Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jesus Wants Us To Share the Gossip?

Yesterday morning as we were riding in the car, Prince asked, "Mom, do Christians gossip?"
Not really sure where he was going with this, I responded: Yes, Christians gossip and so do people who aren't Christian.  Gossip is a sin, and God doesn't want us to gossip about people, but we all sin and make mistakes.  The important thing is to try to remember not to do it, and to only say nice things about people.
Prince said, "Oh."  and with that, I thought I was off the hook.
Then Princess said, "But some gossip is good.  It depends on the context.  Jesus wants us to talk about him and so we should spread the Gossipel.  So that would be good gossip, right?"

So then we had a conversation about the difference between the words gospel and gossip but this got me to thinking.  The Bible says in Mark 16:15 "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." What if we were as excited to share the good news of the gospel as we are to share a juicy piece of gossip?  We talk about all of the things going on in our lives, the people we love and the people we find it difficult to love.  If we talked about people in proportion to how much we love them, it seems to me we would talk about Jesus a lot more and not so much about the lady who aggravated us when she did this, that or the other.  My kids teach me so much about who I want to be, about who God wants me to be. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Whit's End Mealtime Devotions Review

Whit's End Mealtime Devotions: 90 Faith-Building Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up!  -     
        By: Crystal Bowman, Tricia Goyer

Whit's End Mealtime Devotions is a wonderful way to facilitate family devotions at the dinner time.  John Avery Whittaker, with help from Crystal Bowman & Tricia Goyer  provides 90 devotional menus in this book.  Each devotional menu includes five courses:

Mealtime Prayers - a fresh way to bless your food, scriptures and ideas on what to pray
Appetizer - a fun question or activity
Main Course - an objct lesson or thought to chew on
Table Talk - questions to spark interesting discussions
Vitamins and Minerals - a creative way to thank God for your time together or a reminder that God provides all we need

I love the format of this book!  The devotionals provide scripture references and questions to promote discussion at the dinner table.  Each topic is relevant for children and adults.  There are three sections in this book: Any Day Mealtime Devotions, Holiday Devotions, and Theme Devotions. 

I am especially excited about trying some of the Theme Devotions.  Each theme gives directions on how to set up a fun theme for your family that night.  One theme that I want to try is Search for Treasure.  Based on Matthew 6:21, prepare a treasure hunt, and hide family "treasures" in your house.  Make a map that will lead to the treasures.  Dress up like pirates, go on a treasure hunt and then eat pirate food.

I highly recommend this book for families who wish to connect with meaningful mealtime discussions.  Busy families who make eating together a priority can come together and grow together in God's Word.  This devotional book is easy to use and takes very little preparation.  Just keep the book and a Bible in the dining room and enjoy! 

I received this book from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  I am not obligated to give this book a positive review.  That being said, get one for your family today!  You will love it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tough Guys and Drama Queens Book Review

Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child's Teen Years
By: Mark Gregston
     Parents of preteens and teens can move from scared to prepared with a new approach to parenting their adolescents.

     Parents of preteens intuitively know that no matter how good their kids are, there is turbulence ahead. Many feel lost and unprepared as they watch the damaging effects of culture collide with their child's growing pains and raging hormones.
     For the past 35 years Mark Gregston has lived and worked with struggling teens and knows what it takes to reach them. He says, "A parent's success has little to do with either the validity of their words or their intent as messengers, it's more about how they approach their child and engage with them."
The book is divided into three sections:
     *What's so different about today's culture *Why traditional parenting no longer works *A new model for parenting teens
     Foundational and practical, and written from the crucible of experience, Tough Guys and Drama Queens answers the questions that parents are asking, helping them become the parents their children need them to be.

     As the mother of 8 year-old twins, I was intrigued by the thought of what it will be like to raise teenagers in today's world and I hoped to gain some insight as to things I could do now, to help prepare us for the years ahead.  It is hard to think that in just a few short years, my children will be teenagers.  In the book, Gregston describes the cultural shifts that have taken place and how the world is much different than the world in which we grew up.  The issues facing our children are serious. 
     One of the things that really struck me was in Chapter 3, Overresponsible Parents, Irresponsible Kids.  "Parents who are quick to accept the responsibility of making sure their teen is happy, provided for, and protected from all potential harm, many times don't realize how their "overresponsibility" keeps the concept of responsibility from transferring to their child.  This transfer of responsibility is so important because if a teen isn't held accountable to take control of their life then they remain overly dependent on parents...The longer a parent holds onto repsonsibilities that should be gradually transferred to a child to help him or her grow up, the longer it will take for that child to mature."  This is something I struggle with even now, knowing how much responsibility to transfer to my children so that I am not one of those "helicopter parents" that hovers over their children and don't allow them the opportunity to grow and mature as they should.   
   I enjoyed Part 3 of the book, Parenting Practices That Really Work.  In this section, he gives practical tips that encourage spending time with your child and ways to interact to build even stronger relationships with your children. He says, "It's all about relationships.  If they don't have a relationship with you, they'll have one with someone else...If they don't spend time with you, they;ll spend it with someone else."  I want to be that person that my children are in relationship with.  I want to be that person they spend time with.  
     I will keep this book near-by on a shelf and refer to it again, I am sure.  I would recommend this book to any parent that is concerned for the welfare of their teen or so to be teen. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I am not obligated to give it a positive review.