May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Here is a little bit of humor amid all the ”hustle and bustle”. Enjoy!
How We Know Santa Was Once a Children’s Pastor or Children’s Leader
OK, lets be honest. Santa Claus has a little bit too much in common with a children’s pastor.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
It seems clear Santa use to be a Children’s Pastor or Children’s Leader.
Think about these similarities:
1. His office is hard to find.
2. He is fashion challenged.
3. He assumes any and all snacks he finds are his to eat.
4. He has no adult workers.
5. He is only seen on rare occasions.
6. No one seems to know who he reports to.
7. He laughs way too much.
8. He is nobody’s definition of a physical specimen.
9. He is always trying crazy stunts like climbing down a chimney.
10. No one seems to know what he does during the week.
11. He does an impossible job with no visible means of support.
12. Kids love him.
Ha…gotta love them!
Christmas ribbons object lesson: I always have extra ribbons laying around, you probably do to. I wrap an empty box and put ribbons on top. You need one of each color: red, green, white, purple, gold and silver. Show kids the gift and remind them that Jesus is God’s gift to us. Each ribbon color has a meaning. Point to each ribbon and give kids the color meaning.
- Red: Jesus came to give his life, his blood for us
- Green: God’s evergreen, eternal love for us
- White: Jesus’ blood makes us clean
- Purple: The baby Jesus was/is God’s royal son
- Gold: Shiny and costly, gold reminds us of the wise men who worshiped God
- Silver: This is the color of mankind, Jesus came for the whole world (Tell your class to look at the ribbon before they open their presents on Christmas morning. It’s interesting to hear later what colors they received.)
May your Christmas be wrapped in the Blessings of HIS love.
The Florida Conference office will be closed next week for Christmas and I will be home with family and friends.
Take time to enjoy this season. “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” Love to you all.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr The weather outside is “frightful” so they say, but I know all of you have a warm heart. As we approach the holidays I am beginning to feel the crunch for more time to get things done. I am sure that you are too. While the children await with anticipation we hurry about trying to accomplish it all. I have inserted an object lesson this week for grownups as well as the children. I plan to take the lesson to heart.
Tupperware Container Object Lesson: Last night, I accidentally left this slice of bread out when I was making a sandwich. How do you think it feels? Hard. Pass the slice around so kids can feel. What can I do with it? Do I want to use this to make my sandwich? NO There’s not much I can do except throw it outside and let the birds peck at it. Throw it in a wastebasket or cast it aside. This bread went bad because the air got at it. Things got at it that weren’t supposed to. As Christians, we are a little like this. We have to be careful of what we get exposed to, or we can also become hardened and spoiled.
Who knows what Black Friday is?? It’s the first Christmas shopping day after Thanksgiving. How many of you have been to the mall on Black Friday? What’s it like? It’s a mad house of people buying stuff. Black Friday is a great example of how we can become hardened. You get in with all those shoppers, all those people busting a gut over a good sale, and before you know it, we can become “hardened” to the meaning of Christmas. We can get so focused on what gifts we get and give that we can forget that when Jesus was born, he was wrapped in rags and his bed was a food trough. Christmas is supposed to be a time to celebrate humility and great things that come without a price tag on them—like the Messiah, love of family and the joy of salvation. And eternal life. Many of us can’t even remember to say “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”
Jesus wants us to have nice presents under the tree. But not so many that we become spoiled and not so outlandish that we’re in debt over it. We can’t get worried over what we will and will not get.
Open the Tupperware and take out the fresh bread slice. We need to stay close to the gospel message over the Holidays. Jesus said in Matthew 6: 25-26, “I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven
takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” Verse 33 says, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. And all these things will be added unto you.”
Close the lid on the piece of bread in the Tupperware container. “We can be preserved—we can stay soft—by remembering the words of Christ during the Holidays. He’s the reason for the season. “
This week I received a 2015 VBS kit…Yeah. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!!!!! March 14, 2015 @ 3pm “The 2015 VBS Showcase” of some of the Best VBS programs available for 2015. This will be here at the Conference office at our new location in Altamonte Springs. Representatives from several of the publishing companies will be here to showcase their VBS programs. What an awesome opportunity to network and plan for VBS in your neighborhood. More information will be posted soon.
I know that many of you have borrowed/loaned items from Children’s Ministry in the past. We still want to continue being a resource in this area. In the past year we have started a NEW Loaning Policy. (This is not a bad thing, it just helps us keep track better.) See the form on the website.
Our goal is to help as many as possible with your programming needs.
Check out the website for 2015 events coming to a area near you.
Praying your week is filled with thanksgiving and joy.
Romans 2:8: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–”
It is good to be back in the office after being off visiting with family and friends. Below is a fun activity to do with the children. (especially since we know how they love M&M’s)
M&Ms with a Christmas Poem
As you hold these candies in your hand,
And turn them you will see
The M becomes a W, and E and then a 3
They tell the Christmas story,
It’s one I’m sure you know
It took place in a stable a long, long time ago
The E is for the East, where the star shone so bright
The M is for the manger where Baby Jesus slept that night
The 3 is for the wisemen, bearing gifts they say they came
W is for Worship, Hallelujah, Praise His Name
So as you eat these candies or share them with a friend
Remember the meaning of Christmas it’s a Love Story that never ends
I hope that your schedule is not too busy to enjoy the “Reason” for the season.
December 12-13, 2014 Young Singles Weekend @ Avon Park SDA Church (see website for flyer and details)
Fall 2014 Happy Family Programs on Hope Channel and Loma Linda Broadcasting Network (LLB)(check website for schedule)
ASAM Check out website for area Singles Events Calendar
2015 Schedule Check out website for the updated schedule
The Go Fish Team would love to travel to your churches to equip children and parents with the tools in how to do outreach that is non-threatening to non-Christian friends and neighbors. This is done thru Nature, Interpretive Art, Science, and Skits (puppets etc). The program is planned to be worshipful and interactive. Email me for available dates and details.
Have a great rest of the week. Praying for ministries and the leaders of your church.
Until next week.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. Psalm 18:30
A Personal Invitation: I am personally inviting you to an awesome opportunity. A Family Time Worship Seminar this weekend at the Florida Conference Community Room. Sabbath November 15 from 3-6 pm. Bring your families, members, and leaders interested in Family Ministry. This is a hands on seminar so come and get involved. It’s free to anyone that in interested. Lookimg forward to meeting and talking with you.
The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States was founded as a day of celebration and devotion for a successful harvest. Prayer gave way for a more festive gathering with friends and family, hoards of food and football. As a Christian family, you want to bring the focus back to thanking the Lord for your own bountiful harvest in life. Here is a great ideas for new, and possibly familiar traditions you can incorporate into your holiday. Start a Thanksgiving Journal that will follow you annually. Have each guest enter their name and their greatest memory for the year, big or small. That first year you can share those entries, but in years to come, you will have many special milestones of loved ones to recall through your time-honored holiday tradition. Most importantly, be together and treat one another with love and respect.
Remember to thank Jesus for HIS blessings and make the most of every moment you share with your loved ones. Those are easy traditions that will never go out of style.
ABC Thanksgiving Prayer: ABCDEFG Thank you God for all I see. HIJKLMNOP Thank you God for my Family. QRS and TUV Thank you God for loving me. WX and Y and Z On Thanksgiving I thank THEE.
Calendar Update: Check out the 2015 calendar of planned workshops and events on the website.
This next week I will out of the office at the Southern Union Departmental Meetings. Please pray for those involved in these meetings that we glorify our Lord in all that is said and done.
“I will never change my mind about letting my children into heaven or allowing them to experience the full measure of my love.-Your Heavenly Father”
The smell of spices and apples is in the air. (or maybe it is my new air freshener) Thanksgiving is drawing closer, it is my favorite time of the year. During family time review bible verses that talk about being thankful.
Psalm 95:1-6, Psalm 100, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 145:7, 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 are great examples. Make “Thanksgiving” a memorable time for everyone.
Idea of the week:
Take a Bible Story Picture (8×10 or larger) (The picture can be printed in color or the children can color it) and cut it into puzzle pieces and put them in a bag. Each child will grab a piece of puzzle from the bag. The children will keep their puzzle pieces to themselves until the counselor says “GO”! At this point, the children will try to assemble the puzzle and guess the storyline. This is an excellent way to start a worship talk.
Check out this video on YouTube: Total Health Expo Promotional Video http://youtu.be/AM0rWcHNlEg
Were you aware that this is available? Check it out!
Guardianship:An important, but rarely addressed, part of parenting is determining guardianship for your children should something happen to you that would render you no longer capable of raising them. Guardianship is the legal term for appointing the person responsible for the day-to-day care of a child or other dependent. The Florida Conference will help you complete the necessary legal documents to establish who you would want to care for your children should something happen to you. Please contact the Development and Planned Giving Department at 407-644-5000 to take care of this very important aspect of parenting.
Date to Remember:
Next Sabbath afternoon (November 15, 2014 3-6pm) Family Worship Workshop (Kirk Weaver, FAMTIME) at the Florida Conference Community Room. This is a workshop for families, leaders, anyone interested in learning how to make Family Worship real to today’s society. I will be looking forward to being with you for this great opportunity. Sponsored by Florida Conference Family Ministries. If you need more information just ask.
Check out our website for new information and other calendar updates.
After being on the road for many weeks I am looking forward to spending the weekend with my family. I trust you will do the same. Enjoy the rest of the week and keep looking to our Lord for direction.
Words to Encourage People Who Love Kids: Never give up you will reap a harvest!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9
It’s a great day to love the Lord. We are in the “Harvest” part of the year. It is time to count our Blessings. I spent last week in the Loveland/Denver, Colorado area where I enjoyed the Aspen leaves falling, snow on the mountains and 81 degree weather. Yes, they were having a bit of “Late Summer”. The Summit we attended was on the “Future of the Church”. It is important that we pray for the church, leaders and people as we face the world in these troubling times.
Pray for the Creative Ministry Workshop team as we minister in the Deltona SDA Church this coming Sabbath. I know the Lord will bless as we fellowship with them.
Decorate Pumpkins: Give each child a small pumpkin and have them decorate it using paint, markers or whatever supplies you have. If you cannot buy pumpkins for the class orange construction paper would work just fine. Have the children write the Bible verse somewhere on their pumpkin and take it home as a reminder to pray.
“Harvest Time”Activity Puzzle: Remove the numbers from the puzzle to reveal a bible verse:
“3489T432h4e7n 09I4245 9w32i5l9l01 s342e3n3d4 9r20a491i9n 4o29n1 943y42o4u27r 4la5n754d3 4i42n8 26i7t64s482 s210e4a320s3o8n2, 410b4o3t5h6 42a5u527t98u3m14n5 a32n684d3 5s232p6r7i34n6g1 45r6a762i54n1s, 4s653o6 7t54h1a87t8 02y4o420u3 40m4a67y4 7g841a43t5h567e1r5 28i9n1 5y9o76u245r1 g4r57a899i1n2, 8n341e2w45 78w3i421n4e432 48a092n12d3 456o6i7l97. 346I74 651w6i543l6l6 7p5r345o6v76i6d7e34 543g56r872a6s356s9 i3n142 47t2h861e3 54f53i62e6l6d980s5 f5o423r1 4y654o8u09r32 43c5a457t6t87l9e1 1a356n76d2 7y62o1467u3 5w634i2l556l98 43e5a1t6 2a45n6d64 6b764e4 5s769a4t422i487s09f873i879e317d2.” 0D39e7u698t33e6r14o4n689o87m6y5 11:14-15
November 1, 2014 Creative Ministry Workshop Deltona SDA Church 2-5pm
November 15, 2014 Family Worship Seminar Florida Conference office Community Room 3-6pm (see flyer on our website)
December 12-13, 2014 Young Singles Weekend (Song of Solomon) Avon Park SDA Church Friday night thru Saturday night
2015 Calendar dates are being finalized and I will share them with you soon.
Check out the DC4K website: Linda Jacobs blog for Singles/Divorce
Have a great finish to your week. Use the activities above and/or share them with someone.
Keep Looking Up.
Conference Children Calendar of events
Be Awesome 11-1-2014
Proverbs 22:6 “ Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” New Living Translation (NLT)
Greetings: It has been another awesome week. The Go Fish Team went to New Port Richey Church/School, East Pasco Jr Academy, and Orlando Junior Academy doing a 3 day Child Evangelism Program. We equipped 250 children to do outreach that is non-threatening to non-Christians friends and neighbors. We were blessed with great leaders/teachers and children. The TEAM would love to come to your church or school to present the Go Fish program. Please let me know if you are interested.
Object Lesson: God Makes Us Clean (Ephesians 2) Dirty a handheld mirror and bring it to class. Make sure it is dirty enough that your students can’t see themselves in it, or at least not very well. Pass the mirror around and have the students take turns looking at their reflection in the mirror. Ask each child if he can see himself very well in the mirror. Explain that just as the mirror is dirty and prevents you from seeing yourself well, your sins make you dirty. Then take out some window cleaner and paper towels, and clean the mirror. Pass it around to the children and let them look again. Just as the window cleaner made the mirror clean, so God’s grace saves you from your sin and assures you life in heaven.
October is Clergy Appreciation Month
“Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12-13).
Accordingly, over the centuries, decades and years, pastors have been recognized and honored, either formally or informally, by many denominations and local churches at various times of the year. It has been a long-standing practice.
Figure out what you can do personally to recognize and honor these leaders. A simple card, an invitation to lunch, a promise to pray for them or an offer to babysit, wash a car or mow a lawn make wonderful statements.
Calendar Up Dates:
Central Florida Singles: SABBATH -OCT. 18th 1:30 P.M. Fellowship Meal – Kress Memorial SDA Church – It’s that time of month again, time to share a Sabbath lunch with your singles family at Kress. Come and enjoy some good fellowship, fun and food. Bring a great dish and plenty of it to share.
7:00 P.M. Charlie’s 10th Anniversary Party – No, not his wedding anniversary….It’s been 10 years since Charlie moved to Florida. I guess he’s here to stay! Plan on joining us for what will definitely be a fun night. Bring some finger foods, snacks, etc. to share. For more information, call Charlie at 352-383-3976.
Central Florida Singles October Birthday Dinner Olive Garden October 25 6:45pm All Singles are invite to come
Family Worship Seminar Community Room @ Florida Conference November 15 3-6pm All are invited to this FREE Seminar
Avon Park Young Adult Singles Weekend Avon Park SDA Church December 13-15 7pm Friday All Young Adults are Invite
Creative Ministry Workshop Naples SDA Church January 10 2-5pm All area churches are invited
Creative Ministry Workshop Marion Oaks/Ocala SDA Church January 31 2-5pm All area churches are invited
Creative Ministry Workshop Pompano Beach SDA Church February 14 2-5pm All area churches are invited.
Again I hope that you will attend and promote the above events in your churches. I would love to meet you and talk with you about your ministry.
If you have any questions or need assistance with anything let me know. Check out our website for additional information.
Until next time Keep Looking UP for direction. Praying daily for you.
“There is none like Thee, O Lord; Thou art great, and great is Thy name in might.” Jeremiah 10:6
I am so glad to be back in Florida. This week has had it’s challenging moments, including the lack of electricity this morning My office is an inside office so I was attempting to work in the dark. I found myself getting very sleepy, but by 10:00 we had “light”. You never know how much the “little things” count until they are gone. As I mentioned last week I was out of town for children and family conferences. My head (and mind) are overflowing with information on ministering to our children and families.
Here are some statistics regarding church attendance: Regular attendance is 1-4 times a month, 80 % attendance is attending 50% of the time (about 15-18 hours a year). Most children/parents attend church 2 days out of 6 weeks. Most children spend as much time in Media consumption in 2 days as to what they get all year at church/spiritual training.
Things that will make a difference in a child church experience: If leaders commit to regular attendance, If a parent will serve (work in church), If the child has friends in church, If the child knows an adult cares, If a child is motivated by incentives.
My recommendation is that we think on these things and work to make changes.
Halloween Alternative: Family Storytelling Party
Start around 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. Tell each family to bring their favorite hors d’oeuvres for a potluck appetizer supper.
After dinner, lead the group in singing lively songs with actions. Then have people get together with their own family. Have each family decide on their favorite story about an experience that involved their entire family. Tell each family they need to prepare a skit about that story to present to the other families. Skits should be no longer than five minutes.
After the presentations, form groups of four families. Have these groups each sit in a circle. Give them a story-starter sentence, such as “Once there was a man who couldn’t figure out how to…” One at a time, have group members add one sentence to the story until the story is complete. Start the story with the person who has the most gray hair (the wisest) in each family group. Close your group time together by pointing people to Jesus as the consummate storyteller.
Another idea is to give each family a story that Jesus told so they can discuss what the story means. Encourage each family to be an important link in the chain of storytellers that spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
Other ingredients for this Halloween Family Storytelling Party could include fun table graces, craft projects, free time for each family, large group games, get-to-know-you activities, outdoor games, team challenge races, face painting, a campfire, picnic meals, or a service project.
GO FISH This weekend (October 11 in New Port Richey, October 12 in East Pasco,
October 13 in Orlando Junior Academy)
Creative Ministry Workshop November 1 Deltona SDA Church
Family Ministry Workshop November 15 @ the Florida Conference Community Room 3-6pm
Hoping to see you at some of these events. All are FREE and Everyone is welcome to attend.
Have a great week. Take time to Praise the Lord and Pray for guidance.
Words of Treasure “Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27 ( 365 Days of Adventure, Zonderkidz Adventure Bible Devotions)
It has been an awesome day to far. I have been preparing my office so that it won’t be” lonely” while I attend the KIDMIN Conference in Columbus, Ohio and
the D6 Conference in Louisville Kentucky. These conferences usually are excellent for staying in the loop as to what is happening with Children/Family ministries.
Looking forward to coming home with lots of resources and being able to share them with you.
My tip for this week is: Encourage Your Volunteers
One Minute Motivators
With the start of a new school year, there is simply too much to do! Urgent phone calls to parents, issues with curriculum, classroom decorations, and promotional events all press for your time. Caring for volunteers often falls to the bottom of the priority pile.
Though preparation and planning are valuable aspects of leading a ministry, you cannot afford to neglect the health and welfare of your volunteer team. Taking time to connect with teachers and staff leaders is an irreplaceable part of retaining people who serve in the children’s ministry.
To encourage your team, start using these simple “one minute motivators” today!
- Make unannounced phone calls to members of your team. Simply communicating how much you appreciate them is always a welcome surprise.
- Give volunteers a special blessing by taking a moment to pray for them while on the phone or on a Sabbath morning.
- Pause at classroom doors and tell the workers how much you appreciate all they do for kids. (Encourage parents to do the same.)
- Tell volunteers that you are praying for them. Invite your teaching team to pass along their student prayer requests.
- Express praise for things you notice a volunteer doing well.
- Send handwritten notes that express your gratitude. In our electronic world, a handwritten note says, “You are worth the time and effort.”
Having said all of that…I trust you are blessed with great Volunteers to help with your ministry.
Check out the online Adventist Review (September 25, 2014) for the Week of Prayer Edition which includes the Children’s Readings.
October 5 North Area Adventure Day @ Camp Kulaqua
October 11-13 Go Fish Child Evangelism Program (see web page for details and flyers)
November 1 Creative Ministry Workshop Deltona SDA Church
November 15 Family Ministries Workshop @ Florida Conference Community Room 3-6p Featuring Kirk Weaver from FAMTIME Ministries
Topics: “Fun & Effective Family Time and God’s Awesome Story”
Praying for safe journeys and the Lord to continue to Bless you and your Ministry.