Every year there are new videos, new skits, new curriculum… all kinds of new ideas to share the Easter story. This year, I wanted to do something that would have our kids sharing the gospel long after the Easter egg hunts. That’s how I came up with the Easter Story String.
God must have been preparing because along came COVID-19 keeping kids and teachers at home. Many states are banning the gathering of 50 people or more. In my county, it’s for eight weeks which goes right through Easter. I’m not sure how my congregation is handling this yet, but whether we are sent home or not, this is what I’ll be doing! I will provide every child with an Easter egg that includes a string and a link to the videos: Story (as seen below) and 5 step-by-step videos teaching the to make a star, mouth, cross, Jesus rising and a heart. (BUY NOW FOR $7)
You are welcome to share this video. If you’d like access to the instructional videos and downloadable story with a link to place in Easter eggs, click here. The cost is only $7 and you can print as many copies as you’d like. For those who do not want to part with $7, you can probably find instructions online for each trick; but, here, everything is in one place with easy to follow video instructions. Plus, you get the downloadable Easter egg inserts that provide a brief overview of the Easter story as well as a link so kids can log in and follow instructions to learn all five string tricks. They will be sharing the gospel for months with string because it’s fun!
Just add string! You can purchase string from Amazon here. My string is 60″ long; however, 40″-60″ is recommended. Kids may do best with 40-45″ since their hands are a bit smaller. Shoestrings may be a perfect fit. Just tie the ends of one shoestring together, pull tight then clip off the ends.
I’ve been working on a project for my congregation that begins in January and I want to share it with you. I mainly work with K-5th grades, but am about to embark on a journey to provide our families of K-5th AND toddlers AND pre-schooler’s with family bible studies to do with their kids. One parent introduced me to The Rhyme Bible and I love it! So, for toddlers and pre-schoolers…
I am creating activity mats to go with each bible story rhyme. Of course, the first rhyme is called “A New World” and is all about creation. I am amazed by this author’s talent! The rhyme’s are cute and catchy while holding to scripture- perfect for the little ones! Today I am sharing the first activity mat to accompany the book. You don’t have to purchase the book to tell these bible stories and play with your kids to teach them the scriptures, but it’s a fun way to do it. You can purchase the book here: The Rhyme Bible and download the FREE activity mat here.
As for the activity mats, be creative. Print as many copies as you’d like and to make them last longer, laminate them or put them in these cool plastic pockets. Have fun learning from God’s word using play-doh, play foam, silly putty, thinking putty, kinetic sand, wikki stix… anything that let’s you form something. The idea is to make talking about God with your kids normal for your family. We want our kids growing up knowing their God loves them and that they are part of His great big plan.
Remember, studies show that families who pray together, serve together, talk about matters of faith regularly and have family devotionals outside of dinner time are more likely to raise children with an unshakable faith! This is the message I will keep on spreading because it is so important, especially in a world that keeps declining in morals and spiritual truth.
If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to download the Holiday Planner with Weekly Family Devotionals for November & December. Sign up here… it’s FREE!
We live in Satan’s territory. We are in a war to win souls
on Satan’s battleground and he and his army have done a phenomenal job in crafting
lies that many, many people have bought into. These days, we seem to have
trouble calling sin what is, sin. I’m sure you’ve heard it, “A loving God will
accept me for who I am” or “I know what the bible says, but it doesn’t really
mean that anymore” and my favorite, “God made me this way so he must accept me.”
Of course, God loves us and meets us
where we are, but God does not accept the willful sin (Hebrews 10:26).
I’m sure you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with our children?” Our children are growing up in this world, in a world that over the years has allowed sin to take more and more souls every day. We can’t escape it. Turn on the television, even a children’s cartoon and see if it holds all the values you do. See what your kids are learning at school. At one time the church was in an uproar because science taught evolution, but not creation. Then God and prayer was removed from schools. Now, our young elementary children are being taught they may be born a boy or girl, but how do they feel? They are being taught at this young age, early elementary school, that they have a choice to make. Confusing? I think so. My point is, the world is taking over and God is being pushed aside.
So, what can we do about it? Step up as children’s ministry
leaders, teachers and parents. If a church is able to provide a healthy, biblical
atmosphere for learning, that’s great! But most churches aren’t in this
position; so, we need to really teach and train up our children in the way of
the Lord. Parents who raised children faithful to God shared what they did. The
thing that stood out most to me was that matters of faith were part of normal,
everyday conversation. God wasn’t a separate conversation, but part of regular
conversations. Their children grew up learning that God was naturally a part of
every aspect of their lives. The other thing they did was have family devotional
time and they prayed together. They spent time together as a family with what
matters most, God.
Now, you will have to intentionally work to make God a part
of your conversations; but I’ve got a solution for family devotionals. During
November, I have weekly family devotionals teaching about gratitude. In December, we’ll learn about the spirit of
Christmas. It’s free so sign up and choose an evening each week to study God’s
word as a family. All you need is 15 minutes (more if you want to spend time
together doing the game or activity as a family)! You pick the night. Study in
your pajamas if it’s easier… it’s all about sharing God as a family.
This is the one major way families can combat sin in the world. Train up your children to have an unshakable faith in Christ. Set up an atmosphere where your children come to you with questions before they accept sin as normal. Parents and Children’s Ministry Leaders have an incredible job, an important job. What an amazing opportunity!
There are so many fun ways to work with the holidays to teach Christ to our children. This October, I wanted something hands on for my kindergarten through third grade children that could work as a short devotional and activity parents can do at home AND something I could use to fill the time in children’s church when the preacher gets a bit long winded. I LOVE activity mats so I came up with a simple Jack-O-Lantern Activity Mat.
I will share verses from Colossians 3:9-10. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Then, we can dive into the devotional. I want our children to understand that with Christ, we get rid of our sinful self and become a new self. A self that loves God and is an example of him to others. We dig out of the pumpkin all of the gross insides. We make it clean just like Jesus makes us clean, free from sin. Now we are ready to really do God’s work! We will turn our plain old pumpkin into a happy Jack-O-Lantern!
It needs eyes to see those in need, a nose that’s not stuck up (it’s humble), a mouth to share the word of God, and even some ears to hear the word of God. A pumpkin that’s been cleaned out of all the seeds and yuck is clean and ready to serve. The light we put inside shines for God! Expound on each one and you’ve got a full lesson that kids can apply in their week.
Looking for a good book that brings the focus of Halloween back to God; after all, shouldn’t God always be our focus? Check out “The Pumpkin Gospel.”
I love children’s books. My kids are grown, yet I still find myself buying these fun little books. Thankfully, I work with kids in children’s ministry so I have a good excuse! As I was searching for new book, I stumbled across “The Pumpkin Gospel” by Mary Manz Simon. I ordered it off Amazon. (No one contacted me for a review.) It did not give me a look inside, so I was not sure what I was getting. I’m glad I got this one. It’s a keeper!
For starters, it’s a hard back book with hard pages inside too so good for young kids. The pictures are bright and colorful. I had this book laying on my desk the first night I got it When I turned the lights out to call it a night I was thrilled to see a glowing Jack-O-Lantern face smiling back at me. Yep, it glows in the dark!
There are 12 pages, six with pictures and six with words. This book is a poem with a stanza on each of the six worded pages plus a short and applicable bible verse. Now the part that really matters… what’s it about? It is a story of God’s forgiveness.
It’s a great object lesson! This book shares with us how the inside of a pumpkin is a bit like us, gooey and gross compared to our sins. BUT, we scoop out the gushy mess just like God cleans out our sin, God forgives. When the insides are clean, the Jack-O-Lantern wears “a smile” and shines it’s light from within just like we are “beaming” from God’s love shining from us. It ends with, “To glow like my big pumpkin and have nice clean heart, ask God to please forgive you. You’ll have a brand-new start.”
By the way, I am super excited to share with you that I’ve been working long and hard on two separate daily planners, planners missing from the marketplace (at least the way I want to use them). One is designed specifically for bible class teachers and the other for parents who want a little help getting organized to make GOD the focus of the family. I’m putting in the finishing touches now so if you’ve got some special requests, things you would love to see in your daily planner, send me a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Like I said, they are almost ready for print, but if I missed something important, I want to make sure to get it in! I appreciate everyone’s thoughts.
Halloween is often a questionable holiday for Christians. Do
we participate or do we abstain? I am not here to debate this subject, but to
share how we use it.
My prayer is that we reach every child with the word of God
and raise them with a strong foundation in Christ so that they not only keep
their faith through adulthood; but continue to grow. I want kids to hear and
read scripture seeing God’s word as exciting, spooky, encouraging and
everything else they find in the secular world (that is good and God approved).
Holidays are a great opportunity to
reinvigorate our kids and reach out to others.
I created this book “Scary Bible Stories to Tell in the Dark” in 2018 and was surprised to hear a few people ask why I wanted to scare kids. It wasn’t from the masses, but regardless, I thought this was an interesting take. The goal was never really to scare kids, but to show them that God’s word has it all, even scary stories that are perfect for Halloween. Kids turn to all kinds of secular stories, movies and costumes. They want to be a little spooked, just not so afraid that they can’t sleep alone at night. Maybe my kids were the weird ones, but they’d see previews for scary movies and beg to watch. Of course, we’d use our judgement on which were okay and which were not. They’d have sleep overs and pull out the flashlights in the dark telling each other “scary” stories. This is all during elementary AND middles school years. So I say, bring on the spooky with a little scary!
It turns out there are plenty of “scary” stories in God’s
word. We don’t need to check out books with ghost stories we are supposed to believe
are real. These bible stories are scary and true. And they have a good
ending- with God, we don’t need to worry about any of these scary things. Legion
may be scary, but not for long. The Holy Spirit lives in me so demons can’t
touch me! God said not to get involved in sorcery or witchcraft and we see what
happens to King Saul when he calls up the ghost of Samuel so stay far away from
voodoo, Ouija boards and the likes. There are so many scary stories with
Let’s help our children see that God has it all. Move over Disney, God’s got this!
Last year I shared my e-book with coloring pages. This year I’ve added to it! Now there is a lesson with an activity to go with each “scary” bible story. They are all simple and perfect for a bible class, a small group lesson, family night or story and activities at a Trunk-or-Treat type event. And it’s all FREE- No Strings Attached. I’d love to hear how you use these to help build excitement for God in children. Email me your experiences at email@example.com