5 Facts About Christianity

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*Not suitable for children*

It seems like everyday I come across another misunderstanding on the internet about our Dear Lord Jesus. I thought I would address some of these today.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

1. Jesus wasn’t a tall, white man with long hair.

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The New Testament gives no description of Jesus. We can only figure out what Jesus would have looked like by looking at the time and place in which he lived.

Isaiah 53:2b says: “he [Jesus] had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

Common Jewish traditions meant men had beards – and were humiliated to have a shaven face.

His hair would not have been that long. Not only does Paul says many did not like it that way, but, as a carpenter, it would have gotten in the way.

He probably had a lot of muscles, as working with the wood and stones would have been very laborious.

His family were not rich, so his robe would have looked like all others.

As we read in numerous verses, Jesus looked much like all other Jewish males of the time, and we need to remember that looks have nothing to do with the power and majesty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Is this so bad? Personally, while I think it’s important to know the truth and understand his appearance doesn’t mean anything, we can also view it as

2. Magi, Wise Men, or Kings?

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Almost every Christmas carol mentions either three Magi, three Wise Men, or Three Kings. But who were they?

We don’t know how many there were. It is commonly thought to be three because they gave gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but it could have been two, or numerous.

They were not Kings. They would have been scholars who were fluent in the Old Testament and knew the signs to look for. They came from the East (the orient), which was possibly Persia or Babylon, etc.

3. The Wise Men were not at Jesus’ birth.

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In Matthew 2:1-12 we read that the Wise Men came looking for Jesus after he was born. They approached King Herod, who then proceeded to call together all of his “chief priests and teachers of the law”. From here, the Wise Men went all the way to where Jesus was. This could have been back in Nazareth since time had passed, although it was probably in Bethlehem because when Herod had the babies killed, it was the cry out of Ramah.

Herod’s order decreed the death of the children under two years old, so time must have passed.

4. They counted the days differently.

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If Jesus was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday, how could he have been dead for three days? The answer lies in how the days were counted back then.

We can read more in-depth about it HERE, but there are two ways to calculate Jesus’ death and resurrection as three days.

1.

DAY 1 DAY2 DAY 3
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“The solution is simple when we learn that according to Jewish custom any part of a day, however small, is included as part of a full day. “Since the Jews reckoned part of a day as a full day, the ‘three days and three nights’ could permit a Friday crucifixion.””

2. 

“The verses above tell us that the Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish Calendar year. This corresponds to our months of March-April. It is possible, then, that this Passover could have occurred during the week with the Saturday Sabbath following. Since Lev. 23:5-7 tells the people to rest on the first day (not the last day Saturday), this is a type of Sabbath occurrence. Therefore, perhaps the following chart could represent a Thursday crucifixion and a subsequent set of three “night and days” before the Sunday resurrection.”

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
13th of Nisan 14th of Nisan 15th of Nisan 16th of Nisan
THU
starts at
sundown on Wed.
THU
ends at sundown
FRI
starts at sundown on Thu . . .
FRI
ends at
sundown
SAT
starts at sundown on Fri.
SAT
ends at sundown
SUN
starts at sundown on Sat.
SUN
ends at sundown
Night Day Night Day Night Day Night Day
Passover/Crucifixion Sabbath He rose

“Something worth mentioning concerning this is that in the Greek in Matthew. 28:1, it says “Now after the Sabbaths [PLURAL], as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.” It is possible that there may have been two “sabbaths” during that week. The first may have been the Passover related “Sabbath” and the second may have been the Saturday Sabbath.”

5. Jesus had brothers and sisters.

You’ve probably heard about Jesus, human-father Joseph, and the Virgin Mary. But did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters born after him? In numerous places in the New Testament, we read about Jesus’ siblings. These would have been his half-siblings, as Joseph was not his father (God was).

There is a great website, HERE, that explains it perfectly. Excerpts include:

“Jesus’ brothers are mentioned in several Bible
verses. Matthew 12:46Luke 8:19, and Mark 3:31 say
that Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him. The
Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James,
Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also
tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named
or numbered (Matthew 13:56).”

So, hopefully you’ve learned a bit about Christianity. I will be adding more Facts About Christianity, so make sure to subscribe and check back.

Adult Colouring Books

To my last breath I will attest that I was the one who brought back this ‘adult colouring-in’ trend.

As a primary school scripture teacher, I do a lot of colouring-in of simple black and white pictures to help bring them to life for the kids (links to Year 1/2 puzzles HERE, and Year 4/5 puzzles HERE). Despite the pictures being quite simple, I immediately felt relaxed; like I was transported back to the carefree days of my childhood, where the only thing we had to do for homework was to create a title page for our exercise books.

So I wasn’t surprised when adult colouring books became the new trend.

For those of you that are unaware, adult colouring books are much like regular colouring books, except they include intricate designs, like geometric patterns.

I had so far been avoiding them – not really seeing the appeal of spending time doing something to never be able to use again – but I caved in and bought these two the other day:

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I saw the Harry Potter one first, and got the other one because I was interested to give it a go.

The designs were really well done and actually quite beautiful.

I decided to start with Harry. I think it was about $16 from Target.

As you can see, I haven’t fully finished it, but it is definitely cool. There are a LOT of pictures to colour-in, and it takes you through the whole movie series.

For about $10 in Coles grocery store, I got ‘New Idea: Around the World Colouring Book’.

The first design that caught my eye was Elvis!

Not only does this book have great colouring pages, but they also have really intricate dot-to-dot activities.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t really like how it turned out. Maybe I didn’t do it properly, but it just seemed a bit weird (and yes, I know that is only half of it, but I am referring to the doubling-up of lines).

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In keeping with this new colouring trend, I have started making my own, with film, TV, etc., designs. Check them out HERE.

Let me know in the comments section if you’ve done any adult colouring, and what you think of it!

12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge

Last one! Credit to you if you stayed with me this long. =)

Today I’ll be continuing the 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge by ScaleSimple.

You can find Day 1 HERE, and Day 2 HERE, Day 3 HERE, Day 4 HERE, Day 5 HERE, Day 6 HERE, Day 7 HERE, Day 8 HERE, Day 9 HERE, Day 10 HERE, and Day 11 HERE.

DAY 12. What are you grateful for this Christmas?

Every night when I say my prayers, I list ten things I am thankful/grateful for. I’ve been focusing on doing it for about a month now, and it really makes a difference in perspective.
With the annual celebration of the birth of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus coming up, it is a time to remember all the things God has done for us, and thank him for them.
This year, I am thankful for the following (not a complete list):
  • My sister and her fiancée having a safe trip to America
  • My career/work getting on track
  • Health improving (whole family)
  • Able to catch-up with friends a bit more
  • Learning more about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and everything
  • Chatting with new people I’ve met through this blog
  • Brother taking a break from his job to work and relax overseas
  • Being able to teach scripture to kids in schools
There are so many things to be thankful/grateful for, and this is just a short list of them.
What are some of the things you’re grateful for this Christmas? Let me know below, or start your own 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge.

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Picture by ScaleSimple

I nominate: This week’s new followers on Instagram.

The Birth of Jesus – Year 5 scripture lesson

*UPDATE – the lesson went great; much better than I expected. The jigsaw puzzles were a big hit, and even got some of the more-troubling kids eager to work.*

I wrote about my Year 1 and 2 ‘birth of Jesus’ scripture lesson (here), so here is my Year 5 ‘birth of Jesus’ scripture lesson.

For this lesson, I was wracking my brain to figure out a way to make it engaging and entertaining. With the end of the year coming closer, the kids are harder to control. I also wanted them to always remember having fun learning about Jesus – and the Christmas story is one of the most important (in my opinion the Easter story is the most important).

After finding a brilliant age-appropriate book called Bible Stories for Children (I wrote about it here), I have decided to read it to the kids, after getting them to complete puzzles that reveal pictures that will help us tell the story.

Here it is.


Good afternoon everyone.

Today we’re going to do things a little differently. You’re going to work in a few groups to work out some jigsaw puzzles, and we’re going to use the pictures to help us tell a story.

Hand out jigsaw puzzles.

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Great, so we’ve got all these pictures. I’m sure most of you already know what today’s lesson is going to be about.

Q. Who can tell me what special day is coming up? We celebrate it every year, near the end of December? Christmas

Today we’ll be hearing the story of the first Christmas, the birth of Jesus, and we’ll be using these pictures (indicate completed jigsaws) to help us.

*Read the book/story while pointing to appropriate puzzle pictures*

CONCLUDING PRAYER: Dear God, // Thank you for sending Jesus. // Help us in these last few weeks. // Amen.

Activity sheet –

find-a-word

The Birth of Jesus – Year 1 and 2 scripture lesson

With Christmas quickly approaching, it is now time to plan my scripture classes. While there are many websites out there with lessons you can use, I thought I would share what I did. For the most part, in keeping with the great work already done by others, I took what was already written, using ‘The First Christmas’ by Gaby Goldsack and Caroline Pedler (available for purchase here). I also wrote a post about the book here.

But more than just reading the book, I wanted to make the lesson more interactive and enjoyable for the kids.

In my limited experience, the end of the year approaching is making the kids extra restless. With their attention hard to capture and keep, I wanted to get them involved in telling the story. In the past, I was randomly choosing children to hold pieces of paper with pictures up for the rest, but that always had people missing out.

For this lesson, I have decided to have a box filled with items I will take out and help me tell the story. Here, I will simply post the pictures of the items.

Here we go!


Good morning/afternoon everyone.

Q. Who can tell me what’s something very special that’s coming up. We celebrate it every year near the end of December? Christmas

Today we’re going to talk about Christmas, the story of baby Jesus.

I have a box with some items inside. One by one I’ll pull one out, and it will help us tell our story.

*Reading the book while pulling out these items -*

ITEM: Nazareth street sign (made myself)

ITEM: Mary, Joseph, donkey, stable, Jesus in the manger, stable (here)

ITEM: an Angel (can’t find it)

ITEM: Bethlehem street sign (made myself)

ITEM: mean King Herod (here)

ITEM: Wise men (here)

ITEM: star (I can’t remember where I found this one)

ITEM: pyramid (here)

CONCLUDING PRAYER: Dear God, // Thank you for sending Jesus. // Help us in these last few weeks. // Amen.

Activity sheets –

1) Colouring-in (found on AZColoring)

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2) Find-a-word (made using Puzzle Maker)

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The kids really enjoyed the activities, especially the find-a-word.

All in all a very successful lesson and I can’t wait to figure out the next lesson.

Christian books haul!

After a painful and costly trip to the dentist, I decided to enjoy a trip to the closest shopping centre. Much to my surprise, one of the discount book stores had some Christian Christmas books for sale – even displayed out the front!

As a volunteer primary school scripture teacher, having books like these will not only be great to read to he kids, but also help me to learn how to condense the important Bible stories in language they will understand.

Here are the books I got:

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6x illustrated short Bible stories –

Daniel and the Lions, Joseph’s Colourful Coat, Jonah and the Big Fish, The Miracles of Jesus, The Easter Story, David and Goliath.

These are very easy for kids to understand, and the illustrations are just darling. They were $6 each.

1x Bible Stories for Children

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It might not look it, but this is a MASSIVE book (height-wise). The stories are a bit more advanced in language, but the illustrations are amazing. I am actually planning on using this book for my year 5 ‘birth of Jesus’ scripture class. (Click here to check out this lesson).

This was $27.95 down to $9.99.

1x Children’s Picture Bible (Old and New Testament stories retold)

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This is a very comprehensive book. It includes illustrations to help the kids understand better, and includes both Old and New Testament stories.

This was $20.

4x Christmas stories –

A Christmas Carol, The First Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

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Each one of these is a classic. They are short stories, and are small enough that you can bring all of them on your Christmas holiday.

They tell the story in clear language, and I used The First Christmas in my Year 1 scripture class today (lesson found here).

This bundle was $20 for all four.

So that’s my haul, and I am really pleased regular stores still sell Christian books.
Let me know what you have found.