9/11: Remembering and Responding

***Originally posted 9/11/13***

9/11: Remembering & Responding Twelve Years Later

Twelve years ago today I was a 26 year old mom of two.

My husband was off that day, and we were sleeping in, snuggling with our 3 year old and 6 month old. A family member who worked on a military base called and told us to turn on the news. Sleepily, we did, just in time to watch live as the 2nd plane hit. It was hard to comprehend and process what we were seeing. It didn’t seem real. 
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1 Samuel For You by Tim Chester (Mom’s Bookshelf)

1 Samuel for You

The beginning of the school year, with its new routine,  is a great opportunity for fresh starts in other areas too.

I enjoy starting something new personally also, whether that be a Bible study, exercise routine, or something else. I’m actually doing both of those as we start this school year:

  • I’ve started walking a mile 4 or 5 mornings a week (which also offers me a chance to listen to podcasts and/or Bible studies uninterrupted for 30 minutes or so)
  • I’m working my way through 1 Samuel For You for personal study

1 Samuel for You by Tim Chester is part of the God’s Word For You series published by The Good Book Company. These books,written by Tim Chester, Tim Keller, and several others, are expository guides that take you verse by verse through a book of the Bible in a very accessible, practical way. They can be used for personal study and devotion, or as preparation for teaching others (to “read, feed, and lead”, as the series description puts it).

In this clip, Tim Keller explains a little bit about the series: [Read more…]

God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History

God's Story: A Student's Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby

I’ve said before that I think familiarizing our kids with church history is important.

I was taught little to no church history growing up, beyond a cursory mention of major events like the Reformation in my history textbooks. I want my kids to have more than just this passing knowledge. I think familiarity with the major figures and events in the history of the church is essential to seeing and understanding God’s “one story” for all of history. It’s also incredibly valuable to help them establish a stable faith that isn’t blown to and fro by every new whim that comes along. And, it’s essential to understanding how we got where we are now. So, since they were very young, I’ve spent time searching out and collecting resources to make sure they’re aware of the rich heritage of our beliefs.

God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby is one such resource that recently came my way. This little book is part of the “A Student’s Guide” series published by Christian Focus Publications and covers the span of church history from its Old Testament roots to the present day. [Read more…]

Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey (Mom’s Bookshelf)

Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey (Mom's Bookshelf) www.homewithpurpose.net

There’s a lot of talk about being “gospel-centered” these days.

But what exactly does that mean? Some emphasize the work of Christ on the cross. Others talk about God’s kingdom. Still others focus on grace as the essential message of the gospel. It’s so typical. We tend to narrow our focus to one aspect and lose the big picture.

Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper bring these three aspects of the gospel together and lay out how it informs and transforms every facet of our lives in Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey

Faithmapping is our attempt to identify that ancient path through the wilderness by mapping out our mission. We want to illustrate the connections between what God has done in the gospel, who we are as the church, and how we are to live in the world. It’s an exploration of a whole gospel for a whole church for the sake of the whole world.” p. 17

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Bible Study Guide For All Ages: God’s One Story in an Engaging, Comprehensive Format

Bible Study Guide For All Ages: God's One Story in an Engaging Comprehensive Format (A Review From www.homewithpurpose.net)

Several years ago when Peanut was a preschooler, I used the Bible Study Guide For All Ages curriculum with my kids. We had the whole setup, including the wall maps and timeline. We loved it, and did it for a couple of years, but then I got pregnant and tired. Somewhere along the line, we took a break from it and until now, hadn’t gone back.

When the opportunity to review it came up, I knew I wanted to try it out with my younger two now that they’re older,  and share it with y’all! It really is a wonderful curriculum. The company generously sent me:

I already owned the Beginner Timeline, so we incorporated that into our lessons also. The Primary program, which is aimed at 1st and 2nd graders, is described as being appropriate for a range of reading abilities, from those who can barely read to those who are proficient readers. I decided to go with it since this is the level Peanut would need, and let Monkey Boy follow along as much as he could (the Beginner level would be ideal for him and I’ll be getting it very soon). [Read more…]

God’s Great Covenant: A Bible Course for Children Old Testament Book 1 (Review Crew)

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Last spring I shared my excitement about Classical Academic Press’s God’s Great Covenant series with you when I had the opportunity to review the first New Testament volume. I absolutely love the approach this series takes to teaching all of Scripture as one big story of redemption! Those of you who have been around here for long know that’s a theme I return to again and again when I write about Biblical instruction. 

This time, I received the Old Testament Book 1 student text, the accompanying Teacher’s Edition, and an mp3 audio file. This volume covers Genesis through Ruth, and is written at a third grade level, although it’s adaptable for a much wider range than that. The text is divided into five units with a total of thirty-two chapters, with a recommended pace of a chapter per week. Each unit focuses on one aspect of God’s character, while moving chronologically through Scripture. 

From the product page:
Unit I: In the Beginning – God’s Power.  God, the mighty Elohim, demonstrated His power by speaking creation into existence. He barred sinful man from the garden and judged the wicked world with a catastrophic flood. At the same time the power of His mercy and His redemptive plan secured man’s future existence.
Unit II: By the Patriarchs – God’s Promises. The Lord God plucked Abram out of the city of Ur and sent him on a journey. Through the covenant the Lord gave Abram (later called Abraham) three promises: to give him a land, to make him the father of many nations, and to bless the world through him. These promises, and God’s faithfulness to keep them, form the foundation for the rest of God’s story.
Unit III: Out of Egypt – God’s Redemption. In God’s mind, rescuing Israel from Egypt was more than saving the Israelites from slavery. The Lord God was redeeming Israel from sin and renewing the covenant He had made with Abraham. Despite their sin the Lord desired to dwell with His people and bless them.
Unit IV: Through the Wilderness – God’s Provision. In the harshness of the Sinai wilderness the Lord God showed His people that His care for them was perfect. Even though they grumbled, complained, and refused to trust Him, God was completely trustworthy.
Unit V: In the Promised Land – God’s Faithfulness. After the glorious conquest of Canaan, Israel entered into the dark years when everyone did “what was right in his own eyes.” Even though Israel repeatedly turned from the Lord, He always heard their cries for mercy and delivered them from the oppression of their enemies.

Each chapter opens with a page containing the corresponding Biblical text reference, the theme of the chapter, a memory verse, a Key Facts chart, vocabulary, and thought-provoking “Who is God?” questions designed to encourage children to consider what they’re learning about Him and how to relate to Him in their own lives. The text is written in a readable, narrative style, and is fairly short (2-3 pages). Each chapter wraps up with a worksheet and chapter quiz, and each unit ends with a review chapter that recaps what was covered throughout that unit. There are also “Jesus in the OT” boxes scattered throughout the text pointing out how various events and objects in the Old Testament foreshadow Christ.

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The Teacher’s Edition is just a treasure trove of information! It contains a full reproduction of the student text, accompanied by answer keys and teacher’s notes, with additional factual information expanding upon the historical, geographical, cultural, and theological concepts introduced in the text. There’s also plenty of room in the margins for jotting your own notes, and each chapter is keyed to corresponding questions from the Catechism for Children when applicable (love that!!). 

The mp3 file contains two hours of recording featuring 27 stories from Genesis to Ruth engagingly read by Christopher Perrin, and is compatible with most popular music players like iTunes.

I am highly impressed with this series, even more so now that I’ve seen how it handles the Old Testament! There are some difficult subjects covered in the first several biblical books, and author Claire Larsen is able to use understandable language and bring it to the student’s level without watering it down. I love that God is the primary character throughout…instead of relating individual stories with a message or moral, the story is told from the perspective of God’s plan and how everything fits into it. 

And just as with the New Testament volume I reviewed, I am so appreciative of the thoroughness of the Teacher’s Edition! I find that most of my teacher’s guides just sit on the shelf, and many of them are little more than answer keys. Not so with God’s Great Covenant! This guide is completely comprehensive and chock full of additional relevant information. It’s definitely worth purchasing!

I chose to use this study with Karate Kid (11), even though he’s on the upper end of the age range. It goes right along with his history studies, and he’s able to do it independently, which he really likes. Since he’s a fluent reader and the chapters are short, he’s been doing two chapters a week. I read the corresponding notes in the teacher’s guide on my own, and then we discuss a couple of times a week. Armed with all the information provided, I’m able to really dig into what he’s read and have some great, meaningful conversations with him! The illustrations and maps are well done and fun to look at, and Karate Kid even enjoys the worksheets and quizzes! There’s plenty of variety (multiple choice, fill in the blank, charts, and puzzles) to keep his interest level up, and he likes to consider the closing “Think About This…” question on each worksheet and discuss it with me.

He hasn’t been enthusiastic about using the audio, since he’s able to easily read the text himself and do everything independently, but I can see that it would be quite useful with younger children as a supplement to, or occasionally a replacement for, reading along with them. The narrator’s voice is pleasant and his reading is lively! I think this will definitely get more use when I start my youngest two on this study in the near future! 

I also chose to purchase the timeline and map pack, but haven’t really incorporated it yet. They’re high quality and colorful, and will be a great way to reinforce and visualize the places and events covered.

We will definitely be purchasing the rest of the volumes in this series and working through them! They’re a wonderful, comprehensive resource to have in your discipleship toolbox!

God’s Great Covenant Old Testament Book 1 is available for $22.95, the Teacher’s Edition for $24.95, and the MP3 file for $9.95, or the entire set can be purchased as a bundle, including the timeline and map set, for $79.95 (the timeline and map set is also available individually for $36.95). 

You can read my thoughts on the New Testament Book 1 here.

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