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Give Your Children an Ephesians 6:4 Christmas (2010)

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by Jason Smathers on December 19, 2010

2010 Christmas Buying Guide

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)

The Creation Series, A Bible-based Reading Project, 8 Book Box Set
$14.79 at Westminster Bookstore

Think about See Spot Run, except where you learn the Word of God while learning to read.  The publisher lists these for children ages four to seven, but I would say they are perfect for reading to children from birth.  They become good education tools with mom and dad at preschool age.

The eight books are:

  • Book 1: God’s World
  • Book 2: Light, Sky, Land and Sea
  • Book 3: Plants and Lights
  • Book 4: Sea Creatures
  • Book 5: Birds
  • Book 6: Animals
  • Book 7: People
  • Book 8: A Beautiful Garden
This series would be perfect for a home schooling situation and everyone else that wants to help their kids get a jump start on their reading. I’ve actually been waiting for a product like this to come along. Why does learning to read need to be secularized? Now there is a solution not only from the Christian worldview, but learning to read God’s truth.

Each book has Bible references, which can be used as memory verses if you so choose. This is part of the note to parents which is in the front of each book. Great study tips to help parents use the books as educational tools.

I highly recommend The Creation Series.

Our Home is like a Little Church
$3.94 at Westminster Bookstore

This short book is written for preschoolers to teach them the home is a place of worship.  It just might serve as a reminder to dads about their duties at home as well.  It compares the pastor at church with the pastor at home (dad).

Jesus Christ the Best King of all
$6.99 from Amazon.com

Kudos to illustrator Fred Apps for creating a picture book about Jesus, without a picture of Jesus!

This is a great exposition of the incarnation written for the very young.  Read it with your preschoolers and kindergartners, first and second graders on their own.

Martin Luther: What Should I Do?
$7.99 from Amazon.com

This biography of Martin Luther is written for children ages eight to twelve and can be read to children much younger.

This short biography is accessible to young children and contains the Gospel so they can understand it.  Grounding your children in the faith includes this type of history which guards us from false teachers coming back into the church and helps us embrace the actual doctrines of our creator.

Jesus Rose from the Dead: The Evidence
$7.99 on Amazon.com

The world loves to poke imaginary holes in our faith.  If you are not grounded in the faith, someone just might be able to knock you off your faith. Safeguard your kids with this great apologetic tool geared for kids ages eight to twelve.  You can use it with younger kids if you work on it with them.

John Calvin: After Darkness Light
$6.99 on Amazon.com

This year was John Calvin’s 500th birthday, help your children appreciate the great reformation work done through John Calvin with this great biography geared for young teens.

The GoBible Voyager, NIV translation
$84.99 on Amazon.com
More info from gobible.com

I do not have a nice mp3 player. I tried loading an mp3 Bible on my phone and on a cheap mp3 player, but it was just a pain.  The GoBible makes listening to the Bible on the go easy.  The Voyager model has an extra 3 Gigabytes of storage so you can store your music or audio books on it as well.  The Voyager can hold 750 songs or over 100 hours of audio books.

It comes with a nice pouch to keep it in good shape.  The headphones are good quality and the sound is great.  Most importantly, navigating around the Bible is easy.  Navigating the Bible with some mp3 players using an mp3 Bible is about impossible.

I was a bit disappointed at first because there was no ESV option.  However, after a little contemplation, I figured that I do not need a rigid literal translation for listening.  When listening to the Bible, I am not in intense Bible study.  The pace is too quick for that and the NIV reads well.  KJV and NKJV versions are also available from gobible.com.

Already have an iPhone or an iPod touch? Consider the GoBible iPhone app.  I’ve not tried it, but the price looks right to me and the hardware GoBible impresses me, so I’d take a chance on the iPhone app.  It runs $23.99, less than half the price of the ESV mp3 Bible on CD.

The Listener’s Bible ESV (mp3)
$49.95 on Amazon.com

Already have a good mp3 player? Consider loading The Listener’s Bible on it.  Read by Max McLean… easy to listen to.

God’s Words from A to Z by Abe and Liza Philip
$12.97 from publisher on CD, or $9.99 download

This is a fun CD which sings through the scriptures. One passage per letter of the alphabet, starting with “All have sinned and fall short of the glory..”

The recording is impressive. The quality exceeded my expectations. The music is indistinguishable from any big label production.  This looks like a great way to help your kids learn to memorize scripture.

From the publisher:

These 26 songs will take you on a journey that begins with our sinfulness, runs to the cross of our Savior and ends with the joy of heaven. The music is energetic and diverse, including jazz, classical, bluegrass, reggae, country, pop, rock, Indian, Celtic and folk.

My family did find the announcement at the beginning of each verse, read by a young child, to be somewhat distracting. We would have preferred the music play all the way through, perhaps sining the scripture citation to avoid the breaks in the music.

Abe and Liza Philip have some other CDs for adults as well.  Their lyrics are Christ centered.  The music has a modern sound, but has theologically rich lyrics that are rare to find in modern music.  Check out My Savior’s Love is Greater Still as a great example of their style.  Great stuff!

More albums from Abe and Liza at philipmusic.com

Music from Sing The Word
CDs range from $8.95-$14.95

Sing the Word is a great alternative to the Christian pop music found on your radio dial.

Pictured here is the album, A New Commandment, a CD targeted for kids ages 6-7, but I have no problem listening with my 3 year old.  The first song is Psalm 1, with a great tune and a voice that kids love.

The Harrow family’s music is expository, letting the scripture create the music.  A very unique trait in the days where shallow praise music reigns.

When browsing Sing The Word’s website, be sure to look at the album The Quiet Time Collection, which consists of calming songs chosen from their entire series geared for children 0-7.

Seeds of Character
$15 pre-order from Seeds of Worship

I have not heard this one yet, but I am a fan of all the earlier CDs.

Pre-order the Seeds of Character album and receive:

* Christmas card with a download card with 6 Seeds songs
* Full Seeds album by Easter 2011 (shipping April 1). This includes the famous Seeds buy-one/give-one packaging–two identical CDs providing you an extra to share with friends near or far.

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