Monthly Archives: September 2015

Does the Good News Stop With You? Part 3

Does the Good News Stop With You_ 3

When you break a sweat while exercising, it feels good. It makes you feel like you accomplished something. You’re charged up and into the groove. You are in the game. Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 15 that we need to be ready to explain our faith and he reminded people of the foundation of their faith. He continued by telling us that Jesus in our lives should affect our lives. Today brings to the conclusion, part three, of this series “Does the Good News Stop With You?”

How can we not get in the game or make big plays for the team when we have been given such an undeserved chance by our owner? In other words, faith is not a spectator sport. Sure you get information, you need to read the Bible, but it takes action – from you – to really live your faith out. Come on folks, let’s break a sweat for Him!

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship , created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Are you doing anything or are you just letting somebody else do it? He’s got a plan for you covered, but it is your responsibility to start working on it.

Responsibility can come in different forms. How you live for Jesus, what you do for Jesus, or even your response to what comes your way are all things that we have responsibility for here on earth. Nike says, “Just do it”,  cows say, “Got milk?” and the old beef commercials said, “Where’s the beef?”. Translated into Jesus speak, we have, “Get off your butt and do something to reflect Jesus’ love”, look around you and decide who’s “Got Jesus” and who doesn’t, and then ask yourself, “Where’s my sweat for Jesus? Where is the majority of my life focus?”

So, does the Good News stop with you? Are you breaking a sweat for Jesus? Paul says to remember the foundation of our faith and we all have a responsibility to share our faith. Pray to God to give you an opportunity today, tomorrow, or sometime to share your faith. It’s not always about the grand speech and the right words. It might be your actions or a passing comment. Either way, the world needs you to share the Good News. Please, don’t let it stop with you, make a big play.

Does the Good News Stop With You? Part 1 and Part 2

Exodus 20: The Ten Commandments

20150927_064523The ten commandments can be pretty heavy duty stuff for kids. Everywhere kids go they are bombarded by rules. Stand in line, don’t talk in the hall, don’t run in the hall, hold my hand in the parking lot, and so on. What do these rules have in common? They are easy to understand in kid language.

Today’s craft has the 10 commandments in kid language. And, there done so that they know how God is reflected in them. Based off of The Story of Hope kid lessons, the wording is friendly. The kids can read them and then put God’s truth beside them.

20150927_064611For this craft you will need:

  • 1 ‘stone’ paper per child and 1 list per child Exodus 20
  • glue, scissors
  • tablecloth to keep that sticky glue off your rented table if that is where you are located

Read through the 10 commandments then have the kids cut up the others, put them in order, and glue down. You can even take it a step farther if you want and use a sidewalk and color over the stones and get the textured look. I happened to have gray paper, so I just used that.

Kids are going to understand these statements. It can even be a good reminder for adults too! Have fun!

Does the Good News Stop With You? Part 2

Does the Good News Stop With You 2

The Good News should be called the Great News.   -PK

Have you ever thought that? Do you realize that the greatest gift you’ll ever get has already been given to you. But, some people haven’t opened it up yet to experience it! In part one of this three part series on 1 Corinthians 15, Paul told us that people need to get back to the fundamentals, the foundation of our faith. He reminds people in verse three that he passed on to them what he had learned, the important information about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. What are you doing with that information?

How can we be so unchanged in our faith when the foundation of everything we believe is so life changing? Let me give you an example PK shared in his sermon. He recently started going to the gym again, so it goes like this. Suppose you went to the gym and you had to lose a lot of weight. When you got there, a group of people greeted you and took you in. They showed you how to use the machines, they cheered you on as you did your reps, they gave you a drink right when you needed it most, and they said they would be with you through your entire weight loss journey no matter what. Would you go? Would you stay? Six months later, you have reached your goal and as you and your gym posse are cheering your success, you see a new person come in with trepidation. You run over, take them by the hand and bring them into the circle of people and tell them you are going to be there for them.

Living a life for Jesus is like that. When you meet someone who is struggling or wandering and is searching for the answer, for ‘it’, you need to let them in on your faith. Now, you can’t shove it down their throat, that will just send them running. You need to let them into your life and then the conversation of the hope you have in Jesus will come up. Again, you need to break a sweat for Jesus. When you believe, you need to jump in. If you act like nothing happened when you placed your faith in Jesus, then your life won’t reflect Him.  “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

God is offering us the gift of eternal life and forgiveness for our sins through Jesus. We make it harder than it needs to be as we over think and try to rationalize in a material world. Don’t get caught up. Stick to the foundations like Paul said to. Show others that your life has been changed.

Don’t let the Good News stop with you! Check out Part 1 and  Part 3!

The Good News Should be Called

Does the Good News Stop With You?

Does the Good News Stop With You_

Are you breaking a sweat for Jesus? Is your spirituality more of a checklist? Today I: studied my Bible (check), prayed a long time (check), sang in the choir, was a greeter, helped in the nursery, talked to three people (check). If we see our faith as a checklist of how much we do, then quite possibly we have forgotten why  we have our faith and who we are supposed to be glorifying. If your church is more caught up with fighting and arguing amongst yourselves then it is time to get back to the fundamentals. So, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 15.

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures..” I Corinthians 15:1-4.

Paul is calling people back to the basics. He is reminding people that the above foundation is fundamental to their faith. He is reminding people of the Good News! When you get side tracked by worldviews and material things you can start to forget what it is about your faith that gives you hope. He is reminding people of what they already know.

How can we stand in such active faith if we can’t explain it? Passing on the gospel is part of our mission. We need to be like athletes and do the reps and train in order to get better at sharing our faith with others. 1 Corinthians 9:27 tells us that Paul disciplines himself to serve Jesus much like an athlete disciplines his practice for his sport. By doing this, what we do and say around others comes to reflect Jesus in our lives. People will start to wonder what gives you a little extra skip in your step. And that, my friends, is what opens the door to conversation about Jesus.

1 Peter 3:15 tells us, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Are you prepared? It’s time to get up off our butts and have our story about how we asked Jesus into our hearts ready to share. It’s time for us to show others. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)

In other words, start breaking a sweat for Jesus! Don’t let the Good News stop with you.

Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope you have.    -PK

Everybody plays in this game. If you’re not, it’s time to get off the sidelines and into the action.

Here are Part 2 and Part 3. I have two more questions for you from 1 Corinthians 15 as you ask yourself, “Does the Good News Stop With You?”

Exodus 14: Parting the Red Sea

20150920_080926Have your kids picture themselves at the beach in the ocean and a huge wave which towers over their heads comes towards them. Do they run towards it or run away? Is this the feeling Moses and the Israelites had when God gave Moses the ability to part the Red Sea? Did they think he was crazy? After all, who can make water stand and dry land appear for a safe crossing? Only God, of course.

Todays craft reveals the words, “But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left” from Exodus 14:29. I think kids will get the idea as they roll back the sea.

20150920_080910For this craft you will need:

  • one verse paper per child Exodus 14 29
  • one full size piece of blue paper
  • scissors, glue
  • a pencil or crayon for rolling

Have the kids cut the blue paper in half and then cut strips halfway through. They don’t need to be perfect! Next, glue the uncut blue part to the edge of the white paper. Then, using a pencil or crayon, show them how to roll up the paper to make the waves.

After that, you are done. Let them use their fingers or a small Lego man to walk through the parted water and read the verse. Have fun!

 

A Welcome Lollipop Flower

October 2014 057Sometimes, it is just nice to let people know you are glad they are there. The kids at my church did this one Sunday when PK was talking about service. We had the kids be greeters and then during their lesson, they made these Lollipop flowers. When the last song was playing they went in and handed them out. It was neat and really, who doesn’t like a good lollipop every once in a while?!

 

 

October 2014 056For this craft you will need:

  • Enough flower circles and petals as you need Glad You Popped In
  • crayons, scissors
  • lollipops
  • something to cover the table

To put them together, cut out the circles (I have some that cut fancy edges, so I did that ahead of time). I also cut out the leaves ahead of time too. Put a cloth down on the table or paper underneath as they color. I used many colors on my flower and just drew circles all around and think it turned out neat. Next up, use a pencil to punch a small hole on each dot. A regular hole punch is too big and the things will fall right off the lollipop stick. Then just slip on the flower and then the leaf. If you find it doesn’t stay, a little piece of tape can help.

Super easy to do and not very expensive this small treat brought a smile to many faces. The adults opened theirs up just as quick as the kids did! Have fun!

Spiritual Gifts are Not for Me

Spiritual Gifts are Not for Me

Ah, yes, the unholy trinity of me, myself, and I. What can you do for me? What can I get out of this, that, or the other? What about me? In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes about love. If you’re married, you probably had it read at your wedding. You know the part, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Beautiful, isn’t it? Let me backtrack to 1 Corinthians 12: 29-31. “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” In other words, you might have the gift for teaching or prophecy or evangelism. But is that gift really for you? No.

Your spiritual gifts are for others. Why? Because through your using your spiritual gifts, you are sharing God’s love. That is the greater gift. Yes, that love that is in 1 Corinthians 13. The love we all fall so short on because we are imperfect. You see, true love gives. Jesus set the bar so high for us.

You need to read 1 John 4:7-23 in its entirety. Here is just a small part. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God…This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him…No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us…God is love…”.

What have you sacrificed for God lately? A supersize meal? Two minutes of Facebook time for a quick prayer? Is all the stuff around you consuming you so that you can’t seem to find God’s love in  your life? God sent Jesus to earth so we could follow his example. He allowed the Bible to be written so that we could study it and use it as a tool to teach others and to know how we should love others. Are you using it the way he intends for it to be used?

Are you using your spiritual gift so that God’s love radiates from you? There is more than just you in this world. There are millions of people starving for love. Will you use your gifts to show God’s love to them? You just need to do it. Your spiritual gifts are not for you. They are a vessel God gave you so that He may be glorified to others. Your own personal action speaks louder than any words some people will ever read. Let your actions speak love.

Exodus 12: The Passover Door

20150912_083024Exodus 12 has your kids learning about the Pharaoh who wouldn’t let Moses and his people go. The plagues came and as horrible as they were, that Pharaoh was stubborn. Finally, Moses told Pharaoh that God would kill the firstborn in each family. And that is exactly what happened, except not to the Israelites. The message from God to them was to paint the blood of a lamb over their door. Then, their firstborn would be spared and they were.

Kids need to know that they can trust God and His promises. This craft is just a visual reminder of that promise.

20150912_083108For this craft you will need:

  • One paper per child Exodus 12 13
  • crayons, glue, scissors
  • one brad per child
  • one piece of red paper
  • something to cover the table with

Have the kids color the branch, door and person. They can then cut along the dotted line and cut out the branch and cut on those dotted lines too. Cut the red paper into paint and glue along the top and sides of the door frame. Finally, take the brad and poke through the dot on the branch and poke it through the paper where the hands should be. Fasten it loosely so the branch can move back and forth.

Remind kids that God is faithful. It may take time and not always be ‘fun’, but He knows what He is doing and will see us through!

Tomato, Basil, Cheese Yum!

20150815_104638

Looking for something to do with those last tomatoes? Here is a yummy side that can be presented two ways. I’ve brought both to some get togethers over the summer and didn’t bring any back home!

I basically put tomatoes, basil, and cheese into the search bar of Pinterest to see what could be done. Here is one recipe that got me going. The little kabobs were so cute. From there, I decided to just mix pepperoni, basil leaves, tomatoes, and cheese. The first time I used Asiago cheese on the kabobs, but in the dish it is just plain old mozzarella.

Pop the ingredients onto a toothpick, put on a pretty plate and you are on your way. I didn’t drizzle any dressing on top. Be sure to slide everything off the toothpick and into your mouth at once for some fireworks for your taste buds! In the dish, it was just as tasty.

20150822_154420

Go ahead and give this salad a try with those last tomatoes. I think you’ll find it tasty and simple to put together. I know it has inspired me to try to use my fresh basil more. May I suggest putting the tomato and basil leaves on a grilled cheese sandwich? I did this too and it was delicious! Enjoy!

Will it Work Wednesday 2