Monthly Archives: July 2015

Romans 8:28 God’s Calling You!

October 2014 053As a children’s teacher, you need to remember that it is not always about the coolest or most expensive craft. It is about what is going to stick with the kids. And kids still have awesome imaginations. What kid doesn’t want their own smartphone? Today, you can deliver that!

Based on Romans 8:28 which says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” one word jumped out at me. Called. God is calling us, you, me! We need to answer and listen to what He says! Right before this verse, it talks about prayer. Let the kids know that prayer is our hotline to God.

October 2014 052For this craft you will need:

  • one phone cover per child Romans 8 28
  • one colored back (use the cover as a template)
  • one cereal box phone (use cover as template)
  • crayons, glue
  • something to cover the table

Cut out the templates, then use one to cut out colored backs for phone covers. You can use a cereal, mac-n-cheese, or cake box to make a sturdy holder for your phone. Have the kids color their phone and be creative with it. Then glue the front and back to the piece of cardboard.

Now they are ready to make and receive calls from God! Or each other because you know they will want to!

October 2014 054

Ephesians 2:19 Part of the Family

October 2014 042

I love little parts of projects that open or slide and today the verse is literally behind the door. Ephesians 2:19 says, “You are members of God’s very own family…and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” What comforting words.

When we put our faith in Jesus, he becomes our rock. His spirit lives in us. And, the great thing is, if we allow Him to live in us and we build a relationship with Him, then our lives can be transformed. Life becomes more about serving Jesus rather than ourselves.

October 2014 041For today’s craft you will need:

  • one house and verse per child Ephesians 2 19
  • crayons, scissors, tape
  • something to cover the table

To put this craft together, color the house, then cut on the dotted lines and fold back so the door opens. You can then tape the verse on the back of the house so the verse shows through the door.

October 2014 044I figure showing how God lives in us is better through a house example than having an open stomach or something! But really, be sure to tell the kids that God can live in their house and their hearts if they ask Him in!

Unsolicited Jesus Sized Advice – Part 2

Unsolicted Jesus Sized Advice

So, King Solomon is the advice king. Unfortunately, he never got to read the New Testament and follow the life of Jesus. Today, I’ll follow up to Unsolicited Jesus Sized Advice with the last two insights into Ecclesiastes 4. Solomon tells us to seek advice. He wrote Proverbs and so he knows a thing or two about giving it.

The two points from the other day, just to refresh are:

  1. Insights on Oppression and Politics: People need people. People need love. People need Jesus. Believers and non-believers alike have fallen into deep lows when they think there is no hope. It is your job, my job, our job to reach out and find a way to show Jesus’ love and interact with them.
  2. Insights on Money: Money is a necessity in today’s world, but do you have to keep up with everyone around you? No. Use balance and moderation to get you through. Having the most toys does not make you the winner here on earth or in eternity.

And now, for the last two insights.

3. Insights on Relationships

Relationships are those bonds you have with friends, family, and your church. When you combine those three things together, you have a strong system of support. Don’t you just love Ecclesiastes 4:9-12? It says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Wow!

Have you picked up anyone who has fallen lately? How do you do that in this busy, busy world? Easy, get involved in each other’s lives beyond “How are you? Fine” responses. Join a small group or missional action group. Get plugged in at your church. Or simply have coffee with someone or invite someone over for dinner. You know you have to eat anyway!

A simple act of love can show more about your faith than any preaching.

4. Insights on Achieving the Dream

Sometimes we get so stuck in a rut, so set in our ways, that the listening ear we are supposed to be giving to our advisors becomes deaf. What should you do when the fire goes out? When your joy and passion for the Bible and Jesus dims is all lost? No!

Once you realize you have lost the dream of living for Christ and realizing that apart from Him all is meaningless you need to get back on mission. Get back to praying, serving, reading the Bible, attending small groups.

Faith is an action word, a verb. You need to do it, live it, and keep feeding faith in order to grow.

You will never be done with God’s mission!  -PK

Don’t become one of those old dogs you can’t teach new tricks. Get out and live. Being a Christian can be tough in this world. Quite frankly, you might be the one sharing unsolicited advice as you share your faith. It’s something people don’t want to hear, but if you are a believer you know it is something people need to hear. Don’t just preach it, live it. Build relationships with those around you. People will notice that you love them when they are down, when they don’t have the coolest toys, when they fall you are part of their cord of three, and that your zest is not superficial.

No one is saying it is going to be easy. Even Solomon, the wisest man fell away from God, and as he searched he soon found that without God, it just doesn’t matter.

If you missed part one, check it out here.

Ecclesiastes 4 9 12

 

 

Genesis 22 – Trust God

Genesis 22 14 Craft

Today I bring you one of the best smelling crafts I have ever done! The story of Abraham following God’s orders to sacrifice his son, Isaac, is always a tricky one to teach. It can raise so many questions for kids and in a world where people don’t value the lives of others, it needs to be treated carefully. This craft uses Genesis 22:14 as the focus.

Verse 14 says, “And Abraham called the name of the place, The Lord Will Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” God will provide. He will never give you more than you can handle. Abraham knew he had to trust God and so he followed what God told him to do.

When God gives you more than you think you can handle, when that mountain looks to big, remember Jesus is the rock and will get you through. He will hold your hand, He will help you climb, and He will provide His will if we just listen.

Keeping in line with using different materials, which are easy to find, this craft uses cinnamon and sugar to decorate the mountain. It smells so good, kids love it! A little goes a long way and just helps to add another dimension to the craft. It’s a hook to help them remember the story you taught them. They’ll say, “Remember that time we made that mountain with cinnamon? What was that story? Oh, yeah, Abraham following God’s orders and God provided.” Well, the conversation will go something like that!

For this craft you will need:Genesis 22 14 supplies

  • one Genesis 22:14 paper per child Genesis 22 14
  • green paper for grass (optional)
  • crayons, glue
  • a mixture of cinnamon and sugar

Have the kiddos color the picture, then put some glue on the mountain and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on it. If you are using the paper for grass, just cut a strip and then they can cut slits up it and glue it down.

Remember, trust God. He will provide!

Unsolicited Jesus Sized Advice

Unsolicted Jesus Sized Advice

Have you ever gotten unsolicited advice? Probably. And, whether you asked for it or not, you probably considered what the person said and went from there. King Solomon is the advice king! As the wisest man, he wrote the book of Proverbs, to help us live our lives in a more godly manner. He gives us some suggestions on how to seek advice.

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 11:14 says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”

Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”

The Bible tells us to seek advice for things. If we always try to go at it on our own, we are foolish. God will help you find the right answer and figure out the best way. Here are 4 pieces of unsolicited Jesus sized advice for you today! Continuing in Ecclesiastes with Chapter 4.

1. Insights on Oppression and Politics

There are people who feel oppressed and think that they don’t have anyone to turn to. Some even feel that being dead would be better than living. Yes, even believers feel this way. Think about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:4 and Job in Job 3:3. If believers feel this way sometimes, than what about people who don’t know Jesus? Christians have hope beyond the grave. They know, even if they try to ignore or shove it into the back of their mind, that they are not alone!

What we all have to remember, no matter how dire the circumstance, is that giving up is not the answer! If you see or know someone who is heavily burdened, you need to let them know they are loved. You need to ask God to work through you to help reach this person. How can you really love your neighbor as yourself? How can you include them in your life? Show someone the hope of love and Jesus.

2. Insights on Money

We have more in common with people who lived 3,000 years ago than you think. We are still trying to keep up with the Jones’. Let’s face it,

People buy stuff they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like, and pay for it with a credit card they can’t afford.   -PK

This is an empty way to operate and live. In other words, be content with what you have! If you aren’t, isn’t it almost like we are slapping God in the face and saying to him that his blessings aren’t good enough for us? Ouch! Apart from Jesus, all that stuff just makes life come up short.

Mark 8:34-38 is where Jesus tells anyone who wants to be his follower to give it all up and follow him. We need to use balance and moderation. Is it about me, myself, and I? Or is our life about something bigger? Proverbs 16:8 says, “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”

I know I said 4 pieces of unsolicited Jesus sized advice, but I think we’ll stop with two for today. I’ve often joked that life would be a lot easier if we were all born with a manual. But really, the Bible is our life manual. It’s just a matter of how much we put into it and read it in order to get the most from it. I need to remind myself that the Bible has all the answers. It is a relevant book for today. The only thing that has changed, are the characters in the world now and our way of doing things.

If we open our hearts to God’s advice our lives will begin to have purpose and make more sense. We will know what direction we need to head in. I’ll be back in a couple more days with two more pieces of advice. See you soon!

WITH God, pleasure tastes so much

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Reversible Bag for Little Girl’s

Will it Work Wednesday 2

I found this reversible bag to make here. It really does only take about 30 minutes to make and when you mix up the colors and designs you can get some pretty cute bags.

June 2014 002To make them special, I call them bow bags and fill it with different ribbons and hair ties or clips. Not the greatest picture below, but you can see what I mean.

June 2014 004If you like the flowered clips, they are really easy to make. I used a paper towel tube to put them on, but you can also just wrap a rectangular piece of cardboard in paper and slip them on.

So if you have okay sewing skills you might want to try this project out. It’s cute, thoughtful and perfect for a little girl. Have fun!

 

 

Matthew 7:24-27 Build Your House on the Rock

IMG_4636If you’ve been to the beach, I’m sure you and your kids have built a sandcastle near the water’s edge, only to have it destroyed by the tide. That can be a great opportunity to slip in a little of the story from Matthew 7:24-27. The house on the sand falls, but the house on the rock stands strong.

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Jesus is the rock. He can withstand anything and will be with you as you go through life. Remember that Footprints in the Sand poem? When there was only one set was when He was carrying you. There isn’t anything too big for God to handle. We just have to be sure that our foundation is on God and the Bible.

Again, this craft is low budget and I’m sure you have things around the house you can use. For this craft you will need:

  • IMG_4634an egg carton, cut into pieces to be the rock
  • one index card per child
  • glue (I used a hot glue gun for quick drying when I did it)

Cut one end of the index card into a point and write on one side. Let the kids decorate their house. Then fold up a lip and glue it to the ‘rock’.

Remember, kids don’t always need to be wowed and dazzled with a store bought craft. Let’s face it, a lot of times the craft goes in the garbage when it gets home. But, you can’t trash memories and I bet one day they will see an egg carton or be playing in the sand and they will think of this story.

 

On the Fly S’mores

On the Fly S'mores

Well, we are doing some camping. I use the term camping loosely since we go in a hotel on wheels. Yup, we all pile into the pop up for some adventure and usually at least one night includes roasting marshmallows.

Here's PK maintaining the fire.
Here’s PK maintaining the fire.

My kids are kind of hit or miss with wanting s’mores, so last week when we went camping, I just brought along some marshmallows. Of course, they all couldn’t believe I didn’t bring graham crackers and chocolate for s’mores. *sigh*

So, they started to roast or burn some marshmallows. And then I was like, “Wait!” I ran in the pop up and brought out those can’t eat just one of ’em chocolate striped cookies we got from the Dollar Tree.

Crackerish cookie + chocolate on the bottom + toasted marshmallow = s’more on the fly!

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And it was so much less of a hassle! The kids enjoyed them. I enjoyed them and we all went to bed happy. Really, give it a try. Yummy!

Will it Work Wednesday 2

Genesis 6:8 Noah and the Flood

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Today’s craft finds us in the story of Noah. I decided to do the end, when Noah’s ark is on Mt. Ararat and the water is receding. Genesis 6:8 says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Isn’t God’s grace awesome? He gave Noah and his family safety during the flood and then landed them in a safe place. His grace saw them through.

This craft uses a few more supplies than usual, but it is always good to mix things up so the kids don’t get bored doing the same thing every week. Use what you have on hand. This is why I make my own crafts. All the stock lessons seem to come with a coloring page or a word search. Boring and not always age appropriate. Or they use too many expensive supplies and you know these things end up in the garbage. Cutting, having moving parts, a little painting, and using different textures together keep it interesting for the kids.

Things you will need for this craft:20150705_065201

  • one boat/verse square per child Genesis 6 8
  • crayons, glue, tape, scissors
  • one blue piece of construction paper per child
  • one coffee filter per child (I had brown on hand, but white will work too)20150705_065259
  • one mountain support (I cut a cereal box on the spine and then folded the edges)
  • blue crepe paper/tissue paper/ extra paper to add to water

To put this together: tape the box down, glue the coffee filter to the mountain, color the ark, cut out the ark and verse, fold the ark on the dotted lines, glue the ark and verse on, add water.

This is pretty simple and the kids can always personalize it. Maybe some will want to add some grass or flowers on the filter. Others may want to just draw on waves. Either way, remind your students that God’s goodness and grace is there for them. He will see them through.

Little Things Stress You Out and Make Your Day

You know the little things stress you

What is causing you to worry today? Do you have  an impossible deadline to meet, are you out of food, or are your kids tuning you out? I try not to get stressed out, it’s bad for my health and it is bad for yours too. But everyday life sends things our way that just put a kink into our plans. Right?

You hit snooze once….and you are already behind for the day. You get in the car….and it’s almost on empty so you need to stop for gas and then you are late for work. You get a run in your stocking or spill on your tie…and you don’t have a backup. One of your kids wakes up throwing up….and you wonder how you can take a day off from work. You’re living paycheck to paycheck….and you wonder if you can turn rice into a magical meal.

Whether it is seemingly really dumb stuff that stresses us out or something as important as food, life stresses us out. The little things stress us out.

PK puts a twist on it for us though:

You know the little things stress you out. But remember, it is the little things that make your day.

The joy of wilted dandelions given to you by a little one. The relief that your presentation went well. The pride as your child picks up something you didn’t ask them to. The excitement of finding $5 in your jacket leftover from last year. How about the excitement of finding a penny or a quarter? The taste buds delighting in a new recipe.

PK shared that he was visiting someone in the hospital and used the bathrooms on the way out. He said it was the cleanest bathroom he had been in. And, there was this new fangled hand dryer that you put your hands in. He said it felt like a massage as it dried your hands. He shared this with me, because it was a little thing that made his day! Yes, it sounds silly, but he shared it with me and now I want to see what he is talking about.

What little things stress you out? What little things make your day? Matthew 6:31-34 says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But, seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus knows we have a lot to handle and he wants to help you out. He will provide what you need to relieve the stress and bring the joys. It’s a matter of trusting God with our lives. Seek him first and don’t worry about tomorrow. Now, don’t be stupid and spend all your money today and expect a windfall tomorrow! But he is saying that He will be there. He knows just what you need. In fact, He is all you need at the end of the day.

If you look at the picture at the top you will see a tree lined road. Usually once a year we travel this road to get somewhere. Every single time I am amazed as we drive down this perfectly tree lined road. Who thought 50 years ago to plant these trees, evenly spaced and lined up across from each other? It creates a beautiful canopy as we drive under. It makes me happy. It is a small thing that brings joy to my day. It is also a reminder of how what I do today matters and is important to those around me. And for a moment, the worries about tomorrow fade because I know God has it all in control. I just need to let him lead me.

Won’t you share a little thing that made your day?