Psalms of Thanksgiving

Hi all! Today we are talking about the book of Psalms. A Psalm (sawlm) is a song.

There is a whole book of the Bible just of songs! Most of them were written by King David (David and Goliath, King of Israel), but some were written by other people.

Mostly the songs are either asking God for help, or thanking God for all He’s done for us.

Did you know you can sing songs to God when you are sad or happy? Even when you are mad or confused!

In America, we have a holiday called Thanksgiving coming up, and it’s where we spend the whole day being thankful for all God has given us. ‘

There are MANY psalms about being thankful to God.

One that is really good for kids is Psalm 100.

 

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

 

For the month of November, we collected some sticks from our yard and each day we write on a leaf something we are thankful for. Then we tape them to the sticks so by the end of the month, we have a very full thankful tree.  (So it’s currently about 1/2 full). *side note, young kids may need a bit of direction like “what is your favorite food? favorite animal? favorite place to go?” (or else each day they will say they are thankful for the carpet, and the ceiling, or they will say mommy every single day…not that that’s so bad hehe)

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Also for Psalm 100 we used some toy instruments and made music for God. This week we made some homemade microphones. Taking a plastic cup, I cut a strip of white paper and taped it around the cup so the kids could decorate it how they wanted. Then we wrote “Make a joyful noise to the Lord” on the cup. Next, I used some scissors and stabbed a hole in the bottom of the cup and the kids could sing through the hole and the cup acted as a megaphone.

 

 

Lastly, could your family make up a song of thanks to God? You can use the “abcs” tune or anything you want, and just thank God for all He’s given and done for you!

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

 

 

King Solomon’s Wisdom

Hi all! We took a break last week to move! Now we’re back.

Today’s story comes from 1 Kings 3. I did not do a craft today with the kids, but i did use some of our toys to tell this story (works better with some visuals i think).

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King David was getting old and almost ready to die. He told his son Solomon that he would be the next king. King David told Solomon to always obey God and do the right thing.

Some of Solomon’s brothers wanted to be king instead and even tried to fight him, but God made Solomon king.

Solomon tried to honor God and do the right thing. One night, while he was sleeping, God came to him in a dream and said, “If you could ask me for anything, what would you want?”

(If YOU could have ANYTHING what would YOU want?)

Do you know what Solomon said? He said he wanted wisdom. Wisdom is being able to understand things and make really good choices. A good king has to be wise to be a good leader for his people. He has to know how to help them and how to help them settle their fights when they are fussing.

God was so happy that Solomon had asked for wisdom and not something like money or a lot of toys. So God said, yes, Solomon WOULD be wise.

The people were so impressed with everything Solomon knew and how he could figure things out and help people.

One day, there were two mommies. They each had a new baby and they lived in the same house. When they went to bed, one of the babies died. That mommy went over to the other mommy and she switched the babies! So in the morning, the other mommy said, “oh no! my baby is dead! wait….this isn’t my baby? THAT one is my baby!”

But the first mommy said, “No! This is MY baby!”

They argued and argued and finally came to king Solomon who listened to their story. He had an idea. He called for a soldier with a sword to come. He told the soldier to cut the baby in half and give each mommy part of the baby. The real mommy could not, would not let them cut her baby into two pieces so she said, “NO! The other mommy can have him, just don’t hurt him!”

Solomon knew that THAT was the real mommy. A real mommy would never let anyone hurt her baby.

God was so pleased that Solomon wanted to do a good job and be a good king. The Bible tells us that when we ask God to help us make good choices, He will! He listens when we talk to Him and He wants us to help us do the right thing.

Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

David and Bathsheba

Welcome friends!

Today’s story comes from 2 Samuel 11-12. I told today’s story using a handful of cotton balls and Barbies (a girl, 3 boys and 2 babies). You can use Barbies or any kind of creature you have at your house. But i think this story is best told with some visual aids as there are a lot of characters.

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Up until now, the Bible shows king David (male character 1) making some great choices. God chose him to be the new king over Israel. He was brave and strong and a man who loved God.

But even people who love God make mistakes sometimes…even BIG ones.

One time, David sent his fighting men out, but he stayed at his palace.

One evening he looked out and saw a woman (the girl character) taking a bath and he thought she was SO pretty. He sent someone to tell her to come to the palace. David’s servants told him she was married to a man named Uriah (male character 2), who was out fighting.

So the woman, Bathsheba went to meet David (because you DON’T tell the king NO) and he decided he liked her so much he wanted to marry her. This is not a good thing, because she was already married. So David told Joab, his top leader, to send Uriah out to fight in the very front (so the enemies would be able to kill him and then David could marry Bathsheba.) This was a terrible choice!? HE was TRYING to get Uriah to die so he could take his wife!

Uriah was a good soldier so he obeyed and went out to fight in front and he did die. Bathsheba was very sad because she loved her husband…and after a little while king David sent for Bathsheba to come be his wife and live at the palace with him.

God was NOT happy with David’s bad choice. And he was about to give David a very bad consequence.

God sent Nathan (male character 3), the priest (a worker in God’s church who spoke the words of God to His people) to tell David that God was not happy with him. It was probably scary to go before the king and tell him he was WRONG, but Nathan knew it was more important to tell his friend what God had to say than to be scared of what his friend might say.

Nathan came to David and told him a story. There were two men in a city. One had a LOT of money and a LOT of sheep (a big handful of cotton balls). The other man had just one sheep (one cotton ball). One day, a visitor came to town and was hungry. The rich man took the poor man’s one little sheep and killed it and cooked it and gave it to the hungry visitor. Now the rich man still had ALL his sheep and the poor man had NOTHING.

David did not like this story. “Who did such a terrible thing?! He must PAY for that sheep! How dare he!”

Nathan said, “YOU did that! You are the king! You could marry ANY woman in the whole kingdom, and you chose to take the wife of a good man and to have him killed. Now YOU must pay for your bad choice. God gave you everything! He chose you, He has protected you, helped you in battle. He has always been there for you, and now you have disobeyed and killed someone and taken his wife. You WILL have bad consequences for your bad choices.”

Now Bathsheba had a baby growing in her belly (baby character 1). It was going to be David’s son. But because David had done a very very bad thing, the baby died as his bad consequence. David said he was so so sorry and asked God to please forgive him. David was very sad, but he knew God was in charge.

Later, David and Bathsheba had another baby boy (baby character 2). They names him Solomon. He would grow up to be king after his father, David and he would be the one to build God a real temple (church).

We know that all people sin sometimes (that means disobey God). All of us, and every person in the Bible (except for Jesus) makes some good choices and some bad choices. If we ask God to forgive us, He ALWAYS will. He won’t stay mad at us and He will help us do better next time. But that doesn’t mean we won’t have bad consequences for our choices (like a punishment). David was called a “man after God’s heart” because even when he did make bad choices, he still knew God was in charge and that he could turn to God to help him and love him. When we sin, we can know that God will forgive us if we ask Him to, that He will help us do better next time (sometimes by letting us have a bad consequence) and that He will always love us.

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

David and Mephibosheth

Hi all, welcome!

Today’s story comes from 2 Samuel 9.

When David became king after Saul died, most people thought he would kill the rest of Saul’s family (so everyone would KNOW HE was the real king).

But David remembered His promise to Saul’s son, Jonathan. David and Jonathan had been best friends and they had promised to always take care of each other and each others’ families.

So when David became king, he asked if there was anyone left from Saul and Jonathan’s family. And there was!

There was a man named Mephibosheth. (Meh-fib-oh-sheh-th). Mephibosheth had an accident when he was little and his legs were hurt and he couldn’t walk. When he came to David, he was probably pretty scared, but David took him in and welcomed him.

He said Mephibosheth could keep all of Saul’s land (instead of the king taking it). He also said his own servants would take care of the land for Mephibosheth. Mephibosheth would eat with the king and be like someone from David’s own family.

David didn’t always make good choices, but this was a very good choice. He took care of someone who needed help, he remembered his promises and he was kind and generous (which means giving good things). All of these things make God happy. We can also take share our things and take care of others. That way we can show God’s love to those around us.

For our craft we cut out David and Mephibosheth (in retrospect I would not have made king David green as he now resembles the Statue of Liberty :0P) then we used popsicle sticks for crutches for Mephibosheth.

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Thanks for joining us today! Love to you all!

David, Israel’s Shepherd

Hi all!

Welcome back! Today’s story will cover several chapters from 1 Samuel 29-2 Samuel 7 as we move into the next part of Israel’s history. This is a brief overview intended for small kids aged 2-7ish.

God had appointed King Saul as the first king over His people Israel. (They didn’t want God to be their only king and begged and whined for a king, and God was nice to them and gave them a king.) But, King Saul did not always make great choices and God was sad He ever made Saul king. God chose David (from David and Goliath) to replace Saul as king…but David respected Saul and didn’t become king until after king Saul died several years later.

David was best friends with Saul’s son Jonathan. They fought together and won many times and had promised to always take care of each other and each others’ families.

Saul was jealous of David and tried to kill him several times, but David was nice to Saul even though he was being mean, and eventually Saul left David alone. Because Saul disobeyed God, one day when he and his sons went to fight their enemies, Jonathan died and Saul died.

Some of the people thought David would be happy that Saul was dead. But he was not. He cried and cried for his friend Jonathan and for Saul, the first king of Israel.

The people of the tribe (big family) of Judah were ready to make David their king…but the rest of Israel was not.

The rest of Israel and the fighters from Judah ended up fighting and David’s men won. So then all the people of Israel made David their king. He moved to the city of Jerusalem and had a big palace (like a castle).

David had the ark of the covenant (a holy box where God’s spirit lived) brought to Jerusalem. When David and his men brought the ark in, they were dancing and laughing and rejoicing! They were SO happy to have a place to bring the most special things of God!

But David was still sad because God’s house had been a tent. All the time God had led His people from Egypt, through the wilderness and now in the promised land, the only church they had was a big tent. David said, “Why should i get a big fancy palace when God has a tent?”

God was pleased that David wanted to make him a real tabernacle (church). But God said that David’s son, not David would be the one to make it. God reminded David how He had chosen him when he was only a young shepherd, taking care of the sheep, to fight the Philistines and to be king. Now David would be like shepherd to the people of Israel…watching over them, caring for them and protecting them, just like a shepherd does for his sheep.

God also promised that David’s family would be kings and that someone great would come from David’s family. Do you know who that is?

It’s Jesus. Many years later, Jesus would be born, as part of David’s family and He would be the forever king of our hearts. He would be the Good Shepherd, the one who saves us, loves us and cares for us.

Our craft today is making sheep. You can use a paper plate or cut out a sheep shape from construction paper. Then glue eyes and cotton balls on fluff.

(I couldn't get our photos to load tonight, so i did borrow this one from a google image search)
(I couldn’t get our photos to load tonight, so i did borrow this one from a google image search)

David was Israel’s shepherd, like Jesus is our shepherd!

Thanks for joining us today, love to you all!

David Spares Saul’s Life

Hi all. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 21-27.

Review: last time we learned about king Saul being angry and jealous because the people liked David more than him. He started to chase David and tried to kill him.

David ran away and his with some of his helpers in a big cave. One day, Saul and his army came and they slept in that same cave…but David was hiding in the back.

He snuck up on Saul and cut off a piece of his coat. Then he felt bad because he knew he shouldn’t be mean to other people, even if they are mean to you. He showed Saul what he had done.

Saul was surprised. “I have been trying to kill you and you could have killed me because I didn’t see you! But you didn’t…thank you! I won’t chase after you any more.”

But…Saul didn’t keep his promise very long. Again he became very jealous and angry with David and chased after him.

One night Saul and his men were sleeping and David and one his best fighters snuck into the camp. David’s friend said “look! Saul is asleep! You should let me kill him!”

But David said no. Instead, he took Saul’s spear and his jug of water and they snuck out.

The next day David called to Saul and showed him the things he had taken. Again Saul was surprised that David had spared his life.

“Why are you chasing me?!” David said. “Have I done anything wrong?”

Saul answered, “No. You are right and you are a better man than me because you were good to me even though I was mean to you. Surely God WILL make you a great king!”

And God did. As David grew, he became more famous and respected and because he had treated Saul the way God wanted him to (with respect and kindness), God made David into a great king.

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:17, 21 “Do not repay evil with evil…do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

and in 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessings.”

For our craft today, we cut out a piece of fabric, and a water jug. We also made a spear from a straw and part of a paper towel tube. We glued these to our paper as a reminder of David’s good choice, to be nice to others even when they are not nice to you.

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Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

David and Jonathan

Hello all!

Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 18-21.

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So David had been chosen by God to replace Saul as king one day. He had also defeated the giant Goliath and so defeated the whole Philistine army by the power of God.

The people were so amazed by what David had done that they started to like David more than king Saul and that made Saul jealous and angry! He wanted the people to like HIM best!

King Saul had a son named Jonathan. Jonathan and David became best friends and whenever there was a fight, they would fight together and because they followed God, He would help them win. Then the people liked David even more.

Sometimes when king Saul was feeling sad or was bored, he would have David come and play some music for him. David loved to write and sing songs.

One day while David was playing for Saul, king Saul got so mad thinking about how much the people liked David that he threw his spear (kind of like a really big arrow) at David to kill him. But he missed.

He then decided to just keep sending David to fight (hoping he would die while fighting), but God always helped David win.

When David came back from defeating all of Israel’s enemies, Saul again tried to throw his spear and kill David, but David once again escaped.

That night he ran away. Saul sent some of his men to find David, but he was gone. David found Jonathan and said, “Why is your dad trying to kill me? Have I done anything wrong?”

“No! And I promise to help you!” said Jonathan.

David and Jonathan promised to always be best friends and help each other’s families.

David asked Jonathan to help him.

“The king has asked me to join him at a feast tomorrow. I will not be there. I will be hiding in this field. When he asks where I am, you can tell him I had to go somewhere else. If he’s ok with it, then everything is ok. If he is angry, then I’ll know he’s really trying to kill me.”

When Jonathan went to the feast and king Saul asked where David was, he was very very angry!

Jonathan ran to field with a small boy. He shot three arrows into the field and told the boy to go! go! go! far into the field to go get the arrows. This was a sign to David that HE needed to go! far away because king Saul was planning to kill David.

Jonathan ran out into the field to David and they said goodbye. They were both very sad that David had to go for now, but they promised again to always be friends and take care of each other.

This is not the end of the story for David, but it’s where we’ll end for today. Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

David and Goliath

Hi again!

Welcome back. This month we are learning stories from the Bible, from the books of 1 Samuel-Esther. These stories are aimed at small children 2-6ish years old.

Today’s story comes from 1 Samuel 17.

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Once again the Philistines and the Israelites (God’s chosen people) were fighting.

Many of the Israelites went to fight (including some brothers from Bethlehem.) Their younger brother stayed home to care for the sheep and their dad Jesse would send David to check on the boys and bring them food sometimes.

The Philistines had a big fighter, named Goliath. He was very tall and very strong. Every day he would come out and say “Bring me your best warrior. I will fight him and whoever wins, their whole country wins.”

But all of the Israelites were too scared to fight that big Goliath.

One day, when David was bringing food to his brothers, he heard Goliath making fun of God and his people and he wondered why no one stood up to fight.

“Have you SEEN him?!” they all answered.

“But we have GOD! We can do anything with God’s help! I will go fight Goliath!”

David went to king Saul and said HE would fight Goliath. “I have to protect my father’s sheep from lions and bears and i know God will help me.”

So King Saul put David in his best armor…but it was too big and David said, “no thank you. I’d rather just fight in what fits me.”

Next David went to a nearby stream and he gather 5 smooth rocks. He put them into his bag and went to meet Goliath.”

Goliath laughed at David. He was so little?! How could he possibly defeat the great Goliath?!

David answered, “You come at me with big weapons, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel. Everybody here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.”

David took one of the rocks and put it into his slingshot. He whipped it around, threw it at Goliath and the great big man fell down with his face in the ground. Then David killed Goliath and so the Israelites won.

David wasn’t the biggest or strongest, but he trusted God and God helped him defeat the Philistines.

Even though you might be small, God can help you do big things too, if you trust in Him.

We watched the veggie tales “Dave and the Giant Pickle” (free instant video with amazon prime)

Craft ideas: For this one you can make a slingshot from a toilet paper roll and a rubber band and shoot soft pom pons to re-enact the story. You could also just cut out a slingshot from paper and glue on some beans to be the rocks.

This is a fun story for kids to act out though, so take turns being David or Goliath. Remember it was God who gave David the victory.

Posted by Praise in Motion Music this is the David and Goliath song. (The cheesy factor is great with this one, but it’s a cute song that helps tell the story.)

This video posted by Teaching Kids About Jesus is a nice short summary of yesterday and today’s stories. (I don’t love HOW gigantic they made Goliath in this video…but…overall it does tell the story fairly well).

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!

God Chooses David

Hi all. Today’s story is from 1 Samuel 16.

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God was not pleased with how the first king of Israel (Saul) had disobeyed Him. So, He told Samuel that He was going to choose a new king. So God sent Samuel (a respected priest and prophet who spoke God’s words to the people) to the city of Bethlehem.

God told Samuel to find a man named Jesse and that one of his sons would be the new king.

When Samuel got to Bethlehem, he found Jesse and his oldest son. The oldest son was big and strong. “THIS must be the man God has chosen to be king.”

But God said no. “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

God wasn’t impressed by the oldest boy’s strength or good looks. God wants people who love Him and will follow and serve Him.

Jesse had 7 boys come forward before Samuel, but none of them (even though they were all strong and handsome) were the one God wanted.

“Well…there’s one left. My littlest son, David. But he’s out taking care of the sheep,” Jesse said.

They sent for David and when he came in, God said, “THAT’S the one! Make him king.”

God’s spirit came to David and helped him be strong and courageous for God.

A lot of times, we think the people God wants are the most important. The biggest, the strongest, the loudest, the prettiest…God just wants people who love Him and who will obey Him.

For our activity today, we looked in the mirror and talked about what we saw. Then we talked about what’s in our hearts. (Like the things we love and how we feel. We discussed being a good friend, loving God, wanting to help others.)

Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!