The Heart of Bethel Music Kids’ Come Alive CD/DVD, a Q&A with Brian & Jenn Johnson; Come Alive releases Dec. 11

THE HEART OF COME ALIVE

Q&A WITH BRIAN & JENN JOHNSON

Brian & Jenn Johnson

Bethel Music recently announced the first and highly anticipated Bethel Music Kids worship album and DVD, Come Alive. This project is aimed at cultivating in the next generation the greatness they possess as children of God, the inseparable connection they have to Jesus, and the truth that they are powerful vessels of worship and contributors in the kingdom.

 

Hear the heart of this project in this Q&A with Bethel Music worship leaders/songwriters Brian and Jenn Johnson:

 

What’s your vision for this album and what do you hope it brings to the families who hear it?

 

Jenn: Something that’s really celebrated, especially with this album is fun, and I think that we can never lose sight of the fact that there’s a fun element to worship. Yes there’s a reverence and there’s an awe, but – we have this saying that God is as happy as He is holy, and I think that that’s what we want to champion our kids in – that God is so fun and He is so wonderful. Just seeing that in the kids, seeing the fun and the raw and the real, that they’re not going to be into any fluff – I think it’s just incredible to watch that unfold.

Have you guys seen any impact on the lives of your kids, or you as parents as a result of worship?

 

Brian: What’s amazing about the grace of God is that you pray for your kids, and you do your best as a parent and then, you get to see them respond.

 

Like the other night, my son woke me up and is just freaking out because he had this nightmare and he says, “Dad can you put some worship music on?” So he’s learned that when the worship music is on, it’s peaceful, and I’ve taught him and talked to him about how when we worship, when we praise God, He inhabits our praise – He comes. He knows that now and he’s asking for it. That’s when you start realizing they’re having their own experience with God and I think that’s what’s fulfilling as a parent.

Bethel Music Kids vocalist

 

What is something that excites you about the next generation of worshipers?

 

Brian: I feel like each generation grabs something more– they take from the previous generation of worship leaders and stack on it. I’m also seeing a power in worship that has been really unique to this generation– encounters, healing and deliverance. When kids get a hold of that power in worship, there’s just going to be more of the kingdom coming to earth.

 

The church historically has been growing in creativity and worship. I think this generation craves something that’s real and that ministers to them on a personal level, regardless of what’s been popular before. They are grabbing onto something that won’t compete, but will allow the church to use that inspiration from God to put out creativity that the world is looking for. The wineskin is being structured now, so that the next generation can hold even more.

 

Jenn: I’ve been thinking about the next generation of worshipers, because we have young kids— ages 8, 10 and 13. We are really passionate about not just catering to adults in worship, but to championing our kids and kids in our community in worship. Modeling for them what a posture of worship looks like and encouraging them to step into those moments. It’s really beautiful to see this forward motion to what worship is turning into.

 

 

What are some things you’ve experienced as you are teaching your kids to worship and hear His voice?

 

Jenn: There are few things on the planet that make me happier than watching our kids hear or feel something from God. Being able to lead them to hear God’s voice is everything.

 

Brian: You can’t control or force your kids to know God, even though every parent at some point probably tries that. The perfect parent would know the right balance between keeping them guarded from drama in life, but also exposing them to some of it so they can see God’s hand in your life and the world around them. You want them to see complete void without God and then see the light, when God comes through. Let them watch you worship through the pain and see what it looks like to co-labor with Him.

 

What’s something that’s happened with you and your kids as they are learning to be in His presence?

 

Brian: In my own life, I grew up seeing worship leaders and I learned from them by watching, not just by listening to them. What’s exciting about Bethel Music Kids is that kids will get to watch other kids worship God. Worship is a real expression of your heart to God. In a lot of churches and culture, worship can feel like it’s just for the adults. There can be a disconnect for the kids and we’re trying to bring them in to worship and encourage them to be caught up in worship, in His presence. What happens is that when our children are in the atmosphere of worship, even if it’s not a heart connection yet, they will encounter Him— they will grow into a heart of worship.

bethel kids

Learn more about Come Alive, the first Bethel Music Kids album/DVD, releasing 12.11.15 at http://www.bethelmusickids.com.

 

About Brian and Jenn Johnson:

Brian and Jenn are worship leaders and songwriters with Bethel Music. They are committed to raising up worshippers who will take hold of their true identity and pursue intimacy with God above all else. Brian and Jenn continue to minister in the US and internationally and reside in Redding, CA with their three wonderful children.

 

Bethel Music Kids-Come Alive-Cover Art

Bethel Music Kids “Come Alive”

Bethel Music Kids-Come Alive-Cover Art

Bethel Music Kids “Come Alive”

by Sarah Geil

Bethel Music Kids-Come Alive-Cover Art

As Bethel Music introduces their new brand for kids with the debut album, Come Alive, they invite the next generation to experience worship and live in wonder of God. With reimagined songs meant to get kids dancing and praising in every hour of the day, the high-energy worship is ready to kindle fire in a whole new audience.

 

While the idea of a Bethel brand directed for kids has been simmering for several years, it truly emerged on the foundation of worship already present in the community. Kiley Goodpasture, Creative Director, explained that the children are being raised in an environment where they understand God’s presence and they understand how to celebrate with each other in a pure and profound way. When Bethel began to consider making this dream a reality, they did not have to manufacture something; they simply captured what was already happening in the worlds of these kids. With stories, props, lighting, colors, and all the lively surprises woven through the songs, Bethel celebrates the idea that when something is authentic, it is naturally moving.

 

The performers themselves – singers and dancers – made the project a success. Bethel Music is a branch of Bethel Church, and all of the kids that participated were friends from the local church. Bethel hosted two different audition days for the dancers and ended up with thirty-three kids whose friendships grew through the worship and recording of this project.

 

Their comradery remains one of Album’s and Artist Director Eric Allen’s favorite moments of production:  “Observing a culture of honor, of brave communication, of respect and love, and seeing the kids champion each other was an amazing display of friendship – that was the highlight.”

 

The glimpses of friendship are best captured in the first video shot. An opportunity to film in the Redwoods weeks ahead of schedule surprised the team. With a flurry of logistics, suddenly, they were filming in one of the world’s greatest stages. For the first time, the dream came to life. As the kids waved flags, the team realized they had reached the point where the vision for kid’s worship had morphed into something beyond them. Seeing the children connect and break into other songs between takes, Goodpasture realized they were overflowing with passion.

 

The friendship and the message were contagious. On another day of filming, Bethel had hired a drone operator, and after his allotted time had come to an end, they noticed he still hovered around the shoot, watching. When Bethel asked him why, explaining that they were not able to pay him overtime, he responded with a request to continue watching because he was so impacted by the kids. He stayed for two consecutive days. That weekend, he visited Bethel church, encountered God, and gave his life to the Lord.

 

This story captures the essence of the project. The hope behind the song and dance is that the family’s idea of worship will be expanded. Bethel hopes to connect to the heart of a normal kid while bringing stories with vitality and vibrancy to the home. Therefore, the video progresses through a day in the life of a kid.

 

Songs were selected with messages that would feel authentic in a child’s voice and serve as an anthem for any hour in a child’s day. After applying research and instinct, classic Bethel songs were given a dancy, electropop feel with lyrics simple enough for a child to understand but profound enough to minister to the heart.

 

Fred Vassallo, who moved from New York with his wife several years ago, teaches dance and hip-hop classes at Bethel Christian School. With his choreographed hip-hop already in place in the lives of Bethel kids, the translation to music videos created a pathway to even greater opportunities. Bethel plans to launch dance tutorials on their website. Along with dance videos, Bethel also plans to release videos of the original worship leaders connecting with the children who sing their songs on Come Alive. Celebrating the connection, they are making a deposit into the next generation and sharing it with the world.

 

This is not a simple album release; it is the launch of brand that is steeped in hopes and dreams. Plans are already in place for future work, including the possibility that the next album could include original songs. For Bethel Music, this project was the first of its kind – an experiment that involved faith, risk, and, of course, fun.

 

These characteristics of risk and fun were experienced in the filming of the ‘Ever Be’ video featured on Come Alive. The kids were sent off on homemade rafts and canoes, and once they were out on the water, the production team lost much of their ability to direct them. Only one or two of the kids knew how to actually paddle. The moment was captured successfully, and the laughter of those still on the shore personified this memory-in-the-making. The kids eventually returned to the dock,and the video ends with a family campfire scene. A project of this magnitude requires hope, trust, and a little bit of paddling unaware into the distance. But when a group of kids and their leaders step out in faith, laughter, zeal, and beauty overflow.

 

This project is more than just a way for families to connect over something pure, more than a series of professionally choreographed dances, and it is even more than friendships growing stronger. In the creative depiction of children praising their Father; it is a glimpse of eternity.

 

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Berenstain Bears Living Lights Brand Surpasses 5 Million Units Sold

berenstein bears

Berenstain Bears Living Lights Brand Surpasses 5 Million Units Sold

Faith-based line of iconic brand continues to soar in popularity

berenstein bears

Grand Rapids, MI—November 5, 2015—Everyone’s favorite Bear family, Papa, Mama, Brother, Sister, and little Honey Bear, continue to be as popular as they were at their origin in 1962 by husband and wife author/illustrator duo, Stan and Jan Berenstain. This is equally true for readers of faith-based children’s books, as the Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand from Zonderkidz (a HarperCollins Christian Publishing imprint) has recently surpassed a sales milestone of five million units since the beginning of the Living Lights brand in 2008.

After a proposal from their son Mike, an active partner in the Berenstain Bears franchise since the 1980s, Stan and Jan Berenstain began a relationship with Zonderkidz to produce the first faith-based editions of their brand under the name Living Lights. Upon their passing, Mike assumed the role of  author and illustrator for all Berenstain Bears products, including the Living Lights brand.

“My parents, Stan and Jan, and I first conceived the Living Lights series of spiritually-themed Berenstain Bears books over ten years ago,” said Mike Berenstain, “Sadly, my dad passed away before the series could be launched in 2008 and my mom followed him in 2012. Since then, I have continued creating the books on my own. It has been immensely gratifying to experience the warm support and enthusiasm of our audience for this series focusing on the spiritual side of family life. Reaching the five million books sold milestone certainly highlights how our readers have taken this concept to their hearts. I hope to continue creating new books in the Living Lights line for many years to come.”

In the current resurging trend of nostalgic cartoon and book series, The Berenstain Bears remain as strong as ever for consumers who consistently turn to the Bear family to help guide their little ones in lessons of family, manners, morality, holidays, and faith. The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand offers a wide variety of books and storybook Bibles, including a full-text NIrV Bible for emerging readers and even a cookbook featuring treasured recipes from family matriarch Jan Berenstain.

Zonderkidz continues to offer Berenstain Bears titles with each new catalog to appeal to the ever-increasing demand for Living Lights books. “Reaching the milestone of five million units sold is a very exciting accomplishment for Zonderkidz. The Berenstain Bears have been a part of many families lives beginning in the early 1960s. We’re thrilled to be able to continue bringing this treasured brand into homes and libraries through our faith-based Living Lights line,” said Annette Bourland, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Zonderkidz. “Families trust the Berenstain Bears to help parents talk through many of life’s lessons. Through the Living Lights brand, they have a resource that helps them explain some of the intricacies of faith and culture in a way young children can relate to.”

The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand includes popular titles such as The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule, The Berenstain Bears Say Their Prayers, The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, and the recently released The Berenstain Bears and the Very First Christmas. The Berenstain Bears Living Lights books and Bibles are available wherever books are sold, both in-store and online. For more information on the Berenstain Bears, the history of the brand and catalog of products, visit www.berenstainbears.com. For more information on Zonderkidz and The Berenstain Bears Living Lights brand, visit www.zondervan.com.

About the Author: Stan and Jan Berenstain introduced the first Berenstain Bear books in 1962. Mike Berenstain grew up watching his parents write about and draw these lovable bears. Eventually he started drawing and writing about them too. Since the late 80s, he has been very much involved as a writer and illustrator with his family’s creation, the Berenstain Bears. He continued to work with his mother, Jan, creating new books, up until her death in 2012. The antics and activities of Mike’s three children have provided inspiration for many Berenstain Bears books over the years. Though Stan and Jan passed away in 2006 and 2012, respectively, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from a studio in Pennsylvania, in an area that looks much like the sunny dirt road deep in Bear Country. www.berenstainbears.com

Zonderkidz™, the children’s division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children’s communications, it creates products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 14. Zonderkidz is also publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the third grade reading level edition of the NIV. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources, and digital products. The Company’s products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, MI. For additional information, please visit www.zondervan.com.

Spy House Productions, Gundersen Entertainment Announce the Launch of Owlegories Vol. 1 — The Sun, The Seed, and The Water

Owlegories Logos -- School house (300)

SPY HOUSE PRODUCTIONS, GUNDERSEN ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF OWLEGORIES™ VOL. 1 – THE SUN, THE SEED, AND THE WATER

THE ALL-NEW ANIMATED SERIES AND INTERACTIVE DIGITAL APP FOR KIDS DEBUTING OCTOBER 20th!

Adventures in Faith and Fun Take Flight As Kids Learn About Nature and God’s Word with the“Owl-Star” cast of Professor Owlester and His Students!

Episodes Include Special Messages from Dr. Tony Evans, Jen Wilkin and Matt Chandler

Owlegories Logos -- School house (300)

NEWS SOURCE: Hoganson Media

Spy House Productions and Gundersen Entertainment announce today the launch of Owlegories™, the brand new gospel-centered animated series and interactive digital app that teaches kids about God through the amazing things found in nature and revealed in God’s Word. With the highly anticipated series debut October 20th in both Christian and general market retail stores, Owlegories™ Vol. 1 – The Sun, The Seed, and The Water will be available at Walmart, Lifeway, Family Christian Stores, local Christian bookstores, online and more, through Capitol Christian Distribution.

 

Owlegories was created by husband and wife team Thomas and Julie Boto. The animated series was brought to life with the help of producer Chad Gundersen and co-writer/co-director Keith Alcorn, creator and executive producer of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and The Ant Bully. Owlegories follows a group of student owls as they travel on adventures learning about nature, faith and God. The premise, “You can tell a lot about an artist by what he creates,” is the basis for this series that explores the nature of God as the Creator of the Universe while sharing the faith-based message of creation inspired by the series’ banner verse, Psalm 19:1-4 (NIV) which says:

 

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

 

Following the success of the Owlegories first interactive storybook app created for families by the Boto family (Thomas, Julie and their four young sons), the Owlegories series features engaging storytelling, high quality animation and an “owl-star” cast of endearing characters, including Professor Owlester and student owls Violet, Gus, Joey, Nora and Twitch. Each lesson focuses on an element of nature that helps teach children about the characteristics of God and the truths found in His Word through the effective use of allegories, metaphors and analogies.

 

“My wife and I created Owlegories because we wanted a fun way to teach our kids about our great God and His amazing love for us,” shares Thomas Boto. “Our hope is that others can use the Owlegories episodes and our Owlegories apps as tools to teach family, friends, neighbors, classmates or the church body the wonderful truths of God’s Word and the good news of His saving grace. Creating Owlegories has been an incredible blessing, and I think the show and our apps reflect the fun we had in making it come to life.”

 

“Owlegories has been a dream project to be a part of,” reflects Producer Chad Gundersen. “As a believer with children in this age range, my wife and I are always looking for great cartoons and apps for them that are not just fun, but reflect God’s Word. When Tom brought this concept to me, I did not hesitate to partner with him and help make it a reality. Owlegories is not only a biblically sound teaching tool for parents, teachers and pastors, but is legitimately FUNNY and offers all of the wonderful things you need in a cartoon for children. That’s a rarity in this space.”

 

Keith Alcorn adds, “God has provided me with incredible blessings throughout my career, but Owlegories is, far and away, the greatest blessing of all. Working on a project that REALLY makes a difference in this world is an amazing feeling and responsibility. I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful project that both enriches children and helps them build a firm foundation with the Lord.”

 

Highlights from each episode include the opening Owlegories theme song—with lyrics by Julie Boto, Thomas Boto and award-winning film composer/producer Mark Menza and music by Mark Menza (Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Dragon Ball GT, Beet and Wishbone), pertinent Bible verse corresponding with each adventure, the “Owl Pledge” and a recap of the lesson, as well as the series key saying, “God loves you, and God loves me. He gives life to all we see.” Each episode is followed with a special message from a different Christian leader to help reinforce the lesson and further spread the gospel. Owlegories Vol. 1 features Dr. Tony Evans, Author/Blogger Jen Wilkin and Pastor Matt Chandler.

 

Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and Chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, who delivers a message about light and darkness for Episode 1 – The Sun, says, “Owlegories is a Christ-centered series that shines the light of Jesus into the lives of children and teaches them lifelong lessons built on God’s Word. This series introduces kids to the Creator of the Universe and encourages day-to-day fellowship with God.”

 

Jen Wilkin, author of Women of the Word, whose special commentary follows Episode 2 – The Seed notes, “What a creative and engaging way to share God’s Word with these young hearts! Owlegories not only provides a solid foundation for learning about God and the Bible, but does so in an age-appropriate way that children young and old can understand as their faith grows and bears fruit.”

 

The DVD synopsis for Owlegories Vol. 1 – The Sun, The Seed, and The Water follows:

 

Episode 1: The Sun: On the first day of class with their new teacher, the students take to the desert in search of a rare, ancient artifact. Following this mysterious tool through the desert, the owls begin to discover ways in which the sun is like God, and the students discuss the ways in which the Creator of the Universe can be known through his creation.

 

Episode 2: The Seed: While visiting Yellingstone National Park with Professor Owlester, the students are on a quest to discover what makes seeds grow. Following an exciting scavenger hunt and making use of some helpful seeds, the owls discover that their faith can grow when properly nourished and cared for, just like the seeds!

 

Episode 3: The Water: While on a quest to hunt down the foundation of life, the owls have to band together to discover this secret destination. And in so doing, they also learn about the ways in which God, the Creator of all things, is like water!

 

In addition to the Vol. 1 DVD series and interactive app, Owlegories TV may be downloaded as an app to any tablet or smartphone to watch the latest episodes. Kids can easily navigate to their favorite episodes and see previews of other available shows and upcoming episodes. Owlegories is ad free and safe for the whole family, so parents don’t have to worry about inappropriate content accidentally being viewed by little ones.

 

Furthermore, Owlegories will offer a fun, effective and interactive way to help young children memorize God’s Word with the release of the Owlegories Memory Verse app coming later this year. In the app, which features a number of different and silly voices, kids hear Bible verses as they try to catch the owls as they fly, run and jump around the screen. Kids can also play a memory verse scramble game to help learn the order of the verses and more.

Owlegories Image - Adventures in Sky (300)

 

About Owlegories Vol. 1 – The Sun, The Seed, and The Water:

Street Date: October 20, 2015

Not Rated—(52) minutes Color, Widescreen Version

DVD UPC Code(s) CBA/GM: 868189000101 $12.99 (through Capitol Christian Distribution)

 

About Owlegories:

Owlegories is a new animated series and interactive digital app that teaches kids about God through the amazing things found in nature and revealed in God’s Word. Thomas Boto and his wife Julie, with the help of their four young boys, are the creators of Owlegories and the original interactive storybook app on which the animated series is based. “You can tell a lot about an artist by what he creates” is the premise behind Owlegories. Taking inspiration from the series banner verse, Psalm 19:1-4, Owlegories addresses the important theme of creation and explores the nature of God as the Creator of the Universe through the use of allegories, metaphors and analogies. For all the latest information on Owlegories and the launch of Owlegories Vol. 1 – The Sun, The Seed, and The Water, go to http://www.owlegories.com/, https://www.facebook.com/Owlegories and https://twitter.com/Owlegories.

Scripture Snacks Kids “Fun Size, Vol. 1” To Release July 31, 2015

SHAE SHOC RECORDS PREPARES TO UNVEIL FIRST CHILDREN’S ALBUM, Fun Size, Vol. 1 BY SCRIPTURE SNACK KIDS
TO DEBUT JULY 31, 2015

Daughters to Critically Acclaimed Artist Beckah Shae, Grace & Joy Put Bible Verses in the Form of Song To Help Kids Memorize Scripture

scripture snacks

NEWS SOURCE: Sundari PR

Nashville, Tenn. (July 14, 2015) –This summer, Shae Shoc Records will release its first children’s album by Scripture Snack Kids titled Fun Size, Vol. 1 on July 31, 2015. Aimed to help kids memorize Bible scripture, the 20-track album features the vocal talents of Grace (6) & Joy (8), daughters to Dove Award Nominee Beckah Shae and famed producer Jack Shocklee.

Stemming from Shae Shoc Records’ previous Scripture Snack albums, which featured Beckah, the proud parents wanted to ignite their daughters’ gifts, while helping other kids their age grow in their relationship with God.

Scripture Snacks fills the gap by memorizing scriptures in the form of a song. Fun Size, Vol. 1 by Scripture Snacks Kids is an a cappella album, consisting of kids vocals along with critically acclaimed singer Beckah Shae and producer Jack Shocklee’s (tobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Montell Jordan) spin on pop driven melodies and low bass vocal percussion.  With 10 tracks breaking down various scriptures from “The Ten Commandments” to “Fruits of the Spirit”, the project also includes instrumental karaoke tracks to each song to put listeners memorization skills to the test.

“Our great privilege as parents is to encourage them to walk in truth and to leave a legacy of faith,” shares Beckah. “We wanted to teach our children that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and we know that it is necessary in the growing of their faith to hear the Word of God, to not just hide it in their hearts but to share it with the world!”

Fun Size, Vol. 1 will be available on iTunes ®, Amazon and other digital platforms and in select Christian retailers throughout the nation.

For additional information on Scripture Snacks Kids, please visit scripturesnack.com.
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Never Say No: 7 IDEAS FOR PARENTS (Leaders of Kids)

Mark & Jan Foreman - Never Say No cover art

Never Say No

7 IDEAS FOR PARENTS (Leaders of Kids)

BY MARK AND JAN FOREMAN, parents of Jon and Tim Foreman and authors of new book Never say No: Raising Big Picture Kids

 MarkandJanForeman2-byJenniPalmer

At a local cafe with a half dozen young leaders, Mark Foreman was recently asked, “Give us one nugget of parenting advice before you go.” “Okay,” he responded, “Try out this one: Never say no.” The room erupted with laughter, as the dad looking for help reacted, “You are kidding right? That’s all I ever say–and my son needs one thousand more no’s.”

 

“No I’m not kidding,” Mark quietly responded. “Never say no to all the dreams and creative ideas your children have. Never say no to the realization you can become different than your mom or dad. Especially never say no to their requests to join them, like playing dress up with your little girl or going surfing with your teenager when the weather’s cold and windy. If you say no too often they’ll stop asking.”

 

A week later that concerned dad tracked Mark down to say he had taken that advice and his home life had dramatically turned around. He said, “My son is suddenly easy to get along with just because I started saying yes to some things he wanted to do together. I’m not kidding,” he said with a big grin, “the change is dramatic.” As he walked away, he turned and pointed to Mark saying, “It’s hard, but never say no!”

 

No is a commanding word. It can be a denial, rejection, an expression of fear or an unintended statement of worth. But a thousand no’s can be dwarfed by the power of one yes. No is a brake while yes is an accelerator pedal. We say yes to the stuff and people we value. Here are 7 ways parents can say yes to their kids.

 

1)         Yes to a Greater Story: Help kids see past themselves, connecting them to God’s big picture of redemption. Beyond the obvious but small goals of safety, health, happiness, even success, we are raising children with this surpassing privilege: to reflect God’s loving face to others.

 

2)         Yes to being an Example: Children are hard-wired to copy us; this is both good news and bad. The power of our lives is the most immediate way to shape our kids. Raising children includes raising ourselves to become who we want to be.

 

3)         Say Yes to Time: Children spell love T-I-M-E. It’s the currency of all relationships. Large deposits left early in lives will reap generous rewards later. It reverses Harry Chapin’s song, Cat’s In the Cradle.

 

4)         Say Yes to Delight: Children see themselves through their parent’s eyes, discovering their worth by reading our faces. Beyond loving our kids, it’s equally vital to really like them, enjoying who they uniquely are. Children who bask in these smiles of appreciation will pay it forward to genuinely enjoying others and being comfortable in their own skin.

 

5)         Say Yes to Mess: All children are Michelangelo’s looking for a canvas. They come equipped with curiosity and innovation as part of the image of God package. This creativity grows best when we stretch their imaginations in a batteries-not-included environment, allowing them to explore and experiment.

 

6)         Say Yes to Being Naturally Supernatural: Help kids find God in ordinary moments. The Shema in Deut. 6:4-8 tells parents to look for God-clues throughout the day. We can communicate more theology in a family dance party or telling stories around a campfire than sitting stiffly for an hour.

 

7)         Say Yes to Letting Go: Maturity happens in baby steps: from crawling to walking, training wheels to two wheels, dating to marriage. Three ingredients that work together are essential for this process: increased freedom, risk, and responsibility. As we lean into this gradual increase of our kids’ freedom and (gasp) risk, we will hopefully see a corresponding growth in their response-ability. It’s helpful to remember our destination: raising kids who say yes to God’s extraordinary plans for their lives.

 

Every parent, child and family is a fascinating original, experiencing God’s fingerprints in unique ways. So one final yes is to grace. As we imperfectly guide young humans to find their place in God’s epic, we all need buckets of God’s unearned love. Raising children is the most humbling and exhilarating privilege on earth. Here’s to saying yes!

 

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Mark & Jan Foreman - Never Say No cover art

Duck Commander Cruise’s “Kids Cruise Free” February Promotion Offers Third and Fourth Guests Free Cabin Fare

duck commander cruise

Duck Commander Cruise’s “Kids Cruise Free” February Promotion Offers Third and Fourth Guests Free Cabin Fare

Musicians Ricky Skaggs and Lee Greenwood join cruise lineup

duck commander cruise

SOURCE: The M Collective

Nashville, Tenn. (February 17, 2015) — Come October, fans will get the chance to set sail on the Duck Commander Cruise to the Bahamas with their favorite stars from Duck Dynasty, and with a “Kids Cruise Free” promotion this month, February may be the perfect time to book the trip.

The promotion gives two passengers of any age free cabin fare when they book a shared room with two paying customers. This could save guests up to $1,000 per room with the third and fourth passengers only paying taxes, gratuities and port fees. The promotion ends February 28. Click here for more information.

The cruise will feature Robertson family members such as Phil, Si, Miss Kay, Jep, Jessica, Alan and Lisa as well as Justin Martin and John Godwin. This trip will provide guests with the unique opportunity to hear exclusive “behind-the-scenes” stories from the cast while enjoying a relaxing PREMIER cruise aboard a Carnival Victory ship. 

GRAMMY®-winner Ricky Skaggs and “God Bless The USA” writer Lee Greenwood were recently announced as entertainment for the cruise, along with Comedian Heath Arthur. 

The Duck Commander Cruise will depart from Miami and sail to Nassau and Freeport, Bahamas while giving guests the chance to interact and play a variety of games with the “Duck Dynasty” cast. Events include Miss Kay’s cooking show, Phil preaching, games with Si, marriage classes with Al and Lisa, and more.

Booking for the cruise is now open, and the “Kids Cruise Free” promotion runs through the end of February. To reserve your spot aboard the Duck Commander Cruise or to learn more, visit duckcommandercruise.com.

kids cruise free
About The Robertsons
It would be hard to find more humble beginnings than you’ll see in the early days of The Duck Commander. From teaching his little sons how to dip homemade duck calls into a 5-gallon bucket of polyurethane to getting shown the door in a sporting goods store in Stuttgart, Arkansas – the capital of duck hunting – Phil Robertson’s story is an American story. It’s a story of one family, blessed with friends and fellow believers who took the initiative to trust their patriarch’s instincts about what people want in a duck call. Today, the Robertson family members star in the popular A&E series, “Duck Dynasty,” and they sell their duck calls worldwide. Still based in West Monroe, Louisiana, the family also travels the world, telling their story of being superbly blessed by the Almighty in their quest to share their enjoyment of an outdoor life.


About PREMIER Vacation and Events

PREMIER Vacation and Events has been responsible for producing unique, family-friendly vacations for over eleven years. They have an incredible repertoire of events, including the K-LOVE Cruise, Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise, Music Boat, Girls Getaway, Illuminate Vacation, and the Duck Commander Cruise. From branded events to corporate getaways, PREMIER is leading the industry in innovative vacation events.

Heritage Builders to Publish “Dozi the Alligator” Children’s Series from Award-Winning Cartoonist Daniel Boris

Heritage Builders to Publish “Dozi the Alligator” Children’s Series from Award-Winning Cartoonist Daniel Boris

Dozi

SOURCE: Nashville PR
(CLOVIS, California)
— Heritage Builders Publishing has announced that it will publish the “Dozi the Alligator” children’s series by award-winning cartoonist Daniel Boris. The first book in the series, “Dozi the Alligator Finds a Family,” will be released on March 15, 2015.

This entertaining children’s book series revolves around an irrepressible alligator named Dozi. Early volumes take young readers through the adventures of how a little gator from the wilds of the American south comes to live with a family in a big city. Each volume expands on the fun and very unlikely friendship between Dozi and a boy named Byron.

In “Dozi the Alligator Finds a Family,” the lovable little alligator observes wondrous colorful lights over a distant Florida amusement park, and his curiosity gets the best of him. He heads off to discover the strange and fascinating new world of humans. While hiding inside the popular theme park, Dozi makes the decision to stow away with an unsuspecting family. During the long, overnight drive back home to the city, Dozi befriends 9-year-old Byron Hoxwinder. When the family arrives at their home, only Byron knows that they have brought Dozi home with them.

Educators around the country are already falling in love with Dozi:

“Children will delight in the melodic rhythm of this story as the adorable main character stretches their imagination and touches their hearts. A refreshing, charming tale with enduring appeal for all ages.”
– Melissa DiGennaro King, Ph.D. in Education, Charlottesville, VA

“This is awesome! I love the rhyming, as it will definitely capture the attention of younger kids and love the language to keep the older kids engaged as well!”
-Kristen Kinney-Haines, EdD, Learning Specialist, Washington, DC

“I absolutely love Dozi! I read thousands of books and really believe Dozi the Alligator is a winner! Great rhythm, use of figurative language, humor and suspense and wonderful picture support!”
– Marla Conn, Reading/Literacy Specialist and Education Consultant, St. Louis, MO

About the Author:
A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Daniel Boris is an accomplished visual artist with more than 20 years of experience in design, illustration, and animation. Daniel is also a syndicated cartoonist, and his comic strip “Hoxwinder Hall” is seen in newspapers across the United States and Canada. In 2010, “Hoxwinder Hall” was chosen as a top 5 finalist by a distinguished panel of judges and the voting public in the Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Cartoonist” contest. His artwork currently appears in numerous books and publications, including the 2013 Eisner and Harvey award-nominated book, “Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s” (Andrews McMeel Publishing). He currently resides in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, two children, and a mutt named Stetson. For more information about Daniel Boris, visit http://danielboris.wix.com/danielboris and http://danielboris.blogspot.com/.

About the Illustrator:
Nicola Sammarco is an artist and studied animation at the Nemo NT Academy for Digital Arts in Florence, Italy, and is also a comic artist, illustrator and 2D animator. Nicola resides in Taranto, Puglia, Italy, where she works for the Walt Disney Company Italy as a layout artist.

About Heritage Builders Publishing:
Heritage Builders Publishing was launched in 2009 with a mission of publishing Christian books geared to help the family. Heritage Builders’ current titles include the Serendipity series from best-selling Children’s book author Stephen Cosgrove, “The Legend of George Jones” from Charlene and Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, Grammy winner Rick Hall’s autobiography, “The Man from Muscle Shoals,” “Grandpa Pitched for the Cubs” by Liberty University co-founder Dr. Elmer Towns, and the best-selling “Family Nights Tool Chest,” first introduced by Focus on the Family in the late 1990’s. For more information about Heritage Builders Publishing, visit www.heritagebuilders.com.

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Heritage Builders Publishing to Help Kids Deal with Bullies, Body Functions and More with the “Embarrassing to the Max” Book Series

Heritage Builders Publishing to Help Kids Deal with Bullies, Body Functions and More with the “Embarrassing to the Max” Book Series

Award-winning illustrator Scott Nelson’’s “My Tummy Disaster” to be released May 15th
tummy disaster

SOURCE: Nashville PR
(CLOVIS, California)
— Heritage Builders Publishing has announced that it will publish the “Embarrassing to the Max” children’s series by award-winning illustrator Scott Nelson. The first book in the series, “Dozi the Alligator Finds a Family,” will be released on March 15, 2015.

Everyone has to deal with embarrassing moments at some point in their lives. To children though these moments may shape how they’re perceived for years to come. From bullying situations to lack of confidence, the ramifications of a bad day at school, on the field or even in the home can have profound consequences.

The Embarrassing to the Max series showcases awkward body function stories and tries to help young readers see that subjects such as pants wetting, nose picking and throwing up happen to everyone at some point in their lives.

In “My Tummy Disaster,” our main hero loses his breakfast as the class chorus sings “My Country Tis of Thee.” Will concealing the mess with a Tuba be enough or will the “Crazy Barfing Kid” now need to skip school forever? The readers will be surprised when they see who the class actually roots for.

This book, the first of a multi-volume series, uses humor to show kids how to avoid feeling shame and humiliation for natural acts that happen to all of us some time or another. The self-confidence gained is a natural defense against verbal bullying.

“My Tummy Disaster” addresses embarrassing moments and bullying through humor, creating a valuable learning experience for young readers and their parents alike.

About the Author & Illustrator:
Scott Nelson has been a full-time freelance illustrator, cartoonist and author since 1987 working with notable greeting card companies such as American Greeting, Hallmark and Golden Books for Children. Along with coaching soccer teams and teaching art in the public school system, he’s illustrated nine books and won the Mom’s Choice Award in 2006. He lives in Milbury, MA.

About Heritage Builders Publishing:
Heritage Builders Publishing was launched in 2009 with a mission of publishing Christian books geared to help the family. Heritage Builders’ current titles include the Serendipity series from best-selling Children’s book author Stephen Cosgrove, “The Legend of George Jones” from Charlene and Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery, Grammy winner Rick Hall’s autobiography, “The Man from Muscle Shoals,” “Grandpa Pitched for the Cubs” by Liberty University co-founder Dr. Elmer Towns, and the best-selling “Family Nights Tool Chest,” first introduced by Focus on the Family in the late 1990’s. For more information about Heritage Builders Publishing, visit www.heritagebuilders.com.

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