What says “Bethlehem” to you? For me this question was brought on by a picture I had seen on Pinterest of a donkey and a lamb. This picture might not evoke a strong feeling in you, but it says a lot to me.
It says “Peace on Earth”. Anyone who has been outside when it is snowing has felt the incredible quiet that seems to envelope the world. In that moment you can feel it-Peace on Earth.
It says “I am your provision”. Figuratively, the lamb of God, who is our provision, standing alongside the donkey who carried him to the manger, providing transport and rest.
It says “you are covered”. As the snow blankets the earth in a layer of white, covering all blemishes, so does the promise of covered sin. Not far away, wrapped in a blanket, lies the covering of sin. Our Savior, come to earth as a baby, bringing the promise to wipe away the blemishes of humanity and cover us in a blanket of forgiveness.
It says, “I am with you”. The lamb of God, standing alongside a lowly donkey. Jesus Christ, walking alongside just me and just you. Immanuel, God with us.
I pray that you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas. I pray that no matter the circumstances you will be filled with true Peace on Earth. I pray that your heart might be drawn toward the Savior. Merry Christmas!
As Sunrise Kids Ministry it is our desire that your children would live lives of faith based on the Word of God and a real relationship with Him. Colossians 2:6 & 7 says, “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
We want to see our kids grow in Christ and establish deep roots of faith that will last a lifetime. It is our great privilege to join your famly on the journey of childhood and faith, and it is your privilege to lead your children on that path at home. Our families are all very different: family structure, personalities, skills, abilities, and parenting styles. Sometimes we look around and it seems like every family has it all together except for our own. Everyone arrives at church on Sunday perfectly dressed, perfectly mannered and with cheerful “we did not argue in the car” faces. Let’s stop comparing our families to the seemingly perfect ones we see around us, and instead be faithful to pursue the parenting path that God has put in front of us. Let’s choose not to be perfect parents. Let’s choose to be the best parents we can be. It is our hope to come alongisde you in any way we can.
You might not have noticed, but each week when you go into the Kids Check-in area there are shelves that have resources to help you on your journey. On these shelves you find information about Sunday mornings and Wednesday night kids programs, fliers for women’s groups, information about Monday Storytime where you can connect with other parents, and FREE books and magazines. Please take advantage of the things you find here, and help yourself to the parenting books, magazines, and kids devotions. If what you are looking for is not here, let us know and we will do our best to connect you with the right resource to encourage you and your family.
Last week kids had the opportunity to participate in Ingredients for Life. It was a day filled with cooking, fun, and some great time hearing from Gods word. We learned that when you bake a pizza one of the most important parts is the crust. Without the crust as your foundation, the pizza will not hold together. It is the same for us! Without a foundation of Jesus Christ, our life just doesn’t hold together.
We talked about baptism and communion: what they are, when we do them, and why we do them. We talked about growing in our relationship with Christ; and finally, we pulled out our Bibles and learned about where the Bible came from, who helped write it, and how to find things in it.
We went home with aprons, chefs hat, and recipe cards: one card for each recipe we cooked and one Recipe for Life card that contained information from our lesson on learning how to living a life of faith.
We ended our day of cooking by decorating cakes as a competition. After the judging, the parents and siblings who came for pick up were served cake! So we had our cake and ate it too!
Our last Summer Family Event is “Meet you at the Movies” on Wednesday, August 9th. We will meet at the theaters on Greenback and Garfield for the 10am showing of “Sing”. Be sure to get there early as they tend to sell out. Tickets are $1/person. See you there!
It’s crazy how fast the summer seems to speed by each year. Even though it is the same length as the other seasons, something about the sweet goodness of summer makes it pass all too soon. It is already July, and some of our best weeks of the summer are behind us. Kidtastic Adenture, where we learned about the God of the universe, was galactically amazing; and just last week some of our elementary students were able to attend Wagon Train at Hume Lake Christian Camp. I hope that you click the links to enjoy glimpses into these events.
Don’t let all of this nostalgia for our last two events make you feel like you missed out on summer! It is our desire to gather families together for some “meet you there” events. You can read all about them on our Summer Family Calendar.
And lastly, mark your calendar for our only event that you need to plan ahead for! Click on the link and register for Ingredients for Life, a cooking and digging deeper Bible study day for kids entering 2nd – 5th grades. It’s on Thursday, July 20th and is going to be a day that you don’t want your kids to miss!
This is one of my favorite times of year. I like it because we finally have the promise of spring and warmer weather. We get to plant gardens of flowers and vegetables, and we dream of hot summer days. Spring also brings a celebration of Easter, and Easter is the story of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. My Savior.
I feel like Jesus takes a back seat to the Easter Bunny. The somberness of Good Friday and the joy of Easter morning are often a side note to the celebrations marked by cute dresses, hats and shoes, candy, plastic eggs and a giant bunny.
I asked some children to answer the question, “Who is the Easter Bunny and what does he do?” They said, “he delivers candy and eggs on Easter, he’s the bunny who comes from somewhere, and he’s the guy with all the eggs. He lays candy eggs, he clucks like a chicken and that’s why he lays the eggs, and he brings baskets with candy.” The Easter bunny is beloved because he brings candy and baskets, and he comes from who knows where!
I asked more children, “Who is Jesus and what does He do? They answered, “Jesus is the baby who came at Christmas, He is my Savior, He is the Son of God.” He was the Son of God so he was perfect and never sinned, He made sick people feel better, He brings new life. Jesus died on a cross to pay the payment for my sins and the sins of the whole world. Jesus came back from the dead and conquered death.”
Most kids know the difference between Jesus and the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny is fun, but he is pretend. Saying you believe in the Easter Bunny doesn’t make him real. Jesus is real. He is alive. We know because God’s word tells us. We know because we see him at work in the world and the people around us. We know because he is alive today and His Spirit lives inside of those who choose to follow Him.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life.
I was a preschool teacher for many years before I became involved in Kids Ministry. As a teacher, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays. It isn’t about presents or lavish parties, although I love presents and lavish parties, it is simply about telling people that you care about them. This might entail the distribution of homemade or store bought cards, candy hearts and decorated cupcakes. Is there anyone who doesn’t smile when they receive a Valentine’s Day card? Especially if it is homemade?
Valentine’s Day is also a great time for a celebration of family. Here are some ideas for family celebrations. One of these was shamelessly liberated from the February issue of Parent Life Magazine (free copies in the Family Resource Center), and some come from past celebrations of my own family. I hope that you find something that your family will enjoy.
Pajama Party: everyone put on their most cozy pajamas, gather the pillows from all over the house, and add some cozy blankets and a great movie. Snacks might include popcorn and m&m’s (this is a divine combination) or whatever your family’s favorite treat is.
Pizza Night: call your local Papa Murphy’s and order the heart shaped pepperoni pizza. This is always a crowd pleaser!
Cookies & Candles: eat homemade (or slice and bake) cookies by candlelight or in front of the fireplace. If you want to go really crazy, make homemade s’mores. Don’t forget, you don’t need a fireplace for s’mores. You can also try out an oven baked recipe. Candlelit cookie picnics were a regular event in our house and so much fun with so little time and effort. Oven S’mores
Top off any of the above celebrations with a family devotional on loving one another. You can find one here, or search for your own online. Family Devotion