If God Knows All Things, Why Do We Pray? with Becky Kiser

For Episode 028...

Becky Kiser joins us to talk about prayer.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering If God Knows All Things, Why Do We Pray? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Becky is intent that women would fall in love with God’s Word, then feel equipped and empowered to live it out. She believes that women can live out their own wild story, just like the ones we see of God’s chosen in His Word, as they love Jesus and love people. She is the founder and CEO of Sacred Holidays—a ministry dedicated to helping women find less chaos and more Jesus during holidays through Bible study, community, resources, and lots of fun! She is determined to help women keep all the whimsy of the holidays, but help make them sacred—holy and set apart. Her first book is being released in October 2018 with B&H Publishing. Becky and her husband, Chris, live in The Woodlands, Texas with their three girls.     Becky Kiser:   http://www.beckykiser.com    https://www.instagram.com/beckykiser/   @sacredholidays:  https://www.instagram.com/sacredholidays/     https://www.facebook.com/sacredholidays    

Becky is intent that women would fall in love with God’s Word, then feel equipped and empowered to live it out. She believes that women can live out their own wild story, just like the ones we see of God’s chosen in His Word, as they love Jesus and love people. She is the founder and CEO of Sacred Holidays—a ministry dedicated to helping women find less chaos and more Jesus during holidays through Bible study, community, resources, and lots of fun! She is determined to help women keep all the whimsy of the holidays, but help make them sacred—holy and set apart. Her first book is being released in October 2018 with B&H Publishing. Becky and her husband, Chris, live in The Woodlands, Texas with their three girls.

 

Becky Kiser:

http://www.beckykiser.com

https://www.instagram.com/beckykiser/

@sacredholidays:
https://www.instagram.com/sacredholidays/ 

https://www.facebook.com/sacredholidays

 

 

Our big question for the day is this: 
If God Knows All Things, Why Do We Pray?

Prayer is the most important weapon we have against the enemy, and the Bible even says that Jesus intercedes for us while He sits at the right hand of the Father. Yet, there are often questions about the nature of prayer. Because it's a conversation with a God who we cannot see who knows all things and is entirely in control it seems like it may be pointless to voice our needs, our gratitude, and our worship because God already knows what we are going to pray before we pray it. Still, we see prayer as unbelievably powerful throughout Scripture. Prayer changes things - and we can be a part of what God is doing in the world by having a vibrant prayer life.

Featured Resource

If God Knew Adam and Eve Would Sin, Why Did He Put That Tree in the Garden?

For Episode 027...

Barnabas Piper joins us to talk about God's sovereignty and also human responsibility. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Did God Put the Tree in the Garden? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

BarnabasPiper.jpg
  Barnabas is the author of The Curious Christian; The Pastors Kid, and Help My Unbelief. He co-hosts the popular Happy Rant podcast  and writes for The Blazing Center as well as numerous other publications and websites. Barnabas speaks regularly at churches and conferences around the country and lives in Nashville where he works for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Barnabas is the author of The Curious Christian; The Pastors Kid, and Help My Unbelief. He co-hosts the popular Happy Rant podcast  and writes for The Blazing Center as well as numerous other publications and websites. Barnabas speaks regularly at churches and conferences around the country and lives in Nashville where he works for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Let's get to know, Barnabas. We asked him to tell us about the bizarre things his kids have done. You'll just need to listen in for these stories.

Our big question for the day is this: 
Why Did God Put That Tree in the Garden?

After all, He knows all things and would certainly know that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil would be eaten from, and the curse of sin would be unleashed. We know God is sovereign, and there also is need for humanity to obey. A love without choice is not love at all, so God gave us the opportunity to obey out of love. And yet, Jesus was not God's plan B. Even as consequences were being discussed of Adam and Eve's sin, God tells them that there will come a time when a Messiah will come to redeem what had been done and make all things right again.

Featured Resource

 

 

How is Jesus Different From Us?

In Episode 026... 
 

Jaye joins me to talk about meltdowns, what to do when our kids actually hate reading Bible stories, and ultimately, how Jesus is different from us.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering How is Jesus Different From Us? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

   
  
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    Jaye Herrod Durkin is an elementary music teacher turned mommy and entrepreneur. She did graduate work in Intercultural Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, but put her degree on hold to start a family with her husband, Matt. Their two toddlers, Charlie and Eden, keep Jaye busy, challenged, and entertained from sunup to sundown! Her toddlers antics are featured on her Facebook page daily, so if you need a good laugh, follow her!

Jaye Herrod Durkin is an elementary music teacher turned mommy and entrepreneur. She did graduate work in Intercultural Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, but put her degree on hold to start a family with her husband, Matt. Their two toddlers, Charlie and Eden, keep Jaye busy, challenged, and entertained from sunup to sundown! Her toddlers antics are featured on her Facebook page daily, so if you need a good laugh, follow her!

Today, Trillia joins us to talk about what kids can do when they are sad.

It can be easier to help kids understand how Jesus is the same us - how He was born, was a child, and had all the experiences we have, but it's much more difficult to help kids understand how He is different - that He is God and He is sitting at the right hand of the Father today interceding for us.

In this episode, we talk about how we should speak truth in as bite-sized portion for our kids as possible, but not watering it down so that it has a different meaning. We want our kids to know what is true, even if it's hard to comprehend.

Listen in to hear more.

Featured Resource

What Should I Do When I Am Sad?

In Episode 025, 
 

Trillia Newbell joins me to talk about where we should run when we feel sad, and how we can help our kids run to God's Word, too.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answeringWhat Should I Do When I Am Sad? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

   
  
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    Trillia Newbell is the author of   Enjoy  ,   Fear and Faith  ,   United ,  and   God’s Very Good Idea  . She's been published in Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and more. Trillia is married to Thern and they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at  trillianewbell.com  and follow her on twitter at  @trillianewbell . 

Trillia Newbell is the author of EnjoyFear and Faith, United, and God’s Very Good Idea. She's been published in Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and more. Trillia is married to Thern and they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at trillianewbell.com and follow her on twitter at @trillianewbell

Today, Trillia joins us to talk about what kids can do when they are sad.

There are so many great passages in Scripture that we can run to when we feel sad - and it should be a great encouragement that even Jesus felt sad! Jesus is God, who came as a baby and grew and experienced life just as we do. He was sad, hungry, tempted, happy, and tired. He understands, and today He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us before God. 

Listen in to hear more.

Featured Resource

 

How Do You Continue to Learn Yourself?

Read, read, read, read. Different seasons will allow for different levels of commitment to this, but never outgrow your need to learn.

 

Why Are There So Many Bible Translations?

For Episode 024...

Brandon D. Smith joins us to talk about the work of translation, why there are so many different English translations, and how to decide what Bible you should read based on the translation's philosophy.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Are There So Many Bible Translations? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Brandon Smith works with the Christian Standard Bible, serves as Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and co-hosts the Word Matters podcast with Trevin Wax. He is also one of the pastors at City Church in Murfreesboro, TN and has written a few books, including They Spoke of Me: How Jesus Unlocks the Old Testament.

 

Our tough question is:
Why Are There So Many Bible Translations?

The work of translation cannot be emphasized enough. We want God's Word to be carried to every tribe and tongue so that they may read His Word for themselves in the language that they speak and even think in so that the Word of the Lord may dwell richly within them and also so that they might understand the gospel.

We are so blessed to have so many translations of the Bible in English, and as we discover more manuscripts and have more archaeological evidence, we get closer, not farther away from what we know the original Greek/Hebrew text said.

So which translations should we use with kids? Why do translations choose different words but are using the same original text? Listen in to hear.

Featured Resources

Why Does God Call Us to Hard Things? with Scarlet Hiltibidal

For episode 023...

In this episode, we talk about adoption, when God asks us to do things that are hard, and how obedience is always the most satisfying and peaceful place, even if things do not turn out like we want.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Does God Call Us to Hard Things? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Scarlet Hiltibidal is a very professional wife and mother to her family on a farm in Middle Tennessee. She loves sign language with her daughters, nachos by herself, writing for her friends, and dreaming of being a famous chef while spilling the cheese dust from the macaroni box on the kitchen counter and using it anyway. She treasures the freedom of resting in the work of Jesus and hopes to help others rest as well. 

Scarlet Hiltibidal is a very professional wife and mother to her family on a farm in Middle Tennessee. She loves sign language with her daughters, nachos by herself, writing for her friends, and dreaming of being a famous chef while spilling the cheese dust from the macaroni box on the kitchen counter and using it anyway. She treasures the freedom of resting in the work of Jesus and hopes to help others rest as well. 

I asked Scarlet:

What's the hardest thing about being a mom?

The screaming. (Right, parents? So much screaming. In anger, for fun, in excitement...)

Big Question: Why Does God Call Us to Hard Things?

Hard things pull us closer to God's side and purposes. Sometimes God asks us to do things that are uncomfortable or challenging. We see it throughout Scripture, but we don't want it to be true of us. And, even when we step out in faith and do the hard things God has called us to do, it doesn't always work out like we hope. But, God is always in control and obedience s always what is most satisfying and brings the most peace, even when obedience leads us into difficult situations. Listen in to hear Scarlet tell the story about adopting Joy from China who was born without ears. She was so afraid of the process and the possibilities, but walked in faith. The story is amazing. 

Featured Resource

CentriKid Camps is designed for kids grades 3-6 for church groups. I got to work with CentriKid throughout college and even into my professional life and have even taken kids to camp as a children's minister. The staff does all the planning and teaching so you can really engage and build relationships with the kids in your church. If you are a children's minister, I'd love to talk more with you or you can contact CentriKid, and if you are a parent, you should ask your children's minister about considering CentriKid.

How Do You Disciple Your Kids?

We listen to songs that are Scripture so that our kids are getting it into their brains. We read stories together and ask questions and also allow our kids to see us study our Bible.

Does God Love Everyone? with Dan Darling

For episode 022...

In this episode, we talk about God's love, who Jesus died for, and what that means for believers and those who do not follow God.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Does God Love Everyone? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), and is the author of multiple books including,  The Original Jesus . He writes regularly for Christianity Today’s  CT Pastors , Homelife, In Touch Magazine, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and is a graduate of   Southern Baptist Theological Seminary . Dan and his wife Angela have four children and live in the Nashville area, where Dan serves at Green Hill Church as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), and is the author of multiple books including, The Original Jesus. He writes regularly for Christianity Today’s CT Pastors, Homelife, In Touch Magazine, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and is a graduate of  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dan and his wife Angela have four children and live in the Nashville area, where Dan serves at Green Hill Church as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

I asked Dan:

What's the hardest thing about being a dad?

And like many other guests, he talked about how sanctifying (and frankly humiliating at times) parenting is. Our kids are little mirrors, often showing us the ugly parts of ourselves.

Big Question: Does God Love Everyone?

This event is put on by the ERLC, which Dan Darling works with, and I am so thankful they have made this event on racial reconciliation available for all of us online.

Today's episode covers some topics that some find controversial. Ultimately, we want kids to know that God loves everyone and hopes that they will follow Him, but He also knows that not all people will. There are particular rights that are afforded to His children.

These concepts of theology - of being children of God and as the Bible says, His chosen people should not point us to arrogance but to fall on our knees in worship!

Featured Resource

If you are listening on April 4th, make sure to check out the #MLK50 live stream here: https://live1.thegospelcoalition.org

Also, if you want great Biblically-sound teaching on ethics, take a look at ERLC.com.

A Framework for Teaching Your Kids the Bible

For episode 021...

We celebrate 20 episodes of the podcast by taking a few minutes off from our normal format. In this episode, you are the guest, and we sit down to talk about a way that we can frame the Bible message so that our kids can understand it. 

You can listen to the Special Episode: A Framework for Understanding Scripture for Your Kids on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Mary C Wiley hosts the Questions Kids Ask podcast, and loves to help parents know and love God's Word so that they can then pass that knowledge and love on to their children.

Today, we're not talking about a specific question kids are asking, but rather how we can help kids build a framework for the whole story of Scripture.

We'll talk about explaining creation, the fall, redemption, and restoration as a good foundation to build upon as they learn the stories in Scripture and realize that it all points to Jesus' sacrifice for our sin and ultimately, the end of the story, or His return to make things good like they were before sin entered the world. 

I hope that this will help you understand Scripture better, and will also help your kids! Join us here to jump into the conversation.

Why is Good Friday Good?

For episode 020...

Marty Duren joins me to talk about the goodness of God on display on Good Friday, as Jesus paid the debt that we owed for our sin on the cross.
You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering "Why is Good Friday good?" on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Marty Duren is the executive editor and marketing manager for LifeWay Pastors, a website that provides content for pastors and other church leaders. A pastor with nearly 30 years experience in various roles, he currently serves bi-vocationally as the groups pastor with Green Hill Church in Mt Juliet, TN. He's been married to Sonya for 34 years. They have three grown children. He enjoys reading, writing, and hiking. 

To get to know Marty a little better, he told us about his three adult kids and a story or two from when they were smaller and did some pretty funny things.

Here's our big question for today: Why Is Good Friday Good?

Good Friday was a traumatic day - full of difficulty, pain, and shame for Jesus. Good Friday was the day that He carried His cross up to Golgatha and was crucified. Jesus was completely innocent of sin, but took on God's wrath on the cross so that we might be able to have a right relationship with God. Through His death, He paid for our sin with His blood, and through His resurrection, He guaranteed that the debt had been paid and sin and death had been ultimately defeated - and that one day all who trust Him will be raised just like He was raised. 

Good Friday may not seem good - like a day at the amusement park, zoo, or pool might be to our kids, but it is good because of what it purchased for us. Ultimately, through Jesus' death on the cross, the separation between God and man that sin caused was removed. The temple veil was torn, and all who trust Jesus were then allowed to have a right relationship with God without the need to go through a high priest for forgiveness of sin and prayer. Instead, Jesus acts as our great High Priest.

Good Friday is good because we see God's great love for His people and Jesus' great sacrifice on our behalf. Our sin was the cause of Good Friday, but Jesus' victory is what we celebrate a few days later!

Featured Resource

 

What advice would you give to those with small kids?

You aren't the Holy Spirit. You can make your kids follow Jesus. 
Remember you are raising one-day adults.
Give yourself some grace, and be quick to apologize.

Why Did Jesus Wait So Long to Come?

For episode 019...

Brittany Salmon joins me to talk about why God waited so long to send Jesus, and why it seems that He's waiting so long to send Jesus again.
You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Did Jesus Wait So Long to Come? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Brittany is a wife, mom, writer, and book aficionada. She has an MA in intercultural studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, an MA in teaching from North Carolina State University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Southeastern Seminary. Brittany & Ben, their three kids, and a dog named Mr. Tom Hanks recently moved from Raleigh, NC to the great state of Texas and are enjoying learning the ropes of becoming Texans. You can connect with Brittany on Twitter or Instagram.

Let's get to know Brittany a little better. I asked her: 

What great books have changed your life?

Brittany mentioned these: 

Falling Free by Shannan Martin

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

Here's our big question for today: Why Did God Wait So Long to Send Jesus?

As we read the Old Testament and all the times God promised to send a Messiah, Jesus' entrance into the world can seem like it took FOREVER. We read from Adam and Eve to Noah to David and on into the minor prophets, and God's people were yearning all along for a Savior, waiting on His arrival. Then, between the books of Malachi and Matthew were 400 years of silence, and God's people were just waiting.

Why did God wait so long? 
This is one of those questions that we just don't have Scripture that answers it directly, but we can infer that God was working in hearts all along, pointing them to want to love and obey Him and that Jesus came at God's perfect time.

Similarly, many ask today why God is waiting so long to send Jesus back to earth to make all things right, and in the same way, God is being so merciful - giving more time for those who do not trust Him to turn from their wicked ways and obey Him (2 Peter 3:9). We look forward to that day, and we celebrate His entrance into the world as God the Son - God with skin on to live among us - His perfect life that He lived out in our place - His death on the cross to pay what we deserved to pay for sin - and His resurrection and ultimately ascension, proving that death was defeated and that He has secured a right relationship with God for all who trust Him. Hallelujah! The depth of our sin was so deep, but God's grace was still deeper. 

Featured Resource

 Risen Motherhood exists to encourage, equip and challenge moms to apply the gospel to their everyday lives. They do this by providing gospel-centered content through a podcast, blog, and social media platforms. In addition, Risen Motherhood creates Bible study tools to help moms abide in God’s word, coming to a first-hand knowledge of God’s will for their lives, and also connect women to theologically-sound and edifying outside resources to help them grow in their role as a mom. You can learn more and also download their Abide Bible Study worksheets for free today from risenmotherhood.com.

Risen Motherhood exists to encourage, equip and challenge moms to apply the gospel to their everyday lives. They do this by providing gospel-centered content through a podcast, blog, and social media platforms. In addition, Risen Motherhood creates Bible study tools to help moms abide in God’s word, coming to a first-hand knowledge of God’s will for their lives, and also connect women to theologically-sound and edifying outside resources to help them grow in their role as a mom. You can learn more and also download their Abide Bible Study worksheets for free today from risenmotherhood.com.

 

How do you raise kids who love God's Word?

Kids need to see their parents loving God's Word. We love reading with and around our kids and we've seen them begin to understand and love God's Word because of it.

Tell Me All the Hard Things From Before You Were A Christian

For Episode 018...

Jamie Ivey joins us to talk about how we talk about tough things that might be in our pasts with our kids. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Tell Me All the Hard Things From Before You Were A Christian on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

   
  
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  Jamie just released a book called  If You Only Knew  that I think is great, and has been hosting her podcast,  The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey , for four years. Long before she did either of these two things, though, she got married to Aaron who is the worship pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church and birthed or adopted her four kids who are 10, 12, 12, and 14. I have to say, Jamie is seriously the real deal. She knows and lives her theology and is seeking to walk how Jesus would have her to walk.

Jamie just released a book called If You Only Knew that I think is great, and has been hosting her podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, for four years. Long before she did either of these two things, though, she got married to Aaron who is the worship pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church and birthed or adopted her four kids who are 10, 12, 12, and 14. I have to say, Jamie is seriously the real deal. She knows and lives her theology and is seeking to walk how Jesus would have her to walk.

Let's get to know Jamie. What is the best part of being a mom?

Jamie LOVES just being with her people. She also offered some hope to those of us with tiny kids, too, that the tantrums where they throw down on the floor WILL come to an end and the crazy sleeping habits and all-around intense attention they demand will calm down, too. The parenting changes, and I'm afraid may even become a little more difficult, as they get older and can not only form full sentences but are making decisions for themselves. Yet, it's then when they are also a ton of fun to be around. (I think this crazy toddler season is so much fun, too. Let's all just love the phase we are in when we are in it, right?)
 

Our big question for the day is this: Will You Tell Me What You Were Like Were Before You Were A Christian?

We talk a lot about what's different from before we were Christians to deciding to follow Jesus, but that doesn't mean it's super easy to talk about with our kids. That's no different for Jamie. Of course, we know that there's no weighting of sin in the Lord's eyes and that even one of the "tiniest" sins is deserving of death (Romans 6:23), there are some sins that do have weighter consequences. In Jamie's life, those "big sins" were premarital sex and abuse of alcohol, and sometimes we don't want to tell our kids because we don't want them to think less of us or to give them permission to do the same - because we want better for them.

I don't think we are giving them permission to do what we did, but are instead giving them a picture of the pointing them to a Savior. When we share, our focus has to be not what we did, but what Jesus did. We always point back to the gospel, being confident that we aren't so much sharing our failures, but shining a great big spotlight on our Savior. 

Mistakes or failures DO NOT mean that we cannot be a good example. We will always fail God even when we love Him dearly and are following Him. We've been sinners since Adam, yet God chose to send Jesus to pay for sin. The Gospel is why we can share our story and point to Jesus instead. How gracious God is that He would send Jesus and forgive us. I pray that my kids won't remember what their mom did so much, but that they'll see a God who pursued their mom.

How do you help your kids prepare to face some of the same temptations that you faced?
I would love to put my head in the sand, and pretend like it won't happen to them, but I know that's not reality. We tell our kids about God's best design and there won't be a time that our kids remember when we have the talk about the birds and the bees. We talk about sexual purity a lot in today's age and talk about how sex is a gift and is beautiful within the confines of marriage. We want our kids to trust us, trust God, and know that if they fail that they can still trust us and trust God. 

Featured Resource

 

What's Discipleship Look Like In Your House?

Discipleship seems to be this big, lofty term, but it's really just teaching people what you know. In our house, we seek to talk about Jesus in our everyday conversations. Do we sit down and read the Bible together sometimes, absolutely. But also, we just talk about regular things everyday and point those things to Jesus.

Why Do School Shootings Happen?

For Episode 017...

Barnabas Piper joins us to talk about why school shootings - and ultimately any tragedy - happens. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Do So Many School Shootings Happen? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

  Barnabas is the author of The Curious Christian; The Pastors Kid, and Help My Unbelief. He co-hosts the popular Happy Rant podcast  and writes for The Blazing Center as well as numerous other publications and websites. Barnabas speaks regularly at churches and conferences around the country and lives in Nashville where he works for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Barnabas is the author of The Curious Christian; The Pastors Kid, and Help My Unbelief. He co-hosts the popular Happy Rant podcast  and writes for The Blazing Center as well as numerous other publications and websites. Barnabas speaks regularly at churches and conferences around the country and lives in Nashville where he works for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Let's get to know, Barnabas. What is the hardest part of being a dad?

I am constantly reminded how I don't know what I'm doing. You see everyone's perfection on social media, and first of all, that's not real life, but also puts a lot of pressure on parents. We are constantly told "do this and you'll have awesome kids" or "read this book," and there's just not a one-size-fits-all. Our kids need to know we aren't perfect and we need to be honest with them about our need for a Savior as way! When we pretend to be perfect, it messes with their understanding of a perfect God, a perfect Father.
 

Our big question for the day is this: 
Why Do School Shootings Happen?

When we were small, we did tornado drills, but today kids do active shooter drills. We are thankful for this, but it still is so hard. Why do shootings happen? The answer is sin - and the way that sin has pervasively twisted and broken the hearts of some causing them to lash out. This is a broken person holding a gun, and it's really a result of the profound human need for forgiveness of sin and for all things to be made right. 

How, as Christians, should we respond to sin? Of course, immediately following tragedy there is an outpouring of thoughts and prayers, but also calls for reform on social media. We have to just rest in the hope that Jesus has provided the way to receive covering for sin and that one day, He will return and make things all right. We do want kids who advocate for justice and are invested in their world. Care for the hurting. Speak for justice. Do something. Prayer is powerful. You have dollars and can give them. 

Often, our "thoughts and prayers" are not a going before God with the names of victims and schools asking Him to work on their behalf, but instead is just a sentimental feeling. Real prayer can absolutely change things. 

Featured Resource

 

What's the Best Parenting Advice You've Received?

You are not the Holy Spirit. 

You cannot change their hearts. You cannot make them want to not sin. Our responsibility is to create structure, morality, and consequences for sin but we cannot make their hearts want to love Jesus. We can hold them to the standards of being believers and helping them walk in those and understand why, but praise the Lord - it is a work of the Holy Spirit that they follow Him.

Why Did God Create the World?

For Episode 016...

Brian Dembowcyzk joins us to talk about why God created the world and how His act of creation is foundational to our theology. We talk about why God would create

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Did God Create the World? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Brian is the Managing Editor of The Gospel Project, holds a MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a DMin from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing an additional doctoral degree currently. He's served in full-time church ministry and also led a team that published one of the leading kids' ministry curriculums, The Gospel Project. 

Let's get to know, Brian.
What's the most impactful book you've read?
Desiring God by John Piper

Our big question for the day is this: 
Why Did God Create the World?

The quick answer is "God's glory," but it has far-reaching implications. Our lives are not for our own enjoyment or our own pleasure, but for Him.

Why would God create a world He knew would rebel against Him? 

We have to let some tension hang here, as we don't know all the ins and outs of the mind of God, but we know God created us knowing we would fall. He knew He would send Jesus. This question screams His love to us, which drives to His glory. The more we understand His love, the more we understand His glory. God knew the full ramifications of what was happening, and yet He chose to create nonetheless.

Creation before the fall shows us what life will be like when Jesus returns and makes everything right again. Heaven by Randy Alcorn is super helpful (AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) to learn more here. Prior to the fall, Adam and Eve enjoyed their work and enjoyed one another. Our relationships that we know today will be changed in eternity, but all relationships, all work, and every moment will point to God's glory.

Even right after Adam and Eve sinned, God slaughtered an animal and made Adam and Eve clothing. His plan to provide covering for their sin through the blood of Christ is already being foreshadowed here. We consistently see God's grace and humanity's need for Him throughout Scripture.

Featured Resource

Cornerstones by Brian Dembowczyk is a fantastic resource that walks through 200 questions and answers to build a strong theology with kids.

How Do We Raise Kids Who Love God's Word?

If we are excited about the gospel and God's Word, it will translate to how kids will view it. We also need to connect God's Word to daily life. It's not simply an academic exercise, but is for all of life. Also, our kids need to see us in God's Word.

Should I Be Excited About Good Things In My Life?

In Episode 015, 
 

Trillia Newbell joins me to talk about enjoying God's good gifts.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Should I Be Excited About Good Things In My Life? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

   
  
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    Trillia Newbell is the author of   Enjoy  ,   Fear and Faith  ,   United ,  and   God’s Very Good Idea  . She's been published in Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and more. Trillia is married to Thern and they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at  trillianewbell.com  and follow her on twitter at  @trillianewbell . 

Trillia Newbell is the author of EnjoyFear and Faith, United, and God’s Very Good Idea. She's been published in Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and more. Trillia is married to Thern and they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN. You can find her at trillianewbell.com and follow her on twitter at @trillianewbell

We started off by asking Trillia, "What’s one thing that you do for your kids that you would recommend to others?"
She talked about listening and talking with them -- and also spending one-on-one time with each kid. Sitting down and looking them in the eye and letting them know they have your full attention goes a long way. Put your phone down and actually listen to your kids. Hard boundaries for technology is so important. We mention the following books:

The Tech Wise Family

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

Tough Question: Can We Be Excited About God's Good Gifts, Even If and Especially If Someone Else Isn't Receiving Them?

Absolutely, we have freedom to enjoy God's good gifts! We can enjoy it and not feel guilty because God has given these gifts to us specifically. Now - we do not want to be boastful or to raise kids who are boastful. We want to raise children who are grateful for God's gifts. 

How Can We Best Show Our Kids the Gospel When They Don't Get Something They Want? 

Trillia tells us a hilarious story about her son asking her to draw Kung Fu Panda. She finishes us to tell us that she doesn't tell her kids that they are good at things they are not good at. Our kids want us to speak truth to them. We want them to know if they fail at something, then it's ok! Maybe God has not gifted them in that way, but in another way. The Church is a body of many parts. 

Featured Resource

This book will help you more thoroughly answer this question, and move you to a spirit of gratitude in all things as you enjoy the good gifts God has given.

How Do You Teach Kids to Love God's Word?

You have to love God's Word! Do you love God's Word? Let your kids see you reading God's Word, talk about it, get them resources that they love. Kids will adopt the importance that you place on things, and the importance you place on Scripture is no different.

 

Does God Care If We Are Lonely?

For episode 014 of Questions Kids Ask,

Lisa Whittle joins us to talk about if God cares. Does He care if we are lonely? If we are facing hard times? If we are sad? 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Does God Care If We Are Lonely? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Lisa is the author of 6 books, speaker, founder of Ministry Strong and the 5 Word Prayers Daily Podcast. She has also been a wife for 22 years and is the mother of 3 amazing humans and to one spoiled dog. . She loves The Bible and The Office, and is a feisty work in progress. She would be first to tell you that Jesus is all she knows, but I actually know she knows quite a bit about parenting and pointing kids to Jesus well in our homes.

Lisa is the author of 6 books, speaker, founder of Ministry Strong and the 5 Word Prayers Daily Podcast. She has also been a wife for 22 years and is the mother of 3 amazing humans and to one spoiled dog. . She loves The Bible and The Office, and is a feisty work in progress. She would be first to tell you that Jesus is all she knows, but I actually know she knows quite a bit about parenting and pointing kids to Jesus well in our homes.

 

Big question:
Does God Care If We Are Lonely?

Lisa talks to us about how she tells her children that they are never alone, and if they feel lonely they can run to God who loves them infinitely more than any other person for comfort. Being without parents is so difficult, and we need to be preparing our kids to be adults who rely on Christ and not only on us. Of course, that comes as they grow into adulthood, but it's helpful to remember that we are raising tiny adults. 

Does God care if we are happy?

The culture does often tell us that our happiness is the pinnacle of human experience, but Scripture doesn't tell us this. God rejoices over us and one day all things will be made right. But, as all things are for the purpose of His glory, every moment may not be happy and fun.

Unhappiness and difficulty was not God's design upon creation, but with sin's entry into the world, it is a reality.

Featured Resource

Lisa recently began a daily podcast called 5 Word Prayers Daily by Lisa Whittle. 
It is available anywhere you listen to podcasts. It's just five minutes everyday (Monday-Friday), but just because it is short doesn't mean it is shallow. You'll want to listen in and start your day with some encouragement from God's Word. 

How Do You Cultivate a Love for God's Word?

Use God's Word powerfully to encourage and instruct but never as a weapon. Lisa tells us a story about a really difficult Bible class that her son was not doing well in. The way the Bible was being presented wasn't helping him love Scripture, and that was really difficult. I don't want Scripture to be a chore for kids, but to be a love; for the Word to be used for the positive and not the negative. We tell our kids over and over again, "If you want to know something, you can learn it in God's Word."

Love it. That's a good word for us to remember. We can absolutely run to God's Word in all circumstances.

What is Heaven? What is Hell? Are They Real?

For Episode 013...

Brandon D. Smith joins us to talk about heaven, hell, and all the questions surrounding the two. We talk about heaven, hell, the new Jerusalem, judgment houses, and how we will not be sitting on clouds playing a harp for all of eternity.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering What is Heaven? What is Hell? Are They Real? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Brandon Smith works with the Christian Standard Bible, serves as Editorial Director for the Center for Baptist Renewal, and co-hosts the Word Matters podcast with Trevin Wax. He is also one of the pastors at City Church in Murfreesboro, TN and has written a few books, including They Spoke of Me: How Jesus Unlocks the Old Testament.

We started off by asking Brandon to share with us what book has changed your life and parenting.
He recommended The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel (which I haven't read but will be reading ASAP!). This book is all about how it so easy to be concerned with appearances, when the way of the Lamb is sacrifice, compassion, love, and service.

Our tough question is:
What is Heaven? What is Hell? Are They Real?

Scripture talks about these as real places, and if we believe that Scripture is true, then we know that these are real places. We do need to reshape the way we talk about these, though. We should not talk about salvation as fire insurance, which so often we do with kids.

Instead, heaven and hell are best described as the holding place for those who trust and obey Jesus (heaven) or those who choose not to do so (hell) until Jesus returns. 1 Cor 15

To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord is true, but heaven is not the final place that Christians will be. Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no great separation between the realms of heaven and earth. God dwelled with Adam and Eve. God created the world good, and God does not give up on His creation. God will resurrect all of creation when Jesus returns. One day, all Christians will live as perfected men and women on this earth, not sitting on clouds and playing harps, but serving God and being with Him for eternity.

The easier way to help kids understand this is to help them talk about living forever in God's Kingdom and helping them understand how wonderful it will be. Brandon talks about trusting and obeying God with his kids instead of putting a ton of focus on heaven and hell. Helping kids understand sin and consequences is great, but of course, talking about hell needs to be done carefully so as not to confuse or overly scare kids.

Featured Resources

Last question for Brandon, and it was this one:

How Do You Teach Kids to Love God's Word?

Read to them - Bible stories, Disney classics, board books, picture books, chapter books. Raise kids who love books and you are way more likely to also have a kid who loves the Bible. 

Your kids will think normalcy is what they grow up seeing - so if you are reading in front of them, they will know that reading the Bible is important in adult life and that it really is as important as you say it is.

What Is Sin and What Do I Do With It?

For Episode 012...

Rachel Swanson joins us to talk about sin and how to raise kids who confess sin and ask forgiveness quickly. I love how this conversation leads so simply into talking about the gospel and our need for rescue from sin that can only be done through a relationship with Jesus. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering What is Sin? What Do We Do When We Sin? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or below.

 Today’s guest is Rachel C. Swanson. She is a dental hygienist turned best-selling author, speaker and accredited christian life coach. Her best-selling book, "Big and Little Coloring Devotional," was birthed by her own struggle to keep it together as a busy mom of three children under two. Rachel has been married to her husband for eleven years, and they live in country town just outside Los Angeles, CA. You can learn more about Rachel by visiting her website at  www.RachelCSwanson.com . 

Today’s guest is Rachel C. Swanson. She is a dental hygienist turned best-selling author, speaker and accredited christian life coach. Her best-selling book, "Big and Little Coloring Devotional," was birthed by her own struggle to keep it together as a busy mom of three children under two. Rachel has been married to her husband for eleven years, and they live in country town just outside Los Angeles, CA. You can learn more about Rachel by visiting her website at www.RachelCSwanson.com

 

I asked,

"What do you do in your free time?"

Obviously, that was a ridiculous question for me to ask because parents don't have free time. But Rachel talked about how she's jumped into coaching after leaving her dental hygienist job. Talk about a transition - from cleaning teeth to helping people clean up their lives.

Big Question: What Do We Do When We Sin?

Making apologies and asking forgiveness normal in your home will also make it easier to identify and confess sin before the Lord. It doesn't have to be a huge event. It can be really simple. 

Similarly, prayer doesn't have to be a huge event, but we can pray without ceasing with short prayers throughout the day. 

What is sin?

Sin is anytime that we do, think, or say something that is against God's instructions in His Word, or anytime we don't do what we should do. God can't be around sin because He is holy and just and He has to punish sin. Praise the Lord, though, for those who trust Jesus - our sin has already been punished because Jesus paid for it on the sin. God won't punish sin twice, so those who trust Jesus are declared innocent. We still confess our sin and ask forgiveness, because although we are declared innocent, sin breaks out fellowship or right relationship with God, so we confess our sin so that we can have a growing relationship with the Lord. 

Featured Resource

Get a downloadable guide to talk with your kids about sin and what it means to be a Christian by signing up to receive emails from us in the sidebar on the right, or right here:

* indicates required

 

How Do You Cultivate a Love for Scripture with Your Kids?

We cannot stress the importance of cultivating a love for books as a direct correlation to a kid's love for the Word. Do a lot of reading of children's books and devotional books - helping kids understand the main truth of the story. As our kids get older, maybe we'll listen to podcasts or we'll find other resources for them. 

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

For Episode 011...

Micah Fries joins us to help us understand why there are kids who go to bed hungry at night, why earthquakes or tornados destroy entire towns, and why we face hard times that seem to be too much to bear. In this episode we talk about how sin has invaded every piece of life on earth, how we shouldn't sanitize Bible stories, and how we can parent kids who love God's Word.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Do Bad Things Happen? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Micah Fries is the Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. He and his wife, Tracy, have three super fun kids. He has written a few books including Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, and he has a book coming with B&H Academic soon called Islam and North America: Loving our Muslim Neighbors. Micah is also the co-host of the @ESTChurch podcast. 

I asked: 

Where has your favorite place been to travel?

The mountains of Lesotho in South Africa. It is the only country in Africa that has annual snowfall. Nepal is also unbelievably beautiful.

Big question: Why Do Bad Things Happen?

We want our kids to have a strong understanding of sin. Sin has broken all things - both individually and globally. Sin invades every corner of every cellular structure on the planet - humanity, grass, trees. The created order longs for restoration, and one day Jesus will restore all things.

And when we say, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
RC Sproul addresses this, "Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.”

Feature Resource

Here are the books in The Big Picture Interactive Brand. We use the Old Testament and New Testament board books for  our toddlers and they carry them around all the time, attempting to tell anyone who will listen the stories found inside.

How do we encourage our kids to love God's Word?

Mom and Dad need to love God's Word. Discipline is important, but not the fundamental foundation of our faith. That we love Jesus and God's Word is foundational. It cannot be a duty, we need to have a love for the Word. 

Find resources that your kids love that will make your kids love God's Word. If you kid is artistic, get them a coloring devotional Bible. Throw as many darts at the wall and see if any of them stick. 

Where should you start reading the Bible with kids? 

The Old Testament is a great place to start. No book in the world rivals the stories found in the Bible. We have to make them exciting for kids and read them as if we've never read them before, experiencing them through the eyes of our kids.

How Are We Made in God's Image? with Dan Darling

For episode 010...

In this episode, we talk about human dignity, God's image, and how it is present after sin's entry into the world, and how this truth should affect the way we treat others and think about others.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering How Are We Made In God's Image? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), and is the author of multiple books including,  The Original Jesus . He writes regularly for Christianity Today’s  CT Pastors , Homelife, In Touch Magazine, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and is a graduate of   Southern Baptist Theological Seminary . Dan and his wife Angela have four children and live in the Nashville area, where Dan serves at Green Hill Church as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

Dan Darling is the Vice President for Communications for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), and is the author of multiple books including, The Original Jesus. He writes regularly for Christianity Today’s CT Pastors, Homelife, In Touch Magazine, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and is a graduate of  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dan and his wife Angela have four children and live in the Nashville area, where Dan serves at Green Hill Church as Pastor of Teaching and Discipleship.

I asked Dan:

What's the best thing about being a dad

Dan said he loves watching their wheels turn as they begin to understand big truths and just loves getting to be with his kids and watching them grow. 

Can you believe that God entrusts us kids to raise and love? Seriously. I just wish I had a manual. Or training program. 

Big Question: How Are We Made in God's Image?

God spoke all creation into existence, and then humans were sculpted by God from the ground. Throughout history, kings and leaders have put their image on things to show their importance. God has made us image-bearers of His. He has given us responsibilities to rule over the world, to reflect Him in the way that we relate to others, and in the way that we are logical, etc.

You are created in God's image. You have purpose. You have meaning. And this is true of every single person. 

The image of God is still fully represented in humanity. 

When we view others as being made in the image of God, we will respect one another, love one another, and there won't be problems with violence, racial tensions, or 

God, in Christ, makes us capable of being the reflection of God because Jesus is the fullest image of God. Jesus is the fullest example of what humanity should be.

Featured Resource

Dan's book is forthcoming, but hear about it when it's available by subscribing to Dan's podcast The Way Home or following him on his website.

What's the best parenting advice you've ever received?

God is filling in the gaps. We will fail and sin, but God is the perfect parent. It's important that our kids see us desperate for Jesus on our knees.

Why Does God Ask Us to Do Strange Things Sometimes?

For episode 009...

We talk about God calling Aaron's family to move from Canada to the US, and how He asks His people throughout Scripture to do things that don't necessarily seem to make sense. We also talk about addressing hard things in the Bible in age-appropriate ways. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Do Bad Things Happen? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

 Aaron is the Brand Manager of The Gospel Project, author of multiple books and two documentaries on Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther. He, his wife, Emily, and their three kids, moved to Nashville about 18 months ago from Canada.

Aaron is the Brand Manager of The Gospel Project, author of multiple books and two documentaries on Charles Spurgeon and Martin Luther. He, his wife, Emily, and their three kids, moved to Nashville about 18 months ago from Canada.

I asked Aaron: 

What's your favorite part of being a dad? 

The unpredictability of what they are going to say or questions they are going to ask. (RIGHT? You never know what is going to come out of their tiny little mouths, for better or worse.)

Big Question: Why Would God Call You To Do Something A Little Crazy?

Aaron tells us about how each of this three kids responded to the news that they were moving to a new country, ranging from no response to direct melt-down.

God doesn't promise us lives of predictability and comfort.

The Israelites being called out of Israel was a weird thing. God asking Noah to build a boat in his backyard when no one had ever seen a flood before was super weird.

Aaron was called to come live in the Bible Belt, instead of of where there are so many fewer churches in Canada. The logical thing to do would be to stay, but God had other plans.

Featured Resource

Aaron and Brian Dembowczyk, whose name you will recognize, host this podcast. In this podcast, they discuss stories and how they point us all to Jesus. It's a great resource to listen to in addition to Questions Kids Ask!

How do you disciple your kids:

1. We use quality resources like this and one forthcoming from The Gospel Project for Kids.

2. When they have questions, we answer them.

3. Modeling is incredibly important. We read the Bible in front of them. We apologize and ask forgiveness of our children.