"Hey Dad, when can I get a phone?"

"Hey Dad, when can I get a phone?"

Even if they haven’t brought it up, it's a pretty safe bet to say your son or daughter wants phone, tablet, or computer (or all-of-the-above) for Christmas. Maybe you've been waiting until all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are announced to find the best price, but there are still a few other things we should consider for clicking that "Buy Now" button. There's a lot of great opportunities for your kids online, but there's also a lot of real danger. How will you decide what's best for your child?

Should You Let Your Kids Read Whatever They Want?

Should You Let Your Kids Read Whatever They Want?

Who cares, right? Books are books! Well, sure. Books ARE books. If you’re going to choose between reading as a family and not reading as a family, choose reading. But when we take that extra step with kids, when we are intentional about what we put in front of them and what it means to them as they develop their sense of who they are in the world, we show them windows into other people's worlds and mirrors of who they are...

How do we help kids choose good books to read? Here' some helpful tips from our guest contributor, Alaina Peterson.

Are You Talking To God Through The Grapevine?

Are You Talking To God Through The Grapevine?

Everyone knows. My wife knows. My friends know. Everyone who's anyone has given me their wise advice. Now, as I reach the decision point, I realize I left someone out. I've been so busy talking to other people that it's almost like God's left to find out about it through the grapevine. Have you known you needed to spend time pouring your heart out to God but struggled to actually get on your knees? Here's a few things I've learned in the process to help refocus my prayers.

24 Ways to Live Like Jesus

24 Ways to Live Like Jesus

At Camp, we want everyone to grow in their faith and share it with others. We developed a helpful tool to easily explain biblical character qualities to our campers. We call it the "Elements of Jesus-Like Character" chart. We've used the 24 character qualities in this chart at summer camp to teach children what it means to live like Jesus. The chart is designed like the periodic table because we see that these character qualities are the building blocks of godly character. Each box contains:

  • The name of a Character Quality
  • An opposing quality to help further understanding
  • A short, simple, and memorable definition
  • A Scripture reference to see where this character quality is found in the Bible

Download your own Elements of Jesus-Like Character chart for free by reading on.

Getting Mad In The Car Might Not Be So Bad After All

Getting Mad In The Car Might Not Be So Bad After All

You're in the car with my family. You've been driving for who know how long. The mile markers whiz by like tall blades of grass as you stare blankly through the windshield. Your mind. is. blank. **BRAKE LIGHTS** **Stomps on brake pedal** **Swerves to avoid car** Where did they come from?! Didn't they see me?! How could they cut me off like that?! Where did they learn to drive?! 

The kids are a little flustered, but everyone's all right. The mood calms down again. But your patience is about to be tested even more.

"Are we there yet?"

Normally, you might get angry, but it would be better if you got mad. I'm not talking about yelling at your kids, I'm talking about...

Halloween: 3 Controversial Things to Celebrate, Avoid, and Redeem

Halloween: 3 Controversial Things to Celebrate, Avoid, and Redeem

It seems that Christians get a bad rap for being "against" a lot of things surrounding Halloween. I've already lost count of the number of "Fall Festivals" and "Halloween Alternatives" at local churches on Halloween night. There are certainly negative and dangerous traditions that go along with Halloween, but it's also the single greatest evangelism holiday in America. You've probably wrestled with how to participate in the celebrations without getting sucked into all the negativity. Here are a few common questions about Halloween, and how you can Celebrate the good, Avoid the bad, and Redeem the traditions in light of the Gospel.

  1. How Can I Help My Kids Pick An Appropriate Costume?
  2. Should My Family Go Trick-or-Treating?
  3. Are Scary Movies OK for My Kids?

Find out the answers to these questions by reading more.

The Amazon Prime Prayer

The Amazon Prime Prayer

It's 8:48pm on Saturday night. I've already sunk an hour into this home project before realizing I don't have the right piece to finish the job. All the hardware stores will be closed by the time I get there, so crack open my laptop and find my way to Amazon.com. 30 minutes and 17 reviews later, I found what I need.

Click. Cart. Buy. Done.

Now it's 10:46am on Sunday morning...

Make Columbus Day Count

Make Columbus Day Count

School's out on Columbus Day. 

Don't waste your chance to make it count.

     If your kids have the day off from school on Columbus Day, what will they do all day? If you're still trying to figure out what they'll do, or - even more importantly - if you haven't found something meaningful for your kids to do, there's two ways you can make Columbus Day count with COCUSA.