Advent: Third Sunday in Advent

It’s the third week of Advent already. How are things going at your home? Are you still frazzled, or have you tried to slow down and take things one at a time?

I’m not frazzled, but a little anxious. My husband has been renovating our guest bathroom. It’s going to be beautiful when it’s done. However, life keeps getting in the way of him working on it. His 99 year old aunt died, which meant a trip to Louisville, KY, to be with family and friends. It was wonderful to see so many of the family. Then he took  three days off to go with me to a conference and book signing event in Daytona. It was a fun time of teaching, sharing, and meeting some really great teachers.

Now he has a cold, poor guy. He’s still working on the bathroom, but at a slower pace. He’ll have the door up by the weekend and we will be able to use the toilet and sink. He just has to do the finish things to the walls then he can paint, and add the trim and accessories.

All of the decorations make our homes look pretty, but they really aren’t absolutely necessary to have Christmas. We can just put a few things out to make it festive in the room we are in most of the time. One of my favorite decorations is a figurine of Santa with his cap off bowing down to Jesus in the Manger. That says it all. That is the only thing we have to remember at Christmas, that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

If you haven’t baked all of the cookies you usually do, just pick one or two recipes to make. Most of us really don’t need to eat that many sweets anyway.

Depending on what time of day works best for you to have quiet time with God, find a place to be alone with Him. Take that time to praise Him for all that He has blessed you with. Then ask Him how you can best serve those around you. Then listen quietly for an answer, remember you may need to be still longer than you think. He may be waiting for you to really give Him your full attention. Taking this time with God will give you peace and a new focus for the days ahead.

The Psalm for today is:
Psalm 98

A Song of Praise to the Lord for His Salvation and Judgment
1 Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;

 

  • He has done many marvelous things!
  • Show your children things throughout the day that show the beauty and glory of God.
  • Teach them to say a prayer thanking God for all He has done for them.

 

His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.
2 The Lord has made known His salvation;
His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

 

  • God teaches us that if we listen and follow His directions that we will see the peaceful lives we can live.
  • If you children are fighting, settle them down and pray with them. Ask God to help them to think about what their actions will do to the other person.
  • If Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed there never would be any struggle in our world. Talk with the kids about what it would be like if they never fought or hurt someone’s feelings.

 

4 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
5 Sing to the Lord with the harp,
With the harp and the sound of a psalm,
6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn;
Shout joyfully before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell in it;
8 Let the rivers clap their hands;
Let the hills be joyful together before the Lord,
9 For He is coming to judge the earth.
With righteousness He shall judge the world,
And the peoples with equity.

 

  • Find a time to sing praises to God with your kids. Turn on a Christian radio station while you are driving and sing along.
  • Say prayers before meals and bedtime. Make sure they not only ask God to watch over everyone, but to thank Him for keeping them safe and healthy.
  • Teach them to pray asking God to guide them. Then tell the kids they have to listen for God to answer them. To listen for words of love and encouragement in their heart.

 

The Old Testament reading for today is:
Amos 9:11-15

The Epistle reading for today is:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 13-17

The Gospel reading for today is:
John 5:30-47

 

 

 

1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Lk 1:57–68). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent: Second Sunday in Advent

As we go into the second week in Advent we continue to prepare our hearts and homes for the coming of the Christ Child. This is a very busy time of year. We are busy, cooking, cleaning, and baking those wonderful traditional foods that are a part of our families celebrations. However, we also need to “Remember The Reason For The Season.” We wouldn’t be going through all of this if we weren’t celebrating Christmas. There are a lot of people that just use Christmas as a time to gather with family and friends.

How about if this Advent and Christmas season we try to share our love and faith with those around us. Find ways to help someone in need. The obvious would be to give a bag of food and toiletries to someone that is homeless. Or to give toys to Toys for Tots, cook at a soup kitchen, teach a reading class in a homeless shelter.

There are also family and friends that could use some help. If someone is sick take a meal to them or drive them to the doctor. You can clean the house of a frazzled young mom, or take the kids so she can just rest.

If you know someone in the hospital, shut in, or in a nursing home, take them something to read, like Our Daily Bread, or a new Bible. Take time to visit with them, ask if there is something they would like you to pray about with them. Then hold their hand and pray together adding “Father, please give ___ comfort and peace,” and what you feel led to pray for.

Take time each day to talk with God and ask for His guidance for the day. It’s amazing when you really listen for His response, you really can hear that still small voice in your soul. He has graced me with His words many times. I pray that you will feel this as well.

As you put up your Christmas decorations, play Christmas hymns, and tell the children the real meaning of Christmas. Share with them how you learned about this holiday from family and friends at your church. Share the fun memories of making special ornaments or cookies. If you’re like me a lot of the family is now gone. To keep them alive in our hearts I tell stories of things I did as a child with my family, also the teachings I learned at my church home.

 

 

The lessons for the second week of Advent are:
The Psalm for the day is:
Psalm 148-150

The Old Testament reading is:
Amos 6:1-14

The Epistle reading is:
2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
Luke 1:57-68

The Gospel reading is:
The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When Elizabeth’s son was born, 58 her neighbors and relatives heard how kind the Lord had been to her, and they too were glad.
59 Eight days later they did for the child what the Law of Moses commands. They were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John.”
61 The people argued, “No one in your family has ever been named John.” 62 So they motioned to Zechariah to find out what he wanted to name his son.
63 Zechariah asked for a writing tablet. Then he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was amazed. 64 Right away, Zechariah started speaking and praising God.
65 All the neighbors were frightened because of what had happened, and everywhere in the hill country people kept talking about these things. 66 Everyone who heard about this wondered what this child would grow up to be. They knew that the Lord was with him.
67 The Holy Spirit came upon Zechariah, and he began to speak:
68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to save his people.

 

  • Do you have any friends that had children later in life?
  • How did they react?
  • We had a friend that had a baby when her youngest was in high school.
  • The daughter that was born was a joy to all of us
  • Talk with your children about how special every baby is, no matter how old the parents are.
  • Ask them how they feel being an older brother or sister.
  • If they are the first, ask them about other babies of your family or friends. Ask them about their feelings about that baby.

 

Please share with me your Advent and Christmas Traditions. What is your favorite tradition of Christmas?

 

 

1 The Holy Bible: The Contemporary English Version. (1995). (Lk 1:57–68). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Advent History First Sunday in Advent

Advent is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. It is a time we prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus. The different denominations have different traditions. In Western Christianity we use the color purple or blue for the different hangings around the church and the vestments or stoles that the clergy wear. The Lutherans chose purple, while the Methodists chose blue.

The different churches also choose different music that is played or sung. Handel’s Messiah, the Magnificat, and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel are just three of the familiar songs that are sung during this period. We all have our favorites depending on what we grew up with. Traditionally these are not Christmas carols, but songs telling of the coming of Jesus.

There are also traditions the churches follow. In England there used to be a tradition where dolls represented Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you gave a halfpenny coin to the person taking the dolls by your home you were to have good luck. If you did not give a halfpenny the household would have bad luck.

In Normandy, the farmers had the children run through the fields to set fire to the bundles of straw, thus driving out the evil that could damage their crops.

In Rome, there would be bagpipe players that would play as they come to the manger at Bethlehem. This was to recognize the pipes that the shepherds would have played.

Now our churches use and advent calendar or candles. The calendars usually have a little door to open. There can be a Bible verse and possibly a small gift or piece of chocolate.

The Advent wreath is usually lit at worship with the Bible reading for that day being read first. In 2015 the four Advent Sundays are November 29, December 6, December 13, and December 20.You can read part or all of the lessons with your children. I have the Psalm reading printed here for you this week.

The readings for the “First Sunday in Advent November 29, 2015”

The Psalm for the day is:
Psalm 146

The Happiness of Those Whose Help is the Lord
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

 

  • Teach your children to thank God for everything
  • Sing songs of praise with your local Christian radio station
  • Say prayers with them of thanks when you see a rainbow or the beauty in nature

 

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.

 

  • Teach the children to trust the guidance of God
  • Tell them to pray then to quietly listen for an answer
  • The answer comes in a still small voice you hear in your heart

 

5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
10 The Lord shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

 

  • Teach the children that God is with everyone, no matter what their situation in life
  • Pray with them for the homeless on the streets
  • Pray with them for the prisoners, strangers, and those who have lost loved ones.

 

The other readings you can read as a family for this first week in Advent are:
The Old Testament reading for the day is:
Amos 1:1-5,13-2:8

The Epistle reading for the day is:
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

The Gospel reading for the day is:
Luke 21:5-19

 

May God bless you as you prepare your heart for the Coming of the Christ Child. What is your family tradition for this first week of Advent?

 

 

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 146). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Thanksgiving

Psalm 95 (NKJV)
A Call to Worship and Obedience

1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;

 

Teaching your children to be thankful:
At a young age teach them to pray before meals
Also teach them to say a bedtime prayer
If they tell you about someone that was hurt or sick, stop what you are doing and say a prayer together for that person

 

Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

 

Teach children to see the beauty in the world:
Pray together thanking God for a sunny day or a beautiful rainbow
Show the kids the mountains and the water and tell them that God made all of it

 

 

7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

 

When there are trials:
Pray with the children when they are sick, asking God to make them feel better
Pray with them asking for God to help them to do well in school
Pray for fun and safety when playing a sport
Teach your children to take everything to God in prayer. From the big things such as a serious illness, death, (even of a pet) help in school, forgiveness for doing something they shouldn’t have done.

How do you teach your children to be thankful?

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Thank you my shepherd for providing the things I need
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
Thank you for helping me to stop and rest
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
Thank You for the calm waters still the trouble in my soul
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Please let Your path be clear so I can see and follow it
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
Thank You for showing me that You will help  me stand up to evil
For You are with me;
I know You are always there, I only need to hold out my hand
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
They give me a sense of peace and love
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Your preparation makes me strong, and my enemies see I don’t fear them
You anoint my head with oil;
Your anointing shows me I am moving in the right direction
My cup runs over.
Your blessings are so much more than I can hold. I will share them with others
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
I know I am Yours, and if I follow You, I will have peace
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.1
I will someday be in Your heavenly home

 

The 23rd Psalm is so rich in love, peace and imagery. On a difficult day you can pray this Psalm. You can stop at each phrase and imagine you are enveloped in God’s love in each setting. Even if when you are facing difficult times He will always be there with you.

This past July I was really tested. Jim, my husband, had gone to the hospital for a routine CT scan. He had a pulled muscle in his side and the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn’t torn. The regular scan went well. Then the tech injected him with the dye for the contrast scan. Jim felt warmth going up through his body and a strong urge to sneeze. The scan was done and when he got up he felt light headed. Then he could feel himself swelling, in his throat, eyes and nose. Soon he was fighting to breath. He passed out, and a nurse saw him waver, caught him and assisted him to the floor. Through his fog he heard “man down,” he opened his eyes and looked to see what they were talking about. Then, seeing the ceiling, realized it was him. He told me his first thought was “it’s a good thing I didn’t die, Jann would be pissed.” I have always told him that I get to go first. He would do much better going on without me than I would without him.

I was home doing some cleaning and realized he had been gone much longer than expected. I texted him and waited about 10 minutes. I hadn’t heard back so I called the hospital and was connected with radiology. They proceeded to tell me that he was in the ER, but wouldn’t give me any information. Later, I found out it was because of the Hippa law.

I rushed over to the hospital, praying all the way there. I was strangely calm and felt peace. God told me everything was going to be okay. When I finally was able to go into the ER and to Jim’s bedside the first thing I said was “What did you do now?” He smiled, still breathing with difficulty, and said that he had had a sever reaction to the contrast dye. The doctor told me Jim had anaphylactic shock, and almost died. I kissed him and said a quick prayer thanking God for not taking Jim away from me.

He stayed in the hospital for several tests to make sure there were no problems from the dye, and then returned home the next day. I can’t thank God enough for letting me keep my wonderful husband.

Have you faced something that was very difficult and felt God’s love holding you tight? Write me back and share your experience.

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ps 23:1–6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

PRAISE GOD!!!

Last week was quite a week. On Monday I sent a query letter to DEB HAGGERTY at ELK LAKE PUBLISHING. She responded and sent me the material I needed to fill out for the proposal. Tuesday I sent all of that to her. Then Wednesday, Deb offered me a contract. She called and answered some of my questions. Then I received the contract on Friday. I sent the signed contract and other paper work to her Saturday.

So, PRAISE GOD!!!!! I now have a publisher, contract and a new agent, SHAWN KUHN of the SUZY Q AGENCY. This is all so amazing. I still can’t quite take it all in.

The contract is for the first three books in “Bible Characters Through the Ages Story #1 Adam in the Garden, Story #2 Meeting Eve, and Story #3 Watching David and Goliath” These are all working titles. The editor can make new suggestions for the titles.

Here is a little information about the series:

“Bible Characters Through the Ages”

Two time traveling children want to meet the historical figures of the Bible starting with Adam, but in the past they lose their time travel machine. Can they find their way back home before time has changed? Then, can they return to meet another historical figure of the Bible? Read “Bible Characters Through the Ages” the series to share their adventures.

I first learned about writing groups and conferences when we moved to Florida 6 years ago. I have been working and learning so much about this new career of mine. Who would have thought that God would have me writing for kids at the age of 65? Surely not me, but I am blessed to be able to do this.

He also has me doing workshops for the Florida League of Christian Schools conference. My workshop is on helping children become better writers. It’s a fun event and I meet a lot of great teachers, principals, and administrator’s.

Have you ever thought about writing? Please do it. How can I help and encourage you?

How Would You Like to be Sold?

That’s exactly what happened to Joseph. He was one of Jacob’s sons. His brothers always thought he was the favored son; Jacob even made Joseph a tunic of many colors, much finer than what the others had. Joseph didn’t help matters much. He would have dreams and tell his brothers about them. They were always about him being greater than his brothers.

  • Do you have siblings? Did you feel your parents favored on of you over the other?
  • Help your children to all feel equal love and attention from you
    • They each have different gifts
    • Use those gifts to increase their self-image
    • Let them use their gifts to help others.

All but Joseph were in Dothan feeding the flock. Jacob asked Joseph to see how his brothers were doing. They saw Joseph from far off and while talking, they decided to kill him. They were tired of hearing how great he was. The brothers would kill him and tell their father that a wild animal had killed Joseph. Reuben had second thoughts and said they should just throw Joseph in a pit and leave him to die.

While they were eating they saw a caravan coming their way. Judah told them, that they should sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites and make some money. They received twenty shekels of silver, and Joseph was taken to Egypt, and sold to Potiphar. Potiphar was one of Pharaohs officers and the captain of the guard.

Joseph worked hard and found favor with God. Potiphar saw how God helped Joseph. He was prosperous in all of his endeavors. Seeing all of this Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of his house and all that he had.

  • Joseph went from his brothers planning to kill him to overseeing Potiphar’s estate.
    • Look for ways to give each child responsibility
    • Older children can oversee dishes and some of the cleaning
    • Younger children can carry their dishes to the kitchen counter
    • They can all help keep their rooms picked up

travel-945309_640Then Potiphar’s wife tried to take Joseph to bed, but he refused. She got mad and told her husband that Joseph had tried to rape her. He was sent to jail. While there he did everything he was told, and eventually oversaw the prisoners.

The Pharaoh’s chief butler and the chief baker had been put in jail with Joseph. One night they each had a dream. The next day Joseph interpreted them. The butler was released after serving his time, but the baker was hung. Then two years later Pharaoh had a dream and no one could interpret it for him. The butler remembered Joseph interpreting his dream. He went to the Pharaoh and told him about Joseph.

Joseph was summoned, and he interpreted the dream. Pharaoh was so pleased, that he made Joseph the overseer of his household. Then it came to pass that there was a famine. Joseph’s brothers came to get help and food in Egypt. Joseph saw them, but they didn’t recognize him. In the end the family was reunited.

  • When you talk with the kids in the morning, ask them about their dreams
    • Ask them if the dreams make them feel good or bad
    • Help them to see if there is a meaning to their dream
  • Do you dream very much? Do you remember them?

How Would You Like to be Told Your Name is Going to be Changed?

That’s exactly what God told Abram and Sarai. Abram was 75 years old when God came to him with this news. He also told Abram that he and Sarai were going to leave their home and move. They were to take their belongings, and nephew Lot, and move from Haran to Canaan.

12 Now the Lord had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
2
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”1

I would imagine we all have experienced moving, at least once. We’ve moved quite a few times, 19 to be exact, in 44 years. Some were just for a few weeks, or a couple of months. Each move takes its toll. Some moves people make are for jobs, and some to join family. Our last big move was to join our kids in Florida. It is great to be with them again, but we left a lot behind.

I thought the move would be easy and wonderful. Wrong. Leaving other family and friends was much harder than I thought it would be. We also had to start all over again. We had to find all new doctors, a new church home, and make new friends. We lived with one of our daughters for three months, then the other for two months. We really appreciated them helping us out, but it was great to finally be able to buy a home and be on our own again.

Are you facing a move? Help your children adjust:

  • Let them sort their toys into piles of keep and donate
  • Give them a box to pack the toys they are keeping
  • Show them how to wrap the fragile things
  • If this is a far move, have a going away party with their friends
  • Give them an address book to write the addresses and phone numbers of their friends
  • If older make sure they have email addresses

Abram and Sarai left a lot behind them too. The last move we made was our choice, but they were told they were moving directly by God. He guides us to new places where if we listen to Him, He will make life changes for us that in the long run will be better. Abram and Sarai were told when they arrived in Canaan that the land would belong to them and their descendants. It was in Canaan that God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah.

They had been in Canaan, for quite a while and still didn’t have a son, so Sarah had her maid servant, Hagar, lay with Abraham and she bore him a son named Ishmael. Hagar taunted Sarah, because she was able to have a son. Out of frustration Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away. God blessed them, and through Ishmael came the nation of Islam.

When Abraham was 100 and Sarah was 90, God told them that they would have a son. This made them both laugh, since at their ages this seemed impossible. But with God all things are possible. In their old age Isaac was born. When he was a boy God tested Abraham and commanded him to give the boy to Him as a sacrifice. Abraham followed God’s directions and just before he was to kill Isaac an angel stopped him and showed him a ram to use as a sacrifice.

Have you faced some difficult things in your life? It can even be a good thing, but any change can be difficult. Teach your children how to cope.

  • Tell them what is going on.
  • If a health issue of a loved one, give details that are age appropriate
  • If you are moving let them know right away, so they have time to adjust mentally
  • If a new baby is joining the family, let them be part of the preparation

 

Share how you and your family work through the changes in your life.

 

 
1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ge 12:1–3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Life and Time of Noah

What can you learn from reading Noah’s story?

From the time of Adam there are nine generations until the time of Noah. Noah was 500 years old when he became a father. His sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The people had grown farther and farther away from God. They became an evil people, and only thought of their pleasure and wants.

God wanted to get rid of all of the people and living creatures on the ground and in the air. He was ready to wipe everything He created out. Then He remembered Noah and his family and that they were good. God talked to Noah and said:

14 Make yourself an ark of gopherwood;
make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside
and outside with pitch. 15 And this is how
you shall make it: The length of the ark
shall be three hundred cubits, its width
fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

16 You shall make a window for the ark,
and you shall finish it to a cubit from above;
and set the door of the ark in its side. You
shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.
17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters
on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh
in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the
earth shall die. 18 But I will establish My covenant with
you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your
wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living
thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the
ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and
female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, of animals after
their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its
kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.
21 And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten,
and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for
you and for them.”1

I don’t know about you, but if God came to me and said that, I think my first reaction might be, “right.” It’s not always easy to follow what you feel you are being led to do by God. Often we feel we are inadequate to handle the task. We ask God, isn’t there someone that is better qualified than I am to do this for You? Are You really sure You want me to do this?

If we choose to follow the guidance of God, it’s amazing what we and our children can do.

  • For our physical health:
    • We need to walk more, and take the kids with us. We can use the time to actually talk with each other.
    • Be smarter in choosing what we eat, teach the kids better eating habits too
  • For our mental health:
    • Take time to rest our minds, literally get away from stress.
    • Have the kids sit and read a book.
    • Stay away from electronics, they can cause frustration
  • For our Spiritual health:
    • Read the Bible more and meditate on the reading.
    • Imagine sitting in a peaceful place with Jesus and just enjoy being in His presence

Once Noah began building the ark, I can imagine that he was teased by everyone. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and Noah and his sons are building this huge boat. It must have been difficult to work on something that probably seemed ridiculous to the other people.

Then the rain began to fall. It didn’t stop until it covered everything up and over to the mountain tops. Have you been out in the ocean, and all you could see was water? If you’re on a cruise ship it’s kind of cool. There’s nothing around, but beautiful calming water (of course that would be on a sunny day 😉 ) However, Noah and his family knew that everything was gone. It was all under water.

What would it have been like to be closed up in the ark? I really hope God made the all the animals and birds get along. I have also wondered about the smell, hmmm.

After floating for 40 days, Noah sent out a raven and it couldn’t find a place to land. Next he sent out a dove, but it returned. Noah waited another seven days, then sent out the dove again. It returned with an olive branch. This was a sign from God that their time on the boat was about to end. Once the water had receded they opened the door and let out all of the animals and birds.

They built an altar and made a sacrifice in thanksgiving to God, for saving them. God placed a rainbow in the sky. He told them that this was His sign, that He would never destroy everything again.

When I see a rainbow I say a prayer of thanks for the blessings in my life. Even for the tough times He has gotten me through. Tell me what you think of when you see a rainbow?

 

 

 

1 The New King James Version. (1982). (Ge 6:14–21). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

We Can be Held Firmly in Our Faith in God

Teaching from Bible stories

Job 1:1, 8-12

1 There once was a man named Job who lived
in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a
man of complete integrity. He feared God
and stayed away from evil. 8 Then the Lord
asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job?
He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a
man of complete integrity. He fears God
and stays away from evil.” 9 Satan replied to the Lord,
“Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You
have always put a wall of protection around him
and his home and his property. You have made him
prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!
11 But reach out and take away everything he has,
and he will surely curse you to your face!”
12 “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan.
“Do whatever you want with everything he possesses,
but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the
Lord’s presence.1

 

God let Satan try to persuade Job to stop trusting in God, break him, and cause him to lose his faith in God. Satan is always trying to cause us to stumble and turn away from God. Sometimes we listen to Satan and do things we shouldn’t do. There are many times that I catch myself doing something wrong and tell him to go back to hell and leave me alone.

Teach your children to recognize the difference between what is of God and what is of Satan.

  • If you find your child being mean to another child, ask them if they would like to be treated like that
  • With an older child if you find they have broken something, talk to them about the reason they did it
    • Was the object not working the way they wanted it to
    • Did the object remind them of something that made them sad
    • Are they upset about something and taking out their aggression

Once you have the child settled down talk with them about how they feel. If it is a bad feeling then Satan is trying to make them misbehave. Tell them to think first before acting. Would God or you, the parent, be happy with what they are about to do? Explain that God is always there and wants to help them to be good.

 

Psalm 26:1-5

1 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in
mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD
therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD,
and prove me; try my reins and my heart. 3 For thy
lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked
in thy truth. 4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will
I go in with dissemblers. 5 I have hated the congregation
of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.2

 

In this reading from Psalms David is putting his life before God. He says that he has tried to do as well as he can in the sight of God. The psalm goes on to ask God to help him keep his eyes on God and to not sin.

When your child is facing a tough decision ask them to think about the consequences:

  • Is what they are about to do going to hurt anyone including themselves
  • Would God be happy with their choice
  • Is what they are about to do going to help someone else

 

We too face times we need to ask these same questions of ourselves and our choices. Share this with your child so they can see how you have found your answer.

 

Hebrews 1:1-5

Jesus Christ Is God’s Son
1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many
ways to our ancestors through the prophets.
2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to
us through his Son. God promised everything to
the Son as an inheritance, and through the
Son he created the universe. 3 The Son radiates
God’s own glory and expresses the very character
of God, and he sustains everything by the
mighty power of his command. When he had
cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the
place of honor at the right hand of the majestic
God in heaven. 4 This shows that the Son is far
greater than the angels, just as the name
God gave him is greater than their names.3

 

In the Old Testament the prophets talked about the coming of the Messiah, the coming of the Son of God. Then in the New Testament God’s Son is born. He tells us that Jesus will walk with us and tell us what His Fathers words are for us. He sits at the right hand of God and is above all including the angels.

We need to share this good news with our children. That God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to be on earth to walk and talk with people. Also that He can relate to what we go through in daily life. That He has experienced everything that we do.

  • He fasted: so He felt hunger
  • He went to a wedding: He had a good time at a party
  • His friend Lazarus died: so He felt loss
  • He was beaten: He felt the pain of bullies
  • He died on the cross for us: He made it possible for us to come blameless and talk with God.
    • Without His death and taking away all of our sins, we couldn’t be in the presence of God
    • The Holy Spirit speaks for us when we don’t have the words to say
    • Because of His love we can feel His loving arms around us, supporting us

 

Use these lessons to strengthen your faith and to teach your child of the love of God.

 

 
1 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Job 1:8–12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
2 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (1995). (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version., Ps 26:1–5). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
3 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Heb 1:1–4). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.