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 »
Creating puzzles isn’t always easy though. If you are going to create a word puzzle, such as a word search or crossword, then first you have to think of a list of words, and clues for a crossword. Okay, that’s not too difficult most of the time, but then you have to fit the words into a grid so that they overlap, and in the case of a crossword each word must be connected to another. In a word search you need to fill in the remaining spaces with letters.
All this is time consuming. There are puzzle makers out there on the big wide web, but they can be clunky to use, and are limited in their capabilities and options.
Here we can create a word puzzle for you and customise it to your needs. We’ve been creating Bible puzzles for years, and just started offering it as a bespoke service. Currently we only offer word searches, but will expand soon to crosswords, fill-ins and possibly other puzzles too. We will also consider special requests.
If you have a list of words, you can send them to us, but if not, we can create a list for you. Normal turnaround time is 7 days, but we also offer a premium 3 day service. Puzzles are tailored to the age group you specify and all the wordsearch grids are checked for “bad” words to save embarrassment during the lesson. The puzzle remains exclusively yours, meaning you can do whatever you like with it.
So if you want to give the kids great looking, well constructed puzzles and save yourself a lot of time and effort, then get started with our custom word search making service!
Coloring was something that I always associated with children, it’s something I did as a kid, it’s something we make the kids do in Sunday School – not something for the adults, that’s absurd! Working in the convenience store sector I’m very familiar with the range of magazines available and there was very little available in the way of coloring for adults a couple of years ago.
About the same time a regular customer suffered a stroke and lost a lot of his physical and cognitive functions and his wife started to order a new art therapy magazine to see if it would help and the results were encouraging. Since then the market for adult coloring books has exploded and they are used for all sorts of therapy including, strokes, anxiety, depression and several other therapeutic reasons. The shelves are now full of magazines and books for coloring in, mostly fancy intricate patterns and shapes that require fine motor control and a degree of concentration.
Anna Stenmark has created a series of coloring books for adults with a Bible theme! Well worth a look.
As Jesus, in the eyes of the Trinitarian, is God, then everything in the Bible which applies to God must equally apply to him, as all three parts of the Trinity are co-equal. However this results in many contradictions or paradoxes and aren’t something that can be explained from scripture.
- Jesus is visible, but God is invisible
Christ is exactly like God, who cannot be seen. He is the first-born Son, superior to all creation. (Colossians 1:15)
- Jesus was seen, but God was never seen
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like. (John 1:18)
Only God lives forever! And he lives in light that no one can come near. No human has ever seen God or ever can see him. God will be honored, and his power will last forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16)
- Jesus was tempted, but God cannot be tempted
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say: ‘No one can live only on food. People need every word that God has spoken.’ ” Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say: ‘God will give his angels orders about you. They will catch you in their arms, and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’ ” Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’ ” Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. (James 1:13)
- “Made like his brothers and sisters in every respect”, but God is not like them at all, since he is God and does not possess “fallen nature”, which is why he couldn’t send himself
He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. (Hebrews 2:17)
- Jesus died on the cross despite God being eternal
I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)
- Jesus was “Raised from the dead” and “released from the pains of death” by the Father, though God can never die
Now hurry! Tell his disciples that he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. That is what I came to tell you.” (Matthew 28:7)
But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power. (Acts 2:24)
- Jesus had to depend on his Father for the power to do miraculous works
Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things. (John 14:10)
- Jesus did not know everything, yet God does
No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)
- Jesus and God are co-equal, but they are supposedly “God” and “not-God” at the same time.
Today’s world places great value on money and its close relative ‘celebrity’. From films and TV shows we hear “Show me the money!”.
Whatever our aspirations, we are encouraged to know what we want from life and then to go after it. In fact, this also applies to very worthy personal goals, such as helping the needy, being a good parent or supporting the community. In each case, we are used to the idea of putting effort and focus into the right things – getting our priorities fixed.
Stories of Discovery
In Matthew 13:44–46, Jesus introduces us to two men who did just this. They saw something of real worth and did what they needed to, in order to get hold of it.
The first man found treasure in a field, seemingly by chance. He recognised its value and quickly made sure that he wouldn’t lose it while he purchased the field. It’s clear that he really wanted the treasure; he went off with excitement and joy, and didn’t hold back when he had to sell everything he had so that he could afford to buy the field. Can we imagine anything so precious, that we would exchange everything we have to get it? He did, and he was happy about it, thankful he had come across this wonderful fortune.
The second man was actually looking for something of value. He was a specialist merchant, looking for beautiful pearls. When he came across that particular pearl, the amazingly valuable one, he too sold all he had and bought it. Now this was a man who knew his business, who was already trading in pearls, and recognised something so exceptional that it was worth all of his goods and wealth put together. The cool, calculating businessman had made the deal of his life and committed everything to it.
The Real Value
Jesus told these stories as parables of the kingdom of God, starting each with “the kingdom of heaven is like”. They come in a sequence of parables about the response, lifestyle and priorities now, of those people who will form part of the future kingdom of God (or ‘the kingdom of heaven’, the two terms are interchangeable) when Jesus returns to the earth.
The good news (the ‘glad tidings’) of the kingdom of God is shown as something of huge value to those who find it. Some of us find it almost by accident, through a casual word from a friend or something we happen to read. Others of us may search for years, sure that there is something of worth but taking time to identify it.
However we come across the Bible’s true message, we find something of infinite worth, far more precious even than treasure or pearls. Why can we say this?
For Today and the Future
The Apostle Paul helps us here when he writes that trying to be godly has “the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
The Bible message gives us purpose, direction and perspective in this life. We can understand the world and our place in it, and we can face whatever difficulties it presents with perspective and the knowledge that a loving God cares for us.
Then the gospel gives us hope for the future, to be part of the kingdom of God and to worship Him for ever in a perfect world.
Hold On To It
Having found this precious hope, we need to follow the example of the men in Jesus’ parables and do whatever we need to take hold of it.
Later in the first letter to Timothy, Paul has this advice: “lay hold on eternal life” (1 Timothy 6:12). It is a strong phrase and means to seize, hold on to or take possession of; exactly what Jesus was talking about. A modern example might be a rugby tackle, where the person throws them-self into it and holds on until they have full control of their target. Paul refers to his own experience:
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:7–8).
Paul had a great profile in the religious world of the Jews, and would even have enjoyed a certain celebrity status. Yet he turned his back on all that because his priority was to ‘gain Christ’.
Being Valuable to God
In the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophet Malachi to give comfort to people who were trying to do the right thing. We are told that they feared and respected God and His message. They spoke to one another about their faith. God heard and He promised to remember them, especially when He sends Jesus to set up the kingdom.
“They shall be mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him” (Malachi 3:17).
Let’s give the Lord Jesus the final word on this. He tells us not to worry about life now, but to focus on the kingdom of God and to trust Him:
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
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!