Monthly Archives: July 2012

Lower & Upper Elementary Sunday July 29: Muslim

Dear Parents,

This Sunday your child will learn about the worldview of Muslim groups around the world. There are between 1.4 and 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. Followers of Islam are the largest religious group immigrating to the United States.

Muslims follow the religion of Islam. Although Islamic practices may differ from culture to culture, they are based on a belief in one God, Allah (AH-lah). The Qur’an (kuhr-AHN) is the Muslim religious text. It teaches that Jesus was a good prophet, but not the son of God. Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross or was raised back to life.

Muslims try to please God and earn their way into heaven by following the five pillars of Islam: reciting the creed, praying five times a day, giving to the poor, fasting during the daytime for the month of Ramadan (RAH-mah-dahn), and taking a religious pilgrimage to the city of Mecca (MEH-kuh) at least once in their lifetime.

Muslims believe that they can earn their way to heaven by doing more good things than bad, but they cannot be totally sure that Allah will accept them. Muslims do not understand that Jesus has already made a way for their hearts to become right before God. They need to have the hope of eternal life that God provides.

Home Follow-Up 

  • Talk: Ask your child to share something they learned about Muslim beliefs.
  • Read  Psalm 130:1-5. Discuss how understanding God’s plan of salvation could give Muslim families hope.
  • Pray: Pray for Muslim families that have the same number of children as in your family. Pray for people who are trying to please God by doing enough good things. Pray that they will learn that God already loves them and has made a plan to forgive their sin through His Son, Jesus.

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday July 29: The Proud Man and the Humble Man

Bible Text: Luke 18:9-14 

Key Point of Passage: God wants us to humbly ask for forgiveness, not think we are better than others.

Memory Verse: God forgives sins (Romans 3:25).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      Jesus talked about two men in our story today: a tax collector and a Pharisee.

2)      The tax collector was sorry for the bad things he had done and asked God to forgive him. Did God forgive him?

3)      But the Pharisee thought he was better then everyone else. His prayers weren’t about God’s goodness, but about his own goodness. He didn’t even say he was sorry for anything. Did these kind of prayers make God happy?

4)      Does God want us to be humble and ask for forgiveness just like the tax collector did?

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Filed under Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday Sneak Preview

Pray for the people of China

Here is a helpful video that you can watch and pray along with:

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Lower & Upper Elementary Sunday July 22: Han Kids

Dear Parents,

This Sunday your children will be learning about the largest unreligious group in China, the Han (hahn). The Han are the largest ethnic group in the world. Nine out of every ten people living in China belong to this group. Their name is derived from the ancient Han Dynasty that began about 200 BC and ruled China for 400 years. Although the Han people share a common history that sets them apart from the minority groups in China, they have a variety of languages and lifestyles.

Your children will watch a video to learn more about the Han people. Kids will get a glimpse of what life is like for Han children as they watch children learn to write Chinese characters, ride rafts with their friends, and carry candle-lit lanterns at festivals. Many Han people are unreligious, or athiest. Yet amazingly, many small vibrant groups of believers are forming. Children are encouraged to pray for the remaining one billion Han who have yet to hear about Jesus and His love for them.

Home Follow Up 

  • Read more about the one of the many Han people groups together as a family over at Asia Harvest.
  • Talk about Christians in China with older children.
  • Pray for the Han this week:

* Pray for God to open the hearts to China’s leaders to the gospel.
* Pray for God to bring Chinese people to salvation through Christian radio programs that are broadcast into China from other countries.
* Pray for the many new believers to be taught God’s Word so they can recognize false teaching and reject it.
* Pray that Han believers would be able to get Bibles.
* It is illegal to teach any Chinese child who is younger than 18 about God. Pray that the more than 400 million Han children will have a chance to hear about Jesus.
* Many believers in China live under daily threat of persecution. Pray that God would be their strength when they do face persecution.
* Pray that the church in China would grow strong and be a witness to unbelievers, even with the constant risk of persecution.

  • Have an Chinese-themed meal as you pray for the Han people. If you aren’t a cook, try ordering some Chinese food!

Have fun joining together as a family to pray for the Han!

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)

Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday July 22: The Most Important Rules

Bible Text: Mark 12:28-34

Key Point of Passage: God wants us to love Him the most, and then to love others next.

Memory Verse: Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      What is the most important rule God has given us?

2)      And then who does God want us to love second?

3)      What are some ways we can show love to our friends and our family?

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Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday July 15: Jesus Sends out the 12 Disciples

Bible Text: Matthew 10:1-42, Luke 9:6; 10:1,17

Key Point of Passage: Jesus told his disciples to go and be his witnesses to people everywhere, and God blessed everyone who welcomed them.

Memory Verse: Jesus said, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      Jesus sent out the disciples and told them to be his witnesses to other people. Does anyone remember what a “witness” does?

2)      Jesus said that some people would welcome them and listen to them, but some people would not. Whose house were they supposed to stay in (those who welcomed them or those who did not)?

3)      Then Jesus said that the people who did not listen to them might be mean and arrest them, just like Paul’s enemies arrested him. But did the disciples need to be afraid of these enemies?

4)      God promised to take care of them and give them the right words to say. Will God take care of us too?

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Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday July 8: Jesus’ Story about Two Sons

Bible Text: Matthew 21:27-31

Key Point of Passage: God wants us to actually obey Him, not just SAY we will obey.

Memory Verse: Obey the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:3).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      Jesus told a story about two sons. The father asked both sons to go work in the family garden.

□        The first son said “no” but later he did go out to the garden and do the work. Did he obey his father when he finally went out to the garden and helped?

□        The second son said “yes” when his father asked him to work in the garden, but then he never went and did it. Did he obey his father?

2)      Which is better, to say we will obey, or to actually obey?

3)      Is it even better to do both (to say “yes” AND then obey)?

4)      Does God want us to always obey Him?

 

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Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday July 1: James’ Letter about Obedience

Bible Text: James 1:21-25, 4:5-10; 5:15-20

Key Point of Passage: God wants us to obey Him, and to say sorry when we disobey. 

Memory Verse: Obey the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:3).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      Does God want us to just hear Bible stories? Or does He want us to also obey what the Bible says?

2)      When we do disobey God, what should we do?

3)      If we pray and say we are sorry after we have disobeyed, will God forgive us?

4)      Let’s pray now and ask God to forgive us for the times when we haven’t obeyed Him.

 

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Preschool-Kindergarten, Sunday June 24: Paul’s Letter about Love

Bible Text: 1 Corinthians 12:29-13:13

Key Point of Passage: God wants us to love other people and put them first.

Memory Verse: Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).

Questions for Discussion:

1)      What was our Bible story about today?

2)      What is our Bible memory verse today? (Read the verse above). When we love someone like we love ourselves:

□        Will we be good and kind to them?

□        Will we share with them?

□        Do we forgive them?

□        Will we always stay friends with them?

3)      Does God want you to love people around you too?

 

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Lower & Upper Elementary Sunday July 15: Unreligious

Dear Parents,

This Sunday your child will learn about the worldview of unreligious, or atheist, groups around the world.

Although unreligious practices may differ from culture to culture, they are based on the assumption that God does not exist. Schools in unreligious cultures teach students that it is foolish and weak to trust in a “god”. Instead, unreligious peoples trust in education, science, and their government leaders. Many Atheistic governments make laws that forbid religious groups to meet, print and distribute religious materials, and teach children about God. Believers in these cultures face many forms of persecution. Unreligious peoples do not understand that God created them, loves them, and wants to them to look to him as their source of wisdom, provision, security, and hope.

Home Follow-Up 

  • Ask your child to share something they learned about unreligious beliefs.
  • Read Proverbs 3:5-6 and discuss how belief in God could give unreligious families hope for the future.
  • Read Romans 1:20 and talk about how God makes His existence known.
  • For Fun: Have your child draw a picture showing how they know God exists.
  • Prayer: Pray for unreligious children who are in the same grade as your child.

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Filed under Lower Elementary (1st-3rd), Sunday Sneak Preview, Upper Elementary (4th-5th)