MONTHLY ARCHIVES: April 2015

Conversation Starters: Forgive

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Karah

IMG_8505-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Even in the best of relationships, we will hurt or disappoint one another. It’s often easy to forgive a misunderstanding or unintentional mistake, but it’s harder when the person “knows better” and does it anyway. Or the person keeps doing the same thing again and again. Some of us become hesitant to forgive; because by doing so, it feels like we’re saying what they did was OK. But just as Jesus forgave us, we are to forgive others.

Concept: Forgive 

Preschool

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Their father was Isaac, and their mother was Rebekah. Jacob liked to stay home and learned to cook. Esau liked to be outside and hunt wild animals. After hunting, Esau would cook the meat for his father to eat. One day Jacob tricked his father and made his brother angry. Esau wanted to hurt Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob to his uncle. Jacob stayed with his uncle and worked for him caring for his sheep. Jacob married and had many children. He finally decided to return home. Jacob wondered if his brother would still be angry. One of his helpers came and said, “Some men are coming to see you.” Jacob wondered if Esau was sending men to hurt him. So he sent animals to Esau as a gift. But Esau wasn’t angry. When he saw Jacob, he hugged him and welcomed him home.

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness is a difficult concept for preschoolers to understand. Model forgiveness for your preschooler so he can begin to understand what it looks and feels like. Soon he will take the initiative on his own to forgive someone.

Kids

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Esau had been born first. The firstborn son received a special birthright and blessing. Esau loved being outside and hunting. Jacob loved to cook. One day, Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau was hungry and said he’d give Jacob anything if he could have some. Jacob wanted Esau’s birthright. Esau was hungry and said Jacob could have it! The time came for Isaac to give Esau his blessing. Rebekah, came up with a plan. Isaac had instructed Esau to go out, hunt, and bring him back a meal. While Esau was gone, Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him Easu’s blessing. Esau was so angry that he said he would kill his brother Jacob. So, Jacob quickly left! Many years later, Jacob returned home. Jacob was afraid to see Esau. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and hugged him.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to think of someone he needs to forgive, either a friend or family member. Help her think of how she can apologize.

Students

Matthew 18:21-28, 32-33

THE POINT: Relationships grow deeper with forgiveness. Are you quick to forgive others? Why or why not? Examine your heart for any bitterness that you’ve allowed
to grow. Discuss the following quote:

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”1 — Anonymous

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Forgiveness Unlimited:
•Discuss the importance of confessing sin to the Lord.
•Pray with your student, thanking God for His immeasurable forgiveness toward us.

If he or she plans to complete Selfish Forgiveness:
•Make yourself available to your student to talk as he or she learns to forgive people who may have hurt him or her.
•Model forgiveness in your home this week by extending grace to your spouse, children, and friends.
1. Stephanie Sarkis, “30 Quotes on Forgiveness,” Psychology Today, 1 February 2011, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.psychologytoday.com.


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Conversation Starters: Encourage

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Karah

DSC_0927THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No soldier wants to go into battle alone. No one likes to stand up and be the lone voice in a meeting. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when we encourage one another. We all need encouragers in our lives. In turn, we can strengthen our relationships when we offer the same support and encouragement to others.

Concept: Encourage 

Preschool

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: The king of Persia wanted to choose a new queen. He looked at many young women; then he chose Esther for his queen. Esther was a Jewish girl who lived with her cousin Mordecai. Haman, one of the king’s helpers, did not like Mordecai or the Jewish people. Haman wanted to hurt Mordecai and all the Jews. “Go and ask the king to help us,” Mordecai told Esther. “Tell him you are Jewish and that Haman wants to hurt us.”
Esther was afraid to go to the king. If she went to the king without being called, she could be in trouble. Esther asked the Jews to pray for her for three days. Esther dressed in her nicest clothes. She went to see the king. The king was happy to see Esther and listened to what she wanted. He helped Esther and Mordecai. The king punished Haman for trying to hurt Mordecai and the Jews.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans she may have for her life, such as what she wants to be when she grows up. Help her understand that God has the perfect plan for her and wants her to love Him.

Kids

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: King Ahasuerus wanted a new queen. Esther lived with her cousin, Mordecai. Esther won the approval of everyone who met her and was crowned queen. Esther did not tell she was Jewish. Haman wanted to kill the Jewish people. He convinced the king to issue a decree that would destroy all Jews. When Queen Esther learned what was happening, Mordecai instructed her to go to the king and ask him to help. Queen Esther stood outside the palace until the king noticed her. The king said he would do anything she asked. Esther made a banquet for the king and Haman. At the banquet, she asked that they join her the next night. The next night, she told the king about Haman’s evil plan. The king was angry and had Haman killed. The Jewish people were saved because Esther trusted God and had courage.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans he may have for his life. Write them down and put them in a safe place. Look at the plans again later. Help your child understand that God has a special plan for his life.

Students

Acts 9:26-28; 11:21-26

THE POINT: Encouragement strengthens relationships. Who is the most encouraging person you know? What are some ways you can encourage others? Discuss the following quote:

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you are making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”1 —Zig Ziglar

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Effective Encouragement:
•Make a calendar together of ways you can encourage others as a family.
•Think of ways to encourage your student this week.

If he or she plans to complete Promote Good:
•Join your student in posting messages on social media that inspire others.
•Pray for your student to influence peers in a way that honors Christ.

1. “Zig Ziglar Quotes,” Brainy Quote, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com.


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Conversation Starters: Psalm 23

Posted on April 15, 2015 by Karah

IMG_8622-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: When life seems to turn against us, we need someone to stand with us. We need to know we are not alone when we experience loss. God, who never disappoints or hurts us, walks with us. He provides what we need and strengthens us with His presence. Our desire should be to look back at the storm and say that we are nearer to God and now look more like Him because of His presence.

Psalm 23 

Preschool

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary lived in the town of Nazareth. One day an angel visited Mary. She was surprised. “Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “God has a message for you. You will have a baby. He will be special. He will be God’s Son.” Mary did not understand how this could happen. But she believed God. She said, “I will do what God says.” One night when Joseph was sleeping, he had a dream. God sent an angel to give Joseph a message. “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife,” the angel told Joseph. “She will have a special baby. The baby is God’s Son. You will name the baby Jesus.” Joseph believed God and did what God told him to do. He took Mary to his house. Mary and Joseph became a family. God chose a special family for Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible story with your child. Tell her that God chose a special family for Jesus because families care for one another.

Kids

Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-24

LIFE POINT: Mary was a young woman who lived in Galilee in a town called Nazareth. Mary was engaged to a man named Joseph. Gabriel was an angel sent by God to Mary. Gabriel said, “Do not to be afraid. You will have a son. You should name the baby Jesus.”
Mary did not understand how she could have a baby. Gabriel reminded Mary that nothing is impossible for God. Mary said she would do whatever God wanted her to do. When Joseph heard about the baby, he was unhappy. Joseph knew he was not the father of this baby. He would not marry her. One night, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel said that Joseph should not be afraid to marry Mary. The angel explained that this was God’s Son. He said, “Name Him Jesus.” When Joseph woke up, he did what God’s angel told him to do. Joseph and Mary were married.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child recite Matthew 1:21 from memory. Help him write a short thank-you prayer for the Savior, Jesus.

Students

Psalm 23

THE POINT: No matter what you are going through, God is with you. Tell your student about a difficult season in your life when you knew God was with you. How did God reveal Himself to you during this time? Discuss the following quote:

“Without a shepherd, sheep are not a flock.”1 —Russian Proverb

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Refuge:
• Talk with your student about the challenges he/she is going through. Spend some time praying with your student about these challenges.
• Memorize Psalm 46:1 with your student. Post it around your home as a reminder that God is always with you.

If your student plans to complete Encouragement Box:
• Help your student find materials to create an encouragement box.
• Give your student notes of encouragement or Scripture that he/she could add to the box.

1. “Shepherd,” ThinkExist.com, [cited 2 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://thinkexist.com.


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Conversation Starters: Dealing with Crisis

Posted on April 8, 2015 by Karah

DSC_3917THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We have all been through hard times, but God is bigger than our circumstances. In the Book of Genesis, we see how God prepared and led Joseph in advance of difficult times. While our situation is different from Joseph’s, we can trust the Holy Spirit today to prepare us for and lead us through hard times of our own.

Concept: Dealing with Crisis 

Preschool

Genesis 41

LIFE POINT: Pharaoh had a dream. No one who could tell him what the dream meant. Then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh. Pharaoh sent for Joseph. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream about seven healthy cows and seven thin cows and seven large heads of grain and seven thin heads of grain. Joseph said that God would help him understand the meaning of the dream. Joseph said that for seven years much food would grow and then seven years of famine when little food would grow. Joseph told Pharaoh to appoint a man to gather extra food in the seven good years and to save it for the years of famine. Pharaoh liked the plan. He put Joseph in charge of gathering the food. Joseph was in charge of everything in Egypt. When the famine came, people came to Joseph to buy food for their families. God helped Joseph, and the people had enough food.

LIVE IT OUT: As your child watches, place several coins in an offering envelope and seal it. Allow your child to carry the offering to church. Help her place the envelope in the offering plate. Tell her, “This is one way you can give to God.”

Kids

Genesis 41

LIFE POINT: Pharaoh had a dream. No one who could tell him what the dream meant. Then the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh. Pharaoh sent for Joseph. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream about seven healthy cows and seven thin cows and seven large heads of grain and seven thin heads of grain. Joseph said that God would help him understand the meaning of the dream. Joseph said that for seven years much food would grow and then seven years of famine when little food would grow. Joseph told Pharaoh to appoint a man to gather extra food in the seven good years and to save it for the years of famine. Pharaoh liked the plan. He put Joseph in charge of gathering the food. Joseph was in charge of everything in Egypt. When the famine came, people came to Joseph to buy food for their families. God helped Joseph, and the people had enough food.

LIVE IT OUT: If you ever pay your child for helping with small jobs around the house, or if you give him an allowance, use coins so that he can more easily understand tithing, giving an offering to God, and saving instead of just spending.

Students

THE POINT: God has a plan to see you through any crisis. Do you trust God to take care of you? Discuss with your student a time where you had to trust God through a crisis.
Discuss the following quote:

“The strong hands of God twisted the crown of thorns into a crown of glory; and in such hands we are safe.”1 —Charles Williams

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he plans to complete Be Thankful:
•Invite your student to talk about what he or she is thankful for?
•Lead your student by example. Discuss with him or her 5 things you are thankful for.

If he plans to do Ministry to Others:
•Challenge your student to minister to people going through hard times. Serve alongside him or her.

•Pray for your student to trust God whenever he or she deals with a crisis.

1. “Christian Quotes – Anxiety and Worry Index,” Daily Christian Quote, [cited March 22, 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://dailychristianquote.com.


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Conversation Starters: Helping Others

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Karah

IMG_1260THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: So many of us can be thankful for our homes, possessions, and comfortable lifestyles. Others among us just barely get by. We often struggle in situations that confront us with the underprivileged. It’s often easier to look the other way when we cross paths with someone who is homeless or poor, but God calls us to help people who may be different than us, showing them His love for them.

Concept: Helping Others 

Preschool

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:13-17

LIFE POINT: Ruth and Naomi were all alone. Naomi and Ruth decided to move back to her hometown, Bethlehem. They arrived at harvest. Ruth and Naomi needed food. Ruth decided go into the fields and pick up the grain the workers left behind. Ruth went to a field and began to gather grain. Boaz owned the field. Boaz saw Ruth and asked a worker “Who is that woman?” The man explained who Ruth was. Boaz told Ruth to stay in his
field close to his workers. He shared water and food with her. Naomi was surprised to see how much grain Ruth had gathered. Ruth explained that she had worked in Boaz’s field. Naomi said, “Boaz is my relative. Stay with his workers and you will be safe.” Ruth worked in Boaz’s fields until the harvest was over. Later, Ruth and Boaz were married. They had a baby boy named Obed. Ruth, Boaz, Obed, and Naomi were a happy family.

LIVE IT OUT: Give your child age-appropriate chores to help his family. Remind him that God wants families to help each other.

Kids

Ruth 1:1-22; 2:1-23; 4:23-27

LIFE POINT: Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem after her two sons and husband died. Naomi told Ruth and Orpah, “You should go back to your families.” Naomi convinced Orpah to return to her family. Ruth stayed. The two women had no money for food, so Ruth asked Naomi for permission to go into the fields and pick up fallen grain. Boaz owned the field where Ruth chose to work. He saw her and asked who she was. When Boaz found out about Ruth, he told her to keep working only in his fields. His harvesters would care for her. After a time, Ruth and Boaz married. Later they had a baby boy! They called him Obed. When Obed was a man, he had a son. Obed named his son Jesse. When Jesse was a man, he named his son David. David eventually became the king of Israel.

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your child to find a friend or neighbor with a specific need. Then help him decide how to do something for that person that shows God’s love.

Students

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

THE POINT: We are to imitate God in our desire to help the poor. Plan with your student how you and your family can help others who are less fortunate. Discuss the following quote:

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”1 —Mother Teresa

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or
both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete More Than Words:
• Encourage your student to help those in need.
• Help your student gather items to take to a local food pantry.

If your student plans to complete Thankful:
• Ask your student what he/she is thankful for.
• Share with your student how you’ve been blessed in your own life.

1. “Mother Teresa Quotes” Goodreads.com, [cited 5 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www. brainyquote.com.


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