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Where Does Being Selfish Get You?

Penulis : A. James on Sunday, June 29, 2014 | 8:17 PM

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prayer for USA.jpg

In the case of Lot, being selfish gets you no where but in trouble. When the Lord led Abram (aka: Abraham) away from the corrupt city of Ur, Lot went with him. As they journeyed without maps, iPhones, iPads, or even a compass guiding them, the Lord led them to the land where they would stay.

If you are thinking about Abraham and Lot traveling to this new land, you probably are thinking only a few people were with them and they had only one tent. On the contrary, Abraham and Lot both were not poor by any means. Each of them had many animals along with many people working for them and lots of tents.

Because there were so many animals, the land was having a hard time keeping the flock nourished. Over time, Lot's workers and Abraham's workers began to bicker amongst themselves.

When Abraham heard of this bickering, he pulled Lot to the side and told him the best thing for them to do was to split up.

Although Abraham was given the land from the Lord, he wasn't selfish with it at all. He gladly and unselfishly offered to let Lot choose which part he wanted. Lot looked at the land where they stood which was in the mountain area and he looked at the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah below.

Around the cities was lush pastures and also plenty of water. So, instead of thinking of his uncle, Abraham, he chose the land that appeared to be the best.

What Lot did not know was that the cities were corrupt and the people inside were wicked. He also did not know that one day God would completely destroy those cities.

That's right!

Lot chose the cities because he was selfish. He wanted the best land, plenty of water and a place to live.

The first thing Lot should have done was to bow his head and ask God what God's will was for his life. Yet, he quickly chose and chose wrong.

In life, we often choose quickly without asking God for guidance. By simply being patient and asking God to lead you in his will, you could find yourself in a much better place than if you would have hastily chosen your own path.

For some reason, being patient tends to be very hard. We all want what we want when we want it!

Encourage your kids or even yourself, to pray before you make big or little decisions. Asking God for his will each day (and meaning it) will help insure you are living a life for Christ and not yourself!

After all, that's where we should be as Christians - leading a life for Him!

Image info:
"Prayer for USA" by Harley Pebley - Flickr: Prayer for USA. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
 
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Christian Author Annette Phillips Has Released Her Latest Christian Fiction - Hidden Arrows

Penulis : A. James on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | 6:53 AM

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Arrows-Christian-Fiction-Books-ebook/dp/B00I2C7SP8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1391493073&sr=8-2&keywords=hidden+arrows
Christian author, Annette Phillips, has released her latest Christian fiction. Annette has not only published a series of bible study books (for kids), she has now released her second Christian fiction book.

When Annette started homeschooling her oldest daughter through a Christian program, she found they required her daughter to read several Christian books each year which sounded great until she tried to find Christian fiction for her daughter to read.

There were a few authors who wrote Christian fiction, but most of them were Amish related books that her daughter would read but wasn't excited about.

Annette said, "My daughter loved to read. She loved books. When she was little she would push books around in a toy baby stroller instead of babies. I didn't want her to lose the passion because the books she had to read didn't spark that love inside of her."


As her daughter grew, it became harder to find Christian books. So, Annette decided to start writing herself.

While the books Annette writes wasn't written for her daughter, they were written with her daughter in mind.

"I wanted to make sure that other kids out there had books they could read that made them want to read. Do you know what I mean? Books they didn't want to put down and kept them wanting to pick up that next book."


So, several years later, Annette has written two Christian fiction books: Willow's Ride and now Hidden Arrows. Along with a series of bible study books with young children in mind.

To find more of Annette's books you can visit her author page on Amazon.



 
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Books of the Bible - Youth Group Ideas

Penulis : A. James on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | 9:53 AM

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

If you struggle to find short lessons or activities to add to your Youth Group time, think about teaching the kids the Books of the Bible.

Adding 1 or 2 books of the bible each week will help the kids learn them slowly, but surely. Here is a link to some books of the bible coloring pages and other FREE coloring pages for kids.

Youth Group Ideas
Photo courtesy of
Chris Metcalf


A couple of ways you can add these to your Youth Group is by printing off one book of the bible coloring sheet for every child. You can adjust the size of the picture to make four per sheet. That way - you can cut them out and the kids can work on a small book of their own.

Not sure what I'm talking about?

Maybe I can explain it better...

Each piece of printer paper will have four small coloring sheets on them. This will be enough for four children to have the same picture. The first one may be Genesis. Let them color it, then take them back up. The next week, hand out Exodus. After they have colored them, have the kids say them aloud adding a new book each week.

After you have finished the Old Testament books, staple them together for a small book of  Books of the Bible.

The kids can take them home afterward as a reminder. Keep in mind, there are 66 books of the bible and doing one book per week will take 66 weeks. You may want to do 2 books each week, but it is entirely up to you.
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Jonah and the Whale | Youth Group Games

Penulis : A. James on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 | 6:17 PM

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kids of all ages love this Jonah and the whale youth group game. It is so fun and fast paced the kids want to play it over and over.

Just tonight, we played this game. The kids loved it so much that they wanted to skip snack-time and asked if they could play it again next week!

We have even played it in Sunday school after telling the Jonah and the whale bible story.

Youth Group Games
Jonah and the Whale
Photo: Leelilly

 

How to Play this Youth Group Game


To play this youth group game, you simply need kids who are willing to run, play and have fun along with enough room for the kids to move around easily.

Pick one child to be the 'whale'.

The whale will stand in the center of the playing area. Line up all the other kids on one side of the room. They will be 'Jonah'. Yes, all of them will be Jonah.

When you call out 'STORM', the kids will try to run from one side of the room to the other without getting tagged by the 'whale'.

Whoever gets tagged will remain in the middle and become an extra whale.

Play will continue until there is only one 'Jonah' left and everyone else has now become a 'whale'.

This game is simple and fun!

For more ideas, check out our Youth Group Games page.


 
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Daily Prayer | Youth Group Activities

Penulis : A. James on Sunday, July 7, 2013 | 3:38 PM

Sunday, July 7, 2013

One challenge I face with our Youth Group is getting the kids to understand the importance of a daily prayer life. They understand praying for their food, praying for their family, and praying when they need God's help when times are tough.

What I wanted to get them to learn through this Youth Group activity is that God is always there waiting for us to talk to him. It is us that are too busy to take the time to stop what we are doing and just 'spend time with God'.

Prayer Partners
Youth Group Activity
Photo: Quinn.anya (flickr)


Daily Prayer


I came up with this youth group activity to help the kids learn more about daily prayer and the other children that attend our Youth Group. While I'm sure prayer partners are not new, it is new to our kids as we have never did anything like this before.

What you'll need:

  • 1 piece of yarn for every child
  • scissors for cutting yarn
  • piece of paper
  • pen or pencil
What to do:

Divide the kids into groups of two. If you have an extra child, have one group of three.

Have the children talk amongst themselves. They are to be talking about their most important prayer request. It can be a prayer request for themselves or about someone they love or know -- whatever is important to them.

Ask the Youth Group, "Do you know what the other person's most important prayer request is?"

They don't have to say them out loud, just nod or raise their hands.

Use the paper and pencil to write down any requests that you wish to remember and pray with them during the week. Praying is something we all need to do more of.

Prayer Partners


Explain to the kids that the person in their group will be their prayer partner for the week. They are to pray for each other's prayer request.

To help them remember, have each one tie a piece of yarn around the other one's wrist.

Tell the kids, "This piece of yarn will serve as a reminder. Every time you see the yarn around your wrist, it will remind you to pray for your prayer partner.

During the week, they will pray for you and you will pray for them.

If you think about the piece of yarn ten times a day, pray for your partner's prayer request ten times. If you think of it more, pray more.

Extra Tip:


For older kids in Youth Group, have them also tell each other one person in their family or a friend who doesn't know the Lord as their savior. Have them pray for that person, as well.




 
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Youth Group Games - Praise the Lord

Penulis : A. James on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 7:31 AM

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Here's a quick, fun Youth Group game that you can modify to your class and your Youth Group lessons. Kids of all ages love to have fun and laugh, so what better Youth Group games could you choose than ones that fit into having fun, laughing, and of course, praising the Lord?
Praise the Lord
Youth Group Games
Photo: Bill Gantz

Praise the Lord Youth Group Games


You'll only need a few things for this Youth Group game:

  • upbeat music
  • a CD player or ipod
  • room to move
  • and kids to yell, "Praise the Lord"
Choose music that the kids can move too. Some great Christian songs we love are:

  1. Francesca Batistelli- "This Is The Stuff"
  2. Chris Tomlin- “Sing, Sing, Sing”
  3. Jeremy Camp- “Jesus Saves”
  4. Newsboys- “God’s Not Dead”
  5. Casting Crowns- “Courageous”
  6. The Afters- “Light Up The Sky”
  7. Chris Tomlin- "Our God"
  8. Chris Tomlin- "I Will Follow"
  9. Tenth Avenue North- "You Are More"
  10. Brandon Heath- "Your Love"
  11. Mandisa- "Stronger"
  12. Newsboys- "I Am Free"
  13. Matthew West- "Strong Enough"
  14. Kutless- "Strong Tower"
  15. Philips, Craig, and Dean- "Friend of God"
You can also use VBS songs, Sunday School songs, or any other songs you have available.

What to Do:

When playing Youth Group games, try to keep the mood light. Picking games that need to be structured is a must. I know this from experience. Once, I had the kids run around the room to find a certain person. When they found them, they were supposed to say a bible verse together.

Sounds pretty easy, right?

Wrong.

The kids ran around bumping into each other, then trying to scream the verse louder than the other person. The only thing it did was give me a headache and the kids didn't learn a thing.

It was a lesson well learned.

Okay, back to this game.

This Youth Group game will be played by having the kids dance when the music starts and freezing when the music stops and shouting "Praise the Lord". Each time they kids freeze, have one child read the memory verse for the night. Then, start the music up again.

Continue until everyone has had a chance to read the verse.

You can also have the kids walk in a circle, crawl, hop, or anything else that they find fun.



May God bless you as you teach the kids about the Lord Jesus Christ!
 
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Adam and Eve | Temptation | Youth Group Activity

Penulis : A. James on Friday, June 7, 2013 | 8:11 PM

Friday, June 7, 2013

The bible story of Adam and Eve is a great way to teach Youth Group kids about temptation. While many kids will know the bible story of Adam and Eve, some may not. As Youth Group leaders or even Sunday school teachers, we assume the kids have heard basic bible stories, but this isn't always the case.

A lesson I learned...

This past Wednesday night I said, "You've all heard the story of Noah's Ark, right?"

To my surprise, three kids in our Youth Group didn't have a clue who Noah was or even what the ark was.

These three kids were not regulars and had been coming with other kids for several weeks, but I assumed they knew the story, but they didn't. This taught me a good lesson - never assume anything!

Adam and Eve Bible Story
Temptation
Youth Group Activity
Photo: grongar

Adam and Eve Bible Story

Begin by laying a bit of foundation. Start with the basics of how God made Adam and Eve and how they were allowed to stay in the Garden of Eden as long as they didn't eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Go on to explain how Lucifer was once an angel, but the temptation to rule over God became to great and caused Lucifer and the angels who followed him to be cast out of heaven. Today we call him Satan or the devil.

Of course, Lucifer didn't stop there. He wanted to trick Adam and Eve into eating the fruit. He even tries every day to get us to do things we shouldn't. He is tempting us. We have to rely on God to help us with those temptations.

Maybe it is smoking. Maybe it is drinking. Maybe it is talking back to your mom and dad. Maybe bullying kids at school or stealing. It could even be running away or taking drugs.

Ask the kids if they can name some temptations they may face.

Wait for answers.

Explain how Satan disguised as a serpent tricked Eve into eating the fruit and that she also gave some to Adam. The serpent tempted Eve with being able to know as much as God.

Eve gave into temptation causing she and Adam to be thrown out of the Garden of Eden forever.

Youth Group Activity

This Youth Group activity is great to use as a reminder of how easy it is to give into temptation. Stress over and over again how important it is to resist the devil and pray for God's help to do so.

What you'll need:
  • a large piece of paper like bulletin board paper or a white sheet (you can also use a wall or large rock)
  • paint
  • paint brushes, stencils, or stamps
What to do:

Have a teen or adult paint a tree trunk on the paper or sheet. Then, give the kids a paint brush or stamp and let them create the leaves on the tree. We let the kids go outside and pick large leaves off of trees and used them as stamps.

Let the kids work to add leaves to the top of the tree until you feel it is finished.

Once finished add this verse along with a serpent to the bottom of the paper or sheet:

 
Mark 14:38 KJV
 
Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.
 
 
Be sure to hang the tree where the Youth Group can see it each time they enter the room. Talk about the tree often to remind kids that temptation comes in all forms and we can't resist them ourselves. We need God's help.
 


 
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Youth Group - Youth Group Lessons

Penulis : A. James on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | 9:09 AM

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Did I mention - have a blast a Youth Group!
Photo: John Trainor
If you are a part of a Youth Group, then you fully understand how hard it can be to get new kids to come on a regular basis. Sure, a regular from your youth group may bring a friend ever now and then, but will they come for the long haul?

More than likely - No.

In the world we live in today, it is hard to get new church members to come let alone new kids. Parents just don't seem to think that teaching their children about God is important at all.

Rest assured, there is good news.

What We're Doing in Our Youth Group


At our youth group, we have decided to make getting new/more kids to youth group one of our main priorities. As workers for God, it is our duty to share the gospel with others. But, if no one comes when the doors are open, who will we teach? How can we pass on what we've learned?

The problem is we can't do it alone. So, who do we bring in to help us?

Our regular youth group kids, of course!

Youth Group Lessons

For the next several weeks, choose youth group lessons that focus on spreading God's word, telling others about Christ, and winning lost souls.

These youth group lessons will get the kids in the mind set of inviting their friends, family, neighbors and anyone else they can think of. Don't limit the kids to just bringing kids their own age. Be clear that the bible loves everyone and we are to love them too. Even encourage the kids to invite people they are not particularly fond of.

In the long run, that person may become their best friend!

What are some youth group lessons you can use?

Youth Group Lesson - Number One

Here is a great bible verse that helps kids understand that people can't understand God and the bible unless they 'hear' it. How can they hear the word of God? By coming to church and youth group. If they never hear the word, how can they be saved?
Romans 10:17 (KJV) - So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Youth Group Lesson - Number Two

People can live in this world as Godly or as wickedly as they please, but they can not live forever in heaven with our heavenly father unless they accept Jesus as their savior. For those who have never cared about hearing the word of God, they can't fully understand why they must ask Jesus to be their savior. We must attend church, youth group, Sunday school, and study the bible on our own if we want to be able to teach others about him and win souls to Christ.

Matthew 4:4 (KJV) - But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God
.

There are hundreds of verses you can base your youth group lessons around to show kids the importance of asking others to come to church/youth group/Sunday school/VBS or any other time the church doors or church functions are under way.

Get FREE Youth Group Games!

 
 
Find ways to encourge the kids to bring visitors such as: charts with rewards, games, fun days, trips, community service, or any thing else that will bring the kids and adults together in Christ!
 


You can also visit our Sunday School Lessons of Plenty blog and our website Christian Magazine Today for more ideas!

 
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Bible Trivia - Great Bible Games for Kids

Penulis : A. James on Friday, April 19, 2013 | 2:51 PM

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bible Trivia - Bible Games for Kids
Photo: Kevin Gardner
Are you looking for some great ideas for bible games for kids? Then, look no further! No matter what age your class is you can use bible trivia to help with learning bible stories or any other part of the bible you have been teaching.

Kids as young as toddlers can answer questions. They may only be able to answer 'yes' or 'no', but this helps get them into a routine of answering bible trivia questions. This is great for churches or school who participate in Bible Bowls or other Bible Trivia Game Days.

All you'll need for a quick bible trivia game is some bible stories you've been working on and questions and answers to go along with those stories.

After you have finished several weeks of lessons, have a bible game for kids day. You can choose to do it during your regular scheduled time or set up a whole different day and time to get together. You can serve food and drinks along with selling T-shirts if you are trying to raise money for something.

If you'd like, talk to area churches and see if they'd like to participate in the game. You can give a medium sized trophy to the winning church. Trophies can be purchased for less than you would think and it would be a great day of fun, fellowship, and worship!

Here are some links to bible trivia questions you may like to use.

 
 
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Youth Group Games | Charades

Penulis : A. James on Saturday, April 13, 2013 | 8:03 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2013

After you've taught your youth group lesson, it's time for some youth group games! It doesn't really matter what your lesson is about as you can make up dozens of words to use in a game of charades.

Youth Group Games
Photo: Evan-Amos
For this post, we'll use the youth group lesson of Daniel and the Lion's Den as an example.

After you have told the bible story of Daniel and the Lion's Den, divide the youth group into two to four groups depending on how many kids you have. Of course, if you need to make more groups, have a helper take part of the kids so every child will have a chance to participate in the charades game.

Youth Group Games - Charades


The story of Daniel has so many elements that your story may be more about praying instead of the actual lions themselves. It doesn't matter though. Just use any parts of the bible story for your charades word list.

Here is some charade words you could use:

  • lion
  • king or King Darius
  • praying
  • window
  • law
  • jealous
  • angel
  • God
  • throw
  • den or lion's den
  • bible
  • music
  • no sleep
  • safe

Use any words you think the kids will be able to act out.

Optional Youth Group Game


Decide on a certain amount of time for each word. If the first group can't figure out the word, let the others guess. If no one can guess it, have a white board ready and allow 15 seconds extra to see if the person acting out the word can draw it instead.

If you are keeping points, give 10 points for each correct word figured out during charades and only 5 points if the word is figured out by drawing it.

Have fun with your games. The more fun you have the more fun your youth group will have. Find more youth group games and other Sunday school games for your church.
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Need New Sunday School Lessons? Get Them FREE

Penulis : A. James on Sunday, March 17, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Sunday, March 17, 2013

If you teach Sunday School, then you know how hard it can be to find new Sunday School lessons that are reasonable priced. I've had a hard time with this myself. Our church's offering has enough money that we can buy what we need, but if I can get some good material that cost less, then I'm all for it.

The way I see it - our church can use that money for something else needed if I can save a few dollars each month.

It is because of this thought and because I know there is a need and because I feel God led me that I have started a new blog...

Sunday School Lessons of Plenty

 
 
This new blog focuses on FREE Sunday School lessons, FREE Sunday School games, FREE Sunday School coloring pages, FREE song lyrics, and FREE activity pages.
 
Did you notice the key word above? It was F-R-E-E!! That's right there is so much FREE content on the blog (and more added weekly), that you (hopefully) won't have to worry about needed Sunday School material again.
 
I hope as time goes on (and God allows), I will be able to get stronger and better at my work. Please click the link above, check out my new blog, and tell me what you think and ways I can get better to help you.
 
I hope you find it very informative and useful. Thanks for all you do for Christ! May God bless you.

 
 

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Anger | What is God's Promise?

Penulis : A. James on Thursday, March 7, 2013 | 12:00 PM

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When you think of anger, what do you associate it with? Right up front I want to say there are different types of anger. There is the kind where things in your every day life sets something off inside you that you can't control. Then, there is the anger that we feel when someone has done us wrong.

For instance, you may feel anger when the same person at work calls off sick constantly leaving you to work late or come in on your days off. So much anger may build up inside you that you want to give them a taste of their own medicine.

Have you been there?

Anger - What's God's Promise?

When you are constantly having people in your life cause you trouble, or you're being bullied, or your co-worker is so mean and vindictive that you just want to accidentally spill your hot cup of coffee in their lap, you need to turn to God and His Word.

In Romans 12:19-21 KJV, we find these verses...

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The bible plainly tells us that we are not suppose to take matters into our own hands, no matter how badly we want to see someone wearing our cup of coffee.

Instead, we are to leave matters such as this to Him.

So, what are we suppose to do with people who cause our anger levels to soar because they are mean, or are a bully, or any number of other un-Christ-like ways?

After turning the situation over to God, we are to be kind. In verse 20, God tells us that if our enemy is hungry we should feed him and if our enemy is thirsty we are to give them something to drink.

You've heard the old saying, 'Kill'em with kindness'.

This old saying works perfectly here.

It can be extremely difficult to turn the whole thing over to God. After all, we want things done right now! Thankfully, God doesn't work hastily. Instead, He waits until just the right moment to show someone the wrong they have done.

Often, we may never witness what God does to take care of the situations we want Him to take over. But, whatever the amount of time, we can be sure that God can and He will do what he promises even if it does take years for the perfect moment.

Trust in God and His promise to take care of the things that anger us when someone is doing us wrong. Remember He says..

19 ...for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 
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Followers

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Praise God!

Jesus Saves

The Bible tells us that...

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 KJV

Annette Phillips' Blog

Annette Phillips' Blog
Writer, Author, Wife, Mother, but most importantly Christian

Thank you...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you have found what you were looking for. In all things, turn to God and he will direct your paths. Let Him lead you. Don't try to do anything on your own. We are human and we are prone to making mistakes.

God, on-the-other-hand, does not make mistakes.

So, the question is...who would be better at leading your life? God or you?

God's WORD is the Only Way

Following God will lead you to places you could never have dreamed of...

This blog is for those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to learn more about Him, learn more about the Bible, find things to help us in our everyday lives, and anything else to help us in our daily travels to follow Him.

God bless each and every one of you who have happened upon this blog. I hope you enjoy your stay here.

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