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 Rethink Easter Outreach

In Australia we are just waking up from the comatose state of summer holidays.

As the summer holidays come to an end we grudgingly drag ourselves out of the post-holiday blues and try desperately to resurrect our weekly habits, church structures and ministries that will carry us through until late December.

Easter is not something we really want to think about, right now.

So, every year we blow it.

Every year we let it pass through to the keeper, squandering ‘outreach gold’.

Easter is a better moment than Christmas, more reflective. Less going on. A time where people who don’t normally come to church, quite possibly will.

So, I was very excited to see some friends of mine in the States cracking on with the task of assisting churches make the most of Easter for outreach.

I wanted to share FREE access with you to a series of videos that will get your church into shape for Easter outreach and beyond.

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How NOT to holiday next time

What’s the last thing you pack for a holiday?

What’s the thing you easily forget?

I reckon it would be my toothbrush. You’ve got to leave it out till you’ve used it one last time before you go.

Or it could be my pajamas. I must sleep in them and it’s all too easy to get up, get dressed and leave them behind instead of packing them in the suitcase.

In both cases I fully intend to take them. I’ve even added them to my packing list now, so I don’t forget them. With one last check of that list before I leave and lock the door, I can quickly sigh, thank my list and run back to my room and grab the toothbrush or the pj’s.

On that list for my holiday suitcase might also be some reading material, hat, sunnies and of course my travelling coffee kit. A holiday with bad coffee is a bad holiday. But Something that may not even get on the list is one’s Bible. One’s prayer list. Unless you put it on that list too.

The Bible and prayer list are probably the things that get skipped on most people’s list for a holiday.

Why is it so easy for me to drop this habit?

You see it’s holidays and holidays are meant to be time to liberate ourselves from all routines. Poo-Poo anything that vaguely resembles the mundane routines of the non-holiday life.

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7 Ways to Beat the Post Holiday Blues

Getting back on the horse after a break is often not easy.

Some of us never get a break, hello mums! But the vacation provides at least a break in routine.

Some of us love our jobs and find holidays an intrusion. Some of us just love holidays (Anton!). Most of us work because we must, not necessarily in jobs we love. Some of us are in Christian ministry and that can be very stressful. The thought of cranking up another year…all those kid’s clubs, all those small groups, all those camps, oh and by the way, we need to start planning the Christmas carols event again…in February! Yep, hello new year.

Coming off the holiday or Christmas vacation can be brutal. My family just got back a week ago and I got sick straight up, barely making it out of bed for a couple of days when we returned…at least there was cricket to watch. But that return home left us low. Like we were on some emotion-muting drug.

A friend of my wife who is also a psychologist posted some helpful tips on Facebook recently to help people deal with the let down of coming off holidays. I thought I’d share them and encourage you with one of my own thoughts.

I've also shared some personal reflections with my subscribers, so if you want to be part of that, just hit subscribe on this page.

7 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

  1. Practice helpful self-talk such as not dwelling on what has come to an end. Instead remind yourself that it will come around again
  2. Consider how you might feel good at times when you are working again
  3. Remind yourself that it’s not black and white, that is, holidays are awesome and works sucks or I can only relax on holidays.
  4. Practice gratitude
  5. Connect socially face to face with family and friends and appreciate them
  6. Practice ’mindfulness’: Five things you can see. Four things you can feel. Three things you can hear. Two things you can smell. One thing you can taste
  7. Reduce alcohol intake. Cut back on the food and increase whole foods.

Finally, I want to add my own…Scripture.

I want to dwell more on in my next posts.

In essence, dwelling on God’s word is an essential, crucial ingredient to beating the post-holiday blues. Often we can let the reading of scripture and prayer slide off the menu in vacations and that only deepens the ‘blues’ or let down of coming back off holidays.

Christmas video course special (limited time) offer

christmas video course for kidsLooking to save time but do something fun and different that will teach kids the Christmas message?

Low on leaders this Christmas holidays?

Wanting something for your kids to watch, do and learn from on their ipads that will entertain and stretch them this Christmas?


Anton’s Star Struck Christmas Video Course is here!

Star Struck has existed as a live show for many years.

It’s also been a very popular sticker story for quite a while too.

Now it’s a comprehensive video course with support resources that will make any parent happy and any leader an instant star!

Star Struck Video Course follows on from (and includes) our recent parent training video:

"Shine a Fresh Light on the Old Christmas Story: Move Your Kids from Jealousy to Joy"

Now with the new video course you and your kids can go further into God's word with awesome features such as:

-Star Struck Feature Video

-Shine A Light Music Videos (with and without lyrics, Bonus kids vocal version)

- Teacher resource kit

-Kid’s activity pages

-Song audios and lyric pages

-Parent training video

-and more…

You can check out all the details on the landing page for the course right here:

Anton's Star Struck Video Course

You can even watch a short preview of the Feature video for kids right there on the course landing page!

The course will be offered with almost 40% discount until December 21st, 2017.

So, don't delay and turn up the joy in your Christmas with Anton's Star Struck Video Course

Stephen (aka Anton)

PPS: Please note that you can alsobuy Skito's 'Shine a Light'  song from other outlets, such as Amazon, Google as well as iTunes. So get among the fans, be an early adopter for your kids and start listening to some refreshingly fun, beats in your home, car or ministry.

PPS:Don't miss out on the early discount for the Star Struck video course here

Merry Christmas from Anton, Stephen and Skito!

Out Now! Fresh Christmas music for kids

Shin A Light SingleI’m super excited.

I love bringing Christian ministry to kids back into the home.

We’ve done that together with our deep dive training video, Shine a Light on the Old Christmas Story.

You’ve also been introduced to rapper, Skito, the third character of Anton’s Antics and his brand new music video for kids, Shine a Light

Make sure you’ve shown your kids the music video Shine a Light today!


Please also share this music video with your friends so they can grab the song for their kids and start equipping their kids to move from jealousy to joy not just at Christmas time but as a life long skill.

The song is now officially released so do your kids a service this Christmas and go straight to iTunes now and get your copy of Shine a Light!


P.S. In a day or two I’ll be giving you heads up about getting access and a great early bird discount to the ‘Star Struck’ video course that you can use this Christmas or over the holidays.

P.P.S Here’s that link again to buy ‘Shine a Light’ for your kids on iTunes

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.

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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’.

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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?'

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