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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Beat the ‘joy suckin’ monkey’ of social media

fresh light on christmas account from bibleWe all know but hate to admit that dark feeling of jealousy that creeps into our lives when someone else does better than we do.

In Australia it’s practically a national sport to do whatever it takes to prevent anyone from shining brighter than ourselves. Called ‘Tall poppy syndrome’, Australian’s do not believe anyone should rise above their ‘station’. When someone triumphs, we look the other way or worse, tear their achievement down. I know, it sounds horrible in print doesn’t it? But that’s the truth. Shine bright in your achievements…but please do it in the privacy of your bedroom!

Occasionally, we like to think we can celebrate other’s achievements. Generally, we don’t celebrate our achievers until the rest of the world does. We don’t champion them, but roll our eyes and think, ‘who do they think they are!’ But when American says this person is amazing…wow…we go ‘of course…and she’s from Australia did you know…and I went to school with her…’. No wonder everyone with an inch of success winds up in the States. It’s unbearable to want to succeed and actually succeed.

Social media all stars

Social media has turned us all into stars, as we plaster our digital walls with all our latest vanities, waiting for likes, hearts and retweets. So instead of a few undercelebrated Aussies, we know have 20 million of them, all waiting for recognition, acceptance, validation and praise.

The constant comparison that we can’t help but make as we scroll our feeds inevitably leads to a general depletion in joy and rise in the dark art of jealousy.

Our kids are growing up in this environment where comparison is not just at school or Saturday sport, but 24/7, virtual and potentially viral.

How can we help our kids beat the joy suckin’ monkey of social media?

By Shining a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story!

Herod would have loved social media.

But I reckon he would have controlled it, a bit like North Korea does.

Right now, you can get FREE access for a few more days to my very special parent/ministry leader training video that’s all about the Christmas account from Matthew’s gospel chapter 2.

It's called: 'Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story'

I’ll show you how we can shine a fresh light on the old Christmas story and beat that joy suckin’ monkey off our kids’ backs.

But you’ll have to hurry, the video will be coming down and form part of a paid course real soon.

PS: At the end of the video, you'll find our first ever music video for your family to reinforce the key teaching.

So make sure you catch the video, Here’s the link again:

Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story

Merry Christmas

Stephen (aka Anton)

PS: Shortly I'll be in touch with more info about where to get the song and the paid video course that I mention in the free training video.

Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story

Shine a Fresh Light on ChristmasWe live in a world of constant comparison, exacerbated by social media. The impact on our kids can be devastating.

 

But the old Christmas story exposes the heart of the problem and it isn't Twitter or Facebook.

That's why I'm stoked to be able to share with you a brand new, valuable video to help you as a parent or leader this Christmas.

It's called: 'Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story'

Take a moment or two to dive into the Scriptures with me so I can show you how illuminating the account of Herod and the Wise Men is for tackling the problem of jealousy.

Your kids will directly benefit from your leadership, as you dwell on this account with me and share it with them. But best of all, I'm going to make it super easy for you! 

At the end of the video, you'll find our first ever music video for your family to reinforce the key teaching.

I really hope and pray that many families and ministries benefit from the training. My passion is to see kids develop a faith in Jesus that encourages them walk away from the path of self absorption and constant comparison. We want them to look up and ahead to the Lord who 'liked' them instead.

But make sure you watch it soon as the training video will be taken down shortly and become part of a paid video course.

If you'd like to share the training video with a friend, here's the link to the access page: 

Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story

PS: Shortly I'll be in touch with more info about where to get the song and the paid video course that I mention in the free training video.

Struggling to get helpers over the Christmas holiday period?

Pretty soon Anton’s got a special announcement to make with some cool videos that are going to make a huge difference to your family and ministry this Christmas! So, make sure you open the next few emails.

Last time we looked at the challenges we face to make Christmas services engaging for kids, especially when there’s not going to be any kid’s program.

Parents might also wonder, what, if anything, should they be doing to teach the Christmas accounts in the home. Surely Christmas is too crazy, and the church can look after it, right? Can’t we just down tools for this busy season?

But here’s your next problem…what do you do over the holiday weeks that follow when everyone’s taking a break and there’s no helpers to run a kid’s program?

Plus, if parents don’t go to church…shock horror, yes it does happen, what can they be doing in the home to encourage their kids to reflect on the Christmas accounts in the Bible?

Here’s the easy solution:

Anton’s Sticker Stories make a complete lesson that eliminate the need for a team of helpers.

Read more ...

The problem every church faces every Christmas

Some years ago, while working as Director of Kidzlink, a support organisation for kids clubs and playgroups, I noticed that some of the playgroups we supported were using a simple resource by Kidzlink comprising an A5 page with some text on it from one of the Christmas narratives. We were supplying the page with some colour stickers that kids could randomly stick into the story. Shortly after a friend popped into our shop in St Andrews Square and shared a Christmas problem.

What was the problem?

One every church faces every Christmas:

How to keep the whole family in the same Christmas service without losing the interest of the kids.

We know how amped kids are about Christmas so the last thing we want to do is bore them.

We don’t want to ask our leaders or parents to run a Sunday school or kids church on Christmas day, so we have a conflict of interests.

So what is the solution?

My friend who visited me had tried solving the problem herself by using black and white photocopies of varying quality and questionable benefit to the kids. You know the ones I mean. They’re often free from the internet and a little embarrassing. It required lots of work to put together into a pack that looked like the church ‘cared’ and nothing really ‘nailed it’.

Read more ...

Awesome ideas for teaching Christmas to kids

StarStruckTV2blogAhh, Christmas. The seasonal vibe, the cute decorations, houses lit up at night and the weight of our children’s enormous expectations heavy in the air. Will it all go south, or will the day live up to all the hype? Come, Christmas day come. So, we can breathe a sigh of relief and sleep.

Most years we do fine.

Christmas is a great memory for me. My parents made it special.

Birthdays are often worse don’t you think?

Well, it is if you’re anything like me as a child. How can anyone possibly enjoy seeing their siblings get such great presents and attention while you sit there and watch?

C’mon, you were the same…weren’t you?

‘Someone’s shinin’ brighter than me

Has attention of others you see

My heart’s full of jealousy

Can’t be happy for their glory…’

I wrote this charcoal sketch of a rap for one of Anton’s Christmas shows called ‘Star Struck’ some years ago.

The song that came out of that show, called ‘Shine a Light’ was more of a nursery rhyme; but then rap has a lot of affinity with nursery rhyme. ‘Shine a Light’ took its cue from the heart of envy that lies in King Herod at the birth of Jesus.

It's easy for all the attention to be in the wrong location.

The show seeks to answer, 'What's the antidote to envy?'

Read more ...

Neat Christmas pressy for your kids

Family Devotions in Psalm 119 and the Hebrew Alphabet Family Bible Devotions On Video

SPECIAL [Limited Time] OFFER - $77 (normally $97)

Now that all the videos are complete we're celebrating until November 15th!

 

How to bring ministry to your kids back into your home without it being a chore!

If we are going to keep our kids on God’s side the No.1 thing we must do is read and pray together from the Bible.

The question is, how do we do this regularly without it being a chore for us and a bore for them?

After all, work is tiring, family life is busy and we’re not all seasoned Bible teachers or gifted communicators.

What we need is effective resources that take out the ‘heavy lifting’ for parents and enable us to learn alongside our kids. We need something that will grab our kids’ attention and draw them into God’s word at their level.

Are you a family with kids between the ages of 9-13?

Maybe you had some early success with picture Bibles but now the kids are growing up those books seem babyish. Perhaps you've also tried devotional booklets only to be discouraged because the kids just saw it as more homework?

How do we compete with their screens? God help us!

Aussie kid’s performer, Anton’s Antics has a solution that really engages kids ages 9-13. Best of all your family will be encouraged from the Bible while using their screens!

Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life will put you as a parent back in the front seat, leading your family in Bible focused devotions without it feeling like a chore. Instead your kids are going to be asking you for the next video!

What is Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life?

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Kid’s iPhone tells him to vote ‘yes’

On the popular ‘Gruen’ the other night, the Australian TV show about advertising and marketing, the topic of brands ‘spruiking’ the ‘yes’ vote for marriage redefinition was on the table. Every person on the panel supported marriage redefinition, at least from a marketing perspective. ‘No’ voters were described as a target market that is predominantly ageing, rural and of low influence and spending capacity compared with younger, city dwelling, socially aware and progressive ‘yes’ voters. It was argued that brands needed to court the ‘yes’ voters as they represent future whereas a brand supporting the ‘no’ position, might harness some short-term reward but ultimately kill the brand as the target market they draw from gradually and literally die off.

How do you feel when you're kid's iPhone starts telling him to vote 'yes'?

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What happened while we were sleeping

Are you despairing of the growing attempts by the LGBTQI community to colonise our minds with this notion that gender is not male and female but an amorphous solution of possibilities?

‘We just want to redefine marriage and we’ll be happy’

But next it’s ‘let us redefine sex and gender education in primary school so that kids accept there is no such thing as male and female'.

Plus, it’s ‘Don’t call my child a ‘he’…let ‘it’ be who it will be...’

Sounds presumptuously ‘god’ like…

‘Let’s become like God, knowing good and evil; let us decide what order is…and it’s not male and female he made them…’ (Gen 1:26)

Doesn’t marriage redefinition seem like such an aggressive and blatant attempt to overturn God’s order?

We may even feel our societies have reached the point of no return and are surely stacking on wood ready for God’s judgement.

Those who oppose will be shouted down and ridiculed for making it sound like the sky is falling.

“You will not surely die”, they say.

“The sky will not fall in…”

Or are they right?

Read more ...

When does God open doors for your family?

My wife and I roll our eyes.

Here is another person telling us how much their life is suddenly clicking together, everything so smooth, so neat, so ‘even Steven’ that it must be God.

God is opening doors for them.

You see they just lost their job. Then they bumped into an old colleague. Who told them about a friend who was looking for someone who offered them a job. And not just any job but a good one. Closer to home. So, they can pick up the kids from school. No more long day care. And more time for hubby. They might even start ‘that’ ministry now with all the time and cash saved from not commuting.

Yep, God is opening doors.

Then you look at your life. Unemployed or battling the constant in and out of work. Sucky bosses. One exploitation and dodgy operator after another. God seemingly oblivious to every request and petition for help. Perhaps that dream job is just that, a pipedream. You’d have to say God is definitely not opening doors.

Or is He?

Does the way we talk about God opening doors actually reflect the Bible’s mind?

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Shut up and listen: Teaching our kids to be tolerant

“Oh God, you didn’t vote for Trump did you?”

I didn’t say that; an Aussie journalist did after He picked up a ‘long lost’ American cousin from the airport in Sydney.

Here’s a summary of what happened next:

“I can’t *&%$# believe it, I am driving around Sydney with a %*$# Trump supporter, and she happens to be my cousin!

Are you out of your mind? Donald Trump is a psychopath. He’s a sociopath. He’s a pathological narcissist”.

He pulled over.

“Look I don’t think I can do this” he said, reaching across the front seat to open her door.

“Are you throwing me out of your car?” the cousin asked.

“I don’t know. Yes. No. Of course, I’m not.”

“Wow, Cuz… Perhaps we should talk about something else in future.”

It’s not, pretty is it? But it is a brave admission by the journo to man up and go on and publish this episode in a national paper, admitting he had failed appallingly to uphold all the things he believed others should.

Read more ...