Five Dinnertime Prayers We Love

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With how busy our lives can get, oftentimes the only time the whole family comes together to enjoy each other’s company is around the dinner table. This time together is a blessing, an opportunity to share each other’s triumphs and help each other through the struggle of our days. We know how important prayer is to a family, and beginning the bonding around the dinner table with a good prayer can set the tone for a great evening. Dinnertime prayer is especially important for kids enrolled in a religious private school, as taking a moment of their day to appreciate the Lord with their family will provide a much-needed moment of meditation and togetherness. We have listed below five wonderful prayers for every occasion to start your dinner off on the right foot.

When you only have a few minutes:

Bless us, dear Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

When you’re feeling especially grateful:

Give us grateful hearts,
O Father, for all thy mercies,
And make us mindful
Of the needs of others;
Through the grace of our Lord.
Amen.

When you need a chuckle:

Good food, Good meat, Good God, Let’s eat!

When you need a simple prayer for your child to lead:

A B C D E F G
Thank you, God,
For feeding me.
Amen.

When you feel the Lord with you:

Thank you, Lord. These are simple words but they come from simple hearts that overflow with the realization of your goodness.

We ask you to bless us as we eat, bless this food and bless the hands that prepared it. May the words of our lips spring forth from hearts of gratitude and may we bless others as we fellowship today.

Amen.

Encourage Gratitude by Counting Blessings with Your Kids

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It can be easy to forget the many reasons we have to be grateful. Kids (and if we’re being honest, adults too!) often live in a constant state of want. As soon as one desire is satisfied, another quickly takes its place. It’s an endless cycle that can only be interrupted by gratitude. For these reasons, and many more, it’s important to take the time to count our blessings with our children to help them understand gratitude and being thankful a bit better.

Looking Around to See Our Blessings

It might seem simple to talk about reasons to be grateful. But how often do we really take time to point out everyday blessings? Sure there are the basics: food, water, and shelter. But what about your kid’s favorite food or beverage? It’s good to feel especially thankful for those things that bring us a joy. Remind your child to be grateful for being blessed with friends and a loving family. The next time you go to the park, have your child point out a favorite tree or a favorite part of the playground; these are all blessings from God!

From Talk to Action

To better help your child remember to always count blessings, you can create a blessings chart together. Dry erase boards work great for this activity, but a piece of poster board is just as effective. Create a list of five blessings that your child can feel grateful for each and every day and list them in a column on the left-hand side of your chart. Some examples include, “I have a sister” or “I learned something new today”. Allow your kid to get creative. Then, in a row along the top of your chart write each day of the week. Every time your child mentions a blessing to be thankful for, add a sticker, a magnet, or draw a happy face on the blessings chart.

Gratitude During Hard Times

There’s no question that we live in an incredibly materialistic society. However, it’s important that you emphasize to your child that there is no enduring satisfaction to be found in worldly possessions. Cultivating a love of the Lord will afford you child genuine pleasure and purpose. It is important to trust in God when times are tough and to still be grateful regardless of the hardships we face. It’s through God’s enduring love that we overcome life’s many obstacles.

When kids can actually see the reasons they should thank the Lord for, they might truly feel more grateful. If you incorporate activities that promote gratitude into kids’ daily routines, they are more likely to remember to count their blessings instead of lamenting what they don’t have.

Another reason to feel grateful? You might be able to send your child to school for free. If you’re curious about private school in Las Vegas or you want to learn more about private Christian schools, contact us at (702) 939-5050. We’ll help you schedule a tour of CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes to see if it might be a good fit for your child.

Three Fun DIY Projects to Try This Weekend

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Las Vegas is an amazing place to raise a child, especially since you can now send your child to private school for free. However, during those Saturdays and Sundays that school isn’t in session, you can bring the whole family together with these three Christian related DIY projects that will make your children smile and help bring them closer to God. We’ve covered other bible-related arts and crafts and Christmas-specific crafts, and are excited to bring you even more ways to get some creative family time in.

Homeless Blessing Bags

Take the family down to the dollar store and pick up items such as socks, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, snacks, small bottled waters, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant, and other essentials that less fortunate people would be grateful to receive. You can then make ‘blessing bags’ (we suggest gallon size Ziploc storage bags to hold the items) together to keep in your car, and (under supervision) have your children bring them to the needy. They will never forget how much joy it will bring them to give to others generously, and you will never forget how proud having a kind and selfless child will make you.

Prayer Sticks

This is one of the best Christian projects that helps teach your kids how to pray and give thanks in a number of different ways. All you need is a jar, popsicle sticks, and a sharpie. Write down different methods of prayer that your family enjoys such as ‘read today’s gospel’ and ‘write in my prayer journal’ and whenever you need inspiration for how to give thanks on any particular day, you will have a jar full of ideas made with love.

Verse of the Week Board

For this craft, you’ll need a board and a clothespin for each member of the household, a hot glue gun, and as many colors and types of paint/glitter/buttons/feathers your heart desires! Have your little ones decorate the boards however they like, so long as they write ‘verse of the week’ somewhere on it. You can then glue the clothespins where appropriate and put a new verse on each child’s board every week (which can be hung in their rooms) for their own personal reflection and prayer whenever they see it.

You can discover even more fun family Biblical activities here! To learn more about Private Christian schools, private school in Las Vegas, or to schedule a tour of our school, contact us at 702-939-5050.

From Sympathy to Empathy: How to Teach Kids Christ-like Compassion

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As a faithful parent, you already know the importance of teaching empathy to your child. However, you might be wondering what concrete steps you can take to raise a more compassionate, Christian little one.

It’s easy to be sympathetic. You express your interest in people while still maintaining a safe distance. However, empathy actually requires you to imagine yourself as another person. Jesus was always sensitive to the plight of those in need, and it’s important to encourage the same thoughtfulness in your child.

Talk About Your Feelings

When you explain to your child why you’re feeling a particular way, you remind them that other people experience all the same emotions they do. Sometimes it might be frustrating when people act in certain ways. Remind your child that forgiveness is easier when we try to understand others’ motivations. If we are respectful when dealing with other people, they are more likely to treat us with respect.

Acknowledge When Others Display Compassion

Always remember the importance of leading by example. If you show compassion toward others, your child is more likely to show compassion too. When you see other people showing compassionate behavior, praise it. Prayer is also an effective way to help your child consider the needs and perspective of other people.

Try an Active Approach

The next time you’re watching TV or reading a book, ask your child how a character might be feeling. How is the character like your child? Another great activity to grow your child’s compassion involves a trip to the second hand store. Once you arrive, have your child look at all of the different pairs of shoes. Ask your child to pick out one pair in particular and to try to imagine the person who might have worn those shoes. What might life be like for that person? Does your child think that God plays an important part in that person’s life?

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Encouraging empathy is no easy task, but these ideas are sure to get you off on the right foot. By way of growing closer to others through empathy, you will help bring your child closer to God. For information on how to secure financial aid for private school we encourage you to contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.

Love & Logic Parenting 101

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Parenthood is a gift from God, yet it can sometimes test our resolve. As our children grow into adults, we grow along with them, into better parents. Sometimes these growth spurts can take a toll on the relationship we have built with our child, but by using the philosophies behind Love & Logic Parenting, the cost can remain at a minimum.

Love

Express the Love part of this method with empathy and humor. Your child should know that they can make poor choices, and your love for them will not be affected; unconditional love is the key to a healthy relationship. It’s also important to explain to them that at times, you will need their empathy for poor choices that you make as well.

Logic

Express the Logic part of this method by allowing your child to make decisions, and fail, in order to teach them how to make better decisions in the future. While it’s painful watching your child learn a lesson this way, it’s better that they fail when the consequences are still small, rather than later in life when they’re more prominent. It’s also the perfect opportunity to teach your children how you try make good decisions.

Have Faith in God, and in Your Child

As God trusts us to raise our children, so must we trust our children to learn from their mistakes, and from us. Give your children the opportunity to make the right decision the next time the same situation comes up again. Whether it’s remembering to bring home their homework, take their lunch to school, or completing a chore you asked them to do; give your children the chance to show you that they have learned the lesson you tried to teach them.

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)

Building a strong, respectful relationship with your child takes work. By following the Love & Logic techniques of empathy, humor, and decision making, you are helping to create a person with whom you will have an everlasting, strong bond with, and whom will have a greater chance to thrive as an adult. For information about financial aid for private school, please contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.

A Family Guide to Helping Others

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The definition of a strong family bond differs from family to family. While there is no right or wrong meaning, spending quality time together is one of the main ways to strengthen the familial unit. As a family of faith, you have one more obligation. Service to others is part of the contract between you and God, and what better way to strengthen your family, and community, than to serve God through community service?

Service with a Smile

The example of quality service was set by Jesus, as a way to connect to those around us. When we think of helping others, we may have the mistaken idea that it has to be a huge deal, with a great time commitment; it doesn’t. Helping someone might be as simple as giving them a ride somewhere, buying them some milk while you are at the store, or rolling their trash cans to the curb. Family members of all ages can help others and will feel joy for having done it. Service to others is an act of love which brings us closer to God.

Share You

Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. Many times, family members will complement each other in that manner, using their own strength where the other is weak. The same goes for service- find an area in which your family is strong and provide that to others. It might be baking cookies for a fundraiser, or organizing a group to clean up the local park. Someone in your community needs your strengths right now.

We Will Eventually Need Help Too

When life throws you a curve, and it will, remember to allow others to help you. Just as you have come to enjoy being of service to others, others wish to be of service to you too. Let your spouse, children, neighbors and community aid you in your time of need. It will bring you closer together, as well as closer to God.

Did you know that you can potentially send your child to private school for free? Even if you’ve filed for bankruptcy or have gone through some form of financial hardship, you may still qualify for financial aid. For information about financial aid for private school, please contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.

How to Be a Faithful Parent

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What does it mean to be a faithful parent? It means that not only do you trust in God, but you instill that trust into your children so that when life throws them a curve, they know who to turn to. This does not mean your work is finished, but it does involve coming to terms with the fact that you cannot control everything that will happen lives of your children. In fact, the older they get, the more they will realize it as well. It’s your job to explain to your children that knowing that God is there for them will give them comfort for life.

Perfection Is an Illusion

No human is perfect. Not only is perfection an illusion, it’s a waste of time. God doesn’t expect perfection from you, either as an individual or as a parent. At the end of the day, He simply wants you to live your life well and to have faith in Him. Teaching your children that perfection is unattainable, but that doing their best is the true goal, will aid in their self-esteem. Knowing that they don’t have to compete with their peers for God’s love is just another way of being a good and faithful parent.

Learn Together

We know that one of the best ways to teach our children is by setting a good example. The next time you stress about something, share it with your children and allow them to watch you lean on God for help. By doing this, you show them that you are human with your own limitations and that you need God during trying times. You can pray together in church and your children can help you to brainstorm solutions to difficult problems. The point is to show them that family and faith go hand-in-hand, so make efforts to blend these important values together.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness” (Lam.3:22-23 NIV).

For information about financial aid for private school, please contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.

How Jesus Will Help Children Change the World

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When you think about acts which make an impact on the world, you may be inclined to think about certain monumental acts; curing a disease, helping usher in world peace, etc. However, the truth is that having an impact on the world will come in the simple form of how you raise your own child. Future generations will change the world, but it is up to us to help guide our children on the right path. Here are a few suggestions to ensure that your children will be a part of the change process.

First Things First

Your children typically learn a great deal from watching what you do. Try to show them that you have made God a priority by reading scripture, engaging them in conversation about faith, and leaning on The Lord during times of turmoil. Pray with your children before bed and ask them if they would like you to pray for any specific individuals or purposes. This usually not only makes them feel loved and valued, but it is a wonderful way to open up a line of communication between you and your children. Lastly, be a part of your larger family of faith- church and focus on encouraging the entire family to build tight relationships with others who put God first.

Gratitude, Not Platitude

At times, life can be difficult and unfair. As challenging as life is, children have to learn these lessons for themselves. But by being truly grateful for the blessings in life which we are fortunate to receive, your children can lead a generally happy life through God. Being thankful is a state of mind; it means we don’t take the little things for granted. Appreciate the beautiful tree growing in the local park, as well as, your children helping with fixing dinner. One sincere thank you will go a long way with your children.

Mission Around the World

While most of us will never have the opportunity to visit faraway lands to spread the good word, or to aid the suffering of others; we can embrace those around us who have made an impact on those lands. Invite a local missionary to share the stories of their adventures with your family over a meal. These stories of working closely alongside of God can enlighten and inspire your children and could make them decide to do their own mission later on in life. While we all can’t hop on a plane to provide admirable charity services, there are still plenty of good deeds needed right in our local communities. Spread the vision of God, embrace your neighbors, and love each other to the best of your ability.

For information about financial aid for private school in Las Vegas, please contact CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes at (702) 939-5050.

Our Favorite Bible Related Arts and Crafts Activities

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It’s no secret that children love to get their hands dirty. Naturally creative, children gravitate towards all things colorful and hands-on, so it’s no surprise that arts and crafts time can be your child’s favorite activity. But just because it’s fun, doesn’t mean it can’t be meaningful as well. Here are a few ideas to help incorporate Biblical lessons with your child’s playtime:

Bible Story Art

A simple way to make art time fun and educational is to have your child draw out one of their favorite Bible stories. Have your child tell you the story as they remember it, then help them with the missing details. As your child draws the story, talk to them about the meaning behind the story and what God is seeking to teach us through this narrative. A great example is this take on the story of Jonah and the Whale by Meaningful Mama.

Miracle Crafts

Another fun thing to do is recreate Biblical miracles with your child. These craft projects will give your child a chance to visualize the miracles mentioned in the Bible, making them all the more significant and meaningful. Two fun crafts you can try are this recreation of Moses parting the Red Sea and this representation of Jesus feeding 5000 people. The experience of creating these crafts will be sure to imprint these miracles in your child’s memory.

Cross Creations

Arts and crafts can also be used to teach your children about the importance of the Cross in Christian belief and practice. Decorating and beautifying the Cross can be a way for you to discuss the beauty of Jesus’ sacrifice with your children. Try your hand at this colorful creation of a Cross emitting light from Housing a Forest, or this take on a stained-glass Cross from True Aim.

You can find more fun Biblical activities for your family here. To learn more about Christian education, private school in Las Vegas, or to schedule a tour of our school, contact us at 702-939-5050.

Jesus in the Old Testament

The Old Testament contains all Scripture that preceded the birth of Jesus. With Christ not making an appearance until much later in the story, the Old Testament can be challenging and inaccessible to ourselves and especially to children. How can we read and internalize the lessons of the Old Testament while being mindful of God’s promise to send his only Son? Here are key tips for looking for Jesus in the Old Testament.

are the teachings of Jesus in the Old Testament?

Promise and Fulfillment

The Old Testament is all about God’s promise to send a Messiah. Iconic stories such as the creation of the world, David and Goliath and Noah’s Arc can all be connected to this promise. Each Book of the Old Testament affirms our foundational belief:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

Essentially, Jesus is the fulfillment of this promise. We see how He fulfills the Scripture of the Old Testament through His various acts in the New Testament. To understand the full importance of Jesus, we must have knowledge of both testaments. When reading the Old Testament, see if you and your child can connect particular passages and stories to Jesus’ acts in the New Testament.

Human Nature

In the Bible, it’s important to remember that the figures we read about are people. Like us, biblical figures were created by God, struggle with original sin and seek to do His will. The Old Testament reveals this human nature through the actions of its characters and the events that unfold. Its stories underline the role and importance of Jesus, helping humans through trials and saving them from sin.

To connect Old Testament stories back to Jesus, kids need to reflect on Old Testament figures and make connections to the sins and virtues they experience in their own lives. Each member of the family can discuss how certain people or events of the Old Testament teaches them about their own lives.

Reading and understanding the Old Testament enriches the understanding of the foundation of Christian faith. It offers a more complete understanding of human sin and God’s promise to send a Savior. Finally, it challenges children and adults alike to connect their lives with the story of Jesus. CornerStone Christian Academy & Tykes aims to strengthen students’ connection with their Christian Faith. For information about financial aid for private school, please contact us today at (702) 939-5050.