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Aug 28, 2015

What's a Parent Training Center? And a Book Review

As part of the Parent Training Center blog launch, I have had the opportunity to review Parenting is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  I love the idea of a heart based parenting approach and this book has been on my short list for a long time.  I think a lot of the Turansky/Miller books were at one time on my short list and are now on my book shelf or Kindle!

I have let bad parenting habits take root, just like the boys have some bad behavior that has become habitual.  They're just automatic reactions and don't require any real thought.  Together, we are working to change these harmful relational patterns.  I have *reasons,* or excuses, for why things get the way they sometimes do, but I know I wouldn't accept those excuses from my boys.  I really can't use them myself.

Parenting is Heart Work is divided into four sections.  Each part starts off with a look at a heart issue from the Bible.  We read about David, Abraham, Nehemiah, and Hezekiah and their struggles in their hearts.  Each of the chapters ends with a moving prayer.  You may use that or use the information covered in the chapter to raise your own prayer.

Part 1: Understanding the Heart
A Heart Story from the Bible
1.   What is the Heart? (Part 1)
2.   What is the Heart? (Part 2)
3.   Will I or Won’t I?
4.   Do It Like You Mean It

Part 2: Connecting With Your Child’s Heart
A Heart Story from the Bible
5.   Emotions Have Feelings Too
6.   Turn on Their Heart Lights
7.   Avoiding Congestive Heart Failure
8.   Making the Connection

Part 3: Working Out Heart Change
A Heart Story from the Bible
9.   Talking to Yourself
10. Teaching Your Child’s Heart
11.  Meditation Management
12.  A Light on the Path to Heart Change

Part 4: Touching Your Child’s Heart
A Heart Story from the Bible
13. Constructive Correction
14. Turn Around for Change
15. Defibrillating Your Child’s Heart
16. Cross Your Heart

Parenting is Heart Work is published by David C Cook.
256 page paperback
Retail $15.99

Why am I telling you about Parenting is Heart Work?  Well, because it is an essential part of every Parent Training Center.  And what is a Parent Training Center?  From the NCBPwebsite:  "It's a new initiative from The National Center for Biblical Parenting.  It is a church that intentionally trains parents, providing resources and tools both for discipleship of believers and for evangelism to families in the community."

The discipleship mandate applies to more than individuals.  Churches can be helping and strengthening their families by equipping them with the tools necessary to reach the hearts of children.  The National Center for Biblical Parenting provides the church with the guidance and support to equip families.

The cost: $200 the first year and $100 each year thereafter.  (The first 20 Early Adopters can receive a discount of $50 using code PTC5D upon checkout.)

Learn more:

Aug 4, 2015

This Giveaway is for You! from NCBP

A great new giveaway from National Center for Biblical Parenting.  This time the prize is for you.  I'll be sharing more about Parenting is Heart Work here on the blog very soon.  Good luck!

Heart Parenting Giveaway

We are back with another great giveaway from the folks at the National Center for Biblical Parenting. This one is for the parents and includes a great little camera, as well as a $50 Amazon gift card! Here's what your church could win: 

Parenting Is Heart Work ($15 value)

This foundational parenting book starts with a study of the 750 times the word “heart” is used in the Bible. That changes everything. God’s Word reveals new insight into strategies for change in a person’s life. Concordia University’s Family Ministry Program requires that every student read Parenting is Heart Work. Dr. Ben Freudenburg says, “This is our go-to book for parenting. It’s biblical practical approach is powerful.”

Parenting Is Heart Work Training Manual ($50 value)

The Heart Work Training Manual with Audio Sessions is designed to help you integrate key success principles into your family. Answer the questions in the lesson, look up the scriptures, reflect on the teaching, and watch yourself make significant changes in the ways you relate. When parents change, children change. You’ll love the difference.

Canon Powershot ELPH 170 IS ($150 value) 

High quality still images and video are practically effortless with the slim and stylish new PowerShot ELPH 170 IS camera. The ideal tool for capturing everything from daily fun to special occasions, it's equipped with a powerful 12x Optical Zoom for maximum versatility, plus Intelligent IS to make images clear and almost shake-free even at high zoom lengths. Sharp, high-resolution imaging is fast and easy thanks to the 20.0 Megapixel* sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. Beautiful 720p HD video is as simple as pressing a button, while Smart AUTO intelligently selects just the right camera settings based on predefined shooting situations, so all different types of shots come out perfectly. 

Amazon $50 Gift Card

A fun gift of $50 to spend at


To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

Jul 28, 2015

Parent Training Center Giveaway for Churches

Several years ago, I purchased Hero Training Camp from the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  Since then, I've used quite a few of the parenting resources NCBP has available and I've been happy to tell you about a few of them.  This new resource for churches is no different.  I'm pleased to share this giveaway to help make *your* church a Parent Training Center!  Good luck!

A Parent Training Center is a church that intentionally trains parents, providing resources and tools both for discipleship of believers and for evangelism to families in the community.
The National Center for Biblical Parenting offers resources, and practical support to help you become the Parent Training Center God designed. The Equipping Program contains a number of mobilization tools to help you advance to the next level in your parent discipleship ministry.
With this program you'll interact with experts as well as other pastors and church leaders. Receive personalized guidance for your unique church situations. Use resources that will equip your parents to reach their children's hearts.
Parent Training Center Giveaway for Churches

To introduce your church to the Parent Training Center concept, we are hosting an awesome giveaway that includes some of our best church and parent training resources, along with a $100 gift certificate to the National Center for Biblical Parenting store. Here's what your church could win: 

Parenting Is Heart Work DVD Church Kit ($199.95 value)

Equip parents to touch the hearts of their kids with this biblically-based, practical training program. Parents and teachers of children 2-18 years will benefit from this life-changing curriculum. The Parenting is Heart Work Church Kit includes: • Eight 35-minute video sessions • A Leader's Guide with reproducible pages for attendees • A copy of the 256 page book Parenting is Heart Work
The videos were filmed before a live audience of parents and children. Using drama, Bible stories, and lots of illustrations, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN will energize you and provide you with tools you need to strengthen your family. Use this eight-part video series in your church, small group, or even in your own family. Many times parents have to change the way they parent in order for children to change the way they live.

The Family Toolbox DVD Church Kit ($179.95 value)

The Family Toolbox has 8 lessons for parents, teens, or both in a small group setting. Each one has a 1-2 minute scene of a family living life and experiencing common challenges in their relationships. A discussion guide prompts dialogue among parents and a 10-minute teaching session featuring Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN gives practical tools to use right away.
As the group works through the lessons parents learn:
• How to focus on the heart instead of just behavior • The cues you give that tell your children when you mean business • Practical ways to remove conflict from the problems of family life • How to end correction times with impact • A tool for maximizing heart change in the correction process • The value of teaching kids to accept no as an answer • Ways to reduce anger episodes in children
The Family Toolbox is designed for families with children ten years old and up and is an excellent resource for small groups. Each lesson can be done in 20-30 minutes, but could also lead to discussion and dialogue lasting an hour or more.

Coupon to purchase resources in the NCBP Store ($100 value)

Visit the NCBP store to discover a plethora of church and parent training resources. 


To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

Jun 10, 2015

Motivate Your Child Action Plan {Review}

This post may contain affiliate links.

I recently had the opportunity to read and now review another National Center for Biblical Parenting product.  This follow up book, Motivate Your Child Action Plan, has just been released.  Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller have co-authored another convicting parenting guide.  You do not need to have a copy of Motivate Your Child to use with the MYC Action Plan, though it is helpful.  It was an excellent resource and I reviewed it as well.  Motivate Your Child is referred to frequently in footnotes throughout the MYC Action Plan, letting you know when it would be a good time to read a specific chapter.

In identifying conscience prompters, I found a long list of traits of good character.  Each is to be marked Already Strong or Needs Improvement.  This section was a bit disheartening, and I know I wasn't the only reviewer who felt this way.  While it was encouraging to know others are in the same boat, I also hated to hear how many good people are struggling with their kids. The enemy is dangerous and these are troubling times. This book really brings to mind the very real war we are engaged in for our children's eternities.

Thankfully, we were able to get some clarification from Dr. Turansky who said, "If you have a lot of things and wonder which direction to go first, just choose one that the Lord impresses on your heart. The interesting thing about the heart is that when you work on one area often you'll see other areas of the heart change as well."  You are also encouraged to group like issues together.  Fifteen traits which need improvement can easily become four general issues to tackle.  That simplified matters so much when taken in smaller bites.  

"Meetings" have become more frequent.  I hold a conference with one boy or another every few days.  Sometimes we just chat about our concerns and sometimes we have an all out brain storming session.  The boys still tend to not be especially helpful here, I get a lot of "I don't knows."  Something that has helped give me insight into their minds and hearts was when Daddy asked them some of those interview questions you sometimes see.  How do you know Mom loves you?  What is something Mom is not very good at?  How old is Mom?  (OK, that last one wasn't relevant, but the replies really cracked me up!)  Some of their answers were eye-opening and gave me plenty to think about!

One of the things I've needed to do during our chats is try to remember to change up my vocabulary.  The boys have heard "obey" and "be kind" so much, they just tune it out.  I know they need more clear instruction and to hear words they aren't already sick of hearing.

I've been using far too much reactive parenting.  I don't respond well to issues that arise, mostly because it's the same issues again and again.

Likely, the change in your child will require change in you.
                                         page 14

I've found very clear encouragement and assistance in the MYC Action Plan in the form of dialog examples and fill-in sections for my own thoughts on each boys' specific needs (as well as my own!).  This isn't a book that was written as a "one and done" read.  I will be able to use the information to map a route to our character destination at each phase of their time with us in the family home.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan includes 12 audio session downloads which correlate with each chapter of the book.  The chapters are
  • Change in Forty Days
  • Where Do You Want to Go?
  • The Map to Get There
  • Working Together
  • A Place For Firmness
  • Visioning Moves You Forward
  • Teaching Shows the Way
  • Spiritual Energy Provides Strength
  • Coaching Sets the Attitude
  • Building Motivation from Within
  • Growing Together
  • Good Theology Makes it Work

If you've never heard Dr. Turansky speak on radio shows or at a conference, I think you'll really enjoy listening to him and to Mrs. Miller.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan is a 162 page paperback published by The National Center for Biblical Parenting.
List Price $39.95, is currently $29.95 (a savings of 25%)

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May 3, 2015

Not So Clean

Step 1.  Sit on the kitchen floor.

Step 2.  Pray hard.

Step 3.  When you open your eyes, look around before you get up.

You will be amazed by all the hidden dirt you can't see when you aren't praying.

Feb 15, 2015

Two Left Feet ...or, Something Like that

Did your kids ever struggle figuring out which shoe goes on which foot?  Mine have, and sometimes still do.  They would be struggling to cram a foot into the wrong shoe, I'd correct them and that same rebellious shoe would miraculously slide right onto the right foot.  Sometimes, they'd get both shoes on wrong.  I'd get them to switch while they bemoaned that they'd never get it right.  Sometimes, I let them stay wrong-footed.  No harm in that, I thought.

Today's high temp is below zero F.  It's "wicked cold," as the New Englanders like to say.  I ran out to care for the chickens.  Normally, the water stays warm enough with a lightbulb for heat that I can just knock the frozen ring off the surface of the water.  Not so today.  I brought the waterer in to thaw and refill, which meant kicking off my clunky winter boots.  You see where this is going, right?

Armed with fresh, warm water for Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, Fluffy, and Fluffy (Xav named them.  Don't look at me like that.), I wrestled on a boot.  Immediately, I knew it was wrong, but I just wanted to get out and back as quickly as possible.  With both boots on, I headed down the back stairs.  It felt so wrong.  Then I went out front to grab the newspaper and I realized what a bad decision it was not to take the time to fix the problem.

When you are walking on soft snow or even semi-packed snow, walking is difficult enough.  Add in wrong-footed shoes and you are just asking for trouble.  There is NO support under the outside edge of your foot.  Zero.  Your ankles roll.  A lot.  Uphill.  In the snow.  Both ways.  (I crack myself up!)

I advise correcting your child's shoe placement every time.  And maybe watch yourself.  Sigh...  Someday I'll be all grown up.

Jan 31, 2015

Parenting the Heart and Motivating Your Child

This post contains affiliate links.

I was invited to read and review the book Motivate Your Child by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  If you aren't familiar with the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), I recommend you check them out.  At the website, you can commit to Parent the Heart of your child (nearly 1,000 people already have), listen to the weekly podcast, sign up to receive email tips, and read a great blog.

The newest release at NCBP is the book, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  That's a long title.  It's also a great book.  Authors Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN have collaborated on another practical work which includes real-life conversations between parents and children or that he has had in his counseling sessions. All of the conversations in this book were realistic and very doable.  I didn't once read a dialogue and think, "who talks like that?" or "do other four year olds really respond like that?"

I may not have ever mentioned that one of the reasons I did not reapply to The Schoolhouse Review Crew this year was because of my conviction to free up some time to be more intentional about discipling (and disciplining) the punks.  See, I love my boys so very much and I want to be doing my best to raise godly, self-controlled, motivated children.  Dave was so easy to raise (thank God, because I did it alone), I thought I was an amazing parent.  My parenting skills would be like a shining beacon and all who saw my children would be amazed.  Ta-Da!
And then I had Malachi.
And Xavier.
And Merrick.
See that child tantruming in the produce section?  My kids will never do that.  Oh, and look at that little cherub there, throwing a toy train at his brother.  My kids...  Oh.  Wait.  They do that.

Oh how The Lord must laugh at our human prides.

Not one of these last three has been an "easy" kid.  They all have different personalities, which I expected.  I did not expect the range of "issues" we'd experience parenting them.  I learned, very early in this book, that children who are characterized as strong-willed actually have a lot of internal motivation.  I have one child who frequently tells me, "I want what I want when I want it."  Well, that kind of attitude certainly doesn't sway me, but I can see how very strongly he feels.  Motivate Your Child is providing me with valuable insight and plenty of tools to place in my parenting toolbox.

I found several wonderful bible illustrations and activities smattered throughout Motivate Your Child.  The first one in the book and the one I knew the boys would really love, is what Dr. Turansky refers to as "the stupid verse."

We *aren't supposed to* use that word (among others) in our home.  Xav was practically giddy to read it for me several times.  Sigh...  There was a great conversation in the book and I took it a bit further with some thoughts I had.  We have one boy who is incredibly hard on himself and every mistake makes him stupid or bad.  I wanted to begin a more thorough discussion with him than just saying the usual things we say, which don't seem to help.  I talked to Mal and Xav about how my whole job is to teach them.  Some things they just haven't fully learned yet.  We talked about babies and how little they are able to comprehend and how much they have learned in their lives and how very much they will still learn about later.  We had a wonderful conversation which I hope implanted some new thoughts about themselves.  Hopefully, just the first of the many heart parenting conversations we will have.  MYC provided a great jumping off point to develop a real training session about something very important to us.

"Too many kids say unhelpful things in their hearts.  
Parents can write the script of things that are more appropriate."
page 22

The advice in Motivate Your Child applies to all of us, every single person.  So many times I read "children" and knew that I would benefit from the information myself.  We've slipped into many bad habits of relating with each other in negative ways.  One thing I've noticed about myself, my tone of voice is sometimes harsher than I mean for it to be, even when I'm not irritated with anyone.  Habits get so deeply ingrained they are difficult to break.  I'm learning all kinds of valuable tips and actual steps to take to break free from my own attitude and build new relationships with each of my children.

Motivate Your Child sounds like the title of a book to get your children to do their chores and help around the house, but it's really about relationships and getting our hearts right.  Developing the heart qualities described in the book, will help us be caring, helpful, self-motivated people.  The people who will be the godly leaders of the future, people who can make an impact.

By becoming self-motivated, there is no longer a need for a reward system.  Children who are rewarded for good behavior and cooperation expect larger, more expensive rewards as they grow.  We've often punished by taking away a toy or privilege.  Usually, in our home, that means someone loses the one TV show they get each day.  Often that threat gets a response, but they are angry.  We're angry, too.  With Motivate Your Child, I'm learning better ways.  Parenting the heart means to train your child to consider the needs of others, use their time wisely, and to see what needs to be done and do it without being told.

"If you want your child to fly straight, teach them obedience.  
If you want them to fly high, teach them honor."
page 85

Our new rules when asked to complete something are
  • Do your best.
  • Have a good attitude (happy heart).
  • Make it better.
We're cutting down on grumping and stomping when given an assignment.  The boys are being reminded that we're all part of the family and everyone gets the privilege of contributing. What I mean by "make it better," is taking a look around a room or finishing a task and finding one more thing you can do.  It's sort of like the cherry on top of a job well done.

Micah told me his mother taught him that if you borrow something, you return it in better condition than when you took it.  He once told me about borrowing a baking pan.  It had the usual stuff baked onto it.  The kind of stuff that just seems to become part of the pan.  When he returned it, it was shiny again.  That's a great example of doing that "one more thing."

The second part of the book is a wonderful guide to spiritual development of children.  This section is also greatly encouraging to parents to help us be the main spiritual guide for our children.

"Send your child to church - spiritually feed him for a day.  
Live it out at home - spiritually feed him for life."
p 241

This section covers when you encounter resistance from your children, preparing children to face the challenges of life, how do train your children when you're going solo, and many other topics.  To be 100% honest,  I haven't finished this half of the book.  I have found myself reading, re-reading, and highlighting like a madwoman.  Or at least a mom who is tired of the status quo.  This mama is ready for the joy and peace we are promised in Romans 15:13. 

If you're dealing with anger, rebellion, or just plain laziness, I think you will really enjoy reading this book, implementing your new heart parenting skills, and seeing the changes in your family.

Motivate Your Child is a 266 page paperback published by Thomas Nelson.

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