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The school classroom is one setting where the protection of the home is mostly absent. Still, how can parents play a role in helping their children?

August 20, 2015 0 0 comments
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Children complain. They are children after all. But valuable skills and character are formed when we are prodded to do things like lessons or household chores. Here are just a few life-long habits to cultivate. 

July 28, 2015 0 1 comments
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Judges Chapter 17 tells of a little family that struggles with situations outrageously problematic and complicated. What can we learn from them?

July 14, 2015 0 0 comments
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School's out for the summer! One option for entertainment is to go to the movie theater. But how do you determine which movies are appropriate for YOUR child? 

June 26, 2015 0 2 comments
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A comment from a total stranger, or even a mere acquaintance, might bite, but the same comment coming from a spouse, parent, sibling, or close friend feels like a great white shark attack.

June 9, 2015 0 0 comments
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Superheroes are more popular than ever. For all this excitement and fantasy about superheroes, we seldom give much thought to real heroism. What if real heroes are appointed by God? 

June 2, 2015 0 0 comments
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As a parent or caregiver, you may have questions about certain behaviors your children or dependents exhibit and how to ensure they get help. But do you need help starting a conversation?

May 29, 2015 0 0 comments
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God says to parents in Deuteronomy 6:7, “You shall teach [these commandments] diligently to your children..." Check out Family Fire as we explore what it means to lead our children in the faith.

May 5, 2015 0 0 comments
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From Kids Corner, parents receive effective tools to teach Bible literacy and faith formation. Check out the most recent episodes!

April 27, 2015 0 0 comments
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God’s highest call to parents is to lead their own children to Him. The exhortation in Deuteronomy 6:7, “You shall teach [these commandments] diligently to your children..."

April 6, 2015 0 0 comments
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Do you want a substantive and fun discipleship resource for your family? Check out the most recent episodes of Kids Corner!

March 9, 2015 0 0 comments
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We experience our greatest joys and deepest sorrows with people closest to us. In the first weeks of Lent, Family Fire from ReFrame Media, has delved into themes about forgiveness.

March 3, 2015 0 0 comments
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At Kids Corner, biblical literacy and faith formation are the heartbeats of our ministry, but great storytelling is the pulse.

February 16, 2015 0 0 comments
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The Discipleship and Faith Formation Ministry launched the God Loves Me crowd funding campaign this week. Here's why.

January 23, 2015 0 0 comments
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If you’re looking for a discipleship resource for your family that’s both fun and substantive, check out Kids Corner from ReFrame Media.

January 19, 2015 0 0 comments
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Food is the gateway into a different culture. It gives us a glimpse into who people are. As we travel around the globe using our taste buds, we plan to learn about each country and to pray for each one.

January 6, 2015 0 0 comments
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Family Fire is a ministry from the CRC, and as a resource for you it explores biblical themes relating to our most foundational relationships—to encourage you in your own relationships, and to equip you to help others. 

December 8, 2014 0 0 comments
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As a chaplain, I care about people in crisis and try to be particularly attentive to "the least of these." But I sense that we are no longer giving a lot of attention to the immense issue of abortion...

December 4, 2014 0 4 comments
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Are you looking for something to help you teach kids biblical literacy and faith formation, and at the same time to be very entertaining? Here's a weekly, 25-minute audio program for kids aged 6 to 12.

November 20, 2014 0 0 comments
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Parenting is hard work and I know that some Sundays you’re just longing to sit in silence. And I suspect that there have been times when you’ve felt like your wee ones weren’t always welcome in worship. Please persist.

November 19, 2014 0 2 comments
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Family Fire is a CRC ministry which explores biblical themes relating to our most foundational relationships. It’s a resource for you; to encourage you in your own relationships, and to equip you to help others.

November 10, 2014 0 0 comments
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We were so very close to what we had identified as the perfect family. But God had other plans. Paul was born with congenital heart defects and Down syndrome, and that wasn’t what we had in mind.

October 31, 2014 0 0 comments
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Children might not choose the right path unless they are guided. We give leadership, guidance, and help define for children what it means to be a man, a woman and a Christian.

October 30, 2014 0 0 comments
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No one struggles alone. Family Fire looks through scriptural lenses at the spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical facets of relationships in Christian marriage, parenting, dating, and intimacy.

October 13, 2014 0 0 comments
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Although the description said it was a "Personal Bible," it didn't feel very personal to me. Missing from this Bible were notes about the family favorites—verses and stories passed down through generations—which had warmed our hearts and fed our souls.

September 8, 2014 0 1 comments

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Thanks J. for the directional shove  :>) ....I've made contact with Mickie and awaiting a response.....

Hi Albert, It's an excellent question and idea to give new parents such a thing.  I want to suggest you contact someone via Facebook; her name is Mickie O'Donnell.  She was my CE professor at Trinity International Divinity School and she's a Director of Children's Ministries in Connecticut.  Two years ago I got reacquainted with her (after many yrs of being out of seminary) and I was impressed with her creative ideas in ministry.  Ask her the same question and I bet she'll have an idea for you!

OK, well keep in touch....I'm finishing up a ministry directory, I've been working on first....so it will probbly be another few weeks yet....

Good plan, Albert! I'm sorry that we don't already have a pamphlet to offer--I'd love to see the one you write when you're finished. The Jesus Storybook Bible is a great resource. Sounds like your church is very serious about supporting families--that's wonderful!

Derek:

I'll just reiterate what I repled to Jolanda, below...I'm director of youth ministry but overseeing hospitality by designed default. (equipping parents, families etc makes my job easier too, eh?) We're already handing out the Sarah Loyd-Jones Bible (great resource) and want to include an equipping pamphlet/brochure to be inserted into it for these new parents - church or unchurched bkgrds. I think the Home Grown Book will be a great resource for me to use as a framework for a pamphlet I will write, design, print myself. Maybe, if I'm satisfied with it's results I can send it your way to see if you think it is worthy for your arsenal of resources, as well.....thank you for responding personally....you were VERY helpful...

Jolanda:

Thanks for your add'l, positive & helpful comments; I'm director of youth ministry built overseeing hospitality by designed default. (equipping parents, families etc makes my job easier too, eh?) We're already handing out the Sarah Loyd-Jones Bible (great resource) and want to include an equipping pamphlet/brochure to be inserted into it for these new parents - church or unchurched bkgrds. I think the Home Grown Book will be a great resource for me to use as a framework for a pamphlet I will write, design, print myself. Maybe, if I'm satisfied with it's results I can send it your way to see if you think it is worthy for your arsenal of resources, as well.....

Hi Albert, I also work for Faith Alive. I was just talking with Carol Slager, the director of congregational life and education at Modesto CRC, she said they ordered 30 copies of Homegrown so that could put one in each parent's box at church. They used the book as part of a parent’s class during Sunday school, but they wanted to make sure everyone had a copy, even if they didn't attend. I thought that was a cool idea! 

I'm a new mom and I'm accumulating lots of books to help me along, but the nice thing about this one is that you don't have to read it straight through. You can skim the questions and just read the page or two that are relevant at the moment. It’s good, practical stuff with lots of ideas. I think it would work for what you’ve mentioned, especially if the person visiting would include a little note in the cover that mentions a question or two they find most helpful. Sounds like you’re doing a great job reaching out to young families. We need lots of support! It’s a whole new adventure, and a big learning curve!! 

Albert,

Yep, I do work for Faith Alive. Home Grown deals with all the topics you mentioned and more. It's actually set up in a question and answer format---perfect for busy parents and those who aren't interested in reading a chapter book. It allows them to skim through topics and check out different questions as they need to.  

Some of the questions (there are 111 of them)  that are answered are "How soon should I start talking to my child about God?", "How do I pray with my child?", "What's the big deal about baptism?", "How do I explain death to my child?", and "When can we do devotions if we don't eat together?" The answers are practical, helpful and shared with humor.

If you'd like to see a sample of the author's writing style, see the "Home Grown Faith" article in the August issue of The Banner.  There is also a sample on the product page.  

As far as a pamphlet-type resource, there isn't anything that I know of that we offer.  An excellent idea though! 

Derek 

 

Derek:

Thanks! you're editor at Faith Alive, correct?

(1) Does Home Grown specifically have a chapter that deals specifically with these concerns with practical ideas to encourage action on the part of parents?

 

(2) And does the Denomination print any handy pamphlets to pass on to the "non-reader" book crowd of parents...that we can insert in the children's Bibles we give out?

Hi Albert, 

Check out the Homegrown book from Faith Alive.  It touches on all sorts of topics on parenting. http://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/151370/home-grown-handbook-for-christian-parenting.aspx

There are also videos and a study guides available for groups of parents that want to form a small group of new parents  together.  

 

Derek

The Jack Stockton recitation is very nice.  It is basically the text to a song by the duo Aaron Jeffrey.  I’m not convinced that this young man has a particularly deep understanding of how Jesus can be found in every book of the Bible since he is merely reciting something someone else has written.  And, in listening to the recitation, I’m also not convinced that the writer has nailed it either.

But neither of those things are your point – your point is that you’d like your kids to have a deep understanding of the books of the Bible.  I agree – although I would suggest that many of the adults in our congregations would also struggle with just such an assignment!

Fortunately there are some excellent resources available to help us learn these things.  One that I particularly like is The Jesus Bible Storybook by Sally Lloyd-Jones.  It is outstanding.  But you should also be aware that the curriculum produced by Faith Alive Resources is created so that students will get a deep understanding of the Bible in context and also from a Reformed and Christ-centered perspective.  I think if you look carefully at any of their curriculums, including the new Dwell and also the new We, designed for intergenerational gatherings, you will be quite impressed with how theologically sound they are.

For use at home, look at the Nurture blog http://www.nurturekidsfaith.org/ has some great suggestions.

Hi Spitfire, after reading your last reply I was thinking, some people received new names in the bible, i.e. Abraham, Jacob, and more, I like Spitfire, but I thought that "Peacemaker" would suit you very well! ( I don't expect you to change it though, but God loves the Peace Maker). Yes, you can share it with anyone you want, my comments like anything else in this world are not my own but belong to God,( and He forgives all the dumb things I say too!), after all He knows before I speak what is going to come out, John.

Hi John,

I got the nickname a long time ago at work, they said I was a ‘real spitfire’...I was not sure if that was a good or bad thing for a long time!!  My dad said they used to call women spitfire if they were opinionated and hot-headed...But it worked out to be a good thing, as they meant I was a go-getter and an independent thinker (another way to say, ‘good worker’, I guess)...it just stuck with me all these years. 

Thank you so much for helping me think this through out loud!  I learned the, “Oops!  Did I really just SEND that?”  lesson as well :)  A few of us have got together to talk about this in the practical, legal way, and we also spent time praying for patience and guidance...I am not sure what is happening now, as no one from the school has called or emailed back.  I will post how it unfolds and turns out—simply in case this can help someone else going through the same thing.

I have a question for you though---would you mind if I shared this with a couple of people who are really keen on ‘spitting fire’?  I think it might help calm a few hearts to see this can be discussed rather than fought about...our lives are about setting a Christian example, and I am worried  that our emotions are going to cause way too much hurt—(and burn a few bridges if we spit fire!)

~spitfire

Hi Spitfire (I don't know where you got that name from or for, my mothers eyes could spit fire if she had enough of our shenaniganism's!(:). Great that you take some time before "spitting fire" at the school, I have learned (but not all the time yet) to take the time to reflect on what I wrote, hit the SENT button, and promptly got into trouble!. Over reacting?, perhaps they should walk in yours and the rest of the families involved shoes before they say something like that, sounds like the government. Is there anything that you can do to help the situation?, family that can help out?, extra jobs certainly takes away family time, but it is not unheard of that people do it, would you still be interested in something like that. Don't answer these questions, it's non of my or anyone else's business, these are just some thoughts about the possibility of rectifying the situation, I get a sense of how important the schooling is for your kids and admire the hope you have to be able to give this to your kids. We are all sinners and do wrong, including anyone on any Christian based committee, if not, none of us would have to be involved with the church or it's institutions, our Hope lies in the Lord, I hope you won't loose that, my prayers for help and wisdom are with you in these coming days, God bless.

Hi All,

 

Thanks for your replies! 

I guess the saddest part of this all is that we believed that we actually had found a way to give our kids a Christian education that would not require my husband and I to each work 2 jobs, and actually be around to spend time with the family!  Some of the families have already spoken to lawyers, and it seems that the school did not expect people to take it so seriously... (I am scratching my head here too), as they are upset with these families, and told them that they over-reacted to the whole situation. 

I am hoping to deliver my response to the school via letter in the next day or two.  It simply breaks my heart that so many people are running around ‘promoting’ our Christian attitude and love and tolerance...but the reality seems to be (in my heart) that all that promoting is just smoke.  There is no one person to go to for accountability—nor is there one certain committee that will take ownership of this mass-renegade tuition round up.  It was not even brought up at the last board or membership meeting.  This was done by a small group of people on the board that thought they might look like heroes at tonight’s membership meeting by announcing they had a bunch of delinquents pay up.  Sigh...I keep rewriting my response to their letter over because I feel bitterness seeping into it.

Thank you all again for you replies!  And Ken-yes, I feel that we do loose our sense of community at times.  John- we were talking about the very same thing earlier today as well-it certainly is worth looking into.  Thanks for the suggestion  :)

~spitfire

Hi Spitfire, WOW, this is mind blowing, off putting to in and outsiders, how unbiblical can it get, Christians are not supposed to sue each other but find other ways to solve your problems, as you have done previously. There are two sides to a coin but it sounds that you and others are terribly mistreated here. Is there any possibility your minister can intervene on your behalf?, the church community is a big supporter of this school I presume and may have some influence talking to them. Now, to get out of the biblical realm, our news paper that we receive has a consumer help column, if people have tried to solve their differences they can contact the paper who will intervene on their behalf, you can tell the other party that you will have to go public with your complaint, it seems to have mind changing powers on their thinking. God bless you in this, remember, He cares for the disadvantaged even if we don't.

We are losing our sense of community, they can do whatever they want because it's a private school. Had the same issue's when I got MS. At least we have our doctrines that say what say what we believe because you would have a difficult time figuring it out from our actions and atitudes. We worry about out side influences, when the problems we need to pay attention to like pride,envy etc. are much more destructive. It's hard for people to understand unless their objective about themselves and what they know and don;t know. Disinformation is rampant and  most people don't have time or interest to think about what's really happening. Most of these type of questions Spitfire, Shouldn't require a  secound thouught unless their is gross fraud. But what the heck , my business is under constant attack to the point of slander by a crc church officer from another local crc.. I am running a little short of patience today. Thanks Spitfire

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