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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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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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?

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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.

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Yes or No? Kid’s trophies and marriage redefinition

I got my letter from the government asking me to vote yes or no on changes to the marriage law. What would you vote?

You’ll hear it spoken of in terms like, 'marriage equality'. It’s interesting how that is framed isn’t it? Who wouldn’t be for equality on any issue, right?

Most people don’t realise that there is a third option to 'yes' or 'no' and ’ll share it with you at the end of this post!

Roll up, roll up every kid wins a prize!

I wouldn’t be the first person to question or make fun of the ease at which children earn awards, merits and trophies these days. Take the local sporting team. Every kid without fail will get a trophy at the end of the season. Why? Because they turned up and parents paid for the trophies anyway with their fees at the start of the season. Meaningless?

When I was a lad, we got a pennant if we came 2nd or 3rd in the comp. A trophy was for the premier team and you might get one person on your team awarded ‘best and fairest’ or ‘sportsman of the year’. I really learnt to work hard and value those awards. I still have them. All three. I don’t think I can throw them out. But my kids, they need shelves to house the voluminous bounty of shiny fake wood, fake metal, non-engraved ‘thanks for coming’ trophies. Ok, occasionally they have some real earners: ‘Best team player’ or ‘premiers’. But now they are getting older, they even look at many of their trophies as clutter; deleterious self-esteem builders from an era where to be equal means giving everyone the same, regardless of merit. You see if you paid your fees and turned up to training most of the time, that shiny sugar hit of encouragement, that growing, nostalgic emptiness that will haunts you in later life, is yours.

Why do we allow such ease of merit to our kids? Self-esteem. We don’t want a sad little Johnnie. We are trying to avoid causing any harmful discrimination. So, everyone gets the same and no-one is left out feeling less than they should be.

Confetti trophies and marriage redefinition.

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‘Like’ is lame: 7 Tips to Guide Your Kids Through Social Media

I’m done with it.

How did we all get conned into it? That’s right, how did we all willingly become so lame?

I’m talking about likes on Facebook and all derivatives of the same lame-fest in social media. Hearts. Flutters…whatever you want to call it. Let’s just sum them up: ‘lame’ button.

‘Get over it!’ I hear you say, ‘I like FB and social is here to stay’.

Ask kids at school as I did today and they’ll say they’ve all got social and they’ve had it for years. Is there anything we can say or do that would help our kids be less lame?

We need to breed a better ‘user’ because we are going to look back on this era and all agree that it sucked; we sucked and wonder how on earth we became so sucked into being SO lame.

In case you don’t agree, here’s some research I did on the ‘like’ thing. It goes to show I’m not the only one who despises the ‘like’.

- Researching the ‘how do I disable the like button on FB’ I found this guy who posted to his friends asking who would want to go to the movies tonight and he got 40 likes. Cool, right? Only, one person came along. So how lame are those likes looking now? Why not just have a tick next to your post to show it as ‘read by so and so’. It illustrates well the crude ‘bluntness’ of this social media thing. Like is a useless gauge.

-This girl liked her friends posts not because she cared or liked it but because she didn’t want to be hassled the next day at school for not liking her friend’s post. Meaningless, meaningless. Meaningless.

But your kids already have social or are gonna have it soon if they don’t so what can you do?

Here's 7 Tips to Help Guide Your Kids Through Social Media:

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How to deal with long term stress

I once was lost and now I’m lost…again?

I once was lost but now I’m found… (Amazing Grace)

Famous words that echo the sinner’s delight at God’s rescue.

But can you be found by God and lost at the same time?

The final verse of Psalm 119 thinks so:

Psalm 119:176

I have wandered like a lost sheep. Seek your servant! For I have not forgotten your commands

How is this even possible?

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