24-Hour Deal: Get 70% Off the Power of a Father Bundle

Power of a Parent's Blessing

Today’s Father’s Day Bundle is here! For the next 24 hours, get 70% off the Power of a Father Bundle—you’ll get four books for just $17.99.

This bundle shows you how to bless your children and empower them for lifelong discipleship, how to conquer the most destructive family issues, and how to be a better father, husband, and leader.

The Power of a Father Bundle offers four resources designed to draw men closer to God, including:

1. The Power of a Parent’s Blessing: See Your Children Prosper and Fulfill Their Destinies in Christ by Craig Hill

This books offers a road map for the incredible things that can happen when you bless the children in your life. By blessing your children, you’re empowering them to prosper in the life God has planned for them. Author Craig Hill addresses key topics, like when and how you should bless your child, the consequences of not blessing your kids, the role of parents, and practical tools to bless your child. Start empowering your kids for a prosperous and fulfilling life today!

2. Restoring the Christian Family: A Biblical Guide to Love, Marriage, and Parenting in a Changing World by John Loren Sandford and Paula Sandford

This book combines 30 years’ of family counseling wisdom and provides helpful insights and illustrations from the authors’ own lives. Paula and John Loren Sandford tackle the leading issues tearing families apart, including disappointing marriages, resentful children, and poor communication. This book offers concrete advice and provides hope and healing for anyone wanting a happy and healthy family.

3. 10 Lies Men Believe by J. Lee Grady

10 Lies Men Believe offers a revealing look at why so many Christian men today are in serious crisis. The author, who spent eight years confronting the abuse of women in more than 20 countries, believes men are failing in marriage, fatherhood, friendships, and careers because of 10 wrong mindsets inherited from culture. With gut-wrenching honesty, the author offers practical answers for men who struggle with a variety of issues, including addiction, abusive tendencies, pornography, controlling behavior, and emotional problems rooted in a lack of proper fathering.

4. Not by Bread Alone: Daily Devotions for Disciples by Greg Hinnant

In this series of daily devotions, Greg Hinnant sheds light on the promises of God’s Word in order to encourage each of us to pursue a closer walk with Christ. Not By Bread Alone will help you understand Scripture and apply it to your life, so that you can experience the blessings and power of Christ. These daily devotions address the Lord’s blessings, witnessing to others, dealing with pride and hurt, marriage, and raising godly children.

Hurry—this bundle expires in 24 hours! Get all four books for 70% off with the Power of a Father Bundle.

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The Best Advice for the Modern Dad and His Growing Daughter

That's My Girl

Today’s interview is with Rick Johnson, founder of Better Dads, a fathering-skills program that empowers men to lead and serve in their families and communities. He’s the bestselling author of ten books on marriage, family relations, and parenting, and he’s a highly sought-after keynote speaker at parenting and marriage conferences. His popular book, That’s My Girl: How a Father’s Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter, shows men how to develop close relationships with their daughters that teach them how they should be treated by men. Whether you’re a soon-to-be-dad, a counselor, or just a man wanting to be a better role model, this book is for you: get That’s My Girl for just $8.44 today. 

1. What are some of the greatest challenges you see parents facing today? And how do you encourage them in the face of these challenges?

The biggest challenge parents face today is the continual onslaught of negative cultural influences that their children experience every day. Everything from early sexualization of our children to the promotion of unhealthy lifestyles seem to grow our children too fast and rip away their natural innocence and naiveté. Combine that with our ultrabusy lifestyles, which keep us from spending quality time together, and you have some significant challenges facing families.

Parents need to remember that despite what our culture promotes, you are the most important influence in your child’s life. Even teenagers when surveyed consistently rate their parents as bigger influences than peers, friends, movie stars, or singers. That means we need to actually use that influence or we lose it. We use that influence best by spending time with our children and intentionally teaching them what’s important in life.

2. What’s the most important step in developing a close father-daughter relationship?

Females greatly value verbal communication. They not only process information and their emotions by talking about them, they also develop closeness and intimacy with loved ones through verbal communication. Most females tell me what makes them feel most loved is to have the undivided attention of the important male in their life. Dads, if you want a close relationship with your daughter spend your most valuable commodity on her: your time. The most-asked question I get from teen girls at our father-daughter conference is, “Why won’t he talk to me?” You don’t necessarily have to talk, but you do have to listen—intently.

3. What advice do you have for dads who desire a healthy relationship with their daughter, but feel constantly rejected or even hated by their kids?

Dads who don’t live with their daughters often experience this, but even dads in the same household report this issue once their girls enter puberty. Dad suddenly goes from being the center of his daughter’s life to an invisible nonentity (or at best an inconvenient ATM). But these are often the times our children need us most. All relationships have peaks and valleys. Dads who persevere through these low seasons in their relationship reap the rewards later. Having the courage and steadfastness to continue to reach out—even in the face of rejection—tells our children that they’re so important to us that we’re willing to risk rejection to connect with them.

As a man of faith, I always told my kids that I would one day be accountable to God for how I raised my children. I didn’t want to have to explain to him why I allowed my kids to do harmful activities or why I didn’t do everything in my power to father his most valuable creation to the best of my ability. The fact that I was accountable to the creator of the universe seemed to mollify their scorn to a lesser degree.

4. How can dads be a part of their daughter’s world while still giving them the space they need to grow into an independent young woman?

It’s important for dads to provide a rudder in a young woman’s life. His calm and objective (nonemotional) perspective can give her balance, especially during the wild ups and downs of adolescence. His experience can also protect her from life’s dangers.

I think it’s important that dad be an enforcer of family rules and boundaries. As teens, many girls rebel against these boundaries—but they’re in place to protect her, so enforcing them tells her she’s loved. This can be difficult, but getting worn down and letting her do what she wants is often destructive. I’ve had too many broken and wounded girls tearfully tell me their daddies didn’t love them enough to fight for them. They equate dad letting them do destructive things to dad not loving them enough to protect them from harm. Stand by your values, guys, even when she objects to them. She might not like you sometimes (by the way, your job as a parent is not to be “liked”) but she will respect you. In the long run, that’s better for you and for her.

5. What’s something your daughter has taught you?

As a dad, I didn’t truly understand how much my words meant to my daughter until she was an adult. Guys, as a dad you are your daughter’s first and most important example of a man. She internalizes how much value she has as a female (and a human being) by the way you treat her and her mother. She develops her self-image and self-esteem by how much her father values her. She learns how to expect a man to treat her and love her by your model. She learns what healthy male sexuality and respect look like through your example. Remember, your actions speak louder than words.

6. How can parents correct undesired behavior and pass on personal values without restricting their child’s development as a unique individual?

I’m not sure the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. Everyone who has raised a child realizes that no matter how much you correct them or try to teach them your personal values, the fact is that the child is a unique individual with free will to choose the path they want. Sometimes that’s great, andother times the choices they make don’t work out so well. Regardless, I think it is a parent’s job to raise a child with the best possible chance to live a healthy productive life, while achieving their full potential. That means putting healthy boundaries in place and correcting destructive behaviors. It also means giving them a healthy value system in order to have a foundation to leap off into life from. Perhaps having the goal of that “bigger-picture” view (that you are raising a healthy adult, not that you are raising a child) makes it easier to balance those objectives.

7. Children who have irresponsible or uninvolved fathers are much more likely to experience behavioral issues, like low self-esteem and sexually promiscuous behavior. With divorce rates at 50 percent in the US, how can fathers be active participants in their daughter’s life, even when they don’t live with them?

Despite the overwhelming evidence pointing to the negative outcomes for kids living in father-absent homes, I know many men who have been successful fathers even though they did not live with their children. The biggest factor in those success stories is the willingness of both former spouses to place the best interests of the child ahead of their own selfish needs and desires. That means working together as a team to parent, even though they’re no longer married. Couples who are able to do that effectively seem to be able to overcome the challenges of divorce. Unfortunately, very few couples can actually pull this off. I would encourage noncustodial fathers to jealously guard your time with your children. In the face of not living together, it is so easy to slip into the lethargic milieu of letting time together slip away. Face time is important. But your child knowing that you cared enough to make the effort (sometimes in the face of overwhelming obstacles) to stay connected is also important. Even if they reject your efforts, continue to call and write cards and notes to them on a consistent basis. That may be difficult, especially if you are continually rejected, but it matters—especially later in life.

9. How is Better Dads equipping men and women to become better parents and spouses?

My books, CDs, and other materials are ongoing resources for parents and spouses. In addition, we provide numerous seminars and workshops for men and fathers, moms on raising boys to become good men, marriages, and healthy relationships. Better Dads also hosts a free summer camp for single moms and their kids called Foundations in Life, a father-daughter conference for men and their teenage or adult daughters, and a father-son campout for noncustodial fathers and their sons. We also speak in prisons and at military installations.

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Discover what it takes to be a strong leader and compassionate father: get Rick Johnson’s That’s My Girl: How a Father’s Love Protects and Empower His Daughter for just $8.44!

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Leadership: A Lesson from the Good Shepherd

The Shepherd Leader at Home

Today only, get the Shepherd Leader Bundle for only $17.99—that’s 70% off! This Father’s Day–themed bundle includes Timothy Z. Witmer’s insightful book, The Shepherd Leader at Home, as well as Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood; Ten Secrets for a Successful Family: A Perfect 10 for Homes That Win; and God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation. This deal is only available for 24 hours, so download the Shepherd Leader Bundle now!

Think of someone in your life that you respect as a leader. It might be a parent, a teacher, or an unexpected mentor. Reflect on this person for a moment: what is it that gives them that charismatic leadership quality? Maybe it’s their kind eyes or endearing smile, or maybe it goes deeper than that—a listening ear, a quiet confidence, a humble opinion. A leader is someone who cares and nourishes those around them. According to Oswald Sanders, “True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing others to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them.”

A biblical perspective on leadership

The Bible often portrays godly leaders as shepherds. Contrary to popular belief, a shepherd is so much more than a glorified sheep babysitter. A shepherd’s first duty is to truly know his sheep. Imagine yourself wandering Israel’s deserts circa 50 BC and running into your friend and his flock. When you part ways, how do you figure out whose sheep are whose? A good shepherd can differentiate his sheep from any other flock. In John 10:14, Jesus declares that he is “the good shepherd.” He knows our hearts; not a hair can fall from our head without him knowing. Now that is a GREAT shepherd!

While sheep seem as though they all act the same and have the same needs, some wander off quicker than others. In the same way, Jesus knows that each of us must be led in a different way. Knowing each sheep is the foundation to being able to effectively lead, provide, and protect them—all in their own special way. It’s that selfless service that’s the key to shepherding the flock. The sheep listen because they know of the shepherd’s immense love and concern for them; they trust him to provide for their needs and protect them from harm.

The shepherding father

For patriarchal families, the father is the leader of the home. In the book The Shepherd Leader at Home, Timothy Z. Witmer examines the idea of fathering from the role of a shepherd. Leading a family is much different than leading a flock of sheep—even from leading a team or business. Rather than leading with a booming voice or demanding nature, Witmer says that a father should continuously strive to follow the pattern of leadership set by the good shepherd.

This is easier said than done though—as always. With a spouse and any number of kids to care for, a family’s needs are endless. What works for one may not work for another. There is no one-size-fits-all manual for leading a family. The closest thing is learning how to shepherd a family. Listen to your family. Care for your family. Pray for your family. Above all, seek wise counsel from the good shepherd—he is your father in heaven.

For a more in-depth look at what it really means to shepherd your family, download the Shepherd Leader Bundle for 70% off—today only! You’ll get:

You only have 24 hours to claim this bundle for 70% off! Get the Shepherd Leader Bundle now.

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5 Crucial Talking Points for People Leaving the Church

Called to Stay

Today’s guest post is by Caleb Breakey, author of Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church. Called to Stay takes a refreshingly honest look at the church, the problem of millennials leaving, and the stark reality of why the church desperately needs them. Get Called to Stay for just $7.79 today!

Right now, people are saying that they can follow Jesus without joining a local church. There’s a growing sense that, “Hey, I follow Jesus but I’m done with traditional church.”

And I totally get where they’re coming from.

Much of what we do in church has become stagnant tradition instead of meaningful conviction that boils with passion for Jesus Christ. Pastors across the country spend precious few minutes on the why of church, leaving many wondering, “No why? No point.”

That said, Jesus has shown us that the body of Christ is his bride, that he loves her, and that his will for us is to love her, too. This is why I wrote Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church.

We can’t love Christ’s bride when we leave her, badmouth her, or pick and choose those whom we gather with (i.e. your friends at Starbucks or church online).

Are there exceptions? Of course. But catch the heart of what God’s Word communicates to us:

1. Staying in a body of believers is a commandment (Hebrews 10:24–25).

When we stop gathering with a local body of believers that follows God’s structure, there’s no iron sharpening iron. There’s no building up of one another.

We need to go to church on a mission—encouraging others to love and do good deeds—the same way we go and tell others about Jesus.

We need to sit down and say: how can I go to church and be intentional? How can I serve and bless my brothers and sisters throughout the week? Where are there voids in the church, and how can I help fill them? We’re all surface-level at church, so how can I have meaningful, deep conversations in order to be a part of the solution?

 2. Staying in a body of believers is part of Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:20).

The second part of the great commission is to teach one another to “observe (obey) all that I have commanded.”

Everyone in your church is somewhere in their relationship with Jesus, knowledge of Jesus, and how they’re obeying and following Jesus. And here’s the thing: we need to be a part of their growth. We need to teach each other to be more like Jesus—not by giving others our convictions, but by crying out to God, “Lord, use me in the growth of others. Help me be intentional.” The local church is a great place to do this.

3. Staying in a body of believers practices God’s golden rule (Luke 6:31).

Your life is not your own. Your life is a product of those who’ve poured into you—career wise, education wise, and spirit wise. Maybe it’s been just one person, or maybe 100. But they’ve all helped you become who you are in Christ today. They invested in you.

Deciding to live intentionally is to pay that love forward. It’s to say, “I’m a product of my brothers and sisters who God has used to make me the believer I am today, and now I’m going to pour this same love into others on the journey—especially those behind me.”

4. Staying in a body of believers shows others that you are Christ’s disciple (John 13:35).

If you love someone who loves you, what profit is that? Anyone can do that, Jesus says. But if you love the messy bride of Christ—people in church—that’s supernatural. That speaks. And we have to have faith that speaks.

What might change if you bore your church in love and made every effort to keep unity with it (Ephesians 4:1–3)? If you carried the failings of your church and equipped yourself with the endurance of Christ (Romans 15:1–7)?

Through our forgiveness of one another, we show the world that we are disciples of Jesus. And we can’t ever lose sight of the fact that that shows people we know and love him.

5. Staying in a body of believers reflects Christ’s unconditional love (1 John 3:16).

Jesus died at the hands of his people, for his people. This self-sacrifice is the Jesus way.

Today, people are about what’s fair: “The church isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, so I’m going to leave and do my own thing.” But that’s not the Jesus way.

Jesus laid down his life for the church. What does this mean for us in the body? Sometimes it means being the messy one and staying. Sometimes it means being okay to fail alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes it means staying, being intentional, and going deeper with people in church in everyday life.

You’re going to screw up, for sure. But wouldn’t you rather screw up being passionate for Jesus and loving the church like him, than critiquing the church and being bitter toward her?

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Discover what it truly looks like to be a church member in the modern world: get Breakey’s Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church on Vyrso today!

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Today Only: Get 70% Off the Fatherly Counseling Bundle!

A man after God's own heart

For just 24 hours, get four books for just $16.99 with the Fatherly Counseling Bundle—that’s 70% off! This bundle is filled with resources to help strengthen your leadership skills, be a positive role model to your kids and to other men, conquer life’s biggest struggles, and more!

Here’s what you’ll get with the Fatherly Counseling Bundle:

1. What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him by Byron Forrest Yawn

There’s no doubt that having strong male role models in your life is a key factor in conquering sin. But what about the people who never had these role models, or the men who are struggling to fulfill this role? In What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him, Byron Forrest Yawn offers 30 key principles to help men identify and fill the gaps that occurred in their upbringing, benefit from the hard-earned wisdom of men before them, and prepare their own sons to face down life’s challenges. This book applies to every man and aims to reinforce the significance of male leadership in everyone’s life.

2. Men Counseling Men: A Biblical Guide to the Major Issues Men Face by John D. Street

This powerful resource brings together the advice of the internationally acclaimed biblical counseling program at The Master’s College, and it addresses some of the toughest male issues with grace and practicality. Written by the school’s faculty members, Men Counseling Men equips both trained professionals and lay people to provide biblically sound advice to men who are struggling with depression, parenting, sexual purity, and more.

3. A Man after God’s Own Heart: Devoting Your Life to What Really Matters by Jim George

Drawing on more than 25 years of ministry experience, Jim George argues that all men need is a genuine desire to grow spiritually—God’s grace does the rest. George offers instruction and encouragement to help make lasting changes to your marriage, your job, and demonstrating God’s love in your life. Embark on a journey toward greater growth and spiritual maturity with this powerful book.

4. The 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make by Bill Farrel

Get hands-on decision-making tools to help you make intentional choices you won’t regret. Discover the joy of finding your place in God’s plan by exploring the positive benefits of making healthy decisions, develop a plan for godliness that relieves you of the burden of self-effort, and learn to make choices based on personal character, as opposed to impulsive emotions.

Don’t wait—this bundle expires in 24 hours! Get the Fatherly Counseling Bundle for 70% off, then check back Monday for our next Father’s Day book bundle.

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A Father’s Day Reminder: You’re Already the Smartest Man in the World

52 things kids need from dad

Today’s guest blog post is from Jay Payleitner, the “dad encourager” and bestselling author of 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad, as well as several other books on parenting and marriage. 

I was nine years old. It was the annual Payleitner pilgrimage to the shrine at Clark and Addison. When I was growing up, my dad made sure we made it to at least one Chicago Cubs doubleheader every summer.

One of the great traditions was filling out my own scorecard with two freshly sharpened Cubs pencils purchased from a vendor just inside the Wrigley Field turnstiles. In the 1960s, scorecards were a quarter and pencils were a dime. I never asked for foam fingers, Cubs pennants, or Billy Williams jerseys. That scorecard and pencil were my souvenirs. And that was enough.

About the second inning, tragedy struck. My pencil lead broke. Of course, I could sharpen it at home, but how was I going to complete my traditional duties tracking Kessinger, Beckert, Williams, Banks, Santo, Hundley, and company? I couldn’t ask for another pencil, could I?

I showed the unusable writing utensil to my dad and he didn’t miss a beat. He took it and within 20 seconds handed it back sharpened and ready for the next batter. Now, you may be able guess what he did. To an adult, it may seem obvious. But to a nine-year-old, scraping that pencil at just the right angle with just the right pressure against the concrete floor of the grandstand was nothing short of brilliant. My dad was a genius!

Dad, for a season of life, you too are a genius. It won’t always be that way. There will come a time, hopefully, when each of your kids knows more than you. But for a while, you want to be the one man they look up to who can solve any crisis—large or small.

When your son panics because he needs to paint a green dragon but only has paint in primary colors, show him how to mix blue and yellow. He’ll be astonished.

When the printer cartridge runs out as your daughter attempts to print a 12-page homework assignment, you know a gentle shake will loosen up enough toner to finish the job. She’ll be ever-so-relieved.

As long as you can, dad, I urge you to store up genius points. Offer brilliant solutions to your children’s biggest challenges before they realize that it’s really just a matter of life experience.

Believing their dad is the smartest man in the world is a great gift for a young child. But don’t get too cocky—there will soon come a time when their challenges require significantly more complicated solutions. Still, you want them to come to you.  Because the solutions offered by the world (friends, media, the culture) are quite often the worst possible choices.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to schedule a family trip to the ballpark this summer and teach your kids to fill out a scorecard. Happy Father’s Day!

“I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’” —Job 32:7

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5 Steps to a Stronger Family Foundation

Holding Your Family Together

Parents have the most spiritual influence over their children, so how can you be sure you’re building strong faith habits for your kids? To start, treat spiritual habits like you would other daily habits. You encourage your kids to brush their teeth in the morning, eat their fruits and vegetables, and do their homework, right? In the same way you hold them accountable for everyday habits, encourage them to build spiritual habits.

The 5 at-home faith acts

According to counselor and author Richard Melheim, author of the widely popular book, Holding Your Family Togetherthere are five key steps to keeping your family together and bringing them closer to God. Every night, he encourages families to:

1. Share your highs and lows

Neurologically speaking, sharing the high points and successes from your day sends powerful neurochemical transmitters that bolster the immune system, regulate hormonal systems, and trigger positive electro-chemical changes throughout your body. Science lesson aside, sharing insights from your day opens up communication with your kids and helps them build healthy habits for future relationships. It also encourages them to always find something positive about their day, and the Bible calls us to share our joy together (Romans 12:15).

2. Read a Bible verse or story

According to Melheim, by the time kids reach age 18, they’ve been exposed to 60,000 hours of media, 11,000 hours of school, and only 2,000 hours in quality conversations with their parents. Instead of filling their minds with outside influence, enrich their lives with the Word. As Paul writes in Philippians 4:8–9, we should fill our minds with things “honorable” and “true.” There’s no better way to achieve this then by spending time in Scripture.

3. Talk about how the Bible reading relates to you

This requires digging into your day and Scripture. Even though you might not see a connection on the surface, it’s there. Here’s Melheim’s perspective: “. . . fill your children’s lives and imaginations with God talk, God’s story and your connection to God’s story, and your children will grow up knowing they are precious children of the beautiful Savior, the king of creation.”

4. Pray for one another’s highs and lows aloud

Praying aloud involves a deeper level of communication that most families don’t practice. It demands that you pay close enough attention to the highs and lows of your child’s day that you can repeat them back and ask for the Lord’s guidance. It not only shows that you’re listening and care, but it also teaches them who to bring their thoughts to every day: God. It acknowledges that although God already knows everything about them, they can’t build an intimate relationship with Jesus unless both sides communicate.

5. Bless one another before turning out the lights

Melheim regards this as the most beautiful and profound step of all. He writes: “Words have the power to change realities and usher in new realities. When a blessing from God is spoken in faith and received in faith, it has the power to transform lives and invent a future of hope, power and joy. When we are blessed, we feel love, value and hope coursing through our veins and hearts.” Blessing our children empowers them to feel loved and secure every single night.

By making these nightly habits, building a strong family foundation will become second nature. But the hardest part isn’t starting the plan, it’s following through with it. Get all of the advice and guidance you need to stick with these five faith acts: get Holding Your Family Together: 5 Simple Steps to Help Bring Your Family Closer to God and Each Other for just $9.74!

 

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Limited-Time Sale: Get 15% Off a New Logos 5 Base Package!

New BP Blog Header

You’ve committed to daily communion with God. No resource offers deeper insight into Scripture than Logos 5, which couples the world’s smartest theological resources with the best study tools. It sets you up to save hundreds of hours of research time and find biblical answers to life’s toughest questions.

For a limited time, you can get 15% off a new Logos 5 base package: just use coupon code GETLOGOSNOW at checkout. With this special discount, you can start using Logos 5 Gold—which gives you all of Logos 5’s smart tools—for just $78 a month!

Still on the fence? Here are three awesome benefits of Logos 5:

1. You’ll study like an expert with a library tailored to fit your interests

Building your dream library is easy with Logos 5. We offer a variety of base packages to suit your theological background, from Reformed to Lutheran to Anglican, along with a new library specially designed for chaplains. You can customize your library by adding topical bundles that help you grow in your field, like the Preaching Bundle, Marriage and Family Bundle, Counseling Bundle, and more. In fact, for a limited time, you can add any bundle to your library for 50% off!

All your Vyrso books seamlessly integrate with your Logos library, so you can take your theological and personal reading wherever you go.

2. You’ll save hundreds of hours of research time

Find exactly what you’re looking for in seconds with Logos 5’s smart tools and datasets. Put the Word in historical context with the Timeline, visualize Scripture with rich maps, family trees, and infographics, and understand the meaning behind every biblical word with the Bible Sense Lexicon. Logos 5 acts like your personal research assistant, so you can spend less time floundering in your study and more time finding answers and building relationships.

3. You can take advantage of discounts and payment plans

On top of taking 15% off a new base package, you can spread out your payments over up to 24 months with a budget-friendly, interest-free payment plan. You could jump-start your Bible study today with the Starter base package, and—with a payment plan—pay only $26 a month! Choose the base package and payment plan that are right for you.

Don’t wait: now’s the time to start becoming a better student of the Word. Get 15% off a new Logos 5 base package today!

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Spiritually Training Your Child: It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Competition

iStock_000021005439SmallToday’s guest post is by Linda Weddle, author of How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph. Weddle’s 30-plus years of experience as a teacher, curriculum writer, author, speaker, and ministry leader make her an important voice on ministry to children, youth, and families. She is the senior designer of core Awana programs and has been involved in nearly every aspect of Awana over the course of her life.

Spiritually training our children is a lifestyle, not a competition with other parents.

But sometimes we forget that.

We know the verses in Deuteronomy 6 that tell us to teach our kids when we’re sitting, standing, walking along the way—in other words, all the time. Some parents translate that to five minutes at the breakfast table when dad reads a short devotional and prays. The kids then head off to school (but not before arguing about who left the top off the markers), and mom looks at her to-do list and complains about having to teach the lesson in children’s church next Sunday (too much else to do), and dad murmurs a few unkind words about his boss before he goes out the door.

But they DID do that five minutes of devotions, and even though they may forget them in a few hours, it did come up later in the day when mom was talking to her friend. The friend was regretting that her family didn’t eat breakfast together to start the day. Mom said (in a very “spiritual” voice) they always ate together because that’s when her husband read a devotional and prayed at the breakfast table. The friend was impressed—her husband never ate breakfast with the family.

The friend’s husband did do other things, however. He always mowed the elderly neighbor’s lawn, asked the kids what they learned at church and discussed it with them, challenged them as they walked through the museum to think about the evolutionary-based explanations on the fossil display (gently bringing them around to the right answer). Yes, he needed to leave for work before the kids got up, but he lived his faith throughout every day.

Stop competing

Spiritually training our children is not a competition. We don’t have a stat sheet for each kid that details how many days the family had devotions, how many verses the child has memorized, or how many minutes the family spent in prayer. Yet, sometimes that’s what it feels like. If we aren’t comparing those stats, then we’re “gossiping” about what other families are doing wrong. (As if we knew everything that went on beyond the four walls of their houses.) Or, when we see someone else’s child make a bad choice, we instantly share what we feel are that family’s parenting faults.

Another aspect on the whole spiritually-training spectrum is our motivation. Why do we push our kids to learn the most verses, go on the most mission trips, or brag about our five-minute breakfast devotionals? Is it truly because we desire to spiritually train our kids or is it because we want to look good to others? Instead of making church a time for family enjoyment and learning, do we make it a burden? Do we complain about going, but yell at the kids for their own bad attitudes in not wanting to attend? Do we push (and yell about) our kids learning their verses for youth group, but never, ever sit down and learn a verse with them?

Start living

We often talk about Timothy’s mom and grandma teaching him Scripture, which they did and did well. But look closely at what Paul wrote about Timothy’s childhood: I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (2 Timothy 1:5). Their influence was not dependent on an hour of teaching each morning (or however long they taught), but that they lived their faith—all the time. Their faith wasn’t an external show, but it dwelt within them, a very part of who they were.

The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about Eunice and Lois, but I’m guessing they were good neighbors. I’m guessing they baked bread or made soup to take to a sick friend. I’m guessing they helped the poor and obeyed God in all they did. They lived their faith, and Timothy watched that and learned so that his faith became a part of his life, too.

Five-minute breakfast devotionals can be good, but they are only one minuscule part of spiritually training our kids. Spiritual training is conveyed through living our faith every minute of every day. Spiritual training is taught by exemplifying God’s love and grace through everything we do and say. Spiritual training is unique for each family because God has created us as unique individuals. Instead of analyzing how other people are living their lives, we need to be focused on how we’re living our own lives and be honest about what message we’re giving our own kids.

Because spiritual training is not a competition—it’s a lifestyle.

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Learn more about spiritually training your children and encouraging them to develop a strong faith foundation: get Linda Weddle’s How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph on Vyrso today!

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Just Announced: 70% Off Father’s Day Bundles

Daddy DaughterThe next two weeks are all about celebrating dad. Every weekday through June 13, we’ll offer a new 24-hour ebook bundle that offers wisdom and encouragement for dads everywhere. For today’s bundle, get four fatherly resources for just $8.99 with the Wisdom, Prayer, and Laughter Bundle.

Wisdom, Prayer, and Laughter Bundle

1. 31 Days with God for Fathers: Powerful Devotions, Prayers, and Quotations Find encouragement and wisdom every day of the month with this 31-day devotional, specifically designed to energize dads with the Word. Covering guidance, contentment, discipline, and responsibility, these real-life, Bible-based meditations will help guide men to be the fathers God intended them to be.

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