Book Recommendations

It is so encouraging to know there are fiction books for young girls and boys that also teach Christian principles. These two books from B & H Kids Publishers are perfect for ages 8 to 12.

For Girls:

For Boys:

I have a copy of each of these two books that I would like to give away to the first two people that comment on this post.

 

And For Moms – This book is by Tsh Oxenreider, a mother of 3 who has managed to live intentionally and simply as her family travels internationally. Her experiences will inspire you to ‘suck all the marrow out of life’ with your children!

Read my review of each of these books on Amazon.

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Leading Your Little One to Have a Giving Heart

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Happy is the generous man.
 Proverbs 22:1 

(With Christmas fast approaching, now is a good time to emphasize the character quality of generosity to get your children thinking about what they would like to give, not just receive.  This lesson is designed to spend a week memorizing the verse and reinforcing it through enthusiastically telling in your own words 5 Bible stories and doing the activities to reinforce the lesson)

Bible Stories:

Acts 5:1-10  Ananias and Sapphira had plenty of money.  They were not generous with it though.  They did not want to give it to help the church.  They even lied about how much money they had.  They should have been generous and willing to give; then they would have been happy.  But God had to punish them for telling a lie and not being generous.

Luke 12:16-21 There was a man who had a lot of money and things.  He had a garden that produced a lot of fruit and vegetables.  But instead of being generous and sharing some with others, he kept them all for himself.  This displeased God so God took the man away so he couldn’t enjoy all his things.  If the man had been generous he would have been happy.  Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.

Ruth 2:1-13  Ruth and Naomi were poor.  They had no money or food.  But there was a generous man named Boaz who was kind and wanted to share his food with them.  He let Ruth pick from his garden and he gave her water to drink when she was thirsty.  Ruth was very grateful that Boaz was so generous.  Ruth and Boaz later married and had a son.  Boaz was a generous, happy man.

John 6:1-13 Jesus went on a mountain and many people followed him.  The people got hungry and Jesus felt sorry for them.  There was not enough food for everyone and nowhere to get anymore.  There was a little boy there though who had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  He brought them to Jesus to share with everyone.  Jesus took the bread and fish and gave thanks to God for it.  There was enough to feed all the people and then there were 12 basketfuls of leftovers.  The little boy was happy he had been generous and shared his food.  There was food leftover for him to take home because he shared all he had.

Mark 12:41-44  Jesus was in church one day watching all the people give their money.  Many people came and put in lots of money.  There was one lady who only had 2 pieces of money.  Do you think she gave both pieces of money since  that was all the money she had? She did!  That was all the money she had but she wanted to give it away to help others.  Jesus said that she had given more than all the others who gave because the others had money left when they gave, but this lady didn’t have anything left.  She gave all she had.  She was happy because she was generous.

Prayer: Help us to have a generous spirit

Activities:

  • Make a happy face and put the Bible verse on it.
  • Make a puzzle out of a picture of someone sharing
  • Pray all week with him about who your family should give a special gift to.
  • Let him help make a jar to put on table to collect money for the person God leads yall to give to
  • Pretend the stuffed animals are all poor.  Let child use play money to give to each one
  • Give child a bag of candy and encourage him to enjoy giving to others
  • Make a list of who they will give to at Christmas and think of things they would like to give each one on the list. It’s not too early for yall to start shopping for those on your list!

Songs:  (Just put the Bible verse to the tune of  “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)

Happy is the generous man, the generous man, the generous man.
Happy is the generous man.
The one who loves to give.

Here are some other verses on giving to share during the week:

Acts 20:35  It is better to give than receive. (can be put to “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)

Luke 6:38   If you give, you will receive. (can be put to “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)

2 Cor. 9:7    God loves a cheerful giver. 

(http://youtu.be/S5usc1gnPbE)

 

 


 

Great Resource from Creator of Veggie Tales – What’s in the Bible ?

I just found a great resource to teach children the Bible.  It is from the creator of Veggie Tales, Phil Vischer.  This is not just random and familiar Bible stories, but it’s the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation.   There are videos, free downloadable coloring pages and activities, and even a whole curriculum for Sunday School and VBS.

I love the fact that it covers the whole Bible so children can get the complete picture of God’s story!

Please check out What’s in the Bible? for a comprehensive and FUN way to teach your children the Bible and even answer some difficult questions about it! Watch this trailer:

And if you are shopping for curriculum for your church, get special discounts here. Watch this trailer:

Do your children know why we celebrate Columbus Day?

And then he told them, “Go into all the world
and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. 

Mark 16:15

History:

‘In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue!’  But why did he set sail?

“Christopher Columbus had a belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery.  Columbus’s own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean.”  Phyllis Schlafly Radio Script, October 14, 2002

Washington Irving writes of Christopher Columbus: “ Whenever he made any great discovery, he celebrated it by solemn thanks to God. The voice of prayer and melody of praise rose from his ships when they first beheld the New World, and his first action on landing was to prostrate himself upon the earth and return thanksgivings.”

Teach your children that each Columbus Day, we celebrate the life of a brave explorer who loved Jesus and obeyed the Bible’s command to spread the gospel.  He landed in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It was first celebrated in 1866.   October 12th was made a federal holiday in 1934.  Since 1970 it has been celebrated yearly on the 2nd Monday of October.

The results of Columbus sailing the ocean blue was the discovery that the Earth was indeed round and also the settlement of new lands.  This resulted in the further spreading of the Good News which led eventually to our hearing the Gospel of Jesus.

Activities:

  • Trace his journey on a globe from Spain to San Salvador Island:

  • Play with a ball, preferably an inflated globe ball, and talk about the fact that Columbus discovered that the world was round.
  • Tape off a boat on the floor or make one out of a large box and pretend to be Columbus discovering America.  Then get out and lay on the ground and thank God and sing as Columbus did.  Pretend the stuffed animals are the natives in the land and tell them about Jesus.
  • Check out this site for some Columbus Day crafts: http://www.dltk-kids.com/Crafts/columbus/index.htm

Teaching Young Children the Message of Hope in the Book of Zechariah


I just taught one of the hardest Bible lessons I have ever taught to preschoolers! I have to brag on those 3 and 4 year olds who sat quietly and listened intently –  they now know things about God’s Word that many adults never study :-)  The lesson is from Zechariah 1-14 about the 8 visions that God gave the prophet.

Zephaniah was sent by God to encourage the people of Israel as they began to rebuild the city of Jerusalem after returning from 70 years of captivity.  They were facing adversity as they attempted this difficult task.  Zechariah had 8 visions which were special messages from God to bring encouragement to continue their work.

Visuals are so helpful to interest the children in a story.  I put 8 objects, representing each of the visions, into my purple bag I use each week for visuals. As we began our story time, the children were very intrigued by my bag which was obviously much fuller than usual.   I pulled one object out at a time as I talked about each vision and its message of hope to the people of Israel.  The children were such great listeners that after the lesson, they were able to tell me about the visions as I pointed to each object! Oh the power of visuals :-)

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.02.171.   A man on a horse (1:7-17)
Meaning:  A messenger bringing the message that God still loves Israel and will restore their land

url2.  A dear antler to represent the 4 horns (1:18-21)
Meaning:  God will defeat 4 enemies of Israel – Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Persia

images-13.  A rope to represent a surveyor who was measuring the city (2:1-13)
Meaning:  Jerusalem will measure larger and safer than before it was destroyed

etwog424.  A Bible character figure to represent Joshua the high priest  whose filthy clothes were exchanged for clean (3:1-10)
Meaning:  God will send the Great High Priest, the King of Kings, to cleanse us from our sins.

images5.  A candle holder to represent the golden lamp stand which was used in the Temple for worship (4:1-14)
Meaning:  The Temple will be rebuilt and God will dwell among them.

Scroll6.  A scroll made out of paper and sticks – the flying scroll (5:1-4)
Meaning: Those who were disobeying God’s law and stopping God’s work would be punished

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.08.437.  A small basket with a lid to represent the woman in basket (5:5-11)
Meaning: Sin will be carried away

Carthaginian_chariot8.  A horse-drawn chariot to represent the 4 chariots (6:1-8)
Meaning:   God will overcome evil in the 4 corners of the world and bring rest

If you notice, all the visions spoke of hope.  The main take-away or actual life application was that God always gives us hope in our difficult times.  At this point we talked about some difficult things that we might face and that God gives us hope in the midst of them.Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem

My final visual was a picture of Jesus.  The ultimate hope for us all was predicted by Zechariah (this book has more predictions of Christ than any of the other minor prophets). In Zephaniah 9:9, Zechariah predicted 500 years before it happened, that Jesus would come riding on a donkey into the very town the returning exiles were rebuilding at the time.  God sent Jesus to us all to take away sin and give hope!!!

If you are struggling with discouragement, read Zechariah. It is full of verses to give you hope.  Here are two of our favorite verses from the book that brought much encourage to us during some difficult times:

Zech. 4:6  Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.

 Zech. 9:12 Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you. 

 

For background info on Zechariah check out these sites:

http://www.insight.org/resources/bible/zechariah.html

http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/zechariah-lbw.htm

 

Here’s a great pattern for making a booklet of the 8 visions:

http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/homeschool-freedownloads/bible-games/documents/ZechariahBooklet.pdf

 

(Appreciation goes to http://www.gospelproject.com/kids/ for challenging us to go deeper in God’s Word with our children)