Ezra tells an Easy Rabbit Story

Easy Rabbit, Leaving a Mark

cropped-easy-rabbit-horizontal.jpgImagine three children nestled into their bed’s. Mommy and Daddy are there with the youngest. His name is Ezra. He is fun-loving, imaginative, and surprisingly articulate for a two year old boy. He says that he wants to tell us a bedtime story about Easy Rabbit, a lovable bunny who lives in a hole with his family and adventures into the woods with all of the woodland creatures. Naturally we all agree. I grab my phone so that we can capture this moment. I love stories and this one just entered my top ten of all time!

Ezra tells us the story of a rabbit, a skunk, and a four-wheeler. Here is your first taste of Easy Rabbit from the mouth of a two year old. Remember that you are listening to a two year old – give it some time!

Sing the Bible with Slugs and Bugs, Volume 2!!!

Leaving a Mark

Sing the Bible Volume 2Is it okay for me to listen to my kids music in the car all alone when my kids are far, far away from me? Absolutely! But, only if that music is one of the albums by Slugs & Bugs.

Randall Goodgame, the creative force behind Slugs & Bugs has accomplished something incredible by doing for music what C.S. Lewis and A.A. Milne did for literature and what Pixar did for film. He has recorded music that is enjoyable for kids and equally enjoyable bigger kids (adults). The whole family can enjoy his music together travelling down the road in the mini-van, cleaning the playroom, or during family worship. Mom and Dad, feel free to listen alone without any guilt. It’s ok. I promise. No seriously, you can turn it up louder. Don’t even worry about that car beside you giving you strange looks. It is completely normal for a grown adult human to sing at the top of their lungs about Mexican Food or Bears.

For his last two albums, Randall Goodgame has written and recorded scripture to music. What a gift to have the precious words of Scripture joined with quality music echoing through your home and the hearts and minds of you and your children. My two-year old can quote scripture. Yep, you heard that right. It’s crazy.

Sing the Bible Volume 2 will be released on March 18th, 2016. The theme of the album is a Musical Handbook for the Christian Home. It features scripture from Isaiah 40 (Do You Not Know), Matthew 5 (Let Your Light Shine), Ephesians 2:8-10 (Masterpiece), The Ten Commandments, and much more.  The fourteen songs on this album could quite possible represent more scripture than you have ever memorized up to this point in you life. Just think of the possibility of sharing that with your children. King David wrote, I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).” Perhaps you have been searching for ways to “store up” scripture in your heart, Sing the Bible Volume 1 and 2 will help set you on this path.  

Sing the Bible Volume 2 is not just an album that you will want to buy for yourself. You will want to buy multiple copies and give them away to your friends, family, and strangers who have children (well, maybe you should introduce yourself to them and then shortly after that you can hand them a CD).
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Dads helping out at Slugs & Bugs LIVE!

If you live in the Statesville, NC metropolitan and surrounding areas, Slugs & Bugs LIVE! is coming on Friday, March 18th. Yes that is the same day Sing the Bible Volume 2 releases. You can find out more information and reserve free tickets for you and your family at www.westernavenue.org/slugsbugs. If you are reading this and know of anyone who would enjoy Slugs & Bugs Music or Slugs & Bugs LIVE!, please pass this along to them.
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Slugs & Bugs LIVE! is interactive for the whole family

To learn more about Slugs & Bugs news and music at www.slugsandbugs.com
To sign up Slugs & Bugs newsletter, (The Slugs & Bugs Bacon) visit www.slugsandbugs.com/the-bacon/ 
To purchase Sing the Bible Volume 1, visit Slugs & Bugs store!

 

Coming Home

Leaving a Mark, Parent, Uncategorized

“Home is not as much of a place as it is somewhere that you belong, somewhere that you are accepted.” Tim Keller

Over the past several years left the country to go on a mission trip. Our church has been very involved in missions over the last decade, and I decided to try to go to as many places that I could in order to share the gospel, encourage believers, and do whatever was needed.

There are two things that I like about traveling. Enjoying the journey and going home. I have been blessed to travel to many great places in the world. Over the last several years, I have fallen in love with all kinds of people. Some of them were specific people who are now very dear to my heart. But, generally I have come to a place that I just love people. I am amazed and intrigued by the differences and similarities of cultures that I have visited. There are things that are quite different such as languages, dress, gestures, and food. Yet there are similarities such as friendship, laughter, affection, and need for Christ. I love seeing the beauty of the world that God has made. I love exploring new places (new to me anyway). I enjoy trying new foods and drinks (this is something that I especially like to do. I think it all started with my first trip overseas to Japan in 1994. I even brought back a lot of soda cans with me because I was so intrigued by the exotic sodas.).

As much as I love the journey, I love coming home. Tim Keller says that home is not as much of a place as it is somewhere that you belong, somewhere that you are accepted. Within the past seven years, I have gotten married and been blessed with three wonderful children. Every day since my wedding has been an adventure of new things and a deepening of my understanding of home.  So whether I am coming home form a long trip or just a day at work, one of my favorite parts of coming home is the outpouring of hugs from three little people and a beautiful, loving wife who make the return home as good as the exploration of a new place.

The Gospel is for Children, Too!

Evangelism, Leaving a Mark, Spurgeon Quotes

Everyone loves to hear a good story about a changed life – sinner to saint, drug dealer to preacher, or a terrorist to evangelist. These stories capture our attention and make us think about the powerful message of Christ. The Apostle Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts is one of the most famous depictions of a radical turnaround. Paul went from persecuting Christians to being persecuted as a Christian. Chuck Colson, special counsel to President Nixon and convicted criminal, gave his life to Christ and was dramatically transformed. He went from prisoner to prison minister and national speaker.

Testimonies like his are inspiring. There are countless stories of people who have been rescued from darkness and brought into the kingdom of light – the kingdom of God.  Many pews in churches today are filled with sinners who have been transformed.  Some of them have a “Damascus Road” event, while others have a much different story.

Their story goes a little bit like this: “I was raised in a Christian home with parents who took me to church – sometimes dragging and screaming. But, I am thankful that they took me because I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sunday school, and I was saved at an early age.” Perhaps, some Christians with this type of testimony see it as boring and uninspiring.  The truth is that any sinner who is saved is amazing. It does not matter if the sinner is a child or an adult or someone with a sketchy past, anytime someone is brought from death to life, there is great rejoicing.

The benefits of becoming a Christian young are tremendous. There is great value in teaching the gospel to children.  Christians should work hard to teach the gospel to their own children as well as other children.

Becoming a Christian at a young age not only saves from sins, but it can prevent committing a multitude of sins that will later be regretted.  Charles Spurgeon said, “To reclaim the prodigal is well, but to save him from ever being a prodigal is better. To bring back the thief and the drunkard is a praiseworthy action, but so to act that the boy shall never become a thief or a drunkard is far better; hence, Sabbath-school instruction stands very high in the list of philanthropic enterprises, and Christians ought to be most earnest in it. He who converts a child from the error of his way, prevents as well as covers a multitude of sins” (from The Soul Winner).

Because of this, we should devote time and energy to the salvation of children and teenagers as well as adults. It is not a lesser task to win children to Christ.  We should not look to child evangelism as the minor leagues. Spurgeon also said, “The conversion of a child involves the same work of divine grace, and results in the same blessed consequences as the conversion of the adult. There is the saving of the soul from death in the child’s case, and the hiding of a multitude of sins, but there is this additional matter of joy, that a great preventive work is done when the young are converted. Conversion saves a child from a multitude of sins” (from The Soul Winner).

In a couple of weeks, our church will have a week-long Vacation Bible School.  There will be hundreds of kids singing songs, listening to Bibles stories, making crafts, playing games, eating snacks, and hearing the gospel.  Our goal is to proclaim the gospel accurately and clearly to the kids who attend in hopes that the Lord will call many of them to himself and they will be saved.  Vacation Bible School is not about the goofy skits, the silly songs, the amazing snacks, or the decorations.  It is first and foremost about proclaiming the Gospel. Let us unashamedly proclaim the gospel to our children. Let them come to Jesus.

Summer Family Time

Leaving a Mark, Uncategorized

I am just stepping into the world of parenting real people (I know babies are real people, but now that they can walk, talk, and think for themselves the task is going to a whole new level). There are many things that I want to do with my children and there are many things that I want to teach them.

I want to teach them to love God, his people, and his creation. But, I understand I need help.  This is why that I am always on the lookout for great resources.

The Village Church in Dallas has put together a Summer Family Activity Book to help families follow the model laid out in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. .From the website:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you sit up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

We have put the Summer Family Activity Book together with this charge in mind. Whether you’re hanging out at home, traveling across the country or running errands around town, there is no shortage of opportunities to help your children see the things of the Lord. Our hope is to help you see and take advantage of these moments.

The activities and devotionals in this resource have been divided into four sections to follow the model of Deuteronomy 6:

  • Set a Rhythm. These are activities your family can do repeatedly and consistently throughout the summer. Some of them will help you put things in place to establish a routine for your family. Others will help you think about ways to be missional – intentionally connecting with people in your community whom you interact with on a consistent basis.
  • At Home. These are activities that can be easily done as you spend time at home. Many of them include a devotional at the end that will help your kids make a connection between what they have done and a truth from Scripture.
  • Out and About. This section provides ways to be intentional with outings you take as a family.
  • On the Way. These are activities that can be done as your family travels – whether you’re moving about by land, air or sea.

I encourage you to download this activity book and try to implement it into your family life this summer. May your summer be a great time for you as a family to grow closer to Jesus and to each other.

Visit the Village Church page: http://www.thevillagechurch.net/the-village-blog/summer-family-activity-book/