Summer Time – Reading Time!

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Books

Summer is a time to read!!!

Summer is in full swing and I am loving it!! Although I can not believe we are already at the end of June! One thing that we love about summer in the Hanson Household is we have lots of time to catch up on our reading. Nate and I have a love for books, and that love has definitely carried on to the next generation. Today I thought I would share some of our fun reading resources that we go to during the summer months.

Book Series We Recommend:

Here are three different series for three different age groups that our family is currently enjoying and they are gender neutral so both your boys and girls will enjoy them!

The Adventures of Adam Raccoon Series by Glen Keane (for ages 4-7)

We were delighted to hear that the Adam Raccoon series was back in print! These stories are parables of God’s unfailing love and forgiveness, and they show our kids what to do when they make mistakes. I love how King Aren’s gentle strength paints a picture of our Heavenly Father and how the stories and illustrations make you feel like you are Adam Raccoon. They contain great nuggets of wisdom, such as: “It’s easy to get off track.  But when you do, get back on course and finish the race.” But the true beauty of these books is the way they connect with our children’s hearts and point them to their Heavenly Father! You can purchase these books at greenegg.media or on amazon.

Continue Reading…


Our Father Isn’t

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OurFather

Our Father Isn’t Passive and He Doesn’t Provoke Us

Happy Father’s Day! 

Thank you, fathers, for all that you do to lead your families, love your wives, and raise your children to serve God with a lasting faith!  There is literally no higher calling that we could aspire to.

On this special day, let’s remember how fortunate we are to have the Perfect Father.  He has been a Father for an eternity, and He fathers us perfectly.

If you’ve been a father very long you know that fathering is a hard job.  Some days we are too passive and don’t fight for their hearts.  Some days we are too harsh and we just provoke them.  Most of us tend towards one ditch or the other.  But our Father’s love is perfect, and He loves us just how we are!  He is kind and loving, and He is powerfully fighting for our hearts.  No matter what we have messed up He is right there, running out to meet us.  Whether we are the ungrateful prodigal son or the ungrateful judgmental son, this is true of Our Father’s love for us:

It chases me down, fights til I’m found, leave the 99.

I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give Yourself away.

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me.

There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.

He loves us and He is aggressively coming after us to rescue us and reconcile with us.  He desires a relationship with us like the relationship He has with His Son, our Brother and Friend.  He is truly a good, good Father!

Do you ever feel like you have to do this on your own?  Like you have to be a man when deep down you feel like a boy?  Do you wonder if you have what it takes?  You can rest in the kind, assertive, powerful, love of Your Father.

 

 

 


Starting A Lifelong Conversation With Our Teens to Equip Them For the New Culture

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Conversations

We have found a video that you have to watch tonight or tomorrow!

Our oldest is entering into the pre-teen phase and we are looking for backup.  How can we help her transition from childhood to adulthood?  We have stumbled upon something that we just had to share:  The Parenting Teens Summit.  Axis.org has assembled an all-star team of experts to cover a variety of issues that our teens will face:

  • Ravi Zacharias and Timothy Keller: Titans of theology in the real world
  • Kara Powell: The guru on instilling a lasting faith in our kids
  • Gary Chapman: Mr., sorry, “Dr. Five Love Languages”
  • John Eldredge: (Needs no introduction if you follow our blog)
  • And many more really smart people

Not convinced yet?  From their website:  “Join us for this online conference! Faithful Christian authors & thought leaders will provide practical talks to help you parent your teens.  Know their culture, develop their hearts, and connect the generations to build lifelong faith!”

Discipling Our Kids:  Our Culture Has Answers.  Do You?

We watched the first video last night and it was awesome.  The topic was our Culture and the speaker did a fabulous job of breaking it down to the essential questions:

  • What is my identity? Am I the image of God, fractured by sin, but restored through Christ?
  • What is the purpose of money, physical intimacy, college, and life itself? Do we know?  What does our Culture say?  Is that true?

For example, our culture has elevated affluence, safety, security, and instant gratification.  Our culture has normalized the idea that my happiness is the ultimate goal.  It has discarded old notions of truth, goodness, and beauty.  It has ignored character and the virtues and replaced these with personality.  Our culture tells us that what we feel and what we desire is more important than what is real and what is right.  It has normalized physical intimacy without relationship and magnification of the trivial.  This is our culture.  This is normal now.

What I liked about this video is that it is not a rant against our culture.  And it is not a celebration of the culture either.  It is practical training that equips us to begin a lifelong conversation with our kids.  As we have said before, we need to be students of our children.  This video series will help us become better students of our kids by helping us understand the culture that is shaping them.

We don’t need to be terrified or even discouraged about the culture around us.  We are the primary influence in our kids’ lives.  It is up to us to use that influence by talking with our kids about life’s questions.  It takes courage, but we can do it!

Details:

Here is the link:  https://parentingteenssummit.com/home

The event takes place June 1-15.  Each video is available for you to watch for free for 72 hours.   Sign up and enjoy the Vimeo –it’s as simple as that.
(If you want permanent access you can buy that also.)

Watch the video and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Learn more about OPL’s take on parenting by clicking on the Family – Parenting menu.  And don’t forget to follow us by email by putting your email address in the Subscribe box on the right.  One step and you’re done!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Not Perfect but REAL!

Who Am I?

Parents As Teachers

A Frozen Conversation

Would You Rather?

 


I Am God’s Child

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I-AM-Gods.Child

 

Ephesians 1:3-5

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Our true identity is not based on what we do but on whose we are. I love how this verse points out that God chose us to be a part of His family BEFORE He made the world!!! More than 6,000 years ago you were put on the list. So you really didn’t have anything to do with making the team! It is just up to us to accept the invitation. Continue Reading…


I AM Created For Relationship

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CreatedForRelationship

Our first I AM statement that we are going to explore is I AM created for relationship.

We can trace it all back to the garden, when God created us.  The very first thing that God said was ‘not good’ can be found in Genesis 2:18. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’” From the very beginning of time God created a need in man and woman to be in relationship with someone. But God didn’t leave them alone – He walked with them in the garden.  Picture yourself in that setting:  You, your spouse or friend, and God.  Together.  In relationship.  

Our husband, family, friends and kids will fill a valuable part of this inner need, but in the end they will fail to completely fulfill it. This deep longing inside us can only be fully met in a relationship with our heavenly Father.

“But seek first his kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well..” Matthew 6:33

This one verse gives us insight on the secret to being fully satisfied in your relationships. We are to seek God first! Then and only then can we be healthy enough to offer ourselves to others and be full enough to not deplete those who are around us.

Continue Reading…


Who Am I?

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MIrror

If I know who I am, everything else will fall into place.  

“Who are you?”

Deep down, all of us are searching to figure out the answer to that question.  And there are many ways that we try to answer it.  What is the first question that people generally ask you when you first meet them? Typically it is “What do you do?”  When asked that question, how do you respond? I would venture to say we begin with a list of things that we do. I am a mom, wife, a teacher, a taxi driver, nurse, cook and friend. Or my husband would say he works in a hospital pharmacy, he’s a dad, husband, gardener, and runner among other things. Continue Reading…


Passover and Easter Recap

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EasterRecap

God invented holidays as a way to remember, teach, and pause.  Easter is the richest week of the year, and we have compiled all of our posts that discuss how you can make this season come alive for you and your family.

Don’t try to do all of these things this year (goodness knows we don’t have time to do that either!), but let God lead you to pick one or two that are just exactly what you need.

Remember – He is Risen! 

Palm Sunday – Mighty and Meek

Palm Sunday – The revelation of our humble king, full of power and peace.  Mighty, yet meek.

Click to read more…

Holiest Week With Your Kids

When you talk about Who He is, what He has done for you, who we are in Him, and what we can do as a response, that makes it holy. Every week is holy, if you are purposeful.  Here are some ideas for celebrating the Holiest Week with your family.

Click to read more…

Passover With Your Kids – Simplified

Passover can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with it.  Here is a straightforward way to understand the deep roots of the Easter season.

Click to read more…

Passover and Easter Fun

Calling all parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, boys, and girls!  Here are some fun Easter activities that we’ve found, but we want to know what cool ideas you’ve had.  Please share these with your friends, and share your ideas with all of us.

Click to read more…

Passover:  Deep Meaning and Tradition

Passover:  Deep meaning behind the tradition.  Click here to learn about the Yeast, the Lamb, and the Cup.

Click to read more…

Passover Meal How-To: How-To Guide for having your own Passover celebration.

Click to read more…

Passover: The 4 Cups

For thousands of years before the tiny Communion cup there were the 4 #Passover cups!

The key symbolic pieces of the Passover meal are eating of the Matzah bread, the Seder plate and the drinking of four glasses of wine. Today we are going to talk about the four glasses of wine. These are drank throughout the meal and each has a specific and deep meaning.

Click to read more…

Countdown to Passover

Easter and Passover are coming up soon, so it’s time to begin preparing ourselves for this meaningful time.

Click to read more…

Passover:  From Moses to Me

Countdown to Easter/Passover…

Click to read more…

Passover:  The Seder Plate

Do you know what the Seder Plate is?  Do you know what it means and what it can teach you and your kids?  Find out here:

Click to read more…

Uncomfortable, Stinky, Beautiful, Servant Leadership

In between the triumph of Palm Sunday and the tragedy of Good Friday, we find a perfect example of servant leadership in action.

Click to read more…

Good Friday:  Not Fair

As we approach Passover/Easter, we want to highlight some of the lessons from Jesus’ last week.

Click to read more…

Good Friday:  I Thirst

The thirst we feel is a spiritual thirst!  This thirst is no less real than our physical thirst.

God put a thirst for Himself inside every heart – a longing that has been unquenched since Eden.

The next time you are thirsty or hungry or lustful or restless, don’t turn to Facebook or calories.  Turn your face to heaven and say “Abba, I thirst! I am thirsty, and only you can satisfy me!”  God has not forsaken you, and in him you will find the comfort that you seek.

Remember friends, your suffering is real.  Your longing is real.  Your thirst is real.  Without your spiritual thirst, you would be as good as dead!  But do not be deceived – you thirst for God!  Reach out to Him, and in Him you will find what you need.

Click to read more…

Countdown to Pentecost:

Whew, Lent, Passover, Last Supper, Good Friday, Bad Saturday, Easter Sunday are past.  Not it’s 7 weeks until Pentecost.  Let the countdown begin!

Click to read more…


No Matter What

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No-Matter-What

“God is Victorious! He is with you no matter what happens. Keep going, He has your back. I love you! -Hannah”

As I rolled over in bed one morning, I felt something in my bed. It was a notecard. In fact, it was a note left on my pillow the night before from my oldest. As I read it, tears came to my eyes. It was so humbling to read my oldest daughter’s sweet, gentle, yet wise words of advice.

You see, at the beginning of this year I was gifted with a couple months off after I had stopped working. This is a true gift as I have so desired to just spend time in the presence of God and work through different things going on in my life. For the first two and half months of this year our youngest continued to go to preschool, so I had a few hours each of those days to just sit and read my Bible and pray. I have had some conversations with God that were great, but some conversations, well…let’s say they have been hard. Continue Reading…


Would You Rather?

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WouldYouRather

I’ve never liked the game “Would You Rather.”  It’s a childhood game that may bring back good memories for many of you, but for me it brings up feelings of fear. For some reason, this type of game always makes me afraid of getting embarrassed.  What if I didn’t know what one of the things is? What if both options were terrible and I couldn’t fathom doing either one, what would I do then?  So, when hanging out with friends I usually tried to avoid this type of game.  

Fast forward 25 years and I am at a children’s ministry leaders meeting and the emcee starts the lunch with an unexpected “Would You Rather” game. WHAT?? Surely there is an age limit to this game, right?! I was pretty much trapped with no place to go.  But much to my relief, this version had an unconventional twist to it. It was “Would You Rather…Bible Edition.” Continue Reading…


Permission NOT Granted

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Permission is NOT granted!

 

“JACOB!!!!” said one of the other preschoolers as he gave our son a huge hug when we walked into his classroom. As my son was recovering from the welcoming hug, I heard his teacher remind the overly excited friend that he had to ask permission to hug Jacob and shouldn’t just give it to him without being granted permission.

This instruction stayed in my head as I was driving home from dropping Jacob off at school. The teacher was pointing out that we need permission to invade someone else’s space. An interesting yet profound thought. I do not remember the last time someone asked me permission to hug me before initiating that kind of touch. (Not that I mind getting unexpected hugs.) As an adult this idea doesn’t normally cross my mind, but it does when I am observing my children playing with other child. “Honey give your friend a little space. Move over a little.” “Stop wrestling, someone is going to get hurt.” “Do not touch your sister, she does not like that.” These have all been said multiple times in our home. How about yours? Continue Reading…


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