Wednesday, 31 October 2018


Like every book I never wrote, it is by far the best book I have ever written.
~ GK Chesterton

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Accurate nativity plays

There are nativity plays out there that are humorous. There are nativity plays that are dramatic. There are nativity plays that come from an interesting angle. There are nativity plays that clearly portray the truth of the gospel. There are nativity plays that do all of these.

Why, however, is it so rare for these plays to accurately portray the events of the first Christmas?*

There's nothing about what actually happened which is incompatible with humour, drama, innovation or truth.

Please, Christian people, use your imagination and tell the true story in an engaging way. If you treat it like a fairy tale, don't be surprised if people think it is one.

*List of pet peeves: 
  • In real life, Gabriel is male; 
  • no donkey is mentioned in the Bible (feel free to have a donkey, just don't say 'Mary rode on a donkey' as if it's fact, or make a big deal of it); 
  • there is no mention of inkeepers in the Bible; 
  • the 'heavenly host' means 'heavenly army' not 'choir of fairies'; 
  • the wise men did not come at the same time as the shepherds - they were at least 40 days after, possibly up to two years; 
  • no camels are mentioned (again, treat it like the donkey); 
  • they were not kings; 
  • while there may have been 3 of them, and it's OK to have 3, don't actually say there were 3.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Meet Robo T-Rex

In his tree house.

(I ended up sitting with the kids in the cafe yesterday. I thought this was really cute.)

Friday, 19 October 2018

Design flaw

If I have to adapt the hinges of a toilet with lolly sticks and bluetack, I think someone needs to go back to the drawing board.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Psalm 8

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens.

 Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.

 When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honour.
 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
 all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
 the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

 Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8
PowerPoint here.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Abram believed and went

A new poster to replace the old one.
The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
... So Abram went, as the LORD had told him
Genesis 12 v1,4
He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the sky and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’
Abram believed the LORD
Genesis 15v5-6

The sky is a roll of blue paper. Across the bottom is a path made from the paper you get scrunched up in Amazon boxes. The mountains are torn black paper. (It would have been better to assemble the background before class).

We drew round the children's (and adults') feet on yellow card and they cut them out. I lightly pencilled the words so they would be going in the right direction and be a suitable size, and they did them in colour.

I had pre-cut gold and silver triangles and showed them how to make stars. They stuck them on and filled the background with star stickers - they love using star stickers and wanted more!

Only three children today with the holidays, but with two adults we just managed to get it finished!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Cloud of witnesses

Just noticed something.

After spending a chapter telling us about all the heroes of the faith, the writer to the Hebrews says:

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, so that you won’t grow weary and give up.
Hebrews 12v1-3

We don't keep going by looking at the example of those who went before for encouragement (though that can help). We keep going by looking where they were looking.

I thought of that when listening to this song:

Sunday, 7 October 2018

NO prep Sunday School lesson

Our Sunday School class was given this book* and matching set of cards.

Here's how we used it:

I told the children I didn't know what the story was going to be today :-)

Then I spread out the cards (face up) and let a child choose one.

She picked Selina, Countess of Huntingdon (whom I'd never heard of), and I looked her up in the book and read the story.

Nice illustrations! Child-friendly, modern, not twee, pretty good likenesses.

I then tried to do a quiz where they ran to either side of the room depending on the answer. It didn't work very well because it was impossible to ask multiple choice questions that were not blindingly obvious :-). But they enjoyed running about anyway.

Then I got a child to look up the reference of the Bible verse below the picture in their own Bible, and read it out.

We then repeated the whole thing with a second card - I got them to choose a boy this time (we got Eric Liddel). And Kerenna, who read this story, omitted the 'quiz' - instead she asked open ended questions, which worked better.

Finally, we did a craft, using things I already had - cardboard boy/girl shapes I got from Poundland, and scrap paper/pens.

On one side they wrote the person's name and dates, and some words to describe them - I tried to encourage them all to include something about Jesus.

btw 'nis' means 'nice'. 'circhn' means 'christian'. No idea about 'lusrns'

The other side they decorated to look like the person. We only had time to do one person each.

Hope you like Eric's tattoos :-)

This is also ideal to keep in the cupboard, for days when you need an emergency lesson due to a teacher being unwell (like today).

Here's a worksheet I made that could also be used.

The box is for a picture.

*Note: I'm not sure what age this book is aimed at. I'd say the language is sometimes a little young for our 6-8 year olds and sometimes more specific details would be better for our age. But the amount of content and focus on one or two main points was ideal.