Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jonah and the Whale

Jonah 1-3:3a

The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. I see the evil things they do.”

But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord. He went to the city of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard. He wanted to go to Tarshish to run away from the Lord.
But the Lord sent a great wind on the sea. This wind made the sea very rough. So the ship was in dan-ger of breaking apart. The sailors were afraid. But Jonah had gone down into the ship to lie down. He fell fast asleep. The captain of the ship came and said, “Why are you sleeping? Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe your god will pay attention to us. Maybe he will save us!”
Then the men said to each other, “Let‟s throw lots to see who caused these troubles to happen to us.” So the men threw lots. The lot showed that the trouble had happened because of Jonah. Then Jonah said to the men, “I am a Hebrew. I fear the Lord, the God of heaven. He is the God who made the sea and land.”
The wind and the waves were becoming stronger. The men said to Jonah, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down?”
Jonah said, “Pick me up, and throw me into the sea. Then it will calm down. I know it is my fault that this great storm has come on you.”
“So the men cried to the Lord, “Lord, please don‟t let us die because of taking this man‟s life. Please don‟t think we are guilty of killing an innocent man. Lord, you have caused all this to happen. You wanted it this way.” Then the men picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea. So the sea became calm. Then they began to fear the Lord very much. They offered a sacrifice to the Lord. They also made promises to him.
And the Lord caused a very big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights.
While Jonah was in the stomach of the fish, he prayed to the Lord his God. Jonah said, “I was in dan-ger. So I called to the Lord, and he answered me. I was about to die. So I cried to you, and you heard my voice. You threw me into the sea. I went down, down into the deep sea. The water was all around me. Your powerful waves flowed over me. I said, „I was driven out of your presence. But I hope to see your Holy Temple again.‟ The waters of the sea closed over me. I was about to die. The deep sea was all around me. Seaweed wrapped around my head. I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise. I thought I was locked in this prison forever. But you saved me from death, Lord my God.
“When my life had almost gone, I remembered the Lord. Lord I prayed to you. And you heard my prayers in your Holy Temple. People who worship useless idols give up their loyalty to you. I will give praise and thank you while I give sacrifices to you. I will make promises to you. And I will do what I promise. Salvation comes from the Lord!”
Then the Lord spoke to the fish. And the fish spit Jonah out of its stomach onto the dry land.
Then the Lord spoke his word to Jonah again. The Lord said, “Get up. Go to the great city of Nineveh. Preach against it what I tell you. “
So Jonah obeyed the Lord. He got up and went to Nineveh.

Discussion Questions

  • Where did God tell Jonah to go? Nineveh 
  • Did Jonah obey? No, he tried to run away from God 
  • How did the sailors get the storm to stop? They threw Jonah into the water 
  • What swallowed Jonah? A very big fish 
  • How did Jonah get out? He prayed to God 
  • Did Jonah finally obey? Yes, he went to Nineveh


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of Jonah and the reminder that we should obey your commands. Help us to be thankful for all the great things you have done for us.   Amen.

Bible Verse for October

“God is with you wherever you go.”     Joshua 1:9


Taste the Difference

Materials: 1/4 cup salt in a bowl 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl Orange, peeled and sectioned One square unsweetened baking chocolate, unwrapped One plain milk chocolate candy bar, unwrapped Paper towels

Guide Your Child to:

  1. Look at the bowls of salt and sugar and guess which is which without tasting them.
  2. Dip an orange slice in one bowl of his choice. Taste it and tell whether it was salt or sugar.
  3. Look at the two pieces of chocolate and tell which one looks like it will taste best.
  4. Break a small piece off of the one that looked the best. Try it to see how it tastes. Now try the other one to see how it tastes.

Talk About:

  1. Was it easy or hard to tell the difference in the salt and sugar, or the sweet and the bitter chocolate by just looking? Did you make the right choice and get the taste you wanted?
  2. Sometimes it‟s hard to choose what‟s right. What choice did Jonah make at the beginning of the story? Did he make the right choice or the wrong choice? What happened?
  3. How about at the end of the story? Did he make the right choice or the wrong choice?
  4. What choice would you make?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Isaac is Born

Genesis 18; 21

One hot day, Abraham was resting near his tent.  He heard footsteps.  Three men were standing nearby.  Abraham went out to greet them.  “Would you like to rest in the shade?  We have plenty of cool water to drink.  Can I get you something to eat?” 

Abraham told Sarah about the visitors. He asked her to make a tasty meal. 

While they were eating, the three visitors shared some exciting news.  They said, “Your wife is going to have a son.” 

Sarah heard what they said.  She laughed, thinking, I am too old.  God asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh?  Anything is possible with the Lord.” 

Sure enough, the next year, Sarah had a baby boy.  They named him Isaac.

Discussion Questions

· Who told Abraham that he was going to have a son? (God)
· Why did Abraham think he couldn't have children? (He was too old.)
· Who laughed when told about having a child? (Sarah)
· What was the son’s name? (Isaac)


Dear God,  Thank you for always keeping your promises.  Help us learn that sometimes we have to wait for your promises.  Amen

Bible Verse for October

“God is with you wherever you go.”     Joshua 1:9


Conversation Starter:  Possible or Impossible

1.  Possible or Impossible?-Have children tell you about a favorite cartoon or movie. When children mention something that's possible or impossible for a character to do  you ask  would that be possible for someone to do in real life? Why or why not?

Say: Sometimes it's hard to tell which things on television are really real and which are only pretend. Television can look very real, but not everything on television is true or even possible. The people who make TV shows use photography to make things look possible when they're really not.

2Fantasy Book- You were good at telling me which things were impossible in the cartoon. Let's see if you can tell which things are impossible in a book.

Read any short fantasy book such as The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. Discuss which things in the book couldn't happen in real life and which things could.

3. Possibility-: Now I want to tell you a story from the Bible (re-read Isaac is Born story), and you tell me if it's possible or impossible.

The nice thing about anything we read in the Bible is that it's always true and always possible. God can do anything, even if it seems impossible to us. You may not always be sure of everything on television or in books, but you can always be sure of God and the words in the Bible.

Hannah Prays

1 Samuel 1:1-20

Hannah loved God.  She wanted to have a baby, but she wasn’t able to have any children.  Hannah and her husband went to the tabernacle. She prayed to God, “If you will give me a baby boy, I will see that he serves you all his life.” 

Eli was a priest.  He saw Hannah praying.  She explained, “I am crying out to the Lord because I want him to answer my prayer.”  Eli gently told her, “Go in peace — and my God will give you what you ask for.”

Sure enough, Hannah and her husband had a baby boy.  They thanked God for their new son.  They named him  Samuel.

Discussion Questions

· What was Hannah praying for? A baby boy.
· What did Hannah promise if she had a baby boy?  She will make sure he serves 
  God all his   life.
· What was their baby boy’s name?     Samuel


Dear God, Thank you for the gift of prayer.  It is nice to know we can go to you in prayer about anything and pray wherever we are.  We love you.   Amen

Bible Verse for October

 “God is with you wherever you go.”     Joshua 1:9


Craft:  Praying Hands Craft

Materials Needed:
· Construction Paper (any color)
· Scissors
· Crayons or Markers
· Glue

1. Trace both of your child’s hands onto construction paper.
2. Have your child cut out the outline of hands.
3. Cut out a square from paper.
4. On the square write “People I am Praying for”
5. On each finger write the name of those you are praying for.
6. Place hands side by side and use square to glue the two together.


David, A Good Shepherd

1 Samuel 15:1—16:3

Saul was a good king for about 20 years.  Then he began to disobey God.  God was sorry he made Saul the king.  Samuel was sad about it, too. 

God sent Samuel to a man named Jesse to find a new king.  When Samuel met Jesse, he said, “I would like to meet your sons.” 

When Samuel saw them, he thought, These are strong-looking men.  God said, “I do not look at the outside of a person.  I look at the inside of a person.  I look at the heart.” 

Samuel asked Jesse, “do you have another son?”  Jesse said, “Yes.  His name is David.  He is out in the field with the sheep.”  Samuel asked to see him.  As soon as David arrived, God told Samuel, “He is the one I want to be the next king.”  Samuel anointed David.  He poured oil on David’s head, and David was filled with God’s power. 

Discussion Questions

· Who did God send Samuel to?  Jesse.
· What was Samuel looking for?  The next king
· Who did he pick?  David
· Is it important to look at the outside or inside of person?  You should look at the inside of 
  each person to learn about their heart.

Bible Verse for September

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power.”   Psalm 147:5


Craft:  Handprint Sheep

· Black Construction Paper
· Cotton Balls
· Glue
· White Crayon

· Trace hand with white crayon.  The thumb will be the sheep’s head
· Glue cotton balls on the hand.  Leave enough room to draw eyes on the thumb
· Draw a face on the thumb

Fiery Furnace

Daniel 3

King Nebuchadnezzar’s army had defeated the Israelites.  Now he was their ruler.  King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue.  Then he made a bad law.  It said, “When the music plays, everyone must bow down and worship the statue.  Those who disobey will be thrown into the fiery furnace.”

The music began to play.  The people fell down and worshiped the statue.  But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused.  “We only worship the true God,” they said.  The king was mad!

The king said, “Make the furnace extra hot!”  He had the three men thrown inside.  Yet, when the king looked into the furnace, there were four men walking around!  One of them looked like an angel from God.

The king shouted to the men, “Come Out!”  Your God has saved you!”  The fire had not hurt them.  They did not even smell like smoke!  So the king made them rulers in his kingdom.

Discussion Questions

· What did King Nebuchadnezzar want the people to worship? A gold statue.
· If they did not obey, what would happen to them?  They would be thrown into a fiery 
· What were the names of the three men that did not obey the king? Shadrach, Meshach, and
· Who protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace? God!
· After the three came out safe what did the king tell his people? The people must not say 
  anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.


Thank you for the story of the fiery furnace. Please help us to remember you can keep us safe in any situation.  Amen.

Bible Verse for September

"Great is our Lord and mighty in power.”  Psalm 147:5


Craft:  making a pretend fire

· Yellow and Red Tissue Paper
· Brown construction paper
· White paper plate
· Glue

Guide Your Child to:
· Tear or cut the yellow and red tissue paper
· Cut sticks for the fire
· Glue flames (tissue paper pieces) around the sticks

Talk about with Your Child:
· Who went into the fiery furnace?  (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego)
· Why did they get put in the furnace?  (They worshipped one true God not a gold statue)
· Who was the fourth person in the furnace?  (God)
· Who helps us and takes care of us in times of trouble?
· Share with your child about a time when there was trouble for you but God helped you.
  Encourage your child to do the same.

Queen Esther

The Book of Esther

Esther, a beautiful Jewish girl, married a king.

Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, was the king’s good helper.

Haman was also a helper, but he was bad. Haman didn’t like the Jews. He had a plan to kill 
Mordecai and all the Jews.

Mordecai heard about Haman’s plan and told Esther, “Perhaps God has made you queen for such a time as this.”

Queen Esther asked the king to save her and her people. Then Esther told the king about Haman’s evil plan to kill all the Jews. The king was angry with Haman.

Because of Esther, God’s people were saved!

Discussion Questions

· Who was the king’s good helper?  Mordecai
· Who was the king’s evil helper? Haman
· What was Haman’s plan? To kill Mordecai and all the Jews
· What did Esther do? She obeyed God and she asked the king to save her people


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of Esther and how she saved her family and her people. Help us to remember that you do mighty miracles in heaven and on earth. 

Bible Verse for September

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power.”    Psalm 147:5


Craft: Making Queen Esther’s Crown

· Thin cardboard  (poster board or old cereal boxes work well)
· Foil gift wrap or construction paper
· Scissors
· Paint, crayons, or felt-tip pens
· Glue
· Stapler
· Optional:  stickers, markers, glitter, shapes cut from construction paper

· Cut a strip of cardboard long enough to go around your head and overlap slightly
  you may need to staple two pieces together to make it long enough.  The strip should be 
  3 or 4 inches wide and long enough to go around the head.
· Cut a piece of construction paper or foil gift wrap the same length but slightly wider
  (2 inches or so wider).  Again you might need to staple two pieces together to make it long 
· Glue the construction paper to the cardboard so the bottom edge lines up
· Cut a zigzag in the top edge of the construction paper
· Note:  the reason I make the construction paper wider is that I found it difficult for the 
  children to cut the zigzag edge from the cardboard.  With the wider construction paper, they
  can just cut the zig zag through the paper 
· Decorate the paper side (not the cardboard side) using markers, glitter or stickers
· Make a ring with the cardboard facing in (toward the head) and the paper facing out and 
  staple to make a crown - adult assistance required for this step

The Battle Of Jericho

Joshua 5:13-6:16, 20

Joshua was near Jericho. He looked up and saw a man standing in front of him. The man had a sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and asked, “Are you a friend or an enemy?”

The man answered, “I am neither one. I have come as the commander of the Lord’s army.”

Then Joshua bowed facedown on the ground. He asked, “Does my master have a command for me, his servant?”

The commander of the Lord’s army answered, “Take off your sandals. The place where you are standing is holy.” So Joshua did.

Now the people of Jericho were afraid because the Israelites were near. So they closed the city gates and guarded them. No one went into the city. And no one came out.

Then the Lord spoke to Joshua. He said, “Look, I have given you Jericho, its king and all its fighting men. March around the city with your army one time every day. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets made from horns of male sheep. Tell them to march in front of the Holy Box. On the seventh day march around the city seven times. On that day tell the priests to blow the trumpets as they march. They will make one long blast on the trumpets. When you hear that sound, have all the people give a loud shout. Then the walls of the city will fall. And the people will go straight into the city.”

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests together. He said, “Carry the Box of the Agreement with the Lord. Tell seven priests to carry trumpets and march in front of it.” Then Joshua ordered the people, “Now go! March around the city. The soldiers with weapons should march in front of the Box of the Agreement with the Lord.”

So Joshua finished speaking to the people. Then the seven priests began marching before the Lord. They carried the seven trumpets and blew them as they marched. The priests carrying the Box of the Agreement with the Lord followed them. The soldiers with weapons marched in front of the priests. And the armed men walked behind the Holy Box. They were blowing their trumpets. But Joshua had told the people not to give a war cry. He said, “Don’t shout. Don’t say a word until the day I tell you. Then shout!” So Joshua had the Holy Box of the Lord carried around the city one time. Then they went back to camp for the night. They did this every day for six days.

On the seventh day they got up at dawn. They marched around the city seven times. They marched just as they had on the days before. But on that day they marched around the city seven times. The seventh time around the priests blew their trumpets. Then Joshua gave the command: “Now, shout! The Lord has give you this city! The city and everything in it are to be destroyed as an offering to the Lord.

When the priests blew the trumpets, the people shouted. At the sound of the trumpets and the people’s shout, the walls fell. And everyone ran straight into the city. So the Israelites defeated the city.

Discussion Questions

  • Who told Joshua how to defeat Jericho?  The commander of the army of the Lord.
  • How many days did the Israelites walk around Jericho? Seven
  • What noise did they make on the first 6 days? Only the trumpets. What noise did they make on the seventh day? Trumpets and people shouting.
  • What happened when the trumpets blew and people shouted? The walls of Jericho fell down


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of The Battle of Jericho.  Thank you for teaching us that you do what you promise, and you are with us everywhere we go.  Amen.

Bible Verse for September

“Great is our Lord and mighty in power.”    Psalm 147:5


Cooking: Hot Cider
· 1 quart of apple juice
· 3 cloves
· 1 quart of cranberry juice
· 1/4 teaspoon allspice
· 2 tablespoons lemon juice
· 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
· 1 stick cinnamon

Guide Your Child To:
· Help put the ingredients in a large pot.
· Wait for the mixture to heat to a boil.  Watch as you strain out the spices, and pour the cider
   for each family member.

Talk About:
· Discuss waiting. We have to wait for many things such as Christmas, birthdays or vacations.
  What does it feel like to wait?
· Who was waiting in our story about the Battle of Jericho? What happened?