Tag Archives: Bible

Train Up Your Children

Train up your children

Holy snap, the verse you know & love doesn’t exist

I love having friends who are brilliant.  In fact, anyone who knows the story behind my wife and I falling in love and getting married knows that it all began because I wanted to marry someone smarter than I am (and… it helped that she is smokin’ hot).

So, I was sitting down for dinner with one of our brilliant friends the other night when she dropped a bomb on my world.  It went something like this:

Laura: Hey, you know that verse about training up your child in the way he should go?

Me: Yup.

Laura: That’s not in the Bible.

Me: *confused silence*

Seriously – it was like a bomb went off in the room.  When I asked her, in a stumbled and broken sentence, what in the world she meant, she went on to explain that the verse is a bit confusing in the original language and that the KJV translators sort of guessed at what the verse said.  And… most every translation afterward has made the same guess!

The verse is more likely to be a warning about how, if you let your child choose their own path, they’ll continue on that path when they’re an adult.  This makes total sense… but I’m seriously wrestling with how many people have taken this verse as a promise (which is a bit silly because it’s a Proverb, not a Promise) and how to best point them in the right direction.

Rather than go any further, I’m going to link to a post that explains all of this better than I could.  My brilliant friend, Laura Ziesel, wrote a post on the subject here:

Not sure you want to click over?   Let me tease you with this:

I hate to be the one to break the news to everyone, but Bible translation has failed miserably in regard to Proverbs 22:6 and we have all been duped. 
Okay, now hold on. I hear you groaning already: “Oh great, she’s going to tell us what the Hebrew really says, as if the Hebrew is clear. Pulease.” I get it. I really do. If Scripture were clear, many scholars and pastors would be out of work.
So, I’m not going to pretend as if the Hebrew is clear here because it’s not. But I (via my awesome professor and a little independent verification) can tell you what Proverbs 22:6 doesn’t say. Ready?
Laura blogs over at – a great way to break the news to the parents in your ministry is to post a link to her article on Facebook… just a suggestion.
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Kidmin, Thoughts


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Top 10 Children’s Ministry Resources: #3 Jesus Storybook Bible

For years, I’ve wanted a Bible that could fill the gap between a board book like Baby Bible Stories about Jesus and a chapter and verse Bible like The Adventure Bible for Young Readers, NIrV.

With the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd-Jones has not only created a book to fill that gap… she’s written my favorite book ever.

Here’s the story of how God created Adam and Eve, as told by Sally:

I’m at a point now where I can’t read the creation story without thinking of it as a love story.  Thank you, Sally Lloyd-Jones.

When I have parents come up to me and ask for a Bible recommendation, I almost always put the JSBB in their hands.  I preface it with a statement that goes something like this: This retelling of scripture won’t teach your kids Bible verses to remember… instead, it will weave the story of Jesus into the nooks and crannies of the narrative of God’s Word.  This is the best story time Bible I’ve found.

It’s hard for me to not rank this #1 on my list… but the next two have radically changed the way I think about Children’s Ministry.


Posted by on August 8, 2009 in Book Review, Kidmin, Resources


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Sabbath, in 140 Characters or less

This weekend, our Pastor of Family Life and Evangelism, Adam Donner, will be preaching on the Sabbath.
I have the awesome task of taking his message and parallel teaching the same lesson to a group of 1st-5th graders during our 11:11am service.

As part of my homework, I decided to ask the Twitterverse if they could describe “Sabbath” in 140 characters or less:

Here were a few of your responses (I’ll choose only from the answers that can be found on the public timeline):

So, friends, would you add anything?
What do you think “taking a Sabbath rest” should look like for a 3rd grader?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Kidmin


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The Calm before the Storm

Tomorrow we launch the largest Vacation Bible School in the history of our church.

We spent no money on advertising this year.

We didn’t put a banner out on the corner of our property with dates and times of our event.

We’re seeing a 20% increase in registration over last year… which was a 20% increase over the year before.

Our student leaders, youth in the 6th-12th grade, have doubled in size over the last two years. (you can follow their journey here)

This year, we’ve added an adult prayer team that has been praying for our event over the last month and will continue to do so as the week continues.

Our prayer team will be offering classes during camp to teach parents how to pray for their children.

Nearly 30% of the kids who’ve signed up to spend the week with us, leaders included, have no church affiliation.

During our 20+ hours of volunteer training leading up to the event, 29 student leaders accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Another 150 recommitted their lives to serving Him.

I’ll now spend the next 24 hours praying that I don’t get in God’s way this week.
It should be a blast.

We welcome your prayers as well.

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Posted by on July 5, 2009 in Kidmin, Los Angeles


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1st Church of Familarity. Anytown, USA

Dear Members of 1st Church of Familiarity,
At one point or another, the church you attend did something to catch your eye.
Maybe God moved your heart through a sermon. Perhaps your soul was touched by the music you heard. Church may have been the first place you felt as though you were not alone.
Whatever the case, your current church once cared about those outside of its doors. Your church was once motivated to do everything it could to leave the 99 to seek out and save the lost 1.
So, why do you now complain when your church attempts to be innovative?
Please read this quick survey and think about what it was that first drew you and your family to church.
The world still needs the hope that the Church has to offer.
Stop holding on so tightly.

Your Neighbors

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Posted by on May 10, 2009 in Kidmin


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Throw your kids in the pool is in its third year of a serious drought and, in order to cut back on water usage, many cities have set up various guidelines for homeowners.
Los Angeles suggests that its residents do the following:

  • Check your toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the coloring begins to appear in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a wasteful leak that should be repaired at once. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons of water each month. When replacing the toilet flapper valve, make sure to select a model designed for your toilet.
  • Replace all non-water saving toilets with new ultra-low-flush toilets.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to 3 gallons each time.
  • Turn off the water while you’re shaving. Just fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor. You can save up to 3 gallons.
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even a small drip can waste hundreds of gallons per month.
  • Use your dishwasher for full loads only. Every load uses about 15 gallons.
  • Use your clothes washer for full loads only. It uses up to 60 gallons per load.
  • Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Instead rinse them in a sinkful of clean water.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, so you won’t have to run the tap to cool it.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing.
  • Water your lawn deeply and less frequently.Avoid over watering and runoff. Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn, not the pavement.
  • Water early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Change watering schedule seasonally.
  • Repair leaks immediately.
  • Use a broom instead of the hose.
  • Do not allow the hose to run as you wash your car. Use a self-closing hose nozzle, or turn off the water, between rinses.

How do I know this?
This afternoon, I found tips printed from this page taped to my front door.  The line about not over watering was highlighted.  My neighbors are comedians.

All trespassing, littering, and kidding aside, this note got my mind thinking about the way we treat the Gospel in our homes, schools and churches.

John 4:13-14 (New International Version)

13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37-38 (New International Version)

37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Jesus likes talking about water… and he seems to say that the water he offers leads to everlasting life.

So, my friends, why are we only giving our children a taste of this living water?

Let’s say that the average child in many West Coast churches attends weekend church programming 2-3 times per month.  If the typical weekend church program lasts 80 minutes, then approximately 2% of a churchgoing child’s month is spent being exposed to the life giving water that Jesus speaks of.  Even if a child attends midweek programming and doubles the amount of time they spend in church programs, 96% of their lives are spent outside of the grasp of Children’s Ministry Directors and Pastors.

The parent who thinks that church programming alone can provide a faith foundation for their child is acting as though the water Jesus offers is in short supply.

As parents, we are called to teach our children the way of Jesus.  In a sense, we need to immerse our children in the life giving water that brings everlasting life.  We need to throw our kids in the pool.**

Elementary school children jump into a swimming pool at Tokyo's Shin-Takanawa Prince Hotel 23 June 2007 as the hotel opens its outdoor heated water swimming pool for the season.

As church workers, we are called to equip the parents of our children to do just that.
Parents need to see the value in praying with their children.
They need to be taught the value scripture can have in their child’s life.
Children need to see their parents living out their faith by serving and caring for others.

What are some ways you’re equipping the parents in your ministry to share the Good News of Christ with their children?
What values are you instilling in your church’s parents so that they can begin to do the work God has called them to do?
What are you doing to make sure parents aren’t overwhelmed by this role God has called them to?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

** Disclaimer: Please don’t ACTUALLY throw your kids into an actual pool without proper water safety gear ie. water wings, life jacket, etc.

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Posted by on April 24, 2009 in Kidmin, Los Angeles


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