Monthly Archives: October 2013

  1. Encouraging Biblical Literacy in Preschoolers

    In a previous post, I made the case and gave suggestions for encouraging biblical literacy in our nurseries. What comes next? Preschool, 2- to 4-year-olds. At the preschool level, children should not only hear the Bible taught, but should also SEE it. What do I mean by that? And what other things can we do to encourage biblical literacy at this age? Read on...

    • Use the Bible as you teach, even if you are not reading directly from the text—have your Bible open to the corresponding text. Show the children that the story is from the Bible by pointing to the text that you are going to read.
    • Look for opportunities to read directly from the text  even if it is only one verse from the story. When you do this, emphasize that you are reading from the Bible, "I am going to read from the Bible now. This is what God says..."
    • Expand and continually review key biblical themes—repetition encourages memorization.
    • Make simple connections,
    ... More

  2. What is in the Box?

    There is something special about receiving a package and experiencing the excitement of slicing through the tape or ripping the tab off in order to get the first glimpse of what is inside the box. At Children Desiring God, hearing the UPS lady walk through the door to our offices always gets everyone’s attention. Undoubtedly, someone will ask her the big question, “What is it?” As she attempts to catch her breath after hauling our boxes up the steep stairs to the third floor, she will respond with something along the lines of: “How would I know? You are the ones who ordered it. All I can see is the box.” The box—a dirty, travel-worn and sometimes damaged package. In a way, our hearts are like the cardboard boxes that arrive dirty and travel-worn because we are all born with darkened, sinful hearts that fail to reflect God's perfect ... More

  3. Specific Things to Pray for Your Children

    Earlier this spring, Jon Bloom posted an article, “Seven Things to Pray for Your Children,” at Desiring God. Here is a summary of his seven things to pray:

    1. That Jesus will call them and no one will hinder them from coming (Matthew 19:13–15).
    2. That they will respond in faith to Jesus’ faithful, persistent call (2 Peter 3:9).
    3. That they will experience sanctification through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, and will increasingly desire to fulfill the greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-39).
    4. That they will not be unequally yoked in intimate relationships, especially marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14).
    5. That their thoughts will be pure (Philippians 4:8).
    6. That their hearts will be stirred to give generously to the Lord’s work (Exodus 35:29).
    7. That when the time is right, they will GO! (Matthew 28:18-20).
    Read the entire post here ... More

  4. Active Learning Goes Beyond Activity

    One of the God-given means for influencing the heart and the will is to encourage students to be active participants in the learning process. Most people would agree that it is good for children to be involved in the learning process and most of us could even give reasons why this is so:

    • It makes the lessons more interesting, and therefore helps child to pay attention (easy for their minds to wander if you are doing all the talking)—Students do not get bored if they are actively participating in the learning process.
    • Children will often remember the concepts longer if they have been involved in the learning process.
    • When children are involved in the discovery of knowledge themselves,  sometimes they can internalize truth better—discovering a Bible truth sometimes causes that truth to be embraced in the heart, rather than just understood in the head.
    ... More

  5. What Makes You Proud?

    As a teacher and a parent, I have often found myself caught in the cultural "success-trap," encouraging and measuring my students’ and children's success with wrong or deficient goals and measures. For example, do I measure success in my 1st grade Sunday school class merely by how many verses the children can memorize during the year? By how fast they can do a Sword Drill? By how many lesson themes they can remember? Yes, all of those things can be good goals, but... This week, I found this posting by R.C. Sproul, Jr. at Ligonier Ministries to be both convicting and helpful:

    Because those in the world are so quick to live vicariously through their children, to catalog their successes in conversation and on social media, we Christians are tempted to follow suit. We want to show the world that our following in the pathway of Christ doesn’t make us losers, but
    ... More

  6. Two Year Olds and Scary Things

    For whatever reason, my 2-year-old grandson David, is afraid of owls—really afraid. His fear of owls has even started to cause nightmares. As far as his parents know, the only owls he's ever encountered have been in Winnie-the-Pooh and Kipper (not exactly your frightening kind of children's literature). You're only 2 years old and you already know that there are scary things out there—things that want to get you in the night! This brought to mind some important thoughts from Dr. Russell Moore. In his message, “No Longer Tossed To and Fro,” he states,

    In order for our children to hear and understand the gospel...we do not need to hide from them the dark aspects that the Scripture tells us about. They already know that something is wrong with the universe.
    Watch this video and see how he expounds on this statement starting at 34:30 . ... More

  7. Traditions and Our Children

    I have really enjoyed Noël Piper's book Treasuring God in Our Traditions . As the holidays are fast upon us, I would highly recommend this resource for every family. Noël not only gives great ideas for celebrating "especially" traditions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays, but she also discusses the importance "everyday" traditions that help point our children God-ward. Here is an excerpt:

    You shall teach [God’s words] to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19) When I get caught up in the biography of a person I admire, my family hears all about this person for days. Whatever someone says seems to remind me of some  event
    ... More

  8. These Are Written So That...

    CDG Graphic Designer Gabriel Leake brought this video to my attention last week. I found it very inspiring and believe it is a wonderful follow up to Pastor Kempton Turner words from yesterday's post. Furthermore, I think that it could be used as a great "spiritual discussion" starter for older children (late elementary) and youth. ... More

  9. Building Our Lives on the Bible

    Ever have the Monday blahs? Does the week ahead seem long and difficult? Then watch this short video and be exhorted and encouraged by Pastor Kempton Turner from his message “Your Testimonies Are My Delight.” ... More

  10. Encouraging Biblical Literacy in Our Nurseries

    No, the title is not a mistake. We can encourage biblical literacy among the youngest babies in our care. How so? First of all, babies can begin to learn (absorb) important Bible "skills," such as the skill of hearing and listening to the words of the Bible and its key themes. This can be done by doing the following: ... More