Tag Archive: kids


Sandy Valentine

sandheart1Have you ever played in the sand?  I have.  And it’s so much fun!

Sand is everywhere.  Our sandbox.  Our neighborhood park.  The beach, the oceans and deserts.

One of our favorite things to do when my kids were young was going to the park and playing in the sand.  As they grew older we could make the most amazing sand castle villages.  They were amazing!  When we were ready to go back home, we emptied our shoes and tried to brush off all those tiny little grains of sand.  And we never could get them all off.  We always seemed to bring home lots of those little grains of sand.

Have you ever tried to count those grains of sand?  How many could there be in one sandbox?  One playground?  One child’s shoe or even just stuck to one foot?  A lot!  Way more than I could ever count!  There was a man in the Bible who also knew that there is a lot of sand out there.  That man was David.  He wrote this in Psalm 139:17-18, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!  How vast is the sum of them!  Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.  When I awake, I am still with you” (NIV).

David knew that God was thinking about him even more times than the number of grains of sand on this whole earth.  Now that’s a lot of times!  Do you know what that means?  That means that God is thinking about each one of us all the time!  I like that because that means that God cares about us and He loves us.

I get to go speak to some elementary school children soon and when I asked God what He wanted me to tell them He said, “Tell them I love them.”  So I’m going to bring my sand and let them know how much God loves them.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day with sand this year!

And the next time you see sand, remember – God is thinking about YOU!

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Mac & Cheese Mistake

Home made macaroni and cheese, with some dried...

Have you ever rushed through the grocery store, quickly checked off the items on your list and then headed home only to find that you picked up the wrong kind of one of the items that you needed?

My youngest son recently got braces.  Having been through this process before with two older children I stocked up on a week’s worth of applesauce, chicken noodle soup and macaroni and cheese.  Only this time when I went to make the mac and cheese it was different.  Ugh.  Instead of picking up the original box I bought the “thick and creamy” kind.  Oh well, we would give it a try.

It turned out that the thick and creamy mac and cheese is way better than the original mac and cheese.  Who knew?

So maybe Romans 8:28 works even with grocery shopping.  And macaroni and cheese.  Paul wrote to Christians in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose,” (NIV).

In all things – even things that seem like mistakes – God works for the good of those who love Him.  Even in the little things like mac and cheese.

Cookie Contentment

English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

We made cookies for after-school snack the other day.  As we often do, we placed the cookie sheets right from the oven onto the table, sat down, ate cookies and talked.  As we enjoyed our warm cookies I did something that made me laugh.  And think.

I don’t remember now what we were discussing, but I do remember looking over the cookies that were left on the sheets and deciding which one looked the best to eat next.  Then I took the pancake turner, slid it under that wonderful cookie, picked it up and placed that cookie on my plate.  Then I realized that I still had a cookie on my plate.  That’s when I laughed.  And then my kids laughed.  I had to admit to them what I had done.  I had a perfectly good cookie right there in front of me –  half-eaten, but perfectly good – while I was looking for another cookie to eat.  That’s what made me think.

How many times do we already have what we need, but we aren’t content with what we have.  So often we look for more or for something better when what we already have is perfectly fine.  Just like my half-eaten cookie that I so quickly forgot about.  And the chocolate chips were still warm and melty!  How did I do that?!

Then I thought about this summer when I played Risk with my kids.  It’s a long game so we set it up on our dining room table and played whenever we had time.  We all had a good laugh then, too, because when we began playing that game I told my kids that I was content with what I had.  I had plenty of troops in several countries and I didn’t want to battle them to get more.  Then I as my troops began to dwindle I learned that I had to be more aggressive if I was going to win that game, which I didn’t, but I held on for a long time and it was a fun.

Anyway, that cookie reminded me that God wants us to be content with what we have.  To do the things we are called to do and work hard, but at the same time to be content and trust God, knowing that He cares for us.

Paul wrote, “…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:11-13 NIV).

Buddy Bee Surprise!

Buddy BeeBuddy Bee is still flying around and creating a buzz!  Recently he showed up in my city’s newspaper.  What a surprise that was!  I was reading an article about a few books by local authors and there was MY book, “Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee.”  They even included a picture of the cover.

Here’s what they wrote, “‘Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee’ by Lori Schulz, illustrated by Hannah Segura.  A bee dad gives his son a secret and a mission in this children’s book, by Schulz, who lives in Omaha and is a graduate of Grace University.  ($13.95, ages 7-10),” (Omaha World-Herald, November 25, 2012).

Thank you to the Omaha World-Herald!

English: A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, m...

Mmmm… Peanut butter and jelly.  They go so good together.  I can’t imagine eating just a peanut butter sandwich.  That would stick to my mouth and I wouldn’t be able to talk.  And I wouldn’t want just a jelly sandwich.  That would be too sweet and my stomach would hurt.  No.  I only want peanut butter AND jelly.  Now that’s a perfect sandwich.

Christmas and Easter are like that.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Jesus was born on Christmas, but He came to die on the cross and then come back to life on Easter.  Just like peanut butter and jelly, you can’t have one without the other.  They go together.  Because the reason Jesus came was to offer us forgiveness of our sin so that we could be saved.  Christmas and Easter go together to show us the amazing love that God has for us.

It’s like the Christmas tree leading to another tree, the cross.

I love the Christmas song “It’s About the Cross” by GoFish.  Here’s the chorus:

It’s about the cross.

It’s about my sin.

It’s about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again.

It’s about the stone

That was rolled away

So that you and I could have real life some day.

It’s about the cross.

Call the kids and listen here.  Just like peanut butter and jelly, they’ll like the song, too!

December Devotions

Christmas tree icon

I remember when my kids were little and often the only time I had in God’s Word was with them while reading their “Early Reader’s Bible.”  Those were good times, though.  Lately I’ve talked with several moms with young children who truly want to spend time alone with God and His Word, but just can’t.  I totally understand.  And I’m sure that God does, too.  God knows our hearts.  And He sees us with our children during the day as they climb on us, cry, do silly things that make us laugh, and then draw us pictures that make us smile.  And He sees us as we introduce them to Him and encourage them to know Him and love His Word as we sit together on their bed at night or on the couch in the morning and enjoy the true stories that mean so much to us.

When my children outgrew the “Early Reader’s Bible” I still wanted to read with them, which we did, but I also did something else.  Many days seemed very busy with school, homework, dance classes, soccer, flag football and playing with friends.  So at Christmas time I took a small index card or small paper and wrote a simple thought for the day and a question.  Then I left a new note on their bathroom counter each morning.  Okay, I didn’t always make my goal of every morning.  In fact, sometimes it was once a week.  Nevertheless, it was a fun way to keep our focus on Christ as we celebrated the coming of Christmas.

I probably should have saved those notes, but I didn’t.  Anyway, I think it would be fun to do that here.  So stop by throughout December for “December Devotions” as we remember the reason for the season.  I would love to hear your comments!

*Here’s a helpful note for parents with young kids.  I recently found a resource that I would use along with our Bible if my kids were little today.  It is “The Jesus Storybook Bible” written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and published by Zonderkidz.  I love the way that the author captures the meaning of each story in the way that she writes.

Learning Contentment

picture of a wrapped present

You know those tattoos that kids put on with water?  Little pictures on their faces, their arms and even their hands.  They last for days and days.  That’s what I want to happen with the lessons that I teach.  I want my lessons to be so effective that the kids will remember them and grow closer to God.  So I’m always up to something.  The other day was really fun!

I totally set up my Good News Club kids.  We were learning to be content with the things that we have because God has said, “Never will I leave you.”  (If that sounds familiar, it’s because it comes from Hebrews 13:5.)  We learned the Bible verse and I taught the lesson.  And then came the test.  I gave each child a small gift, each one the same.  And they were so excited!  You should have seen their happy faces, so eager to discover what was inside their small packages.  Then, after every child had their gift, I gave a different gift to a child in the middle of the room.  This gift was a giant box with a bow and ribbons.  And something happened to those happy faces and questions like, “Can I open it now?” and “What is it?”  The mood completely changed in the room.  Aha!  I got them!  What a perfect time to learn about being content!  To apply right away the things that we had just learned.  And to remember that God is always with us.  Even when life isn’t fair.  Even when someone else has something that we think is better.

It’s a lesson we will all remember.  I hadn’t thought about it at the time, but now that it’s November it is a good time to remember to be content because God will never leave us.  We should always be thankful for the things that we have and especially for our God who loves us so much and will never leave us.  That is the best gift ever!  Even in the times when I feel like I just have this very small, simple gift and someone else has that giant, beautiful gift, I can know for sure that God is with me and He will never leave me.  That’s really all I need.

So, are you wondering what the gifts were?  Tootsie Rolls.  Everyone received a Tootsie Roll.  And, in the end, they were quite content!

A treasure chest

In honor of “Talk Like a Pirate Day” I have decided to dig for some hidden treasure.  So all hands on deck!  Here we go!

I love digging in God’s Word for treasure.  Aye.  It’s true.

For the last few months I have been studying the Psalms and David and First and Second Samuel.  There is so much treasure in there!  David even wrote about God’s laws in Psalm 19:10, “They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold” (NIV).  And I just started going to a Bible study at church where we will study Genesis.  I love studying Genesis.  When my Sunday school kids told me that they wanted to learn about Creation, bliney!, I was all over that!  I wrote three months of curriculum and loved to watch their faces as they discovered the treasures in God’s Word about how everything began.  So, yes,  I mean, aye, I could spend hours every day just reading the Bible, doing word studies and researching the authors and the culture.  There is so much digging for treasure to be done.  But have you ever had God just hand you a treasure?  When you’ve spent so much time talking to Him and then He just shows up and speaks to you?  Now that is real treasure.

So yesterday I was a bit later than usual to pick up my son from school because my daughter called and we were enjoying chatting with each other.  Since there wasn’t much time before school would be out I kept my iPod playing in the car and just rolled down the windows and enjoyed the nice, slightly cool weather.  Usually I read a book, but this time I simply looked out the window.  That’s when I saw it.  Clover weeds and a butterfly.  Such a simple thing, but it was so fun to watch that little yellow butterfly hover over those white and purple flowers.  When I was little and then when my kids were little I enjoyed making crowns and necklaces with those simple flowers.  Then came the treasure.  God reminded me that He created that butterfly for His glory.  And He created me for His glory.  And those flowers, well, they were right there last year and the year before that and the year before that… and they would be there again next year.  And, avast ye!  God is like that!  God has always been good and He has always been here and He will continue to be good and here.  The writer of the Hebrews wrote to believers in 13:5, “…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (NIV).  Those words are a treasure.

Now you have to understand my iPod.  Thanks to my own kids and my ministries with kids I enjoy a variety of music.  My playlist in my car includes songs from Hillsong Kids, Hillsong United, Skillet, TobyMac, BarlowGirl…Savvy?  (Yesterday morning a Jump5 song was “spinning around” in my head after hearing it in my car!)  But at this moment the song “Promise of a Lifetime” by Kutless played.  With it’s lyrics like “I know you’re always there to hear my every prayer” and “I hear the words you say to never walk away from me and leave behind the promise of a lifetime” it was a treasure indeed.  Aye.  God is so good.  A real, true treasure.  More precious than gold.

So while I’m enjoying talking like a pirate today (I greeted my swashbuckling son this morning with a hearty “Ahoy Matey!” and later informed him that our ship would be sailing to school shortly.) I’m also enjoying searching for hidden treasure.  And treasure that’s not so hidden.  And I’m grateful for the amazing treasure I have in Jesus.

Here’s a link to the song by Kutless:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_38RfYrFYA

And in celebration of “Talk Like a Pirate Day” here’s a link just for fun!  http://www.jellytelly.com/video/pirate-etiquette-spoons/

Got some hidden treasure to share?  I’d love to hear it!  And I won’t make you walk the plank!  Aaaargh!

To all of you who are involved in children’s ministry and specifically, Good News Club, I want to thank you for giving your time and talents to teaching kids about the amazing gift that Jesus has offered to us and influencing them week after week to love Jesus every day of their lives.  I’ve been involved in children’s ministry for many years.  This is my eighth year to be involved with Good News Club and I have tried different ideas to make our club the best that it can be.  As my club has grown it has been so much fun to watch God move in the lives of our kids.  My hope is that the following ideas will inspire you to make your own club or ministry irresistible to the kids in your area!  So get ready, get set, go make your ministry irresistible!

COUNTDOWN TO CLUB

PRAY.  Pray for your club time, team and kids.  Can’t remember all their names?  Try keeping a copy of the attendance list in your Bible.  Remember to also pray for the principle, teachers and staff at your school!  I like to choose a Bible verse for the year that the team and I pray over our club from the first meeting to the last.  Try it and watch our amazing God move!

SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE.  Request a table for Good News Club among the other tables, like Boy/Girl Scouts.  Decorate your table with a colorful tablecloth, display board about club, registration forms and pens, and candy like Dum Dum suckers or Smarties.  Bring your smile!  Stand at the table to greet your kids and answer questions.  Remember:  Club is awesome!  Be friendly and excited about your club!

KICK OFF PARTY.  Invite kids to the school field or nearby park to play kickball together before club meetings begin.  Divide into two teams, choose team names and kick that ball!  Kids can bring their own water bottles and a snack to share together before or after a fun game of kickball.  A leader might even bring popsicles for a special treat after your game!  Use this time of fun to build relationships with the kids!  Challenge the kids to invite their friends to club!  Have the leaders do a skit for the kids showing them how to invite their friends to club.  Then hand out lots of registration forms!

CLUB TIME

“4:00 NEWS WITH FRANKLIN.”  Encourage kids to love Jesus and live for Him.  Consider adding a quick newscast during snack time where a leader interviews a child.  Give the child questions the week before so they can prepare.  Ask about how/when the child decided to become a Christian, what activities they like to do, what opportunities they have had to share Jesus with others at school, home or in their neighborhood, with their soccer team or dance class, and what they are doing now to get to know Jesus more today.  Kids want to make a difference and they believe they can change the world.  Just imagine your kids making a difference at your school because they know Jesus!

“BIRTHDAY BLESSING.”  Birthdays are important to kids so make that important at club.  Snack time or closing time is the perfect time to give value to your special birthday kids.  Invite the birthday child to come up to the front as you share a quick thing or two that you have seen in that child that is super cool, like how well they get along with the kids or maybe the time that you saw them choose their Bible verse prize to give to their brother or how awesome they are at working in their Wonder Book each week.  Have bookmarks signed by the team ready to give to the birthday child at the end of club, and maybe a candy, too!  Make their day extra special by mailing them a postcard that they will receive at home on their birthday!

BIBLE LESSON IMPACT.  Tattoo your kids!  No, not real tattoos, but you can imprint your lessons about God on your kids all week long.  Our CEF lessons are awesome!  Practice presenting.  Add object lessons.  Bring them to life with costumes and props.  Is there rain?  Surprise the kids with spray bottle mist!  We had Nerf spears flying across the room at David during our angry, jealous Saul lesson!  And remember to have your own time with God.  You were never meant to serve Him alone and you can’t give away what you don’t have!

BIBLE VERSE, WONDER BOOK, AND NEW FRIENDS PRIZES!  What do your kids want?  Silly bands?  Skittles?  Pencils?  Target gift cards?  When kids hide God’s Word in their hearts now, God will remind them of those verses later when they’re older. Teach the kids how to study God’s Word today and they’ll remember truth as they grow.  Don’t let your kids keep club a secret.  Invite friends!

GOOD NEWS CLUB LIBRARY.  Elementary kids love to read!  Provide Christian books for them to borrow.  Just imagine your fourth grade boy reading a Bill Myers “My Life As” book in his classroom!  Or your second grade girl reading a Beverly Lewis “The Cul-De-Sac Kids” book!

BIBLES TO BORROW.  This is the perfect time for kids to gain a love for reading the Bible!  The NIV Bible is written at a 7th grade reading level so provide children’s Bibles for the kids.  The Action Bible from David C. Cook, the Hands-On Bible from Tyndale, and the NIrV Adventure Bible from ZonderKidz will fascinate your kids and draw them closer to God!

BIBLE JOURNAL.  Send a club journal home along with the Bible to Borrow or just the journal itself for children to share what they’ve learned in the Bible that week.  As kids read God’s Word they can write a note about what they learned, draw a picture or even create a poem or comic strip.  It’s their choice!  Consider having multiple journals so leaders can positively respond to entries during the week while kids take home a different journal.  At the end of the year, see how much your kids have learned from God’s Word!

ICE CREAM PARTY.  I scream.  You scream.  We all scream for ice cream!  And kids will bring their friends to club when you celebrate all the amazing things that your club learned about God as you finish a series of Bible lessons!  Bring lots of RediWhip and sprinkles!

MAKE ‘EM LAUGH.  Kids love jokes and riddles so occasionally share some laughs during snack time.  Kids’ magazines are great resources for kids’ jokes.  Your kids may even surprise you with some funny jokes of their own!

EXTRA!  EXTRA!

“FIFTH GRADE FUN.”  Your older kids are the key to your club.  If your oldest kids are excited and engaged in club, the other kids will be too.  While the younger kids like repetitive activities, you can keep those older kids guessing a bit.  Your older kids need to feel important so give them jobs at club and a special activity just for them.  Contact parents and plan a fun time for the oldest kids, their families and your leaders.  Shhh…Keep it a secret from the kids!  In the weeks leading up to the special day, provide clues and see which fifth grader can guess the activity first!  Maybe you’ll meet after school at Dairy Queen for ice cream cones.  Or play laser tag.  How about sledding at a nearby park?

CHRISTMAS PARTY.  We talk about Christmas and Easter all year long in Good News Club so celebrate big at Christmas time.  Our Christmas tradition is for the fifth graders to decorate a giant brownie for Jesus’ birthday cake.  When the fifth graders have the cake ready we all sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and then share the delicious brownie cake!

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!  It’s always difficult to send our fifth graders away to middle school so we send them off with a small gift and prayer at our last club.  Tweens would like a Christian music CD (think TobyMac, Stellar Kart, BarlowGirl, Hawk Nelson), a picture from club with messages from the Good News Club team, a glow stick with a reminder to shine for Jesus in middle school or a pack of Extra gum to remind them that they are Extra special to God!

KIDS LOVE MAIL.  You know you love to get a real letter in the mail, too!  How about sending a postcard to a child when you see them doing something awesome at club?  Maybe Joey was a good friend to a new kid today or perhaps you saw Maddie choose her Bible verse prize and give it to her little brother.  When Billy misses club, a postcard in the mail will let him know you noticed he was gone.  And don’t forget a birthday postcard on that special day!  Money Saver:  Purchase plain 4×6 cards and make you own postcards.  Or skip the postage altogether and make friendly phone calls to your kids!

SHARE THE JOY.  You know you appreciate the teachers and staff at your school so show them by bringing in occasional treats to their lunch room.  Or show your attitude of gratitude with a simple bowl of candy in the office from your club.  Let them know they are a “Treasure” to your school with Nestle’s Treasure candies.  Or that they are “a great ‘Riesen’ to celebrate” with a dish of Riesen caramels.  One year our club day fell on May Day so our club made May Baskets and delivered them to all of our teachers!  Or  maybe your school collects Box Tops.  You should have seen the look on our secretary’s face when I gave her a bag full of Box Tops for her school when I didn’t even have a child enrolled there!  We are so grateful for the use of our room for club so children can learn of the love of Jesus, so let’s be sure to bless our school!

Now you’re ready and you’re set.  Will you go?

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?’  And I said, ‘Here am I.  Send me!'” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV).

Blessings to you all as you go out and share the love of Jesus with kids!  -Lori

What happened to Buddy Bee?  Find out today!

NOW GET FREE STANDARD DOMESTIC SHIPPING FOR “PAPA’S PLAN FOR BUDDY BEE”!

READ ABOUT LORI SCHULZ AND “PAPA’S PLAN FOR BUDDY BEE” IN NEBRASKA LIFE!

Thank you to Nebraska Life Magazine for writing the article about me, my illustrator and our book, “Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee,” in their July/August 2012 issue!

Here is what they had to say:  “Buddy Bee is unsure of himself and is particularly conscious of his crooked stinger.  But after his loving father teaches him to fly by reading from a special book, Buddy explores the world in the garden surrounding his hive.  He learns that despite his imperfections, he has gifts he can use to help those in need around him, and that his Papa has a plan for him.  Complementing this touching story of faith are the warm and colorful images of illustrator Hannah Segura,” (94).

Read the entire article now in Nebraska Life Magazine!

BOOK READING & BOOK SIGNING EVENT!

Hannah Segura and I will be at Divine Truth Christian Store in LaVista, Nebraska, for a Book Reading and Book Signing Event on Saturday, September 8th, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  I’m looking forward to reading from my book, playing a fun Bible verse game that relates to the story and then singing some fun songs with the children!  Hannah and I are excited to meet everyone!