This post is the sixth in a series on our new Slugs & Bugs CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. The lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk and think with their kids about each passage.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge him
And he will direct your path
- Proverbs 3:5-6
This is one of those verses, like John 3:16 or Psalm 23, that you will find printed onto bookmarks and framed behind glass, crocheted onto a pillow or hovering over a field of wildflowers on a laptop screensaver.
It is well known and well loved because it gently and simply sums up the enormous task of a life of faith. It covers so much ground so fast, a conversation with your child could easily bounce from, “How do I trust?” to “Why should I trust him?” or worse, “How can I learn to trust someone I can’t see or hear?”
But, this is my series, and since my 6 year old is not hear to derail me with mind-numbing questions like “why is God real?” I’ve decided to hone in on the word acknowledge.
With my kids, I’ve used a scene from “Emperor’s New Groove” to illustrate the idea of acknowledging a King. When someone comes to speak to the Emperor, their posture, tone of voice, and the words they choose all project subservience. The visitor is acknowledging the emperor’s lordship. To put it simply, he is saying “you are more important than me.”
Each day we have hundreds of chances to “acknowledge him,” and we get to take each chance, one by one, saying, “You are more important than me, show me your way, and I’ll do that.”
If you’re like me, now would be a great time to confess your failure at doing this consistently. But don’t be shy to confess your successes, either. We can all point to moments where we submitted to the Lord’s will, and hearing about both successes and failures in your life of faith will be encouraging to your kids.
This post is the fifth in a series on our new Slugs & Bugs CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. The lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk and think with their kids about each passage.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
- Philippians 4:4-8
This is such a big verse.* There is so much to think about – I’m going to come back to it again later in the series. Also, I actually haven’t talked with my kids about this one yet. But I’ll tell you how I plan to start.
“The Lord is near.” To me, the rest of the passage revolves around those four words, so I’d love to get them thinking about why Paul includes those words. Sometimes we’ll talk about God by trying to imagining the most trustworthy, most patient, most forgiving, most loving and most wise person possible. If you knew someone like that, that always made the best decisions for you and everyone else, and you had their cell phone number, and they always picked it up when you called, how would that change your “hearts and minds” during the day? Would you develop a habit based on your confidence in him? How would that change stressful situations?
You can see where this is going. The Lord is near, and that can make all the difference, if we dare to turn and trust him in our daily moments.
As Christ followers, this “peace of Christ” is our birthright. It is the doorway to rejoicing in all circumstances, and I’d love for my kids to start the journey of realizing that truth right now. The Lord knows I’m still learning it.
*For those that don’t know, the Scripture reader on this verse is the most gifted and lovely Sally Lloyd-Jones (Jesus Storybook Bible, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing). Her newest children’s book is delightful, titled Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale.
If you don’t already know, the Goodgames are huge Sally Lloyd-Jones fans. Her (NYT best selling) Jesus Storybook Bible is our go-to for “home church” when someone is sick or if we just need a Sunday morning at home, and “Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing” is an invaluable help to me as a parent journeying through the gospel life with 3 kids.
So it was with great and giddy glee that I got to record Sally reading some Scripture for Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. On Monday I will continue my series to help parents think through Sing the Bible songs with their kids with “Rejoice”, (Philippians 4:4-8) powerfully delivered by Ms. Lloyd-Jones, but today I’m celebrating the release of her new children’s book Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale.
I drove my son Jonah (age 11) with me to Logos – our neighborhood Christian bookstore – but they didn’t have it yet! So we trudged on to Parnassus Books, a wonderful independent bookstore just down the street from Logos, and there was Poor Doreen, squished away and packed tight on an old shelf like an oyster in an ancient bed. Come to think of it, Doreen is sort of round and pearly, but I digress.
Jonah read it on the way home, and when he was finished, he snapped the book shut, held it out with two hands and said, “THAT was funny.” And I rejoiced.
This morning, I read Poor Doreen to my 6 year old son, Ben. And he loved it. Sally has that rare gift which couples vivid descriptions with efficient use of language. The whimsically wonderful watercolor illustrations drew Ben and I through the storyline with shifting perspectives and a flair for the dramatic, which the story provides ample opportunity for.
Which brings me to the story! Like my older son said, Poor Doreen: A Fishy Tale is really funny. It’s got a little Mr. Magoo, and little Lemony Snicket, but it’s really just classic Sally, who knows how to get on the level with kids and be funny with them instead of at them. The fish in question, Doreen Randolph-Potts, embarks on a treacherous journey, completely oblivious to the perils around her. She stumbles from from doom to doom with child-like excitement, at one point reminding me of young Ellie the explorer from PIXAR’s classic film Up. Meanwhile, the voice of the narrator is gravely serious, as she recognizes the dangers but, of course, can not help poor Doreen.
In the end, things turn out all right. But it is really fun getting there, so go get yourself a copy for you and your kids! Click here to purchase it on Amazon.
Had a long talk with my daughter last night. She’ll be 14 this year, and our most important conversations still happen over tuck-in time. Breakfast cereals, boy-crushes, friend-fights, you name it, we’ve probably covered it, but last night things got deep, quick. And it made me remember…
This is the same girl that would not stop screaming to take her bottle. This is the same girl that refused to potty train, the same girl that would not share her My Little Pony, and that cried about getting in the shower, and then cried about getting out.
I am happy to report that none of these issues remain.
Soon your little bit will be big. All the troubles of the current stage, all the stresses of this season, all the difficult decisions… soon all this will be memory. Soon, you will get a real person, fully formed, with deep questions and anxieties of her own.
And there is one thing you want her to remember.
This post is the fourth in a series on our new Slugs & Bugs CD Sing the Bible with Slugs & Bugs. The lyrics to Sing the Bible are word-for-word Scripture. I hope this series helps parents talk and think with their kids about each passage.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. - Deuteronomy 6:5
Of all the Scriptures on this CD, Deuteronomy 6:5 is the simplest to understand. Kids learn about loving people before they learn to talk. And loving God – the one who made you and keeps you going – makes good common sense. As you can hear in the song, even the monsters grasped the concept.
I thought it would be fun to focus on “all your might” because we don’t use that word very often, and because our “might” as human beings is so limited. Think of how powerful God is, with everything from the cosmos to the hummingbird’s wings at his command, and then think of how powerful you are. (For your kids…) Can you pull a tree from it’s roots like Frankenstein? How many grocery bags can you carry? Maybe ask them to try and pick you up.
Clearly, we humans are low on might. But when seen through the lens of the gospel, this isn’t such bad news.
If God wants us to love him with all our might, and our might is puny, that means the small things matter. God wants us to love him with the small strength we have. Do you have the strength to drag a laundry basket across the kitchen floor? Does it take all your might to clean your room by yourself? Use it! It may seem like a small thing in the universe, but it’s a mighty deed in the eyes of the Lord.
Maybe it takes all your might to have patience with your little brother or sister, or to say yes to your mom saying “would you clear the table, please?” Don’t underestimate the power of the small things you can do to serve. To God, this is a very big deal.
But wait, there’s more. Individually, we are each puny weaklings. But together, we are capable of great things. We can build pyramids and tunnel under oceans. A whole family can do much more than just one kid or parent. When we do things to love and serve God together as a family, we are truly bringing all our might to the altar.
And here’s a final verse to round out the discussion…
1 John 4:19 - We love because he first loved us.
For (what seems like) the past two thousand years, Slugs & Bugs has been homeless. Taking shelter wherever wifi and coffee were simultaneously available, Slugs & Bugs has somehow managed to churn out 70+ songs and book over 250 shows, and I’ve eaten so many (not very good) Starbucks scones that I’m now gluten-sensitive.
Then, in January, I began to hammer. We have a 12×16 shed in our backyard, and O, what I would give for a video montage of the past 60 days in that shed to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,”of my brother-in-law Marty Booth and I lifting insulation, stretching measuring tape and trying not to shoot each other with nail guns.
The consistency of a World Shedquarters should truly be a game-changer for Slugs & Bugs day-to-day. I am at my best within a somewhat rigid structure, which has been unattainable until now. There is one thing I’ll miss, however, and that’s seeing my friends Pete Peterson and Ben Shive from the big red couch at the Rabbit Room/Beehive in Berry Hill almost daily. They’ve let me hang out there to work quite a bit over the last couple of years (I’m typing this post from the big red couch right now). Fun, interesting people like Jonathan Rogers, Matt Connor, Jennifer Trafton (Peterson), Russ Ramsey, and Josh Shive frequently pop in bearing good conversation, and sometimes even coffee or cookies… but you see where this is going. Goodbye good times, hello good work environment.
Below, you can witness some of the shed-to-Shedquarters transformation by photo. Vinyl siding goes up tomorrow (I wanted ship-lap, but my wife holds the aesthetics trump card, and she played it). And then next week we paint the floor! Crazy!
These first pictures are of the back of the shed. We removed the double doors and framed an opening for a the window.
Framed, removed some joists, and installed the window and insulation…
as backing for the barn wood ($50 on Craigslist!). Then I painted the walls and installed the new plywood floor (the old floor was whopperjawed)
Below are all pictures of the front door inside.
Window – Habitat Restore
1930′s door – Craigslist.
Drywall guys – God bless them…
I’ll post about this again in the next week or two after the floor is painted and the siding is up. Thanks for checking out the progress on the Slugs & Bugs World Shedquarters!
Maybe you didn’t know, but Slugs & Bugs has deep wizarding roots. In fact, in the film versions of books 5 and 6 from the Harry Potter series, if you look closely on the Gryffindor common room noticeboard, you’ll see a poster hailing die-hard Slugs & Bugs fans for a Friday meeting.
As you can see, they called it the Slugs & Bugs Club, and it owns the distinct honor of being one of the clubs disbanded under the orders of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four established by Dolores Umbridge, the soon to be ex-High Inquisitor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
I really think someone out there ought to get that old club going again. The name has such a nice ring to it, and clubs are fun! You get to have meetings, share interests, elect people to cool offices like president, VP, secretary, treasurer, historian – now that’d be cool. For the Slugs & Bugs club you could come up with a motto, a club symbol or colors, or a COAT OF ARMS! Now we’re talking! And of course there’d be some kind of special privileges for officers and members. Who is going to get this going? Are you the chosen one?