We’re still here!

We’re still here! If anyone still follows LJF, you’ll notice a look change. I’ve moved the site to wordpress.com to be easier for updating and such. Hopefully you’ll actually hear more from us now. (Don’t get your hopes up though ;) )

It’s been a crazy year. Will is now 4, and while things were nutty during the infancy months, things seem even more hectic now that the boy continues to grow as a preschooler!

Christmas was a blast. It was the first year he’s asked for specific toys — and in this case, it was the Bewilderbeast from How To Train Your Dragon 2 — and even though he exhibited the human nature of “More! More! More!” Christmas morning, we’re working on the gratitude thing ;)

Amy and I each took Will out at different times to have him help us pick out items for him to give us. Sadly, on Christmas morning, all he did was want to open anything with his name on it. And with a look of delirium in his eye, he just couldn’t understand the idea that a present that says “From Will” wasn’t actually FOR him… even if he’d helped pick it out for us. (Next year, I’ll have him be a part of wrapping it and maybe we’ll use exclusive paper for his gifts to us). I ended up opening all of the gifts he and Amy picked out for me quietly while he harassed his little cousin. Oh well… next year perhaps!

Onward to 2015! I shall leave you with an image of Will’s prize toy of the Christmas 2014 season… the Bewilderbeast (and mini Toothless). It’s pretty sweet, I must add. It reminds me of the big Inhumanoids beasts we had as kids — or the original Rancor! (Which I was blessed to have owned. ha). :)


Dr. James Dobson's Best Advice to Families for the Next 200 years




Global Simulcast of Lead Film Oct. 1-5,

Series in Stores Now



WHAT: Capping a decades-long career of equipping parents to raise godly families, Dr. James Dobson’s BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY—an eight-DVD series that combines his updated classic Focus on the Family videos with four new films from Dr. Dobson and his son, Ryan—debuts Sept 30. YOUR LEGACY—one of the new films that equips parents and grandparents to build a lasting legacy of faith in their families—premieres in a worldwide simulcast in thousands of churches Oct. 1-5.

A personal story of faith, YOUR LEGACY traces Dr. Dobson’s own family history to show what a tremendous difference praying families can make. It is an inspiring look back . . . and forward. Dr. Dobson’s great-grandfather started daily prayers over a century ago that the next four generations of his family would be Christians. YOUR LEGACY explores the breathtaking implications of intentionally giving your children a heritage of faith.

“It’s harder now to raise kids than it’s ever been because the culture is at war with families,” Dr. Dobson said. “I feel BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY contains the most important message of my career. There is nothing more important than parents passing on a generational legacy of faith and values to their children.”

BACKGROUND: More than 80 million people—a third of the U.S. population at the time—saw the original Focus on the Family films that shaped the way a generation viewed family and parenting. In 2008, Ryan Dobson found those films gathering dust and convinced his father that today’s generation of young parents needs Dr. Dobson’s timeless insight more than ever.

The result? The BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY DVDs with four classic films and four new films. The DVDs and simulcast are supported by new books from Dr. Dobson, Your Legacy, and Ryan, Wanting to Believe; by the updating and reissue of classic Dobson works such as Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child; and by a new series of study guides for the books and films.

Author of more than 40 books—including groundbreaking titles such as Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child, Dr. James Dobson is the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of godly families. He currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a nonprofit ministry and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his doctorate in child development from USC.

Ryan Dobson is a best-selling author, speaker and broadcast personality who calls people out of moral relativism and into “the ultimate adventure” of following Christ. He is vice president of broadcasting at Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk and serves as associate producer of the BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY film series.

WHEN/WHERE: BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY DVDs are available wherever Christian resources are sold.

The church and on demand simulcast of the first film in the series—airing Oct. 1-5—is free.

Register and find simulcast locations at BuildingAFamilyLegacy.com.


  • Your Legacy
  • Bringing up Boys
  • Bringing up Girls
  • Love For A Lifetime
  • The Strong-Willed Child
  • Dare To Discipline
  • Straight Talk To Men
  • Wanting To Believe with Ryan Dobson

For more information, visit:

Yancy Extends Partnership with Standard Publishing for 2015 Vacation Bible School

Yancy Goes Bilingual with Little Praise Party App, Extends Partnership with Standard Publishing for 2015 Vacation Bible School
yancy Jesus

SOURCE: Nashville PR
(NASHVILLE, Tennessee)
— Yancy’s popular Little Praise Party app is getting a bilingual upgrade with the addition of songs from her new Spanish-language children’s album, Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza! The free app, available for iOS and Android, is a wonderful resource for praise sing-along fun on the go.

For the very first time this month, Yancy’s Little Praise Party app is featuring a song in Spanish, with plans to feature songs in both English and Spanish every month going forward.

“This is not just for the Spanish-speaking world,” says Yancy. “I believe that this will be a great tool for kids to learn Spanish by hearing and singing along in both languages. We have so many app users that are homeschoolers or involved in secondary education, and this will be a great fit!”

Expanding beyond her English fan base, Yancy’s Pequeña Fiesta de Alabanza! takes some of the most popular songs from her Little Praise Party series and translates them into Spanish. The result is a fun collection of 15 songs that will warm the hearts of kids and their parents too – thanks in part to appearances by hit makers Jaci Velasquez and Nic Gonzales (Salvador).

The CD/DVD set, which also features animated music videos (one for each song!) that are sure to capture the imagination of children, is available now online and in Christian bookstores everywhere via Elevate Entertainment and Syntax Distribution.

In addition to her new album release, and heavy touring, Yancy is continuing her partnership with Standard Publishing. As in previous years, Yancy has created eight brand-new songs and music videos for Standard Publishing’s 2015 Vacation Bible School program, Bible Blast to the Past – discovering God’s everlasting love – featuring Yancy’s jam-worthy worship music and kid-relevant missions moments from Beth Guckenberger and Back2Back Ministries. To get a first glimpse of the 2015 VBS theme and hear a few song clips, visit www.2015.vacationbibleschool.com.

For more than a decade, Yancy has released radio-friendly pop/rock albums and multiple projects for kids and young adults, all while sharing the stage with such artists as Michael W. Smith, Newsboys, Mute Math and Nichole Nordeman. As a writer, Yancy has teamed up with Third Day’s Mac Powell, wrote Avalon’s #1 hit “I Don’t Want To Go” and Jaci Velasquez’s “Something Beautiful,” among others.

For more information, visit www.yancynotnancy.com.

Heritage Builders Publishing Acquires World-Wide Publishing Rights to Stephen Cosgrove’s Best-Selling ‘Serendipity’ Children’s Book Series

Heritage Builders Publishing Acquires World-Wide Publishing Rights to Stephen Cosgrove’s Best-Selling ‘Serendipity’ Children’s Book Series

SOURCE: Nashville PR

(CLOVIS, California) — Heritage Builders Publishing has acquired the world-wide publishing rights to the seventy-two Serendipity children’s books series after extensive negotiations between Stephen Cosgrove, author of the series, and several other bidding publishers. To date, the Serendipity Series has sold over 80 million copies.

The Serendipity Series, written by Stephen Cosgrove, of Austin, Texas and illustrated by Robin James, a Seattle native, has been out of print for a number of years. Heritage Builders Publishing will release sixteen re-designed titles for the fall of 2014 and another eight titles in the spring of 2015 utilizing the distribution and fulfillment services of Pacific Group West/Perseus, Inc.

About Stephen Cosgrove:
Stephen Cosgrove is one of the best-selling children’s book authors of all time. His writing career began in 1973 when, while shopping at bookstores for his three-year-old daughter, he was frustrated by the lack of fun-to-read picture books that also convey positive values. Consequently, he decided to write his own stories.

About Heritage Builders Publishing:
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Sherman Smith, Heritage Builders Publishing’s list of high-profile book releases includes Stephen Cosgrove’s best-selling Serendipity Series, music legend and Grammy Trustees Award winner Rick Hall’s The Man from Muscle Shoals and Charlene and Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery’s The Legend of George Jones, an intimate look at the life of their best friend of thirty years.

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Renowned Speaker and Author says a "Revolution" is needed in America's Schools

Renowned Speaker and Author says a “Revolution” is needed in America’s Schools

 bob lenz

For Immediate Release − Renowned international speaker and author, Bob Lenz, is releasing his latest book entitled Dignity Revolution: Standing up for the Value of Every Person , co-authored with award-winning educator, Deborah Tackmann. Dignity Revolution is a culmination of Lenz’ three decades of leading assemblies in over 3000 public schools on the issues of bullying, self-harm, suicide and substance abuse. Since 1982, Lenz has reached an estimated four million youth in the U.S. and around the world. Lenz says he hopes the book will begin a national movement among middle and high school students.

“If this book does one thing, I hope it will teach people how to stop judging others by how they look or what they can or cannot do, but instead, see each individual as someone that needs love and deserves respect,” says Lenz. “I grew up with two siblings who had special needs and I came to understand the worth and value of every single human being early on.  Our society measures worth on what people can do, and as a result, we have become more human ‘doings’ than human beings.  It seems today’s culture is so wrapped up in issues and agendas.  I always say ‘it is not an argument to be won, it is a person to be loved.’”

Indeed, Dignity Revolution challenges a societal system which Lenz says simply is not working, and consequently is leading to intensified bullying incidences, suicide, and school violence. “What we need to deal with are the issues beneath the issues,” says Lenz. “We live in a pluralistic society and we need to learn to handle conflicts and find resolutions. We can start by taking away the affects of bullying by empowering the victims, letting each student know that they do not deserve to be picked on
or ridiculed. If a bully cannot get the reaction they want, that shuts them down. Second, we need to love the bullies enough to report them to the appropriate authorities. This is the role of love – to be strength under control and to serve someone else. And bullies need to feel and experience consequences in order to change.  You do not truly love someone if you condone or enable their bad behavior.”

The book includes a pledge that students can take, as well as a 21-day challenge that Lenz hopes will begin to change the hearts and minds of kids, and thereby, change the social culture in schools across the nation. “I tell kids not to let their pain, past or problem, take away their value,” Lenz continues. “I tear up a five dollar bill in front of them and then piece it back together, showing them that even though it has been broken, it will still be accepted as currency; it still has value.  And no matter what they have gone through, they also have worth and every person they meet has value. If we
can learn to respect people who are different from us or who may not think like us, we can change this generation for the better.”

For Dignity Revolution, Lenz teamed with Deborah Tackmann, B.S., M.E.P.D., a health education instructor, consultant and author in the Eau Claire Area School District in Wisconsin.  She was selected as one of the top teachers in the nation by USA Today, was awarded National Education Professional of the Year by ASHA and AAHE, and is a Disney Teacher Award recipient.

Lenz is founder and president of Life Promotions, a non-profit organization that also birthed the annual Lifest event which hosts over 20,000 people for a time of music and teaching in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Lenz has worked with numerous national organizations including MADD, Boys and Girls Clubs, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Youth Encounter, Young Life, NFL Chaplains, among many others. He has headlined tours with Grammy-nominated band, The Newsboys, and been the featured speaker at
numerous festivals including AtlantaFest, Creation, Rock the Desert, and many others.

For more information on Dignity Revolution, visit http://www.dignityrevolutionpledge.com.  For more information on Bob Lenz, visit http://www.LifePromotions.com.


Syntax Creative Welcomes Standard Publishing

Syntax Creative Welcomes Standard Publishing

High Quality Children’s Music Available Digitally For The First Time Ever

jungle safari

SOURCE: Syntax Creative

San Diego, CA – May 13 2014—Standard Publishing—publishers of children’s music for decades—has signed a digital distribution deal with Syntax Creative in good timing before the summer launch of “Jungle Safari” curriculum, a Vacation Bible School curriculum used across the country.

Churches around the world use Standard Publishing’s resources to inspire, educate and motivate their communities. One of Standard’s most popular resources is their VBS curriculum, which includes original, inspiring music from award-winning recording artist Yancy.

“Standard Publishing is passionate about helping kids know God and music is a great way to connect with them,” says Lindsay Black, Associate Publisher at Standard Publishing. “We’re excited to partner with Syntax to provide another opportunity for kids and leaders to discover Yancy’s music.”

Syntax Creative CEO Tim Trudeau says, “Year after year, Standard Publishing consistently puts out high quality and engaging curriculum. I’m excited to work with them and, for the first time ever, offer their music to the digital marketplace.”

This year, Yancy created eight, new songs to go along with the “Jungle Safari” VBS resource, which are available now for pre-order at iTunes now. And, now these biblically-based songs will be available to the public to use during VBS and all-year long. Additionally, Yancy’s music from previous VBS packages will be made available through digital services providers as well.

Black adds, “We are thrilled with the new songs for this year’s summer children’s programming and we are confident they will make a great addition for children’s worship time at any church.”

“No longer will people only be able to only hear the music if they buy the curriculum, but they will now also be able to purchase or stream the music as a stand-alone—both in advance and long after VBS season is over,” adds Trudeau. “Normally it would cost money to market a product; in this case—and with our help—Standard Publishing will be expanding their reach and their message at the same time!”

Yancy has released several high-quality albums and multiple projects for kids and young adults alike, all while sharing the stage with such artists as Mutemath, Newsboys and Nichole Nordeman. As a writer, Yancy has teamed up with Third Day’s Mac Powell to write Avalon’s #1 hit “I Don’t Want To Go” and Jaci Velasquez’s “Something Beautiful,” among others. To learn more, visit:www.yancynotnancy.com.

Standard Publishing has served Christian churches worldwide for nearly 150 years as a leader in children’s and adult resources. Whether educating children, teens or adults, you will find their products true to the Bible—a promise kept for more than a century. To learn more, visit: www.standardpub.com.

Syntax Creative, based in San Diego, California, is one of the top independent digital distributors, design firms and marketing agencies that represents more than 100 content creators. Their clientele includes Central South, Answers In Genesis, Pinecastle Records, Crossroads Music, Canon Press, Humble Beast, among others. To learn more, visit: www.syntaxcreative.com.

Landmark New DVD Series from Dr. James Dobson BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY

building a family legacy




New DVD Series From America’s Family Advocate

Is the Best Advice in Generations

COLORADO SPRINGS – May 12, 2014 – Since the release of his first book, Dare to Discipline, in 1970, Dr. James Dobson, America’s best-loved family expert, gently yet convincingly overhauled the way a generation raised kids. Now, in a new DVD series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY, today’s parents again have the essentials to build lasting love, raise strong children and create an enduring legacy.

“Unchanging biblical principles change who we are, and we can pass that to our children, grandchildren and beyond,” Dr. Dobson says. “BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY can help every generation be all a family can be.”

Building on highlights from his historic first film series, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY adds new footage from Dobson’s lifetime of experience and learning. Eight DVDs—supported by books and study guides—bring rare intergenerational advice from Dr. Dobson; his wife, Shirley; daughter, Danae; and son, Ryan:

  • Your Legacy
  • Bringing up Boys
  • Bringing up Girls
  • Love For A Lifetime
  • The Strong-Willed Child
  • Dare To Discipline
  • Straight Talk To Men
  • Wanting To Believe with Ryan Dobson
  • Plus bonus features

Behind the BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY story is a family legacy story. More than a century ago, a chain of events dramatized in YOUR LEGACY, followed Dr. Dobson’s great-grandfather’s conviction to consistently plead with God for a strong Christian faith to be born in every member of his family for the next four generations.

In the late 1970s as his speaking and travel schedule exploded across the country, Dr. Dobson was left with too little time for his own family.  The solution: Record his lectures on seven films.  The title: Focus on the Family. The surprise: The series hit a nerve worldwide. Audience numbers—mostly in church showings (pre-DVD!)—soared past 80 million. Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child became household items.

Flash forward to a few years ago as Ryan Dobson, now a parent, finds the old films on DVD. “The first thing I did was laugh at my dad’s glasses and clothes, but I realized quickly how valuable and timeless this information was,” Ryan said. “I picked up the phone and said, ‘Dad, my friends and I need this!’”

Why not reprise? Why not take the best of Dobson speaking when he had young children . . . and add contemporary Dobson wisdom as he caps a remarkable career in Christian family counseling. In eight separate presentations, film crews captured the magic. The result is must-have on then-and-now parenting insight.

In BRINGING UP GIRLS, for example, grown-up Danae Dobson, the original “strong-willed child,” looks back with the father who raised her.

“For anyone in the midst of raising a girl, here are important steps to building a woman of strength and character,” Danae said.

Produced and directed by David Nixon, BUILDING A FAMILY LEGACY is available on DVD in October at leading Christian retailers and online. A simulcast, also available worldwide in churches across America, from October 1-5, introduces the series to a million people. New books, study guides and re-releases of many of Dr. Dobson’s classic titles support this milestone work in his legendary ministry.

“I’m at a place where I could have just retired,” Dr. Dobson said. “But God told me the job’s not finished.”


Author of more than 40 books, Dr. Dobson currently heads Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk, a ministry and radio program. For 14 years, he was an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and was on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He earned his doctorate in child development from USC. He founded and is chair emeritus of Focus on the Family.

For more information, visit:

When We Just Have To Say "No"

As a parent, I’ve learned that one of my favorite things to do is to give our son gifts. If he likes something, I really enjoy getting him little gifts or toys related to that subject. It’s just fun for both of us. Since he’s been born, apparently that’s a favorite pastime of our parents too, as Will has acquired many toys and fun stuff since he was born. (And we are being buried alive in them, but that’s another story).

So, I got a text from my wife Amy today who took Will to the mall for a hair cut. She had promised to take him to a pet store to see the fish tanks in which one of them has a tank ornament that is a jellyfish. It just so happens that our little 3-and-a-half-year-old is a big fan of jellyfish and almost anything else aquatic. Up until this visit, that particular tank ornament was not for sale.

But now it is.

Amy’s text asked me if she can get it for Will because he really, really wants it. She adds that it’s $20. My first reaction is that we usually just get him what he wants if it’s cool and harmless and inexpensive. (And honestly, I’ve blown $20 plenty of times on, um… “office desk ornaments”.) But we’ve been broke-as-a-joke lately, so I just came out with a flat “No” first.

She then sends me this photo:

imageSure, that looks kinda cool, but… is it really suitable for a 3 year old to play with? And how durable is it outside of a fish tank? And he actually already has a plush jellyfish… So I stuck to my guns and said no again.

I get another text from her. It’s this photo:

image2With the caption “Poor thing… I wish you were here.” (The photo still wrenches my heart even as I type this)

And she had a good point. It’s one thing to say “no” over text message and another to tell the child to their face. It wasn’t easy for me to do, but between the two of us, it was easier for me to not have to actually deal with a sad little cutie face. I tried to bargain with him through her, telling her to tell him I recently got him a new little [cheaper] LEGO spaceship for us all to play together (which he wanted for us to do recently), and Amy bravely left the mall without the fishy figurine.

When I saw him later, he begged me to go to the store to buy it for him, but I told him it’s too expensive and he already has jellyfish (and tons of other fun stuff) to play with. He has since mostly let it go, and… guess what… we’re all still alive!

I’m sure God can relate to us being persistent and stubborn children who ask for things and expect to always get our way, but while it wouldn’t have killed us to buy that item for him, I just felt like it was a lot of money to spend on something that he didn’t NEED, wasn’t even really a toy, and we really shouldn’t be spending money on at the moment (and, without it, live does go on, the Earth still spins, Oreos still taste delicious, etc). Plus I do think it’s important to not just get our children EVERYthing they want just because they want it. It can’t be healthy.

But I’ll tell ya this… it’s a super hard thing to do and I do wish, as a parent, we could give them all the desires of their little hearts. But God knows that’s just not always the best or even right thing.

Legendary CCM Artist Steve Green Releases "Hide The Word: Bible Songs for Kids"



 Project Features Bible’s Most Beloved Scriptures Set To Music

steve green kids

SOURCE: McCain & Co. PR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 6, 2014) –
Steve Green Ministries has announced the release of Hide The Word: Bible Songs for Kids, the latest children’s music project from multiple Grammy Award-nominated and Dove Award-winning CCM recording artist Steve Green.


Hide The Word, the recording artist’s ninth kids project, is aimed at bringing Scripture into children’s lives through music. The new project is designed to help make memorizing God’s Word a part of everyday life.


Green wrote the music and adapted the Bible verses for all 15 tracks on Hide The Word, using some of the Bible’s most precious promises, including John 3:16-17 (“For God so loved the world….”), Psalm 119:105 (“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet….”), John 14:6 (“I am the way, the truth and the life….”), Matthew 11:28-29a (“Come to me all you are weary and burdened and I will give you rest….”), and Psalm 23:1-3 (“The Lord is my shepherd….”). Steve Green and his brother and manager, David Green, served as Executive Producers, with Dick Tunney as Producer.

In addition to featuring Green on lead vocals, the CD also features a children’s choir with individual kids quoting the verses. Green’s granddaughter, Addy, made her recording debut on the project as well.


“There is nothing more powerful or lasting than God’s Word!” says Green. “In the Scriptures, God has told us all we need to know for life and godliness. These Bible Promises set to music remind us who God is and what He has done for us. What’s more, the songs are just plain fun!”


Green, whose breakout 1985 album He Holds The Key, earned the vocalist that year’s Dove Award for Male Vocalist of Year, began releasing children’s recordings simultaneously with his CCM projects with Hide ‘Em In Your Heart Worship in 1998 and Hide ‘Em In Your Heart: Bible Memory Melodies, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in 2003.  Among his children’s projects are three volumes of The Adventures of Prayer Bear, released on VHS by Capitol Christian Music Group.

Hide The Word is available online at www.stevegreenministries.org, iTunes and Amazon, and at all Steve Green live events.


For more info about Hide The Word and Steve Green, visit www.stevegreenministries.org.