Sunday, October 18, 2015

Go Ye ~ Memories and Lessons from my only mission's trip



11 years ago I was getting ready to go on my very first Mission's Trip. It was a dream come true. I had wanted to go on one since I was teen and then... a husband and 4 small children later... it was coming true. Our mission was in the Copper Canyon, Mexico. Our church and others were going down to stay at one village while our men would be driving each day to a different village to help build a bible school for the pastors in this area. We had many areas of ministry... construction, medical, vision, clothing distribution, and kitchen duty. That is where I was. My job was to help cook 3 meals a day for all of our crew. I will never forget that trip. I don't know if I helped anyone, but I know it helped ME. I kept a journal of my trip and was reading over it the other night. I want to share something I wrote in it. I was passionate about it then and am still passionate about it now.

Go Ye
You may not feel you're called to go into the mission field, but I think that everyone should get out of their comfort zone and "go" at least once in their life. In this modern age we're in, our minds are so trained to see everything  on t.v. and photographs as "not real". So until you GO and you actually help someone in need and you look into their eyes that are filled with gratitude.... or until you get the privilege to pray with someone who can't even understand what you're saying, but you both feel connected by the Holy Spirit.... until YOU do something, you will never understand the fullness of the scripture "Go Ye..." (Matt. 28: 19, 20) You will never fully understand how important prayer is for our missionaries until you actually experience first hand the obstacles they have to overcome. You will never fully understand how important sponsoring a missionary or a child is until you see their very sparse soup pot and their bare pantry. You won't understand fully that sometimes they have to pray for food to be provided for that day and hope that whoever God lays it on their heart to help will be obedient to God and not brush it off.
Going on a Mission's Trip also makes one realize that we live in a great land with so many privileges and luxuries. And even though I am not in a high- paying profession, my meager paycheck would be riches for someone somewhere else. I also realized that all the little unimportant things I waste money on could be stocking a pantry somewhere, or put shoes on a child in the winter, or buy a simple, over-the-counter medicine that might just save a life. And I realized that we as a whole church should use what God has graciously given us to bless our brothers and sisters around the world. You will never fully understand Christ's unity in the church as a whole unless you GO and see the other parts of Christ's Church. So make it a point in your life, maybe just once... to GO.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My Prayer for the Sick

Since watching "War Room", I have a new desire to improve my prayer life. Yes, I had gotten slack. I still prayed... but I did not STOP and FOCUS on my prayers. I have been trying to put together a Prayer Journal and last night I dug out an old one I had started in 2001. I was so encouraged as I looked over all the answered prayers I had recorded! So many that were on my "Salvation" page are now leaders in the church! I read how many times God delivered us from financial troubles! I read about so many healings! God is so good and hears us when we pray.
I also came across a prayer that I had written to pray for the sick using the WORD. I think praying the WORD is so very powerful!  When I read this prayer, I could feel the Holy Spirit in it. I would like to share it with you.
♥Enjoy!♥



Thank you Lord that all your word is truth and life to those that find it. Thank you Lord that your promises are Yea and Amen and that you are faithful concerning them. Thank you Lord that we can hold to the promise that by your wounds we are healed. And by our healing, others will glorify YOU. Grant us faith oh Lord to ONLY believe and not doubt. Increase our faith daily. When we awaken in the morning, may we all have been given another measure of faith. I believe for our complete healing Lord, for you are the one who makes us whole. Help us Lord, after we receive our healing, to take responsibility to care for our bodies which are a temple of the Holy Ghost. Thank you Lord, that what you do, it is done forever. Help us Lord to fill our eyes and ears with your Word, because it is our medicine. Help us Lord to open our mouths to proclaim your truths, that we ARE healed. Help us not to look at circumstances, but to keep our eyes turned upon Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. I speak JOY over us and peace in the time of trouble. Thank you Lord that you know all our needs even before we ask them and that it pleases you to give good gifts to your children. Thank you Lord that you supply ALL our needs according to your riches in glory.
May glory and honor be yours thru our lives. 

( Here I read off a list of those who are sick saying "Thank you Lord for healing _______ from _______)

Amen.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

VBS 2015 DinoQuest: Digging for the Truth



Are you ready to go on an adventure? This VBS program is an adventure into God’s word where kids will “dig” for the truth about creation.
Why creation?
I witnessed a phenomenon in the churches I attended, where kids who were raised in church, were graduating high school, going to college or into the workforce, and were leaving the church. Not necessarily rejecting God for a life of rebellious, radical sinning…. mainly just “losing interest”. As I puzzled over this and even had it happen in my own family, I was introduced to a book that I felt explained a lot of it: Already Gone by Ken Ham. In this book, he also witnessed the same thing in Europe. He decided to get to the bottom of it and see what the problem was. He and consumer behavior research/analyst C. Britt Beemer embarked on a research project that consisted of 20,000 phone calls and detailed surveys to a thousand 20-29 year olds who were raised in evangelical churches, but quit going.
His results were surprising to me. What it boiled down to is that the church tells one thing, the world and schools another. The schools provide “evidence” and the church says to “simply believe it by faith”. These young adults admitted that they believed the “facts” and that since the church did not offer any “facts” to counter with, their belief that the bible was truthful and accurate faded and so did their church attendance. Most said they didn’t believe in a biblical creation.
Here is my main point for this curriculum:
“Creation is the foundation of everything we believe.  It is in Genesis that we see that God created a perfect earth and that man had a close relationship with God.  Then sin came into the world and man lost that closeness and now needs a savior to bridge the gap caused by sin. If we cannot believe the first verse of the bible, that there was a literal 6 day creation, a literal Adam and Eve, and literal fall of man into sin- then there is NO need for a literal Jesus.”


We must teach our children to believe the bible not only by Faith… but also by FACTS. God has provided tons of physical evidence that his WORD is true. We as Christians must take that evidence and teach the younger generations the truth. When they are taught “other” views in school, or by television or movies, we HAVE to counteract them with truths.
Another reason for this curriculum is that Dinosaurs are awesome!!! What a fun theme to go with. This curriculum includes a daily skit featuring Darcy the Dinosaur. Workers donned fishing vests to look like explorers or archaeologists. Our decorations were awesome. I'll include photos.
I hope you can and will use this program. It is free to all. I enjoy putting together VBS programs. I took a lot of my research from Answers In Genesis as well as other creation science websites. You don’t agree with everything I wrote? That’s ok. Use what you like and improvise. I have wrote, re-wrote and changed things many times. The Holy Spirit is a great editor!  Sometimes I would be so proud of something I thought of and wrote down, and the Holy Spirit would tell me gently, “That’s not right. Take it out.”  


To God be the Glory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
~WhimZB





How to use this curriculum


When I write a curriculum, I focus on lessons, crafts, games, decorations and snacks. My church is a really small, country church. We already have a “way” we do VBS. We are a little old fashioned. We still march in with the American and Christian flags and the Bible and say their pledges. We have certain songs we sing every year. We average 20-30 kids each day, Preschool -High School Seniors. Our VBS is from 6-8 each evening. Wednesday nights are always “water night” where during games we have water balloons, bubbles, water guns, and everyone wears something they can get wet in. Even the adults play! Friday nights are always “Family night” where we have our program, hand out certificates and have a cookout. We follow the same simple rotating schedule each year. We like to keep VBS as simple as possible, and still have a great time. We decorate the stage, and this year we decorated the fellowship hall. So, what I’m trying to get at, is that we use our same “way” each year and just incorporate the new curriculum. That’s the beauty of it all… Take what you can use and make it your own. 
If you are a seasoned vacation bible school veteran, you have already discovered what works best for your church and have stuck with it. If your church is new to VBS, you will need to experiment with different “ways” until you find what works. I suggest that “Newbies” keep it simple. I am including our schedule just in case you would like to use it.
We follow a rotating schedule. Since we are so small, we only have 2 groups that rotate. Each group rotates through 4 different stations: lessons, crafts/activities, snacks, and games. There is a group leader that guides their group to each station, keeping order and helping when needed. Each station has a leader and helpers if needed. This year I did separate the "littles" (pre-schoolers) crafts from the older kids. I wanted to make sure they had things they could do themselves. I also separated the teens (7th grade and up) crafts from the others because sometimes they get tired of doing "little kid" stuff.
Unfortunately, I am not a person who can come up with craft/game ideas on my own. But I can use Pinterest!!! Most all of these ideas I found on Pinterest or the web. I try to give the links to them all, but sometimes I see something briefly and can’t find it again to get the link. Some ideas are combinations of things, so there is no link.
Most links are to Google Docs and are separate. (Sorry, I am not very computer literate, and couldn’t figure out how to make a “book” of sorts). Please look over all my mistakes! Unfortunately I was not very good in English class and didn’t go to college, so this is by NO means “proper” and “professional”. But….. I hope you…..


Enjoy!
And remember: Take what you need and make it your own!


Overview chart
Daily Schedule
Job List
Daily Opening Schedule and Skit with Darcy the Biblesaures
Lessons
Crafts
Games
Closing
Decorations
Songs
Snacks
Certificates

These were our certificates. To use, simply right-click on the photo and save to your computer. This is a PNG file, so that you can print it on any color paper. If you are printing it on white paper, you can save it as a JPEG. To print, use your computer printing program. Mine is Windows Photo Gallery and it gives me the option to print 2 5-7s on a page. Be sure to put "2" photos per page and UNCLICK the box "Fit picture to frame".  I left plenty of room at the bottom for signatures of the Pastor, teacher and/or VBS director.

Darcy the Dinosaur
She is a PNG file. Feel free to download to your computer and use her on posters, post-cards, certificates, t-shirts, etc...


T-shirt Ideas
For this t-shirt, I used my Darcy the Dinosaur and the font is Jokerman. I designed it in Photoshop. 
These are some other options. I used Photoshop to design them. I really like the idea of an open bible with the StarWars kind of font, and the open hands holding the Earth. If you design a different T-shirt and would like to share it, Please do!!! Just put a link in the comments :)

Here is a photo presentation of our VBS.
Also check out my Pinterest Page for more decorating ideas as well as different snacks, crafts, games and activities :)
If you decide to use this curriculum, please comment and let me know. I would also love to hear any ideas to make this better and would love to see photos! However, negative, hateful comments will not be tolerated. If you don't agree with this, just exit my blog.
Enjoy!♥











Friday, March 20, 2015

VBS 2013 Courageous: Faith over Fear




As I began praying about what theme to write about, I thought about our country right now as well as the world and what is happening to Christians. Persecution is on the rise and is swiftly coming to our county's door. More than ever we need courage to stand for Christ and we need to teach and show this generation of children how to do the same. With the guiding of the Holy Spirit, I chose 4 different bible accounts of people having courage, facing their fears, and above all, placing their faith in God. These people are tried to the max, yet show courage to stand up for "God and the right". They have "the right stuff". And always God was there, even if the outcome doesn't quite come out like they planned/hoped/thought.
I didn't want to tell these "stories" like they were ancient history. I wanted to bring them into the modern age, having them interviewed on the daily news, as "Today's Top Story".
This is the first VBS curriculum I have ever wrote, so please excuse the mistakes. I wrote this for my small church. We had two groups: Pre-K-3rd gr. and 4th gr. and up. Our VBS lasted for 2 hours. It is four days of lessons and Friday is Family Night. We didn't do "themed" snacks this year. Feel free to use any or all parts of it, and if you do, please share about it in the comments!
"Courageous" by Casting Crowns was our theme song




All the following links are to Google Docs:
Poster to edit for distribution
Schedule
Overview
Opening
Characters for daily television skit
Lesson: Day 1
Lesson: Day 2
Fear Factor Challenges for Day 2
Lesson: Day 3
Lesson: Day 4
Fear Factor Games

Decorations
The lessons are a News cast, so wherever you will be doing the lessons, you will need a "TV." large enough for your actors to be behind. Or, if you are tech-savvy, you can make an actual video of the newscast to put on a projector screen! That would be awesome. I, however, am not tech-savvy, so we did it the old fashioned way.
The only decoration we used was a television. Our pastor had made it using cardboard pieces put together with small pieces of wood in a tri-fold fashion.

I was the news anchor, so I just set on a bar stool in front of it. We put an old projector screen in back of the actors and sheets on each side to close in the "set". On the front of the TV, you will notice a curtain rod and blanket. We used that to put up in the "screen" part of the TV while the actors were not being shown. Under it are the "dials" and the brand name.. lol! We had recorded the nightly news theme song on a CD and played it off stage at the beginning of each "segment". You can make it simple or go all out! You could have a desk for the anchor to sit behind and have "WWJD NEWS" on the front of it. Maybe have some cameras, a microphone boom, etc.... Get ideas from your local nightly news.

Crafts
Believe it or not, we did not do themed crafts this year. We had an abundant of "left-overs" of craft supplies from earlier years and decided to use them. Instead of 1 craft a day, we like to set up craft stations for all week. We have a jewelry table that gets used every day, plus a table that we do different crafts on each day. We did paracord bracelets, sand art, foam visors, rock painting, pot decorating and planting a morning glory in it.... stuff like that.
At my old church, we always did a photo frame as one of the crafts. Photos were taken of each of the children on Mon. and Tues. We got the photos developed on Wednesday and then the children got them on Thursday. Everyone always enjoyed this keepsake each year. Once we started having large attendance, it was easier to just take a photo of each group.
I did find some cute themed craft ideas on Pinterest for each day. You can check them out on MY BOARD. 

Games
 Our little church has games they play every year.... like a football and basketball throw in which the kids can win a new ball. Wednesday's are always water day and that fit in perfectly this year. We had a water balloon toss that everyone (young and old) got involved in and then the kids enjoyed splashing in the kiddie pool used in the lesson. We also had Fear Factor games for the kids. These were really fun! I have 3 ideas above in the links. The website is on the document so you can search for other fun games. I also found some themed games on Pinterest and you can look at them on MY BOARD.


Family Night
Fridays are always Family Night. We sing our songs and the pastor tells about our week. The children all receive a certificate. Then we watch a slide show of all the photos taken during the week. Afterwards we enjoy grilled hamburgers and fellowship with all the families.

If you have any questions or have trouble with any of the links, please e-mail me at: whimzbcreations@gmail.com.

Everything for HIS glory!

♥Enjoy!♥ 




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's time to plan for VBS!!!!!!!!!!

Vacation Bible School is my absolute favorite thing to plan for!!!! As a child I went to ALL the VBSes in my small town and after I had kids, I love to be a part of the VBS planning. The church I attend now is TINY and my sister-in-law and I get to plan our VBSes. We have come up with our own the past 2 years and will again this year. I always follow the leading of the Lord when picking a theme and usually they have to do with a need in our community/world. Below are what we have done so far.

     2013: Courageous: Faith over Fear
In this VBS we showed how people in the bible showed bravery in face of extreme opposition. Each day the lessons were shown on a "television" as a newscast and the bible characters were interviewed.

     2014: Army of the Lord
This VBS was a boot camp to learn how to prepare ourselves to be in God's Army, learn who the enemy is and what our weapons are.

     2015: DinoQuest: Digging for the Truth
This year's is in the planning stage and is coming together very quickly! In lieu of the new Jurassic World movie coming out, I wanted to go with a dinosaur theme. The lessons will be on creation. Did you know that one of the main reasons children who have been brought up in church all their lives leave the church as adults is that there is conflict about the creation of  all things? They are taught in school about evolution and Darwinism and if the church doesn't disprove it, they disregard the Bible as truth. (derived from the book: Already Gone)  That is why it is important to teach children what the bible says about creation, the scientific evidence behind that truth, and why faith is important!

Hopefully, I will be able to publish these VBS programs on this blog soon. I have Pinterest boards about these themes with great craft and decoration ideas as well! Check them out... and ....
♥Enjoy!♥
             

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Family Bible Study

I wanted to share the bible study my family is doing right now. My niece-in-law introduced me to David Platt's teaching last year (I think) and we started off by reading his book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream .  WOW, what an eye opener!!! Then about half-way through, we stopped and started a video series by him called Threads of the Gospel. We are finishing up this part and then we will return to the Radical book.
I cannot say enough good things about both of these. The book helped me to see how that our culture has influenced how I interpret the Bible and what my purpose REALLY is.
I thought I knew the Gospel until I watched and studied The Threads of the Gospel. Now I feel confident that I not only understand it, but can explain it to others!!!  Something I have ALWAYS struggled with is sharing the gospel. I realized after this study that it was because I really didn't understand it. The videos are an hour long (my kids always whine) but he is a younger guy and keeps my teen's attention. Also included are "helps": message notes, small group guide, and a family worship guide that is divided into age groups. We are throwing in some additional lessons on Understanding Salvation that hopefully I will be able to share very soon.
If you are looking for a better understanding of the Gospel, or looking for a good family bible study (especially great for Teens!) I highly recommend these :)
♥Enjoy!♥


My testimony and confession

I want to share a little about myself that I'm not proud of. I love teaching and always have. When I was 13 years old, I wanted to start a Children's Church in the VERY small church I attended. Most Sundays I had 4 kids. But that was ok.... usually I was the only kid in my Sunday School class. I got hooked! I have been teaching in church off and on (mostly on) since. About 5 or 6 years ago my baby (he wasn't really a baby at the time), said something to me that really knocked me off my feet. I was preparing for my class and he asked what I was doing. At the moment I was preparing a really fun party night to celebrate the end of a unit. I told him and he asked me, "Mom, why don't you ever do anything like that with us?"  I was taken aback for a moment, but quickly recovered and blew it off. I couldn't shake it though..... that question came up to me for the next 2 years. Each time it did, I would quickly remind myself that I was obeying my "calling" by teaching my class at church and my children had their own classes and teachers.

Then my life took a crazy, CRAZY, CRAZY turn. I'll not go into details, but our family life suddenly became very complicated. At the time I was the Girls' Ministry Leader at our church and was over 6 different teachers/classes. Suddenly I became very overwhelmed and EVERYTHING was going wrong... at home, at work and at church. I was very much disgusted with everything! I stopped going to church, but didn't stop seeking God. (Stop right there... I know you who were brought up just like I was have already decided I was a backslid sinner... but that was far, far, far from the truth) Every time I searched the WORD and prayed I kept getting the same message... "You need to de-church yourself and YOU need to only teach YOUR children". "De-church myself"?????? What in the world? After many months my eyes were finally opened to the truth. MY church, MY position, MY class, became  IDOLS to me. It's a very real thing. I had become soooo very wrapped up with every "event" my church had, the "girls" at my church that I was over, etc..... that I had lost my way. I became obsessed with SERVING (Martha) that I no longer had time to just sit at my Savior's feet (Mary). And my children... my precious gifts that had been given to me, I had handed over to someone else to teach (because I didn't have time, with all the "ministries" I was involved in). Deut.11:18 and Prov. 22:6 were a constant reminder of my duties as a parent. Duties that I had miserably failed.

You wouldn't believe the ways the Lord worked on me and affirmed what He was trying to teach me. But that's how the Lord works! So, here I was, trying to teach my children at home, with no curriculum, no classroom, no bulletin board, no dry erase board, no copy machine, no coloring pages, no closet full of teaching "helps", no posters.... I was LOST. I had no idea where to start..... I had no idea HOW to do this. My mom was just like me.... she had her own class to teach, so I got taught at church and not at home.  This became the HARDEST challenge I have ever had to face. I know you are wondering "Why?", since I had all those years of practice... and I can't really answer you, but IT IS WHAT IT IS.

I feel I'm finally getting the hang of it (after 4 years!!!!). But I still don't feel as comfortable as I did teaching at church. The main thing is that I'm trying.

That is one very big reason I wanted to get this idea going... to help other families Teach them at home. Is this only for home use? Of course not! I would have loved to have these resources when I taught at church! I just want parents, or grandparents, or Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, next-door neighbor, friend.... whoever you are to the ones you love to know that God has given us a very important duty to teach. Don't ever feel like you have to be "called" to teach to be able to teach your kids. In the above verses there is NO calling required. In fact, don't even think about it as "teaching"... think of it as "sharing" or "reminding".

I'll end on this note.... when you start sharing with your family at home, be sure to get them to tell about what they learned "in class". I know from experience that not everyone believes the same way, even if they are in the same denomination. Children who hear one thing at church and another at home will be confused about it, then ultimately drop both views as "irrelevant". That is why it is so important to talk to your family about what they hear and what you believe. Many times I have had to explain things to my kids that were different than what the teacher and sometimes even the preacher said. I myself chose not to send my kids to a class at church and exclusively teach them at home. We listen to the preacher as a family and discuss the sermon. I do NOT think everyone has to do this.

I hope this has somehow helped you to have the courage to start "sharing" at home. Hopefully you will be able to use the resources I can find to help you out! And the younger your kids are when you start, the easier it is :) And I hope that if you don't have anyone at home, but are a teacher in the church, that you too will benefit from these resources.
♥Enjoy!♥