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Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/05/piggy-in-middle.html
When I was at school, I hated playing Piggy in the Middle. I can remember making myself dizzy, spinning around in between my two friends, trying to intercept the ball. When we were young, none of my siblings ever wanted to take the middle seat in the back of our car. We were supposed to take it in turns to sit there...but my brother never would. He always stole the premier seat by the window. When we fly on an airplane, my husband rarely chooses the seat in the middle. He prefers to sit in the aisle, where there is more room for his long legs. Nobody likes being in the middle...we don't care to touch the person next to us or have our space invaded. The middle seat is the seat of inconvenience. But maybe it depends on who is sitting on either side of you. The Psalmist knew a secret when he wrote, you hem me in. He knew the power of being able to imagine God sitting on either side of him and what a comfort, not an inconvenience that could be. And what a difference we could make in the lives of our children if we could teach them to remember that in any and every situation, God is hemming them in, on their right and their left, ahead of them and behind.
Because if God is sitting on either side of you, then that surely has to be the very best seat in the house.
Click here for a fun game to demonstrate how God hems us in.
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/05/piggy-in-the-middle/
Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/05/geocaching.html
Every year hundreds of people enjoy spending time on the boardwalk that traverses Reeds Lake. Some stroll along, admiring the view. Others power walk their way to the end and back. Kids run. Some athletes zoom along on wheels. But whether they stroll, or run, or bike... under their feet lies a secret. It hides, undiscovered, tucked away quietly, waiting to be found. But the only way to find it is to slow down on that boardwalk, and truly search. This little piece of treasure is one of over 500 geocaches that are hidden in Grand Rapids, and one of over two million that are lying in secret around the world. Geocaching is a fascinating and fun phenomenon- the ultimate treasure hunt that anyone can participate in- for free.I wonder how many secrets are hidden in my Bible? I wonder as I turn the pages... what treasures lie undiscovered beneath my fingers? Sometimes I stroll through my Bible. Sometimes I run. At times I might even zoom. But it is only when I slow down and truly take the time to search that I find that hidden treasure. The Bible is a mystery. Power lies within its pages. But this ancient book is the ultimate geocache... our invitation to a global treasure hunt that is free to all, and that anyone can participate in.Seek, and you will find. Matthew 7:7Click here for a fun Bible Geocaching activity for tweens.
|Our tweens geocaching at|
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/05/geocaching/
Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/04/springs-stage.html
The morning is still- a scent of promise in the air. Under a canopy of blue skies birds chorus, and flit, and fly. They dip and dive, high on the wing, carrying twigs and feathers and leaves. Do they know it is spring? The stage is set...the scenery is prepared. The backdrops are ready. The props are in place. The robin holds the baton. Ta da! Let the play begin! Spring...the season of new life, where dramas of nest building and bulb blooming and tree budding begin to unfold on Earth's stage. And the director of this drama watches and smiles, because there is always something new to be seen. Are you busy, like the birds? What new thing are you working on? Are you spring cleaning? Painting? Replacing windows? Tidying the yard? Getting highlights? Buying a new outfit? Losing weight? Spring is hard work. But we are not the only ones who are busy. Behind the scenes, God is at work in us and for us, yearning to make all things new. Every morning we meet, every day we walk through, every moment we encounter, God is at work, renewing, replenishing, spring cleaning on the inside- making us new. For us, the season of spring comes not just once a year, but every single day.Click here for an object lesson for children on how God Loves Making Us New.
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/04/springs-stage/
Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-real-enemy.html
My brother's cups of tea tasted great, but he had one annoying habit. He used to fill that cup until it was absolutely overflowing. I couldn't carry it from counter to table because hot tea would spill from the edges and onto the floor. It was as if he had no concept of when to stop pouring. He must have learned that from God.I think about God, standing in heaven's kitchen, holding a gigantic pitcher, from which pours a never ending supply of love, and forgiveness, and joy, and hope, to all those who are willing to bring their cups to Him. And therein lies the problem. In order for us to be filled with God's best, we must bring an empty cup. But mine is already full...of fear, or anxiety, or confusion, or busyness. And aren't they the real enemies at the table? When I am filled with those things, it leaves me no room for anything else.And this is what I learn...we cannot teach our children how to come to the table emptied of the world's worries, and ready to be filled with God's greatness, if we do not know how to do that ourselves. But if we can learn that secret, then what a feast we will share! We will sit at a table where our enemies are conquered, and where the host is One who has no concept of when to stop pouring.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemiesYou anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Psalm 23: 5
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/04/the-real-enemy/
Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/04/are-smartphones-really-smart.html
For the longest time I resisted the temptation to own a smartphone. Despite the recommendations of my children, my colleagues, the television, and the billboards I passed every day, I was happy with my chunky little flip phone. I didn't understand the word 'app' or know the difference between a smartphone and an iPhone. But now that I carry a smartphone in my pocket, I don't know how I ever lived without one. Suddenly, the world is at my fingertips. I no longer have to wait until I get home to check my email. I don't need to carry a camera around my neck, a map book in my car, or a stack of coupons that I clipped from the newspaper. My smartphone does it all. That little gadget is my constant companion... I carry it wherever I go...and I am not the only one- the world is carrying smartphones too.But as clever as the GPS on my smartphone is, it cannot guide me to heaven. As fast as I can get my questions answered by searching Google, it cannot give me the answers I crave by searching God. And so I have to find a way to carry God in my pocket too, to keep Him as accessible as my smartphone, and to rely on Him as much as I rely on that little gadget. And as technology advances, we have to find a way to encourage our children to do the same. Imagine how much difference it would make in the world if we pulled a Bible out of our pockets as often as we pull out our phones...or turned to God in prayer rather than turned to Google. Smartphones are only smart if we can sometimes turn them off, and turn to God instead.
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/04/are-smartphones-really-smart/
Original post at http://kidsministrymatters.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-power-of-pine-cone.html
The longer I share my home with a two year old the more I am beginning to understand what Jesus meant when he said Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Xander, my little grandson, has the ability to laugh at absolutely nothing and to take pleasure in even the tiniest details of the world around him. He wakes up laughing- ready to dive into a new day filled with wonder and beauty. He is enchanted by the simplest of things: the sound of his cereal popping as the milk is poured, the sight of tiny insignificant sticks strewn all over the lawn, the sound of a sneeze, or the feel of dry oatmeal as he lifts it and watches if fall through his fingers. When we are out walking, it is Xander who spots the bird on the roof, or the cat asleep in the window. He sees every pine cone on the floor and laughs hysterically when the ones we have collected do a dance in the tray of his stroller as we bump up and down the pavement. And it is these little things, these tiny things, that fill him with so much joy and leave me wondering how I became so blind to beauty.Pause today. Notice the beauty all around. Look into the eyes of a child and wonder at the world together... because when we can look at the world through their eyes, we must surely be seeing a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
Permanent link to this article: http://methoblog.com/3_0/2013/04/the-power-of-a-pine-cone/