Friday, June 29, 2012

Eating the grass (Daniel's Days 4)

Daniel chapter 4 has another surreal story. (I just noticed I posted these out of chronological order, sorry.) Anyway, King Nebuchadnezzar has a crazy dream in chapter four and is again perplexed. After other wise men of Babylon fail to interpret his dream, Daniel hears it and is
saddened by the meaning of the dream. He tells the King what the dream from God means and ends with a warning "your kingdom will be given back to you when you learn that one in heaven rules your kingdom" (Daniel 4:26b) Twelve months later King Nebuchadnezzar is having a proud moment, "I have built this great Babylon as my royal home. I built it by my power to show my glory and my majesty." Nebuchadnezzar's dream immediately comes true. He begins eating grass like an ox, his hair grows long, and his nails grow like claws. The Bible tells us that eventually Nebuchadnezzar "looked up toward Heaven" and praised the most high God. His mind and his kingdom are restored.

We placed small pieces of clear tape on the kids' fingernails to make them "claws." Then we took a cucumber and used a vegetable peeler to make strips of "grass." You could use celery, spaghetti, or anything else you have around. Then we went outside and acted out the story. The kiddos enjoyed eating their afternoon snack like a cow :)

THE POINT? God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writing on the Wall (Daniel's Days 5)

Daniel chapter 5 has a humbling story about King Belshazzar who ruled Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar. The King hosts a jolly party for many guests. The King orders the special serving pieces that had been captured with Israel to be brought out. As they are merrily eating and drinking from the sacred goblets taken from the temple of Jerusalem, a shocking thing happens. Suddenly, the words "Numbered, Measure, Divided" appear mysteriously on the wall. The King and his guests are terrified! They eventually call Daniel to explain the meaning. Daniel tells King Belshazzar that this is a message from the true God. God is not pleased with Belshazzar's actions, and is going to take his kingdom away. That very night, Persian soldiers take the King captive and the city is taken over.

We had a great time coming up with a paint to "write on the wall." We simply covered the bottom of a muffin tin with dish soap (or baby shampoo would work.) Then we added a few drops of food coloring and about a teaspoon or two of cornstarch. If you want the paint thicker, add more cornstarch. The kids mixed up each color and we went outside to paint the windows. We acted out the story and wrote the words on the wall. Then the kids had a good time covering the windows with washable paint. When they were finished, we hosed off the windows. Warning: the washing created A LOT of slippery bubbles. I would also try to keep the paint off any window facings or non-glass surfaces.

THE POINT? God has a plan and WILL fulfill it

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Fiery Furnace (Daniel's Days 3)

The well known story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is found in Daniel 3. Daniel and his friends have become targets for the other "wise men" in Babylon because of the success the Lord has given them. Therefore, the others desire to kill the Israelite advisors. The Babylonions seize the opportunity when King Nebuchadnezzar builds a huge statue as a tribute to himself and his victory. The King demands that everyone bow and worship the statue, when signaled. However, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego know that the LORD God is the only one worthy of worship, so they refuse to bow to a statue. As punishment, they are thrown into a huge furnace filled with a raging fire. The Bible tells us the fire was so hot that even the gaurds throwing the men into the fire are scorched. However, when the King looks into the furnace later, he not only sees the three Israelite men walking around unharmed, but also a fourth man is in the furnace with them, WOW! The King brings them out and demands everyone to honor the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Today we tried a different activity than we have done in the past. Both Von and Alyse drew pictures of the three Israelites on a piece of paper. Because Knox is three and just learning to enjoy drawing, he got the job of creating fire. He used a red wet-erase marker and covered a large (quart size) mason jar with "fire." You can use a dry-erase marker or even a regular washable marker with varying results, just be sure to test it on the bottom and make sure it will wash off after the activity. Anyway, we acted out the story with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refusing to bow to the "statue." Then we rolled the paper so it would fit inside the jar. It looked like they were on fire. We added a fourth guy to the jar, and remarked that they did not look burned!

THE POINT? God has the power to protect his people in any way! We should worhsip him only.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream (Daniel's Days 2)

In Daniel 2 the story of Nebuchadnezzar having a perplexing dream is told. The King demanded someone to tell him what dream he had, as well as what it meant. When none of the "wise men" in the palace were able to do this, the King demanded that ALL wise men be put to death. This included some of the Israelite nobles living in Babylon. When Daniel heard that he and his friends would be put to death, he beseeched his friends to beg the Lord for the dream and interpretation. The Lord did give Daniel the dream and Daniel relayed it to the King. The dream involved a statue made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, clay. Different parts of the statue represented different kingdoms that God would establish.

We went outside and collected stones to make a statue. We tried to find ones that were goldish, grayish, etc. for the different parts of the statue. We then acted out the story with the stone knocking it over, fun! I love how this shows God is in total control, even over kingdoms that are not "Godly." I love how Daniel did not take credit for the dream interpretation but gave it to God.

the point? God is in control!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Vegetables (Daniel's Days 1)

Woohoo we are off! I love having some extra time with my kiddos this summer. I want to make sure we don't forget to spend some of that time learning about Jesus Christ, and his word. My kids are getting old enough to help out planning "Bible Time" and have favorite stories they want to study more in depth. Von (age 9) wants to study Daniel, and Alyse (age 6) wants to learn more about Esther. Knox (age 3) is along for the ride :)

Before we started reading Daniel, we went through a little background on why the Israelites were living in Babylon. The Action Bible has a good couple of stories before Daniel recounting Israel's turning to other God's and God allowing them to be taken captive. Daniel 1 opens with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego living in the palace in Babylon and being trained by King Nebuchadnezzar's men. These four Israelite young men are given the "awesome privilege" of eating and learning like Babylonion noblemen. In today's story they are given choice food from the King's table. However, the four Israelites know that the King's food has been dedicated to the Babylonian Idols, and is unclean for them to eat. Therefore they ask to eat only vegetables and water. The King's servants are afraid they will not be healthy enough but agree to their request for a ten day trial period. At the end of the ten days, the Israelites are found to be in stellar condition. God's instructions really were for their benefit.

We used fruit/veggies to paint this time. If you do not want to use actual food you can easily use celery stalks that would otherwise be thrown away or any kind of tree/bush limb. It is simply fun for the kids to paint using something unusual. As they paint, review the story. Be sure to help them understand the point of the story is not actually to "eat your vegetables" (although they ARE good for you,) but the point is that obedience to God's ways are actually for OUR good.

THE POINT: God's instructions are SO much better for us, trust him

Thursday, May 17, 2012

As the school year is winding down I am thinking about our summer and making it count. Right now, I am contemplating going through the life of Esther or Daniel for our "Super Summer Bible Fun"...stay tuned

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brother jealousy (deeds of David day 21)

2 Samuel 13-15 recounts some of David's consequences from his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. As Nathan had promised, violence became well known in David's house. In this case, one of David's sons Absolam plans and kills his brother Amnon. Amnon was in line to be King and Absolam was not content to simply be a prince.

We again stressed the importance of being thankful for what God has given to us, and not being greedy or jealous. For this activity we filled a plastic storage box with water. Then we balanced two peanut butter lids facing up in the water (can you tell we eat a lot of peanut butter in our house.) I got the change bowl out and assigned each of the kids one PB lid. I told them that they could place any coin and any number of coins in their lid. Whatever they got in their lid they would be able to keep. However, if the lid and coins sank, they would not receive the money. It definately proved to be a hard task- a battle between wanting more money and knowing when to stop. Von is older and so he knew money value and went for the big quarters. However, he over did it and the lid sank :( After seeing this, Alyse used smaller coins, and decided she had enough before it sank. It was a hard, yet applicable lesson.

the point? be content with what you have