Friday, July 29, 2011

Top 20 Recommended Book List Ideas for Christian Children 8 to Teen

Finding good clean books for children is sometimes a challenge. Many books today have adult topics in them a bit early and are difficult for tender hearts to understand or grasp.

Here is a brief book ideas for early readers. Some of these are favorites of many children I know. They read them again and again. Many options are actually series.

If you have suggestions please feel free to add them in the comments section. We could never read enough!

Top 20 Recommended Book List

  1. Travels with Aunt Laura & Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 
  2. FaithGirlz!  - Sophie Series by Nancy Rue
  3. Jesus Freak by DC Talk
  4. 2:52 Bible Weird & Gross Stuff -  2:52 Book Series
  5. Under God by Toby Mac and Michael Tait
  6. Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  7. Spirit of the Game Series (sports theme)
  8. American Girl Series
  9. Three Cousins Detectives Club Series
  10. The Boxcar Children Series
  11. Color Me Dark - Other Dear America Books
  12. Brio Girls Series
  13. Lily Series
  14. Christy Series
  15. Little House on the Prairie Series
  16. Extreme Teen Bible
  17. True Image Bible
  18. 2:52 Bible
  19. Faith Girls Bible
  20. The Adventure Bible
  21. Magnify Biblezines

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Devotionals for Tweens and Teens: A Proverb A Day



A Proverb A Day – Daily Devotional

teens reading

A Proverb each Day for the 31 Days of a Month is a Meaty Devotional for each day....


Keep it interesting by sometimes making a game out of it...

*A reader picks a chapter or the chapter of the day... others PICK a number for the reader to read THEIR special verse directed to them. It could be really funny sometimes when read aloud…especially when the proverb DOESN’T relate to anything and the children just giggle about it!

*Another option is to take turns reading aloud.

*Ask God to HIGHLIGHT a particular verse…it will seem to JUMP OUT at the readers… either write down the verse or SHARE it.




Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Medi-Crationals = Daily Devotions for Tweens and Youth

This list was put together with youth who like to call them Medi-crations instead of meditations or devotions !!!
They chose verses to meditate on each day...we suggest spending 5-15 min or more each day listening and writing what God shares with you....
You can even print it out if you like...just click on the image below:

Daily Medi-Crationals

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Akiane – Prodigy Christian Child Artist - Video Clip

Christian children need to be encouraged to explore the arts as much as possible.
Unfortunately the arts are often crowded out by science and technology these days.
Here is a child artist who grew up in an atheist home. God spoke to Akiane Kramarik  through visions starting at 4 years old. She started painting at 6yo. God introduced Himself to her and taught her how to create beautiful artwork and poetry. She and her family eventually all came to know Jesus and became Christians. Akiane believes God gave her this gift to share with the world. Her work can be used to inspire children to do their best at whatever God inspires them to do.
God truly LOVES to use children to teach ALL of us.

Her work is truly amazing. Here is a CNN report.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fun Dance Videos for Kids and Youth To Enjoy


This videos from a few years ago are so cute. They may inspire the dancers in your life or bring a smile as you watch these kids and youth worship God.


"Freedom" @ Kids Conference -

This was FUN!

I actually had the privilege of watching this one in person. The behind the scenes facts were perhaps even more exciting. The kids performed this FREEDOM dance directly after someone spoke that they felt the Lord wanted them all to proclaim FREEDOM. No one knew their dance was going to be about FREEDOM! 

The Lord tied it right in. PLUS, the flagger in the background had a huge flag that was perfect for this routine. It all flowed together…

Its so like the Holy Spirit to coordinate things together and use kids to do so!



ReBirth Dance Co

Visiting the USA – Christian Hip-Hop / Lyrical Dance Group

This group is committed & awesome!  We met them at the His Gifts & Presence New England Arts Festival  The way they combine hip-hop to traditional dance is amazing. Love it!



Eternity Dance Center - Project Dance NYC

"Represent in NYC!" was what the audience replied to this Maine based group after their routine. Who says Mainers can’t hip-hop?





"Dead Serious" - Jazz

Watch Out! They ARE serious! Cute but serious…I like the chorography in this one=)





ReBirth Dance in USA & London - Christian Hip-Hop Dance Group

Can't Get Enough of their Awesome Dancing..




Project Dance NYC 2008 - Mix

This yearly outdoor dance event on Broadway in NYC, Project Dance NYC, has dancers from around the world..... Project Dance which is in its 10th year is actually an international production that is touring 7 major cities around the world in 2011. They offer free all-day outdoor dance concerts and professional training in dance classes, motivational forums and networking. See their blog for details.  The dance team from Eternity Dance had the privilege of being included in their promotional video.





I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men (and women) will dream dreams, your young men (and women) will see visions. Joel 2 :28

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Preschool Hearing God Exercises


(These ideas are adopted from a preschool teacher)


Kids can "drink" from the Spirit of God TOO....


Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14 (NIV)


Photo Courtesy of Kim Mngqibisa*


This is an enjoyable activity that the kiddos can do!

God really shows them things to draw and introduces Himself to them=)

It is a good into for preschoolers to relate to God and can be adopted for older students as well.

***The more often they practice listening to God, the more comfortable and easily they will be able to do it.


Supplies- plain paper, markers, crayons

I. Prayer Time

The kids can pick a region in their world to pray for….their neighborhood, state, or country. It is also fun to have them pray for something local that they could possibly see God improve.

Have the kiddos pray and close their eyes.


II. Hearing God Activity

“Ok kids, lets ask the Holy Spirit to give you a picture in your mind/heart that you can draw. Try to keep your eyes shut till you think you have it.”

The teacher can silently pray to God. They can ask God that He will reveal something to the kiddos, give them a spirit of creativity & sanctify their imaginations…..whatever God puts on your heart to pray.

“Alright, let’s draw what the Holy Spirit showed you!”

It is remarkable what God shows kids…we like to display them and discuss them with the kids.


*Photo provided by Kim Mngqibisa:

Day 27 - 30 Days With Jesus - Jesus “The Passover Lamb” Tortured, TOOK OUR Sins & Died

Today’s Bible Challenge Reading: Matthew 27:1-66 Jesus “The Passover Lamb” Tortured… TOOK Our Sins and Died

In today’s lesson we can see how people get confused….

About what God wants

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY would God allow such bad things happen to Jesus. Before Jesus was actually KILLED, He was first TORTURED quite a bit.

Jesus so weak He could no longer carry His cross...

Jesus was beaten severely and then expected to carry His cross...

If you have ever seen the movie  “The Passion of the Christ”  you probably SKIPPED the beating scene where Jesus was whipped for 15min.....Just to get the point across to us viewers.( If you missed viewing The Passion, it is now airing on TBN Network or online if you want to watch tv on your phone or computer...just go to their schedule for the next time it airs.) 
 *Or you can rent it or a less graphic movie of the life of Jesus to see what He did for YOU.

I like to tell the kids…”Even if YOU were the ONLY PERSON on EARTH…Jesus STILL would have gone on the CROSS JUST for YOU!”

Jesus, who was the Son of God, and had mega POWER accessible at a snap, didn’t choose to  skip the torture….

Jesus WISHED He could skip the torture and even asked God to because, quite frankly He didn’t feel like being beaten badly…spit on, mocked,  then have nails driven into His hands…. feet hung on a wooden cross…AND face certain death! He didn’t want to do it. He cried and begged God the Father soooo hard in the Garden of Gethsemane He even SWEAT BLOOD!!! (Matthew 26:36-46)

BUT Jesus DID it to OBEY God’s will for God’s ULTIMATE plan…the BIG PICTURE….
 Jesus obeyed His Father even though it meant certain death.

God wanted and planned for JESUS TO SUFFER………and DIE….for US.

It was needed for the BIG PICTURE. To help save allllllllllll mankind from going to eternal punishment in hell! Including you and I. 

All we have to do to be saved is confess with our mouths that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins AND accept in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. John 3:16.  Then we ask Jesus to become the “boss” of our lives and plug into friendly bible teaching churches and youth programs to help us GROW.

 It’s THAT simple!! Congrats!

 (Please contact me if you do this pray this pray…YAY… so I can help you!!!)

The folks around Jesus… the disciples and the Jews  didn’t quite GET IT because, they wanted Jesus to be the new KING of Jerusalem so they can beat up on the evil Romans who ran things. The Jews wanted to TAKE OVER. I don’t blame them. The Romans were so cruel that they made sport of torturing Christians.

How many times in your life have things NOT gone your way and you just didn’t get it. You asked God for help and STILL things are NOT going your way…

Don’t get me wrong.  Things go bad for different reasons that God NEVER intended:

-Man’s sinful tendencies many times mess things up.
-Sometimes the devil tries to botch things up temporarily too.

BUT SOMETIMES we get confused because God is supposed to give us what we want right? 


We are all part of a BIG PUZZLE…that fits together.

It makes a great picture when we are all where we should be. But if a corner piece of God’s PUZZLE tries to go where the center piece should go…or some pieces go jump into water because they DON’T FEEL LIKE FITTING WHERE God wants them…the puzzle looks “jacked up”.

Today…ask God “How or where do I fit in??? What special reason did you make ME FOR?” How can I help you God? 


YOU were born for a special purpose and plan that God has…a job JUST FOR YOU! We all fit into God’s Plan like a 6,000,000 piece puzzle that He puts together. Cool thing is…when you figure out what special talents and GIFTS GOD gave you.. and what they are for…. Life will be more of an adventure! Fun huh?

REMEMBER: Day 28 is a rest can review verses we already studied or read anywhere int he bible when you spend time with God=) If you want to try something new...Listen to some praise music as you pray...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

30 Days With Jesus - Day 26 - Jesus Celebrates Passover with His ENEMY and Friends- John 13:1-30 and Luke 22:1-71

Today’s Bible Reading:  Day 26 - John 13:1-30 and Luke 22:1-71 - Jesus Celebrates Passover with His ENEMY and FRIENDS Who Soon Abandon Him…
The last supper Jesus ate with His friends…the disciples:

How would YOU feel to have a meal with someone you KNOW is going to cause you to be KILLED plus other friends whom you KNOW will leave you when you need them the MOST!!!
THAT’S what Jesus did…but not only that….

FIRST, Jesus served them by washing their feet?

WHY? Why would Jesus wash the feet of a man who was a backstabbing fink PLUS wash the feet of 11 others who didn’t bother to stick around and defend him? Luke 13:1-30
Jesus Lived In Opposite World

This scripture helps us better understand GOD and how Jesus did things… OPPOSITE of how the world does….Jesus was an example to us!

Jesus showed us how to treat those who do us wrong. Bless and love on them.
It’s a simple concept that sometimes seems tricky when we try to ACTUALLY be loving =)

Be kind and loving even when we don’t FEEL LIKE being kind and loving. THAT is how you know are living real genuine Christian life.

Not so easy huh? If you are willing to TRY…God will help YOU! Little by little, bit by bit you will find that it will get easier to be KIND and LOVING to others…even folks who annoy you and/or hurt your feelings.
IF someone is physically hurting you….LOVE and FORGIVE THEM FROM A DISTANCE…that’s different! Better yet…tell someone you trust immediately to help you AND the person who is harming you. (Here is a website if you just need someone to chat with about it Or contact us and we will try to forward you to someone who can help you more directly…
On the other hand,
if people are simply frustrating, making you mad and generally a pain…ask God to help you CHANGE HOW YOU REACT to them….
For the next section in Luke 22, I listened to the bible gateway audio bible…here is a link:


Jesus was funny because He TOLD the disciples ahead of time in Luke 22:10 (NIV)  how to get ready for Passover:

 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”
 13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

In addition, you will see in the next section, that Jesus also told the disciples everything that they were going to do in response to the AWFUL things that were about to happen to him.


Jesus did that because God TOLD Him to…Jesus listened and talked to God who shows US all things. God loves showing His plans to us…just ASK Him !!! He can tell you too=)

In the same way…Jesus of course KNEW who would betray Him …but chose to LOVE Judas who betrayed Him to the Pharisees who eventually had Him crucified anyway… and He chose to LOVE His best friends on earth who followed Him faithfully even though He TOLD them they would scatter and desert Him.

He even TOLD Peter WHEN and HOW he would deny even knowing Jesus three times.

34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” (NIV)

Peter not only did it but then remembered that Jesus warned him in advance. Luke: 54-65

One of my new favorite sites has a cool PODCAST that talks about Peter: Here is the clip from their website

Go there for even more accounts that relate to our 30 Days With Jesus.



Jonathan McKee and David R. Smith: Mark 14:27-42
Published: 8/01/2010

Ever make a promise you can't keep? Peter did. Check out this podcast where Jonathan and David explain Peter's promises to well as Peter's failure to keep them. Use this episode to learn how you can keep your promises to Jesus.

Jesus The Overcomer

The BIGGEST THING that stands out about John 13 and Luke 22 is that Jesus accomplished ALL of His goals in SPITE of the fact that sooooo many were against Him.

You could tell it was excruciating for Him to submit to God’s will…verse 44 really says it best.

 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.[c

Jesus CHOSE to LOVE and spoke to God His Father to help Him accomplish the goals God gave Him…through that relationship, God gave Him the wisdom and strength He needed to rise above His circumstances…YOU CAN TOO! God wants to help us trust Him so He can help us be kind and loving to each other AND rise above the everything that tries to hold us back. God want to help all of us to be OVERCOMERS saved by His grace…

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This is Dicipling



A picture IS worth a thousand words! I spotted this great video that was featured on a resourceful site   . Thanks also to “foursquare” on YouTube…


Not saying that those things that burdened the follower of Jesus BAD....

we need them to help things…but they cannot become the FOCUS…

the Love of Jesus is the point!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Podcasts for TWEENS and TEENS – A Li’l Bit About US


As I was poking around on I tripped over what looks like a GOLDMINE!


Christian Podcasts geared to tweens and teens???

No I’m NOT kidding!

Please go to A Li'l Bit About Us to hear their MANY selections of podcasts. I posted a few here to get us started!!!

These podcasts actually tie into our online Bible Study: 30 DAYS WITH JESUS

biblechall (2)

and will help with the last few days!



A Li'l Bit

A Li'l Bit was created by some youth workers that are all about authenticity and truth. These guys wanted to provide a weekly podcast where kids could simply hear God's word presented in a real and relevant way. Nothing crazy, nothing too hard to understand... just pure truth shared in 10 minute "easy to understand" segments. PLEASE GO TO: for more podcast details.

*Jonathan’s BLOGS are also helpful for tweens and teens


David R. Smith: Mark 16: 9-20
Published: 06/18/2011
In this podcast, David concludes the Gospel of Mark with a challenge to do the exact same thing the disciples of Jesus did 2,000 years ago: share our faith in the Son of God. We must be courageous, even if others aren't. Check out this episode for some encouragement in the task.

David R. Smith: Mark 16: 1-8
Published: 05/26/2011
Ahhh...the final chapter of Mark's wonderful story! Here comes the good news that we so desperately need to hear. Listen closely as David gives us a VERY specific challenge based on Mark's 2,000 year old letter. It could change lives...yours and others!

Jonathan McKee and David R. Smith: Mark 15: 42-47
Published: 04/17/2011
Jesus is dead. The disciples of Jesus have been scattered. Fear has completely overtaken the followers of Jesus. What will happen now? Join Jonathan and David as they discuss a man who risked everything to ensure Jesus had a proper burial.

Jonathan McKee and Alec Address Bullying
Published: 2/12/2011
Last weekend Jonathan and his 17-year-old son Alec got an opportunity to share with a group of 450 students about the effects of bullying. Enjoy a little bit of humor and "heart" as they share steps teenagers can take to truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Matt Furby: Mark 15: 33-41
Published: 01/30/2011
In the weightiest episode of the Book of Mark, Furby takes us through the death of God's Son, Jesus Christ. He also explains why Jesus had to die for us. This is one of THE MOST important podcast from Mark's Gospel! Don't miss it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

WORSHIP LESSON–For Sunday School or Home – Lesson 1



WORSHIP IS A CONDUIT FOR THE PRESENCE OF is so important for us to praise Jesus. Here are some lessons that can be broken up over a series of sessions.


*Target - Kids & youth 7-14 but can be adapted for an older group.

*This lesson is very interactive with lots of audience participation.

*Best when done in more than 1 session.

Materials for lesson 1: Printed out of power verse and picture version of Revelations Ch. 4 (below) to hang, a big set of hands created from poster board or from the Dollar Store, worship flags (red, purple and blue) or ribbons, paper and art materials, music CD - we enjoyed fast songs, and CD player.


A. Activation


This is probably the most important step!


Give the group time to worship together with the leader using flags, streamers, ribbons, scarves, banners, instruments......whatever.


Fast worship songs that the kids really like are recommended. 2-3 songs are a fair amount of time. We used 2.


As you worship, pray and ask God to fill the kids hearts and touch them with His presence.



B. Why do we worship God?

1 .The bible encourages us to =)

(play a game - the kids say this verse whenever the teacher says "We worship a big God" This phrase can be integrated thru out the entire lesson and helps the kids focus)
1 Chronicles 16:29b-30a (New Living Translation)

“Worship the LORD in all His Holy Splendor.”

2. Another reason to worship is because God is awesome…


(exercise to explain) “We are going to close our eyes and IMAGINE THIS SCENE from the bible or you can follow along with the handout you can create by cutting and pasting the handout from below, it is kind of long but hang in there… I want you to listen closely to what I say to get a picture in your mind"


(This prayer is adapted from the book:

Praying the Bible, by Wesley and Stacey awesome resource. Praying the bible out loud somehow ushers us into God's presence in a noticeable way)



The Throne in Heaven- Revelation Chapter 4

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven.

And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said,

"Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.

And the one who sat there had the appearance of

jasper and carnelian.

A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled (went around) the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and

had crowns of gold on their heads. 

From the throne came flashes of lightning   , rumblings and peals of thunder.

Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.


…the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
   to receive glory and honor and power,
   for you created all things,
      and by your will they were created
      and have their being."

C. What happens when we worship?

(Ask the Kids) Have YOU ever been in a sticky situation…what do you usually do?
Paul and Silas were in a rough situation ,

they were doing stuff for God THEN GOT ARRESTED FOR IT ….


Acts 16:23-26 (kids act out as you read it- it’s A LOT of fun!)

Need 2+ guards, Paul, Silas, 2+ Jailers & audience to preach to….before starting refresh the children’s memory of the storyline 

Narrator (teacher) reads:

“After they had been severely flogged, (2 guards pretend to arrest them and walk them over to prison area) they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. (the guards pretend to lock their feet and arms in chains and then stand near the “door” of the prison).

"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God (Paul and Silas raise hands to praise God), and the other prisoners were listening to them.

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake (pretend to shake ALOT and then be free after a while ) that the foundations of the prison were shaken. (guards shake and fall out of the way). At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.” (prisoners rejoice)

*Instead of complaining they sang & worshiped….GOD THEN RESPONDED AND HELPED THEM OUT!!

One of things that HAPPENS WHEN WE WORSHIP IS .....God helps us when we worship Him & He ENJOYS being with us."


C. What does worship LOOK like?



(Show large hands )

(Tell the kids): “Warriors actually used clapping to scare off the was a fighting strategy.
We can do the same as we clap to the Lord we are fighting off the devil our enemy.

(A volunteer comes up to read the scripture…..and helps lead in a clap pattern for the class to repeat).

Psalm 47:1 (NLT)

“Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! “

2. FLAGSIMG_8639

“Many use flags to worship God...the bible speaks mostly of banners. God seems to enjoy when we make beautiful flags and streamers and ribbons and banners to worship. “

(show and demonstrate using a flag, ribbon, banner or streamer to worship)

“The colors of flags can also symbolize different things...can you guess what these flag colors could represent??”

red = blood of Jesus, redemption, atonement, war

Purple = royalty, power, majesty,kingdom authority

Blue= revelation, Heaven


Can read this verse...or have several volunteers come up to do a simple tambourine pattern (should be made up in advance)

2 Chronicles 5:13 (NLT)
The trumpeters and singers performed together …(with) trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord …

At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord.

The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.


It is really cool to see that God RESPONDED TO THEIR PRAYER....with His PRESENCE!! This verse proves that GOD enjoys being with us....that is a great thing!!




At this point there is an option to continue with the different forms of worship OR move into an art activity (recommended). Art supplies should be readily accessible for a quick transition.


“Now kids we will draw.

I will re-read (please skim) Revelation 4: 1-11 and I want you to imagine what it would look like....this scripture is from John.  God showed many things to John and God can show YOU ALL many things.


(Re-read passage passionately)..PRAY at the same time asking God to draw the kids in so they can really imagine it.


“You may draw what you wish from this passage OR a picture about worship.”


This comprehensive worship lesson will be very helpful to loosen up kids to WORSHIP GOD so they can experience God’s Best…HIS PRESENCE!

Any Questions?

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