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Posted in Relevant News Rachel Jones|11:09 AM EDT|October 24th 2014

I’m sure, like me, you’ve been watching with concern as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa worsens week on week. Just today, a man in New York has been tested positive for the disease. But from some corners, there’s been criticism that the media coverage has been so focused on European and American victims.

It should come as no surprise to us that the instinct for (self-interested) fear runs deeper than humanitarian empathy for people living far away. But what is it that scares us so much about Ebola? Not, I don’t think, the thought of the symptoms themselves (horrific though they are). It’s the perceived lack of control that terrifies us: the thought that this invisible threat could sneak undetected onto our little island and pass unseen from person to person; the idea that one day soon the coughing colleague at the desk to my right could be carrying something significantly more sinister than a common cold. However small that likelihood is, fear is certainly a powerful emotion.

That’s why it’s interesting that quite a lot of media attention has been focused on the role of the military in responding to the outbreak: this week it was announced that 100s more British army personnel are going to fight the epidemic. For the British public, there’s something reassuring about seeing that khaki presence in West Africa. It helps us to imagine that Ebola is an enemy that can be seen and controlled—or “contained and ultimately defeated”, as the International Development Secretary said on Monday.

And we should be earnestly praying that it would be! Let's beware cynicism. The right response, as Christians, is to allow our hearts to be broken by the suffering Ebola has caused. Those people who are using their God-given gifts and knowledge to tackle Ebola—and are willing to risk their own safety in the process—should be commended.

But we also know this truth: when we feel out of control, it points us to the one who is in control. He’s the one who is able to stop any enemy — be they guerrilla fighters in the desert or tiny microbes — in their tracks.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. - Deuteronomy 4 v 39

Posted in Useful Resources Phil Grout|10:39 AM EDT|October 23rd 2014

Posted in Useful Resources Alice Buckley|4:23 AM EDT|October 23rd 2014

Here’s another sample story from our new release Play through the Bible, introducing pre-schoolers to Jesus through Luke’s Gospel. It is followed by a selection of the play activities included in the book. Each story is supported by a wide range of activities - some very short and simple, some needing props or play equipment, and some very, very messy!

This story is from Luke 5:1-11.

Link:

Lots of people came to Jesus because they knew he could make them feel better. Even more people came to Jesus because they loved to hear him tell them all about God! In today's story Jesus has borrowed a boat. Jesus is sitting in the boat telling lots and lots of people all about God.

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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:

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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.

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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?

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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.

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