Saturday, March 31, 2012

Only Two Days Until My 2012 Curriculum Review Begins! How to Find Your Best Curriculum "Fit" . . . Do You Have a Vision?

The month of April I'll be focusing on Sunday School curriculum reviews. I like reviewing curriculum in the Spring so you can make your decision about which curriculum to use by the beginning of the Summer. This allows you to have time to fully train your volunteers so when the Fall begins they are ready to use the new material! So, today I want to talk about how to find your best curriculum "fit". 

There are many curriculum options available today, so how do you find the best curriculum “fit” for your church; and once you determine your best “fit”, how do you know when or even if you should ever make a change?  Too often we base our curriculum choices on familiarity, marketing and even tradition rather than the carefully thought through and prayerfully considered vision and purpose for our children’s ministry. When we make our curriculum choices based on “familiarity” or marketing, we end up changing curriculum so often the children in our ministry never receive a complete understanding of God’s Word as no one scope and sequence is completed. When we choose our curriculum based on tradition, we may find ourselves utilizing a teaching model no longer as effective, resulting in our children not really understanding or living God’s Word. Consider the following components to help you find your best "fit" . . . 

The Dr. Seuss Quote for Today -You're On Your Own . . .

We've been looking at Dr. Seuss quotes for the past month and today is the last one. It has been fun to look at some of the many Dr. Seuss quotes and then to think about them in the light of God's Word. So . . . the final Dr. Seuss Quote for today is, "You're on your own. You know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go . . . " Well . . . we do know what we know and we can decide where we will go, but we are not on our own and if we are wise, we will ask God to show us the way we should go! Consider Psalm 25:4,5, "Make your ways known to me, LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth—teach it to me— because you are the God who saves me. I put my hope in you all day long.

I for one am so very glad for the truth of these verses! It would be a very sad - and frightening - world if we had to decide where to go based on the things we know, since we all have limited knowledge. I'm so thankful God loves us so much He gave us His word so we can know His ways and learn His paths! I want to trust Him to lead me in His truth and am so grateful He saved me! I can put my hope in Him all day long! So, when it comes to deciding where I should go, I'm so glad I can turn to God, know He is with me and trust Him to help me know which path to take!

Friday, March 30, 2012

I Have a Winner . . .

I'm happy to announce, Shawn Derrick is the winner in my give-away of the book, the 5 Love Languages of Children (You will find the review at this linkThank you Shawn for reading About the Children's Department (please message me your address so I can have it sent to you) and thank you Northfield Publishing for sending one for me to review and for making another available for me to give away!

The Dr. Seuss Quote for Today - I'm Sorry to Say So . . .

The Dr. Seuss Quote for today is,  "I'm sorry to say so but, sadly it's true - that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you!" This is true. Bang-ups and hang-ups can and will happen to us. Our world is broken by sin and because of this, hurt, pain and disappointment are part of life. We do not, however; have to be defeated by our bang-ups and hang-ups! Consider Joshua 1:9, " I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." We do not have to be alarmed or terrified because the LORD our God is with us wherever we go!!!! Look at Psalm 27:1, " The LORD is my light and my salvation. Should I fear anyone? The LORD is a fortress protecting my life. Should I be frightened of anything?" 

We don't have to fear our bang-ups or hang-ups because God is our light and salvation and He is with us! Look at I Corinthians 15:56-58, "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." God gives us the victory through Jesus so we can be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord because we know our labor is not in vain! So, bring on the bang-ups and hang-ups, God is with us and He gives us the victory!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun Easter Craft . . . Handprint Lily Brooch!

Handprint Easter lily brooch
If you are looking for a special craft you could help the children in your ministry make as an Easter gift for their mother . . . take a good look at this craft I found on Pinterest! I love how this "lily" is made from the handprints of children! This is sure to be a craft mothers, and grandmothers, will cherish . . . you could have children make an additional ones for their grandmothers, too! Follow the links and you'll find a photo tutorial for making this "lily" pin and plan to surprise and delight the mothers - and grandmothers - of the children in your ministry!

The Dr. Seuss Quote for Today - Step With Care and Great Tact . . .

The Dr. Seuss Quote for today is"Step with care and great tact. And remember life's a great balancing act!" Life has it's "stages" and "moments" and we need to walk though it with a mind for "balance". Consider Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11,  "There’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under the heavens: a time for giving birth and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted, a time for killing and a time for healing, a time for tearing down and a time for building up, a time for crying and a time for laughing, a time for mourning and a time for dancing, a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones, a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces, a time for searching and a time for losing, a time for keeping and a time for throwing away, a time for tearing and a time for repairing, a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking, a time for loving and a time for hating, a time for war and a time for peace. God has made everything fitting in its time." There is a "season" for everything and typically, if we go too far to one "side" or another, we usually end up wishing we had made different decisions. We need to live our lives knowing, "God has made everything fitting in it's time" and then approach our lives with balance! Look at Ephesians 5:15, "So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly." Be careful, live wisely - show balance!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Dr. Seuss Quote For Today - From There to Here . . .

The Dr. Seuss Quote for today is, "From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere!" This is mostly true! There are funny things most everywhere . . . some are easier to see than others, but there are funny things most everywhere!

God created the world and everything in it - some of these things are funny! Consider Colossians 1:16, "Because all things were created by him: both in the heavens and on the earth, the things that are visible and the things that are invisible. Whether they are thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him." God created all things! He created this earth, the trees, flowers, animals, birds . . . everything. 

When you look at creation, you are able to see many "funny things" . . . just look at the Kinkajou . . . a small animal found in the Central Americas which kinda looks like a cross between a small bear cub, an otter and a monkey! It can turn it's hind feet backward when walking down a tree! The Komondor dog is funny looking . . . it looks like a walking mop! The Dumbo Octopus is also a pretty funny looking thing . . . it has "ear-like fins protruding from the top of their "heads" (actually bodies), resembling the ears of Walt Disney's flying elephant. They are benthic creatures, living at extreme depths, and are some of the rarest of the Octopoda species" 

The point is, God did create some pretty funny things and I for one am glad! I like knowing God has a "sense of humor"! Plus, God created people and we can be very funny! I know my grandson is funny! When he was 18 months old he was at my home one day and saw a box of Quaker Oats on the counter. He pointed at the Quaker Oats man on the box and said, "Grandma!!!!" I said, "Hey, wait a minute there! That isn't grandma', it is a man!" He smiled, pointed at it again and said, "Lynda!" Funny little boy!!! :^) There are funny things most everywhere and I for one am glad this is true!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vote for Jason Martin!

As I said yesterday, About the Children's Department made it to the Sweet 16, but not to the Final Four . . . thank you again, everyone who voted for it! So, if you are interested in voting in the Final Four, please vote for Jason Martin! His blog is the "Cinderella" blog . . . it was considered a "long-shot" and yet, here it is in the Final Four! How exciting! It is very simple to vote for him - just follow this link and vote for Jason Martin! It will be fun to see who wins this year!

The Dr. Seuss Quote For Today - Will You Succeed?

The Dr Seuss Quote for today is, "Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!" Well . . . there are things in life which if we focus ad are persistent, we are likely to succeed, but certainly, most things in life there are not guarantees. 

However; when it comes to knowing and walking with God . . . well, if we follow God's Word, we are 100% guaranteed to succeed because God wants us to know and walk with Him! Consider Jeremiah 29:11-14a, "I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. I will be present for you, declares the LORD." God wants us to find Him! This is some of the best news we could ever have! God tells us how we can be better than ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed to succeed when it comes to finding Him . . . we need to call on Him, talk with Him, search for Him with all of our heart and then we will find Him because God says He will listen to us and be present for us! This is a promise and guarantee I can cling to! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

VBS 2012 - Rocky Point Lighthouse from Group

Rocky Point Lighthouse Starter KitI'm delighted for the opportunity to share Group's new weekend VBS with you . . . Rocky Point Lighthouse! The idea with this resource is to provide two affordable 2 1/2 hour sessions, plus a one hour celebration which churches could use over one weekend . . . or over three weekend . . . or they might be able to spread it out for one Saturday a month for a Summer of fun!

The Dr. Seuss Quote For Today - Today I Shall Behave . . .

The Dr. Seuss Quote for today is"Today I shall behave, as if this is the day I will be remembered!" I really like this one! It is a challenge to all of us! So, how do we do this? Consider Matthew 7:12, "Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you" If we treated others the way we want them to treat us, chances are we would treat others nicely. Of course it is possible you might treat others nicely and then they do not respond in kind, but we are only responsible for how we treat others . . . not how they treat us in return. If we are kind to others, then we will be remembered as people who were kind . . . and who wouldn't like to be remembered in this way? Look at Micah 6:8, "He has told you, what is good and what the LORD requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God." God wants us to be just, to love others with a faithful love and walk humbly with Him! If we do these things each day, then the day we are remembered for will be a day we want to be remembered for!