Six Christian-Themed Writing Projects for Kids

If you’re looking to add a creative project to your Sunday school or homeschooling lessons, or want to give the kids something faith-related and fun to do on a rainy afternoon, consider a Christian-themed creative writing project. Simply put, these are writing projects which allow kids a chance to express their ideas and feelings about their faith. Writing projects can ask kids to explain bible stories, apply their faith to certain situations, or express how they feel about the Lord. At the same time, writing projects help kids hone important skills which they will need in school.

To help make these writing projects more fun and special, give your kids colored pens or markers and special stationary or notebooks to use as they write. Keeping these special writing items in sync with the Christian theme of the projects (think Veggie Tales) can help kids get into the spirit and realize that writing about church, the bible, or lessons from Jesus can be a fun and joy-filled experience, not just a boring lesson or drill.

Here are some Christian-themed writing project prompts you may want to use to get your kids started.

Writing Project #1: Being Like Jesus 
Ask your child to consider which trait of Jesus he or she wishes she could have. Why would they want that trait? What would they do if they had it? Some kids may say they wish they could be kinder and more loving and forgiving while others may focus on how Jesus had the power to heal people and perform miracles that helped people. This is a good project for helping kids to think about all the different aspects of Jesus and see ways they can try to be more like Him in everyday life.

Writing Project #2: Jesus At School 
Ask your child to write about a situation they might see at school (or another setting where they’re with their peers) where something unChristian is happening – maybe a kid is picking on another kid, or a fight is about to break out, or someone is considering cheating. After they describe the situation, ask your child to put Jesus in the mix to resolve it. This project encourages kids to consider “What would Jesus do” in the context of a situation they would really encounter. Older kids can be encouraged to use bible verse in their writing, or to write the story as a play with different characters speaking dialogue.

Writing Project #3: A Question For God 
Part of being a Christian is learning to talk to God. Sometimes, both kids and adults have questions they’d like God to answer. Ask your child to write a letter to God asking him something they wonder about. Whether it’s serious, like why a bad thing happens to a good person, or silly, like why He created something like the duck-billed platypus, your child’s question can reveal a lot about what’s on his or her mind and may encourage him or her to be comfortable asking the Lord for help in understanding things which seem confusing. An alternative to writing a letter would be to have a child pretend he or she is walking or sharing a meal with Jesus and posing the question to Him face to face. Encourage your kids to not try to answer the question in their writing, but rather encourage them to be open to getting an answer from God in His own way and time.

Writing Project #4: A Prayer 
There are as many ways to pray as there are people. Writing a prayer down instead of speaking it out loud can be a very powerful way to speak to God. Ask your child, young or old, to write a prayer from the heart. It could be a prayer for a special intention, a grace for a family dinner, or something else your child would like to address. Encourage them to think of all sorts of prayers in the bible and in church including psalms, song lyrics, formal prayers, rhyme, and informal, conversational prayers, and then use any style they like. They may want to begin with thinking about what they want to pray about and then coming up …

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Kristy Lee Cook Sings Mariah Carey’s Forever in Country Style on American Idol

Kristy Lee Cook is a country girl. She sang Proud to be an American and brought the house down a few weeks ago.

 

Tonight was Mariah Carey night on American Idol. Kristy chose the song Forever. She put her country mark on it tonight. Mariah said Kristy gave her goose bumps when she listened to her.

I enjoyed the arrangement she sang. I think Kristy has a strong voice and is enjoyable to watch. She always looks beautiful and I am sure appeals to the country crowd.

I really didn’t think Kristy had staying ability, but she has surprised me. The first couple weeks, I really expected her to be voted off the show. She has gotten better every week and I actually think she might outlast the other two girls.

With all that being said, I think that beating David Cook and David Archuleta will be very difficult. They have powerful voices and the ability to be very versatile. David Cook can sing ballads and rock while Kristy is mostly country. I think Kristy could end up in the top three.…

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American Idol Winner David Cook Snags Another Prize

So I didn’t watch the two plus hour American Idol finale, I admit it. I don’t particularly like watching people butcher songs that were made popular by the people that were meant to sing them, and Paula, Simon, and Ryan Seacrest just really get on my nerves.

 

That being said, I really find America’s obsession with this show rather amusing. It’s interesting that the pseudo-celebrity American Idol winners always get so much publicity right after they win and America cares so much about their personal lives, but then the next season of American Idol comes along. Then the winner gets on with their seemingly boring life, if the tabloid coverage of the past American Idol winners is evident of their lifestyles. I guess they just don’t have great publicists like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears and all of the other tabloid darlings that can always be found hanging out around the checkout lines at grocery stores tempting you to peek inside to see what kind of huge mistake they’ve made this time or how horrible they look without makeup.

David Cook is at least making somewhat of an effort to keep his name in the headlines, by going on a date with ex-Idol contestant Kimberly Caldwell. Judging from his remark “We’ll probably hang out again”, it sounds like this relationship is really going to last. No girl wants to hear a guy say they want to “hang out” with her. That usually means they want to have sex as soon as possible and move on, which is exactly what Cook will do.

There are plenty of bigger, better babes he can bang out there, and he better do it while he’s still got all the attention from winning American Idol. If he waits too long, all the Jessicas and Britneys and Jennifer Anistons will find someone else who’s more tabloid-worthy. Kimberly Caldwell better milk this for all its worth before David starts thinking of all of the hypothetical attention-grabbing situations he could get into with single twenty-something celebs, whose relationships seem to get shorter and shorter as they get older. It seems that, when it comes to dating in Hollywood, the women have become just as bad as the men about having sex with as many famous guys as possible. I guess it’s just the culture that Sex in the City has created.

So enjoy getting laid, David Cook. Even when your celebrity status wears off somewhat with the coming of the next American Idol, you’ll still be able to get yourself plenty of groupies, or perhaps Britney Spears (maybe even her sister). Enjoy your prize.…

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David Cook First, David Archuleta Second: American Idol Top Five

In a season of American Idol known for pulling out all the punches, the contestants have now been whittled down to five. While it might not be the five that the American Idol viewing audience expected, it is a diverse group that will be vying for the top spot. Still, even with strong competitors, it is obvious that some contestants are more deserving of the title of “American Idol” than others.

It is going to be a tight race for the top five on American Idol. There will be a lot of clawing for the top spot, but in the end, it will be David Cook that is victorious. He has star quality and is actually a real musician instead of merely a singer. Out of all of the American Idols, David Cook is the one to look forward to week after week. With each performance, David Cook infuses his own personality and gives the audience something that hasn’t been played time and time again on the radio. It is that uniqueness that will bring David Cook to the front of the top five on American Idol. Last week, David Cook managed to cement his position even further by giving American Idol viewers the biggest surprise of the season. His performance of Music of the Night was straightforward, sang as written, and showcased his voice. That was a smart move for David Cook. It allowed the American Idol audience to see that not only can he mix things up, but he has a wonderful vocal range.

David Cook has taken a lot of heat throughout the season. It has come out that his musical arrangements have not always been his. They have been lesser known arrangements that can be found online. Still, one must give the guy credit. By not singing popular radio songs, a risk is being taken. The key to American Idol is to not allow the songs to come across as singing karaoke. Whether you love or hate David Cook, you have to admit that his music is not the type that would be heard in a karaoke bar. It is not all that relevant who came up with the arrangements. Many musicians do not write their own music, and it is certainly not a prerequisite for being a star on American Idol. What is important is that David Cook has managed to step outside of the American Idol box. He truly is different, even if the arrangements are not his. He is contemporary. David Cook is not lost in 1988 like many American Idol contestants are.

Many will not agree with this, but David Archuleta is going to finish in second place on American Idol. Honestly, his gimmick is wearing thin. The doe eyed seventeen year old has secured a huge fan base, but in a head to head competition with David Cook, Archuleta will lose. While he put originality in Andrew Lloyd Webber night last week, it will probably be one of the few times when David Archuleta crosses the boundary between “singer” and “musician.” He is definitely talented enough of a singer to make it to the top two on American Idol, but his lack of originally will keep him from getting the coveted number one spot. David Archuleta has a lot of growing up and maturing as an artist to do before he can be considered the best. He is incredibly good, but he is not the best. He is not contemporary. David Archuleta is more of an easy listening, song playing in the elevator, type of performer.

The American Idol audience is buying into what the judges say about him. Week after week, David Archuleta can do almost no wrong when it comes to Randy, Paula and Simon. He is incredibly over praised by the judges and fans alike. It is as if people are afraid to give David Archuleta a real critique. He seems to be a sweet, passionate guy, and his personality is derailing his critics. People need to look past his sweet nature and truly critique his performances. When David Archuleta forgets the words to a song, it needs to be mentioned. Forgetting the words to songs does not …

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Fun Things to Do with Your Kids in Boston

Living only 2 hours from Boston I can honestly say that there is no other city so close to central NH that offers so much for kids and their families. You could stay in Boston for years and never see it all. I have gone there once or twice a year for my entire 36 years of life and I still haven’t seen everything as of yet. As a matter of fact, today, I was searching the web for open times and pricing for this article when I came upon an interesting website, http://www.gobostoncard.com/ . This website not only tells you all about the 70 or so partner locations around Boston that are perfect for children but it also offers you a discount card that will get you into those locations!! These cards start at only $54.99 for adults and $34.99 for kids 12 & under. A bargain since you can use it at any of their partner sites for 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7 day increments. Since almost all of my top choices for children are found at their site I would recommend starting there first when planning your getaway. Now for my top choices for children in no particular order.

Liberty Fleet Tall Ship Adventures Where else can your kids actually sail a tall ship? I didn’t think you could answer that one and that is why I included this fun cruise on my list. I haven’t tried this yet but as an avid boater I can tell you I will be on the next boat out!! They allow adults and kids alike to set sails, take the wheel and throw tea into the harbor. They are located at 67 Long Wharf, Boston. For more information call 617-742-0333 or go to www.libertyfleet.com .

New England Aquarium No introduction required on this fun classic. If you live in or near Boston you have probably been here a million times or more. I know I have!! Unlike when I was a child, they now have Imax!! I truly enjoyed my Imax trip under the ocean on my last visit. However, my daughter thought it was boring so I will leave the Imax portion of this trip to your discretion. No one disagreed on the fun we had watching the various fish and playing with the assortment of hands on activities. They are located at Central Wharf, Boston. For more information call 617-973-5200 or go to www.newenglandaquarium.org .

The Mary Baker Eddy Library/Mapparium This fun little museum is a new find for me but it sounds like a must see. According to Go Card you can walk across a bridge that spans the interior of a three story stained glass world globe!! So why not bring your kids to the center of the earth while teaching them a thing or two about world geography!! They are located at 200 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. For more information call 617-450-7000 or go to www.marybakereddylibrary.org

Franklin Park Zoo This one is yet another classic. Bring your picnic lunch and make a day of watching all the exotic animals, 160 different species to be exact. Best yet, if you are from the city, you can get a taste of life on the farm at the petting zoo. They are located at One Franklin Park Road, Boston. For more information call 617-541-LION (617-541-5466) or go to www.zoonewengland.org

New England Sports Museum Some people find this exciting but I find it a huge bore. If you are a big sports fan like my husband and kids then you wont want to miss this one. They are located at TD Banknorth Garden, Causeway St, Boston and their admission desk is located at the Box Office. They can be reached by phone at 617-624-1235 or on the web at www.sportsmuseum.org .

Fenway Park My kids and husband love this one so here it is for all of you Red Sox fans. According to the Go Card website you can get a tour of Fenway Park by visiting 4 Yawkey Way, Boston or by calling 617-226-6666. They also have a website of www.redsox.com/tours.

Tomb by 5 WITS My daughter and I read about this fun locations interactive special effects and …

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How to Encourage a Teenage Driver to Wear a Seat Belt

Although a well known law and regarded as one of the best safety measures that can be taken to protect one’s self while driving in an automobile, many people still have not made buckling up with a seat belt a regular habit. Teenagers can be especially reluctant to use a seat belt since they regard this safety measure as being “uncool” and restrictive. When teen drivers first take to the road, parents have enough to worry about without being anxious that a minor mishap while driving can become an unbearable tragedy due to their child’s refusal to use their seat belt. Read this article to see how you can ensure your teenage driver adheres to this rule each and every time they get behind the wheel.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt. Children learn acceptable behavior from watching their parents. If you buckle up every time you get in the car to go somewhere and refuse to start driving until each and every passenger is buckled up as well, your teen driver will instinctively follow your lead. Bu setting a good and proper example for driving safety, you have already won half the battle.

Make Always Wearing A Seat Belt A Contingency Upon Your Teenager Receiving their Driver’s License. Being extremely clear on the expectations you have on your teenage driver well before they receive that little piece of paper will leave no room for argument. Insist that your teenage driver buckle up while driving and require their passengers to do so as well before you even take them for their driver’s exam. Do not assume that your teenage driver takes this granted. As mature and responsible as parents hope their new teenage drivers are, common sense and basic safety rules can take a backseat during the excitement of becoming a licensed driver. The more times your teen driver gets behind the wheel of a car without wearing their seat belt, the more this unsafe habit takes root.

Be Prepared To Suspend Driving Privileges If Necessary. If you catch your teenage driver driving without a seat belt, issue a stern warning and make sure they know how seriously you take this issue. If the rule is disobeyed again, be prepared to take away the keys for a specific amount of time. Unfortunately, losing the privilege of driving may be the only thing that gets through to your new driver. It is far better to deal with a teenage driver who sulks and complains about having their driving privileges taken away for a week or two, than to pay a visit to your child in the hospital with severe injuries from an auto accident that occurred while they were not wearing their seat belt.

In plain and simple terms, seat belts save lives and are required to be used by law. Failure to use a seat belt while driving can on a small scale result in a traffic ticket, and on a much larger scale cause great physical harm. Show your teen driver how much you love and cherish them by insisting they wear their seat belt each and every time they drive.…

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DePaul Offers Local Businesses Education Opportunities

Starting and running a small business is not the easiest task to accomplish. That’s why DePaul University partners with the community to help local entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.

 

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center in DePaul provides many different opportunities for local business owners. They provide workshops throughout the year, and the also work in tandem with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce for additional learning opportunities, such as special events and seminars. There are also regular blog postings on their website, so you can take advantage of the school’s expertise even if you are unable to get away from the business to attend an event.

Opportunities like peer round-table discussions allow business owners a free-flow of thoughts and ideas that help everyone in the group create innovative ways to grow their operation. Seminars and symposiums spotlight success stories with helpful insight on the struggle to get to the top.

DePaul provides a large consumer base for the Lincoln park neighborhood, so it is great that they give back to the community by help in the local businesses achieve greatness. The programs fees and schedules can be found at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center website, www.coleman.depaul.edu. To get more information about the programs that the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce co-sponsors, visit www.lincolnparkchamber.com.…

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CARROT SALAD

CARROT SALAD

 

by Brenda Lovelace Gist

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups carrots

½ cup raisins

½ cup pineapple chucks’

Dash cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

Mayonnaise

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients. Stir. Chill.…

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Night of Hearts

Hearts meet in the night.

Our hearts met on a night.

We fell.

You love me.

I love you too.

We fell in love.

How beautiful it is.

Forever is our love.

Every night we love eachother.

Every Morning we wake for eachother.

You are my everything.

You are my beauty everyday.

We will never leave each other’s hearts.

I am yours forever.

You are mine forever.

Forever and more we are together.…

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Traditional Books: The Path to True Research and Learning

In today’s society of instant gratification where things get done with the snap of the fingers, it seems natural that the computer is the answer for students doing research papers for a class assignment. While occasionally they may find this to be the case, they are losing sight of what the true processes of research and learning are. But why should they bother doing all the leg work when Google will do it for them? The answer is imperative to the process of learning: students must learn how to be self-reliant and they must learn the invaluable tool of researching in order for them to realize their utmost potential. Using real books also usually means a trip to the library, which brings considerable other benefits including motivation, social interaction, and a sense of accomplishment. For these reasons, I strongly believe that students should be required to use real books in research papers.

 

Researching through books gives students the know-how and confidence to form their own opinions and perspectives rather than cut-and-paste ideas from what they type into a search engine. Doing in-depth research, writing a well planned paper, and getting the final work done is an accomplishment in-and-of-itself. Students learn the research skills necessary not only for a good education but for real life – a point they may not realize until later when it is too late. Internet search engines are great researchers, and while they give students an answer, going to the library and using real books makes the student earn it for themselves. More importantly, it helps students want to research and learn. Using real books to do significant research rather than just getting a quick answer from a computer is how the students “show their work.” Most professors will tell you that that process of learning and explaining is more important than even a correct answer. It forces the student to learn the research process, the Dewey decimal system, subject classification, and how to talk to a librarian one-on-one in order to come up with an “answer” (in this case their research paper). My professors at Columbia taught me some of the best research methods, all of which I needed for papers and my thesis, and which I still use today. With a real book you can underline the parts most applicable to the assignment, earmark the pages, and highlight the areas that need to be referred back to frequently, all of which can be easily read over and over again until the point is understood. Computers try to emulate this (even the PC uses bookmarks) but you can’t get the same feeling that you do with a book. The bottom line is that just getting the answer is not learning; but figuring out how to get the answer – now that’s learning and that’s why real books and sound research should be required in students’ papers.

At the library, students surround themselves with like-minded people in a very fostering environment that is conducive to research. This helps keep them focused and motivated. Surrounded by books, the collective knowledge speaks volumes (pun intended), and with all the inspiring, great minds that constitute that knowledge, it makes for a great motivational environment. One can’t help but want to learn more, no matter the subject. A library full of wonderful books conjures up images of the greatest minds that have shaped civilization, and it serves as a poignant reminder of how the most amazing thinkers of all time have used real books to research and learn, and not just a PC. These same great minds, these notable inventors and historians, include the very people who invented the computer and the Internet, as well as of course the printing press! By surrounding themselves with real books for research papers they feel connected to the subject in a way that a computer screen alone cannot provide. The librarian and their staff – the caretakers of this wonder we call the public library – are equivalent to having additional mentors outside of the classroom to guide students on how to use books not only for a research paper, but also to guide them to a section on other subject matters that …

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