Superbowl and Books about Sports

KarenAloha from Karen Whiting. I hope you’re keeping warm!

The news and many dads are focusing on the upcoming super bowl football game. Sports engage guys and also many gals. It’s a good bridge to read books about sports and sport heroes. Contests go far back. Early paintings in cave dwellings depict running and wrestling. Modern Olympics are based on the Olympics held in ancient Greece.

Enjoy reading about sports and talking about how many people like to watch sports. Spend some time watching your children exercise or run and play a sport. Snap photos and create a small scrapbook of their sports involvement. Take short phone videos to send to family. Then chat about a favorite book that involves sports.

In the midst or cold weather and snow it can be hard to get out to run around, but it’s still important to exercise both body and mind. Consider holding a fun exercise contest during the super bowl halftime.

Read about sports in the Bible before of after the game. Check out archery in Genesis 21:20 and 1 Samuel 20 (where Jonathon used his skill to signal David); running in 1 Kings 18:41-46 where Elijah ran faster than a horse and chariot or Paul’s chat about races in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; or Jacob wrestling in Genesis32:22-25.

I enjoyed writing about sports and sport heroes when I wrote The One Year Devotions for Active Boys. We can learn a lot from athletes who have struggled and overcome obstacles, especially ones who follow Jesus.



The One Year Devotions for Active Boys



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The Power of Prayer

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NKJV

Last year I posted about watch words, asking what your watch word was and sharing mine. Last year my word was Hope. This year it’s Fight. I’ve been very aware recently of the spiritual battle going on as I pray about certain issues in my life and those of my family and church. It’s very hard sometimes to keep going with prayer ~ especially when we don’t see the answers coming very quickly, or even opposition hits and we think we need to give up. Actually, a lot of times when opposition hits, it’s because something is happening, and Satan isn’t very happy about it!

I’ve spoken about prayer before in posts Pray Without Ceasing where I really focused on praying for our children, and Happily Ever After when I focused on praying for your future spouse, and in both posts I highlighted a couple of books I recommended on the subjects. We all know we should pray, and most of us do pray, but sometimes I think we underestimate the true power of prayer, and especially in regards to ourselves. It’s so much easier to pray for others, but when it comes to ourselves, that’s where we seem to not know how to pray so well.

For Christmas this year I was delighted to receive from my sister The Power of a Praying® Woman by Stormie Omartian. Stormie has written this for any woman, whether she is married, single, widowed, young, old, or somewhere in between.

I’m very familiar with other titles by Stormie Omartian:

The Power of a Praying WifeThe Power of a Praying HusbandThe Power of a Praying ParentThe Power of a Praying for Your Adult Children

My parents have all of these, and my sister and brother-in-law have all but the adult children one. I haven’t read any of them, because I’m neither married nor a parent. However, my mother and sister in particular have been loud in singing Stormie’s praises for these books…and when the day comes for me to be a wife and mother, then I’ll definitely be adding these books to my collection.

The Power of a Praying WomanI hadn’t come across this one though ~ and it’s just what I’ve needed. Stormie says she wrote this because we women in particular seem to be able to pray for everyone else and their needs, but when it comes to our own we seem to get stuck on how to best plead our cause. Here Stormie shows us how to draw closer to God, know His plans and purposes for our lives, and receive His comfort, strength and help daily.

I’m not reading it in order; I’ve jumped to the chapters that are most suitable for my situation at the moment. I’m sure this is going to be in use for years to come, with different chapters being focused on as the need arises.

I’ve also just come across these books by Stormie Omartian for teens and kids:

The Power of a Praying TeenThe Power of a Praying KidWhat Happens When I Talk to God

I along with Stormie believe it’s never too early to start praying with your children, and also teaching them to pray for themselves. The better prepared a child is in prayer, the better warrior he or she will become. The one book I really wish I’d had is The Power of a Praying® Teen. I did pray as a teen ~ a lot for family and friends, and when it came to me more along the line of Lord, Help! As a daughter of a Christian Youth leader, I often felt a misfit, never quite belonging anywhere. The chapter Lord, Help Me Get Rid of Negative Emotions would have been a valuable one for me, although I believe I would have benefited from all the chapters greatly.

Have you read any of these books? Have your children read any of them? In 2015 let’s truly make prayer a focus on our lives, winning life’s battles and increasing our faith to be able to move mountains! This song by Steve Camp, Run to the Battle has been on my mind as I’ve been preparing and writing this post. The lines:

When we pray we learn to see that His army
we are marching on our knees

are the ones which are the most prevalent in my mind ~ and so true of the life. It’s through prayer that life’s battles are won. My prayer for us all today is that we would all become mighty warriors for His kingdom.

~ Wendy Sparkes ~

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Bible Story Resource Roundup-Jonah and the Whale

Bible Story Resource Roundup-Jonah and the Whale

I have loved watching my nephews crawl. Isaac, especially, was the master of speedy crawling. He could cover an incredible amount of ground in the blink of an eye. Whenever he would start heading in the wrong direction, we’d pick him up and point him in a new direction. He’s pretty easy to get along with, so he usually didn’t mind being redirected. His brother Caleb, however, is 3 1/2, and I dare you to try picking him up and redirecting him when he wants to go in another! He will listen (eventually) but it may not be pretty. In both cases, however, the motive behind redirecting them is usually the same-love and concern for their well-being.

But what happens when we grow up and need someone to redirect us? Thankfully, our loving Heavenly Father is still willing to pick us up and point us in a new direction. Sometimes it’s a quiet nudge. Sometimes it’s a firm sense that something is not right. Sometimes it’s by letting us run into a firmly closed door. And sometimes it’s by sending a large fish to swallow us and hold on to us until we are ready to listen to instruction.

The story of God redirecting Jonah, through a storm and a large fish, is a story full of wisdom and truth. Here is a roundup of activities to help you share Jonah’s story with children.

Did you miss a previous Bible story resource roundup? You can find them all below. Enjoy!

What Bible story would you like to see a roundup of resource for?

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