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El Shaddai Lord God Almighty

Think about it— When you think of God Almighty, what comes to mind?  How would you define almighty?  The dictionary says almighty means having unlimited power.  God, who created the world and all that is in it, is almighty.  He has unlimited power.

What does the bible say?

 Genesis 17:1

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him   and said “I am God Almighty”

Psalm 46:7
The LORD Almighty is with us

Final thought: 

Jesus should be the foundation on which we build our lives, just like the wise man build his house on the rock.  The bible calls Jesus the Cornerstone.

Cornerstone is a construction term.  It is the first stone that is put in place when building a building.  The next stones are placed down next to the cornerstone.  Then more and more stones are placed next to and on top of the cornerstone.   The cornerstone determines the location of the entire structure.  If it is not in the right place, the building will be wrong place.  If the cornerstone is not strong and solid, the building could collapse.

When we make Jesus the foundation of our life, that means that all other pieces of our life will fall into the correct place. He is the strongest foundation we could find to build our life.  If we replace Jesus, there is a good chance that the life we try to build will fall apart and collapse.

You can decide today that you want to build your life on Jesus the Cornerstone.  All it takes is praying and asking Him to forgive you.  Then be faithful in honoring your parents and reading your bible and praying.  You can be assured that you will then have the strongest foundation to build your life on.

More family devotion resources

If you are looking for more resources to help teach your kids about faith and have quality family devotion time, check out some of these articles.

David the Giant Killer

David’s Friendship

Finding Faith

Go for the gold with God

More lessons and devotions here

Got Fruit?

Are you looking for more great family devotion resources? Check out an Amazon #1 best selling children’s ministry book: Got Fruit: a guide to family devotions based on the fruit of the spirit. This is the entire set of devotions, all in one place!

Your child’s relationship with God must extend beyond Sunday morning. Parents have to take a leading role in the discipleship of their kids. Based on the Fruit of the Spirit, Got Fruit? is an effective tool to help parents disciple their children.
If you are looking for help with your family devotion time, click here– Got Fruit? is for you! Through this devotional you will be guided through discussions that build on each of the 9 fruits of the spirit. Each of the 9 devotionals include bible passages that highlight the highlighted fruit as well as a few related thoughts. Also included is a series of discussion questions that will help you guide your children in a conversation to bring truth and understanding. This short devotional is a perfect tool to guide you as you disciple your children into a deeper relationship and understanding with God.

The post God Almighty Family Devotion appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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I have had the awesome opportunity to attend several ministry conferences. Since then, I have been asked several times for some conference tips or advice. I am not a conference expert, but I do think I could give you a few tips that would help make your time at your next conference more beneficial.

5 tips when attending a conference #1 Don’t feel like you need to attend everything

It would be very easy to become overwhelmed looking at the schedule of sessions and breakout sessions. Remember, as much as this is a time to learn and grow, it is also a time to get away from the every day routine. Don’t be afraid to skip a session. Talk a walk, find a place to sit and think, or even go back to your room to find some time to process.

#2 Interaction is more beneficial than information

By this I mean networking. Look around and you will see hundreds of like minded people. You will have an opportunity to hear the sessions at a later time (order the audio) but you may not have a chance to have coffee with that leader you have watched from a distance. That guy you met at lunch may be able to help you implement your next big idea. Don’t get me wrong, the speakers are speaking for a reason. It is because they have something to say that can help those who hear. But, as Jim Wideman once said, if you walk away from a conference without someone’s phone number or email, if you walk away without new friends you can talk to later, you missed the boat. (paraphrased from CM+ leadership training on networking).

#3 Take business cards and pre-printed labels

This is not my own tip, but one that was shared with me before my trip. The resource center at some conferences can be HUGE. Not only can you learn about some awesome new resources, but you can sign up for newsletters, and by doing so you will often be entered into a drawing to win some cool prizes. Think of all the time and energy you will spend by preprinting your name, address, (phone number) and email. It is much easier to peel a sticker than to write your info over and over and over again. And who knows, you might just win something! I won two sets of curriculum from Zonderkidz. Winning is always fun!

#4 Pack light, or bring an extra bag

Again, not my idea, and unfortunately not one that I listened to either. I took a small carry on suitcase so I could avoid checking a bag at the airport. This worked well until it was time to come home with all of the free materials I picked up and the few things I purchased. My small suitcase quickly filled up, and there were things that I would have bought but I did not have room. Make sure to leave lots of space for your free and purchased materials, and you might even consider packing a suitcase inside a suitcase to be sure you can fit everything when you come home. I have a friend that ended up getting more that 15 free shirts from the different vendors. (he did ask and beg a lot though) There is opportunity to walk away with lots of ‘stuff’ but you need room to get it back with you. You might even check with your hotel to see if they offer a shipping service, then you coud box up some material and mail it to yourself.

#5 Use social media

At Several conferences (GROW conference at Church of the Highlands in Alabama, CMLeaders conference in Columbus, Orange Conference in Atlanta, CPC in Orlando) Each time I was able to meet people in person by using social media. Twitter is a fantastic tool (connect with 100 different #kidmin peple on twitter). Not only will you be able to share inspiration with the rest of the world by using appropriate hashtags, you will also be able to see who is at the conference with you. See someone you want to say hi to in person? Send them a tweet and more than likely you will have your chance to meet in person before the day is over.

If you have a blog, post your notes. There are lots of people that will attend the conference vicariously through you. I would suggest posting live while at the conference. If you don’t have a blog, find somewhere to guest post (just ask! I would love you to post here if you are interested).

Like I said, I am not a conference expert, but I do think that if you take some of the advice above you will improve your conference experience.

What conference do you plan to attend? What do you hope to learn? Be sure to share your experiences so we can learn through you!

The post 5 tips when attending a conference appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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How often do you evaluate yourself? When do you usually evaluate your ministry?

It was at the Orange Conference a few years back I had a great reminder of why you should evaluate your ministry.  If you haven’t been, it is a great conference, with something for everyone. The large crowds that attend mean lots of quality breakouts, and the networking opportunities are endless.

Since it is Orange Conference time of year again, I pulled out some of my notes from one of the breakouts I attended. If you aren’t familiar with kids ministry pioneer brother Jim Wideman, you should be sure to check him out. What follows are my notes from one of Jim’s sessions from the Orange conference all about questions we need to ask ourselves as leaders for self or ministry evaluation.

Before you evaluate your ministry, you have to evaluate  yourself

Why are questions so Important?

  • Questions make you think

A Stronghold is believing wrong information

  • Questions make you evaluate
  • Do when you are small what you will be forced to do when you are big
  • There is a difference between doubt and questions
  • Questions lead to change

There is no such thing as a dumb question, but there are dumb answers

Ask good questions of someone older and wiser is a good thing

  • Sometimes knowing what not to do is just as valuable as knowing what to do.
  • Experience is a great teacher, and they don’t have to be your experiences
  • The voice of wisdom and the voice of God are the same thing

Jesus was the master of right questions

Why should I give you more kids if you can’t keep track of the ones you have?

       Are my priorities out of order?
  • We take more time to feed others then we take to feed ourselves
  • God made the family before he made the church
  • Bro Jim quote: Any time you can get an old guy that looks like Colonel  Sanders to sing Beyoncé it’s a good day.
  • Health
  • Ministry
  • Level of leadership under And over you
       How Do you spend your time?
  • Track time management
  • Time is the new money
  • Planning, preparation, evaluation, delegation
       What type of structure do you have in place?
  • Growth structure
  • Maintenance structure
  • Enlarge structure on a regular basis, when the growth structure changes into
  • maintenance structure
          4 Things that affect growth:
  • Organization
  • Policies and procedures
  • Right people in place
  • Facilities

All four have to be in growth mode and not maintenance mode

           How do you keep score?

We go through the motions, but how do we keep score? What is success?

What is a first down? What is a touch down? A field goal?

Define a win with kids, their parents, with leaders Under you, with leadership above you

This list of bullet points has some great questions to help you evaluate your ministry:
  • Term- small church
  • Do the hard stuff and let others help you
  • Doing the job alone doesn’t produce fruit that remains
  • Let someone teach who never has- they can’t send everyone to hell in just one week
  • Build depth on the right positions by letting other people lead
  • Where am I not willing to change?
  • Is there a better way to do things?
  • What is the one thing we should quit?
  • Take something good and make it better
  • Same actions bring same results
  • Any change that is managed will be put back the way it was
  • People resist change that come from other people
  • Fear of unknown
  • Purpose is unclear
  • Fear of failure
  • Satisfied with same problems instead of new solutions
  • Good ideas can turn into religious habit- cutting off end of the ham
  • A sacred cow makes the best burgers
  • Someone is counting on you to make changes
  • Changes requires additional committment
  • What am I not willing to change?
  • What am I holding onto that I need to let go of?
  • When did it become about you?
  • Has there ever been a time when you were more in love with Jesus than you are now?
  • The main thing needs to be the main thing

These are just my notes from listening to Bro Jim talk about questions you  should ask themselve in order to evaluate your ministry. You can check out and download Jim’s notes  on his website jimwideman.com What do you think of these questions? Are there any you would add? leave a comment to continue the conversation.

The post Questions to evaluate your ministry appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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4 steps to write your own lessons

I am assuming that you have used a curriculum, or someone else’s lessons.  Have you ever created your own? Would you like to write your own lessons?

Here are the steps that I follow when I write my own lessons. Maybe they can help or inspire you to create your own.

When I was a teacher, I wrote daily lesson plans.  Each page included

  1. the goal of the lesson
  2. how I planned to achieve that goal
  3. and some ideas

I also included a follow up to the lesson to record some of the things that worked well and what didn’t work so well.

I take a similar approach when creating lessons to use at church.  I have a sheet that I fill out with all the ideas I can think of.  I included possible bible verses, object lessons, creative elements (puppets, skits, characters, ect), songs and games.  After I fill out lots of ideas, I wait a while, sometimes a few days, then I revisit the brainstorm sheets.  I begin to cross off things that don’t really fit, or that I don’t like.  I am finally left with enough ideas that I can transfer them into a basic outline for an entire service.

Step 1:  Brainstorm

Step 2:  Wait a while

Step 3:  Revisit and revise

Step 4:  Create an outline

At this point, it is time to fill in the details.  You may know what the point of the lesson is, but you need to figure out what you will say.  Some people write word for word, others will write out general points and outline.  Whatever you do, you will do that after you create your basic outline.

After I use the brainstorm sheet, I use the lesson plan sheet.  Just think, if you do this 4 weeks in a row, you will have your very own curriculum unit!

My friend Brandon Maddux (click here to meet Brandon and check out his resources) took my idea and turned it into a mind map, for those of you that are more visual.

Feel free to share some of the lessons you create with the rest of the world!  I would be happy to post them here, or link to them if you post them yourself.  Let me know.

The post How to write your own lessons appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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Is it time to evaluate your ministry?

January brings with it an end to one year, and the beginning of another. It is a time of reflections of past success as well as past difficulty. It is also a time of planning, goal setting, and excitement looking forward to a year full of endless possibilities.

Spring is the time of new beginnings, new life. A time when the cold, wintery weather and frozen ground gives way to budding flowers and gardens full of vegetables.

Whether is is the beginning of a new year, or the beginning of a new season,  it is always a good time to evaluate your ministry. Think about not only where your ministry has come from, but also where it is going. If you don’t normally take time to evaluate your ministry, there is no better time than now to start. Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

3 steps are more like three questions to ask yourself.

What is your vision?

This question is huge. Your vision for your ministry is yours, but it come from God. Your vision, while being yours, also needs to be in line with that of your pastor and your church. Your vision for your ministry is a big deal, as much of what you do will revolve around this. If you don’t yet have an overall vision, there is no better time like the present to get started!

What did you do last year that was successful?

You are not answering this question with the intent of trying to imitate the same things you did last year. It is more about seeing why you experienced success. If you are able to apply the same principles on what you do this year, you will likely be successful again this coming year. Maybe your success was attributed to your advanced planning. Or maybe it was the awesome team you have in place. Whatever you decide contributed to your success will lead you to your foundation to build on this coming year. Looking back to evaluate can give valuable insight on the direction you should take this year.

Ask yourself why?

Think back to the decisions you made last year. Can you explain why do did what you did? If not, it is possible you spent valuable time and energy in places you did not need to. Whatever it is you are doing, you need to constantly be asking yourself why. This will help keep you on the right track. If the answer to “why?” doesn’t line up with your vision, then you probably can find a better way to spend your time.  Why are you having this event? Why are you choosing this curriculum? Why are you doing this and why aren’t you doing that? Chances are, you have an answer for most things that you did or are going to do, but if you ask yourself enough, you might just find something you are doing ‘just because’, or you really don’t have as good of a reason as you thought. By eliminating a few things you will be able to focus your time and attention on some more important matters.

Spend some time thinking back to last year, as well as some time looking ahead. Ask yourself the three questions above, and you will begin to notice yourself becoming more focused and organized. You will be able to spend your time more wisely and be more productive. That sounds like a great way to start the year!

How do you evaluate your ministry? What questions do you ask yourself? Post a comment and join the conversation.

The post 3 steps to evaluate your ministry appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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Discipline is a sensitive topic.  When it comes to dealing with discipline, everyone has their own ideas and procedures.
“How do you deal with kids when they are being disruptive?” is a question I have been asked a lot.  Some of you know that often what I write can apply to many different situations, and I often relate it to  ministry.  From 7 years experience in a classroom setting and quite a few years in a ministry setting,  here are a few things we do when dealing with discipline and classroom management. 

5 steps for Dealing with Discipline 1. The Look–

It is amazing how effective it can be just by giving ‘the look’.  Most of the time kids know that their behavior is not acceptable, and simply catching their eye is enough to let them know that you see what they are doing.  Knowing they ‘got caught’ will often cause them to stop.  Mothers are especially good at giving this look. (now that I think about it, so are wives, but that is another topic for another day)  And I am sure that you can all remember receiving the look at some point in your life.

2. Proximity–

When the look doesn’t work, do what you can to change your location so you are closer to the child ‘misbehaving’.  As you get closer, often the behavior will change before you get there, as they begin to anticipate the consequences you may bring with you.

3.  A touch

If standing near a child does not change the behavior, sometimes a hand on their shoulder will make them aware that you are standing there, and you see or hear what they are doing, and it also lets them know you are not pleased with what is happening.

Notice that the above 3 tips can be done without saying a word.  If you are teaching or telling a story you do not need to stop in order to attempt to correct the behavior.  Making eye contact or walking around the room is something that can be done as you continue to teach or talk.  In a ministry setting this often means making eye contact with another leader in the room and the leader going to sit next to/near the distraction.  The ‘proximity’ will often settle the issue.

It is my thought that you need to do everything you can to take care of the problem without directly drawing attention to it.  That means gone are the days of putting a child’s name on the chalkboard and adding check marks.  Do what you can to continue the normal routine without stopping your teaching/talking to address the child.  This will give attention, which is sometimes what they are looking for.  They end up with negative attention instead of the positive attention they may need.

If the above tips don’t help, you can move on to a few others.

4. Quiet conversation

Since tip #3 will have you near the child, and you are finding that is not working, bend down and talk into their ear.  Let them know that what they are doing is not acceptable at the moment and you would like them to work harder at being a better listener.  Have this conversation quiet enough that the rest of the group does not hear.  Remember, you are attempting to change behavior, not embarrass a child in front of peers.  Side note–when talking to kids, get down to their level.  For me, that often means kneeling down to look face to face.  Just think how you would feel if everyone always seemed to ‘look and talk down’ to you.  Face to face conversation is very important, and can convey that you really care for the child you are talking to.

5. Remove from the situation

occasionally there may be times that none of the above will work, and for the sake of the whole group you need to remove the distraction.  This is done quietly–you can move the child to the hall or office  if in a classroom, or if in a ministry setting you can have a leader take the child to a different room.

#5 should not be a first response.  It should be a last resort.  Something to remember:  if a child is acting out or ‘misbehaving’ there is often a reason for it.  That child could have a difficult situation at home.  I have known children to act out because they did not have breakfast that morning and they were hungry.  Often their behavior is asking for attention.  They may not get the attention they need at home, so negative attention from you is better than no attention at all.

With that in mind, do not forget to praise the behavior you are expecting.  By nature, most children want to please adults.  When you acknowledge the positive behavior that is acceptable in your setting, you are reinforcing that behavior in the rest of the group.  They will want you to notice that they are behaving.  It is so much better to call a name to praise them rather than call their name to discipline them.

I know this is not a complete list, but these are the few steps that work for me.  Do you have any tips to share about dealing with discipline?

 I would be interested to know how you handle discipline issues.  What else would you add to my list?  Either from a classroom or a ministry view.   What works for you?  Leave a comment.  Something you say could inspire someone who reads later.

Are you looking for more great family devotion resources? Check out an Amazon #1 best selling children’s ministry book: Got Fruit: a guide to family devotions based on the fruit of the spirit. This is the entire set of devotions, all in one place!

Your child’s relationship with God must extend beyond Sunday morning. Parents have to take a leading role in the discipleship of their kids. Based on the Fruit of the Spirit, Got Fruit? is an effective tool to help parents disciple their children. If you are
looking for help with your family devotion time, click here– Got Fruit? is for you! Through this devotional you will be guided through discussions that build on each of the 9 fruits of the spirit. Each of the 9 devotionals include bible passages that highlight the highlighted fruit as well as a few related thoughts. Also included is a series of discussion questions that will help you guide your children in a conversation to bring truth and understanding. This short devotional is a perfect tool to guide you as you disciple your children into a deeper relationship and understanding with God.

The post Dealing with Discipline: classroom and ministry ideas and tips appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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The Secret to EnJOYing Life

What is the difference between joy and happiness? This family devotion will help you learn about the difference between joy and happiness.  You will read some Bible passages together, then answer some questions together. It is a great way to have a spiritual discussion with your kids. This can be a tool to help you as you work to build a spiritual foundation in your kids.

Think about it: What makes you happy? Are you always happy? Often happiness depends on how we feel or what happens to us. It is often based on our circumstances. Having joy is different. Joy comes from knowing the truth about God and his promises for us.

Psalm 118:24

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it

Phillippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.

What does the Bible say about The difference between Joy and Happiness

You can continue to read and answer everything in one sitting, or you may choose to break up the reading and questions into several days to help you have some meaningful conversations with your family.

Read together:
  • Proverbs 15:13
  • Proverbs 15:30
  • Proverbs 17:22
Answer together

If need be, refer back to the verses you just read to answer the questions. Be sure to allow everyone time to answer and discuss. There are no wrong answers- the goal is to have meaningful conversation.

  • Why does the Bible say a cheerful heart is like a medicine?
  • What are some things that can make you joyful?
  • What can a cheerful (happy) attitude do for us?

Remember, you can break today and read and answer the following tomorrow or another day this week.

Read together:

Acts 16:16-40

Answer together:
  • Do you think Paul and Silas were happy? Why?
  • How did Paul and Silas show their joy?
  • Describe how you think the jail cell looked. If you want to draw a picture of Paul and Silas in jail.
Final Thought: the difference between Joy and Happiness

Our joy does not come from our circumstances the way our happiness does. Our circumstances influence whether we are happy or not. Where we are, the weather, who we are with, what we are doing. All of these things can make us happy (or unhappy) Our joy comes from something bigger– it comes from God. From the forgiveness we ahve through Jesus and from knowing where we will spend eternity.

When things around us aren’t going our way, or when we aren’t happy, we can remember that our joy comes from God above. Our joy comes from knowing the truth about what God says. We can still have joy, even if we are not happy.

One of the verses we read above says “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24.  Knowing that God created today, and all the things we see is enough to give us reason to have joy, or to rejoice! Seeing the things God has created can help remind us of what he has done for us, that he has forgiven us.

If you have not prayed and asked God to forgive you, it’s easy to do. When you ask Him to forgive you and help you, He will! Then you will experience the greatest joy.

Pray together and ask God to forgive you and help you remember the reasons you have to be joyful.

So what do you think? Is it easy for you to tell the difference between joy and happiness? What makes you happy? Where does your joy come from? Leave a comment and let me know if this helped you have a great family discussion!

More family devotion resources

If you are looking for more resources to help teach your kids about faith and have quality family devotion time, check out some of these articles.

David the Giant Killer

David’s Friendship

Finding Faith

Go for the gold with God

More lessons and devotions here

Got Fruit?

Are you looking for more great family devotion resources? Check out an Amazon #1 best selling children’s ministry book: Got Fruit: a guide to family devotions based on the fruit of the spirit. This is the entire set of devotions, all in one place!

Your child’s relationship with God must extend beyond Sunday morning. Parents have to take a leading role in the discipleship of their kids. Based on the Fruit of the Spirit, Got Fruit? is an effective tool to help parents disciple their children.
If you are looking for help with your family devotion time, click here– Got Fruit? is for you! Through this devotional you will be guided through discussions that build on each of the 9 fruits of the spirit. Each of the 9 devotionals include bible passages that highlight the highlighted fruit as well as a few related thoughts. Also included is a series of discussion questions that will help you guide your children in a conversation to bring truth and understanding. This short devotional is a perfect tool to guide you as you disciple your children into a deeper relationship and understanding with God.

The post The difference between joy and happiness – a family devotion appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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Easter is coming, and you are quickly running out of time. Are you a parent looking for some family bible lessons or crafts? Maybe you are a teacher looking for an entire lesson, a game, or just a coloring sheet. No matter your situation, I hope this will help and save you some time. I put together a list of 11 places to get some last minute Easter ideas for kids.

I have used some of these resources, some I created myself, and others I found by Google search. My goal was to put together a list of resources to save you time, because when you are short on time, the last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of wasted time putting phrases in Google and scrolling through the results.

Last Minute Easter ideas for kids

Lots of activities from Ministry to Children: http://ministry-to-children.com/childrens-ministry-links-for-easter/

Salvation Eggs: a spin on resurrection eggs: Salvation Eggs

10 free resources from Children’s ministry deals : https://www.childrens-ministry-deals.com/collections/10-free-resources-for-easter

Resurrection Eggs outreach idea and printables : Resurrection Eggs

Free coloring pages from Ministry to Children : https://plus.google.com/+Ministry-to-children/posts/MoDWKmJqH5w

Full lesson from Dale Hudson : http://www.relevantchildrensministry.com/2012/02/free-easter-lessons-that-kids-will.html

Minute to Win it Easter Games from Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/kidsministry/2013/03/19/minute-to-win-it-easter-games/

10 Ideas from Share Faith : http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2015/03/10-easter-ideas-childrens-ministry-easter-sunday/

31 Outreach ideas from Outreach Magazine. Not all kids related, but some great ideas: http://www.outreachmagazine.com/ideas/4137-31-ideas-for-your-churchs-easter-impact.html

Easter Coloring Pages from Jelly Telly: https://www.jellytelly.com/blog/eight-best-easter-coloring-pages

Sermons for Kids Easter lesson : http://www.sermons4kids.com/

Easter SLIME object lesson:  https://www.kidmincorinne.com/…/easter-slime-object-lesson

The Last Supper: https://www.futureflyingsaucers.com/jesus-last-supper/

Salvation object lessons: https://www.futureflyingsaucers.com/awesome-object-lesson-for-kids/

Easter Lesson:  https://egmworld.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9ddc6f86dcbf0f1e8b24a2e42&id=d3d611ea6b  (you will need to enter an email address to receive the lesson)

Know any other great Free Easter Resources? Do you have any quick and easy Easter ideas for kids? Let me know and I will add them to the list!

The post 11 last minute Easter Ideas for kids appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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Everyone loves a good story, right? With the right delivery, a story can be greatly entertaining. Or curling up reading a good story by the fireplace is a great way to pass the time.  However, I will not teach the Christmas Story again.

If you have never been to the Ark Encounter or Creation Museum, a part of Answers in Genesis in Kentucky, I suggest you make the trip. The Ark is actually built to scale, the same size Noah built his ark. The inside is incredible—if you have ever wondered how Noah fit so many animals in his ark, the Ark Encounter makes it clear, there was plenty of room. There may have even been room for more!

So what does the Ark encounter have to do with the Story of Jesus birth?

Well, one major premise of Answers in Genesis is the way the evolutionists target the very foundation of Christian Faith. If the enemy can convince us that the Book of Genesis is not true, then why would the rest of the Bible be true?

The history of Noah is full of sin, death and destruction, on a global scale. Why then is Noah’s Ark the theme of so many children’s areas and nurseries?  It doesn’t make too much sense to me. Think about the last time you saw a depiction of Noah’s Ark. You are probably thinking of a brightly colored painting, with a rainbow in the sky, a little boat, and a handful of animals standing on the deck of the ship, with Noah and his wife waving at you. That doesn’t exactly sound realistic to me.

Why I will not teach the Christmas story again

When we teach Bible Stories, we are setting the stage for some very subtle subconscious thoughts.  In The Story of Noah, we get the main points in the picture (the boat, the rainbow, two of every animal) but the representation is not very realistic.

A story, by definition, is a fictional narrative, a legend or a fable. In fact there is only one definition of the word story that I found includes a true or factual series of events. Other than that, the word story implies fiction, something not true. There is even one definition that means a lie or falsehood!

It was an eye-opening revelation to me. When we teach Bible Stories to our kids, we may be subliminally implying that the events we are talking about never happened.

Why are kids leaving their faith?

If the enemy is able to cast doubt on the validity of the Bible and the history of events contained inside, he is effectively cracking the very foundation of our faith. As our kids grow up, if we are not careful, we may find those cracks growing, to the point that somewhere in high school or college that foundation will crumble and our kids will walk away from their faith. Rather than take Answers in Genesis at their word, I did some of my own research. I read several studies and some of the data is alarming:

88% of the children in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18

In one study, an answer given for why they left faith behind was “Some stuff is too far-fetched for me to believe.”

Only 33% of churched youth have said that the church will play a part in their lives when they leave home.

61% of today’s young adults – had been churched at one point during their teen years but they are now spiritually disengaged.

One major reason people abandon their faith is: They left because they had troubling, unanswered questions about the faith.

90% of youth active in high school church programs drop out of church by the time they are sophomores on college.

Eye Opening Barna Research

Barna’s most comprehensive research study investigating the perceptions, experiences and motivations of 13- to 18-year-olds in Generation Z, reports the following:

  1. 59% of students in this age group Identify as Christian or Catholic (down from 75% for “Elders”). 21% say they are atheist or agnostic (up from 11% for “Elders’). 14% say they have no religious affiliation (up from 9% for “Elders”) 2. Students in this age group offer the following “barriers to faith”:

  2. “I have a hard time believing that a good God would allow so much evil or suffering in the world” (29%) b. “Christians are hypocrites” (23%) c. “I believe science refutes too much of the Bible” (20%) d. “I don’t believe in fairy tales (19%) e. “There are too many injustices in the history of Christianity” (15%) f. “I used to go to church but it’s not important to me anymore” (12%) g. “I had a bad experience at church with a Christian” (6%)

The above research findings and quotes were taken from http://coldcasechristianity.com/2017/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/   In the article, there are many, many studies that are mentioned, including research from Southern Baptist Convention, Lifeway, Assemblies of God, Josh McDowell, George Barna and more. If you have time, you should check it out. If nothing else, the findings tell us there is a real enemy that is fighting for our kids. We have a huge responsibility to our kids to help them own their faith, to help them build a strong foundation, so they will be able to stand strong and not give in.

As parents and ministry workers, part of our responsibility includes helping our kids build their own spiritual foundation. As the above research shows, the enemy is out to destroy this foundation, which means, more than ever, we need to be intentional about what we say and what we teach.

By teaching ‘bible stories’ are we unintentionally contributing to the cracks in the spiritual foundation of our kids?

A few things to remember: Your kids will have questions.

Your response to these questions will impact your child’s beliefs.  Too often we think the spiritual response is ‘because that’s what God wanted’, or ‘we just have to have faith’.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes having faith as an adult is difficult. If it’s hard for me, I can’t imagine how difficult it could be for a child.  (Check out an article here on how to teach your kid’s about faith).

It’s ok to be honest with your kids. If you don’t have an answer to their question, work together to find the answer. How you approach their questions will have an impact on what they believe (or don’t believe).

Science and the Bible really do match up.

Too often, we are uninformed and fail to do our own research. When scientists make claims, we do not have enough knowledge to know whether they are right or wrong. That sometimes means we can tend to believe their claims.  Answers in Genesis has lots of materials available that will help you see how science and the bible actually work together, not against each other. Being better prepared for the questions our kids have will help their foundation stay strong in the midst of the information they are inundated with. We need to help them be informed with truth, and help them find answers to their questions. If we don’t help them, someone else will help them, potentially convincing them that the lies are truth.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Romans 1:25

So that is why I won’t teach the Christmas Story again. Or the Easter Story. Or the Story of Noah. Or any other Bible Story for that matter. I want to be intentional about helping our kids build a strong spiritual foundation. I will instead choose to teach the History of the First Christmas. Or the Truth about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Or How Noah Saved the World. Or any number of different ways to phrase it. I will now be mindful that the words I choose knowing they may contribute to small cracks in the spiritual foundation of someone else.

Will you continue to teach Bible Stories? Am I overthinking the whole subject?  Post a comment and let me know what you think.

The post Why I will not teach the Christmas Story again appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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Netflix is great. Amazon streaming video has so many options. Hulu streams some options the others don’t. While all of these streaming video services are great, and have lots of family friendly choices, they have lots of shows and movies I would not want my family to watch. They don’t offer very many faith based choices either. That is where Christian Cinema has recognized a hole and has worked hard to become your place to find streaming Christian movies.

MISSION: Making The Best Christian Movies Available To You in One Place Wherever You Go

ChristianCinema.com offers a wide variety of faith based movies that you can watch movies and tv shows on demand– as your schedule allows — whenever you want!  It’s pretty easy too.

  1. Create an account
  2. Choose a move
  3. Pop your popcorn
  4. Enjoy your movie!

You can choose to rent the movie and watch it once, or you can purchase it and watch it over and over.  You are able to watch directly on your computer, or you can download the app and watch on your ipad, kindle , or android device.  You can stream to your tv with Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV.  There are a lot of options when it comes to how you will stream your movies.

While the streaming services I mentioned earlier are all subscription based. ChristianCinema.com is not. It is a pay-for-what-you-watch service.  Once you create your account, you only pay for the movies you want to watch. If you don’t watch any, you don’t pay. I imagine that once you get in and look around, you will find at least one, if not more movies you want to watch.

So what do you think, want to give it a try?  The kind folks over at ChristianCinema.com have given me 10 unique codes, each good for a FREE movie download, meaning you get to KEEP the movie and watch it over and over again! All you will have to do is create an account and enter the code to redeem your FREE movie!

Enter to win!

Since I only have 10 codes to give away some streaming Christian movies, I thought the best thing to do would be to have a contest.  You will have several ways to enter.

All you have to do for a chance to win is enter your email address below— winners will be notified by email.  Once you enter your email, you will have an opportunity to gain more entries by sharing on facebook, twitter and pinterest– you will receive entries for anyone that enters the giveaway using the links you share. The more you share, the better chance you have of winning a free movie from christiancinema.com!  Winners will be posted here, as well as notified by email with directions on how to redeem the winning codes.

Enter to Win a FREE digital movie download~
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10 winners will be selected at random to recieve a code for a FREE digital movie download.   Step 1: enter your email to subscribe to future updates from this site Step 2: Share on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to receive more entries. Step 3: Get people to register for the contest through your personal referal link and get more chances to win Step 4: Cross your fingers and check your email to see if you win!
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Want to learn more about streaming Christian movies? Read more about ChristianCinema.com here

http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/about_us.php

The post Streaming Christian Movies- a review and a free movie code appeared first on PastorRonBrooks.

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