If you are looking for curriculum, or help with lesson planning, or just want a helpful time management resource, you might want to try SchoolhouseTeachers.com They sent us a Yearly Membership to review.
Whether you want education courses (preschool through highschool), or you just want some resources for managing your household more efficiently, they have something for everyone and you can get started for just $1. Be sure to check out the website for special offers too. They currently are running a great sale for 50% off their yearly membership.
Online Education Resource
Preschool through Highchool
Resources for Teachers
Resources for Parents
Yearly Membership – Premium Access
Our Thoughts about SchoolhouseTeachers.com
I spent some time looking around this website and planning several of the courses they offer in our curriculum for the remainder of this year. I am impressed with the huge variety of resources available at SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
We have 6 kids and they range from preschool to highschool. We have a child in preschool, first grade, third grade, sixth grade, eight grade, and tenth grade. Having a resource like this with something for each one of them, all in one place, and for one low price, is a huge blessing!
There are no additional textbooks required. The classes are an online format and video format. They offer printouts with various classes and you can print as many as you need. Some classes may suggest additional reading materials that can easily be found online or free at a local library. They offer lots of planning resources to coordinate your classes and materials so you can plan your days, weeks, months out as far as you want to best meet the needs of you and your family.
We can choose a class based on the grade level or based on the subject matter. We are not locked into selecting a class and we can change the class at any time. There are 300 classes and we can choose one class, two classes, or we can do all 300! There is only one small fee and our entire family can benefit. This is such an amazing opportunity to learn what we want when we want.
I love everything they offer, but I am especially fond of the support they have for parents just getting started and for veteran homeschool parents of highschoolers. They walk you through the homeschool process at each stage and grade level. They have help for families with children of special needs too.
Some of the supportive benefits of using this program with my older students for me as a parent of older are: Portfolio Assistance, Tracking Courses, Report Cards, A Scheduler, and help creating Transcripts with lots of tips and suggestions.
Another resource that I am so excited about is the menu planner. They have recipes organized for months at a time. Not only can I use them, but I can also use these to motivate the older kids to plan and fix meals too.
My younger kids are excited about all of it. This resource opens so many fun classes for them. They are excited about the art classes, unit studies, guitar classes and Spanish. My oldest is excited about the science classes and foreign languages he will be able to complete for his highschool credits.
I am thrilled will be able to do these classes together from the comfort of our home. I don’t have to hop into the van and run them to lessons here and there which takes a lot of time and extra resources. I am also excited we can go at our own pace. We can log in when we want and stop when we want and each class will keep track of our progress no mater how fast or how slow we go.
Check out this short video clip to hear first hand from another homeschool mom about how easy it is to use SchoolhouseTeachers.com with her family.
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Be sure to follow SchoolhouseTeachers.com on their social media links for all the latest news on resources, course updates, and special sales offers.
This is a nutritious, fun and easy to prepare snack or desert for kids. It makes a fantastic breakfast too!
Kids can be picky eaters. Setting them up for success with good nutrition is key to maintaining good health. Including a variety of foods, like yogurt, fruits, veggies, and nuts in their daily routine lays a great foundation in good nutrition choices.
Adding nuts (for those who are not allergic) is a great way to boost nutrition. There are so many different kinds of nuts to choose from. The most popular nut used, peanut, isn’t even a nut but is actually the seed of a legume. But there is a huge variety of nuts and seeds that are seldom included in the standard American diet for kids that are great options.
A few of the nut and seed varieties to try out with your kids are:
Hazelnuts / Filberts
A fun way to get nuts like walnuts in your kids diet is putting them into special treats like a sundae. If you grind the nuts, they hardly know the nut is there. Walnuts have a stronger taste and most kids don’t usually choose to eat them on their own. If I leave out a big bowl of nuts of different varieties, my kids would eat all the cashews! Next they might finish of the peanuts. Then the rest of the nuts would sit there until Dad and I ate them. So to get more variety of nuts into their diet, a sneaky banana nut sundae piled high with lots of yummy ingredients is a win win!
Walnuts are great for brain food. They also help to purge parasites from the body. They contain essential fatty acids that are needed by the body
Banana Nut Sundae
Set out your ingredients out on a table or counter and let the kids fix their own sundaes.
Optional: Syrup, berries, chocolate chips, chocolate covered nuts, ground nuts, whole nuts in the shell that they must remove before using, nut butter, ice cream, angle food cake, cookies, pumpkin cake, etc.
We used vanilla yogurt, ground and halved walnuts, bananas, chocolate covered peanuts, and chocolate syrup. I also set out some grapes and nut butter covered pretzel crackers in case they wanted to experiment with some other ingredients.
We have made similar treats for desert too. This is a fun and delicious way to eat nuts and eat healthy!
Similar ingredients with pecans and whip cream.
Substitute angel food cake for the yogurt.
Serve as a fancy desert for company.
We also made homemade nut butter with a mixed nuts. We ground some smooth and some chunky and mixed it together for a delicious spread for our pretzel crackers.
You can add mini chocolate chips and these will taste like Reese Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Treats! Even Daddy likes these treats!
The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way to encourage children to listen and read Bible stories. We were sent The Beginner’s Bible for review and I was very excited to receive this new updated version with bright 3D art work and fun illustrations to use in our home.
The Beginner’s Bible
90 Brightly Illustrated Bible Stories
Retails for $16.99
Additional discounts up to 50% for bulk purchases
Recommended for Kids ages 6 and under (Read Aloud)
Easy Read for kids 7-8
But also great as an easy reader for older kids and ESL too.
The Beginner’s Bible was first released in 1989, and has sold over 25 million copies in the past 27+ years. 25 MILLION! That is an amazing testimony of how this wonderful gem, filled with timeless wisdom, is to share with each generation of children around the world.
Why Use An Illustrated Bible For Kids?
There are many reasons to use the bible in your home. It is so important to incorporate the truths from the bible in raising children. It is Father God’s love letter and instruction manual to all of his children, young and old. Using an illustrated Bible helps kids “picture” the events and people they are learning about. I like this illustrated version because it simplifies the learning for younger children without taking away from the message that God put there for us to learn.
In addition to advice and instructions in the Bible, you also read about the fascinating lives of the men and women who lived during the time it was written. Reading the Bible actually causes your faith, and your children’s faith, in Father God and his son Jesus to grow. The bible helps you see how consistently faithful God is and how much he loves us. It shows you the ups and downs in people’s lives and how God brought them through the good and bad experiences that people live through.
The bible teaches us how to handle good and bad experiences we go through in life and how to trust in God who hears our prayers and helps guide us everyday. The bible gives us values to live by called a biblical worldview. People still go through good and bad experiences today and we need God more now than ever. The bible tells us about his only begotten son he sent to save mankind from their sin and eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price so that we can spend eternity with God if we will believe, love and obey his teachings.
A few ways we can incorporate using The Beginner’s Bible with kids in our every day life:
Read aloud by parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
Read along for beginners.
Independent reading for beginners.
Circle Time, Quiet Time, Bed Time
Retelling the stories using additional props such as Legos, Crafts, Puppets, Diorama, Costumes, etc.
Homeschool Projects, Home, Bible Study, Get Togethers, Sunday School
Create Lap Books, Note Books, Timelines, etc.
Writing Practice as children copy the story onto their own notebook pages.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The Beginner’s Bible Experience In Our Home
We have been using The Beginner’s Bible since the beginning of having children in our family. Let me see…that is over 16+ years! We received our first copy as a gift when our oldest was born. We have purchased a few more copies over the years. Our current version is still on our bookshelf and has lasted through lots of little hands, quiet times on the couch, and several moves across country. This illustrated bible for kids has been a family favorite of ours for many years. We have six kids and each one started their Bible learning with The Beginner’s Bible.
We have made it a priority to spend time reading in the bible each day. Our younger kids listen to bible stories being read to them and our older kids read the bible themselves and also read to their younger siblings.
Once a week we set aside time for the kids to retell bible stories they have learned. They can choose any props or make crafts or use Legos, etc. The older boys also like to make Lego stop motion movies to retell the events in the bible stories.
Sometimes we turn the learning adventure into a Unit Study and spend an entire month on a specific theme such as “forgiveness” or “Ancient Egypt” or “the miracles of Jesus” etc. This is a great way for the kids to learn hands on and practice sharing what they have learned with each other and also share with daddy when he gets home from work.
There are 90 stories in this illustrated Bible. That is over a year’s worth of stories if you focus on learning one new story a week. Or complete it in a year if you read two stories a week. If you want to go faster, you could read this in 90 days if you do one story each day. You can go at a pace that works best for your family.
Another great way to use The Beginner’s Bible with your kids is to include the free printables and games on The Beginner’s Bible Website (recommended for kids 12 and under). Perhaps you can print them off as you read each story or print them off ahead of time and make a folder with the printables for each story and build a story unit study. You can also add more materials to your folders as you find additional resources.
Since we love making unit studies with stories we read, we are using two to three related stories each week. It will take us about a year to do the entire book at this pace.
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study
Be sure to check out a story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible called Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study. Unit Studies are one of our favorite ways to learn. They are cross-curricular and subjects (math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a theme, they are hands on, and they help children retain what they have learned.
We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities, including the FREE sample curriculum lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study. These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.
The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son” , watching the lesson video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.
The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.
This was a lot of fun for the kids. You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.
We used The Beginner’s Bible and Legos as a way to retell the bible story of Noah. That story includes more fun ideas on using this children’s illustrated Bible in fun hands on learning ways.
More Learning Fun
After reading the stories in The Beginner’s Bible, my kids love to watch the animated videos by the same company.
You can find these on “youtube.” There is also an APP from their website for these stories, games, and videos for your smart phone.
The videos are a great way to reinforce the learning. They are entertaining and engaging. We set aside time to fix a snack like pretzels and apple slices and my kids sit down to watch the bible stories.
Check The Beginner’s Bible website and youtube for more details on fun ways to enhance the learning.
The Beginner’s Bible
Website & Teaching Resources
Please check out The Beginner’s Bible website for wonderful FREE resources to compliment your child’s learning and enjoyment using The Beginner’s Bible.
They have free printouts for coloring pages, word puzzles, mazes, online learning games etc. Print as many copies as you need and create your own folders filled with fun learning projects to go along with the bible stories.
Free Stuff From The Website To Use With The Beginner’s Bible:
Read Together Sheets (print and bind these for an additional story book)
Writing Sheets (practice writing letters and numbers)
Place Mats and Posters (so many uses!)
Book Marks (everybody needs book marks!)
Online Games, Quizzes, etc
Word Puzzles Printouts
Recommended Bible Story Reading Schedule for the year.
APP for your phone or electronic device with stories and activities.
They also offer 2 lessons for free from their curriculum kit: “Creation” and “Jesus Rescues the Lost” . I would encourage you to get a copy of these free lesson plans and see how easy it is to use this illustrated Bible in your learning adventures.
If you want to purchase the complete lesson plans, they are available for an additional purchase on the Zonderkidz website and are called “The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit”. After using the free lesson plan they offered, I think this would be a great resource. It would make it simple to use The Beginner’s Bible as a curriculum and the lesson planning work is all done for you.
The kit comes with a hardback copy of The Beginner’s Bible and a DVD with a year’s worth of lesson plans including 30 teaching lessons that incorporate the 90 bible stories, and a DVD with 28 animated video stories, fun activities, and lots of additional classroom use ideas. There is also a family take-home page for each lesson for kids to share with their parents and to further the learning at home.
The Beginner’s Bible Is Fun For Kids
The Beginner’s Bible is full of faith building stories and fun illustrations to enhance the learning. It is a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, classrooms, and kids clubs. Zonderkidz also offers resources in English and Spanish, I can Read Books, The Beginner’s Bible Deluxe, The Beginner’s Bible For Little Ones, The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit, etc. as well as additional resources on their website. I think using this children’s Bible is a an essential piece for teaching young children about the stories and people of the Bible. Every page is filled with full-color illustrations that retell 90 Bible stories in a fun and engaging way.
Our younger kids love the bright colors of the illustrations in this children’s Bible. Looking at colorful pictures helps keep their attention whether they are listening to it as a read aloud, or if they are reading the stories for themselves. It is a great way to include Bible learning in our home and incorporate into our homeschool learning too. I am sure they will continue to use this treasure this illustrated Bible for many more years to come.
The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.
Be sure to connect with Zonderkidz on their social media links for all the latest news, special offers, and resources to further the learning.
If you would like to motivate and encourage your kids to learn stories from the bible, I would encourage you to read Bible stories with your kids and make the stories into Unit Studies. Unit Studies are cross-curricular and subjects (such as math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a central theme and are adaptable so they are great for teaching all ages.
For example, if you are learning about apples, all the curriculum subjects will have an apple theme. You might do apple math, or apple science, or apple history, or write a poem about apples, etc. Unit Studies are hands on, they can be as simple or specialized as you design them to be, and they help children retain what they have learned. You can teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school all at the same time by varying the level of difficulty of the worksheets, experiments, and reading materials.
This school year we are doing lots of Unit Studies with a bible story theme. Each Unit Study is different, with different themes, but they all center around a theme that came from the bible. For example, if we are learning about musical instruments, we might choose the ones found in the bible, or if we are learning about castles or fortresses, then we can choose a story or few stories in the bible that mention this and then build on our learning about the history and construction of fortresses. Perhaps we want to learn about the eyes and we focus on sight and the brain, calculate vision, learn about colors and light, the disease of blindness, and the miracles of healing sight of the blind that Jesus did.
If you have younger kids, an easy teaching resource like the illustrated The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a wonderful way to get started. It contains 90 Bible stories at an affordable price of $16.99. They also have The Beginner’s Bible Website for families and teachers to use with lots of coloring pages and activities for free to compliment the stories you are reading.
A quick search on the interenet will provide you with lots of other ideas you can add to your Unit Study as you build it such as more free printables, lesson plans, craft and recipe ideas, etc. and you can use many of the printables to create lapbooks or keepsake notebooks of their projects too.
The stories in The Beginner’s Bible are written in a simple to understand way and include colorful illustrations that engage the kids and keep their interest. So I wanted to use this as the foundation of the Unit Study learning projects and built additional materials I found into our learning adventure.
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study & Lapbook
We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities from The Beginner’s Bible Website. They have lot of resources to choose from including two FREE sample curriculum lesson plans. They sell a curriculum kit too. We do not have the kit, but the free lesson plans give you a great teaching format to use to build your own lessons.
I printed out the free lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study. These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.
I made a “Bible Teaching Binder” for myself, and a “Bible Lapbook” for the kids with all of these wonderful free printables. On the front of the binder I put the suggested reading schedule. Inside the binder I put the printalbes and any lesson plans I find or create myself.
I keep all of the Unit Study and Lapbook materials in a basket, with pencils, crayons, markers, glue, etc with our Bible so we can easily set this up for our learning time each day. I also put in any other resources we will be using that relates to the story such as a science experiment, crafts supplies, recipes we will make and other activities, and other books related to the subject we are learning. There are lots of varieties of ways you can set this up easily so if you don’t like the basket idea, then you could put the printables in folders or daily workboxes or use another method that works in your home.
My binder is huge and will hold all the lesson plans from the Unit Studies I create using The Beginner’s Bible. I added dividers to help me stay organized. I kept the first section inside the binder for the Unit Study we are currently working on. This is where I put a copy of the free lesson plan “Jesus Rescues the Lost” in my teaching binder. The lesson came with 8 pages of free lesson plans! Next, I added in various coloring pages and other printables and craft ideas and directions. I will use the additional sections in the binder the same way for more lesson plans as we create more bible themed studies. I plan to have about a years worth of plans in the binder by the time we are finished. The kids will have completed about 30 Unit Studies and 30 Lapbooks by the time we are finished.
The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible and watching a video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on. The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page. You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.
The Unit Study in Action
Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study based on the illustrated stories in The Beginner’s Bible and the free lesson plan and suggested printables from the website:
Bible Reading and Speaking:
Read 3 bible stories outloud: “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son“.
Audio Video Observation:
Watched the Free Video for Lesson Plan#23 Jesus Rescues the Lost.
Watched a video about the modern life of sheep in Idaho. This video goes over many different things such as economics, land management, herd management, wool, and contains interviews with the sheep farmers too.
Learned about the history of shepherding sheep.
Counting: Younger kids counted cotton balls to represent sheep’s wool.
Graphing: Older kids learned to make a graph that followed the sale price of sheep over a period of time. They also made a graph for the lambs showing the amount of food the sheep eats compared to the rate of growth.
Learned the major body parts of sheep.
We found this worksheet on Page 23 of a 4H manual we found online and it has worksheets for different animals.
Practice writing pages. Here my youngest son is practicing the letter “P” from the story of “The Lost Son” about the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pig pen and later returned to his father who welcomed him home.
Additional letters to practice are: J (Jesus), R (rescue, redeem), L (lost), I (inheritance), H (healing), S (Samaritan, shepherd, save, and sheep).
We also practices spelling the word “sheep” with this printable.
Colored print out pages from The Beginner’s Bible website that correspond to the stories we read. In this picture, my daughter is coloring a page from the story “The Lost Sheep”.
Created paper sheep puppets with printouts included. You can glue cotton balls onto the sheep (younger kids can practice counting the cotton balls) and put construction paper on the back and attached to a popsicle stick, and the children can hold onto the stick to retell the story. You can also glue the printout to a toilet paper roll and that helps the sheep stand up on their own.
We used two folders and some glue and created a Jesus Rescues the Lost Bible Story Lapbook to store their finished learning activities. If we continue to create lapbooks like this for the entire illustrated Bible, combining two or three stories per lapbook, the kids will have 30+ Bible Unit Studies and Lapbooks for the year.
The last step in our learning adventure of Jesus Rescues the Lost, was to create a Lego sheep and shepherd diorama and use them to retell the bible story of Jesus (the shepherd) looking for the lost sheep (us).
Building with Legos or other building blocks to create scenes from a story you have read is so much fun.
I hope to have time for the older boys create a movie with these props they made where they can record their own retelling of the story. They love to make stop motion animation movies with Legos. We ran out of time to make the movie, but I hope we have it completed soon for a followup story.
Optional ideas to include in this Unit Study are:
Field Trip ideas: take a field trip to a sheep and goat farm.
Crafts and activities ideas: that would make this project lots of fun such as make a donkey, horse, pigs, a farm, a special ring, a shepherd staff, create a money bag, etc. Older kids would have fun creating (sewing or crafting) costumes to use to retell one of the stories. Perhaps they could also wear the costume and retell the story to a homeschool coop class or at a family gathering.
Math ideas: you could practice counting sticks to make a fence or pig pen, or count money in a money bag. Perhaps they could figure out a pretend hospital bill for services and supplies used for the injured man.
Science and Health ideas: You could also learn about health by making a first aid kit or herbs for healing supplies to care for the wounds of the injured man and nurse him back to health. You could learn about bacteria and healing wounds and learn the feed rations, nutrition, and digestion for pigs, sheep, and horses.
Cooking: You could also throw a feast and serve guests to represent the father welcoming home the prodigal son. You could research meals that were served to back in bible times to include in your feast. You could wear the costumes you made or decorate the table with the crafts and props you made.
There are so many fun ways to create a Unit Study with this illustrated Bible as the central foundation for your themes. I am very pleased with how this has turned out and I think this is a wonderful way to learn. I think Unit Studies and Lapbooks are a special way for kids to share what they have learned, and store the worksheet pages they have completed.
I’m spending time reflecting on this past year, as 2016 winds down and 2017 begins. It has been a busy year. Many goals have been met, and some left unmet, as life events have come and gone.
Normally at this time of year, I spend time prioritizing and writing goals and setting new routines for the year ahead. I still have much left over from last year that I want to achieve in this coming year. It would be easy to feel disappointed. But if I allowed myself to be disappointed in areas I see a lack of progress, it would be non-productive at this point.
I can’t be disappointed that I didn’t get it all done, because truly no one can do it all. It is a lie to believe that you can do everything you want to do. Unless you are financially wealthy, there is a reality for most people that puts some boundaries and financial limitations on goals. No one knows what tomorrow may bring or what next week or next month will look like. We can try to shape the future, setting goals and new routines, but the truth is that the future is not 100% within our control.
If you are discouraged about a lack of progress toward your goals, don’t let it get you down. Your value is not in the goals you achieve or don’t achieve. Your value is not in the amount of money you earn. Your value is not even in what other’s think of you. Look for your answers in God’s word, the bible.
Your true value is what God says about you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He was there when you were knitted together. He knows every hair on your head. He knows what you need before you do. He is always there ready to assist you in the challenges you walk through in life.
I have come to learn that the true measure to look at your life with is what Jesus said. Everything about life and eternity is summed up in his words. If you want to know the truth, FOCUS on the words of Jesus in the scriptures and I promise it will change your whole entire perspective!
Jesus taught us to pray this prayer with complete trust in Father God:
“Our Father, who are in heaven,
Hollowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done.
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation.
Deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.
Amen!” (Matthew 6:9-13)
Don’t Worry Be Happy!
I am thankful my life is 100% in the hands of God the Father, and I don’t have to worry about the future. I am thankful that HE knows the future and I can trust Him completely even though I do not know the day or hour of events in my own life until they happen.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek.
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:24-34)
I am thankful for the new year ahead. I am thankful for new beginnings, and I am thankful that I am totally secure in spending eternity with God through salvation in his son Jesus who gave his life for me and rescued me from sin and eternal damnation. I have hope and I have a future in HIM!
I am ready for the new beginnings that Father God ordains for my life. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I am not the author of my story. I am not my own god. He wrote the story and he knows it from start to finish, and I trust him with my life completely.
I encourage you today to pray to Father God, to lay down your worries, and trust him with your life, your goals, your desires, and trust him with all of your new beginnings too.
I want to encourage you today to keep going and not give up. Whatever struggle you may be facing in your life, trust your life in God’s hands and believe in his son Jesus. Believe God is in control, and he can reach you right where you are at, believe that he wants a wonderful future for you and he will protect and guide you when you put your life and your hope in him.
Circumstances do not define who you are and are not an indicator of your value. People’s opinions don’t define you either. Instead of these thoughts, only allow what God your creator says about you to define you. His written word, the bible, says you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He says he has a hope and a future for you and he will direct your path when you seek his counsel. He will answer you when you call on him, and he will show you many things that you did not know.
We are stewards of what we have been given. We need to be good stewards of these gifts no matter what the circumstance looks like. Some people have been given more, and some less. But no matter how much we have been given, we can be the best stewards of it today. Because when we care for what we have, even if it is very little, we multiply the blessings it produces.
Perhaps all we have in our ability today is to choose to have joy. That is HUGE! By choosing joy, you will see it multiply for yourself and it will multiply in the lives of those around you. This simple choice can bring huge blessings into your life and give you a lot of hope beyond measure even in the toughest situations. Being joyful is contagious and it can change the way we feel and the way others feel who come in contact with us.
Even if the only thing we have control over is the body we live in, we can choose to be the best steward of that body as we can be, and we will reap a blessing. We are given one body to live in. We each have different gifts and talents, but we are similar to each other in that we have a body, and it is fragile at the same time it is strong. We can learn to be good stewards of this body and multiply the blessings in our health and our emotions.
How can you be a good steward of your physical body? We can learn how to nourish it, rest it, challenge it, strengthen it, and care for it. We can be good stewards of our body, multiply the blessings, and overcome limitations, illness, neglect, and injuries, and be the best we can be.
Perhaps all that we have today is a loaf of bread, then we can share it and see the blessing multiply in another person’s life too.
Hope, Faith, and Blessings
There is a story in the bible about a widow who only had a little flour and oil left to make one meal of bread for herself and her sons. There had been a long drought and everyone was out of grain and out of money and she knew that their life was over and there was no hope of any food even in the near future because there was no rain to plant and grow any future crops and no money to buy food even if anyone had some to share.
So in desperation she planned her last meal. But in the midst of her despair, God heard her and sent a messenger, a prophet of God. He told her to go ahead and “make the last meal”, but to give some of it to him. Do what? This was all she had, and her family was about to die, so how could she give this away? But letting go, and placing her trust in God and his plan for a better future for her, she obeyed the instructions.
1 Kings 14 : 7-16
“Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.”
It is an incredible story of doing our best in the midst of terrible circumstances, sharing the best (even if all we have is very little) we have to bless another person and meet their need, and putting our trust and faith in God to work out the outcome, in return, we will reap a huge blessing!
Be encouraged today, that no matter what your situation may look like, by acting on your faith in God as your provider, healer, deliverer, multiplier, protector, and the source of life within you, he will reach into your situation and deliver you. He says his arm is not short! His arm is long enough to reach you right where you are. With the help of the Lord, you can and will overcome and reap a blessing that is more wonderful than you have imagined!
The Lord God offers you eternal life. The only door into his eternal kingdom is a narrow gate.
The path to the narrow gate is straight. You can’t turn to the right or left as you walk along, because it will send you in a different direction. To reach the gate, the doorway of the kingdom, you must stay on the straight path. The path of the road is not fancy, and it has ups and downs, hills and valleys. But if you keep walking straight ahead, and don’t look back, you will find the gate.
One sure way to miss the gate is to get off the straight path. For example, the path of personal gain and worldly possessions will lead us a different way.
“Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. (NIV)
To find the gate, you must seek Jesus, the only son of God, as your savior, believe in him and repent of your sins, and follow him. He asks that you love God with all your heart, forgive others, and love others as you love yourself meeting their needs. He is the light of the world and he lights the path God wants people to follow.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (NIV)
Be blessed today and seek to enter the narrow gate and follow the one who saves and gives eternal life! His name is Jesus.
Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories! Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids. This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning. Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!
Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards. In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark. The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8. As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.
God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth. Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it. He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal, seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.
God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood. He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds. God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth. But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God. God gave Noah the plan. He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals. His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.
Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before. They did not care about doing right. They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins. They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God. They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.
If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections. Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use. Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too. You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.
Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?, build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too. There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.
Your kids will really enjoy this activity. In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.
Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:
Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible
Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer
Arts and Crafts
Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story
If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version. You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.
You can choose from several languages and several versions to use. They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.