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Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm: How do we teach children about it?

Mark 4:36-41
36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Any child who consistently attends a Sunday School can say that the story in the new testament about Jesus and the storm is a very nice bible story (and worth repeating too!). This is about Jesus’ great power over the storm and the disciple’s lack of faith and wake up call to trust in the power of Jesus. This story offers so many lessons that we can use in our day to day lives. This can teach or remind us to:

1. Cast everything to God.

Sometimes in life, we are bombarded with so many problems that we sometimes don’t know how to handle them anymore. We become affected by it, we become uneasy and we get confused as to what to do. We lose focus and we don’t sometimes forget that we have a big God. This story is one of the many bible lessons that teach us to trust God wholeheartedly and rely on his amazing power and grace that he will deliver us from all our problems. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

2. Have faith.

Matthew 17:20 says “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” The story about Jesus and the storm teaches us to have faith in God. Sometimes, we say that we have faith but we don’t realize that we are holding back, we are double minded and we sometimes don’t give our full trust to God. This story teaches us that nothing is impossible with God and if we just have full faith in the Lord, we can be rest assured that we are in good hands and there’s nothing at all that we should worry about.

The story about Jesus and the Storm offers an amazing lesson to all of us and we want the little ones to be able to know that as early as possible. There are many ways and activities that we can do to emphasize more about this story and how we can help the child realize the importance of trusting God. Here’s a brief outline that you can use for the little ones:

Story: Jesus Calms the Storm

Biblical Reference: Mark 4:36-41
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Song: Trust in the Lord (SonCanyon VBS 2012)

Activities:

Before Class:

Bring to class several items to help recreate the story of Jesus Calming the Storm. Suggestions include: blue sheets or blankets to represent the water and waves. Pans and metal spoons for noisemaking. Small plastic buckets or containers for pretending to bail water. And a pillow, for the person playing Jesus to fall asleep on.

Practice this with your kids before telling the bible story for more fun during story time:

Whenever I say “boat” everyone say “creeeak” and pretend you’re pulling hard on the oars
Whenever I say “disciples,” all the boys (and men) count to 12 really fast
Whenever I say “wind,” the girls (and women) cup their hands around their mouths and blow.
Whenever I say “Jesus,” point to upward and say, “Christ, the Lord.”

Great! Let’s get ready! (And proceed with the bible lesson).

During Class:

Explain to the children that together you are going to recreate the story of Jesus rebuking the winds and the waves. Arrange chairs in the room to form a “ship” with seats in it. Put the blue sheets around the “ship.” Allow some of the children to sit in the boat and be Disciples. One will pretend to be Jesus and fall asleep. (Perhaps that child could snore, etc.) Other children will pretend to be the “winds” and the “waves.” Show the children how to make “waves” by moving the blue sheets up and down rhythmically, allowing them to billow around the boat. The children with pans and spoons will bang them to make the noise of thunder or lightning.

After Class:

Jesus Calms the Storm craft

Jesus Calms the Storm craftSource: Pinterest
Materials:
Blue coloured water
oil
little boat cut from plastic plate
tightly screwed lid
Help the child make a shake bottle for himself. Once done, have the child shake it up and see the boat in the storm.
At the end of the lesson, a child should be able to understand God’s power over all natural disasters and that nothing is more powerful than God. Also make the child understand that when we have problems, we don’t need to worry. All we have to do is have faith in God and He will do the rest.

Memory Cross – Jesus Calms the Storm

Memory Cross has created an origami coloring card that helps children learn the story of Jesus calming the storm.  The video below shows how the card folds.  It is available Jesus Calms the Storm coloring card and on Amazon.

 

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God’s Plan of Salvation

Salvation is the most wonderful story in the bible – in fact it’s the center of the entire bible itself. It’s our hope and the reason why we can be with the Lord through all eternity. Biblical salvation is God’s way of providing his people deliverance from sin and spiritual death through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, the concept of salvation is rooted in Israel’s deliverance from Egypt in the Book of Exodus. The New Testament reveals the source of salvation in Jesus Christ.

God’s Plan of Salvation

  1. “For all have sinned…” – The original sin is traced back from the sin of Adam and Eve when they rebelled from God. By the time they disobeyed God, they were separated from God through sin. The bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned-“ (Romans 5:12). Man is no longer able to come into the glory of God because of the separation of sin. Along with this problem, man came up with his own solution by doing any good works to cover his sin in the sight of God but everything that a man does is not enough to reach God’s glory. Scripture also teaches that no amount of human goodness, human works, human morality, or religious activity can gain acceptance with God or get anyone into heaven.
  2. “For the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23 tells us the very outcome of sin, aside from coming short of the glory of God, mankind is faced with a great problem which is the penalty of sin – and that is the eternal death in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). The second death, everlasting perdition. Every sinner earns this by long, sore, and painful service.
  3. “The gift of God is eternal life” – God is holy and must punish sin but is also love and he loves us so much. He loves the sinners but must punish sin – this seemingly contradicting attributes are resolved through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins (Romans 6:23b). The bible says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…” (John 3:16).
  4. Salvation freely given to all – Romans 10:9 says: “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Jesus had to shed His blood and die in order to save us from our sins. But that doesn’t end there – Jesus rose from the dead and is alive again. This is such wonderful news! We can all come to the Lord for repentance and be saved from the penalty of sin we accept that we’re a sinner, believe that Jesus Christ is God’s own son and confess that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Lord.

Once we are saved, it doesn’t just end there. We should spread the good news to our friends and family. We don’t want them to be lost forever; we don’t want to keep this good news to ourselves. There are many ways to share the gospel of salvation and there are many websites online that can help us start practicing on sharing the good news. Here are a few websites that can help you know more about sharing the gospel as well as giving us that tools we can use in sharing:

God's Plan of Salvation

Memory Cross “Ready for Some Good News” Memory Tract

  1. Memory Cross. Memory Cross came up with an innovative 4-fold panel that we can use not only for the kids but also for adults in sharing the gospel of salvation. Some of the gospel tracts are: the karate tract which has images of karate children, 1 Corinthians 13 or the love chapter, do you know God loves you, the Roman Road tract, the tract based on the wordless book, the Picture gospel and many more. What’s good about these is that they all come in handy so we can easily take it with us wherever we go and can use them anytime we have the opportunity to share the gospel. Memory Cross offers free samples where you just have to fill out their online form in order to avail. Shipping is even for free for those within the United States and if you live outside of the United States Memory Cross will send them out for free buy you will need to pay for the shipping.
  2. Evangelism Explosion. Evangelism Explosion (EE) offers many seminars and tools we can use in sharing the gospel. They pioneered on one-on-one evangelism, a thorough way to share the gospel and not miss the most important things that need to be discussed in sharing our faith. Now, EE has come up with other ways to share the good news: they now have EE for youth, EE for kids and also have Share Your Faith Workshops from Evangelism Explosion International (EE) that introduces a Gospel presentation that’s easy to learn and hard to forget by just using the five fingers on our hands.
  3. About Religion. The Romans Road is one of the easiest ways to share the gospel of salvation. It’s an approach to sharing the gospel using only the verses found in the book of Romans. Romans Road will let the unsaved understand: (a.) who needs salvation, (b.) why we need salvation, (c.) how God provides salvation, (d.) how we receive salvation, (e.) the results of salvation.

The word of God in John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Once we are saved, it is our responsibility to share the gospel to others. God wants us to evangelize because he wants to see the world be healed and restored. Sharing the gospel is a powerful way to love people, when we love someone, we don’t want to see them be lost forever, we want them to know that there’s hope in Jesus and that if they accept Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord, we can be with them through eternity in heaven. The future of unbelievers matters deeply to God, he doesn’t want the people to perish which is why we need to share the gospel of salvation to others.

The video below shows how Memory Cross folds.

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The Power of Forgiveness and How to be Set Free

The world is tough.  Without exception we all face trials and hard times.  Money does not shield us from them and neither does power or friends.  We expect to be hurt, that is just the nature of the world. However, many times it might surprise us when people we trust and love hurt us.  How are you going to deal with the pain and where are you going to find the power of forgiveness? How are you going to work it out and remain faithful to God?four ways to forgive others from the bible

It is true that pain from the people we least expect to hurt us can be overwhelming. A trusted friend betrays us or our spouse decides to ask for a divorce.  Most of the time, our first reaction may be that of anger and revenge. But that is not how God wants us to respond. He wants us to learn how to forgive, even when it seems impossible.  You may think that is impossible but with God forgiveness can change lives.  At the bottom of this article is a powerful video about forgiveness.

From Joseph we learn how to forgive.  The story of Joseph is found in Genesis 37.  After all the bad things that happened because of his brothers actions he was still able to forgive them.  Because he did not get bitter and turn against God, God was able to use Joseph to save the lives of thousands of people.

Sometimes it is easy to forgive but at times, it is not. Here are four ways I have found God can help me get over the hurt and pain and to truly show to God and to other people that we have truly forgiven.

  1. Pray to God

No matter what level of hurt you’re dealing with, don’t rush into a confrontation with the offender. Take it to God in prayer. He is the one who heals a broken heart.

It may also be that God wants to work on the inside of you first.  Maybe He wants to give you kind words to speak instead of words of pain. Maybe He wants to work in you a spirit of humility before working on them through you.

Pray also for the one who offended you. That person may be experiencing some problems and may need help or your prayers.

  1. Resist the Urge to Take Revenge

Do not try to get even by hurting the person the same he/she has hurt you. It will only make matters worse. It’s very possible that your offender has no idea that what they said or did hurt you (or they never meant to hurt you at all). With this, approach them in humility and your offender may be quick to apologize.

  1. Let God be God and Do the Work You cannot do.

Part of being a Spirit filled Christian is being led by the Spirit. It could be that the Holy Spirit will convict through how you react to the person. He may even heap coals of fire on their head as you bless them outwardly with a heart of love. (Romans 12:20)

  1. Healing and Reconciliation through Forgiveness.

Though there are already many times when we have been hurt by the people we love, the bottom line always comes back to one thing:  No matter how incorrect the offender was, no matter how much the wound hurts, and no matter how painful things are – You have to forgive. Forgiveness is not for the other person – it’s for you.

If you do not forgive, you will permit bitterness and resentment to develop in your heart. That bitterness will eventually cause you to react or behave in ways that will end up hurting other people as well. It will also poison your salvation and will cause your worship for God to be contaminated.

When we do not forgive, we block healing and empower torment. As long as we refuse to forgive we will hold on to the pain and anger. Those wounds in our hearts will continue to torment our minds and our souls day after day, year after year and sometimes even for the rest of our life.

The way to forgive those that have hurt you is to remember that you are also a beneficiary of forgiveness. Think of all the faults and sins you have committed against God and understand that the debt you are being asked to set aside is nothing compared to the debt you have had written off by God Himself who never did anything to hurt you.

Just as God forgave us from all our sins, we must also forgive those who wrong us.Bible, Joseph on forgiving others

As we strive hard to learn the process of healing and forgiveness, let us also teach our kids the same way. It is better to set in their young minds the value of forgiveness and humility. For a creative way to teach our kids these issues, please check out our Pinterest board about the life of Joseph: the Forgiving Brother. We have some good resources, crafts, games, coloring pages and even animated video clips to aid you in teaching your kids the importance of forgiveness.

Here are a few Bible verses that will help you be able to forgive:

  • Matthew 18:21-22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (NIV)
  • Luke 6:37 – Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (NIV)
  • Matthew 6:14-16 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)
  • Mark 11:25 – And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (NIV)

I hope this article provides help and comfort as God leads you into forgiveness.   Had you have any experience about hurting, healing and forgiving? Share your testimony with us. Who knows, your story might touch another life today.

Matthew West wrote a song about forgiveness.  This video gives the story behind the song and challenges each of us to forgive as Jesus forgave us.

Matthew West the rest of the story behind Forgiveness.

Toby Mac on Forgiveness

Forgiveness and love are very much connected.  We can forgive because God forgave us.  He forgave us because he loved us.

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The Best Children’s Salvation Tracts

Children's Salvation Tracts | Memory Cross

Via Patheos.com

Salvation or gospel tracts are important tools in sharing the good news to all. These have been proven of great use in explaining the gospel of salvation to people. There are many salvation tracts available for all age group for all related events. What’s good about these tracts is that they’re handy, not bulky and very easy to use. We can use these at anytime in sharing the gospel to people.

Children’s salvation tracts are also efficient tools in reaching out the little ones. They can be used to any kids we meet at any events we attend to, or we can even use these to those we only meet at the streets or parks. These can even be used in Sunday Schools if we want to focus on salvation as our topic.

Why share the gospel to the children?

Jesus has a very special regard to the children. This is clearly described in the bible in the book of the gospels where Jesus told his disciples to let the little children come to him for theirs is the Kingdom of God (Luke 18:16). Children are one of the most easily reached audience – they are very teachable, they show positive response to the gospel and when saved, they still have more time to serve the Lord in the ministry. Not that we don’t give regard to sharing the good news to adults, it’s just that children can possibly have more time and energy to do the ministry since they’re saved at a very young age and in turn, can also share the gospel to others when they’re older.

What are good children’s salvation tracts?

An effective salvation tract will help the children understand the gospel more easily and will get the child’s attention to listen to us (that is aside from how we deliver the gospel of salvation that also gets the child’s attention). Good children’s salvation tracts are:

A. Colorful

Children will always be attentive to colorful things – a book with crisp color, a colorful painting, everything that is colorful! A colorful gospel tract will immediately catch their attention for them to listen to us.

B. Catchy

Children will never listen to us if we don’t get their interest and we don’t want that to happen. Satan loves to interrupt when the gospel is shared, he hates when Christians evangelize and he will do everything he could to get a child’s interest away from us when we try to share the gospel to them. This is why the churches and organizations that create children’s salvation tracts always come up with innovative gospel tracts for our children.

C. Precise

Our gospel presentation needs to be short but intact when presenting them to the kids since they don’t have longer attention spans like adults do. The same with our gospel tracts, they don’t need to be lengthy, a short but precise tracts are perfect for the little children.

Where can we get children’s salvation tracts?

In this digital age, there are many gospel tracts that are available for us to use. Some of them are free and some you can get a bulk at a very reasonable price. There are many websites available online that we can rely on in getting our gospel tracts for our children. Here are a few of them for your reference:

Children's Salvation Tracts Memory Cross

ABC Plan of Salvation for Kids

A. Memory Cross

Memory Cross came up with an innovative 4-fold panel for our children that are kid friendly and with crisp and colorful images. Some of the gospel tracts are: the karate tract which has images of karate children, 1 Corinthians 13 or the love chapter, do you know God loves you, the Roman Road tract, the tract based on the wordless book, the Picture gospel and many more. Memory Cross offers free samples where you just have to fill out their online form in order to avail. Shipping is even for free for those within the United States and if you live outside of the United States Memory Cross will send them out for free buy you will need to pay for the shipping.

B. Christian Dollar Store

Christian dollar store has bible tracts, witnessing booklets, stickers and magnets we can use in sharing the good news in a unique way. Money tracts are designed as eye catching witnessing tool. Each “denomination” expresses the value of eternal salvation and offers a prayer to receive Jesus into one’s heart.

C. Christianbook.com

Christianbook has so many products in their online store that we can use in the children’s ministry. They offer Gospel Story by Colors, ABC memory cars, The Gospel story banner, and many more tracts about the gospel of salvation that help us reach our little ones.

D. Crossway

Crossway.org also has a lot of tracts available for us to use with so many different topics from A-Z and with different prices we can also choose from.

E. Chick Publications

Chick Publications offer short stories for our little ones that can be later related to the basic gospel to spark our children’s interest in teaching them about the good news. They have several different stories that talk about friends to Jesus as the only way to Heaven.

Children are called the hope of the nation; the same applies to Christian living – children are the hope of the ministry. They should be given regard and we should do our best in sharing the gospel to them in order to bring them to the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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.

If you have other resources that you’d like to share post them below.  Thanks!!!

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The Story of Moses for Kids

The story of Moses – Lessons to teach kids

If you grow up in a Sunday School, you will agree that the story of Moses is one of the most taught and most familiar stories in the Bible. You are well-versed about the story of the baby in the basket, 10 plagues, the 10 commandments, God’s miracle in the Red Sea, the water flowing from the rock for the people of Israel, the gold calf and many more stories related to Moses. We learn so many lessons from the story of Moses that we never forget while growing up. Moses is one of the well known leaders in the Bible. And his life has always been God’s instrument in helping the Israelites free from the bondage of Egypt. Children can always learn so many lessons from the life of Moses which is why we continue to retell his stories to children.

Today, the Story of Moses is still one of the stories most often taught in Sunday schools. Over the years, the churches and Sunday school organizations have come up with so many innovations and ideas to make our bible lessons a fun-filled one. Here are some resources, activities and crafts that we can use in teaching the life of Moses to our little ones.

1. Ready-to-print Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are the first things to bear in mind in preparing for bible lessons during Sunday school. Thankfully, there are many organizations and churches nowadays that are very helpful when it comes to lesson plans. They offer free printer-ready lesson plans we can use to help us get started with our lesson for our little ones. Most of them are ready with an outline, bible verse and activities we can do in the church to help the kids remember the verses and the lessons easily.

A. Baby Moses in the basket free lesson plan from Ministry to children.
B. Moses and the burning Bush lesson plan from Kids Sunday School.
C. Lesson plan about The 10 Plagues from Bible Fun for Kids.
D. Crossing the Red Sea lesson plan from Sunday School Center.
E. Moses and the 10 commandments from DLTK’s Growing Together.

2. Activity ideas

Activities after bible lessons are what the children look forward to. Children are known to be energetic and we want to take advantage of that by giving them wonderful activities after the lesson that will help them remember the bible lesson even more. Activities are very effective in repeating the lessons to the children without them getting bored. Below are some activity ideas we can do for our children:

A. Baby Moses in the Basket

Baby Moses in the Basket Craft

Via michellepaige.blogspot.com

Activity: Baby Moses Sensory Play
Source: Michelle Paige

Materials Needed: For small baby baskets – Paper towels, Juices boxes, plastic tapes, material scraps, glue sticks & glue guns, popsicle sticks, sharpies

  1. Have each kid drink a beverage.
  2. Wrap brown material over the top half and the sides of the box.
  3. Glue the material in place.
  4. Adhere the plastic tape over the seam of the material all the way around the box.
  5. Using sharp scissors cut a small rectangular opening on the top of the box. Have each child dry out their box with a paper towel.
  6. Have each child use a small piece of felt to wrap up a broken popsicle stick to make Baby Moses and have each child draw on two eyes and a mouth on the popsicle stick.
  7. Have each child make a bed for Moses with a cotton ball then put Moses in the basket. Have the kids decorate their baskets using Sharpies.

For the river – Big water tub, blocks of Styrofoam, fake plants and water.

  1. Fill a great big plastic tub full of water for ‘the river’.
  2. Load blocks of Styrofoam with greenery to hide the baskets.
  3. Have each child try out their basket making sure they floated in the water.
  4. Review the lesson and talk about God’s protection to Moses while he was in the basket.

B.

Story of Moses Craft

http://pikadillycharm.blogspot.com

Activity: Paper Bag Fall Tree
Materials Needed: Brown paper lunch bag, Scissors, Glue, Paper (Fall colors)
Source: Pikadilly Charm

  1. Cut lunch bag into half inch strips. Start at the opening and cut half way down the bag.
  2. Open bag and stand it up.
  3. Hold base of bag with one hand and twist the middle of bag to create the trunk of the tree.
  4. Twist two of the bag strips together to create branches.
  5. Rip strips of colored paper into tiny pieces and glue them all over the branches of the tree.

C. The 10 Plagues

Story of Moses Coloring Page

Via orientaltrading.com

Activity: Drawing and coloring the 10 Plagues
Materials Needed: Pencils, crayons

  1. Download this free coloring sheet or this coloring from Bible Pathway Adventures online and reproduce to distribute to the kids.
  2. Assist the kids while they draw and color their work sheets.

D. Crossing the Red Sea

Story of Moses Craft

Via bibleschoolteachers.blogspot.com

Activity: Re-enactment of crossing the red sea
Materials: plastic blue tablecloths, outfit for Moses and the Israelites, Moses’ rod
Source: Bible School Teachers

  1. Retell the story and have one child act as Moses.
  2. Ask assistance from the helpers to hold the plastic blue tablecloths.
  3. Have “Moses” raise his rod and the helpers raise the “waters.” Then let the children who were not Moses cross on dry land.

E. Moses and the 10 commandments

Story of Moses Craft

Via daniellesplace.com

Activity: 10 commandments folding craft sticks
Materials: Permanent Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
Source: Danielle’s Place

  1. Cut the one-inch masking into 4-inch pieces.
  2. Place two sticks together, side by side, and tape them together covering both the sticks with the tape.
  3. Turn the two sticks over so that they are diagonal to you.
  4. Place another craft stick next to and below the two sticks that you taped together. Use another piece of tape to tape the bottom two sticks together.
  5. Turn all three sticks over diagonally and place another stick at the bottom of the row and tape the last two sticks together. Keep going until you have a whole row of sticks.
  6. You can also cover the first and last stick in the row by placing tape over the stick and then folding it back over the stick. It is easier to write on the tape than the craft stick. The ink soaks into the sticks and blurs.

What other activities that aim to teach children about the Story of Moses do you know? Please share!

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7 Resources Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Birth of Moses

Resources in Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Teaching Children about the Birth of Moses

Via churchmice253.wordpress.com

The birth of Moses and how he was saved from the ruthless hands of Pharaoh (Exodus 1:22-2:10) is one of the most known bible stories in the Old Testament. I learned about the life of Moses back when I was very little while attending our church Sunday School. And we could agree that the story of the life of Moses is indeed very interesting, it teaches so many lessons about God’s protection, a mother’s love for their child, a miracle that God can do, and a lot more. I had a really great teacher back then and that Sunday School teacher has helped me learn so many bible stories.

Bible teachers – may it be a Sunday School of a VBS teacher needs to be able to know how to spike interest in their students when teaching bible stories. Some children already know the bible stories that we’d teach and may sometimes spoil other kids during bible lesson time. But there are ways to still have them listen to the bible lesson even if they already know what the story is all about but that doesn’t come easy – that requires a teacher to do further extensive research on how to teach the lesson, what tool to use and how teach the story to the students.

Nowadays, we are blessed with so many resources around us. Some we can access in just one click online. There are many resources we can use in teaching children about the birth of Moses and most of them are free! These companies that offer free resources online aim to help bible teachers around the world deliver their bible stories in a more interesting and fun way. Here are some of the websites we can use to help us teach the children about the birth of Moses:

1. Ministry to Children

Ministry to Children offers a complete help for all bible teachers. Their website is packed with bible stories complete with lesson plans, suitable songs, printable lessons and activities. The story of Baby Moses on their website can be easily accessed with its 60 minute target time frame for children.

2. Kids Sunday School

Kids Sunday School offers a suggested skit for children that you can use if you want a more interactive bible story time and if you want your students to get involved in the story telling. The skit will need 5 participants (Mother, Miriam, Narrator, Maiden, and Daughter) to reenact the bible story for the other kids to enjoy. This skit will have a completely different environment in your class. It’s best to use older kids to do the skit that way all of them can easy read or memorize the lines in the script. The script will only last for about 10 minutes and aims to help teach the kids about faith, God’s protection and trusting God.

3. Calvary Curriculum

Calvary curriculum aims to support the child ministers. They offer resources like Bible curricula, trainings and other helpful materials. They have Audio trainings and teachings, forms and flyers as well as VBS materials. They have really nice coloring page, ready-made test paper and puzzles you can easily download for your children’s activity after your bible lesson about the birth of Moses.

4. Garden of Praise

Garden of Praise is also a good resource in teaching children about the birth of Moses. It is an educational website created in 1999 by a veteran classroom teacher with 35 years experience. It has slideshows and audio available for teachers to use in their classes. It also has printable and online activities such as tests, jigsaw and crossword puzzles, word search, coloring and other worksheets available for use.

5. Youtube Bible Story Videos

Many children loves watching movies and videos, we can make use of that interest in our classroom to teach bible stories. Youtube, the most popular video streaming has so many videos we can use to teach our children about the life of Moses depending on the age group of students you’re teaching. Here are a few online videos about the story of the birth of Moses uploaded by different Christian channels to help the teachers: WordActionPublishing, The Holy Tales: Bible, Moody Bible Stories (for older kids), and Sabbath School.

6. Bible for Children

There’s so much to love about this website. It is filled with PowerPoint, tracts and coloring pages for kids – all available for download, isn’t that amazing? It has the story of Moses available entitled “The Prince from the River” to help teachers.

7. Memory Cross

Memory Cross offers an amazing, fun and interesting way to tell your story. They’ve come up with cool foldable visual aids that you can just open from the middle and proceed with your story. What’s great about this is you can be rest assured that you will not get lost on your pictures because they’ve already been arranged for you – gone are the days when you worry about a missing visual aid because they’re all in one. Not only that, it’s so easy to use…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Here’s a link of a tutorial to walk you through in using the Memory cross gospel tracts.

Via store.memorycross.com

In this present digital age, God is using the internet to help Christian organizations reach out and help the Sunday School teachers, DVBS teachers and even parents at home teach their children. We are blessed to be able to download most of these resources at no cost. If you are into teaching the little ones, go ahead and explore online and you will see so many interesting and new ideas that can help you as you teach these kids who hunger for God’s word. Teachers have a great impact in children. Although our prize for our efforts in teaching these kids are in store in heaven, we can have an early taste of fulfillment here on Earth when we see our students learn and not forget our lessons.

If you have other resources share them in the comment section below.  God used Moses in a special way and through teaching kids about his birth and life we can help them understand that God has a plan for their life too.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

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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Great Ideas for Family Mission Trips

Being able to do the ministry together with your loved ones and families is one of the greatest blessings a Christian can get. Sadly, not all believers get to minister together with their family. This is sometimes caused by the difference in the beliefs and principles of each family member. I always feel blessed every time I see a family on a fellowship or volunteering for a church work together – a family united in the ministry has a huge impact not only on the believers’ lives but most of all on the unbelievers who see them.

Family Mission Trips

Mission trips are always an exciting time for the family to be together. Mission trips create a great bond for family – not only will it strengthen the spiritual life of the person but also the people who see the family happily go on a mission trip.

But you may not be able to go abroad and visit other countries for your mission trip right now because of time, budget, energy restraints. So today, we will learn that families can minister both locally, at home and internationally. Here are some reasonably priced opportunities for family mission trips that parents can arrange with the kids.

  1. Go on a local family mission trips

If an international mission trip becomes a bit expensive, go on a local mission trip with your family. You don’t have to fly in an airplane to be able to serve. You can ask yourself, “If Jesus was here, who would he be talking to?” Ask God for wisdom to give you eyes to see what he does and start planning your local mission trip from there. We can be a missionary wherever we go; we can provide humanitarian work to improve economic development, literacy, education, health care, and orphanages in places near us. Mission doesn’t just mean going internationally, people around us need a Savior, and it will be a great alternative to go on a local mission trip with your family. You and your family can also minister to nursing home residents together or minister to a widow – all of which are a fulfilling work when done together and out of love.

  1. Choose shorter family mission trips

Each year thousands of people/families go on short-term mission trips, this is a recent innovation in the global missions movement. Nowadays, there are many church organizations that offer a 1-2 week mission trip to its local or international partner communities. You can ask these organizations to help you provide options on where you can have a mission trip with your family and not spend too much.

  1. Volunteer

Today, lots of churches need a volunteer. Even your local church needs a volunteer. Discuss with your family the possibilities of volunteering for a mission trip and inquire from your local church pastor as to where you can volunteer for a mission trip. Explore websites.  You can also access volunteer opportunities on-line at www.ucc.org/volunteer or feel free to call the Volunteer Ministries office. Fortunately, these organizations that look for volunteers handle most of the costs for you. So this can be a great option for you and your family.

  1. Have Stay-at-Home family mission trips

This is very similar to going on a local mission trip and can be the most affordable mission trip of all. Sometimes, we no longer need to leave our home to be able to minister; there are so many fields ready to be harvested in the neighborhood. You’ll be surprised to see how many ministries you can do at the comfort of your home. Here are some ideas to name a few:

This organization collects handmade pillowcase dresses and distributes that to impoverished girls. Pillowcase dresses are easy to do, have the entire family participate ask the Lord to use the physical need you are meeting as an open door to share the gospel to others.

The New Horizons for Children is a Christian-based, non-profit organization that brings school-aged, orphaned children from Eastern Europe to the United States to share the love of God and a family. You can host a child in your home for 4-6 weeks and have him/her join your daily devotion together, help the family with the daily chores, make him/her come to the complete knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ before the child goes back home. It will not only be a great time for the kid but also a different and fulfilling opportunity for the entire family to experience an additional member at home for a short period of time.

  • Collect milk formula for infants

You may or may not be a strong breastfeeding advocate but a sad fact remains that millions of orphaned babies around the world have no mother to nurse them. The organization called Brighton Their World collects and delivers infant formula and handmade blankets to these needy little ones.

  • Host a neighborhood Vacation Bible School

It’s true that some unbelieving families do not want their kids to join at a church VBS but they may be more open to leaving them at a neighbor’s home to play games, sing songs, make crafts…and learn about Jesus. If you think that your house is a bit too small, you may also host a one-day event at the neighborhood park. There are so many VBS materials that you can use. This is also a great chance to teach your younger kids to helping out in VBS so that they can volunteer to your church VBS in the near future.

Family Mission Trips Family Mission Trips Family Mission TripsVisiting other countries and getting to know people of many other nationalities is one of the best experiences of being a Christian evangelist, but if you don’t have the time or resources to do it right now, there are alternatives that you can do.

Teach your kids and possibly change their lives and outlook on mission work by introducing them to the excitement of an adventure on mission trip and show them how they can be a blessing to others. Let them realize that whatever they do and wherever they go, they can become a mission worker and have an opportunity to share the gospel to others. These experiences can lead to conversation around issues of poverty, justice, service and mercy, while clarifying family values and developing a better understanding of ourselves, God and the world.

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.

What is your favorite mission trip you’ve been on?  How has it had an effect on you or your family members?  Have a mission trip you want to let people know about?  Write your comments below.

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Church Outreach Ideas – 10 Fun Church Outreach Ideas for Summer

Almost everyone loves summer! It’s the time to get away from all the hustles and bustles of life. It’s a time to be with family, to have a vacation worth remembering and stay out of your daily routine even for just a short period of time.

Summers are not just for individuals to have fun; it’s also a time for most churches to be very busy with the church activities. It’s a perfect time to share the good news and to show to people how great God’s love is. While others look at summer as a time for refreshing, the church looks at summer with an enormous opportunity to share the gospel of salvation. There are many things that you can do this summer, and we’re giving you a list of 10 fun church outreach ideas that you can try. Read on!

Church Outreach Ideas for the Kids

Via churchplanting.com

I – Church Outreach Ideas for the Kids

1. Vacation Bible School (VBS)

DVBS is one of the activities that kids are excited about during summer. VBS are most often a week-long of bible lessons, crafts, games and other activities. Kids love VBS and it’s very important to have this in the church’s yearly activity. This is one of the most common outreach activities that have brought so many children to the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2. O.K. (Summer Outing for Kids)

Outings will always have a special tone in children’s ears! Who wouldn’t love outing anyway? S.O.K. is a special day in the summer for kids to have a trip and have fun. Churches can charge a nominal fee for these days and encourage other kids to invite their friends. You can do any of the following: a.) go to a zoo, a children’s museum, a nice park or a farm.

3. Music and Arts Day

Hold a camp with planned activities such as crafts, cooking, games, stories, and music learning. You can have the kids bring their own instruments for a band. Have the children choose where they want to join. You can also invite a local artist to teach cartooning, color and line, and perspective. Have kids make masks or learn how to mix colors. If they choose music, have them perform before the end of the activity. Make sure that at the end of the day, the children appreciate the value of learning new things, start learning to love what they do and make sure to inform them about Jesus Christ and the message of Salvation.

Church Outreach Ideas for the Youth

Via freedomarena.org.uk

II – Church Outreach Ideas for the Youth

1. Youth Camps (Team-building)

Known for being energetic, the youth can invite their friends and classmates to join a day or two of team-building in one of the retreat venues near your local church. These types of activities will tie the bond of the young people in the church and will surely give them fun. At night, the youth leaders can have a retreat session which is a perfect time to talk about Jesus. It will be a great opportunity to let the unsaved know about the Savior.

2. Game/Sports Day

Have a day for youth to have a friendly competition through any games you want to be included in the event – they can be basketball for men, volleyball for women, tennis, badminton and indoor activities such as chess, bible quiz, and word games. Just the thought of it will pretty much make a youth very excited.

3. Community Service

We want out church to be a community church and summer is the perfect time to show our neighbors why. Have the young people conduct community services to households near your local church. They can offer free car wash, garbage collection, and the ladies can even offer to take care of the kids for about an hour or two. These may just appear simple to some but it can have a huge impact to the unbelievers – community services make them feel valued and loved. With our neighbors knowing that, they will soon open their doors for bible studies and prayer meetings.

Church Outreach Ideas for the Family

Via ioneelev8.wordpress.com

III – Church Outreach Ideas for the Family

1. Family Picnic at the Park

One of the church’s main goals is to bring its family members closer together and a family picnic is one way to realize that goal. Have each family come with several friends, plan a fun-day in a local park for children and families in your community. Choose a theme, talk with the local park board, and plan activities like water balloon volleyball and three-legged races or any game that will require all the members of the family to participate. It will be a memorable time together and is also a perfect time to have a unified devotion and prayer time.

2. Outdoor Movie Night

Discuss with the church board about offering free admission to a movie night. Get a projector and show a family-friendly movie on your garage door or a bigger area that can occupy more people. Have each family bring at least one family visitor and let others know about the activity. Offer free popcorn and soft drinks during the movie night and talk about God’s word before or after playing the movie.

3. Medical Mission

Medical missions are one of the most commonly used activities to reach the unreached. This is not only done during summer time. Request for assistance from a church member with a medical related background and offer free consultations and medicines to your church community. This is also the best time to offer for free counseling to couples and other individuals who need an emotional lift which can be a way to sharing the gospel.

4. Community-wide events

Plan community-wide events on your beautiful church lawn and announce activities like: Citywide Father’s Day cookout and outdoor worship service, a “move your Sunday evening worship outdoors” event and other outdoor activities that the unbelievers can attend without feeling hesitant.

Any activity that aims to glorify the Lord and reach the unbelievers is a perfect activity. It doesn’t matter if the target audience is small or huge, it doesn’t matter if it’s a just a simple event or not, what’s important is that Christ is shared to others and that salvation is offered to those who needed it.

Ask God’s wisdom in planning the most suitable event for your church and pray before starting the event. Our goal should not be to have fun but to reach the unreached through the activity we decide to come up with. Having fun will later just come as a bonus.

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.

Do you have other ideas that have worked well at your church?  Post them below in the comment section.

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A Mother’s Love and Her Importance – In Honor of Mother’s Day

“We all know the importance of a mother in our life. But how many of us value that importance? We all surely love our moms in a big time way. But how often do we show her that we truly love her? “Mother's Day

These are the words that I usually ask from my students especially when our topic is about family. I want these kids to fully understand the importance of their mother in their life and to give due appreciation for what their mom has done for them when it is not yet too late. Most of us only learn the value of one thing or one person in our life when they are already out from our grasp. And that was what I experienced when my beloved mother passed away. My mom and I were never that close because I am always a daddy’s girl. Our relationship was just that of an average mother-daughter relationship. But when she passed away, regrets washed over me. Regrets for all the things that I never had done for her and never had I said to her that she most deserves. It’s only then that I realized how important she is in my life and how much of her wisdom I needed the most especially now that I am also a mother myself. That’s why I wanted my students to learn and to always appreciate their mom’s importance now that they still have all the time in the world to do that.

Indeed, Mothers are very significant and highly needed in every child’s life. In our life we learn different and a lot of things from our mother. Our Mother always teaches us and her advices are always very beneficial for us. That is why we should never ignore her advices. We should learn to fully respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. Learn from her strengths, her courage and her faithfulness. I always believe that a Mother’s prayers always make us into a successful person. Because her eternal love always pushes us to our best, thus, molding us into the person that we never expected we could be.

A Mother’s heart is always very soft and very patient. Their hearts are like a rare and exceptional jewel. The love they have for us since we were in their wombs is immeasurable. Even when we grew older, they still and will always see us as their delicate little children. That’s why their guidance and their protection for us never fail. Maybe all mothers are not same but all mothers love their children and always want to see them happy.

If our mother does everything for us, then it’s one of our life’s greatest privileges to do everything for her as well. Mother’s Day only comes once in a year. So, let us grab this very opportunity to make this day special for her. How? Just look inside your heart and see the growing love your mom cultivated in you and you will just know how to make her feel so special. But above all your special preparations, never forget to say a prayer for your mother and thank God for the wonderful gift you had received through her. For a mother is a great gift for us from God. She keeps a very important place in our heart and no one can ever take her place.

“Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to give us birth, deserves our undying gratitude.”

High salute for your mother!

High Salute to all mothers out there!

And the highest salute to my very own mom who is in heaven!
Written by Floranilla Aragones

flong

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How to make Sunday School more exciting

Make Sunday School more exciting

Are you teaching Sunday School and want to make it more interesting?  Here is one quick and free way to make Sunday School more exciting:  Add videos.  They can connect and move kids in a powerful way and the best place to find videos is on YouTube.  It is very rare that I cannot find at least a couple relevant videos about any subject I’m teaching.

This Sunday I’m teaching the kids about Philip when he tells the Ethiopian about Jesus which is based on Acts 8:26-40 from Faithweaver Now by Group Publishing.  An excellent resource by the way.  I went to YouTube and typed in Philip tells the Ethiopian about Jesus and the following results showed up.

How to make Sunday School more excitingOn the first page there were 13 videos for kids.  That is a lot of resources that you can instantly add to your Sunday School lesson to make it more interesting.  Some of the videos are created for younger kids and some more appropriate for my 5th graders.  I included one of the videos below.  It is funny, entertaining and helps give the kids another way to learn about Philip and the Ethiopian and how the story applies to our lives.

If you have internet connection at church watching the video is as easy as bringing in your laptop or tablet and clicking on the play button.  If you don’t have internet connection there are still several ways to show kids the videos.

How to show videos on your laptop with no internet connection.

If you are going to be showing kids the videos on your laptop you can add “ss” in front of the video url.  For example the video that I’m showing below has this address in the top of my browser window: https://www.ssyoutube.com/watch?v=4IepTlwzhlw.  When you put the ss in front of YouTube it takes you to a page like the image to the right.  Depending on the video you’ll have options on the resolution and the type of video you want to save.

Download YouTube VideosYou might get a message about it being unsafe, depending on which browser you are using and what your security settings are but it is safe.  I’ve downloaded hundreds of videos and never hand a problem.

 

If you are using an iPad you can use the app below to download videos.

IMG_1107

You’ll have to go to the app store and type in the name to download the app.  I don’t have a Android device anymore but I would imagine there is a similar app considering YouTube is owned by Google who also owns the Android operating system.

That’s all there is to it.  Follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to add videos for free to any Sunday School lesson.  I’ve taught Sunday School without videos and with videos and found kids like the lessons better when they include multi-media.  Videos can make Sunday School more exciting and they are easy to add to any lesson.

Now for the video about Philip and the Ethiopian.

There is a book by Clare De Graaf called the 10 Second Rule.  It takes how Philip lived his life and applies it to today.  The book is for adults but I’ve shared some of the information with my 5th graders.  If you would like to know more about the book here is a link to Amazon.   Remember through Sunday School we are making disciples of Christ.  We need to help them become passionate followers of Jesus.

If you have other ideas let us know.

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