Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Books of the Bible Review games

I think we forget that our children need to not only memorize God's Word, but also to read it!!  And to read it in church, or in real Bible Study, you have to know how to find things in the Bible.  I bet most adults would benefit from a little Books of the Bible review game!!   Here's our lesson from Sunday and some links to free printables!!

Lesson Target....I can say the books of the Bible so I can find verses in my Bible fast!!
Key Verse: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... (find how many times the Bible refers to this in some variation!)

My lesson plan... New Year, New You??

What would be a good resolution? or goal for this year??

How about accepting God's challenge to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind? and how can you do that... Read the Word!!!

How about being in the Word of God more?  You should set a goal to read the Word daily...

If you are a new reader, a version like this might be appropriate....show simple Bible story books.

if you are primary reader, maybe one of these....show others...

if you are a great reader, read the real book- perhaps start in the book of John and read 5 verses a day, or a chapter.  Think as you read.... and pray that God would help you remember and apply what you are reading...

If you need motivation- maybe one of these Bibles might be just what you need... the key is to get to know and love God's Word so that you can: Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, Soul, and Mind!!   I showed the Power Bible, Lego Bible, Action Bible, and  Boys Bible. (did you know 3rd/4th grade boys are the target audience to motivate, as they are often the hardest age and gender).

Today, a simple step to help you feel less lost when it comes time to find things in the Word of God.

Books of the Bible Review

To play many of these- some visuals are helpful.... I got a bunch from these sites...

business card images, with people- almost like trading cards
For variation, we made some of these pretty ones....Books of the Bible memory cards - Old Testament

We ended up only having enough time to sort and put in order in groups of 4, play Bingo, and talk about why and how to read the Bible in a 40 minute time slot!!  But I think the kids have fun!! I need to designate a photographer next time, I have no pictures, I was having too much fun helping!

Here's a list of ideas...

  • Hangman with Bible book names
  • Bible book Bingo (dry erase markers) 
  • Group the books by their category (old testament/new testament, law/history/poetry/major prophets/minor prophets...gospels/history/letters of paul/general epistles/prophecy) 
  • Pass the Bible (and say the next book as you do)
  • Guess that book (from before or after the one I pull)
  • Popsicle Stick craft-- make your own list...
  • Books of the Bible relay (get them in order!) 
    • as a team
    • one by one at the other end of the room
    • into categories (for the older or more knowledgeable)
    • by the people in them  

Test this knowledge... look up these verses and find the items....
Indoor and Outdoor Scavenger Hunt with scripture references...

if you have enough time and supplies (can you tell we are late planners?)...
use a hanger and clothespins,

or cup stacking with the books.... different colors for each type of book? law, history,....

make catepillars, 

or use milk caps and circle stickers...

with more time, we could have made Jenga

AWANA has a printable bookmark

If you need other ideas, pinterest has tons!!  If we do it again, I think I would make up something that would be more of a sight word activity for the new readers-- think about how confusing and hard to pronounce a bunch of the book words are-- we probably should do more practice pronouncing them!!  

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Review Week: The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids

Tyndale a has published a new book to encourage our kids in their devotional lives.  It is a complete daily devotional with trivia, questions/answers and a short reading for each day of the year.  It's written for 10-14 year old children.  I think even younger kids can use this book if they like trivia, each question is a multiple choice, a factual and biblical answer is given and then an application for you. It's relevant and talks to the reader with interest and appropriate knowledge.  As a teacher I would say it has rigor and relevance that is needed for learning.  For devotions, it's a fast easy way to start, but I wished it had suggested a scripture reading more directly.

My almost 12 year old thinks it a cool book.  He really likes the question and answers for the day! 

Bible and Prayers for Teddy and Me (a review)

Kregel Publications sent me this book to review.

This book has a padded cover, as it's designed for the preschool age child.  The illustrations are warm, friendly, and include talking to make it a fun read together book.   The pages are thick and easy to turn. It includes a table of contents at the front, so a teacher would know quickly which bible stories are included. Each story is three pages long, with a short synopsis of the biblical text but it's a retelling or summary, not translation.  The word choice is geared towards children and is appropriate words like bad, instead of theological terms like sin.  The re-tellings are simple but mention key truths from the Bible.  Overall the book's theme and selections revolve around the concept that God cares for his children, and after every story is a prayer, some are traditional, some are simple, but all are short and connected somehow to the bible story and the concept that I can talk to God and He is my friend, helper, and protector!  It's a lovely read aloud book for a young child. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Review Week

I am humbled that companies will send me a copy of their book or resource to review!  It's a great joy to read, and even more fun when someone want's my opinion on what I read!

Sunday School Changes Everything...

A practical book. One I will consider integrating as a textbook for my course on Children’s ministry in the future.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves children’s ministry and wants to grow their program. It has a lot of valuable information in one place and leads you to process, plan, and set goals for your program.   

I love that the book’s foundation builds on the concept that the teacher knows (and loves) the students that you will teach in order to be most effective!   The book paints a picture of how to sow a seed (your student) by knowing exactly what the seed needs.   Over 150 pages of the book are spent sharing characteristics of students by age, by learning style, by suitable environment, by what spiritual concepts and age appropriate methods to communicate them.  This warms my teacher heart! And I agree this is essential and have worked to gather this information for my teachers.  I love that it is central to this book.  I also love that it takes learners from birth to adulthood and their unique characteristics and needs across many years!  Teachers need to know not just about the age group they teach, but also where they have been and where they are going.   

Aside from knowing who you are teaching, the book gives the reader, a biblically based how to plan.  This book will help you to: evaluate and consider your current program, to set goals, and gives supportive steps to creating a plan that is even better than the one you currently are following.  The lens for evaluation and solid programing stems from the needs of a local church in Acts 2:42:  worship, fellowship, prayer and teaching. I couldn't agree more, and found the tips and strategies on these topics very helpful, and often overlooked.    

As a children’s ministry leader and as one who trains future leaders, these are all key concepts to explore and to have a plan for each.  Much of the book could be read independent of the whole book.  (Which is nice for the busy person seeking to grow!)  The book also gives you a list of 10 standards to use as a lens to select curriculum.  The list is quite thorough and leaves application to the reader, and several of the criteria are expanded on content covered in the earlier in the book.  

My only wonder, as I read through the curriculum lenses, is why the standard is worded: meet Jesus. But perhaps I'm too sensitive?  (Instead maybe: see who God is AND then meet Jesus.)  I believe that we need to see who God is in His character, and His plan for redemption through His Son.  Again I wonder if it should also emphasize more directly that we can teach our youngest children about who God is in a concrete way, even before they can fully grasp why Jesus is Savior, needed to die, and how Jesus is God.  But maybe I am just seeking different vocabulary?  The book says:  “Place the Lord Jesus as a stake in the midst of young life, and see how His presence will lift the child. The child’s personality will become an integrated one around this great Savior and lifter of men.”  I am wondering if this truth needs expansion.  Should we also teaching our children about who God is because it will also help children see God’s plan through the Lord Jesus as a  man, and yet God, who saves us.  From reading the book, Ms. Mears definition of Meet Jesus is on salvation through Jesus Christ, who was a man yet God.   I don’t disagree that meeting Jesus isn’t a big goal of Sunday school, and perhaps this knowing Who God is concept is another method to accomplish that goal?  But I wonder if it also shouldn’t be emphasized?  

I was given this book to review by Gospel Light to provide my honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review, all opinions are my own.  I would recommend this book to others and will use it again!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Tour Kregel...paint by numbers

I have been blessed to get to try some new products..This was one that my 3  year old and 7 year old got into!!

It' s a painting book, and the inside covers that fold out are the 'paint'.   You just need water and a brush (or qtip as preschool teachers taught me!)  to paint!!

My 3 year old was a bit confused by it and her attention span is fleeting with 'art'.  But she tried it and thought it was fun.  I think in another few months, it will be a favorite of hers. The colors are vibrant when painted!

The pictures are very child friendly, warm and inviting people, and each page has a simple sentence to describe the story or ask a question.  Nice simple facts that will interest kids. I think the images/stories were well chosen to fit most preschool Sunday school curriculum.  I like that it has both Old Testament and New Testament stories.  It's a painting book, if you are looking for a simple integration to connect an image to a lesson, a truth, that you will teach, this could be a great enrichment.  The best part is that the messy part of painting is so easily contained!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: Hidden Heroes Witness Men

Hidden Heroes 3 Witness Men The Stories of Goad at Work in Papua, Indonesia by Rebecca Davis

published byCF4K (christian focus publications)

I love missionary stories. They are the shaping of my earliest memories of children's church, camp teaching, missionary study class, and in our home teaching of my childhood.  I value missions and those who go overseas to spread the Gospel to new groups of Bible.  My grandmother new several of the Auca indian missionaries personally, so I've always felt connected! 

A year or so ago, at chapel we had a speaker share about a different part of Papau New Guinea where they had found the Moi People who had never been contacted outside their mountains til the early 2000. I came home and shared with my family as much as I could remember and looked them up. So I was super excited to read this book and hear details about a different tribe, their discovery, and the way they were reached. 

I sat down and finished it in one sitting!! I asked my eleven year old to read it as well, he had a harder time getting into it, but said after chapter 5, it was super exciting and finished the book in two days!  He also asked to read more stories like this!

Details of the story:
This is an account of several different missionaries and different areas of this tribe, across a 50 year time span written in 15 chapters.  Mrs. Davis does a great job sharing different perspectives, experiences, and concepts with us, and the Bible texts that were integrated and translated. The book has a few images drawn in every chapter, and the print is a nice size for a younger reader.  You can even download the pictures from cfp's webpage. (all the way at the bottom).

My 11 year old son thought it was a slow start, but after chapter 5, he couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the introduction and background on the missionaries, and how it makes it real that any of us could end up overseas!  But my favorite part was the truth of how the tribes people knew there was a better Spirit, and how a few were brave enough to reach out and learn from the missionaries. 

As a parent, I loved that each chapter ended with a thinking further perspective (at the back a verse, and some questions).  My 11 year old was a bit grossed out when he learned of some of the tribal customs and sacrifices, and if I were reading aloud to a whole family, I would be sure to discuss this in more detail. It was hard for him to read, but the reality is that sin in our lives makes all of us do ugly things, and I don't think it was bad for him to have a bit of shock and awe in a safe context. I found the details appropriate and not over the top, just what tribes do when they don't know God, and are seeking the way to live.  It made their salvation stories and sanctified living show the true power and awesome changes that happen with the Holy Spirit enters our lives. Reading along, it was easy to visualize the accounts, make cultural connections, connect it to your own life, and it taught you new vocabulary terms of the people, helping us think through what we mean when we talk about different spiritual concepts.   

I think it is a very appropriate book for an 8-12 year old (or an adult who loves to learn). Could be used as a fun read aloud in a kids program, even a suspenseful series with the thinking further sections, or a family read aloud.  I'm going to have to investigate the other books in this series

You can hear an interview with the author here.  On Christian Focus Page. 
I was given a copy of the book to review, but all opinions are my own. 

Friday, June 28, 2013


We have a winner of the Roots for the Journey CD!!
It's Shonda! Congrats and check yesterdays post for all the giveaway lists for the CD!! Most are still open!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Roots...giveaway ending

A few other bloggers also are giving away the CD Roots for the Journey...

I will announce my winner in the morning!! 

But these are open as well...

Disney Loving Mama

Echoing Him


It's Just Me

Blossoms and Posies

Do Not Depart

Friday, June 21, 2013

Roots for the Journey...part 3

a picture is worth a 1,000 words..some artwork with lyrics to inspire you!


A little note- my boys listened to the CD at bedtime and my husband as well.  My 11 year old son said- "Mom I liked the sound, the music, the words (that I paid attention to!), and it was so calming."  My husband asked me- "what are you listening to?  I really like it!"   Simple statements but from men of few words, and those who often don't pay attention to the background music of my life! 

If you still need more info after reading my posts... here are some reviews by other blogs!

Some have giveaways as well!

Kelly Mahalak

Alison Baggett

Journey to becoming one

Subscribe to my blog, and leave a comment to be entered in my giveaway!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Roots for the Journey... part 2 (and a giveaway)

This cd is amazing!! Each song I hear I think, this is my favorite! I am praying that my little girl will especially enjoy this as the songs are focused on God's character, His promises, and looking to Him for hope, joy, salvation, and Yancy balances it with what I need to do in response... knowing about God's plan for me... She refers to how I'm created and that it is God who knows who I'm going to be... she sings about trusting in the Lord with ALL your heart, and shares that I will make God home!  She reminds us that God is our Healer.  Oh, to integrate these principals into a young child's life rather than having to learn them as a grown up! 

As a person who teaches a course in Children's Ministry, Yancy has reached my big benchmarks (teacher word for goals) for the concepts our children need to know and be encouraged to grow in!

She sings about who God is.  Several songs refer to God's names and His character.  She is singing theology/doctrine into the hearts of those who will hear this CD.  As you listen, you sing along, and you begin to memorize these truths, and the scripture that they refer to!

Creator is a song that I pray that my daughter will grasp in an era where women often feel inadequate!  I love the promises she sings- we are made by God, who He wants us to be, but also for His glory and His purpose, and we need to WAIT on Him to make us who He wants. 

I could go on and on... Just go get the CD  ...itunes... and the APP!  iphone  ipad   android You will be glad you did!   free shipping with: yancylovesme

I have the blessing of being able to give away a CD!  So just follow my blog by following or by email and comment below and I'll pick a winner on June 28th!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yancy Roots for the Journey a CD and App review

I found another review that fits my mission for training our children up to love, serve, and know God!!  It's a cd of scriptural lullabies and music for kids and their parents!! There are so few music offerings that fit BOTH kids and adults and this is definitely one of them!  Every song is written with specific verses connected to it!  (and the app explains it all!)

There is so much to it.  I'm going to share a few posts! Today here's the app info...

1) The app is available for android and ipod and ipad devices and it's my favorite kind: FREE!!
2) you can watch two of the songs music videos.
3) there is family devotional for EVERY song! You can listen, read the lyrics, hear Yancy talk about the song, and then you have the scripture that this song is based on! It is all connected to an activity and discussion.
4) the activities/devotionals were written by some kidmin superstars! So they are very diverse and friendly, plus simple!  (more about the devotions in the next post!) 


You can also order the cd here...

·         YancynotNancy.com  Free shipping: yancylovesme 


Here's how Yancy describes the app...

About the App: Roots for the Journey

When Yancy recorded her newest album Roots for the Journey she knew these songs were special. The music, organic, unplugged and simple was something that adults of all ages would be eager to listen to again and again. The message in the songs timeless because each song is centered on scriptures from God’s Word. Yancy spends most of her time doing family concerts and making music and worship resources that play in minivans and churches worldwide. So, how could she mix her audience that ranges from preteen all the way down to preschool (through the Little Praise Party series) with this new music she created?

So the idea/dream got a little bigger. What if she made an app to help parents teach their kids these Biblical truths? What if we could give parents tools to make these scriptures come alive to their children. Meet the Roots for the Journey App available for iPhone, iPad and Android.

The app provides family devotions, conversations, activities, prayers and more. Being an app, it isn’t just about being at home, in the living room and having spiritual time for a hour. You could do parts of the devotion on the go, in the car, during dinner or whenever your family is gathered together. There are multiple ways you can talk about and reinforce the truth of God’s Word. The song as you listen will help that message be tied to a melody that kids can latch onto and sing. Music is an amazing way to communicate. We remember songs from long ago. The same is true for your kids. So, having the music is a tool that will reinforce the lessons, conversations, activities and prayers. Most importantly we want to help families hide God’s word in their hearts. Psalm 119:11  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

Yancy asked Children’s and Family Ministry friends from around the world to help her make these Biblical truths come alive. The app contributors are:
·         Sam Luce
·         Ryan and Beth Frank (K Magazine/Awana)
·         Gina McClain
·         Beth Guckenberger
·         Dave & Beci Wakerley (Hillsong)
·         Johnny Rogers (KidMo)
·         Jonathan Cliff
·         Jenny Funderburke
·         Jason Martin
·         Jen Galley
·         Sara Richards
·         Brian Dollar (High Voltage)
Amanda White from www.ohamanda.com did all the activities. You will love the way you can do simple activities to illustrate the truth of God’s Word to your kids.

An added bonus for parents are articles on parenting, from Yancy’s Dad and Children’s Ministry Pioneer, Jim Wideman and the founder of the Orange Conference, 252 and First Look Curriculums Reggie Joiner.

Yancy started off making a lullaby record based on scriptures that she wanted to pass on to her son. Through the recording process she realized the Bible is true whether you’re an infant or a grown up these songs have more potential then to just be lullabies. The musical audience grew larger and broader. “When I meet people in my life that are facing big mountains, fears or need answers I’ve been able to use these songs as a way to help strengthen their faith and help them meditate on what God’s Word says.” says Yancy. The story deepened with the resources provided in the app. “I want to help communicate, underline and reinforce the hope these scriptures provide us. I want to help a child deepen their faith and trust in God while on their journey of life.” Will you be a part of the story? Will you allow God’s Word to be the roots you need for your journey?

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.(NIV)