Thursday, March 29, 2018

Holy Weekend Faith Book Giveaway!

A Page from The Beautiful Word Bible
It's that time again. Every year, I like to give away faith-building resources for Easter. This year, I'm offering you one of my new favorites! I even asked a friend to help me vet it. One lucky winner will win their free copy!

Resource to Win:

The NIV Beautiful Word Bible for Girls: This is my new favorite Bible! As my friend with three daughters agrees, it's for older girls (think 8 and up) and women. From it's modern, beautiful illustrations to it's space for note taking in the margins, this Bible is one you can enjoy and grow with. I will treasure mine. Note: The pages are so beautiful that my friend's daughters wanted to tear them out, so they resorted to bookmarks lol!

Resources for All Ages:

God's Big Plans for Me Storybook Bible by Rick Warren, based upon The Purpose Driven Life: This Bible reads more like a devotional, and it's my new favorite in that genre for children. It walks sequentiality through the Bible in a thoughtful way and is interactive. At the end of each entry, readers are encouraged to "think, remember, and question" something having to do with the lesson.

The Adventure Bible: Book of Daring Deeds and Epic Creations. This book contains 60 faith-building activities for children. Some are simple and intuitive, some are creative and/or take more preparation. This book is an excellent resource for children's sermons or everyday teaching moments with our children.

Resources for Young Boys (3-5 years old):

May the Faith Be with You Devotional. This book contains 180 devotions. I found the devotions to be rather short and simple, but this might be just the trick with fidgety young boys!

May the Faith Be with You Bedtime Prayers. This is a board book with a glow-in-the-dark cover that's filled with short, rhyming prayers for younger children. That being said, there is one prayer that I want to teach to my older boys because it's easy to remember and rely on. It is a prayer to trust God, and it's beautiful:

When I am scared or feeling sad
Or don't know what to do,
I turn to God in prayer and say,
"I put my trust in you."

Deep in my heart, I know I am 
As loved as I can be.
With God, I am never alone.
He watches over me.

Enter to win your FREE BIBLE by clicking here. All entrants must have a US street address, no PO Boxes, for shipping purposes please. I will chose and announce the winner on Easter! Good luck! And thank you to Zonderkidz, the children's Christian publisher, for supplying me with copies of these resources to read and review!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

TV Announcement and Upcoming Schedule!

New York Times bestselling author Leonard Sax is coming to the set of Chaos to Calm this April!

Dr. Leonard Sax is a practicing physician, psychologist, and speaker for community groups and schools. He is the author of Why Gender Matters, Boys Adrift, Girls on Edge, and his newest title, The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them like Grown-Ups. In the latter, Dr. Sax documents a pervasive youth culture of disrespect and how the erosion of parental authority is deeply hurting the success and well-being of our children.

I am honored to be interviewing Dr. Sax on The Collapse of Parenting at the HomeTowne TV studio for a Chaos to Calm episode special! Chaos to Calm is my parenting TV series on hot topics which shot seven episodes last year. The series continues through episode specials like this one, which will air in late April on HomeTowne TV in New Jersey (Channel 33/Verizon and 36/Comcast). It will also be available for on demand viewing via YouTube; click here to see past episodes.

I will be preaching on my interview with Dr. Sax on April 15th at the contemporary WAVE service at Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ, where I am Parish Associate. The service will take place at 5 PM in the auditorium and will include a meal along with special crafts for children. WAVE is a unique intergenerational service where children and adults worship together and enjoy contemporary music along with a relevant message to today’s culture. This service will be available to watch on demand — stay tuned here for the link! 

Preaching on Dr. Sax’s book is a continuation of WAVE’s Book and a Bible series. For past sermons, click here and hereFuture preaching dates and topics are included below. All services are at 5 PM for local friends and will be televised through HomeTowne TV and available for online viewing through my website:

May 6 — I will be preaching on Parker Palmer’s acclaimed book Let Your Life Speak. The sermon will focus on his hard-won advice on the why and how of living your life purpose.

June 3 — I will be preaching on New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst’s newest book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. The sermon series will be concluding with this book by an author who wears her heart on her sleeve and is an expert in relatable, applicable wisdom sayings — don’t miss it!

Note: Stay tuned next week for a special Easter giveaway for children's faith resources, an annual tradition on the blog thanks to the publisher Zonderkidz!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Watch My Sermon on Belonging Now!

I'm so excited to share the link to watch March's sermon on demand entitled, "How to Attain True Belonging." In this message, I continue the Book and a Bible sermon series with NYT bestselling author Brené Brown's Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Discover what true belonging is, the risks to it in our divisive society, and how we can attain it with the church's help. 

BONUS: This WAVE contemporary worship service includes the first ever live performance of Adam Gilbert's new single, "I Want You to Know." Adam is an award-winning musician who wrote and performs this song that's so moving, it just might make you cry! Thanks, Adam!

Watch HERE

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Quest for True Belonging

This past week, I preached at my church's contemporary WAVE service on belonging. As part of our “Book and a Bible” series, I delved into Brené Brown’s newest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Some of you might be familiar with Brené through her New York Times bestselling books, interviews on Oprah, or popular TED talk on vulnerability.

As a sociologist and researcher, Brené interviewed numerous eighth graders on the difference between belonging and fitting in. Their answers were insightful and worth sharing:

* Belonging is being somewhere where you want to be, and they want you. Fitting in is being somewhere where you want to be, but they don’t care one way or the other.
* Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else.
* If I get to be me, I belong. If I have to be like you, I fit in.

The delineation in their definitions is relatable. It’s also illustrative of the fact that true belonging requires authentic self.

As much as we’re wired for genuine connection, it requires courage to present our authentic self to others and honor it ourselves. Brené writes, “No vulnerability, no courage.” But it is precisely our vulnerability that can bring us greater joy and even has the capacity to heal our increasingly divisive society.

When we recognize what binds us as humans is greater than what divides us, when we believe in mutual love and respect, and when we come together for a purpose larger than ourselves, we begin to cultivate a community where authentic selves can thrive. And that is something I hope, friends, the church offers you through Jesus Christ.

Coming together for Lent and Holy Week is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the love that unites us all. In Jesus, we all belong and are welcome. I wish you a rich Easter season in worship. Please stay tuned for my sermon, which will be available on demand soon!

This post was also shared with Central Presbyterian Church in Summit, NJ.

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