Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pluff Mud: Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum/DVD that Needs to Be in Your Home

I am about to explode from excitement. I have a bazillion things to do before we leave in less than 24 hours for a business trip at a fancy smanshy resort and a free trip to Unviersal (Shhh! Do not tell the boys we are going to Disney without them!) and a doctor appointment for Baby J and my other little warrior still in bed at 9am with a tummy bug. But, alas, I'm so excited about this Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum that I have to share it with all of you right now. I had no idea that I was going to receive a (free) copy of this in the mail yesterday; and I was not at all asked to write or talk about it. But, I really must!

If you are not familiar with The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones, I do apologize. (The "I do" just sounded British in my head!) This is essential household curriculum because it correctly introduces the Bible and the gospel to our children. If you want to skip all my personal details on how this is helping our family, just scroll down or click on the link right now to check it out. It is officially released on February 7th. Pre-orders are available on Amazon ; and I know it will be carried in other stores as well.

Why This is Essential Material for the Carpenters and Maybe for You, Too

I do not want to just teach our kids that they need to know these stories or imaginary stories like the characters of Cars , Toy Story and Santa Claus. Austin has often asked me about who lives in the "real world" based on Spider Man or other characters. He wants to dream and pretend and imagine; but he wants to know truth/the Truth. (No, I haven't yet blown Santa; but I'm super tempted.) So, our desire is not just to teach good stories, we want to teach Jesus! 

Our desire and mandate as parents to teach the Word to our children is not to teach only fear and trembling over sin and simple behavior modification as we daily teach them the Word. We are part of parenting group that always encourages us to teach the why and not just the how.

That is hard. I'll be honest. My parents did an amazing job of teaching us about Jesus; but I come with a lot of legalistic baggage. I am haunted by the voice of one of the administrators from my high school reminding us to "look like good Christians" at a basketball game. So, that programming stuck for me. I truly struggle every day to keep my filter focused on Jesus. I truly want the easy way out of the list of right/wrong. I want black/white. I want to do enough to be good enough to not need Jesus. I do, and I dare say, you do, too. Even if you don't really know you do it, you probably do. We all do. That's the fight all the time. Even when we surrender and confess with our mouth that we want to follow Jesus, we still try to climb right back up on the cross and save our selves. Just like Paul, I don't really want to fight that battle in myself all the time; but yet, if I'm honest, I fight it.

So, how with all of that going on, do I then portray and teach Jesus. Well, first of all, as Ann Voskamp's life message encourages us, it is all Grace and all by the power of God that any of us move forward in a proper direction. Yet, that Grace is propelled to pursue Truth. So, then we are responsible for the Truth and how we teach our babies. I want to teach my kids about Jesus and Grace. I want it to be real. The Truth. The only Truth that they filter the rest of life throughout. I want to help them come to walk with God and see and fully grasp their identity. I want them to know Jesus and want to know Jesus

And even after all the right reasons, it is all too easy to fall into the pattern of behavior correction and not heart inception especially when your oldest child's picture is in Wikipedia next to "strong willed". When he is arguing with me relentlessly, I truly want to throw a "Jonah was in the belly of a fish for three days because he didn't obey" line his way. And maybe all of you are more subtle than that; but at the underlying call of my parenting, I get tired and I want to say and teach the correct view of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirt; but I am not always sure how.

For my husband, he didn't grow up knowing the Bible stories the way I did either. So, some of these stories are fairly new to him, too. As an adult, diving into a child's book, it's very easy for these to just be stories for children, too. It's easy to stumble over the Old Testament names; and to be unfamiliar with how it all ties together. It's partly wonderful because he is building a less tainted theological foundation; but yet, he is building on one that was not built for him as a child.

So, that is a lot of dialogue to get to this point. However, I want all of you to understand that I think the message of the Bible and the Gospel and Jesus being clearly and properly communicate to our children from day one is essential and imperative. The Jesus Storybook Bible, for us, is the one tool that helps us do that. Maybe it's easy for others; but for us, we need some focus and support. We need God's grace to dump into our lives and words as we teach the next generation.

About the Curriculum

So, each story continually focuses our attention back to Jesus, the Rescuer. Each story points to the need for the Cross. Each story decreases human strength and increases God's power. This is truly the thread in the Bible. This is not made up. When we read the actual Bible, this is the truth of the Word. But, often, when we read to our children, we don't point them back to Jesus. We point them to a good moral. A good lesson. Sure, there is application. James tells us not to just be hearers of the word; but doers. 

The first lesson begins with explaining what the Bible is and how it compares to other stories. It walks the kids through comparing a books called Rules of Life, Stories of Heroes, or the Bible.  "But although this book does have rules in it, it is about much, much more." and "Although, this book has stories of heroes in it, it is about much, much more....The Bible will tell me all about God and all about Jesus. All the stories in the Bible, even the ones about rulers and heroes, have something to say about God and about Jesus." 

Do you see that? Do you see how Sally & Sam & the JSB team are helping us?

Onto the curriculum details. If you are a homeschool mom or a Sunday School teacher who has a say in curriculum or a family who does family devotions weekly or nightly or just a parent who wants to learn how to teach your children about Jesus and the Word, this is for you. 

 The kit for, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Curriculum by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sam Shammas, comes with 3 audio cds that include audio of each story; the Storybook Bible; and a DVD with videos and downloadable curriculum. 

They have a sample lesson on their website. And here is the Scope & Sequence.
Each lesson packet comes with a lesson outline. There is a time frame break down with the Welcome, Activity, Story Time, Notes for the Teachers (some of which are from notes from Dr. Tim Keller), explanation of the Story, Questions, etc. There is a section that refocuses each child on Where is Jesus in this Story? I downloaded and then re-uploaded the sample lesson on their site for you.

So, for a class room or older children, this is a full lesson. For our Austin, we can even just pop the DVD player in and let him watch and listen to the videos. We can then read through the lesson plans and pull out some modified questions and truths to continually discuss and review with him during our normal day in the car or at dinner, etc. Continually referring to these lesson plans for each stage of our kids understanding will be a long term benefit of owning this entire kit.

If you haven't caught on, let me say again that I believe reading through these lessons as adults is also essential. I truly feel that this Storybook Bible continually aligns my thoughts in the correct thinking of who God (the trinity) is. The word theology is either held in esteem or fear by most Christians. But, it's just the foundational knowledge and correct thought on who God is. This is basic theology for children and adults. I guarantee this will point you and your family to a closer understanding of Jesus. 


Like I said at the top, I also am posting about this now, I see that pre-orders on Amazon are already available. The price right now is around $80. Also, Barnes & Noble and others carry it. I am not sure if the price will go up or not; but if you think you want it, you might want to go ahead with pre-order. Cover price is listed at 129.99.

"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock."  Matthew 7:24-25

The foundation is essential.

(P.S. I've committed to blogging again this year. My next step is to really work through better editing. I struggle there, as you can see. So, I know it's important, and I'm really working on it. But, I appreciate each of you reading a long with a few typing errors. In college, I had the freedom to spend in editing mode for hours. Well, those days are non-existent. I also speed read, so I struggle to slow my brain down enough to catch it all the first time. I had given up on blogging and writing for a long time because of the fact that I knew I had spelling errors too often; but I believe it's time to just keep writing and the editing skills will come. So, I'm a writing work in progress. Thanks for the grace in advance.)

1 comment:

  1. Love this bible story book! This is so cool! Thanks for sharing :)