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NYWC Atlanta 2012: Part 1

17 Nov

There’s nothing like a National Youth Workers Convention to jump-start my blogging!  So, I will once again attempt to record my thoughts, observations, and notes here…should anyone be interested in reading them.

I came a day early for the pre-convention spiritual retreat, “Coming Home: An Invitation to Rest in God” led by Mark Yaconelli.  This also gives me a chance to scout the lay of the land before the rest of our group comes up tomorrow.

This is the first time I’ve been to an NYWC in Atlanta that wasn’t at the World Congress Center.  At first I was very disappointed in the new location of the conference, but once I got here I fell in love with it!  The Atlanta Marriott Marquis is beautiful, well laid-out, and has great access to plenty of food options that are reasonably priced.  In fact, I can walk from the parking garage to the hotel to the Peachtree Center Mall without ever stepping foot outside!  I can see definite advantage in having the conference in the hotel!  It takes 30 seconds to get up to my room!

Now…on to more weighty matters.  My first day of retreat was very meaningful.  The Lord has spoken to me and revealed to me some deep things about myself.  We spent the day exploring the idea of “coming home,” with God being the one who is always “at home” in our lives.  We are the prodigals who wonder away and need to come back home to the Father.  We explored our childhood memories of home, we wrestled with the deep fears and longings of our hearts, and we laid ourselves bare to Jesus’ loving attention.   I really can’t write any more on this until I have some time to sit with it.

Finally, let me say that I’m thankful the bookstore wasn’t actually open for purchasing anything.  I gave it a very thorough look over, and if I could buy anything right now, I’m sure I’d blow a small fortune!  There are so many great resources and books there for student ministry and personal growth.  So, I’m now going to spend some time narrowing down my selections!  Tomorrow is going to be great!

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Review–NCV Dad’s Bible

22 May

The Dad’s Bible (New Century Version) by Thomas Nelson Publishers is a well-crafted devotional Bible for fathers, full of articles, resources, and insights to help any Christian dad live out his faith in real ways that make a difference in his family, community, and world.

The Dad's Bible

The Dad’s Bible is presented in the New Century Version, a contemporary, easy-to-read translation.  I would describe it as a cross between the New Living Translation and the Message.  While the NCV is an actual translation, not a paraphrase, it does loosely translate many of the ancient idioms and technical terms (such as measurements) into modern day equivilants.  I wouldn’t recommend this translation for serious study,  but for public and devotional reading, I found it very fluid and enjoyable to read.

As a soon-to-be father I found the articles sprinkled throughout this Bible to be inspirational and encouraging.  The key features highlight areas of family leadership, godly character, insights drawn from the text and applied to modern day living, as well as specific and practical ways to pass on the Christian faith and biblical values to your children.  I also enjoyed the honesty of the “Dads in the Bible” feature which highlights key fathers in the Bible…the good, the bad, and the ugly, and draws useful principles out of their stories. Other helpful features include a great “Question and Answers Resource” perfect for helping dads answer sticky questions their kids may ask about God and the Bible, a topical index, and insightful Bible book introductions.

I am looking forward to making The Dad’s Bible a daily part of my adventures in fatherhood after our baby is born.  The humorous but thoughtful style to the articles makes it fun and encouraging to read, but also leaves the space for introspection and personal challenge we should all get from reading the Scripture.  It would make a great gift for any dad, whether their child is still to be born or heading off to college.

(Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a free review copy – no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)