God is on the Move Today

Anytime I fight against the darkness in my life, God moves in with the light.

It was no different this week.

On Thursday night I struggled with sliding towards the pit of depression.

By the Grace of God, He reminded me to Feed the Light that is in me through salvation.

Through praise and worship, that lightness overtook the darkness and I was again set free from falling into the pit.

God is good.
All the time.
Even when our circumstances are not.

Plans for future lessons for children’s church have been rattling around in my brain the past couple of days. More so since I woke up at 3:00 a.m. which is the time I usually like to get up. I go to bed early at night so I can rise early and start my day while the world is silent.

A couple of cups of coffee, some social media until I wake up enough to work on my writing or children’s curriculum.

The Passport to the Promised Land curriculum that I created and others assisted with turned out successfully. We’re learning to work with flannelgraphs. If you’re not familiar with them, they are felt pieces of characters and items in the Bible that are presented on a large board as a story is told

We’ve also used videos, games and crafts to present unique lessons. We’ve stamped our passports and traveled through the Old Testament with Abraham, Joseph and Moses. We’ll cross the Jordan River in another week and then celebrate along with the Israelites who returned to the land God promised Abraham. We’ll learn that God keeps His promises. He promised to never leave or forsake us. He always keeps His Word.

Now that the holidays are nearly upon us, the focus of our children’s church lessons will be on the events surrounding birth of Jesus and how He brought hope and joy and love into our hearts.

Since those lessons are outlined already, I’m looking ahead to what the Year 2023 will bring.

Our church has saved Vacation Bible School curriculum for many years. I’m coming up with the lesson plans and creating my own curriculum, well, me and the Lord that is. And I brought home the director’s manuals for most of the previous VBS programs.

Last night I started searching through them. Today I did some more indepth searching and also looking up the stories that correspond with the lessons from our Betty Lukens Bible story book that came with the awesome set of flannelgraphs our church ordered last spring. We’ve used the flannelgraphs, which are bright and colorful, along with the stories in several of our lessons, successfully.

Last winter and spring, I taught the Bible in chronological sequence beginning with Jesus growing up as a boy and getting lost at the temple. Well, He wasn’t lost. He knew exactly where He was, in His Father’s House. His parents lost track of Him.

After that story we followed Jesus’ teaching and miracles, his death and resurrection and ascension (Return to heaven). Then we continued with Pentecost and the Acts of the disciples in May.

For 2023, I intend to do something similar but with all new stories and lessons. We’ll have the opportunity to put the flannelgraphs to good use..

I spent time last night and this morning organizing most of the lessons into an outline with specific dates and stories we’ll be learning. I’ve marked pages of the VBS directors’ manuals to search more thoroughly and gather ideas from.

I see some exciting things in our future!

God is on the Move!

I’m excited about the possibilities for the future, both for my local church and one day when I publish these lesson plans and make them available to other churches.

Sometimes we have only one child. Usually three or four. A couple of times we’ve had 9 children, and that is exciting when that happens. But we still do the lesson and work the program as much as possible for one or two children as we do eight or nine. Or 12, or 20.

Each child deserves our best effort and the full impact of the lessons.

You see, I grew up in a little country church. We didn’t even have indoor plumbing. The congregation faded away, until it was just our family and a couple of other people before the church closed.

Yet we always had Sunday School. We sang choruses in the opening and had class time. Our teachers prepared the lessons for us even though we were the only ones in the class.

The foundation of my faith began in that little church with those dedicated teachers.

I hope that the lessons we teach will be the foundation on which our children in my local church will build their faith, also.

God is on the Move!

The link to a song by this title is below. The lyrics are very meaningful to me. As evidenced in my own life in the past two days, God moves when we surrender to Him and move from the darkness into the light.

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Passport Journey #1: Abraham’s Journey

I recently created a Children’s Church curriculum series entitled: Passport to the Promised Land. It is my hope to publish this series sometime this winter.

Here is a preview of the first lesson in this series:

Title of Lesson:      Passport Journey #1: Abraham’s Journey

Scripture Verse:     “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Introduction to Lesson:

We are taking a pretend journey in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Our story begins after the Great Flood. Noah’s sons and their wives had children, who had more children, and families grew. They started to spread out across the land.

HERE IS A COPY OF THE MAP FOR YOU. (The link to this map will be provided when the curriculum is published.)

The land of Ur, where our journey begins, is in the region that is present day Iraq.

If you were traveling to a foreign country today, what would you need to take with you?
A passport

For our journey through the Bible, we are also going to carry a passport.

(HAND OUT PASSPORTS – Instructions on how to create passports will be provided when the curriculum is published.)

Now we’re ready to travel with Abraham and his family.

WALK ALONG HALLWAY, STOP IN FRONT OF CLASSROOM DOOR.

Let’s check our mailbox for a message from God’s Word that will tell us which land we are entering.


Message from God’s Word:

Genesis 11:31

31 Terah took his son Abraham, Abraham’s wife Sara, and Abraham’s nephew Lot. Together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there. (Although Abram’s name has not been changed to Abraham yet, I have included the new spelling to make it consistent throughout the curriculum).

(SHOW HARAN ON MAP)

Passport Stamp: Haran (Passport stamps will be explained when curriculum is published)

Introduction to Story:

A man named Terah and his family came from the land of Ur of the Chaldeans. He wanted to move his family to the land of Canaan (SHOW ON MAP).

But they settled in Haran.

It was a long journey. Do you think they had buses back then?

Trains?

And definitely not airplanes, right?

How do you think they got from one place to another?

Walking, riding donkey/camel, cart

What did they need to take with them to survive the long journey?

shoes good, comfortable clothes, provisions like water and food

Bible Story:

Read aloud Genesis 11:27 – Genesis 12:5

After story:

Abraham went from the land of Haran to the land God promised him. What was this land called?

Canaan.

Today you get a second sticker on your passport for the land of Canaan.

Story in Action:

Use picture cards (These will be provided when curriculum is published.)

We’re going to go on a “journey” around the room.

First person is Abraham. Draws card. “I’m Abraham, and I’m going to the Promised Land. What or who am I taking with me?” Says what’s on the card.

Second person draws a card. “I’m going with Abraham and we’re going to the Promised Land. What or who am I taking with me?” Says what’s on the card.

Third person draws a card. “I’m going with them to the Promised Land. Who or what am I taking with me?” Says what’s on the card.

Continue until all cards are played, even if the players have to start over with number one person again. Play until all cards are played.

Lesson Point:

God made a promise to Abraham. God promised Abraham that He would give Him a land that would belong to Abraham and his descendants.

What are descendants?

Abraham’s, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and so on.

God told Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars in the sky, too many to count.

The Bible tells us that Abraham believed the Lord. Abraham had faith that God would do what he promised.

God had a plan for Abraham, and God has a plan for your life, too.

Our Bible verse today is from Jeremiah 29:11. (Read aloud).

You were not put on this earth by accident.

God created you with a special purpose in mind.

God isn’t asking you to physically move. He wants you to trust Him with the things that come up in your everyday life.

You can ask for God’s help to make good choices.

Craft:

Print off a picture of Abraham and the stars. (Link will be provided when curriculum is published.)

Color, place gold star stickers on stars in picture and sandpaper or brown paper torn in pieces to glue over the ground for sand.

I will make an announcement in mid-November about the details for how you can purchase the curriculum for use in your church’s children’s program.