This week, I’m bringing you three resources on talking effectively with your children, plus on book recommendation. I hope these will provide some insight and interesting reading. Next week, I’ll pick up with some of my own thoughts on reading. The first resource is simply a link to an interesting article from this past week:
#1: Article on Parenting
Why kids are out of shape, disrespectful, and in charge
This is a review of a new book on attitudes of authority in modern parenting. Worth a look.
#2: Ebook on Faith Formation
The 4 questions that destroy a kid’s faith in God … 4 answers that anchor a lifetime of belief
Jeff Myers and Summit ministries have created this resource to equip parents to have helpful conversations with their children.
#3: Movie Review and Parent Resource
The second resource is a reprint from a resource I have recommended before, the Axis newsletter, available here. They take current trends in media and give insightful and thoughtful commentary alongside valuable conversation starters with your children.
Here’s an example from this week’s material, a review of the movie Kung Fu Panda 3.
Kung Fu Panda 3 is a lighthearted adventure about discovering one's inherent spiritual powers. When the evil Kai returns from the spirit realm to steal everyone's chi, Po is encouraged to seek his true self in order to learn how to defeat him. Also woven throughout the plot are many worldview assumptions--mainly spiritualistic, like reincarnation and chi. (Also note how the pairing of Po's biological father and adopted father occasions many joyful references to Po's "two dads.") But the main premise of the story is that when we discover who we truly are, we will find both purpose and deep spiritual power. This idea and others in the film are deceptive if looked at from one perspective, yet true if looked at from another.
Very often, when we talk of "seeking our true selves," it is implied that the solutions to all our problems begin and end with us (i.e. "look within yourself," "do what feels right," or "follow your heart"). However, if we go back to the beginning, our truest of true selves is free from the power of sin and dysfunction because we live as we were made to: fulfilled solely by God Himself. But because we live in a time when sin does have power, the only way we can find our "true selves" is by asking God to help us die to ourselves (i.e. our flesh and how the curse distorts us) and make us more like Christ.
In Romans 3, Paul emphatically declares that without God, we do not have what it takes. But with God, like Jesus says here, we are empowered to live into our calling to be "the light of the world."
Kung Fu Panda 3 is endearing and enjoyable for people of all ages. But it's also an opportunity to help your kids see how two perspectives on one idea can yield two very different conclusions. Ideas have consequences, but after you've taught your kids the biblical perspective, those consequences can go from being harmful and false to being both legitimate and empowering.
Book Recommendation - The Jesus Storybook Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every story Whispers His Name is a staple in our home. I recommend it for pre-school and elementary age parents, although it is a wonderful biblical storybook to be enjoyed by all ages. It is a wonderful tool to use with your children to introduce them to the biblical narrative and the story of redemption throughout scripture. Plus, the wonderful illustrations capture the imagination. Because of this book, the story of Naaman is one of my son’s favorite in all scripture. I highly recommend reading it aloud with your young children.
Reprint: [Host families still needed]Hosting Opportunity benefits BCS scholarship funds
BCS is hosting a group of 22 Chinese students on February 16-18. We are in need of 10 host families to host 2-3 students each for two nights on the 16th and 17th. Host families would need to provide dinner, sleeping accommodations, and breakfast. This program is a great cultural exchange for our students and families, gives us a chance to share the love of Christ with visiting students, and funds twelve scholarships for our BCS families next year. Please consider opening your home through this opportunity. For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Phil Warner: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the school office. We are hoping to assign the host families within the next two weeks. Thank you for considering!
[Reprint] Leadership Announcement As many of you are already aware, Pastor Dave Klase of Exeter Bible church offered his resignation to EBC at the beginning of the month. Pastor Dave has faithfully served the church and the school for the last twelve years. We ask that the school family be in prayer for EBC as they prayerfully move into the next season of the church and for Pastor Dave and his family as they transition to a new ministry.
For those of you who would have interest, I am linking the resignation letter and response from the church elders here: https://ebc.elvanto.net/posts/pastor-daves-resignation/
Philip S. Warner, administrator of Berks Christian School.