Monday, March 26, 2012

Holy Week devotionals

holy week devotional button
As we were preparing for Sunday school for Palm Sunday, my husband and I decided we wanted something for the kids to take home and teach to their families for the whole week.  We also wanted to make sure there was a gospel component to what they took home, so here’s our best shot at it.

The days are vaguely split according to the Wordless book colors.  I first learned how to share the gospel in high school using the Wordless book, so I always default to that as my explanation.

Palm Sunday

Jesus taught by telling stories.  Stories are powerful.  This week we are going to be teaching a bigger lesson using stories of Jesus’ life, but first let’s take some time to read a story Jesus taught about a boy who ran away.

Jesus calms the storm.  Jesus is powerful.  He created the world, and when He was on earth He had power over storms (instructions on making it can be found at Raising Little Disciples).  He can keep you safe in the scariest times.  (Gold)

Jesus feeds the 5000.  Jesus is personal, He cares about our needs and wants.  He took care of the people who were hungry because He loved them. (Gold)

Jesus and the Woman at the Well.  Everyone sins, and we think we can hide that sin from Jesus, but Jesus knows that we have sinned.  (Black)

Jesus meets Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus stole money from people, one day he met Jesus and learned what he was doing was wrong.  He changed and followed Jesus. (Black, transition to Red)

Good Samaritan.  The Good Samaritan paid the price of other people’s sins.  He helped the man to the inn, and he paid for the injuries caused by someone else.  (Red and White)


Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Jesus came and paid the price of our sins.  We can now all go to Heaven because of what God has done, but we must choose do we want that new life, or do we want to stay in this old life? (Thanks to Marci over at Overcoming Busy for giving me the suggestion)  (White)

Pentecost and the Coming of the Holy Spirit.  After the disciples believed Jesus had risen they waited just like they were told.  Then the Holy Spirit came and they went and did just like Jesus had told them.  They taught others about Jesus and grew in Him (Flames popsicle stick vaguely inspired by All Play on Sunday). (Green)

The few printables used along with a quick recap of all of this along with what hands on ideas were used can be found here.
Easter devotional
linked up to: ABC&123, Explore and Express/Wonderful in an Easter Kind of Way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Ehud died and the people forgot the GREAT GOD who had saved them.  They worshipped other gods and to discipline them God let them be conquered.  Eventually they remembered the God who Saves.



So God called Deborah to lead the people.  She sat at the palm tree and told them what God had said.  One day she called and told him God wanted him to conquer General Sisera.


“I will only do this if you come with me.”  he replied


“Very well,” she answered, “But because you did this God will give Sisera over to a woman.”



Barak gathered his army and they waited up on top of the mountain ready to fight the Canaanites.



The Canaanites had chariots made of iron.  They were strong and no one had been able to defeat them.



Barak was in a good position to fight them up on the hill. The chariots couldn’t drive up there.  God had different plans.  He told Barak to go down the mountain to the Canaanites.



As the Israelites came down the mountain, God sent a rain.  The rain caused the chariots to get stuck and the men panicked and ran.



The Israelites came down and defeated the Canaanites, but General Sisera had disappeared.



General Sisera ran to the tent of Jael and demanded she hide him.  She let him lay down and gave him some warm milk to drink.



While he was asleep she went in and killed him.



Barak came and wanted to know where General Sisera was.  Jael told him he was in her tent dead.



Deborah and Barak sang a song of praise to God for his goodness in defeating the Canaanites.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cycle of Apostasy printable

After talking about the cycle of Apostasy for a while and letting the kids put the steps in order.  The kids made their own version to be able to keep.

cycle of apostasy
It was a simple color, cut, and glue activity, but they enjoyed it, click on the picture to go the link.

Finally we followed it up with a lesson on the dangers of sin.

Look at this marble as it goes down the cone.  At first it is going slow (this works even better with the coin slides at grocery stores), but as it goes down it starts to circle faster and faster.  Eventually it will fall down into that hole and nothing can get it out.

That is the danger of sin.  At first it doesn’t seem so bad.  But, the more more you are exposed to it the more quickly you fall into the trap.

That is unless someone interferes.  In this case it’s our dog, but a friend can, or God, and that can stop the cycle.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Judges: The Cycle of Apostasy


At first the Israelites worship God.  They do what He says and follow Him.



But, because they didn’t drive out all of the other people, they start to make friends with them and marry them, and finally they start to worship their gods.



God lets the Canaanites conquer the Israelites to punish them for their disobedience.  It isn’t because He doesn’t love them.  God is doing it just like a parent does to their child, to help them learn.




Israel remembers the God who Saves, and they call out to God.  God is merciful just like a parent and remembers how much He loves them.



God calls up a Judge to rescue Israel.  The Judge goes in and defeats the people enslaving Israel.  While the Judge is alive Israel follows God and worships Him.  For a short time after the Judge’s death they continue to follow God, but usually they forget again, and the cycle starts all over.


Let’s take a  moment and look at the first 3 Judges, each of them needed God to be able to do what God needed done.



Othneil was an old man when God called him to be a judge.  He shouldn’t have been a might fighter, but God called him forth and he defeated the people oppressing them.



Ehud was crippled, his right hand was deformed.  God called him and he hid a dagger when he went to see the king of the Moabites.  He pulled the dagger out and killed the king, then he led the Israelites in defeating the Moabites.



Shamgar herded cows.  God called him and he killed 600 Philistines with a stick.


God did mighty things with three simple men.

reference: Judges 2 and 3

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Judges chapter 1, why does who took what land matter?



As we talked about this the kids colored this map I found of the 12 tribes land.  They had two colors, blue for success, red for failure.


Now, you ask why do I care if they took their land all of those years ago?


I’m glad you asked.


1.  God told them to drive out all of the people in the land because they were being punished for what they were doing.  The people in the land were offering their children as sacrifices, they were living in sin.  Israel was to be God’s judgement.


2.  God knew if the people stayed there it would be a temptation to do what they were doing.  This leads to number 3.


3.  Because the people were still there the Israelites started to worship their Gods.  This affected the entire Old Testament.  The rest of the book of Judges is about their failure.  1 and 2 Samuel is affected by their failure, the people in iron chariots Judah failed to defeat, those are the Philistines that David fights.  They pop up in every book for the rest of the Old Testament.


How does this affect us personally, though?  Sure, it makes sense historically.


Have you ever realized there was a sin in your life you needed to get rid of?  Did you get rid of it completely?  Or did you leave that one small thing?  And did you slowly notice that one small thing becoming bigger and bigger again until it was a problem?


Why are these two so important?  Who cares that Achsah married Othniel?


Have you ever thought about who your kids will marry?  Caleb did.  He wanted his daughter to marry someone who would fight for what God wanted, so he made sure that happened.


Do your kids ever ask you for something?  Achsah asked Caleb for some springs, not only did he give her what she asked for, he gave her more than she asked for.  God is like that.  We ask for so little, but He gives us so much more than we ask for.  Read Matthew 7:10 to back this up.


When you read these stories don’t just look for a fun adventure, look to see how does this affect me?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Tribes of Israel take the land

God told the tribes of Israel to go in and take the land.

“Who should go first?” they asked.

“Judah,” God answered.


So Judah asked Simeon to come with them and they took the land God called them to take.

Now Caleb was from the tribe of Judah, and he took all the land God had given him.  He called the young men together and said, “Anyone who takes this city will get to marry my precious daughter Achsah.”

Othneil, Caleb’s nephew, took the city and married Achsah.  She went to Caleb and asked him for some springs to water their land.  Caleb looked at his daughter with love and said, “I don’t just give you the spring, but the upper and lower springs as well.”

After this the other tribes went in one by one and attacked the people there.

Benjamin went in and took the land, but did not drive out all of the people.

Manasseh went in and was not able to drive out the people already there.

Ephraim went in and did not drive out all the people in the land before them.


Zebulun went in and failed to drive out of Zeber and lived among them.
Asher and Naphtali both went in and neither was able to drive out the people already there.


Dan went in and attacked the people, but they drove the tribe of Dan back out and they had to hide in the hill country.

Tomorrow, I will share why this is important and what we did with this.

12 tribes pictures

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things I gather from around the house to tell stories


One of my friends emailed me and asked how I put it all together.


Things I use on a regular basis:

Toys we already own.  Even if you don’t feel inclined to make your own peg dolls, you can act out stories using your own toys.  I find smaller figures like Imaginenext and Play Mobil to be easier to work with.

Fabric, specifically for the land.  I sew a lot, so I just go to my fabric stash and grab the color I need.  If you don’t sew I would suggest going to either JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby, both of those stores have good prices on fabric and you can frequently get 40% off coupons.  I’d suggest getting a yard of brown, green, and blue.  I’d also get a fat quarter of the same colors for other features.  I’m thinking of getting silky solids the next time I go for the nice texture and how small it packs.


Various doll houses- We have several different castle doll houses and other similar things.  Also both Lowes and Home Depot offer building clinics where you can make houses from time to time, and these are free.  The picture above is of the Lowes Castle from January.


Next time I write one of these, I’ll hopefully have examples of how I paint my dolls.  I just haven’t gone on a marathon painting spree recently.