Newsletters for Children's ministers.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Introduction and Contents.

 

Introduction and Contents.

Introduction.
 
In 2002 I began sending out Newsletters to Children's ministers worldwide, and this Blog contains the teaching material from all my published Newsletters since then.
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NOTE. New Blog from Maurice Sweetsur - "Bible answers for kids" - http://bibleanswersforkids.blogspot.com/
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Who made God? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Why is my brother/sister nasty to me? When did God create the dinosaurs? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Where is heaven? When will the world end? Why do we have earthquakes? Can Christians perform miracles?
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These are just a few of the children’s questions that are answered in this Blog.

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NOTE. To view the earlier Newsletters, scroll down to the bottom of the page, look under 'Archives' and click on 'September 2004'.

To find out more about my ministry to children in New Zealand, go to my main 'Blog' -
http://www.unclemaurice.blogspot.com/

If you wish to access only Object Lessons (passive, active and illusions), go to
http://objectlessons.blogspot.com/

If you wish to access only Bible lessons and Teaching Tips go to
http://teachinglessons.blogspot.com/

If you wish to access only stories, skits and puppet plays, go to
http://christianstoriesandplays.blogspot.com/

To access "Bible answers for kids" go to
http://bibleanswersforkids.blogspot.com/

To access all my material on major teaching themes, check out the 'Special Blog' sites below :-

1. Creation.
http://www.ms-creation.blogspot.com/
2. Christmas.
http://www.ms-christmas.blogspot.com/
3. Easter.
http://www.ms-easter.blogspot.com/
4. The Bible.
http://www.ms-bible.blogspot.com/
5. Prayer.
http://www.ms-prayer.blogspot.com/
6. Hearing from God.
http://www.ms-hearing.blogspot.com/
7. The Ten Commandments.
http://www.ms-tencommandments.blogspot.com/
8. John 3.16.
http://www.ms-john316.blogspot.com/
9. Teaching Memory verses.
http://www.ms-memoryverses.blogspot.com/
10. Gospel Illusions.
http://www.ms-gospelillusions.blogspot.com/
11. Object Lessons (using natural laws).
http://www.ms-objectlessons.blogspot.com/
12. Lessons involving balloons.
http://www.ms-balloons.blogspot.com/
13. Lessons involving fire.
http://www.ms-firelessons.blogspot.com/

To check out my 'Kidzone' site for children, go to
http://www.funatkidzone.blogspot.com/

To access previous 'Kidzone' publications, go to :-
http://www.kidzonearchives.blogspot.com/

Maurice Sweetsur
mnmsweetsur@xtra.co.nz

"Your articles and ideas ministered to thousands of leaders around the globe. - - - - Your ideas really have made a global impact on children’s ministry!"
- Gary & Ailsa Linn, Children's Ministry Today.
 
Newsletter 93 from Maurice
 
 
Teaching tip 65. Keeping discipline in your children’s class.
Teaching tip 66. Helping children to defend their faith.
What should be the Christian response to “Halloween” activities?
Should Christians use “Magic tricks” when teaching children?
Secularism is atheism.
 
 
Newsletter 92.
 
Why do we teach children Biblical values?
T.T. 63. God v. Santa Claus.
T.T. 64. Did God really create the earth in six days?
A recall notice funny.
A young person’s explanation of God.
 
 
Newsletter 91.
 
Christian religious education in N.Z. state schools.
Bible in Schools battlers denying our heritage - Dr. Paul Moon
T.T. 62 - How many different types of Christians are there?
Arrested for ---------What?
 
Newsletter 90.
 
T.T. 60 - God's Diary.
T.T. 61 - How old is the earth?
Why do vast numbers of teens leave the church?
Prayers from children.
 
Newsletter 89.
 
T.T.57 - What do children believe?
O.L. 77 - Making objects appear and disappear with a thumb tip.
Craft 3 - Making a paper thumb tip.
T.T. 58 - Developing good habits and making good choices.
T.T. 59 - Understanding Biblical Miracles.
 
Newsletter 88.
 
Religious Education in State schools.
 
Newsletter 87.
 
Investigating the science behind Creationism.
Homeless man.
Can you read this?
The Hospital Bill.
A Past funny.
 
Newsletters 1-21 (Reproduced).
 
 
Newsletter 86.
 
Christian Religious Education in State schools.
O. L. 75 - The importance of recycling.
O.L. 70 - Long distance miracles (Cutting a Banana into segments).
O.L. 76 - Christmas symbols - The Candy Cane.
 
Newsletter 85.
 
Christian based values programmes in State primary schools.
Teaching tip 56 - God's unconditional love.
Story - The wise man.
Laugh Break. A Job funny 1.
Laugh Break. A Job funny 2.
 
Newsletter 84.
 
Our amazing earth (Illustrated).
 
Newsletter 83.
 
Does "Bible" teaching in state schools make a difference?
O.L. 73 - Changing water into blood.
O.L. 74 - Predicting a number.
T.T. 55 - Christian Myths.
Laugh Break - Things learned with time.
 
Newsletter 82.
 
T.T. 54 - Playing for God's team.
O.L. 72 - Feeding the 5,000.
Question - Did the Apostle John travel through time?
Laugh Break - "Praise the Lord."
 
Newsletter 81.
 
Why does God answer some prayers but not others?
Devotional - When I say, "I am a Christian."
Funzone - "Job requirements" for children's ministry.
                - Funmail.

Newsletter 80.
 
Story - "Whistle down the wind"
Bible Answers for Kids -
What is my purpose in life?
Can Christians perform miracles?
Did people evolve from monkeys?
Was the Universe created with a "Big Bang"?
When will the world come to an end?
Why do we have earthquakes?
 
Newsletter 79.

Teaching tip 53 - Discipleship.
Embarrassing moments and misunderstandings.
Stories that touch the heart.

Newsletter 78.

Teaching tip 52 - Getting to know your children.
Story - The old oak tree.
A retirement funny.
Serenity.

Newsletter 77.
(Theology for kids - Part 2).

Questions and answers.

1. What proof is there that God exists?
2. Why did Adam and Eve sin against God?
3. If Adam and Eve were white skinned, how did dark skinned people come about?
4. When did God create angels?
5. Where did Cain get his wife from?
6. Did God make cavemen?
7. Why is my brother / sister nasty to me?
8. If I ask God for something, will He give it to me?
9. Do people have more than one life on earth?
10. If God knows the future, does that mean that what is going to happen is going to happen?
11. Do all religions lead to God?

Newsletter 76.
(Theology for kids - Part 1).

Qesations and answers.

1 - Did Jesus really rise from the dead?
2 - Is Jesus really God?
3 - How can I know that the Christian faith is true?
4 - Did God write the Bible?
5 - When is Jesus coming back to earth?
6 - Why does God allow suffering?
7 - Can I be a Christian even if my parents aren't?


Newsletter 75.

T.T. 50 - The Church.
O.L. 36 - The fair distribution of food.
Story - Jesus for tea.
T.T. 51 - The road of life.
Ice breaker - Colour trick.
Kids and love.
"Little Johnny" funnies.

Newsletter 74.
(A 'John 3.16' special).

God's daily blessings.
Teaching John 3.16.
Illustration - Receiving Jesus.
Stories to illustrate John 3.16 :-
1. A soldier gives up his life for his friends.
2. Message in a bottle.


Newsletter 73.
(A 'Bible' special).

Teaching tip - Teaching Bible stories in context.
Story - Jo Jo and the umbrella.
Object Lesson - Obedience brings success.
Object Lesson - Straight and crooked roads.
Object Lesson - Drawing a picture whilst blindfold.
Object Lesson - God's Guidance.
Object Lesson - The flaming Bible.
Teaching tip - The progressive revelation of God.
Fundamental Beliefs - Did God write the Bible?



Newsletter 72.

Teaching top 49 - What children need to understand about God.
Story - "I give you me!"
Ponderisms.
Laugh break - Walking by faith.

Newsletter 71.

What proof would satisfy?
Puppet play - I don't believe in God.
T.T. 48 - The twelve days of Christmas.
A Scientist funny.
An Evolution funny.
A message by George Carlin.

Newsletter 70.

Cuthbert the clock.
O.L. 71 - Drawing a picture whilst blindfold.
"Conversations with God".
A brief Halloween explanation.
Can you read this?
Marriage humour.

Newsletter 69.

Story - Jo Jo and the Umbrella.
O.L. 38 - Obedience brings success.
O.L. 13 - God's Guidance.
A Lie funny.
Maurice's Blog sites.

Newsletter 68.
(A Creation special - Part 2).

Letter to an atheist - A Birdbox and a tree.
T.T. 20 - Creation and Evolution.
Creation or Evolution? - A comparison.
T.T. 47 - Big bang or big mess?
Your questions answered.
(Taken from "Kidzone - Archives" -
http://www.kidzonearchives.blogspot.com/ ).
Who made God?
Is there life elsewhere in the universe?
Why did God make us, and the world?
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
When did God create the dinosaurs?
Why is water essential for life?
Why did God use Adam's rib to create Eve?
After Eden

Newsletter 67.
(A Creation special - Part 1).

T.T. 43 - Our amazing earth.
O.L. 20 - Teaching Creation using balloon modelling.
T.T. 4 - Ideas on teaching about Creation.
O.L. 29 - A memory feat.
The vastness of the universe.
O.L. 37 - God can do things instantly.
O.L. 28 - God's provision.


Newsletter 66.

O.L. 70 - Long distance miracles (cutting a banana in half).
Monologue - Esther.
Church funnies.
The Bible and the cell phone.

Newsletter 65.

Consequences of Evolutionary teaching.
Creation or Evolution. Does it really matter what we believe?
T.T. 47 - Big bang or big mess?
O.L. 60 - Separation from God.
A heaven funny.

Newsletter 64.

T.T. 44 - Using Christian songs to teach Biblical truths (Part2).
T.T. 45 - Dead to the world.
T.T. 46 - The day of rest.
A refiner funny.
From a Mathematical viewpoint.

Newsletter 63.

Story - The portrait of the son.
T.T. 44. Using Christian songs to teach Biblical truths.
Laugh Break. George's favourite jokes.
Children's ministry in today's church.
Lessons from Noah's Ark.

Newsletter 62.
(A 'Prayer' special)

T.T. 31 - Teaching children to P.R.A.Y.
T.T. 1 - Getting children to pray in public.
T.T. 2 - How we should pray. A lesson from blind Bartimaeus.
T.T. 12 - The Lord's prayer.
Story - God knows best.
O.L. 53 - Using your fingers as a prayer reminder.
O.L. 52 - Ask and you shall receive.
O.L. 16 - Break in communication with God.

Newsletter 61.

Teaching tip 41 - Symbols of Christmas.
Teaching tip 42 - Commitment to Christ - Two analogies.
Teaching tip 43 - Our amazing earth.
Creation or Evolution?
Devotional - The Calling.
A Puzzle funny.

Newsletter 60.

Jimmy and the six weird witches (Parts 4 - 6).

Newsletter 59.

Jimmy and the six weird witches (Parts 1 - 3).

Newsletter 58.

T.T. 40 - Made in the image of God.
Story - Honouring your parents.
O.L. 67 - The writing on the wall.
O.L. 68 - Using the Mobius loop to teach Memory verses.
Quiz - Who am I?
Church Funnies.

Newsletter 57.

Story - The Little Monkey.
O.L. 38 - Obedience brings success.
Laugh break 2 - Why God made moms.


Newsletter 56.
(A Fire special)

O.L. 65 - The Flaming Bible.
O.L. 17 - Burning bush and fiery furnace.
O.L. 3 - Why does God allow suffering?
O.L. 32 - Facing trials and troubles.
O.L. 25 - Jesus is the light of the world.
O.L. 66 - Candle in a jar.
O.L. 19 - The meaning of the cross.
O/L/ 57 - Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper).



Newsletter 55.


Story - "Hank" / Object lesson 64 - Jesus cleanses us from sin.
T.T. 39 - Why Christians praise God.
Ice breaker - "Hold your tongue."
Selection from parish bulletins (Part 2).


Newsletter 54.

Play - The water pump.
Object Lesson 63 - Three miraculous signs for Moses.
Teaching tip 38 - The progressive revelation of God.
Selection from Parish bulletins (Part 1).


Newsletter 53.
(An Easter special)

Teaching tip 18 - Jesus Understands.
O.L.18 - What happened at the cross? - Jesus takes away our sins.
O.L.19 - The meaning of the cross.
O.L. 48 - The resurrection of Christ.
O.L. 57 - Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper).
O.L.25 - Jesus is the light of the world.
Puppet play - "What is Easter all about?"
Elimination Quiz 3 - Easter.
Game 1 - The forgiveness game.
Craft - Making a 'fun' Easter card.

Megan - A testimony.

Newsletter 52.
(A Balloon special)

Balloon game.
O.L. 62 - Jumping on balloons.
O.L. 13 - God's guidance.
O.L. 15 - Little sins grow bigger.
O.L. 27 - Needle through a balloon.
O.L. 32 - Facing trials and troubles.
Game - Forgiving others.
Teaching memory verses.
Teaching tip 6 - Use of balloon modelling in Children's ministry.
O.L.20 - Creation.


Newsletter 51.

Teaching tip 37 - Children are special.
O.L. 60 - We are valuable to God.
Story - The healing of the paralytic (Mark 2. 1-12).
O.L. 61 - Overcoming gravity.
Did God create evil?
Things to learn from a dog.


Newsletter 50.
(A Christmas special)

Puppet play - What is Christmas all about?
O.L. 8 - Receiving Jesus
T.T. 15 - Telling the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. story.
O.L. 54 - The Christmas tree.
Craft - Making a 'fun' Christmas card.
Elimination quiz - Christmas.
O.L. 25 - Jesus is the light of the world.
A Birthday Celebration.
Newsletter 49.

A story for Remembrance Sunday - Doing your duty.
Teaching Tip 35. Presenting puppet skits and plays.
Play. The Unmerciful Servant.
Teaching Tip 36. Steps to forgiving others.
Important Recall Notice !!


Newsletter 48.
Object Lessons (Physical).
O.L. 2 - Faith (A water experiment).
O.L. 3. Why does God allow suffering?
O.L. 5. Staying in the centre of God's will.
O.L. 7. God's protection.
O.L. 10. Walking on water.
O.L. 12. Straight and crooked roads.
O.L. 13. God's guidance.
15. Little sins grow bigger.
17.Burning bush and Fiery furnace.
19. The meaning of the cross.
23. Standing up under pressure.
24. Defeating evil with good.
27. Needle through a balloon.
31. Discovering your gifts.
32. Facing trials and troubles.
34. The seriousness of sin.
Object Lesson 40. - Samson pad.
Object Lesson 42 - Gravity.
Object lesson 56 - God's protection (Blow paper into bottle).


Newsletter 47.

T.T. 33 - Our lives are on loan from God.
T.T. 34 - Religion or Christianity.
O.L. 59 - The Mobius strip.
Object Lessons (Chemical).


Newsletter 46.

Teaching tip 32 - Peer pressure.
Play - Tenants on the farm.
Object lesson 58 - Saying 'No' to drugs.


Newsletter 45.
(An Illusion special)

Object Lesson (O.L.) 6. Defeating Giants.
O.L. 9. Which way?
O.L. 11. We are special.
O.L. 14. Making the right choice.
O.L. 16. Break in communication with God.
O.L. 22. Miracles.
O.L. 25. Jesus is the light of the world.
O.L. 29. A memory feat.
O.L. 30. The Trinity.
O.L. 33. Can we trust our senses?
O.L. 38. Obedience brings success.
O.L. 40. Samson pad.
O.L. 48. The resurrection of Christ.
O.L. 57. Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper).


Newsletter 44.

T.T. 31- Teaching children to P.R.A.Y.
Definition quiz.
Story - Doing the right thing.
A Golf funny.

Newsletter 43.

Story - Daniel in the lion's den.
Story - Processionary caterpillars.
Play - Bartimaeus.
A Job funny.
Discipline in class.

Newsletter 42.

Story - DOG / GOD.
Story - Message in a bottle.
T.T. 29 - Memory verses on cardboard discs.
Play - Zacchaeus.
T.T. 30 - Teaching Bible stories as real history.
A success 'funny'


Newsletter 41.

Story - A free pardon.
Story - The true picture of your life.
O.L. 57. Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper).
World Client.

Newsletter 40.

Teaching tip 27 - New Life in Christ.
Teaching tip 28 - Assurance of salvation.
Monologue - King Neb.
Laugh Break.

Newsletter 39.

Teaching tip 26 - Head belief or heart belief?
- Story of Blondin.
Story - God uses children (Wesley Steelberg).
O.L. 56 - God's protection (Blow paper into bottle).
Things kids say (4).

Newsletter 38.

Teaching tip 25 - The Ten Commandments.
Story - God knows best.
Teaching Children to pray.
Harry Potter mania.
Things Kids say (3).

Newsletter 37.

Story - Feeding the 5000.
Teaching tip 24 - Knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus?
Testimony - "May I call you - - - "
From the kids.
Riddle.
Things Kids say when praying.

Newsletter 36.

Story - A free pardon.
Excellence in Sunday School.
If children live - - -

Newsletter 35.

Teaching tip 23 - The Good Samaritan.
Play - The Good Samaritan.
Story - Jesus for tea.Love: A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13.
Why God loves little children.
Humour - Billy Graham.

Newsletter 34.

Teaching tip 22 - The lost son.
Play - The lost son.
Four gifts from the Father.
Story - A modern Prodigal.
Game 1 - The Forgiveness game.
Game 2 - Forgiving others.
Web sites for children.
Things kids say (2).
Sobering Blessings.

Newsletter 33.

Teaching tip 21 - The lost sheep.
Fun story - The lost sheep.
Lost sheep skit.
Seven core values every child needs.
A right funny.

Newsletter 32.

Creation or Evolution. Does it really matter what we believe?
Teaching tip 20 - Creation and Evolution.
Object Lesson 55 - The new birth.
Study finds 'Believers do not train their children' with faith in mind.
Craft 2 - Joined in love.

Newsletter 31.

Teaching tip 19. Teaching Bible stories in context.
1. God's Time Line
2. God's Plan for Man.
3. God's Diary.
4. The Wordless Book.
5. The Seven C's of History.
6. Four words to describe the history of the world.
A Children funny.

Newsletter 30.

Teaching tip 18. Jesus Understands (Easter).
Elimination quiz 3 - Easter.
A love funny.

Newsletter 29.

What do children believe?
Blessings from children.
Teaching tip 17 - Ideas for teaching about Zacchaeus.
The Five Foundations of Children's Ministry.

Newsletter 28.

Teaching tip 16. How God speaks to us.

Newsletter 27.

Teaching tip 15. Telling the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. story.
O.L. 54. - The Christmas tree.
Craft 1.- Making a 'fun' Christmas card.
Elimination quiz 2 - Christmas.
Fundamental Beliefs 7. The work of Jesus Christ. 2. Jesus took us to the cross with Himself.
A Birthday Celebration.

Newsletter 26.

Helping children cope with acts of terrorism.
Teaching tip 14. What's in a name?
Object Lesson 53. Using your Fingers as a prayer reminder.
Elimination Bible quiz. 1. - General.
Fundamental Beliefs 7. The Work of Jesus Christ. 1. Jesus died for our sins.
Christian one liners.
A job funny.

Newsletter 25.

Teaching tip 13. Teaching Memory verses.
Fundamental Beliefs 6. The Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
Redefining Children's Ministry in the 21st. Century. By Becky Fischer.
10 Myths about children.

Newsletter 24.

Fundamental Beliefs 5. What do Christians believe?
Object Lesson 51. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Object Lesson 52. Ask and you shall receive.
Teaching tip 12. The Lord's Prayer.
Explanation of God by an 8 year old.
A success 'funny'.

Newsletter 23.

Fundamental Beliefs 4. Why does God allow suffering?
Teaching Tip 10. Use of Storytelling.
Teaching Tip 11. What is love?
The letter reference.

Newsletter 22.

Fundamental Beliefs 3. Did God write the Bible?
Teaching tip 9. Noah's Ark and the flood.
Noah Jokes.
O. L. 49. R U E ?
O. L. 50. Trust. a. A mousetrap.
b. Falling backwards.
More Gems from the classroom.

Newsletter 21.

Fundamental Beliefs 2. Is Jesus really God?
Teaching tip 7. Use of Ventriloquism to teach class rules.
Teaching tip 8. Leading children to Christ.
Young children and salvation. By Terri.

Newsletter 20.

Fundamental Beliefs. 1. Did Christ really rise from the dead?
O.L. 48 - The resurrection of Christ.
Teaching Tip 6. Use of Balloon modelling in Children's ministry.
The Paradoxical Commandments - ANYWAY.

Newsletter 19.

Teaching Tip 5 - Developing good habits.
A. Teaching children how to make right choices.
O.L. 46 - Making right choices.
O.L. 47 - Choosing the right friends.
B. Teaching children to be generous givers.
Things Kids say.

Newsletter 18.

Teaching Tip 4 - Ideas on teaching about Creation.
O.L. 41. The earth, sun and moon (Acting out their motions).
O.L. 42. Gravity (Demonstration with a ball and string).
O.L. 43. Can nothing turn into something? (An experiment with an empty jar).
O.L. 44. Dependence on oxygen (Holding your breath)
O.L. 45. "Made after its own kind."(An Acorn example).
Seven reasons why not to mess with a child.

Newsletter 17.

Overcoming discipline problems - by making your lessons fun and exciting.
Teaching Tip 3. (For use with the David and Goliath story).
O.L. 39. Wrestling match (Defeating Giants).
O.L. 40. Samson pad (Defeating Giants).
5 things I have learned about Kids. by Karl Bastian.

Newsletter 16.

Teaching Tip 1 - Getting children to pray in public.
Teaching Tip 2 - How we should pray (A lesson from blind Bartimaeus).
O.L. 38. Obedience brings success (Pencil passes through a handkerchief).
What's wrong with grownups? by Rev. Ong Chooi Seng.

Newsletter 15.

Evangelising children - Your response.
O.L. 36. The fair distribution of food (Involving the children).
O.L. 37. God can do things instantly (Two instant calculations).
Testimony - Miracles do happen!

Newsletter 14.

O.L. 34. The seriousness of sin (Two methods).
O.L. 35. Sin grows rapidly (Two methods).
More classic comments - All from children.
More anecdotes from the doors.
Unusual answers.
Parting comments.
Do children need to be saved? - Evangelist Miller.

Newsletter 13.

O.L. 31. Discovering your gifts (Hidden colors).
O.L. 32. Facing trials and troubles (Balloon, water and fire).
O.L. 33. Can we trust our senses? (Audio and visual illusions).
Anecdotes from the doors.

Newsletter 12.
O.L. 29. Memory feat (Adam's amazing memory).
O.L. 30. The Trinity (An illusion with three ropes).
Classic comments - All from children.
I am a Christian because . . . . . . . .... ....

Newsletter 11.
O.L. 27. Needle through a balloon (Miracles / Testimony).
O.L. 28. God's provision (Dandelions).
Puppet play - How do you get to heaven?
A points funny.
Ice Breaker - A tongue twister.
Newsletter 10.

O.L. 25. Jesus is the light of the world (Trick candles).
O.L. 26. God is all knowing (Five different methods).
What children believe - Results of survey.

Newsletter 9.

O.L. 22. Miracles (Large disc goes through small hole).
O.L. 23. Standing up under pressure (Plastic tops in water).
O.L. 24. Defeating evil with good (paper is stronger than wood).
Gems from the classroom.
The questions Kids ask.

Newsletter 8.

O.L. 20. Creation (Balloon modelling).
O.L. 21. The Trinity (Food colorings).
Ice Breakers.
1. Body challenges.
2. Dumb laws.
3. Advice for kids.

Newsletter 7.

Puppet play - "What is Easter all about?"
O.L. 18. What happened at the cross (A chemical experiment).
O.L. 19. The meaning of the cross (Experiment with a candle, glass and water).

Newsletter 6.

O.L. 14. Making the right choice ('Force' the right card to be chosen).
O.L. 15. Little sins grow bigger (Bursting balloon).
O.L. 16. Break in communication with God (Restore a cut rope).
O.L. 17. Burning bush or Fiery furnace (Flaming cloth is not consumed).
Puppet play - "What is Christmas all about?"
Teaching Memory verses - Diminishing words.

Newsletter 5.

O.L. 12. Straight and crooked roads (Tearing strips of paper).
O.L. 13. God's guidance (A balloon guidance system).
John 3.16.
Story - A soldier gives up his life for his friends.
Teaching on John 3.16.

Newsletter 4

O.L. 9. Which way? (Octagon illusion).
O.L. 10. Walking on water. (Floating pin).
O.L. 11. We are special. (Rope illusion).

Newsletter 3.

O.L. 6. Defeating Giants (Optical illusion with two cards).
O.L. 7. God's protection (Coin is blown into dish).
O.L. 8. Receiving Jesus (Gifts have to be received).

Newsletter 2

O.L. 3. Why does God allow suffering? (Invisible ink).
O.L. 4. Filled with the Holy Spirit (Baking soda).
O.L. 5. Staying in the centre of God's will (Cork floating on water).

Newsletter 1.

Who is Maurice Sweetsur?
Object Lesson (O.L.) 1 - Growing to be like Christ (Fruit in bottle).
O.L. 2 - Faith (A water experiment).


Object Lessons - All Newsletters.



Newsletter Title.

1 Growing to be like Christ (Fruit in bottle). (Object lesson 1)
1 Faith (A water experiment). (2)
2 Why does God allow suffering (Invisible writing). (3)
2 Filled with the Holy Spirit (Baking soda) (4)
2 Staying in the centre of God's will (Cork floating on water). (5)
3 Defeating Giants (Optical illusion with two cards).(6)
3 God's protection (Coin is blown into dish). (7)
3 Receiving Jesus (Gifts must be received). (8)
4 Which way? (Octagon illusion). (9)
4 Walking on water (Floating pin). (10)
4 We are special (Rope illusion). (11)
5 Straight and crooked roads (Tearing strips of paper). (12)
5 God's guidance (A balloon guidance system). (13)
6 Make the right choice (Force the right card to be chosen). (14)
6 Little sins grow bigger (Bursting balloon). (15)
6 Break in communication with God (Restore a cut rope). (16)
6 Burning bush or Fiery furnace (Flaming cloth is not consumed). (17)
7 What happened at the cross (A chemical experiment). (18)
7 The meaning of the cross (Experiment with a candle, glass
and water). (19)
8 Creation (Balloon modelling). (20)
8 The Trinity (Food colorings). (21)
9 Miracles (Large disc goes through small hole). (22)
9 Standing up under pressure (Plastic tops in water). (23)
9 Defeating evil with good (Paper is stronger than wood). (24)
10 The Light of the world (Trick candles). (25)
10 God is all knowing (Five different methods). (26)
11 Needle through a balloon (Miracles/Testimony). (27)
11 God's provision (Dandelions). (28)
12 Memory feat (Adam's amazing memory). (29)
12 The Trinity (Illusion with three ropes). (30)
13 Discovering your gifts (Hidden colours). (31)
13 Trials and troubles (Balloon, water and fire). (32)
13 Audio and visual illusions (Test your senses). (33)
14 Sin is serious (Two methods). (34)
14 Sin spreads (Two methods). (35)
15 The fair distribution of food (Involving the children). (36)
15 God does things instantly (Two instant calculations). (37)
16 Obedience brings success (Pencil through a hankie). (38)
17 Wrestling match (Defeating Giants). (39)
17 Samson pad (Defeating Giants). (40)
18 The earth, sun and moon (Acting out their motions). (41)
18 Gravity (Ball on string). (42)
18 Can nothing turn into something? (Empty jar). (43)
18 Dependence on oxygen (Holding your breath). (44)
18 Made after its own kind (An Acorn example). (45)
19 Making right choices. (46)
19 Choosing the right friends. (47)
20 The resurrection of Christ (Coin through rubber sheet). (48)
22 R U E ? (49)
22 Trust. a. A mousetrap. b. Falling backwards. (50)
24 Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Trying out God's
promises for yourself). (51)
24 Ask and you shall receive (Asking God for our needs). (52)
26 Using your Fingers as a prayer reminder. (53)
27 The Christmas tree. (54)
32 The new birth. (55)
39 God's protection (Blow paper into bottle). (56)
41 Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper). (57)
46 Saying 'No' to drugs. (58)
47 The Moibus strip. (59)
51 We are valuable to God. (60)
51 Overcoming gravity. (61)
52 Jumping on balloons. (62)
54 Three miraculous signs for Moses. (63)
55 Jesus cleanses us from sin. (64)
56 The Flaming Bible. (65)
56 Candle in a jar. (66)
58 The writing on the wall (67)
58 Using the Mobius loop to teach Memory verses (68)
65 Separation from God (69)
66 Long distance miracles (Cutting a banana in half) (70)
70 Drawing a picture whilst blindfold (71)
82 Feeding the 5,000. (72)
83 Changing water into blood.(73)
83 Predicting a number (74)
86 The importance of recycling (75)
86 Christmas symbols - The Candy cane (76)
89 Making objects appear and disappear with a thumb tip (77)

Object Lessons - By Category.

Category. Object Lesson Nos.

Bible. 13, 65, 68, 71.
Character 1, 3.
Christian Living 6, 13, 23, 24, 25, 31, 36, 39, 40, 58, 75.
Christmas 54, 76.
Creation 20, 28, 29, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 77
Easter 18, 19, 25, 48.
Faith / Miracles 2, 10, 17, 22, 27, 48, 61, 62, 63, 67, 70, 72, 73, 77.
God's love 8, 11, 69.
God's omniscience 26, 74.
God's omnipotence 37.
God's promises 51.
God's protection 7, 32, 56
God's provision 6, 28, 39, 40, 42, 44.
Heaven 49, 74.
Holy Spirit 4, 13.
New birth 55, 77
Obedience 5, 13, 38.
Our senses 33.
Prayer 16, 52, 53
Right choices 9, 12, 14, 46, 47, 69.
Self Esteem 60.
Sin / Forgiveness 15, 16, 18, 19, 34, 35, 57, 59, 64, 69.
Suffering 3, 23, 32.
The Trinity 21, 30.
Trust 50.
Witnessing 9, 25, 27, 66.



Teaching Tips.

Newsletter. Title.

16 Getting children to pray in public. (1)
16 How we should pray (A lesson from blind Bartimaeus). (2)
17 Overcoming discipline problems - by making your lessons fun and exciting.
17 Ideas for teaching the David and Goliath story. (3)
18 Ideas on teaching about Creation. (4)
19 Developing good habits. (5)
A. Teaching children how to make right choices.
B. Teaching children to be generous givers.
20 Use of Balloon modelling in Children's ministry. (6)
21 Use of Ventriloquism to teach class rules. (7)
21 Leading children to Christ. (8)
22 Noah's ark and the flood. (9)
23 Use of storytelling. (10)
23 What is love? (11)
24 The Lord's prayer. (12)
25 Teaching Memory verses. (13)
26 What's in a name? (14)
27 Telling the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. story. (15)
28 How God speaks to us. (16)
29 Ideas for teaching about Zacchaeus. (17)
30 Jesus Understands (Easter). (18)
31 Teaching Bible stories in context. (19)
32 Creation and Evolution. (20)
33 The lost sheep. (21)
34 The lost son. (22)
35 The Good Samaritan. (23)
37 Knowing Jesus or knowing about Jesus? (24)
38 The Ten Commandments. (25)
39 Head belief or heart belief? (26)
40 New Life in Christ (27)
40 Assurance of salvation (28)
42 Memory verses on cardboard discs (29)
42 Teaching Bible stories as real history (30)
44 Teaching children to P.R.A.Y. (31)
46 Peer pressure (32)
47 Our lives are on loan from God. (33)
47 Religion or Christianity. (34)
49 Presenting puppet skits and plays. (35)
49 Steps to forgiving others. (36)
51 We are valuable to God. (37)
54 The progressive revelation of God. (38)
55 Why Christians praise God. (39)
58 Made in the image of God (40)
61 Symbols of Christmas (41)
61 Commitment to Christ - Two analogies (42)
61 Our amazing earth (43)
63 Using Christian songs to teach Biblical truths. (44)
64 Using Christian songs to teach Biblical truths (Part 2). (44)
64 Dead to the world. (45)
64 The day of rest. (46)
65 Big bang or big mess? (47)
71 The twelve days of Christmas (48)
72 What children need to understand about God. (49)
75 The Church (50)
75 The road of life (51)
78 Getting to know your children (52)
79 Discipleship (53)
82 Playing for God's team (54).
83.Christian myths (55)
85.God's unconditional love (56).
89. What do children believe? (57)
89. Developing good habits and making good choices (58).
89. Understanding Biblical Miracles (59).
90. God's Diary (60).
90. How old is the earth? (61).
91. How many different types of Christians are there? (62)
92. God v. Santa Claus.(63)
92. Did God really create the earth in six days? (64)
93. Keeping discipline in your children’s class (65).
93 Helping children to defend their faith (66).



Fundamental Beliefs.

Newsletter. Title.

20 Did Christ really rise from the dead? (1)
21 Is Jesus really God? (2)
22 Did God write the Bible? (3)
23 Why does God allow suffering? (4)
24 What do Christians believe? (5)
25 The Person and work of the Holy Spirit. (6)
26 The Work of Jesus Christ. 1. Jesus died for our sins. (7)
27 The Work of Jesus Christ. 2. Jesus took us to the cross with
Himself. (7)


Testimonies.

Newsletter. Title.

1 Who is Maurice Sweetsur?
15 Miracles do happen.
37 "May I call you - - - "
53 Megan - A testimony.
74 God's daily blessings.
79 Embarrassing moments and misunderstandings.


Puppet plays.

Newsletter. Title.

6 What is Christmas all about?
7 What is Easter all about?
11 How do you get to heaven?
33 The lost sheep.
34 The lost son.
71 I don't believe in God.


Plays / Skits.

Newsletter. Title.

17 David and Goliath.
34 The lost son.
35 The Good Samaritan.
42 Zacchaeus.
43 Bartimaeus.
46 Tenants on the farm.
49 The unmerciful servant.
54 The water pump.


Stories.

Newsletter. Title.

5 A soldier gives up his life for his friends.
17 David and Goliath.
33 The lost sheep.
34 A modern Prodigal.
35 Jesus for tea.
36 A free pardon.
37 Feeding the 5000.
38 God knows best.
39 Blondin (Head belief or heart belief?)
39 God uses children (Wesley Steelberg).
41 A free pardon.
41 The true picture of your life.
42 DOG/GOD
42 Message in a bottle.
43 Daniel in the lion's den.
43 Processionary caterpillars.
44 Doing the right thing.
49 Doing your duty. (A story for Remembrance Sunday).
51 The healing of the paralytic (Mark 2. 1-12).
55 "Hank"
57 The Little Monkey.
58 Honouring your parents.
59 Jimmy and the six weird witches (Parts 1 - 3).
60 Jimmy and the six weird witches (Parts 4 - 6).
63 The portrait of the son.
69 Jo Jo and the Umbrella.
70 Cuthbert the clock.
72 "I give you me!"
78 The old oak tree.
80. Whistle down the wind.
85. The wise man.
 
 
Theology for kids.
 
Newsletter.     Title.
 
76. Theology for kids Part 1.
77. Theology for kids. Part 2.
80. Bible Answers for kids.


Monologues.

Newsletter. Title.

40 King Neb.
66 Esther.



Crafts.

Newsletter. Title.

27 1. Making a 'fun' Christmas card.
32 2. Joined in love.
89 3. Making a paper thumb tip.


Ice Breakers.

Newsletter. Title.

8 Body challenges.
8 Dumb laws.
8 Advice for kids.
11 Tongue twisters.
55 Hold your tongue.
75 Colour trick.


Humour.

Newsletter. Title.

9 Gems from the classroom.
11 A points funny.
12 Classic comments.
14 More Classic comments.
18 Seven reasons why not to mess with a child.
19 Things kids say.
22 Noah Jokes.
22 More Gems from the classroom.
23 The letter reference.
24 Explanation of God by an 8 year old.
24 A success 'funny'.
26 Christian one liners.
26 A job funny.
27 A Birthday Celebration.
30 A love funny.
31 A Children funny.
33 A right funny.
34 Things kids say (2).
35 Humour - Biil Graham.
37 Things kids say when praying.
38 Things kids say (3).
39 Things kids say (4).
40 Laugh Break 1.
42 A success funny.
43 A job funny.
44 A Golf funny.
49 Important Recall Notice!!
51 Things to learn from a dog.
54 Selection from Parish bulletins (Part 1).
55 Selection from Parish bulletins (Part 2).
57 Laugh Break 2 - Why God made moms.
58 Church Funnies.
61 A puzzle funny.
63 George's favourite jokes.
63 Lessons from Noah's Ark.
64 A refiner funny.
64 From a Mathematical viewpoint.
65 A heaven funny.
66 Church funnies.
66 The Bible and the cell phone.
69 A Lie funny.
70 Can you read this?
70 Marriage humour.
71 A Scientist funny.
71 An Evolution funny.
72 Ponderisms.
72 Laugh Break - Walking by faith.
75 Kids and love.
75 "Little Johnny" funnies.
78 A Retirement funny.
78 Serenity.
81 Funzone
82 Laugh Break - "Praise the Lord."
83 Laugh Break - "Things learned with time."
85 A job funny - 1.
85. A job funny -2.
90. Prayers from children
92. A recall notice.
92. A young person’s explanation of God..


Children.


Newsletter. Title.

9 The questions kids ask.
10 What children believe - Results of survey.
14 Do children need to be saved?
15 Evangelising children - Your response.
16 What's wrong with grownups?
17 Overcoming discipline problems - By making your lessons
fun and exciting.
17 5 things I have learned about kids.
21 Young children and salvation.
25 Redefining Children's ministry in the 21st. Century.
25 10 Myths about children.
26 Helping children cope with acts of terrorism.
29 What do children believe?
29 Blessings from children.
29 The five foundations of Children's ministry.
32 Study finds 'Believers do not train their children' with faith in mind. 33 Seven core values every child needs.
35 Why God loves little children.
36 Excellence in Sunday School.
38 Teaching children to pray.
43 Discipline in class.
63 Children's ministry in today's church.
93.Should Christians use “Magic tricks” when teaching children?

Witnessing.


Newsletter. Title.

12 I am a Christian because _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
13 Anecdotes from the doors.
14 More anecdotes from the doors.
14 Unusual answers.
14 Parting comments.


Games.

Newsletter. Title.

34 The forgiveness game.
34 Forgiving others.
52 Balloon game.


Quizzes.

Newsletter. Title,

26 Elimination Bible quiz 1 - General.
27 Elimination Bible quiz 2 - Christmas.
30 Elimination Bible quiz 3 - Easter.
37 Riddle.
44 Definition quiz.
58 Who am I?

Devotional.


Newsletter. Title.

20 The paradoxical commandments - Anyway.
34 Sobering Blessings.
35 Love: A paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13.
36 If children live - - -
37 From the kids.
61 The Calling.
71 A message by George Carlin.
79 Stories that touch the heart.
81 When I say "I am a Christian".


Miscellaneous.

Newsletter. Title.

5 John 3.16.
6 Memory verses - Diminishing words.
41 World Client.
51 Did God create evil?
61 Creation or Evolution?
71 What proof would satisfy?
81 Why does God answer some prayers but not others?
82 Did the Apostle John travel through time?
83. Does "Bible" teaching in state schools make a difference?
85. Christian based values programmes in State primary schools.
86. Christian Religious Education in State schools.
88. Religious Education in State schools.
90. Why do vast numbers of teens leave the church?
92.Why do we teach children Biblical values?
93.What should be the Christian response to Halloween activities?
93. Secularism is atheism.
 
 
 
 
 

Newsletter 93.

Newsletter 93 from Maurice Sweetsur
 
Contents.
 
Teaching tip 65. Keeping discipline in your children’s class.
Teaching tip 66. Helping children to defend their faith.
What should be the Christian response to “Halloween” activities?
Should Christians use “Magic tricks” when teaching children?
Secularism is atheism.
 
 
T.T. 65. Keeping discipline in your children’s class.
 
As every teacher will tell you, it is important to maintain discipline in your children’s class.  Without proper discipline, you will not only get frustrated, but the children won’t learn very much – even those who wish to learn will be distracted by those who don’t.
 
I discovered many years ago that the best way to maintain discipline was to endeavour to make all my lessons fun and exciting. I wrote an article on this, which I will reproduce below. There are, however, a few children who will still tend to misbehave, no matter how exciting your lesson is. What can we do in this situation?
 
Unfortunately, children’s teachers are now very much restricted in their discipline options. Even removing a child from your class is now no longer an option in most schools or churches. There are, however, still a number of discipline options we can try out. I have found that one method may work for one group but not for another and vice versa. All methods are based on either the “carrot” or the “stick” approach.
 
The “Stick” approach.
 
1. Time out. The familiar “time out” is still a popular method. Most children don’t like being excluded from the rest of the group, so you could ask the unruly child to go and sit in a remote part of the room or, if the children are gathered on the floor, to go and sit at their desk.
 
A quite effective variation of this method is to ask the unruly child to stand up and remain standing until you ask them to sit down again. The main drawback of this is that some children seem incapable of standing for more than 1 or 2 minutes and will sit down again. In extreme cases a child may refuse to stand up in the first place, and this of course will only cause more problems – Get to know your children.
 
2. A rebuke. Sometimes a word of rebuke is all that is needed to get a child to improve their behaviour. However, be very carful of how you rebuke a normally well behaved child. They won’t be used to getting told off, so even a mild rebuke may easily upset them. On the other hand some children won’t respond to a rebuke no matter how severe or how often you do it.
 
3. Exclusion. Most children love to be involved in class activities, for example being chosen to pray, read the Bible, be part of a skit a puppet play, or other special activity. Inform the unruly child that they weren’t considered for this because of their unacceptable behaviour.
 
4. An unpopular activity. This is a method I have recently started to use with spectacularly good results. If the majority of the class are misbehaved, the following lesson I give them an unpopular activity for the whole of the session, making it clear that I am doing this because of their previous unacceptable behaviour. You could even divide your class, giving the “unpopular” activity only to those who misbehaved, and having a “normal” lesson for those who didn’t.
 
In my case, I choose the “unpopular” activity to be work (activity) sheets. Most children enjoy working on these – but not for the whole lesson! I have subsequently found that even the mere threat of an unpopular activity has so far been enough to maintain good discipline.
 
The “Carrot” approach.
 
Rewards. I am always reluctant to give rewards as a method of improving discipline, but nevertheless it can be quite effective.
 
1. Tell the children that you will choose the “best behaved” to participate in any special activity.
 
2. Take along two or three attractive prizes to give out to the “best behaved” at the end of your lesson. I usually use balloon models as they are very popular and relatively inexpensive. Note. Most schools now discourage the giving out of lollies (sweets / candy) to the children.
 
You may find, however, that even the promise of a reward will not be enough to tempt some children to improve their behaviour. Experience has shown them that they are incapable of being amongst the best behaved, so they don’t bother trying. In this case, you could promise the prizes to the “most improved” rather than the “best”.
 
As a variation, I sometimes take to the class a larger number of prizes (say five or six) I place them on my left and explain that I will be giving them to the “most deserved” children at the lesson conclusion – as long as there are still any prizes remaining on my left. Explain that if any child misbehaves, I will take one of the prizes and place it on my right.  Explain that all prizes remaining on my left will be given away. Those on my right will be taken home with me.
 
Even if there is an improvement in discipline as the children see their potential prize pile being reduced, or if they plead with you to still give all the prizes away, don’t be tempted to do so. It is important for the children to understand that you will always keep your promises, whether “good” or “bad”.
 
 
 
Overcoming discipline problems by making your lessons fun and exciting.
 
( First published on my Teaching tip blog http://www.teachinglessons.blogspot.com/ ).


There has been much written about how best to discipline 'problem' classes. I certainly don't profess to be an expert on the subject, but I would like to share my own experience in the hope that it will be a help to you.

When I first started teaching Bible classes, I had my share of discipline problems, especially from the older boys. I soon realised, however, that many children were causing trouble simply because they were bored with my lessons!

I therefore determined to make my lessons more fun and exciting. I believe that this is something we must all do, otherwise many of the children - even if they don't actually misbehave - will simply "turn off." Fortunately, there are many ways we can do this. Here are a few suggestions.

Tell familiar stories from unusual angles, to keep the children guessing. e.g. The Good Samaritan from the point of view of the donkey, Daniel, from a lion's viewpoint, Jonah, as seen by the large fish, David and Goliath from the Giant's perspective. (Don't mention the Giant's name till the end - to keep your class wondering!). etc etc.

If your class is well behaved, use skits involving the children - most Bible stories can be adapted to be told in this way. If your class cannot be trusted to do this properly, use puppet skits. I record the skit beforehand, and get children to operate the puppets. Check out http://www.puppetresources.com/ for an extensive array of skits.

Use ventriloquism. You don't need a special dummy. A hand puppet will do. And you don't have to be expert. If you use good material, the children will love it, and won't mind if they see your mouth moving a little.

Teach memory verses in lots of different ways. The number is only limited by your own imagination.

Review your teaching with quizzes. Noughts and crosses (tic tac toe) is a popular way to do this.

Dress up as a Bible character, and tell his/her story with a monologue. Nebuchadnezzar, telling about the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace, and the cripple who was brought to Jesus by his four friends, have worked well for me.

Use lots of object lessons to illustrate your teaching points. Better still, use illusions, which are essentially object lessons with "special effects." Many illusions are very easy to do, but will still baffle your class. Two excellent sources of illusions are http://www.childrensministry.org/ and http://www.onewaystreet.com/ (which also has an excellent range of ventriloquism skits). Also, many illusions, especially those involving paper cutting or ropes, cost nothing to do.

Result ? I can now say that I rarely have any discipline problems. I don't think this is because my present classes have generally better behaved children in them, but rather because I am now better able to keep their attention.

I am not saying that we should abandon our programs so as to keep the children entertained, but if they are not happy, they won't learn much anyway and will be put off the church in later years. We can still teach our programs, but we should all be continually searching for more interesting and exciting ways to do it. We owe this both to our children and to the Lord.
 
 
T.T. 66. Helping children to defend their faith.
 
In my teaching tip “What do children believe” (Newsletter 89), I looked at the problem of children from non-Christian homes being taught Biblical truths by their Bible teachers and then having their parents or secular teachers contradicting it.
 
This problem was brought home to me quite recently. Having completed my “Bible in schools” lesson in a state school, the class teacher returned and was immediately asked by one of the children “Do you believe the Bible?” The teacher’s answer was “No I don’t.” What is that pupil and the others who overheard then supposed to believe?
 
I have witnessed similar situations a number of times over the years. Once a 6 year old boy was pulled aside by his class teacher to have a “one to one” session with her, at the same time and in the same room as I was teaching the remaining pupils my “Bible” lesson. The boy asked his teacher “What is fiction?”  She replied “Fiction is like myths and religion. It didn’t really happen.” Her comment was clearly heard by myself and all the other children. If she could make comments like that in the presence of the “Bible” teacher, what would she, and others liker, say to the children when no “Bible” teacher is present?
 
Although there is no “magic” solution to the above problem I believe that, when teaching children from non-Christian backgrounds, we could do five things :-
 
  1. Pray for the children. Never underestimate the power of prayer and remember that God’s Word as we speak it is far more powerful than any words of human origin.
 
  1. Encourage the children to always use their minds and think for themselves. Teach the children not to accept any statement as true, simply because someone says it is - even if that person is their Bible teacher! Often, if we really examine a belief, the inconsistencies and falsehoods soon become apparent.
 
  1. Teach the children that when a person says “I don’t believe in God” or “I don’t believe that God wrote the Bible”, in most cases it is not that the person cannot believe, but rather that they will not believe. To believe in God or a Creator means that we have to admit that He made us, and therefore He owns us. Although He will never force us to do anything we don’t want to do, He has every right to tell us how we should lead our lives. Some people don’t like that idea as they would rather do whatever they want to do. They therefore try to overcome this problem by denying God’s existence, or that the Bible is “God’s word”. However if the unbeliever were challenged as to why they don’t believe, by asking such questions as “Have you checked it out for yourself, have you looked at the evidence?” Or, “Have you actually read the Bible yourself?”, you will probably find that they haven’t.
 
  1. Remind the children that the evidence of a Creator / God is all around them. We only have to look at the sky or the many wonderful living things around us to see this. Our common sense and experience teaches us that nothing can make itself, everything has to have a creator / maker. Although human beings can make many wonderful things, they have to have starting materials to do so. We cannot make anything out of nothing, and we cannot make anything living from anything that is not living. Only God can do those two things.
 
  1. Emphasise the importance of the Bible. State that Christians believe the Bible is God's Word, and therefore what the Bible says, God says. If a particular belief or idea clearly contradicts what the Bible says, it should be rejected. Ultimately it comes down to who we choose to believe. Do we believe God who was there at the beginning of time, knows everything, is never wrong and cannot lie, or do we believe people who were not there at the beginning, only know a tiny fraction of all there is to know, are often wrong and sometimes lie?
 
 
Should Christians use “Magic tricks” when teaching children?
 
Many children’s ministers now use illusions (Magic tricks) as a teaching aid when sharing with children. Every teacher knows that children remember something they have seen much better than something they have only heard. Therefore, they use illusions (I prefer that word to “Magic tricks”) to make it easier for the children to remember the Biblical truth that they want to impart to them.
 
An illusion is really an object lesson with a special effect, but should we be using anything that smacks of “magic” or may deceive children? I believe that most people would now say that illusions can be a valid part of a “Bible” lesson, but there are still a few who would disagree.
 
I believe that some people don’t give children the credit they deserve. I have found that most children will easily realise that an illusion performed by “teacher” is exactly what it is – a trick. They will enjoy seeing the trick, but won’t be misled by it. If there is the slightest doubt, I tell children that there is no such thing as “Magic”, only tricks.
 
It is said that “Good magicians never reveal their secrets”. I do, however, show some children how to do a few of my “Simpler” tricks, thus enabling them to understand what they really are.
 
What about the “Deception” aspect of illusions? In this respect, I see no difference between someone performing an illusion and someone using puppets or a ventriloquism doll to teach a truth. And I have never heard anyone object to that. The operators “Deceive” the children by pretending that the puppets / dolls are really alive and able to talk. Children happily go along with this “Deception”, but easily recognise it for what it is. Therefore, I have no problem using illusions in my lessons. They are a great teaching aid and at the same time are thoroughly entertaining.
 
 
What should be the Christian response to Halloween activities?
 
Every year on October 31st. numerous children either go “trick or treating” or attend Halloween parties. How should Christians respond to these activities?
 
The individual response.
 
Christians vary widely in their opinion of Halloween and its associated children’s activities. At one extreme there are those who say “Halloween is wicked, evil, a celebration of death, involvement with the occult, dangerous, and should be avoided at all costs.” At the other extreme there are those who say “Halloween is just a little bit of harmless fun.”
 
Our beliefs about Halloween will obviously influence our response to children (and sometimes parents) when they knock on our doors looking for treats. Consequently, Christians responses are varied, such as :-
1.  Making it clear that they are not welcome.
2. Giving the children anti - Halloween, or other Gospel tracts.
3. Making sure they are not at home during the “trick or treating” time.
4. Refusing to answer the door when they hear the knocking.
5. Placing a “Halloween – free zone” notice on their letter box or other prominent position.
6. Giving the children a treat, albeit sometimes reluctantly.
 
I believe that most of us don’t want to condone this “trick or treating” practice, but at the same time don’t wish to appear to be misers to our neighbours. I am sure the following is not an original idea, but I have never heard anyone propose it. Because of my involvement in “Light parties”, (see below) I am never home during the “trick or treating”, time but if I were I would tell the children that I don’t believe in Halloween, but then promise them that if they return the next day I will give them a treat. In this way I wouldn’t be condoning Halloween, but at the same time wouldn’t appear to be a miser – thus not spoiling my Christian witness to my neighbours.
 
 
The Church response.
 
In order to provide children with a safe alternative to Halloween parties or “Trick or treating”, many churches now run alternative events, many of them being named “Light parties”.
 
Over the years I have participated in many such parties. I never cease to be impressed at the commitment to of many churches to Light parties. The involvement of so many church volunteers and the great variety of “fun” activities they provide is remarkable. However, I can’t help wondering if they are really effective in discouraging children from their usual “Halloween” activities.
 
I arrived early for one Light party, but around a dozen children and a few “mums” were already gathered, waiting for the doors to open. I noticed that every child had some type of container (many pumpkin-like) and that they all contained a number of “treats”. Obviously these children had already been “trick or treating”, were waiting for the Light party to start so they could collect more a “goodie bag”, and then would probably go off for more door knocking!
 
Some churches do attract many non-church children to their parties, but others seem to only attract the ones who already attend. It is indeed a good idea for churches to provide a party for their own children – otherwise youngsters may feel “left out” on Halloween night as many of their friends go off to collect treats. However, such parties have little or no effect on the majority of their local children.
 
Some churches hold their party on a day other than October 31st. I am sure there are good reasons for this, such as the availability of helpers, or so as to attract more children by deliberately not competing with “Halloween”.  However, this seems to me to be missing the point which is to provide safe alternative activities for children.
 
Some churches have some Bible teaching in their activities, others have none – they just make it a “fun” event.
 
Can churches do anything to make their event more effective in discouraging children from “trick or treating”? This is a difficult question, and I can only think of two things they could consider.:-
 
  1. Reconsider their starting and finishing times. I have been to parties that started at 4 pm and others that didn’t start until 7.30 pm. Some lasted for less than 1 hour, and others for well over 2 hours. Light parties could sometimes be better designed to coincide with the usual “trick or treating” times. This may mean some churches increasing the length of their parties. I know this will put extra pressure on the volunteers, but it is something to consider. Maybe some could consider including a “quieter” activity, such as showing a children’s movie as part of their programme.
 
  1. Be clear as to what their purpose is, whether to share any of the Christian faith, or simply to provide a safe alternative to Halloween activities.
 
 
 
Secularism is atheism.
(By Don Batten, Creation Ministries International).
 
Not long ago, the great Western democracies were unashamedly Christian in their politics and education. Of course, not everyone was a genuine Christian (re-born of the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family). In addition, not everything done by those nations was ‘Christian’, but the worldview of almost everyone was basically biblical.
… secular effectively means materialistic or ‘God-less’
 
Consequently, state institutions sponsored Christian celebrations. Parliaments had daily Christian prayers. School assemblies had prayers and Christian hymns, and the readers used for teaching reading contained many Bible passages.
 
This has largely been lost. Apparently we can’t have Christian activities anymore; state-sponsored things have to be ‘secular’. But what is ‘secular’?
 
Secular: “Not connected with religious or spiritual matters” (oxforddictionaries.com). So secular effectively means materialistic or ‘God-less’.
 
‘Secularism’ was coined by British atheist George Holyoake in 1851. ‘Atheism’ evoked opposition, and therefore hindered the promotion of the godless worldview, and so Holyoake coined the term ‘secularism’. Atheists later adopted ‘secular humanism’ for the same reasons; it sounds much nicer than ‘atheism’.
 
So secularism is atheism. Countries that were once Christian have become secular (atheistic) in their public institutions.
 
This explains why atheists are at the forefront of getting evolution taught without competition in schools and universities.
 
How has this happened? I think there are several factors:
 
1.          The invention of a creation myth that allowed for aggressive atheism. This is cosmic evolution. God did not create; the universe made itself. Man invented God. Before Darwin, the only option for someone who did not want Jesus as his Creator and Saviour was deism, belief in an unknowable creator-deity, as opposed to the God of the Bible. This explains why atheists are at the forefront of getting evolution taught without competition in schools and universities.
 
2.          This materialistic creation myth took over the universities because it appealed to the intellectual pride that thrives in such institutions—man determines his destiny, not God. And teachers, politicians, government bureaucrats, journalists, and judges got their ‘higher’ education in these institutions.
 
3.          Evolutionism then invaded the public school system, because new generations of teachers had been trained in the evolutionized (secular) universities. Aiding and abetting this transformation were those of an atheistic mind-set amongst the ruling elite who promoted secularism as the only ‘fair’ route for taxpayer-funded enterprises. Dissent was easily quashed by appealing to the ‘experts’ (on education, law, science, sociology, etc.) at the universities!
 
4.          Meanwhile secularists promoted mass immigration from countries that had no Christian ethos. Then they argued that Christian content had to be removed from public life because it might offend someone who was not a Christian. Complaints from the actual immigrants were rare, but it was another effective lever to impose atheism as the state religion.
5.          Atheists have been very actively promoting their views (secularism) at every level of society, but especially in academia, politics, and the media.
 
6.          Meanwhile, Christians have been sleeping on the job of being salt and light in the world, with the widespread development of a ‘private faith’ mentality where ‘faith’ is in a separate box to academia and politics. There is often a lot of activity ‘in church’, but much less outside.
 
At Creation ministries international we provide a strong counter to the many facets of cosmic evolution, the philosophical foundation of secularism. This includes big bang cosmology, geology with its false ‘deep time’, evolutionary biology, wayward archaeology, and of course we present the Bible’s true history of the world. CMI’s new book and documentary, Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels, powerfully refutes the secular creation myth.
 
CMI equips and encourages Christians to get involved in countering the secularism of our day. May you use this edition to be salt and light in your community!