Are your kids in school yet? Some of you started almost a month ago. (Sorry.) Our kids started yesterday.
NOTE: I have updated and re-posted this each of the last two years. This year, I have included a free PDF – Click Here
– that takes these principles and put them into an applicable-all-year-round format so you can use it and share it anytime. I’ve also included a link to my eBook – 49 Identity Messages Your Kids Need to Know
– that goes along with #1. I’d love to hear how you’re making the connection between your kids, the Bible, and school in the comments below. Enjoy!
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If I had to choose one word to describe the first month of the school year it would be: HECTIC.
The pace is insane, isn’t it? Here’s a glimpse at life with the Ferrin Five:
- Two kids in middle school.
- A third in elementary school (with a different start/end time of course).
- Three soccer teams.
- A wife who teaches kindergarten.
- My busiest travel season of the year.
- Squeezed in between we all have to eat, clean, do laundry, etc., etc.
As I said…HECTIC. Where does the Bible fit into all this? Especially for our kids?! For me, I can get up early and grab some coffee, my Bible, and a corner of the couch. But I want my kids to connect with God and His Word as well. So…what can we do?
As I write these words, it has been ten days since my father’s battle with cancer came to an end. I got the call at 7:10am on Friday, April 1st (no joke).
“We lost him.”
With those three words, the battle was over. We knew the end was coming. We had known since last June. Now the end was here.
He died sleeping peacefully in his own bed. (The way we all dream of going.)
He died mercifully. (Only a week earlier the doctor said the tumor had likely spread to his brain.)
He died happy. (After all, the last thing he ate was one of my wife’s chocolate chip cookies.)
As you might imagine, there is a vast array of emotions passing through my heart and mind. Don’t worry, you are not about to read a blog-post-turned-6000-word-journal-entry.
While there has certainly been a lot of feeling, there has also been quite a bit of thinking.
Thinking about how he lived life…and how I want to live life. Thinking about the parts I want to emulate, and truth-be-told, the parts I don’t.
You see, my relationship with my dad was, well, complicated. The first couple decades were close and wonderful. The last couple decades were…as I said…complicated.
In these last ten days, here are the thoughts that have bubbled to the surface of my mind (at least so far):
It’s almost Valentine’s Day. Rather than spend several hundred words waxing eloquently about marriage, I thought I’d share some of the most-read, most-recommended, and top-reviewed Christian books on marriage. Next week I’ll share a similar list for singles. (How’s that for a Valentine’s Day set of bookends?)
Get Your Free Copy of “The Most-Recommended Christian Marriage Books”
A few quick notes…
NOTE 1: Rather than attempting to “rank order” these, I decided to simply list them in the order they were originally released. If they’ve been updated, I have noted that. So…If you like the classic, time-tested books, start at the top. If you’re more into the latest, hot-off-the-presses titles, work from then bottom up.
Do you love science experiments? Everything from “mix these two things and watch what happens” all the way up to “this will likely explode and could cause serious damage.”
If so, you will love Josh Denhart.
The two of us recorded a video interview recently and I’ve got to say, I love this guy! His heart for the next generation. His creativity. His passion for learning and the brain. (In fact, what he says at 6:33 about the brain is almost word-for-word something I have said for years.) His love for Jesus. He’s one of those guys you can use the word “infectious” about…and have it be a good thing.
This interview is only 22 minutes long and Josh covers a ton of ground!
- His background as a public high school science teacher.
- Going from the classroom to full-time family ministry – immediately after receiving his NBCT! (National Board Certified Teacher)
- The Amazing Chemistry Show! – His traveling science show used by churches, schools, and summer camps.
- His two science VBS programs (for EVERY size church)
- How you can get either (or both) VBS curricula for a discount using my name: KeithFerrin
Not only that, but he actually shares one of his science experiments (with Gospel message) during the interview! (Check it out at 15:02)
Can I ask you a personal question? How much will you spend online over the next 30 days? Now a much easier question. If there was a way to get the stores you shop at online (Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Apple, etc.) to donate a portion to a charity you choose without costing you a penny – would you like that?
If you do your Christmas shopping online (like I do) you can support your favorite charity with very little effort.
When I say “very little effort” I’m talking less-than-60-seconds-one-time effort. (Yes, you and I both have one minute to give.)
We are only a few days away from the most widely debated holiday of the year. (At least it’s widely debated in churches.) For kids, they just want tons of free candy. For schools, they’re glad the candy eating is happening on a weekend this year. For parents, we want our kids to have fun without celebrating something evil. For churches…well…that’s where it gets messy.
Having spent six years as a youth pastor in the 90’s – and the last two decades visiting hundreds of churches around the country – I have seen lots of different ways churches handle Halloween.
Here are the four most common ways. I am NOT going to give commentary on what I think is best. I’m simply trying to share what I have heard from other pastors, kidmin leaders, youth pastors, and church members.
Do you have kids, grandkids, nieces, or nephews? If so, I highly – very highly! – recommend you grab a copy of Brian Dollar’s brand new book Talk Now and Later: How to Lead Kids Through Life’s Tough Topics.
The reasons why I’m recommending it, as well as my interview with Brian and the official trailer for the book, are all below.
Do your kids – or students, neighbors, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren – know who they are? Do you know who you are? Not know as in I-understand-this-in-my-brain, but know as in I-live-into-this-truth-more-each-day.
A while back I wrote a post about five simple ways to connect your kids with the Bible as school starts. (Feel free to give it a read. I’ll wait.) While our family has done all of these in some form, the “new one” that Kari and I have been implementing is taping a Bible verse right in the middle of the bathroom mirror for the kids to see when they wake up.
If you have a child in middle school or high school – I beg you to read More Than Just The Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex by Jonathan McKee. In fact, you can stop reading right now, head over to Amazon, and grab a copy. I recommend it that highly.
I came across this book by accident. (As if there is such a thing.) It was in the same catalog as my new book from Bethany House Publishers. I am so glad I did.
It is fantastic…and really hard to read (in all the good ways).
I recently had the chance to jump on Skype with Jonathan and discuss this book – and this massively important topic.
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What would you have if you combined the creative artistry of Where the Wild Things Are with the life-changing themes of redemption, the Holy Spirit, sin, forgiveness, loss, calling, and the faithfulness of Jesus?
You would have the Cottonmouth Trilogy by C.S. Fritz.
The Cottonmouth Trilogy is truly a unique series.
Below is the video of my interview with C.S. Fritz. He’s an artist, author, pastor, husband, and father (to name a few). During the video, you’ll hear about his background, his art, his ministry today, how this series went from a concept to a trilogy, and his hope for each book. The last three minutes are my thoughts.