Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shaping Kids with Words

It’s easy to forget the power and importance of words. Regretfully, I’m most often reminded of their effect after feeling remorseful over poorly chosen words. But words can have a deeply positive impact as well. As a relatively new father, I’m just beginning to see glimpses of the effect my words and demeanor have, and will continue to have, on my 16-month-old son. How I long to be more intentional about the words and phrases I use with him.

That’s why I’m thankful to have read Words Kids Need to Hear: To Help Them Be Who God Made Them to Be (Zondervan, 2008) by David Staal. Staal packs this concise book with seven statements he believes are important to share with children and teens alike. Going beyond an explanation of why they’re important for kids to hear, he explores different ways to say them and the importance of backing those words and phrases with our everyday actions. As a children’s ministry director at Willow Creek Community Church, Staal is able to reference many helpful examples from the lives of families at his church. He also shares his own trials and triumphs in regards to sharing these statements with his own children.

It’s not as though these seven statements are new, formerly-hidden-to-parents, catch-phrases. Rather, Staal reminds us that deliberately using these words will help children realize, in healthy and biblical ways, their value, self-worth and the importance of boundaries as they learn to view themselves as not only our children, but as a child of God. Though using these words with younger children is important, let’s remember that our teens, regardless of whether they’ve heard us say them before or not, also need to be shaped by these significant words.

Friday, November 20, 2009

David Crowder & Mike Hogan Signed Book!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for… We’re giving away a signed copy of David Crowder and Mike Hogan’s book, Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, But Nobody Wants to Die. And, I must say, David Crowder’s signature is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen! Here’s how it works:

Answer one of the following questions:

What is your favorite book by a musician?
What is your favorite book about a musician?

The winner will be chosen randomly from the list of comments (only one comment per person, please) on Monday, November, 23, 2009 at 1:00pm (EST).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tim Keller Round-Up

Over at his blog, Walt highly recommends Tim Keller’s new book. Walt writes, “I finished Keller's latest little, easily read, yet meaty new book, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters. Keller hits it so far out of the park in this one that I'm going to watch the replay (read it again). . . and perhaps again. Because there's so much idolatry in me, there's so much in this book that I've got to ponder, digest, and take to heart… How easily I believe that the things that don't really matter really matter. I am prone to pursue, over and over and over again, created things rather than the Creator. While I can enjoy the things He's made, they can never fulfill.” You can read the rest of Walt’s review here: Home Run… Keller!

CPYU has benefitted greatly from Keller’s writing and ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. We pass around his sermons, read his books, and have recently highlighted a new small group DVD curriculum. We hope more youth workers, parents and students consider learning more about Keller's work. Here’s a quick Keller Round-Up to introduce you to or remind you about the very helpful resources Keller has recently provided.

Read Walt’s review of The Reason for God (NY Times Bestseller!)

Read Derek's review of The Prodigal God

Learn more about The Prodigal God DVD

Visit The Reason for God website

Visit The Prodigal God website

Visit the Counterfeit Gods website

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

David Crowder & Mike Hogan Interview

We are excited to let you know about a new book by David Crowder and Mike Hogan of the David Crowder Band. What follows is an interview with the authors. But wait, there’s more! We have SIGNED copies to give away. Stay tuned for details!

What motivated you to write Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die?
It wasn’t one specific thing (that thing being the very sudden and very public death of our good friend and pastor Kyle Lake). Well, perhaps more accurately, it was one specific thing (the afore-mentioned tragedy in the previous sentence) that was preceded by many other things (sickness, death, unanswered questions), which then prompted us to the only logical conclusion when faced with such matters, which was to write a book. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense! 

Do you think there is some confusion about heaven among Christians? How does your book help readers gain a more biblical understanding of heaven?
Certainly! Truth be told, we have yet to meet someone who has been there and back to tell us what it’s all about. You know, at least in person… But, yes, in any area where the only information available is based on interpretation, opinion, conjecture, etc. there is sure to be some confusion. But then, people don’t really talk about it much, do they? At least not in specifics. We wanted to start talking about things that, for whatever reason, people don’t seem to talk about much. These are big issues (life/death/heaven), and insight would be a welcomed thing. When we were in the middle of grief we had a very hard time finding resources that discussed such things in ways that were moving to us. Hopefully our book inspires people to contemplate and discuss this stuff in a way that is interesting and reverently amusing.

Your book talks a lot about Bluegrass music. How does Bluegrass inform your theology?
There is a longing for the ever after that exists in bluegrass music that we admire. There is recognition that despite our best efforts to change the here and now it will still be broken; we will still encounter pain and suffering and tragedy. The beauty of bluegrass is the resilience and hope that is found in its content and the belief that there is something better coming causes us to live process things differently in the present. Hope changes everything.

Many of our readers are youth workers and parents. How will they benefit from this book?
DC&MH: They will become better looking, wiser, and live longer. They will become titans of industry and the arts, wielding great hammers of influence the world over. In short, they will benefit by becoming a more awesome version of themselves.

Also, they might find it a lovely resource for discussing death and the Christian response to it. As bleak as it sounds, none of us are getting out of here alive and we will all surely deal with the loss of someone we love or have friends or neighbors who are grieving. It’s so difficult to know what to say, how to help, what exactly it is that our loved ones are going through.

What’s the latest with the David Crowder Band?
DC&MH: Well, we just released our 5th (!!!) album, entitled Church Music, and we are currently touring this wonderful country in support of it. It’s an explosion of rock and (or) roll! Experience it for yourselves!