Hot off the Press

Crafty Ideas

From Big Picture Bible Crafts

Job 5:12 has never come up as a recommended memory verse, you never see it printed on wallet sized cards or adorning the front of notebooks, and yet I can think of many a Christian and specifically Sunday School teachers who would be encouraged to know they’re not alone in struggling with this part of their walk with the Lord.

The struggle is real.

If, like me, your go to craft is something (anything!) stuck on a paper plate OR you avoid all craft that involve more planning than printing off a colouring sheet OR even if you’re a craft genius who loves browsing pintrest for inspiration then I have the book for you.

The Big Picture Bible Crafts: 101 Simple and Amazing Crafts to Help Teach Children the Bible
If that subtitle alone hasn’t sold convinced you let me point out some extra incentives:
It’s available now on amazon.
The author Gail Schoonmaker is the illustrator of the Big Picture Story Bible and it’s ESV counterpart, among other things, so you know it’s quality and that ‘amazing’ isn’t overselling it.
101 crafts is, at a rate of one craft a week, nearly two years worth of crafts!
You can photocopy and print pages so it’s not super time consuming to use.
I go to church with Gail and she’s awesome.
Because I go to a church where Gail designs crafts for Sunday School I have actual quotes from parents who see crafts like these every week.

“For those of you involved in local church work with children, I cannot commend this book enough. Gail is my daughter’s Sunday School teacher and I am routinely amazed by the crafts that she brings home on Sundays. You will not be disappointed!”
–  B Nieh (Parent)

Get yourself a copy!

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It’s international women’s day

and an excuse for another Inspirational Christian

and, yes, I’ve picked a woman

There were soooooo many women I could have picked as being inspirational, Godly, Christ-following women. Women whose example we could all follow; writers like Emma Scrivener, missionaries like Jackie Pullinger, ordinary women whose names you wouldn’t recognise, women throughout history, women whose stories are in the Bible, so many incredible women!

Those who are strong and those who are weak, those in extraordinary times and those living ordinary lives, those who gave help to millions and those who have helped me, those who partnered with amazing men and those who went it alone, the single and the married, the struggling and the suffering, the ‘good girls’ and those with a ‘past’, those who were in cults and those who were in gangs, the scholars and the uneducated, the famous and the unknown and even the ones like me.

I could write about any of them; how they found Jesus and how they followed him and their lives and stories would be an encouragement because in each and every case Jesus has done something amazing in saving them and he has done something incredible in using them to continue his mission here on earth.

The woman I picked today is Esther John. I hadn’t heard of her until I was researching and determined to pick an Asian female Christian, mostly because that was a category I couldn’t think of a well-known name in, but her perseverance in circumstances I know many of my sisters are facing today made her a sure and certain choice.

I should also point out that during Black History Month I also featured two incredible women of God: Mandisa and Rosa Parks I recommend you can head on over and check out their fact sheets and Bible studies too.

Black History Celebrations

An American Idol

and a great role model

So no, I’m not suggesting you idolise this weeks inspirational Black Christian – she just happens to have come to fame through the American Idol TV show.

I can’t think of a better introduction for her than one of her most recent songs:

So here’s our latest Bible study looking at questions raised by the life of Mandisa.

Black History Month

Rosa Parks

The faith of the woman who helped change America

February is Black History Month and the Disorganised Sunday School is celebrating by posting some info on excellent Black Christians; both historical and modern day. Too often the face of Christianity is ‘some white guy’ and we’re viewed by many parts of the world as a white western religion – which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s very early in church history that Peter makes this declaration:

I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

God doesn’t limit his welcome to white westerners: he welcomes all! And so should we.  Highlighting Black believers this month is to help me (a white western Christian) expand my horizons a bit. Too often I default to CS Lewis and Tim Keller (old white men) when looking for quotations and I’ve seen it in sermons too; outside of the Bible the people who get quoted are old white men.

So here’s my pledge: I’m not abandoning the old white men but I’m expanding beyond just them to women, people of colour, young people and children when I quote. I’m going to pay special attention to those I’m normally biased against (unintentionally) because I believe that you don’t have to be an old white man to have something worthwhile to say about Jesus. This month’s info sheets and youth group sessions are here to help me, and hopefully others, counter that bias in ourselves and inspire the girls and minority cultures in our youth groups by showing examples of faithful Christians they can more easily relate to.

We’re kicking off with Rosa Parks. If you just want her biography and quotes click here. If you’re looking for a youth group session you can run around this remarkable woman click here.
And if you want a good short read her book Quiet Strength is available on Amazon. It’s more reflections than biography and I certainly found it thought provoking.