Thursday, December 24, 2015

Give "The Word"

Give "The Word"

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. John 1:1 
Bibles, Children's Bibles, Bible Storybooks
and Devotional Guides make
great gifts. 

When you give the gift of God's Word,
you're planting seeds of faith.
When you read God's Word to a child,
sing a scripture songs or otherwise
share God's word, 
you are feeding that child's faith.
And what you are feeding them now,
could make a huge difference 
in how they spend eternity.

 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing 
by the word of God. Romans 10:17

For this reason, I always preferred
rocking my babies and grand babies 
to sleep. That time we spend rocking
is a special time in which I sing
scripture songs. 
I am bonding with them, but more
importantly, I am feeding their faith.
As John 1:1 tells us, THE WORD is GOD,
so as I sing scripture,
I am planting little God seeds in 
their hearts. 
In time these seeds will take root
and grow. And if I do nothing 
else in my lifetime, I want to see
my children and grand children come
to know Jesus!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Have A Birthday Party for Jesus!

A Birthday Party is something
every child understands!
So - have one for Jesus!
If you are a grand parent and 
don't have the kids 
and can't seem to arrange this,
make a Birthday Cake
for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday
during your CHRISTmas Celebration!
 It can be as simple or as elaborate
as you want to make it.
 But. give the kids and opportunity
to say, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"
And let them know that 
HIS Birthday is why we celebrate
this wonderful, wonderful

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The CHRISTmas Season is here......

The CHRISTmas Season is here...
and it is AMAZING
BUT - there is so much to do!
So as you go about this
season, here are some things 
to think about.
Company is coming and you 
have to clean.... so, be THANKFUL!
Because you have a home
and a kitchen to clean.
 Many people don't!

And oh, those bathrooms.
They've got to to be scrubbed.
But, you can be thankful for that, too, 
because you have a bathroom.
Many people don't!
There are linens to change
and rooms to prepare.
Be thankful for that, because there
are others who live in despair. 

 And when CHRISTmas finally comes
and the presents are all
unwrapped...... and you get stuck
with the dishes AGAIN!
Remember how blessed you
are to live where you do 
and to have a sink
to wash them in!
And as you THANK THE LORD,
for all He has given,
remember those who have less.
Pray for those who are 
reaching out to give what they
can to bless.
I "borrowed" these pictures from 
a friend's facebook page. 
He and his wife reach out to people
who are destitute. 
They've already done their fund raising,
and passed out blankets and shoes
and other needed items to the poor.
But.... the poor are always with us.
There is always a need.
If you'd like to reach out and provide 
some relief to someone
who has practically nothing, I really
believe that what you send to this
organization reaches the people
you intend to help. 

You can help HERE!


HE is the REASON for the SEASON Hershey's Kisses Jars!

 These are adorable little jars
filled with Hershey's Kisses.
 The tag on the front says
HE is the REASON for the SEASON.
 And on the bottom of each kiss is a
sticker with one of the various
names of Jesus!
I uses pint jars for these,
and I used the generic jars because I
like the fact that there is no
lettering on them - as the lettering
would take away from the message
I am wanting to send.
And - the stickers and tags
even work on Baby Food Jars.
We plan to make these for
Grace's class at her Home School
Classical Conversations Coop.

To make the jars:
Print names and lid cover on sticker paper.
Print tags on white card stock.
Punch out stickers with a 3/4" punch
and stick on the bottom of
Hershey's kisses and place carefully
in the jar. I put bottoms out, so names 
would show. Cut out the sticker for the lid
and stick it on. Cut out the label
and attach with a piece of color 
coordinating ribbon. 
 I bought the sticker printables here
They're cheap and can be used
over and over again,
year after year.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wear A Message

One way to share the 
TRUE meaning of CHRISTmas
is to wear a message when
you are out and about!
And - get message
t-shirts for the kids!
Be sure to smile and show
love and compassion to others
while you wear the message.
We should all do that anyway,
but we should REALLY 
act right when we
wear a message.
We are labeled. And when we
are labeled, we are 
being representatives of Christ.
Show His love!
Show His kindness!
Smile. Open doors for people. Let
others go ahead of you in line.
Offer a shopping cart to a
stranger. Compliment others.
And if you get the last of the great 
deals on Black Friday
it would be a nice gesture to 
offer it - with a smile - to
someone who got there just a
little too late!

Be CHRIST like!
Others are more likely to 
accept Christ when His followers
truly follow!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Nativity Puzzle

Many families set out a puzzle
to be worked on during 
various family gatherings.
If this is a tradition in your 
family - think JESUS
when selecting your puzzle.
I found this one at 
Hobby Lobby.
It's beautiful.... and it keeps
CHRIST as it's focal point.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How do you measure success?

How do you measure success?
A good job, a nice house, a car?
Or.... is it just being happy?

Sometimes.... success just can't be measured.
But - those who walk with the Lord
will always be successful.


He was born in an obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. He then became an itinerant preacher. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He has no credentials but Himself. He was only thirty-three when the public turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. He was laid in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. All the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, all the parliaments that have ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that ONE SOLITARY LIFE.

Author Unknown
Submitted by Debbie Thompson

Friday, December 18, 2015

So WHat If You't Not So Crafty?

Would you like a treat to
pass out - that shares the REAL
meaning of CHRISTmas?
Something SPECIAL!
But - you either aren't very crafty,
or you just have limited time!
My sweet neighbor saw them somewhere
and she bought me some!
(thank you, thank you, thank you, Brittany)
I was thrilled to get them!
It's the Candy Cane story that's
been mentioned so much,
in a little stocking with a bookmark.
And it's SUPER CUTE!
But - if you'd rather get something
else, the company that makes this,
makes so many other things, too!
Just go to their website and look around! 
I placed an order yesterday and I can't
wait to get it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fill Your Home With Music

The Original Purpose
of music was to draw
our hearts towards God.
People now use it to entertain
and educate - and it works
Music is a very powerful thing!
So - tap in to that power!
Play some music.
But choose your music carefully.
Choose something, that draws
your heart towards God
and fills your home with a
Spirit of CHRISTmas! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Candy Maker's Wittness

 This is another version of the Candy Cane story.
It was sent to me by Debbie Thompson.
Thank you, Debbie!

 A Candy Maker's Witness

A candy maker wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth,
ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white hard candy. White to symbolize the
Virgin birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the
Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the promises
of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd"
with which He reaches down into the ditches of
the world to lift out the fallen lambs who,
like all sheep, have gone

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with
red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the
scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was
for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise
of eternal life.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as Candy Cane, a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time.
But the meaning is still there for those who "have
eyes to see and ears to hear." I pray that this symbol will again be used to
witness To The Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at
Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Do Something For The Less Fortunate

Do Something For The Less Fortunate

And the King shall answer and say unto them, 
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of these
 my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 
Matthew 25:40
photo credit:


Coming home from school,
She runs into your arms,
Handing you a painting,
A display of childish charm.

Vying for attention,
He shows you a homeless one.
Skillfully created, by He,
Who could not be out done.

You take the childish painting,
You choose the perfect frame.
You proudly then display it,
Once she's signed her name.

Yet, from His grand creation,
You turn. You look away.
You see it as unworthy,
You ignore His proud display.

So tender, yet so callous,
You toss His handiwork aside.
Not recognizing the value.
It was for this man....he died.

by Patty Patterson

Monday, December 14, 2015

I just love the phrase
"Wise Men Still Seek Him"
We should all be seeking a closer
relationship with Jesus.
Yielding to Him, more and more!
Because - we are either getting 
closer - or - we are getting further away.

And as we draw closer and closer
to Christ - He will lead us.
He will show us more and more 
ways to honor Him. And as we
honor Him, our family and friends
will be encouraged to
honor Him, also!

  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Remember the Nativity!

Remember WHY we celebrate!
The Nativity!
That special day over 2,000 years ago
when Jesus was born.
He came to Save the World!
Without of HIM there is no hope!
Don't let those you love be without hope.
Read Luke 2
Study it.... memorize it... or a portion of it.
Teach it to your children and grand children
and read it at family gatherings.
Make the REAL CHRISTmas Story
common knowledge in your family.

Luke 2 (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.
And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.
And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Make a Nativity Puppet Theater with You Little One!

Look at this adorable little
Nativity Puppet Theater.
It is made from a cereal box and 
pictures printed on card stock.
Your children can color the 
the little puppet people
while you assemble the box.
Then - you cut out the people and 
put the puppets together with 
little scrapbook brads and tape them
to sis-kabob skewers to create
little puppets.
 It's fun to watch them put on their
own puppet show and see just what
they know about the CHRISTmas Story!
 Our sweet Brilyn knows a lot.
She told me all about Mary
wrapping up Baby Jesus and putting
him in the manger.
She never mentioned Joseph!
So, I asked her,
"Brilyn, who was Jesus' Daddy?"
To which she told me,
"It's God, silly. Don't you know that?"

Sometimes we look so hard at
the natural that we overlook the super natural.
I love the way kids remind us of
what's really important!

And - to get the FREE PRINTABLES

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Read the CHRISTmas Story!

I've heard 
three year old's recite
The Night Before Christmas.
And while, I'm glad that someone
has taken the time to read to
them, a part of me is grieved.
Because - that same 
three year old
doesn't always have a concept
of who Jesus is
and WHY we celebrate
Read the REAL CHRISTmas Story!
There are so many illustrated versions.
Read Luke 2 straight from the Bible.
Read a version with full
color illustrations and let the
children look at the pictures.
Talk about JESUS!
Let your children and grand children
know that you, yourself love
Jesus and that you are so
grateful God sent HIM to 
save you!
Kids get it!
They really do!
And CHRISTmas means so much
more when you know WHY
you're celebrating! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Do Something for the Less Fortunate

Do Something For The Less Fortunate

And the King shall answer and say unto them, 
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of these
 my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 
Matthew 25:40
photo credit:


Coming home from school,
She runs into your arms,
Handing you a painting,
A display of childish charm.

Vying for attention,
He shows you a homeless one.
Skillfully created, by He,
Who could not be out done.

You take the childish painting,
You choose the perfect frame.
You proudly then display it,
Once she's signed her name.

Yet, from His grand creation,
You turn. You look away.
You see it as unworthy,
You ignore His proud display.

So tender, yet so callous,
You toss His handiwork aside.
Not recognizing the value.
It was for this man....he died.

by Patty Patterson

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Legend of the Three Trees

The Legend of the Three Trees

I totally loved this book! It is the story of three
trees and the dreams they had for themselves.
And the bleak days ahead when they
thought their dreams were in no 
way going to come true. 
And then.... they saw God's plan
for their lives and how much
better God's plan was than their
original dream.
One thing I want to instill in my
grand children is that we are not
to follow our dreams.
We are not to follow our hearts.

 The heart is deceitful above all things, 
and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9 
Our hearts cannot be trusted!

We are to follow God!
We are to seek God's will for
our lives and we are to follow
God's plan for our lives.

We will only find the peace we desire when 
we align our will with His and we follow Him!

This book teaches children that
God has a better plan for our lives
than we could ever imagine.

It is not a CHRISTmas book.
But - it shares the gospel in such a way
I think children will benefit from 
it during the CHRISTmas season.
It would be great for an afternoon story
time along with a 
CHRISTmas Tree Craft
such as this one:
This easy to make ornament can be 
made with any old stick and scraps of ribbon.
Just have the kids tie the ribbon onto
the stick and then trim it to
resemble a CHRISTmas Tree and 
tie a ribbon or string on the top
to hang it by.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Cute Little M&M CHRISTmas Story Jars

Aren't these cute little jars?
 They're filled with red and green
and they tell the 
CHRISTmas Story!
To get the story on a baby food jar
I had to use both front and back.
 To make them I simply spray painted
the lids of the jars, filled them
with M&M's and applied a
printed label and a little bit of twine.
They're super easy!
And - I created the printable myself,
so just message me with your e-mail 
address if you want it to make 
your own! I would be more than
happy to share!
Here is what the labels look like:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

3 Gifts to Give Your Children This Christmas

3 Gifts to Give Your Children This Christmas
During the holiday season, our children are inundated with magazine ads and TV commercials depicting the newest, coolest toys and gadgets, all with the intention of encouraging children to convince their parents that they absolutely must have it.  In the midst of all the commercialism, which seems to start earlier and earlier with each passing year, the spirit of Christmas has lost its true meaning, replaced by the spirit of the "gimmes."  

The Heart of a Child
In truth, none of us are immune to the spirit of the "gimmes" however, children are particularly vulnerable--which is exactly why advertisers go after them in the first place.  Proverbs 22:15 says that "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child."  According to Ellicott's Commentary, what is meant in this verse is "self-will."  Ellicott states that "children must be taught to yield their will to others."  In other words, a child's natural inclination is to focus on themselves--what they need, what they want, and when they want it, and to foolishly [thoughtlessly, selfishly, unwisely] work to get it.

As parents, it is our duty to "train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6.  I like how The Living Bible phrases this verse, "teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it."  Children, by nature, are prone to selfishness (aren't we all?), and they need to be taught to be giving and self-less.

This task of instilling selflessness in your children may seem impossible, especially during the Christmas season.  Don't lose heart, it can be done.   This year, give your children three meaningful gifts.

3 Gifts You Should Give Your Children This Christmas
There are three very important gifts that you should give your child this Christmas--and every Christmas.  These gifts never lose their importance, they won't wear out, your child cannot outgrow them, and they last forever.  What are these gifts, you ask?

1)  The gift of a giving heart
"It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35.

"Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  Luke 6:38

The Bible talks a lot about giving and sacrifice.  In fact, the Father gave His only Son for us so that we might be reconciled with the Father.  Christ gave Himself up for us so that we might have eternal life. Scripture teaches us that when we give, we receive in return.  The point of these promises isn't to give in order to get, but to show us that by giving, we receive so much more in return.  More than earthly possessions, those who are givers reap contentment, pleasure and joy as a result of their giving.  When we teach our children to be givers, we teach them to value the person who receives their gift, and to be grateful and content with what they have.  And, a grateful heart, is a happy heart.

Which leads right into the next gift you should give your children for Christmas...

2)  The gift of a grateful heart
"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever."  Psalm 100:4-5

We all know children, and adults, who whine and complain about everything, lacking gratefulness for the blessings that they do have in their lives.  Lack of gratitude breeds discontent and bitterness.  I am sure many of us have had to endure our children whining and begging for candy or toy at the store, and have been tempted to give into their demands in return for some peace for ourselves.  The problem with this is that by giving in, we train our children that such behavior leads to self-gratification, and they don't have to opportunity to "learn to be content," as Paul says in Philippians 4:11.  Contentment and gratitude are learned traits, which means our children are not born with them, they must be taught.  When we teach our children to be thankful, we give them the gift of a grateful--and content--heart, which means our children will always be satisfied and fulfilled.

The last, but certainly not least, of the gifts that we should give our children this Christmas, is...

3)  The gift of a servant's heart
"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."  Hebrews 13:16

"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's grace."  1 Peter 4:10

"Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:28

Teaching our children to serve others, along with the other gifts, is teaching them the very heart of Jesus Himself.  He loved people and spent His life and ministry, in service and sacrifice to others.  As Christians, we are to be Christ's hands and feet, going out to care for those in need.  Our children learn so many lessons  when they serve another person in need.  It may be bringing a cup of juice to a sibling who is ill.  Visiting the elderly in a nursing home.  Color a picture for a friend who is in the hospital.  Help Mom cook a meal for someone who is sick or a family who just lost a loved one.  Write a thank you note to a pastor or teacher.  There are so many opportunities for our children to serve others.

Really, all these gifts are intertwined with each other.  You simply cannot have one without the other.  What values and characteristics do you want to instill in your children as they grow and mature into adulthood?  Those who are truly happy, content and fulfilled in life are those who learn to be givers and servants, thankful for the bountiful blessings the Lord has given them.  Other than our salvation in Christ, these are the best gifts of all!

Crystal Niehoff