As you may (or may not!) know, every unit of DiscipleTown comes with 12 family devotionals – 3 per week – in a cool “Table Talker” design like you see on your table when you eat out at a restaurant. I have now written 288 of these devotionals with the upcoming 24th DiscipleTown “How to Walk in Victory” to be released soon.
I wanted my BLOG READERS to be the FIRST to get a sneak peak! So enjoy these FREE THREE DEVOTIONALS!
Here is what they look like:
Download THREE COMPLETE DEVOTIONALS for your family. There are nine more with the unit that will be released shortly, and 12 with every unit of DiscipleTown – but I encourage you to use these with your family and enjoy the fun you will have and the engaging conversations that will result.
This week I had a Sunday School training with Karl Bastian, the Kidologist. The topic was discipline, and I was eager to learn. That’s one of the hardest things for me as a Sunday School teacher.
I walked out with a lot of great tips. Grace based tips. Which I love, because I’m a big fan of grace. All new ideas I’d never thought of, heard of, or tried before. I’m eager to try this out.
But the thing that struck me the most wasn’t so much a tip as it was a perspective. Which was pretty much the perspective that framed all the tips.
You know those “good” kids? You know, the ones who bring you Christmas gifts and say please and thank you and never disrupt class? You probably aren’t going to make a difference in their life. Why? Because their lives are already on a good trajectory. They usually come from good homes, homes where parents are doing a wonderful job teaching them about faith and how to live like Jesus. If you weren’t in their lives, they’d probably still turn out to be wonderful Christians.
You know those “bad” kids? The ones who interrupt your class with fart noises and start chanting “no more rules!” (The latter actually happened to me last week.) The ones who make you want to use duct tape as a disciplinary measure or pull your hair out because you can’t? This is your greatest opportunity to make a difference in a kids’ life. Not by punishing them or yelling at them – not by striving to change their behavior. But by partnering with them and being their friend and helping them understand what it means to be a Christian. By helping shape their heart and showing them that Jesus loves them—when they probably feel like no adult loves them.
Karl accomplished his goal (at least for me): to make us want those kinds of kids more than we want the “good” kids. Because if I want to make a difference in a kid’s life, it’s not going to be in the angelic kid’s life. It’s going to be in the life of an unloveable 5th grade boy that I loved anyway.
By Ali Thompson
I asked Ali if I could re-post her blog post because she got it. If you want to hear the presentation I gave at LifeBridge Church last Sunday, you can listen to a similar presentation I did at a conference by downloading this MP3: Making Your Discipline Problems Disappear! (79 MB)
Just marveling how my “little boy” is growing up! I went back through my iPhoto and grabbed the first day of school pictures since Luke started pre-school and it’s fun to see him growing up:
Luke going to first day of preschool…
Luke going to first day of Pre-K:
Luke going to first day of Kindergarten:
Luke starting 1st grade this week:
On one hand – I am amazed at how BIG he is, it seems only yesterday I had my first Father’s Day with a little baby:
But on the other had, it hasn’t gone quickly. I know parents are always saying “the time flies” but it hasn’t seem to fly for me. I have been so enjoying each and every day and the unique aspects of Luke’s personality at each age, and what he can do, and what he is learning, that I feel like it’s been going at a pace that I’ve been truly enjoying.
I’m sure when I’m at his wedding, I’ll join the chorus of “how did it pass so quickly?” But for now, it’s going at a great pace. There are things I’m eager for him to be older and able to do with me, and there are things I miss about him being younger. So along the journey of fatherhood I am just enjoying each and every day and making time every day to enjoy him.
I had to hunt this down after one of the pictures was asked about on my Facebook page. I thought I’d go ahead and preserve it and share it for fun – though hesitantly, since I need you to know, it was in HUMOR, and I myself have been “cured” of my Mountain Dew addiction since 2009. (My name is Karl Bastian and I am a Dewoholic! But I’ve been sober for five years!)
Also, please know, I never actually gave my sweet baby any Mountain Dew! But I did find it funny that a baby bottle nipple fit perfectly over the top of a soda can, and had fun freaking people out with that fact!
HOW TO RAISE A DEW BABY:
(Click to view full size.)
Here is one of my favorites. Luke sleeping with the Lion and the Lamb. (A gift from his Aunt Barbara.)
This little baby started first grade today, hard to believe it:
As mentioned on my podcast this week, my son and I spend a great deal of time each day playing Angry Birds… but not on an iPhone or iPad… but with real birds and pigs and blocks, and I might mention they are Star Wars themed too!
We take turns building towers and placing our pigs, and then trying to knock them down with the birds via the little sling shots.
There is a bit of strategy to how we build, but for the most part you are building something you know is going to be destroyed.
So while we may spend a great deal of care and creativity building, we can’t get too attached to our masterpieces knowing the whole point of the building, was to knock them down! We have to remember the real joy isn’t in the building, it is in the playing together. In fact, the whole point of the game isn’t what we build or even the shooting of birds to knock it down – it is Daddy-Son time. At the end, when the floor is a mess, it is a sign that we had a great time.
It’s kinda like kidmin. It reminds me of the effort and energy we put into building our ministries and how frustrated we can get when people mess with what we are trying to build, or when we watch what we’ve built be torn down by others or messed up, or become ruins after we leave a ministry. We must never forget – it was never about the building in the first place! It was never about creating great programs or even running great programs… It was simply about the relationships at the time, the kids, the volunteers and the parents.
So when you see things get knocked over, or find yourself needing to build all over again. Smile.
And remember, it’s all about the people and the relationships. The building is just what keeps us busy and brings everyone together.