Monday, March 4, 2013

Are You Watching?

Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only LordLove the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you, and write them on your doors and gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9, NCV

Our kids learn in different ways.  Some are auditory learners; some visual learners; some kinesthetic learners.  Adding special needs to the mix can seriously complicate that learning process.  This is even more the case when we are attempting to teach our kids abstract concepts like faith and spirituality.

I am grateful that actress Roma Downey and her producer husband, Mark Burnett decided to put their faith into action by bringing The Bible mini-series into our homes via The History Channel.  This is one more tool to reinforce what our kids are learning through Bible reading, Sunday School, AWANA, CCD or other Christian formation.  

Last night, we viewed the first episode as a family, cuddling together and eating popcorn.  The experience in our home was a meaningful one.  For starters, the story line, which begins with Noah recounting the creation story and fall of humanity, moved at a pace riveting enough for our youngest with severe ADHD.  The cinematography was so remarkable, that it truly helped God's word come alive for our kids.  It was fun to watch the light bulb go on a couple of times as our neuro-typical 16-year-old connected the dots with some things in Scripture that she had learned before, but that had never previously made sense to her.  Of course, our youngest had plenty of questions.  Because we had the luxury of viewing this as a family in our own home, we could spend time during the commercial breaks addressing all of her inquiries. For us, the best part of using The Bible series as a tool  was that it spawned plenty of discussion -- between us and amongst the kids.  

There was no questioning that the common thread throughout each Bible story portrayed was God's faithfulness.  He was faithful with Noah and His family.  He rescued Lot.  He fulfilled His promises to Abraham.  And He delivered His people through Moses.  Seeing this all visually portrayed in vivid and action-packed ways helped reinforce with our children the lessons that we must trust in God's timing, provision and power to rescue.

As this week's episode concluded, we were left in awe of our Mighty God, thirsty for more.  And isn't that what the Bible evokes in us, when traditionally read with understanding?  The Bible Series is a venue for the Lord to ignite the passion for knowing Him, and for that, I am tremendously grateful.

The History Channel is making available additional media to enhance this opportunity of growing in relationship with our Maker.  For adults, there is the 30-Day Experience DVD Study & Guidebook, allowing small group engagement.  Individual study can be deepened with A Story of God and All of Us Reflections.  This devotional style book includes photos from the movie, a brief passage from Scripture, a personal narrative by Roma Downey and/or Mark Burnett, and a short prayer.  Recommended for kids with a cognition of 8 and up is A Story of God and All of Us for Young Readers.  This narrative follows the exact script of the movie with a photo section of movie clips.  Of course, if you are not able to view the series when it is aired or wish to have a permanent copy of it, you may purchase on DVD.  Rounding out the complimentary media, A Story of God and All of Us gives Bible highlights in a narrative that reads like a novel.  All of these items are intended to spark more interest in God's word, not replace it.

We look forward to the weeks ahead, and pray that this will be an impactful season that our family remembers the rest of their lives.  What a blessing to know that the Maker of the Universe, the ultimate Author of History is glad to make Himself known when we earnestly seek Him!

PRAY:  Father, thank You for any additional tools that You provide for us, helping us to obey Your commands in Deuteronomy 6.  Give us wisdom as we attempt to grow our children in love and knowledge of You.  Grow us, ourselves in intimacy with You, the Lover of our souls, so that we may impart what we have learned to the young lives You have entrusted to our care.  We put our trust in You, Almighty God.

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