Monday, August 13, 2012

update on Sunday school for August

Update on Sunday school for this Sunday as well as the whole month of August.
I am trying to mix things up this season with different ideas and activities that will charge our kids with creativity as well as their spirituality. I am hoping these ideas will springboard new questions, thoughts and discussion amoung our kiddos. and we can also share with the adults in our congregation.
Here is my write-up for August as well as my thoughts.
August is month of no official holidays, but plenty of fun and opportunities to learn! The Christian faith celebrates The Transfigurataion of Christ in August, which is when Jesus met with Elijah and Moses on the mountain top. He had taken John, James, Peter and their eyes were popping out. Peter wanted to say there forever. The activites that I will outline will help helps understand that just like Peter, we need to remain in this world and sometimes do things that arent' fun. Our transfiguration is a promise from that day that we can enjoy while we wait!
The closing of the Olympic games is August 12th It's time for rewards after years of hard work. Those rewards are a lot like what we look forward to in heaven, so we're offering activities that show these likenesses.
Martin Luther King gave his famed "I have a dream" speech on August 28th of 1963. I will be providing activities to help celebrate what some consider a speech inspired by the Holy Spirit. This should help out kids understand that God made us all equal, but he also made us very diverse. As Christians, we should celebrate unity with diversity.
Finally, for the past few years, August has been named Water Quality Month. I will be providing ideas on how to raise money for countries where the drinking water is so foul that kids show symptoms of illness just moments after drinking what they need to survive. Fresh water is desperately needed, and I am providing ideas so that our kids can help other kids obtain the most basic essentials.
I will also be sharing some stories written by or about children, so they can focus on critical world situations that kids can put in their language.
This Sunday's lesson is "The Transfiguration of Christ".
Idea: In this World you will have Tribulation
Many wonderful messages can be garnished by the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor. We don't know what was discussed in this meeting with Moses and Elijah. But we know that it gave three weary, confused and anxious disciples a little peak at heaven's eternal beauty and awesome power. It was the first plave in a long journey where they felt utterly at peace.
It was so wonderul to be in the midst of it that Peter suggested they stay there forever, building temples for Moses and Elijah. However, the meeting wasn't meant to be eternal; it was only meant to be respite = and a promise for the future.
Peter was probably very disappointed to hear that he had to go back down to the dusty grimy villages where they had been laughed at, stared at, argued with, and condescended to.
Theme; What's Good Enough for Peter is Good Enough for You!
Our activities, in honor of Apostle Peter in the toddler steps of his Christian walk: God promises us a beautiful transfiguration in heaven when we believe in Jesus. In the meantime, the message for us is the same as it was for Peter. We need to be here in the world and continue in faith while performing mundane, or stressful or not-much-fun tasks that occur every day, believing God is with us and will someday fulfill his promises. Kids generally do not like chores or homework or other responsibilities. They like to be free to play. Responsibility is their grimy village. Play is their heaven on earth. This week, the kids will play ganes where the hardest worker is "transfigured". We will play transfiguration tag and create a transfiguration cloud. We will also talk about caterpillars and butterflies and how it is transfigured.
The scripture covering the Transfiguration, which I will be reading to the kid is Mark 9:2-10.
I have also broken the the lesson such as Object Lesson: A Light Doesn't Change Strengths, Transfiguration game: Follow the sound of my voice, The song that they will learn for the first time is Play, Work and Purpose to the tune of Old Macdonald, and if we have time Transfiguration Craft, Magic Glasses. I really like this, as we a picture is drawn and with their "magic" glasses, the figure of Jesus will he invisable, but when the glasses are off, he will be visable.
Each of these will have conclusions.
To give you an idea: the conclustion behind the magic glasses is:
The Transfiguration gave the disciples a chance to see the true glory of God. There were seeing things differently than they ever saw things before. Just like them, we have to go on in a world where it's hard to see that Jesus is near us. We need to remember....the problem is only in our earthly eyes! He is very much with us, even if we have trouble seeing him down here on earth. He is with us every day, forgiving us, renewing us, and transfiguring us, by faith. (Matthew 17: 1-9)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Updated on Sunday school for July 22, 2012

Since Friday, July 20th is Moon Day, I thought we could incorporate it, and make it part of our Sunday school lesson for something fun, different and exciting for the kids. I would will have a simple experiment, arts and craft project as well as a scientific video about the moon. The experiment would demonstrate the most famous things the astronauts did without for a week - gravity! Gravity keeps our feet on the ground. It's alot like our faith; which keeps us from rocketing off into the darkness of strange teachings fron other faiths.
When we think about our spiritual lives, we can keep ourselves spiritually grounded by keeping Jesus in our thoughts ad prayers as we move through a day. Jesus will be our spiritual gravity--keeping ourselves grounded in our faith.
We celebrate Moon day because man landing on the moon was a great achievement. That day, man went off to somewhere so far away that it was impossible to see them or be near them. It's a little like death in that we can't see our deceased relatives. However, the men who went to the moon came back, very much alive. The moon walk should remind us that those who are absent in body are present in Christ. They will show up again someday welcome us into the galaxy of heaven.
Isaiah 40:26 says, "Lift your eyes and look into the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.' If God can create the heaven's..if God can keep men safe as they explore the moon..surely we can trust him to keep us safe whe we call on him! Let's remember to look at our friends and family this week and remember how smart, strong and beautiful God is.
I will also have a laser show to show the kids as they enter the classroom and explain what the topic is above. Then we will have a simple experiment and finally, I will show perhaps a National Geographic show on the moon, followed by a snack. I have had several requests for my chocolate chip muffins this week.
Let us remember that the moon is far, but we can go further! When we die, we can go all the way to heaven, which will make the dark trip to the moon fade in comparison to the glory of the light of God!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Update on Sunday school for July 8, 2012

Update on Sunday school for July 8, 2012

The setting for the first chapter of the Book of Daniel is the capture of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonian army has at this point swept accross the land, taking with them the best and brighest of the empire and relocating them to Babylon. The story of Daniel tells about one young man who was among those taken. Daniel and several of his friends were also selected to be trained to be in service to the Babylonian king. This was a great honor and required great mental and physical stamina.
Eating rich foods and wines from the king's table was one of the privileges of being selected to participate in this program. Since this was enjoyabe it must have been tempting for the young men to give in to this custom. However, being devoutly Jewish meant that Daniel and his friends were governed by certain dietary laws (much too complicated to go into here). The king's food obviously did not fall within these guidelines. Surely, it took large amounts of self-control for Daniel and his friends to pass up the rich royal diet adn to eat only those foods that they could be assured were properl prepared. These foods consisted moslly of vegetables and water.
The steward wo was in charge of the wellbeing of these young men was concerned that he would be blamed for any ill health they might suffer. Even the king was angry that the men would turn down the food served at his own table. However, Daniel managed to convince both that they should be allowed to put this to a test. How surprised both the king and the steward were when Daniel and his friends ended up healthier and stronger than those who ate the richer foods. The king came to admire Daniel and his friends for their self-control and wise judgement.
Given an opportunity, what child would choose broccoli over a bag of potato chip or a helping of mashed potatoes over a double-chocolate fudge sundae? Learning to make wise choices is one the skills of growing up. Learning to choose what is right is an issue of self-control; choosing what is best over choosing what one would rather have. Young children do not have many autonomous choices allowed them. But they need to practice whenever possible so that when the time comes to make larger, more life-affecting choices, they are equipped to evaluate and choose wisely.
So, in Sunday's lesson and story, Daniel finds himself, along with many others, taken from his homeland and forced to live in another culture, one that doesn't worship the one true God. Selected to be a part of the king's own staff, Daniel had to choose to remain faithful to his dietary laws when confronted with the excesses of the palace. how diffiult this mush have been!! And yet, with great self-control Daniel stood his ground and proved himself to be the better man for it. Children are not born with self-control. They have to learn it, oftentimes by the mistakes they make. Lack of self-control often shows up as greed, something that, as Christians, we work against. God wants us to share and think of others.
Our games and activities will include Vegetable soup, scattered categories, temptations, resit and Batik, one of our friendly puppets will make an apperance and discuss what was learned today and finally the story will be good choice. When we have our snack, if we have time, I will ready Charolette's Web which is out making good and bad choices.
Bible Verse
Let us choose what is right
Job 34:4
Bible Story
Daniel 1:1-20

Monday, June 4, 2012

Update on Sunday school for June 10, 2012


The Southern Kingdom of Judah was ruled by the house of David until Juhah fell to the Babylonians sometime around 587 B.C.  Josiah, who reigned from 640 B.C. to 609 B.C., became king when he was eight years old.   Some time in his twenties, Josiah began to make his own decisions.  Josiah looked around and saw that the worship practices of Assyria had, over time, influenced the worship practices of his people.  These worship practices did not reflect what God intended worship to be.  Many laws and rituals were ignored and eventually forgotten.

Now, Josiah, unlike most of Judah's kings, were faithful to God  Josiah ordered thadt the Temple of Jerusalem be repaired.  During the restoration of the Temple, some form of the Book of Deuteronomy was discovered (probably chapters 12-26 of our present book of Deuteronomy).  Deuteronomy was the Book of Jewish Law.  Huldah the prophetess verified the authenticity of the scrolls and Josiah called the people together to hear the words of the Law and for them to renew their covenant with God.  The discovery of this Book of Law helped Josiah to reform the practices of the Hebrew people.  Josiah established the Temple in Jerusalem as the central place of worship and reinstated the celebration of Passover.

Faithfulness of God set Judiah apart from the other kings of Judah and even from his own people.  Josiah attempted to bring his people back to faithfulness to the God of the covenant, not to following the general fads of the culture around them.  This sounds like a goal that might be espoused by a person today.

What does it mean to be faithful to God in the twenty-first century?  Does it mean going to church and Sunday school?  Does it mean praying and reading the Bible?  Does it mean performing acts of service?  Does it mean witnessing to others about Jesus?  The answer to each of these questions is "Yes" - that and so much more.  Being faithful to God and standing against pressure to conform to the fads of the day isn't easy;it never was.

This Sunday's bible lesson will tell the story of Josiah , the boy who became king of Judah when he was eight years old.  Raised as a devout believer, Josiah noticed that the workship practices of Assyria had, over time, influenced the worship practices of his own people.  So Josiah set out on a mission of reform.  One of the reforms included the restoration of the temple.  During this restoration, workers discovered a hidden cache of scrolls.  Huldah then verifed the scrolls.  After that Judah got the people together to reform and renew their covenant with God.  is must have been difficult to call the people back to faithfulness after so long a time of doing something else.  Consider your family's lifestyle?  How does it conform to God's requirements?  Or do you flow the times regardless?

The story this Sunday will be Josiah and the Hidden Scrolls, the games and activities will be Excavation Adventure, In Like Me, Can you dig it?, Fractured Scriptures and finally our art project will be to make a special something for Father's day which is next week. 

Bible Verse:  do everything God commands, and be faithful to God.  Deuteronomy 11:22

Bible Story:  2 Kings 22:1-24:5

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Update on Sunday school for May 27, 2012 and June 6, 2012


The story is told in the Gospels of Jesus curing the withered hand of an unfortunate man on the Sabbath.  Jesus healed many people during his ministry.  His kindness toward all of God's people is shown in the many stories of his love and compassion.  Jesus healed lepers, ate in the home of Mary and Martha, raised Lazarus from the dead, and changed the life of Zacchaeus.   However, the healing of the man with the paralyzed hand is an act that angered religious leaders of the day, specifically because Jesus was healing on the Sabbath, a day of rest.

Why was this such a problem?  Today healing is done routinely every day of the week.  Did Jesus merely set aside the laws of the Sabbath for more humanitarian purposes?

This story goes straight to the authority of Jesus and his acting in the name of God.  Jesus' healing the paralyzed man on the Sabbath did not mean that we ignore the laws of God just because this seems to be the right thing to do.  Jesus healed the man's withered hand because God has concern and compassion for God's children at all times.  God has shown through Jesus that God's love and compassion for God's children is more important than rituals, even those commanded by God.  The old way of doing things was altered to show kindness to one of God's people who greatly needed it.  Jesus showed us tht God's compassion come first.

Can we do less as Christian's than to follow Jesus' example and show kindness to any of God's people when they need it?  Should it matter when they might need our kindness or help?  Children naturally reach out to others.  Their hearts are easily touched by persons in need.  Too often we, as adults, stifle their compassion with our more jaded, pessimistic and suspicious outlook on society.

Encourage the children to be kind to others.  Encourage them to be kind to one another as well.  It is more important to be kind than it is to observe all the correct rules of the church.

So this Sunday in Bible school, the children will have the stage set with one of the biggest conflicts Jesus had with the religious authorities.  The Pharisees were a group of religious men who interpreted the Scriptures for the people.  Their interpretations soon became a fairly rigit set of laws that people felt obligated to follow, even at the cost of being kind.  Jesus knew that God wanted persons to maintain the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law, particularly when the letter of the law caused pain or suffering on the part of another human being.  Your children will hear how Jesus deliverately challenged the sabbath laws in order to help a man who had been disabled for most of his life.  Jesus' action now made it possible for the man to be a "whole" person in the biblical definition.

Bible Verse:  The scripture says, "It is kindness that I want"  Matthew 12:7, Good News Bible
Bible Story:  Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11


What make a person generous?  What is the true measure of a gift?  These are questions that can be addressed  by looking at the story of the widow's coins. 

Outside of the temple were thirteen receptacles to receive the gifts of the worshipers.  There would be a loud clanging noise when the coins dropped.  Jesus, one day, had been sitting watching people drop coins into these receptacles.  He would have had to hear all the noise these contributions made.  When the poor widow arrived and put her two copper coins into one of the receptacles it would have been easy to "hear" that her contribution was very small.

The two copper coins were the smallest of the denominations of coins.  They had very little value.  And yet the widow gave with her heart all that she had.  These coins probably represented her next meal.  The rich who had been dropping coins into the receptacles were giving out of their abundance.  They could still afford large meals, lavish homes, and richly designed clothes.  The widow would have none of these things, even if she kept her money.  But the widow gave to God even that which she needed, while the rich gave of their extra.

Jesus did not condemn the gift of the weath, of the extra.  What Jesus did ws to commend the extreme generosity of heart that caused the widow to give all she had to God.  This generosity demonstrates a truly selfless way of living for us.

No gift of love is too small to count, and sharing what we have and who we are with complete unselfishness does not go unnoticed by God.  Even the smallest gift can be the most generous gift.  It depends upon the heart.

Children are natural givers.  They give, without the expectation of anything in return.  They give for the sheer joy of giving and making someone's day a little brighter.  They can anticipate the enjoyment of the person who will receive their gifts.  Commend these acts of generosity when you see them.  Encourage these in the children.

Bible Verse:  For God loves a cheerful giver    2 Corinthians 9:7
Bible Story:  Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Update on Sunday Schook, May 20, 2012

Update on Sunday School, May 20, 2012


If anyone ever needed patience it was Abraham and Sarah. Twenty-five years had passed since God first promised to make of Abram a great nation. Now God was speaking again. Abram's and Sarai's names changed to Abraham and Sarah as a symbol of God's covenant with them. God's convenant was as everlasting convenant to be the God of a great people decscended from Abraham and Sarah. Abraham at the ripe old age of ninety-nine had a good laugh at this. This didn't seem a likely possibility. But God promised that in one year Sarah would bear a son.

Sarah was having doubts that God was going to come through with tht all-important child. After all, how can one have descendants without having children and time had, by all human standards, already run out for her childbearing years.

Hospitality in Bible times was more than a courtesy, it was a duty. Since Abraham and Sarah lived in the desert, visitors who were turned away might die of starvation or thirst. Besides, who knew when a stranger might end up being a friend or a welcome ally? When the three strangers came to Abraham's and Sarah's tent, Abraham greeted them and wound up entertaining God. The promise tht Sarah would bear a son was given again. This time it was Sarah that laughed. But God does not run by human time and the time had come for God to fulfill the promise to Abraham to make him the father of a great people.

Abraham's and Sarah's patience and obedience were rewarded. God's promise was finally fullfilled and a son was born to Abraham and Sarah. He was named Isaac, which means "laughter". Sarah rejoiced, "God has brought laughter for me; every-one who hears will laugh with me."

Patience is not a virtue that younger elementary children possess in great abundance. Waiting is pure toture for them. Help them understand that persons had to wait for God to act throughout the Bible. During this time of waiting persons almost always learned important lessons that affected them mightily. Think of the number of years persons had to wait for the coming Savior.

So in this Sunday's lesson plan will will discuss how from the very beginning God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would be the start of a new nation, one whose numbers would be almost uncountable. But Sarah was quite old. The two could not conceptualize how and when this would happen. But they trusted God and were patient. Eventually, the wonderful event did happen. We all know the story of the birth of Isaac. Having patience in waiting for God's promises is hard, because God's time is not always the same as out time. We want our prayers answered now. We want our blessings now. We want everything instantly. Help your children to develop a sense of patience. Do not always give in to children's demands for whatever they want to happen now. Teach them that waiting is a virtue.

The story will be called Wait for the Lord, the games and activities will include: dippety dip, The laughing game, gazillions of grains, surprise, surprise and finally we will be putting seads into pots and talking about the patience of watching a plant grow. We will also talk about how the seed has to sleep when the time is right. Warmth of the soil and water wake it up and it grows in its own special time. People grow in their time; animals grow in their time. Everything follows God's time.

Bible Verse: Be patient and wait for the LORD to act. Psalm 37:7, Good News Bible

Bible Story: Genesis 12:1-9;15:1-20;17:1-22;18:1-15;21:1-7.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Upate on Sunday School for May 13, 2012

First since this is Sunday is Mother's Day, I wanted to let you know that the youth and the children will be teaming up to read a peom about Mothers this Sunday. This should be nice for all to experience.

Update on Sunday School. (you can put the next section as part of Christ Notes)

Have you ever wondered how Mother's Day got started? People started honoring mother's a very long time ago. When it first started it was called Mothering Sunday because people celebrated it the fourth Sunday during a time called Lent. Lent is the time before Easter where people think and prepare about the Easter story and what God did for us. Please the blog for fun facts as well as an informational story about Mom's and Mother's Day.

First of All, some fun facts about Mother's Day to share:

Mothers Day Trivia: On Mothers Day

Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who started Mother's Day celebrations also filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over- commercialisation of Mother's Day. She lost her fight. Anna had hoped for a day of reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done.

Julia Ward Howe staged an unusual protest for peace in Boston, by celebrating a special day for mothers. She wanted to call attention to the need for peace by pointing out mothers who were left alone in the world without their sons and husbands after the bloody Franco-Prussian War.

Japan's Imperial family trace their ancestry to Omikami Amaterasu, the Mother of the World.

Ancient Egyptians believed that 'Bast' was the mother of all cats on Earth, and that cats were sacred animals.

In the Bible, Eve is credited with being the 'Mother of All the Living.'

In the vast majority of the world's languages, the word for "mother" begins with the letter M.

Mothers Day Trivia: Highest Recorded Number of Children

The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.

Mothers Day Trivia: Highest Number of Children in Modern Times

The modern world record for giving birth is held by Leontina Albina from San Antonio, Chile. Leontina claims to be the mother of 64 children, of which only 55 of them are documented. She is listed in the 1999 Guinness World Records but dropped from later editions.

Quotes from the Bible about Moms

Exodus 20:1-12

[1] And God spake all these words, saying,

[2] I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

[3] Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

[4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

[5] Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

[6] And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

[7] Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

[8] Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

[9] Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

[10] But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

[11] For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

[12] Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Proverbs 31:25-31

[25] Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

[26] She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

[27] She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

[28] Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

[29] Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

[30] Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

[31] Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

John 19:25-27

[25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

[26] When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

[27] Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Ephesians 6:1-4

[1] Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

[2] Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)

[3] That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Colossians 3:20

[20] Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

This Sunday, I will be sharing several stories with the children. One will be how Mother's Day got started, the others stories I will be reading will be Tabby Gray and The Giant and the Fairy Skill. Below is one of the stories I will be sharing with the children this week. We will also be making My Mommy Mini Books, writing down what we know about our mom's, doing a Mother's Day anagram, and discussing several questions such as: 1. What are some way's to honor your mother? 2. Why should you listen to your mom? 3. What is one way you can bless your mom?

Have you ever wondered how Mother's Day got started? People started honoring mother's a very long time ago. When it first started it was called Mothering Sunday because people celebrated it the fourth Sunday during a time called Lent. Lent is the time before Easter where people think and prepare about the Easter story and what God did for us.

Then 150 years ago a woman named Anna Jarvis, organized a day to raise awareness of poor health conditions in her community, something she thought mother's believed in doing. She called it "Mother's Work Day."

After Anna Jarvis died, her daughter (also named Anna) wanted to honor all that her mother did. Anna heard her mother say that one day she hoped someone would make a special day just for mothers.

So Anna worked very hard and even talked to presidents and other leaders to try to create a special day just to honor them. By 1914 (almost 100 years ago) a man named Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday.

It just so happens that Anna's mothers' favorite flower was the white carnation and that's why mother's often receive carnations on Mother's Day.

The funny thing is, Anna ended up disliking Mother's day. She didn't want Mother's day to be all about the expensive gifts and fancy flowers but just a day to tell your mom that you love and appreciate her. So remember, moms don't need all that fancy stuff. Make her a nice card and treat her very special today (and everyday) and she won't need anything else.

Mother's are very special, so special that they are mentioned in the Bible. Since the Bible is like an instruction manual for us, it gives us instructions on how to treat our mother.

Do any of you know what the ten commandments are? They were rules that God gave to Moses for all of us to follow. Each commandment is very important and God gave each commandment for a reason. One of the commandments says: Honor your father and you mother, so that all may go well for you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

What does honor mean anyway? Honor can mean many things. When we listen, obey, love, appreciate, and forgive our mom that is how we honor her. That means when she asks you to do something you should do it right away without complaining.

When you show you love your mom by hugging her and telling her that you love her that's another way to honor. You can also appreciate your mom by thanking her when she does things for you (cleaning the house and your clothes, making supper, helping you, etc.).

Our mom won't be perfect all the time, we all make mistakes. So we should forgive our moms when they make mistakes because God asks us too.

Another verse in the Bible asks us to bless our mom. It says, "Her children arise and call her blessed." Some words that describe blessed are that your mom belongs to God and we need to treat her like she's God's child. Your mom used to be a child too and she's just trying her best to help you grow and learn things. So, treat her nicely!

Another way to describe blessed is to be happy. Do you make your mom happy? I'm sure you do a lot of the time and moms can be sad because of different things sometimes too, but I don't think your mom would be happy if you didn't listen to her or disobeyed her.

The last verse we're going to talk about today says: Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. I know that sometimes you don't always want to obey your parents but its important that you obey them because it makes God happy!

One last thing. No matter how old you get your mom is your mom. Sometimes you might think that you can talk back to our parents or that you know more than them, but you don't. The Bible says to obey your parents always, not just when your a kid. Your parents want the best for you and know what they're talking about.

Don't forget that we also have a heavenly father that cares and loves us no matter what. So if you don't have a mother around all the time (or even if you do) God is always there. He is there when our mother can't be.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Update on Sunday School for April 29, 2012


Bible Story

Ruth 1 – 4

The story of Ruth begins with Elimelech and Naomi, and their two sons, who moved to Moab because of famine in the land of Israel. Moab was a close neighbor to Judah, where the city of Bethlehem was located. The two sons married Moabite women. Unfortunately, Elimelech and both of his sons died. This left Naomi and her two Moabite daughters-in-law without anyone to care for them.

Women in the society of Bible times who did not have husbands, fathers or sons to care for them were destitute. They had little opportunity to earn a living and care for themselves. Naomi heard that the famine of Israel was over and so she decided to return home, perhaps in the hope that a relative would care for her. Both of Naomi’s daughters-in-law decided to go with her in the beginning, although there was no special custom or requirement for them to do so. Orpah and Ruth had the choice of returning to the protection and care of their families—a much easier choice.

Naomi told them they need not come with her since she had nothing to offer them. Naomi finally convinced Orpah to return to her own family, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi because of her love for the older women. Ruth chose to live with Naomi in one of the most famous speeches of the Bible. But in an unusual twist, she also chose to never leave Naomi, and even to make Naomi’s God her God. For Ruth to give up her homeland and all her customs to live an uncertain life in a strange land demonstrated Ruth’s great love for her mother-in-law.

Together Naomi and Ruth traveled to Israel. Ruth did the gleaning from the fields to support Naomi and herself. Ruth remained faithful in her love for Naomi.

Ruth went beyond obligation when she chose to go with Naomi. As Christians, we are often asked to “go the second mile” and to show love beyond that which others show. After all that is what separates Christians from other persons. Children are naturally very loving and giving. They are often willing to do anything that will make the other person happy. Encourage their loving and giving natures.

So, if a person truly follows the example that Jesus set for us to follow, there are certain traits that will be obvious: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In today’s lesson the children will talk about love.

The story will be Let me Go with You, and some of the activities will be, Stuck Like Glue, May I Go With You and we will be making Love Shakers. We will also be making Love Lights

Bible Verse

If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples

John 13:35, Good News Bible

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dinosaurs in the Bible -April 22, 2012

1. Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?

Dinosaur-like creatures are mentioned in the Bible. The Bible uses ancient names like “behemoth” and “tannin.” Behemoth means kingly, gigantic beasts. Tannin is a term which includes dragon-like animals and the great sea creatures such as whales, giant squids, and marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs that may have become extinct.

The Bible's best description of a dinosaur-like animal is in Job chapter 40.

“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God…” (Job 40:15-19).

The book of Job is very old, probably written around 2,000 years before Jesus was born. Here God describes a great king of the land animals like some of the biggest dinosaurs, the Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. It was a gigantic plant-eater with great muscles and very strong bones. The long Diplodocus had leg bones so strong that he could have held three others on his back.

The behemoth were not afraid. They did not need to be; they were huge. Their tails were so long and strong that God compared them to cedars—one of the largest and most spectacular trees of the ancient world.

After all the behemoth had died out, many people forgot them. Dinosaurs were extinct and the fossil skeletons that are in museums today did not begin to be put together until about 150 years ago. Today, some people have mistakenly guessed that the behemoth mentioned in the Bible might be an elephant or a hippopotamus. But those animals certainly do not have tails like the thick, tall trunks of cedar trees!

Although it cannot be stated with certainty, it appears that dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. This should not sound so strange. After all, God tells us that He created all the land animals on the 6th day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. There was never a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.

Have them color the page on page 2 or refer to it. (same with all handouts)

The Behemoth

"Look at the Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God." —Job 40:15-19

2. “D” is for Dinosaur


God made the world, it’s plain to see.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20). This verse points out that there is overwhelming evidence that God created, and that if people don’t believe it, they are without excuse. This evidence is clearly seen all around us, because functional complexity (e.g., a functioning machine) can never be developed from disorder, by chance. To explain this to young children, you can use examples such as the following: (ideas, you can add your own)

1. Show them a picture of Mount Rushmore, and make it clear to them that the Presidents’ heads did not get there from millions of years of wind and water erosion, but by people who applied intelligence to make the carvings.

2. Point out that airplanes and watches and computers don’t come together by chance they have been designed and made by people.

3. Show them a pebble out of a stream, and an Indian arrowhead. Ask them to pick out the arrowhead. Discuss why they made their choice, explaining that it is easy to recognize something that has been designed.

Hand out on next page.


God made the world, it’s plain to see.


But did He make dinosaurs, and if so, when?

The topic of dinosaurs is probably used more than anything else to convince young people that evolution is true, and that the process took millions of years. Explain to them why it is obvious that God had to make life, and since dinosaurs were living creatures, then obviously God had to make them too-they couldn’t have happened just by mere chance. Colossians 1:16 states, "All things were created by him, and for him." The “All” must include dinosaurs that once existed on the earth.

Often the term “prehistoric” is used in reference to animals like dinosaurs. The term “prehistoric” means before recorded history long before man; however, (and this will be obvious in other sections of the book) the Bible is a record of history since time began, and the Bible says man was created on day six along with the land animals. (Genesis 1:24-31).

Student Exercise:

Have the children draw their favorite dinosaur. Emphasize how hard it is just to draw a dinosaur let alone make one. If it takes a lot of intelligence to draw a dinosaur, it must have taken MUCH MORE intelligence to make one in the first place.

Hand out on next page


But did He make dinosaurs, and if so, when?


The Bible has the answer, God’s Word is true

The Bible tells us in Colossians that in Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). This means that only God knows everything, and only God always tells the truth (John 17:17).

It is important to get across to the children that, compared to what God knows, what any human knows is almost nothing. Therefore, if we are going to find out the truth about the dinosaurs, or how the world came into existence, or how anything ever got here at all, we need to consult the one who knows everything. Stress to them that no scientist knows everything, but that the Bible tells us God knows everything, so we should go to the Bible to find the answers.

Student Exercise:

Have the children use an ink pen to draw a very small dot on a blank page. Then get them to take another blank page, and start making dots all over the page. They can continue doing this for a couple of minutes. Explain to them that the one dot on the page represents how much man knows, but all the other dots they have drawn on the other page are just a start in representing what God knows. Tell them that they could continue making dots FOREVER and God would still know MUCH more than that. Help them to begin to understand what it means that God has infinite knowledge.

Hand out on next page


The Bible has the answer, God’s Word is true.

V W X Y and Z

We’ll learn the truth about history.

Refer to Job 38:4. Here God asked Job the question, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” In other words, teach the children that God was really asking Job, “Were you there?”

Share with them that not only does God know everything, but He has always been there. The only way we can know what happened to the dinosaurs, for instance, is to talk to someone who knows everything, who’s always been there. Tell them that only God knows everything and has always been there, and that we should go to His Word to understand this world, and even to look for clues regarding dinosaurs.

Also share with them that the next time a teacher (or anyone) talks about “millions of years ago,” the student could ask, “Were you there?” Explain that no human being knows everything, or has always been there, so how can they really know what happened in the past?

Student Exercise

Give each student an M&M to eat. Have some of them go outside and eat it without anyone watching. Then ask each student to prove they ate an M&M. It should be obvious that those who have witnesses will have an easier time attempting to prove this than those without witnesses. However, also discuss the fact that the witnesses have to be reliable, and they may not have observed carefully enough-maybe some witnesses didn’t tell the truth. Some may use evidence such as chocolate around the mouth, or on the tongue, to “prove” they ate an M&M. But this could also be interpreted as having been an ordinary piece of chocolate-not an M&M. Actually, in the final analysis, they can’t PROVE they ate an M&M, because it happened in the past. Explain how much easier it is to substantiate a fact when there are witnesses.

If you want to give the students a more difficult question-ask them to prove the color of the M&M they ate! In order to “prove” this, they would have had to specifically show it to someone before they ate it.


We’ll learn the truth about history.

Do we really know what dinosaurs looked liked or how they behaved?

Putting a dinosaur skeleton together is not easy. It is often like putting together a very difficult jigsaw puzzle with many of the pieces missing or damaged. The skeletons are usually very incomplete. Many dinosaur fossils are discovered badly damaged. Bones are often found crushed or bent by the great weight of the dirt and rock above. Sometimes parts from different creatures are mixed together. This just adds to the confusion.

Unfortunately, some scientists have not been careful enough in their descriptions of dinosaurs. They have told grand stories of how dinosaurs looked and behaved. All of these descriptions are based on guesswork - the imaginations of people who have never seen a living dinosaur.

Some scientists have made complete pictures of dinosaurs based on just a single bone or tooth or leg. Such pictures are based on many guesses and very little facts. The scientists' ideas often turn out to be wrong when more facts are discovered.

Dinosaur fossils are not found with labels or photographs attached showing what the animals looked like. That is why no pictures of dinosaurs are exactly right. Every dinosaur painting is sure to contain at least some wrong information. No artist ever saw the living, breathing animals - complete with skin, flesh and color.

For instance, imagine never having seen or heard of a poodle or a peacock. One day you find the jumbled bones of one buried in the ground. You try to put the bones together to form a skeleton. And then you try to draw a picture of what the animal looked like when alive. But bones cannot tell the whole story. Even if you are a very good artist, it would be a miracle if you drew a true picture of a poodle or a peacock just from the bones and your imagination.

If scientists could climb into a time machine and travel to the past, they could get much better information. Only then would they know the true appearance of dinosaurs or what they ate and how they really behaved. Scientists might be very surprised at what they would learn.

Hand out on next page

Copyright 1996 by Kevin Brockschmidt. All Rights Reserved.

The Triceratops

Some dinosaurs, like the Triceratops, had bony spikes on their heads. Others had spikes on their backs and elsewhere. If basic types of horns and spikes like these were originally created by God, then we know something about their purpose. They were not meant for fighting other dinosaurs. The head horns may have been used for getting food by lifting thick foliage, or for poking, rooting or turning plants.

After the Flood what happened to dinosaurs?

Then the Flood was over Noah opened the Ark’s big door and let the animals free. Babies were born to each set of parents. After many years, the earth began to be filled with animals again.

The dinosaurs lived for at least a few centuries after the Flood, but probably never in the great numbers that there once had been. No one knows exactly when they finally died out.

After the Flood the earth was a very different place. When Noah stepped off the ship, it must have felt like getting out on another planet. Nothing would have looked familiar. Most of the world was left covered with water. Seven out of every ten spots of the globe are still under water today.

All of the landmarks were destroyed. The Garden of Eden was gone forever. So was the whole land of Eden and every other land. Mud and rock were everywhere. Cold forbidding mountains stood where none had been before.

Earthquakes and volcanoes still continued to plague animals and man, even after the Flood was over--and still do today on a smaller scale.

Temperatures had become extreme. Some parts of the world got much hotter after the Flood. This eventually dried up all the water and left great deserts. In other places, snow began to fall for the first time because of freezing cold. A short ice “age” followed the Flood in some parts of the world.

Harmful radiation from the sun (and space) probably came down in much larger doses after the Flood. The original world may have been protected from this radiation by a special atmosphere. The earth’s air may have contained a much higher amount of water which kept the weather warmer and more pleasant. Before the Flood, plants were watered by rivers, underground springs and dew--instead of by rain.

Word search

What does a dinosaur really look like?

















INSTRUCTIONS: Look for the words on the list. Circle them. Words may be hidden horizontally, vertically, diagonally, forwards, or backwards.

The story that will be shared with the children:

After a year of planning, our exploration of the Liscomb Bone Bed on the North Slope of Alaska was finally right around the corner. In this place were frozen, unfossilized dinosaur bones. They can be found in abundance in the coal and shale layers of these beds. It was these bones that attracted us. We hope to use these bones for chemical analysis, and samples with organic materials still present are always the best choice.

ARRIVING IN ALASKA The five of us were split into two groups for our trip to Alaska. We left from Ohio or Indiana, depending on what flights we were booked for. We were scheduled to depart from Fairbanks, Alaska the next morning by 8AM. But with some serious unexpected flight schedule changes, we weren’t sure our plans would work. But God saw to it that we arrived on time, even a few hours before our scheduled departure from Fairbanks to Umiat.

SPECTACULAR SCENERY The flight up the coast of Alaska was unforgettable. As we were flying, we witnessed a beautiful sunrise (about 1:30 in the morning!). The mountains below were absolutely spectacular. They were snow covered, and had glaciers hugging their valleys. The rugged mountains showed their beautiful array of horns, cirques, aretes, and other gorgeous glacial carvings. Even though I was dead tired, I could not sleep. It was a geologist’s paradise!

MOSQUITO ATTACK We had heard rumors about how bad the mosquitos were on the North Slope. But nothing prepared us for this!

We boarded the twin-engine Navajo Chieftain for the two and a-half hour flight to Umiat. Just before landing, our pilot reached behind his seat, fumbled around in his flight bag, and grabbed his Deep Woods OFF. He began to apply his “bug stuff” liberally. I thought this was premature until we landed in Umiat on the gravel runway at 10:30 A.M. We were shocked at the swarms of mosquitos outside the plane. Had we made the right decision about coming this far and being left behind with so many mosquitos? From our vantage point inside the plane, they sounded like the angry hives of bees that my pony had kicked over when I was a boy [“Peanuts” died from this]—and they were waiting for us to come out so the feeding could begin.

We had prepared physically for the mosquitos with 100% DEET (most bug stuff only contains a few percent DEET), mosquito head nets, and bug net shirts, but we were not prepared mentally for them. We didn’t know there would be this many.

I have never seen a pilot work so fast. He had the plane unloaded and was up in the air again within five minutes. He didn’t even stick around to say good-bye or let us have a second look in the plane to make sure we had gotten everything. He probably took off so fast to make sure we wouldn’t change our minds, and go back with him. After the pilot left, we sat around in shock sitting on top of our gear wondering what we were doing in such a desolate place. The DEET kept the mosquitos from landing on our exposed skin, but we could do nothing about the swarms that constantly enveloped us. Had we made the right decision? Would we ever make it home alive and sane?

UMIAT, AK—Umiat is a strange little ghost town. A generation ago the oil industry made it famous, but now no more than three people live here. O.J. is the town’s only year-round resident and self-proclaimed mayor. The town is full of abandoned trailers that look similar to those you find on construction sites. The front of the office we met at had several moose and caribou racks above the door along with a sign that read “Umiat Hilton.”

We paid $1,000 to rent three small rafts, life jackets, and paddles (plus a few patch kits and foot pumps), which we rented from Bob and O.J. (Our rental fee also including O.J. flying to Nuiqsut to pick up the rafts ten days later). Quickly we were off to the Colville River, which is only slightly smaller in width than the Ohio or the Missouri. It is a large river, draining the entire north side of the Brooks Mountains. It was cold (from snow melt) and very muddy. We loaded our rafts, said our goodbye’s, and began our journey.

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Within fifteen minutes of our departure onto the Colville Buddy and Dan’s raft was out of sight. I was in the small red raft and Mike and George were in the other. Without warning Mike and George’s raft suddenly began to sink. The raft nearly sank before they were able to get to shore. George had to hold up the side of the raft and Mike had to paddle frantically to get there. It was certainly only because of God’s help they were able to get to shore before certain catastrophe. They discovered that some of their gear was on top of a valve and apparently had dislodged it, causing the leak. After getting it pumped up and rearranging some gear, they were on their way again. Knowing how cold the water was and how dangerous hypothermia would have been made Mike choose to ride in a different raft for the remainder of the trip—always listening for that foreboding sound of hissing air.

Because the Liscomb Bone Bed was still far downstream, we wanted to make as much distance on the river as possible. (The Colville flows from south to north and ends in the Arctic Ocean.) As we drifted, we saw occasional rubble tumbling down the one hundred and fifty foot bluff to our left. Falcons soared high above. When the air was still, mosquitos were thick

As evening approached, we decided to make camp on a high sand and gravel bar about 9:00. We were all tired and slept hard, despite the cold weather and short hours of darkness. At 3AM I was awakened by the sun shining brightly into my tent!

The Alaskan wildlife is certainly beautiful. To our delight this day allowed us to see five moose and one caribou. But the day wasn’t all relaxing.

SEPARATION! During the morning we encountered some anxious times. The river often splits into many different channels with long islands separating them. Buddy and Dan went down one channel and George, Mike, and I went down another with the other two rafts. We tried to follow Buddy and Dan, but the current was just too strong and we became separated. After traveling downstream a little further and drifting by several large adjoining channels, we didn’t know if Buddy and Dan were ahead or behind us. We didn’t know whether to wait or press hurriedly ahead. Finally, one hour later we reunited downstream. It was by God’s grace that we found each other so quickly. We were determined never to become separated again.

As lunch approached, we came upon a three mile sand and gravel bar. It had been reported in the scientific literature that a dinosaur horn core had been found in the float (loose rock material) near here. We had made good mileage that morning so we ate lunch on the east side of the river planning to spend part of the afternoon walking the bar looking for fossils. On the west side of the river rose a 100 foot bluff. After lunch, Buddy was not feeling well; he was sick to his stomach. I was hoping to make more time today, but I also needed a healthy crew. I decided that we should pitch our tents and make camp on this island gravel bar.

During our much-needed afternoon of relaxation, we found several pieces of fossilized and coalified wood on the bar contained within a hard tan siltstone matrix. I was hoping to get over to the 100 foot bluff, but the current was too strong to get over and back. Besides, it looked rather dangerous because the bluff was very steep and we would occasionally see rock falls tumble down the slope and into the river. I was content searching the bar for fossil material. I tried a little fishing, gazed at some moose up close, and enjoyed the windy afternoon that assisted in keeping the mosquitos at bay.

As evening approached, it began to drizzle and the mosquitos returned. Once we got inside the tent, we found ourselves refusing to leave because of the annoying insects, not to mention the rain. But what do you when nature calls? Thank God for Ziplock bags.

We were back on the river by 8AM this morning. We drifted down the river at a pretty good pace of 4-5 mph seeing an occasional moose standing motionless in the water along the river edge. We were able to check our speed with our G.P.S. (global positioning system), which also provided location and precise distance figures. Mike became our high-tech resident expert.

BEAR TRACKS Our lunch break was near the confluence of the Kikak River. We carefully checked some of the gravel bars here for dinosaur bones. Some have been reported here in the past. After no success on the bar, we began to work our way over toward the bluff hoping to find something there. As usual, my eyes were peeled to the ground as we worked our way through the willow bushes to the bluff. Suddenly I stopped—as I stared at the ground I saw bear tracks. Worse yet, I saw some smaller tracks—bear cubs. O.J. had warned us about grizzlies in the willows. Mother grizzlies with cubs are probably the most dangerous North American mammal. The willows (small spindly bushes about head high) were thick enough that we wouldn’t have been able to see a sleeping sow and her cubs twenty feet away. We were hoping not to surprise one. If the bear hears you coming well enough in advance, it will usually leave the area and leave you alone. But just in case, I sent Buddy and Mike back to the rafts for the twelve gauge shot gun and rifle. After checking the bluff out thoroughly, no bone material was found (and better yet, no bears).

THE ULTIMATE FIND Just when we were starting to feel quite disappointed at not having found any bone material on the trip, that’s when it happened. Mike was ahead of George and I by about 50 yards. Buddy and Dan behind us by about the same distance. The current carried George and I swiftly by; we couldn’t get to shore for at least another 100 yards. I yelled back to Buddy and Dan to see if they could take a look at the tan rock I had spotted six inches from the water line with black coloring in it. They paddled hard, and the instant they were going to pass it by, Buddy reached out of the raft and hauled the eighty pound specimen into the boat. He motioned that we should stop. We all were able to pull over about 100 yards down stream. (Even though we were fairly close to shore, it was a struggle to get there because of the swift current close to the bank.)

God’s perfect timing

We were hoping to make an eight mile trip today towards Ocean Point (the nearest marked map locality close to the Liscomb Bone Bed). We almost didn’t get anywhere at all. While Dan was relaxing along the river last night, he noticed a slight rise in the river. He decided to move all of our rafts, paddles, and life jackets to higher ground. This was God’s providence because the river rose one or two feet overnight and became extremely muddy. If he would not have noticed, our rafts would have been far downstream by the time we woke up the next morning. We saw God’s hand at work not only in this, but in allowing us to find the jaw bone along the river’s edge yesterday. The jaw was close enough to the river’s edge that it would have been underwater if we had floated by one day later. Thanks again Lord for your perfect timing and providential guidance.

As we traveled down the river that morning, we made excellent time. The current was moving faster because of the increased amount of water. What would God do next? How could anything surpass the events of yesterday? For the most part, the rocks along the bluff had been horizontally bedded. The rocks consisted of loosely cemented sandstones, shales, occasionally siltstones, and coal beds. As we traveled that morning we encountered some tremendous folds and faults, highlighted by coal beds. I certainly had not expected this after all of the “boring” horizontal stratigraphy we had seen the days before. While floating along photographing folds, faults, and occasionally stopping to get a closer look at some of the rocks along the bluff, we began to hear enormous noises in the distance. Mike was the first to hear them. We wondered if someone was shooting a gun or cannon. As we rounded a large bend, to our amazement, we began to see what was happening.

Awesome geology in motion

Ahead of us, on our left was a sheer cliff, approximately 150 feet high and one half mile long. The strongest current of the river was pulling us towards the cliff, as it did most of the time. We were alarmed. In front of us we could see the cliff giving away, producing massive rock falls which were careening into the water below. This is what we had been hearing for the last half hour upstream. We began to furiously paddle, steering the boats to our right to get out of the main current on our left. Floating along the edge of this cliff would have meant certain death. The rock falls were so continuous and large we would have either been sunk by rocks falling in our boats or capsized by the waves produced from the rocks hitting the water. Finally, after twenty minutes of hard paddling, we made it to a gravel bar across the river from the falls.

Exhausted, we pulled the boats up to the beach and watched in utter astonishment from our vantage point a quarter mile away. It was like watching fireworks. You didn’t know where the next big one was going to happen. The rockfalls were continuous, one happening somewhere along the cliff at all times. Some of the boulders would plunge the full height of the cliff, landing in the water creating splashes twenty feet high or more. The falls were the result of a combination of processes and factors. First, as we had already seen upstream the bluff was inherently unstable. Small falls and slides had already been witnessed. The rocks making up the bluff all crumble very easily. Secondly, the strongest current of the river was at the base of the bluff, causing tremendous amounts of erosion. The river was carrying away every bit of talus building up at the cliff base. The bottom of the bluff simply could not build out. This created the sheer nature of the cliff. Thirdly, the warm sun was melting permafrost at the top of the cliff and creating muddy waterfalls which flowed over the edge of the tundra and into the river below. I suspect this was the catalyst and lubricant which was making the falls so continuous.

This was one of the most amazing geologic spectacles I have ever seen. It was geology in motion. Watching along the half mile cliff base, no one point could be observed for more than ten seconds without at least one rock falling into the water. Watching the incredible degradation of the cliff before our eyes, we wondered how long this process could continue until the cliff disappeared. How long has this landscape been in existence? 25 years? 100 years? Could it last 1,000 years? Could this process occur for hundreds of thousands of years? The cliff decomposing before our eyes was direct evidence for a young age of the cliff, and indirect evidence for a young age of the river, and the earth. There is just no other reasonable way to explain why the cliff is still here and hasn’t completely eroded away.

After a nice lunch without the aid of mosquito netting, we reluctantly left our paradise, looking over our shoulders for a final glimpse of the spectacular falls. The distant booms continued for an hour as we floated away. The river began to split into many channels. We wanted to stay on the west side of the river, but the wind became stronger than the current, and we ended up in the eastern channels, much to our dismay. No progress was made down river. Occasionally, it was faster and less tiring to get out of our boats and pull them along the beach instead of trying to paddle. Finally, we were forced to pull over and wait for the wind to die down.

On shore, the Alaskan tundra has no trees. The largest plant life here are small willow bushes, no higher than your head. They like to grow next to rivers and in low areas near a ravine or stream where they can find plenty of moisture. Mostly, the tundra is covered with grasses and a half dozen different types of wild flowers. I didn’t know their names, but we saw red, several varieties of blue, and yellow ones. One flower I didn’t expect to see north of the Arctic Circle was the dandelion. They are not prolific, but they are here, strong and healthy. I was disappointed to find somebody’s trash in this little clearing amongst the willows. There were several tin cans (one was Spam), beer cans and other bits of waste left behind. This wasn’t the only time I came across trash. I was angry that someone would spoil the pristine Alaskan tundra like this.

Soon the wind died down and our two hour siesta was over. Paddling for a long time, and still fighting the breeze, we passed through the main channel and made it into one of the western channels. We still weren’t quite sure where we were on the map. Apparently the channels in this part of the river change so much that it is difficult to keep the maps updated. Our G.P.S. helped, but the coordinates it gave us didn’t quite match with the map (it doesn’t always give an accurate reading). Very tired, and yet still wanting to make more progress towards Ocean Point, we stopped and had dinner about 7:30 on a sand bar. We ate quickly and began to talk about trying to make it to the bone beds that evening. However, the Lord had other plans.

The specimen Buddy hauled in turned out to be the jaw of a duck billed dinosaur we have temporarily identified as Lambeosaurus. Others had expected this dinosaur may be present in Alaska, but until our find, the skull bones have never been found to prove it. It turns out the jaw we found is twice the size of any dinosaur yet found in Alaska. From our estimation, this jaw represents an animal at least 40 feet long. A jaw this large was surprising to us, because most of the previously reported Alaskan bone material has been from juvenile dinosaurs.

We were very excited! We had found our first bit of bone material. We stopped our boats and prepared to walk along the bank back upstream. We wanted to see if any more bone material was present. The current was moving fast along the edge, and the cold, muddy water was certainly over our heads. As always, when we stopped, we gingerly stepped out of the boats. But this time, Mike slipped, and nearly went up to his waist in water and mud. It was a wake up call for all of us to take our time and be careful. As we walked back upstream, we found several other large pieces of bone (we think they are limb bones from the same animal) and some additional fossil wood specimens. The large pieces of tan siltstone containing the bones seemed to be weathering out of the bank behind us. Who knows how much of the Lambeosaurus had rolled down the bank and ended up in the bottom of the river. We were all praising the Lord that we had been allowed to find something so amazing!

After collecting everything we could find, we loaded the rafts and went a short distance downstream to set up camp. We settled in for a nice afternoon amidst the wild flower aroma and warmer weather. By 10PM many of us settled down for sleep, the sun still brightly shining. As I lie in bed I hear various sounds: the mosquitos outside, cliff rubble periodically crashing into the river, gurgling muddy river rapids, and falcons nesting high above us as they cry like baby kittens. George is quietly singing praises to our mighty Creator.

Thinking back over the day, it has absolutely been amazing. Thanks Lord for your perfect timing, and giving us the privilege to do your work.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Palm Sunday Lesson Plans

Based on the Palm Sunday story, Hanna’s Parade is about the donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem.
Hanna’s Parade

Once there was a young donkey named Hanna. She lived with a merchant named Boaz. Each day, He would load merchandise on his donkeys and travel to Jerusalem. There, he would sell them in the marketplace.
Hanna was unable to go. She could only walk a short distance before she would get tired and have to stop. If anything were placed on her back, she would collapse under the weight. Hanna was so sad. She wanted to work like the other donkeys.
Boaz loved Hanna. He brought in wise men from all over the country to examine her. They poked and prodded, but nobody could cure her.
“We don’t know what the problem is,” said one of the wise men. “She may never be able to work.”
Boaz was very sad. He didn’t know what to do.
“Don’t worry Hanna,” said Boaz. “God created you for a reason.”
Each day, Hanna watched Boaz leave for Jerusalem. She had to stay in the stable. After the servants fed her, she would be alone for the rest of the day.
Hanna prayed, “Dear God, I want to be healthy and go to Jerusalem.”
She sat down in the warm hay and fell asleep, dreaming of traveling to Jerusalem.
The next day, Boaz had an idea. His servants took Hanna to the front of the house. There, she could watch the people pass on their way to Jerusalem.
“I think you will be happier here,” said Boaz as he rubbed Hanna’s neck.
Hanna watched her master leave for Jerusalem. This was a nice change, but she really wanted to join them. Hanna imagined what it would be like in the city.
It must be wonderful, she thought.
Around noon, two men came and untied Hanna. One of the servants questioned the men.
“Why are you untying my master’s donkey?”
“The Lord needs it and will send it back shortly,” said the men.
Startled by their explanation, the servant let them take Hanna.
Hanna wondered where she was going. She was getting very tired, but did not want to stop.
They took her to a man named Jesus.
He leaned down and whispered to Hanna, “Do not be afraid. God’s power is strongest in those that are weak.”
Hanna heard the words, but didn’t know exactly what they meant.
The men with Jesus placed their cloaks on Hanna. Her legs began to shake and she thought she might fall down. Then, Jesus sat on her back. She had never had anyone ride her before. He was so heavy, how could she carry him?
“Let’s go to Jerusalem,” said Jesus as he patted Hanna’s neck.
Hanna took a step and then, another one. With each step, she felt stronger. Soon, she was trotting confidently towards Jerusalem.
“I’m going to Jerusalem!” she shouted.
As they approached the city, many people lay down cloaks and palm branches in their path. They also shouted praises.
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord – the King of Israel!”
Others shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in Heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
Still others added, “Long live the King!”
The streets were lined on each side with people praising Jesus. And there in the middle of it all was Hanna. She was leading the parade through the middle of the city straight for the marketplace.
Boaz noticed all the excitement.
“What’s going on?” he asked one of the people heading towards the parade.
“Don’t you know?” asked the man. “Jesus is coming!”
Boaz had heard about Jesus and wanted to see him. He left one of his servants to watch the merchandise and ran towards the crowd.
The crowd was huge and Boaz was a small man. He fought his way through the crowd until he was in front of the Temple.
Jesus climbed off Hanna and walked towards Boaz. He looked directly at him.
“Her faith has healed her,” said Jesus.
“Thank you Lord,” said Boaz.
Boaz ran to Hanna and threw his arms around her. He was so happy.
That evening, Hanna carried the largest load back home. She told the other donkeys all that had happened. They all praised God for her healing.


Hanna’s Parade – Key Concepts
A Parable About Faith & Healing

1. Hanna wanted to work like the other donkeys. Her heart’s desire was to serve her master and work like everyone else. The illness made it impossible for her to work. You must remember that God wants to give you the desires of your heart. It is His will for you to be healthy, happy and fully capable of giving Him your best.
2. The wise men that examined Hanna couldn’t solve the problem. God has given knowledge to doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals. In addition, He has placed healing abilities within your body and filled the earth with plants, minerals and chemicals that can be used to treat illness. But you must remember that God is the ultimate Healer/Doctor. When you place your trust in God and put His Word first in your life, it makes healing, whether natural, through medical assistance, or through the supernatural all that more certain.
3. The wise men unwisely gave an evil report (negative confession): “She may never be able to work.” Your words are capable of releasing faith or doubt and unbelief. It is important that you never say words that are contrary to God’s Word and reject anything that you hear that is inconsistent with what you know you have in Christ. When you speak in agreement to God’s Word, you are always speaking the truth.
4. Boaz had faith in God. He knew that it was not God’s will for Hanna to be sick and unable to work. You cannot do your best for God if you are hindered by sickness or lack.
5. Hanna asked God to heal her. God always hears the prayers of believers, and faith-filled prayers are always answered.
6. Boaz was inspired to tie Hanna up in front of his house. As believers, God is always at work in your life. He gives you inspiration to do the things to help others. It is your responsibility to have a willing spirit and listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction. When you have your spiritual ears tuned in, you can be most effective in helping others and doing God’s work. Don’t be surprised to see God at work in your life. Be ready to be obedient to His request. It may seem strange, but it will always be in agreement to His Word.
7. As Hanna watched the people head towards Jerusalem, she imagined herself healthy, strong and traveling with them. This is an important step for all believers. God sees you healthy, prosperous and full of joy. Changing a self-image is an important step to realizing your full potential. Start seeing yourself the way God sees you.
8. After the men took Hanna to Jesus, she felt tired and doubts entered her mind, but in her heart (spirit) she still believed she was healed and would go to Jerusalem. This is real faith. Faith knows you have something when you can’t see, taste, or touch it. Faith is not hope. Hope is in the future. Faith is right now! When you study the Bible and pray, your faith will increase. Just like exercise will build muscles, speaking and reading God’s Word will build your faith where you can know you have your prayer answered before you see it or feel it.
9. Jesus told Hanna, “Do not be afraid. God’s Power is strongest in those that are weak.” It is important that you never have any fear. Fear is the opposite of faith and it is in fact a sin. When you accept Jesus as your Lord, you receive a new spirit. You are no longer weak because Jesus becomes your strength. And you do not need to fear because God’s love will remove all your fear.
10. When Jesus said, “Let’s go to Jerusalem” he was releasing his faith to heal Hanna. When you speak faith-filled words that are in agreement with God’s Word, miracles happen! Hanna heard the words and agreed with them. As she took the first step of faith and shouted in agreement with Jesus, her healing was complete and she was on her way to Jerusalem!
11. After Hanna was healed, she joyfully served her master and shared her story with the other donkeys. What a wonderful story you can share with your friends when you see miracles in your life! Start believing today that God makes good things happen in your life every day. Expect miracles and you will be amazed at what God will do!

Putting It All Together
Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.
You can build your faith by speaking God’s Word and only speaking things that agree with the Bible.
You will get your prayers answered when you ask in agreement with God’s will, believe in your heart that God heard your prayer and that you have what you asked, even if you do not see it, hold it or feel it.
Confession (speaking, believing, knowing) comes before possession.
Most people want to see, feel or hold something first before they will believe they have it. This is backwards. It takes no faith to believe in something you see or are already holding. Faith says: “I believe I have it” and then you do have it. That is the God-kind of faith.


Dear God, thank You for giving us times of
joy and celebration. Help us to remember
that Jesus is the King over all things and
we need to praise and worship Him.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

We will also be making palm’s leaves and coloring in a Palm Sunday picture as well as an anagram about Easter.
Below you will see an extra story that I will be reading while the kids are eating there snacks.
The King Is Coming!
            The dusty roads leading into Jerusalem were anything but quiet. A buzz of excitement filled the air as preparations for Passover, the biggest holiday of the year, were being made. It seemed that everyone from everywhere was trying to get to Jerusalem to celebrate. But it wasn't only people . . .
           The roads were crowded with donkeys and camels which was the common form of transportation, and not only that, most people also brought other animals with them. The bleating of sheep, the mooing of cows and the cooing of doves could all be heard, as well as the laughing and singing of children. The mood was boisterous and joyous as people greeted old friends and family members they hadn't seen since the previous year.
           "Hey! There's Uncle Ezra and Aunt Mary." Joshua excitedly exclaimed to his father. "Is it all right if I go the rest of the way with them?" he asked.
           "If it's okay with them, I don't mind," his father replied. "Just make sure to hold onto that goat! If that goat gets away, there will be no feast for you, young man," his father teased as he toussled Joshua's hair.
           Holding onto that goat was no small feat for Joshua. It seemed that the animal was always wanting to go in the wrong direction, and when it did go the right way it was only because it was trying to get into another person's feed sacks. Joshua tugged and pulled, and with much struggle, finally caught up to his Uncle Ezra, Aunt Mary, and their children.
           "That goat of yours is giving you a difficult time, is it?" Uncle Ezra questioned with a grin. Joshua gave the rope another tug and nodded. "Well, we will be there shortly," Uncle Ezra said. "I'll take the goat off your hands for a little while. You and Samuel haven't seen each other in so long; you have a lot of catching up to do. Go, run and play, but . . . remember to stay close. Don't go wandering off where we can't see you."
           Joshua and his cousin Samuel pulled a couple of figs out of their sacks and dashed to the edge of the road to sit under a tree to have their snack. They chattered almost non-stop about the Passover. "No school for eight whole days!" Joshua said excitedly. "Just think of the fun we can have!"
           Samuel was more excited about the celebration meals. "There's going to be so much food!"  he exclaimed. "Not only are we out of school for eight days, but we also get to eat for eight days!" The boys were so caught up in their excitement, they forgot that the crowd was moving along, passing them by. Uncle Ezra and Aunt Mary were nowhere to be seen. Jumping up quickly, they hurriedly squeezed their way through the crowd trying to catch up, hoping that they hadn't been missed.
           As the boys were trying to catch up to Samuel's parents, they passed a small building that had a mother donkey and her young colt tied to a post. "Aw, look at the little colt," Samuel said gently, as he reached out and tried to pet it.
           "Yee Haw!" the mother donkey screeched, unhappy that someone was trying to touch her baby. Samuel quickly pulled his hand back and put it in his pocket.
           As the two boys stood there admiring the little colt, two men, who were Jesus' disciples, came along and started to untie the donkey and the colt. "Yee Haw!" the donkey screeched again. Hearing the commotion, the owner came out of the building.
           "What are you doing?" he questioned. "Why are you loosing the animals?"
           The two disciples, having had a previous discussion with Jesus, were ready for this question and knew just what to say. "The Lord needs these animals," was the simple reply they gave the owner.
           The owner didn't question further. He let the two men take the animals.
           Now, that made Samuel and Joshua curious. They wanted to know who the "Lord" was and why he needed the donkey and the little colt. They followed closely and quietly behind the two men.
           Just outside the town, they watched as the men took off their overcoats and laid them on the little colt. Samuel and Joshua were quite surprised that the little colt wasn't fearful at all, and this time even the mother donkey didn't seem to mind that someone was touching her baby. They watched as a man got up on the colt and started riding it into town.
           "How can he do that?" they heard someone from the crowd ask. "How can he get on and ride a little colt that has never been trained?"
           "And just look at that mother donkey," someone else exclaimed. "She doesn't seem to mind at all!"
           Most of the people in the crowd recognized the man who was riding the little colt. They had heard his teachings, and many had seen at least one miracle. "It's Jesus! It's Jesus!" they loudly proclaimed. Many of them took the garments they had brought with them for the week of celebration and laid them on the ground. Other people had brought palm branches on their trip to fan themselves, and they laid those on the ground. Some of them used their palm branch fans to wave in the air, causing a breeze to keep Jesus cool and comfortable.
           Even the children joined in! Samuel, Joshua, and some of the other young people climbed nearby trees to get more palm branches to lay on the ground. They made a long carpet out of clothing and palm branches, reaching all the way down the road and into town for the donkey and the colt carrying Jesus to walk on. All the while they were laying garments and palm branches on the ground, they were waving and shouting, "HOSANNA! HOSANNA! Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord! BLESSED BE THE KING! HOSANNA!"
           The people in the crowd had recognized that day that JESUS is the KING of all the earth. They recognized Him as their Messiah who would one day rule over everything. But there were a few people that were not happy about all this. Some of the Pharisees (teachers in the temple) told Jesus to tell the people to stop shouting and to stop calling Him the King, and to stop worshipping Him.
           Jesus responded to the Pharisees saying: "If these people were to be quiet and not worship Me as their King, then the rocks would cry out in worship." Jesus and the donkey, and the colt continued on their way into the city of Jerusalem, as the shouts of the people continued. "HOSANNA! HOSANNA! Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord! BLESSED BE THE KING! HOSANNA!"
           Joshua and Samuel were excited and had certainly never seen anything like that before, but they were beginning to get nervous and worried. They were afraid they were going to be scolded for not staying nearby. When they finally reached Samuel's parents, they timidly tried to explain. "Please don't be angry. There was such a huge crowd of people, and there was so much happening, we couldn't help it. We got lost in the crowd."
           They were pleasantly surprised when they were told that Uncle Ezra, Aunt Mary, and the other children had also been slowed down by the great crowd of people who gathered around Jesus, and they had kept their eyes on the boys the whole time. They all agreed that it was a wonderful way to begin the great Passover week celebration.
  • Why were so many people going to Jerusalem?
  • How many days did they celebrate Passover?
  • Who untied the donkey and the colt?
  • What did the people spread on the road?
  • What did the people shout?
  • What was Jesus' reply when the Pharisees told Him
       to make the people stop worshipping Him?

Jesus is the King!

"Blessed be the King that cometh in the name
of the Lord" (Luke