May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you in 2021. We are grateful for the MANY unique and new ways we could “Tell His Story, Train Parents & Volunteers, and Teach Little Ones” in 2020. Watch this video we created to celebrate His goodness:
Phil created a prayer that can help us all grow in Spiritual maturity in 2021. You can download it free here:
Each Christmas we enjoy these simple favorite songs that teach the Christmas message with a simple tune.
First, John 20:21 Song. We like to teach about missions during Christmas. We will use a penny as an object lesson and tell children that a missionary is like a penny, they are “one sent.” They trust in God, “In God we Trust.” They teach people how to have “liberty” from sin. John 20:21 is a great scripture verse to reinforce these truths.
Phil’s favorite Christmas lesson is CEF Press‘s, Evangelistic Christmas Party Kit, “Whose Birthday is it?” The story about a boy who has a dream of his birthday party where everyone exchanged gifts but they don’t give him one. This is the song set to the tune of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Another song that compliments the “Whose Birthday is it?” lesson is “What Can I Give Him?” Song. This is a poem set to the tune of “Away in the Manger.”
Finally, we enjoy using these three songs when teaching preschoolers at Christmas. The “J-E-S-U-S” song set to the tune of “B-I-N-G-O;” the “Mary has a Little One” Song, set to the tune of “Mary had a little lamb.” We also included a fun game suggestion.
Trusting Christ as Savior is a life-changing experience for children or adults. Many times a person makes this decision with little guidance. This can cause discouragement, lack of faith, and hardship.
As believers, we need to make every effort to help children and adults understand their decision, the way of salvation, and God’s promises of salvation. When I first surrendered to Christ, I couldn’t understand why Jesus had to die for my sins. I still thought good deeds was the way of salvation, if someone properly counseled me I could have understood.
We appreciate Child Evangelism Fellowship and the excellent training they provide to help children know Christ. Here is a demonstration of a counseling situation using CEF’s recommended method of thought-provoking questions.
Has the pandemic stretched your patience with your children or spouse? Have you experienced more than one frustrating family break-down? In our ministry and life we’ve learned three family-savers (besides prayer) that can benefit your family too.
Respectful communication. Everyone appreciates respect and can respond positively. Just changing the way you ask for help or communicate your feelings can go a long way. Just express your need by prefacing your desire with, “I need your help, can you please help me by… ” My mother never failed to get my help wrapping packages by saying, “Debbie, you wrap packages so well, can you please help me by wrapping these packages?” How could I resist saying no; plus, I wrapped with pride. (Looking back, I do not think I wrapped any better than anyone else, lol.)
Play a game and laugh together. Having teenagers, I realized I wasn’t smiling and laughing enough. Just playing a game of Jinga would help break the ice and make a family memory. Reading jokes from a clean or silly joke book for kids also helped engage our teenagers.
Sing a song. Have a favorite song sharing time. I love to search a song on YouTube. As a parent, I can share an “oldie but a goodie” and your child can share one of their favorites too. Speaking of songs, CEF has a YouTube channel, UniteKids, with several great Christian music videos created with kids in mind. This is one of the easiest ways to install Christian principles into your child in an enjoyable and memorable format. They will sing the songs and watch the videos over and over!
Phil always quotes, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.” This pandemic is a lemon and sometimes we may feel like our spouse or our child is a lemon and they may feel like you are a lemon too!!!! With God’s help, and a change in communication, you can start making lemonade and sweet music together.
Finger-plays are fun little poems to share with children. An example of a finger-play is the “This little piggy went to the market” finger-play parents teach children while pointing to a child’s toes. A favorite finger-play I use at our preschool Bible classes is the “The Bible Treasure” poem. CEF Press included this meaningful poem in their 2002 “Surfin’ God’s Word” VBS kit (another favorite of mine).
Here’s a pdf with “The Bible Treasure” take-home tokens for the children. I laminated these and put a magnet on the back for a small gift for the children.
Otto is a puppet from Marietta, Texas. He is a puppet of Pastor Chas Carlisle of Oak Ridge Baptist Church. He brought Otto with his youth group last year to volunteer at Delacroix Hope Baptist Church Vacation Bible School (we coordinated). They loved us and we loved them. They planned another mission trip to help us this year. The pandemic changed everything, so we went to plan B. Chas, Otto, and sons, Charlie, and Caleb came. We are visiting several sites and bringing Vacation Bible School in a Bag!