Advent Guide

November 30, 2020 by the Jesus Story Book Bible

This is from Pastor Lisa's absolute favourite Bible - the Jesus Storybook Bible. If you don't have one, I recommend that you get one!

Click here for the Jesus Storybook Advent Guide

There's a short story to explain what Advent is, along with an Advent Reading Plan that has daily readings on cards you can print and cut out.

Hope this helps you and your family focus on Christ as we approach the day we celebrate His birth.

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The Christmas season is called "Advent" which means " the coming of Christ the Messiah into the word." The official season begins four Sundays before the holiday as believers prepare their hearts for the arrival of the Savior and celebrate the moment when "God with us" became literal reality. We celebrate more than a special baby's birth; we celebrate "Incarnation," which means "God becoming flesh and living among us." (John 1:14)

Use any or all of the following ideas to help your family focus on the birth of Jesus Christ during throughout the Advent season.

Meaningful Gift Giving

Three Gifts: This creative approach to gift-giving limits everyone to three gifts, each representing one of the three gifts the Wise Men brought to a baby king.

  • Gold (a precious metal): The gift that would be most precious - possibly the biggest item or something they've wanted for a long time. Place a gold bow on red wrapping paper to symbolize the most costly gift God gave when Jesus shed his blood for our sins. Before opening read John 3:16 together.

  • Frankincense (a sweet-smelling perfume): This item would be the "sweetest" to them; something that fits their personality, their passions, their interests or hobbies. Many choose a favorite food item for this gift. Wrap it in silver paper, representing the fulfillment of the promised Messiah. Read Isaiah 9:6 together before opening.

  • Myrrh (an oil used for many practical purposes, like anointing): This gift is a highly practical item. Although it may not be exciting, some things simply need to be replaced. One year you might give each child new bedding; another year fun pajamas. A sweater, socks, t-shirts, tights and the like can be bundled together in one big box. Wrap this gift in green paper, representing Jesus as the everlasting hope of mankind. Read Titus 2:13 together before opening.

Gifts From the Heart

Advance Preparation

Make sure you have the following on hand:

  • A basket or gift box.

  • Pieces of craft or notebook paper, pencils or crayons, ribbon or pre-made paper ornaments.

  • Birthday cake or cupcake

  • Optional: Small Christmas tree

Follow These Steps

  1. During the first week of December, call the family together to talk about the meaning of Christmas as you make paper ornaments together with construction paper and ribbon.  Place them in a basket or gift box.
  2. Ask each person to share why we celebrate Christmas.  Afterwards, read the Christmas story aloud from the second chapter of Luke.   Explain that the greatest gift we could ever receive was given that first Christmas. 
  3. After discussing the birth of Jesus and what Christ did for us, let the family know that during the rest of the month you will be giving “gifts from the heart” – which are gifts money can’t buy such as Dad getting the newspaper for a sick neighbor, daughter helping little brother pick up his room, brother telling mom how much he loves her with a big hug.  
  4. Each time that you catch someone giving a “gift from the heart,” write down what they did on a paper ornament and hang it on a Christmas tree.
  5. On Christmas Eve, take all of the ornaments and wrap them.  Put a label reading: To-Jesus, Love- and insert your names.
  6. Before you begin unwrapping your gifts, take time to give these “gifts from the heart” to Jesus in celebration of his birthday.  Open the gift to Jesus and take time to pull out each ornament and read it aloud.   
  7. You can have a birthday cake, donut or cupcake with a candle to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.  
  8. When you finish reading through your “gifts from the heart,” take time to share what you love about Jesus.
  9. Close your time in prayer, thanking God for giving the best “gift from the heart” on that first Christmas.  

The Greatest Gift

Christmas Family Night

Try this family night activity to help children connect the dots between the birth of baby Jesus and the reason He came.

Advance Preparation

Make sure you have the following on hand:

  • A large piece of cardboard, scissors, and tape

  • A stack of index cards and pencils

  • A red marker or crayon

  • A Bible

Follow These Steps

  1. Before opening gifts have the children help you create a large cardboard cross.  You can also use wooden boards to nail together if the children are old enough.
  2. Give each person a stack of index cards and a marker and invite them to write a word or draw a picture that represents something they do wrong that the Bible calls “sin.”  Younger children might draw a mean face to represent temper tantrums or the word “NO” to represent disobedience.  
  3. Ask the oldest child to read aloud Romans 3:23…For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
  4. Explain that sin means “to disobey God.”  Then invite the oldest child to read Romans 3:23 allowed…
  5. Ask the children how many of us sin according to this verse.  Then have the child read Romans 6:23 aloud… For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  6. Explain that “wages” means punishment.  Then explain that the most important “gift” of Christmas is that Jesus came to pay the “wages” for our sin!
  7. Invite each person to tape or nail their index card “sins” to the cross while mom or dad reads John 3:16… For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  8. Now use a big red marker or crayon to write the word “Jesus” across each image and word on your cardboard cross, explaining that God no longer sees our sin.  He only sees what Jesus did for us!
  9. Pray a prayer of thanks to God for the gift of Jesus and then memorize Romans 6:23 together.   

Christmas Movie Night

The following movie night suggestions can  help drive meaningful discussion about the true reason for th season.

  • A Christmas Carol
  • It's A Wonderful Life
Other Ideas
  • Bake some Christmas cookies, decorate and take to a neighbour or friend with an invite card to the Christmas Eve service at church.
  • Have everyone in the family give a gift of time/service to someone else by wrapping it as a gift to give away. This could be a date night for your spouse or helping your child work on a project they have wanted to do together.
  • Go shopping in a different kind of catalog this year. Check out programs like Samaritan's Purse for "gifts" your family can request to change someone else's life.
  • Make your own garland using strips of paper. Write or draw the things that you are thankful for on each strip. Staple or tape the strip of paper together to create your garland. Use it to decorate your tree or put over a door as a reminder of God's many blessings.
  • Adopt a struggling family for the Christmas holidays. Try to choose children that are similar ages to your kids. Shop together to find the gift. Pray specifically for their family. Ask about needy families to adopt at the church or through the Angel Tree program sponsored by Prison Fellowship.

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10 Ways to Build Gratitude into Our Children's Hearts

November 23, 2020 by Darcy Kimmel

Character building is hard work, but it pays off big time in the lives of our children.

It’s a scene that we’ve all witnessed and one that’s all too familiar to most moms: a screaming kid having a tantrum in the aisle of some store because he is not getting something that he wants and thinks he deserves. We all feel for the mom because we’ve been there before, and we all whisper a quick prayer of thanks that this time it isn’t our child having the fit.

Many of us, hoping to put a quick end to this embarrassing scene, cave and give our child what he wants, only to have him start the entire process over again in the next aisle. One thing I have learned after raising four children is that giving our children everything they want does not make them more grateful. Instead it makes them more demanding and ungrateful.

I encourage moms to look over the horizon and see the child that they hope to usher into the future and be willing to do the hard work necessary to build that child from the inside out with character.

A compassionate parent—one who is looking out beyond the immediate—knows that gratitude is a life skill that every child needs to learn. An ungrateful person is unpleasant to be around, never satisfied. She lives with an attitude of entitlement and disappointment; she is not a happy camper, in other words, and not likely to succeed in life, love, and work.

Although character building is a 24/7/365 task for us as parents, there are some seasons and events that are custom-made to teach character to our children. This season of Thanksgiving gives us ample opportunities to reinforce the development of gratitude as a vital part of our children’s character.

Below are 10 ways to build gratitude into our children’s hearts:

1. Start with God. Make sure your children are reminded daily through words and actions that God is the giver of all good gifts. Without a lot of piety but with lots of sincerity, let your kids see you praising God for His daily provision.

2. Lead the way. Express your gratitude to your spouse and your children frequently. Make it a natural part of your conversation to point out the actions, attitudes, and attributes you have observed in them for which you are grateful. You are priming the pump with your children when they know you are grateful for them.

3. Stop your grumbling. Our children not only learn gratitude from us, they learn how to complain and whine from our example as well. The next time you’re tempted to gripe about your circumstances, take stock and have an attitude adjustment.

4. Less is more. Remember that indulging children only makes them less grateful for what they have. Next time you’re tempted to give them more just to keep them happy, stop and help them be happy with what they have.

5. Learn to say no. Our children have the same human nature that all of us are born with, and left unchecked, it will consume them. Don’t be afraid to put a limit on how much stuff they have or how many things they get to do. When you say no to some things, it makes your children notice and be grateful for those times when you say yes.


6. Teach them the value of what they have. One of the best ways to do this is to have them earn the next “want” that they have. When a child actually has to work for the money or privilege to satisfy a “have to have,” he or she will be much more appreciative of its value.

7. Help your children express their gratitude. Make sure you’re training your children to honor those who are serving them—their Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, piano teachers, coaches, and school teachers. Help them bake cookies or frame a special photo for them as a way of saying, “Thanks for all you do for me.”

8. Let them see the other side. Many times our kids are ungrateful because they have no idea how blessed they are compared to most of the world. Make serving others who are less fortunate a lifestyle. My husband, Tim, says in his book, Raising Kids for True Greatness, that the antidote to spoiled, rebellious kids is getting them out of their “me” world and into the world of others.

9. Count your blessings. Whenever possible, have your children recount the many ways God has provided for them that day. Before grace is said at the table, have everyone chime in with their latest blessings. And before evening prayers, review the day with your children as you remind them of God’s many blessings to them. Then encourage them to speak their thanks to God before they drift off to sleep.

10. Be patient. Your children’s natural propensity is to focus on what they want and not what they have. Any character trait takes time and practice to become a habit.

Character building is hard work, but it pays off big time in the lives of our children and in our future relationship with them. Remember to pray for your children and continue to model gratitude in your own life. Someday, they may surprise you with an unprompted “thank you.” When they do, try not to fall off your chair!

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Home Makeover 6: The Church Makeover

November 20, 2020 by Mark Holmen

God didn't intend the local church to be a drop-off centre for your children.  

Church is to be a partner in helping understand how to do a better job of equipping your home to be the primary place where faith is nurtured. 

Listen to more by clicking here.

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Home Makeover 5: The Extended Family

November 16, 2020 by Mark Holmen

Who is part of your extended family?  

God made the family as a multigenerational unit for a reason.  Everyone needs the wisdom and counsel of godly elders who may be family members or "familiar" people.  

Do your kids have an extended family?

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Volunteer Testimonies - Trunk or Treat 2020

November 13, 2020

Check out what our volunteers had to say about our recent community event!

We love and appreciate our volunteers so much! Watch as they share how much they enjoyed and were blessed by volunteering at our recent Trunk or Treat community event. Thank you, volunteers! We couldn't do it without you!

If you would like to share in the joy and blessing by volunteering, we have a Christmas Drive-Through Community Event on Saturday, December 12 from 5:30-7:30pm.  If you have questions, or would like to help out, please contact Lisa at

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Home Makeover 4: The Child Makeover

November 13, 2020 by Mark

Parents want what is best for their children.  

We all want our kids to avoid drugs, alcohol, violence, gangs and promiscuous sexual activity. We want them to get good grades and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

What part does FAITH play in leading them to make good choices and how can we be most effective in doing this as parents?

Click here to listen to more!

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Home Makeover 3: The Parent Makeover

November 9, 2020 by Mark Holmen

As parents, we pass on things to our children every day.

They're watching us, learning from us and emulating us.

The question is not ARE we passing things on - but WHAT are we passing on to our children.

Listen here for more:

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Home Makeover 2: The Basics

November 6, 2020 by Mark Holmen

Click here to listen to Home Makeover 2: The Basics

Your family needs a makeover. The first step in any recovery program is to admit that you have a problem. All families have problems and can benefit from a makeover. Let's begin construction on your Home Makeover!

In whose footsteps will your children follow? God designed the home to be the primary place where faith is nurtured and lived out, but how do we make this happen. Join us for part 2 of a six part discussion based on Mark Holmen's engaging book, Faith Begins at Home

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WRBC Trunk or Treat