5 Amazing Christmas Gifts For Preschoolers!

five-resources-for-preschoolersThe Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible: Jared Kennedy

BGSB.jpeg__46969.1510779484.1280.1280Jared Kennedy has written the story book Bible that appeals to your preschooler’s ear. The stories derived straight from the text of the Bible and placed within the color artwork on the pages explain the Scriptures in the same way you explain where trees come from to your toddlers. Kennedy uses simple concepts to communicate big ideas and regularly interrupts the flow of the each story with questions designed to keep your kids involved in the story. My two preschoolers love this children’s Bible. If you are looking a book that you can both read to your preschooler and use for your family devotion, this is the book. I encourage you to add The Beginners Gospel Story Bible to your preschooler’s Christmas list.   

 The First Bible Basics: Danielle Hitchen

Danielle Hitchen wants your preschooler to know how to count to 10. And she wants your preschooler and you to know 10 great facts about the Bible! The facts which range from the “1 God” to “10 Commandments” are accompanied with a bit size quote, Scripture reference, or brief explanation. The book is a quick read and your preschooler will like the bright pictures. If you are looking for a counting book that will engage your preschooler and help you remember how many Fruits of the Spirit there are, then you will want to get a copy of The First Bible Basicsfor your preschooler this Christmas. 

The Biggest Story ABC: Kevin DeYoung

biggest-story-abcs-infographic1.jpgKevin DeYoung transformed his popular book the Biggest Story into a board book perfect for your preschooler. Employing the 25 letters of the alphabet, DeYoung takes your preschooler through the big picture of the Bible. He helps your little one (and you the parent) see that the Bible’s story is one of sin and redemption through Christ. DeYoung explains how people came to be cursed and how God came to conquer the curse of death. If you are looking for a resource that teaches the alphabet and the gospel then, I encourage you to buy your preschooler a copy of TheBiggest Story ABC.

 

The Garden the Curtain and the Cross: Carl Laferton

Carl Laferton walks his reader through the gospel story in picture book form. The beautiful and lively pages capture the eyes of your children while you read the story of how Adam and Eve’s sin destroyed God’s wonderful world and separated people from God.  As the pages turn, your children will then hear about how God sent his son to save the sinners who are bad and sad.  If you are looking to buy a picture book for the preschooler on your list get them a copy of The Garden the Curtain and the Cross.

And if you liked The Garden the Curtain on the Cross, I encourage you to check out three more titles from The Good Book company: The One O’Clock Miracle, The Christmas Promise, and The Storm that Stopped. 

What is Church: Bill Bell

Bell colorfully helps kids grasp that the church is a who and not a what. He then details who is in the church and what they do with the help of colorful illustrations. Though the pages employees language that a child can easily understand, the book contains deep truths that will help parents gain a better understand of Jesus’s bride, the church.  If you are looking for a book that will help your preschool learn to love church and learn, then I encourage you get a copy of this What is Church for your preschooler.

The King Who Tried To Cancel Christmas

christmas-pickIf it was up to us, Christmas would have never happened. That’s right; the very first Christmas would never have happened if it depended upon people like you and me.

Hundreds of years before Joseph and Marry made the difficult journey to Bethlehem, God sent his prophet Isaiah to talk with king Ahaz. At that time, the king of Judah was facing an all-out attack from the neighboring kingdom of Israel. All looked hopeless for the people of Judah. Isaiah 7:2 reports that “the heart of Ahaz and the heart of the people shook as trees of the forest shock before the wind.” The people were scared, really sacred.

In the midst of their despair, Ahaz and his people got some really good news! Isaiah shows up and tells them that God will defend them! Ahaz is saved! Then, God sends Isaiah back to Ahaz and says, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be as deep as Sheol or a high as heaven (vs.11). In short God says, test me. Let me do something amazing so that you know that I am God and can deliver you. Ask me for a star from heaven and it is yours! Ask me to give you a pet dinosaur to ride on, it is yours. Ask me for thousands of pounds of gold it is yours. Ask for anything!”

And what does Ahaz do? He says, “Nope, I’m good.” “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test” (v12). In short, Ahaz does not want a savior. Sure, he is scared. But he does not want God to deliver him. He does not want God to get glory. He wants to handle things on his own. We know from 2 Kings, that Ahaz regularly worshiped idols. He even sacrificed one of his sons to an false god. Ahaz worshiped little pieces of stone instead of the God of the universe. The king did not want anything from God, especially salvation. He wanted to live life his own way, fiercely independent and free from the judgment of God. The king did not want a baby in a manger if it meant that he had to worship the baby who would one day die on the cross. Ahaz was did not want Christmas!

rjbdtfthi88-greg-weaverWe must not follow in Ahaz idolatrous footsteps. We must not try to find deliverance this holiday season through sappy movies, rich food, or video games. We should not depend on our own modern day idols so that we do not have to trust God.  When we put our trust in the idols of this world, we see no reason to ask God to prove himself. We stop expecting God to change our spouse; we stop asking God to save our son; and, we stop thinking that God can provide us with a new job. We may excuse our sin by saying that we don’t want to bother God with our problems. But such a statement is not an expression of faith. It is an Ahaz type of expression that says, “God can’t do anything; why bother him.” If we embrace this old king’s mindset, we will not find joy. We will become complacent, bitter, and disenchanted with life. We become like the Grinch hating all the glorious noise that points to God’s greatness. We must not assume that our failures to find happiness mean that God is powerless to act. We must not think that God is too weak to work and then busily set about to fix things. We must not call for Christmas to be cancelled.

But thankfully, Christmas was not up to Ahaz. God knew Ahaz needed more than a star or dinosaur. He knew that Ahaz needed a savior. He knew that Ahaz could not even ask God for the right sign. And so God gave the sign that Ahaz should have asked for.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (vs.14).

God gave Ahaz and all of us a sign far greater than a pet dinosaur. Jesus shrunk himself down to our size. He came and lived a perfect life and died for us. He came to save us not just from our enemies at work or from cancer or from poverty. He came to save us from our sin. He came to give us eternal life. God gave us a sign that could not be surpassed. God gave us the amazing gift of Christmas. He gave us the gift of salvation. As the pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,

Nothing greater can be said: God become a child…His poverty in the manager is his might. In the might of love he overcomes the chasm between God and humankind, he overcomes sin and death, he forgives sin and awakens from the dead.

For this very reason Christmas is worth celebrating. Jesus came. God did for us what we could never have dreamed of. Yes, Christmas may be full of disappointment this year. Our problems may cause our knees to shake with fear. But we have hope. We can turn off the T.V, we can close the refrigerator, and we put down the controller. If we are Christians, God has saved us. We should recall that the son of God has come. Jesus has done something far greater than solve family issues. He has saved the lost. And if God can save us and if God can save millions of people, he will do more than we could ever imagine. He will work. He will do the miraculous again and again. And even when we don’t know what to ask for, God asks for us! He will do for all of his children what he did for Ahaz. He will give them the signs and the encouragement that they need when they need it.  Christmas is all about hope. Christmas is all about trusting God because he know our needs and gives us everything via Jesus. Friends if there ever was a time to trust God, it is at Christmas.

Ahaz could not cancel Christmas. It was not up to him. No amount of doubt or sin can cancel God’s plan or overcome his mercy! We cannot ruin the holiday. The message and power of Christmas is not dependent on you or me! It is up to God! It is worth celebrating! Merry Christmas!

Your Kids’ Ministry Christmas List!!

christmas-guide-2016Finding good books for our kids and for our own souls can be tough! Below I have listed my top 5 books for each of the following categories: Preschoolers, Kids, and Parents. (Yes, I’m a kids pastor!)

Now, you don’t necessarily have to give these books and DVD’s away. Please don’t attempt to teach people with your gifts.  If you think your friends are the worst parents ever, please don’t give them. Paul David Tripp’s new book, thinking, “That’ll show them!” Just no, please…no!

Rather, I hope that you and your families will find these books useful, helpful, and encouraging. In short, I want you to know that great resources do exists and don’t necessarily cost a ton. If one of the things below looks like it will minister to you and/or your family, grab it. And if you want to gift one of more of these books to your family and friends in love, go for it!

Merry Christmas!

 

Ideas For Preschoolers

It’s All About Jesus Bible Story Book – $12.22

Gospel Project

its-all-about-jesus-front-coverThis wonderful new book consists of 100 chronological stories (50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament) that seek to help our children understand the scope and sequence of the Bible.  Each story is beautifully illustrated, biblically sound, and is accompanied by two additional circles: A Christ Connect Circle that helps us understand how the story fits into the bigger Gospel narrative and an application question circle. As an added bonus, these stories directly tie into the Gospel Project Sunday School curriculum, allowing you to bring the Gospel Project right into your living room.

 

 

The Garden the Curtain and the Cross – $10.39

Carl Laferton

The garden the curtain and the cross blogThis hardcover book presents the gospel using the story book platform. As the pages turn, your preschoolers will be captivated by the beautiful and fun illustrations that help them see the significance of creation, the temple and the cross. As the words are read, your preschoolers will learn that Christ has come to deliver people from the sadness brought into the world by Adam and Eve. This is one of my preschooler’s favorite books. Yours will love it too!

 

 

 

Bible Stories in 5 Minutes. – $11.31

Gospel Project

Bible Story in five minutesThis is one of my favorite preschool/kids’ Bibles because it doesn’t try to be a kids Bible.  Starting with creation and ending with Jesus’ resurrection the book covers 12 biblical stories.  By not being exhaustive, the book can recount each Biblical narrative as a story. The beautifully illustrated pages flow from one to the next. And last page of each narrative always ties the story back to the gospel. And the best part for us with young kids is: the stories only last 5 minutes!

 

 

The Bible App For Kids Story Book Bible – $12.09

You Version

Bible App Kids BIbleIt has finally happened! An App has become a book! The “Bible App For Kids Story Book Bible” entered the world of paper last year and become an instant hit. Each of the book’s gospel-centered Bible stories can be read in about 2-3 minutes. But what makes this preschool Bible stand out from all the rest is its free digital content. You can download the Story Book Bible app for free and get access to even more Bible stories the jump, talk, and spin. You also can go to the bibleappforkids.com website and download coloring sheets, videos, discussions guide, and much more. With this one preschool Bible, you can teach your kids the scriptures across all major media platforms (print, mobile and pc).

 

 

The Big Picture Interactive Bible Stories for Toddlers – $8.25

Gospel Project

big picture board bookDivided into two volumes (one is Old Testament stories and one is New Testament stories) these Bibles are perfect for toddlers. Covering twenty Bible stories each, these books deliver gospel centered truth in a board format that your toddler eat on while you read!

 

 

 

 

Ideas For Kids

The Radical Book For Kids – $18.04

Champ Thornton

51pybncsxl-_sx476_bo1204203200_What book can help answer your kids’ questions, encourage their hearts to love God, and show them how to be radical follower of Christ? This one! As your 8-14 reads through this colorful book filled with pictures, illustrations, and photos, they will learn about how the Bible was formed, the doctrine of salvation, John Bunyan, the weapons used in biblical times, and much more more. This is by far one of the best Christian kids’ books out there. But I must warn you: If you get this book for your kids, you may find yourself wanting to read it as well!

 

 

The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever Knew – $21.22

Marty Machowski

the ologyIf you are looking for a colorful book that explains theology to grade schoolers and middle schoolers without babying them, you need to grab a copy of The Ology. The book explores the subject of God, Scripture, humanity, salvation, the church, and many others. It sections contains colorful illustrations with written explanations of big theological truths and tons of Scripture references. You can use the book either as a family devotional using the discussion questions in the back or hand it off to your middle schooler and let him or her start learning the scriptures anew!

 

 

ESV Student Bible – $20.90

Crossway

esv-student-bibleThe ESV Student Study Bible is a great starter Bible for grade schoolers and older students. It is packed with tons of Bible study notes that help explain translation issues and the meaning of the text. . The Bible has its pages dotted with the profiles of famous men and women in the Bible and “Did You Know” text boxes that help children understand the historical context of various Scriptures such as when the Solomon compares his lovely bride to “a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots.” (Try that one at home sometime!) At the back of the Bible, students will find a section dealing with how to study the Bible, another section on important Christian Truths, a glossary, and a concordance. And if you have a child who likes color, they will like the fact that this Bible comes in bright orange, blue, green, purple, and a host of other options.

For more Bible recommendations click here!

 

The Biggest Story – $11.99

Ken DeYoung with Illustrations by Don Clark

Biggest Story Every ToldThe Bible is not just a collection of short stories. It has a central theme, a big picture. In The Biggest Story, Pastor DeYoung walks his readers through the entirety of the Bible in a playful, elegant, and hopeful manner. With each chapter, DeYoung shows kids that all of the Old and New Testament are about Jesus. DeYoung designed his book to be read aloud on Christmas morning as the family relaxes by the fireplace. You may not have a fireplace, but you will still benefit from adding this book to your Christmas traditions. It’s worth the read. And if you don’t want to read it, you can watch it! Click here to grab a copy of the DVD!

 

 

Heaven For Kids – $9.59

Randy Alcorn.

heaven for kidsHave your kids every asked you about heaven? You know the questions: “Will it be boring, will our pets be there, how do we get there, etc.?” If they have, grab them a copy of Heaven for Kids. Based on Randy Alcorn bestselling book, Heaven, Heaven for Kids provides thoughtful answers to the above questions and many more. Each chapter is filled with stories, analogies, and scriptural explanations that bring the reality of heaven into full view for our children. Get a copy for your kids and help them start thinking through eternity this Christmas!

 

 

 

Ideas For Parents:

Hidden Christmas – $13.75

Timothy Keller

51s-avtup0l-_sx351_bo1204203200_If you are easily stressed out by the commercialism and hectic pace of the Christmas season, you will find this book refreshing. In span of 148 small pages, Keller reminds our hearts just how magical the message of the Christmas story is. He shows us that the story of Christmas is indeed one of great joy because the greatest gift the world has ever known has come in the form of a baby to bring the light of salvation to our dark world!

 

Parenting – $16.30

Paul David Tripp

parentingAt times, parenting seems down right impossible. And at one level, it is. No one has the skills and abilities to parent well hour after hour. Thankfully, we are not alone. Paul David Tripp feels our pain! But he doesn’t leave us in our sorrow and frustrations. He points us us to 14 Biblical principles that will enable us to survive the day-in and day-out task of parenting.He points us to the Jesus who empowers unable parents to parent well! Grab your copy today!

 

Resolving Everyday Conflict – $9.99

Ken Sande

resolving-every-day-conflictAfter death and taxes, the next most certain thing is conflict. All men, women, and children (even the most mature) are still sinners who are prone to sinning. This little book helps us all put our relationships back together by focusing on how our love for Christ leads us to love others. Filled with tons of direct Scriptural applications, this is a must have for Christians. Conflict is coming! Be prepared!

 

 

Beyond Bath Time – $9.73

Erin Davis

beyong-bath-timeMotherhood is hard. The world attacks the value and role of a mother but the Bible describes it as a sacred task given by God. Beyond Bath Time gives a realistic view of the struggles that moms face and encourages women to find hope and purpose in the mundane world as she studies God’s Word.

 

 

The Insanity of God – $8.35

Nik Ripken

insanity-of-godChurch life can seem boring and mundane. But it should never be. As you interact with the Ripken’s incredible story, you will see that following God is an unbelievable task. The world is filled with dying children, crying mothers, and hopeless men. The need is greater than we can imagine. But our God is larger still. He makes missions go; He propels the gospel forward through our dark world, creating an amazing narrative of hope! In short, the Ripken’s story is one of insanity!