A Night At The Movies

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With movies playing such a large roll in American culture Christians always have something to say about the film industry and the new releases that hit the big screen every weekend. It seems like much of it is complaining. Some of that is valid, but sometimes I think we should take ourselves to task.  If you have children, it is your job to check out the film before you to to the movie.

–Ed Stetzer

Stetzer offers his thoughts on (as well as links to tools for) evaluating movies here.

The Cross Was Not The End: An Easter Song

Here is a new children’s Easter song written for our Creative Worship Sundays project!  Thanks Bill and Courtney!

“The Cross Was Not The End”
(c) 2009 Bill & Courtney Bell

Audio (m4a format), Lead Sheet, Chord Sheet

Jesus came to the earth to fulfill God’s plan
Knowing he would suffer and die.
He brought truth to the crowds who rejected him
As they mocked and yelled: “Crucify!”

But the cross was not the end:
By his death he conquered sin.
No grave could keep him in.
There is power in Christ who rose again.
There is power in Christ who rose again.

Jesus came in the flesh living without sin;
Yet he took our sin and shame.
He endured the wrath of God we deserved to bear
So God’s love would be displayed.

For the cross was not the end:
By his death he conquered sin.
No grave could keep him in.
There is grace in Christ who rose again.
There is grace in Christ who rose again.

O Death, where is your sting?
O Grave, where is your victory? (repeat)

For the cross is not the end.
Through his death we’ve died to sin
When by faith we cling to him.
Knowing death is dead, we’ll live again.
Knowing death is dead, we’ll live again.

More Practical Tips and Encouragement

Free Pastor Daddy books and lots of Sojourn Music!

Tim Challies, blogger for the monstrously popular, highly informative challies.com, is giving away some free Sojourn music and books today in the latest edition of his “Free Stuff Friday” column. Check it out now and try to win.

Five folks will each win all of these products:

* One Before The Throne CD

* One These Things I Remember CD

* One Advent Songs CD

* One Pastor Daddy children’s book

* One Before The Throne daily devotional (companion to the CD)

Whether you win or not, you should visit http://challies.com daily. His book reviews are super helpful and his thoughts are insightful.

Creative Worship Art Project for Easter Sunday

dscf1168 EASTER ART PROJECT (45 minutes)
Shrinky Dink Easter Art by Robin Tillman

Project description:

This Easter art project will begin on Sunday, April 5th (the week before Easter) and will include children of all ages–two years old and up as well as the Quest (youth group) kids.  The kids will make Easter themed shrinky dink art.  The shrinky dink artwork will be assembled together with an adult Sojourn Visual Arts project. The Sojourn Visual Arts adults will create a freestanding, three-dimensional wire cross sculpture, which will later be decorated with the Easter related shrinky dink art, attached to the cross with thin wire. The project will be completed by attaching the shrinky dinks to the sculptural cross.The completed project will be an installation piece on display for the Sojourn body and visitors on Easter Sunday, April 12th.

About the Artwork:dscf1170
Shrinky dink artwork is made when the children draw and color on thin sheets of shrinky dink plastic, with bright colored pencils and/or permanent markers. The children will be instructed to make colorful drawings related to the Easter and resurrection themes.

The plastic shrinky dink drawings will later be heated slowly in the kitchen oven and will ultimately shrink to 1/3 their original size. Small holes will be punched in the corners of the children’s artwork prior to heating and shrinking, and tiny holes will remain in the smaller shrinky dinks. We will use these tiny holes to weave thin wire through and attach the shrinky dinks to the sculpture.

Continue Reading…

He Is Alive! An Easter Bible Lesson

Easter Lesson “He is Alive!”
John 11:35; 20:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22; 1 Timothy 3:16

Note: This post is the most viewed page on the SojournKids site in its history.  If you are planning to use our lesson plan at your church for Easter, then please let us know in the comments how it goes.  We’ll definitely use your feedback to tweak what we do at Sojourn in the future.

Easter Sunday Resources to Accompany this Lesson

THE BIG IDEA: An Introduction for the Teacher and Liturgist:

He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit
was seen by angels
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
(1 Timothy 3:16)

What makes Jesus different from every other religious leader in history?  What makes him different from every other human being in history?  He lived a sinless and righteous life.  So, death had no claim on him.  It could not hold him.  Jesus was, as the apostle tells us, “vindicated by the Spirit.”  Jesus Christ was raised from the dead.  He is alive!  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

This is the great truth that we celebrate during Easter.  Jesus was dead.  But now he is alive!  But this is not all!  Because Jesus’ resurrection is the central event in our own vindication and salvation, we can also have life:

But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

Today, we will introduce our kids to the one who is himself the Resurrection and the Life, and we will challenge them to trust him alone for life.   Here are our keys for this lesson.  When the lesson is through, each child will know…

  • Jesus was dead
  • But God raised him from the dead
  • Now we can have new life in him

GATHERED STORY (5-10 minutes): Don’t just read it.  Know it and bring it to life!

Good morning, boys and girls! (Good morning!).  Let me tell you a story.  This is a story about what happened after Jesus died on the cross.  Jesus died on a Friday.  It was a very sad day.  It was sad because Jesus’ friends didn’t know what was going to happen.  They didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. Continue Reading…