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Posted in Interesting Thoughts Helen Thorne|9:54 AM EDT|October 22nd 2014

We're called to grow - to bear fruit for the gospel (John 15:8). And we're called to help our brothers and sisters do the same (Hebrews 10:24). But there are some great ways to ensure we duck our responsibilities ... here are just five. Maybe you can spot your tendency in the mix:

1. Stay away from church when you don't have to

The most discouraging thing you can do to your brothers and sisters is to stay away from the body of Christ deliberately. Distance yourself from people, teaching and conversations and you'll ensure you never know people well enough to pray for them intelligently, never know the sermons well enough to help people apply them consistently to their lives and never hear the struggles of others regularly and have the opportunity to step in and help.

2. Talk about God as if he's a heavenly Father Christmas

God is big, powerful, generous and kind but he's not our personal Santa. Pretending he is, however, has a massively discouraging impact on the spiritual walk of those around us. Telling people God will heal all their hurts and fulfil all their dreams in the here and now builds up false expectations and when the Lord fails to deliver on the things you have promised in his name, disappointment and doubt take root.

3. Tell others they'll never change

The best way to make sure people don't grow is to tell them they're not going to grow. Of course, there are some situations that are long-term, some health-conditions that are degenerative but there is no such thing as a set of circumstances that can prevent genuine heart change. In fact, every time we make a decision and every time we make a statement about God, ourselves and the world around us, we do change - either to become more like Jesus or to become more hard-hearted. The lie that we cannot change - often hidden under the guise of encouraging perseverance - promotes instant inertia in the name of the Lord.

4. Keep your own struggles hidden

Keeping your own sins and struggles under wraps is a good way to ensure that no-one can use you as a godly role-model. Keeping the process of change hidden and giving the impression that it's possible to live a godly life without the need for continued repentance and grace easily persuades people that it's possible to live life without humble reliance on the cross. Legalism will abound and lives will crash and burn as you encourage others to emulate the fake you and live in their own strength not Christ's.

5. Never open the Bible with anyone

This is an easy one to achieve: simply leave your Bible in a drawer and you'll never open it with a friend - guaranteed! Then every word you utter - no matter how faithful - won't be seen to come from God. It's a great way to encourage people to become reliant on you rather than Jesus. And that's a sure fire way to ensure they don't flourish.

Posted in On to a Good Thing Alice Buckley|4:50 AM EDT|October 22nd 2014

Here’s a sample story from our new release, Play through the Bible, which helps pre-schoolers get to know Jesus through Luke’s Gospel.
Books of Bible stories for very young children need to be simple, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be linked together or pick up on key themes from the rest of Scripture, as shown in this simple retelling of Luke 3:15-22.

Link:
Are you ready? Are you ready to meet someone very special? In our story today, God’s people are waiting for a King to come. How exciting!

Story:
God’s people have been waiting.
They have been waiting for God’s King to come.
God’s people have been waiting… and waiting… and WAITING for God’s Son, the King, to come to the rescue.

When John comes, the people say:
"Are you God’s Son? Are you God’s King?
“No!” says John. "Wait! God’s Son, the King, is coming soon. Get ready for him!"
When Jesus comes, the people hear God say:
"Yes! You are my Son! I love you! I am so pleased with you!"
Hooray! The King is here! God’s Son Jesus—God to the rescue!

Pray:
Thank you God that Jesus came to the rescue.

Each week, one of these very short stories can be read several times with a child, including a few easy-to-remember actions (the words in bold). This is then supported by a wide range of play activities to help children engage with the story, as shown in the next blog post.

Posted in On to a Good Thing Phil Grout|11:19 AM EDT|October 21st 2014

1. If You Could Ask God One Question ebook just £2.50 till midday Thursday

Get the ebook version of If You Could Ask God One Question by Paul Williams and Barry Cooper for just £2.50!

2. 20 Ways to Be Refreshing in the Local Church

Kevin DeYoung looks at these twenty practical ways.

3. Practical Helps for Bible Reading

A short video from Ben Stuart and Desiring God.

4. Halloween - what should we do?

A video from Ed Drew about Halloween.

5. Will Christians Be Secretly Raptured?

An article from Jeramie Rinne and The Gospel Coalition.

6. And finally...

Our video of the week, in case you missed it, ‘Life-Changing Cards with a Life-Changing Message’:



Found something that you think should make it on to the On to a Good Thing round-up? Send it to: ontoagoodthing@thegoodbook.co.uk

Posted in Useful Resources Alice Buckley|7:41 AM EDT|October 21st 2014

This week we will be looking at some extracts from a new book for parents with pre-schoolers. It follows on from the very popular Bake through the Bible. Alice Buckley, mum of three and author of Play through the Bible, explains the need for a book like this.

Life with pre-schoolers is exhausting. It’s lovely, and funny, and brilliant too, but oh, it’s exhausting!

We’re trying to teach them to count to five, teach them to use the potty, teach them to please stop drawing on their hands. Sometimes teaching our kids about Jesus feels like one more thing on a never-ending list.

I wrote this book for tired, busy parents.
I wrote this book for parents who want their kids to know Jesus but find it hard to teach them about him.
I wrote this book for parents who know it’s their job to introduce their children to Jesus but have no idea where to start.
I wrote this book for parents who want new ideas for their family Bible times or want something that complements what they are already doing.

In Play through the Bible you will find 20 stories about Jesus with simple words and easy suggestions for making storytime memorable for your whole family.

There are also lots of play ideas to help reinforce the message of the story, offer natural opportunities to talk about Jesus, and above all have fun as you get to know Jesus.

Posted in Relevant News Carl Laferton|10:52 AM EDT|October 20th 2014

In this case, I really do hate to say: I told you so.

Back in June, when the “Trojan horse” Islamic “radicalization plot” was front-page news, and there was great fear about the creeping influence of Islam by the “back door” (or rather, school door), I blogged that Christians should be worried that the arguments being used against Islamicisation could equally be used against Christian teaching, and asked:

How long is it before there’s a news item about a school, or group of schools, where some of the governors stand accused of:

  • being motivated by their religious beliefs
  • holding outdated, bigoted views on areas such as homosexuality
  • lobbying for changes in the way sex education is taught, to the annoyance of a sizeable minority of parents
  • inviting speakers into assemblies who hold intolerant beliefs about things such as hell
  • believing that, while all children should receive the same education, some roles in life should only be open to men.

I missed a bullet point off that list. I should have added: “Not offering their students a well-rounded, broad approach to spiritual formation”.

So, how long?

Read More
Posted in Useful Resources Alison Mitchell|7:12 AM EDT|October 20th 2014

What do you get if you combine two of a child's favourite things - stickers and Christmas? The answer is The Christmas Promise Advent Calendar. This A3 calendar features a stunning full-colour scene by Catalina Echeverri, but with lots of the elements missing.

Each day there's a sticker to add to build up the scene until Christmas Day, when the baby Jesus is placed in the manger. But this calendar makes it clear that Jesus isn't just a cute baby. The story on the back shows how Jesus is the King God promised to send his people - a NEW King; a RESCUER King; a FOREVER King!

The Advent Calendar can be used on its own, or alongside the new children's storybook, The Christmas Promise.

Posted in Fighting the Monday Feeling Rachel Jones|4:31 AM EDT|October 20th 2014

[The Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Posted in Christianity in the News Phil Grout|11:03 AM EDT|October 16th 2014

Mark Driscoll, top megachurch pastor, resigns

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons

A win for religious liberty: School reverses ban on Christian Club

Chinese preacher 'grateful' to be jailed amid 'anti-church' campaign

 

Disclaimer: The Good Book Company is not responsible for the content of external sites and does not necessarily agree with the content of articles listed.

Posted in Useful Resources Andre Parker|5:04 AM EDT|October 16th 2014

And here's one more peak at our latest graphic novel, Light in the Darkness.

Using the words of Luke, and the images of talented illustrator, Alex Webb-Peploe, Light in the Darkness brings the Christmas story to life.

Pre-order HERE.

Posted in Useful Resources Andre Parker|5:06 AM EDT|October 15th 2014

Here's a sneak preview of our great new graphic novel, Light in the Darkness. To pre-order your copy, click this link: Light in the Darkness

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