Bringing the Bible to Life for Your Kids

Storytelling

Have you ever seen a great storyteller in action?  They use their voice, face and body to really bring a story to life for their audience and captivate them with the power of a great story.

As parents who love Jesus, we have the greatest story of all to tell.  It’s God’s story and what makes it so great is that it’s 100% true and still going on today, and, best of all, we are invited to be a part of it.

Now that’s a story worth telling and worth telling well.

If you’ve ever wanted to do a better job of bringing the Bible to life for kids, you’ve come to the right place.  Spoiler alert: telling compelling Bible stories to your kids is easier than you might think!

Here are three quick tips that will help you become an amazing Bible storyteller for your children.

  1.  Ask God to bring the Bible to life in you!  Pray that God would restore your wonder and awe and blow your mind with His big story.  Remember, this stuff really happened.  Moses really did part the Red Sea.  David really did take out a giant with one smooth stone, and Jesus really did walk out of a tomb on Easter morning.   The more we ask God to help us to see his word with fresh eyes, the easier it will be to share that wonder with our kids.
  2. Find a great storybook Bible, like the Jesus Storybook Bible, that’s easy to read aloud with your kids and sets you up to win.  There are a ton of good ones out there.  Check some samples out on Amazon and see what’s a good fit for your family.
  3. Vary your voice to make the story more interesting.  Speed up and get louder during the exciting parts.  Slow down and whisper during the dramatic parts.  Stop and pause when it’s really tense.  Then jump back in for a big finish.  Do voices for different characters and your kids will love it!

The truth is you are probably much better of a storyteller than you even know.  There’s something magical about kids that brings out the storyteller in each of us.  Even those of us who are quiet in public are much more likely to come to life when it’s story time at home.

So what are waiting for? Get into God’s story and watch your kids get swept up in the story along with you and in the process get to know the God who wrote it so that they could know Him better.

 

 

Follow the Leader

This is part one of a new beach-themed series called Cowabunga. You can also listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack Podcast.

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Verse: He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:21b (NLT)

Big Idea: Following Jesus is the best way to live.

Have you ever played a game in the swimming pool called Marco Polo? Whoever is “it” has to close their eyes and try to find their friends just by listening to the sound of their voice. You yell, “Marco” and your friends have to say, “Polo.”  

If your friends are tricky, they’ll hide under the water, duck behind other kids or just try to swim away as fast as they can.  By following the sound of your friends’ voice, you can end up crashing into other people, get tangled up in water toys or stub your toe on the edge of the pool.  

Marco Polo teaches us we have to be careful whose voice we follow because sometimes following the wrong voice can lead to all kinds of trouble.  

Even when we’re not playing Marco Polo, we follow people in all kinds of ways Sometimes we do things, like play a sport or wear certain clothes or laugh at a joke, just because our friends are doing it. We’re following their example.  

Sometimes we follow people we don’t even know. We see someone on a movie or in a video game or hear them in a song and we try to copy what that person says or how they think. We think they’re cool so we try to be like them. Continue reading “Follow the Leader”

Cowabunga!

Cowabungalogo.pngWe’re kicking off a new family devotional series for the spring break season called Cowabunga.  Cowabunga is a word associated with old surfer movies (or the Ninja Turtles for all of us 80’s kids), and it’s really just a fun expression of enthusiasm for riding a wave or jumping into an adventure.

In this series, we’re going to help kids take a look at what means to follow Jesus and jump into an adventure with him. Just in time for spring break, we’ll explore several beach-themed stories about Jesus and his friend Pete, who went surfing with Jesus without even using a board!

So whether you’re going to the beach soon or just like to think about it, stick around for the Cowabunga series to help kids discover how to catch the wave of God’s love and follow Jesus wherever he goes.

You can check out Cowabunga Part One here or listen to it on the Family Jetpack podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

You can also listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack Podcast.

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This is Part Three of a three-part series.  You can catch up with Part One and Part Two here.

Verse: Each of you has received a gift in order to serve others. You should use it faithfully. – 1 Peter 4:10b (NIrV)

Big Idea: God wants me to use my gifts to serve others.

What if you received a present for your birthday but had no idea how to use it? What if you didn’t even know what it was or what it was for? How would you react? Would you ask questions or just pretend like you knew what you were doing? If you didn’t ask any questions, you might end up taking this doohickey or whatchamacallit and using it in all kinds of wrong ways.  

Let’s pretend for a second you had never seen a skateboard in your life, but your aunt got you one for your birthday. What if you opened it up and thought it was a car for your cat? Pretty silly, right? That would cause all kinds of confusion. Not only would your cat probably be a little upset over you pushing it around on a skateboard, you would be missing out on the fun of riding it yourself.  

I know that’s a ridiculous situation, but it’s a lot like what happens when we use the gifts God gives us in wrong ways. God has given every single person talents and skills, some things we’re naturally good at and other things we learn to do as we grow.  He also gives us something called spiritual gifts. Those are the special abilities God gives us when we become friends with Jesus. Continue reading “The Gift That Keeps On Giving”

Easter Devotion Book

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We all love fun surprises, don’t we? About 2,000 years ago, God gave us the biggest and best surprise of all time. After three days in the tomb, Jesus was alive again!

This Easter, help your family rediscover the wonder of the resurrection story through the Best Surprise Ever devotional book.  In this seven-part series, your kids will get a close-up look at Jesus’ surprising power and grace.

When you sign up for the Family Jetpack email list, you will receive the Best Surprise Ever ebook delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for your Best Surprise Ever Easter ebook and get ready bring the Easter story to life for your kids.

Worth the Wait

You can also listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack Podcast.

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This is Part Two of a three-part series.  You can catch up with Part One here

Verse: Wait for the Lord. Be strong and don’t lose hope. Wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God’s plans take time.  

Have you ever had to wait on something good? Whether you’re waiting for cookies to bake in the oven or waiting for a special day like Christmas, waiting is never easy. But the best things in life often take time.  

The same thing is true for God’s plans. Remember Joseph? He was only seventeen years-old when God told him he had big plans for his life, but none of those dreams would come true for another thirteen years. Thirteen years! That’s a long wait.  

Imagine waiting thirteen years for cookies to bake or thirteen years for your next birthday. Joseph had to wait thirteen years before God’s plan became reality.  

In the meantime, Joseph went through some hard times. After his brothers sold him as a slave, the slave traders took him to the land of Egypt, where he didn’t have any friends. Continue reading “Worth the Wait”

God’s Big Plan

You can listen to this devotion on the Family Jetpack PodcastBP1.png

Verse: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Eph 2:10 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God has big plans for your life.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor? A teacher? A mom or dad? Maybe a scientist or writer or a famous basketball player? Or how about an actor or a superhero or President of the United States?  

You may have big plans for your future, but guess what? God has even bigger plans for your life than you do. He wants you to be a part of his mission to save the world. That’s more awesome than any job you could ever have.

Just ask a guy named Joseph. Joseph was one of twelve brothers. Can you imagine that? A house with twelve brothers? That would be one wild house. But in Joseph’s case, it was also a dangerous house.

That’s because Joseph’s brothers hated him.  They were jealous that their dad liked Joseph the best and gave Joseph cool presents like a fancy coat. The more Joseph’s dad played favorites, the worse it got.

Even though things weren’t great at home, though, God loved Joseph and had a big plan for his life. God told Joseph all about it through some crazy dreams. In the dreams he ruled over his brothers and even his mom and dad.   Continue reading “God’s Big Plan”

You First (Valentine’s Day)

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You can read the devotion below or listen to the audio in iTunes.  

Verse: We love because he loved us first. – 1 John 4:19 (NIrV)

Big Idea:  We can share Jesus’ love by putting others first.

If you have a brother or sister, you know how important the word first can be.  After all, siblings can be really competitive. Maybe you’ve heard some of these phrases around your house:

  • I want to go first.
  • I get first pick.
  • Let me have the first piece.
  • No fair!  Why is she always first?

Or how about this one?  Have you ever blamed something you did on your brother or sister because they did it to you first?  Whether it was saying unkind words, making mean faces or hitting each other, kids having been using that excuse for years.

It goes like this. One kid yells, “Mom, she pushed me!”  Immediately the other replies, “Well, she pushed me first!”

Like that makes it okay!  We all know it doesn’t, but sometimes we use that excuse anyway to try to get ourselves out of trouble.

Okay, so those are some bad ways we use the word first, but what would you say if I told you you could actually use the word first in a good way?  In fact, the Bible tells us that the phrase, “He did it first!” can be an excuse to do all kinds of good things.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he loved us first” (NIrV).  Jesus’ friend John wrote this about Jesus. He’s saying that Jesus’ love should be our example for how we treat others.

Remember, Jesus loves people who no else loves.  Jesus loved people who were mean to him. Jesus loves people who’ve done wrong things.  Jesus loves everyone all the time no matter what.

Here’s the crazy part.  Jesus’ love gives us the power to love others in the same way. Continue reading “You First (Valentine’s Day)”

The Big Game

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Holidays and special events are a fun excuse to get your family talking about faith.  Gather your family together for the following devotion time before the big game.

Verse: Training the body has some value. But being godly has value in every way. It promises help for the life you are now living and the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8 NIrV

Big Idea: Jesus wants to train us to be like him.

It’s almost time for the biggest football game of the year. Two teams. 60 minutes of game time. Millions of fans watching around the world. Everything comes down to this one big day to see who will become the ultimate champions.

What do you think it would feel like to play in such a big game? Would you be excited? Scared? Nervous?

What would you do to get ready? Would you work out and practice with your team or just sit around and eat donuts and watch TV?

You’d practice, of course! You’d train, lift weights, run drills, eat the right foods, watch game videos and, basically, do whatever your coach told you to do.

If you were playing in the biggest game of your life, you’d do everything you possibly could to train yourself to win.

The Bible says that following Jesus is a little like that. Every day of our lives is a big deal, bigger than any game. Every day we’re either choosing to live life God’s way or just live for ourselves. When we live life God’s way, people around us see Jesus in us and have the chance to become friends with God too.

Continue reading “The Big Game”

God Is Everywhere

GG4You can read the devotion below or listen to the audio in iTunes.  Here’s Part One, Part Two and Part Three if you need to catch up.

Verse: “Am I only a God who is nearby?”  announces the Lord. “Am I not a God who is also far away?” – Jeremiah 23:23 (NIrV)

Big Idea: God is everywhere, and I can always turn to him for help.

Have you ever played hide-and-go-seek? How good are you at hiding? Do you have special hiding places where no one can find you or do you get caught right off the bat?

Even if you have the hiding skills of a ninja, there’s someone you can never hide from. That’s God. Why? Because God is everywhere all the time.

If you try to hide from God under your bed, guess what, he’s already there. If you sneak into your backyard and crawl beneath the bushes, God is already there too. Even if you hop on an airplane and fly to the other side of the planet, take a jeep into the deepest, darkest jungle, and then climb down into a cave until you are miles underground, you would discover that God is already there too.  

In fact, if you blast off in a rocket and zoom through a wormhole to the other side of universe, guess who would be waiting for you when you arrive? God. He is everywhere, and there is no place we can go where God isn’t present. Continue reading “God Is Everywhere”