Reading Snapshots: North Carolina Edition

Happy Friday to everyone not just at Gracepoint Berkeley church but across all our Gracepoint Ministries! Can you believe it’s almost May?! Today I bring you a short but sweet Reading Snapshots post from Gracepoint North Carolina.

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Granted they are looking at photo albums, but you see the early literacy practices they are engaging in? Given they’re from America, they are correctly going from left to right in the books as they “read” each photo. And while I wasn’t there, I heard they were engaging in the social aspect of reading as well, showing and telling each other about the interesting and sometimes shocking things they saw, such as one’s parents’ wedding photo! 🙂

What a delightful sight to behold in an age where the kids their age I usually see are swiping screens. Remember, I always welcome your reading snapshots, since they’re crowd favorites!

Recommended Read: The Action Storybook Bible

Hey, Gracepoint Berkeley church and beyond! You probably forgot about this here blog. I confess I kind of did too…until my *mom* mentioned to me that I hadn’t posted since last October. (Shout out to Mrs. Kim for reminding me to keep spreading the love of reading!)

I don’t want to make any promises, but I realize I should just write some posts about the books I most often recommend to people. Today I’ll start with a relatively new book from the super popular Action Bible franchise. As many of you who have read and love The Action Bible know, there are some intense parts (Valley of Dry Bones, anyone?). It might not be appropriate for younger kids, but at the same time, it’s a great way to get kids excited about reading the Bible. It’s awesome to see kiddos who come to Bibliopolis devouring The Action Bible, and reading it cover to cover multiple times.

Action-Storybook-Bible-3D-coverEnter The Action Storybook Bible: An Interactive Adventure through God’s Redemptive Story which came out this past October. It is designed for children ages 8 and under, and it is, as the subtitle states, an interactive reading experience.

I have one testimonial from a mom of a kindergarten boy here at Gracepoint Berkeley who said that her son asks to read it each day! There are questions to stop and talk about at the end of each section, so it can become a devotional type of experience for you and your child(ren) to share together.

So if you’re looking for a good book to go through with your child, or a good gift to get for the child of a friend or relative, I recommend it! We are carrying a limited number in our bookstore now. 🙂

Do you have an Action Storybook Bible testimonial to share? 

 

A Picture Book to Supplement Course 101?

To continue the picture book theme I started (see my post on Halfway Herbert), today I want to feature The Big Red Tractor and the Little Villageanother book by Francis Chan that was written in 2010 and I just discovered recently.

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Holly, Lydia and I took turns reading this one together. Their smiles speak for themselves. 🙂 

I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say that Farmer Dave discovers a special book that changes everything for the people who live in the little village. It’s reminiscent of the illustration of the cars at the car convention from Course 101, the Christian Foundations course we developed at our Gracepoint Ministries churches.

If you want a preview before purchasing the book for yourself, you can see this animated video version.

Profile of the Lukewarm: Halfway Herbert

In my quest for good Christian books for kids and teens, I recently happened upon children’s books written by Francis Chan. Turns out Halfway Herbert has been around since 2010 (longer than some of the Bibliopolis kiddos have been alive), and a bunch of them have read it already.

Here’s a photo of Chloe (2nd grader) reading the book aloud to some of the 1st graders. They were cracking up at the story of Herbert, who does everything — including brushing his teeth, doing his homework, and telling the truth — halfway. But the girls quickly saw how this halfway disease was not good.

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Throughout all of our Gracepoint Ministries churches, we have been going through Revelation as part of our DT (Devotion Times), and as I listened to the book, I couldn’t help but think of the recent DT on Revelation 3 and Jesus’ message to the lukewarm Laodecians. I was also reminded of the “Profile of the Lukewarm” chapter in Chan’s book Crazy Love. 

I thought the book was a great way to talk about what it looks like to follow God with your whole heart, and if you or your child haven’t read it yet, I recommend it for a family read aloud!

 

Introducing Bibliopolis Santa Barbara!

I never imagined that what started out at Gracepoint Berkeley church a couple of years ago (this seems like eons ago!) would expand to our other Gracepoint Ministries churches as our young reader populations grow. Our latest addition is at our Gracepoint Santa Barbara church, where Joshua, who is a voracious reader, sets a high bar for the other youngsters there.

The aunties and uncles worked so hard to convert Luke’s garage into this amazing reading space. I look forward to visiting soon!

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Garage Goals!
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Thumbs up on the beanbag chairs!

You don’t need to have an empty garage in order to have an amazing reading space. It can even be a corner of a room. Looking forward to sharing more photos of reading spaces throughout Gracepoint.

 

Creating Culture: Books & Bins

If you’re from our Gracepoint Berkeley church, you know that in addition to creating a culture of reading, we have been trying to create a culture of systems to reduce clutter in our homes and our lives.

Once your home is organized, and you’ve gotten rid of the gajillion pieces of mismatched tupperware bursting from that cabinet everyone has been scared to open, you will find yourself with more space not just in that cabinet, but in your mind. And you can use that space to read a good book. Or read The Good Book!

The other day I received a heart-warming picture from a mom of one of our Berkeley Bibliopolis patrons. I will protect his identity, so as to avoid the whole, “Awwww, I saw what you did! That’s great!” thing that well-meaning (usually) aunties say. His family had recently experienced the joy of a decluttered and organized home, replete with bins and labels.

On his own, he made the following bin. And he decided to place it near the door, so that he could remember to return his books on Bibliopolis day! That’s what we call Working Smart.  Perhaps we have a budding Systems Engineer in our midst. 🙂

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I claim responsibility for his misspelling, since I gave our library such a challenging name!

Recommended Read: 31 Days of Power!

Today’s book recommendation comes from Susanna from Gracepoint Berkeley church.  Awhile back she recommended two other books for intercessory prayer that have enriched many parents’ prayers.

Before you read on, just wanted to make sure you don’t get today’s book recommendation mixed up with the recommendation for 31 Days of Praise, by Alice from Gracepoint Minneapolis church. Same author, different book. 🙂

41lnkABu9iL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_I would like to recommend Ruth Myers’ book 31 Days of Power: Learning to Live in Spiritual Victory if you need some help being daily reminded of the spiritual warfare that we are in, and how to articulate “faith-filled” claims and responses, as Pastor Ed preached yesterday.

I came across this book when I was sort of losing perspective during the toughest part of chemo side effects and did a search on other books that Ruth Myers wrote, and this prayer book helped me to gain proper perspective and turn my eyes away from my situation to see God’s cosmic picture.

Last night I prayed over the flaming arrows of Satan’s accusations that I hear so loudly at times. Today’s prayer from this book was “Safe from Accusation.” Wow, I felt personally loved by God as He wanted to nail that point for me as a follow-up to yesterday’s message.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s prayer (Day 7):

“I want to give You abundant thanksgiving and praise that I’m Your chosen one, and therefore the enemy cannot succeed in accusing me before You. He may try to bring a charge against me for my sins, but he will fail, for they’ve all been forgiven — past, present, and future. ‘Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for me, Christ rose for me, Christ reigns in power for me, Christ prays for me.’” […] “You have cleansed me, given garments of righteousness and praise instead of despair. So day by day I can rise up, put on those beautiful garments, and worship You in holy array — in the beauty of holiness.”

Here’s an excerpt from the prayer for Day 8:

“You are my strength every morning, my salvation in times of distress. You’re the stability of my times. So I clothe myself with my beautiful garments of praise. I treasure the safety You’ve provided from my crafty attacks by the enemy — from anything that would not be for my ultimate good or for the advance of the Good News. Even when You allow severe trials in my life, You know my path; and when You have tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

I personally dubbed this book as the “manly” version of 31 Days of Praise, as some brothers might prefer this book more.

Just so you know, copies of the book will be arriving at the bookstore at Gracepoint Berkeley church by next week.  I’m looking forward to powerful times of prayer (see what I did there?) and invite you to enhance your personal prayer life too!