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Midyear Refreshment for Ministry Volunteers

In the month of January, the days are short and the nights are long and cold (for some of us). The busy holiday season is over, and many of us feel tired and worn down. Sometimes this attitude carries over into the classroom. The eagerness and energy of the school year’s beginning has diminished. What’s a teacher to do to fight against the midyear doldrums? (more…)

The Fruit of Vision-Oriented Children’s Ministry

Having a long-term, God-centered, Gospel-focused vision is crucial for discipling children and youth. The fruit of leading and teaching with this vision is illustrated well at North Wake Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. Stephanie Jackson, children’s ministry director at North Wake, shares how vision has shaped the past decade and a half of ministry to children there: (more…)

The Enduring Power of Christmas + Free Lesson/Devotional

There is wonderful variety displayed in the Christmas celebrations of our churches and families. Some are shaped by years of special traditions. Some are unique to our cultural backgrounds. (more…)

The Life-Transforming Gift of Bible Memory

No one wants to give boring presents for Christmas, especially not to children. But there is a gift that is often overlooked in its ability to captivate our minds and hearts. It is a one-of-a-kind gift that is beyond exciting because it is…

…sweeter than honey; more valuable than gold; a lamp and a guide; a hiding place and shield; a sword and strong defense; always right, true, and trustworthy; powerful; life-giving; hope-producing; more satisfying than food; unchanging; eternal; and more.

No other gift can compare to God’s Word! As we quickly approach Christmas and the coming new year, we have a wonderful opportunity to inspire families and the wider church body to pursue an intentional plan for reading and memorizing God’s Word together. (more…)

Cultivating Contentment at Christmas

In a child’s mind, the thought of Christmas often conjures up the anticipation of gifts—lots and lots of gifts. “Can I get ____ for Christmas? Which presents are mine under the tree? When can I open them?” While there should be a sense of excitement, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to give gifts to our children, it can often serve as a great challenge to the heart. (more…)

Teaching Rich Truths Through Christmas Carols

Recently, I listened as children from our church practiced singing for their Christmas program. I was delighted as the director carefully explained, stanza by stanza, the meaning of the words of a familiar Christmas carol. As a young child, I remember memorizing this carol with ease, but I had no clue what many of the words meant. Unfortunately, that was true for most of the Christmas carols I sang. (more…)

Great Books at Christmas Time: The Prince’s Poison Cup + Book Offer!

Are you looking for something to occupy your children through the long, cold winter days? Wondering how to keep them busy during the coming school break? Have you considered how you can make Christmas more spiritually significant? One answer to all these questions is to give the gift of great books! One such book is The Prince’s Poison Cup by R. C. Sproul. (more…)

Raising Thankful Children

Imagine giving your children a beautifully wrapped package. They eagerly tear off the wrapping to find the treasures inside. What do they find? Simple cards with these words: A breath, A heartbeat, Air, Sunshine, Rain, A glass of water, A piece of bread…What might their reaction be? Would a smile come to their faces? Confusion? Disappointment? Complaints? Yet each of the cards should be a humble and joyful reminder of the daily, and even moment-by-moment, generous and gracious provision of God. (more…)

A Priceless Treasury for Our Children

The stores are already displaying Christmas decorations and stocking their shelves with an abundance of every imaginable toy and gadget. As you walk down the aisles, you can almost hear the toys and gadgets calling out: You really want this. You need this. You deserve this. This is what will make you happy! Our children and grandchildren are no more immune to the lure of new and exciting things than we are.

As a child, I received many wonderful Christmas gifts. I’m sure they brought me some level of enjoyment. But, interestingly enough, I cannot recall what these gifts were in any great detail. They have all dimmed from my memory. They were fleeting treasures that succumbed to the passage of time, indifference, boredom, wear and tear, and more.

Knowing this reality does not mean I am opposed to giving material gifts to my children and grandchildren this Christmas. But, more than all the wonderful gifts of this world, I want to give them something much more valuable that can serve as a means toward their everlasting joy. (more…)

An Anchor for Your Child’s Soul

I was looking back over the post below from two years ago, and it struck me: The “hard news from doctors” I referenced then is still hard news today. Back then, my nephew received a diagnosis that his cancer had returned. And now, two and a half years later, he still struggles daily from severe complications of a bone marrow transplant. How does a young man in his 20s not lose hope in the midst of a seemingly undefeatable illness? By trusting in Christ and placing his full confidence in His sovereign goodness! It may never be cancer that your children face, but their lives will be touched by suffering. May we diligently prepare them for that day! (more…)

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