Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer of Service A.C.T.S.: Discover

Today!  Today there is a webcast happening, sponsored by Adventures in Odyssey and Tyndale Publishing.  So if you are reading this reasonably soon after I get this posted, check out that information first... the webcast happens at 3:30 in my world (Mountain Time).

When I was asked if I wanted to participate in this Blog Tour, I wanted to jump up and down and say YES!  I mean, really, there is so much to love --
  • A focus on Service
  • Adventures in Odyssey
  • Mission trips
  • "When you serve, everybody wins" as a motto
  • Connie and Chris, from Adventures in Odyssey
  • Free stuff, for you! and for me too
  • Did I mention serving others?
But I was traveling last week, when they wanted this first post to go up, and I knew that wasn't going to work.  Fortunately, they told me that I could go ahead and get this posted this week instead, so here I am (finally!) with only minutes before the podcast...

Discover how much fun service can be with Adventures in Odyssey’s A.C.T.S. challenge and contest!
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.
Oh, how true is all of that!  Our family has tried to encourage self-esteem by actually doing something, and I think that means far more than all the telling that can possibly happen.  The telling that matters is when clients at the food pantry tell Richard (9) what a great job he did in taking them through for food, not when I randomly tell him he is wonderful.  But even without those comments, just doing the work made him feel great about himself.
Join Adventures in Odyssey this summer to discover how fun it can be to serve others!
Adventures 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! 
Doesn't that sound fun?  Adventures in Odyssey characters encouraging the kids towards a summer of service?  <happy, contented sigh>  Go get your free copy of that AOI Service episode right now!
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  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 You don’t want to miss it!
I mentioned free stuff!  So before I sign off, so that you do have a chance to catch the webcast, let me tell you about that.

There was the free Odyssey episode, Business of Busyness, I linked to above.  But that site also has a pdf File you can download with ideas for Service Projects, some that serve your family, some that serve your community, some that serve your world.  This week, for instance, the suggestion is to go to a local park and pick up trash or plant flowers.

In future weeks, I'll be posting more...

We'll Imagine creative and fun ways to serve using your unique gifts! And that will include a free e-book!

Then we'll Grow in our walk with God every day!  That will include some free devotions.

Join my family in a Summer of Service, won't you?  I'd love to know what you are doing!

Disclaimer:   I received an Adventures in Odyssey album for free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of the Summer of Service A.C.T.S. Blog Tour.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable post.  I am participating in this because I truly believe in the values encouraged in this program.

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