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Welcoming the new year with a…

Well, let me let the cat out of the bag a little later! ūüėČ

First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!

2015 may or may not have been a great year, but I am sure it would have been a worthwhile learning experience. I am hoping that 2016 is going to be even challenging but would definitely end with a stronger us.

A question rang a bell this morning: ‘How best can I welcome 2016?’

May be calling family, visiting friends, baking cakes, going for a long drive, planting a tree and so on are a few good ways to start the year. You might have an even better list.

But the best way? I reckon it is more than self-centered desires, hobbies or plans. And immediately the question transforms into ‘How best would God like me to welcome 2016?’

Then the answer starts pouring from His word – Start the year in His presence; commit all your plans to God; depend on God for every little thing, meditate on His word, take godly decisions…

A standout for me was, start the year with a vision from God. Our plans, dreams, desires, vision may or may not happen. But a vision from God will stand. It will come to pass because He is faithful to fulfill His words.

The word of God says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” [Proverbs 29:18a (KJV)]

A vision is the like the sail which helps steer a boat in the direction of the wind or the catalyst which fastens a chemical reactions or a dream that becomes life’s purpose. In short, a vision propels, motivates, encourages, gives hope and even more – a divine vision happens. We need a vision, a vision for us from God.

To know God’s vision for us, we will have to sit in His presence, commit our plans to Him, meditate on His word and listen to Him speak.

If you are yet to ask God for His plans and vision for your life and ministry this year, I urge you to do so. There is nothing more accomplishing in life, than living with a divine vision. What is God’s vision for you this year?

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Paper Puppets

Hey guys! You must have read the instructions on how to make stick puppets and portable puppet stage else you can find it all here and here.

Here’s another way of making quick and easy puppets –¬†paper puppets. Hope you enjoy!

Things you will need:

  • Paper (of course ūüėÄ )
  • Glue ( Cellophane tape is a much-preferred option though – quick and tidy ūüėČ )
  • Scissors
  • Pencil/ pen
  • Colors¬†(Optional)

Method:

  1. Cut small circles out of the papers with the radius almost equal to the height of the puppet. Fold it into halves twice and cut a sector out of it (To get a quarter of the circle).

01. Paper Cuts

2. Bring the edges together and make a cone. Paste the edges together using glue or cellophane tape.

02. Puppet Body

3. Draw the face of the puppet with appropriate expressions in a separate sheet. Here are some examples.

03. Puppet Faces

4. Cut and paste it on top of the puppet.

04. Puppet Base

Voila! Basic paper puppet is ready! Well, you certainly can enhance the looks of it by adding some of your creativity.

Here are some ideas:

  • Draw dress patterns and color the paper before you make the cone.
  • Or even better, make a paper dress.

05. Puppet Shepherds

  • You can even create animal puppets. You will need some match sticks for the legs, a cylindrical cut for the body (not a cone), some cotton (if it is a woolly animal) and the right face of the animal (Trust me, this can go horribly wrong!)

06. Animal Puppet

  • Say Angels are involved in your story, why not use a string and attach it to an ice-cream stick. You can hold it from top to give an above-the-ground effect.

07. Puppet Angels

Put together, we get the nativity scene:

07.Nativity Scene

And that’s all from me. I would love to know your fantastic ideas. Make sure you chip them in, in the comments section below.

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Top 5 Endangered Truths kids need to know

Know the truth and the truth shall set you free [John 8:32]… (And here’s a funny continuation someone added to it¬†– but is quite grating¬†at first ūüėČ )

Blaise Pascal said, “Truth is so obscure nowadays and lies well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it”.

Continue reading “Top 5 Endangered Truths kids need to know”

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Tip to make kids learn the Fruit of the Spirit

Here’s a play-way method to help kids memorize the fruit of the Spirit. You can check out the story for this session here.

Objective: To make the kids memorize the fruit of the spirit.

Target Audience: All age groups

Things required:

  • Chart sheet
  • Colors
  • Scissor
  • A piece of cloth/ cardboard/ thermocol sheet
  • Bell pins/ glue

Preparation:

  • Draw a large fruit on the chart.
  • Divide it into nine equal sections and write a¬†name of the fruit of the Spirit in each part.
  • Write ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ on the stem of the fruit.
  • Cut the sections of the fruit separately.

Method:

  1. Teach the verse to the kids by making them repeat after you once or twice.

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

  2. Divide the class into nine groups.
  3. Hand out a piece of the fruit to each group.
  4. Call out a random name from the fruit of the Spirit. The pertaining group must stand up and sit.
  5. The group/ the team member who does not answer the call by standing up loses a chance to continue playing.
  6. In the final round get the part of the fruit from each team and stick/ pin it to the cloth/ cardboard/ thermocol sheet.
Fruit of the Spirit

Fruit of the Spirit

Tip:

  • At first jumble the names of the fruit when you call. This is just to make the kids get acquainted with the words.
  • In the later part of the game, call the names in the right order. This will help them remember the fruits in the right order forever ūüôā
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Jim & Jom – Fruit of the Spirit

This short story can be used as an introduction to the Fruit of the Spirit series. You can check out our additional resource on helping kids memorize the nine fruit of the Spirit here.

Continue reading “Jim & Jom – Fruit of the Spirit”

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Why ‘Do you love me?’ ?

Usually God is portrayed as a good or rather the best friend to children, which is very true. We as teachers have in mind that such a great God calls us His friends. But while presenting it to kids, the emphasis is given only on the friendly nature of God. As a result, kids see Jesus more as a friend than as God. Is there a problem in such a case? Yes! We tend to limit the greatness and power of God because when we say friend, we see him as someone equal to us. Yes, He made us his brothers and sisters by shedding His precious blood on the cross. Does that mean He is weak like us? No, He is still the powerful Almighty God who deserves fearful reverence. The more we magnify Him in our eyes as God, the more we get to experience Him as God. Is it not right to teach our children that He is the great matchless God who is humble enough to be our friend? This year we are aiming on striking a balance between the godliness of Jesus and His humility in being our friend.

Who else could be a best example who saw Jesus as God and friend than Peter, one of Jesus‚Äô first disciples? Peter on his first encounter with Jesus saw Him as God and his response was, ‚ÄėGet away from me Jesus. I am a sinner‚Äô(Luke 5:8). Three years later, this same Peter discovers a friend in Jesus and he tells Him, ‚ÄėI love you Jesus‚Äô (John 21:15,16,17). This year‚Äôs theme ‚ÄėDo you love Me?‚Äô has been taken straight from the words of Jesus to¬†this¬†ordinary fisherman, Peter. His answer to this question made him do extra-ordinary things for God.

Our earnest prayers and great hope is that the kids will know that Jesus is The God and there is no other, which will result in repentance; that they will also have the revelation that Jesus has paid a huge price on the cross to reconcile¬†us to Him as His¬†friends once again; that their response to His question will be, ‚ÄėI love you Jesus‚Äô.

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Do you love me?

Hi everyone!

After much prayers¬†and hard work of the Kids camp team, I am so happy¬†to present “Kids camp 2015” on the theme, ‘Do you love me?‘. ¬†Kids learn the exciting story of Peter through various fun-filled activities in 2 hour sessions for 5 days.

Continue reading “Do you love me?”

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Stick Puppets

One hardly needs to¬†describe¬†the magnitude of¬†our major childhood attractions – one of them being puppets: puppets of varying size and type. Here’s one easy and inexpensive way of doing it for your kids. Hope you like it!

Tip  These stick puppets will look much better when used with a background. Click here to learn to make a simple portable puppet stand.

Continue reading “Stick Puppets”

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Portable Stick Puppet Stage

Puppets are very¬†effective tools when it comes to reaching kids. However they¬†require¬†a lot of¬†effort in preparing a team and most importantly a stage. But what if there isn’t any team available? Can you still use this method of teaching?¬†How nice would it be if you could set up the stage and present the story yourselves without much strain yet equally effective as the conventional style! Well, here’s a tip for you: portable Stick Puppet Stage. Enjoy!

Continue reading “Portable Stick Puppet Stage”

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Are you prepared?

In my previous posts I had shared various ways¬†of teaching a story through crafts. You can check them out here, here¬†and a lot more here. Today, I want to¬†show you¬†the path to preparing a lesson on your own, simply because you know your kids better.¬†I could find no better place to start than the ‘Preparation’ itself.¬†Thanks for reading ūüôā and don’t forget¬†to share your thoughts with us in the feedback form provided below.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

Have you seen an athlete, who prepares for years to run a few hundred meters? When you were younger, did you spend months preparing for a few exams? Have you seen your mum get up early in the morning to prepare for hours for the day’s meal? All these examples lead us to one simple conclusion: Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! It is the soul of a successful Sunday school session too.

Continue reading “Are you prepared?”

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5 basic ingredients for a rewarding Sunday school

         Hey guys! Vanaja here. Following are a few tips for a rewarding Sunday school I would like to share with you as a remainder. These are simple principles I have learnt and followed over the years of my ministry with kids.

Continue reading “5 basic ingredients for a rewarding Sunday school”

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Five loaves and two fishes

The miracle of the Five loaves and two fishes is my all time favorite story from the Bible in teaching the kids about the importance of sharing. Is it possible to make the story come true using newspaper and some colors? Read along and you will know.

Continue reading “Five loaves and two fishes”