Imagine!

Last month I brought to you an exciting new thing that Focus on the Family’s Adventure in Odyssey is doing this summer called “Summer of Service A.C.T.S.”  We talked about how good it is for kids to serve in some way because our Lord and Savior came here on earth to serve.  You can read more about it in the link provided above.

This month they are having some more fun with a giveaway.  Woohoo!  🙂   But first Let’s talk about the imagination!

Unleashing Imagination

Children are spending more and more time in front of TVs, iPads, computers, and video games.  I am so grateful my Muppin is more into using her imagination that using electronics.  I pray that lasts a long time!  Spending so much time using today’s wonderful gadgets doesn’t leave much room for kids to dream up their own visual images—like the ones that fill their minds when they hear a great story! Rather than passively receiving images, kids actively engage in making images themselves when they hear a good story. Their imaginations are enriched and stimulated, and the material becomes more personal and memorable.  I know when I am reading and then see a movie of that book I am never satisfied with the look of the characters because my mind has “imagined” them completely different!

Adventures in Odyssey is all about great stories—and the power of the imagination. The beloved audio dramas are heard on over 700 radio stations, and AIO has recently expanded to books and devotionals—including The Imagination Station series, a fast-growing line of early chapter readers. You can check them out by downloading a FREE e-book of Imagination Station #1: Voyage with the Vikings!

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey encourages kids to write their OWN stories, as they join in ACTS: A Call to Serve! AIO is helping children use their imaginations to serve their family, community, and world this summer—maybe by sending a care package to a missionary or baking cookies for the local fire department or simply talking to the older person at the store who is often forgotten by most people in society today. Check out www.whitsend.org/acts  for details and a chance to win fabulous prizes, including a mission trip with a parent to Costa Rica!

More important than prizes are the stories your child will tell about the creative ways they served others, and how they grew as a result. And what they come up with really might change the world!

A Creative Story of Service

My Muppin has a sweet heart and she is always thinking of those around her who are hurting. She often wants to give to those standing on street corners with signs and sometimes we have it to give and sometimes we don’t, and when that happens her heart is saddened by it.  Not too long ago we were eating and we saw a woman sitting by herself eating.  She was an older woman and looked dreadfully alone and sad.  My daughter couldn’t stop looking at her though I continued to tell her to stop starring.  Finally I asked her why she was so intent on starring and she said, “Mommy, she is so alone, can’t we  pay for her food so it will make her smile just a little today?”  With my heart swelling with happiness I complied and as we left we did just that.  I don’t know what impact that had on her, but it was amazing for my daughter.  What can you do with your kids to spread the act of service around you?

Exciting Giveaway!

For the fun of it I am giving away a fun set of books!  The Imagination Station books #1-3!

imagination giveawayTo enter here are the rules!

1.  Please leave a post below with ways that their family are planning to serve this summer.

2.  Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and leave me the links to your posts here too so that I can give you credit for another entry.

3.  Lastly, if you don’t already follow my blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest page, please do so and you will receive an entry for each of those as well.

You will get an entry for each and every item you do!  What fun is that!!  The giveaway will end Saturday the 29th of June!  So get your entries in soon and have fun serving the world around you!

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Summer of Service A.C.T.S.

The summer is winding down as evidence by the crazy whirlwind that my life is right now!  I have been busier than ever and it isn’t going to slow down for a few more days.  In just hours I am off to our yearly women’s retreat at our church to serve and minister to other women and to hear what God has to say to me.   As I prepare to leave I am reminded of something wonderful that begins next week.  So before I leave I wanted to share A.C.T.S. (A Call To Service) with you!  It is not for us adults.  Us mom’s know how hard we serve already.   😉    This is a program to get our kids to serve!

Why serve?

Our culture puts an extravagant amount of energy into raising kids who will grow up to feel good about themselves. In schools, clubs, homes, and even at church, adults have made a decided effort to bolster children’s “self-esteem” –not by actually encouraging kids do something that’s worthwhile, but by simply telling them they are important and valuable.

At the turn of the century, researchers predicted that the next generation would respond to these efforts of raising self-esteem by being filled with optimism and civic duty. Unfortunately, recent research shows the opposite. Kids coming of age today are more self-centered, disrespectful of authority, and depressed than ever before.

In a very real way, then, the best path toward building selfless, confident children is to help and encourage them toward a growing and thriving faith in God. And that includes obedience to what God teaches—not because it makes kids feel good, although it often does—but because they’re following God’s instructions to love Him and serve others. That builds a faith they can count on and carry with them into adulthood—which is the greatest gift any parent can bestow on their child.

Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=dcb1346767&view=att&th=13e8ec22ea82a46c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P873rJS1u4yrBsktQqV7xgG&sadet=1368747677139&sads=s6tVvE2OvIhx3WQIqkOJHfMLY3QAdventures in Odyssey, the beloved audio series from Focus on the Family, has encouraged kids toward a stronger faith for 25 years. Whit, Connie, Eugene, and the other loveable characters from Odyssey have shared countless adventures with kids across the world in the classic audio dramas, books, videos, and devotionals, fulfilling the AIO promise to help kids discover, imagine, and grow.

This summer, Adventures in Odyssey is joining with Christian bookstores across the country, inviting kids to participate in a Summer of Service. They’re promoting the biblical message, “When you serve, everybody wins,” encouraging kids to serve their families, their communities, and their world. Whether it’s baking cookies for an elderly neighbor or putting together a care package for missionaries overseas, kids will discover that serving can be a blast!

How the A.C.T.S. (A Call to Service) challenge and contest works:

Kids who join A.C.T.S. can pick up a service log and collect fun character stickers for hours served at participating bookstores throughout the summer, or download a serving log online at whitsend.org.  At the end of the summer, kids can record and upload a short video telling how they serve and why they’d like to become an Adventures in Odyssey Ambassador.

A hundred winners will get the brand new AIO Album, and after online voting, two grand prize winners (one boy and one girl) will get to travel on an exciting Good-Goers Mission Based Adventure trip to another country with a parent!  The out-of-country destination will be announced on a live podcast May 22—hosted by AIO actors Katie Leigh (Connie) and Chris Anthony (Chris)—which you can watch at whitsend.org/acts. You don’t want to miss it!

Just to show you some love you can download a free mp3 file of the AIO Service episode, Business of Busyness as well as the free PDF download of summer service ideas for kids.   Enjoy!

What will you be doing with your kids this summer to serve?  I look forward to hearing some fun ideas!  God Bless!!!