Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bonnie's Good Game List + Goodbye

I'm sure you've been at an event where games have been run before. Whether it's icebreaker games in a more formal group setting, vigorous games at a kids camp, competitive games at a birthday party.... games are great for having fun. And someone has to run those games.

I've had to run games at kids camps, birthday parties, family get togethers and all sorts in the past. I'm sure I will need to in the future, too.

So, given that it's likely you'll end up running games at some point in your life, how do you know what games to run?

Really, the best way I've found to find good games is to watch closely when others are running games and you're a participator. 

That way you can easily and quickly see if it works. How it's run. How it plays out in a group setting. What the group thinks of it. What group size it works with. And the best thing? It becomes tried-and-true.

Of course, you can go through a games book and pick out a couple that sound good. But you don't know how well they'll work because you haven't tried them before.

Whenever you're a participator and someone else is running games, take careful notice of what games they play. If you finish the game thinking, "that was fun!", "that was a good game!" or "I wanted to keep playing that game", you've quite possibly found a new game to add to your list of good games.

Now that I've just been preaching that the best way to find good games is to find them in real life, I'm going to give you a list of my favourite games. :P Haha.

Maybe you've heard them, maybe you haven't, but here are my top seven favourite games to run.

1. Ball Through Legs (I don't know it's actual name)
Group size: Any
Agility level: Somewhat high
Equipment needed: A ball

All participants, facing outwards, stand in a circle. Each participant has their feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Everyone must be touching the feet of his or her neighbour so the circle is continuous and there aren't any gaps in the circle of feet apart from in between the legs of individual players.
The aim of the game is to try and get the ball to go through the legs of another player, while keeping it away from the gap between your legs. Everyone is facing outwards of course, and they can only use their hands to push the ball around. As soon as the ball goes through someone's legs from inside the circle to outside the circle, that player is out. When someone is out, the circle must be closed up tighter.
Works well with vigorous people and can be quite hilarious because when you're facing outward with your hands in front of you so the ball doesn't go through your legs, it can be hard to see what's going on with the ball in the circle!

2. Empires
Group size: Between about 10 and 30ish would work best
Agility level: None needed
Equipment needed: Slip of paper for each player, pen for each player

Each player sits around the room. Everyone writes on their paper a secret name for themselves. It could be anything - Cleopatra, Gerald, Ferdinand, the name of someone in the room, whatever. All the papers are then folded and given to someone (best to be the player who won't know anyone's handwriting; or an innocent bystander). That someone reads out each name, one by one. Everyone tries to remember as many names as possible. The list of names is read twice. Then someone begins the guessing.
The aim of the game is to build your own 'empire' by correctly guessing which fake name belongs to which player.
For example, I might say to Danella, "Danella, are you 'Herbert'?" If Danella's secret name wasn't Herbert, Danella would then be able to guess. If, however, I had guessed correctly, Danella would leave her seat and come sit next to me. She would have become part of my empire. I could then have another turn.
While my own secret name remains unguessed,  I am able to guess others and add them to my empire. As soon as my name is guessed, me and my whole empire of people I have guessed go and join the empire of the person who found out my secret identity.
The winner is the person who stays right to the end and remains unguessed. They will end up with the entire group of players in their empire.
This is a truly great game. :) Definitely one of my favourites!

3. Balloon Stomp
Group size: Any - more is better!
Agility level: High
Equipment needed: Piece of string (1-2 feet long) and a balloon for each player

Each player blows up a balloon and attaches it to their ankle using the piece of string. Upon the game beginning, players must run around and try to stomp on everyone's balloons using their feet. If your balloon is stomped on, you are out. Of course, each player is trying to get others out while protecting his or her own balloon. The last player with an intact balloon is the winner.
This is always a high-energy game that is rather fun to watch.

4. Taco, Nacho, Burrito
Group size: Any
Agility level: Low
Equipment needed: None

All players stand in a group with the leader in front of them, like in Simon Says (I'm going to assume you know how to play that one!). The leader turns around so his or her back is to the group. Each player standing in the main group then individually chooses and assumes a position - either Taco, Nacho or Burrito.
Taco = Arms out to the side
Nacho = Hands above head with fingertips touching forming the point of a triangle
Burrito = Forearms together up against chest
When the group is all in a position, the leader quickly chooses and assumes a position also and turns round to face the group. Each player who is in the same position as the leader is out and must sit down. The game is played as many times as it takes to whittle the group of standing players down to one, who is the winner.
This is a great game and works well with people of any age. Warning: it doesn't take very long! Don't play it if you're looking for a long game.

5. Plain Clothes Man
Group size: Any reasonable size
Agility level: High
Equipment needed: Handkerchief or small object

One player goes out of the room, while the others stand in a fair-sized circle, putting a handkerchief or small object on the floor in the middle. They also settle upon one of their number to be the plain clothes man.
The one from outside is then called in; he is of course ignorant of the identity of the detective. His aim is to snatch up the object from the middle of the ring and escape without being touched. Those forming the circle must be careful to stand sufficiently far apart to allow fair gaps between each two players. As soon as the thief has picked up the object, but not before, the plain clothes man may spring after him and try to touch him, but if both thief and plunder get to the outside of the ring then they are safe.
I haven't actually tried this game myself yet (I know, shocking!) but it sounds like a really good game and I'm planning to try it. I have a friend who has tried it and said it works great, so it is tried and true. :P

6. Picture and Sentence
Group size: Upwards of four or so, large numbers don't matter at all
Agility level: None
Equipment needed: A strip of paper and a pen/pencil per player

The game begins with each player writing a short sentence or phrase at the top of their strip of paper. It could be anything, from "The apple has a worm in it" to "I can't tell the time".
Then the papers are passed around to the next player, which direction it doesn't matter, as long as the direction is the same the whole game. We usually pass the paper to the player on our right.
Each player then looks at the sentence on his new paper and draws a picture of the sentence underneath it. If it was my first example, for example, I would draw an apple with a worm in it. Then the sentence is folded back so only the picture can be seen, and the papers are passed once more.
Each player then looks at the picture and writes a sentence below it describing the picture. When that is done, they fold the picture back so only the sentence is visible and pass it on again.
The game continues in this vein. If a picture is visible, you write a sentence; is a sentence is visible, you draw a picture. The pictures don't have to be incredible- stick figures are always good! :)
When you've filled up the whole strip of paper and you get to the bottom, the game ends. Unfold the papers and pass them around for general enjoyment. No one wins but everyone wins. I guess it's not such a 'game' as such but I'm putting it in the list because it's really good still. The papers are often hilariously funny.
This one is a favourite in my family. It's especially great to play with friends.

7. Continuous Tag
Group size: Any - the more players, the longer the game will go for.
Agility level: High
Equipment needed: None

This is a game of tag where every player is in. The only way to tag someone is to touch them below the knee. The rules are simple: If you are tagged below the knee, you are out for the time being and must sit down where you were tagged. Then you watch the person who tagged you. When someone else tags them, you are allowed up again and can run around tagging others below the knee as before. Basically, if you're tagged, you're down, if the person who tagged you is down, you're up.
It's called Continuous Tag because it keeps going - players popping up and down all the time.  The only way to win is to tag every player, hence the game is more difficult with more players. You will likely find it keeps going on forever because none of the players can tag everyone - so stop it when you see fit.

And there you go! My seven favourite games. I tried to pick ones you may not have heard of before.

Also, to completely change the subject, Danella and I are going on an overseas missions trip for three and a half weeks leaving on the 13th of November. Annnnnd given that I probably won't have much internet access (also I will be kind of busy) and that I haven't scheduled ANY posts to cover that period, you get to have a break from posts being posted on Bonnie's Blessings for a month or so!

So, I hope you have a fantastic month and that you don't miss me too much... and I'll tell you about the trip when I get back!

(Also this is my 550th post!!!)

God bless you! (Also what are your favourite games?) Wow that was a lot of 'Also's.
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Monday, 9 November 2015

Your Man Needs Prayer

Someday, Lord willing, I hope to marry a wonderful Christian man.

I believe in the power of prayer. I also believe that each of us can do with as much prayer as possible! :)

Since at the moment I don't know who this wonderful Christian man is, I think it's a good idea to pray for him (okay, okay, I'd still pray for him even if I did know who he was). He might be going through hard times. He might not even be a Christian at this exact moment. Whoever he is and wherever he's at, I think it's a good idea to pray for him. So I do.

Over the past year or so, I've been writing letters to my husband-of-the-future. I've been writing them and then putting them all into a special box which I hope to present to my husband one day. And, just recently, I've started writing down some of my prayers for him and popping them into the box, too.

Some people are into notes and stuff. Others aren't. Whether I marry someone who likes encouraging notes and letters or not, I think he'll still appreciate it! Besides, there's something so special about being prayed for. And I'd love to receive prayers that had been prayed for me years before! Who wouldn't?

I wouldn't normally put this sort of thing on my blog. But I was writing one of my prayers for my future husband down and it struck me that maybe there might be some girls out there who would like to do it, too, only, they haven't thought of it yet.

You can never start too young! Why not start today, if you feel like that's something you'd like to do. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Just from your heart. Your heart's desire for your future husband... prayers that his walk with the Lord would be strong.... anything really.

There's some lovely inspiration for prayers and things on this website. I also really love the book 'The Power of a Praying Wife' by Stormie Omartian. Sure, it's about wives praying for their husbands, but I don't see any reason us girls can't get a head start on the praying by starting early!!!!!! :)

And for you young men reading this - feel free to do the same if you're so inclined. I don't think I know any young lady who wouldn't be enormously blessed receiving handwritten-with-love prayers for them from before the young man even knew who she was!

May you be richly blessed today! :)
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Friday, 6 November 2015

A + A // Such an exciting $5 note

- Having one of those awkward days when you drop just about everything you pick up, dirty just about every article of clothing you wear and stuff up many of the sentences you say.
- Being asked directions to somewhere you don't know.
- Knowing someone's name, but saying the wrong name because your brain decided to pop that in the sentence to surprise you.
- Being given wrong information to find something so not being able to find it.
- When you're making a customer's sandwich and they creepily stare at you the whole time. Most people look at the sandwich I'm making, but this guy watched ME the. entire. time. Totally weird (and it makes you wonder if a gigantic iguana lizard is sitting on your head and making faces at the guy).
- Discovering new ways to accidentally embarrass yourself in public that you hadn't discovered previously.
- Walking along and watching something so intently on one side of you you bang into a stationary object in front of you.
- Being so tired you ask the same question about four times because you couldn't remember the answer given.
- Driving home from something late at night with your sister, and you come to an intersection and wonder which way to go. You reckon you should go right, your sister reckons left. She turns right (for some reason - she should have known my sense of direction is really bad!) and you go down that street for a while and eventually decide you are now well and truly lost. This happened more than once on that same drive back home.
- When two people are casually talking about something really interesting and you want to join in their conversation... but they're two strangers and probably wouldn't like some random person joining in!
- Discovering your littlest sister getting into the banana box something like the fourth time in one day.That girl is an absolute banana addict and doesn't take any notice of consequences!

- Being able to casually pun. Case in point:
Coworker (busily tying up a rubbish bag): "Hey, look, a bean bag. This looks comfy."
You: "That looks comfy?! Rubbish!" ;)
- Waking up when it's light outside and going for an early morning walk. There's something special and sort of magical about the world in the early morning.
- Getting to see and bring home one of the new $5 notes (New Zealand is changing the look of some of its money). It looks pretty cool.
- The Bible in 50 words:

- My newest favourite quote, from a Winnie the Pooh book by A.A. Milne:
“Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?'
'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought.
- Spending time with the Lord and coming away from it feeling completely refreshed. :)
- Beautiful colours in nature. God made us an amazing world!
- Finishing off a packet of something ON THE DAY OF ITS EXPIRY.
- Going shoe shopping and finding nice shoes that you like, that are comfortable, and that are on sale for a rather good price.
- When you say something and someone else says exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. It's quite a neat feeling, really.
- Finding money you didn't even know you lost

What is your favourite quote?
If you're a New Zealander, have you seen the new currency yet?
Had anything super awkward or awesome happen to you lately?
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

From Access to Kingship

I want each of you to imagine a house in your mind's eye.

It can be any house. Your house, your dream house, a palace, a mud hut, whatever. Decorate it however you like, whether you want to have soft leather couches in the living rooms or ornate carved pillars in the formal hallway. You choose.

This house represents your heart.

After you've had your house for a while, it gets a bit dirty. Some cobwebs start appearing up by the corners of the ceilings. Dust gathers on the windowsills. The sheets on the beds get a bit dirty. Maybe sticky liquid gets spilled on those soft leather couches.

And we start to notice the dirt. We don't like dirt in the houses of our hearts. So we try to fix it ourselves. Maybe we try to sweep up the cobwebs. We might wash the sheets. But the dirt keeps coming back, and no matter what we do we just can't get the stain off those soft leather couches!

And all the time while we're trying to frantically clean up our house, a professionally trained cleaner is standing, knocking, at the door. Eventually we get sick of all the dirt everywhere and invite the cleaner in to our hearts. The cleaner's name is Jesus.

But lots of us stop there. We invite him in and show him into the kitchen. We politely give him a seat and show him the dirty stove top and fridge, which he lovingly helps us clean. Then he sits down at the kitchen table for a while and waits for us to talk to him and tell him where you would like cleaning. We awkwardly stand there, hoping he doesn't ask to see the living room, with those stained couches and dusty mantelpieces.

Jesus helps us clean where we ask him to, he mops the muddy kitchen floor and even ventures out into the foyer (at our request) to mop out there, too.

Our kitchen's nice and clean. But the whole house of our conscience is still rather dirty, because we haven't granted him access to our entire house!

You see, we shouldn't grant Jesus just access to the domain of our hearts. We must grant him ultimate kingship. 

We must give him the key to the cleaning cupboard, then step back and say, "Lord, you have complete reign over my entire heart. Clean my house. I don't want to live with the dust and dirt of my sin anymore. Cleanse me completely - I want to be clean. Do whatever it takes, no matter how painful the process is."

We must surrender our cherished cleaning cupboard key. Because he is a gentleman and will politely wait for us to tell him what we want him to clean. But He is so much more effective in our lives if we allow him to cleanse us completely and purify us utterly... from all sin.... not just the sin we're not uncomfortable about!

Give Him ultimate kingship and reign and access over ALL your heart. Don't just give him little bits here and there. That implies you're still in charge. Make him in charge. Give him the responsibility. He is a cleaner like no other.

Psalm 51:2
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Hebrews 9:14
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

No matter how embarrassed you are to give him the key of your cleaning cupboard, knowing full well how stained your soft leather couches are, give him the key. Throw wide your doors and let the light in to your house.

Give him kingship. Not just access.
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PS. I'm back!! I know you missed me terribly :P