Monthly Archives: January 2012

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Jan 29: Genesis 9

Bible Text: Genesis 9.1-17 (click on link to see NIRV text).

Key Point(s) of Passage: God tells Noah’s family to fill the earth, and makes a promise through the rainbow to never again use a flood to destroy the earth.

Memory Verse: “So God said to Noah, “The rainbow is the sign of my covenant. I have made my covenant between me and all life on earth.” ” (Ge. 9.17).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. Re-read verse 1. How  did God bless Noah’s family? Why is it a blessing to have children?

4. Re-read verse 2. Why do you think God made it so that the animals would be scared of humans? Are you ever scared of animals?

5. Re-read verses 5-6.  What is murder? What does God think about that? Why? (The “why” question is a bit harder, but the answer is at the end of verse 6 – “I have made man in my own likeness”). What are some ways we are like God?

6. God keeps talking about making a “covenant” with people in this chapter. What is a convenant? (It is like a promise). What is the covenant (or promise) that God made?

7. What is the sign of God’s promise? Have you ever seen a rainbow? (Parents – you could also tell about a time you saw an amazing rainbow). What should we remember the next time we see a rainbow?

Family Activity Ideas
1. Try to discover ways that you can make a rainbow. For example, you could try shining light through various glass-like objects, or by spraying water while the sun is shining on it, or by making lots of soapy bubbles that light reflects off of.

Then look up about how rainbows are made (e.g., a book at the library, or an encyclopedia, or an online resource). You could also talk about other amazing things in the natural world that God designed and made.

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Parents' Tool Box, Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Songs for Saplings: Questions with Answers

 Another musical Scripture memory resource I want to highlight would be any CDs put out by the ministry of Songs for Saplings. We have several of their CDs and listen to them frequently!

Songs for Saplings is the ministry of James and Dana Dirksen. They strive to create catchy songs that will help convey deep biblical truth for children. My favorites are the volumes titled Questions with Answers. Each album is based on a digest of the Westminster Short Catechism. Each song answers a question and includes a Bible verse reference– so you are, in fact, learning theology through these catchy songs!

There are currently three volumes in this series (with a fourth coming next month):

Questions with Answers Vol I: God and Creation

Questions with Answers Vol II: The Fall and Salvation

Questions with Answers Vol III: Christ and His Work

Questions with Answers Vol IV: The Word of God (coming next month)

For younger children, check out the Songs for Saplings line. Based on either numbers or the alphabet, these songs have a verse set to music. The Christian blog Totally Tots has free printable verse sheets for each song on Songs for Saplings: ABC.

Songs for Saplings: ABC

Songs for Saplings: 123 

If you’re interested in checking out their music, check out their free sampler CD  (free MP3 download from their website). MP3 albums can be purchased through Amazon or iTunes.

We listen to these albums frequently, and I love that the Word and truth of God is getting into Jonathan and Grace’s hearts (and mine as well)!


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Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday Jan 29: Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Bible Text: Luke 13:10-17

Key Point of Passage: Jesus showed that it was more important to help the disabled woman than to make the rulers happy.

Memory Verse: God did miracles through Jesus (Acts 2:22).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      What was wrong with the disabled woman in the Bible story today?

2)      Did Jesus heal her?

3)      Why did the ruler get angry? What day was it?

4)      But Jesus told everyone that it is important for us to help those in need no matter what day it is. How can we help people around us today?

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Filed under Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday Sneak Preview

Lower Elementary Sunday Jan 29: Jesus and Peter Walk on Water

Key Point: Jesus is all-powerful and I can trust and believe that He can do anything.

Lesson Summary: 

Know What: Children will hear the story of when Jesus walked on water.

So What:  Children will learn God/Jesus is all-powerful.

Now What: Children will participate in a game where they will be challenged to identify ways they can trust that God can do anything.

Helpful Texts: 

Matthew 14:22-32

Verse to Memorize (optional)

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
(Psalm 147:5 ESV)

This verse means that Jesus is mighty and all-powerful.

Discussion Questions: 

1. What are some things that make you afraid?

2. How can the knowledge that God is all-powerful help you trust Him?

Pray with your child and take her fears and concerns before the Lord. Encourage your child to trust Jesus and to go to Him when they are sad or scared.

Worship Songs: 

Sing or listen to some of the following songs with your children throughout your week!

Awesome God

Your Everlasting Love

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Sunday Sneak Preview

Upper Elementary Sunday Jan 29: The Wise Listen to Advice (Fear of the Lord)

Key Verse: 

Listen to advice and accept instruction,
and in the end you will be wise.
Prov 19:20 NIV

Key Themes: 

  • The wise person listens to advice and accepts instruction.
  • Good advice points a person toward God and what is good and right; bad suggestions point a person toward what is bad and wrong.
  • God sometimes warns us against wrongdoing through the good advice of others.
  • Listening to advice and accepting instruction is a matter of right heart attitudes.

Additional Texts: 

Prov 1:8-9
1 Kings 12:1-17
Prov 12:15
1 Sam 25:1-35
Prov 14:16
2 Kings 12:1-2

Discussion Questions: 

1. What does it mean when the Bible says to “listen” to advice? Does it mean to just hear it? [It means following or obeying the good advice and instruction.]

2. What kind of heart attitude must a person have to accept advice? What are the wrong heart attitudes that cause us not to listen to good advice and accept instruction?

3. How can you tell the difference between good advice and bad suggestions?

Application Points: 

1. Discuss with your child the heart attitudes that make listening to advice hard (pride, feeling of inferiority, anger, perfectionism, rebellion, etc.) Explain to your child that in order to listen to advice, a person must have a right heart attitude. Share with your child the heart attitudes you struggle with that make it hard for you to accept advice. Encourage your child to share his heart barriers to listening to advice.

2. Explain that it is easier to receive advice from some people than from others. Compare people that is easy and people that it is easy to receive advice from. What is the difference in the approach of these people? What manner encourages right heart attitudes on the part of the hearer? Brainstorm ways that you can give advice in a gentle, humble manner.

3. Pray that you and your child would be willing to receive good advice. Pray for discernment to recognize good advice. Encourage each other throughout this week when you see another person graciously giving or accepting advice.

Worship Songs: 

Sing or listen to some of the following songs with your children throughout your week. Note: Names in parentheses are original authors, not necessarily the recording artist. 

Change My Heart, O God (Eddie Espinosa)

Children Obey Your Parents (Frank Hernandez)

Lord, Reign In Me (Brenton Brown)

Standing on the Promises (R. Kelso Carter/Noram E. Johnson)

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Joseph M. Scriven/Charles C. Converse)

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Filed under Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Family Devotions from Sermon for Elementary, Sunday Jan 22: 1 Peter 3.18-22

Bible Text: 1 Peter 3.18-22 (click on link to see NIRV text). This text was used in the sermon today to discuss the mystery of baptism, since we baptized a number of people in the service. This is a great time to talk with your family about what baptism means, and to talk about the message of the Gospel at whatever level your children can understand it.

Key Point of Passage: Christ died to save us, and baptism is a sign of this.

Memory Verse: “…Jesus Christ has saved you by rising from the dead.” (1 Pet. 3.21).

Questions for Family Discussion:

You do not have to go through all the questions – pick and choose whatever you feel will work best for your particular family.

1. Preparation – Pray a quick prayer together as a family that God will help you to understand His word and bless your time together.

2. Find an easy to read version of the Bible to read together as a family. The NIRV (New International Reader’s Version) is a good choice for elementary kids. Then if your child is able, help them find the passage in their Bible and read it out loud, while helping with hard words. Or read it out loud for your child.

3. It says that the “One who did what is right died for those who don’t do right”. What things do you do that aren’t right?

4. But did you notice that just before that it says “Christ died for sins once and for all” ? What do you think that means? (Explain how Jesus took the punishment for all of our sins – for ever and ever and ever!)

5. Do you remember why God told Noah to build an ark? Why was God going to flood the world with water? (To get rid of all of the wickedness and things that were wrong with the world)

6. Why do we take baths or showers? (To get rid of all the dirt from our skin and hair).

7. So what do you think baptism means? Baptism is a way to show that God cleans our dirty soul and our sin, just like a shower gets rid of dirt.

Family Activity Idea
Give your kids permission to make a mess! Get one tub filled with something very messy – it could be dirt and water (mud), chocolate sauce mixed with crumbled Oreos, or anything that is very messy but can also be fairly easily washed off.  Then get another tub filled with water.

Let your kids get their hands and forearms VERY messy. Talk about how this is like the sin that covers us. Then have them “baptize” their arms in the big tub of water and help them scrub off the mess. Talk about how baptism is a reminder that Jesus makes us clean by dying for us.

If you use an edible mess like chocolate, they could alternately lick it off but you might want to phrase it as “in the same way God consumes or devours or gets rid of our sin”. You could also have a race to see who can eat off the edible mess the fastest.

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Filed under Family Devotional/Sermon Questions, Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Parents' Tool Box, Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Seeds Family Worship

I’ve recently heard many good things about a set of CDs called Seeds Family Worship. I was delighted when Ann Schwaar gave us some to review and consider using with Trinity Kids. And, in short, Seeds blew me away.

The story behind Seeds is that a worship pastor was asked to come up with some songs to teach children to memorize Bible verses during a church VBS. The songs were creative, fun, and catchy and Seeds Family Worship was born! The goal of Seeds Family Worship is to plant God’s Word in the hearts of families.

To date, there are currently 6 CDs in the Seeds family. These albums give you a chance  to plant seeds of Scripture into your children– over 60 Bible passages! What’s best, the style of the music is fun and contemporary and will even appeal to adults– even I have fun singing along with Jonathan!

The CDs in the current Seeds line up are based around different themes:

Seeds of Courage (Vol. 1)
Seeds of Faith (Vol. 2)
Seeds of Praise (Vol. 3)
Seeds of Purpose (Vol. 4)
The Power of Encouragement (Vol. 5)
Seeds of Character (Vol. 6)

In addition to the CDs, they offer memory cards to go along with the songs, activity ideas for families to do together, and chord charts for the more musically inclined.

If you are looking for a fresh way to memorize Scripture for either yourself or your child, these albums are a wonderful tool. You can purchase them in MP3 format from online retailers (such as Amazon or iTunes), but if you purchase the CDs directly from the ministry, each CD comes with two CDs– one to keep and one to give away!

You can also listen to all of the music free on their website. Here’s a video I found of Seeds in concert. Even Grace (at 17 months) tries to do the hand motions. Enjoy! (Thanks Ann for passing these CDs along!)

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Filed under Parents' Tool Box