Archive for the ‘Teen People of the Bible’ Category

Nov
05
2014

They hear you when you’re speaking

Right before I got married, a wise man, married for many years, gave me a piece of advice. He said, “Dan, always talk favorably about your wife when she is not around. She can hear what you say about her even when she is not around.” This is a maxim I have tried to follow in my marriage. We’ve all been around folks who dis their spouses with regularity. It’s cringe-inducing for those of us who have to hear it and it only makes us wonder how good that marriage can be. I also believe, strongly, that spouses can sense when we don’t have their back, when we’re kind of smiling when we are in their presence, but cutting them down when they are gone. Real love doesn’t do this.

I also think this is an important principle when it comes to our children. It’s  easy to criticize our kids when they are not present, especially when parents get together and kind of share “war stories” of whose kid is more difficult. There’s nothing wrong with retelling funny or difficult moments from parenting with trusted friends. But I think we do harm to our kids when we disparage them to other parents. Even when they aren’t physically present, they can hear us. Kids  instinctively sense when their parents are disappointed in them, when their parents don’t believe in them. And yet it’s so easy to fall into a trap of kind of always lamenting our kids. My kid is so stubborn. My kid is not really smart. My kid is always doing this or doing that. When we do this, it sets a tone, a tone that no matter what our kids do, they will never measure up to our standards, standards we probably couldn’t reach ourselves. Every kid needs their parent to be proud of them. I’m not talking about over-the-top flattery, but I’m talking the kind of approval every child longs for and needs from their parents. Jesus received this at his baptism, when the Father called down from Heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17).” Dads, your kids especially need this from you. Don’t be stingy with encouragement and praise.

I think we often forget that our children are not just our offspring, but they are our neighbors as well. Do we love them well? And if our children are Christians, they are also brothers and sisters in the Lord. Do we treat them appropriately this way? This doesn’t diminish our roles as fathers and mothers. This doesn’t lessen the need for love and discipline. But we’d do well to remember our kids, like us, also deserve grace. They were created in the image of God and deserve our respect and they are sinners who deserve our forgiveness when they fall short.

Parenting can be exasperating, tiring, and sometimes lonely. Venting, at the end of the along day, is sometimes therapeutic. But let’s make sure we don’t damage our kids by talking about them behind their backs. Because despite what we think, our kids can hear us when we are speaking. Even if they are miles away.

Feb
21
2012

Satan’s Hidden Tax

I wrote this for my weekly devotional (published at Crosswalk.com and also Clash Entertainment): 

It was almost midnight and I was nearly finished filing my income taxes. I had finished my federal return and was now almost done with my state return. I live in Illinois and typically the state portion of my taxes is a snap. But the one thing you have to know about living in Illinois is that our fine Land of Lincoln loves to tax things.

And sure enough, as I was nearly to the end of the Illinois return, up pops up a new tax, one I had not heard of in the news. Its creatively titled the “use” tax and it goes like this. If you were smart enough to make a big purchase in another state where there is no sales tax, then Illinois wants a piece of that action. So you’re required to put the dollar figures of your purchases outside the state, including anything you ordered online or thru a catalog.

I hadn’t made any large purchases, just a bunch of small ones. So I took the standard exception. It was only $15 and still didn’t affect my state refund.

But still I was a bit miffed. Apparently it’s not enough for the state to tax sales, property, income, cell phone, utilities, and gasoline. Now they are going after purchases made in other states. And so for about fifteen minutes I treated my wife to what I thought was a brilliant soliloquy on the stupidity of liberal policies in our state. Had it not been midnight I may have filed for the governor’s race in 2013.

Most us hate taxes. We especially hate hidden ones, because it denies us the opportunity to count the cost.

This is eerily similar to life and the two choices you are presented with. One the one hand you can choose Jesus, who is up front about what it costs. He says that to follow Him will cost you everything. His glory demands our sacrifice, not because it earns us more favor, but because it flows from a willing heart. He gave us His all. He is Lord and therefore, it’s only reasonable (Romans 12:1).

Satan also demands your all and exacts a high cost. Only he doesn’t tell you this. He offers seemingly cost-free sensual pleasure and gratification. Just watch the beer commercials. What do they promise? The High Life. A good time. They conveniently edit out the DUI’s and broken shattered homes caused by drunkenness. Watch TV sitcoms. They present free and uninhibited sex and edit out the costly repercussions of indulging God’s good gift outside of marriage: shame, guilt, diseases, broken families.

This is what I call Satan’s hidden tithe. Most of us frown on the idea of sacrificing anything for God. We want don’t want to give up anything. But when we live for ourselves, when we believe the lie of the enemy, when we swim in the current of the world system, we end up “tithing” the best of ourselves.

So before you are two choices. Whose tax will you pay?

As for me, I’d rather pay the tithe on the front end, knowing the costs, rather than paying the enemy’s pernicious hidden tax.

Dec
12
2011

Teen Devos for the New Year

If you’d like to get encourage your young person to develop a study of the Scriptures in 2012, you can help them along the way with some resources I’ve developed. I’d like to share about two of them here:

Teen People of the Bible, Celebrity Profiles of Real Faith and Tragic Failure

 This was my first book and it continues to sell well. It’s a unique, 100-day devotional that features the stories of 29 young people in the Scripture. Each day shares a bit about the Biblical teen, offers a contemporary story about a teen and/or a few practical life lessons, then offers journaling space. Each day also comes with a probing question answered from the Bible and some thought-provoking discussion ideas. I wrote this book to help young people get interested in the Bible. Quite often they crack open the Scriptures and might get lost in Leviticus or think that perhaps the Bible only speaks to folks with gray hair. This is a 100-day devotional, so you might, as a parent or youth pastor, give a 100-day challenge and see if they can’t read through one devotional and the corresponding Scriptures once a day for a 100 days. If you’ve had a hard time getting your teens into a Bible-reading discipline, this is a great resource. You’ll also like that I didn’t try to “dumb down” the Scriptures. So often teen devos are so light and fluffy they actually insult kids by insinuating that they can’t actually grasp difficult ideas.

This is what bestselling authors Jim and Elisabeth George said about Teen People of the Bible: 

With creativity and a clear understanding of a teen’s heart and life, Daniel shares biblical truths in this daily devotional that will set a young person on God’s path day by day. His passion for God’s truth and his knowledge of the struggles and temptations young men and women face is heard on page after page as he dispenses life-saving—and life-changing—help. Every teen will benefit from this powerful book, and every parent will want to give this volume to the young adults in their life! What a great way to put the next generation on a sure path of godliness!

It was also nominated for a Gold Medallion award and was endorsed by Focus on the Family’s (now defunct) Brio and Breakaway magazines. You can read more endorsements here.

 

Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life.

This is another 100-day devotional. This is formatted similarly to Teen People, but instead of covering the stories of Biblical young people, it walks through the five most important areas of a young person’s life. The book is divided up into the 5 “d’s.” Doctrine, Direction, Decisions, Devotion, Delight. It begins with the doctrine section to help kids understand why we believe what we believe. We explain pretty deep concepts like the Trinity and the Holy Spirit in a fresh, but faithful way. I also recommend resources for digging deeper if they want to further study out that concept. Each of these sections contains 20 devos.

So this might be a resource you’d give a high-school junior or senior or a college freshman or sophomore. It’s a concise core of the most important truths we want our young people to understand and make their own. And like Teen People, it’s a 100-day devo, so they can knock it out in like three months. I did it in the devotional format so they could meditate on once concept per day.

Susie Shellenberger, former editor of Brio (Focus on the Family) and founder and editor of Susie magazine says this about Crash Course:

Today’s teens want truth, guidance and authenticity, and they quickly see through the opposites. That’s why Crash Course is a must for every teen’s backpack! Filled with faith-building stories, truth about God’s plan and genuine guidance on how to live out their faith in the midst of life’s toughest moments, Crash Course takes teens on an incredible ride to developing solidity in their relationship with Christ. Daniel Darling has definitely proven himself as an excellent communicator to today’s generation, and I’m excited about the message inside these pages!

Free Resources:

You might also encourage your teen to sign up for my weekly teen devo on Crosswalk, which also appears weekly at the teen site: Clash Entertainment.

Sep
09
2011

Friday Five Interview: Scott Phelps

Scott

Scott Phelps is a leading author of a critically acclaimed abstinence curriculum used around the country, including A.C Green’s Gameplan and Navigator. He is the founder and executive director of the Abstinence & Marriage Education Partnership.

Scott has worked with youth in San Francisco and Chicago and each year speaks to thousands of teens around the country on the benefits of abstinence until marriage. He provides training seminars nationally to help educators and parents effectively communicate the message of abstinence to teens.

I highly recommend his materials for use in schools, youth groups, and homes.

Scott was kind enough to stop by and answer questions for today’s Friday Five:

Read More

Apr
19
2011

My Books Available in New Formats

excited to announce that my books are available in some new formats. First, my two teen devotionals, Teen People of the Bible and Crash Course are now available in the popular Bible study program, WordSearch. I have long used WordSearch for Bible study for preaching and writing. It is an indispensable tool for me. I highly recommend it. If you’re a WordSearch user, you can purchase my books as “ad-ons.” This might be really useful in preparing lessons for youth groups.

Adolescentes de la Biblia  (Teen People of the Bible)  -              By: Daniel Darling

 

Secondly, Teen People of the Bible is available in the Spanish language. You can order it from christianbook.com or other retailers.

Apr
06
2011

Resources for Graduation

Graduated!photo © 2010 Ralph Daily | more info (via: Wylio)

 

 

We’re coming up on graduation day, that fateful day when you step across the aisle and enter into life. I’ll never forget the day I nervously stumbled down the aisle, sweating profusely and wondering what I was going to say in my speech. I remember thinking, “Okay, I’m an adult now, I guess. Now what?”

Well one of my passions is to help young people answer the “Now what?” question in this phase of their life. So as parents and youth pastors and grandparents think about how to equip their kids for the next step of life, I’ve got a few resources:

Read More

Mar
22
2009

Teen People of the Bible

Teen People of the Bible


Teen People of the Bible

To Order:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Christianbook.com

ISBN#:9781596690882

- Nominated for a Gold Medallion

– Recommended by Brio and Breakaway

- Endorsed by Susie Magazine

A unique, 100-day devotional that explores the lives of 29 teens in the Bible, comparing their struggles and triumphs to the lives of everyday teens.

Reviews:

“Daniel Darling has produced a compact, 100-day Bible study for teens packaged in a very attractive format. Youth pastors will find it a helpful tool in their arsenal. And hopefully many students will discover that the stories of the Bible are incredibly relevant to the questions they ask and the struggles they face every day.” 

Ray Pritchard, bestelling author and popular Christian blogger

“This is a relevant tool that will launch teens deeper into scripture through the power of story and real-life application. This is a book that should be placed in the hands of every believing and seeking teen.”

T. Suzanne Eller, Intl. Speaker, Author of Making It Real: Whose Faith Is It Anyway, and founder of Real Teen Faith.

Daniel Darling brilliantly weaves the choices, challenges, victories and defeats of the Bible’s young people into intriguing and thought-provoking lessons for today’s teen. If you are looking for a daily dose of wisdom and a deeper understanding of how God’s Word applies to your life, look no further. This is truly an excellent book!

Ginger Plowman, author, Don’t Make Me Count to Three and Heaven at Home

“Dan Darling is a long-time friend and a man with a message for teens! With creativity and a clear understanding of a teen’s heart and life, he shares biblical truths in this daily devotional that will set a young person on God’s path day by day. His passion for God’s truth and his knowledge of the struggles and temptations young men and women face is heard on page after page as he dispenses life-saving—and life-changing—help. Every teen will benefit from this powerful book, and every parent will want to give this volume to the young adults in their life! What a great way to put the next generation on a sure path of godliness!”

Elizabeth George, bestselling author of A Young Women after God’s Own Heart,  A Young Woman’s Walk with God, and, A Young Woman’s Call to Prayer

“I wish I could give “Teen People of the Bible” to every guy and girl in America. I didn’t even know there were so many teenage heroes in there! Truly inspiring and just what we need, it’s a book no teen should be without.”

Carol Kurtz of Titletrak.com

“I am so excited about a fresh look at famous teenagers in God’s Word. What could be more effective than the challenge of a peer? Teens are given clear Biblical truths that they are able to digest in the context of the 21st century.”

Jackie Kendall, best-selling author of Lady in Waiting

“With tight, crisp writing and straight to the point illustrations, Daniel Darling encourages teens to make their faith real in his book Teen People of the Bible . It’s the kind of book parents and grandparents love to give, and to their amazement, it will be one that kids read.”

Stephen Bly, author of over 100 books, including Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago.

“A great resource for teens, parents of teens, and leaders of teens. It nicely blends practical application with biblical truth.”

“Teen People of the Bible blows the dust off some ancient heroes to highlight their connection to our contemporary culture. Author Daniel Darling shows a genuine appreciation and understanding of his audience as he keeps things real and relevant.”

In the Library Reviews

“A great resource for teens, parents of teens, and leaders of teens. It nicely blends practical application with biblical truth.”

Charles Stone co-author of Daughters Gone Wild-Dads Gone Crazy and pastor of Ginger Creek Community Church in Aurora, Illinois

“I’ve been waiting a long time for a devotional like this to come along. Daniel Darling’s Teen People Of The Bible is by far the best Bible study I’ve ever seen thus far.” Read the rest of the review here . . .

Kierstyn Paulinohomeschooler, popular teen blogger featured in World Magazine:

“In the end, Teen People of the Bible by Daniel Darling is a devotional that I would recommend to any Christian teen. The dedication to Scripture and the challenging message creates a devotional rarely seen today. If you are looking for a devotional that will challenge you to deepend your walk with Jesus Christ, then this devotional is the one for you. ” Read the rest of the review here . . .

Matt Ahearn, author of the popoular teen blog, “From the Pulpit

“Many teens are bound to appreciate this devotional—and take up the challenge, which is a worthy one. It provides an excellent overview of the Bible as well as interesting biographical sketches that are bound to connect with teens. “ Crosswalk.com

The Idea Behind the Book

In late 2005, I got an idea for a teen devotional based on the lives of teens in the Bible. I wasn’t sure the format and I wasn’t sure if a publisher would be interested. So I went to the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, IL and got some advice from pros like Cec Murphy, Jesse Florea of Focus on the Family, Suzie Eller, Julie Dearyan, and some other good friends. An idea took shape–100 days with the teens of the Bible. (that was one of my original corny titles).

Through a friend, I was connected with Andrea Mullins from New Hope Publishers who believed in this idea.

As for the idea, it sort of came out of a desire to have a resource to give to teens to draw them into the word. There are a bunch of really good teen devos out there–I”m not even remotely thinking that I’m the first, the best, or the only here. But my idea seems unique, looking at teens in the Bible. I remember being a Christian teen and knowing that I had to read my Bible, but not really getting anything out of it and thinking that it only spoke to men with long beards. In reality, the Bible speaks to people of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds. God comes to you where you are and loves you so much, He wants to change you.

Downloads

29 Teens In the Bible- a free downloadable guide