Sunday, October 26, 2008

Achan -- Joshua Review

This is our last week to study Joshua. Next week we begin the Judges. Today we'll mostly review what we've learned so far and then add the story of Achan. Through the study of Joshua we have collected some small objects that represent the story:

Small plastic ark from Raiders of the lost Ark action figure set

Wooden blocks to represent the city of Jericho
Rock to represent monument built after crossing Jordan River
Scarlet Cord to represent story of Rahab.

I wanted to add a small trumpet but couldn't find one. I know I probably have one in our Christmas decorations but I was not going to dig those out. I need to put a small trumpet on my list of Bible class things to look for when shopping so I'll one next time.

I plan on putting these objects in a bag and letting the children reach in and choose one. They will then get to tell me about the story the object represents.

My Lesson Plan:

My plan is basically the same as last week with the addition of the story of Achan and the activity mentioned above.

Sing We Worship God using picture cards as a manipulative. The picture cards are picture I found in one of the coloring books that depict each part of worship.

Review the last few lessons. I've been doing this by reading it out of the Bible Story book in the classroom. Sing the 12 spies song.

Attendance Charts: Let them add another stone to their chart.

Use the flannel graph to tell the story of Joshua. We'll start with him becoming the new leader to the fall of Jericho.

Sing the Joshua song.

Help the children build Jericho on the table with the wooden blocks. Be sure to remember to leave a scarlet cord hanging from one of the windows. Help the children make paper trumpets.

Let them help knock the walls down. Remind them how it was God that did this to Jericho.

After the destruction of Jericho sing The Walls Came Tumbling Down from the hymnal.

Tell the story of Achan -- how he stole the devoted things and what his punishment was.

Do object activity mentioned above.

If there's time, sing songs of the children's choice and/or review books of the OT.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This is probably one of the best loved stories for a group of kids that are 5 -6 years old. We will be reviewing a lot from the previous two lessons today. Then we'll add the "rest of the story" so to speak. I plan on helping the kids make trumpets from gold paper. Baically it will just be a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape. We have small wooden block to build and destroy Jericho with. We'll be using the flannel graph and singing the songs we sang last week.

My lesson plan:

Sing We Worship God using picture cards as a manipulative. The picture cards are picture I found in one of the coloring books that depict each part of worship.

Review the last few lessons. I've been doing this by reading it out of the Bible Story book in the classroom. Sing the 12 spies song.

Attendance Charts: Let them add another stone to their chart.

Use the flannel graph to tell the story of Joshua. We'll start with him becoming the new leader to the fall of Jericho.

Sing the Joshua song.

Help the children build Jericho on the table with the wooden blocks. Be sure to remember to leave a scarlet cord hanging from one of the windows. Help the children make paper trumpets.

Let children reenact the Jericho, marching around the table with their horns. One of them can carry the small ark.

After the destruction of Jericho sing The Walls Came Tumbling Down from the hymnal.

If there's time, sing songs of the children's choice and/or review books of the OT.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Joshua Sends Spies to Jericho

Tomorrow's lesson is a little out of order. We should've talked about this before we talked about crossing the Jordan. We'll start with today's lesson and then review last week's. Hopefully I haven't messed the kids up too bad.

I made cheat sheets for Betty Lukens' Felts for these stories. They sure make putting the lessons together a lot easier. If you ever want to make them, they are easy to do if you have a digital camera, can crop a photo and can use a program like Print Master. Each cheat sheet has a picture of the picture as I want to present it, a list of the pieces used and a brief summary of the story.

I also built a wall with wooden blocks to represent Jericho. We'll keep it intact tomorrow and use it for the great destruction next week. I'll try to get a picture of it for next time.

I bought a plastic ark of the covenant from Wal-mart. It is in the Raider's of the lost Ark section of the toy store. It doesn't have the carrying poles but it is a really nice visual to use in class. I plan on using for a specific activity next week, but this week I'll just let them hold it while we talk about crossing the Jordan River.

My lesson Plan:

Sing: Jesus Loves Me

Review some of the events of the last quarter. Especially sending the 12 spies in. Remind them that Joshua was one of those spies.

Sing: 12 Spies

Review about the death of Moses and how God chose Joshua to be the new leader using the Betty Lukens Felts.

Sing: Joshua

Tell story of the spies and Rahab using the Betty Lukens Felts and the wooden block Jericho. Let the kids decide which window should be Rahab's and let them put the scarlet cord in the window.

Review the crossing of the Jordan using the Betty Lukens Felts. Let them see the ark. Talk about what was stored in it and what it meant to the Israelites. Remind them about the monument that was built with the 12 stones.

Attendance Chart: Add a stone to the monument.

Sing: Dare To Stand Like Joshua using flip chart


Sing favorite songs

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New Quarter -- Joshua

I begin a new quarter teaching the 5/6 year olds. I taught them last quarter and never seemed to get a handle on the whole thing. I hadn't had a quarter like that in quite a while. It doesn't seem like my 6 month break from teaching was all that profitable. Or maybe it was that I went on 2 trips one of which was to take my 17 year old to college -- out of state -- way over there in Florida. Whatever the reason, I'm going to do better this quarter.

I also plan on finishing my posts about Marking Your Bible. There is just one more to do. We finished it in ladies' Bible class. I just haven't had the time to put it on here. When I get it on, I hope to have bookmarks that you can't print off and use as cheat sheets in your studies.

Our first lesson is about crossing the Jordan river. My co-teacher and I have changed up the lessons a little bit to fit the needs of the students. Right off the bat we messed up by putting the lesson about crossing the Jordan before the lesson about Rahab. Our lessons are as follows:

Crossing the Jordan

The attendance chart we have decided to use is adding a stone (for a total of 12) to build the memorial Joshua was supposed to build after crossing the Jordan. We'll use this attendance chart through 12 classes. Then we'll change to something else.

We are going to sing Dare To Stand Like Joshua by PP Bilhorn each class. I made a flip chart for this song using color pictures from Bible Stories to Color and Tell. The song can be found in Hymns For Worship #480.

We are also going to sing the new song I wrote about Joshua. I don't have it one the website yet but hope to soon. It's a very short and simple song. The words are:

I will be strong like Joshua.
I will be brave like Joshua
I will serve God like Joshua.
I will be strong, I will be brave, I will serve God.

I found a cute little booklet in the same Bible Stories to Color and Tell that helps tell the story of crossing the Jordan. There was also a coloring page I'll use tomorrow. I'm not usually one to pass out coloring pages for use during class but I thought this was a good one and I need all the help I can get tomorrow.

My Lesson Plan:

Talk about what it means to be strong and brave. I'm really going to have to work hard to keep this subject off of superheroes. My 5 year old is obsessed with superheroes. I hope to direct conversation towards Bible people that were strong and brave and possibly their parents or other real friends.

Sing: Joshua

Review the story of Moses crossing the Red Sea. Remind them that Moses died and God chose Joshua to take his place.

Discuss the crossing of the Jordan River.

Pass out booklet and let them help retell the story. Take booklets back up to be given back to them after class.

Sing: Dare To Stand Like Joshua using flip chart.

Pass out coloring sheet. While they are coloring discuss the story again, sing the 2 new songs again. One of the pictures in the Dare To Stand Like Joshua flip chart is the coloring picture they are going to be coloring. They will probably like to look at the finished one as they color.

Attendance Chart: Let them put their first stone on the attendance chart.

As time allows: Review OT books using flannel chart on wall or individual sets of cards at table. Sing songs that the children choose. They are still wanting to sing songs from our VBS this summer. We'll probably be singing a couple of those.

Prayer before last bell rings.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Marking Your Bible -- The Church -- Part 1

Tonight, our ladies' class will begin marking their Bibles (The Church) using orange pens. I don't know if I already mentioned it but we found some really neat pens for doing the marking at our local Wal-mart. There were about 10 pens in a package and each package had at least 2 of each color: purple, red, green, orange. The package cost less than $1. We just bought a bunch of packages and pass the pens out at during ladies' class. That way, everyone is not scrambling to find a pen the right color.

The section on The Church begins with the beginning. We'll talk a little about the church as talked about in Daniel, and the beginning of the church in Acts. Then we'll spend some time talking about the organization of the church: universal/local, elders/deacons/saints. The third section is talking about the worship and then we'll talk about the work of the church. Hopefully, tonight we'll get through the beginning and the organizaiton.

If you are keeping a cheat sheet on a blank page in your Bible (that's a section where you write the beginning of passage of each section for quick reference later), use an orange pen to write:

The church
Beginnings -- Ephesians 3:10-12
Organization -- Colossians 1:18
Worship -- acts 4:23-31
Work -- Matthew 28:19-20

Let's get started:

The church was always part of God's plan. Today people want to lessen its importance by claiming that it was just added because the Jews killed Jesus. We'll find out that God had told us about the church way back in Daniel.

Ephesians 3:10-12: Verse 11 states that something was all done "according to the eternal purpose". All along God had planned for something to happen. What was that something? Verse 10 says that the manifold wisdom of God would be made known. How would God's wisdom be made known? By the church. If you look back in verse 9, you'll see that there is a
"fellowship of mystery". This mystery was from the "beginning of the ages" and was "hidden in God". What is this mysterious fellowship? The church. God had hidden this mystery from the beginning. Outline and write Daniel 2:31-45 in the margin. Underline wisdom of God might be made known by the church and according to the eternal purpose.

Daniel 2:31-45: Here, we read about the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had and the meaning of the dream as God revealed to Daniel. A lot of people today try to make this dream into something it is not. It is simply telling Nebuchadnezzar that his kingdom is soon to come to an end, what will happen afterward and what will ultimately happen with the coming of the church. Read the entire passage aloud. Verse 44 tells about a kingdom that will be set up by God. It will never be destroyed. It shall stand forever. Outline the entire passage and write Matthew 16:16-19 in the margin. Underline verse 44.

Matthew 16:16-19: We have already outlined this passage in red when we talked about salvation. Read it again aloud. The part that we need to point out here is that Jesus said He would build "My church". He was going to build one church, not many. It would be His. Verse 19 refers to the Kingdom of heaven. This is the same kingdom talked about in Daniel. The one that would never end. It is the same as the church. We have already underlined "My church". This time, box it in with the orange pen. Also box in Kingdom of Heaven. Write acts 1:7-8 in the margin.

Acts 1:7-8: The next 3 passages are found in Acts 1 and 2. We have already read this passage aloud. If it has been awhile since that study, read it aloud again, concentrating on the 3 passages we are going to outline in orange. The first chapter of Acts tells us about the last minutes Jesus spent on earth. Verses 7 and 8 are His final instructions to the apostles. He tells them that they will become witnesses of Him in Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit would come and give them power. When chapter 2 opens up, they are in Jerusalem waiting and they receive their power. Outline verses 7 and 8 (or underline). Write Acts 2:33 in the margin.

Acts 2:33: Review the sermon Peter preached in Acts 2. He is not speaking his own thoughts. The Holy Spirit has come and is guiding Peter in his words. Peter tells the Jews about the events that recently happened. He tells them that these things were prophesied by David and Joel. He tells them that Jesus, who they killed, is now "exalted to the right hand of God". Jesus is sitting on the throne of His kingdom. Underline vs 33 and write Acts 2:47 in the margin.

Acts 2:47: Here we see what ultimately happened after people were repentant (vs 37) and baptized (vs 41). They were "added to the church daily those who were being saved". We see the church has begun as Jesus ascended to His throne. Underline vs 47 and write Acts 11:15 in the margin

Acts 11:15: Peter is telling the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem about the wonderful events leading up to Cornelius' salvation. Cornelius was the first gentile to become a Christian. Peter tells the Christians in Jerusalem that the Holy Spirit fell upon the gentiles that day just like it had upon the apostles "at the beginning". What is "at the beginning" referring to? Acts 2 the beginning of the church. Peter is saying that the beginning was in Acts 2. So the church began on the day of Pentecost in Acts. Outline verse 15. Underline at the beginning. Write Acts 20:28 in the margin.

Acts 20:28: Paul is telling the Ephesian elders what their role is to be (we'll talk more about this later). He tells them that they are to shepherd the church of God which "He purchased with His own blood". The church was bought with the blood of Christ. It belongs to Him and we can be a part of it when we do what He says. Outline verse 28 and underline purchased with His own blood. Write Ephesians 4:4 in the margin.

Ephesians 4:4: Here again, we have boxed this one in red. We want to concentrate on the "one body". Just as there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, there is one body -- the body of Christ, the church. Underline one body and write Ephesians 3:21 in the margin.

Ephesians 3:21: What does the church do? It glorifies Christ. Outline and write Colossians 1:18 in the margin. Underline to Him be glory in the church.

Colossians 1:18: What is the body? Who is its head? Christ is the head. The body is the church. This is already outlined in green, so underline and He is the head of the body, the church. Write Ephesians 1:22-23 in the margin.

Ephesians 1:22-23: What happened when Christ was raised from the dea and seated at God's right hand? God put all things under Jesus' feet. God gave Jesus to "be head over all things to the church". Here again, Christ is the head of the church. Since this is outined in green already, underline gave Him to be head over all things to the church. Write Ephesians 5:23 in the margin.

Ephesians 5:23: Again we see that Christ is the head of the church. Outline and write Ephesians 2:19-22 in the margin. Underline As also Christ is head of the church.

Ephesians 2:19-22: We are not foreigners in this place, but fellow citizens. What place? The household of God. We are actually citizens in God's household. This household of God has Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone. All together, the whole thing is a holy temple in the Lord. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:15 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:15: Paul tells Timothy how to conduct himself in the house of God. The house of God here is also described as the church of the living God. The church is the house of God that we are citizens of and that Christ is the chief cornerstone of. Outline and write Romans 16:16 in the margin.

Romans 16:16: Here we start seeing that the word church can also be used to describe groups of Christians in a certain location. It's important to note that the church is not made of smaller churches. The church is made up of Christians (saints) and Christ (head). The New Testament refers to groups of people meeting in a certain location as a church as well. It is important to understand if the Bible is talking about the church (universal) or the church (local). You can find this out by reading the context of the passage. "The churches of Christ greet you." This indicates more than one church. It must be talking about the local church because we've read many other passages that say there is just one church (body) that refers to the church universal. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:2 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 1:2: This letter from Paul to the Christians in Corinth starts out saying, "to the church of God which is at Corinth. The church that is located in Corinth -- local. Outline and write 1 Thessalonians 1:1 in the margin. Underline church of God which is at Corinth.

1 Thessalonians 1:1: Again Paul is sending a letter to Christians, this time in Thessalonica. He begins by saying, "to the church of the Thessalonians." A local group of Christians. Outline and write Colossians 4:15 in the margin. Underline church of the Thessalonians

Colossians 4:15: Toward the end of this letter Paul tells the Colossians to greet certain brethren and the "church that is in his house." Again, a local group of Christians. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 1:12-27 in the margin. Underline church that is in his house".

1 Corinthians 1:12-27: This passage is a little long but should be read aloud. It compares the body of Christ with the human body. Explaining that there are many parts and each parts has a job to do. It describes how each part has an effect on each of the other parts. When one hurts, they all hurt. Verse 27 says, "you are the body of Christ and members individually". Individually we make up the body of Christ. Each person with his own talents and skills working together with all the others in the church. Outline the entire passage. Write Romans 12:4 in the margin. Underline you are the body of Christ and members individually.

Romans 12:4: Again we are told that there are many members that are all in one body. Outline and write Philippians 1:1 in the margin. Underline many members and one body.

Philippians 1:1: Here Paul addresses a letter to the Christians in Philippi. He addresses it to the "saints", the "bishops" and the "deacons". Instead of just greeting the church, he has broken it down into groups of people in the church. The bishops are the overseers, shepherds, presbyters, elders. The deacons are servants. The saints are all the Christians. We'll look at all of these groups and their responsibilities next. Outline and write Acts 14:23 in the margin. Underline saints, bishops and deacons.

Acts 14:23: One thing that happened on the way home from the first missionary journey is described in Acts 14. It says that they "appointed elders in every church". Outline and write Titus 1:5 in the margin. Underline appointed elders and every church.

Titus 1:5: Titus is being reminded by Paul that he was left in Crete so Titus could set in order things that are lacking and to "appoint elders in every city". Again, every city had elders. Outline and write Titus 1:6-9 in the margin. Underline appoint elders.

Titus 1:6-9: These are the verses following our previous one (vs 5). Paul explain to Titus who could and couldn't be an elder. Take some time to go over these qualifications. Underline each one. Outline the passage and write 1Timothy 3:1-7 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:1-7: Here we see Paul telling Timothy about the qualifications for elders. This list is a little more indepth. Look at closely as well. When you take the 2 together, you see a complete picture of what kind of person an elder is to be. Outline and write Acts 20:28-30 in the margin. Underline each of the qualifications.

Acts 20:28-30: I told you we'd be back to this one. This time we're going to look at 3 verses. Paul is saying his good-byes to the elders of Ephesus. He is reminding them what their responsibilitiy is and warning them that things are going to get worse. Outline and write 1 Peter 5:1-4 in the margin.

1 Peter 5:1-4: Here Peter tells elders what their responsibilities are. They are to shepherd the flock that is among them. They are not to force them but they should follow willingly. What reward does an elder get? He will receive the "crown of glory that does not fade away". Outline and write Hebrews 13:17 in the margin.

Hebrews 13:17: Here we see what the responsibility of Christians to the elders (those who rule over you). They are to be submissive because the elders are watching out for their souls and will have to give an account for how well they did that. It encourage Christians to behave in such a way as to not cause grief to the elders but to bring them joy. Outline and write 1 Timothy 3:8-13 in the margin.

1 Timothy 3:8-13: This is a continuation of the what Paul told Timothy about the elders. He goes on to tell him what deacons need to be like. There are some similarities in the qualifications but they aren't all the same. The work of an elder is different than the work of a deacon and so there are different requirements to be each one. Outline and underline each qualification. Write 1 Peter 2:9 in the margin.

1 Peter 2:9: The only group of people mentioned in Philippians 1:1 that we haven't talked about are the saints. Here is a passage that beautifully describes the saints. Keep in mind that a saint is someone that is set apart. A saint is someone that has obeyed God by submitting himself to baptism. Because of his baptism, God has added him to the church. So the saints are all the Christians in the church. What is a saint? A chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. That is very special. What are we to do? Praise Him who brought us out of darkness and into light.

This complete the first half of The Church. We'll do the rest next time.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Salvation -- Part 2

Isn't modern technology wonderful? I spent close to an hour working on this blog entry. The internet didn't seem to be working right so I restarted the computer (it has seemed to do the trick before). Before I restarted the computer, I clicked Save Draft and assumed it was all saved. When I got back to it after lunch, the internet was working great, but my draft entry was no where to be seen. So, I get to do this all over again.

It's been a while since I actually taught this class but I wanted to make sure I recorded it here so if I (or anyone else) needed the information at a later time, it would be here. We ended our last ladies' class on marking our Bibles using the red pen for the topic: Salvation. We had marked passages that dealt with obedience, unity and faith. We will start here with repentance. If you haven't already done so, turn to James 2:14-24 and mark the next passage Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Put repentance in parenthesis so you'll be reminded that we're changing topics here.

Repentance: Before we get started studying about repentance, it is a good idea to come to an agreement on what the word means. Sometimes, when talking to others about the Bible, we forget that what we think a word means is different than what they think a word means. Repentance means to turn away. In this case repentance refers to turning away from evil or sin.

Luke 13:3-5: Although we've already talked about authority and how anything written in the Bible is profitable for us to learn from, someone you are studying with might still want to put more emphasis on Jesus' words than the rest of the Bible. This passage starts off with the words of Jesus: I tell you... Jesus is telling the people that if they don't repent (turn away from their sins) they will perish. Outline the passage and underline the word I tell you. Write Acts 17:30 in the margin

Acts 17:30: This is the end of Paul's sermon about the Unknown God. He had just finished telling Athenians about the God that they worshiped without knowing. He tells them that God overlooked their ignorance but things were different now. He now commands all men everywhere to repent. Outline and write Acts 2:38 in the margin.

Acts 2:38: We've already looked at the 1st two chapters of Acts when we were studying unity. Now we're going to focus in on verse 38. Review what the 2 chapters are about before beginning. In verse 36, Peter accused the Jews of killing the One they had been waiting for all these years. They had killed the one that David and Joel had talked about. The Jews that were listening to this were very saddened when they realized what they had done. Verse 37 says that they were pricked (or cut) to the heart. They asked Peter what the should to rectify this matter. He very simply said that they should repent and be baptized. Since we've already outlined the passage, underline verse 38. Write Acts 3:19 in the margin.

Acts 3:19: After the beginning of the church in chapter 2, Peter and John go to the temple to pray. They heal the lame man in front of the gate. When the people in the temple realize what has happened they all gather around Peter and John. Peter takes this opportunity to teach them about Jesus. He again tells them that they killed the "Prince of life". He tells them in verse 19 to "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Outline the verse and underline repent and sins may be blotted out. Write Romans 2:4 in the margin.

Romans 2:4: What will lead to repentance? This passage tells us that the goodness of God does. When we don't repent, we are despising God's riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. Outline and write 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 in the margin.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10: What else will lead to repentance? This passage says that godly sorrow will. Paul was glad that the Corinthians had sorrow. He wasn't glad they were hurting but that their sorrow would produce repentance. Godly sorrow produces repentance which leads to salvation. Worldly sorrow produces death. Outline and write Luke 15:7 in the margin.

Luke 15:7: What an uplifting verse to the sinner who repents. When someone repents, there is rejoicing in heaven. Sometimes we tend to detach ourselves from what is going on in heaven. This passage teaches us that what we do on earth is known in heaven. What a comfort to those who are trying to do what's right. Outline and write Acts 26:20 in the margin.

Acts 26:20: Here, Paul is telling King Agrippa about his conversion. He tells the king that he did what Jesus told him to on the road to Damascus. He taught Jesus in Damascus, Jerusalem and throughout Judea. Then he taught Jesus to the Gentiles. He taught the same message -- that they should repent. In case the definition of repentance is still a little fuzzy, here, Paul gives a definition for us -- turn to God. He also taught that they should do works befitting repentance. Outline the verse and write Matthew 10:32-33 in the margin. Write Confession in parenthesis so you'll know we're starting a new topic.

Confession: Again we need to come to an understanding of the words we're talking about. Confession can either be an admitting guilt of sins or a declaration of our faith. These passages will talk about both of these kinds of confessions.

Matthew 10:32-33: Here again, Jesus is doing the talking. He says if you confess Him before men, He'll confess you to His Father. At the same time if you don't confess Him before men, he will not confess you before His Father. That is a very humbling thought. We are to have the courage to stand up to friends and foes alike and confess Jesus. Outline the verses and write Matthew 16:16 in the margin.

Matthew 16:16: We've already outlined this passage when we were talking unity. We will come back to it again later as well. We want to concentrate on verse 16. Jesus just asked Peter who He (Jesus) is. Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is an example of a confession that states faith in Jesus. Since we've outlined this verse already, underline verse 16. Write Romans 10:9-10 in the margin. Also write confession nearby so you will know to follow this verse when talking about confession.

Romans 10:9-10: Here is an example of a confession a non-Christian would make. The YOU in this verse refers to someone who has not obeyed the gospel yet. Paul says that to be saved, you must confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and that you must believe with all your heart that God has raised hIm from the dead. Belief comes from within, confession communicates our belief to others. Outline and write Acts 8:37 in the margin.

Acts 8:37: We will be looking at this entire passage when we talk about conversions. Right now, we'll concentrating on verse 37. The eunuch has just asked Philip why he couldn't be baptized. Philip tells him that if he believes with all his heart he may. The eunuch said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." This is an example of a confession made by a sinner just before baptism. Since we're going to come back and outine the entire passage, underline verse 37. Write 1 Timothy 6:12-13 in the margin. Write confession next to it so you'll know to follow this verse when you come back to it later.

1Timothy 6:12-13: Paul gives Timothy advice for living the Christian life. Paul tells him to fight the good fight of faith. He tells Timothy that this is the faith he confessed (the good confession) to many witnesses. Timothy, a Christian, continually confessed the good confession as he went about teaching others about Christ. Outline verse 12-13 and write 1 John 1:9 in the margin.

1 John 1:9: Here, John is talking to Christians. He tells them that if we confess our sins, He (Jesus) will forgive us our sins. Christians are to confess their sins or admit to their sins. Outline and write James 5:16 in the margins.

James 5:16: Again, the Christian is told to confess his sins (trespasses). This time it says to confess the sins to one another. Then the Christians are commanded to pray for one another. What a comforting thought that we as Christians can tell each other our sins and we will pray for each other. Outline and write Acts 19:18 in the margin.

Acts 19:18: When Paul was in Ephesus, many were converted and turned from their evil ways. In this verse it says that who had believed confessed and told about their deeds. The very next verse shows that they went on to destroy the evil influences among themselves by burning their magic books. Outline and write John 3:1-5 in the margin. Write Baptism in parenthesis so you'll know we are changing topics.

Baptism: This is controversial subject among religious people. It really doesn't need to be if you go back and understand what the word means. The greek word means to immerse. That simple fact can eliminate quite a bit of the controversy. If you'd like more information on the subject of baptism, check out this article by Danny Dow: Understanding Baptism.

John 3:3-5: This first passage about baptism lets us know how important Jesus thinks baptism is. He says that unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. In some versions it says the you "must" be born again. Jesus is not leaving any doubt that He thinks baptism (being born again) is important. Outline and write Mark 16:16 int he margin.

Mark 16:16: We have already outlined this passage when we talked about belief (faith). This time we want to concentrate on baptism. This verse makes it very clear that we cannot be saved if we don't believe. In fact if we don't believe, we'll be condemned. Linked next to belief in the verse is baptism. It too, is required for salvation. Underline baptized and write Matthew 28:19 in the margin. Write baptism nearby so you'll know to follow this scripture reference in the future.

Matthew 28:19: Underline this verse because we've already outlined verses 18-20 in green. Jesus commands the apostles to go and make disciples of all the nations. How? Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Outline and write 1 Peter 3:20-21 in the margin.

1 Peter 3:20-21: Peter compares the salvation of Noah from the flood with baptism. Noah was saved through water. We are saved through baptism (or immersion) in water. This baptism is not a washing of the dirt from our skin. Outline and write Titus 3:3-5 in the margin.

Titus 3:3-5: We are foolish. We are disobedient. We are deceived. We are hateful and full envy. We can not be saved by our righteousness. We are saved by the washing of regeneration (baptism) according to His mercy. There is nothing we could do. It was all because Christ died for our sins that we are able to be saved when we are baptized. Outline and write Acts 22:16 in the margin. Underline THROUGH THE WASHING OF REGENERATION.

Acts 22:16: We will come back to the full context of this verse when we look at the conversions. For now, underline verse 16. Ananias tells Paul to "Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Paul was instructed to be baptized. Why would he need to that? To wash away his sins. Underline verse and write Gal 3:26, 27 in the margin.

Galatians 3:26, 27: The previous verses 22-25 have been outlined in green. It would be a good idea to review these verses to get the context. In verse 27 we are told that "as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ". What happens when we are baptized into Christ? we put on Christ. Outline and write 1 Corinthians 12:13 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST and PUT ON CHRIST.

1 Corinthians 12:13: We looked at verse 12 when we studied unity. Then, we emphasized "one body". When we keep reading into verse 13 we see that we are baptized into one body. All of us. Jews, Greeks, slaves, free. We are all baptized into one body. Baptism is for everyone, thus salvation is for everyone. Outline and write Ephesians 4:5 in the margin. underline BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY.

Ephesians 4:5: Just like 1 Corinthians 12:12, we looked at Ephesians 4:4 when studying unity -- emphasizing "one body". Keep reading andwe see that there is more to be unified in: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. For our purposes here, concentrate on baptism. If there is just one baptism, where do all these others come from? The Bible tells us what that one baptism is. It is immersion in water for the remission of our sins. If the person you are studying with has been baptized for any other reason or through any other means, they haven't been baptized according the scriptures. Outline and write Colossians 2:11-14 in the margin. Underline ONE BODY.

Colossians 2:11-14: What exactly is baptism? Verse 12 says that we are buried with Him (Christ) in baptism and raised with Him through faith. Baptism is a burial. We are then raised like Christ was. Verse 13 says that before we were dead in our sins. Now He has made us alive, forgiving our sins. So we are buried to sin and raise again with our sins forgiven. Outline and write Romans 6:3-6 in the margin. Underline BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM and RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH. Also underline HE HAS MADE ALIVE.

Romans 6:3-6: This passage is similar to the one above. We are baptized into His (Christ's) death. Like Christ was raised form the dead, we walk in newness of life. We die to sin that we no longer are slaves to sin. Outline and write John 3:23 in the margin. Underline BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH AND WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE and WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES OF SIN.

John 3:23: What's required for baptism? We are told in John 3 that much water is required. This should be obvious. If baptism means immersion, then there needs to be a lot of water to immerse someone. Outline and write Acts 2:41 in the margin. Underline MUCH WATER.

Acts 2:41: What happened the day the church began? We've visited this chapter a couple of times now and will come back again later. In verse 41 we are told that anyone that received the word gladly were baptized. Then what happened? Those that were baptized were added to them. They were added to the church. We see it again in verse 47 (don't underline it yet, we'll be back). It says the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Underline verse 41 and write Acts 2:1-47 in the margin. Write conversions in parenthesis in the margin nearby so you'll know we're changing topics.

Conversions: We've discussed what the Bible teaches someone needs to do to be saved. From what we've seen so far, we know that one must have faith that Jesus is the son of God and was raised from dead. We know that one must be sorry for their sins and change their ways through repentance. We know that someone must tell others about Christ, confessing Him with the mouth. We know that someone must be buried with Christ through baptism. This washes away the sins and God adds the person to the church. In this last part of salvation, we'll look at the examples given to us of people being converted to Christ. All of these examples are in the book of Acts. It is helpful to draw a chart to fill in as you study these conversions. I hope to have one available to share with you later. On most of these conversions, there is definite moment of belief and a definite moment of salvation. If there is room in your Bible, write belief next to the point of belief and salvation next to the point of salvation.

Acts 2:1-47: The Jews at Pentecost. Here we are again at Acts 2. By now, the person you're studying with should be somewhat familiar with this chapter. Don't assume too much though. Take some time to review what has happened. Go over the sermon that Peter preached. Point out the prophecies that peter describes as foretelling the events that just happened. Remind them of the Jews reaction and what Peter's response to them was. The Jews on this day were told to repent and be baptized. Those that were baptized were added to the church (vs 47). Verse 37 is the point of belief with the Jews (they were cut to the heart and asked "What shall we do?). Verse 41 (and 47) is the point of salvation. Three thousand souls were added to them. Since it is all outlined and the major points are pretty much underlined, just write the next passage in the margins (Acts 8:4-13). Also write Conversion -- Jews so you'll be reminded who was actually converted in this passage.

Acts 8:4-13: The Samaritans (and Simon). After the death of Stephen, the Christians scattered into the surrounding regions. This allowed the gospel to be spread by many people to many people. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ. The scriptures tells us that the multitudes heeded the things spoken by Philip. Philip healed many people and there was great joy in that city. Read this conversion story aloud. Verse 12 is the point of belief and salvation for the Samaritans. It says that "they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ." It goes on to say "both men and women were baptized." Write belief by the word believed and salvation by the word baptized. Verse 13 gives us information about Simon specifically. Earlier (vs 9-11) we were told about Simon. Here in vs 13 we are told he believed and was baptized. Write belief next to believed and salvation next to baptism. Outline the passage and write Acts 8:26-39 in the margin. Also write conversion -- Samaritans/Simon. Underline BELIEVED and BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WERE BAPTIZED in verse 12. Also underline SIMON HIMSELF ALSO BELIEVED and HE WAS BAPTIZED in verse 13.

Acts 8:26-39: This is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. Read the conversion story aloud. Philip was miraculously guided by an angel to go see the Ethiopian. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch indicated that he would need a teacher to help him. Philip began teaching him from the scripture he was at and preached Jesus to him. Enough must have been said to indicate that the eunuch would need to be baptized. He asked Philip "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Philip said "If you believe with all your heart, you may." The eunuch then said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This verse (37) is where the eunuch's belief is evident. Write belief in the margin. The eunuch commanded the chariot to stand still. Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he (Philip) baptized him (eunuch). This is the point of salvation. Write Salvation in the margin. Outline the passage and write Acts 9:1-9 in the margin. Also write Conversion -- Eunuch.

Acts 9:1-9: Saul. The conversion of Saul is mentioned 3 times in the book of Acts. We will use this one and the one in chapter 22 for our study here. Just so you'll know, there is another time Paul/ Saul talks about his conversion in chapter 26. Read this conversion aloud. The point of belief for Saul is in verse 6 when he asks, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" the point of salvation isn't until verse 18 when it says that "he arose and was baptized." Outline and write Acts 22:6-16 in the margin. You might want to also note Acts 26:12-18 in case you want to see the third conversion story of Saul. Write Conversion -- Saul in the margin. Underline LORD, WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? and HE AROSE AND WAS BAPTIZED. Write belief next to verse 6 and salvation next to verse 18.

Acts 22:6-16: Saul. We're going to jump ahead to the other version of Saul's conversion since we're talking about him now. In this passage Paul is telling his story to the Jews. In this passage Verse 10 is the point of belief and verse 16 is the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 10:1-48 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Saul. Also write belief next to verse 10 and salvation next to verse 16.

Acts 10:1-48: Cornelius. This conversion has great significance because it is the first time a gentile was saved. Until now all the conversions have been Jewish. Here, God is telling Peter, all the apostles and us that Gentiles are to be saved just like the Jews. This is pretty lengthy reading but due to its importance, take the time to read it aloud, pausing as you go along to make comments if necessary. We are told in verse 2 that Cornelius was a devout man that feared God. Here would be our point of belief. Of course, he hasn't believed in Christ yet, but his subsequent actions make it quite evident that he did. Cornelius' point of salvation is in verse 48 where it says, "and he commanded them to be baptized." Peter goes on to tell the Jewish Christians in chapter 11 about Cornelius' conversion. He said in verse 17 that since God gave the Gentiles the same gift as He gave us , who was I that I could with stand God. Those that heard him said, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." Outline and write Acts 16:13-15 in the margin. Write Conversion -- Cornelius. Also write belief next to verse 2 and salvation next to verse 48. Underline A DEVOUT MAN AND ONE WHO FEARED GOD in verse 2 and underline AND HE COMMANDED THME TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD in verse 48.

Acts 16:13-15: Lydia. Read this passage aloud. There is not a specific point of belief for Lydia. Verse 14 says that "Lydia heard us". Then in verse 15 it says that "she and her household were baptized indicating her salvation. Outline and write Acts 16:27-34 in the margin. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 15. Write conversion -- Lydia in the margin.

Acts 16:27-34: Philippian Jailer. Read this passage aloud. Again we are not given a specific point of belief. His actions demonstrate his belief, but actions are a little hard to underline. Verse 33 states that he and all his family were baptized. That would be the point of salvation. Outline and write Acts 18:8 in the margin. Write conversion -- Philippian jailer. Underline WERE BAPTIZED in verse 33.

Acts 18:8: Corinthians. The last conversion to look at is that Corinthians. It is just one verse long but it says so much. "Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Outline and underline CRISPUS and CORINTHIANS.

This is the conclusion of the salvation portion of marking your Bibles. It's important to note that not all the things mentioned above were in every single conversion in Acts. It is assumed that since the Corinthians/Crispus hear, believed and were baptized that they also repented and confessed Jesus. The same goes with the others. The fact that a specific step to salvation was not mentioned does not mean those people or that person did not have to do that step. It is assumed that they did. Otherwise, they would not be found acceptable to God for all the reasons mentioned in the earlier portion of this study.

Our next Marking Your Bibles topic will be The Church. We will use orange ink to mark this section.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Singing and Sacrifices

I attended the singing school in Wilburton, OK this past week. It was a very uplifting week. The last day, a thought was presented that I hadn't thought much about previously. It had to with our singing being a sacrifice to God. I know I've heard it said and have read it in the Bible but I had never really thought about what it meant to me as a Christian. The drive home from Wilburton (with everyone else in the car asleep except me) gave me a lot of time to contemplate the subject. Tomorrow night is our Ladies' Bible Class. We should be working on marking our Bibles like we've done all summer but I want to present this to them instead. The general information and outline came from a class taught by Glenda Schales.

When we read about sacrifices in the Old Testament (the first few chapters of Leviticus), the first thing that becomes apparent is the meticulous rules that were involved in offering sacrifices. God wanted the best of everything. He said that if an offering was brought from the herd it should be a male without blemish, if an offering was brought from the flock it should be a male without blemish. The phrase without blemish just keeps popping up. It is very important to God that what they offered to Him was perfect. Not just the best they happened to have but an offering that had no blemish.

Just think about that a minute. There must have been a lot of preparation involved to consistently produce offerings that were without blemish. These offerings were not just offered once in a while. There were sacrifices being offered to God daily. These perfect animals had to come from somewhere. The flocks/herds had to be tended with great care. They had to be bred with skill to produce enough lambs or goats or cattle that had no blemish. They had to be cared for so they would not become injured and thus not acceptable as a sacrifice. This must have been a lot of work.

To be pleasing to God, the Israelites could not just send little Johnny outside to grab a lamb on the way to the sacrifice. The lambs (or cattle) must have been chosen well in advance of when they would have been needed. They must have known exactly which of their animals were going to be used to sacrifice to God and which were to be left for the family to consume. They could not leave this most important service of God to chance. The shame of not being prepared with a proper sacrifice must have been something no one wanted to face.

The Israelites were not instructed to do the best they could. They couldn't say, "Well, I'm not very good at raising cattle so I'll just bring the best I can." God left no room for anything that wasn't perfect. The sacrifice must be without blemish. I'm sure it was a monumental task that was on the Israelites' minds all the time. They were always working towards the coming sacrifice they needed to offer.

Move forward a few hundred years to the days of King David (2 Samuel 24). David needed to offer a sacrifice to God but he was not home and had no place to sacrifice and nothing to offer as a sacrifice. The place and the offering were presented to David as a gift. David wanted no part of the gift. He said that he would purchase the land and everything he needed to offer the sacrifice. David did not want to offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. He knew that for it to be a true sacrifice, he must give something up. He would not pass his responsibility on to someone else. He paid for it all from his own funds.

A sacrifice is giving something up. We sacrifice a lot of time and energy on our kids. That means we willing give up our time to help them grow to be the adults they need to be. In the same sense, we must sacrifice something to please God. In the Old Testament, the Israelites sacrificed the best of their flocks/herds. They gave God the best, no, not just the best, the perfect animals that they raised. In the New Testament we are instructed to sacrifice ourselves. We are living sacrifices (Heb 12). Our whole lives are to be lived as a sacrifice to God. We are to freely spend our money, our time and our talents to serve God. We are to give Him our hearts and our souls. We are to not hold anything back and we are not to give Him anything but the very best.

Look at the following passages:

Psalms 27:6 -- And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Psalms 107:22 -- Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.

Psalms 119:108 -- Accept, I pray, the freewill offerings of my mouth O Lord...

Hebrews 13:15 -- Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Singing is a sacrifice, so....

Let's prepare ourselves. We know that God wants the very best from His people. Let's learn to give Him the very best. Let's not be willing to accept anything less of ourselves because He will not accept anything less from us.

God has asked us to sing praises to Him with the ultimate instrument -- our hearts/lips/voices. We must prepare our heart and mind to give the sacrifice of song. We must prepare our voice to sing our sacrifice.

Read Ephesians 5:19

speak to one another...
--We must both be there if we are to sing to one another. We can't sing to someone who is not there and if we are not there, we can't be sung to. This implies that at some point, we are going to get together and sing. We also must sing so that others can hear us. If we can't be heard, then we are not singing to one another.

in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs...
--We can't sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs if we don't know any. We must prepare ourselves by learning to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Thankfully, we live in a time when there are lots and lots of beautiful psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for us to sing but if we don't learn them, we can't sing them.

singing and making melody in your hearts...
--The instrument we use to sing is made by God. We don't sing a sacrifice to Him with an inferior instrument anymore than the Israelites would offer an inferior animal for a sacrifice in the Old Testament. The voice is a perfect instrument. Any other, whether used for accompaniment or used alone is far inferior to what God has made for us. The human voice can be used any and everywhere. We are not limited to our worship being in Jerusalem as they were in Bible times. We are told we can worship anywhere. Our voices are with us wherever we go. We are always able to offer a sacrifice of song to God.
--Making melody in your heart literally means to pluck the strings of your heart. This implies an emotion that goes hand in hand with the voice. Songs can be sung with the right words and be in tune, but if they have no emotion (come from the heart) they are not acceptable to God. God wants us to worship Him from the heart.

to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ...
--All of this is directed toward God. Our sacrifice of singing is to be used to give thanks to God. Other passages say we are to praise God. God wants us to acknowledge Him and recognize that all that we have, all that we are is because of Him. In Acts 17, Paul tells the people of Athens, "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands, Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things...for in Him we live and move and have our being." We are to give God the glory for all things. One way He has instructed us to do this is in song.

How can we improve our sacrifice of singing?

Think about the words. The song God Is So God is a good one to look at. Read the words and really think about what they are saying. Many times we sing songs and spend so much time concentrating all the notes and musical notations that the words tend to be an after thought. If we familiarize ourselves with the words, we can worship God with all our hearts.

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He's so good to me!

Jesus is real,
Jesus is real,
Jesus is real,
He's so real to me!

He saved my soul,
He saved my soul,
He saved my soul and
He made me whole!

I praise His name,
I praise His name
I praise His name,
He's so good to me!

It's important that we learn the style of music we sing. God didn't specify that we sing in four part harmony. In fact, the early church did not. Their singing was probably very different from ours. God left the specific style to our culture. Different parts of the world will use a different style than we do in the US.

Our western style of music is made up of rhythm, tone, tempo, etc. We have an 8 note scale that most of our music is based on. It can seem daunting to try to learn, but with much work can be mastered beautifully. Don't forget the Israelites and now they had to produce perfect animals to sacrifice to God. If we are to sing a sacrifice it is going to take some work on our part.

Read the song again and this time try to feel the rhythm. Pretend like your rocking a baby as you read. The rocking motion when you rock a baby is the beat of the music. That is the rhythm. It's not hard to find the rhythm, it's just hard to read the notations we've come up with to let us know what the rhythm is. For now, just read the words and feel the rhythm.

Sing the melody (for those who have the Hymns For Worship it is song number 47). It is a very simple melody that fits very easily with the words. The first phrase just uses 3 notes. The next phrase moves those 3 notes up a step and so does the 3rd phrase. Then on the last phrase the music flows back down to the starting note. Anyone who really wants to improve their singing sacrifice should take the time to read the music. It is challenging, but can be done.

The other thing we need to do to improve our singing sacrifice is to learn what the song leader is doing. We have song leaders so we can all sing decently and in order. The song leaders style will vary greatly depending on the group he's leading and his own ability. There are a couple of things any song leader should do. First, he should let you know what note you're going to start on. If he doesn't, he's going to be singing the first couple of measures by himself and you'll miss out on giving God that part of the sacrifice. We need to learn to listen for the beginning note.

The next thing any song leader should do is give you a beat pattern. The most important part of this beat pattern is getting everyone started. If he's going to give the beat, the only way we'll be able to start with him is if we are looking at him. We must look up and be prepared to sing with the song leader. This goes back to learning some psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. The more we know, the better our worship will be.

What can you do on your own to improve your singing sacrifice? You can listen to CDs with the music you're wanting to learn. We live in a great time when these are readily available. Listen as your driving in your car, as your working in the house or wherever. Before you know it, you'll be singing along and even singing on your own. Sing with others whenever possible. If you hear of a singing in your area, go to it. If you are having a singing in your home congregation, go to it. If you hear of people just getting together in their homes to sing, go with them. Have people in your own home to sing. Last of all, learn from others. If you have a weak area in singing, ask someone that can to help you. Take every opportunity to improve your worship to God. Never be satisified with mediocrity. God expects the very best and we all need to give it to Him.

Now let's sing God Is So Good to each other and to God.

How did you feel after singing the song?
Did you feel you had offered a sacrifice to God?
Did you talk to each other in song?
Did you feel encouraged?

One last scripture to encourage us all:

Psalms 47:6-7:

Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the king of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Defining the Law

This quarter is coming together rather slowly. I don't know if it was because we just finished the VBS or because I can't seem to get a handle on the individual lessons. The kids in my class have just been promoted from a class that was studying Jonah last month. Now, they've got to switch gears and start learning about the law. Next week should be easier to teach them, but I'm going to be out of town and miss it.

Today's lesson is supposed to be Defining the Law. We will continue with our discussion on Worship. We'll also talk about obedience and how God told the parents to teach their children (Deut 6). I wrote a new song for the section on worship. You can see/print/hear it here.

We'll start making little books on pleasing God. Each week they will color a picture that pertains to the application part of the lesson. Then they will glue their picture into the little book. This isn't quite put together yet. I hope to have it finalized by next week. Today, we'll color a picture of a daddy reading the Bible to his little boy. The picture have all come from Thru-the-Bible Coloring Pages. These coloring books have excellent pictures of kids doing things with their family, friends and by themselves. There are also excellent pictures of major Bible stories.

Lesson Plan:

Review: We'll use the worship cards to review what we've learned about worship. I'll probably introduce the song (We Worship God) here.

Read Bethany Learns about Preaching The Gospel

Read from the Bible: Deut 6: 5-6. Talk to them about what it means. This will be the memory verse for most of the quarter.

Color sheet: I'm not usually big on coloring in Bible class, but these pictures seem to really help them get the idea I'm trying to get across. I have reduced the color sheets down to fit on a half sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper. These are the pictures that will be glued into the little books. This one is about parents teaching their children about God and is a picture of a daddy reading the Bible to his little boy.

Review OT books. We have just gotten up to the first 5 books so far. They had been working on these in their other class, so I know they can say more. I need to add the next 5 today.

Attendance charts

Sing: We Worship God
I Am... The I Am wall is still up from VBS. If there is time we'll sing the song and let them go to wall and point out all the I am's there.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More On the Levitical Priesthood

Tonight I will be subbing for the other teacher of 5/6 year old class. We follow the Amplified Bible Curriculum. All of our classes beginning with the 5/6 year old class on up to adults are following the same schedule. Wednesday evening classes study the same thing as Sunday AM. The teachers can divide up the material anyway they see fit. Tonight, we will continue talking about worship. We'll also introduce the idea of a high priest and talk about some of their duties and what their clothing looked like.

Thanks to Evie who left a comment on my last entry, I now have an excellent memory verse for the quarter. I won't start it tonight because we have so much to do, but starting Sunday AM we'll be learning Deut 6:4-8.

Lesson Plan:

Review: Review lessons from Moses' life using pictures from Beginner's Bible Cards.

High Priest -- Show picture of high priest (from same cards as above). Talk about some of his duties and point out the interesting parts of his clothing. Put together paper doll of the high priest. The paper doll was given to me by the other teacher. I'm not sure where she got it, but it is really neat. Make ephod for children to take home. The ephod is basically a piece of 5"x5" yellow card stock with holes punched at the top for a string to go around the neck. The students will glue 12 different gems in neat rows (hopefully) on the ephod. We'll talk about the stones representing each of the 12 tribes.

Worship: Using the worship cards from last week, review the different things we do to worship God. There are now enough sets of cards for each student to have his own. Let them tell me about the Lord's Supper (we read the Bethany book last week). Then read Bethany Learns About Prayer.

Review behavior in worship using the cards we used last week.

Old Testament Books: Go over the 1st 5 books of the OT. See if they can put their own sets in order. I made a large "Bible" to go on the wall. It is a black poster board with white felt glued to the center cut in the shape of pages of an open book. I put velcro on the back of a small set of OT cards. The students will get to see if they can put the 5 books in order on the large "Bible". If their interest is high, I'll add a 2 or 3 more books.

Play memory with 2 small sets and as many books as we got to tonight.

Put a grape on their attendance chart.

Let the students choose a song or 2 to sing.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Wilderness Wanderings -- The Levitical Priesthood

I've had 6 months off of my teaching duties. Sunday I started back again with the 5/6 year old class. It is going to be a small class (2 regular students) plus whatever visitors come our way. We are blessed to be at a congregation that has many visitors. Yesterday, we had one in class.

We are starting off learning about the Wilderness Wanderings. One of the downfalls of us studying a different series of lessons in the pre-school class is that when they move up to the 5/6 year old class, they are stepping right into the middle of something they aren't familiar with. Last week they were studying Jonah, this week they are studying about the Levitical Priesthood. That's a challenge. I decided to spend most of class time talking about our worship today. I will be subbing for the Wednesday night teacher this Wednesday and plan to get more into some of what they did back in Moses' day.

My objectives for this quarter are:

*Memorize the Old Testament books
*Be able to tell in detail who the following people are: Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb, Balak, and Balaam.
*Learn about and understand the following character traits: Obedience, trust, thankfulness, respect for authority...
*I know there will be a memory verse, I just haven't come up with it yet.

Since I forgot to write out a lesson plan, I'll just record what we did in class.

Lesson Plan:

Review: I reviewed a little about Jonah, then briefly discussed some things about Moses that I knew they had studied several months ago.

We used worship cards I made by scanning appropriate color sheets from Thru-the-Bible Coloring Pages, coloring them, resizing them to about 5" square to review what we do during worship. There was a picture of a family walking into a church building, a picture of children singing from songbooks, a picture of a family praying, a picture of little boy putting a coin in the collection plate, a picture of children listen to the teacher read from the Bible and a picture of the Lord's Supper table.

I read Bethany Learns About The Lord's Supper.

We used the picture cards I bought years and years ago to discuss behavior in worship.

We reviewed the first 5 books of the Old Testament. We have a picture card for each book. There is a large set for class use and then each child has trading size cards for individual use. I laid the large set out (5 cards in all) in front of them on the table in order. They then took their 5 smaller cards and tried to put them in order.

We played memory with the smaller cards. I took 2 of the sets of small cards and turned them upside down on the table. The kids loved matching the 2 that were alike.

Our attendance chart this quarter is a bunch of grapes. Yesterday, it was just a wooden stem with a couple of leaves. Every time they come to class, they'll get to add a grape to their picture. Both of the regulars are very regular. They should have quite a nice size bunch of grapes when we're through.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Marking Your Bible -- Other methods

I came across this webpage while surfing the internet this morning. I thought some of you might enjoy reading it. It gives several different methods of marking your Bible that can be used independently or together. I thought it was very interesting. The methods it describes are:

1.Chain Reference
2.Color Code
3.Cross Reference
4.Number Reference
5.Highlighting or Underlining
6. Subject Lists

If you're interested in reading more, you can visit the web page here: Bible Marking

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Marking Your Bibles -- Salvation -- Part 1

Monday night was our ladies' Bible class. We continued marking our Bibles. This time we used a red pen and marked a series of passages that would help us teach someone about salvation. We got half way through the passages and will finish them next time.

In the section on salvation, there are 7 specific topics to be discussed:


The last passage of our series on Authority was Romans 15:4. To maintain a continuous flow for your study, go to Romans 15:4 and mark (with your red pen) Matthew 7:21-27. So I would know which topic I'm about to switch to, I put Obedience in parenthesis. This will allow you to be aware that you're through with authority and are getting ready to talk about obedience.

This study may be a continuation of the original study (on the same day) or you may have taken a break from studying and are now meeting at a different time. If that is the case, you need to do a quick review. You need to remind the person you're studying with that since God made everything, He alone has authority to do whatever He wants. He chose to give all authority to Christ who then sent the Holy Spirit to tell the apostles what we needed to know who then wrote it down. So, whatever is written down in the New Testament is our final authority.

One more thing before we get started here. There are a few very long passages in this study. It may be tempting to just summarize these passages and go on. It's important to remember that this is a Bible study. It would be very appropriate to read large portions of it. Of course, you'll have to make a decision on just how much the person your studying with will tolerate, but don't underestimate their desire to hear the Bible being read. That's why they are there. If they didn't want to know what it said, they would be somewhere else. In other words, read the long passages with feeling, stopping only occasionally to make a point here or there. Let God's word speak for itself.


Matthew 7:21-27: Obedience is very important. There are many people today that do not obey Christ. They do what they want and say they are doing it in His name. Jesus is telling us in the Sermon on the Mount that those who are doing things in His name are not going to go to heaven unless they are actually doing His will (obeying Him). This is the passage of the wise/foolish man. Many people will be familiar with this because of the children's song that has been sung for years. It will probably be a breath of fresh air to someone to hear something they are so familiar with. I may also be a shock to realize the harsh words Jesus used just before it. Outline and write John 3:36 in the margin.

John 3:36: This is a clear statement of what will happen you believe in the Son and what will happen if you don't. Believe -- everlasting life...does not believe -- not see life. Outline and write Luke 6:46-49 in the margin.

Luke 6:46-49: This is a parallel passage with Matthew 7 above. Jesus asks the question: Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? That's a very legitimate question and one that we all need to ask ourselves. He then goes into the wise/foolish man again. Outline and write John 8:31 in the margin.

John 8:31: Here Jesus is talking to the believing Jews. He simply said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." To abide is to do, live by, obey. If we obey Him, we are his disciples (students, followers). Outline and write Acts 5:29 in the margin.

Acts 5:29: Here Peter after being given strict instructions not to teach about Jesus anymore is found teaching about Jesus. When asked by the high priest why they disobeyed, Peter said, "We ought to obey God rather than man." We need to be convicted enough to obey God even when it goes against the norm, goes against the civil authorities or goes against our peers. We must obey God. Outline and write Roman 2:8 in the margin.

Romans 2:8: Here, Paul tells the Romans what will hapen to those that seek their own will, and do not obey the truth: indignation, wrath, tribulation, anguish. He goes on to say that those who obey will receive: glory, honor, peace. Outline and write 2 Thess 1:7-9 in the margin.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9: What will happen to those who do not obey the gospel? Jesus, with his mighty angels in flaming fire will take vengeance. They (disobedient ones) will be punished with everlasting destruction. Outline and write Matt 10:37-38 in the margin.

Matthew 10:37-38: In this passage, Jesus is requiring His followers to make a choice -- who will they love more -- father/mother? son/daughter? He's not asking us to hate our family, He's asking us to make a choice. Love Him more than these. That's hard for most people. It's hard to say I love something or someone more than my family. If we don't though, Jesus say we are not worthy of Him. Outline write Galatians 1:6-9

Galatians 1:6-9: Here is a warning against turning away from Christ, against turning to a different gospel. It's important to realize that there are people who will teach a "different gospel". We need to be so familiar with God's word that we know when someone is teaching something different. Paul plainly says, "If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." Accursed -- that's pretty harsh. We are to turn away from people that teach things contrary to God's will. Outline and write Joshua 24:15 in the margin.

Joshua 24:15: Here is Joshua's famous speech about serving God. We all need to be as convicted as Joshua was. We need to make a decision about who we are going to follow and stand firm. If we go through life just sort of being convicted, we will not stand firm when the going gets tough. We need to decide, right now, that we will only serve God. It doesn't matter what the neighbors (Amorites) are doing or what our family (gods which your fathers served) is doing, we must serve God. Outline and write 1 Kings 18:21 in the margin.

1 Kings 18:21: Here is another great man we should try to copy. Elijah stood by his conviction in the hardest of times. Here on Mount Carmel, he is talking to Ahab and his people. They have continually served baal and Asherah. Elijah asks them, "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." Stop and ask yourself (and the person your studying with) who are you going to follow? After all the studying that we've done, you should be able to confidently say, "I will follow God." Outline and write John 17:20-23 in the margin. Write Unity in parenthesis.


John 17:20-23: Here, Jesus is praying to His Father. After praying for His apostles, He then goes on to pray for the rest of us -- those who believe in Him through their (apostles) word. He prays that we all may be one. He goes on to compare our being one to the Father and the Son being one. We are to have that same unity. Outline and write 1 Cor 1:10-13 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 1:10-13: Paul pleads with the Corinthians here to be unified. He tells them to "speak the same thing". He wants them to have "no divisions among" them. He wants them to "perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Paul warns against them being followers of mere men. Outline and write Eph 4:3-4 in the margin.

Ephesians 4:3-4: This passage again stresses unity. Paul tells the Ephesians that there is one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. Notice the unity word -- one. Outline and write 1 Cor 12:12 in the margin.

1 Corinthians 12:12: Again, one is emphasized here. We are all many people (members) that make up one body. For more clarification on this passage, read the entire chapter 12. It goes on to say that we all can't be the same (hand, foot, eye). We all are part of the body and are all important to the body. Outline and write Matt 16:16-18.

Matthew 16:16-18: Jesus has just asked His disciples who they think He is. Peter correctly said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus says yes, and then goes on to say that upon this confession (rock) I will build My church. Note that He said, "My church." Not my churches. Jesus built one church and those who obey Him are part of His church. Outline and write Acts 1:6-2:47 in the margin.

Acts 1:6-2:47: This is the first of the really long readings. It talks about Christ's ascension into Heaven, the choosing of Matthias and the beginning of the church. Use your discretion on how much to read, but if at all possible, read it all. After reading the previous passage (Matt 16:16-18) where Jesus said He will build His church, this is the next logically place to go -- the beginning of His church. Notice that the question asked of Peter in 2:37 (Men and brethren, what shall we do?) was answered very simply, without any theological discussion, or clarification of beliefs, or alternatives to the original teaching. Peter simply said, "Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." He then goes on to say that those who were saved were added to the church. Note: He said, they were added to the church. He didn't say, now go join the church of your choice. Outline and write Romans 10:17 in the margin. Write Faith in parenthesis.


Romans 10:17: This is our first passage on faith. This passage teaches us that we get faith by hear the word of God. So, doing what you're doing, reading your Bible, studying what He wants you to do is going to give you faith. Outline and write John 20:30-32 in the margin.

John 20:30-32: Here at the end of John, John states why he wrote the book. All of the things written in this book were written "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." Do you want to believe? Read the book of John. Outline and write John 3:16 in the margin.

John 3:16: Here's another very familiar passage to most people -- For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. What will happen if we believe in the Son of God? We will have everlasting life. Outline and write John 8:24 in the margin.

John 8:24: What will happen if you do not believe in that Jesus is the son of God? Jesus says that you will die in your sins. Outline and write Eph 2:8-10 in the margin.

Ephesians 2:8-10: Paul tells the Ephesians that they were saved by grace through faith -- not works. They were not saved because they were so smart or skilled that they figured out how to be saved. They were saved because they believed in Christ which lead them to obey His good works. Outline and write Mark 16:16 in the margin.

Mark 16:16: A very simple statement by Jesus Himself: He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Is belief important? Outline and write Heb 11 in the margin.

Hebrews 11: Here is another long passage. This is a wonderful passage that reminds the Jews and us about all the wonderful men of faith in their history. These men believed in God and were praised for it. Their belief was shown by the deeds they did. The reading is long, but if you can at all get by with it, read it aloud. The person you're studying with, if he's still with you, will probably enjoy it and definitely benefit from it. The 1st verse gives a definition of faith. Faith is what we hope for and what we cannot see. If we can't really hope for it, it's not of faith. If we can see it, it's not of faith. Underline verse 6. What if we don't have faith? "It is impossible to please Him..." Outline and write Gal 5:6 in the margin.

Galatians 5:6: This passage takes us back to our discussion on the importance of the old law versus the new law. Now, in Christ, circumcision doesn't matter. Neither does the lack of circumcision matter. What does matter is faith working through love. Outline and write James 2:14-24 in the margin.

James 2:14-24: Can we just have faith? James asks what faith profits without works? Can faith save? In verse 20 he says that faith without works is dead? He then goes on to remind us about Abraham and Rahab. Their faith resulted in their works. Faith works together with works making faith perfect (complete). We need to remember that when we talk about works, we're talking about the works of God, not man. We must believe in God and obey his commands, then we are complete. Outlien and write Luke 13:3-5 in the margin. Write Repentance in parenthesis.

This is as far as we got in our class Monday night. We'll pick up from here next time.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

It is already Friday. We've had a wonderful VBS week. Of the 8 kids I had sign-up for my class, I had 7 on most days. We've had some sickness floating around, there was a new baby born, and one of the little boys had his tonsils out last week. We were hoping he could come some, but he's taking a little while to recover.

I think my kids have learned quite a bit. They know what the 7 I AMs are talked about in John: I am the vine, I am the good shepherd, I am the light of the world, I am the bread of life, I am the door, I am the way the truth and the life and I am the resurrection. The I Am wall was a big hit. I'll get a picture on here of it as soon as I recover from today.

The kids also know what 7 miracles are recorded in John: Water to Wine, Nobleman's Son, Lame Man healed at pool of Bethesda, 5000 Fed, Jesus Walks on Water, Blind Man Healed, Lazarus Raised.

Some of the classes are including Jesus' resurrection in that list and are talking about it today. I chose to talk about it everyday with 3 activities I put together for the kids. I wanted them to really understand that all these things were done so "that you may believe". Knowing that some people don't necessarily know what they are to believe in, I wanted my kids to be sure they understood that they are to believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he died, was buried, arose and lives in Heaven.

They can all tell you all of the things mentioned above. Now, whether or not they can do it next week or 6 months from now, time will only tell. But they can now.

After VBS today, we'll take all the kids to the park down the street. The ladies of the congregation have prepared a picnic for all of us. This is so nice for so many reasons. It gives the kids a chance to play together. As you can tell from reading these lesson plans, our VBS is not play time. It gives the teachers a chance to sit and relax for a little bit while someone else does the work. And it gives the other ladies in the congregation that don't feel comfortable teaching a way to help out with the VBS. We all look forward to it.

Yesterday, at the end of class, my class was treated to a skit the 9/10 year old class put together. They had some costumes and acted out the story of the blind man in the activities room. This room has a village scene on the walls which was a great back drop for the story. The older kids did a great job and my kids really enjoyed it. It was fairly impromptu. They had a simple prepared script, but the kids did not have much practice time. I was quite impressed with some of their acting abilities.

Lesson Plan:

Activities Room: We have a large tomb in the room that we'll use to talk about burial traditions of the time.

Classroom: We've been sitting on the floor, but we brought another table in yesterday so we could spread out a little. That pretty much took up our floor room. If everyone shows up, we'll sit at the table, if we have a couple missing, we'll take the table out and sit on the floor again.

I Believe glovesI
Review previous miracles
Tell story of Lazarus using book Miracles and Wonders. I've used this book 3 times this week. It has very accurate text and I really like the pictures.

Move to tables: Uncover 7th picture. Sing: That You May Believe while student points to each miracle. I'll need to let each one of them do this at some point in the class today since all the pictures are uncovered.

Pass out pop-up books. These pop-up books are now complete with the covers on them. Review each of the stories and then retell (or let the kids retell) the story of Lazarus. Let the kids glue Lazarus inside the tomb. Let them put their pop-up book in their backpack. The backpacks came from Oriental Trading company. They can either be used as a backpack or as a drawstring bag. We put an iron-on transfer that is similar to the book cover on the backpack. I need to remember to have backpacks hanging on the back of their chairs before class.

Attendance Chart: I want to do this earlier in class than normal so the glue will have a chance to dry before they take them home.

Take bathroom break

Pass out I believe card rings. Review these with them and let them put them in their backpacks.

Review I Am wall. Let each kid go to the wall and say the I Am's as they point to the appropriate picture.

Talk about the last I Am: I am the way, the truth, the life.

Pass out I Am books and let them put all the pictures in the correct pocket. Let them put the I Am books in their backpacks.

Pass out I believe Story wheels. After reviewing them, let them put them in their backpacks.

Let them put the I believe gloves in their backpacks as well as their Jesus walking on the water activity.

I made a CD of all the songs we sang in VBS. I originally made it for the teachers so they could learn the songs, but decided the kids might enjoy a copy also. I added the other Bible class songs I've written. I figured, since there was more room on the CD it might as well be full. Pass them out (one per family) and let them put them in their backpacks.

Take the attendance charts off the wall and let them put them in their backpacks.

Spend the rest of class time singing their favorite songs. If there's still some kids that didn't get to sing That you May believe as they point to the miracles, do it now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Blind Man is Healed

Today's lesson just has one miracle. We've had 2 for the past 2 days. There is so much review to do each day that one lesson will be just right. We'll be talking about being blind in the activities room. I'm going to take a couple of pieces of fabric and let any kids that want to be blindfolded and see what it's like. I wish I had gotten hold of some braille before class. I would like to talk to them about the differences in being blind now and being blind back then.

Yesterday, the kids really enjoyed trying to walk on the water in the little pool. It was kind of surprising to me that most, if not all, of them did not know the difference between the words "in" and "on". Even the most verbal one of the bunch had to have it explained to her. If you don't know the difference between "in" and "on", the miracle of Jesus walking on the water doesn't make much sense. As one little girl said, "I walked on the water at the beach." It is so important to be aware of what your class understands. You may be going on about one thing and they have a totally different thing in their mind because they don't have the vocabulary to understand all the little details of the English language.

We will be looking at two "I am...'s" today. One is "I am the light of the world". This is represented on the I AM wall by a candle in the window of the house. The other is "I am the door". This is represented by the door of the house on the I AM wall.

Lesson Plan:

Activities Room

Sit on floor for Bible story. Let kids look at their I Believe gloves to remind them what the miracles found in John are to help them believe. Review previous miracles, tell story of blind man.

Tables: As they are settling down, uncover 6th picture on wall. Let kids that want to take turns pointing to pictures as we sing That You May Believe.

Pass out Pop-up books. Review each of the previous stories again as they look through their pop-up book. Then, let them slide the eyes of the blind man back and forth to see him go from blind (with mud on his eyes) to seeing.

Take a bathroom break

Return to class and sit at tables.

Pass out I Believe card rings. These are cards that have pictures just like on the I Believe glove. They are attached by rings. They are another way to remind them what we are to believe.

Review what we've learned about the "I am..." wall. Let each child go to the wall and point to each picture and say, "I am the vine, I am the door, etc." Sing I Am together.

Pass out I am books. Let the kids put all the pictures in the correct pockets. We just have one pocket that doesn't have a picture by now. We'll get that picture tomorrow.

Pass out I believe story wheels. This is another reminder of what we are to believe. Using the same pictures as the glove and the card rings, this story wheel will just emphasize the importance of it one more time.

Attendance Chart

Sing until time for class to end.