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:

Labor Day

Labor Day logo - Various cartoon workers

Let’s always teach our children the reason for the holiday being celebrated – that it is not just a day out of school or a time for a picnic. There is a story behind each one.

Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women (whether they get paid for their work or not). It has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1894. Read the history of this holiday here so you will be equipped to tell your children what the day is about as you go about your celebration.

Use some of these suggestions to emphasize the importance of work to your children:

  1. Read the story of Nehemiah in your Bible or read and listen to it here. Then tell it in your own words or try to find it in a children’s Bible and read it to your children. The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and Nehemiah led the people to rebuild them. They had a mind to work. (So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height,for the people had a mind to work. Nehemiah. 4:6)
  2. Build a wall together out of pillows and talk about having a mind to work and working together.
  3. Think of ways your children can ‘work’. Find suggestions here for age appropriate chores.
  4. Memorize as a family Col. 3:23 ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,’ Talk about doing your best at whatever you do and doing it cheerfully.
  5. Thank God for the work that Dad does and the work that Mom does.
  6. Play charades acting out different jobs.
  7. Lead your children (by example) to appreciate those who have a mind to work. Say ‘thank you’ to those yall encounter doing their work – waitress, teacher, trash collector, doctor, policeman, etc. Especially notice those who are doing their work heartily!
  8. Don’t forget to appreciate those who work to support your family.  One stay-at-home mom wrote a poem and made a card with her 4 1/2 month old to show appreciation for her husband diligently working to provide for them. FullSizeRender

 

Celebrating Our Freedom

In the midst of all the fun, fireworks, and food, let’s all take time as families to pray for our country.

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While we may not agree with everything happening in our country right now, we still need to celebrate with our children the fact God has allowed us to live in a free country and that many brave soldiers have fought physical and spiritual battles to ensure we have freedom.

Read more…

Remember on Memorial Day

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 Let’s not forget what this long weekend is about.  Many have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.  God made a decree many years ago that we set up memorials to help our children know about the things that happened in the past:

Joshua 4:6-7
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future, your children will ask, “What do these stones mean to you?”  Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s covenant went across.” These stones will stand as a permanent memorial among the people of Israel.”

Memorial Day originally began in 1868 as a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the Civil War. In more recent years our government passed a resolution that Memorial Day be observed on the last Monday of May as an occasion to remember and honor the men and women who died in all wars.

During this Memorial Day weekend be sure to talk to your children about the reason for the holiday.  Here are some suggestions:

As children, our boys loved to pretend to be soldiers, dressing in full camouflage.  When they got older they made this short film to illustrate one of their father’s sermons:

St. Patrick’s Day – Why the Celebration?

Did you or your children ever wonder why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?    I’m not sure what lies behind some of the traditions associated with the day, but the man that the holiday is named for has a story children need to hear.

About 385 years after Jesus lived, a boy named Patrick was born in England. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave where he worked as a shepherd.  During this time he was lonely and afraid; this caused him to turn to God and he began to experience the love of Jesus.  After about 6 years as a slave, Patrick escaped, went back to England, and began studying to be a priest.

However, he did not forget Ireland; he had a desire to go back one day and tell them about Jesus.  He did eventually return there as a missionary.  Isn’t that amazing that he would want to go back to the place where he had been enslaved and tell them of God’s love?  What an act of forgiveness! Eventually Patrick was called a saint by the Catholic Church because of his love and kindness to the people of Ireland.

So because Jesus loved Patrick, Patrick was able to forgive the people of Ireland and then he spent his life telling them about Jesus. Patrick died on March 17, 461 and now we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day each March 17.  Please make your children aware in the midst of the stories of leprechauns and the various ways of observing the holiday, that the reason for the activities this week is because Jesus loved and cared for Patrick and then Patrick loved and care for the people who had wronged him.

It is believed that Patrick brought the shamrock plant to Ireland and used the three-leafed plant to illustrate the message of the Trinity. This would be a good time to teach about the Trinity.  Click here for help in sharing the concept with your children.  A good children’s book to illustrate the Trinity is 3 in 1: A Picture of God.

Go outside and look for clover and then pretend to be St. Patrick using a clover to teach the Irish about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Get a shamrock craft at Apples for the Teacher.

You can download a St. Patrick’s Day coloring page at Ministry-to-Children.com

Click here to check out a very informative article about Saint Patrick. 

So as you wear green and celebrate St. Patrick Day, make it a celebration of love and forgiveness from our Triune God.

Ephesians 4:32  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. 
John 15:12  This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.