Archive for October, 2011

Bible Arts and Crafts with Clay

clay animalsStudies have proven that children learn better when they participate in hands on activities. One of the challenges of teaching the Bible is to hold your child’s attention long enough for them to understand the lessons written in each story. Clay is a great way to do this and a great tool to add to any Christian homeschool curriculum – it allows children to use their hands to creatively express themselves and their understanding of the Bible. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Noah’s Ark

There are many ways you can incorporate clay into this story depending on age and time allotted for the lesson. Children can start by simply creating sculptures of their favorite animals on the ark or get as detailed as creating an entire diorama of the ship. A great way to make this fun for older students – have them construct a sculpture that shows the inside of the ship instead of just the outside – as if you were viewing it cut in half.

Ten Commandments

This is a great activity for young children beginning to learn the Bible. In the story, God gives Moses Ten Commandments and he appears at the top of Mount Sinai with a tablet in which he had carved them. As you teach this lesson and read this story with your children, have them create a tablet from clay and “carve” each commandment into it just as Moses had.

Clay Bowls

Clay bowls or vases are a great way for children to share their understanding of stories from the Bible. Take a ball of clay and slowly press out the center to create a bowl. Then paint images or a scene to tell the story they have just learned. You can also paint their favorite Bible verses on them as well. This idea is great around holidays and makes great gifts!

Jewelry

Use the clay to make beads and pendants shaped into Christian symbols or paint Christian symbols on them. Make a Ten Commandments necklace or a Garden of Eden necklace. Use the beads to tell a complete story for the holidays such as the Christmas Story: paint one bead with Mary and Joseph, then an image of the manger, then one of the 3 Wise Men, and one with the Northern Star and so on and so forth to make a bracelet or necklace.

Bible Story Telling

This idea can be an amazing way to see how each child interprets the story differently. Have each child create a scene from a chosen Bible story. Some examples might be: Nativity Scene, Tower of Babel, The Garden of Eden, or the Resurrection Story. You’ll see that they each have their own vision of the story. To make this a long term project, have them create one for many different stories and save them to create a visual Bible to share with others later.

Clay is just one way to get children involved in Bible stories – what kind of projects are you doing?

The Grinch March

For the past several years, our co-founder and leader has made it a personal tradition to go to the 24 Hour Walgreens near his home very early Christmas morning on a “Grinch march” to give back to the community and spread Christmas cheer.

He buys baskets full of toiletries, snacks and other useful items and then donates them to a shelter.  He also pre-clears with the store manager that “the Grinch” will pick up the tab as a Christmas surprise for anyone who checks our while “the Grinch” is in the store.  So of course those folks that are buying last minute items and normally not in a good mood having to be out at the store before dawn on Christmas morning, leave with a smile on their face.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

This year he had Grinch masks made and asked several of his friends and family to join him in his annual Grinch March through Walgreens.  We hope you enjoy the video of this year’s Grinch March and that it inspires you to find new ways to show your appreciation for the many blessings you’ve received!

As he puts “the story of the Grinch is all about redemption” . . . . . .

10 Favorite Sidewalk Chalk Drawings

Remember sidewalk chalk when you were a kid? I do! I would spend hours outside covering the driveway with my best drawings – only to have them washed away by rain or the sprinklers that evening. Now, I considered myself pretty artistic and my drawings wonderful, but they never looked anything like these! Check out our top 10 favorites and share some of yours!Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse 2015 movie streaming

10. Julian Beever – Rembrandt

Sidewalk Chalk Drawing

9. Edgar Mueller – Waterfall 1

Edgar Mueller Waterfall

8. Julian Beever – Sail Boat on Street

Julian Beever Sail Boat

7. Julian Beever – Coca Cola Bottle

Julian Beever CocaCola Bottle

6. Julian Beever – Water Rapids

Julian Beever Water Rapids

5. Julian Beever – Eiffel Tower Discovery

Julian Beever Eiffel Tower Discovery

4. Julian Beever – Seal

Julian Beever Seal

3. Julian Beever – Manhole

Julian Beever Manhole

2. Edgar Mueller – Ice Cliffs

Edgar Mueller Ice Cliffs Edgar Mueller Ice Cliffs Complete

1. Edgar Mueller – Great Waterfall

Edgar Mueller Great Waterfall

Edgar Mueller Great Waterfall Complete

3 Tips on How to Choose the Right Bible for You

With hundreds of different Bibles and Bible covers to choose from, it’s easy to end up with one that you won’t like.  Choosing the Bible translation that best fits your needs is indeed a bit tricky—like buying a house.  You first need to know what you need in a home before you begin your search.  So before you go out shopping, here are 3 tips you need to remember on how to choose the right Bible for you:

 Tip #1:  Know what you want in a Bible.  Do you need one that is written in simple English that’s easy to understand?  Do you want to know the historical significance behind biblical stories?  If you’re not familiar with the order of the books, for example, consider getting a Bible with thumb index.  Are you going to use for a Bible study, or for your course work in school?  If you are reading it with a group of people, ask what translation is recommended or required.  Determining your needs will help you pick which Bible version is best for you.

 Tip #2:  Choose a Bible translation that’s perfect for you.  There are so many translations available in bookstores and online, so you will need to do some research.  Some of the common ones are: KJV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV, AMP, TLB, ASV, NIRV, HCSB, TNIV, CEV, YLT, and WNT.  If you want a Bible that’s easy to read and understand, for instance, you might want to consider the New International Version, as this version employs a thought-for-thought concept method called Dynamic Equivalence.  But for a more thorough study of scriptures, go for either the King James Version or the New American Standard Bible.

 Tip #3:  Consider your options.  Browse through the Bible version you picked to get a feel of the scripture.  Read a passage and see if you understood it.  Did you easily read the text?  If you have eyesight problems, consider getting a Bible with larger print. Remember, this is something you will use frequently, so it’s wise to be picky.  Shop around and look for great deals.  If you’re working on a budget, consider getting your Bible in paperback.  Quality should be your top priority, but that doesn’t mean going far and beyond your budget. 

Where to Find the Best Bible Translation for You

 If you need help choosing the right Bible translation for you, visit Nest Entertainment today—not only will you get your Bible and  up to 40% off, we’ll even help you find the perfect Bible cover for it!  This offer is valid only until the end of the month, so don’t miss your chance to save money!

Steven Curtis Chapman: Dealing with Pain and Loss

Over 118,000 people in search of enlightenment came to Angel Stadium to witness the 21st annual Southern California Harvest Crusades with evangelist Greg Laurie and Grammy Award-winning Christian artist and adoption advocate, Steven Curtis Chapman.  The crusades’ message of hope was enough to create three evenings of intimate spiritual experience, blessing those in need of strength and courage.

 The Grieving Process:  Dealing with Loss and Suffering

 We’ve all been there.  One way or another, we’ve lost someone dear to us—a child, spouse, parent, friend; we’ve ended relationships that broke our hearts; we’ve lost jobs, careers and wealth.  We all know how “rock bottom” feels like, but not many realize that we can also choose to react to it differently. 

 As Laurie described to the audience the pain he went through after losing his son, Christopher, in a car crash two years ago, he asked a question we are all very familiar with: “Why do bad things happen?”

 And the truth is, this is one question no one really knows the answer to.  However, Greg Laurie said, “Christians do not know sorrow as those who have no hope because we will see our loved ones again.  As a Christian, you are assured by that hope.”  Steven Curtis Chapman, whose youngest daughter—Maria Sue—died from a tragic car accident in 2008, added, “God restores and redeems what He takes away.  There are no words for the pain of loss, but our hope is in the resurrection.  Emmanuel, God is with us.”

 Good Grief:  Overcoming the Pain of Loss

 Healing only happens after you’ve genuinely mourned.  Take time to feel the pain of what will soon be the past, so you can live more fully in the present.  And when you’re ready, share your feelings with others and let it all out.  Cry, if you feel like crying.  But remind yourself that what you’re going through will inevitably pass. 

 Get help.  Talk to friends or relatives who are great listeners, or join support groups that can be there for you during the grieving process.  Seek counselling from your church, and trust in your faith to carry you through trying times.  As Steven Curtis Chapman said after the death of his daughter, “Worship only becomes true worship when we’ve started from a desperate place, where our response to Him is different.”

 Recommended Reading and Listening

 Read more about the pain of loss and the power of faith that heals even the deepest wounds in Mary Beth Chapman’s Choosing to See.  This book tells the story of how the wife of contemporary Christian music artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, struggled to heal after the loss of her daughter, and the unexpected path God has placed her on. 

 Listen to Beauty Will Rise—a collection of 12 new and profound songs from Steven Curtis Chapman.  Created as he walked through the darkness of the loss of his daughter, Maria, this part lament, part praise, part grief, part hope and part pondering play list resonates as Chapman’s personal Psalms.

Watch Below Her Mouth (2017) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Top 5 Kids Parachute Games

ParachuteWhether homeschooling or just looking for a great kids summer activity, parachute games remain a favorite! Children have been playing parachute games for years – and for good reason: parachute games encourage cooperation and team work without necessarily being competitive; they also refine perceptual skills while promoting good, healthy exercise. There are many parachute games out there, but here are our top 5:

1. Mushroom:Watch Brothers (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Instructions – Standing, lift the parachute waist high. Count to three, and on three, all the kids will lift the parachute over their heads, then bring their corner of the parachute down to the ground. This traps the air underneath, creating a mushroom-like shape.

For a twist – After everyone has mastered this technique, have them run to the center bringing their corner of the parachute with them – see how large they can make that mushroom! Or have everyone let go – the parachute will rise, keeping its mushroom shape momentarily.

Skills Learned – team work, timing and rhythm, listening skills, the basics of parachute play

2. Popcorn:

Instructions – Holding the parachute waist high, have the kids start moving the parachute up and down erratically, creating waves with the parachute. Begin throwing light plastic or foam balls onto the parachute. See how many you can get on there!

For a twist – Have a few kids get underneath the parachute and try to knock the items off the parachute by hitting them from underneath.

Skills learned – team work, hand-eye coordination, observation

3. Rollerball:

Instructions – Hold the parachute waist high. Have one child at a time lift the parachute going around the circle – creating a wave effect similar to that at a sports game. Put a beach ball on the outer rim of the parachute and have the kids continue the wave effect. The goal is to keep the ball going in a circle around the parachute.

For a twist – As they get the technique and basics down, see how fast they can go and try switching directions.

Skills Learned – team work, patience, hand-eye coordination, timing

4. All Change:

Instructions – Start with the parachute at waist level. On the count of three, have the kids lift the parachute over their head with straight arms and hold it there. As they do this, call out a birthday month, a color of the parachute segment, an age, etc. At that moment, all children let go of the parachute, letting it fall slowly and the kids fitting the attribute you have called out will run to the center and find a new empty space before the parachute falls.

For a twist – Make it a trivia game as well! Use a sentence instead of an attribute for those who need to run. For example: Instead of saying anyone who is 10 yrs old – say anyone whose age is 6 + 4.

Skills Learned – observation, agility and speed, good sportsmanship

5. Shark! Or Jaws!:

Instructions – Space kids evenly around the parachute, sitting down with legs outstretched and holding the parachute at chest level. Choose one child to be the Shark. As the rest of the group makes slight rippling effects on the parachute, the Shark wanders around under the parachute looking for a victim. When they have chosen their victim, they touch their ankle and that child is now a second shark.

For a twist – To make the game last longer, time the game. Have the Shark take their victim’s place after tagging them. The last person as the Shark at the end of the timed session is now out.

Skills Learned – patience, timing, good sportsmanship

Catholic Villagers Face Boycott for not Honoring Hindus Gods

A small Catholic community in the village of Mangalawada (Karnataka) in India faces severe social boycott after refusing to appease Hindus gods. Until the government intervenes, this ban will continue to make life more difficult for these Christian families.

Following an outbreak of Cholera in the village, Hindu leaders announced means to mollify their gods and cast out evil. This involved special fasts on certain days and prohibition of work on all “inauspicious days” including all Tuesdays and Thursdays, which coincidentally are the only days when water supply comes to the village. And when Catholic villagers stopped adhering to these orders and continued to do their regular work on those days, the majority of Hindus weren’t pleased.

In late August, village elders declared a total ban on interacting with Catholics and anyone caught doing so is fined with $11 for the violation. Similar demands have been made in the past, but this social boycott seems more serious and strongly implemented: Hindus have stopped renting, selling and buying anything from Christians; Hindu kids have been withdrawn from church-run schools; and Hindu farmers have stopped hiring Christian workers.

“We are Christians and we are not bound to follow Hindu religious practices,” Father Philip Rock of St. Sebastian Parish in Mangalawada village says, “We have our freedom, [and] another faith should not be imposed on our people, and their normal lives should not be disturbed like this.” Although officials are optimistic that the boycott will “die out soon”, the Catholic community in Karnataka continues to experience the socio-economic impact of the boycott, until the government resolves the situation.

Meetings between parties have taken place since early September and, with the presence of police, government officials cautioned Hindu extremists not to cause further trouble and have directed the police to take necessary action against those who continue to stir up problems.

Similar problems have also crept up in the smaller villages of India, and until the government decides to enforce the right of religious freedom, these acts of religious persecution and intolerance will continue to hurt and divide Indian society.

Building Blocks of Life

Lego City Building SetWho remembers Legos? Who still plays with Legos? I DO! When I was a little girl, I had the usual girl toys – Barbies, dolls, stuffed animals, tea sets; then, my brother was born and my eyes were opened up to all kinds of new and exciting things! I remember thinking “I really like cars and G.I. Joe  – I think I’ll ‘borrow’ them.” But my favorite:  Legos – there was just something about the way you started out with a big, jumbled pile of rainbow colored blocks and ended up with a castle or a city for those Hot Wheels to drive through.

When I first started to play with Legos, we only had the large bucket of Legos; now, you can get everything from basic sets to Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Legos have been around the block a few times – since 1932 in fact. So what made them stay?

They have a mission: “Our ultimate purpose is to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future – experiencing the endless human possibility.” And a vision: “We want to pioneer new ways of playing, play materials and the business models of play – leveraging globalization and digitalization…it is not just about products, it is about realizing the human possibility.”

With that in mind, Lego has gone from a small carpenter’s workshop to a global enterprise – now the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer in toys! And they’ve done some amazing things.

Lego Lands are popping up everywhere – the 2 main locations are in California and Florida. From rides and exhibits to shops full of any Lego shape, color, or size that you can dream of – these theme parks are a Lego lover’s dream!

And imagine your child’s walls covered in Legos… it’s been done! HGTV recently created a room in which the walls are covered in Legos where the child can build from floor to ceiling.

There have also been Lego video games, movies, and YouTube videos. So send your child’s imagination soaring and give them the building blocks of life! Who knows, maybe they’ll become an architect.

New York Mosque Debate: Is America Ready for Recovery?

It’s been nine years since the 9/11 attacks in New York, and Ground Zero remains to be a gaping reminder that we, as a nation, are yet to fully recover. Recent polls showing larger America opposing the building of the Cordoba House Islamic Center two blocks away from the twin towers site almost a decade later, is a clear indication that we have a long way to go. And what’s bothersome is that this debate reflects the greater human problems of anger, fear and mistrust—the very elements stopping us from fully healing, reconciling and moving on.

Many fail to realize that the war on terrorism is fundamentally not about religion. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Christian or Muslim, we are all susceptible to terrorist attacks. The act of terrorism is about spreading fear and hate. It feeds off intolerance and discrimination, and is fuelled by oppression. To win this war, we need to find courage to rise above this tragedy, find closure and continue living with the absence of fear.

And while we continue to focus on the NY Mosque issue, we simply delay healing. We forget our other commitments, like our promise to rebuild St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which used to stand south of the twin towers. This 300-member congregation lost its century-old parish during the September 11 attack, and was promised financial help that hasn’t materialized until today. It seems political efforts are put into assisting the mosque, but steps have not been taken to ensure St. Nicholas is rebuilt.

As this year’s Patriot’s Day draws nearer, let’s take a moment to think about how far we’ve come since 9/11. Let’s think about the loved ones we lost on that tragic day, and how we’ve chosen to honour the heroes who protected us even at their own demise—from the Heroes of Flight 93, to the fire fighters and rescue teams who risked their lives that fateful day. Let’s utter a silent prayer and let it all go—one by one, hurt after hurt. And only then can the process of healing and forgiving truly begin.

Watch the Heroes of Flight 93 DVD, and discover the true meaning of love, sacrifice, and faith at all costs. To get the best deals, visit Nest Entertainment today!

The Beginning

Have a summer of FUN!We are excited to announce the launch of Summer of Fun! Whether you take a break for a couple months, or go year-round, we want this to be the Summer your family remembers. It will be full of activities and games – but most of all – FUN!

Here’s how it works:

Each week, we will feature a fun product at its lowest price ever! It will be on sale for that week only, then go back to regular price. We’ll host discussions and ask questions here and on our Facebook page about the product the week it’s on sale.

We will also highlight our bundles – they are the perfect all-in-one.

You can sign up for emails, learn more and see the products by visiting: http://www.nestlearning.com/summer-of-fun_c2229.aspx

Look for the first email/blog/Facebook post  this week! We can’t wait to have a conversation and share your experiences!

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