Thursday, December 22, 2011


There is no more wonderful time of year than the Christmas season.  It's a magical time...a MERRY time...a blessed time...but also a very BUSY often we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season that we forget the reason we even have this special season to celebrate...

Though thoughts of that mystical little fella, Santa and jolly little elves bring cheer...we must not forget WHO made Christmas possible...

No it's not's this precious little fella...

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins.
(Matthew 1:21)

For unto you is born this day
in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:11)

Don't forget...


Won't you take some time today to celebrate our wonderful Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

I wish you ALL the happiest and most blessed holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Game Night/Trivia Night

Looking for something fun to do on your night off that doesn't cost any money?  Call up the ladies and get together for game night or trivia night.  This event can be hosted at your house if your group is small or host it in the church fellowship hall for a larger group.

Have each lady bring her favorite board game or other game to the meeting.  If there is a large group and you are hosting it at the fellowship hall, set up several tables and place a different game on each (like stations). 

Then PLAY.  The ladies can divide up into groups and play whichever game they prefer.  Make a night of it.  Playing different games and fellowshipping with different ladies. 

You might suggest that each lady invite a friend to come along.  The more the merrier.  Besides this is a great opportunity to win a lost soul!!!

Ask each lady to bring a snack and beverage to share.


This lesson is just in time for Christmas, though you can teach it at any other time during the year.

Start with prayer---

Give each child a piece of paper and pencil.  Ask them to write down everything they did "yesterday" from the time they woke up to the time they went to bed that night.  Next it's time for the skit.

Skit---busy, busy, busy  (To illustrate this little skit, I turned a large cardboard box into "hell" by cutting the flaps off, spray painting the inside black and adding "fire" with paint.  I also made a little platform, the devil and his minions with the left over cardboard flaps).


Today, let's revisit a little part of the story of the birth of Jesus.  Now I know you might be thinking "what does the birth of Jesus have to do with the little puppet show we just saw", but sit tight and you will find out.

I want to take a close look at one scripture in particular...Luke 2:7.  The last part of that verse says...

...and laid him in a manger; because there was NO ROOM for them in the inn.

You know we have seen many Christmas plays and heard many stories over the years that cause us to believe that Mary and Joseph made it to Bethlehem, looked from one inn to the next for lodging and was turned down due to no rooms available.  We hear of that one poor compassionate innkeeper who finally gave mary and Joseph a place in his stable to stay the night and that's where Jesus was born.  However that really is just speculation the bible does not go into great detail of why Jesus was laid in a manger other than there was no room in the inn.  We don't see evidence of an innkeeper or that they traveled from one inn to the next to find a room.  We can't even say for sure that this stable they came to and stayed in belonged to the innkeeper or exactly whose it was.  So let's take a look at this scripture in a couple different ways.

Perhaps maybe all the exaggereated stories we have heard are true.  Or we can speculate that they came to the only inn in town and there was no room for them.  The innkeeper doesn't offer a stable out back for them to stay.  Maybe he doesn't even have a stable.  Let's speculate that when they found out there was no room at the inn so they journeyed to the rural outskirts of town and bedded down in the first shelter they came to not even knowing who it belonged to.  It was just shelter.

Either way you look at it, it just comes down to there was no room for Jesus.  Even if there was one compassionate innkeeper, I don't consider him very compassionate if he could only find enough room in a stable for a woman to give birth.  Surely, he could have found some room or space within the inn for a woman great with child.  He doesn't seem very compassionate to me sending them out to a stable with animals and such.  He sounds like just another person giving as very little as he can get away with.  He certainly didn't give much at all; and, if there was no compassionate innkeeper that let them stay in his stable then we can speculate that the innkeeper at the one inn in town just didn't give them a place to stay and they had to find the first shelter they came to.  What it really boils down to is that even back then there was just no room in the lives of mankind for Jesus.

Let's also take a look at Luke 14:16-21...

Here we see a man who prepared a great feast for his friends and loved ones.  The people that were invited to this special supper were more concerned about their own little lives than to make time to come to their friends' dinner party even though he had gone through a big deal to make it special just for them.  The host was angry and had his servants go out and find anyone that would come to the dinner.  To find anyone that would make time for him.  Anyone that would find a place for him in their lives.

You see the little skit you saw is really very real.  Whether it'sSatan who has plotted a scheme to keep us too busy to make room in our lives for Jesus or not, the truth is that over the centuries all of mankind has had difficulty making time or room for Jesus.  We often put things "stuff" in a more important place than him.  We let other things rule out over prayer and bible study.  We even let celebrations (even celebrations like Christmas that are supposed to be Christian based) take us away from making room in our daily lives for Him.  Even I have difficulty finding time with this hurried, busy life to spend as much time with him as I should, and there are some people who don't make any room in their lives for him at all.

Now let's take a look at your lists of what you did yesterday...(let each child read his list to the class). 

Did you make any room in your life yesterday for Jesus?  Did you spend any time with him?  Did you prayer or read your bible?  Did you include him in your activities? 

Jesus said...(Luke 9:58)---"the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head".  Sad, Jesus himself said that there is no room for me here. 

Today, we need give him a place (make some room) for him in our hearts and in our lives.  Let's make room for Jesus!!

End with prayer!

No memory verse this week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Lost Holiday...

At church we sing a chorus that goes like this...

Thanks, thanks, I give you thanks
for all you've done.
I am so blessed,
my soul has found rest,
Oh Lord, I give you thanks.

Whew, the holidays are upon us once again.  My oh my how time FLIES when you are having fun!  It's true that time never stands still and the older I get the more I realize just how short life truly is. The years just seem to be slipping away. 

Every year it seems as if Christmas comes earlier and earlier, perhaps it's the hustle and bustle of life, but more than likely it's because the stores start stocking their shelves with Christmas goods shortly after Labor Day.  In recent years this little tradition of theirs has started bothering me.  Why, you might ask?  Well, because a very important holiday, Thanksgiving, has been lost in the shuffle. It has been gobbled up and lost somewhere between Halloween and Christmas.  Commercialism has eaten up Thanksgiving.

Even on the homefront more and more folks are decorating their homes for Christmas before Thanksgiving has even arrived.  People everywhere are making sure to deck the halls for Ol' Saint Nicks arrival but have made no arrangements to be thankful to the Almighty God. 

Of course, this should be no surprise to believers as the bible says that in the last days an unthankful generation would emerge (2 Tim. 3:1-5).  Folks, we have made it to the last days!  If there has ever been a more unthankful generation, it's this one, and I'm not just talking about forgetting the Thanksgiving holiday.  I am talking about just plain ol' unthankfulness.  Just as the stores have pushed Thanksgiving out of the way, so have people pushed thankfulness to God out of their hearts.

There was a day when folks sat down at the dinner table every evening and gave thanks for the blessings of the day, but sadly those days are long gone in most homes, and now it's getting harder and harder to find folks who will even stop and take just one day out of their lives to give thanks to a loving God who gave them that life. 

Oh sure, everyone anticipates a day or two off work and a big turkey dinner, but do they really stop and take the time to be thankful for God's many bountiful blessings anymore, or is their attitude of thankfulness merely a greasy chuckle of a prayer that says, "Thank ya Lord, Thank ya Lord for this food, over the lips and through the gums, watch out stomach here it comes."

True thankfulness is a lifestyle and should be observed everyday, but at the very least one day a year should be set aside for the giving of thanks to our creator.

This year let's resurrect a lost holiday... THANKSGIVING...and instead of just giving thanks for a nice dinner, how about taking the day and a significant amount of time on your knees to recount God's MANY blessings on your life. 

In EVERY THING give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning YOU.
                            1 Thess. 5:18

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mother/Daughter Banquet

This get together is usually held in honor of Mother's Day, but I suppose you could have one at any time during the year, even perhaps around the holidays. 

A Mother/Daughter Banquet is just that...A banquet to honor mothers and their daughters and that special bond they share between each other.

A Mother/Daughter banquet can have whatever theme you like, examples include:

A Shopping theme
A Floral theme
A Garden theme
Shoes and Purses theme
Southern Belle theme
High Tea

or any number of other themes so long as it is "girly".

Choose a date, place and time for this banquet.  Choose a theme and hand out invitations that go along with the theme you have chosen. 

Ask each lady to bring a dish or if your budget allows, have it catered.  If you are having the ladies bring food you will want to include that information on their invitations.  You might also note on the invitation that this is a formal event and to dress appropriately (not necessarily evening gowns but no casual attire).

Decorate the hall according to the theme you have chosen.   Remember that no matter what theme you have chosen, this is a formal event.  You will want to set each table with nice linens and a centerpiece that coordinates with your theme. 

This event usually has a special speaker or someone to talk about the special bond between a mother and daughter.  Most times this is a Christian based banquet and the speaker touches on the importance and responsibility of a mother to raise her daughter in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and also the daughters responsibility of learning and listening to her mother's instruction.  However, this type of thing is not required.

The most important thing is to get mothers and their daughters together to celebrate womanhood.

You might want to play a few games and give away a few door prizes.

Some door prizes might be given to the oldest mother, the youngest mother, the mother with the most children, etc. or you could choose to give a small party favor to each person in attendance.  Your choice.

Suggestion:  Since this is a formal affair, you could use some of the young men of your church or some of the ladies sons to be waiters for the evening.   Of course, they would also need to be dressed appropriately.  White shirt, black slacks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting Your Spiritual Eyesight

Start with Prayer---

Sometimes it seems the odds are stacked against us. The situation or situations has more impossibilities than possibilities. Everything and everyone is against us. Even your very friends are treating you less than friendly. Nothing goes right at all. Your life is a shambles. Fear settles in. Anxiety overrides every other emotion. It seems as if there is no end of the turmoil in sight. There seems to be no possibility of any sort of resolution in your crisis.

Have you ever felt this way? It doesn’t matter what the situation; it could include health problems, school problems, problems at home. Either way, things keep stacking up and before long you feel overwhelmed. It's probable that each of us have some situations right now in our lives that seem impossible, overwhelming and never ending. (Teacher, open this up for discussion now):

Whatever the situation may be, you just can’t see how things are going to work out and that right there is the problem! It’s not the situation, it’s that we just can see the outcome, so we panic. We just can’t see how everything is going to work out or that everything is going to be alright. The reason being is that we are just not seeing through our spiritual eyes. We need to look into the mirror of the word in order to see properly.

Let’s take a look into that mirror right now and see what happened to some people who felt overwhelmed and outnumbered by a particular situation.

2 Kings 6:8-20—Elisha’s servant was scared. They were surrounded and there was no end of the enemies encamped around about them. However, God opened the servant’s spiritual eyes that he could see the troops of angels and fiery chariots of protection round about. (discuss this scripture passage with the children, noting how it seemed the whole world was against Elisha and his servant, but when the Lord opened the Servant's eyes he could see as Elisha saw, that there was more ready to fight for them than there were against them.)

That’s precisely what we need, God’s intervention, when we only see the carnal side of our situations. First, we must look into the word, it has all our answers. (Psalm 119:18—Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.)

It’s true that there are more for us than against us...look at the following scriptures...

Rev. 12:4 & 7-10—only 1/3 of the angels fell. Therefore there are 2/3 left to protect.

Heb. 12:1—we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. We have other saints, the saints of old, angels and God on our side.

Is. 59:19—So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

There was someone else who was spiritually blind who allowed his blindness to affect himself and those around him. He didn’t really have a negative situation in his life, he was the negative situation.

The apostle Paul persecuted the church because he couldn’t see truth and he thought everyone else was wrong. He was trying to defend God only to find out that he was fighting against him. However, one day on the road to Damascus he had a personal encounter with God. The scriptures’ recording of Paul being blinded and then the scales falling from his eyes symbolizes how we are blind until we come in contact with "the truth". The truth of who God is will cause us to be able to see more clearly. God made the proverbial scales fall of his eyes so that he could see through his spiritual eyes. This process is called revelation.

We need to look at every situation in our lives with clarity and we can do this by applying God’s word. If we are sick or maybe in my situation with my daughter being sick, I need to not be disappointed or upset about that situation, I have to look at it knowing that God said he is the healer and that he doesn’t lie. However, he cannot heal if I have doubt. Doubt is a blinder, faith is an eye opener. Sometimes we go through life with our spiritual blinders on. We see everything from a human, carnal perspective; however, we don’t have to do that. We can look at every situation from God’s perspective by looking to his word. we can believe that when the enemy comes in like a flood that the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For Such a Time as This

Scripture text: Esther 4:8; 4:10-14

Esther had never known the reason that she, a jew, was chosen to be queen, but God had a plan for Esther. And God has a plan for each of us also. We don’t always know why we are in certain situations, or put in certain places. Sometimes those places and situations seem strange to us. Sometimes we kind of feel out of place. Things are altogether unfamiliar and sometimes we question the Lord "Why are we here?"; "What is going on and what is this all about?". I can imagine Esther might have felt this way.

She was one single Jewish girl in the midst of whole lot of worldly people. She was isolated and alone in the king’s castle. There were no other Jewish girls there to pal around with. She was the only one. I imagine she kind of felt out of place, out of sorts. Why was all this happening. Why did Uncle Mordy send me to do this and why was I chosen to be queen? I can imagine she felt homesick, alone and even possibly scared or worried about what was going to take place in her life, but then suddenly her purpose was made known to her.

Haman had fooled the king into signing a decree that all the Jews in the entire kingdom would be killed on a certain day. The king had no idea that his lovely bride was a Jew. Well here we see the reason Esther became queen. She was placed there to save her people, the Jews, from destruction. She was the only one in a position to save the Jewish race. Why Esther, and what in the world could a small, innocent, unskilled Jewish girl do to stop the destruction of an entire race?

When uncle Mordy told her to go plead their cause before the king Esther was afraid and declined. She said "Uncle Mordy, you know that the only ones who can come into the king’s court are those he invites. Those he holds his sceptre out to. Otherwise, anyone who enters uninvited is killed, immediately. I have not been invited into the kings court the whole time I have dwelled in this house since I was chosen to be queen and it doesn’t look like I am going to be invited anytime soon. There’s no way I can entreat the king for the Jews or even myself".

But Uncle Mordy insisted that Esther entreat the king for her people. He said "if you don’t speak for your people, God’s people, God will send someone else to, and you and your father’s house will surely be destroyed for not doing what God sent you to do, for who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Uncle Mordy was saying, Esther this is your calling. This is why you were put in this place. This is your reason for living.

Like Esther, we often don’t understand why we have been put in a particular situation, or in a strange place, but rest assured God knows and he has a plan for each and every one of us. You may not know who it is that you were sent to help deliver from the hands of the evil one. Why has God chosen you. Only he knows. You may have the right personality to win the heart of the one he sent you to help.

However, the key is that we allow ourselves to be used. God put you where you are to win the lost, but if you won’t do it, he will send someone else to take your place who will do it. We may feel afraid to talk to others about salvation and that’s okay. God has given instruction in the rest of this passage in Esther to help with that.

Scripture text: Esther 4:15-17

Esther issued to all the jews, herself and her handmaids a three day fast. They entreated the Lord that Esther would receive the kings favor and would be invited into his court, and Esther made herself ready, through fasting and prayer, through purification of her soul, body and spirit to see the king. This fasting helped her with her fear and God did give her favor with the king to enter into his court.

Esther first asked the king if she could invite the king to a luncheon, and then readied the luncheon. At the luncheon she asked if the king would join her for a dinner. He accepted. She entreated him for her people. He stopped the massacre that had been orchestrated by Haman and the Jews were delivered.

Now you might ask how is this going to help me win the lost? The secret is that no matter how afraid we are to speak to someone. Take it to God through prayer and fasting. Oh God, I want to see souls saved. I need your help so that I can do my part in this place you have put me. I don’t know who and I don’t know why, but you do Lord and I need your help. Give me the words. Help me see what I need to do. Help me to be brave because I know that I have been put here ...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

In time God will show you who you were sent for. First prepare yourself. Make your heart pure. Ask for wisdom and understanding. Live right in the sight of all men (this is the hard one, don’t blow your witness). Then, make friends with them. Wine them and dine all the while helping them find salvation.

Jesus was sent at just the right time to the right place and you were sent at the right time to just the right place. It’s all a part of God’s ultimate plan. His whole desire is that the world be saved.

We have been chosen to finish his work. Is it our desire that "the people" be saved? What are we going to do about it?

Esther was just one little Jewish girl in the midst of a whole nation of jew haters, but she stepped up to the plate to save her people. God had put her in that place, at that time, for that purpose. Oh sure, she could’ve decided that she just couldn’t help and God would have had someone else do it, but Esther would have been the one to lose out. She would've have been killed for entering into the king’s court without invitation. She and her family would have been destroyed.

God has put us here in our place, at our house, in our neighborhood, at our school, at our job, at this time, for his purpose. He has put us here ...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

Let’s keep our eyes peeled and look for those whom God has sent us to help. Lets prepare ourselves and then help them find salvation.


Read the story of Esther
and be Inspired to be used of God.
Esther 1:1-10-3

There is no memory verse for this lesson but there is an assigment.  Have the children read the Story of Esther this week from their bibles.

Fear vs. Courage

Start with prayer—

This lesson is about the Twelve Spies and should be done in warmer weather because you will want to take the children outdoors, if possible as they will be "spying" out the land.

Fear vs. Courage

Gear up and head out to spy out the promised land (have their snack and memory verse pieces set out for them to find).

Supplies Needed:

Sheets (for cloakes and later to lay on the ground for seating)
hats (something for head, turbans)
Snack:  Grapes, Honey Spread and Mini Bagels
Memory verse pieces (Make "grapes" out of purple paper.  Put one word from Joshua 1:9 on each "grape")

Scripture text: Numbers 13:1-2; 13:17-14:11; 14:22-38 (14:30 only Caleb and Joshua will remain alive to inherit the promised land)

The Lord had promised the Israelites the land of Canaan "a land flowing with milk and honey" for their inheritance. He brought them out of Egypt and did great and mighty wonders in front of their eyes. He preserved them many times with food, water, clothing. When they got to the area where the "promised land" was, God instructed Moses to send in 12 spies (one from each tribe) to spy out the land to see if it was able to be possessed. What types of foods and land it was. The 12 went out and spied the land for 40 days. The land in deed was fantastic. There was lush green lands and vineyards. They found one cluster grapes that it took 2 men to carry on their shoulders because they were so big. It was everything the Lord promised it would be, but there was one "big" problem. Some of the inhabitants of the land were "giants".
When the 12 came back with their report, Caleb and Joshua told Moses how wonderful the land was, but the other 10 was not focused on the good, they were convinced that there was no way the Israelites would be able to overtake the giants. They didn’t remember how the Lord parted the Red Sea, or how he provided food and water in the middle of the desert. They didn’t remember any of the Lord’s mighty victories. You see giants in the land is no big problem for God, but they didn’t compare God’s size to the giants. They compared themselves to the giants and that is where the true problem lied. They said we are like grasshoppers compared to these people. There is no way we can overcome them and cast them out of this land. This upset God altogether and because of their doubt the Israelites were made to wonder and die in the wilderness one year for every day the spies spied out the land. That’s 40 years! God said that all the children of Israel 20 years old and older except for Caleb and Joshua because of their faith, would die in the wilderness and never inherit their promised land. Their fear, and lack of faith and trust in God lost them their promise.

You know sometimes that happens to us. God has promised us many good things, some material things and other spiritual things, but because we face adversity or different problems "giants" so to speak, fear grips our hearts and we forfeit the promise because we are most focused on the problem than the promise.

Let’s discuss some types of promises or rewards we can get but we have backed out because of fear or doubt.

Sometimes we doubt our abilities like the Israelites because of our size or appearance or knowledge. We doubt ourselves. We’re not good enough. We can’t do it! We are afraid of goofing up is what it boils down to. But God has promised that he would never leave us nor forsake us so we should not be afraid but have courage. Courage in him!

Maybe there are some things that God is asking you to do (sing a special, give a bible study, invite a friend to church, pray before eating your lunch at school, etc) but you are afraid of goofing up or what others might think of you so you won’t do it. You are giving up promises each time you let fear win out.

Maybe God has promised he would save your friends soul but that’s not going to happen if you don’t invite them to church. Maybe God has promised you something great in the music ministry area but you are too afraid to even sing a special. It could be anything, it doesn’t even have to do with church. Just anything in life. Later in life maybe you want to be a doctor, but the thought of 8 years of college or more is very daunting. Are you smart enough? How will you ever know unless you try. Eight years is a long time to go to school but you have the promise of being a doctor when you graduate.

Every good thing in life comes with a challenge "a giant" if you will. Your success depends on whether you choose to face the giant or let the fear of that giant beat you.

God has made us one incredible promise. He said...

For the memory verse...scramble the "found" grapes, Read the verse below aloud to the children once, then have them make a cluster of grapes, with the words to the verse in the proper order.  Go over the verse with them a few more time until it memorized.

Memory verse: Joshua 1:9—

...Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.

The promise is that God will be with you where ever you go, so long as you trust him. 

Monday, October 31, 2011


Everyone enjoys nibbling on a variety of Christmas cookies so hosting a Christmas cookie exchange would be a fabulous way to get all the ladies together around the holidays.

Choose a date, place and time to hold the exchange.  This type of get together is best when hosted in either yours or one of the other ladies homes.  Since the home would already be decorated for the holidays there is no need to decorate and besides it generates an atmosphere of Christmas spirit and hospitality. 

Hand out invitations at least a week in advance to give each lady time to purchase the ingredients she needs and to have time to do her baking.

On the invitation, ask each lady to bring 3 dozen of her favorite Christmas cookie.  Specify that the cookies must be homemade.  No store bought snacks for this event!!  However, some Christmas treats use store bought cookies as a base or as part of the ingredients and that is fine.

Suggestion:  You can also ask each lady to bring enough copies of her recipe to share with the other ladies, but that is optional. 

You will want to make sure you have plenty of coffee, milk and hot cocoa on hand for the occasion.  There will be a lot of sampling going on.

Provide each lady with a small gift box or cookie tin to take a sample or two of each cookie home, providing there is any left, lol.

Hint:  No matter where this gathering is hosted, for added fun and festivity, create a Christmasy atmosphere by playing Christmas music in the background.   Play a game or two, i.e. pin the nose on Rudolf.  Go caroling or have Christmas Carol karaoke.

If there are plenty of cookies and you are feeling generous, make up several goodie bags with a variety of cookies in each.  Then hop in the car and distribute the goody bags to the older folks in your church and neighborhood who are home bound for the winter and who might be in need of a little Christmas cheer.  You might also do a little caroling for them.


Whatever you decide to do, have a great time.  Enjoy the wonderful holiday season and


Friday, October 28, 2011


What lady doesn't love beautiful Christmas ornaments?  If you're like me, you want a few new ornaments each year to adorn your tree or perhaps you use them to embellish Christmas packages too.  There are MANY uses for ornaments.  My favorite are homemade ornaments.  Anyone can have store bought ones but the beautiful ornaments made by hand are the best. 

This year why not get your ladies together to make some beautiful hand made ornaments. 

Choose a date, place and time for your get together.

If you would like, as the hostess, you can provide a variety of plain ball ornaments in various sizes and some embellishments to use, or ask each lady to bring ornaments and things like ribbon, glitter and Christmas cards with beautiful Christmas scenes, paints, scrapbook paper, songbook paper, and anything else that can be used in making and embellishing ornaments.

Put all the ornaments and supplies together in one location and then share.  This way each lady has a variety of ornaments and embellishments to choose from. 

You can embellish plain ol' store bought Christmas ball ornaments anyway you like.  You can add things like lace and beads or just about any other embellishment you like.

You can also make ornaments.  The following are recipes for salt dough ornaments and cinnamon Applesauce dough.  To make ornaments from these doughs, simply make the dough and use Christmas cookie cutters to cut shapes in the dough.  Use a wooden skewer to put a hole in the top for your string or hanger.  (Note:  These must be made ahead of time, so they have several days to dry before embellishing them).

Salt Dough recipe
Cinnamon Applesauce dough

Ornaments can be painted, decoupaged or wrapped.  The possibilities are endless, just use your imagination.

Ornaments can be made from virtually anything.  Natural items like pine cones, nuts and acorns.  Paper, jar lids, puzzle pieces, games pieces, the list goes on and one. Use your imagination.

Once everyone's ornaments are all made and looking so beautiful, you can choose to either let each lady take her own home or exchange them.

Playing a chinese gift exchange game would be fun.  Place all the homemade ornaments on a table and put each ladies name into a hat.  One by one draw the ladies names from the hat.

The first lady gets to choose the ornament she wants from the table.  The second lady gets to choose one from the table or steal the first ladies and the third lady likewise can choose an ornament from the table or steal from one of the other ladies, and so on.  The more "stealing", the more fun the game is.

Provide some cookies and cocoa for a snack and have a wonderful time.

Happy ornament making and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Everyone loves receiving a gift basket for Christmas from someone who has put much thought, love and effort into making it especially for them.  With that in mind, wouldn't it be fun to get together with your group of church ladies and have a Christmas Basket-Make & Take.  The holidays are a great time of year to get together and fellowship and with a Make & Take, your time is well spent.

Choose a date, place and time to get the ladies together for a Christmas Basket-Make & Take.


Have each lady bring something as their basket (this can be anything, a wooden basket, a kitchen calender, large soup bowl, decorative Christmas sleigh, etc.)  Even the pouch of a Christmas oven mitt turned upside down makes a great "basket".  The term "basket" simply means the container they will be putting all their goodies into.

Also each lady will need to bring items to put into their baskets.  Things like Christmas candies and cookies are always great.  Also Christmas mugs and hot cocoa are great items to add to a basket.  Anything Christmasy works.  Pot holders, kitchen towels, decorative items, ornaments.  Have the ladies bring a variety of items. 

If you wish, you can designate a specific item for them to bring on their invitations, i.e.,  have one lady bring Christmas cookies, and another bring a large bag of Christmas candy, have another bring a few boxes of cocoa and another bring candy canes, or ornaments, etc.

You will need things like basket filler, cellophane bags in different sizes and assorted ribbon on hand to finish the baskets. 

Small Gift basket ideas might include:

--A Christmas mug filled with cocoa and cookies, wrapped in a small cellophane bag and tied with ribbon.  You can attach a spoon with the ribbon for added charm.

--A Christmas soup bowl filled with a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup and individual packs of crackers and a few after dinner mints, wrapped in a small cellophane bag and tied with a ribbon.  A spoon could also be added to this one.

--A Christmas themed oven mitt,  turn the mit upside down and add a package of Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix, pouch of decorator's icing and attach a wooden spoon to the mitt's loop.  No wrapping needed.

A mixing bowl also works well as a basket.  Add a cake mix, mixing spoons and tub of icing or other various baking ingredients (dry goods only).  Wrap in a large cellophane bag and top with a ribbon.  You can tie a wooden spoon or a wire wisk on with the ribbon for a little extra cuteness.

Your baskets can be any size and have any kind of treat you want to add and embellished anyway you like. 

If you wish, have each lady bring a small treat for everyone to snack on at your meeting.  Basket making will make you HUNGRY. 

Suggestion:  Once everyone has their baskets made, they can either take their basket home and give as a gift to whomever they like, or for a gift exchange game, have the ladies stand in a circle holding the basket she made.  Read a Christmas poem (story) aloud to them, when you say the words left or right, have them pass their baskets either left or right.  When the story is finished, each lady receives the basket she is holding.

Suggestion:  If you wish (provided all ladies are in agreement) you could donate all the gift baskets to a local charity for disbursement to under privileged families in your area, or if your church hands out gifts to each family at Christmas, donate the baskets to your church.

Suggestion:  Have each lady invite a friend to your meeting, any of your meetings, because the more you include lost friends and loved ones into your group for fun times, the more they will get to know all of you and the more they will want to attend church. 

Have fun, and above all have a


Thursday, October 27, 2011


Tablescaping is the biggest trend in home entertaining today.  As Christian ladies, entertaining is a big part of our lives, or at least it should be.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;... distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13

All of us have had opportunities to have guests over for dinner but, oftentimes we don't entertain or have home fellowship, even though we would like to, because our entertaining skills leave us feeling like failures in that area.  Let's face it, the days of proper etiquette, formal table setting and June Cleaver are gone, so many ladies just don't know how to be the "hostess with the mostest"; however, this particular ladies meeting class and contest can cure them of that problem.

Choose a date and time to get the ladies together for a tablescape class and contest.  This meeting should be held in the fellowship hall at your church where there are plenty of tables to use for demonstration and contest.

Note:  If you yourself are not familiar with tablescaping, google the words "tablescapes, tablescaping" to learn more about it and to see sample photos.  I also give links and information farther down in this post, so keep reading!

Ask each lady to bring her everyday dishes and perhaps "special dishes", glasses and silverware to this meeting.  Also, have her bring any tableclothes, table runners, napkins and napkin rings she might have, and to bring things like candles, florals, greenery, hurricane vases and other things that can be used for centerpieces. 

For the meeting, have your own items ready to demonstrate a tablescape or two.  Explain as you go what tablescaping is and "how" to do it. 

Then, group the ladies together in groups of two or three and assign each group a table (if your group is small, give each lady her own table).  Using the skills you just taught them and the items they brought from home, have them "set" their table.  They can mix, match and share dishes, centerpieces, etc.  Once everyone is finished, the judging begins.  You are the judge (you can choose someone else to help if you wish).  You can set up different categories for the tables to be judged on, i.e., most creative, proper setting, most elegant, most rustic, best color scheme, etc.

Choose 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place winning tables, or perhaps (since you are the judge) each table can win a prize. Your choice.  Give each lady at the winning tables a prize.  Prizes can be anything even just a "blue" or "red" ribbon.  You can buy ribbons at party supply stores, or make your own and the cost is minimal.

The most important thing is to have fun, learn something and make everyone feel like a winner!!!


Perhaps you are familiar with tablescaping, if so, you are ready to go, but if not, tablescaping is just a fancy word to say "setting a nice table".  The definition of tablescape is..."an arrangement of items gathered into a grouping and placed on top of the table"  Now I know you might be thinking, how boring, but I can assure you that you will have the most fun you've had in a long time.  Tablescaping is a way to allow your creative juices to flow and it doesn't have to cost anything. 

If you are completely unfamiliar with tablescaping, just google the words "tablescape or tablescaping" to learn more and see photographs of many home and party tablescapes.  (Click on the links below to see tablescapes from some of the most creative bloggers and tablescapers in the business).

The greatest thing about tablescaping is that the sky is the limit.  Any type of dishes, glasses and eating utensils will work (even paper or plastic!).  You don't have to have the finest china and silver to set a nice table, so anyone can do it using what they have from home.  You can go as fancy or as simple as you like!


The only rule is, there are no rules.  Presentation is key!  You don't have to put the silverware in the "right place".  Glasses don't have to be in the right position unless you want them to be.  You just use your creativity and imagination to set a nice table.   Anything goes!!  Most tablescapes are done by theme, like the rooster theme in the table above, and the strawberry theme below.

Set your table according to the theme of your dishes.  For example, the tablescape I put together below used palm tree dishes I found at a local thrift shop and things from around the house.  I put together a tropical themed table and I had fun doing it.  Not to mention, I was ready to have company for dinner. 

White dishes go with any theme as do black dishes.   Or, mix them together to get a black and white color scheme.  Your centerpiece and color choices is what makes the biggest impact.   Use organic materials in your centerpiece such as leaves, rocks and other outdoor materials or use faux greenery and florals, use real.  Mix and match anything and everything.  Again, anything goes!!  The only thing you really need to do is define each place setting at your table, meaning that where there is a chair, there should be a plate, glass, silverware and napkin at that spot.  Most regularly sized tables have 4 to 6 place settings.

For those who just want to know or need to know proper placement of dishes in a setting, see the chart below.

However, tablescapers seldom use proper placement of all these items.  The main thing is that each place setting is defined.   Napkins can be folded or put into rings.  They can be placed under the silverware, to the side of the silverware, rolled up and tied with twine, folded accorion style and in half and placed inside the stemware (see photo below) or sandwiched between the dinner plate and the salad plate.

Silverware can be placed at the top of the plates, placed in a pocket that has been folded into the napkin, tied with raffia and placed on top of the plates.  You can even put them inside the drinking glass.  Glasses should almost always go to the top right hand side of the plate, but if you are brave, you can set them smack dab in the middle of your plate.  With tablescaping you get to choose.

100th Week of Tablescape ThursdayMy Birthday Luncheon

The most important thing about entertaining and tablescaping is that you have fun and your guests have fun.  Your home should be comfortable and inviting (you don't have to have the finest of everything to do that).  It's all in your attitude and how you present what you do have.  Your guests should feel relaxed in your home but at the same time feel as if they are your "special guests" and that you have taken the extra time and care in planning for their visit. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Into HIS Marvelous Light

"Into His Marvelous Light"
(Bible Study)

When walking out of a dark room into the sunshine, light can be blinding. As our eyes become accustomed to the light, we can see more clearly and enjoy the scenery that surrounds us.
Likewise, when we look into the light of the scriptures, the brightness of truth can sometimes hurt. However, as our spiritual eyesight becomes adjusted we can enjoy "walking in the light".
This Bible study is designed to allow us to "walk" into the marvelous light of the Word of God. We will be journeying into the scriptures by imagining we are back in the days of Jesus and the Apostles, listening to them teach and preach the plan of salvation. In order to do this, we will be careful to "rightly" divide the word of the truth (2 Timothy 2:15) by concentrating on the highlights of the three main divisions of the New Testament in chronological order, including: 
1. THE GOSPELS - covering the words and works of Jesus Christ 
2. THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES -covering the actions and preaching of the Apostles 
3. THE EPISTLES - covering the letters written by the Apostles to the churches they started in the Book of Acts. 

Note:  When starting this study, turn to each scripture passage in your bible and read the passage aloud to yourself.  All scripture references are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.  If you have a printer, you may wish to print this Bible Study to be better able to fill in the answers and have a copy to review. 

We believe the scriptures are divinely inspired and, "of no private interpretation" (2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore, every effort has been made to present the pure Word of God without adding to, or taking away from its teachings (Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:5-6).
It is not our intention to diminish any personal relationship you may have with our Lord. Neither do we desire to convince you of our own personal ideas or the creeds of any denomination. We simply desire to share the truth as it is written. Only by claiming the Bible as our sole authority can any of us be confident of our salvation, for it is the Word of God and not the traditions of men that will judge us all in the end.
Let us read 2 Timothy 3:15-16 as we begin our journey into the Word of God... And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:   

Fill in the blanks:
  • John 1:1-5 & 14 -- The                       , which was in the beginning, and was God, became flesh.  Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God.
  • John 1:11-13 -- If we believe in Him and receive Him, Jesus gives us power to become the sons of                          by a supernatural birth. He spoke further about this new birth one night to a ruler of the Jews... 
  • John 3:1-8  -- The Lord told Nicodemus that everyone who wanted to see or enter into the Kingdom of God, must be born again of                       and the                      .
  • John 3:16-21 -- Jesus also told Nicodemus that whosoever                          in Him should have eternal life. Jesus mentioned two seemingly different requirements for salvation. One is being born again. The other is believing. yet, this is not a contradiction. The next scripture explains how believing is related to experiencing the birth of the Spirit...
  • John 7:38-39 -- Here, we discover that if we believe on Him (according to the Word), we will receive His                       . We find that scriptural belief is more than just a change in the way we think. It also results in a scriptural experience. Faith motivates us to obey and obedience brings God's acceptance and blessing.
  • John 12:35-36 & 42-43 -- Today, just as in Jesus' day, many believe on Him. But, they will not                      Him for fear of what others will do or say.
  • John 12:44 -- In response to their fearfulness, Jesus warns that His                   will judge us, so we must be careful not to reject it. Rather, we should believe and obey it... no matter what others say or do!
  • John 17:17-20 -- In Jesus' prayer for his desciples, just before His crucifixion, He said God's Word is                      . He also prayed for us; and for all those who would believe on Him through the Apostles' word.

To find out what the Apostles' word was to be, let us read what Jesus told them to proclaim. The setting of the following great commission scripture in Luke 24:45-49 is just after the Lord's death, burial and resurrection... and just before His ascension into heaven. 

"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." 

HOW WAS THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER FULFILLED?                                             

Let us continue our journey into the Word of God by seeing what was preached and what happened at Jerusalem... 

Acts 1:3-5 -- As we enter the Book of Acts, we discover almost immediately that the promise of the Father is the baptism of the                                       .

Acts 2:1-17 -- When the Apostles were at Jerusalem, they, along with many others, were joyously filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other                      as the Spirit gave them utterance, (the inspiration to speak).  The amazed onlookers from many nations who heard them speaking with tongues asked, "What meaneth this?"  Then Peter explained the promised coming of the Spirit and went on to preach Christ and the original apostolic plan of salvation.

Acts 2:36-39 -- When the popele who heard Peter's words believed that Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior, they were sorry for their sins and asked Peter and the Apostles what they should do.  Peter replied by preaching the message Jesus commanded to be preached in Luke 24:45-49.  In light of this, consider the three elements of the plan of salvation preched in verse 38:
  1. Repentance
  2. Remission of sins through baptism in Jesus' name
  3. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost
NOTICE: Acts 2:38 is the fulfillment of the birth requirements Jesus mentioned in John 3:5 that were necessary to enter the Kingdom of God. 
  • water birth = baptism in the name of Jesus Christ! 
  • Spirit birth = infilling of the Holy Ghost! 
  Now, let's look at some more examples of people being born again of water and the Spirit as the Word Jesus gave His apostles continued to be preached throughout the Book of Acts... 

Phillip preaching to the Samaritans in Acts 8
NOTICE: Some people say when they experienced joy; or when they believed in Jesus, or when they were baptized, they were automatically filled with the Holy Ghost. But what does the Word say? 

Acts 8:5-8 
  • Did they have great joy?   Yes      No      
Acts 8:12 
  • Were they baptized in His name?  Yes      No     
  • Did they believe in Jesus Christ?  Yes      No     
Acts 8:14-17 
  • Did they receive the Holy Ghost as a separate and distinct experience?  Yes      No     

Peter preaching to the Gentiles in Acts 10 
NOTICE: Some people say being religious is enough, or that the Spirit-baptism evidenced by tongues was only for the day of Pentecost. If the Bible says this is true, then it is true. But the Word shows us through Cornelius' experience that this is not true... then it is not.... 

Acts 10:1-2 
  • Was Cornelius a religious man?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:5-6 
  • Did God have more for him to do?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:44-46 
  • Did they receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues after the day of Pentecost?  Yes      No     
Acts 10:47-48 
  • Did they still have to be baptized in Jesus' name?  Yes      No     

Paul preaching to John's disciples in Acts 19
NOTICE: Many people who are believers have not even heard about the Holy Ghost that is promised to them. Also, some people say it is not necessary to be baptized or re-baptize (if you were baptized by John the Baptist, would you think it would be necessary to be re-baptized using a different baptismal formula?) Others say it does not matter what is spoken when you are baptized. If the Bible indicates it does not matter, then it does not matter...but, what if the Bible shows us it DOES matter?  Acts 19:1-2 
  • They were believers, but had they heard of or received the Holy Ghost?  Yes      No     
Acts 19:3-5 
  • Did those baptized by John the Baptist have to be rebaptized in Jesus' name?  Yes      No     
Acts 19:6 
  • Was receiving the Holy Ghost accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues?  Yes      No      
NOTICE:  We have found that the Apostles preached the following message:
the life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection:

  • The life of Christ and His death, burial and resurrection
  • Repentance toward God and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior
  • Baptism in water by immersion in Jesus' Name
  • Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (which is accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking with other tongues.)

Now, let us read what the Apostles had to say about the message of salvation they proclaimed in the Book of Acts. We can do this by reading the epistles (letters) they wrote to their converts. 
Supplemental Study Scriptures  As we read the Epistles, we will notice how strongly the Apostles felt about the gospel (good news) of salvation. This is not because they were being judgmental, it is because they knew the Word Jesus had given them to proclaim was going to judge all men.
What did Peter say? 
"Ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth.. being born again.. by the word of God.. and this is the word which by gospel is preached unto you." (I Peter 1:22-25)
Peter asked a question: 
"...What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17-18)
(1) Matthew 7:13-24 
NOTE: God's warning regarding false prophets and the importance of being a doer and not just a hearer of the Word.
(2) Matthew 16:15-19 
NOTE: Peter was given the "keys of the kingdom" because of his revelation of who Jesus Christ was.
Paul Gave the answer: 
"The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In
flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and the obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)
What did Paul say? 
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other..."
(3) Other "Great Commission" scriptures": 
NOTE: In Matthew 28:18-20 the word "name" is singular in this command to baptize. The Apostles obeyed this command when they bapitzed only in the name of Jesus, and did not use the titles mentioned here. (see Acts 4:12)
Mark 16:15-18. The importance of water baptism and the signs following believers.
(4) Matthew 16:15-19 
NOTE: Peter, who was given the "keys of the kingdom", uses them to open the "kingdom door" by preaching the original apostolic message of salvation for the first time.
(5) Acts 8:35-39 
NOTE: Philip must have mentioned baptism when he preached Jesus to the Eunuch, because the Eunuch asked to be baptized in water. The Greek root word for baptize is "bapto", which literally means to cover wholly with fluid, to dip. (see also Romans 6:3-4). 
(6) Acts 10:34-43 
NOTE: Peter preached the life and lordship of Jesus Christ as well as His death, burial and resurrection.
(7) I Peter 3:20-21 
NOTE: According to Peter baptism is an essential part of the plan of salvation.

What Did James Say?

"Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soulds.  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers onyl, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (James 1:21-24)

James tells us that if we see something we need to do as we look into the "mirror of the word," we should do it.  Let us now consider what we will do with what we have heard...


DO YOU BELIEVE the Word of God is true and will judge us?
DO YOU BELIEVE Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior?
DO YOU BELIEVE it is necessary to repent by determining to turn from sin and giving your life to God?
DO YOU BELIEVE water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the biblical way to be baptized?
DO YOU BELIEVE the baptism of the Holy Ghost is for you today, and when you receive it you will speak in other tongues, just as they did in the bible?

If you believe these things,
pray right now, asking God to allow you
to experience all that He has for you!

Have Questions or
Need a Home Bible Study?
Contact us Today

1300 E. Grand
Cuba, MO 65453
(573) 885-2491

Answer Key:

Water, Spirit

2 essay questions--yes they did preach what they were commanded to preach.
                            yes the promise of the Father was fulfilled.
Holy Ghost


This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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