By James Muirden (illustrations by David Eccles) We picked up this little gem of a book yesterday, and it’s such good fun that we had to tell you about it! The stories More »
A maze is a very simple concept – find your way from one point to another point. How difficult that is depends on how many obstacles stand in your way and how complicated the path is. A neurologist defines the maze as this: A maze is something that other humans have created that acts as a challenge to one of our most important skills: the ability to create an ecocentric cognitive map of our environment and to navigate through that cognitive map.
It may be a simple idea, but it’s a benchmark for cognitive function. We’ve been putting rats in mazes for centuries, watching them use their little brains to try to solve the puzzle, but they are also very good for our cognitive function and especially for helping children develop those cognitive skills. Therapists rate mazes very highly.
Why mazes are good for children
- It helps with problem solving, developing the skills of planning by using various strategies to find out what works best, and looking ahead to see what dead-ends lie at the end of the path.
- It develops motor control as the child traces the path with a pencil without going over the lines, the same motor control that is used in handwriting.
- Using the visual motor, it helps improve hand-eye coordination, planning where the line should go next, and aids the skill of scanning a page to absorb the information.
- Mazes are confidence boosting, as with a little patience they can be easily solved and provide a direct reward. The difficulty can be tailored from the very simple for young children to the fiendishly hard for adults.
Use Bible Mazes in your Sunday School lessons
Ideal for young children, it is easy to use a maze to reinforce an element from a Bible story. Simply create a maze and then create the objective of reaching a destination or someone to meet. For example, when Jesus travelled to visit the woman in Samaria, or the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea are easy ideas to convey. Adding a couple of images helps the child remember the story better too.
You have a couple of options on finding mazes to use. Either you can create your own or you can print Bible mazes that have been prepared by others.
If you want to create your own here are some ideas:
- Hand drawn mazes are only limited by your talent and have that friendly feeling to them.
- Use Excel spreadsheet to create a grid with borders for each cell and then go through and remove the borders individually to create pathways.
- Use an online generator such as http://www.mazegenerator.net or http://mazesmith.sourceforge.net/mazesmith.htm
If you get really clever you can make mazes out of shapes that relate to the Bible story!
We have a selection of Bible Mazes on our Sunday School Resources site that can save you time…
Finally we have created the Ultimate Bible Maze for you. Click the image below to download the full PDF version. This is not easy!
The new church, established in the events following the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, was an intense affair! Riding on the back of the newly risen and ascended Christ, the church was growing at a phenomenal rate, with a momentum that could have crashed through mountains. The council tried to stop them. They failed. Peter and John were tried before the council for proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection from dead, for it meant that if true the Jewish leaders had put an innocent man to death and they just didn’t want that sort of publicity. Shutting them up was a good option.
Unable to hold them in light of the incontestable evidence before them though (the healed lame man standing before them made sure of that), the council reluctantly let them go, on one condition. To speak no more of the name of Jesus, a condition accompanied by many threats, but no punishment. With no legal grounds to stop them, they tried to frighten them into silence.
It didn’t work. After being released (Acts 4:23), Peter and John went back to their friends and told them everything that had happened. Rather than being downhearted and feeling fearful they lifted up their voices together and united in prayer to God, praising his name and acknowledging the persecution of Jesus and the work done through him. They were aware of the threats that they faced and asked for boldness to continue spread the gospel in Jesus’ name.
You don’t see the church suffering from a lack of confidence in Acts, or feeling inferior. Compared to the Jewish council, or the Roman authorities, the church wasn’t much to look at and they didn’t have any say in the running of the temple, or synagogues. What they did recognise though was that God was in control and while they couldn’t control everything around them, they could raise their voices in praise to God and let Him do the work for them, without fear.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11)
Their request in this united prayer was in response to a need that arose. The leaders were trying to silence them, so they asked simply and directly for boldness so they could be a strong voice for Jesus. It wasn’t a long list of small requests, but what was really needed at the time.
Make your prayer a habit, united together with other believers in recognising that God is in control and that he can help you achieve His will. Keep it simple. Ask him for your daily needs, anything that empowers us to speak His word and don’t forget to acknowledge God for who He is!
By James Muirden (illustrations by David Eccles)
We picked up this little gem of a book yesterday, and it’s such good fun that we had to tell you about it!
The stories of the Bible are written in fun, rhyming poetry, with a hint of humour to bring well known accounts to life, and will be a hit with children and adults alike.
Creation – Day 1
To make the world, God worked a six-day week –
an effort of unsparing dedication!
These are the first words that we hear Him speak:
‘Let’s throw some light upon the situation.’
Ask any child if giving is better than receiving and they’ll most likely strongly disagree. Christmas is fun because of all the receiving, right?
God is my refuge and my strength. In him I place my trust. When things are out of your control try not to worry because God is still in control.
It’s April Fools Day again, and the usual round of improbable stories are doing the rounds in the media. It’s easy to be led into believing something if it sounds believable, particularly if it comes from a credible source. I don’t like April Fool’s Day… there seems to be something very wrong with trying to deliberately deceive people.
But, how often do we stop and think about things we are told about the Bible? Do we check for ourselves to see if they are true?
Viewing my Twitter feed this morning I’m seeing the #miraclemonday hashtag cropping up repeatedly. Not having seen it before I was wondering what it was.
Here is a picture of a typical village church scene, taken on two separate occasions. They look identical, but there are a few small changes. Can you spot the difference between the two pictures. I’ve been told there are either 5, 7 or 9 differences to look for, but which is it?