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Family Resources - April 22

This quarantine has helped me to slow down and appreciate the beautiful spring God has designed for us.  The dogwoods have been beautiful this year, and the honeysuckle is all over, filling the air with it’s fragrance!  I hope you and your family have been able to enjoy these spring days as well!

We wanted to share with you some highlights from our curriculum, so that your child will be able to follow along with the lessons they are being taught in Children’s Ministry.  This blog post contains information about this week’s lesson from our Gospel Story curriculum, which is being taught to 3 & 4 year olds, up through 3rd grade, as well as this week’s lesson from our New City Catechism that is being taught to 4th-5th graders.  May it brighten your week and bless you!

The lesson from our Gospel Story Curriculum this week is about how God Provides a Wife for Isaac.  The biblical account can be found in Genesis 24.  It’s a bit of a long chapter, but it reads like a story, and it’s all too good to skip any of it.  If you would like to read the child-friendly version of this story from the Gospel Story Bible, you may click here.  There is also a preschool version of the story of Isaac and Rebekah, taken from the Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible which you can read here.  To access the weekly coloring sheet, click here, then scroll down to the last page.

The opening object lesson for this lesson is all about trusting God.  You will need to make a line on the floor, either with masking tape, or with sidewalk chalk if you choose to do this activity outside.  (There is also a link at the bottom of the page for making a sensory path, if your children are a little older or you just want to make this more of a challenge.). Make sure the line is not straight, but curves and bends back and forth in several places.  Have your children look at the line you have made, and tell them that the line represents God's plan for our lives.  Have your children take turns walking the line from start to finish.  Was it hard to stay on the line, or was it easy to follow because they could see where they were going.  Take a scarf or bandana and blindfold one volunteer, who will then try to walk the line again without any help.  Have your other children watch to see if they stayed on the line or not.  Ask them if it was harder this time?  Now take your volunteer back to the beginning and have them walk the line blindfolded again, but this time take their hand and lead them along the line.  We can't always see God's plan for our life, but we can trust Him as He leads us along the way.  He can see the path, and He is ready to take our hand and guide us as we go.  We can trust Him.

You can also have your children race to “Water the Camels” (you may want to play this outside).  Give each child a cup and a bowl and have them stand at one end of your playing space, then set a tub of water at the other end.  Abraham’s servant had 10 camels with him who needed watering.  Have your children race to fill their cup with water and bring it back to dump it in their bowl.  Have them do this 10 times, once for each camel.  

Another variation on this theme, with less racing and more serving others, as Rebekah did, is to have your children get drinks of water for each other.  If you have pets, have them offer to water the animals, as Rebekah watered the camels.  Encourage them to serve one another in this way.

There are a couple of teaching points that are really good to draw out to your children as you go through this story.  First of all, there is Abraham and his faith in God.  Abraham didn’t want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman, because they served false gods.  Isaac was the child of the promise, the chosen child of God, and he would need a wife who wouldn’t lead him astray.  Abraham had faith that God would provide just the right wife for Isaac.  Secondly, this is a great story to talk with your kids about prayer.  Abraham’s servant had a difficult task, but he didn’t try to do it alone.  He prayed and asked for God’s help.  Not only did God hear the servant’s prayer and answer it, but the Bible tells us that Rebekah was coming towards him even before the servant had finished his prayer!!  God knows what we need, and He knows what we are going to say even before we say a word.  We learned that in our memory verse from March, Psalm 139:4!  Finally, use this lesson to emphasize God’s sovereignty.  He is in control of every detail of our lives.  He planned for Rebekah to be Isaac's wife even before the servant prayed.  He planned for Rebekah to be in Jesus' family tree long before Jesus was born.  He plans our lives, what will happen to us, and where we will live.  (Acts 17:25-26 NIV).  He is sovereign.

This is our last Sunday in April, to work on this month’s Sword Bible Memory Verse, which is taken from Psalm 145.  For preschoolers, they are learning Psalm 145:3.  For grades K-2, they are learning Psalm 145:1-3.  And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Psalm 145:1-6.  To see the verses printed out, you can click here and go to Sword Verse #4.

The New City Catechism question for this week is question #39 - “With what attitude should we pray?”  Answer - “With love, perseverance, and gratefulness.”  The biblical passage for this week’s Q&A comes from Philippians 4:4-9.  The weekly memory verse for this age group is Philippians 4:6.

There is a resource that goes along with this lesson.  You can access it by clicking here.  Have your children color these circles in and decorate them to be 4 different emoticons that portray some attitudes we approach prayer with.  Have some of them be right attitudes that we want to encourage, such as love, perseverance, and gratefulness.  Allow some of them to be the wrong attitudes that tempt us sometimes, such as boredom or silliness.  Talk with your kids about what attitudes they have illustrated and how each one plays out in prayer and whether it is a right attitude or a wrong one.

If your child created or started a prayer journal last week, here is their prayer journal assignment for this week.  Read through Philippians 4:8 with them, and have them write the words in their journal, with large spaces in between each one.  The words are: True, Honorable, Just, Pure, Lovely, Commendable, Excellence, Worthy of Praise.  (This will probably take a few pages, and that’s ok).  Make sure your children understand what each word means, either by talking about it and defining it for them, or having them look it up in a dictionary.  Now invite your children to take some time to write beneath each word some things that they associate with it.  For example, God’s word is true, a soldier who lays down his life for his comrades is honorable, etc.  God knows that what we think about influences our attitude.  Thinking about these things helps prepare our hearts to spend time with Him in prayer.

There is a story in here about the great evangelist, George Mueller, that is meant to be shared with your children as an encouragement to persevere in prayer to God.  “In 1844, a man named George Mueller began praying every day for five of his friends.  After many months, one of them became a Christian.  Ten long years went by, but then two others were converted.  The fourth man became a Christian after Mueller prayed for him for twenty-five years!  Still, the fifth friend did not believe.  Mueller persevered in prayer for him until Mueller died, which meant he prayed for him for fifty-four years.  He never gave up hoping that he would accept Christ.  His faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller’s funeral the fifth friend believed!”

If you’re looking for other resources for ideas and activities you can do with your children to help them use their time to invest in God’s kingdom, here are some we recommend:

https://pin.it/70OUGn3 (This sensory path is a fun challenge to add to the opening activity for the Gospel Story lesson for this week.)

https://youtu.be/Kv3VqXsgiIY (A 1 minute video of Abraham sending his servant to find a wife for Isaac)

https://youtu.be/P8C7v0v1oDs (The 2 minute follow up video, where the servant meets Rebekah)

Bible Notes for Kids (This study page helps your children go deeper into the scriptures, learning to study God’s word with the SOAP steps: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.)