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Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Time Marches On: Back to the Blog!

February 23rd, 2012 (10:37 pm)

My oh my!  Since my last post things have changed here on Live Journal, so much so that I've had to do some reformatting to get all the links to work!  We should be all set now.  If you find links that don't work, please drop me an email at:

cadra74 at hotmail dot com

My audience is growing again and they're getting older!  The oldest children are going on 6; the youngest is now 15 weeks old.  As the majority of the children are getting older, I'm now stretching their minds a bit by moving towards more object-lesson type stories, such as I've posted here for years.  Shhhh I've actually used some of these stories again! 

I took my website down a few years ago now.  I hope to get it up and running again soon.  Right now I'm focusing on my photography hobby, hoping to turn that into a business.  Look up "In Camera Photography" and "like" my page!

Right now I'm using a favorite daily devotional from my childhood to give me inspiration for stories.  I am not sure if I'm at liberty to post them here due to copyright issues, but keep looking back to the blog as I come up with more original stories.

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

When Things Don't Make Sense

February 4th, 2012 (10:39 pm)

Visual Aids:

  • two buckets/pails
  • iced tea mix or other substance that will turn the water brown
  • something "valuable", such as a ring, a rock, a coin
  • empty basin/bucket  (in the story, water will be poured into a basket.  If you have the ability to use a basket, go ahead!)
  • a basket
  • spoon used for eating
Fill one bucket about half way.  Mix iced tea in this bucket, enough so that the water is opaque. Note: you are simulating a deep well that's so dark that you can't see down to the bottom.
Place valuable item in the empty bucket.  Splash some of the iced tea in the empty bucket, enough so that the bottom is wet, but so much that the bucket is covered at the bottom. 

-----


Once upon a time there was a King in a faraway land that had a well.  Everyone know what a well is?  

The King hired two men to work on his well.  He paid each of them a dollar to work as soon as they showed up.  He told them that he wanted them to take all the water out of the well and put it in a basket. (Show a basket, if available)  The King told the guys that he'd be back at the end of the day.

This didn't make any sense.  What happens if you pour water into a basket that has holes in it?  That's right!  The water all runs out!  All the guys had to get the water out of the deeeeeep well was little itty bitty pails.  It would take forever to get all the water out of the well and they were going to waste it!  (Demonstrate taking iced tea out of the bucket with the spoon & putting it into the basin & show how little you got.  Why doesn't this make sense?)

One of the guys said "this is so strange!  I don't understand it.  This is a waste of my time.  The King has already paid me, so why should I do something so stupid?"  The man put down his pail and he walked off.

The other guy said "I don't get it.  I'm sure the King knows what he's talking about, so I'll keep putting water from the well into the basket, just like the King said." 
 
Finally the man reached the bottom of the well.  That's when he saw something shiny at the bottom!  He pulled it out of the well.  What was it?  (Show the empty pail with the "valuable" at the bottom.)  He pulled out a ___________  (whatever it is, emphasize how special & expensive it is.)  He couldn't believe what he had found!

Just then the King came back to see how the guys were doing.  The man showed the King the special item that he found.  "Here, King; I found this in your well."

"I knew it was in my well.  This is why I had you take the water out of the well and put it in the basket full of holes.  You may keep the treasure.  I didn't want you to loose it.  Now that I know you listen to instructions & do I ask, you have shown me that you are special and trustworthy.  I will hire you to work for me & you'll always have a job."

When I heard this story, it made me think about all the times our mommies and daddies ask us to do things that don't make any sense.  Every asked "why" when they ask you to do something?  Sometimes when we read our bibles things don't make sense.  What did Jesus mean by that?  Why does He want us to do that?  We don't always understand, but when Jesus asks us to do things, we can trust that He always knows what's best, and what we're going to find when we're done. 

*My young audience was very enthralled with the "dirty water".  Even the adults wanted to know where I'd gotten the dirty water.

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Children are Impressionable

April 1st, 2010 (09:51 pm)

The stories go onward for my little ones, and they keep multiplying: since my last post, we've had two more babies born in the church family (one is another niece of mine!), and a a 4 year old preschooler who is new to God and church.  They keep all of us at church so entertained!

For instance:

  • In telling the story about Daniel & the Lion's den, I focused on lions, making lion noises, and how they are big kitties.  So when it came time to say that Daniel was made to sleep with the lions in their den for the night because he wouldn't stop loving Jesus, the girls immediately concluded that the lions were fed baby food with kitty food and that's why they didn't hurt Daniel at all.
  •  

  • The most recent story was about Jonah in the whale.  I was closing up by saying that Jesus took care of Jonah, even when Jonah wasn't listening.  One of my nieces said "WHAT?" Right now, she's still getting used to being a big sister and her obedience and listening skills have been severely lacking, but her timing couldn't have been more perfect!

Last weekend the grandson of a couple in the church was visiting with them.  He's been my little buddy since he was still in diapers.  His eyes always followed me around, and as he's gotten older, he's hung on every word I've said.  He's 7 now and has such a sharp, inquisitive mind!  He sat with me during the worship service after the Children's Story was over.  When he was done, he gave me the picture below.  It's me, he told me, as I told them the story of Jonah.  He didn't want me to wear glasses in the picture, he said, so he didn't draw them.

I think it looks just like me!

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

The Transition is Complete!

September 12th, 2009 (08:47 pm)

it's official: my audience has become the under-5 variety so I've put aside looking for new stories and am currently focusing on tried and true Bible stories with color pages as props & visuals.  It makes things easier for me that way, as my creative juices are rather flat right now!

The kids (half of them are my nieces) love the Bible stories, and since I know the kids on a more intimate level than I've known the others in the past, I pick the stories they love the most so it keeps their attentions - for at least half a second!

I discovered Coloring.ws - which is a great resource for any type of coloring pages.  The link provided is to its Christian/bible themed pages and the kids love them.  Even the pre-teens will sneak away with the leftover pages!

My current audience of 3 kids - my two, two year old nieces and a three-year-old grandson of an elder - are particularly into butterflies, David & Goliath, and Noah, so that's where I've focused my stories.  

I do keep "older" stories in my back pocket, but I have rarely had need to use them.  Until I come up with an older audience and/or new stories, please feel free to enjoy almost 10 years worth of collections here!

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Not been well - sorry for the delay!

May 16th, 2009 (05:15 pm)

Hi everyone;

Guess who?

Yes, that's right, its the story teller who's not been telling many stories on the blog of late.  Gracious I can't believe how long it's been!

I got the most horrific cold ever this past winter, and it never really left me.  When I wasn't at church or at the doctor's or doing small chores, I was resting.  Then just when I felt better, I got another cold!

I'm still recuperating, but have no fear.  I've kept notes on my "best" stories @ church (when I've been well enough to give them, that is!) and will post them when I can.  Don't loose the faith, and I hope you've found this to be a helpful recourse!  It's so cool to hear from you so don't be shy in dropping me a line.  My email address is:

cadra74 at hotmail dot com

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Power Transfers

*for the first time, I am posting a story before it is told, b/c I feel the lesson is too important to skip.  My hope is that at least someone will find it to be able to use in their ministry sometime this weekend.



Bible Verse: 
"..every eye shall see Him..."  Revelation 1:7 (KJV)

Visual Aide:  photo(s) of Pres. Obama's inauguration


Story:

Hey, kids - guess what?  The United States got a new president this week.  Did you see it?

Oh sure, I'm sure you saw the pictures.  Millions of people went to see this historic event.  We are blessed to have been born and to live in the United States, because not many countries get to experience the peace and relative quiet of one president leaving and another coming in.  Millions of people around the world have died because two or more men or women wanted to run their countries. 

And, yes, it is a really big deal that President Obama has black skin.  Jesus made each of us unique and special, and with Him, we can do anything, and be anything, but never before as the United States has someone who had dark skin in charge of the country. 

It was like the biggest party in the world.  Millions of people who couldn't be in Washington watched on their TVs, or their computers, or they threw parties at their houses, just like they would for baseball games or soccer matches.  People who live in England and Canada and France, and Germany, and even Iraq, and Australia - really, all over the world - people watched.  I know of a few people that I talk to that live on the other side of the world - they didn't even go to sleep because the party happened when they were supposed to be sleeping during the night!  So many people have carried on about this one event that no one's every seen anything like it before.  It almost felt like people wanted to worship him!

Are you sure it happened?  You weren't there to see it, where you?  So are you sure it happened.

Some people are carrying on about our new president.  They seem to think he's going to fix all their problems.  What do you think?

Here's what I think.  Even while people all over the world were excited and having a party because Mr. Obama is now our president, there were still millions of other people who heard about it, but didn't see it.  They weren't there in Washington, they didn't see pictures, they didn't watch it on TV or their computers.  Does this mean that Mr. Obama isn't the president?  No, its just that they didn't see it happen.  Maybe they don't care. 

The inauguration is a really big deal, and it is important.  But watching festivities this week made me think about Jesus.  When He comes back, everyone will be talking about.  There won't be anyone missing.  When Jesus comes back, every single person in the world will see it happen.  There won't be anyone sleeping through this event, and no one will need to turn on a TV to see it.  Jesus has left us plenty of advice and instruction about what will happen before and when He comes, but I wanted to share this one verse with you.  (Read verse)  

There will come a day, someday soon, when someone will run up to you and say "did you hear?  Jesus is hanging out over there!"  Don't believe it!  No one will have to tell you what's going on; its going to be the noisiest and happiest and greatest event the world will ever experience.  

Don't miss it!

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

The Best Book Ever

January 17th, 2009 (07:31 pm)

Bible Verse:  Your word is like a lamp for my feet & a light for my path.  Psalm 119:105  (omit the verse for the youngest kids)

Visual Aide:  your bible

Story:

Do you like to read?  I do.  I have a place to put my books.  Do you have a place to put your books?  Does Mommy or Daddy have a shelf to put their books?

Books are special.  Some of them have pictures inside them; some of them have just words.

This is my Bible.  The Bible is a very special book.  It's one book that has a bunch of books all together inside it.  It's like having a bookshelf in your hand!

My bible doesn't have pictures in it, but it does have bookmarks with pictures.  Some of my bookmarks are pieces of paper that I wrote a note on that I want to remember. 

Long time ago, God and the Holy  Spirit helped many people - God's friends - write the books in the Bible.  These books are so special because they tell us about God, and Jesus, and how much They love us.  We can believe every word the Bible says because God helped write it.  The Bible is full of stuff - it has stories, and gives us advice, and it tells us about what will happen in the future.  It tells us how to dress, and how to eat, and how to worship God, and how to be nice to other people, even people we don't like.  The Bible also shows us how much God loves us. 

The Bible is the most important book you can have.  Do you have one?  Maybe your moms and dads will help you read a story from the Bible when you get home. 


Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Looks Like...

Bible Verse:  God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  Genesis 1:27 KJV

Visual Aides:  baby doll (for youngest kids) & a bird house  or hunting decoy (for older kids)


Story:

When I was little, some friends and I built some birdhouses.  (examine the bird house.)  Not all birds sleep in nests. 

We had directions on how to build these houses.  We had to build them to look like houses because the birds we wanted to see only lived in covered places and we hoped they build nests inside.  When we were done, my brother, sisters, and I hung our birdhouses around our yard. 

When I moved away from home, the birdhouses stayed.  I know that when one fell down, we opened it up and there was a nest!  No one lived in the nest by then, but we were excited to know that we built something that looked just like what the birds use.

When hunters are out hunting for ducks, they sometimes use a special, wooden duck that looks exactly like the duck they're hunting.  They even use special whistles to make the same noises that ducks make - all so they can catch a duck.  In order to catch the duck, they need a duck that looks just like them.

Who is this? (show doll)  It's a baby!  I know you girls love your babies.  How many fingers does the baby have?  How many fingers do you have?  Does the baby have eyes?  Yes, she does.  Do you have eyes?  Yup, so do you!

Did you know that God and Jesus made us to look just like Them?  I don't know exactly what Jesus and God look like, but They have toes, and fingers, and eyes, and ears, and hair, and arms, and legs, just like us.  We are so special that we're the only ones who look like God.  The animals don't look like us, do they?  Puppies have four legs and a tail; we don't have tails.  We don't have fur.  The kitties don't look like us, do they?  We'd look pretty funny with ears on top of our heads!  Our ears on on the sides of our head!

(read verse for older kids; omit for younger ones)

I don't think God would have gone through all the trouble of making us look like Him if we weren't really important to Him.  Aren't you glad that God loves you & took such care in making you look like you?

Stephanie Anne [userpic]

All About the Holy Spirit

Bible Verse:  The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to.  You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going.  John 3:8


Visual Aide:

  • a bowl of snow or a bottle of bubbles  (I gathered the snow & left it outside the front door until time for the story.  Fortunate for me, it had snowed super fluffy snow the night before!) 
  • picture of wind damage (you'll find one @ the end)


Story:

Who likes snow?  I love snow!  It's cold but you can do so much with snow!  (Let the kids put their hands in it.) 

Have you ever been in the car with your parents when suddenly you couldn't see out your windows?  The snow was blowing around your car and it was so thick all you could see was snow. 

(Take some snow and blow it out of your hand.)  This snow is very fluffy.  If a big wind blew, this snow would all float away in the air.  

It's just like bubbles.  When you blow bubbles from the wand, they float in the air; sometimes they go far away. 

What do you know about hurricanes?  Yes, they cause damage, but how?  Part of it is the wind, and part of it is the water.  Its also like that with tornadoes.  The winds come through - you can hear them; you can feel them; they destroy everything in their paths, but you can't see the wind.  

Jesus' help, the Holy Spirit, is like the wind.  We can't see Him.  We don't know where He is, but we can see where He's been because we can see the help He gives to people.  The Holy Spirit has been around as long as God and Jesus - He's always been.  The Holy Spirit helped men write the Bible.  He was there for Jesus when Jesus lived on Earth.

Jesus promised His special friends that after He went to Heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to be with them until Jesus could come back and bring all of us home.  Whenever we are scared, or don't know what to do, or have questions about God and Jesus, the Holy Spirit will come and be with you.  He can be your special friend, too.



this barn was over 150 years old when a microburst came through my area in July, 2008, and flattened it.  The barn was pushed off and away from the breezeway that goes to the house, and the roof crushed the walls and all the contents when it came to rest by the side of the road.  A microburst can do damage like a tornado, but instead of circular winds, these come straight down from the storm clouds.  Those winds can be as fast & devastating as a tornado.



Stephanie Anne [userpic]

Paradigm Shift to Stories has Begun

December 28th, 2008 (10:15 am)

Hi Everyone!

I'm so grateful and pleased to hear from a couple of you who have discovered my story blog.  It's good to know that you appreciate this resource!

It was inevitable... I've been the main storyteller at church for almost 9 years now, so it was bound to happen that my audience demographic would make a major shift as the children who were sitting in the pews at the beginning decide they're too old to come to the front, and new children start attending or become old enough to come to the front.

This is the 3rd time there is a swap in my front-pew audience, but its never been this drastic before.  The older boys have decided that, now that they're pre-teens, they will sit with their families... and the children coming up to the pew now are all under age 2 and now include my nieces. 

Because of this, the style of the stories are going to be changing to sound much younger.  It is my goal, however, to add tags to the blog that designate the general age of each story so that you can choose for your appropriate age group.  I'll still have stories for older kids, just in case we need them at my home church, so don't worry!

I wish you all a blessed 2009 and continued blessings as you minister to your smallest members!

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