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I’m in awe of what people are doing during these strange days-adapting, creating, re-inventing. Kudos to you!!!

In talking to many people I have also seen how God had already put some things in place to ease our time. These things were quietly waiting for now. Online classes. Phones that take pictures so kids can turn in their homework. Books on Kindle. Social media. Churches that were able to go up online.

One friend told me how she had bought a large amount of flour just before this hit, thinking then she wouldn’t use it up for months. But bread soon was hard to find (though it is better now) and she’s been baking and baking. Loving it! And praising God for His provision. Another friend who gives music lessons had already been teaching one family online for years. When we were told to shelter in place, she put all her students online.

It occurred to me after messaging with a young friend, that I had developed some party games with a mystery bent that families could play. I had forgotten about them. But maybe they’ve been waiting for now. So enjoy. The games are on my website. They are in Party Games and More Games under Mystery Party. https://www.nancyellenhird.com/party

I also created a printable word search and sudoku. They are found in Fun Stuff under The 4-1-1.

https://www.nancyellenhird.com/the-4-1-1

The gift goes on.

A kid’s magazine subscription is a great gift. The magazine will come throughout the year and it comes with the child’s name on it. (Kids like getting mail.)  The articles and the stories in the magazine are short. Children who are intimidated by the length of novels are able to read a short piece and derive satisfaction from finishing the task and succeeding at it. Articles and fiction stories are targeted to a child’s interest and skill-level. And more than all those reasons, the magazines are fun.

There are several magazines that I recommend for Christian kids.

https://store.focusonthefamily.com/media-types/magazine

Too, getting it done is a no brainer. Order it, print out the receipt and you’re ready for the Christmas stocking.

Nancy

 

Today we digress from book talk. I have something different to offer you, something that it is quite special.

Many of us watch a nativity play at Christmas, but few of us actually get to be part of one. Our jobs, our family responsibilities, our health restrictions, keep us from it.  So we watch. And don’t get me wrong. It is a good, good thing to be an audience member. Still, when it comes to a nativity play, sometimes . . .  sometimes, we yearn to be in the scene. It was during one of those seasons for me that I wrote and produced A Shoestring Nativity. I’m putting it up now on the chance that one of you also has such a longing, but don’t know how to get started.

I’ve posted A Shoestring Nativity pdf on my author website http://www.nancyellenhird.com. (Copying and pasting from a blog can be a bother.)

A Shoestring Nativity was originally written for publication with a personal experience story at the front end. I’ve included the story because it shows a little of how the groups can be organized for the preparation time and then how the “performance” can be managed by the director.

The producer/director will need to gather the materials, tools, song sheets, and do some drawing and some cutting ahead of time. The preparation time of the “players” is minimal.

“Players” will need only a few minutes to complete the construction of their costumes and/or props, put the costume pieces on and practice their song (or songs). This creating of the costumes and/or props and practicing the songs is valuable for the whole experience and is part of the fun of doing the “play.” Readers will only need a few minutes to read over the Bible passages that they will read aloud during the “performance.”

The materials suggested (construction paper, gold wrapping paper, gold ribbon, brown wrapping paper, baker’s twine, macramé cotton rope) can be found on Amazon. An old sheet cut into the appropriate size will work for head pieces for Joseph and the shepherds. A long oblong scarf or shawl will work for Mary. If you do buy rolls of wrapping wrap, you might think of using the cardboard tubes that the paper comes wrapped around. Give them a bend and voila you have shepherds’ staffs. The producer will also need texts of the songs–several copies of each song.

I’ve done this “play” with a home study group of 12—adults and children. I’ve also done it with a women’s Bible study group of nearly 40 women. In terms of the number of participants, it can have, A Shoestring Nativity is flexible.

Nancy

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.

 

 

I saw this picture and liked it. I thought you might enjoy it as well.

My young neighbor asked me which day was Easter. She had been told it was Monday by one person and Sunday by another. I told her it was definitely Sunday and showed her on my desk calendar where it was written down under the date. Later I got to thinking–why is Easter not Saturday. You know, the seventh day? Or Monday? Or Tuesday? Why Sunday?

I’m not a theologian but it occurred to me that Sunday is the first day of the week and Jesus rising from the dead on Sunday is like God telling us it’s a new beginning, a new life (if we want it). It’s a new day like the very first day when the universe began.

Alleluia!

Sunday, January 27, 2019, was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Many books have been written about the tragedy of the Holocaust. We recommend the following titles for young people.

The Hiding Place

Number the Stars

The Zookeeper’s Wife

As I was considering this last week what I should post for Christmas, it seemed to me that God wanted you (and me) to know this. It’s from Paul’s letter to the Colossians. But I think and believe that Paul and the believers are speaking to us as well.

From The Way–

“May God our Father shower you with blessings and fill you with his great peace. Whenever we pray for you we always begin by giving thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard how much you trust the Lord, and how much you love his people. And you are looking forward to the joys of heaven and have been ever since the Gospel first was preached to you. The same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world and changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard it and understood about God’s great kindness to sinners.”

Happy Christmas! The Gift Goes On

“We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all God’s people.” Colossians 1: 3-4, Good News Bible

From God–through Paul, through us–to You.

Remember who He is today–the loving Father and the Kings of Kings. Remember who You are–the  beloved of Him. Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!

Book Reviews

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