Spring is Here – Time to Praise the Lord

Spring-Tulips-yellow-and-red

The flowers are springing up,
and the time of singing birds has come,
even the cooing of turtledoves.
Song 2:12 

 In Matthew 6:25-34 , Jesus must have been enjoying spring time as He taught His friends about how much God loves them.  He noticed the birds flying around and said,  “Look at the birds! They aren’t worried about having enough to eat because God feeds them.  In the same way, you shouldn’t worry about what you will eat.  God will feed you too!”  Then Jesus picked up some flowers that were blooming and said, “These flowers don’t have to worry about what they will wear because God has beautifully clothed them.  You don’t need to worry about clothes either for God will make sure you have something to wear.”

I hope your main activity with your children during this season can be outside enjoying nature together. Share with them that the Bible says in Psalm 145:10 that all God’s works shall praise Him.

As yall observe the beauty of God’s creation, join with the flowers, trees, and birds in praising God.  Here’s some songs to sing as you do.

This one is an old recording, but you can get the idea, or better yet, you can make up your own:

 Now the Flowers Are Growing

And another about God’s Beautiful World:

http://youtu.be/AbWgeJOMQ4U

Isaiah 55:12 says the mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! So even if we don’t praise the Lord, creation still will.  Here’s a song about this that was recorded for me and my children by a friend, Patti Bennett:

 The Rocks and Hills Will Cry Out

These next two are from children’s musicals when my children were small.  Yeah, I know they are dated, but give them a listen:

http://youtu.be/W8wFjhWztcw

http://youtu.be/HLsh3lwKv5c

Happy Spring!!!

It’s time to get outside in God’s beautiful world!

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Nehemiah 9:6

I love all the seasons, but especially the warmer ones.  I am looking forward to spending lots of time outside.  As you experience the beauty of God’s creation during this season, please remember to share with your children that it IS God’s creation.  Lead them to praise Him. Make up songs about it.  Here’s one suggestion:

https://youtu.be/AbWgeJOMQ4U

Hopefully you will get to take a family trip this summer, maybe to the beach to get sand between your toes. To The Sea by Callie Grant is a book about a day at the beach that young children will enjoy.  The pictures by Jeremy Tugeau make you almost able to smell the sea air. (The author’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to effectively teach their kids about God and His creation, even at a very young age.) (Check out some of her other books on this site here.) In the book the sand castle is washed away by the sea, but the boy builds one on a rock and it stands safe. Play in the sand and tell this parable from Matthew 7:24-29.

Even if you can’t get away this summer, take advantage of every opportunity around you to enjoy God’s beautiful world with your children.  Jesus used visuals from nature as he taught.
Read Matthew 6:25-33 and be ready to share His teachings the next time you are outside observing birds or looking at flowers.

Hike, explore, play in the sand. Start collecting things from nature – moss, feathers, shells, rocks, leaves, seeds, an abandoned bird’s nest or wasp nest.  Make a nature box full of items you can enjoy all year.  And don’t forget to point out that all God’s creation praise Him!

All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you.
Psalm 145:10

Nature Box
Nature Box

Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go.  Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you discover things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Job 37:14) or “all God’s works praise Him” (Psalm 145:10)

Consider the Birds with Your Children (A Lesson on Trusting God)


Deep Inner Peace

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young–
a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God,
Psalm 84:3

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him,
whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!
Isaiah 26:3

In the last post we talked about how God values birds and used them as teaching aides and object lessons, so let’s do the same.  Let’s use birds to teach our children about trusting God. Tell a different Bible Story each day and do the corresponding Activity. Put one of the above verses on the fridge and spend the week memorizing it.

Bible Stories:

1.  Matthew 6:26Job 12:7 God wants us to look at the birds and learn from them. There are many Bible verses that talk about birds which shows how much God values even the little birds.  We can value the birds too by giving them food in the winter when it is hard for them to find food and leaving fresh water for them if there hasn’t been rain in a while.  We can also value the birds by hearing what God says about them in the Bible.

 2.  Psalm 84 David was sitting in the Tabernacle of God (church) and singing to God about how much he loved to be near Him.  He must have been watching the birds there and it caused him to think about how even the birds felt safe to build their nests there in the church.  They knew the best place to live is near to God.  The sparrows and swallows are known for being restless birds who loved to freely flutter and dart about, but they felt it was safe to rest near to God. God will keep us safe too when we stay near to Him.

3.  Matthew 6:25-33 Jesus was teaching His friends about how much God loves them when He noticed the birds flying around.  He said,  “Look at the birds! They aren’t worried about having enough to eat because God feeds them.  In the same way, you shouldn’t worry about what you will eat.  God will feed you too!”  Just stay close to God and He will make sure you have all you need.

4.  Job 28:21Proverbs 1:17Job 35:11, Psalm 145:10  God liked to use the birds as an example.  The birds have the ability to see more than we can because they can fly high above and see a lot of things at one time.  The birds are very watchful and not easily trapped.  God said it is foolish to lay a net in front of the bird; he won’t go into it.  God made birds wise, but He made man even wiser.  God made birds to sing His praises and He made us to do so too!

5.  Matthew 23:37  One day Jesus was feeling sad about all the evil in the world.  People had turned away from God and were doing the opposite of what He wanted them to do.  He loved them and wanted to protect them but they refused. He compared his love for them to that of a bird.  He said, “Oh how I wish I could gather you like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings so I could love and protect you but you wouldn’t let me.”  Let’s stay near Jesus and let Him love and protect us.

Activities:

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1. Make a bird feeder out of a pinecone: Spread it with peanut butter and cover it in birdseed.  Hang it in a place outside that you can see from a window. Then sit down and watch the birds with your children. While watching, point out that the birds mentioned in Ps 84:3 made their homes near God and that is what we should do.  The birds knew that near God is where they would be the safest.   The same is true for us.

photo

2. Color  – Look at the picture at the top – how peaceful the little bird is even though there is a thunderstorm going on around it.  Click here to download the above picture to color.  Talk about the fact that the bird trusts God to keep him peaceful in the midst of the storm.  We can trust God when things go wrong in our lives.

3. Eat like a bird:  When people say, ‘You eat like a bird,’ they often mean you hardly eat anything at all. But although birds do eat tiny mouthfuls of food, they do so hundreds of times each day. So try a bird’s eating habits. Take a day to eat like a bird -break up your meal into about two dozen tiny meals and eat your food gradually, one tiny bite at a time – (suggestion from TLC Bird Watching Activities Talk about Matthew 6:26 – that the birds don’t worry about where they get their food because God feeds them.

bird in sky

4.  Make a bird out of paper Click here for a pattern of the above.   Cut out and make a slit to slide the wings through. Tape  to a craft stick and sing Little Bird as you move it up and down to ‘fly it’.  Fly the bird high and talk about all the bird can see from way up high in the sky.  Pretend the bird is singing and praising God.

bird with babies copy

5. Make a picture of a bird and her babies in a nest.  Click here to download and print onto card stock .  As you cut, color and fold this, talk about how Jesus pointed out in Matthew 23:37 that the mother bird loves and protects her babies by taking them under her wings and that is what He wants to do for us.

And now enjoy this song about feeding birds from one of my favorite Disney movies – “Mary Poppins”. Interesting that the birds were at a cathedral just as the birds in Psalm 84 were at the Tabernacle.

http://youtu.be/XHrRxQVUFN4