Advent Calendar Ideas

Many families celebrate the anticipation of the holiday with an Advent Calendar during the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are many ways to make your own Advent Calendar and it is a fun family project designing and putting it together. Here are some simple calendar ideas to get your started.

The word advent means “arrival” and the calendar is a good way for families to count down the days until the big celebration day arrives. There are many ways to make an advent calendar each having its own special way of rewarding little ones for their patience.

There are many printable templates that you can find online to guide you in your calendar design. You can also make an advent wreath made with handprints, or make an advent jar or tree.

Advent Wreath – Good Deed handprints

Supplies you will need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Markers, crayons or paint
  • Paper Plate
  • Pencil

What to do:

Step #1 – Make a wreath out of the paper plate by cutting out the center of the plate.

Step #2 – Have your child put a hand on a green piece of construction paper and trace his entire hand and fingers with a pencil.

Step #3 – Cut out the hand and then use it to trace 23 more on green construction paper so you have 24 hands altogether.

Step #4 – Now with a dark colored marker write a good deed on each handprint. (if young children will be participating make sure the deeds are within their ability to complete).

Step #5 – Starting on December 1st., pick one cut-out hand for the entire family to do that day. Example: the good deed is to say something nice about someone else. Each family member needs to do this at least once that day.

At the end of the day a family member will glue the handprint onto the wreath

When all 24 handprints are on the wreath you will have something to be proud of and a beautiful decoration for your home.

Advent Jar – (Special Blessings)

Supplies you will need:

  • Large Jar (glass or plastic)
  • Christmas themed stickers or other decorations
  • Construction Paper
  • Markers or Crayons

Use 24 themed stickers or other holiday small decorations, or you can have your little ones make some of their own decorations. You can do a combination of these suggestions too. Just make sure that you end up with 24 all together.

What to do:

Step #1 – Take a black marker and write a one-word blessing on each decoration. You an go round-robin with family members (the ones old enough) for blessing suggestions. You can also add one person’s name on each decoration.

Step #2 – Place all 24 decoration inside of the jar.

Step #3 – On December 1st a lucky family member gets to draw a decoration out of the jar and glue it to the outside of the jar. What ever one word blessing is written on the paper is what family members will be giving thanks for that day. If you chose to write a person’s name on the decoration, than each family member should think good thoughts about that person all day.

Step #4 – On Christmas eve the jar will be empty but the outside will be decorated with blessings and family members will be rewarded for their good thoughts when someone fills the empty jar with yummy holiday treats.

Advent Christmas Tree

Supplies you will need:

  • Felt – green
  • Felt – Assortment of brightly colored
  • Tracing Paper
  • Self-adhesive Velcro Circles

What you need to do:

Step #1 – Draw a Christmas Tree on thin tracing paper or use a pattern from the internet or a book you might find on Christmas crafts.

Step #2 – Pin the tracing paper onto the felt (green), and cut out the shape of the tree.

Step #3 – Cut out ornament shapes out of the brightly colored felt (freehand or use a pattern from the internet or a Christmas craft book). You will need 24 ornaments.

Step #4 – Stick the prickly half of the Velcro circles all over the tree where you will be placing the ornaments.

Step #5 – Now, stick the other half of each Velcro circle on each of the ornaments.

Step #6 – Starting with December 1, you “hang” an ornament on your advent tree by sticking an ornament onto the tree where you placed the prickly parts of the Velcro circles. Hang one ornament each day. They will all be hung by Christmas Eve and you will have a beautifully decorated felt advent tree.

If you do not have the needed supplies you can use construction paper for the tree and ornaments and attach the ornaments to the tree with glue or tape.

Ways and Advantages of Keeping Your Sanctification

Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit of the Lord God? What happens when people of the christian religion fail to utilize the available power or grace?

As a Christian you ought not lack the power of Christ Lord to sanctify you. You need sanctification in everything you do. What you eat, touch and even feel. Do you know what sanctification is in your everyday life?

Sanctification occurs in different forms in the scriptures but its basic meaning is “to set apart”. This setting apart also has two sides:

God’s part plays in us while our part plays in the lifelong process where we are to grow in grace till maturity.

Accepting Christ as our savior and Lord is our own choice. When we accept Him into our lives, He gives us power to be successful.

But living successfully is also not that easy, for you need His deliverance first. The deliverance experience makes sin inactive and without power in our lives.

When you are sanctified, you are given superiority over the power of sin but that doesn’t take away the sin of the body unless you put yourself apart devotedly for God and God alone.

And how do you set yourself apart? Being apart also is a personal choice. But as a believer, to continuously enjoy spiritual fellowship with God and other believers, we need to only be sanctified by the Holy Spirit of The Lord God. We need complete redemption.

Regardless of how many challenges wait for you on the trail that leads to making yourself stand out to God, you need to stand firm in Christ’s side and claim for sanctification which only comes through your truthful commitment to God.

Despite the devilish efforts that pull you down and can even cause you to being kicked out because of your stand for God-through false accusations, disasters and even rejection by your whole family, God won’t allow them to prosper against you.

God has promised to help, deliver and defend you even during the times when everyone has left you. His power is strong and does not lessen. God makes us strong when we are in His presence.

Therefore, by living according to His word and being sanctified by the Holy Spirit as a source of our new life, we get set to triumph over the sins and insanity of the world.

Wanjiku Nikenya is a member at Nikenya Forums. Need the latest celebrity gossip … Meet her at the celebrity segment.

5 Ways to Jump Start Your Prayer Life

Prayer is a vital part of your walk as a believer in Jesus; I would like to give you a few fast ways to boost your prayer life.

There are many stories in the bible about the power of prayer. There could have been times in your life when you knew someone was praying for you.

I believe that younger people can be exceedingly effective prayer soldiers and the Lord hears their prayers

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 the scripture simply asserts “Pray continuously” however sometimes it can a challenge to hope continually. But it’s not impossible!

If you want help in your prayer life here are one or two proposals to help Jumpstart your prayer life

1. Start with thanks
Just start your prayer thanking God, though not only what he has done in your life but also the sacrifice he made on the cross, You will find giving thanks to God is a great way to begin a prayer.

2. Pray continually

This one could be obvious but can be tough to do, I am not saying to hope every waking hour of your day, but be looking for opportunities to pray. And pray and give thanks as often as it springs to mind.

3. Add worship

For me when I hear worship music, it not only moves my heart but I find it way easier to offer prayers. I believe pray and worship is very powerful together.

4. Pray for others first

I suspect when young people pray for others, it is extremely powerful and effective. James 5:16b says “The prayer of a righteous man is potent and effective.” Don’t let anyone tell you any different. There are tons of requests on FaithFreaks.com prayer boards

5. Fast

Yea; this is troublesome, I have found that often by just fasting a selected thing for even a day can be useful when you use that time that you would have spent on “that thing” to pray.

There are my 5 suggestions, I know there are numerous more, Maybe you have a few of your own you want to share?

Finally, The secret’s to keep praying and do not give up and if you’re really stuck, kick off with the Lord’s Prayer. Matthew 6:9.

Written By Nick Scott

Christian Social Network and Teen Crisis Counselling

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John Wesley — The Founder Of Methodism

John Wesley was a minister within the Church of England during the Civil Conflict era. Along with his brother Charles and many others, he founded the Methodist church movement. Lots of his concepts were revolutionary for his time, and nonetheless stay controversial to this day. Like so many great leaders, his early life offers insight and that means into his most influential contributions.

Wesley was born in 1703 to Susanna and Samuel Wesley. Each his father and his maternal grandfather have been preachers, so he learned faith at a younger age. On the age of 5, Wesley was rescued from a burning rectory. This event stuffed Wesley with a deep need to perform greatness in his life.

As a young minister, in 1735 Wesley was despatched to Savannah, Georgia. His mission was to spread Christianity to the Native Americans within the province. This mission was eventually regarded as a failure and he was despatched back to England, however not earlier than turning into closely influenced by the Moravian pietists in America. The Moravians demonstrated calm spirituality and really private spiritual practices that Wesley came to admire.

One of the main things that Wesley learned from his American associates was the practice of open-air preaching. He introduced this behavior again to England with him. Open-air sermons allowed Wesley to excellent his writing and speaking fashion, whereas on the similar time increasing the influence of the Methodist society in England. This fashion also led Wesley to jot down among the most concise sermons in modern theology. John Wesley quotes are a number of the best works that you just’ll ever read.

Wesley remained adamantly connected to the Established Church for his whole life. Although lots of the Methodist practices, especially ordination and lay-preaching, ran opposite to the church’s dogma, Wesley never wanted to give up his reference to the basic beliefs of his childhood church.

Wesley taught {that a} Christian must love his neighbor. This practice would trigger any man to avoid sin in opposition to his fellow man. In Wesley’s belief, the love of fellow man and the love of God needs to be the central focus in everyone’s life. It was this doctrine that led Wesley to another of his most famous contributions: the preaching in regards to the correct stewardship of money. To display this, Wesley lived very humbly and contributed all of his additional wealth to worthy causes.

Wesley died poor on the age of 87. His legacy is embedded deep in our history. To at the present time, many people are influenced day by day by this loving and powerful leader.

Is the New World Order a Conspiracy Theory?

While many people dismiss the New World Order as a conspiracy theory, it is neither a conspiracy nor a theory.

It may be true there are many conspirators working within the New World Order, in it’s broader application, the New World Order is really more of an agenda by a group of international elites that control and manipulate governments, industry and media organizations worldwide.

Any intelligent person examining history and events occurring today cannot describe it as a theory either, rather the New World Order is clearly documented in historical documents in both the words and actions of world leaders.

Read More about the New World Order

The Power of Love

There is no doubt in my mind that the quality of love is the #1 quality that God would like to get worked into our souls and personalities. Even nonbelievers, atheists and agnostics can see the power of love and how it has the ability to change people and change lives when it is properly walked out and handled.

Hollywood has made tons of movies just on the power of love – especially the special love that occurs between a man and woman in a romantic relationship. Even hard, tough grown men can be brought to tears when watching a real well made movie made about the power of love.

The quality of love is truly universal – as it literally transcends peoples, nations and religions. Love is truly the universal language of this world and people from all different walks of life recognize it for what it truly is and understand the power that is in it.

Then when you read and study the Bible – you see the major emphasis God the Father is placing on it when He tells all of us that He wants us to love Him, to love ourselves and to love one another.

So if the quality of love is recognized by all peoples and all nations – then why is it that throughout the course of our human history there has been so many wars, so much hatred, so much crime and so much inhumanity done to our fellow man? If everyone knows what love is – then how could so many people throughout the course of human history commit the evil and atrocious acts they have committed?

Even in our day and age people still have not learned from the past – as there is just as much hatred and evil operating in this world as there has ever been. The Bible even tells us that the love of many will grow cold in the latter days – which means things are going to actually go from bad to worse in the coming years.

If man really knows what love is – then why can’t more people act, operate and walk in love so they we can all live in peace and harmony with one another? Why do people have to rob, rape, kill, plunder and steal from one another? No matter what one’s religious beliefs and ideologies may be – there is simply no excuse for some of the horrible barbaric acts of murder, assaults, abductions, robberies and rapes that we see on an everyday basis.

As Christians, we all know that part of the answer as to why men can’t love one another in the way and to the degree that God would like from us in this lifetime is due to our fallen natures – our sin natures that we have all been born with as a result of the curse of Adam and Eve. That is why Jesus had to come to die for all of us – because we have all sinned and have fallen way short of the glory of our God.

However, even saved and born again believers have problems in being able to walk in the quality of love to the degree that God would like in our everyday lives. We all know that God is expecting us to be able to walk in His love – but we still have problems in loving our God, our families, our friends and even ourselves to the degree and to the intensity that He would like from us.

We read in the Bible about all of the verses that God wants us to walk very strongly in this quality – but we still seem to fall short of being able to actually do it in our real lives. If we all have the Holy Spirit living and operating in us – then why is it that we cannot seem to draw more of His love up into our personalities so that we can all walk with more of this quality operating in our lives?

I believe that the answer lies in the last article I did under this section titled The 9 Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Too many Christians are trying to walk in the quality of love operating out of their own strength, out of their own emotions and out of their own flesh. Granted – God the Father wants us to do the best we can to put this quality on into the core of our personalities. But our best is not going to be good enough in this area to get the job done with the way God would like.

The reason for that is that we have all been born with these fallen, imperfect and sinful natures. This means that we are not capable of walking in perfect love – no matter how hard we try in our own natural strength. So what is the answer if we are not capable of walking in perfect love like God is?

To those believers who are really wanting to learn how to truly walk in the real love of God in their lives – there is only one way to be able to do this – and that is learning how to draw that love from the Holy Spirit. And the only way that you can get the Holy Spirit to release His love to you as one of His 9 fruits is that you have to be willing to enter into a true sanctification process with the Lord where God can start the process of making you to become more holy like He and His Son Jesus are.

There is no other way! There are no other shortcuts that you can take to get this accomplished. It is only when the love of God Himself starts to flow into your personality can you even begin to love God, love yourself and love other people to the degree and to the intensity that He would really like from you.

Once the Holy Spirit begins this sanctification process in your life – your job will be to learn how to walk, live and operate in the qualities and attributes He will start to transmit into your personality. Once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His quality of love up into you – your job will then be to learn how to walk in that love in your words and actions with others.

Actually, once the Holy Spirit starts to transmit His love into you – it will become much easier for you to really love others in the way God wants you to be able to love them. Once you start to feel God’s love for His people – you won’t be able to help yourself in feeling that same love for them since God’s love will start to mesh with your own love. Once God’s love starts to flow and mesh into what limited love you already have – then you will be able to start to really love other people in the way that God had initially intended for all of us to be able to.

The missing ingredient in all of this is obviously the love of the Holy Spirit. It is only when the Holy Spirit starts to release His love into your personality as one of His 9 fruits can you truly begin to love your God, love yourself and love other people in the way God intended. Trying to love others with what limited, imperfect love you may already have operating in you will never get the job done – either to your own satisfaction or to the satisfaction of God Himself. That is why Jesus has told us that without Him we can do nothing – especially in the area of being able to get properly sanctified in Him.

I will give you some of the best verses from Scripture on the quality of love, and why God the Father is placing such a strong emphasis that we learn how to walk in it in our relation to Him, ourselves and to other people. God the Father is really raising the bar on this one specific quality as you will be able to see with the way that He has some of these verses worded out. He is making some extreme and radical statements with what He is expecting from us with just this one quality.

When you first read what these verses are telling us to do in reference to this particular quality – you will really be able to feel and sense your own shortcomings in this area. But again – realize that this is where the Holy Spirit will be coming in big time. Just realize that God knows that you cannot reach the level that He is looking for from you in this area – and that it will only be possible for you to reach this level only if the love of the Holy Spirit Himself is operating through you.

When you really study and meditate on the verses I will list below – you can sum all of them up in one simple statement. God is looking for you to be able to love in 6 different areas – all with the love of the Holy Spirit being available to you to help you out in each of these areas. God wants you to be able to fully love in all 6 of these realms. You are to learn to:

Love God Love yourself Love your family Love your friends Love your neighbors Love your enemies

You will notice that there are 6 specific areas that God will want you to be able to love in. Bottom line – God will want you to love right across the board – from loving Him down to being able to love the worst of your enemies. The first 4 areas are much more easier to learn how to do than the last two – especially the last one in being able to love your enemies and love those who will try and hurt you in this life.

Loving your family and friends is easy and comes very natural for many of us because of the strong bonds that we have already established with them. But learning to love some of your other neighbors who you have no real special bond with or complete total strangers will be much harder for you to do – especially with the way that our world has become with so many more people keeping to themselves and being afraid to trust anyone anymore.

However – this can be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. Once you start to feel the love of God Himself for some of these people – it will become much easier for you to befriend some of these people and help them when the need may arise. Again – Jesus is the perfect example of someone who was always helping out total strangers. When you study what He did as He was walking on our earth, He was always stopping and talking to people, along with helping, teaching, saving, healing and delivering some of these people when the need would arise. He was always there to meet their needs – especially their spiritual needs.

Just as Jesus was able to walk in perfect love in His words and actions with other people – so to can we learn how to walk in that same Godly love if we allow the Holy Spirit to enter us into this sanctification process where God the Father can then begin to work all 9 fruits of His Holy Spirit up into the very cores of our personalities.

Though we can never become as perfect as Jesus is in His walk with all of us – we can all still try to do and be the best we can be in God in our dealings and relationships with others.

Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible knowledge . They currently have over 100 in depth Bible articles. All free of charge.

Christian Books: Our Ways To God

The ultimate Christian book is the Bible. Next to it are the books published specifically as supplements of Christian theology. Individual Christian books that allow both the authors and the readers to explore the realms of Christianity. To interpret philosophical questions and virtually all other things that concern the knowledge on Christian theology.

What there is to it for becoming Christians is usually the most common topic in the majority of Christian books along with all the fields of studies that Christianity and Christian doctrines cover.

Well-written Christian books, poems, articles, and selections have tremendous effects on one’s personality and may lead to great changes in a person’s points of view. These are powerful instruments for spiritual growth for the person reading them.

Christianity is primarily defined as belief on a Supreme Being, specifically Jesus Christ as humanity’s savior. Christians on the other hand, are people who have personal relationship with God. This same relationship has become the greater focus in producing Christian writings.

These books are the materialized responses of man to his Living God. As it is, the greatest and the majority of in-print materials with regards to Christianity are often encircling on the topic about his relationship with the Creator. God is the Supreme Writer of history and the little gods (or the Christians) are the writers of their personal stories with God as the central character.

One reputed source of inspirations that led authors to write their Christian readings, is the Bible. From here did the foundations of theology came from, supported by the scriptures that have been discovered over the centuries, and from here too did the geniuses of Christian readings received and based their best sellers.

This is no miracle since the Bible had been circulating the world since Christianity begun. And copies of it has reached even the remotest areas of the world and the most neglected sections of the societies.

For those who love and have some background on Christian readings, they may identify such books because they often include the following:

– citations and doctrines
– beliefs and dogmas
– Christian manifestos
– fundamentals of Christianity
– true to life stories
– inspirational anecdotes
– meditations and reflections
– aid to prayers
– building personal relationships with God
– Christian theology and prophecies
– articles and news as they relate to predictions
– personal growth and recovery
– personal health
– social issues
– prayers and meditations
– lifestyle management
– wisdom on life
– selections on ministry, discipleship, evangelism, fellowship and worship
– biographies
– fictions, children books and the likes
– guidelines for Christian living and a variety of other things.

Christian books were written out of extraordinary and not so extraordinary encounters. You may find some of them non-pleasing because many reveal philosophies that are against to your personal perspectives. However, this does not negate the fact the larger portion of these reading touches the heart. Most are known to have created deep and great changes among their readers. Not only can people relate with the author’s ideas, we are also lead to recreate in us broader sense of religion and enlightenment. These are by and large mind openers. They expose us to what should be believed in and trusted upon.

We are moved by what we read. Why? Because these are tales of personal experiences with the Being we call GOD.

Article written by Robert Thatcher
Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines.

Christian Art in Your Home

Christian art is wonderful for inspiring us. Cathedrals and churches, paintings, music, performances, and sculpture have been created for centuries. Now, in our own time, photography, mixed media, and posters are widely available too.

All these forms of Christian art have shaped our understanding of the great stories of the Bible. From the simple Christmas carols we learned as children to the transcendent glory of Handel’s Messiah, Christian music uplifts us. From the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel to Salvador Dali’s Last Supper, Christian paintings give us something to look at and contemplate. A few minutes spent looking at a piece of art can help center us before a time of quiet prayer.

There is something for everyone, with whatever taste in art, with whatever favorite themes. You could spend a lifetime just delving into pictures of Christ himself, as a child and as an adult. Other specific themes include the garden of Eden, angels, the crucifixion, the last supper, saints, and other Christian figures.

The history of Western art is very largely the history of Christian art, so anyone who loves art can benefit from time spent with the masterpieces of Leonardo Da Vinci, Fra Angelica, and so many other great painters and sculptors.

Since there is such an abundance of art, and since we are fortunate to live in an era when high-quality color printing makes books, prints, and posters affordable, we can enjoy as much Christian art as we wish.

One way to live with your favorite Christian art is to have one or more Christian posters in your home. If you happen to have a place of quiet retreat, whether it’s a special room or a spot in your living room or bedroom, a Christian poster on the wall might be just the thing.

Article written by Rosana Hart
Rosana Hart writes about many popular poster categories at her website www.infoandhelp.com/posters/ and a selection of Christian posters can be seen there.

Celebrate Gods Love with Christian Books

Reading Christian books, listing to Christian music, and partaking in other contemporary Christian entertainment can be a source of spiritual renewal and great joy. Christian entertainment can also present a wonderful opportunity to fellowship with other Christians in an environment infused with the spirit and love of God.

You can participate in the joyful celebration of God’s work through man by starting a Christian book club, a Bible study group, or hosting a “listening” party for the latest contemporary Christian music.

To launch a book club, decide upon the date and time of the first meeting, then post a notice on the bulletin board at your church, or make an announcement in your church’s newsletter or bulletin. Try and recruit book club members from diverse age groups and backgrounds. Having differing views will add interest to later book club discussions. Ask each book club member to bring the titles of two suggested books to the first meeting.

At your first meeting, decide upon a regular day and time for future meetings. The maximum time between meetings should be one month, although many book clubs meet every two weeks. Also discuss who will lead the book club discussions. Some clubs have a single leader for all books, while others choose to have the person who selected the book lead that particular book’s discussion. You may also wish to decide whether refreshments will be served and, if so, who is responsible for providing snacks and beverages.

The final – and most fun – step is deciding which book to read first. Take a vote, make a list of the top three choices, and read the books in that order. Book club members should commit to reading the book prior to the next meeting, and the discussion leader should commit to developing a list of study guide questions or points of discussion. If themes in the book correspond to passages in the Bible, the discussion leader should be prepared to guide book club members to those passages.

Each of the book club members should then purchase the book that has been chosen. The Fisher of Men online bookstore offers deep discounts on Christian books, music, software, Bibles, videos, and gifts.

Whether your book club chooses a Christian novel or a non-fiction book, such as “The Purpose-Driven Life,” you can have a lively discussion of Christian principles in an environment of fellowship and community.

According a recent study, about half of Americans will buy at least one Christian book this year. The uptick in the sales of Christian titles has led secular online and brick-and-mortar bookstores to carry unprecedented numbers of Christian books. However, instead of shopping at secular bookstores, many Christians are choosing to support online bookstores owned and operated by other Christians. Common thought is that Christians should monetarily support the ministries of other Christians who are spreading God’s word through the sale of bibles, as well as through the sale of Christian books, videos, software, music, and audio books.

Article written by Chris Robertson
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Visit this Books and Magazines Website and Majon’s Books and Magazines directory.