Monday, March 26, 2007

religious toys and apple trees

Did you catch the Malley Family on the front page of the Living section of the Trib yesterday in this article on religious toys?

San Luis Obispo Tribune 03/25/2007 Let there be fun

Nice job, Penny!

I was quoted at the tail end of the article. The reporter Sarah Linn tried to call me on a Thursday, but we didn't connect until Friday.

When she finally called I was in the backyard, high up on a ladder trimming an apple tree. I got down and walked around the yard as we chatted. When she explained the angle on the article, I said, "You better give me some examples of religious toys, because I'm not sure I'm familiar with what you're talking about." I think she was a bit surprised by that. She explained a bit more and I fired off a few thoughts including the fact that our kids don't really play with these "religious toys." At the end of the conversation, I said, "We'll see what you pull from that collection of random thoughts. I don't feel like I was real crisp or focussed." Sarah said, "I've got some good stuff. It will be great."

My crazy life! I think I've shared before how much this stuff freaks me out. I want to shy away from the media, but I'm really trying not to. This is part of being a pastor of a church in this community. We want to be a church in the community, serving the community. Trying to make the most of every opportunity.

I don't know where Sarah is spiritually, but I thought we connected well. I appreciate Sarah and her pursuit of stories like this one. I say it all the time. . . . I love it that our paper features stuff like this.

I'm curious . . . Do you buy and enjoy religious toys like the ones described in the article?


Brianna Heldt said...

I don't think our kids have any "religious" toys so far. (They love Veggie Tales though.)

We DO happen to own a couple of religious games, sources of great contention in the Heldt household. First there is some game from the 1980's called Bible Challenge. Basically a trivia game where most of the questions are completely obscure. WELL, Kevin loves this game (because he wins every time and has an uncanny ability to retain random factoids that he reads). And any time I don't know an answer he'll say, "Oh come on Brianna, you know that!" "No Kevin, sorry, I don't know the color of the shirt Noah was wearing while he built the ark." This has led to some "discussions".

Also anytime we'd have friends to dinner Kevin would suggest we play this game, and every time they'd end up just as miserable as me at having to answer such ridiculous questions. I have since put my foot down and made a rule that he is not allowed to even mention the name of the game when company is over!

(Our other one is Bible Outburst, which I also lose at every time. It's awful. "Name ten plants out of the Bible." Ummm, who knows this stuff?! I think I'll stick with normal Outburst!)

Cool article, it's always fun knowing people in the newspaper!

penny malley said...

Tim, like you I felt I gave some random thoughts to Sarah as well, in my sleep-deprived state, but I think she did a good job of getting the main ideas. I did share with her that we can find the Gospel message in many places, not just through "religious toys". I even brought up your blog on the Gospel message of our favorite show "Lost", but for some reason, she didn't include that in her article! Oh, well.

Suzette Lyons said...

The article did use a good quote from your interview. "The good, the beautiful, the just — these are values that we want to teach our kids."

Our thinking on the videos and toys has been that they are better than many of the alternatives. We don't have any of the games. I don't think we would play them as a family because board games are like finger nails on a black board for Wayne. We have a few Veggie Tale toys. One is a Larry boy with plungers for ears that shoot out to catch bad guys and a pirate ship from Jonah with "The Pirates That Don't Do Anything". We didn't get them as teaching tools. They are very silly, but were chosen because Matt loved the stories and played with them a lot.

I enjoy reading books more than games and fortunately Matt and Luke like being read to. We have a good children's Bible that they really enjoy. Also we have some great old children's books that work well in starting discussions. "Boys of Grit", "Teddy's Button", "The Giant Killer", "Christie's Old Organ" and "The Little Preacher" are favorites of mine. They are all gospel centered and show boys growing in the knowledge of God through the challenges in their lives.

Suzette Lyons said...

Oh, wait we did play one game that everyone enjoyed. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it. It was a stack of cards all with questions on them like the ones in the application sections of the growth group questions in Tim's outlilnes. It was fun becuase there is no wrong answer, and it really did start discussion.