New & Upcoming Parenting Resources


Your Teenager Is Not Crazy by Dr. Jeremy Clark and Jerusha Clark – Although sometimes parents find their teens unrecognizable at best, they still are the same kid deep down. In this book, the Clarks guide parents to make the teen years a time of creativity and passion instead of fear and conflict. Release April 1, 2016.



Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions by George Barna –  Famed researcher Barna speaks to churches in this work on why children’s ministry should be of the utmost importance to the church. The author explains how to make a successful children’s ministry that forms “spiritual champions.” Released January 1, 2016.



In the Arena by David Prince – Coming September 1st, this paperback will explore what sports means in Christian culture and how sports can be used for discipleship, parenting, and recreation.

“Learn from Those Who Have Gone Before You” by Susan Miller {GIVEAWAY}

After the Boxes Are Unpacked

I always like to share Abraham and Sarah’s story with women who have moved or are moving. They are our “moving mentors.” Not only can we identify with Sarah, but by observing Abraham, we can learn valuable lessons that will equip us for any journey. The Lord had said to Abraham, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). “And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

By faith, Abraham obeyed God and set out on a thousand-mile journey through a hostile environment to an unknown land, with nothing but a promise awaiting him at the end of the trip.

He demonstrated his faith in God by moving.

He experienced detours, disagreements, and discouragement along the way. Through it all, Abraham held on to his faith and the promises of God.

What step of obedience and act of faith is God calling you to take?

Abraham responded to God’s command, and he learned from the experience. God took Abraham on a journey of obedience, faith, trust, and hope.

Obedience. Abraham didn’t react to going; he responded to going. He didn’t react by getting upset, arguing, and being negative. His response was to obey and just do it! Abraham sought to do God’s will, not his own will. When you really don’t want to go, it’s so difficult to respond with a positive attitude and with enthusiasm when the transfer comes or the new job means relocating.

But it is a choice we make—a choice to rebel or obey, to walk with God or walk away from God.

Faith. Abraham’s faith was in the promises of God and in knowing that God would fulfill His promise. It takes a lot of faith to face the unknown. But what a comfort it is to know that God promises not to leave us or forsake us. (See Deuteronomy 31:8.) My faith is wrapped around God’s promises in Scripture. I’ve traveled down many roads reciting my favorite Scripture verses and holding on to nothing more than God’s promises.

Trust for provision. Abraham knew God would cover all the details if he would simply trust Him. When our house in Georgia didn’t sell, I had to trust that God was in control. When nothing went according to plan, I had to trust that God had everything figured out. I had to have faith that God was working through all the details of all my moves.

It’s in that moment of complete surrender and trust, when you truly let go and let God take over, that your life takes a new direction.

Hope for the future. Abraham had great hope for tomorrow and for God’s plan to be fulfilled. With each move, my heart held new hope—hope for our future, our dreams, our plans. That hope became part of my persevering spirit. I know it’s hard to leave everything behind and move to a place that is unknown. But, never lose hope in what God is capable of doing through this transition in your life.

These principles from the lives of Sarah and Abraham are timeless. When they are applied to your own life, they will equip you for any journey you will ever encounter.”

3 Steps to Survive a Move

Maybe you are where I have been: grieving over leaving family and friends, concerned about a broken relationship or the stress on your marriage, worried about your children’s adjustment, confused about knowing which doctor to call, wondering where to find the right church, or simply overwhelmed by all the tasks to be done. It can be mind-boggling.

Over thirteen moves I learned biblical principles and practical actions that not only helped me let go and start over, but also moved me closer to Christ. I’ll be sharing these valuable insights with you in this book, along with the three-step process I had used not only to survive, but thrive through transition. If it helped me, it can help you as well. Those three steps are:

  1. Let go
  2. Start over
  3. Move forward


This wisdom is captured from Chapters 1 & 2 of After the Boxes are Unpacked, newly revised and expanded, by Susan Miller of Just Moved Ministry.  Susan has blessed thousands of women with stories and lessons from her 14 relocations.  Learn more about Susan’s ministry at and get your copy of After the Boxes are Unpacked wherever Christian books are sold.

Want to win a copy of After the Boxes Are Unpacked? We have five copies to give away, courtesy of Tyndale House. Click on the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!

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The Play-Along Bible by Bob Hartman {GIVEAWAY}

Psalm 78 tells us that we should pass along God’s story to our children. Many parents struggle with that idea. They think they don’t know enough about the Bible. And they are afraid that telling God’s story badly, or in a boring way, might do more harm than good. I have a friend who is a children’s pastor. When she was a teenager and babysat for a Christian family, she was told that she could read the children a fun story, but only if she read them a Bible story, first! I think that sums up the problem.

The Play-Along Bible

In The Play-Along Bible I retell 50 Bible stories in such a way that they actually ARE the fun story. Built into the stories are lots of things for you and your children to do as you read the stories so that you can all have fun together. All you need to do is to read each line, and then invite your child to do the suggested action or repeat the suggested words along with you. It’s that simple. You may need to go first, to give them an idea of how to do it. And it will help if you do that with a big smile on your face and a playful attitude. Because it is The Play-Along Bible, after all! And nearly thirty years of storytelling has convinced me that when we are playing (as opposed to sitting very seriously and still) we are always more open to discovering what is beautiful, good and true.

We are often told, and I think it’s right, that reading to our children, from a very young age, instills a love of words and a love of books. But I think it does more than that. Lap time, bedtime, whenever you take the time to read to your child
ren not only brings them closer to the words, it also brings them closer to you. So it makes sense, that if the words are about God, then it will surely bring them closer to Him, as well. And what could be better? You and your child and your Heavenly Father, all there together, in one place, playing. Playing along with a fun story.


Bob Hartman is a pastor, author, and storyteller with a rich history in publishing and whose books have sold more than 1 million copies. Primarily he’s written children’s books with a strong moral theme or Bible story books. Bob is best known for The Lion Storyteller Bible, which sold more than 200,000 copies, and The Wolf Who Cried Boy, with more than 90,000 copies sold. He is also the author of You Version’s Bible App for Kids, which has been downloaded over 9 million times. Bob is married to Sue, and they have two married children and three grandchildren.

Want to win a copy of The Play-Along Bible? We have five copies to give away this month! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter below.

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Seeing Sparkle and Choosing Joy by Mary Carver


Sara Frankl was a friend and fellow blogger who suffered from an autoimmune disease and several complications. As I worked on the book that tells Sara’s story and shares her message of hope and joy, I was amazed and moved to read about the incredible strength Sara drew from her faith. That inner strength allowed her to withstand immeasurable pain both physical and emotional — and to choose joy through it all.

I invite you to read an excerpt of our book today, where Sara shared a story from her childhood and gave us a glimpse of where she learned to choose joy.


Listening to the sound of the wind whistling around the building as the windows shook and the snow whipped into tiny volcanoes in and of themselves, I found myself suddenly nostalgic for our farm house back on the acreage.

The blizzard here was just starting to get its footing. The winds were reaching their 50 miles per hour and the chill of the outside could be felt in my inside bones. And then, for a moment, there was quiet. So I grabbed my camera and looked outside, knowing what I would see: sparkly snow, right outside my window.

It was always my favorite part of the storm, watching from the window with my mom. I can remember the night, being in the family room, watching television with the family and suddenly noticing Mom was gone. I walked into the laundry room, knowing that’s where I would find her. But there was no sloshing of a washer or tumbling of a dryer. It was quiet. Dark. And the only sound was that familiar whipping of the wind as she sat on a stool by the window, watching it swirl.

Her moment of silence in the peace of the white sparkly snow.

As an adult, I now recognize the quiet moment she was grabbing. A husband and six kids content in another room. Dishes done. The house vacuumed. No pressing for homework to be done or school clothes to be ready, because she knew the snow was only starting and our rural roads wouldn’t be fit for the buses to pass.

She would sit quietly at the window and rest in the sound of the new fallen snow. The peace in the wild whipping of the wind. I, of course, would break her silence, but only by my presence. I liked the quiet, too.

She would show me the light we were trying to see in the distance – the one a quarter mile away that lit up Dad’s hog buildings. She was making sure the power was still on so the livestock were warm and fed and safe. But then she would take her eyes away from the light to make sure I saw the diamonds in the snow. She said they were the little gift that God gives in the middle of a storm.

And I would curl up with her on her stool and think about how she sparkled right along with them, in the quiet of the snow. There is no doubt that those little lessons then, about sparkly gifts in the middle of storms, help me to see the sparkle in my life now. Quietly content to watch the storms brew outside my windows – but only letting the sparkle rest inside.


Frankl. Sara. Carver. Mary. CHOOSE JOY. Final cover. 050515.(1)

If you enjoyed this excerpt from Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts, you can learn more about the book and its authors at

Mary Carver is a writer, speaker, and recovering perfectionist. She writes about her imperfect life with humor and honesty, encouraging women to give up on perfect and get on with life, at Mary is the co-author of a new book called, Choose Joy: Finding Hope & Purpose When Life Hurts. Released by the Hachette Book Group in 2016, CHOOSE JOY is a must-have for those searching for meaning and beauty in a world full of tragedy. Sara’s words breathe with vitality and life, and her stories will inspire smiles, tears, and the desire to choose joy. To learn more about CHOOSE JOY, visit

A History Book Your Child Will WANT to Read! {GIVEAWAY}

In Fear of the Spear

What parent doesn’t want his or her child to learn about how God has worked throughout history to save His people? But sitting down for a faith history lesson is not exactly every child’s favorite way to spend time. A dry textbook or worksheet doesn’t make history come alive. And while there are some great movies out there to help kids understand historical events, many parents are looking for alternatives to screen time that will engage their children in learning—to make them excited and want to learn. Does that sound impossible?

I can guarantee you, it is not impossible. Imagination Station books are the answer that Christian parents have been waiting for and kids have been begging for. In this book series, created by the award-winning team that brought us Adventures in Odyssey, kids take a journey through history, using their imagination. They learn about history characters as if they are friends by following the adventures of young Patrick and Beth. And because faith and values are woven seamlessly into the stories, children learn how to call upon God in their everyday choices and actions.

The Imagination Station is an invention created by the owner of Whit’s End, John Avery Whittaker, in the fictional town of Odyssey. The Imagination Station takes its passengers back in time during key points in history to places like Nazi-occupied Germany, Greenland, Egypt, Rome, and even Bethlehem. Kids learn about famous historical Christians such as Corrie ten Boom, Saint Patrick, and Telemachus.

The Imagination Station books are perfect for children just starting to feel confident in reading a chapter book on their own. Your child will be captivated by the stories and want to read every book in the series.

The latest exciting Imagination Station book takes your child to the rain forests of Ecuador, a land of tribal warriors. Patrick and Beth have escaped from volcano lava only to be separated again, and no one knows exactly where Beth has gone. Eugene and Patrick frantically try to fix the Imagination Station so they can find Beth, who unbeknownst to them has landed in the Amazon jungle. Will Patrick find Beth? Will Eugene be able to fix the broken Imagination Station? What will happen to the strange man with who was speared?

Find out in the latest Imagination Station adventure, In Fear of the Spear!


Want to win a copy of In Fear of the Spear? We have five copies to give away. To enter, leave us a comment. Have you or your kids ever listened to an Adventures in Odyssey episode? My daughter is fairly obsessed with them and listens to them on CDs all the time! One of our favorite sets is the Platinum Collection.

Winners will be selected by random on Friday, February 12. USA only, please.

Book Review: P. Bear’s New Year’s Party

P. Bear's New Year's Party

P. Bear’s New Year’s Party by Paul Owen Lewis is lauded by elementary school teachers as one of the best educational resources for teaching kids how to count and tell time. Available as a hardcover, a board book, and in paperback, this 32-page book can grow with your child. It’s perfect for a large age range, but tailored to 3-7 year olds. The elegant illustrations rely solely on black, white, and red for a vivid, timeless visual portrayal of the fictional tale that finds a dashing polar bear hosting a black-tie affair for New Year’s Eve. With every strike of the clock leading up to midnight, a large number of animals corresponding to the clock face shown on each page arrive at Mr. P. Bear’s door.


The author does several things exceptionally well with this book. First, he spells out the numbers, so kids learn to recognize them outside of numerals. Next, he introduces young readers to exotic animals. (Orcas, pandas, and penguins are among the unusual animals invited to this polar bear’s party!) Third, every group of animals corresponds to the number on the clock face, helping kids make a connection between counting and time. Last, the strategic use of only three colors throughout the book brilliantly brings the pages acutely to life, with the color red highlighting the most important nuances. In addition, P. Bear’s New Year’s Party also expands children’s vocabulary, introducing new collective nouns like flock, herd, bunch, and pack.

The book also provides an opportunity for parents to share New Year’s traditions and explain the significance of a year’s time. From newborn to first grade, this book is one that can be pulled out repeatedly. With every read, your child will discover something new.

Review by Lindsay Williams

Three New Releases in Children’s Christian Books

Looking for a new book to engage your young readers and help them grow in faith? Check out one of these three brand-new releases!

Voyage to the Star Kingdom by Anne Riley and Amy Grimes – A parable of sorts, introducing children to Heaven and the fact that life doesn’t end after death. The “Star King” does thing His own way, and the people in this story must learn to trust Him. This self-published book was released January 8 and appeals to children of all ages, as well as their parents!

Blotch by Andy Addis – Another parable, this time about sin and how Jesus takes it away. Blotch lives in a kingdom where everyone has spots on their skin from times they have done wrong. Blotch decides to find someone who can get rid of the spots, and sets out on a journey. For ages 8-12.

One-Sentence Storybooks: Bible Animals by Nancy I. Sanders – Help your 3- to 5-year old learn how to read with these one-sentence storybooks. This 10-minibook set focuses on Bible animals. Using repetition and illustrations, children will learn new vocabulary and sight words. Each story has a devotion, prayer, and reading activity as well. Released December 24, 2015, from Tyndale House.


A Time-Tested Way to Encourage Good Behavior by Becky Brandvik {GIVEAWAY}

Jesus was always generous, kind, respectful, hardworking, truthful, responsible, and so much more. He’s the perfect role model for all of us – kids and adults alike!

When I was a child I sometimes spent summer vacations with my grandparents, who lived in Florida. My sister and I were allowed to eat candy for dinner, sleep in half the day, and go and do wherever we wanted. The mantra was, “Anything goes at Grandma and Grandpa’s house!” We never felt like they disciplined us, but we were always anxious to please them by doing the right thing. There was just something different about my grandparents, but as a kid I couldn’t quite put my finger on it!

My grandparents liked to teach us grandkids good behavior by modeling the life of Christ. They lived and spoke Scripture regularly. As a kid, I thought this was a goofy thing to do. Whoever heard of going around and quoting Scripture all the time? One day it hit me! This was their teaching style! They weren’t trying to annoy us– it was simply their “subliminal method” of teaching and reinforcing good behavior in their grandkids. My grandparents sincerely wanted to model to us how the Bible can be a real, living part of our lives. It’s not just a dusty old tome that you allow to rot on your book shelf. It’s a testament to how we should live our lives every single day.

God’s Word is there to help us through our time on this Earth giving us guidance, comfort, and teaching us right from wrong. My grandparents modeled this principle numerous times to us in ways that no other believer has ever done for me. They actually modeled good character by inspiring us to be just like Jesus.

Just Like Jesus Storybook

There is no better way to teach children right from wrong than by showing them how to model the character of Jesus. Author and songwriter Stephen Elkins has written a great resource called I Want to Be JUST LIKE JESUS. In this fun and colorful book, stories are paired with lessons that teach about the character of Jesus. Lessons about Jesus’ character – how He was always humble, caring, hardworking, kind, honest, respectful, generous, and so much more.

When applied to everyday living, we should walk as Jesus walked and live as Jesus lived! After all, HE is the perfect role model for living our lives the way God intended us to live. So, the next time the kids misbehave ask them, “Who wants to be JUST LIKE JESUS?” That’ll get their attention for sure! They’ll strive to please God which in turn will please you as a parent!

Sneak Peek Lessons:

If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 1 Peter 2:20

You must be very patient to catch a fish! Jesus showed us how to be patient. He spent three whole years teaching people about God’s love.

He was never in a hurry. He even prayed for people who did unkind things. He knew they were lost and needed His love. Jesus was “fishing” for people who would love Him back!

Want to win a copy of I Want to Be JUST LIKE JESUS? We are giving away five copies. Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter!

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Three Not-So-Spooky Books for Kids

We all may have varying ideas on Halloween, but we can probably all agree that celebrating evil is not fun or something we want to do with our kids. My young children like the general idea of ghosts, monsters, etc. – but mostly as the silly versions we find on cartoons. And that’s OK. I’m not ready to go deep into these topics with them yet.

But for some lightly spooky fun, we head to picture books.

Here are a few that are a wee bit spooky and very funny.


Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems – Willems, author of such favorites like Elephant & Piggie and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, hits it out of the park with this silly Goldilocks remake. The very intrusive narrator tells us of three dinosaurs (Mama, Papa, and one visiting from Norway) who obviously did NOT leave their house set as a trap for capturing a little girl. Nope. No way. He pokes fun at Goldilocks’s naivete, but it all turns out OK in the end. And both the girl and the dinos learn valuable lessons.


Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer – Bernadette is mostly monsterly. But she also likes to pick flowers, bake, and sing. When she goes to school, she doesn’t quite fit in with the other monsters. The way she does is slightly gross for grown-ups … but kids will love it. And little Monster Bernadette is just so cute you can’t help but love her.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School by Davide Cali – A student gives a long list of excuses as to why he is late for school – including being mistaken for a banana by a giant ape, being attacked by ninjas, and encountering giants ants and a time machine. These normally scary apparitions are instead hilarious when stacked one on top of another.

And because I can’t help myself, here are some more general fall picture books that I love:

Do you have any favorite children’s books for fall?

Four Fun Ways to Help Your Kids Love the Bible (GIVEAWAY)

BBB Sheep cover

As Christian parents, we want our children to develop a love for Christ and know that the stories in His Word are true and still meaningful today. So, how do you foster a love of God’s word in your children? How do you encourage them to appreciate the Bible, make it applicable to real life, and continue to read it as they grow older? Start when they are young! Make the Bible come alive to them as you share stories that capture their imaginations and teach them about the character of God.

Kids love to interact with books and the stories they tell. However, in this time of digital, interactive, and animated content, children expect to be entertained more than ever before. Providing a way for them to learn more about God without staring at a screen of some kind is becoming much harder to do – but it is not impossible. Below are some ways you can make learning about the Bible fun without the help of tablets, TV, or any other type of screen.

  • Find books that encourage your little ones to act out the stories you are telling. Watching them as they pretend to walk on water or pretend to see for the first time will be fun for you and for them.
  • As you read through a book with your child, think about ways you can put the lessons learned into practice. Some examples would be taking dinner to a sick friend, cleaning up the neighbor’s yard, or sponsoring a child who needs help. Plan together and help others!
  • Create small craft projects that help them remember and engage with the stories you read together. Some craft ideas include:
    – Have them find as many pictures of bread and fish as they can and glue them into “baskets” showing God’s provision for our needs like the time Jesus took care of the 5,000 hungry people who were listening to Him teach
    – Use brad fasteners to create a movable scene retelling the parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites
    – Let them color Joseph’s coat of many colors with their own design
    – Be creative and come up with ideas of your own!
  • Find books that have creative formats that will engage your kids. And what is more fun than a book that is also a toy? Bouncy Bible Buddies are fun, interactive, engaging stories from the Bible written for kids 3-6 years old. The easy grip handles turn these lovable animals into carry along friends. Push the handle down to make them bounce! This creative and fun design will draw little ones in time after time and help them learn more about God’s word and His love for them. Daniel in the Lion’s Den and The Lost Sheep are available now!

There are many benefits to sharing these experiences with your children. You will build a stronger relationship as you spend time together, your child will learn to love God’s word, and who knows – you might even learn a few things yourself.

Want to win some adorable Bible Buddies for yourself? Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Each winner will receive BOTH Daniel in the Lion’s Den and The Lost Sheep!

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