Tag Archives: children

The Yo-Yo Lesson

Recently, as an introduction to a lesson about knot tying, we were discussing Proverbs 5:22 in one of the children’s classes I teach. It says,

The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
    the cords of their sins hold them fast.

My question (what is this saying?) after reading the verse was immediately followed by that “deer in the headlights” looks from about 95% of the group.

Awesome. Let’s try this again, I thought.

We read it again, and again I asked, “What is this communicating?” I got a couple of answers this time and then the thoughts started coming…

“I think it’s saying the more you get in sin, the harder it is to get out….” Good.

“Oh, it’s kind of like evil will tie you up.” Yes- now you guys are on track…

Then a couple thoughts (and a lot of distractions) later, I noticed the demeanor of one of the girls change… her eyes lit up, she sat a little taller in her chair, and as soon as she made eye contact with me, she raised her hand up in the air. “I’ve got it!” she exclaimed.

“So my brother used to do yo-yo- like A LOT. He would do yo-yo tricks all the time. Well, if he got a knot in the string, the trick just would not work. It just doesn’t work to have a knot in the string. That’s what it’s like for us. If we get sin in our life, it just makes life not work. We can’t do things like we are supposed to. That’s what it’s about. Sin messes us up.”

“That’s brilliant,” I said. There really was not much more I could add to that. I think they figured out the proverb….

Favorite Quotes and Smoothies

I have to tell you my favorite kid quote from this week. Over the last week we have been holding special worship services at church. In our kids’ lessons we have been taking a closer look at the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control). It was a good time! We had a few kids coming back each night and reporting how they were thinking through their day and how they could really show love or kindness towards their siblings. Some of them have really started to think about it!

To wrap up our lessons, we did an activity that has turned into one of my favorites. We made fruit smoothies. Here’s the connection: We really can’t have one characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit without another. It becomes fairly impossible for us to develop love without developing patience and kindness or self-control. If we are going to pursue life in the Spirit, then all nine of those characteristics will begin to develop. So really, it’s not nine different fruits that are growing- it’s more of a mix, like a really good smoothie!

So we put all our ingredients in- strawberries represented love, pineapple was joy- and mixed it all together. Of course, you have to enjoy life in the Spirit, so we all enjoyed a bit of smoothie! As everyone was slurping down their smoothie, one of the five-year-olds declared very excitedly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”

Of course, I laughed. It was so unexpected and his face was so excited! It was so funny! But then I started thinking: isn’t that how it should be? We pursue life in the Spirit and watch all the characteristics develop, but at certain points in life, there are characteristics that stand out more than others. My hope is that whoever is around me at that time the characteristic is needed can declare very loudly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”


Children and Communion

This Sunday our congregation will be participating in communion. It makes me excited! I love when we participate in communion together. And I’m especially excited because it will be one of the first times we take communion since we’ve moved the kids into our service. But I know that can bring up a lot of questions from parents…

Whenever I begin to think about having children participate in communion, I think of a story my grandma tells about one of her daughters, my aunt. She must have been about 5 years old in this particular story. Grandma starts off the story by telling how she was almost always playing the piano for the church service and so she rarely sat with her kids during service- this was back in the day when all the children were in the worship service for the entire time.

So Grandma was at the piano, my aunt was sitting with family friends, and communion was being served. In this church’s tradition, the elements were past down the rows of people in trays. Each person was supposed to take a wafer and a small cup of grape juice. Well, the trays were past by my aunt and the family she was sitting with and one of the adults (I think it was the mom) decided that my aunt should probably not take the elements- “she was really too young.” But my aunt didn’t think so, and she expressed her frustration. “What? You mean all that praying I do and I don’t even get to drink the juice?!!”

This story makes me laugh; “all that praying and I don’t even get to drink the juice.” I’d be upset too! But was she really ready to take communion? Some traditions don’t allow a person to participate in communion until they have gone through a class and chosen to join the church. But we don’t do that.

There are requirements about communion in scripture though. 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 says this:

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

We must examine our hearts before we take part in communion to allow Jesus to show us what we need to surrender and what He needs to correct. It’s a serious thing to participate in communion.

So how do we know if our children are ready for this? Well, here are a few things to think about and discuss with your children:

  • Can your child tell the story of Jesus? That he loves us enough to sacrifice everything for us?
  • Does your child spend time talking about Jesus? Praying and wanting to know more about Him? This can be a great indication that the Holy Spirit is working!
  • Can your child recognize the difference between choices that honors Jesus and those that are against Him (sinful choices and behaviors)?
  • Does your child identify a moment when he or she chose to start following Jesus? Would your child identify him/her-self as a Christ follower?

These are all good places to start to understand the heart of your child. I believe this is a great opportunity to understand where your child is in responding to Jesus. I don’t expect our children to all understand everything that Jesus has done for us- I don’t understand! But if they are understanding that Jesus loves them, that they are attempting to live in a way that honors Him, then I think we don’t hinder them from participating in a time that allows them to reflect on who Jesus is and what He has done for us… but don’t let them participate without examination!

Communion should be a time for all of us- child or adult- to examine our heart in light of what Jesus calls us to… to follow Him… to love others no matter who they are… to be obedient to God’s word. If we can examine our hearts and to the best of our ability, understand what it means to surrender to Jesus, then we should joyfully partake in communion together!

Praising God

A small devotional thought. It’s designed with kids in mind…..

Start by reading Psalms 118:26.

Did you realize what a big job it is to praise God?

Read Luke 19:39-40.

What will happen if we don’t praise Jesus?

Jesus is to great to forget about or stop praising. What is something that you can praise Jesus for today?

Ask God to help us to always remember to be praising Jesus.

Who can you pray for today?

Every Good Gift

A small devotional thought. It’s designed with kids in mind…..

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

The good things in our lives come from God. God does not change God’s mind about us. God always loves us and wants to do good things for us.

What do you have in your life that is good? (Write some of the down. Then on days that you don’t think very many good things are happening, you can remember the good things you do have in your life!)

Thank God for these good things. They came from God!

Children’s Bible Quizzing

Children’s Bible Quizzing is an opportunity for children grades 2-6 to engage in an in-depth study of one book of the Bible. This year’s book is Matthew. Each week the class learns a portion of text and then reviews what they have learned through quiz questions. Children’s Quizzing also provides the opportunity for the children to gather with other children from area churches for a Quiz Meet. The Quiz Meets cover the same lessons that the children learned in class. It happens 9:30AM Sundays, August-April. If you are interested in getting your child involved, contact the church office for more details.

A must read blog

A young friend of mine started his very own blog and I think you should read it. It’s linked in my blogroll, the Musings of Sam. And it is amusing. Sam has an awesome and uncomplicated view of life that is refreshing. Check it out!