What to show your kids at 6am Christmas Day!

Christmas is such an exciting times for young kids. Even the normal sleepers like to get up early to begin the day’s festivities. With Church not starting till 9:30am, what can you use to fill the hours between wake up and Church?

Here it is!!

Scripture Union (UK) has produced an animated movie of the Christmas Story. It is 47 minutes long. It is well made, biblical and interesting. Probably best suited for school age kids.

Watch it on Youtube HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAJAo1nTf6c)

Enjoy celebrating Jesus birth this week.

Being informed about the sexualisation of girls

dove-onslaught-girl

//This is a post written for my Church. We reflected on a Dove Commercial (watch HERE). Then we talked about how to speak with our girls about the culture we live in.

The sexualisation of young girls is real.  From TV ads to Magazines, skanky clothing in Target to models on our surf shops widows, dance moves taught to 5 year olds to conversations in the school playground, our girls are being bombarded with sexual messages that shape who they see in the mirror.

God’s opinion is radically different. Each and every girl is handmade by God (Psalm 139:13-14). Their identity is not defined by their body shape, size, weight, looks, beauty, clothing or sex appeal. Their identity is a beloved creature of God. God loves them inside and out. He makes them physically beautiful. More importantly he wants them to be inwardly beautiful (1 Peter 3:4).

Our daughters need their mums and dads, grandparents and friends to remind them of God’s wonderful truth. They need us to be loud voices in their lives, louder the messages sold as truth by our sexualised culture.

As Parents we need also to be informed.

1. Book: Getting Real, Challenging the sexualisation of Girls

This Australian book seeks to expose and address the sexualisation and objectification of girls. Each chapter highlights different issues and provide suggestions on how to respond. Worth buying and reading.

 2. Kids free 2B Kids (Website)

This is a secular website that provides research, information and action ideas against the sexualisation of children. The resource section is very helpful.

3. MTR: Melinda Tenkard Reist (BLOG)

Melinda is an Australian advocate for women. Her blog looks at specific examples of sexualisation of girls (including magazines articles, advertising and music videos). Melinda holds nothing back. She uses shock value. However, she is a loud, informed and respected voice and worth listening to.

 

A Jesus centred Christmas

advent-6

//This is an article written by Nicole for our Church (thanks)

What does the month of December and Christmas mean to your children?  Presents, parties, family, chocolate Advent Calendars, Christmas concerts and Santa? Here are some helpful resources to keep your family focused on Jesus during this time.

1. Resources from the Good Book Company, available for order from reformers.org.au

  • ‘Beginning with God at Christmas’  for 3-5 year olds.  Questions, stickers, activities and prayers that accompany eight stories about Jesus from The Beginner’s Bible or other infant Bibles.
  • XTB:Christmas Unpacked for 7-10 year olds.  Three weeks of bible readings from Luke’s gospel with full colour illustrations, puzzles and questions.
  • Advent Calendar Packs by Alison Mitchell  (3 packs available).    For 3-10 year olds.  Twenty five windows reveal a colour illustration of the events of the first Christmas, a verse and a hidden letter which spell a message about Jesus.  This pack contains a 32 page booklet with a short family Bible time for each day during Advent.

2. Free resources from Christian blogs.
Wendy Lin has created two helpful series of advent readings for the month of December for 5-12 year olds. Each day contains a short bible reading, questions, a prayer and an activity.  Wendy encourages children to draw a picture to go with each story to make up a wall collection.    A great talking point as your visitors come and go over the month.  Access these readings from Wendy’s website under the Resource heading.  Readings are about The Birth of Jesus or Genesis to Jesus.
3. ‘The Jesus Storybook Bible’ for 5-11 year olds. 

This is a great alternative to advent readings.  It contains 21 stories from the Old Testament that paint a backdrop to Jesus’ birth presented in 3 episodes.  Read a story each night of December until Christmas.
4. Create your own ‘Jesse Tree’ (3+ years). 

This tradition involves hanging an ornament on a bare twig each day of December, reading a bible passage that points to the coming of Jesus and asking a few questions.  The book ‘Disciplines of a Godly Family’ by Kent and Barbara Hughes contains readings for older children.

My kids and Santa

year-without-a-santa

//This is an article originally written for my church

Christmas is coming in 20 days. The shops are getting ready. Schools are getting ready. We are moments from seeing an old fella in a red costume at Port Central offering photos and wishes.

What do we do as Christians with Santa?

What will our kids do with Santa?

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

The Gospel compels us to think and act differently to the people of the Hastings. This applies to Santa and Christmas. However this does not mean outright rejection of the myths and traditions of Christmas. We want to be wise. Wisdom comes from the Bible. It enables us to discern the will of God. Wisdom comes from people who have sought to apply the Bible to their decisions.

Here are 3 articles for Christians about Santa. As you read pick the best stuff out, that which will help you raise the next generation to be bright lights of Jesus in the Hastings.

1. What to tell your kids about Santa (Growing Faith)This is a easy to read article interviewing different people on how they parent their children through the Santa conversation.

2. What we tell our kids about Santa (Mark Driscoll, Washington Post)

Mark was asked to provide his perspective on Santa for this secualr news service. The best bit is the historical background of Santa.

3. Santa Christ? (Sinclair Ferguson)

This is the most interesting (though most difficult) article of the 3. He argues that Jesus and Santa are totally different and must be separated in our children’s minds.