Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bread Babies (Expecting Christmas)

We are finishing our "Expecting Christmas" activities a little bit early because of other festivities coming up. So today we celebrate God the son, leaving heaven and coming to earth as a little baby. Thank you Jesus for humbling yourself in such a way to take on a human form. Thank you for being born, for the purpose of dying, to pay our debt. Wow.

I got this activity from my sister-in-law who made bread bears in their family growing up. That, mixed with an Ecuadorian tradition of making bread dolls (in November.) I think they probably make the bread from scratch but I had some frozen dinner rolls on hand. I let the rolls sit out about 4 hours (the recommended rise time) and then let the kiddos form them into "babies." Alyse pointed out that baby Jesus was actually wearing swaddling clothes so you wouldn't be able to see his hands or feet. This made it even easier to make little baby Jesus breads. We ate the rolls with our meal. It was very special.

Anticipation! (Expecting Christmas)

Many Kings and many years after King David, God continued to try and bring his people back to him. Some Kings and Israelites did care about what God said. Many generations did not listen to and obey God. But God kept promising the people that he would send someone to rescue them. He used people called prophets to deliver his message to the people. One such prophet was Isaiah. In Isaiah 9 and 11 (and many more throughout the book of Isaiah,)God promises a King to reign on David's throne, who will rescue his people. Remember these words were spoken hundreds of years before Jesus was born.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7

I had planned to make "Christmas Crackers" for our activity. I had even been saving TP rolls. However, in my small town I was unable to find the cracker part that makes the pop and I waited too long to order them online. If you live where there is a Michal's or other craft store you can purchase them there. The idea was to make these treats and let the kids build excitement in waiting for Christmas, when they get to pull them open, and celebrate Jesus! Instead we just wrapped gifts for other people and let the kids look at their wrapped gifts... that alone is a lot of anticipation. Imagine the anxiety and yearning the Israelites had in waiting for God to rescue them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

King David (Expecting Christmas)

Ruth and Boaz gave birth to baby Obed. He grew up and had a son named Jesse. Jesse then had many sons, the youngest of whom was none other than King David. David was known as a man after God's heart. He loved and feared the Lord God. He had an amazing relationship with God that is so fun to read about. There is obviously too much to cover about King David so we just touched on his heart for God. God promised David that his descendants would continue to be King...and many years (28 generations) later Jesus was born, as King over all Kings!

David wrote many of the Psalms as songs of prayer and praise to God. So for our activity we tried to make up some new Christmas songs about Jesus. Then we sang some common Christmas songs. In the video Von is singing to the tune of "Feliz Navidad." He is shy in the video but all the kids enjoy dancing to this tune. The words are:

We've waited with hope
We've waited for joy
We've waited for love
for our savior to be born... repeat

The promised savior has finally come
The promised savior has finally come
The promised savior has finally come
To save us from our sins...repeat

I am sure you and your kiddos can come up with others. Just pick a favorite tune and think about how the people may have been feeling. Ring some bells and do a fun dance to celebrate.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ruth (Expecting Jesus)

This part of the story-line gets fun. Yesterday we learned about Rahab. Rahab and her Israelite husband had a son named Boaz. Boaz was known as a kind, God-fearing man. Far away in Moab lived an Israelite named Naomi. When Naomi and her husband moved to Moab they had two sons who married Moabite women. However, before they had any children, Naomi's husband and both sons died. Naomi decided she would go back home to Israel. Her daughter-in-law Ruth insisted on accompanying Naomi, to care for her.

Once back in Israel, Naomi and Ruth were left with no way to feed themselves. It was actually Jewish law that when a farmer was harvesting grain, they were to let any leftover grain remain in the field so poor people could come gather it and feed their families. So, Ruth went to gather the leftover grain from the field of... Boaz, Rahab's son! Eventually Ruth and Boaz marry and have a baby son named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David! Read it out of a children's Bible or from Ruth chapter 1-4. I love that God chose to put Rahab and Ruth (non-Israelites) in the line of Jesus. He truly came for all who believe in his name!

For our Christmas activity we wanted to make candy coated pretzels. I bought the "white candy coating" in the baking section that had directions on the back of the package. I added ground up peppermints. However, either I used the wrong kind of peppermints or too many of them because the mixture ended up very thick. The kids still dipped the pretzels in it but they came out a glob. As we were making it though, Alyse had the perfect lead-in to the connection with our story. She said "I hope there is some of the candy coating left over that we can just eat." We used the leftover coating to spread on a plate. After it cooled and hardened we broke it up. Just like Ruth gathered the leftovers form the field of Boaz. The leftovers were as tasty as the original candy plan.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Red Rope (Expecting Christmas)

We see in the book of Joshua chapters 1 and 2 that after Moses died, Joshua became leader of God's Israelite people. Joshua sent two spies into Jericho to see how easy they would be to defeat. While in Jericho, they were discovered and had to hide in the house of a prostitute named Rahab. Rahab had heard about what God had done for his people. "For the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath." She lived on the city wall so she was able to let them down a rope through a window in her house. The spies told her, keep this red rope hanging out your window, so when we come and take over Jericho, you and your family will be saved. Not only was her life saved, but she was grafted into the Israelite clan because she believed and followed God. And the best part is, SHE was in the lineage of Jesus. Rahab was Jesus' great great great... grandma!

Red rope is easy to make Christmas-y so I just let the kiddos decorate with some red garland. (I wanted to hang garland along the fence outside but it was too cold.) The red rope was protection for Rahab and her family. They hung it because they believed God and acted on it. Another wonderful foreshadowing of our salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Garlands of Manna

After Jacob's family moved to Egypt to be with Joseph and be where there was food, the family grew and grew. The Bible tells us that the Israelites (Jacob's family) became so many in number that the new Pharaoh was afraid of them. Therefore, he forced them to be slaves. The Israelites were in Egypt for about 400 years. Then God used Moses and miraculously brought his people out of slavery (find it all in Exodus 1-16.) Once the people were out of Egypt they were now in the desert with no food. God sent manna, food that fell from the sky every morning to feed them.

We pretended popcorn was the manna and gathered it in a bowl. Then, for our Christmas decoration, we used a large needle and thread to string the popcorn together in a garland. A lot of the popcorn breaks when you pierce it, but that is okay. We plan on hanging the garland on the fence outside so the birds can also be fed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The sons of Jacob (Expecting Christmas)

Abraham and Sarah had son Isaac, who had sons Jacob and Esau. God told Jacob that he would make the promised nation (and eventually the savior,)through Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons. The most familiar of his sons is Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt and ended up 2nd only to Pharaoh. God used Joseph's false imprisonment to eventually save the nation of Israel (Jacob.) Joseph is a wonderful foreshadowing of Christ, but interestingly, Jesus came from the line of Judah instead of Joseph.

Today we made the twelve sons of Jacob out of gingerbread :) The kids got to decorate them and make other Christmas cookies as well. Mmmm, making cookies is by far the kids favorite activity. We used a box mix, or here is a recipe from scratch. We did get to package some of them up for neighbors.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The First Baby of Promise (Expecting Christmas)

In Genesis 18 and 21 God promised Abraham and Sarah they would have a baby, even though Sarah was barren and they both were well beyond child-bearing years. "Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness." Years later, Sarah gave birth to baby Isaac. He was a miracle! God again promised to send a savior, through Isaac.

We have forced amaryllis bulbs in past years, so decided this would be a good day to continue this tradition. Some instructions for doing it are on the Martha Stewart site. The sprouting and growing shows the magnificent hand of God, just as God made Sarah able to have baby Isaac. Thank you Lord for new life!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ribbon Journey (Expecting Christmas)

After Noah's ark, many generations passed before we meet God's "father of the nations." Today we talked about God asking Abraham and Sarah (Abram and Sarai) to leave their home and go to an unknown place. God would lead them and tell them where to go. Abraham believed God and obeyed. For our Christmas activity we got a roll of Christmas ribbon. While the kids stayed in one room, I wound the ribbon through the house. Over chairs, under tables, around toys, into different rooms. The object was for the kids to follow the ribbon on their "journey" without knowing where they would end up. Von said, "this is actually fun, not dumb." I guess it didn't sound fun at first. The kids wanted to take turns creating the ribbon path and taking us on a journey.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Olive Branch Wreath (Expecting Christmas day 2)

After Adam and Eve are sent out of the Garden of Eden, there is not a lot of information until we see that "every intention of the thoughts of mans heart was only evil continually." Enter "Noah's Ark" in Genesis 6-9. God uses the ark to rescue his people, just as later he uses the cross.

In Genesis 8:11 the dove that Noah sent out to see if the flood waters had receded returns with an olive leaf. So for our Christmas craft we cut branches off two different trees/bushes to make Christmas wreaths. Of course we don't have olive branches so we used cedar tree branches and another bush that I don't know the name of. Here are instructions on how to make an evergreen wreath. This was only my second time to try this and mine didn't turn out as pretty as the instructions. In fact, the one made out of the un-named bush was so ugly it went in the trash. However, the cedar one was passable and the kids want to put it on our front door.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Problem (expecting Christmas)

It's our first day of "Expecting Christmas." As you can see I didn't get it done on the "correct" day. We'll just do activities when we can. Since we are going to fly through the old testament, leading up to Jesus birth, we started with "the problem," in the big picture. Adam and Eve sin. For my kids, this is a familiar story so we just talked it through while cooking. You could read it out of a Children's Bible or out of Genesis 3.

For our Christmas fun, we attempted to make caramel apples (to go along with the fruit Eve ate.) I have never really tried making candy so it didn't turn out perfect. However, we still ended up with some treats to share with teachers at school. Everyone loves an early gift. For simple instructions using store-bought caramels try this. Or for a made-from-scratch version, try these.

To be completely honest, I also had an aha moment. After we made the apples the kids were getting a bit rowdy so I sent them outside (it was not cold.) I told them to pretend they were banished from the house until Daddy got home, just as Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden. However, after a short while it hit me. God didn't send the people out of the garden while he stayed IN the garden. God stays WITH his people. So, I went outside to wait with the kiddos, and we ended up singing Christmas songs. It made for a good memory.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Anticipation

As a lead up to Christmas, we are going to try to do a semi walk through the old testament, leading up to Jesus' birth. But for our activities, we will have a Christmas emphasis. I have it loosely planned but will be doing a lot of learning as we go. I am trying to create some Christ-filled Christmas traditions! Join me on this sparkly journey.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A dream of heaven (day 59)

Well, we finish the Jesus Storybook Bible today. And summer is over for my kiddos :( I hope to still do Bible time with them after they get home from school. I will blog when we figure out what to do. If you have any ideas, that would be great.

The last story of John and the Revelation, begins on page 342 of the JSB. Sally Lloyd-Jones emphasizes all people and creatures bowing down to Jesus, and Satan being defeated. We talked about the fact that not everyone worships and submits to Jesus now, but in the end they will. To show this we lined up dominoes. When we tapped the end, they all fell. This is what we will all do when we see Jesus- worship him. Yippee.

the point? Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord

A new way to see (day 58)

The story of Saul's conversion, from Acts 6-9, and 12-28, begins on page 334 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. To act out the story the kids wanted to use cars. We dialogued through the story, using a flashlight to be "the bright light." Von pointed out something (and we checked it in Acts 9.) I had not noticed that after Jesus asked "why are you persecuting me?" Saul replied, "LORD, who are you?" So Saul knew it was God, he just didn't know Jesus IS God. Pretty cool.

the point? Jesus changes people, Jesus is God

Friday, August 20, 2010

God sends help (day 57)

Pentecost, from Acts 1-5 and John 15, begins on page 326 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. We got out some lightweight scarves and waved them around to pretend they were the flames and the wind that God sent. The kiddos did some dancing, some dressing up, and some general silliness with the scarves. We talked about the fact that the Holy Spirit is with his children today (though not with flames) and gives them the help to do his work.

the point? God gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit

Going home (day 56)

Sally Lloyd-Jones shares the account of the ascension from Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 14 on page 318 of the JSB. This picture is from another time we did this story and the kids worked together to toss a balloon in the air, to represent Jesus going up back to heaven. Today, we only had tiny water balloons so we filled them with air and gave each of the kiddos their own. They tossed it up and tried to keep it in the air, counting how many bounces they use to keep the balloon from hitting the ground. Of course we talked about the fact that Jesus did not keep bouncing back down but went up until the disciples could no longer see him.

the point? Jesus promised to return for his children

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

God's wonderful surprise (day 55)

The resur-rection, from Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20, is re-told on page 310 of the "Jesus Storybook Bible." As Von said, "now I don't have to be sad anymore." We did two different activities. For one, we sprinkled a thin layer of cornstarch in a cake pan (at least 1 cm deep.) Then we used a medicine dropper to gently drop colored water on the cornstarch. We said the water was Jesus. After carefully shaking the cake pan side to side while it is still on the counter, The water drops disappeared! Just as Jesus was gone from the tomb.

The other thing we tried was a recipe I got from called resurrection rolls. However, I did not have the marshmallows called for so I used bite-size 3 musketeers bars. FYI, they don't disappear, but they are yummy :). Since my kiddos are used to things not working as planned when we experiment, they were fine with the explanation that "although the candy is still inside the roll, Jesus was not in the tomb." Process, not product :)

the point? Jesus is alive!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The sun stops shining (day 54)

The re-telling of the crucifixion, from Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19,begins on page 302 of the JSB. The kiddos gathered sticks from outside to make a cross (one long and one short one.) We used yarn to criss-cross the sticks together. Alyse made a small one for her bear, Von wanted a large cross. Then, we acted out the story. One person was Jesus carrying Von's large cross. We all walked into the closet and pretended to nail "Jesus" on the cross. After Jesus asked his father to forgive the people, and said "it is finished," we turned out the lights. I wiggled the kids and told them it was the earthquake. After the lights came back on we took "Jesus" off the cross and carried him to the tomb, covering him with pillows.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A dark night in the garden (day 53)

Sally Lloyd-Jones shares the story of the garden of Gethsemane, from Luke 22, Mark 14, and John 18 on page 294 of her Jesus Storybook Bible. Wow, lots of tears. Anyway, after such an emotional reading it was hard to think about playing a fun game. But of course the kids don't really want to do a "not fun" thing. So, we played chase where the person tagged gets put in jail. I periodically asked them questions such as, "but did Jesus run away when they came to put him in jail?" "If Jesus had run, would they have caught him?" Amazing.

the point? THANK YOU Jesus for coming, planning to die in our place

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Servant King (day 52)

The last supper, from Mark 14 and John 13-14, begins on page 286 of the JSB. We went outside on the porch and spread a path of wax paper. On the wax paper I sprayed a stream of shaving cream. The kiddos walked in the shaving cream (it was slippery) to "dinner with Jesus." When they arrived, we washed and dried each others feet. Fyi, the wax paper path stuck to feet and blew away thus spreading some shaving cream on the concrete. Perhaps the lid from a large plastic storage box would work better??

the point? Jesus, King over all kings, came to serve

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Washed with tears (day 51)

The sinful woman anointing Jesus' feet from Mark 14 and Luke 7 begins on page 280 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. We took some scented body mist and sprayed it on some no-bake clay. You can use play-dough or even make your own with this recipe on After the kiddos worked it in they pressed the clay into a bowl. We talked about the perfume, the value that it had, and the gift that the woman gave Jesus. After the bowl dried Von threw his down to break it like the woman did with the jar of perfume. Alyse liked hers too much to want to break it, so we pointed out that the woman may have felt that way about her jar. The kids also sprayed some of the body mist on each others feet.

the point? Jesus came to save sinners

Running away (day 50)

For the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15, and found on page 272 of the Jesus Storybook Bible, we created a "journey." The kiddos each got a few flat marbles to be their "money." We pretended they were the son and wanted to go out on their own. They went through various challenges (run around the house twice, climb across the swings without touching the ground, go up the ladder and down the slide, etc.) At each stage of the "journey" they had to pay some of their money. By the time they were hungry and thirsty from all the work, they were out of money. I put some cereal out on a cookie sheet to pretend it was the pig food. The funny thing was that Alyse, knowing it was cereal she eats often, still refused to eat it like a pig. Which was a great time to talk about the son deciding he could live under his father's rules after all. The "sons" returned to their father (me) and received lots of hugs, kisses, and real food.

the point? Jesus took our punishment so he can joyfully welcome us home

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The man who didn't have any friends (day 49)

For the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19, we made some stilts. Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story on page 264. We took two empty peanut cans and made holes through the tops. We strung a piece of rope through each can to use as the handles. Then we acted out the story. Climbing trees never gets old.

the point? Jesus changes people, Jesus loves even sinners

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Friend of little children (day 48)

Jesus and the children, from Matthew 18, 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18 begins on page 256 of the JSB. To the tune of "London bridge is falling down," we sang the verse "let the children come to me, come to me, come to me, let the children come to me, Jesus said" (Mark 10:14.) Then we actually played London bridge. Two of us holding both hands and one of us walking round and round under the tunnel. When the song ended, we gathered the child in our arms and hugged them tight while singing the song again. Lots of giggles and sweetness.

the point? Jesus loves un-proud (humility)

Treasure hunt! (day 47)

Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story of the hidden treasure and God's kingdom on page 250 of The Jesus Storybook Bible. As my son just pointed out, "but God really told that story." We played hide and seek. Then we searched and searched for Von's lost wallet. Though we still have yet to find the wallet, we talked about how bad he wants to find it, and how God and his life is worth yearning and searching for even more.

the point? God is worth so much more than anything

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jesus feeds 5000 continued (day 46)

We very often use the kids senses of touch, sight, and sound during our super summer Bible fun. But today we get to use their sense of taste and smell, yumm. Just take a couple packages of refrigerator biscuits and help the kiddos cut them into fourths using a plastic knife. Roll each piece in melted butter (one-half to one stick) with a lot of sugar and cinnamon in it. Then place them all in a bundt pan. Pour the remaining butter mixture over the top. Bake the "monkey bread" according to the biscuit directions (you may have to cook it longer though.) Then, use the bread and pretend to be Jesus breaking off pieces of bread to feed the people. However, Jesus' bread didn't run out! If you want more formal instructions and even a recipe to make the bread from scratch check out

the point? Jesus is perfectly able to take care of all our needs

Filled full! (day 45)

Jesus feeding the 5000 people from Matthew 14, Mark 6, and Luke 9 begins on page 244 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Well... we pretty much always have a bucket of single socks so we brought those out again to be the bread and fish. When "Jesus" asked if anyone had any food, the little boy brought him a basket with 7 socks (2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.) Then Jesus passed out the food to all chairs, corners, and other spots around the living room. We talked about the fact that while we were just filling the basket with socks we already had, Jesus was actually making more food appear from nothing.

the point? Jesus made food out of nothing

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jesus calms the storm continued (day 44)

Sorry it has been so long since I blogged. Our family got to get away for a vacation, yipee. Anyway, another activity to help review Jesus calming the storm is to make wind and wave pictures. Simply take some blue food coloring and water and drop it in drops on some construction paper or card stock. Take a straw and blow the water. As it fans out you can take turns telling the "wind and waves" to "be still." This picture was actually done by my grown sister who thought it was too much fun not to try her own. My kids pictures were obviously not embellished as much but still were pretty cool.

the point? Jesus is all powerful

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The captain of the storm (day 43)

Jesus calming the storm, from Mark 4 and Matthew 8, begins on page 236 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. I love when Sally Lloyd-Jones says "the wind and the waves recognized Jesus' voice (They had heard it before, of course-it was the same voice that made them, in the very beginning.)" The kids were in a very hyper mood so we played "freeze" but pretended to be Jesus saying "be still" to the storm.

the point? all creation knows and obeys Jesus

The singer (day 42)

"The singer" is the story of the sermon on the mount from Matthew 6,9 and Luke 12, in the Jesus Storybook Bible. We talked about picking flowers but it really wasn't the right time of year around here. So, we made our own by coloring with markers on a paper towel. Then the kiddos used a spray bottle to wet the towel and make the markers run a bit. After cinching the middle with a twist-tie and taping it to a straw, we had ourselves a flower. We talked about the fact that God makes his flowers even more beautiful, and he says we are even more important than the flowers.

the point? God will provide everything we need

How to pray (day 41)

For the re-telling of the Lord's Prayer from Matthew 6, Sally Lloyd-Jones begins on page 222 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. She gives a lot of guidance on how to pray and does a great job making the reader feel relaxed and loved in it. We simply practiced some praying. We talked about how we can whisper or even talk to God in our heads. Then we took turns doing sentence prayers out loud. I started with "thank you God for today" and then we each took turns thanking Jesus for things, be it jelly beans or grandparents. Then we went around the circle asking for forgiveness, i.e. "please forgive me for not being patient" or "please forgive me for hitting my sister." Last we did asking sentence prayers. "Please help me save the money for a doll" or "Please help me not have bad dreams." We did this to get the kiddos comfortable to say anything to God.

the point? God wants us to always talk to him

Friday, July 23, 2010

A little girl and a poor frail lady (day 40)

For the story of Jairus' daughter from Luke 8, Sally Lloyd-Jones begins on page 216. For some reason I am in a magnet mood so the kids each drew pictures of the little girl on an index card and attached a small alligator clip to the "head." As we talked through the story, we used a strong magnet to "pick up" the girl when Jesus brought her back to life. We folded the card in half so it looked kind-of like she sat up in bed.

the point? Jesus works miracles!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's go (day 39)

The story of Jesus being tempted by Satan and then Jesus calling his disciples, from Matthew 4, and Luke 4-6, begins on page 208 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Even though the disciples were actually fishing with nets, we decided to make some fishing poles and "fish." The kids cut fish out of card stock and attached paperclips. Then we tied a magnet to one end of a 3 foot piece of yarn, and the stick/pole to the other end. As the kids were fishing we took turns being Jesus and "calling" them. It is interesting to see how the disciples dropped what they were doing to follow Jesus, yet the kids didn't even want to stop fishing for a second...

the point? Jesus is all powerful, he commands a following, yet he loves us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heaven breaks through (day 38)

Page 200 is where Sally Lloyd-Jones begins the story of John the baptist, and Jesus being baptized. We attempted to make a dove painting, while talking about the dove and God's voice accompanying it. For the dove we folded a piece of paper in half and painted one of Von and one of Alyse's hands. They then put their hand print along the middle fold line, and closed the paper so the paint was transferred to the other side in a mirror image. However, it turned out more like a butterfly than a dove. Perhaps we should have printed the hand lining up the pinky side of the hand on the fold, instead of the thumb side??? You can probably do better- but the kids still liked it and we still got to talk about the story.

the point? "The Great Rescue had begun..." (page 206)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The wise men continued (day 37)

After reviewing the story of the wise men seeking and finding baby Jesus, we made a star out of cardboard. Then we took turns hiding the star and the other "wise men" searching for the star, in order to find the new King.

the point? Jesus is King over all kings

The King of all kings (day 36)

The story of the wise men visiting Jesus from Matthew 2 begins on page 192 of the Jesus Storybook Bible. Alyse had the idea to use a flashlight to guide the "wise men" to baby Jesus. This would have worked better at night so we could get the house darker, but we did try it in the closet. One person would place themselves in a corner (while it was dark) and then turn the light on. The rest of us would find them just by seeing where the light was. Then we bowed down to Jesus.

the point? God guided the wise men to his son

Monday, July 19, 2010

The shepherds continued (day 35)

To review the story of the shepherds visiting Baby Jesus we acted it out. The angel got to stand up on a chair to deliver the good news to the shepherds. Then, the shepherds took their sheep (sometimes a person crawling and sometimes stuffed animals) to the other room to bow down to the newly born King.

the point? Even as a baby, Jesus was King over all Kings

The Light of the whole world (day 34)

Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story of the shepherds, from Luke 2, on page 185 of The Jesus Storybook Bible. We used cotton balls to be tiny sheep and a spoon or clothespin to guide the sheep from the field to the stable. Each utensil uses a different fine-motor movement. We also did some timing, to see how quick each shepherd could get their sheep to the stable (another bowl.)

the point? Jesus came for people who are not lovely

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

He's here! (day 33)

Page 176 begins the New Testament stories with Jesus being promised and born, from Luke 1-2. After reading the story we acted it out, with Gabriel the angel wearing a white blanket. Baby Jesus was wrapped in a plain blanket and laid in a plastic box filled with freshly picked grass. Sally does an excellent job of making it very obvious that this is the climax, the point that all time has been leading up to. Thank you Lord.

the point? Jesus was the savior God had promised

Get ready! (day 32)

Sally Lloyd-Jones finishes the old testament stories by telling the story of the Israelites returning from captivity, as told in Nehemiah, Malachi, and Ezra. Since this story is one I am not as familiar with, I am glad she referenced the actual chapters in the Bible so I could read them. Basically we read the story, some selected passages from the Bible (especially Nehemiah 8-10) and then acted out the story. The stuffed animals and children that were the Israelite people "cried" for their sin and asked God for forgiveness. They told of their desire to follow God's ways. The account in Nehemiah is a beautiful picture of repentance. Then they had a party (with music and dancing) to celebrate the forgiveness they received.

the point? "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jonah continued (day 31)

To review the story of Jonah we acted it out. We were all Jonah, running away from God on the couch ship. After the storm came we fell into the sea and swam on the rug until we arrived inside a red sheet fish. When we pulled the sheet over us we were crowded and hot. We took turns praying. Then, the fish spat us out.

the point? God gives second chances

God's messenger (day 30)

The story of Jonah begins on page 162 of The Jesus Storybook Bible. After reading the story we decided to have our afternoon snack for Bible time. We gathered a couple small food items to represent different types of fish/food in the ocean. We then chose different utensils to represent different mouths that fish have. For example a toothpick, clothespin, spoon, or tongs each are able to pick up different foods. As Von pointed out God made different creatures to eat different foods so "we don't run out of food." Only the tongs were able to pick up the banana which represented Jonah. God created and chose the perfect fish that was able to swallow and save Jonah.

the point? God commands everything... the sea, the fish, etc.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Daniel and the lions continued (day 29)

Another activity to review the story of Daniel and the lions is to make a puppet out of a paper plate, yarn, and a pencil. Use the photo and be creative. Then, let the kiddos act out the story using the lion puppet. They can even get behind the couch and put on a puppet show.

the point? God tells up to pray only to him

Daniel and the scary sleepover (day28)

On page 152 Sally Lloyd-Jones tells the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den from Daniel 6. We did two activities today because Alyse and Von did not agree on their preference. They both ended up enjoying both the activities. First we took some play-dough and made "lion prints" using our fist and smashing it into the dough. Then we went outside to play chase. We took turns being Daniel while the others were the lions chasing him. However, when the lions caught Daniel, God had closed their mouths and they could only tickle Daniel. We talked about why the lions didn't eat Daniel and how God's name was made great through this situation.

the point? God protects his people

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Operation "No More Tears!" (day 27)

Sally Lloyd-Jones includes an unusual story for a Children's Bible on page 144 of her storybook Bible. She tells of Isaiah delivering the promise of the Savior-Jesus. I love how she brings up the prophecies and promises that God made, long before Jesus came to earth. It really highlights the entire point of the Bible. I must admit, I was a bit stumped on what activity to do to help teach/review this story, because there is not a lot of action. We toke turns being the "messenger" delivering notes or drawings between people, as Isaiah delivered God's message to the people. Of course God's message was WAY better than ours :) Leave a comment if you have any other ways to teach this story.

the point? God planned and promised Jesus' salvation, long before Jesus came to earth

Monday, July 5, 2010

A little servant girl and the proud general (day 26)

The story of Namaan being healed of Leprosy is on page 136 of "the Jesus Storybook Bible." I like how Sally Lloyd-Jones points out Namaan's pride, and how God wanted to heal Namaan's "leprosy of the heart" as well.The kids wanted to sit in boxes and take turns pushing each other around. They were supposed to pretend to be Namaan riding in a chariot. Then we acted out the story. Later tonight we plan on acting out the story for bath time. I am going to rub chalk or something easily washable on their skin, to pretend it is the leprosy. Then, when they "wash" they will be "healed."

the point? "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Good Shepherd (day 25)

Sally Lloyd-Jones tells a little about King David beginning on page 130. She talks about David having a loving heart like God, singing praises to God, and even murdering someone. She paraphrases Davids humble repentance and then tells Psalm 23 to give a feel for David's psalms. We made instruments to sing praises with. We wrapped rubber bands around a box lid to make a harp. We also clanged spoons together and attempted a wax-paper-comb-harmonica. We sang our memory verse (see day 21 to learn 1 Samuel 16:7) as well as some other psalm songs we knew like Psalm 100. I attempted to teach them David's repentant song "create in me a clean heart."

the point? the Lord looks at the heart

Thursday, July 1, 2010

David and Goliath continued (day 24)

Another activity we did to emphasize the story was to make a ribbon as tall as Goliath. Since Goliath was about 9 feet tall we used a 1 foot ruler to mark off each foot (up to 9 of course.) This actually was also great exposure to some real life math/science skills. We then taped the ribbon to the wall and marked how tall each of us are in comparison. It is easy to see why the Israelites were afraid and why David needed God to win the battle.

the point? God is not afraid