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Operation Christmas Child

 

From children to seniors, people pack shoebox gifts each year to bless needy children in more than 100 countries around the world. Parents often use the project to teach their kids about giving. Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization run by Franklin Graham since 1970. 

You could start with a quality “wow” item such as a stuffed animal, soccer ball with pump, or clothing outfit that will capture the child’s attention the instant he or she opens the box. Lined paper and school supplies are particularly appreciated.

However, some items are NOT permitted: Candy; toothpaste; gum; used or damaged items; war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures; chocolate or food; seeds; fruit rolls or other fruit snacks; drink mixes (powdered or liquid); liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins; breakable items such as snow globes or glass containers.

Most importantly, pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal note and family photo in the box, which is due on Sunday, November 18, 2018.

For more information, contact Kathy Mannino at 386-601-4157.

Meet Christian children's author Lee Ann Mancini

 

Award-winning Christian children’s author Lee Ann Mancini writes whimsical stories, with characters who pray to Jesus, giving thanks or asking Him for guidance. She hopes that her books, including A Servant Like Jesus: Adventures of the Sea Kids, will help children learn to be loving, kind, and Christ-like.

Tell me about your background. Where you grew up, where you live now, education, work experience? Share some interesting things about yourself that we should know about.

I grew up in Aurora, Ohio, a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I now live in Boca Raton, Florida with my husband of 30-years and I have two grown children. I met my husband when I was a rental manager at Kelly Tractor. I rented my husband earth-moving equipment! I have an AS degree-paralegal, a BA in Religious Studies, and three Masters in Biblical Studies. I received my BA and Masters in my late 40's and early 50's! It's never too late. I started my publishing company and writing my books in my 50's as well. A few of my children's stories I wrote when my children were little but always had a desire to have them published. 

 What inspired you to write this book? What is the story behind the story?

 I wanted books that helped children see how to be loving and kind to others and to pray to Jesus asking guidance or giving thanks during a difficult situation. I could not find any of this type of book when my children were little. It is my mission to create products for children under seven that help them to build a strong foundation in Jesus and to learn how to be loving, compassionate and kind to others. 

 What has been your biggest challenge or obstacle?

 Learning how to become a successful writer and publisher. I knew nothing about the industry. The biggest obstacle is finding the time to do it all. I am an Adjunct Professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary, and I volunteer on a few other boards. 

 What has been your biggest “aha” moment or success?

 Receiving my first award from IBPA and since then receiving over 25 awards for the series.  Also, I sent out a questionnaire to the local Christian elementary school teachers with a galley of my book to get their opinion if they thought this was a book that should be published and/or any suggestions that they may have. It was an excellent conformation that what I was doing was the will of God. They were so kind to make some great suggestions and told me they (and the children) loved the book and hoped I would publish it and write more like it! 

Back to School

 

Excitement, jitters, new routines… it feels like a lot.

How do you go from perfectly lazy summer days to getting up early five times a week and staying on top of homework? Why not ease the Back-to-School transition with a family movie night? Here are a few suggestions to help everyone get in that back-to-school frame of mind.

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" (PG, 2010):

Greg (Zachary Gordon) is a 12-year-old transitioning from elementary school to middle school who schemes to improve his status in the social pecking order. Things don't always work out

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (PG, 2001):

Sure, buying supplies at Target isn't nearly as exciting as picking up books in Diagon Alley, but everything else about Harry's first year at a new school is just like yours, right? New friends. New teachers. Team sports.

"High School Musical" (TV-G, 2006):

The kids of East High are putting on a show and not all the drama's on the stage. Great fun, though. But beware: The songs are infectious and you'll be humming them for weeks.  

"Napoleon Dynamite" (PG, 2004):

Not everyone in high school is popular and beautiful. Sometimes they're, well, all-around awkward. And that's OK.

"Wonder" (PG, 2017):

A boy with facial deformities enters a mainstream school for the first time as a fifth-grader, causing the community to grapple with issues of compassion and acceptance. Starring Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts and based on a true story.

Can you remember going back-to-school? What was most exciting and rewarding about it? Invite your child to do the same.

Cleaning the steeple

 

Steeples provide a focal point, draw worshippers, and announce a church presence in our area. They are an essential element of church architecture and occasionally, they need cleaning. Pastor John McLaurin and church member Doug Dyer recently tackled ours!

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