King Solomon Disobeys

Hello again! Today’s story is from 1 Kings 11.

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For all of King Solomon’s wisdom and good decision-making, he had a big problem. He LOVED the ladies. And he didn’t just love one lady…he got married a whole bunch of times, which God said you’re not supposed to do. The ladies he married also didn’t love the One True God, they worshipped other pretend gods.

After a while, one said, “Solomon, hunny…please build a statue of my god!” And he did. Then another said “What about me?! Please build a place for me to worship MY god.” And he did. He built places for them to worship their pretend gods and he even worshipped them too sometimes. His heart was not faithful to God like King David’s had been. And God was NOT happy. 

So the Lord said to him, “Since you have disobeyed my rules and not been faithful to Me, I am going to tear this kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants. But because of how much your father David loved and served Me, I will not do this while you are still alive. I will take the kingdom away from your son.  And even then, I will not take away the entire kingdom; I will let him be king of one tribe.”

King Solomon’s choices were going to affect a lot of other people. When we make decisions, we need to think about how it might help or hurt others. Especially people in power…like kings, presidents, moms and dad, teachers, pastors…the things you do and say don’t just have good or bad consequences for you, they can help or hurt others. When we try to follow God’s laws and live a life of love (because of how much He loves us), then our choices will have good consequences for others. But Solomon wasn’t thinking about that. He was only thinking about what HE wanted…not what God wanted and not about what might happen to other people.

The funniest part is that King Solomon wrote a whole chapter of the Bible about this exact thing. Proverbs 29 talks all about how children’s actions affect their parents and how parents affect their children. How bosses and kings and neighbors all affect the people around them. But in the end, Solomon did not follow his own advice. He chose to live the way HE wanted, not the way God wanted…and the people of Israel would soon pay a big price for his poor choices.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

 

Thanks for joining us again, love to you all.

 

Elijah and the big fire

Hello all! Welcome back! Today’s story is 1 Kings 18. Last year’s story and activity can be found HERE.

Elijah was a prophet (someone who talks to God and then tells the people what God wants them to know.) Ahab was the big BAD, MEAN King. Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, made really bad choices and they got the people in Israel to make bad choices too! They all started worshipping a pretend god instead of the REAL God. Ahab even killed a lot of the other prophets and the consequence for not worshipping God had been no rain for years! The plants, animals and even people were dying because there was no water.

So Elijah said “Let’s have a contest. We will each give a sacrifice to our God, and we’ll set it up on some rocks and sticks ready for a fire. But WE won’t make a fire. We will pray and ask each of our gods to make a fire FOR us. The God that gives a real fire, is the real God. Ok?”

The people agreed. The pretend god’s people went first. They set up an altar (place to sacrifice an animal) with rocks and sticks and then they called out to their pretend god for fire from morning until lunch time. “Please send fire! Pleeeeeease? Pretty please??”

“What’s the matter?” Elijah asked. “Is your god busy? Is he asleep? Maybe he went on vacation? Just yell louder and THEN maybe he will answer you.” So the people did. They yelled louder and louder until dinner time! But no one answered. (Because a pretend god can NOT answer!)

Then Elijah said, “Ok. My turn.” He got twelve big rocks (one for each of the big families of Israel) and some wood and then had the people pour water on it all! Do you know what water does to fire? It puts it out! There couldn’t be a fire where there was so much water……right? Well THREE times they poured water on everything so it was all soaking wet!

Then Elijah prayed to God, “God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that YOU are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things like YOU told me to. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and so that you will turn their hearts back to you again.”

Then WHOOOOOOOSH!  A big, HUMUNGOUS fire came and burnt up the sacrifice, the woods, the rocks, the water, EVERYTHING! All the people were SOOOOO surprised! They fell down and said “WOW! It IS the real God!” They were sorry they had disobeyed God and worshipped other pretend gods. Now they remembered who the REAL God was and is.

And just like that….Elijah told one of his helpers to go look at the sea…7 times the helper went back and forth from the sea….and then he saw it….RAIN CLOUDS! Now that the people had come back to God, He sent rain for them.

Let us NEVER forget who the REAL God is and let’s only love and worship HIM forever!

For our craft today, we drew Elijah, glued on some toothpicks and then took pipettes and some paint.  (We had to water the paint down just a touch–a tablespoon or so–so it would suck up the pipette easier). Then we sucked the paint into the pipettes and squirted it back onto the paper to look like fire.

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Thanks for joining us again, love to you all!

David dances

Hi all! Tonight’s story is from 2 Samuel 6.

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Do you remember the ark of the covenant…that special box of God’s power? It was still away from the church where it was supposed to be. The Philistines had taken it a long time ago and brought it back, but it was just at some guy’s house. (His name was Abinadab and he and his family had been taking good care of it, but it was supposed to be in the tabernacle.)

David, now that he was king, decided NOW was the time to bring it back where it belonged.  David and a LOT of helpers went to the man’s house and they very carefully carried the box just the way God wanted. They weren’t supposed to touch the box…only the poles it rested on.

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But along the way, they almost dropped it and one of the guys reached out to help the ark so it wouldn’t fall and he died right then and there! That may seem mean, since he was trying to help…but God had been very clear: the people were NOT to touch the ark. David was so so scared and so so sad that he said “No more. We’ll leave the ark right here.” They were right by another man’s house named Obed-edom. The ark stayed there at that man’s house for 3 months and then someone told King David “God has been very good to Obed-edom since he has been taking care of the ark of the covenant.” So David decided maybe they could try again.

This time, they did carry the ark back into the city to the tabernacle and everyone was SOOOOO happy! The special box that showed all the people God’s power was BACK! They played music and danced and sang songs, some people cried! Oh they were SO happy! (It’s like if you lost your FAVORITE stuffed animal, or if you got lost from your mom or dad and then you FOUND your favorite thing, or your mom or dad and all went back home together…how HAPPY that would be!)

Even King David was so happy HE was dancing. But his wife was not happy. “That’s not very dignified. YOU are the king. You shouldn’t be out there being silly like THOSE people. You are supposed to be important….in charge…you should not be dancing.”

But David said, “Ha! I was dancing for God! I remember all the good things God has done for me. He made me king, He chose ME! I don’t care HOW silly I look!  I want to praise God!”

Do you know there’s no wrong way to praise God? To thank Him for the things He has done for us? Sometimes at church we talk to God to say “thank you” or we sing songs or play music–you can draw a picture, you can write your own songs or dance as silly as you want. You can celebrate God however you want…and it doesn’t matter HOW silly you look! God LOVES a thankful heart–when we praise Him, it makes Him so happy.

What are you thankful for today? What do you want to celebrate about God? Now take some time with your family to praise God–with music, art, prayer, dancing…whichever way you want!

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!

Samson (reboot)

Hi all! Today we studied Judges 13-16 about Samson. We used last year’s lesson found HERE.

What I tried to emphasize today is that Samson did not always obey God. But God used him anyway. Sometimes we disobey God too…but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have big plans for us!

God gives you special things YOU are good at. He wants you to use those things to worship Him and to love others. Samson gave his power to Delilah instead of keeping it and using it for God. If you sing, sing songs of praise to God. If you draw, draw pictures to give to others. If you play sports, show the love of God while you play…be a good sport. Work hard in whatever you do. But don’t let anything become more important than God and always see how God can use your gifts to help others.

The Bible says Samson was more useful when he died (because he also killed those mean Philistines)…but that wasn’t God’s plan for Samson. God WANTED Samson to do great things with his strength while he was alive! (Like that time he defeated the 1000 men all on his own!) Let’s think about the things WE are good at…the things God has given US and see how we can serve God with those things NOW.

 

For today’s craft, we made “Samson knocking down the pillars” pictures. We drew our Samson (long hair and arms extended). Then we took toilet paper and paper towel tubes and taped them on each side to be the pillars. You could paint or marker these as well to look even more “pillar-y.”

Our text says: Samson-Judges 13-16.

 

Thanks for joining us. Love to you all!

Israel Disobeys

Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Exodus 32/33. Last year’s lesson and craft can be found HERE.

So Moses was up on Mt Sinai with God getting all the rules for God’s people. Moses was gone 40 days (about a month) and the Israelites were just sitting down at the bottom of the mountain. In those 40 days they already started to think “Maybe God forgot about us? Maybe God isn’t real? Maybe God doesn’t care about us?”

So they came up with a plan. “We need a NEW god!” they said.

Aaron, Moses’ brother said, “Ok! We’ll make a new god! Everybody take off your rings, earrings, your bracelets…give us your gold cups, plates…whatever you have.” Then he called some guys who knew how to build and they made a cow shape. They heated up all the gold until it was very soft, poured it into the cow shape and let it harden. Then they took the cow shape off and they had made a golden cow statue.

The people then danced and sang and prayed to the cow.

Does God hear us? (Yes) Does God see us? (Yes) Does God love us? (YES!)

Can a cow statue hear us? (No) Can a cow statue see us? (No) Does a cow statue love us? NO!

God was NOT happy. He sent Moses back down the mountain to tell the people to STOP IT! Only GOD is the real God. He is the One we pray to and sing songs for and dance for. He is the One who loves us.

God was very frustrated, but Moses asked God to please forgive the people.

There were still bad consequences for the people worshipping the cow (some of them died and some more got very very sick). God just told us in the 10 commandments to put Him first and not worship any other thing…and His own people turned around and were doing just that.

You probably won’t see too many people where you live worshipping gold cows…but sometimes we DO put other things before God. Sometimes we worry more than we pray. Sometimes we want to watch tv or play games more than we want to talk to God. Sometimes we are more worried about getting toys than we are helping other people. We worry about what WE want, not what God wants.

We should always try to put GOD first. God’s own people forgot all about Him in a month. Let’s pray right now that God will always remind us of who He is and that we will always worship ONLY Him.

For our craft today, we cut out a golden cow shape.

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Then we added some gold glitter and our text: We worship ONLY God. Exodus 32.

Thanks for joining us again. Love to you all!

Worship through love

Welcome back! Today’s lesson is from Romans 12.

Have you ever heard the word “worship?”

Worship means to show honor or love for something. We worship God. We want to show that He is the greatest and that we love Him and will obey Him. We give Him our hearts, our time, our things, we make our choices based on what He tells us.

Some people think worship means singing to God…and that’s ONE way to worship God (and it’s a wonderful way!) but it’s not the only way!

In Paul’s letter to the Romans he tells them LOTS of ways to worship God. He said we can worship God with our whole bodies…with everything we do. Every day we can worship God.

Here are some of the way we show God we love Him, respect Him and think He’s the best!

Everyday, Paul says, you can choose to not think you’re better than anyone else. Remember everyone who loves God has things they are good at and everyone can help others know God. So don’t think you’re better than anyone else…everyone just needs to do the best job they can loving God and loving other people.

Then he says, stay away from bad things and always stay near what is good. Take care of other people. Be excited about God! Be joyful (kind of like happy) because you know God loves you and has great plans for you! Be patient and trust in God when hard or sad things happen. Always, always pray and talk to God. Share everything you have with anyone who needs it.

You can also worship by being nice to people even when they aren’t nice to you. Be happy for your friends when they are happy, but if they are sad, be sad with them. Don’t fight or fuss with each other, try to get along. And don’t only hang out with people like you. Anyone can be your friend.

And one more time he reminds us to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. That means if someone is being mean, you don’t be mean back, love them!

Loving God by singing, dancing, and praying are great ways to worship Him. But it is also worship when we love others, share with them and are nice even when people aren’t nice to us. That’s worship too!

How do YOU like to worship God?

 

Isn’t it great that all the ways Paul shows us to worship God are things KIDS can do too!? Yay!

 

For today’s craft we took a piece of construction paper and painted some lines from the center. Then when it dried, we cut out and glued on a heart and our text reads: We worship God by loving others. Romans 12

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This song by Casting Crowns relates to today’s lesson.

Thanks for joining us again, love to you all!

Advent-Day 22-Worship Restored/Gifts for Jesus

Hi all! Welcome again!

This month we are learning about God, God’s son Jesus and Jesus’ birth story and earthly family.

Yesterday we talked about the Israelite’s coming back to the promised land after being in exile and fixing everything. (Found in the Bible in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah). They fixed their houses, the walls that kept the cities safe and the temple (the church.) But also, a lot of very important things that they used to worship God had been taken. They got those things back and the people listened to their leaders and decided once again, they would follow God. They started really worshipping Him again in the church.

Do you know what worship is? It’s when we show God how much we love Him! We can sing, or pray…even showing love to other people is a way to worship God.

God is worthy of our worship. 1 Chronicles 16:25 says, “For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods.” (The whole chapter is a great read about God’s worthiness).

How do YOU worship God?

 

When baby Jesus was born, some wise men from far away traveled a long time to visit baby Jesus. And they brought presents to give to Him. The Bible doesn’t say how many men came, but they did bring three gifts-gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Frankincense is a spice an myrrh is oil–both of these were usually presented to kings.) They brought baby Jesus some of the best things they had and it makes God happy when we give Him our best too!

These men came to adore Jesus and to give their gifts to the new King. We can use the things God has given us (like money, and our talents–singing, dancing, being a good friend) to worship God. He is worthy of our worship!

 

Bible story: worship returns to the temple

Attribute of God: WORTHY of our praise

Jesus’ birth story: the wise men bring gifts

Craft:

Side one of our ornament today is a temple. (You can make it as accurate or elaborate as you’d like…ours turned out rather simple today…just a gold church with “God” written on it.)

Our text reads: The people worship God. He is worthy of our praise! Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Chron 16:25IMG_0626

Side two of our ornament is some gifts for baby Jesus. We used some scraps of wrapping paper and drew bows on top. (Again, you could use the mini bows, or make them however you want).

Our text reads: The wise men brought baby Jesus gifts. Matt 2.

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Our current tree front (Bible story side) and back (Jesus’ birth story side)

 

Thanks for joining us! Love to you all!