Mar 29 2012
Archive for March, 2012
Mar 28 2012
Never stop praying. – 1 Thes. 5:17
When they call on me, I will answer; - Psalm 91:15
. . . men always ought to pray and not lose heart, - Luke 18:1
“The reason we should teach little children to pray about the little insignificant things but are significant to them, very early in life, is so they learn that if they talk to God, He will answer their prayers.” Dr. Charles Stanley
Begin early to establish a pattern in your children to pray. Teach them that prayer is simply talking to God about anything and everything just as they would with a friend. Prayer can be saying thanks for something or asking for help with a problem. Jo Bevington in her book, I Can Pray, described prayer as ‘feeling, thinking, listening, and talking to a very special Friend’.
With your older children, help them to start a prayer notebook with a list of things to be thankful for, things to pray about, and people to pray for. Encourage them to make note of when God answers.
A tangible way to establish prayer in a younger child’s life is by beginning a prayer box. Definitely have pictures of people and things to thank God for.
Also include pictures that will be a reminder of things to pray about. Look together through magazines to find pictures or draw your own. For example:
Heal my neighbor’s dog
Mark these pictures with a ‘PTL’ or a sticker and the date when you see an answer. Help your children know that they can trust God to hear and answer. In Luke 18 Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up until the answer comes. The answer may be yes, no, or not yet – but God will answer!!!
Mar 20 2012
(This is a lesson from Here a Little, There a Little, a compilation of Bible activities I created to use with my preschool children. It was designed to spend a week memorizing the verse and reinforcing it through Bible lessons and activities.)
Bible Verse: What time I am afraid I will trust in God. Psalm 56:3
Psalm 56 Some mean men were fighting against David. They wanted to hurt him. David became afraid, but he remembered that when he was afraid he could trust God. So David said, “What time I am afraid I will trust in God..” Then David knew that it didn’t matter what men tried to do to him because God was protecting him.
Luke 2:8-14 Remember the shepherds watching the sheep the night Jesus was born? The Bible said that they were afraid when they saw the angel that appeared to them. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid for I bring you good news about Jesus.” The shepherds learned what time they were afraid to trust in God.
2 Corinthians 11 – 12:10 Paul went through many problems. He was in prison; he was beaten; he had a wreck in a boat 3 times; some men took all he had and hurt him. Paul had times of being hungry, thirsty, and cold. But through all that, even though he was afraid many times, he knew to trust God to make him strong in the midst of all these problems. Paul learned what time he was afraid to trust in God.
Genesis 14 A bad king had taken Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Abraham knew he must do something to help Lot. The bad king had many, many men to help him, but Abraham had only a few to help him. However, Abraham received a promise from God that He would take care of his enemies. Abraham didn’t have to be afraid of all those men who were going to help the bad king, he could trust God to take care of him and his family.
Daniel 6:7-23 The king gave an order that no one was to pray to anyone but him or they would be put in the lions den. Daniel loved God very much and he knew that the Bible said to always pray to God and only God – no one else. So Daniel continued to pray to God and the king threw him into the lions den. Daniel knew that when he was afraid he could trust in God, so he trusted God right there in the lions den and do you know what happened? Instead of the lions biting Daniel like the king thought they would, God shut the mouths of the lions so they couldn’t hurt Daniel!!!
Prayer: Thank you, God, that we can trust in You at all times in every situation.
Make a clock face out of a paper plate and a brad to hold the clock hands on. Write the Bible verse on the clock and hang it in a prominent place like on the refrigerator door.
Pretend together with toys, dolls, stuffed animals and that one of them is afraid. Talk about trusting in God whenever he’s afraid.
Spend time all week talking to God about a problem the child or family has. (ex. going to potty, finances, afraid of the dark, etc) Talk about trusting God to take care of the problem. Talk about trusting God anytime, anywhere, and with any problem.
Act out Genesis 14 with army men using many to represent king’s army and only a few for David’s.
Act out Daniel 6:7-23 in the lions den. You could use stuffed animals for lions or make lion masks out of paper plates and yarn for the manes.
Put the verse to music for easy memorizing. Compose your own tune or use a familiar one. Here’s mine to the tune of ’Mary Had a Little Lamb’: What Time I Am Afraid
You can find cd’s of scripture put to music. Steve Green has some especially for children:
Hide ‘em in Your Heart Vol. 1 (This volume has Psalm 56:3 on it)
Hide ‘em in Your Heart Vol. 2
Steve Green: Hide ‘em in Your Heart: 13 Bible Memory Music Videos for Children of All Ages [VHS]
Arch Books has a book about many, many Bible stories. Begin building your library with these colorfully illustrated paperbacks
Daniel in the Lions Den: Daniel 6 for Children (Arch Books)
Mar 12 2012
About 385 years after Jesus lived, a boy named Patrick was born in England. When he was 16 years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland as a slave where he worked as a shepherd. During this time he was lonely and afraid; this caused him to turn to God and he began to experience the love of Jesus. After about 6 years as a slave, Patrick escaped, went back to England, and began studying to be a priest.
However, he did not forget Ireland; he had a desire to go back one day and tell them about Jesus. He did eventually return there as a missionary. Isn’t that amazing that he would want to go back to the place where he had been enslaved and tell them of God’s love? What an act of forgiveness! Eventually Patrick was called a saint by the Catholic Church because of his love and kindness to the people of Ireland.
So because Jesus loved Patrick, Patrick was able to forgive the people of Ireland and then he spent his life telling them about Jesus. Patrick died on March 17, 461 and now we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day each March 17. Please make your children aware in the midst of the stories of leprechans and the various ways of observing the holiday, that the reason for the activities this week is because Jesus loved and cared for Patrick and then Patrick loved and care for the people who had wronged him. It would be a good time to share these verses:
Ephes. 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
It is believed that Patrick brought the shamrock plant to Ireland and used the three-leafed plant to illustrate the message of the Trinity. This would be a good time to teach about the Trinity. Click here for help in sharing the concept with your children. A good children’s book to illustrate the Trinity is 3 in 1: A Picture of God.
Go outside and look for clover and talk about the Trinity; be like St. Patrick teaching the Irish.
Get a shamrock craft at Apples for the Teacher.
You can download a St. Patrick’s Day coloring page at Ministry-to-Children.com
Mar 05 2012
I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon last week – at age 60 this was my first!!!! It was so much fun and so rewarding to know that I had disciplined my body to run 13.1 miles by exercising and eating healthy. Emphasize these disciplines in your children while their beliefs and habits are being formed. Teach them that our bodies belong to God who made us and we are to honor God in the way we take care of them. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
During training I could definitely tell a difference in running on the day following a day I had not made wise food choices. What you eat does make a difference! Green Smoothie Revolution and Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko have greatly influenced my diet.
Victoria has now written books for children to help reinforce good eating habits. Below are two of them and another, Green Smoothie Magic, will be available soon.
A Gift From Little Bear is such a cute little story that teaches a couple of lessons. The bear takes unhealthy food from the children and gets a tummy ache. He learns from his mommy that bear’s ‘berry’ food is good for everyone and he decides to share his good food with the children. This is a wonderful, subtle way of teaching better eating habits – and sharing!!
Buy some berries and pretend to be the little bear sharing with the children. As yall eat the delicious berries share ‘God satisfies your mouth with good things,” (Psalm 103:5)
Fruits I Love is a great way to introduce children to a variety of fruits. The book’s colorful pictures are visually inviting to children, and what child doesn’t enjoy a rhyming book! I appreciate the fact that in reading this book to a child, you are doing more than just reading words or looking at pictures, but you are actually making fruit very appealing to them.
After reading this book with your children, purchase each of the fruits depicted in the book and have your children actually examine, smell, taste, find the seeds, and rate the fruits according to which they like best. This is a delicious way to begin a love for fruits! Again emphasize Psalm 103:5.