Redberry Family Camp

I’ve been wanting to take my family to Family Camp for a long time. It is a great way to have a faith-filled vacation. Plus, in my studying I’ve discovered that when students have an opportunity to head to Bible Camp, it has a significant impact on their faith journey as they follow Christ their whole loves.
This past week, I had the privilege of being the guest speaker at Redberry Bible Camp and we talked about some of the Essentials to our Faith as we lead our families. Our family really enjoyed the meals, not having to do dishes, not having to cook meals, playing street hockey, pony rides, basketball, archery, tuck, swimming, illusionist, board games, jungle swing, and chapel. It was a LOT of fun and I really encourage families to consider going to family camp in 2020.
Here are some of the downloads and resources that I was talking about during chapel:
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible
  • The Story for Kids
  • The Story


Too many Bibles?

When I stated parenting, I faced an internal conundrum… how many children’s Bibles to I really want on my shelf? Do I want to buy my son a Bible at every stage of his life? If I purchase one every 2-3 years, that could get expensive.
As we started reading to our son, two things became apparent. 1) Different Bible have different vocabulary, reading levels, and pictures. 2) Any money spent on a Bible or faith books is money WELL spent. If parents are willing to read the Bible to and with their kids, I’m not sure we can have too many Bibles.
So on our shelf we have 5 different children’s Bibles, along with a bunch of other good Christian books. Every child is different and he/she may enjoy different Bibles and books at different levels of their understanding. Here’s a list of some we like and which age they’re best for from our experience:
We use this Bible in our younger KidZone classes. It has pictures that are easy to see and short chapters that are great for their attention spans. The only down side to this Bible is that it’s kind thick and doesn’t really hold up to kids tossing it around.
The artwork in this Bible is very creative and I love how every chapter accurately points to Jesus.
The Story for Kids – Age 6-10 
This Bible uses large selections from the NIrV to cover the the overarching story of the entire Bible.
Hands On Bible NLT – Ages 7-12
Once kids are able to read on their own, they can spend time in this complete Bible and continue to enjoy the Word.
These Bibles look great, are well used around the globe, and are also relatively affordable. 
NIV Student or Study Bible
The Student Bible a lot of study notes that can help a person understand more of the content and important thoughts that are going on. The Study Bible is almost the same, but has more study notes and is a little bigger. 
Other notes: I always keep an eye on how big a Bible is. These dimensions are idea: 14.3 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm. We also like the Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible. My personal favourite is the CSB translation, but it’s not very common, my next go-2 is ESV.


We Survived Winter!

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure thankful it’s spring and I’m looking forward to the new season with some fresh enthusiasm and fresh ideas for KidZone

Supervised Gym Time
Sometimes our kids come to KidZone with a lot of energy. If we could find some parents to supervise, I would love to see if we could have supervised gym time from 9:50-10:20 each Sunday. Would you be willing to help out? Would you like to help create a schedule?

Grade 6 Serving Sundays
Our Grade 6 students will be moving up to youth group this fall, and I would love to begin giving them opportunities to serve before or during the worship service. This could be decorating, preparing crafts, praying, stuffing bulletins, greeting, and any other ideas we can think of.

Schedule in Planning Centre 
Our worship team schedule uses an app called Planning Centre and I will be transitioning our KidZone schedule into it as well. This will enable all leaders to see when they’re on the schedule and open the door for moving towards online check-ins for kids.

Download the Celebrate Songs free from the Grades 1-6 KZ Class

Play Cafe April 24 or 25
1:30pm-3:30pm bring you kids and invite friends to the church building for an afternoon of gym time and snacks. Coffee will be available for parents. Let us know if one of these dates works for you
KZ Friends and Families BBQ May 19 (Long weekend) 
I would like to invite all the KidZone families to join us for a Hot Dog BBQ in our backyard so kids can play and families can hang out together. 12pm-2pm


Lego Movie Music

My son was invited to a birthday party and they went to Lego Movie 2. I figured I’d go along and watch it too, cause I like animated movies (aka cartoons).
I was kinda curious how they would handle the music side of things.The original Lego Movie had an extremely popular song that I won’t mention because you may have just got it out of your head. So, could they find a new song that would instantly be that popular?
The answer is… maybe.
Time will tell, but our family has discovered two things: 1) The original Lego Movie song is now stuck inside our heads and 2) There are at least 2 new songs that can easily get “stuck in side your head.”
So in an effort to get them singing something else, here are some links of our go-2 favourites or things that I want to focus them on:
  1. KidZone Youtube Playlist – I update it once in a while to keep some newer songs on top. 
  2. LHAC on Spotify
  3. Air1 “Worship Now” App
  4. KLove Radio App
  5. Love the Lord lyric video by Crossroads Kids
  6. Bethel Music Kids
  7. City Bible Kids on youtube


The First Noel

If you could discover what behaviour or practice has the biggest impact on influencing a child’s life, what would you do? Janna Magruder published the book Nothing Less – Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith – It is a survey of 2000 parents of young adults by Lifeway. In it she discovers the top ten influencers in children’s lives that develop them into mature believers.

What has the BIGGEST Impact
We leaned last week in my post that #4 on the list is listening primarily to Christian music.
#3 Child regularly served in church – notice it doesn’t limit this to parents who serve, but children who serve.
#2 Child regularly spent time in prayer
And #1 – Child regularly read their Bible while growing up.
So what do you think? Is it that big of a deal? If you ask any teacher, they will confirm that reading 20 minutes a day is the most important thing you can do at home with your children to help them succeed. This can be challenging because not every family has enough time to read for 20 minutes. So it comes down to one thing – will you make time? Will you read to your kids? Will you sit with them while they read? Will you invest in a Bible and Christian books that are consistent with his/her reading level.* A good Bible is cheeper than a family trip to McDonalds. If you don’t know which books and Bibles to buy, talk to me or your other Christian friends.
Some kids just don’t like reading. It’s a fight to get them to read. Here are some specific things you can intentionally do to help them though: 
#1 – Model good reading and prayer habits. It’s never too late to start.
#2 – Clear they’re busy schedule so they can develop their own good reading habits. Discover when the best time of the day will be to sit and read.
#3 – Avoid distractions and journal if that helps
#4 – Make it fun! Go shopping at Kennedy’s Parable and let them pick anything they want. Some kids like to have a reading chart.
#5 – Keep on keeping on. It might be frustrating, it might be difficult, but keep praying and trying. Not every kid is a reader and some kids have medical challenges that make it difficult, but you can do your best to help them do their best. He/she doesn’t have to read as many books as the next kids, but we can help our kids do their best.

So this Christmas – start with the First Noel – the Nativity. Read the book of Luke 1 paragraph at a time until you get to the history of our Saviour’s birth – and then keep on going! It’s never too late to start. 

“Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian” A.W. Tozer
Pastor Tyler’s Favourite Christian Books for Kids:
Aventures in Odyssey Imagination Station Ages 5+
*There are so many different Bibles, and kids have different levels of understanding at different ages, what should a parent do? Should we buy a different Bible for them at each stage of their life? Sure, why not!
I know I’ve asked these questions as I began parenting. I’ve decided that I would do whatever it takes to get my kids reading the Bible. So this has meant I start with reading it myself, and I make sure they have access to a Bible they can understand. That means we have, so far, at least 5 different Bibles currently. And we’ve read 4/5 of them!
If you don’t want to spend $20 every 2-3 years on a Bible, get grandma or grandpa to do it. If they’re open to faith, something tells me they would love to have their grandchild get into the Word of God.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.


Do You Hear What I Hear

This week, our family began daily Advent verses as we prepare our hearts for Christmas. My son Zeke, in Kindergarten, noticed that John 3:16 is the verse for Christmas day. That surprised me because he is only in kindergarten and doesn’t know how to read. He said, “I hope I get to read John 3:16 verse because I know it.” With a thankful smile I said, “really? Lets hear it,” and he went on to recite it. Then I asked, “That wasn’t your KidZone verse last week, where did you learn it?”

And do you know what he said? “From Seeds Family Worship” Wow. He doesn’t know how to read, but he can listen to Gods Word wrapped in music. That’s amazing! Seeds Family Worship is a ministry that makes great music with professional lyric videos that is made up word-for-word of scripture. Three of their DVD’s are available in our church library and you can listen to a few of their songs for free on Youtube.
In a recent study by Lifeway, 2000 parents of young adults were surveyed to discover what are the largest influences in a kids’ life of faith. Number 4 was… Listening primarily to Christian Music. I don’t know about you, but this is good news because I LOVE listening to music. But why Christian Music? Well, let me ask you the questions:
  • Why do you listen to music?
  • Can music help you turn your attitude around?
  • Can music help you learn something?
  • Does music remind you of anything?
  • Has music ever impacted the people around you?
  • How does music make you feel?

And in all these ways, I desire to fix my eyes on Jesus, and I’ll bet you do too. People may have long discussions about why their genre is the best and the only genre people should listen to. I don’t want do argue about instruments or how old the song is or who wrote it or what genre it fits into. Lets fill our lives with Christ Centered faith filled music.

For this reason, I think the most important App on a Christian’s smartphone is a music app that enables you to listen to Christian Music. Personally I listen to the Air1 app or online every day. If I want to change it up, I listen to the parent station KLOVE. These two stations are rebroadcast hundreds of times throughout the United States, and it’s free to listen. Others like listening to the Christian Music genre of their choice on Spotify, that’s great too. 
AND Air1 & KLOVE also have Christmas stations, so you can listen to your favourite Christian artists Christmas albums all… day… long! Want some ideas for your Christmas shopping list? But them some Christian music from iTunes or at Kennedy’s.
Next week, I’m going to reveal the top 5 BIGGEST areas of impact in a kids faith from Jana Magruder’s book Nothing Less – Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith. What do you think number #1 will be?


Christmas is Coming

“Christmas is coming, the bells are rising, hope comes alive as music fills the air.” Christmas is Coming by Jason Gray

Every year, many people have the conversation about when to put up the Christmas tree and start decorating. Some wait till after Nov. 11, others wait until Dec. 1, and others just make sure they have it done by Dec. 23.
As we get ready for Christmas, we will celebrate advent, which is a common practice to prepare our hearts for Christmas and focus our attention on our Saviour. What are your favourite ways to celebrate the Nativity and focus on Christ at Christmas? I’ve made a gift guide that you can look at to think about Christian gifts for your friends and family.

Ideas to Keep Focused on Christ every Christmas:

  1. Ask Good Questions and find Good Answers

    This is very important. Start by asking yourself questions “Why do I do this? Why do we celebrate this way? What does this Christmas Carol tell us about Jesus?” These questions can also be opportunities to have Faith conversations with your family. “What do you think this song means? Why do we do this tradition? Why do we give a little bit more at Christmas? Why do we bake for our neighbours?” Then seek out answers in the Bible.

  2. Pray for your neighbours

    Pray that they would have hearts and minds open to the Good News of Jesus during the Christmas season.

  3. Serve in your community

    Call the Salvation Army and volunteer to ring bells, especially close to Christmas, serve Christmas dinner at City Centre Church, give gifts for toy & winter coat drives.

  4. Love Your Neighbours

    After you pray for them, invite them over for supper, dessert or Christmas Dinner or the Church Christmas Banquet, bake for them, shovel their walk, or do whatever you can to be loving and caring

  5. Read Luke 2 Read it multiple times, asking God to teach you something new from His Word.

  6. Get a Christmas Devotional Book For yourself or your family

  7. Give gifts from the Alliance Justice and Compassion Catalogue that can make in impact around the world

  8. Go shopping with your family and purchase decorations and gifts, maybe from Kennedy’s Parable, that point to the Savior.

  9. Set Realistic Expectations You may not be able to bake 12 different kinds of cookies, take the perfect family photo, invite every neighbour over for Christmas dinner, buy the perfect gifts and ring the bells at the mall. So do what you can, guilt free, always fixing your eyes on Jesus.

  10. Worship God Be sure to take time to attend the worship service, the Christmas Eve

    Service (6:30pm), and spend time in genuine rest with God and in His Word

  11. Make a plan to live out your Christian faith throughout the whole year by being generous, serving and loving your neighbours.



What Lies Beneath

Best for: Ages 6 to 12
Stuff Per Child: A large coffee filter, scissors, a black nonpermanent marker, and water

The Experiment

Ask: Can you find a rainbow in a black marker?

Cut out the center bottom of a coffee filter and color a coin-size black dot in the center. Have kids hypothesize about what’ll happen when they add water to the dot. Drop 10 drops of water onto the black dot and watch as a rainbow of colors spreads.

Scientific Facts: Black marker ink is made of colored pigments and water. When water’s added, the pigments dissolve and spread through the filter, revealing the colors that mix to create black.

Talk About It: Ask: Was your guess correct? What happened when you added water? Were you surprised by what you saw? How is this experiment like or unlike you? Read the Scripture. Do you have qualities others don’t see? Explain. Do you think God sees those qualities? Explain. How does it feel to know God looks at your heart rather than outward appearance?
Bible Connect: 1 Samuel 16:7