Tag Archives: journey kids

have you been “egged” today?

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Dearest Pinterest…you have stolen many, many hours of my day.  You have made me feel like a failure.  You have given me a to-do list a mile long.  And then?  Every once in awhile, you just completely ROCK something out.  I have a love/hate relationship, oh yes I do.  But here’s a little love for you, dear Pinterest, for today.  Ideas for children’s ministry as related to Easter are awesome.  I wish I could take the credit for them.  Nope—I will give all the credit to YOU!!

First of all, I sat in a meeting a few weeks ago with church leadership where they carved out 30 minutes devoted to how to reach people at Easter.  To have a group of leaders make reaching others so important and take intentional time to brainstorm different ways of accomplishing this goal is just amazing to me.  This is so what church is all about!!

Easter ideas are all the rage when it comes to children’s ministry too.  There isn’t anything more fun than searching for ways of helping kids to connect to these stories of the Bible.  And none more important than the story of Easter!!  My pinterest “Easter” board is giddy with excitement for another idea I didn’t get done this year.  So it’s on the list for next.  But take a look at what we did get done this year…

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Have you heard of Resurrection Rolls?  {Click HERE} to see explicit instructions.  So simple and easy!  Our kids did all of the work (except for the oven baking part).  And they worked!!  I love it when that happens.  The idea is that the crescent roll is the tomb, the marshmallow is Jesus, the cinnamon, sugar, and butter the spices they anointed his body with…and when they are done?  The tomb is empty.  This one turned out perfect~~~I’d like to make this recipe a tradition because they are YUMMO!!

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And finally, our biggest intentional outreach our Journey Kids are doing this Easter is the “You’ve Been Egged!!!” event.  This idea has been flying around pinterest the last couple of months and across all three campuses of Journey the idea took hold.  Too cool.  {Click HERE for the free printable} 
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In both of these activities, the common theme is AN EMPTY TOMB!!!  Can’t wait to celebrate all of what that means on Sunday morning.  You never know…will you have a yard full of Easter eggs with an invite to our services on Sunday?  Either way, we would love to see you at Journey@ McPherson for our morning of Easter celebrations!
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judas!

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If you live anywhere near the area that our family does, the word “judas!” is used quite frequently in every day language.  Like “Judas, I can’t believe it’s snowing in March”.  Or, “Judas–I thought it was supposed to be spring.”  Or “Judas!  How long is spring break?”  Or “Judas, do we have to clean the house again.”  Or something like this…”I have done 12 loads of laundry this week, and Judas…there are 3 more waiting”.  Get the idea?  See how we use “judas” in a sentence? 

I have NO idea how the name of one of Jesus’ disciples has become everyday common language use for our community.  My children were saying “Judas” like second to “mommy” and “daddy”.  Of all disciples to refer to often, JUDAS is not the one I would pick.  I kind of like “John–it’s a winter snow storm on March 23rd.”  Nope.  It just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This month’s virtue at Journey Kids is HONESTY.  And quite honestly I am excited for this week’s lesson on, you guess it…Judas.  I’m excited because I think the majority of our kids here his name frequently, like I said.  I can’t wait for them to meet the real Judas everyone is talking about.  How HONESTY and JUDAS are like oil and water.  They just don’t mix. 

Preparing for this story, I can’t help but feel so sorry for Judas.  If you know how the story goes, Judas was a very dishonest person right from the get go.  His greed of $$ cost him absolutely everything.  Overwhelmed by the guilt of leading the soldiers to Jesus and ultimately to Jesus’ death on the cross, Judas took his own life.  Which tells me, he was distraught and anguished over what he did.  How many times have each of us been in a situation where guilt has taken over?  Obviously, for most of us, not to the extent and extreme of death–thankfully.  There are times it is easier to lie, or so it seems.  To keep things going smoothly, or keep yourself out of trouble.  Or even more so when you get or reap rewards from being dishonest.  Doesn’t always feel that great though, does it?  I mean really.  And the words I tell my kids each and every time?  There is ALWAYS someone who knows if you are lying.  Always.  And when others find out?  And you are not a trustworthy person?  What is there left for you at that time?  Building trust and keeping trust is a HARD job.  Especially, when you have lost it in the first place.

 

This virtue of honesty has been so relevant for what our kids deal with each day.  I bet there are more times than we can count where kids and adults alike get to put the virtue of honesty into practice.  It is real.  It was real when Jesus was leading his disciples.  And it’s real today. 

 

The next time I hear, “Judas, it’s too early to get up for church” I wonder if they are going to think about who Judas really was and remember our bible story for this week. 

 

JUDAS, that’s my goal.

calling all abigails…

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I don’t know about you, but I had no idea there was a man named Nabal in the bible.  I guess I must have missed that in Sunday school?!  I have, however, heard of Abigail.  And of course, most have heard of David–especially when you associate him with Goliath.

We have just wrapped up our 3rd week of the virtue of Peace at Journey Kids.  Amazing to me the many, many stories that correlate with this virtue.  I know when I think of the old testament stories, peace isn’t exactly the word I would have used to describe it.  So many rules, do’s and dont’s and repercussions for not following the law.  But nestled in all of that is God’s big story.  And His strong character of peace which is shown through different people.  It’s pretty awesome when you think and read the bible like a great big story book.  So Children’s Ministry is where it’s at for me, as I’ve said before.  It must be because I need to learn like kids do.  I am re-learning all of these things with them. 

Our story yesterday centered around Abigail who interevened and basically stopped a war and the killing of many people—by finding a solution to a problem which in the end, really wasn’t so big in the first place between David and her then husband, Nabal.  There was the illustration used for yesterday’s bottom lineProve you care more about others by being part of the SOLUTION. 

Our kids were pretty awesome at coming up with their own stories about arguments, gossip, and fighting between each other and how they can be the “ABIGAIL” and intervene by being part of the solution. 

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Looks to me like resolving conflict is fun, doesn’t it? 

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We can’t kid ourselves.  Conflict is just a part of who we are as people.  It happens with the very tiniest kindergartners all the way through to middle school, high school, college, and beyond.  But, we can stop that cycle by being part of the solution.  I used to love a song called “Don’t be Talkin’ About Friends”.  It was by the group Acapella.  I was seriously obsessed with this group for the obvious reason of how awesome they sounded.  The words to these songs were just pretty powerful.  In the song it goes on to say…”don’t be talkin’ about friends when they’re not around, don’t be bringing them down…and my absolute FAVORITE line of the song…“if there were no one to hear it, IT COULD NOT GO ON!!!” 

Convicting, that line, isn’t it?  I am convicted, I know that.  We had a part of the lesson about when you hear your friends talking about someone else that isn’t nice– if you are there–be a part of the solution.  The kids’ answers to helping to be part of the solution were “say something nice about the person they’re talking about” or “tell them to stop talking like that it isn’t nice.”.  Our kids are smart.  And we as parents can pray that they are convicted to do something in these situations at school, church, or wherever they are.  We can help them by not perpetuating it when they come home and talk—because everyone needs a place to vent, right?  The fact of the matter is we are our kids’ strongest role models.  Scary, isn’t it?  The responsibility lies on us. There is a fine line between letting our kids “vent” their frustrations and taking sides with them, OR teaching them to talk things through in a healthy way.  Man, it is hard.  But we don’t have to do it alone. 

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Thank you, thank you God—none of us are in this alone.  But we are each responsible for at least one person, aren’t we? 

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I have to include this picture, because Natalie is needing to come up with a solution.  She is smiling so big because she knows these big alligator tears are very fleeting…in fact, THIS very sweet thing is what gets Natalie up on Sunday mornings!

Romans 14:19

Let us do all we can to live in peace, and work hard to build each other up”

I think this verse is beginning to stick!  Just in time too…only one more week of this virtue.

february virtue.

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I have debated and debated delving into this post today.  In my mind, the nagging or nudging continues.  So I am going to go for it.  And, besides.  It’s the new virtue for Journey Kids this month.  And I am going to be teaching on it ALL month. 

First of all, I have to say that I love, love, love 252 Basics, the curriculum we use.   In my opinion, I have found that being a teacher using this curriculum is about as simple as it gets.  Not to mention that we have an amazing Children’s Pastor who organizes, finds volunteers to pack up everything we need for each week, and there for support whenever needed.  (maybe that is it?)  But, I know how much fun Steve is having as a Sunday school teacher—and it’s a huge blessing to see.  Having his son in his class may change that—better not speak to soon…

THE VIRTUE.  Peace.  When you think of the word PEACE what does it really mean to you?   

The teaching on peace this month is exactly how I want to teach this virtue to my kids.  So many times, especially in the Mennonite faith, much is associated with “war” when talking about peace.  The fact of the matter is, the term “mennonite” does not mean “peace”.  The term “peace” does not mean “anti-war” or “anti-government”.  So that being said, I do not believe those can be interchangeable.  Saying we are against this or that isn’t always “peaceful”, is it?   Above all else, when teaching kids (and adults for that matter) what are you going to listen to most?  Someone being negative and telling you NOT to do something?  Or someone telling you the way to live for Jesus?  I know what my answer is to this.  And by modeling and teaching kids to live as Jesus wants them to, they will make difficult decisions for themselves.  I really, really believe that.  Without ever having to say “this is bad” or “we don’t believe in this”.  To teach the “connection between PEACE and God’s character as shown through God’s big story”.  I don’t think any of us can argue that God does not want us to reflect peace in our relationships with others, can we?  And I’ll say it again…this curriculum is awesome in their teaching on peace.

The Life Application:  Peace:  Proving you care more about each other than winning an argument.

The Bottom Line:  Prove you care about others by walking away from a fight.

Memory Verse:  “So let us do all we can to live in peace.  And let us work hard to build each other up”.  Romans 14:19.

Each story for the next four weeks reflects the virtue of peace in the bible.  Yesterday it was Isaac’s wells.  Did you know about Isaac’s wells?  Read it in Genesis 26:16-22, 26-31.  So interesting to see this virtue put into practice, WAAAYYY before Jesus ever walked the earth.  Just part of God’s character of peace in His big story. 

Kourtney and Landon were having some issues riding in the back seat on the way to school.  This is nothing new.  Especially in the mornings at our house.  I found it quite amusing to hear each of them ask the other…”did you hear what we learned yesterday about caring more about ‘me’ than winning this fight?”  Not exxxaaaccctly how I would have worded it.  HA!  But I think they kind of “got it”.  Even if it was from a very egocentric point of view!  I have some ideas on what next month’s virtue could be…