Purposeful Parenting

Going for Broke

We all want was is best for our kids but what does purposeful parenting look like in practice?

Follow the creator of Anton’s Antics’ as he negotiates the challenges of being a parent.

“The blog's slogan started off as a joke between my wife and I, as it can be tough making ends meet and parenting is not easy. I want to hear Jesus say ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ with what He has entrusted to me.  We have to go for broke don’t we?

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How to Do Kids Church Without Leaving the House

Ffear2evilIs THE virus making your kids miss their Kid’s church?

Here in Australia, churches are closed, gatherings are limited to two people...all due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What if you could guarantee them an interactive, entertaining, half hour of solid Bible teaching pitched at their level?

Anton’s got good news!

Anton’s Antics has been performing a full blown, 30 minute live show, live and FREE on Facebook for the past two weeks to ensure kids have access to some awesome Bible teaching during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Right now you can catch the replay of Anton’s Live Shows that were Live streamed to Facebook, right here:

Freedom From Fear 2: Pure Evil

 

Aside - An apology:

We’re all learning how to handle new tech aren’t we!

For those wondering why the footage this week is a little grainy, well, that’s a rookie error on our part we think, as we weren’t quick enough to SAVE the video feed before FB took it and posted it to our timeline. Consequently, all we can do is download the FB feed and unfortunately, FB has only a very grainy quality. Now this could be due to our camera’s FB video upload settings or just FB being tight on video quality. We do apologise and hopefully in the coming week we’ll never see that problem recur!

I think we all need to pray to be kind to ourselves and those around us as we break new ground and learn new things.

 

How can you prepare for Anton’s Kids Church in your home?

Read more ...

Unstoppable: How to have faith in a time of fear

unstoppableTook my kids to see the “Soul Surfer Sequel” the other week. Well, actually, my wife did and I tagged along thinking, ‘it’s good to support these things and my girls really liked Soul Surfer’, so here we are in a cinema with friends from church watching a limited release screening.

You really should catch this movie...somehow!

While it picks up where Soul Surfer left off, this is not recreation of real life but a documentary. If you don’t know, the Soul Surfer movie was a recreation of what happened to upcoming pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack in Hawaii while surfing.

Now describing the ‘sequel’ with the word ‘documentary’ sounds dull and doesn’t really do this film justice.

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Freedom from fear: Why Corona Can’t Stop God’s Word from Spreading

…now that churches are starting to shut down, effectively preventing gatherings of more than a few, Anton’s got great news for your family or ministry!

This weekend Anton will be going LIVE to Facebook with a full throttle live performance, straight into your home or church.

No need for tickets

No need to clamor down the front to get a good spot.

Just show up with your computer, tablet or phone with your kids and catch the live stream.

Your kids will love it!

What’s the show about?

Freedom from Fear

With all the stress and scariness of what’s happening in our world over the Coronavirus, Anton thought it was time to step up and go live on the internet with a show to encourage us all, FREE.

What you can expect?

All the characters, all the fun, live stories from the Bible using colourful chalk drawings, crazy antics and wait for it…a bit of rap music that will shake a good fist at the prevailing fear and drive us all to a deeper trust in Jesus.

Go and Tell your friends and show up on:

10 AM (Sydney Time AEST) on Sunday 22nd March

But I’m in the USA?

Ok, then if for example you are in IOWA, you’ll be turning up on Saturday 21st March at 6pm (yes, we are 16 hours ahead of you in Oz).

Where?

Anton’s Facebook page

Yes, it will be Facebook live!

Which means you could even ask a question for me to answer if you like.

So, make sure you’re following Anton’s FB page.

And Tell you friends…let’s make THIS go viral and unlike Corona, spread God’s word and love across the globe.

PS: Please pray for this idea to work! It’s no easy thing to try and pull off…maybe you’ll see quite a bit of stumbling here, but I hope to make it worth your while and honour our Lord.

PPS: here’s the time again: 10 AM (Sydney Time AEST) on Sunday 22nd March

PPPS: Follow Anton’s FB page so you’re good to go for the live stream

Why THE virus means more ministry, not less

viruscomputer-dimitri-karastelev-0hO1QgI1H8g-unsplash-1It’s easy to fall prey to fear and take flight, cocooning ourselves in mountains of toilet paper, if we have them, in response to the threat of the coronavirus.

It’s easy to become paralyzed and panic.

OK, to take precaution is sensible. To do what we can to slow the spread is wise.

My church denomination has just suspended all services for the time being.

So its over for ministry, right?

Never.

Why the virus won’t stop the (Anton) music!

We need to be cautious but we also need to be creative, proactive …the word of God is not chained to a virus

Instead of just shutting off and closing down every ministry we have, we need to talk about how we can be creative in doing more ministry in these times, not less.

Which is why, Anton is about to do something creative, something proactive, something risky but worth a shot…more on this later.

I watched a very encouraging live video stream on Facebook the other day with two church pastors discussing how they were going to respond to the virus and its impacts on their ministry.

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I Have No Toilet Paper...Can You Spare a Square?

whogivesacrapPanic buying has emptied the shelves of Sydney supermarkets and the crazy thing is, instead of non -perishable food disappearing from the shelves, its no…toilet paper.

You can’t buy tissues; you can’t buy paper towels. Why? Because everyone who can’t buy toilet paper is buying the next available item to replace it with.

I didn’t panic buy.

I didn’t do anything different.

But those fearing the zombie apocalypse brought on by the corona virus have bought out the supplies and stockpiled them in their toilet paper bunkers at home.

Why toilet paper?

If you’ve no food, you won’t be eating.

If you can’t eat you won’t need it.

Pretty soon we’ll be down to newspaper, then packaging, then leaves.

Maybe I’ll pop around to your house and use your loo, O great stock pilers of Sydney.

My wife's just ordered a starter pack from 'who gives a crap'...toilet rolls made from bamboo that support third world communities...who'd have thought?!

Never in my life have people been genuinely afraid on the scale we are seeing.

 

First, we faced extended and widespread drought.

But us city folk were Ok, we fear and feel sorry for the farmers, but it doesn’t really affect our lifestyle.

Until the prices hike. Then we squeal.

Have mercy!

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Feel free to insult me: Mr Bean Frees Speech

mr beanDo your kids like Mr. Bean?

I’ve got a video for you that is worth checking out as a family.

But it’s probably not what you’re thinking.

Artists are prophets.

All art at one level is prophetic, speaking about the age we live in, sizing it up and holding it up to judgement.

Mr. Bean, I’m sure you are well familiar with, is a character played by Rowan Atkinson.

Rowan is an artist who, last year I believe, came forward in favour of proposed changes to legislation in the UK, for keeping speech, free. His words are wonderfully clear and helpful, prophetic.

‘Feel Free to Insult me..’

…is the slogan, and it pretty much summarises what we all need to talk about regarding the growing level of ‘you can’t say that’ in our societies.

You see it seems that western democracies around the world are facing a blackout.

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How will climate change affect the way you raise your kids?

climatechangelinanlimWe can hear the land groan as it drinks in the rain from recent downpours.

We are reminded of that verse that the ‘creation eagerly awaits the sons of God to be revealed so it can be released from its bondage to decay…’

Recent catastrophic fires across our country have wreaked enormous devastation and left families and kids with nightmares. Some will be left with scarred memories of holidays gone wrong, others with much more, the loss of home, livestock, businesses and lives.

Climate change advocates used the horrendous moment to shout down nay-sayers and demand more action from government.

We heard one sporting celebrity refer to the events as signs of God's judgement, even connecting them with recent changes in legislation to allow same sex marriage.

The government didn’t really engage and perhaps rightly, focused, albeit a little belatedly, on helping communities and deploying services for fighting the fires.

If you have kids, they’ll likely be on board with it. Or at least ‘onboarded’ with it as they go to school. Unless of course your kids’ school is ‘right wing’ as the lefties say and don’t accept the evidence or claims about climate change.

Are you going to raise climate change activits, passivists, naysayers or just don't engage and let them find their own way?

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Not Who Is, But Will You Be My Neighbour?

abdayneighb2blogWhen the Pharisee tried to justify himself before Jesus, by asking ‘who is my neighbor?’, he was trying to limit the scope of his responsibilities. Jesus’ answer expanded the 'pharisee in us all limitations' to ‘anyone that we are proximate to’. But the fully expounded, lived out lesson of this encounter with Jesus is really found in a children’s TV show host I had never even heard of until a few weeks ago, called Fred Rogers.

New, Big Screen (Sony) Film About a Christian TV show for Kids

I enjoy watching Tom Hanks, so I read up on his latest movie release in the paper, called ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’. Nothing about the picture of him in a daggy red cardigan and glasses made me think this movie would be such a treat. Tom Hanks plays the Presbyterian minister who in the 1970’s started a TV show in the United States for young kids (preschool and up?) to equip them for life’s challenges and show them their true value from God.

Fred Rogers started the show in a local, free to air TV station that gradually grew to be a much loved and later lampooned, childhood TV classic across the United States. The production values weren’t high, the sets were colourful but very simple, the puppets were elementary but effective. Fred wrote his own scripts, songs and directed and produced the show. Nuts! I think they ended up filming almost a 1000 episodes. I mean it’s staggering and yet, in Australia, we’ve never heard of him.

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Never Never Again

hatrnettcanyonblogYoungest daughter: “This is the worst day of my life!”

Ever since my kids were born I’ve wanted to take them into the wild on an expedition through Tasmania’s wilderness. Before they become adolescents and shoot off in all directions, my wife and I made the stretch to skill up, beg and borrow gear and entice our kids on a 7 day walk through the central highlands.

Why you might ask? If this might not be something they really want to do?

First, it’s really about appreciating each other. It’s about appreciating God’s creation and being immersed in it, screen free as a family.

Second, who ever thinks kids know best has given away too much ground.

Where will resilience, resourcefulness, kindness and positivity come from if all they have is experiences within their comfort zones?

When I surf and catch a wave, there’s nothing else in your mind. You are immersed in the act of balance and surviving a moving wall of water. A trip into the wild means we are all immersed in one moment of focused survival and enjoyment. I want us all on ‘that’ wave, together.

So why did my youngest scream, ‘I hate this; it’s the worst day of my life!’? Read on…

Day 4: Du Cane Hut to Hartnett Falls to Junction Lake via The Never Never (8 hours, 7.5 km)

The idea of joining the magnificence of two very special parks, namely the Overland Track and Walls of Jerusalem together sounded like an awesome odyssey, but the shortest way of achieving it is via an isolated valley, named The Never Never.

I read one or two blogs about people’s experience on the Never Never but there was precious little information out there. Chapman’s book was helpful but brief and in my opinion grossly underestimates the time it takes to travel the 5 or 6 kilometres.

We travelled the less popular direction, namely from the overland track to the Mersey valley. Most people seem to tackle it from Junction lake and above Clarke Falls you will find a walkers intention book inside a steel box, though as with all the walker intention books that we found on our trek, the pages are full and there’s no-where to write your journey’s intention. Coming our direction, there’s no walker intention book and most people will look at you funny for taking your pack down to the falls. There is a bare area just above the falls where we changed for a swim before heading off into the Never Never...

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How Is There Peace On Earth? Anton's Christmas Message

onfiremarkus-spiske-cUhssb9roaU-unsplashDrought. It hasn’t rained for as long as I can remember.

Catastrophic bushfires. Sydney is smothered in smoke like I’ve never seen before.

At the same time some would say we are moving forward, socially, morally, advancing the human rights of the individual

We have:

-Looser laws for abortion in NSW.

-Easier assisted death in Western Australia.

-Same Sex Marriage across the country.

-An increasing mantra of tolerance for all, yet at the same time we see religious freedom under clear and present threat

The oxygen of Christians and others of faith is being constantly questioned, constrained and denied.

Freedom is being violated.

Free speech strangled.

Speech that is deemed 'harmful' is to be removed and denied in the name of tolerance.

But the definition of what is harmful and what is fair game is very slippery.

Harmful because I disagree with it?

Harmful because it calls into questions my moral choices?

It is so one way.

The atheists can say Christians are morons or their books are nothing but fairy tales

Netflix can screen a gay Jesus.

Star Wars can show a lesbian kiss.

That’s all fine, though it is harmful and hurtful to people of faith.

But you can’t quote a Bible verse saying the sexually immoral, thieves, liars and homosexuals will go to hell unless they repent.

Some say that Christianity has long been in ascendancy and its time for the others to rule.

Hardly a sensible response, yet understandable.

When you hear things like that it is clear we are not progressing, we are not evolving anywhere.

I’ve never felt more unwelcome, even ‘at war’ in my own country.

Prince of peace?

So how does the birth of Jesus, the ‘prince of peace’, bring peace on earth?

‘We hear it every Christmas time but hope and history won’t rhyme…’

‘Peace to all men’

Environmental chaos

World environment is in disarray because of our breach with God.

We stepped out of his authority and made ourselves God. We built our tower and now the foundations are crumbling under our feet as we cling to a few bricks because we think they still offer some form of security in our short life spans.

The environmental havoc we see around us, from polluted oceans to raging bushfires and hurricanes, tell us all is not well under our rule. We have made a hash of ruling the world.

While it is foolish to tie specific events of disaster to specific ‘sins’ as Israel Folau recently did, because we don’t know all of God’s reasons for permitting such events and Jesus himself refuses to so, we can say that all our problems, sickness, environmental catastrophes do stem from our ‘general sin’ of turning our backs on God, making ourselves equal with God.

Restoring order

Significantly the arrival of Jesus, the first Christmas, announces a human king’s ascent to a throne equal but also approved and ordered by God.

His throne is not alien to us, for he is fully human.

His throne does not usurp God, like ours does, for he is fully God and God has appointed him through his resurrection from the dead.

His appointment is not wrought through vile arrogance as ours has been. Instead his appointment to the throne is through self-effacing, humility and obedience rather than rebellion against God.

A representative who accurately bears our image to God and God to us.

A king who removes our personal and collective offence and guilt before God.

A king who restores the world as it should be, aligned under God, under the feet of his appointed servant.

We share the blessing of this restored world when we lose our arrogance and come under Christ’s rule.

Reconciled to God, we begin to rule through the power of Jesus, over disorder and death.

Peace UNDER the king

We show this rule in godliness, servanthood and even care for the environment.

Christians should be leading stewards of the earth’s resources

We should be green

We value the world because it is God’s world and we are given the responsibility to care for it.

We affirm the world still, because the prince of peace has come who affirms the world.

But our hope isn’t in this world.

Our hope is in a new heaven and new earth.

Jesus is the promise, his Spirit the down payment that it will come.

So, we look forward to a complete peace.

A restored and remade world.

Not yet...but it's started

What we can expect now is progress and failures.

Wars and rumours of wars.

But peace to all men comes from men and women of all nations accepting this king, Jesus as their king.

Then go down the guns and the hate.

Collaboration and service replace competition and self- interest.

Many nations bleed into one, honouring each other and considering one another more important because of the love God has modelled to them in Christ their king.

Wars cease.

Personal grievances are dropped.

Wisdom to care for the environment finds a common ground for action, across borders.

So, preach that good news, preach the king this Christmas so many more might know that true, deep and lasting peace of Christ Jesus.

 

Merry Christmas, from Anton!