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Posts Tagged ‘Good Book Company’

The blog hits from searches on Halloween have begun. So here is my annual pointer to some good ways for Christians to redeem Halloween without drowning in a sea of witch masks and ghoul costumes. This is a great time of year to bless our neighbours and reach out with the good news of the light that Christ brings to our dark world.

One popular activity in many churches is to hold an alternative party. We’re making our Messy Church next week a Light Party. This year Scripture Union sent us a magazine with some excellent ideas for games and activities that we have used. They have free packs and downloads available. We found last year that a light party held on Halloween itself isn’t so popular as people are off to other parties so that’s why we’re holding ours before half term. The next door parish are holding one on 31st October, though, so we’ll encourage any parents who do want an alternative to go along to that. We are wondering if we still have time to get kids a Bag of Hope from UCB. But if your party is in half term, you should be fine.

Here in the Vicarage we’re stocking up on tracts (try 10ofThose or The Good Book Company) and sweeties to give to Trick or Treaters. And we’re planning our pumpkin carving. Dreamer is holding some afternoon drop in activities in the church hall over half term and plans pumpkin carving as an option. Last year we carved ‘Light of the World’ on ours, inspired by a gallery of other people’s pumpkins I posted a few years back. The excellent cartoonist Crimperman has some other ideas for pumpkins, in case you end up with too many. I have found from bitter – and tasteless – experience that supermarket Halloween pumpkins are utterly hopeless for roasting or making into soup or anything really useful.

Pumpkin cartoon

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The Good Book Company have just released a great new retelling of the Life of Christ in comic book form by Jason Ramasami – it’s called Life Changer. I am putting in an order for some this morning – they are particularly suitable for teenagers, students and anyone who’s not big on reading. And at £3.99 each, they’re also ideal little extra Christmas gifts.

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Of course, Halloween is approaching before All Hallows Day, and over the last couple of years I’ve blogged a few different ideas that we’ve used in the Vicarage, and some that others have suggested to me. I had a poll where people owned up to whether they hide behind the sofa or not and I’ve put up a few pictures of alternative pumpkins. Last year I reflected that this sort-of-new-to-the-British festival is only going to get bigger, so we Christians need to have thought through our approach.

So this year we’ll be carving pumpkins and lighting our windows with a gospel message. We’ll have sweeties to hand out and ask the visitors to tell us jokes. Our youth group meet that night so they will be having some Light Party games and lots of sugared items. And we’ll be giving out gospel leaflets with all this too. The Good Book Company have three different ones available this year – a couple for primary school aged kids and one for teenagers. They’re 17p each at the most (discounts apply if you bulk buy). The Good Book Co also sell One Day Wonders, which has everything you need to run a Light Party (and one off events for Christmas and Easter too). Why not stock up now so you’re prepared for the inevitable rings at the doorbell?

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Stuff that I have to think about hard doesn’t often make it onto the blog. I’m busy. And lazy. So despite my best intentions, my reviews of children’s bibles, about which I think I have a bit to say, are so far limited to one. And anyone who reads my Twitter stream would probably deduce that if I can’t clear mould from my windows, other stuff doesn’t always get done either.

Despite my general ineptitude, those excellent people at the Good Book Company still somehow thought that I might be a suitable person to review their newest bible study booklet. I’ve already had it a couple of weeks and wanted to share my enthusiasm for it with you.

They have come up with a great addition to the range. It’s called Beginning with God and is subtitled ‘Exploring the Bible with your child’ and ‘Bible discovery for pre-schoolers’. The colourful cover invites you to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’ and inside are 29 studies from Genesis and the gospels.

I haven’t test driven the studies in the Vicarage (the Urban Pastor, has though). The Engineer is already reading for himself but I really wish we’d had this book a few years ago. I reckon you could start using it as soon as your child can sit up and take notice. Once your child can look at the pictures in a children’s bible, this book would be a very useful addition to the parent’s bible armour.

Beginning with God is designed for use with the Beginner’s Bible (which must be only children’s bible NOT in the Vicarage library). But it’s based so simply on well known bible stories that I think you’d get by with whichever one you already have.

Each study page is crammed with information, and can seem a little overwhelming at first glance. But after taking my time to read them through I became excited by the format, especially the many practical suggestions about prayer and making the bible story relevant throughout the day.

The studies are broken into appetisers, a main course and a snack for the journey. The appetiser menu is a great list of ideas of things you can chat about or do in introduction to your bible time. The main course includes prayer suggestions, a simple summary of the main truth learnt from the bible story and some great questions to ask your child. The snack is an idea you can carry with you through the day to continue the conversation about the bible reading.

It's sometimes hard to know where to start

The Vicar and I tried to do most of these things when the children were young, but it was so hard to know where to start, especially with the Queen, who was first. Neither of us had been brought up reading the bible regularly so we didn’t have a clue and bumbled along asking everyone we knew for their suggestions. This book would have been brilliant for us. And having run a 2-3s creche, I also think this book would be a great resource in a small church for the littlest kids group.

The book is also packed with bonus extras – stickers (the delight of every small child), craft ideas, tips on prayer and a cut-out-and-keep sheet of ‘snacks’ that you can shove in your pocket or handbag, to remind you to keep talking about God throughout the day. At £5 it’s quite expensive, but littlies love repetition – you could use this a good few times until the kids notice!

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