Easter Sunday School Lessons

During the past several days, we talked about different crafts and activities we can do for Easter at home or in Sunday school. But, like I always said, the most important thing is to make sure that children truly understand the message of Easter.Easter Sunday School Lessons

With this said, probably the most important part of our activities should be the lessons, so I scoured the internet for some great Easter Sunday School lessons we all can use. I divided the lessons into age groups so that you wouldn’t have problems looking for appropriate ones for your student group! Here they are:

Easter Sunday School Lessons for Toddlers to Young Preschoolers

  1. “Friday Was Sad, But Sunday Was Glad” – This lesson is ideal for very young Sunday schoolers, but there is also an option if there are older children in your class. The main objective of this lesson is to teach children that while Jesus dying on the cross can be sad, we should all be glad because, in the end, he won over death!
  2. “The Empty Tomb” – The focus of this lesson is, first, the tomb and what it means, and, second, what the empty tomb Also included are instructions for an empty tomb craft.
  3. “He is Alive” – This lesson takes the message of Jesus’ resurrection one step further by teaching the children that because Jesus conquered death and lived again, now, we can have a new life in him!

Easter Sunday School Lessons for Older Preschoolers to Young Graders

  1. “The Empty Tomb” Easter Skit – Aside from doing crafts and art activities, another way to encourage interaction in a class is making skits. Here’s a skit fit for young graders that focus on following Mary Magdalene during the first Easter morning.
  2. “Jesus is Alive” – Here’s a complete Easter Sunday school lesson plan including story-time, discussion, and crafting that aims to teach children that Easter means Good News for every Christian.
  3. “Jesus Loves You” – This lesson can be used for young preschoolers up to young graders, but the poster suggests simplifying the concept of “unconditional love” for the younger audience.

Easter Sunday School Lessons for Older Graders to Middle Schoolers

  1. “Jesus is Raised from the Dead” – Studying this Easter Sunday school lesson plan, I believe this can serve as a good introduction in teaching young apologists the Biblical truths to answer some common questions and clarifications about the Resurrection.
  2. Jesus’ Burial and Resurrection – Here’s another skit, and this time, the focus is on recreating how Jesus was buried and how he rose from the dead. A set of questions is provided, which will help the students study and understand Easter.
  3. Human Easter Egg Activity – If you think Easter eggs are just for kids, this lesson may prove you wrong. However, instead of eggs, the participants are the students, and instead of painting for fun, painting symbolizes how Jesus died for us who are full of sin.

Easter Sunday School Lessons for the Youth

  1. “Why Does the Resurrection Matter?” – At this age, young people are bound to ask questions, which may include questions about the Resurrection. This is also a good apologia material because it aims to convince students that the Resurrection was a literal and historical event.
  2. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – In continuation of the lesson above, this still aims to convince the readers that the Resurrection was a real event, but this time, students are also encouraged to share the evidence with other people.
  3. Best Story Ever” Video Lesson – The message of Easter often becomes more compelling for young people through the testimonies of other people. After viewing the video, students are also encouraged to discuss the message of Easter to learn from each other.

 

I hope I was able to help you prepare for your Easter Sunday school lessons. Do you have more ideas? Feel free to share!  Memory Cross has a number of resources for Easter.  Take a moment and check them out.

IMG_20150225_153954About:  I am a writer, an essay instructor, and a work-at-home mother.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy

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5 Easy Easter Egg Coloring Pages

If you ask a child what his favorite part of Easter is, chances are he will say candies and Easter eggs! And I don’t think there’s a problem with that. Children should view Easter as a joyous holiday because it is the celebration of Jesus’ victory over death, right?

At the same time, Easter eggs can be used to teach children the story of Easter through activities like Easter egg coloring pages. For example, while children color these pages, you can tell them how the egg symbolizes new life, which can be Jesus’ resurrection or our new lives in Christ. The possibilities are endless! To get you started, here are some nice Easter egg coloring pages that you can use with your kids:

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

1. Easy Easter Eggs from First Palette

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

First Palette Easter Egg Coloring Page

My preschooler cannot color within the lines yet, but I wouldn’t want him to miss out on all the fun of coloring Easter eggs! Gladly, there are websites like First Palette that offer free Easter egg coloring pages that are very simple to color. These are perfect for little children!

2. Free Easter Egg Pages from Crayola

Easter egg coloring pages

Crayola Easter Egg Coloring Page

Crayola is one of our go-to websites when looking for coloring pages, which include Easter egg coloring pages. The design they have now is quite complicated, so for younger children, this may be a little difficult. They can color the page in groups, though!

3. Easter Coloring Pages from Coloring Castle

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

Coloring Castle Easter Egg Coloring Page

Coloring Castle has a variety of Easter egg designs ranging from simple ones to more ornate patterns. I’m sure you can find a design that can fit your child! There are also Easter egg designs that are Christian-themed all the better to aid you in your teaching.

4. Easter Egg Pages from Free Fun Easter

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

Free Fun Easter Egg Coloring Page

A smorgasbord of Christian-themed Easter coloring pages, but they also have adorable Easter egg designs that many children will surely love. I have a bonus tip for you: the design above with the smiling eggs painted with different patterns can stand for how Jesus died for people of all races!

5. Easter Egg Coloring Pages from Coloring-Page

Easter Egg coloring pages

Coloring-Page Easter Egg Coloring Page

If you’re looking for more challenging artwork to color, for example, for an older child, this is the website that I recommend. Aside from Easter eggs, there are several other designs including bunnies and ducks and even an Easter party invitation.

 

There are a lot of Easter egg coloring pages you can find if you search online, but these coloring pages are a good start because they are simple but fun to color. Again, I recommend that aside from only letting children color these coloring pages, also tell them the real Easter story. Make sure they understand that Easter is not only about eggs and candies but also about how Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and rose from the dead to redeem us all.

Now, shall we get started with the Easter coloring activities?

 

Written by Marie Angeli Laxa.

IMG_20150225_153954

About:  I am a writer, an essay instructor, and a work-at-home mother.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy

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Easter Crafts for Sunday School

Do you use crafts to teach?

Using crafts to teach lessons is effective because making them allows children to use their hands. The lesson, then, becomes ingrained in their minds. It is also undeniable that making crafts is much more enjoyable than a lecture, and the result are artworks that are lovely to look at!Easter Crafts for Sunday School

The same applies to teaching children the Christian way, which includes teaching them the Easter story. Easter Crafts are effective in teaching children the meaning of Easter not only at home but also in church, particularly in Sunday school! I believe children will better understand the lesson and enjoy it at the same time if you involve making crafts. When choosing crafts, Pinterest is one of my favorite go-to sites, and here are some of my favorite Easter crafts for Sunday school:

Best Easter Crafts for Sunday School

  1. Treasure Tomb

This first craft is not only simple to do but also sweet – literally and figuratively. First, you need common materials like a Bible, disposable plates, brown paper lunch bags, card stock, and individually-wrapped candies. The entire point is to make empty tombs out of these materials. The tombs need to have one hole each, and one candy will be placed inside each tomb. After these are done, the class is expected to read aloud Mark 16:1-6. The message? Inside the empty tomb is a sweet surprise!

Know the rest of the materials and procedures here.

  1. Egg Breaking Ice Breaker

This craft is a double-edged sword: aside from teaching children about Easter, this also urges them to get to know and interact with each other. All you need are sticky notes, pencils, plastic eggs, and a basket. Children will write down something about what they’re wearing on their sticky notes, place them in eggs, and place them in a basket. Have each child pick out an egg and guess the person who wrote the note. If the guess is correct, the child who wrote the note will stand up and introduce himself. Music will also make the activity more fun!

Read more about this activity here.

  1. Tomb and Boulder Craft

This craft, while very pretty, can be complicated to make, so I suggest that it should be made by older Sunday school students. It does entail measuring, pattern-making, and stitching, so much supervision is needed. The finished product features a cross and a covered tomb on Good Friday and, when Easter comes, the tomb is uncovered to announce the Good News! This is beautiful artwork and deserves to be kept to be used every year.

Know the rest of the materials and procedures here.

  1. Easter Story in an Egg

Stores will be selling a lot of eggs before Easter, both real and plastic, and children are bound to expect to have them. Did you know these eggs can be used to tell the Easter story? You will need some art materials, but the most important ones are the egg cartons and the plastic eggs. What you need to do is place specific materials and messages in each egg. The blogger suggests opening one egg on each day leading to Easter, but I think this can also be done in one sitting with one child opening one egg each. What’s important is telling the Easter story using these eggs!

Know the rest of the materials and procedures here.

  1. Stained Glass Cross Craft

This is a craft that produces a piece of artwork that deserves to be displayed every day. It is also very simple to make! What you need are colored tissue, wax paper, Popsicle sticks, a cross template, and art materials. It just entails tearing up the tissue paper, gluing them onto wax paper, and folding the wax paper to enclose the colored tissue papers. The result is lovely and gets the children thinking about Jesus and the Cross!

Know the rest of the materials and procedures here.

  1. Flower and Dye Experiment

My son is into science, so, as much as possible, I try to look for activities that also involve science experiments. It’s a great thing that a number of Easter craft ideas also incorporate science, and here’s my favorite. Basically, all you need to do are a white carnation, a glass or vase with water, and red food coloring. Add drops of food coloring to the water and wait until the flower takes on shades of red. The flower stands for Jesus and his purity while the coloring stands for our sins.

Read more about this activity here.

7. Memory Cross origami coloring cards

Each Memory Cross card consists of four panels that make an endless loop.  Cards are available that tell about Palm Sunday, Easter, Holy Week along with a number of others.  They are a creative way to help children learn the Easter story and can be used with Children’s church, Sunday School and Easter Egg Hunts.

Learn more about Memory Cross cards buy clicking here.

There you have it – brilliant crafts and art activities to teach children the true meaning of Easter that you can use for Sunday school. I’m sure these would help them truly understand and commit to heart the message of Easter. Do you know more Easter crafts for Sunday school? We’d love to hear them!

Written by Marie Angeli Laxa.

IMG_20150225_153954

About:  I am a writer, an essay instructor, and a work-at-home mother.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy.

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Easter Coloring Pages

I haven’t met any child yet who doesn’t look coloring books. If anything, crayons and coloring books are a surefire way to make a child sit still and be busy.  Since Easter is also soon approaching, I Easter Coloring Pagesfigured it’s best to buy coloring books about Easter because they are a good way to teach them about the holiday.

However, in a pinch and if you don’t want to be carrying an entire book when you’re out and about, I suggest you look for Easter coloring pages instead.  All you have to do is search for one, print it out, and give it to your child. Oh, and prepare to answer questions about Easter, too!

I was also searching for good Easter coloring pages for my son, and I listed some great websites here, so feel free to look around:

  • Crayola Easter Coloring Pages

What I love about the coloring pages of Crayola is that it features a variety of Easter images including the usual Easter eggs and rabbits and the more meaningful palm leaves and Jesus’ cross. I think this helps parents teach their children the meaning of Easter more easily!

Visit the coloring pages here.

  • Easter-Coloring

Similar to Crayola, this website also features images portraying different Easter themes. The images are divided into categories, which makes searching for your preferred images much easier. These include a category devoted to coloring pages for preschoolers and a category that contains Christian-themed Easter coloring pages.

Visit the coloring pages.

  • Twisty Noodle

There are a lot of coloring pages here, and I mean a lot!  There are four pages of images which you can choose from, and there is a wide variety of images from chicks and eggs to angels and Jesus’ empty tomb. The feature that I love the best is how you can customize the page; for example, you can change the font of the words included in your coloring page.

Visit the coloring pages at Twisty Noodle.

  • Ministry-to-Children

The coloring pages in this website are a good fit for older children, and these are great for Sunday school classes! This is because the individual coloring pages tell the story of Easter, phase by phase. For example, one portrays an empty tomb, while one contains an image of a risen Christ. There is even a coloring page telling children about Doubting Thomas!

Ministry to Children coloring pages can be reached by clicking this link.

  • Free Images Coloring Design

Finally, for the child who prefers realistic images and more challenging designs to color, I suggest you check out this page. It contains a number of Biblical images, both literal and symbolic, which will help older children understand what truly happened when Jesus came to the world. Of course, nothing should keep you from using these pages with younger children; just be sure they won’t get frustrated with the difficult Easter coloring pages!

Visit the coloring pages here.

It pays to look through every option available in teaching children the real meaning of Easter. It’s amazing to know that even crayons and coloring pages can be used in order to help children understand God’s great plan of salvation and Jesus’ ultimate triumph. Have you already chosen your preferred Easter coloring pages?

Memory Cross has a number of Easter coloring pages available.  Each card consists of four panels that make a never ending loop.  The origami design captures the attention of children while helping them understand what Easter is really about.  There are a number of cards available and they can be use with your own kids at church during an Easter egg hunt, Children’s Church or Sunday School.  Here is a list of the cards and a link to each page:

The video below shows how every Memory Cross card folds.  If you have other Easter Coloring Pages that you would like to share add them to the comment box below.

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Easter Craft Ideas for Kids

Along with Easter games (we shared some really great ideas in the previous post!), Easter-themed arts and crafts are also a hit with children during the holiday. Most crafts are enjoyable to make, and it’s good to know that most crafts also tend to be relevant and meaningful.Easter Craft Ideas for Kids

I emphasize again the need to focus on Jesus when celebrating Easter. It’s all about him, and children are never too young to understand what Easter is truly about. Doing meaningful activities will help them learn the Easter story and commit it to heart. Like games, there are also a lot of ideas all over the internet, but let me share with you some of our favorite Easter Craft Ideas which can be done at home and in church:

Easter Craft Ideas for Kids

  1. “Forgiveness in Jesus” – Children expect to receive lots of treats during this day, but we can also help them use these treats to turn them into something meaningful. Basically, what children need to do is an edible craft made out of graham crackers, frosting, and candy. It may sound too sweet, but the ultimate lesson is God’s sweetest salvation.

Get the instructions here.

  1. Empty Tomb or Resurrection Rolls - I am always looking for teachable moments, and I’m sure many of you also are. Unless the church has a kitchen, though, I admit this is an activity that most will be able to do at home. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that simple baking can be a great activity to do to teach children how people from the New Testament learned that Jesus rose from the dead. Of course, the buns afterward are a yummy bonus!

Get the recipe

  1. Jelly Bean Cross – Here’s another fun Easter craft idea to do with sweet treats! Basically, what you need are a cross (either store-bought or a homemade cardboard one) and a handful of jelly beans for each child. The craft itself is really simple, but what makes this activity interesting is that each color of jelly bean stands for a different Easter-related topic. This is a really good way to help young children learn the Easter story!

You can view the instructions and the specific topics here.

  1. Fingerprint Cross – This is one of my most favorite Easter crafts in this list because of its endearing meaning, not to mention the simplicity and how it promotes unity. First, it is a very simple craft that only needs paper and paints of different colors. Ideally, each child in church or at home would have a unique paint color; however, if this is not achievable, I think it’s also nice to combine colors to form new ones. Then, children would dip their fingers in paint and press them on the paper so that their fingerprints form a cross. The message? Christ died for each one of us.

Read more about this activity.

  1. Easter Object Lesson – This one is more of a science lesson and less of an artwork but I believe this is worth sharing because it also shares a wonderful lesson. In fact, this simple activity does not only teach the Easter story but also make the message of salvation easy to grasp – and amazing! You need to try this with children at home or in church and watch their eyes grow wide in awe while learning the extent of God’s salvation.

Visit this link to know what the experiment is all about.

  1. “Paid in Full” - This is another relatively easy activity that can be done with children of all ages. What you basically need are crosses and coins; the original blogger suggests painting the cross with metallic paint, and while this makes the artwork nicer, I think it’s okay to leave the cross as it is. The point is to have the children design the crosses with coins. The ultimate message is that Jesus paid for our sins in full by dying on the cross.

The specific instructions and sample designs can be found at mom on timeout.

  1. Easter Garden – The final craft on this list may sound intimidating, but it can actually be done with young children. The materials, which include a basin, a clay planter, rocks, soil, and moss, are available in gardening stores. All you need to do is arrange the materials to form a little hill with three crosses. While doing this, you can teach children the story of Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Visit this link to know the instructions and see the model.

Again, it is my hope that this list of Easter arts and crafts gives you an idea of how to celebrate the holiday meaningfully. Do you know more Easter craft ideas? Feel free to share!  The list would not be complete if I did not mention Memory Cross Easter crafts.  They are an origami card that never stops folding.  They help children learn the Easter story and because they are so engaging, kids will have a hard time putting them down.  I included a video at the bottom which shows how they fold.  You can visit our Easter store by clicking this link.

picture-marieWritten by Marie Angeli Laxa.

About:  I have a degree in Communication Arts and a major in Media Arts and am  presently a stay at home mom and make a living being a Grammar Nazi.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy.

 

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Easter Games for Children

We’ve put together some of our favorite Easter Games for children that will help kids learn about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.  If you have a favorite let everyone know by posting it in the Easter games for childrencomments.

Easter is a fun and happy holiday! After all, this is the day we celebrate Jesus Christ’s ultimate triumph over death. For children, Easter can mean going on Easter egg hunts and getting candy. These are not harmful; however, we need to make sure that while they have fun, children should also understand the real meaning of Easter.

It is very important to stay focused on Jesus during this holiday, and it’s equally as important to raise our kids knowing that Easter is about him.

This shouldn’t pose a big problem today because there are many relevant Easter games for children.  These games aim to not only engage kids in enjoyable activities but also help them realize what we are celebrating. I chose games that can be done both at home and in church, and here are some of my favorites:

Easter Games for Children

  1. Cross Walk – This is a simple game that young children, as long as they know how to read, can play. Paper crosses are placed in a circle on the floor, and one of the crosses contains a Bible verse (the blogger aptly suggests Matthew 28:6). Then, music is played, and children walk around the circle while dancing to the music. When the music stops, the child who stops right on the cross with the Bible verse should read it aloud and will be given a treat. I think this is a nice way to memorize a verse!

This game is posted at From the Hive.

  1. Resurrection Eggs Easter Scavenger Hunt – Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? I believe this particular scavenger hunt is designed to be played by older children and even adults. This is because the clues to the items that need to be found are Bible verses. For example, the clue for bread is Matthew 26:26. But young children can also participate by looking for the eggs while the older ones figure out the clue.

This Easter game for children is posted at Diva Girl Parties and Stuff.

  1. Bible Verse Balloon Race – This sounds like a fun game that doesn’t need a lot of preparation! Kids of all ages will enjoy this, but balloon-popping may be scary for toddlers, so be a little careful. Anyway, all you need to do is print two copies of a Bible verse and cut it per word. Insert each word into a balloon, and divide the children into two teams. Let play a race and retrieve the balloons and then make them figure out the verse correctly. The first one who does wins!

Read the specifics of the mechanics Ministries to Children.

  1. Easter Story Trivia Game – This is also another game designed to be played by older children who already know Bible trivia. The format is regular question-and-answer to make it easier to play, but I think you can tweak it according to your heart’s desire. The questions are divided into five categories – People, Places, Numbers, Crucifixion, and Hodge Podge – and the point value increases with the difficulty of the questions.

Visit this link to download the download the trivia game: Hip Homeschool Moms.

  1. Gift Exchange Left and Right Game – Are you exchanging gifts on Easter? If so, I suggest that, instead of doing it the traditional way, you spice it up by using this game. We actually do a similar game during Christmas, and it never fails to make the activity more enjoyable!

A printable guide is available here: Printable Games.

  1. Donkey Relay Race – This last game is actually created to celebrate Palm Sunday, but I decided to still include it because it is such a fun game that young children can play. What’s best is that it still focuses on Jesus and brings to life his meaningful entry into Jerusalem. The game basically entails dividing children into two teams, giving one child for each team a stick donkey, while the other kids help “Jesus” move toward the road by using a limited amount of palm leaves or cloaks. There’s also another variation of the relay race without the donkey.

You can read the specific mechanics of the games here: Danielle’s Place.

There are so many more Easter game ideas that you can find all over the internet, but I hope the list above has given you a head start on deciding how to celebrate Easter this year. I hope you have a fun and meaningful celebration!  Have a favorite Easter game for children?  Let us know below.

 

picture-marieWritten by Marie Angeli Laxa.

About:  I have a degree in Communication Arts and a major in Media Arts and am  presently a stay at home mom and make a living being a Grammar Nazi.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy.

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12 Reasons Why Your Church Needs a Blog

Why Your Church Needs a Blog

While many churches have websites, not all have fully-committed blogs that are regularly updated with relevant posts. You mayWhy your church needs a blog ask, is there a difference?

There is, in fact, a big difference between a website and a blog. For starters, a website remains static; it does not need to be constantly updated unlike a blog. A website is also usually corporate and business-like, while a blog can be personal. Finally, interaction happens in blogs and not usually in websites.

I’ll stop the lecture right here and go back to the matter at hand: why your church needs a blog, and here are the 12 reasons why.

1. A blog can reveal a church’s heart.

Most websites already contain enough information about the church, but blogs can be their testimonies. This is because blogs are personal and usually manifest the church’s faith and beliefs. A single blog post can show if a church’s teachings are biblical; sometimes, a single blog post can raise red flags because it may focus more on personal happiness rather than on the Word. Remember: a blog reveals a church’s heart!

2. A blog can answer questions.

People, whether members or not, usually raise faith-based questions from time to time. Through a blog, a church can easily answer them while still giving a venue for interaction (more on this later).

3. A blog can address pertinent issues.

Also from time to time, issues arise that can either strengthen a person’s faith or de-motivate him. An example is the rampant persecution of Christians in some countries in the Middle East. Through a blog, a church can deliver its stand on these serious issues.

4. A blog can entice people to join the church.

While a church can explicitly invite people to join it, a blog’s content can be a factor in enticing them. Because a blog is usually publicly accessible, one can browse through the posts to determine whether the church is a right fit for him.

5. Members can interact with each other through a blog.

Blog posts usually have open comment sections, and members of the church can freely exchange views and interact with each other through these. Even people who don’t belong to the church are free to express their opinion via the comment section.

6. Church leaders can also interact with the members.

Through an open comment section, church leaders can also interact with their members, helping the former guide the latter even in an online setting.

7. Updates are more easily publicized through a blog.

Whenever a church holds events, which can be often, its blog is a good place to deliver announcements. Through blogs, even members who are currently out of town can stay updated!

8. A blog allows its members to share their own insights.

Some blogs allow guest posting where a member of a community can publish his own thoughts. I believe this is a good venue for churches to understand their members’ insights; this also encourages members to explore their hearts and thoughts regarding Christianity.

9. A blog can promote the church.

Of course, blogs should be listed in search engines; because of this, a blog can promote a church. For example, a person who has just moved to a town can easily search the web for a church near him. The church’s blog may come up in this search, which can encourage this person to visit it.

10. A blog can strengthen the faith of its members.

Finally, any church should take care of all of its members, and this should go beyond the church’s physical structure. Too many young people today are led out of the church because of what they see and read on the internet. We are too often exposed to sex outside marriage, drugs, and violence. But a Christian blog gives people a good option, a far better option, when they are on the internet. An enticing blog and well-written posts would hopefully keep these members grounded in the faith and keep them thinking of God’s Word and the Christian way of living.

11. Google likes blogs.

This will make it far more likely that your church will show up in local search.  One of the factors that Google uses in determining which church to show is the the ranking of websites.  Because each post is considered a page having an active blog will add hundreds of pages to your website.  If you are setting up a blog make sure it is set up as blog.youwebsite.com.

12.  A blog is easy to make and manage.

If you are still having doubts about setting up a blog, let me tell you this: making and managing a blog is not difficult at all! There are many free platforms available; I personally prefer WordPress, but there are other equally good options such as Blogger and Weebly. You only need to set up an account, which usually just calls for your email address and password, enter information about the church, and then start writing and publishing. You can either keep it simple or look for a professional team to do the design for you.  There are a number free or low cost templates available for WordPress.

Bonus: Blogs make it easy to maintain a podcast.

If you are not sure why your church needs a blog, here is one final reason: Podcasts.   Podcasts are another way to serve members and reach out to the world.  If you record your sermons in video or audio format WordPress makes it easy to maintain a podcast.  I’ve included a video below that explains how to use WordPress to set up podcasts.

At the end of the day, it’s what you write that matters. A blog is so important because it serves as your church’s testimony and it will help strengthen your members’ faith. It should be a reflection of your faith and should seek to glorify God always!

If you are thinking of setting up a WordPress you’ll find this link useful.

picture-marieWritten by Marie Angeli Laxa.

About:  I have a degree in Communication Arts and a major in Media Arts and am  presently a stay at home mom and make a living being a Grammar Nazi.  Most importantly, I am a woman who strives to follow Jesus and honor Him in everything I do. I am a sinner, and I make mistakes, and my salvation lies in Him.  My thoughts on life can be found on my blog:  Little pieces of Happy.

 

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Ten Commandments for Kids

Do children need to learn the Ten Commandments?

It is easy to downplay the importance of the Ten Commandments mainly because of the new commandment that Jesus gives us in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, Ten commandments for kidsThat ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” But does this mean Jesus cancels out the Ten Commandments given to Moses?

I believe the notion is untrue.

I believe God doesn’t contradict himself; Jesus’ new commandment could not have cancelled the Ten Commandments. On the contrary, if we take a careful look at all of the commandments, it is easy to see that they boil down to one thing: love. They teach us how to love God and love one another. Have you ever noticed that?

The New Testament doesn’t contradict the Ten Commandments at all. The New Testament strengthens them and continues to teach love all throughout. The Holy Spirit upholds the value of love because one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22). So I’ll throw you the question again: why is there a need to teach children the Ten Commandments?

As adults, love may be relatively easier to understand because we have more experiences with it. But children don’t have much experience with love. We are not born knowing how to love. In fact, the first part of Proverbs 22:15 says that “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.” Because of this, teaching them the abstract and admittedly difficult concept of love is better done through specific and understandable commands. And what better set of commands can we use than the Ten Commandments?

For example, even adults have trouble understanding God’s concept of love. Our previous post tells us that many of us don’t know if God really loves us or not. Similarly, it can be hard to understand how to love God fully. But the first four commandments specifically address this and teach us what to do. Here’s the First Commandment:

I am the LORD your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20: 2-3)

Instead of teaching children what can be a vague concept of love, we can teach them to love God by worshipping nobody and nothing else but him and not idolize people and things. The same can be said with the other commandments. For example, the Ninth Commandment tells us that to love other people, we shouldn’t lie and say false things about them. Again, it is much easier for children to follow specific guidelines to learn how to love.

Now that we have established the importance of teaching children the Ten Commandments, it is time to know how to do this. I did a little research and saw many wonderful resources that we can use. Feel free to peruse this list:

  1. Make the Ten Commandments easier to understand by simplifying A good and accurate simplification can be found here.
  2. Use printables to remind children of the Ten Commandments every day. Here’s a printable that you can use to display the commandments at home or in the classroom.
  3. Make crafts to help children enjoy learning. I found a “Road to Perfection” Ten Commandments craft.
  4. And sing songs to help them memorize the commandments; I find singing songs an ideal way of helping children commit lessons to memory. Here’s a song from YouTube that my son and I thoroughly enjoyed!

Memory Cross also has resources to help children learn the 10 Commandments.   Click this link to learn more.

 The Ten Commandments for kids video.

 

If you have another other resources take a moment and post them in the comment box below.

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Does God love me?

Does God love me?  Is he real?  Does he care for me?  How can I know for sure?

If you are asking these questions you’re not alone.  There are times when I’ve wondered if God loves me so I decided to put down what the Bible says and what others have said.  I hope this will help you as it has Does God love mehelped me when I was writing it.  The Bible says over and over again that God loves you.  If you have not read the Bible I’ve put a few links at the bottom.  Start with the book of John and you’ll quickly find out that God loves you and has a plan for your life.

John 3:16 says: Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.  Starting with Adam and Eve we choose to disobey God and sin, pain and suffering was the result.  You can see it in broken lives but this is not God’s will for us.  His plan for our life is one filled with joy, peace and love.  John 10:10 says: I came so you can have real and eternal life, more and better than you ever dreamed of – Jesus.

God wants his people to have a good life.  Jeremiah 29:11 says: I say this because I know the plans that I have for you. This message is from the Lord. I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.

In Galatians Paul writes about the benefits of becoming a Christian who lets God rule their life.  But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

If you are a Christian and not feeling God’s love and peace don’t become discouraged.  There are times when we are faithful but feel abondoned by God.  Even Mother Teresa went through times of darkness.   Mother Teresa often wrote letters to a few trusted friends and spiritual directors expressing how she doubted her faith and felt completely abandoned by God at times throughout her lifetime.  If you are doubting whether God loves you, do not give up.  Struggles can bring us closer to God.  Take time to examine your life and make sure your heart is focused on living for God and that you are living in His will, following His commandments.

Does God love me?  What does the Bible say?

  • Romans 5:8 – But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us.
  • 1 John 4:16 – So we know the love that God has for us, and we trust that love.  God is love. Everyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them.
  • 1 Corinthians 4: 4-8 – Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, it is not selfish, and it cannot be made angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it.  Love is never happy when others do wrong, but it is always happy with the truth.  Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits.  Love will never end.
  • John 15: 9-17 – I have loved you as the Father has loved me. Now continue in my love.  I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and he continues to love me. In the same way, if you obey my commands, I will continue to love you. I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I want you to be completely happy.  This is what I command you: Love each other as I have loved you.  The greatest love people can show is to die for their friends.  You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do.  I no longer call you servants, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. But now I call you friends, because I have told you everything that my Father told me.  You did not choose me. I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
  • John 13:34 – I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you.

Take time to think about these verses and allow God to speak to your heart.  He says be still and know that I am God.

I’d like to share a few songs and testimonials that talk about does God love me?   God has the power to transform any life no matter what you have done in the past.

 

 

Christian Hosoi is a skateboarder who had everything the world could offer but it was not enough.  Looking for love and peace he turned to drugs and eventually landed in jail where he found the peace that he was searching for.  His story shows how God’s love can transform a life from having everything but still empty to a life that is filled with God’s peace and love.

 

In this video Louie Giglio talks about how God loves us, has a plan for our lives and knows the number of hairs that are on our head.  If you are feeling like God does not care for you then take a few minutes and watch this video.

 

If you’d like to experience the life that God wants you to have, one filled with peace, love and joy.  One that has purpose and meaning in life, one that ends with spending forever with God then it is easy.  You don’t have to work for it.  God has given His gift of new life and it is totally free.  All you have to do is tell God that you’ve done wrong and that you are sorry.  You believe that Jesus was God’s son and that he died on the cross for you, taking the punishment for the things you have done wrong.  Ask Jesus to come into your life and turn your life over to him.  Now follow Him with you heart and love Him with your heart, soul and mind.  If you do this you will experience God’s peace which will overcome you like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

 

Jesus wants us to live a life that is radically different from the world.  He sums up how he wants us to live in John 13:34 – So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life so that we can live forever with God.  He wants us to love others just like that.

 

Here are some resources if you want to know more.  Start by reading your Bible every day.  It is God’s Word and though it your life will be transformed.  My favorite Bible is YouVersion available for iPhone and Android systems or you can read it online.  My favorite translation is Easy Read Version if you like to read paper books.

If you would like to know more about a relationship with Jesus then here are a few resources:

We are usually available also.  Just click the chat button.  Comments, other resources or don’t agree with anything on this page we’d love to hear from you.  Does God love me?  Does God love you?  Absolutely so much so that he sent his son to die so that you could have a relationship with Him.

 

 

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Why use Gospel tracts to share your faith

I’ve been asked: “Mike, why use Gospel tracts to share my faith?”  Here are a few reasons why I use them.Why use Gospel Tracts

According to a study conducted by LifeWay Research in 2012 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month, believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.  Tracts can dramatically change those numbers and that is probably a good reason to use Gospel tracts.  You don’t always need to talk to someone to share your faith.  A well written Gospel tract will present God’s plan of salvation in a positive and encouraging way.  Gospel tracts can help start to a conversation or can be left where people are likely to pick them up.

Do you go out to eat at least once a week where a waiter or waitress is serving you?  Leave a Christian tract with your tip.  If you are not going to leave a decent tip, don’t leave the tract.  The standard tip is 15%.  When you leave the tract why not leave 20% along with the tract?  I did not mean to go off on tipping but my daughter is in her 20s and working as a waitress at a restaurant and there are way to many Christians who leave her no tip and a Gospel tract!  What kind of witness is that?  Waitresses work for $2.13 an hour plus tips so Christians let’s get with it and honor Christ.  If you cannot afford to leave a tip then don’t go out to eat!  Sorry to get side tracked but I’m going to leave it in this post.  If you are unable or unwilling to tip, don’t leave a message saying you are a representative of Christ.  Just eat at home or visit a fast food restaurant.

Do you fill up your car once a week?  Leave a tract at the Gas pump.   Several Memory Cross tracts are the size of a business card so they slide in the card reader and people will have to pull it out to put their card in.  My favorite one to leave is “Whatever your past has been, you have a spotless future.”  I decided to use it as my photo for this article.  I work at Memory Cross, which makes Gospel tracts so those are the ones I usually hand out.  Even if I did not work here I’d hand out Memory Cross tracts most of the time.  I like the origami design which gets attention and I like the modern, positive message.  Overall Jesus’ message was kind, loving and positive, except to the religious leaders who where exploiting God for their own purposes and I like to hand out the same message.  I also like that Memory Cross has a QR code on many of their tracts.  If you are not familiar with a QR code it is a barcode that can be read by your smartphone.  With so many people now carrying smartphones this is a way to connect printing to more information on the web.

Here is an example.  The images below are the Spotless future tract and the QR code links to the video.

Gospel Tract Spotless Future

 

Why use Gospel tracts to share your faith with the homeless

If you live in a metro area odds are pretty good you see people who are homeless at least once a week.  Here is an easy way to share the Gospel with them.  Go to your local dollar store and purchase basic supplies such as: tooth brush, tooth paste, deodorant, soap, healthy snacks, maybe a wash cloth and a $5 certificate to a local fast food restaurant or grocery store.  Put all these items in a gallon zip lock bag along with a handwritten note that says why you are doing this or use the Just Because tract by Memory Cross.  If you are writing a personal note let them know that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.  The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a tract called Steps to Peace with God that I recommend (image below).

Steps to Peace with God folding card

 

I’ve only listed three ways to share your faith using Gospel tracts on this post but if you purchased gas and ate out once a week and handed a care bag out to a homeless once a month you would be sharing the Gospel 116 times in one year.  If you are still wondering why use Gospel tracts to share your faith, take a few minutes and watch the video below.

 

Here are a few places you can find Gospel tracts besides what Memory Cross offers.

  • Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – has a variety of tracts, pamphlets and books to help you share your faith.
  • American Tract Society – Now part of Crossway.   I’m pretty sure ATS has been the leader in Christian tracts in American for hundreds of years.  I visited their headquarters several years ago before the merger and their history is amazing.  A number of presidents have been on their board of advisors.  They still produce relevant tracts that change lives.
  • Fellowship Tract League is an outreach ministry of Fellowship Baptist Church in Lebanon, Ohio.   They have printed over 4 billion tracts and have them available in almost every language.  Tracts are free if you cannot afford to purchase them.  Their ministry is based on donations so if you can afford it please donate when you purchase tracts from them.
  • The Gospel tract Society also offers free tracts (They accept donations and please donate if you can).  They produce traditional Gospel tracts which you can see by visiting their website.

I hope you can see why using Gospel tracts can be an effective way to share your Faith.  There are more ways to share your faith.  If you have a favorite be sure to post a comment below.

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Translation


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