Sunday, February 27, 2011

Max Lucado's Hermie and Friends DVD Box Set

At the end of this last week I received a copy of A Bug Collection DVD Box Set by Max Lucado. It contains stories for young kids designed to teach them about prayer, bee-having, and getting along with others. Each DVD is about 45min long including an introduction and conclusion with Max and Hermie talking about the story and learning the same lessons.
When we received the DVD set we were looking forward to having another fun movie for our kids to watch that would reinforce good behavior and values. We watched the story Busby and the Grumble Bees with our son. My wife and I understood the message and our son could identify it as well, but we were disappointed with how it was presented. Most of the story focused on the bad behavior with the characters learning to do the right thing at the end. But as a result the songs and actions that our son remembered and repeated were mimicking the bad behavior that the story was trying to illustrate as being bad. In addition Max’s comments before and after didn’t model what we would like our kids to do. I previewed the other 2 discs and they followed the same pattern. I understand the lessons that they are trying to teach, but I would prefer the bulk of the story and songs to mimic good behavior and values.
I would not recommend these to other parents and we will not be showing them to our kids.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Questions Christians get asked and answers

I recently received a copy of The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask by Mark Mittelberg. Mark focuses his minister on apologetics oriented outreach and went to the Barna Group to find out what were the questions Christians feared the be asked the most. Each section of this book addresses a specific question and works to provide the reader with scripture references and a practical knowledge base needed to respond appropriately. At the end of each chapter is a summary, tips for talking about the issue and questions for group discussion.
I was intrigued to find out what the questions were. While I didn’t find myself surprised that the included questions were being asked, I don’t know that I would have put them all in a top 10 list. I appreciate Mark’s style writing. While books like this can easily be geared towards winning the argument, it was refreshing to read solid evidence and have it applied with the final goal of winning others to Christ. It is important for Christians to know what they believe and why they believe. Not forgetting that Christ died for us all and that we need to speak the truth in love. This book is a good reference for Christians to think through some of the hot topics in today’s society. I would also recommend that after reading through it the reader should take some time with their pastor for a more solid foundation.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

A fun children's bible

I was looking forward to receiving a copy of the newest children’s Bible, Read and Share: The ultimate DVD Bible – Volume 2 by Gwen Ellis. Having young kids (ages 3 and 1) it is fun to get new books to read together to give some variety to the stories that they are already getting familiar with. This book contains 105 bite size bible stories and also comes with 2 DVD’s following along with the book. It contained a nice mix of both Old Testament and New Testament stories.
Each child’s bible has its pros and cons. They all leave out large chunks of scripture, but have fun artwork and try to boil key passages down to simple messages of God’s love, etc. I found this bible to have a nice blend. It was fun to read through with our kids using the small amount of scripture included to reflect on more of the whole story that my wife and I could share in more detail with them. This was true for both our kids. The DVD’s were a nice bonus and a special treat to show the kids. It is nice to have some fun movies to show them on special occasions. While I don’t think this is the best book ever (and I don’t know if I have one) I would recommend it as a good option to parents with young kids.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program