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.