Role Reversal: Caring for Elderly Parents


A recent family meeting at a rehab facility where my father-in-law is recouping after a fall has left me pondering our cycle of life.

When we are born as helpless infants our parents care for us. We are totally dependent upon them. We slowly grow and become more independent. As adults we might start families of our own and raise our own children with the help of our parents. But then a funny thing happens…


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The Adventures of Faith, Hope, and Charity: Finding Patience. A Book Review

Finding Patience

Out of the nine fruits of the spirit found in Galatians: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control, which one do you struggle with most?

For me, it has to be patience, and I know I’m not alone. Children struggle with it too. It’s so hard for them to wait: for their birthday, Christmas, a new toy, or even a visit from Grandma! In particular, it’s difficult to encourage children to wait on God’s timing, especially since we adults find that challenging too!

Patience is a hard virtue to learn but a new release, from author Virginia Lieto, will certainly help. Continue reading

Zack Black and the Midnight Snack

Zack Black and the Midnight SnackZack Black loves midnight feasts and will do anything to make sure he’s got enough food for his sister’s sleepover. But once Dodger the dog gets involved things don’t go quite according to plan!

A fun story about forgiving people, based on the tale of the lost coin.

A Scripture Union story.

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This is now the third Zack Black book we have read. (The others are Zack Black and the Jam Attack! and Zack Black and the Ink Trick!)

When I asked my 7 year old nephew which was his favourite, his reply was, “I don’t actually have a favourite – I like them all!” (Although he does still really want a spy kit, so I think probably The Ink Trick! one is slightly more favoured than the other two!)

For me though, this one is my least favourite.

Zack has been collecting food for the sleepover his sister is having. If he can bring food, then his sister and her friend will be happy to see him. So he takes things every now and then from the cupboard to store in his room. He doesn’tBiscuits-300px feel good about this, and is scared Mum will guess he’s taken them.

I like the way the author has portrayed this. Yes, it is tempting when you want something so badly, but the not feeling good goes alongside it. I think children will relate to this.

What I was a bit disappointed with was when Zack realises he needs to say sorry at the end of the book, he says he will tell her in the morning. Zack is having a midnight snack with Uncle Dan and his parents are in bed, so yes, he Sorrydoes need to wait until morning to tell her.

The only trouble is the story ends there and children don’t see him asking Mum for forgiveness or see her response. I think that is a vital part of the story has been missed as I believe children need to see examples of not just being sorry, but saying sorry, and then experiencing the feeling of relief/peace/lifting of a burden when you are forgiven. (You do see this with Zack and his Dad in The Ink Trick! which I did like, but still felt it ought to be included here too.)

The blurb is rather misleading. Yes, Mum loses her ring and you can see parallels to the lost coin parable in the Bible. However, the stronger storyline that actually deals with forgiveness is Uncle Dan returning after many years following a fight with Zack’s Dad, showing a likeness to the parable of the Prodigal Son. This storyline has been written well, and it was nice to see Dad and Uncle Dan reconciled.

Again, as with the other two books, it would have been nice at the end of theBlack Bible story to have the Bible reference printed telling children where they could find the parables of the lost coin and the prodigal son, or to even have the parables printed in the back of the book, just so that children could see the similarities between the parables Jesus told with this story about Zack Black. However, that is something that you can do as an extra with your child if you want to extend their learning.

So overall, several good things, but there were a few things I felt could have been written about better. My rating: :) :) :)

We still have one more Zack Black book to collect, and we are both looking forward to getting that one to read!

~ Wendy Sparkes ~


FREE Women of the Bible Coloring Page-Naomi

Women of the Bible Coloring PageA few months ago, I shared a coloring page from the story of Ruth. Today, I wanted to add a coloring page of her mother-in-law Naomi. Naomi thought she had lost everything, but God gave her a new life and a new start. He gave her a “crown of beauty instead of ashes” (Isaiah 61:3 NIV). Children and adults alike know what it is like to feel like absolutely everything has gone wrong and is completely hopeless. Let’s encourage the children in our ministries that God always has more good in store for us than we could ever imagine. We just need to trust and wait.

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Bridging Bible Storybooks with the Bible

61616305 - young family studying the word of godI love Bible story books. They are usually a child’s first introduction to God, to Jesus, and to the Bible. Young children enjoy reading them with their parents and older brothers and sisters. And authors have to be discerning over how much story to include and what to omit before the storybook gets published, to keep the story on a child’s level of understanding .

Sadly, enthusiasm for Bible stories begins to wane once the child gets beyond preschool. Continue reading