Monthly Archives: April 2015

Genesis 1:1- Powerful Creator

Genesis 1 1 Craft

Just like the song in the Sound of Music, the beginning is a very good place to start. I find it hard to fathom how God has always been. Before anything He was there. This craft for Genesis 1:1 is a reminder how God took nothing and created everything.

Genesis 1 1 Craft 2

As I wrote in the craft, nothing to us was always something to Him. He has a plan for all we do, everything He creates, what we know and what we don’t know. Kids need to know that He sees something in us as well.

For this craft you need:Genesis 1 1 Craft 3

  • one paper per child, print it front and back Genesis 1 1
  • crayons
  • something to cover the table

Have them fold their paper on the dotted line and color in the circle black. After all, when we look in the dark, we see nothing. On the inside let them draw what God has created. Their imagination is the limit. Have them share what they drew with each other.

Choices A la Carte: Part 2

Choices a la carte

Earlier this week I wrote about bad choices in sin. Today, let’s look at the flip side. As a church planting wife, I can see that people need hope and help. I bet you can see it too. If people are constantly beat down it becomes hard for them to see God’s love. It’s our job to raise people up, not beat them down more. But, sin happens. Here are some good choices to make about your sin.

Digging out of the grave we dug happens one choices at a time. (1 Peter 1:3-10) That’s right, I’ll say it again. We have the power and responsibility to make our own choices.

Good Choice #1: Recognizing sin for what it is – What do you do when presented with a sinful opportunity? Do you think about where it is leading? Answering those two simple questions will help you make the good choice next time you are on the brink of doing the sin again.

Good Choice #2: Confess to someone you trust who will keep you accountable – Seek out a mature Christian who is not struggling with the same sin who can help you. Maybe you can find someone who has overcome the sin and let them help you through.

Good Choice #3: Do something about your sin – Check out bad choice #3 about doing nothing. Now do something.

Good Choice #4: Stumbling along the way is better than giving in to sin – When we’ve recognized the sin and are now trying to do something about it, it is not going to be an easy ride. You will stumble and you will fall. However, if you have someone from Good Choice #2 they can help you back on the path.

Good Choice #5: Choosing to break the chain will result in better future choices – My husband called it the eye bounce. You might look at the sin, but quickly look the other way.

Don’t be deceived, everyone struggles with sin no matter how perfect their life looks. Check out my husband’s message, “Choices A la Carte” where he digs into these Good and Bad sin choices using Mark 6:17-28. Sin is not a pretty, feel good topic. We will always sin. But here you will find hope on how to become aware of your sin, work on getting rid of it, and not being controlled by sin.

Cardboard Pizza Box Easel

Will it Work Wednesday 2

My one son really likes painting. So, when I was looking around for a simple solution to make it extra fun, I couldn’t believe this pizza box would really turn into an easel. This is not an original idea, just search for ‘pizza box easel’ and a ton of hits will come up. I can’t even remember which one I used, but it is simple.

Pizza Box Easel

Now, this isn’t an excuse to run out and order pizza! Just be patient and wait until you do order one…or two. Then, give it a try. There is even a holder behind for storing paper or the paints.

Pizza Box Easel 2

Again, like the cardboard maze and dollhouse, it is just simple, functional, and you don’t have to feel bad if it breaks because after all, you were going to recycle that box anyway. Have some fun!

Choices A la Carte

Choices a la carte

As a church planting pastor, my husband takes his responsibility of shepherding new believers seriously. So, it’s not glamorous, but preaching on sin just can’t be avoided. If we avoid talking about sin, how can we grow in our faith? Here is the truth:

Digging our own grave of sin happens one choice at a time. (James 1:13-15)

That’s right, we have the power and responsibility to make our own choices. When you order from an a la carte menu you select and pay for certain things. Choices a la carte is the same way, you are picking from a selection of choices, and you’ll probably end up paying for those decisions. So, how are you going to choose?

Bad Choice #1: Rationalizing sin – When you want too bend the rules, you do it in your favor. Yup, there’s your shovel and you have broken ground in digging your grave of sin. When you want things to turn out your way and tweak things so it benefits you, you are sinning to your advantage.

Bad Choice #2: Hiding sin – Seriously folks, we can’t be like Hannah Montana and have the best of both worlds. Going to worship on Sunday does not void out the fact that you’re an alcoholic, a thief, a hateful word speaker, or whatever the other six days of the week.

Bad Choice #3: Doing nothing about sin – You know you are sinning and you choose to do nothing. “It’s too hard to stop” or “Everyone else is doing it”. What, are you 5 years old? You can do something about your sin. The problem is, in order to do something, you need to acknowledge the sin and then do something!

Bad Choice #4: Getting caught in sin – At some point that flying low under the radar is going to catch up with you. People you love will be hurt. Are you prepared to hurt and disappoint them?

Bad Choice #5: Choosing to not break the chain of sin – You have the power and responsibility to make your own decisions.

It boils down to this: Satan is full of lies and God is full of love. Satan will tell you sinful things feel good. God will love you and wants you to turn from your sin into His embrace.

I have made these bad choices and if you are honest, you know you have too. They are enough to drag anyone down. Don’t feel beat down. Take some time to honestly recognize your sins. Think about your bad choices and in a couple of days, I’ll be back with the good choices which can help you break the cycle of your bad choices. Remember we have a loving and forgiving God, but we need to be honest ourselves.

Check out Choices a La Carte Part 2 here.

Cardboard Doll House

Will it Work Wednesday 2So, in keeping with the cardboard and reusing theme I seem to be on, I have another easy cardboard project for this Will it Work Wednesday. Two weeks ago it was the maze and last week a Lego fort. How about a doll house?

There are so many beautiful dollhouses out there. But, I know my little one is just getting into dolls some, so I wanted something that would work without breaking the bank. When my vacuum broke and we ordered a new one, we got this terrific box and so this dollhouse was born.Cardboard Doll HouseIs it the most majestic dollhouse you have ever seen? Hmmmm, probably not. But, it is very functional and easy to make. For the floors you can just cut out three sides and then press it down. This was thick cardboard so it stayed pretty well. I used some old gift boxes for the roof and white siding. leftover cardboard made up the sofa, bed, and chair. And finally, I used some old shirts for the bedspread and rug.

This is all stuff I had around the house. The house has been used and moved around a lot. When it is no longer sturdy or used, I don’t have to feel guilty about tossing it. My daughter couldn’t believe I had made it. Kids can be really proud of their parents and payment in hugs is pretty awesome. Go ahead and try it.  This could be a fun project to work together on too!

 

The Good Samaritan: Luke 10:27

IMG_4810The story of the good Samaritan never grows old. Nothing in the Bible really does! Doesn’t it baffle your mind though that people would just cross to the other side and choose to ignore the injured man? Admit it, even today, you and I sometimes cross to the other side of the road.

Someone else will take care of it. I don’t have time. That’s not my kind of person. You know it all runs through our heads at some point. However, it is my job, your job, our job to help teach children that we need to choose to help.

This simple craft shows children that we all have choices. We can choose to help or we can choose to ignore. How are you teaching your children at home or at church or at school? When they are standing in the middle of the road faced with a situation, what will they choose?

For this craft you need:IMG_4811

  • one road paper and a set of words per child Luke 10 27
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons
  • something to cover the table

Love your neighbor as yourself, Luke 10:27 is not easy to live out. I encourage you and others to take one small step towards choosing to help. That small step actually takes you away from ignoring.

Here are some other crafts for popular stories you might like!

Noah’s Ark

20150705_070706

 

 

 

The House Built on a Rock

IMG_4636

 

 

 

The Woman at the Well

IMG_4523

 

 

 

Moses’ Stick into a Snake

Exodus 3 14

 

Why do People Plant Churches?

Why do people plant churches 2When you think about church, what comes to mind?

  • an awesome facility
  • programs for you to drop your kids off at
  • Sunday morning worship
  • the coffee shop
  • just the right music
  • serving meals to the homeless
  • a feel good message

Have you ever met a church planter? Their idea of a church is completely different. If the church plant is biblically based, there is basically one thing they base the purpose of their church on.

  • Church exists to reach out to people we don’t even know yet to tell them about Jesus.

Everything else is secondary. Church planters don’t want church hoppers or other disgruntled Christians. We want to meet people who don’t know Jesus and have them come to know Him so they may have eternal life. Then their unbelieving circle of friends can see the change in their lives and ask about it. You then have a continuous cycle of lives changed telling others about why their life changed.

People do this based on the fact that the existence of the church is based on someone we haven’t even seen! You have to have faith!

Church plants know it isn’t going to be about a snazzy building or programs because they don’t have the money or manpower to run those things. It won’t be based on a feel good message because a relationship with Jesus is something you have to work and pray for to grow.

A church plant will be based on prayer and the knowledge that God never asks us to do what He doesn’t enable us to do! Remember the God Factor? 5 + 2 = 5,000 because God will fill in the gaps if we trust him to.

If you are a discouraged church planter, I pray you will press on. Keep reaching out to people you don’t know and tell them about Jesus. Don’t compare yourself to another church in your area, because they are somewhere else in their journey. Remember, it’s not the building you are lacking or programs for families that will change people. Sharing Jesus will.

You’re in His Care Craft

Isaiah 42 2a 2I am your Creator, you were in my care even before you were born. Isaiah 44:2a

Wow, what reassuring words for both children and adults alike. I usually use the NIV version for verses, but came across this CEV one and just really liked the translation.

God cared for us, planned for us, and knew everything about us while we were in the womb. Before we were born, He held us and loved us.

I think kids will like this craft because it gives a great visual of them actually in God’s hands. He is so much larger than we can imagine and he has room there for each one of us. That is awesome news!

For this craft you need:Isaiah 44 2a

  • one hand paper per child and one circle per child (so print separately) Isaiah 44 2a
  • crayons
  • glue sticks or tape
  • something to cover the table with

Have the children color the hands and then draw themselves in the circle. Then, glue the circle onto the hands.

It’s always neat to see how the kids see themselves in their self portraits. Have fun!

Lego Play Fort

Will it Work Wednesday 2So, you buy something and it comes with this really cool cardboard packaging inside. Do you throw it away? No way! You repurpose it into something one of your kids can use as a Lego fort. Fierce battles and deadly chases now have a place to happen.

With a little imagination on your part and your child’s, a new play area is created. I painted this one because I was curious as to what it would look like. The kids have had fun playing with it, there is even a water pit. I think those cup carriers you get from the drive through would work together as some great mountains too.Lego Play Fort

Have a little fun today, or the next time you get a package, and transform something into a new play set for sparking imagination!

The God Factor

Godfactor

5 + 2 = 5,000. Great math, right? Well, technically, no. But stick with me and you’ll see that it does.

Jesus was a human here on earth and one day he made 5 + 2 = 5,000. This certainly doesn’t make sense or add up in our minds. You probably know the story where Jesus feeds 5,000 plus with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. He has the disciples pass out the baskets of food and people can eat their fill. There is even plenty left over. How does he do it?

You see, life doesn’t make sense or add up unless we include the God factor. The God factor is us living by faith and allowing God to solve the equation. And if God provides and does the providing in a way that can’t be explained you have a genuine miracle on your hands! So He can make 5 + 2 = 5,000!

Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than trust in man”. Luke 1:37 references the fact that, “For nothing is impossible with God”. Thank goodness because we are woefully equipped to do the impossible.

What if you were in front of 5,000 people who are complaining they were hungry? I have a tough time finding snacks for 4 sometimes!

If you and I live by our own resources it removes God from the equation. If we could explain how 5 + 2 = 5,000 by human reasons it would not be a miracle. We will fail when we rely only on ourselves and not God.

So, how do you get 5+ 2 =5,000 in your life? Trust Him. He put the gaps there so He can fill them in. He can complete what is lacking. You need to dive in, but not feet first or head first. You need to dive in FAITH first! And when you do, you will be amazed at the gaps God completes. Go ahead and allow him to do some amazing math in your life!

Check out the full ‘God Factor’ sermon here by Pastor Keith. If you have placed your faith in Jesus, now is the time to live like it. Listen!