As a pastor, I am blessed to be part of moments in people's lives. Welcoming new babies into the world, rejoicing with newly married couples; two becoming one: a profound mystery, graduations, dedications, funerals (tender, delicate, and God glorifying), and many moments in people's faith journey and even the start of that journey. God's grace is at work all around me. But I've never had the joy of baptizing someone. It says something unique: I want the world to know the profound thing that God has done in my life. It's a declaration of his work, not mine. It's a punctuated moment where we say JESUS IS MY LIFE. Many students stepped out in bold faith declaring Christ in them. This past week was such a joy for me after a truly great summer. God received much glory as we lifted him high. More Lord, please receive more. And if I may, let me see your grace more clearly!
A couple months ago, Fellowship released a Rightnow Media subscription as a gift to the whole church. If you need a quick refresher on what Rightnow Media is, or haven't heard the announcements we've made, the easiest description is that it's a "christian Netflix". Create a free account and get access to more than 14,000 video titles from some of the most well known names in the church today.
You can access all these streaming videos on the web, through your Roku, Apple tv, and some smart TVS, as well as through the Apple and Android app on your mobile devices. All this to say, you can stream these videos from just about anywhere you are. Head to our website for specific instructions on how to hook up your device.
And now to tell you a little more about what kind of videos there are. First, there are lots of Bible studies, focusing on specific books or topics. These range from one or two videos to more lengthy series. There are also many book studies, many times produced by the author or publisher to be used along side the book. RNM gives you the option to buy the book or download the study guide right from the video page. But here's a tip, most of the videos I've looked at so far, don't actually require a book to be very beneficial. So, if you don't have the resources to be buying every book that looks interesting, these corresponding video series are a great way to get an in-depth view of what the book holds before buying (and there's always the library). There are also lots of conference sessions from the top speakers in the country on a wide range of topics, from marriage and parenting to youth issues and growing in your personal walk.
Finally, there is entire library of kids content, and that is where my quick review will focus today. Let's face it, kids love their shows (for my 4 year old, Paw Patrol, Curious George and Fireman Sam are the current favorites). So the RNM Kids section is a great resource that pairs entertainment with real truth. They've got show for a wide range of ages and tastes (even some throwbacks for you McGee and Me or Adventures in Odyssey fans), and it seems like an area of their product they are rapidly adding to.
My 4 year old has discovered a couple shows that are really entertaining to him but pack in some real Biblical lessons. The first we'll look at is Owlegories.
I'd give this show a big thumbs up on two counts. First, it is actually very entertaining and has a much better "Saturday morning cartoon" feel than a lot of the older attempts at Christian cartoons. I'd say its is probably aimed at the 5-9 age range, but with a steady dose of wordplay jokes, slapstick humor, silly villains and quests, it can appeal to an even broader range. The main characters are classic cartoon stereotypes (in owl form), but they're classics for a reason.
My second reason for liking it is the Biblical content and theme. In their own words:
Owlegories is a Christ-centered, animated series and interactive storybook app that teaches kids about God through the wonderful allegories, metaphors, and analogies found in nature and revealed in God's word, the Bible. In Episode #2, we look at three ways we grow in our relationship with God: 1) Prayer, 2) Reading God's Word, and 3) Fellowship with other believers.
I think it's a great practice to learn about God not only from the Bible (though that is stressed throughout the show) but from observing the world around us. Every show asks the main characters to find 3 ways is ____________ like God? Then they go on a quest of sorts to find the answer and in the process also thwart the villain in some comedic fashion. The storylines are very simple and direct, and special attention is paid to make sure that the final allegories are very clearly communicated to the viewers multiple times.
In all, I'd say Owlegories has earned its place among our fairly short list of occasional TV shows to watch, and one that will reinforce some quality lessons about who God is.