Understanding Christian Persecution Through the Moses Bible Story App

It’s history repeating itself once again. The first was during the time of Moses, when the Jews or the Children of Israel were persecuted by the Egyptians, driven to the desert to suffer for 40 years. Then, the persecution of the Jews during the time of the Nazis, and now another round of suffering under the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Islamic State or ISIS.  Christian persecution is alive and real today.

Such incidents can lead to certain doubts and questions about the Christian faith. Are these signs to convert? Forsake Christianity to escape persecution? If there’s anything that the Bible tells us, however, it is the fact that God promised his followers that they would experience persecution, but also that Christ is victorious in the end.

Isaiah 49:16

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

Understanding Christian Persecution Through the Moses Bible Story App

The Lord will remember us in Christian persecution

Despite everything that’s happened to Christians in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the world, there’s still hope. God will never forsake His people.

Thanks to the Bible, fear need not strip Christians of their faith. Give your children this sword of Truth by reading the Bible and Bible Stories to them daily. To know more about Bible heroes, including Moses, who delivered the God’s people out of Egypt, their faith will be strengthened. Of course, for children to truly appreciate the word of God, they should be given a source that they can relate to. The Moses Bible story app can provide the great teachings at a level that they can understand.

Understanding Christian Persecution Through the Moses Bible Story App

Children learn quickly and easily through stories. Accompanied by songs, puzzles and coloring games, they will be able to absorb what a story is all about. Moses’ life, his childhood and the burning bush are just some of the stories included in the Bible stories app.

So make it a habit to read the Bible and instill the same to your children. When they become familiar with the word of God, their faith will not waver, regardless of the adversity they face. Make this task easier on your part by using a Bible story app that’s fun and engaging, yet profound.

Summer Bible Printables and Activities from 4soils: Jonah and the Giant Fish

Keeping your children busy all summer long can challenge even the most prepared parent!  It can be especially hard to keep your children in the routine of Biblically based learning as summer schedules for Sunday School, church and family vacations take you out of your normal routine.

Sharing the classic stories from the Bible in a fun engaging way can keep children interested, thinking and asking about how God is always present–whether it is summer time or Christmas time.

Throughout the Summer months, we will share some of the best resources, printables and activities for your children. Stay tuned as 4Soils releases even more fantastic Biblical content, including Joseph, The Cross, The Prodigal Son and much, much more!

This week, we’d love to share some great ways you can share lessons from Jonah and the Giant Fish with your children.

Summer Bible Printables and Activities from 4soils: Jonah and the Giant Fish

The story of Jonah is about God asking Jonah to obey His will and at the same time to love people he did not like very much. It is a great lesson for young children; and one they can carry into adulthood!

1. Share the scripture. Jonah is a very short book of the Old Testament. Chapters 1 and 2 share the story of Jonah and the Giant Fish. Chapters 3 and 4, further the story to talk about the conversion of Nineveh, Jonah’s anger and his subsequent understanding that God calls us to love everyone: each those we do not like.

2. Let your children experience the story of Jonah themselves. Your young readers could explore the story in an easy reader children’s Bible. Or download Sproutville or the stand-alone Jonah and the Giant Fish app from the App Store and let your children hear the story, read the story and play in the story.

3.  Print our fantastic coloring page printables or our prayer cards. The coloring pages are a great quiet time activity to unwind and unplug for the day. The Prayer Card printables are a great way to sit with your child and work on prayer skills. For the story of Jonah, the prayer card printable asks your children to list how they can love one another. Fill it out. Pray together. And then hang the prayer card somewhere that your child can see it. Everyday before the offering the prayer, ask your child if they have any additions to the list or if they found themselves loving someone new.

4. Take it to the world. Use your prayer card to inspire action. Have your children make a card for a child who might annoy them. Or ask them to invite someone new to a playdate or to the playground. For more ideas on talking to your children about the story of Jonah, check out our full parent resource guide here. 

We’d love to hear your ideas for talking about Jonah with your children! Please share your ideas below!

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: Noah

The big Hollywood movie has been highly anticipated, so we went on a team outing to watch it and see how they portrayed this powerful story.

Movie Review: Noah

First, some team bonding over yummy Indian food Movie Review: Noah

Movie Review: Noah

Team Outing Indian Food before Noah Movie

Now, where were we, oh yes, the movie.

NOTE: SPOILER ALERTS!!!

As story tellers ourselves, we appreciate the difficulties of imagining and filling in the real-life interactions that are left unsaid, or only hinted at, by the Bible. If the director only used the details provided by the Bible, the movie would have a 15 minute run-time!

Some of the imaginative parts: like the watchman rocks who helped Noah build a lot of the ark, felt a bit “action movie” ish, almost like they recycled transformers

We liked how it explored the concept of sin and wickedness of men, and was not so black and white about “good” vs “bad” people.  Noah recognized that even within himself and his family, there are wicked intents, it is within mankind itself because of the fall and the seed of Adam. We saw that even in Noah’s family, with the strife between father and both sons over their children and future.  Ham would betray his father over a girl he barely met for a few hours, but the desire to procreate and have his own family is strong I guess.

The descendants of Cain wanted to control their own destinies, not let God.  While I see how it really helped with the human elements of the plot to have Noah be that decider of the future of mankind with his own family, this is fundamentally where the movie missed the “point” of the Bible as a whole – that God had a plan to redeem mankind from the beginning.  The choice was not Noah’s, the sacrifice was made by God by sending Jesus, his own Son, down to earth to redeem mankind and take on the punishment for our sins.  God didn’t make it up as he went along, he had this plan even in Genesis, though he was heartbroken at the rebellion of man.  God loved us so much that He would give up His only son to be killed at the cross by man, for man.  THIS is the gospel, and THIS is why 4Soils exists, not to re-tell an old story, but to tell an on-going story, that applies to you and me today.

What did you think of the movie?  And are you taking your children to see it?

What can you learn from Joseph’s brothers?

In the Bible Heroes: Joseph app, children around the world read about God’s faithfulness to his promises and to Joseph. But what can we learn from Joseph’s story about his brothers?

What can you learn from Josephs brothers?

One of the key lessons is not making rash decisions in anger. Joseph’s brothers were angry at him because of three reasons:
1) he tattled on him (Gen 37:2)
2) he was the favorite of his father Israel /Jacob (Gen 37:3)
3) he shared his dream that his brothers will bow to him (Gen 37:5-11).
Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they wanted to kill him (Gen 37:18)!

Why does the Bible teach so strongly against anger, and equates it to murder (Matthew 5:21-26)? Anger is the enemy of reason. Men do in the heat of passion what their reason, in a moment of objectivity, abhors. You are never in greater danger than when you let anger take its hold on you.

After all, if in fact Joseph’s dream really came from God, then his brothers should not resist God’s perfect will, and if not, they could have dismissed it and chuckled at Joseph’s arrogance.

Prayer for all of us (parents, children, and parents to set a good example for their children): Help me Lord to have self control and quickly forgive. Help me to not do things out of anger, lest I regret what I do and say.

Today, we released the pre-K version of our Joseph story, appropriate for children 3-5, with even more games and activities, in addition to our original Joseph release better fit for children 6-8.  I hope these apps will be helpful in teaching your children about this and other lessons from the story.

A Song to Remember

Songs have a powerful way of helping us remember things. Whenever I try to think about the 50 states of the US, I still return to a song that I learned in elementary school.

God told his people to use Song to remember His goodness on various occasions, such as with Moses and David.

In Deuteronomy 3:19-22, the Bible says:

“Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20 For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. 21 Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.” 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.

This is why 4Soils has partnered with the Child Evangelism Fellowship to bring you “SING” in the Bible Heroes apps. Our first song, God’s Power, is available on all Bible Heroes apps for free. Look forward to more songs in store coming soon!

What are some of your favorite Bible songs to teach your children?

Guest Post: Expanding Children’s Minds with Bible Stories

Guest Post: Expanding Childrens Minds with Bible Stories

As the mother of three children – ages 9 and 6 (yes, I have twins) – it is mindset to go beyond the education they receive in school. With the importance schools place on standardized testing, I want to teach them the things they need to know in life that are not included in these tests. Their understanding of courage, faith, and perseverance are just as important as learning reading, writing, and arithmetic. I have found the Bible is the best way to teach them these things.

Here are some of the ways the Bible has helped my children to grow:

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Our Development Cycle: Illustration

Our Development Cycle: Illustration

4Soils is based out of the Venture Studio at Stanford, but our illustrator, Noel, works from his home in the Philippines.  This means that most of our communication—everything from the Sphinx’s smile in Joseph, to the color of Queen Vashti’s hair in Esther— is decided through email.

Sometimes it’s difficult communicating exactly what we’re looking for in text. Sometimes, after sending emails back and forth, we have to open up an image editor and draw a mockup. It’s magical how immediately a picture can make things clear.

Our Development Cycle: Illustration

Illustrations play a similar role in our apps. They clarify the story text. They bring the Bible to life, helping children imagine how Joseph must have felt when his brothers tossed him into a cistern and sold him as a slave. So just like when writing our stories, we take great care to make sure our story illustrations really support the Bible text.

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Our Development Cycle: Story

Our Development Cycle: Story

Ever told a great joke you just heard, only to find it’s not quite as funny when it leaves your lips?

Telling Bible stories feels a lot like that. The Bible is the Greatest Story Ever Told– it’s the most influential story in Western culture– it’s the bestselling story each year, every year. And it’s the divinely inspired story that’s changed the lives of millions of people.

How do you tell a story like that?

The short answer is, with a generous dose of humility.  It’s a challenge that keeps us on our feet. But it’s a thrilling challenge, because we believe that mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone provide exciting opportunities to present the Bible to children in new and interactive ways.

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