Tag Archives: Bible

Prepared – Middle School Monday & Blogging Through The Alphabet

P Prepared“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

When I was thinking about what to write for letter P, this word and verse came to mind. That could be because of the Bible study that our family is participating in. It could be due to the fact that this is one of the major goals of educating our children. It could be that God placed that thought in my head. Whatever the reason, I wanted to chat a bit about preparing.

We prepare for many things in life – storm season, trips, chores (yes – don’t you buy the things you will need to do this?). But sometimes, we neglect the most important form of preparation – that of being able to speak of the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, what He has done for us, and that He wants everyone to accept His gift and to obey His word.

How do we prepare to do as Peter wrote about?

P Prepared verse

First, we need to know God’s Word. We need to study His word and all that He put there, not just the interesting stories that we enjoy teaching to little ones. We need to know more; there is always more to learn! One wise woman commented at Bible study tonight that she makes it a point to share that she is always learning, even after 40 years of being a baptized follower of Christ. We need to set aside and honor time to learn what God has to say. Don’t just schedule it in; make it a priority. That is part of being prepared.

Second, we need to be able to articulate that hope – put it to words. This is probably where I struggle most. I know what I believe and why I believe it. I know what obedience to God’s word means but am I capable of stating that to others? And what about the last part of the verse – “with gentleness and respect”? Can I do this?

Third, I need to recognize that if I have worked diligently with the first two points that it doesn’t make a whit of difference if I don’t step out boldly and actually use the words about that hope to share with someone who is lost. If I am not sharing that hope that I have prepared to share about, I am not obeying the word of God. He is telling me to share it.

As part of a course I am taking (Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity – review coming soon), she asked us to write out 10 goals for our children when they exit our education. Being prepared to speak boldly about their hope is one of ours. So, I need to be working on helping them prepare. I will end this by sharing some of the things we are doing to help the girls be prepared.

  • Regular attendance at all worship and Bible classes – Sunday morning we attend both Bible class and worship; Sunday evening we attend worship; Wednesday evening we attend worship and class; Tuesday mornings the girls go with me to Ladies’ Bible Class; Monday nights we are doing an in-home Bible study;
  • Daily personal Bible study – As part of their course work, we ask the girls to study the Bible personally. This takes a couple of different forms but this is a daily expectation.
  • Memory work – The girls are working on KidSing memory cards. These cards focus on different parts of the Bible and the themes for those parts of the Bible.
  • Bible Bowl – We have the girls participating in Bible Bowl through the Lads to Leaders program at our church. In the past, they have studied Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Matthew, Job, Esther, and Ruth. This year they will be studying I & II Corinthians. This is an in-depth study of the books and they learn a lot about God, who He is, and what He wants of His people through this.
  • Other  – Whether it be writing an article, giving a speech, reading the Bible out loud for an audience, leading a song, doing a puppet program, or making a meal for someone, we encourage the girls to serve and find ways to use the abilities God has given them to put action to their belief and faith.

All of these are ways that we can work on being prepared to give reason to our hope. Encouraging the girls to be prepared, I also find myself more prepared. Are you “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have “? (I Peter 3:15 NIV)

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Drive Thru History® – The Gospels ~ a Crew review

The GospelsHow does history go from “ho-hum” to “Wow! What else can we learn?!?” Just put on an episode of Drive Thru History®.

Host David Stotts drives the viewers around various history sites related to a given theme; in this case it was Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, though he has also hosted a number of others from American History, to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. (We have used all of these at one time or another and they are fantastic!)

watching The Gospels

Drive Thru History® brings history to life by taking you to the places where history happened. Visually appealing and content rich, this series will bring history to life while you can just sit back and watch. Being able to see the sites where history was made helps the viewer really understand and remember. Viewing it all through a biblical lens strengthens the worldview, as well.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is a set of 3 DVDs that brings you 18 episodes of about 30 minutes each. In these episodes, Mr. Stotts takes you to visit over 50 sites where important events took place in the biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. With visually stunning video, the sites come alive with Mr. Stotts retelling of the happenings right where they would have taken place 2000 years ago. Geography, history, archaeology, and art show the life of Jesus and prove the truth of the Bible.

DVD images

With over 9 hours of video, there is so much to be seen and learned. The Gospels comes with a study guide, neatly tucked inside a hardcover book that houses the DVDs. There are stunning images and art work reproductions throughout the 118-page guide. Each episode has a section that includes scriptures to read about the people and places in the episode, 5 questions relating to each episode, a quote, and historical side note.

We enjoyed using this study guide after each episode. It was simple to use and did not take us long, yet it was a good reinforcement for what they had just watched.

 

Drive Thru History The Gospels

One note – The episode relating the sites and direct activities about the crucifixion has a warning on it about its graphic nature and violence. I appreciated this as I have some very highly sensitive and emotional children that feel things very deeply. I watched this episode privately first to decide whether it was appropriate for them all to see. Most of the episode I would not be concerned about but there are several minutes that are video reenactment of the crucifixion. These are extremely graphic. Miss E watched the episode but, at this time, I am not showing the episode to the other girls. This is a decision for each family to make on their own.

This series is just so fascinating. I can’t say enough good things about it. We loved Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” so much that we are planning a small group Bible study for homeschoolers next fall using these DVDs as our core. Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts is a video program that you can feel good about your students watching. If you can’t travel to the historical sites yourself, this is perhaps the next best thing – being taken there through well-done video tours full of explanation, history, and insight.

answering questions from study guide

Now for the girls’ take on the series:

  • Miss E – age 13: Drive Thru History’s Mr. Stotts is funny and I didn’t want to stop watching when it was time for school lessons. I learned about The Gospels because Mr. Stotts brought us to where it happened. When you read it in the Bible, you know it happened, but when he is showing me where it happened and I see people doing things somewhat related to what actually happened, it makes it feel more real to me. A lot of the time in my Wednesday night Bible class, my teacher says “Check the Bible. Some people say things wrong. Sometimes they say the wrong thing on accident.” And I felt that the statement at the end of each episode was saying the same thing – Read it yourself; check the Bible. This statement was accompanied by Bible passages to read about the people and places from that episode.
    I didn’t like how it showed John the Baptist pouring water over Jesus’ head at his baptism instead of immersing him. I did not really liked the fact that Mom made me wait to watch the crucifixion episode, but I understood why she did.
  • Miss L – age 10: I like Drive Thru History – The Gospels. I appreciated Mr. Stotts’ sense of humor, even if I didn’t get all of his jokes. He had a very creative and descriptive way of saying things that made me excited to hear his next sentence. I learned a lot of history with this series of DVDs in between the Bible lessons. I liked how he actually went to places instead of just telling us a little bit about each place and then saying a few words and stopping there and moving on. I really felt like he was excited to show us each place and actually enjoyed being there and getting to show us all of the places. I really appreciated that. It is much nicer to get to have a person who clearly likes his job and wants to be there teaching. I liked the part at the end where the statement said, “This show hopes to provide some illumination on The Gospels but there is no substitute for reading The Gospels yourself.” It made it feel like they really cared if you learned the truth about The Gospels and the Bible, in general.
  • Miss J – age 8: I liked that he walked around in the actual places and didn’t just stand in one spot. I liked that he walked around in the Kidron Valley. I liked how they drew the pictures about in the same places as they were talking about. There was not much that I did not like; I really liked Drive Thru History – The Gospels!

When you get this kind of praise from all three of the girls, it is a definite winner. Please visit Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” to learn more.

At Home.

Want to know what others thought? There were 100 families reviewing Drive Thru History. Click on the banner below to read their thoughts.
The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Once Upon A Time Bible – #flyby review & #onceuponatimebible

I was asked to review the Once Upon A Time Holy Bible and the Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible.

Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible

Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible

This children’s version is a series of retellings from the Bible. The book begins with a page about the Greatest Stories Ever Told – the real stories from the Bible. They are true and this page introduces them. There 18 stories from the Old Testament and 15 from the New Testament. Storybook Bible collage

Each story is a short retelling based on the Bible. It has a related scripture to go along with it. Sometimes this scripture is from the section of the Bible that the story is; other times it is from a very different place. Each story is also accompanied by beautiful illustrations.

Beginning each story with “Once upon a time . . .” gives a feel of fantasy to the stories, which I did not care for. Each story also ended with a “Happily Ever After.” These I did kind of like because it summed up a theme from the story that was relevant and would help a child focus on aspects of God or of their walk in His will.

This would make a nice edition for a child to look through but it is a storybook version. Don’t expect a whole lot of growth in the child’s knowledge of the Bible from this version.

Once Upon A Time NIrV Bible

Once Upon A Time Holy Bible

This New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) of the Bible is a full version of the Bible. It includes a small glossary at the back and highlights a few stories with pictures Once Upon A Time Bible collagethroughout. These highlighted stories are where the theme of Once Upon A Time comes in – all except the final one are stories of a man and woman: Adam and Eve, Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth and Boaz, Esther and the king. These images are not placed in their actual Bible locations, which is something I don’t care for.

This is a hardback book that is about 5 inches by 7 inches. It is rather small, which influences the size of the typesetting. The type is very, very small. I had a hard time reading it because of the size. The pages are also very thin and will tear easily. All in all, I don’t really see this as a child’s Bible.

Availability

You can purchase these Bibles wherever books are sold. You can find the Storybook Bible at Sam’s Club or wherever books are sold. If you would like to purchase online, please visit HarperCollins/ZonderKidz.

At Home.

Peggy Consolver book ~ a Crew review

Have you ever thought about what life was like during the Old Testament times? Peggy Consolver – Author did and what come of that is quite an amazing, engaging, and interesting novel: Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer.

Shepherd Potter Spy Star Namer

  Mrs. Consolver began writing the story of a young Gibeonite boy during Old Testament times but in 2010, she was struggling to get the Peggy Consolverbackground right – the setting, the geography, the day-to-day details that make a story so engaging that you just can’t let go of it. She was able to take a tour of Israel, go to Caesarea, Megiddo, the Jezreel Valle, Galilee, Jericho, and more. Attending some of the archaeological digs in the area really brought to life the setting in which she was writing the story. And from there, well, we are definitely the beneficiaries of the beautiful, insightful writing that came of that experience. Her purpose is to bring every reader closer to God, to HIStory.

A Summary:

Shepher, Potter, Spy, and the Star Namer has its primary focus on the family of a young Gibeonite boy. The setting is the Jezreel Valley – close to Jerusalem, Jerico, and the Jordan River. The time period is the final two years of the Israelites wandering in the desert before entering Canaan.

The Gibeonite family are shepherds and potters, working hard daily to earn their living and to live in the mountainous areas of their country. Keshub, 13 years old, begins the book as the shepherd for his family, but their lives begin to change when the king of Amorites begins his awful reign and his unloved son runs away for fear of his own life. Keshub’s family believes in the Star-Namer, one who knows all, created all, and cares for everyone, wanting them to do right.

A caravan brings news of the approaching Hebrews and their land is filled with terror. Are the Hebrews really an overwhelming invader who will kill and destroy or is the king of the Amorites who they should worry about? What will happen to the family and the land? After the fall of Jericho, what is there to believe? How could a city that was so protected just fall?

book cover

Fascinating Things:

What I found so fascinating about this story is the lives brought to life in the pages of the story. This is a fictional book but it is historical fiction, based strongly on the lives of the Gibeonite people and the Hebrews. Many of the events of the story come from the Old Testament, specifically as documented in Joshua and Exodus.

Have you ever wondered just what it was like for the Hebrews, as they left behind Egypt and approached Canaan for the second time, after most of those who came out of Egypt had died? Have you ever thought about the amazing sight of what the fall of Jericho would have looked like? What about the crossing of the Jordan river on dry land? Have you ever thought about how the lives of the people were, their daily lives, their earning livings? All this and more are brought to life through the imagination of Mrs. Consolver.

Just some insight into her creative thought processes – I have always thought that it must have been strange to see all of the changes and deaths the Hebrew people experienced. I never personalized it, though. Mrs. Consolver does that extremely well and I felt the fear, the anguish, the pain of the families as they waited for people to die. They knew the deaths of everyone over a certain age would have to die before they could enter Canaan and that must have been an excruciating wait when you knew one of your family members was in that catergory. This is just one of the experiences that was brought to stark life, so that I could feel the anguish, in the story.

A Note on the Book:

Mrs. Consolver has the reader in the Gibeonite setting for most of the book but there are many scenes that take place in the Hebrew camp, as well. This movement of the setting really enhances the book, as it brings the eventual meeting of the two groups to a head (remember when the Gibeonites approached the Hebrews and made a treaty with them under false pretenses?). This did take a bit of thinking to jump back and forth but I feel like it did a great job of bringing the reader right into the story and setting the stage for the final portions of the book.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer Peggy Consolver 

Website:

Mrs. Consolver has an interesting website that really enhances the experience of Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer. There are many research links and videos that help you delve deeper into the setting and story line. From looking at animals encountered in the story to links showing how to make knots like the boys did, from learning about Mount Hermon to bow making and learning about fires and insects – the research links are fascinating. They can really strengthen the connections to the story and, more importantly, to the Bible and the events told there. There is also a study guide available to help the readers dig even deeper into HIStory and all that God shows us through the Bible. The study guide is available for purchase and you can get a sample of it from Mrs. Consolver’s website.

At Home.

You can find the author on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/peggy.consolver

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read more reviews of the book.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews} 

Crew Disclaimer

Slow – Five Minute Friday

slow

Today’s word prompt is SLOW. Visit Heading Home to read more and link up your own Five Minute Friday post.

GO –

“slow to anger”

This is the phrase that came to mind when I read the word slow. God addresses “slow to anger” in several places in the Bible. When you do a search for that phrase on BibleGateway, you get several. These include:

Nahum 1:3
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The Lord has His way
In the whirlwind and in the storm,
And the clouds are the dust of His feet.

Nehemiah 9:17
But You are God,
Ready to pardon,
Gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger,
Abundant in kindness,
And did not forsake them.

Psalm 103:8
The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Psalm 145:8
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.

Proverbs 15:18
A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is
slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 19:11
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

I found this phrase one that sticks in my head and I wondered who it would refer to. There are two cases that I found.

One is God. God is slow to anger BUT he does anger when His children turn from him, disobey him. Thankfully, He is slow to anger because I am certain that my sins could anger Him if He were not the God that He is.

Second is me. Yes, me. I should be slow to anger. Look at all those Proverbs that talk about the man who is slow to anger. He is definitely getting the better end of the stick if he chooses to be slow to anger.

So, that is my goal. Again. I say again because I do often have to fight my temper and my anger. One of my biggest weapons? God’s word. Study. Read. Know. Apply. Repeat. Over and Over.

End. (I am sure I went over time because I didn’t watch the clock. I just kept on writing and thinking.)

At Home.

 

Be a Pearl Seeker – Blogging Through the Alphabet

b-be-a-pearl-seeker

Last week in Ladies’ Bible Class, Becky Blackmon talked about a story from her book (The Pearl Seeker) where her parents were reading the Bible. When they finished, they did not just stop and put the Bible down, going on to something else. They always, always asked questions about what they had read.

This got me to thinking about how I study the Bible, how I do my daily readings. And it pricked my heart. I do not spend enough time actually working through what I have read. I don’t ask myself questions about what I read, how God would want me to use or apply this reading, finding what God wants me to see. I read but don’t necessarily study God’s word so much of the time.

I want to do better. And so, I asked At Home Dad to brainstorm with me a list of questions to put in my Bible and my Kindle (since I do my daily reading there). We came up with this list so that I will better understand God’s word, so that I will dig deeper, so that I will find more of the “pearls” that God has hidden for me in His Word.

But, I am sharing them so that perhaps they will encourage you to also dig deeper and find those pearls that God has placed there.

  • Why did God place this passage in His word?
  • What came next? Is it related? How?
  • Who was this person?
  • What characteristics does this person have that God calls us to have?
  • What happened in the time surrounding this one?
  • What passage in God’s word is similar to this one?
  • What happened to this person later?
  • What word stands out or is emphasized?
  • Why did God . . .?
  • What attribute of God is shown or highlighted?
  • What is something similar in my life?
  • How can I use this idea?
  • What else was in this story and why?
  • Where else does God talk about this idea?
  • What idea is focused on in this passage?

These are just some ideas of questions that might help focus your mind on the pearls God placed in the Bible.

At Home.

Join the ABC blogging group hosted by A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

A Net In Time Schooling
My ABC Posts:
A – Always Learning
B – Be A Pearl Seeker
C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Beginner’s Bible ~ a review

the-beginners-bible-by-zonderkidz

As the new year begins, many of us are renewing our commitment to read the Bible daily with our children and this revised edition of The Beginner’s Bible by Zonderkidz may be just the thing if your family includes a young child.

beginners-bible

I would be surprised if we didn’t all know about The Beginner’s Bible, since it has been around for quite a few years – since 1989. Having sold over 25 million copies, Zonderkidz felt that it was time to update the images in this version. (Zonderkidz is the children’s division of the well-known company Zondervan. They have produced quality literature for children under age 12 for many years.)

The Beginner’s Bible is celebrating 25 years as a leading storybook Bible for young children. The targeted age range is shown on the back of the book as ages 4-8; their website states ages 6 & under. This storybook Bible is full of large, colorful drawings. These drawings are coupled with short, simple sentences that tell the Bible story. Each story is only a few pages long and should keep the child’s attention easily.

picture-example

The Beginner’s Bible retells stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are 48 Old Testament stories and 45 New Testament stories. There is a story from most of the books of the Old Testament, though not all are represented in The Beginner’s Bible. Much of the New Testament is not represented at all with the stories focusing on the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), the book of Acts, and then a few verses from Revelation.

table-of-contents

dictionaryA neat addition to this bible is the dictionary at the back. Throughout the stories, an italicized word indicates that it is included in the dictionary. This is a great idea to get children learning how to find meanings and use dictionaries but I do wish it had been included in a way that was easier to find. There is no mention of it in the Contents listing so until we went through the whole thing, we didn’t know it was there. Perhaps including it in the listing or placing it up front would make it a more helpful addition.

Reasons to really like The Beginner’s Bible:

  • lots of white space makes the art work really stand out and draw in a child’s attention
  • simple words and sentences make the stories easy for a child to understand
  • chosen stories from the Bible are full of action and/or interesting bits that a child is likely to remember
  • stories that the child is probably familiar with help them remember
  • vivid art work is fun
  • while our youngest is reading well above the level this is written at, it provided for some excellent discussions about the detail not included in the storybook format and helped the girls (all three – ages 12, 10, 7) work on memory and recall
j-reading-bible

Miss J reading out loud the story of the wise men visiting baby Jesus.

Things that did not resonate with our family:

  • there was so much of the Bible that was left out of this storybook version (necessary but still something we felt left a great hole)
  • while the art work is vivid and colorful, the eyes of the characters were a bit disconcerting to some of us; we felt like they were popping out of the character’s heads
  • we really missed having selections from Psalm and Proverbs (there was only the 23rd Psalm)
  • finding a particular story was difficult because they are not in the same order as a complete Bible and the titles of the stories are not always descriptive enough (ex – The Brave Queen did not immediately call Esther to mind for me.)

Don’t leave just yet – The Beginner’s Bible has a fantastic website. You will find so much there to enhance the learning of the Bible and bring it to life. From printable coloring sheets for the stories to writing activities to mazes and puzzles – all of these are free on their website and easy to download and print.

activities-from-the-website

screenshot of some of the activities available on the website

While this Bible is not age appropriate for our family, it is the perfect for children who are just beginning to read, who enjoy being read to, or who like to look at colorful, fun pictures and perhaps tell the story themselves. The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz would make a great gift or starter Bible for any child.

At Home.

Read reviews from 80 families who took a look at The Beginnner’s Bible by clicking on the banner below.

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

Find Zonderkids on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zonderkidz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/zondervan

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/zondervanp/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zondervan/

Crew Disclaimer

%d bloggers like this: