Archive for July 2012

Parenting with Scripture…Olympic Style

Happy Olympic days, y’all!
Here’s a related passage to discuss as a family some time during these couple of weeks, followed by some fun and kid-friendly Olympic resources:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – The Message

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.

I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

Olympic website that my children have been enjoying –

Olympic crafts, games, and snacks:
This British site has creative ideas that young and old would enjoy.  I’m sure ideas are endless if you do a quick Google or Pinterest search.

Olympics 2012 Lapbook:
This is only 50 cents to download.  However, have your printer ready b/c it’s around 60 pages to print.  My kids are going into 2nd and 4th grade and it has been a fabulous boredom buster as we’ve headed into the Olympics.  My prayer was that they would not think it’s too “schoolish” and God blessed!  They are having a blast with it and beg to do more each time we sit down with them.  We’re all learning many interesting facts as they create this fun keepsake!  If you’ve never done a lapbook, don’t let this overwhelm you.  The step-by-step instructions that come with the download are excellent.  It also shows pictures for each step.  There’s still two weeks left of the Olympics…plenty of time to spread this project out over the days if you think your children would be interested.


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What my kids hear a lot! “Obey right away, all the way, & in a happy way.”

“Obey right away, all the way, and in a happy way.”
Not sure where this quote originated, but I heard it from a couple of moms a church before I even had children.
Pure brilliance in summing up obedience issues.

As I was searching for an image to add to this blog, I stumbled upon some fun ideas.  This site gives a number of fabulous, hands-on ideas for learning or reinforcing the following verse.   Make sure you scroll down far enough to get to the “Obey Sunday School Song” and you’ll have your chuckle for the day!

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—
“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
Ephesians 6:1-3


I thought of this series when I was blogging the entries for “Mom said it and now I’m saying it!”
These posts, sprinkled throughout the rest of the summer, will be things I say often that I bet my children will be repeating to their children.
I’d love to hear some of yours!  Please share!

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Summer Fun Ideas – Media with Scripture

Different forms of media offer a wealth of teachable moment for parenting with Scripture.  Be on the lookout when watching movies, reading books, listening to music, seeing billboards while driving, etc.   Here are a few media related excerpts from Parenting with Scripture to get you thinking.

Soul Surfer – From the “Take Action section under the topic Revenge.
Make “Overcome evil with good” your motto (Romans 12:21).  When people wrong you, look for ways to surprise them with kindness.  By reacting this way, you will be ministering to others when they least expect it and in a way that will certainly catch their attention.  The movie Soul Surfer offers a great example of this.  Watch how Bethany reacts to Malina’s unkindness, and see how Malina is influenced by Bethany’s response by the end of the movie.

Sound of Music – From the “Take Action” section under the topic Confidence.
Watch the classic movie The Sound of Music and discuss the song “I Have Confidence” sung by the character Maria.  It is near the beginning of the movie when Maria leaves the abbey to become a governess.

Yertle the Turtle – From the “Discussion” section under the topic Conceitedness.
Can you feel that you are special without being conceited or snobby?
*How can you find a balance between the two?
Find a copy of Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss, and read it together.
*How was Yertle conceited?  Read Romans 12:16b
*Read 2 Corinthians 12:7.  What was Yertle’s “thorn in his flesh” that kept him from becoming conceited?
How does this story related to you?
*Is there anyone you “step on” to get what you want?
*Is there anyone you have been putting down or thinking yourself better than?  See Galatians 5:26
*Have you been snobby about a particular think you do well?  Read Jeremiah 13:15
*Do you have a “thorn in your flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7)?
*Have you been a victim of someone else’s conceitedness?  Look up and read Psalm 119:21 and Psalm 119:51.

Aesop’s Fable – The Boy Who Cried Wolf – From the “Take Action” section under the topic Honesty.
Online or at the library, find a copy of Aesop’s fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  Read the story and interject questions throughout the reading.  For example:  After each time the boy cries wolf, ask what your child would do if he were a townsperson.  At the end, ask if he feels sorry for the boy.  Why or why not?
(Refer to a copy of Parenting with Scripture for verses and discussion questions related to honesty.)


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Parenting with Scripture Podcast Interview

Thanks to my publisher’s media blitz for the re-release, my publicists have done an amazing job booking me on a number of radio interviews across the nation and Canada over the last several months.  This one is a podcast so it’s in a better format to share than the typical radio interview.  The link is below if you’d like to hear an overview of what teachable moments are, how to look for them in daily life, and how to tie in Scripture.  We also breezed through a number of topics from Parenting with Scripture.


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30 Day Prayer Resource – Geography, Culture, Religion

Our family has enjoyed this prayer resource each year.  It’s geared toward elementary kids but we were able to even modify this down and use it even when the kids were in preschool/kindergarten.  We work through this 30 day guide in our evening family prayer times and keep a globe or map on hand to look for the focus country in relation to where we live.  The pamphlet is excellent at helping kids understand about other cultures and beliefs alongside the prayer points.  Order now so you’ll have it to start on the official date, July 20th.

Product description and ordering information.
Click on picture to go to link. 



2012 marks the 21st time that Christians around the world will join together to pray for the Muslim world during the 30 days of Ramadan; Ramadan in 2012 will start July 20.  This is the “30 Days” booklet edition for children for 2012. This booklet follows the same daily prayer topics as the edition for adult readers, but it also includes illustrations and some fun activities. The reduced, simpler text is geared toward elementary school-age children. So, consider involving the younger members of your family or church.  This annual worldwide 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World is for Christians to humbly learn about Islam and pray for Muslims during Ramadan (Islam’s important annual month of fasting and religious observance).  Each year a new illustrated prayer guide booklet is published in dozens of languages and locations around the world. While it is primarily produced for use during  Ramadan, many individuals and churches use it also at other times throughout the year.

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Summer Fun Series – Good Deeds Day!

This awesome idea is from my sweet church friend, Mary Andrews…

Hello!  Kara has asked me to share with you a fun activity that I did last week with my three kids, ages 10, 9 and 6.  First, let me preface this with saying that I have “normal” kids.  Each summer for the last 5 years, we have put together a simple list on poster-board of summer goals that we have for the few months home from school.  Each child had several fun suggestions, and I interjected with the idea of a “Good Deeds Day” and got…silence.  We put it on the list and decided to cross that activity off our list last Thursday.

I first had to encourage them that this was actually going to be a fun activity as they weren’t too sure.  We set out to our local grocery store, and parked our car.  From there, we looked for stray grocery carts that we then gathered together and delivered into the store.  At first, especially my youngest, was crying about how ‘hard’ this was, but the manager actually came out to thank them and told them they were “hired”, which made for smiles all around.

While at the grocery store, we purchased a small bouquet of flowers and told the kids that I had someone in mind to give it to…our church secretary.  Once in the car, I took a moment to talk to them about how our pastors are so visible and yet they would agree with me that without our hard-working secretary, Carol, so much of what they do would not get done.  This was really eye-opening to them, and I could tell they were excited to give the flowers to such a deserving person.  I had my oldest son take the flowers and hand them to her, and each child said, “thank you” and told her about the Good Deeds day we were a part of.  I could tell my idea was catching on!

Some of the other activities we did were leaving a dollar bill on an ATM machine, finding a random mailbox in a struggling neighborhood and putting $5 in it (that was my 9 year old’s idea: he was most excited), and the highlight was going to the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A to pay anonymously for the car behind us.  What was especially nice about this was that there was a time when we were the only ones in line so we were able to pray together that the right person who needed a blessing would come.  My son prayed that it wouldn’t be a school bus of hungry kids, too!  Turns out, we paid only $2.66 for a young woman’s beverage and waited to see her reaction and she simply drove away without any acknowledgment or smile!  That, too, became a lesson in gratitude and we had good conversations all the way home about how they would have reacted differently.

All in all, this was only an hour and a half activity, yet I felt like it really made an impact on them.  It was humbling when, only a few hours later, they told their dad at dinner only a little bit of our day together!  Again, normal kids, but I’m hoping a little seed was planted and that they will one day think of others in special, anonymous ways.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Hebrews 10:24


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Parenting with Scripture…4th of July style

In thinking about parenting with Scripture, 4th of July style, I realized it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss with my children the freedoms we have in Christ alongside the freedoms we celebrate in our country.  These concepts are abstract, but worth introducing and expanding on from year to year as this holiday rolls around and the children grow to understand more.

Here are the basics of what we’re going to talk about with our almost 8 and 10-year-olds to get you thinking of how you might discuss this with your child(ren).

How are we free in Christ?  We are free from the consequences of sin when we trust in Jesus as our Savior.
How are we free in our country?  Google “Bill of Rights for kids” to find a list of our freedoms and explanations geared toward children.
However, freedom doesn’t mean we can or should do anything we want to do.  For example:
-In the Christian realm that means just because God will forgive us for lying, doesn’t mean we should lie.  Discuss.
-In our American government that means just because we have the freedom to say anything we want, doesn’t mean we should.  Discuss.

My children are familiar with Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) because we sing it in church.  We’ll download it or listen to it on Youtube and have them listen for the word “free” in the lyrics.  Then we’ll discuss what it means in the context of the song and Biblically.

We’ll also listen to The Star Spangled Banner and You’re A Grand Old Flag and have the kids listen for the word “free” and discuss what it means in those contexts.

Scriptures to discuss:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.   Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation  for those who are in Christ Jesus,because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  Romans 8:1-2 


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