Have you heard of SAD? It is the Standard American Diet made up of processed, nutrient-deficient, fast foods that are not supplying what is needed to stay healthy and be successful. The Bible has something to say about that: Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.(Isaiah 55:2)
If the eating habits of you and your children are ‘SAD’, you will want to check out this new children’s book that addresses the issue in such a way anyone can begin making wise choices in eating. I’m excited to recommend The Adventures of Junk Food Dude by Robyn Openshaw. Robyn writes a blog (http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/) with a passion to help others achieve fantastic health and energy eating whole foods .
Her new book expresses her passion in an interesting story of two little boys and how the differences in their food choices affect their lives. Your child will learn about healthy eating without the feeling of having sat through a lesson on Nutrition. The illustrations by Lori Sume make the book very inviting to children.
If you are looking for a good children’s book to help reinforce healthy eating habits, you will love this book!! There’s even a fun quiz at the end that has you sorting nutritious food and junk food. And the story not only teaches healthy eating, it teaches care and concern for friends! This is an excellent product to help you Train Up the Child!!!
God likes things organized. Just read in Exodus 36-40 and see the details He gives for the furnishings in the Tabernacle and the arrangement of the furniture. As always, He is our example. If He wants His House organized, our homes should be organized. But I’m aware that with all you have to do, the house sometimes becomes low on your list of priorities. However, getting organized will save time in the long run, and having a clutter-free home will have a calming affect on your children.
Accomplishing this comes very easy for some people, but others find it more difficult. We can claim some of God’s promises that apply here:
Philip. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Thes. 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Ask God to help you ‘watch over carefully all that goes on throughout your household ‘(Proverbs 31:27)
Don’t beat yourself up if your gift is not organization - but don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who do have that gift - it’s all part of ‘bearing one another’s burdens’(Galatians 6:2). Some people really enjoy organizing and would be delighted to help. If that’s not you, you have different gifts that you can share. In fact, some people may tend to be so organized that they will need to learn from you how to sometimes leave the broom and go build a memory!
Read 1 Corinthians 12 to see how the Body of Christ is to work.
Deuteronomy 6 tells us to teach as we go. You can make cleaning and organizing a teaching opportunity as you talk about how God was specific about organizing His house and we should do the same.
Give them age-appropriate jobs to do so they can feel a sense of accomplishment:
(Galatians 6:4 Let everyone be sure that he is doing his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work well done and won’t need to compare himself with someone else.) Lead them to memorize this scripture.
Be like Mary Poppins and ‘find the fun in every job to be done’. Make a game out of cleaning – for example pretend that a bomb will go off if the job isn’t completed by a certain time; or pretend that the president or Jesus is coming for a visit. I like to lead children in a chant of (1 Cor. 3:9) – ‘we work together; we work together’ as we clean up.
As you enjoy your extended weekend, don’t forget to let your children know why it is happening.
Presidents’ Day is intended to honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln whose birthdays are both in February. Their birthdays were observed separately until 1971 when Congress decided the two would be combined into one national holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February.
This is a great time to teach your children about the godly character of these two men. God tells us to remember how He dealt with our ancestors: 1 Cor. 10:1 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea.
Tell them about the truthfulness of George Washington even as a young boy in the story of the cherry tree. Here is a site that tells the story and has printable coloring pictures:
George Washington, sometime before the age of 16, transcribed “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation.” These are good rules to teach your children. This site depicts them in cartoons.
Read at this site and then share with excitement in your own words about how God divinely protected George Washington during the French and Indian War. You can read the entire account of this in the book The Bulletproof George Washington
Tell your children why Abraham Lincoln became known as ‘Honest Abe’. Read about it here and get printable coloring sheets as well.
Read this article about the faith of Abraham Lincoln. This is what he said before the Battle of Gettysburg” . . . oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His, and our cause His cause . . . Then and there I made a solemn vow to almighty God that if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him. And after that, I don’t know how it was, and I cannot explain it, soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul. The feeling came that God had taken the whole business into His own hands, and that things would go right at Gettysburg . . .” from Abraham Lincoln: The Man & His Faith
We can use this day to pray for our current president and leaders as well. They have been placed in their position by God: Daniel 2:21 He changes times and periods of history.He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to those who are wise and knowledge to those who have insight. Download this coloring sheet that gives suggestions of what to pray for our leaders.
Enjoy your long weekend and have fun teaching your children as you go!!!
As always, we want our children to know the reason for any celebration and see how it might relate to Christ. Here’s what my research found:
Valentine was a priest near Rome in about 270 AD. At that time the Roman Emperor Claudius felt that married men made poor soldiers so he abolished marriage. Valentine invited young lovers to come to him in secret where he joined them in marriage. When the emperor heard of this ‘friend of lovers’, he was impressed with his conviction and attempted to convert him to the Roman gods while Valentine attempted to convert the emperor to Christianity. When Valentine would not renounce Christianity, he was imprisoned.
While in prison, he witnessed to the guards. One of the guards had adopted a blind girl and asked Valentine if his God could help the daughter see again. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole familly believed in Jesus and were baptised. Valentine fell in love with the girl. When the emperor heard about Valentine making converts in prison, he was furious and had Valentine beheaded.
Before Valentine died, he signed a farewell message to his love and signed it ‘from your Valentine’, a phrase that has lived long after its author died. Thus began the sending of Valentines.
Because of Valentine’s dedication to the Lord, he was made a saint by the Catholic church. The church was seeking to usurp the popularity of the Roman god Lupercus. At the Lupercusian festival each year around the middle of February, a young man was assigned a woman companion for his ‘pleasure’ until the next year at the festival when he would get a different woman. The Catholic church was determined to put an end to this 800 year old immoral practice and Valentine seemed to be the ideal candidate to become a ‘lovers’ saint.
How to Relate This to Children:
The ruler of Rome, Emperor Claudius, thought there were many gods, but a man named Valentine told people that Jesus is the one true God. This made the Emperor Claudius very angry so he had Valentine put in jail. But even in jail, Valentine kept telling people about Jesus. The guard in the prison had a blind daughter and he asked Valentine if God could heal her. Valentine prayed for her and God caused her to see again. The guard and his whole family believed in Jesus after that.
The emperor was so upset when he heard that Valentine was still telling people about Jesus, that he had him killed. Before Valentine died he sent a message to the jailer’s daughter whom he had fallen in love with. He signed the message ‘from your Valentine’ and this is where the sending of ‘Valentines’ began.
Because Valentine loved Jesus so much, the Catholic church named him a ‘saint’ which is what someone is called that loves Jesus and cares about others. Each year we think about those we love and send them Valentines. Let’s remember that that the first Valentine was sent by a man who loved Jesus very much.
On Valentine’s Day we may get flowers, cards, candy, or other things from friends who love us, but the very best gift that was sent to show love to us long ago when Jesus was born to one day die on the cross for the wrong things we have done. The Bible says “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
Emphasize God’s love for them, their love for God, and love for others as you work.
Help your children make Valentines for their friends, include any of the following verses on them. Talk about the verses as you make the cards:
1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through his death. 1 John 4:16b: God is love.
1 John 4:19: We love because he [God] first loved us
1 John 5:3: This is love for GOD: to obey his commands. John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too.
Make a giant heart out of red poster board. Write Luke 10:27 Love the Lord your God with all your heart on the heart. Cut it into age-appropriate puzzle pieces. As you put each piece together say, “that’s not all my heart” until the puzzle is finished. Then read the verse and encourage the child to say, “God, I love you with all my heart”. If you have several children you can make two heart puzzles and race to see who can give God all their heart first.
Train Up The Child is dedicated to helping you fulfill God’s commands to parents. Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to teach our children as we go; Isaiah 28:10 instructs to teach ‘here a little, there a little’.
Begin this lesson by creatively making a poster of Ephesians 4:32 and place it on the fridge all week. Read the suggested passages for Bible stories and tell them in your own words. I have given you suggested things to share about each. Do at least one of the suggested activities each day. I am sure you can come up with better ideas on your own – this is just to get you started.
Bible Verse: Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another
Luke 10:30-35 A man was walking down a road and some bad men jumped on him and beat him up and hurt him so badly he couldn’t move. Then they left him all alone. A man came by later but he would not help the hurt man. Another man came by, but he wouldn’t help either. Finally a man came by and felt sorry for the hurt man so he stopped and helped him. He bandaged his hurt places and took him to a nice, warm place to stay. Which man was being kind?
Ruth 2 Ruth and her mother-in-law had just moved from another country to Bethlehem. They didn’t have a garden to raise any food, so they were hungry. Ruth went to a man’s field of wheat and asked if she could have the left-overs from his field. The man’s name was Boaz. Boaz told her she didn’t have to get the left-overs, but she could have whatever she needed. Was Boaz kind?
Daniel 1 The bad King Nebuchadnezzar had put Daniel in prison. He was being mean to Daniel and his friends. But one of the king’s men felt sorry for Daniel. Instead of being mean to Daniel like the king wanted him to, he was kind to Daniel and helped him to show the king that God is good.
1 Samuel 18 through 2 Samuel 5 King Saul had been chasing David everywhere. He wanted to kill David because David was so good. David hid in a cave. King Saul came into the cave and didn’t see David. This was David’s chance to get Saul back for being so mean to him. He could have hurt him but would that have been kind? No, David let Saul go unharmed. When Saul found out, he told David, “You have been kind, but I have been evil.”
John 4:6-29 Jesus was sitting at a well where people came to get their water. A lady came to get water while he sat there. She was a Samaritan lady and Jesus was a Jewish man. The Js did not like the Samaritans and not talk to them or have anything to do with them at all. In fact they were sometimes very mean to them. But Jesus wasn’t mean to the lady. He began to talk to her and tell her about God and how she could be saved. Jesus was kind to the lady.
Prayer: Help us to show kindness by hugging, helping, sharing, and saying kind words to one another
Activities for younger preschoolers:
Act out the story of the Good Samaritan with bandages and bandaides
Feed birds or ducks or pet animals and share the verse
Share the verse while changing diaper and point out the kindness you are showing by
caring for him.
Teach him to hug and kiss – share the verse.
Play with ball and talk about playing kindly and sharing
Activities for older preschoolers:
Act out the story of the Good Samaritan with bandages and bandaides
Make a bird feeder out of a pine cone covered in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed.
hang outside in a tree. Watch for birds and share the verse.
Have him draw a picture and send it to someone just to show kindness.
Bake cookies and take to someone – share the verse as you work
Make or buy playdough and tell them you did it just to show kindness to him.
Describe situations or show pictures of different situations and ask if it is showing
kindness or unkindness –ex. Pushing, sharing, listening to parents, helping someone
who falls down, telling someone, ‘I love you’, kicking someone