Issue #10 - March 8, 2011              For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. ~ Jesus  


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1) Thank you!
2) SSTN Contest
3) Lessons for Girls?
4) Ash Wednesday Craft
5) Ash Wed. Lesson Plan

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1) Thank you!

Hello all,

I opened a letter today from one of my dear supporters who apologized for not sending in a support check last month, because her electric bill was unexpectedly high (I'm withholding her name, but she knows who I'm referring to). I immediately thought of the Widows Mite parable. I am humbled and honored by her donation and want to ask you to say a prayer for her. Her willingness to support this ministry, not only financially, but also with her ideas, is and has been, such a blessing to me personally! 

A public thank you goes out to YOU "dear one" from my heart today!

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><


2) SSTN Contest

The answer to the following questions may be found by using the search box at If you can find the answers, email them, along with the link, and you will win a 25% OFF coupon to an gift shop.

Question:  In each temptation in the desert, what three ways did Jesus resist Satan?  And how was he able to do so?

(To win your coupon, email the answer and link where you found it.)


3) Lessons for Girls?

I need help on what lessons to teach to my Sunday School Class (all girls; ages 12-16). We are just starting this new department to our Sunday School Class. Also, If you could help me find articles/lessons on why do we need Sunday School. Looking forward to your answer. Thank you for the newsletter.

--from SSTN: whether it is on Sundays or any other day of the week, we need Christian education. I would commend the following Scriptures to you: Deuteronomy 6:1-9; 2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 4:12. As to resources for girls, check out our teen resources in our affiliate bookstore at:, also use the bookstore search box to locate the book, "What Makes You Unique: Discover the Truth or Believe the Lie."





Ash Wednesday Craft

I'm fairly fuzzy on Ash Wednesday, being a member of the Nazarene Church where we don't do anything official to recognize Ash Wednesday; but I live in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood, and so am accustomed to the ash-on-the-forehead ritual.

My idea is simple - have yellow poster board circles ready, and self-adhesive pin backs (or safety pins and hot glue). You also need black markers or crayons, glue stick or stamper's glue pad, baby wipes, and some ashes. Your ashes need not be the ashes used for the ritual, if those are considered holy. Explain the significance of your ritual in terms the kids you are working with can understand. 

Have each child draw a smiley face (or something more sober, if that is more appropriate) on the poster board circle. Then each child rubs his thumb across the glue stick and marks the forehead of the face he has drawn. After wiping his thumb with a baby wipe to remove the glue and drying his hands thoroughly, the child takes his face to the "ash station," where you have a shallow dish with your ashes in it. The child presses his smiley face, face-down, into the ashes, then lifts. (they'll need baby wipes for hands after this step, too.) After allowing the glue to dry, the children can brush off the excess ash (on a sheet of newspaper to facilitate clean-up) with a cotton ball or soft rag. Apply the pin-back to the circle to make a pin to wear. If using hot glue, put a glob of hot glue on the back of the circle and quickly push the safety pin into it, with the side that opens facing out. 

Children can make two if time and supplies permit. Then they can explain the ritual and give the extra pin to the person who asked, giving each child an opportunity to witness.

Rhonda Sarver



Ash Wednesday Lesson Plan

I thought it might be helpful for those who are not familiar with Ash Wednesday--or who may never have observed it--to read my lesson plan for tomorrow's Ash Wednesday class.

Discuss the following with your students:
"What is Lent?" ( Lent means "lengthening" as in the lengthening of days in Springtime. It is the 40-day period leading up to Easter, not counting Sundays, because they are considered “mini-Easters.”  It is a time for Spiritual renewal, refreshing.)

"Why do you suppose it is 40 days long?" ( To remember that Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert—denying self—and didn’t give into Satan’s temptations. Jesus was without sin!)

"What does it mean to deny self?" (To not give into temptation. To turn away from anything that would limit or hinder your relationship with Jesus. To look to others needs over your own. )

What can be gained by fasting during Lent -- or anytime for that matter? ( By denying ourselves of something we enjoy eating or doing--that's what is meant by fasting, we identify with Jesus’ denial of self; then when we are tempted to eat or do that thing we are “giving up,” we can think about what Jesus did for us and pray and thank him for denying himself and going to the cross for our sake.)

Make Prayer Pretzels (directions in website too)
Pretzels were originally made by monks to ease their hunger during Lenten fasting. They shaped them to resemble crossed arms in prayer. The pretzels were made with flour and water and no yeast because in the Bible yeast symbolizes sin. The pretzel reminds us of our need to rid the sin in our own lives, and our need to repent and turn to Jesus for cleansing from sin. (See also: 1Corinthians 5:6-8.) 

As Christians, we need to examine our lives everyday, not just during Lent. We need to ask God to show us our sins: "Search us, O God..." as Psalm 139 requests, and receive God's cleansing, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin..." Psalm 51. 
What you do: Use ready-made breadstick dough in a can. Roll the dough into 12"-15" long ropes. Do not overwork the dough; otherwise, it becomes difficult to shape. To shape the pretzel: Begin by making a smile-shape with the dough. Take one end of the dough, the arm, and fold it down over the middle of the smile, overlapping just a bit. Do the same with the other arm. Sprinkle with coarse-grained salt (or sugar). Bake according to directions. (The smile-shape reminds us that when we are forgiven of our sins, our lives are gladdened! See vs.12.)

While the Prayer Pretzels bake,

Cut out paper crosses, write sins on them, and then read King David’s prayer of confession found in Psalm 51:1-12. Carefully burn the paper crosses (adults ONLY); then use the ashes to mark cross-shapes on foreheads. (In Old Testament times, ashes from animal sacrifices were placed on one’s head as a sign of repentance—turning from sin and turning to God.)

If time allows, play a pantomime game using the following words from Psalm 51: God - love - you - sin – wisdom - cleanse - evil - joy - hide - wash - face - bones – heart. Have one person act out the word. The person that guesses correctly acts out the next word. When you're finished playing the game, eat your Prayer Pretzels.

Close in prayer. (This semester we are studying the Names of God.
I will write God's names from the series on strips of paper and distribute them to kids. We'll then take turns thanking God for who he is by using his many names, e.g. “Thank you for being our Alpha & Omega, our Creator and Judge; for being ther King of Kings, and making me part of your kingdom; for being The Bread of Life, and feeding me spiritual food, etc.”) 

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><


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