Kids Talk About God

2007-08 Children's International Arts Festival Winner: Clarissa Magley

In 2008, at the age of 12, Clarissa Magley won a week for her family at Sweet Grass Ranch in Big Timber, Montana. Watch what happened when she found out she’d won!

Clarissa riding at Sweet Grass Ranch
Sweet Grass Ranch in Montana

Winning Art by Clarissa Magley, age 12

Question: Why does the Bible call Jesus “the Word”?

Clarissa’s Answer: “The Bible calls Jesus the Word because
everything was made through him, all things were formed
and put into place at the sound of his voice.”


Arkansas Girl Wins Montana Dude Ranch Vacation

Siloam Springs, Ark. June 24, 2008 — A 12-year-old girl from Siloam Springs, Ark. has been named one of 12 winners of dude ranch vacations by the Children’s International Arts Festival.

And because the festival is ongoing until March 31, 2009, other local children are invited to send in entries for a chance to win a similar vacation in the summer of 2009. Entry forms can be downloaded at

As her prize, Clarissa Magley, 12, will spend a week with her family this summer at Sweet Grass Ranch in Big Timber, Montana (

“The lady said I can ride horses all day long if I want,” said Magley, after being told over the phone by Sweet Grass Ranch owner Shelly Carroccia she had won. “I can’t believe it. It’s my dream come true. It’s the best day of my life. I can’t believe I won. This is so cool.”

Clarissa became a winner in the Children’s International Arts Festival by painting art to answer the question, “Why does the Bible call Jesus ‘the Word’?” (John 1:1-5). Her answer: “The Bible calls Jesus the Word because everything was made through him, all things were formed and put into place at the sound of his voice.” She illustrated this beautifully with a watercolor painting of Jesus creating the universe, which can be seen at

Clarissa is a home schooled sixth-grader. She was born in Hays, Kansas and moved with her family to Siloam Springs, Arkansas in 2005. In 2007 she won the Benton County Writer’s poetry contest. In May 2008 she won the Northwest Arkansas Aquatics logo contest and has authored and illustrated three books. Her latest book, Tumi, is available on Clarissa is also fluent in Italian.

Her parents are Rick and Lidia Magley. Rick is a graphic designer for Dayspring Cards, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Lidia has been an independent sales director for The Pampered Chef for 10 years.

Clarissa recently spoke by telephone with Shelly Carroccia of Sweet Grass Ranch in Big Timber, Montana. Clarissa loves animals and hopes to be a veterinarian some day, so she was thrilled to learn she’d be around horses for a whole week. She’s eagerly anticipating “getting to ride horses all day, because I love horses immensely.”

The Children’s International Arts Festival is sponsored by and participating dude ranches. Festival organizer Carey Kinsolving writes a weekly Kids Talk About God column, distributed through Creators Syndicate, and has produced a series of popular TV spots for ABC affiliate that can be seen on the Kids Talk About God website.

Kinsolving said the response to his work has been enthusiastic and heartwarming. Readers are reminded of what Jesus meant when he said we must enter His kingdom with the faith of a child.

“Children have a way of touching our hearts and reminding us that we must come to God with childlike faith,” he said.

To enter the festival and become eligible to win a dude ranch vacation prize, children ages 5 through 12 are asked to answer Bible questions and draw art to illustrate their answers. Selected drawings and essays will be published in Kinsolving’s latest project, the “Kids Color Me Bible Gospel of John.”

Clarissa encourages other kids to enter the online arts festival for future prizes. When asked what advice she might give other children who might submit festival entries, she said, “First ask God for help, read the Scripture repetitively until you understand it. Draw the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of your answer. Add humor to it.”

For entry information, visit and click on the “Children’s International Arts Festival” link. Information about the participating dude ranches also appears on the site.


Clarissa's thank you note

Subscribe to Kids Talk About God
Devotional Bible Lessons

Subscribe to to receive an email containing three devotional columns for free each week.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.