Lee Ann Mancini is the author of the “Adventures of the Sea Kids” book series and a teacher of theology. Lee Ann’s mission is to teach young children about the love of Jesus and how to show love for others as well.
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Teaching Christ’s Love to All Ages: Lee Ann Mancini – Jesus Calling Podcast #35
Lee Ann Mancini: We really need to be teaching about how to have a relationship with Jesus. It’s paramount; because we are losing our teenagers and our young adults to this world, because we’re not solidifying that strong foundation starting at an early age.
Narrator: Welcome to the Experience Jesus Calling Podcast – Lee Ann Mancini is the author of the “Adventures of the Sea Kids” book series and a teacher of theology. Lee Ann’s mission is to teach young children about the love of Jesus and how to show love for others as well.
Lee Ann: My name is Lee Ann Mancini and I write Christian children’s books for children ages 7 and under. I also am a Bible professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary in Deerfield Beach, Florida. I love both of these jobs equally, as I’m bringing little ones closer to Christ and older ones closer to Christ.
The Path to Writing a Children’s Christian Book
I grew up in Aurora, Ohio, which is a small suburb of Cleveland Ohio. I was raised by a single parent, my mother, God bless her; wonderful strong love for the Lord.
We didn’t have much, but we had a lot of love.
My favorite time was going to the library with my mother and picking out the classic books and bringing them home and reading them. It was important. I didn’t have much to play with, but I did have a lot of books to read. I believe that also helped my desire to write children’s books one day, maybe subconsciously.
…I could not find any books that showed characters actually praying to Jesus.
When I was a child, I was not interested in writing or anything academic. I’d like to go to school, and I’d like to socialize and have fun with my friends. I remember reading on my kindergarten report card; the teacher saying, “Lee Ann is a happy-go lucky-child and this might cause problems for her later on in life.” Well, I consider it an asset because I’m the type of person who’s optimistic. I always try to see the good side of things, even when things are tough.
What led me to write my first children’s Christian book was the fact that when my children were small, I could not find any books that showed characters actually praying to Jesus. We always found books that talked about Jesus. I wanted my kids to see that there are worse situations in their life; difficulties that they face in school, and that they can actually go to Jesus and pray to Him. I also wanted to instill in them, the love and compassion for others to be like Jesus.
Developing a Strong Relationship Between Children and Jesus
It is very important that children learn to have a strong relationship with Jesus at an early age. The first five years of their life, ninety percent of their brain function is understanding love and compassion and language.
We tried to bring the message to them through these books about Jesus, and loving Him and having love and compassion, which is the main message of the Bible, through the actions of the characters. We do have a short bible verse in the beginning of the book for them to read that reflects the message in the book. We think it’s important, because we’re so young, that we don’t want to make it not fun. It has to be fun for these children. They’re learning how to have a relatable relationship with Him through the actions of the characters. It also opens up dialogue for the children, especially in the classrooms or with their parents.
What I’m really excited about now is our new book called “God’s Easter Miracles.” It is such an adorable book.
I’m just so blessed, because that’s the whole point of these books; to transform these little ones, to bring them closer to Christ so that they will say “I love Mommy, Daddy and Jesus.”
Christ’s Teachings and Jesus Calling
Narrator: Lee Ann enjoys bringing Christ’s teachings to children and to adults as well. In her position as an adjunct professor, she has the opportunity to talk about Jesus in the college classroom setting. She also relies on Jesus Calling to inspire her daily as she pursues her mission of spreading Christ’s love to all ages.
Lee Ann: What led me down the path to teaching theology, was my deep desire to bring the message of Christ to women and anybody else who would listen to me. I started with having simple Bible studies in my home, and I saw the fruits of that labor from the women that were learning. I wanted to take it further to go into a classroom so that I would be able to reach more people.
I’m very, very excited when I see the light in their eyes when there’s a new doctrine told to them, or a Bible verse explained to them, that they can go and take to the world and teach others. That’s what really is rewarding–I know I’m doing God’s work–I just love it. I truly love teaching God’s Word to little ones and older ones.
Our hope is not given by the things that we see, the visible things the Bible tells us, it’s the things that are unseen the things that are coming.
The first time I saw Jesus Calling was in a book store. It was this beautiful, pink little book that says “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence” by Sarah Young. It just drew me to this devotional. I’ve seen many devotionals in my lifetime and I’ve read many devotionals. I picked it up and I just arbitrarily opened it up to February 3rd. This has become one of my favorite in the book, so God led me to this. I know it was all of Him. God knows that I’m struggling some days, worrying about how to get everything done; being a mother, being a teacher, being an author, being a publisher. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.
I open up this devotional and I read “I Am with you and for. You face nothing alone—nothing! When you feel anxious, you know you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple; fix your eyes not what is seen, but what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts, when today’s is set before you. Receive today’s gift gratefully; unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me.”
Such a different concept compared to all the other devotionals. I just love Jesus Calling.
Our hope is not given by the things that we see, the visible things the Bible tells us, it’s the things that are unseen the things that are coming. So no matter what you’re suffering is today, just rely on Christ in His Word and His promise that He is coming to save you to and take you into paradise.
Narrator: Next time on The Experience Jesus Calling podcast we visit with Lee & Leslie Strobel. Lee is the author of the best-selling book “The Case for Christ,” which has now been adapted for the big screen. As former atheists, the Strobels share how Lee’s desire to disprove the Bible led him to discover the truth of the gospel.
Lee Strobel: What if it’s true? What if God exists? What if He loves me so much that He sent His son to suffer and die so that I could be in a relationship with Him forever? What if that’s true? And if you ask that question, it opens up some possibilities. I encourage people to do what I did, which was to pray the Seekers Prayer, which is: “God, I don’t believe You’re there. In fact, I’m convinced You’re not. But, if You are, I want to know You.” I think that’s the kind of prayer that God loves to answer.
Narrator: Today’s featured passage comes from the February 3rd entry of the Jesus Calling audiobook:
I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone—nothing! When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts when today’s is set before you! Receive today’s gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me.
Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.