in action before reading a review, here’s the 3-minute overview of the site:
Using my typical frustrations as a guide, here are the three reasons I love The Adventure Bible Site:
- The design is terrific. As you can see, the graphics are great and the home page is simple to navigate. Kids can click Bible Search, Games, or Bible Activities and jump right in. The same links are at the top as well. For parents and teachers, the links they need (Classes, Student Profiles, etc.) are right there, but not so big that kids will be tempted to click them. In fact, they don’t even appear on the page until you click the “Educator and Classroom Login” button in the upper-right corner.
- The content is broad, rich, and fun. In all transparency, I intended to jump on the site, browse around for about 20-30 minutes and write a review. I ended up playing enough of the games and exploring the wealth of resources, that I was more than 60 minutes in before I started this review. I won’t go into every game or resource here, but I’ll tell you that there are five different games and hundreds of free, downloadable/printable reading plans, crosswords, word searches, and maps, in addition to the Bible illustrations, sermon outlines, and devotionals for teachers. It seriously blows me away how much stuff is given away on this site! I was expecting a few resources to be free, with links to where you could buy the “full version.” Nope. It’s all free. Which brings me to my last reason why I love this.
- There is no advertising. As you can see from the graphic below, there are two small links on the page to “Products.” The Products page is where you can buy physical products – A copy of the various versions of the Adventure Bible, a devotional, Bible cover, etc. Nothing is an “upsell” from what’s on the site. Simply physical resources should you want them. I couldn’t find another place on the site where you – or your child/student – are asked to buy something or “unlock” additional resources. It is what they say it is: FREE! Very cool.
There is only one issue I had and one recommendation.
Issue: A couple times the site just stopped working. I tried it in IE10 and Chrome and twice with each had the site simply stop responding. I reloaded the browser and it started working, so I don’t know if it was something on my end or theirs. And it didn’t keep me from going back, so certainly not a deal-breaker.
Recommendation: There are so many resources that it would be helpful to be able to “preview” them before opening or downloading them. I love that I can save/print a PDF, but since a lot of them reference maps, or specific sections of Scripture, I could imagine times when I would just want to look at the resource in my browser and go back to what I was doing, as opposed to opening or printing the full PDF. I guess it’s not too bad when the problem is how to handle an over-abundance of good content!
If you have a kid between the ages of 9-12, hop over to www.adventurebible.com, browse around, and play some games. Then sign up for a free parent/educator account to see all the additional resources. You will love it…and so will your kids!
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. And if you know of another great site/resource for parents or teachers, please let me know and I’ll check it out.
I came home from my lunch meeting today as the UPS man was climbing back in his truck. I had a suspicion this might be “The Box.” Sure enough, as you can see from the picture, it was.
This is an exciting day! You’d think I would be shouting, “It’s here! Go buy it! Grab a couple hundred copies for your closest friends!”
But I don’t want you to buy it. Ok, I want you to buy it. But not yet.
In fact, I’ll pay you to wait until next Thursday, the 18th. (Oooh…interested now?)
And there are four reasons why:
- A fun one.
- A practical one.
- A strange one.
- A hopeful one.
You’ve probably heard me mention The Action Bible before. After all, I’m a fan of a Bible that has my kids saying, “Come on Dad! One more story. Pleeeeeeease!”
On Monday, I’ll be giving one away!
You can enter the giveaway via the PunchTab widget below. (BTW – I’ve never used PunchTab on this blog before. Let me know in the comments if I should use it again, change to something else, or ditch it altogether.)
Before you enter the contest, check out my 3-minute video review of two brand new resources that go right along with The Action Bible.
- The first is the Action Bible Handbook. Think: Bible Dictionary your kids will love.
- The second is The Action Bible Devotional. Fifty-two devotionals. The story from The Action Bible is right there in the devotional. Lots of questions, application, etc.
Here’s the video:
Look at the second hand your watch. Hold on a sec. What’s a watch? Let’s start over. Open the Timer App on your smartphone. Set the timer for 11 minutes and 31 seconds.
Now, walk through the entire gospel – creation, sin, deliverance, Jesus, disciples, betrayal, communion, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, the birth of the early church, and the coming judgment, restoration, and glory – before your timer reaches 0:00.
Now do it again in a way that is visual, auditory, humorous, and totally engaging for kids of all ages.
Or…if you’d rather, you could sit down with your kids or students and watch this video:
I met him about twelve years ago at a pastor/spouse retreat. He was speaking. I was leading worship and doing some Biblical storytelling. Since it was a pastor/spouse retreat, both of us had our better halves with us.
Gary Thomas. Bestselling author. International speaker. I am extremely blessed and grateful that I have spent more than a decade calling him “friend.”
Gary is passionate about the Bible. He recently agreed to write something just for you, the readers of this blog. It is based on his newest book The Sacred Search, written for singles who long, hope, and desire to one day be married.
I will be sharing that post this weekend. Stay tuned. I’ve read it and you will love it! (You’ll want to share it, too.)
Since this blog is all about the Bible – and Gary unpacks and applies the Bible as well as anyone I know – I thought I would share a few of my favorites. He’s written about 20 books. These are my top four:
I was reading through Proverbs this morning as part of my 4-Month Bible Read Thru. I found myself highlighting, jotting down notes, and both convicted and encouraged by proverb after proverb.
Then it hit me: Solomon didn’t finish well.
This is the son of David, a man after God’s own heart. This is the anointed king of Israel. This is the one whom God gave wisdom beyond any other person who has ever lived. This is the man who built the temple. (Check out I Kings 5-7 if you want to be amazed at an unbelievable building project.) This is a man who is honored, feared, and revered.
But he didn’t finish well. His heart “turned away from the Lord.” (I Kings 11:3)
I’m pretty convinced it was because he got distracted. He didn’t have reminders.
Solomon didn’t wake up one day and say, “I think following God is a bad idea. All that wisdom stuff doesn’t make sense. God’s never been good to me. I don’t even think he’s real. Maybe I’ll check out some other gods.”
No. He just got distracted. He didn’t focus. He didn’t heed his own advice. He didn’t have reminders. And he needed them.
Like I said in a recent post: Slightly off track + time = way off the mark. (Tweet that.)
Last week I wrote this post about one of the worst verses in the Bible. One generation enters the Promised Land. The very next generation doesn’t acknowledge the Lord, or even remember the amazing things He has done.
At this point in my 4-Month Bible Read Thru, I find myself deeply embedded in the Old Testament. Judges, Kings, Samuel, Saul, David, Ruth, and a whole lot of people worshipping God on one page…and a vast array of other gods on the next.
Makes my head spin, to be honest.
The change might take place from one paragraph to the next. But the time that passes is often a decade, or even a full generation. Watching this happen again and again (and again and again) has given me two “Aha Moments.”
I just got back from a weekend away. We drove over the mountains and played in the snow. The Ferrin Five (as well as 11 other grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). When we weren’t out in the snow we were playing games or eating heaps of tasty food.
And I’m bummed out.
Not because of the playing in the snow. (That was outstanding!) I’m bummed because of what I read this morning…on my first morning back! The verse is found in the second chapter of Judges. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of what has happened up to this point: