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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Who Made God? The Uncaused Causer

Umoved-Mover-600x397Can you remember those moments as a child when you lay in bed and wondered ‘how did I get here? What am I? Where did this all start?’

Being a child can be a wonderful place. Your mind spinning with questions and a desire to explore the world around you and discover its meaning. As we get older we often loose the edge to enquire and go deeper. Then along comes some persuasive, popular ideas carted around like a circus to every town telling us God isn’t necessary or even probable.

For many down the ages, the knowledge that a creator had ordered the world encouraged them to investigate and understand how it all fits together. But this is easily forgotten and ridiculed in today’s media.

Our kids may be satisfied for a while with our answer, ‘God made the world’, but it won’t be long before they hear the atheist view that God is not necessary, nor even likely to exist for the world to exist.

Our kids will need to know more than just ‘God made the world…look at the Bible’. They’ll need good reasons for believing and standing by the Bible’s message.

What will you say? Where will you point them?

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Why do we get so upset when someone cheats?

ball tampering1When your kid plays a weekend sport and you see someone breaking the rules the first thing you think is ‘it’s not fair’, right?

Few of us would say, ‘look, everyone is entitled to their view. If they wish to play that way, then we need to respect their choice and interpretation of the game’.

Not likely. We charge up to the referee and point out the infraction, expecting a just response.

Why is this innate to our psyche?

Why does truth matter so much in sport?

Ok, it’s just a game and we agree to abide by certain rules to play the game. Aren’t we just voluntarily submitting to such rules for a period that applies to the game being played? Yes. So, don’t get too high and mighty and start questioning my morality…it’s not like it’s about some big ‘right or wrong’!

Or is it?  If there such a thing as truth then doesn't it matter?

What’s truth? Is the title of a brand-new video course for kids that can be used both in the home or the church ministry.

It's the only video course that tackles the tricky subject of truth in a way that kids understand and equips them to give good reasons for why they believe Jesus is 'that' truth.

You can preview the course, just click on the graphic below:

whatstruthrectblog

It’s just not cricket

‘What’s truth?’ is a subject that came to the fore in Australia during a recent international cricket match between Australia and South Africa. Our leading sport heroes, including our captain, Steve Smith who was recently hailed as being as good as the great Don Bradman, were caught in a rule breaking scandal. They were caught cheating by fiddling with the cricket ball to try and create an advantage while bowling to the other team.

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How do we know something to be true?

Our kids will be faced with ridicule for their belief that Jesus is God’s Son.

The rhetoric runs like this…those who believe Jesus has come from God to save the world do not have good reasons for their belief. Instead it is ‘simple belief’, unfounded by solid evidence and in the end amounts to no more than personal intuition.

How do we help the kids in our churches or our own family understand and be able to explain the reasons why they should believe Jesus is the truth?

Natasha Crain helpfully reminds us that we should not require MORE evidence for Jesus than what we normally require to make ordinary judgements in every day life. Otherwise we are being unreasonable, demanding a level of proof that is inconsistent with how we behave. (‘Keeping Your Kid’s On God’s Side, 2016)

Will your kids have sufficient evidence to know why Jesus is the truth so they can give good grounds for what they believe?

Or, are your kids just going to stick their heads in the sand and be fairly criticized for having ‘simple belief’?

Surely, we need to be attempting the following three things:

  1. Encourage them to require and seek evidence for Jesus being the truth.
  2. Help them see where they can get such evidence for Jesus being the truth.
  3. Package such evidence so that its something they can explain in their own words to their peers.

Now you might be struggling or wondering how you’re going to do no.2 or 3, right?

I’m here to help!

Right now, I’ve put online a video course from Anton’s Antics called ‘What’s Truth?’ The video course is designed to help you and your kids dive into the question of truth and follows the story of Jesus on trial before Pontius Pilate.

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Take your Easter to another level!

Truth is relative…truth is what you make it…?

But then some big computer company gets a bite taken out of its credibility when it sends out updates to make our phones obsolete. Truth still relative for you now? Then a major international sporting team is caught out on camera tampering with the ball in South Africa. So, what? Isn’t truth what you make it?

I wasn’t sure if I’d make it, but just in time for Easter Anton has got good news for you!

What is it?

What’s Truth? Video course for kids

whatstruthrectblog

Who should get it?

Both kid’s ministry leaders and parents

Why should both parents and kids ministry leaders get ‘What’s Truth?’

Our goal must be more than that our kids believe in the truth; we want them to be able to give good reasons why they believe Jesus is the truth for all. Anton’s here to make equipping your kids with those good reasons for what they believe, super easy.

When should you get it?

Now!

What’s Truth is perfectly suited to Easter celebrations and will take your child’s understanding of Easter to a new level as we explore the subject of ‘Truth’.

Anton’s Antics has been performing Easter shows for many years, one of them, a favourite, is called ‘What’s Truth?’ The show follows the story of Jesus’ trial before Pilate where he is asked ‘What’s Truth?’ I’ve taken one key part of the What’s Truth Live show and turned it into a video course for kids.

Will it work after Easter?

Absolutely!

Truth is a subject we need to tackle year round!

Plus we’ve got an early bird incentive!

What will it do for you?

  • Fill your kid’s with confidence as to why Jesus is THE truth.
  • Give your kids good reasons why Jesus is the truth and tips on how to answer those who don’t believe.
  • Take your kids beyond just recalling the Easter story and develop their understanding of how Jesus came to reveal the truth about God and our world.
  • Give you a comprehensive teaching resource for your home or ministry. What’s Truth? Will make teaching why Jesus is ‘the’ truth super fun and engaging through a fun feature video.
  • Groove your kids minds in why Jesus is THE truth, beyond the feature video, through a new, powerful music video by rapper, Skito.

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How to groove your kid’s minds with THE Truth this Easter

 

whatstruthblogBuild your child’s confidence in Jesus as THE truth with Skito’s thought provoking and powerful new single.

Anton’s Antics has been performing Easter shows for many years, one of them, a favourite, is called ‘What’s Truth?’ The show follows the story of Jesus’ trial before Pilate where he is asked ‘What’s Truth?’

I’ve taken one key part of the What’s Truth Live show and turned it into a video course for kids. Part of the video course will include a music video by rapper, Skito (one of the three characters in Anton’s Antics). You can get the music video FREE for a limited time right here, before I take it down.

However, your kids will still want to get the song, ‘What’s Truth?’ for their iPods and phones. So be sure to watch the music video and click through to purchase the song from iTunes today!

The What’s Truth Video Course for kids will soon be released and available for purchase and I’ll be in touch as soon as we’re open!

Remember, our goal must be more than that our kids believe in the truth; we want them to be able to give good reasons why they believe Jesus is the truth for all.

Anton's Antics is here to help equip you with music, videos, training and resources. All you've got to do is click the link!

PS: be sure to go grab the What’s Truth music video for your kids today before it’s taken down!

How can my kids be confident that all other religions are false?

elephantfaceblogAren’t all religions the same? How can you say there’s only one name?

“I’m a Christian but I don’t buy into the idea that everyone else is wrong”

I’m sure Oprah is not the only one who feels this way.

Perhaps we are content that Jesus indeed offers us salvation; that he is unique in many ways, but we are not able to wholeheartedly assert with confidence that Jesus is THE way. Much less our kids.

The old Indian proverb

Six blind men are told that there is an elephant in the village.

They go to investigate, each touching different parts of the same elephant. As they touch only one part of the elephant, each can only describe a small area, not the whole.

The proverb is used by some to illustrate that each religion is part of the ultimate truth, but not the whole truth by itself. Consequently, if true, then no one religion can lay claim to having the only truth or path to God.

How can my kids be confident that all other religions are false and that Jesus is the ONLY way? 

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Are you raising a narrow minded bigot?

narrowbigotblogRecently our pastor compared who Jesus is with a definition of a bigot.

Why? Because Christians often get labelled as bigots and this became particularly evident during a recent campaign in Australia over the redefinition of marriage.

Why do we stick to our guns?

Do we hate gays?

Why do we claim to have some ‘absolute’ reign over the definition of marriage?

Is Jesus a bigot…does he raise bigots?

What is at stake is truth.

Truth is at the heart of Easter.

Questions is, 'What's Truth?'

I’ve got some super videos for you in the lead up to Easter that explore the subject of truth and how we need to equip our kids to be able to give good reasons for their belief in Jesus as THE truth. You see we need to be concerned that our kids don’t just believe in the truth but can articulate why.

You can access the special 'What's Truth?' Parent Training Video by clicking on the graphic below:

whatstruthprnttrngFBshare

This purposeful parenting post is the first in a short series I’ve got planned for us all around the topic of truth and its place in the celebration of Easter.

Today, as we explore ‘what’s truth?’ we’re going to be looking at the very misunderstood and misused word of ‘tolerance’. I felt it seemed logical to piggy back on a recent issue in Australia to illustrate the point. So…

Is Jesus a bigot…does he raise bigots?

Let’s take a look at one of the definitions that fit this label of bigot:

According to the Collins English Dictionary, (in America) bigot means...

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Do our kids have good reasons for believing Jesus is 'THE' truth?

Our goal for our kids must not just be that they know about Jesus.

We want them to trust in him for salvation.

But that’s not enough either.

If our kids are to stick at it, they’ll need good grounds for believing in Jesus.

Otherwise we leave them open and defenseless.

How will they handle criticism like, “how can you believe that your religion is right and all others are wrong?”

How do your think your kids stack up right now?

Would they be able to give reasons for why Jesus is THE truth?

I’ve got a short quiz that will help you get a quick ‘litmus test’ on what your kids might need from you.

At the very least, it will give us all pause for thought...where to from here?

Complete the 'Giving Kids Reasons For Belief' quiz right now!

4 Essential Ideas for Reading the Bible with 9-13 Year Old’s

whatnextlibraryAs my kids got older I kept trying a bunch of things, but it was clear the picture Bibles and stories had to go; they were pitching too low and my kids needed some more ‘meat on the bone’.

I was struggling; the picture books and Bibles had been great but now what? Not wanting to make it feel like more homework and at the same time find something that pitched at their level, pushed them and was enjoyable seemed like a tough brief.

 

When your kids are too old for picture Bibles and story books, what next?

How do you regularly encourage the reading of the Bible and prayer with 9-13 year old’s?

Here’s 4 ideas that are both practical but also very ‘big picture’ and hence what I call, ‘Essentials’ for reading the Bible regularly with your older kids:

1. Show them what following Jesus looks like in practice through short biographies written for kids

Everyone loves a good story, especially when they’re true. Hearing about people’s real lives, how they grew up, how they were transformed by the gospel, what challenges they faced as the took steps of faith makes for engaging reading and listening. We bought some short biographies written for kids and have gradually introduced our kids to the lives of faithful Christians, missionaries, church leaders and martyrs who have trail blazed the gospel both in word and deed across the globe.

Stories like that of Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor, Martin Luther, John Livingstone and Joni Erickson Tada have been immensely encouraging to our family. We’ve set aside about 10 minutes every couple of nights to continue reading a chapter and reflecting together on the story. Some are better reads than others, so be prepared for some ‘hits and misses’. Overall our kids have enjoyed these, and they really bring some variety into our ministry in the home.

One of the main benefits of reading them together is that as a family you get to see what faith in Jesus looks like in practice. You’ll see things like: Not everyone finds support from their Christian brothers and sisters when they pioneer a new ministry. Tragedy and opposition are common from all kinds of fronts. Incredible determination, love and perseverance are never wasted; God is faithful. Learning to have joy in all circumstances remain hallmarks of their lives.

Tip: Let the kids read sections as they gain confidence and at a length according to their ability as this drives up engagement through ownership.

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Disciplining kids: What's your greatest mistake?

paren tfrustratedI didn’t see it coming, but I should have. Why is it that I was so blind sighted?

What was it and how can it help parent or lead your kids?

I’ll get to that in a jiffy, first we need to get the baseline right.

GRACE.

Like all siblings, my kids can grate on each other, irritate and squabble like…well, like I did when I was a kid with my siblings.

They’re human and subject to human weaknesses.

The first thing we must accept is the fall of humanity. We no longer live up to our ideal. We fail in many ways. In fact, the Bible says, before we are ‘born again’ we are given over to a depraved mind, one that is bent on self-autonomy and disobedience (Romans 8). This ‘depravity’ can be willful, arrogant, fist high in the air like Hitler, or it can be private, under the radar and ‘I don’t even know why I don’t like the name of Jesus, but I just don’t’.

Even with the Holy Spirit behind us, as we are being ‘remade’ into Christ’s better image of humanity, we still fail. Knowing this is true of our lives as parents, it also should lend us to be gracious, compassionate and perseverant with our kids (and spouse, though I have little to complain about on that count. But I’m not asking if it’s reciprocated!)

So, there’s the baseline. GRACE. We all need Jesus, the great high priest. We and our kids fail in many ways.

When it’s OK to spare the rod

Doesn’t mean spare the ‘rod’, however.

But in this case, I did spare the ‘rod’ because it was my dumb fault for not seeing it coming and not providing reasonable steps to avoid the clear and present danger that would be caused by my in inaction.

What was this inexcusable passivity of mine?

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