Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Children's Ministry Monday (on a Wednesday)

This weekly posting is primarily for our church children's ministry team, but if anyone else has ideas to add, please feel free!

Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?

    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary

    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,

    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:27-31

I just returned from a 1600+ mile round trip road trip.  It was emotional and exhausting. I can't tell you how wonderful it was and is to meditate on this verse throughout the week.

God does not get tired or weary, but I sure do.  His promises are true though and I am refreshed in His Word.

Pastor's topic on this passage this week is  'Serve'.  We teach the children the passage that Pastor is preaching on.

After my week, which was filled with serving, I understand why.  Serving can be exhilarating or exhausting, but it is often both.

How do we teach this to children?

First we teach them about the character of God.
  • He is the Everlasting God.
  • He is the Creator.
  • He does not grow weary or tired.

That is just a part of who He is.

Here is what He gives us:

  • Strength when we are weak
  • Power when we are weary
  • We will soar like eagles.
(It will be interesting to discuss with the kids how God gives us the ability to soar like eagles.)

We will read the verses together and give examples of each bullet point.

For songs, here are a few I will use:

We will discuss the power of God and how He helps us to serve others.

For a craft, I will use something like this:

For a game, I will choose one of these games.

I have been home less than 24 hours and have not fully fleshed out this lesson, but am looking forward to your input!

Children's Ministry Monday (posted late this week) will be a regular feature on this blog.  I will be sharing the link with those on our ministry team who are not blog readers.  But if you are (one of the few) a regular reader and have any input for the lesson - please chime in!  I'm hoping the comment section will be come a place where we can share ideas!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


A tired two year old in my lap.  In my hand, a classic children's book that I probably heard when I was not much older than she is.

I believe Captain Kangaroo first read it to me, later my mother purchased this book. Years later I purchased it to read to my 3 sons.

Little T. and I have a routine.  We grab a blanket, a stuffed animal, this book and her great-grandpa's old wool cap.

At the appropriate spot in the story, one of us throws the cap on the floor.  

Then we sing and rock and at least one of us falls asleep.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Use it up Tues

Still working my way through my scrap bin.  All of the Christmasy fabrics are in one of those plastic bedding zippered bag things. 

It is less full than it once was, but not as much less as I expected after having cut out 5 Christmas stockings.  

Even though I don't have a large stash, it apparently is going to take me at least a year to use it all up.

How are you coming on stash busting?  And if you haven't started yet - what are you waiting for?  

Steadily working on fulfilling my promise to my kids that I would not leave a mess for them to sort once I shuffle off this mortal coil...

Friday, January 05, 2018

Frugal Friday

Just a reminder - winter doesn't last forever!

It would be hard to say what my life would have been like if I had not read this book.

I re-read it once every year or so.  I look up old recipes or tips in it.  And everyday I examine my spending habits due to the wisdom this book contained.

For example.  Since I am participating in Uber Frugal Month,
I am examining my spending habits even more closely than usual.
I was perusing the local grocery ads and noticed that a type of energy bar was on sale for $.88, which is a good price.  But you have to buy 10.  I thought they might come in handy for an upcoming road trip.  But I spent a fraction of $8.80 baking some banana muffins.  My efforts yielded 18 muffins for probably less than a dollar or two (all ingredients were bought on sale).  Very portable for road trips., yellow and orange peppers were on sale for $.99 each. (not per pound).  I could have bought these for my road trip, but I already had a 5 lb. bag of organic carrots on hand.  I think I got these for $.39 per pound.  This will be the vegetable of choice on my trip.

I have also assembled some turkey sandwiches in the freezer which will make fast food stops unnecessary.

Rethink everything.  That is my frugal tip for the day.

Also for those of you in the depths of winter storms.  Think spring.  

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Thankful Thursday

It was my sister's idea.  She, the office administrator, felt that we could keep our family in touch with each other through a spread sheet.  I, the skeptic, wasn't sure it would work.

But it has - for three years now.  Lots of give and take, hundreds of updates and even pictures.  Who knew?  My sister, that's who.

She is the admin for the spreadsheet but I am the main contributor.  The only one of the four of us who is retired, I call Dad every day for a chat and an update.  He has had several health scares these past few years, Mom has had Alzheimer's for nearly 13.  Hence the updates.

I have a prayer journal of my mother's, which I am currently transcribing and posting to the sheets.  It is from 1989.  Mom and Dad had just moved to Romania, Dad working for a US based Fortune 500 company involved with nuclear energy.

Mom was lonely, isolated.  Couldn't speak the language, didn't know anyone.  Shopping was unfamiliar - I don't even think she could drive.  Their apartment frequently suffered from energy outages (ironic, since Dad was trying to get the nuclear energy program online) and sometimes they didn't have water.

Instead of complaining, Mom's journal is filled with thanksgiving.  For simple things like strawberries, apples, a ride in the country.

When she was tempted to self pity, she asked God to help her guard against it.  She asked Him to show her ways to help others.

And He did, but that it a story for another day.

I see my mother's thankfulness modeled in my three siblings.  They are delightful people to hang out with.  I am so thankful for them!
In my quest to get five Christmas stockings done by the end of the month, yesterday's to do list included 'make binding for stockings'. If you make your own binding you are not limited to the usual solid colors available in fabric stores.  Making your own binding is not hard but it requires time and concentration.  Both are in short supply when one is babysitting a two year old granddaughter.

Imagine my delight when I found an ample supply (yards!) of handmade binding - which, joy of joys, coordinates with the stockings I am making!

I am so thankful to God for opening my eyes to the task already done a few years ago (and forgotten about).  It is a great time saver and I am following my mother's example and giving thanks.

Not your typical fabric store binding!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


A while ago (last summer?) I signed up for Patsy's 100 day sewing challenge.

She encouraged her readers to sew 15 minutes a day ( not necessarily consecutively) for a 100 days.

Here is my progress so far:

Since taking on this challenge, I have finished:

  • I'm glad I wrote down what I did or I would have forgotten that I did some of this!
Thank you, Patsy for your challenge!  I have accomplished more than I thought I could - and have hopes of getting even more done!

You can get a lot done just 15 minutes at a time!  Also...15 minutes sometimes stretches into an hour or two!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Children's Ministry

This weekly posting is primarily for our church children's ministry team, but if anyone else has ideas to add, please feel free!

This is the Bible we use for Children's Church.  The kids enjoy using it - it has some great ideas to help the kids understand the passage.  One negative - either we are really hard on Bibles or some of the binding is not very strong.

Our Bible passage for this weekend is Psalm 103. I do not have Pastor's outline on this yet, but his topic is 'Worship".

One reading of this Psalm shows why:

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Of David.

103 yBless the LORDO my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
yBless the LORDO my soul,
and zforget not all his benefits,

Read the rest here.

This is such a beautiful Psalm! 

The first thing I do when preparing to teach is pray - pray that God will show me what He wants me to get across to this precious kids.

If the passage is a chapter or less, I write it out.  If it is more than one chapter, I outline it.

As I write it, I look for patterns, repeated words or  phrases.  Repeated ideas.

This passage repeatedly says - Bless the Lord -
or the kids version says - "Let all that I am praise the Lord".

The Hebrew definition of bless includes kneeling and adoration.  There is a sense of whole-hearted worship. All. No holding back. I will discuss with the kids what this means.

I like to have the kids open the Bible .  We are teaching them where to find books of the Bible and how to study.  We have 4 year olds up to 4th grade - about 20-25 kids on average.  I instruct the older kids to help the younger non-reading kids.

Verses one and two set the theme and the stage for the rest of the chapter.  "I will never forget the good things He does for me."

We will list the good things mentioned in the chapter.  As you write out the verses you notice that there are two separate categories.  The things He does (i.e. forgives all my sins) and the things He doesn't do (i.e.He does not deal harshly with us).
We will put these things into  a chart on the white board - Things God Does
Things God doesn't Do

Then we will make a third category.  It will be based on verse 2 - May I Never Forget the Good Things He Does for Me.   This is where I will invite the kids to call out things God has done for them.  Be prepared to be blessed by this!

That ends the lesson part of our time together.

As a result of out enumerating the things God has done - we will see that He has done unique things for each of us.

Since it is winter time - I thought it would be appropriate to make snowflakes.  We are all unique.  Snowflakes are all  unique.  God's blessings to each one of us is unique.  After we cut out our snowflakes, each child can carefully write some of his/her blessings on it.

Supplies needed - scissors, white paper( or you could use coffee filters), pencils


I plan to print out a copy of the chapter and cut apart verse by verse.  Each child will get one (or more if we have fewer than 22 kids) verse.  They will then have to go around to each other and put the verse in order.  Then one by one read it out loud.


Allelu, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia, Praise Ye the Lord (Old School, I know)
10,000 Reasons
The God of Angel Armies (from verse 21)
I don't think we have the last two songs on DVD, but in the future with enough advance notice we could perhaps ask Dan or Luke to play a particular song or Jeremy set up a video of the you-tubes (if we have copyright clearance).
Children's Ministry Monday (posted late this week) will be a regular feature on this blog.  I will be sharing the link with those on our ministry team who are not blog readers.  But if you are (one of the few) a regular reader and have any input for the lesson - please chime in!  I'm hoping the comment section will be come a place where we can share ideas!