MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2015

Conversation Starters: God Calls Us to Him

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Karah

_MG_1942THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “Where did I go wrong?” We start out with good intentions, but we get lazy. Our guard drops. Sin creeps into our lives. Before we know it we are far from God. What would it take to get your attention and bring you back? In the Book of Jonah, we find a man who knew God well yet refused to listen to Him. But God got Jonah’s attention in an unexpected way. And just as in Jonah’s life, God acts to get our attention and draw us back to Himself.

Concept: God calls us to Him

Preschool

Luke 2:41-52

LIFE POINT: When Jesus was 12 years old, He went with a large group of family and friends to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. When the celebration was over, Jesus’ parents started home. Jesus stayed behind, but His parents did not know it. When His parents could not find Jesus, they became worried. They found Him three days later in the temple (church), listening to the teachers and asking questions. Jesus’ mother said, “Your father and I have been worried! We have searched for You.” Jesus replied, “Did you not know that I would be here (temple)?” Jesus went home with His parents and obeyed them always. He continued to grow strong and wise.

LIVE IT OUT: What is special about your church? Talk to your child about her favorite parts of being at church. Help her know that church is a special place to learn about God.

Kids

John 3:1-17; Romans 3:23; 5:8-10; 6:23; 8:9-10; 1 John 1:8-10

LIFE POINT: Nicodemus was an important Jewish leader. One night he came to see Jesus. Nicodemus knew that God had sent Jesus because he had seen Jesus do miracles. Jesus and Nicodemus talked for a long time. Jesus told Nicodemus how important trusting Jesus was. He said, “God loved the world so much that He sent His only son. Everyone who believes in the Son will have life forever with God.” Jesus told Nicodemus that God sent Him to save people.

LIVE IT OUT: If your child is not a Christian, this week would be a great time to talk to him about it. Carefully question him about what he knows and proceed if he is ready.

Students

Jonah 1:1-3; 3:1-5,10

THE POINT: God’s call to return to Him requires a response. How does God get your attention? Discuss with your student reasons people give for not responding to God. Discuss the following quote:

“Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self.”1 —C.S. Lewis

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 Understand Repentance:
• Discuss with your student what he or she has learned about the difference between repentance and just saying “I’m sorry.”
• Pray with your student, asking God to show him or her how to truly live out repentance.

If he or she plans to complete Shhhh … Listen:
• Share with your student steps you take to make sure you can hear from God.

1. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 190.


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Conversation Starters: Deal with Conflict

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Karah

cb39d6e6-38c3-49bb-a5f0-3c02107fce51THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was a courageous call for our nation to pull together in unity. Years later Martin Luther King, Jr. called our nation to racial equality. Dr. King stood on the legendary shoulders of a leader who called people to a higher and nobler ground. Leaders influence others, calling them to the place God desires for them to go. At the end of his life, Moses did this for Joshua. And on the shoulders of Moses, Joshua challenged the people to new heights of love and loyalty for God. Our ultimate calling is to lead others to a place of greater commitment to God.

Concept: Lead Others to Follow God

Preschool

1 Samuel 1:1-4:1

LIFE POINT: God gave Hannah a son. She named him Samuel. When he was older, Hannah took Samuel to the tabernacle to live. Samuel helped Eli, the church helper. Each year, Hannah went to the tent church to worship God, along with her husband, Elkanah. Hannah made a new robe each year to take to Samuel. Samuel grew up in the tent church and learned to worship and serve God. One night, the boy heard a voice calling, “Samuel.” He ran to Eli, but Eli had not called him. Eli said, “Go and lie down.” Three times the boy heard a voice calling, “Samuel.” Eli understood that God was calling the boy. Eli told Samuel to say that he is listening. God gave Samuel a message. Eli knew God had spoken to Samuel. God was with Samuel as he grew. Samuel became a prophet and told the people what God wanted them to hear.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child develop an attitude of serving. Look for opportunities to include him in ministry to others. Tell him that God wants us to help others.

Kids

1 Samuel 1:1-4:1

LIFE POINT: God gave Hannah a son. She named him Samuel. When he was older, Hannah took Samuel to the tabernacle to live. Samuel helped Eli, the church helper. Each year, Hannah went to the tent church to worship God, along with her husband, Elkanah. Hannah made a new robe each year to take to Samuel. Samuel grew up in the tent church and learned to worship and serve God. One night, the boy heard a voice calling, “Samuel.” He ran to Eli, but Eli had not called him. Eli said, “Go and lie down.” Three times the boy heard a voice calling, “Samuel.” Eli understood that God was calling the boy. Eli told Samuel to say that he is listening. God gave Samuel a message. Eli knew God had spoken to Samuel. God was with Samuel as he grew. Samuel became a prophet and told the people what God wanted them to hear.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child find opportunities to serve in his church, community, or school. Tell him that serving others with a good heart glorifies God.

Students

Joshua 24:14-18,24-26

THE POINT: Leaders encourage others to follow God. Whose example and influence pointed you to Christ? In what ways are you using your influence to point others for Christ? Discuss the following quote:

“If you are saved yourself, the work is but half done until you are employed to bring others to Christ.”1 —Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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 Who’s Leading You?:
• Work with your student to make a list of the people who have been leaders in his or her life up to this point.
• Help your student see the importance of needing a leader and being a leader.

If he or she plans to complete My Ebenezer:
• Read together 1 Samuel 7:12 and talk about the ways in which God is our Ebenezer.

1. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons on Soulwinning (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1994), 31.


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Conversation Starters: Learn from Failure

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Karah

IMG_3795THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time didn’t make the varsity team when he first tried out; yet Michael Jordan didn’t let that stop him. But what about when failure is more than just a missed basket or an error in judgment? What about when we fail spiritually? The failures we see in the Bible—pictures of sin against God—teach us more than just to be strong or get back on our feet when we fall. We can’t simply correct those kinds of failures; only God can remove our sin. In the Book of Joshua, God calls us to confront our sin, deal with it, and move forward.

Concept: Learn from Failure

Preschool

Judges 4

LIFE POINT: The Israelites did not obey God, so God let the Canaanites rule over the Israelites. The Canaanites’ ruler, or leader, was mean. The Israelite people prayed to God for help. Deborah was a judge in Israel. She sat under a palm tree and helped people solve their problems. A man named Barak came to Deborah. God had told Deborah that Barak should fight against the Canaanite army. God would help him win. Barak gathered an army of 10,000 men. He asked Deborah to go with him to the battle. Deborah and Barak led the fight. God helped Barak’s army win the battle.

LIVE IT OUT: Let your child help make a list of good choices for him—what to eat, when to go to bed, and so forth. Comment that God wants people to make good choices.

Kids

Judges 4

LIFE POINT: Deborah was a judge for God’s people. She listened to God, told His messages, and gave advice to the people of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak, the commander of the Israelite army. “God wants you to gather 10,000 men and go fight Sisera,” she said. Barak knew Sisera was the leader of King Jabin’s army. The huge army had 900 iron chariots. “I will go if you will go with me,” Barak said to Deborah. Deborah went with Barak. She said, “The Lord will win this battle for us. Go to battle. This is the day the Lord has given you.” God helped the Israelites. The battle was won!

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about some choices he has made lately. How do these choices match up with what God wants us to do? Remind your child that God always forgives wrong choices when we ask Him for forgiveness.

Students

Joshua 7:13-15,19-21,25-26;8:1

THE POINT: Leaders learn from their failures and move on. What is one lesson Jesus has taught you through failure? In what ways can failure make you a better leader? Discuss the following quote:

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”1 —Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 No More Shame:
• Evaluate your own life. Are you a model for your student of what learning from failure looks like?
• Spend some time praying together, asking for forgiveness and strength to overcome your failures.

If he or she plans to do The Finish Line:
• Talk about who your student wants to be when he or she graduates high school.

1.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes,” BrainyQuote [cited 18 November 2015]. Available from the Internet: https://www.brainyquote.com.


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Conversation Starters: Lead Obediently

Posted on September 2, 2015 by Karah

d9de1ed7-be95-4612-af4e-d20e90b38bbaTHE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: The 2010 remake of The Karate Kid is about a boy named Dre who relocates with his mom from Detroit to China. Dre was popular in Detroit, but not in China, and he soon finds himself the target of the class bully. After Dre meets a maintenance man who also happens to be a master of kung fu, he becomes enthusiastic about learning how to fight his way toward respect. But Dre learns that kung fu is not about fighting. It’s about patience, maturity, and consistency. God calls us to a life of trust and obedience, and sometimes that obedience is learned in unusual ways.

Concept: Lead Obediently

Preschool

Joshua 6:1-21

LIFE POINT: God told Joshua exactly how to take the city of Jericho. Joshua put the plan to work. Joshua directed some priests to carry the ark of the covenant. Other priests were to blow trumpets in front of the ark. Soldiers marched in front of and behind the priests. Joshua commanded the people to not say anything until he gave the signal. Every day for six days the priests and soldiers marched around Jericho one time. On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times. The trumpets blew a long blast. Joshua yelled, “Shout!” The people shouted! The city wall fell! The people walked right into the city! They shouted and praised God.

LIVE IT OUT: Play a guessing game with your child. Ask questions such as “What do you do when it rains? What do you do when you’re hungry?” Comment that God always knows what to do.

Kids

Joshua 6:1-21

LIFE POINT: God told Joshua exactly how to take the city of Jericho. Joshua put the plan to work. Joshua directed some priests to carry the ark of the covenant. Other priests were to blow trumpets in front of the ark. Soldiers marched in front of and behind the priests. Joshua commanded the people to not say anything until he gave the signal. Every day for six days the priests and soldiers marched around Jericho one time. On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho seven times. The trumpets blew a long blast. Joshua yelled, “Shout!” The people shouted! The city wall fell! The people walked right into the city! They shouted and praised God.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk with your child about ways she has seen God’s power. Remind her that sometimes God’s power is shown in the small things. Challenge her to express her ideas in a drawing, poem, or other another artful way.

Students

Joshua 6:1-5, 12-16, 20

THE POINT: Leaders keep doing what God tells them to do. How would you define “persistent obedience”? Talk with your student about a time he or she chose to persist instead of giving up. Discuss the following quote:

“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.”1 — Jonathan Edwards

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

If he or she plans to complete Lead on Your Knees:
• Sit down with your student and talk about the ways he or she is a leader in your home.

If he or she plans to do Everyday Lessons:
• Talk with your student about ways he or she can be more prepared to recognize God’s guidance and instruction during everyday tasks like school, sports, homework, chores.
• Take time to praise God for the unusual ways He teaches us important lessons.

 

1. “ Jonathan Edwards Quotes,” Goodreads [cited 18 November 2015]. Available from the Internet: http://www.goodreads.com.


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