Tuesday, October 09, 2018

'Tis the Season

I was quite surprised when, during the first week of September, I received a couple of emails through the Sermons4Kids website, asking me if we had any Christmas plays for children. Now I like to plan ahead, but I must confess that in the first week of September I haven't even given a thought to planning for Christmas. Not only that, but I would still have to answer, "No" had the question come in the first week of October or November, because I actually have never even written a Christmas play.

My immediate reaction to these emails was to Google the Internet for "free Christmas Skits for children."  The very first site on the search results was Sunday School Center.  When I clicked the link, I knew I had found a winner. The site not only had a gold mine of Christmas skits, but it also had skits on many different subjects. I wholeheartedly recommend this site to you for your children's ministry. It isn't just skits. Sunday School Center also has other helpful suggestions for children's ministry such as games, Sunday School lessons, and teacher training. I highly recommend this site to anyone who is involved in children's ministry.

I did find some excellent material on some other sites. Here are some others you might want to check out.
Another suggestion I would offer is the Sermons4Kids Facebook page. Our Social Media Ami Watson, our Social Media Strategist, will be posting ideas that she finds and also posts from those who follow us on Facebook. You will find a host of ministry ideas there!

Gods blessing upon you all as you minister to children. Not just at Christmas, but all year 'round!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Jesus Is Rejected in His Hometown

The City of Nazareth

Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him.  Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.”

Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum.’ But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

Luke tells us that, at first, the people were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. But then, some began to question the authority of Jesus. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" The more Jesus spoke, the more angry the people became. Finally, they got up and forced him out of town. They took him to a hill on which Nazareth was built. They intended to throw Jesus off of a cliff, but he passed right through the crowd and went on his way.

View from Mt. Precipice where tradition says they took Jesus to throw him off a cliff.

The beautiful Jezreel Valley below Mt. Precipice.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Breakfast on the Beach with Jesus

On our recent trip to the Holy Land, we spent a lot of time on and around the Sea of Galilee. On one of our excursions, we sat on the shore as Pastor Stan Allcorn brought a devotional about the time Jesus appeared to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way:

Several of Jesus' disciples were  gathered beside the Sea of Galilee.  The group included Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

Suddenly, Peter said, "I'm going fishing." 

"We'll come too," the others said.  So they got in the boat and they fished all night, but caught nothing."

As the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn't make out who it was.  Jesus called out to them, "Friends, have you caught any fish?"

"Not a thing," they called back.

"Throw your nets on the right-hand side of the boat and you'll catch some!"

Did they do it?  Yes they did!  Did they catch any fish?  They caught so many fish that they couldn't even pull the net into the boat!

Then the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Peter heard that, he jumped into the water and headed for shore.  The others stayed with the boat and dragged the loaded net to the shore.  When they got there, they found Jesus cooking breakfast — fish over a charcoal fire and some bread.

"Bring some of the fish you've just caught," Jesus said.  Peter dragged the net to the shore and there were 153 large fish.  "Now, come and have some breakfast," Jesus said.  Then Jesus served them fish and bread.

It just doesn't get any better than that.  Breakfast on the beach with the risen Lord! What would have happened if the disciples had refused to throw their nets on the right-hand side of the boat?  They would have missed out on a wonderful breakfast on the beach with Jesus.  What happens when you and I refuse to do the things Jesus has called us to do?  We miss out on the wonderful blessings that he wants for us!