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Grandpa Mouse’s Christmas Story

Visuals All Around the House u train DVD

If you’ve discovered that a picture really is worth a thousand words, information pills then you know the value of a visual in children’s ministry (and ministry in general for that matter).

Downside to that fact:

  • Visuals can get expensive.
  • Ordering the props and visuals in time to arrive before the class means you've got to plan ahead. Which for some of us is difficult. Especially if your creativity goes into overdrive at the last minute.

 

Solution:

  • Organization is essential to save money and equip yourself with great props that facilitate the learning process.
  • By planning ahead you have time to look for the best prices.
  • Be creative. Use stuff you already have on hand for your visual. You can find them in the kitchen, the toy box or at your local resale shop.

And that’s my favorite kind of visuals…the ones that don’t cost any money or hardly any money. Now don’t misunderstand me, I love tricks and grand props as well, but some of my favorites are novelty items or stuff from my pantry.

Maybe you’re thinking what kind of  visual can I find in those places?

It's amazing. Visuals are all around you!

  • Do you realize that anything and everything can be a visual?

Start with the end in mind.

  • What do you want to teach?
  • What is your goal?
  • What do you want the class to take away from your teaching?
  • Then what do you have that will visualize that truth?

But I realize seeing is believing.

That's what I've done dozens of times in conferences all over the country. I show you how to use stuff from your pantry, your child's toy box and thrift stores as a visual to help your students understand the principle you are trying to communicate.

Now we have produced the video from a workshop that I taught in Virginia.

So I can show you how you can save tons of money and have great visuals too.

This video  is just one visual after another, that I have used to teach children. I include a brief description of how to use the object to illustrate a spiritual truth.

It will jump start your brain and get you thinking about how to use the junk, I mean wonderful treasures at your house that you’ve been hoarding…I mean saving because you are such a resourceful teacher!

This is a great video that you’ll want to share with all the teachers in your church. Use it at your churches next teacher’s meeting. Just encourage them to bring a notebook cause there’s 30 great ideas to jump start their personal creativity!

Some things to remember when using a visual.

VISUALS

  • Can the visual be seen?
  • Can it be passed around the room, so everyone can see it better? Or is it something that would cause too much distraction to pass it around?
  • Do you need make a close-up video of the visual to project make it bigger?
  • Can you move closer to the class, then move across so the visual is seen by everyone?
  • Is the visual attractive?
  • Is the visual colorful?
  • Is the visual culturally relevant?
  • Does the visual reinforce the message?
  • Does the visual take away from the message?

Teacher Training to help Sunday School teachers, Children's Pastors, volunteers and Christian Education Directors that will equip, inspire and develop strong teaching and leadership skills.

Visuals All Around the House u train DVD

If you’ve discovered that a picture really is worth a thousand words, and then you know the value of a visual in children’s ministry (and ministry in general for that matter).

Downside to that fact:

  • Visuals can get expensive.
  • Ordering the props and visuals in time to arrive before the class means you've got to plan ahead. Which for some of us is difficult. Especially if your creativity goes into overdrive at the last minute.

 

Solution:

  • Organization is essential to save money and equip yourself with great props that facilitate the learning process.
  • By planning ahead you have time to look for the best prices.
  • Be creative. Use stuff you already have on hand for your visual. You can find them in the kitchen, information pills the toy box or at your local resale shop.

And that’s my favorite kind of visuals…the ones that don’t cost any money or hardly any money. Now don’t misunderstand me, ask I love tricks and grand props as well, but some of my favorites are novelty items or stuff from my pantry.

Maybe you’re thinking what kind of  visual can I find in those places?

It's amazing. Visuals are all around you!

  • Do you realize that anything and everything can be a visual?

Start with the end in mind.

  • What do you want to teach?
  • What is your goal?
  • What do you want the class to take away from your teaching?
  • Then what do you have that will visualize that truth?

But I realize seeing is believing.

That's what I've done dozens of times in conferences all over the country. I show you how to use stuff from your pantry, your child's toy box and thrift stores as a visual to help your students understand the principle you are trying to communicate.

Now we have produced the video from a workshop that I taught in Virginia.

So I can show you how you can save tons of money and have great visuals too.

This video  is just one visual after another, that I have used to teach children. I include a brief description of how to use the object to illustrate a spiritual truth.

It will jump start your brain and get you thinking about how to use the junk, I mean wonderful treasures at your house that you’ve been hoarding…I mean saving because you are such a resourceful teacher!

This is a great video that you’ll want to share with all the teachers in your church. Use it at your churches next teacher’s meeting. Just encourage them to bring a notebook cause there’s 30 great ideas to jump start their personal creativity!

Some things to remember when using a visual.

VISUALS

  • Can the visual be seen?
  • Can it be passed around the room, so everyone can see it better? Or is it something that would cause too much distraction to pass it around?
  • Do you need make a close-up video of the visual to project make it bigger?
  • Can you move closer to the class, then move across so the visual is seen by everyone?
  • Is the visual attractive?
  • Is the visual colorful?
  • Is the visual culturally relevant?
  • Does the visual reinforce the message?
  • Does the visual take away from the message?

Teacher Training to help Sunday School teachers, Children's Pastors, volunteers and Christian Education Directors that will equip, inspire and develop strong teaching and leadership skills.

This is written for a teacher to use in their class. For visuals, web you will need your favorite candy bar in two sizes, check a bite sized and the biggest size you can find. The sad thing is you won't get to eat the big one, information pills you will be giving it away. Think of it this way, it’s better to give than receive or you just saved yourself from eating a million calories. Print out three words strips in 125 font or as big as you can make, “Better in God”; "Bow Inspect Give"; and "Believe in God". Fold each word strip so only the letters B I G are showing. Study the story line and have some fun with this illustration. But everything in the biggest bag you can find.
Storyline:
I have two candy bars. (Pull them out of as you talk.) Does anyone here like this candy bar?(Describe the candy bar and explain why you love this one so much!) Would anyone like to have one of these candy bars? (Select a child and offer him/her choose the candy bar.) Which one would you like? (Offer the tiny one and try to convince them to take it.) This little bite-sized one is so good. It has gooey caramel, creamy nougat and crunchy peanuts. Are you sure you don't want this little bitty guy? You want the big one? I thought that might happen. I guess I'll left with the little one. You know big is better.

 

And what about the rest of you. If you had your choice which would you choose? If you go to your favorite pizza buffet and you see your very favorite pizza on the buffet, fresh out of the oven, do you pick a tiny little sliver or do you go for the big piece? I go for the big one. My favorite is the spinach pizza with lots of jalapeños.
Why do we do that? Because most of us believe big is better. We like big amusement parks, big toys, big allowances, big television screens...because we believe big is better, more valuable, more filling, more fun, and more satisfying.

 

But somehow our craving for more isn't being satisfied...the more we have the more we want. We want more and more games to play even though the cabinet is bulging with old ones. The bigger amusement parks leave us tired and irritable at the end of the day instead happy. The big pizzas and candy bars leave us fat and unhealthy. I'm not bashing big, I'm just saying maybe the real problem here is not the big we have, but the BIG that we neglect is the real problem.

 

Sound confusing? Let me explain...(Show the  BIG strip, then open it to show Better in God.) Things and stuff will never satisfy you...but God can. Jesus purchased your salvation, your joy, your peace. He offers unconditional love and a relationship that is out of this world, literally! Then when He reigns as King or boss of your life, you understand how to really enjoy the things you have. When you understand the Better is found in God, your big just got bigger and better. Not always easier, but better.
How do you take yourself off the throne in your life? Here's another BIG. Bow. Inspect. Give.

 

Bow: Surrender to God. God I don't want to boss my life. I want to do what pleases you.

 

Inspect: Father, what is an area that I am ignoring your rules, the Bible? Where am I missing your best?

 

Give: I give my desires to you. I want to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.
Understand if you want God's BIG, you must practice another BIG; Believe in God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He wants to bless you with things that enrich your life, not drain them. Fill your heart with His Word and His promises. Obey His rules. Purpose in your heart that you will have God’s Big that satisfies and not the world’s greed that robs.

This is written for a teacher to use in their class. For visuals, dosage you will need your favorite candy bar in two sizes, pharm a bite sized and the biggest size you can find. The sad thing is you won't get to eat the big one, buy more about you will be giving it away. Think of it this way, it’s better to give than receive or you just saved yourself from eating a million calories. Print out three words strips in 125 font or as big as you can make, “Better in God”; "Bow Inspect Give"; and "Believe in God". Fold each word strip so only the letters B I G are showing. Study the story line and have some fun with this illustration. But everything in the biggest bag you can find.
Storyline:
I have two candy bars. (Pull them out of as you talk.) Does anyone here like this candy bar?(Describe the candy bar and explain why you love this one so much!) Would anyone like to have one of these candy bars? (Select a child and offer him/her choose the candy bar.) Which one would you like? (Offer the tiny one and try to convince them to take it.) This little bite-sized one is so good. It has gooey caramel, creamy nougat and crunchy peanuts. Are you sure you don't want this little bitty guy? You want the big one? I thought that might happen. I guess I'll left with the little one. You know big is better.

 

And what about the rest of you. If you had your choice which would you choose? If you go to your favorite pizza buffet and you see your very favorite pizza on the buffet, fresh out of the oven, do you pick a tiny little sliver or do you go for the big piece? I go for the big one. My favorite is the spinach pizza with lots of jalapeños.
Why do we do that? Because most of us believe big is better. We like big amusement parks, big toys, big allowances, big television screens...because we believe big is better, more valuable, more filling, more fun, and more satisfying.

 

But somehow our craving for more isn't being satisfied...the more we have the more we want. We want more and more games to play even though the cabinet is bulging with old ones. The bigger amusement parks leave us tired and irritable at the end of the day instead happy. The big pizzas and candy bars leave us fat and unhealthy. I'm not bashing big, I'm just saying maybe the real problem here is not the big we have, but the BIG that we neglect is the real problem. 

 

Sound confusing? Let me explain...(Show the  BIG strip, then open it to show Better in God.) Things and stuff will never satisfy you...but God can. Jesus purchased your salvation, your joy, your peace. He offers unconditional love and a relationship that is out of this world, literally! Then when He reigns as King or boss of your life, you understand how to really enjoy the things you have. When you understand the Better is found in God, your big just got bigger and better. Not always easier, but better.
How do you take yourself off the throne in your life? Here's another BIG. Bow. Inspect. Give.

 

Bow: Surrender to God. God I don't want to boss my life. I want to do what pleases you.

 

Inspect: Father, what is an area that I am ignoring your rules, the Bible? Where am I missing your best?

 

Give: I give my desires to you. I want to love the things you love and hate the things you hate.
Understand if you want God's BIG, you must practice another BIG; Believe in God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He wants to bless you with things that enrich your life, not drain them. Fill your heart with His Word and His promises. Obey His rules. Purpose in your heart that you will have God’s Big that satisfies and not the world’s greed that robs.

In the tabernacle, sildenafil if you move from the brazen altar and then continue to the next piece of furniture you will come to the laver. For a long time this piece puzzled me. The altar was where the sacrifice for sin was made. It is a picture of the atoning and cleansing power of Jesus, the sacrificial lamb. But the laver was a place of cleansing also. Why was the laver necessary? What was God saying to the New Testament believer through this section of the picture of the tabernacle?

The Golden laver was only for the priest, after they had ministered at the altar. The ministry at the altar was messy; fire, smoke, blood and ashes. When the priest finished at the altar, he moved to the laver, which was made from the offering of the women’s mirrors. It was highly reflective, so as the priest bent over to wash his face, he could see his face to wash off anything that might be there.
Ministry can be messy. It’s too easy to walk away from ministry messed up, so God has made a provision for you to see what’s going on so you can deal with it. Reflect. Are you feeling yucky? What is the source of that feeling? "Wash that man right outta your hair", sorry that commercial jingle just took over for a minute, but I'm alright now. Go to the laver and wash with words something like this. "Father, I've served your people. In spite of doing everything I know to do there is confusion, mistrust and dishonor. (Or whatever is happening.) Wash me. Heal my hurt. I release this situation into your hands. Give me wisdom instead of pain. Give me love instead of apathy. Give me joy instead of dread. Pray this way until you feel a release in your heart from the heaviness."

In the tabernacle, buy information pills if you move from the brazen altar and then continue to the next piece of furniture you will come to the laver. For a long time this piece puzzled me. The altar was where the sacrifice for sin was made. It is a picture of the atoning and cleansing power of Jesus, viagra approved the sacrificial lamb. But the laver was a place of cleansing also. Why was the laver necessary? What was God saying to the New Testament believer through this section of the picture of the tabernacle?

The laver was only for priest, after they had ministered at the altar. The ministry at the altar was messy; fire, smoke, blood and ashes. When the priest finished at the altar, he moved to the laver, which was made from the offering of the women’s mirrors. It was highly reflective, so as the priest bent over to wash his face, he could see his face to wash off anything that might be there.
Ministry can be messy. It’s too easy to walk away from ministry messed up, so God has made a provision for you to see what’s going on so you can deal with it. Reflect. Are you feeling yucky? What is the source of that feeling? "Wash that man right outta your hair", sorry that commercial jingle just took over for a minute, but I'm alright now. Go to the laver and wash with words something like this. "Father, I've served your people. In spite of doing everything I know to do there is confusion, mistrust and dishonor. (Or whatever is happening.) Wash me. Heal my hurt. I release this situation into your hands. Give me wisdom instead of pain. Give me love instead of apathy. Give me joy instead of dread. Pray this way until you feel a release in your heart from the heaviness."

Driving back roads this Spring, this site to speak in a parenting conference in North Carolina, doctor took me through rich farmland. It was too early to plant, but already the fields were plowed awaiting warmer weather. On another occasion, I remember the sweet smell of plowed fields that filled the air as I drove through Lancaster, PA. I thank God for farmers because I love to eat all kinds of produce.

As I looked at those fields and thought about how much work it must be to produce a harvest, I realized children's leaders and parents are  farmers.

Look at the comparison with me.

1. Farmers observe the seasons.

Kids need more than cotton candy to stay healthy. To be spiritually healthy they need God's Word.It would be a waste of time and energy for a farmer to dig through the snow to plant beans. Beans just don't grow in the snow. Peas need the warm sunshine for growth.

Children don't learn or mature spiritually on our time table. We must learn to reach them at their level where they are spiritually. There will be seasons for you to win their confidence; seasons to break down barriers through fun events and getting to know the child, there will also be tender teachable moments. As a parent understand the power of planting bite sized nuggets in them as you play with them, ride in the car with them and watch television together.

Teaching is much more than following a curriculum step by step. Teaching is building a bridge of  understanding from where there are to spiritual truths that they can apply in their life.

 

Recognize the seasons.

You can't change the season, but you can seize the season.

  • Do you have a child that is ripe to accept Christ?
  • Do you have children going through turmoil that leaves them tender to accept the love of Christ?
  • Do you have a child that is bitter or cynical?
  • Do you have a child that is curious and wants more?
  • Do you have a child that is uninterested?

Be careful that you teach more than a lesson, that you teach students.

  • Answer their questions even if it is off the lesson subject.
  • Be sure the subject is relevant to them and meets a perceived need.
  • Create a greenhouse environment where the child feels loved, significant and accepted.

Teach where they are spiritually, not where you want them to be.

This requires you to be alert and ask God to show you!

 

2. Plow the soil.

Plowing prepares the ground for the seed. Plowing loosens the soil so the tender roots can penetrate the ground to retrieve the water and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

As parents and children's leaders, we need to prepare hearts to receive the seed, but how? I have given this considerable thought because I have observed in the last few years a new hardness in children's hearts. This hardness prevents the seed from germinating and taking root in their lives. I believe the spiritual plowing that must take place is prayer.

 

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12 

 

They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.Psalm 126:5
6He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Why prayer is crucial!

  • Make prayer an intregal part of your lesson.
  • Prayer is an essential part of seeing children become Christ like.
  • Prayer prepares you and the hearts of your students.
  • Pray that God will lead you.
  • Ask God to prepare the hearts of your students to receive the Word of God.
  • Ask Him to guide your words. Invite Him to be your guest. Children need to experience the presence of God.
  • Pray in your class before you start the lesson.
  • Be careful that the prayer is more than a mindless gesture, but it is a sincere declaration of your dependence on God.

3. Understand the power in a seed.

God's Word is powerful. It has NOT lost its power to change lives.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

 

Nothing looks deader than a shriveled seed. But looks are deceiving. Locked inside that seed is life.

The Bible looks like an ordinary book, black ink, letters forming words that fill the pages. But locked in the sentences are truths that unlock all heaven's resources. It is a map to heaven. It is God's plan of success for people, families, businesses and nations.

A farmer can have truck loads of seed, but he will never have a harvest unless he plants the seed.

What are you planting in hearts of children?

What kind of fruit do you see them bearing? That is a good indication of what is being planted in their lives.

It isn't enough that a farmer have vast acreage as his disposal.  He must plant the seed. It's not enough for you to have a class full of students, you must plant the Word of God in children's hearts. That doesn't mean stand up in your class  or line them up on the couch and read verse after verse to your children.

 

It is far more effective to take one key principle and communicate the message of that principle than to read numerous verses.

Always teach for understanding.

Brain research has proven the brain dumps most of what it does not understand.

Tell Bible stories dramatically.

Use puppets to illustrate memory verses.

The harvest begins by planting a seed.
Observe Paul's stern warning to the young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."

We are going to give an account before God for what we did in the classrooms and in our homes with the opportunity God has given us to impact their lives. Your not just working for a superintendent or pastor, you are God's representative in that class. You may get away with laziness with your pastor, but you won't escape giving an honest report to God.

Parents you will give account to God for how you raised you children. And you don't get a do over. So get it right!

 

He instructs in verse 2 "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."

4. Watches over the seed.

The farmer still has back breaking labor before he can enjoy the  harvest. He must see that the plants have the proper fertilizer and water. Often that means providing irrigation or hand watering if the rains do not come.  He must remove the weeds that would rob the plants of water and nutrients. Again, responsibilities of a children's leader. Once you have taught a principle, look for ways to reinforce that principle. If you've taught on kindness, look for examples of kindness on display in your class. Comment when you see them put a principle in practice. In the weeks following that teaching ,ask the children to share examples where someone was kind to them. Is there a way that as a group you can put the principle into practice?  Look for attitudes and habits that will hinder them from putting the principle into practice--selfishness, always wanting to be first etc.

5. Reap the harvest.

A few years ago I spoke at a conference held at a private university. All over the campus were orange and grapefruit trees loaded with fruit. All around the tree was rotting fruit. No one seemed interested in the bounty of the harvest. As you pray for the children and precious truths in children's hearts you will impact them deeply. Children need to respond to that touch of God on their lives through prayer. Always give children an opportunity to respond to God in your services. Children need to know Jesus as their friend, not just know about Him. Have a time in your class where children can really talk to God from their heart.

The next time you drive down a country road and see a lush garden,   remember that is what God has called you to do-produce fruit for the kingdom.
pilule helvetica,sans-serif;">Driving back roads this Spring to speak in a parenting conference in North Carolina took me through rich farmland. It was too early to plant, but already the fields were plowed awaiting warmer weather. I remember the sweet smell of plowed fields that filled the air as I drove through Lancaster, PA. I thank God for farmers, because I love to eat all kinds of produce.

 

As I looked at those fields and thought about how much work it must be to produce a harvest, I realized children's leaders and parents are  farmers.

Look at the comparison with me. 

1. Farmers observe the seasons.  

It would be a waste of time and energy for a farmer to dig through the snow to plant beans. Beans just don't grow in the snow. Peas need the warm sunshine for growth. 

Children don't learn or mature spiritually on our time table. We must learn to reach them at their level where they are spiritually. There will be seasons for you to win their confidence; seasons to break down barriers through fun events and getting to know the child, there will also be tender teachable moments. As a parent understand the power of planting bite sized nuggets in them as you play with them, ride in the car with them and watch television together.

Teaching is much more than following a curriculum step by step. Teaching is building a bridge of  understanding from where there are to spiritual truths that they can apply in their life. 

 

Recognize the seasons.

You can't change the season, but you can seize the season.

  • Do you have a child that is ripe to accept Christ?
  • Do you have children going through turmoil that leaves them tender to accept the love of Christ?
  • Do you have a child that is bitter or synical?
  • Do you have a child that is curious and wants more?
  • Do you have a child that is uninterested?

Be careful that you teach more than a lesson, that you teach students.

  • Answer their questions even if it is off the lesson subject.
  • Be sure the subject is relevant to them and meets a perceived need.
  • Create a greenhouse environment where the child feels loved, significant and accepted.

 

Teach where they are spiritually, not where you want them to be.

This requires you to be alert and ask God to show you!

 

2. Plow the soil. 

Plowing prepares the ground for the seed. Plowing loosens the soil so the tender roots can penetrate the ground to retrieve the water and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong.

As parents and children's leaders, we need to prepare hearts to receive the seed, but how? I have given this considerable thought because I have observed in the last few years a new hardness in children's hearts. This hardness prevents the seed from germinating and taking root in their lives. I believe the spiritual plowing that must take place is prayer. 

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

 Psalm 126:5They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.
6He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Why prayer is crucial!

  • Make prayer an intregal part of your lesson.
  • Prayer is an essential part of seeing children become Christ like.
  • Prayer prepares you and the hearts of your students.
  • Pray that God will lead you.
  • Ask God to prepare the hearts of your students to receive the Word of God.
  • Ask Him to guide your words. Invite Him to be your guest. Children need to experience the presence of God.
  • Pray in your class before you start the lesson.
  • Be careful that the prayer is more than a mindless gesture, but it is a sincere declaration of your dependence on God. 
  •  

3. Understand the power in a seed.  

God's Word is powerful. It has NOT lost its power to change lives. 

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

 

Nothing looks deader than a shriveled seed. But looks are deceiving. Locked inside that seed is life.

The Bible looks like an ordinary book, black ink, letters forming words that fill the pages. But locked in the sentences are truths that unlock all heaven's resources. It is a map to heaven. It is God's plan of success for people, families, businesses and nations. 

A farmer can have truck loads of seed, but he will never have a harvest unless he plants the seed.

What are you planting in hearts of children?

What kind of fruit do you see them bearing? That is a good indication of what is being planted in their lives.

It isn't enough that a farmer have vast acreage as his disposal.  He must plant the seed. It's not enough for you to have a class full of students, you must plant the Word of God in children's hearts. That doesn't mean stand up in your class  or line them up on the couch and read verse after verse to your children.

 

It is far more effective to take one key principle and communicate the message of that principle than to read numerous verses.

Always teach for understanding.

Brain research has proven the brain dumps most of what it does not understand.

Tell Bible stories dramatically.

Use puppets to illustrate memory verses.

The harvest begins by planting a seed.

Observe Paul's stern warning to the young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom."

We are going to give an account before God for what we did in the classrooms and in our homes with the opportunity God has given us to impact their lives. Your not just working for a superintendent or pastor, you are God's representative in that class. You may get away with laziness with your pastor, but you won't escape giving an honest report to God.

Parents you will give account to God for how you raised you children. And you don't get a do over. So get it right!

 

He instructs in verse 2 "Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching."

4. Watches over the seed.  

The farmer still has back breaking labor before he can enjoy the  harvest. He must see that the plants have the proper fertilizer and water. Often that means providing irrigation or hand watering if the rains do not come.  He must remove the weeds that would rob the plants of water and nutrients. Again, responsibilities of a children's leader. Once you have taught a principle, look for ways to reinforce that principle. If you've taught on kindness, look for examples of kindness on display in your class. Comment when you see them put a principle in practice. In the weeks following that teaching ,ask the children to share examples where someone was kind to them. Is there a way that as a group you can put the principle into practice?  Look for attitudes and habits that will hinder them from putting the principle into practice--selfishness, always wanting to be first etc. 

5. Reap the harvest. 

A few years ago I spoke at a conference held at a private university. All over the campus were orange and grapefruit trees loaded with fruit. All around the tree was rotting fruit. No one seemed interested in the bounty of the harvest. As you pray for the children and precious truths in children's hearts you will impact them deeply. Children need to respond to that touch of God on their lives through prayer. Always give children an opportunity to respond to God in your services. Children need to know Jesus as their friend, not just know about Him. Have a time in your class where children can really talk to God from their heart.

The next time you drive down a country road and see a lush garden,   remember that is what God has called you to do-produce fruit for the kingdom.

Chef Puppet

Christian Vegetables Puppet Skit

(This puppet skit uses a Chef Puppet) Well, website howdy there. I'm Bubba. Welcome to our show sponsored by Bubba's Bar B Q. We want to thank Bubba's Bar B Q for the new choir robes even though the choir director don't really like the red pig or the Bubba's Bar B Q printed on the back. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit a spell with Bubba, information pills while we cook some good stuff. (looks off stage) Do I have to wear this monkey suit? I feel plum stupid. Dey said if I wanna have a cookin show I gotta look like a cook. All the cooks down at the Bar B Q wear overalls and an apron. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Anyhow, most of the time I like to cook Southern. Ya know good ole' tomaters and corn bread and collard greens. But today I'm gonna cook Christian. Now I know there's not much difference 'tween good ole , Southern cookin' and Christian cause Southern food is just heavenly stuff. And beside that if ya eat Southern you'll get ta heaven a whole lot quicker than everybody else, cause all dat grease is bad fer ya. But anyhow taday I'm gonna talk about some vegetables every Christian has just gotta have.

Like these squash. Now if I was cookin' Southern. I'd slice dem babies nice and thin and sprinkle 'em with corn meal and fry 'em til they 'uz nice and brown. But I'm not cookin' Southern, no sire, I'm cooking Christian vegetables. Did ya know ever believer needs ta squash sin. Ya know what I mean? Ya gotta squash all that bad stuff in ya life and a good place to start is with selfishness, meanness and disobeying ya parents.

Don't laugh this is serious stuff, all you folks out there need ya Christian vegetables- like lettuce. Lettuce ain't just for rabbits and fancy folks, no sir-re. Lettuce if for Christian folks too. Ya need lettuce lots and lots of lettuce. Lettuce love da Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength. Loving the Lord is not som'em you talk about, ya gotta do it. Lettuce love the Lord a whole lot!

Then peas, ya gotta have peas (peace). what's a Christian without peas (peace)? Especially when times are rough. I'm probably not making a bit of sense, ya know what peas (peace) is don't ya? No, ya don't find it in the can on the shelf, ya find from knowing God. Ya find it in da Bible. The Bible says, "my peas (peace) I leave with you. God don't want ya ta be afraid, He wants ya to have His peas (peace) .

And den der's beans. I can't forget the beans, now let me  ask ya a question. Have you bean (been) in the word lately? Oh,  ya take time every day to read ya Bible. Even if it's just a few verses. Don't ya ever let folks say dat ya don't know beans about da Bible.

Oh, my don't forget  de beets, ya do eat beets don't ya now? Haven't even seen a beet? Well, they are bright red and usually sliced and pickled. They are so tasty and just beautiful lying there on ya plate. But believers need their beets to live  the life of a winner. Faith beets fear every time. Kindness beets indifference. Love beets hatred. Ya get the picture!

This hat looks sa silly. Do I look like a clown? One of my fav-O-rite vegetables is turnips. Oh, baby! Now dat's go-od eatin'! Now turnips are good 'nough to make a pig squeal. I like da green tops cooked with the roots and den a big ole hunk of corn bread and a big ole glass of ice tea. Oh, ya talk 'bout good. But that's southern and I'm suppose to be talking Christian here. You need to turnip for church every time dey have it. With so many places to go and things to do, some folks miss church. Dat's why ya need turnips. Ya boys and girls need to turnip for church on Sunday morning. Yes, ya do! And turnip with ya offering and ya Bible. Yep,  that's a mighty fine thing to do! Talkin' 'bout turnips, I think I'll see if I can fix me some turnips for supper. Bye!

See more details about the Chef Puppet

A Different Twist- Believer's Menu

Maybe you don't want your Chef to be Southern, maybe you want him to be a bit sophisticated give him a French accent and try a little different version of the same skit.

Good a morning, my sweet little vegetables. Oh, I love you all. Ze beautiful yellow squash and ze lovely little green peas. Oh, excuse me, I forgot I had guest. Welcome! Welcome! I have been gathering vegetables that every believer shoulda have every day. Oh, yes, ze vegetables are very important for anyone, but especially de believer. You laugh, you say what vegetable ya talking 'bout you silly chef. Vegetable for believer, silly talk. No, ya just listen to me for a minute and you'll agree.

First, let ze chief recommend ze squash. Every believer needs to squash ze sin in ze life. Ya see what I mean? Zat be very important to squash ze selfishness, ze meanness and ze disobedience.

Next ya need ze lettuce. Ya need lots and lots of ze lettuce. Lettuce love ze Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength. Ya gotta have da lettuce.

Oh ze peas, sweet little peas. Ya need ta have ze peas. The Bible says, "and the peas (peace) of God will rule and reign in your heart. No, no, not the peas in the can. Canned peas no good. Ya need ze peas (peace) that comes from ze Bible. Peas is knowing God will take care of ya no matter what is happening all around ya. Ya got to get ze peas (peace) of God.

And ze fat purple turnip. Couldn't find ze turnip, ah? Well, they're finicky little fellows. They only grow at certain times of ze year and certain places, so you can't always count on finding ze little fellows. Kinda like ze boys and ze girls on Sunday morning. With so many places to go and things to do, ze  boys and ze girls need to turnip for church on ze Sunday morning. Yes, ya do! And turnip with ya offering and ya Bible. Yes, now that's a mighty fine thing to do!

Oh, and ze beans. I can't forget ze beans, cause I must ask ya dear child have you bean (been) in the word lately? Oh, that is so very, very important that ya take time every day to read ya Bible. Even if it's just da few verses. Now my dear children, don't every let it be said, dat ya don't know beans about da Bible.

Beets, ya do eat beets don't ya now? Haven't even seen a beet? Well, they are bright red and usually sliced and pickled. They are so tasty and just beautiful lying there on ya plate. But believers need their beets to live  the life of a winner. Faith beets fear every time. Kindness beets indifference. Love beets hatred. Ya get the picture! Speaking of ze beets, I must go beet the eggs for ze souffle.

Chef PuppetWell, adiposity howdy there. I'm Bubba. Welcome to our show sponsored by Bubba's Bar B Q. We want to thank Bubba's Bar B Q for the new choir robes even though the choir director don't really like the red pig or the Bubba's Bar B Q printed on the back. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit a spell with Bubba, prescription while we cook some good stuff. (looks off stage) Do I have to wear this monkey suit? I feel plum stupid. Dey said if I wanna have a cookin show I gotta look like a cook. All the cooks down at the Bar B Q wear overalls and an apron. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Anyhow, most of the time I like to cook Southern. Ya know good ole' tomaters and corn bread and collard greens. But today I'm gonna cook Christian. Now I know there's not much difference 'tween good ole , Southern cookin' and Christian cause Southern food is just heavenly stuff. And beside that if ya eat Southern you'll get ta heaven a whole lot quicker than everybody else, cause all dat grease is bad fer ya. But anyhow taday I'm gonna talk about some vegetables every Christian has just gotta have. 

Like these squash. Now if I was cookin' Southern. I'd slice dem babies nice and thin and sprinkle 'em with corn meal and fry 'em til they 'uz nice and brown. But I'm not cookin' Southern, no sire, I'm cooking Christian vegetables. Did ya know ever believer needs ta squash sin. Ya know what I mean? Ya gotta squash all that bad stuff in ya life and a good place to start is with selfishness, meanness and disobeying ya parents.

Don't laugh this is serious stuff, all you folks out there need ya Christian vegetables- like lettuce. Lettuce ain't just for rabbits and fancy folks, no sir-re. Lettuce if for Christian folks too. Ya need lettuce lots and lots of lettuce. Lettuce love da Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength. Loving the Lord is not som'em you talk about, ya gotta do it. Lettuce love the Lord a whole lot!

Then peas, ya gotta have peas (peace). what's a Christian without peas (peace)? Especially when times are rough. I'm probably not making a bit of sense, ya know what peas (peace) is don't ya? No, ya don't find it in the can on the shelf, ya find from knowing God. Ya find it in da Bible. The Bible says, "my peas (peace) I leave with you. God don't want ya ta be afraid, He wants ya to have His peas (peace) .

And den der's beans. I can't forget the beans, now let me  ask ya a question. Have you bean (been) in the word lately? Oh,  ya take time every day to read ya Bible. Even if it's just a few verses. Don't ya ever let folks say dat ya don't know beans about da Bible.

Oh, my don't forget  de beets, ya do eat beets don't ya now? Haven't even seen a beet? Well, they are bright red and usually sliced and pickled. They are so tasty and just beautiful lying there on ya plate. But believers need their beets to live  the life of a winner. Faith beets fear every time. Kindness beets indifference. Love beets hatred. Ya get the picture!

This hat looks sa silly. Do I look like a clown? One of my fav-O-rite vegetables is turnips. Oh, baby! Now dat's go-od eatin'! Now turnips are good 'nough to make a pig squeal. I like da green tops cooked with the roots and den a big ole hunk of corn bread and a big ole glass of ice tea. Oh, ya talk 'bout good. But that's southern and I'm suppose to be talking Christian here. You need to turnip for church every time dey have it. With so many places to go and things to do, some folks miss church. Dat's why ya need turnips. Ya boys and girls need to turnip for church on Sunday morning. Yes, ya do! And turnip with ya offering and ya Bible. Yep,  that's a mighty fine thing to do! Talkin' 'bout turnips, I think I'll see if I can fix me some turnips for supper. Bye!

See more details about the Chef Puppet

A Different Twist- Believer's Menu

Maybe you don't want your Chef to be Southern, maybe you want him to be a bit sophisticated give him a French accent and try a little different version of the same skit.

Good a morning, my sweet little vegetables. Oh, I love you all. Ze beautiful yellow squash and ze lovely little green peas. Oh, excuse me, I forgot I had guest. Welcome! Welcome! I have been gathering vegetables that every believer shoulda have every day. Oh, yes, ze vegetables are very important for anyone, but especially de believer. You laugh, you say what vegetable ya talking 'bout you silly chef. Vegetable for believer, silly talk. No, ya just listen to me for a minute and you'll agree. 

First, let ze chief recommend ze squash. Every believer needs to squash ze sin in ze life. Ya see what I mean? Zat be very important to squash ze selfishness, ze meanness and ze disobedience. 

Next ya need ze lettuce. Ya need lots and lots of ze lettuce. Lettuce love ze Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our strength. Ya gotta have da lettuce.

 Oh ze peas, sweet little peas. Ya need ta have ze peas. The Bible says, "and the peas (peace) of God will rule and reign in your heart. No, no, not the peas in the can. Canned peas no good. Ya need ze peas (peace) that comes from ze Bible. Peas is knowing God will take care of ya no matter what is happening all around ya. Ya got to get ze peas (peace) of God.

And ze fat purple turnip. Couldn't find ze turnip, ah? Well, they're finicky little fellows. They only grow at certain times of ze year and certain places, so you can't always count on finding ze little fellows. Kinda like ze boys and ze girls on Sunday morning. With so many places to go and things to do, ze  boys and ze girls need to turnip for church on ze Sunday morning. Yes, ya do! And turnip with ya offering and ya Bible. Yes, now that's a mighty fine thing to do!

Oh, and ze beans. I can't forget ze beans, cause I must ask ya dear child have you bean (been) in the word lately? Oh, that is so very, very important that ya take time every day to read ya Bible. Even if it's just da few verses. Now my dear children, don't every let it be said, dat ya don't know beans about da Bible.

Beets, ya do eat beets don't ya now? Haven't even seen a beet? Well, they are bright red and usually sliced and pickled. They are so tasty and just beautiful lying there on ya plate. But believers need their beets to live  the life of a winner. Faith beets fear every time. Kindness beets indifference. Love beets hatred. Ya get the picture! Speaking of ze beets, I must go beet the eggs for ze souffle.
Copyright istockphoto.com 

You can use this skit to tell the Christmas story in a unique way. Christmas is such a special time. We need to take every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus creatively and powerfully!

Use two mouse puppets. Add glasses, dosage a vest or a bow tie to make them look different if you can only find one style mouse puppet.

Little Mouse:Have you and grandma mouse always lived in the church?

Grandpa Mouse: Your Grandma and I used to live on a farm outside the city. It was a noisy place most the time. All the chicken baa-acking and all the cows mooing. And then the ducks they made an awful noise morning and night. Your grandma and I set up housekeeping in a bale of hay in the barn loft. It was a nice place. We loved to eat the corn in the corn crib and the wheat in the wheat fields, but one day we had visitors. They were from the city. Said there was going to be some sort of play in the church. They needed some hay bales. The farmer told them to take all they needed.  Your grandma and I were in one of the hay bales they took.

It was the first time I ever heard the Christmas story. We were too scared to move so we stayed real still and quiet as a sleeping cat. We listened to every approaching step.  It didn’t take too long before our hearts loud beating quieted enough for us to hear the singing. It was so pretty.

     I guess Parson Bob wasn’t at the church back then, cause Parson Bob always sings off key. He sings loud too. Sometimes I would cover my ears when he sang.

The children sang too. Then the pastor told a story about a little baby that was born in a barn, not our barn, nothing but mice and cows were ever born in our barn. This barn was in a city far away. The town has a catchy name, I just can’t catch it right now. Something to do with a pig named Beth Lee.

Little Mouse: Ham, Grandpa, Beth Lee Ham.

Grandpa Mouse: Ham. No thank you son. I don't much care for ham. You go ahead. I always liked the name Beth Lee. Tried to get your Grandma to name your mama Beth Lee, but she wouldn’t hear of it. Said Lee is a boy’s name and no daughter of hers is going to have a boys name. It just ain’t proper she would say.

Little Mouse: You were telling me about the barn, Grandpa.

Grandpa Mouse: The barn in Beth Lee something e...nother. The baby that was born that night wasn’t just an ordinary baby neither. No, sir-re. He was special. Course all babies are special. You just ask your mama or any mama for that matter, but this baby was special special.

Little Mouse: He was God’s son.

Grandpa Mouse: Sun? No. the sun wasn’t shining. That little baby was born at night. It was born in a barn. His mama was really tired. She had been riding on a donkey all day. You know how rough that can be. I remember one time I got scouped outta the corn crib and into the feed bag. That donkey went clip clop. Clip clop. I bounced back and forth until I thought I was gonna throw up. I never been so glad to get outta any place in all my life. That little mama must have felt the same way.

Little Mouse: His mama’ s name was Mary.

Grandpa Mouse: Married? Yes, she was married to a fine young, hard working man.

Little Mouse: He was a carpenter, Grandma.

Grandpa Mouse: Carpet? No, son there wasn’t any carpet in that barn. Just the usual things a few tools, some hay for the mice to hide in and a feeding trough for the animals. That’s where the little mama put her new born baby- in the feeding trough. Course her husband, put some nice fresh hay In it first.

Little Mouse: She wrapped her little baby in swaddling clothes.

Grandpa Mouse: Swallow his clothes? Naw, he didn’t swallow his clothes. He was a little baby, not a mouse like us. People can’t chew cloth like mice. We got sharp teeth. That baby didn’t have any teeth a tall. Naw, he was just born. And the angel announced his birth to some shepherds out in the fields watching their sheep. The angels announced it cause this baby was special.

Little Mouse: This baby was God’s son.

Grandpa Mouse: I already told you one time it was night. The sun don’t shine at night. But there was a bright light that scared those shepherds really bad, like a light does in the kitchen when we’re trying to find supper. They weren’t expecting it. The angels told those shepherds a baby was born that was really special.

Little Mouse: This baby was the  promised Messiah.

Grandpa Mouse: Messy? No, he wasn’t messy. He was just born. All new born babies can do is just lay there. They’re not big enough to make a mess like they do later. Where do you get this stuff, boy? (Shakes his head as he leaves) That baby sure was special.

Little Mouse: And He was God’s Son, the Messiah.

Need a mouse to perform this skit. Click on the picture below for more information.

 

Mouse Puppet w/Vest 2506

Mouse Puppet w/Vest 2506Mouse Puppet w/Vest 2506Pack Rat Puppet Mouse Puppet White 2219

 

 

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