VOILA! A Disappearing Sin Object Lesson

object lesson on sin

You can use this disappearing sin object lesson for children’s ministry or at home with your kids! I have three boys, and they each approach sin in different ways. One is incredibly aware of his sin – he lashes out in anger and is usually called on it right away. We’ve have many conversations about sin and forgiveness and freedom in Christ. The wonderful thing about him is that while his sins are obvious and numerous, he repents easily and I’ve seen a lot of growth over the past few years. One of my other boys naturally has an easier temperament, so his sin is more hidden. It’s harder to point out things like pride and sullenness, but they’re definitely there. Thankfully, he’s also a sweetheart and I’m learning how to parent him with the gentle touch he needs. Saying that our kids SIN feels harsh sometimes, doesn’t it? But … Read More

Fun Christian Easter Activities for Families

Fun Christian Easter activities for kids

The following is a list of do-able crafts, simple snacks, Easter egg hunt additions, and Easter books will help your family celebrate a meaningful Easter in a fun way. Without further ado, here’s the list of fun Christian Easter activities for families and children’s ministries! I worked in paid children’s ministry for 15 years, and before that I was a volunteer for many years. I also have kids of my own that I have experimented on extensively. 😜 These ideas are ones that I think would work well in either a children’s ministry or home context. Contents: Teaching the Easter story Easter Crafts Easter Snacks Christian Easter Egg Activities Object Lessons and Experiments Teaching the Easter Story Let’s start with the basics – teaching the actual Easter story. Here are several ways to do it: Directly from the Bible (that’s the easiest place to start!). You can find the Easter … Read More

How A Foot Washing Ceremony Can Be a Highlight of Your Easter (+ Easter Reading Plan)

Foot washing ceremony - Jesus washing feet of person in jeans

The smell of little boy feet and soap suds mingled with giggles in my kitchen. I gently tugged off a sock, then placed one of their feet in the warm water that filled my roasting pan. He tugged his foot away, but I guided it gently back into the water.  I squirted soap on the cloth and rubbed the little sweaty foot, then towel dried each toe.  After being washed, each boy picked up the cloth and washed the feet of their mom or dad.  The activity was both silly and sweet, tangible and touching (with a touch of ticklish).     Why did we do this foot washing ceremony? The idea for this ceremony comes from John 13:1-17. In this passage, Jesus was celebrating an ancient festival with his disciples, called Passover. The Passover (or Seder) meal was the lynchpin in this feast, as it carried so many reminders … Read More

Encouragement and Tools for the COVID-19 quarantine

help for the pandemic

Hey friend, I know you’ve been flooded with COVID-19 emails, blog posts, and memes this week. I’m not here to spread any alarm (or toilet paper), but rather, some hope! First, I have a short devotional. Then, some resources to help if you’re suddenly at home with your kids for a couple weeks. In This World You Will Have Trouble… Bad things happen. Death and disease and disaster have touched us all. And yet, in the midst of all this, I’m reminded of this conversation Jesus had with his disciples: (very paraphrased from John 16) Jesus: Things will be bad. Yes, I just told you more than you can bear. But the Spirit will help you. Soon I will leave. Disciples: Wait, what?! Did he just say he will leave? Hey Jesus, we don’t get it. Jesus: Yes, I’m leaving. I’m going back to the Father. Disciples: oooooooh. Now we get it. (raising eyebrows at … Read More

9 totally awesome ways to read the Bible with your kids

9 ways to read the Bible

Imagine this…you pull out the Bible, and all your kids groan. (Honestly, you do too. Deep down.) It’s a fight every day to read the Bible and make it seem applicable to your child’s life. They squirm, they roll their eyes 🙄 or they simply wander away. 🏃🏽 Does this happen in your home too? It used to happen in mine! But it doesn’t anymore. (mostly. let’s keep it real!) It is possible to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives, while letting them be wiggly. Would you fall over in shock if you kids begged to read the Bible with you? With the ideas below, you could:  learn how to engage each child in a way that makes their eyes pop with the relevance of Scripture to their daily lives. take that squirminess and put it … Read More

Can preschoolers celebrate Lent?

This year, for the first time ever, I’m trying to do a bit of teaching on Lent with my kids. We talked a bit about Ash Wednesday and how people put ashes in a cross shape on their face. When they went to bed I traced a cross on their foreheads with my finger, which got a little weirded-out chuckle from them. BUT they did remember it for a few days! 😉 The next day we started our own version of “giving up for Lent”. Every time they do something kind or sacrificial for someone they get to put a dry bean in a jar. The plan is that the jar will be full of beans by the time Easter comes around. They are really getting into it, and both older boys got to add a couple beans today. At supper, Daddy accidentally knocked over the salt, and Dodger (age … Read More

The Bible Is Not About Animals (Let’s Stop Teaching Our Kids That It Is!)

teach the Jonah and the whale Bible story to kids

I was in Children’s Ministry a long time. In fact, I started when I was still a kid – at age 12 I started volunteering in Sunday School. I spent most of the next 24 years either in either paid or volunteer ministry. At 18 years old, I led a preschool Sunday School class in the hallway of a community center, where I used fake potted plants to keep the kids from running off. I ran the preschool summer programs at a local megachurch, where we once had 57 five-year-olds in one room. And I was the Director of Children’s Ministries at my mid-sized church for most of 2006-2018 (barring a little time off for each of my 3 babies). And I have to tell you, Children’s Ministry is one of the most amazing places in the world. But it can also be one of the saddest places in the … Read More

The Surprisingly Simple Tradition That Will Bring Focus To Your Christmas

Advent wreath for the Advent candle tradition

When I pull candles out of their box, I run my fingers along their smooth surface and inhale their subtle scent. A lighter snaps, and the wick gently accepts the flame. It shudders to life. One candle has the power to brighten the darkness, but is incredibly fragile on its own. A single puff could blow it out. In Matthew 12, Jesus quotes a prophecy from Isaiah 42: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.” A smoldering … Read More

Connect with your child spiritually through coloring

Sometimes as a mom you just need some peace and quiet, am I right? But it’s those times when your kids seem to need you the most. What if I told you that you could have some quiet time WITH your kids, and even have a short spiritual conversation at the same time? It’s possible. I’ve done it! When was the last time you created art with your kids? I really enjoy painting with my boys, although I have to admit that I cringe when they pull out the glitter! Colouring together can draw us closer to God! Adult colouring is ALL the craze these days. I’d be surprised if you haven’t coloured in at least one adult colouring book! I did a quick internet search this week to learn WHY we are so attracted to colouring. Watch the video to find out what I found, or read the transcript … Read More

One fun (and surprisingly meaningful) way to celebrate Advent

Wise men search for Jesus

Written by Melinda Biel I grew up in a wonderful, God-loving, Jesus-preaching Christian home but for some reason I have not really learned how to celebrate advent other than scarfing down chocolate from a cardboard window. (I actually don’t consider that advent related…I thought it was just a yummy countdown to Christmas Day.) Now that I have 3 kiddos of my own and hear the word ‘advent’ popping up frequently, I decided this year was the year I was going to “take on” advent for real. Thankfully that’s also when Christie posted her blog article concerning advent. Just as she suggested, I skimmed for ideas first and then read the details of the ones I liked. The idea of having The 3 Wise Men search for baby Jesus (a play on ‘elf on the shelf’) seemed perfect. Simple, fun, doable, and advent-ish enough to check “take on advent” off my … Read More