Happy New Year!

This is the time, each year, when we take some time to think about fresh starts and new beginnings.

That’s why I’m so exited to share the news that a Sunday School curriculum I wrote is now available from The Sunday School Store that teaches kids what the Bible actually teaches us about heaven!

One of God’s greatest promises is that this life is not all there is—we can spend eternity with him. But what will that eternity look like? What does the Bible really teach us about heaven? 

All Things New: A 4-Week Children’s Ministry Curriculum is a four-part study that will answer those questions and more so that children can better understand—and become excited about—this Biblical view of heaven and the various ways God will make all things new in it, including: New Creation, New Jerusalem, New Bodies and New Hearts.

This series also includes crafts, activities as well as memory verse and activity pages that go along with the lesson every week. It’s packed with fun things to do!

If you work in children’s ministry, make sure you check it out or share with your church. As a bonus, The Sunday School Company, always offers one week of the series as a free download so you can always just check that out if you’re not sure if you want to purchase it or not.

You can access “All Things New: A 4-Week Children’s Ministry Curriculum” now from The Sunday School Store.

Stay tuned for more children’s curriculums that I’m developing!

I am pleased to share that another one of my short parenting articles has been published in the December 2022/January 2023 issue Focus on the Family magazine! You can find it on page 10, where it shares different ideas to celebrate and make the New Year special with your family.

Find out more by reading the article in this month’s issue of Focus on the Family magazine!

Just in time for Christmas, I got the chance to check out a copy of Seek and Find: The First Christmas by Sarah Parker and Andre Parker from The Good Book Co. (Available on Amazon and The Good Book Co.)

This is seek-and-find takes a 12-days-of-Christmas approach, instructing children to start off finding one object, then two of one object, all the way up to 10 of the same objects. They generally start off easy with large objects that you can’t miss. As the number of objects increases, they generally get smaller, which makes it harder to find everyone although none of them are “tricky” as is the case in other seek-and-finds.

I liked that it portrays a more accurate sequence of the Christmas, with Jesus’ birth falling about halfway through the story, followed by Jesus’ visit to Simeon, the Magi seeing the star, visiting Herod and finally presenting their gifts to Jesus on the last page.

This seek-and-find book was able to engage all my children, ages 6 to 9. We did find that it was hard to keep track of the smaller objects that you had to find multiple copies of, so we used a dry-erase marker to help keep track. The pages are thick like board-book pages, so they can withstand this and erasing. (And a magic eraser got the marks off without issue!)

Find Seek and Find: The First Christmas on Amazon and The Good Book Co.

 

I recently got the chance to review All About Christmas by Alison Mitchell from The Good Book Co.

This is a book for the entire family, chockfull of fascinating facts about the history of Christmas and life during Jesus’ time that it is truly a book for all ages: My younger children enjoyed finding a page or two for me to read to them, while I myself was enthralled by page after page!

Basically, the book walks you through the Christmas story as told by Luke and Matthew. It breaks these passages down, defining words and incorporating cross-references, while also giving a more well-rounded picture of their meaning and putting them in context. There is also just really interesting things you learn, such as:

  • what life was like for kids during Jesus’ day and the toys and games they played
  • Biblical background about angels
  • information about the Roman occupation and King Herod
  • the history of some of the first Christmas carols
  • different Christmas traditions from around the world.

Thick with beautiful pictures and illustrations, it is a coffee-table-worthy book that you could leave out and thumb through for all of Advent and reread again and again each year.

Find All About Christmas by Alison Mitchell on Amazon and The Good Book Co.



With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving around the corner, Christmas is not too far off, either.

Which is why I’m so exited to share the news that a Sunday School curriculum I wrote to walk kids through Advent (the weeks leading up to Christmas) is now available from The Sunday School Company!

Humble Beginnings: A 4-Week Children’s Ministry Curriculum” is a 4-week series that teaches kids the Christmas story through the lens of the humility toward God and his will that each of the key players showed: Mary, the shepherds, the wise men and Jesus himself. It also includes crafts, activities as well as memory verse and activity pages that go along with the lesson every week. It’s packed with fun things to do!

If you work in children’s ministry, make sure you check it out or share with your church. As a bonus, The Sunday School Company, always offers one week of the series as a free download so you can always just check that out if you’re not sure if you want to purchase it or not.

You can access “Humble Beginnings: A 4-Week Children’s Ministry Curriculumhere from The Sunday School Store.

Stay tuned for more children’s curriculums that I’m developing!

 

I am pleased to share that another one of my short parenting articles has been published in the October/November 2022 issue Focus on the Family magazine! You can find it on page 6, where it shares different tips about teaching children about gratitude.

Find out more by reading the article in this month’s issue of Focus on the Family magazine!

I am pleased to share that, as a freelance magazine writer, another one of my faith-based articles for children has been published in the September 2022 issue of Clubhouse magazine from Focus on the Family (written for tweens, ages 8-12)!

Featured on pages 6-7, my article “Earth’s Wind and Fire” in the magazine’s Truth Pursuer column looks at different ways that adversity in nature (including fire, wind and droughts) can actually benefit different plants by making them grow stronger.

The same is true in our own faith: According to Romans 5:3-5, the struggles of life can help us grow stronger, too. Find out more by reading the article in this month’s issue of Clubhouse magazine!

 

While I don’t have all the details just yet, I DO have a signed contract that spells out, in black and white, that I’ll be published in an upcoming book! It will be in a devotional from Guideposts, and three of my devotionals will be included!

In fact, it’s happening a lot faster than I had expected! I originally submitted three devotionals I had written in April. In July, I got an email letting me know that all three of my works had been selected; I signed the official contract last week; and then I got to review the edits this week! If you aren’t familiar with publishing, that is REALLY fast! Usually, it takes about two years for books to get published, but this one right now is slated to become available next June (2023)! 

As you can imagine, I’m very excited about my first step forward in my journey as an author and hopeful that it’s the first step among many more! Thanks so much for following along!

Written in attention-keeping rhyme with fun, vibrant illustrations, His Grace is Enough by Melissa Kruger teaches kids about God’s grace when we make mistakes or mess up. 

My favorite thing that I found unique to this book is that it addresses our faulty ways of dealing with these things: hiding, turning toward legalism or efforts to earn our way back from mistakes: No, it says, you cannot clean up or be perfect enough to make up for any sin—no matter how hard you try. But that’s the beauty of grace! The key, it teaches, is to confess our sins to God because His grace is ALWAYS big enough to make up for any and every wrong we can and will ever do. And it’s that same grace that changes us at a heart level from the inside out.

Many thanks to The Good Book Company for providing a free copy for review!

Find His Grace is Enough by Melissa Kruger on Amazonnow.

All too often, the way we talk about heaven—even as adults!—is not accurate to how the Bible describes it. Which is why I loved Joni Eareckson Tada’s new book that just came out this spring: The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party Storybook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In it, Tada presents heaven the way the Bible actually talks about it: It is the new Jerusalem that Jesus will bring with him to earth when he returns someday. There, we will get new hearts and new bodies.But my favorite part of the way Tada’s book talks about heaven is that it presents it as a “super fantastic forever party” that we are invited to join Jesus at where we (along with all of creation) will praise and worship him forever. Along with this, Tada talks about the element of accepting this invitation of his in a way children can understand as well as an invitation we can ourselves issue by praying Revelation’s cry of “Come!”

This book is a beautiful way to discuss heaven and eternity with children and even a good reminder for us as adults about the beauty, joy and gracious invitation that heaven is for us all!

Many thanks to The Good Book Co. for providing a review copy of this for me. You can find The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party Storybook by Joni Eareckson Tada on The Good Book Co. website and on Amazon.