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

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bathsheba (deeds of David day 20)

The Action Bible handles the story of Bathsheba, from 2 Samuel 11, very tastefully. It was not inappropriate for my 8 and 6 year old who are not yet ready for the details. It tells of how King David wanted Bathsheba to be his wife, so he arranges for her husband Uriah to be killed. It also goes into Nathan confronting David and David's tearful repentance. We discussed coveting, jealousy, stealing, greed, and basically wanting what someone else has to the point of sin. We also discussed David's repentance, God's forgiveness, and the long term consequences of David's sin.

Choosing an activity was also a bit difficult so we recounted the "story" that Nathan told David when confronting him. The story about a rich man taking a poor man's only sheep to feed his guests. We made a batch of "peanut butter kisses" together. You can use any treat but these are fast and we had the ingredients on hand.

By hand, mix together:
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
Form 1 inch balls and then roll the balls in powdered sugar... eat!

Then I told each child they could choose ONE to eat. However, before they actually got it in their mouth, I took it and ATE it! They were shocked. We talked about the poor man (and Uriah) who was left with nothing. After they seemed to feel the affects, I did let them eat another one :)

the point? God gives us everything we need and so many extra blessings, we should be thankful (not covetous or greedy.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Ark (deeds of David day 19)

After David is made King of all Israel, he desires for the Lord's holy Ark of the Covenant to be in the capital city as well. 2 Samuel 6-7 and I Chronicles 13 tell of David's attempt to bring the Ark to Jerusalem. David had not read God's very specific instructions on how the holy Ark was to be transported. Therefore, when one man touches the ark to keep it from falling, he is struck dead. David is devastated and leaves the Ark where it is. However, after being very careful to read and follow all God's instructions, David retrieves the Ark and brings it into Jerusalem. David sings and dances for joy as they enter the city.

To make our own "Ark of the Covenant" we used an old diaper box and found two long sticks. We punched holes in the sides of the box and ran the sticks across the top of the box to create handles. The kids carried the "Ark" and re-enacted the story. Later, they decided to make a game out of it (though they understood it was no game in real life.) They tried to jump over the box without touching it. It they touched it they had to "fall down dead." Actually, this fun continued for quite a long time.

the point? The Lord God is HOLY!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Through the sewers (deeds of David day 18)

Today's story is from 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Chronicles 11. I love the background The Action Bible gives about why David wanted to take over Jerusalem to be the capital city. I am sure I have heard this story before but I had never seen the context of it, it is so fun to learn more about God's story. Anyway, Jerusalem was a well-protected, walled city that did not belong to Israel. There was virtually no way to defeat them. So, David and his men enter the city through the outgoing sewer tunnels, ewww. Once inside the wall, they open the gates and let the rest of the Israelite army in to take over the city.

We constructed CLEAN tunnels to crawl through. We lined up the dining room chairs and hung a sheet over them so they were darkened. The kids enjoyed crawling through the tunnel and acting out the story.

The point? sometimes God wins by miraculous power, and sometimes he wins by giving brilliant ideas to his people

David crowned King of Israel (deeds of David day 17)

In 2 Samuel 3-5, The rest of the civil war between David and Ish-Bosheth (Saul's son,) is recounted. Some were skeptical when Abner, who at first defended Ish-Bosheth, changed his support to David. Joab, commander of David's army, had a personal vendetta against Abner. Joab tricked Abner and murdered him, which made David furious and nervous. However, since Ish-Bosheth no longer had military support, David is made King over all of Israel.

We played the classic card game "battle" for our activity. We tried it with different number of cards to start with. For example, we divided 12 cards between two players. Each player kept their cards face down. On 3, each player turned their top card face up. The player with the highest number kept both of the cards. Play continued until one player accumulated all the cards. Just as David reigned over all the tribes of Israel.

the point? God is the hero

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More war (deeds of David day 16)

The Action Bible gives an exciting and dramatic retelling of 2 Samuel 2-3. It basically recounts some of the war between David and Saul's son Ish-Bosheth. The commanders of the two armies decide to have each of their 10 strongest warriors fight each other, to save casualties. (Remember this is family fighting family.) However, the small battle turns into a larger chase and David's army wins. Abner, who had been the commander of Ish-Bosheth's army, decided he was on the wrong side and changed to support David.

A simple game of chase was our activity today. Though we did not run with spears as they did in the story :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

David mourns Saul (deeds of David day 15)

Today we covered David mourning over Saul's and Jonathan's death from I Samuel 31 and 2 Samuel 1-2. David became King of his own tribe of Judah right away. However one of Saul's sons claimed the throne over the other tribes of Israel. Thus begins a civil war. I love how The Action Bible gives a grand picture of the difficult events.

We dyed one egg (out of the dozen) to represent the one tribe of Judah that David ruled over at first. Since it is July and we don't have dye kits, we just put some food coloring in a mug of water and let the egg soak. One tribe against eleven tribes made us wonder how that was an even match?

the point? In his time

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

David has mercy again (deeds of David day 14)

Today's story spanned I Samuel 26, 28, and 31. Basically it was a narrative of Saul chasing David and trying to kill him, and David escaping. Not only did David get away, he also had the chance to kill Saul again, but refused to kill the Lord's anointed. Once when Saul's army was asleep, David entered the camp. David took Saul's spear and water jug and left the camp. In the morning David pointed out to Saul the fact that he had spared Saul's life. This story, beginning on page 300 of The Action Bible, also covers Saul consulting the witch of Endor, and Saul's death.

We talked about God's instruction not to play with magic and then we played a game to act out Saul asleep in the camp. One person pretended to be asleep on the rug. Before the sleeper closed their eyes, we placed a few items around them. After "Saul" was "asleep," "David" quietly crept in and removed one or more objects from "Saul." When the sleeper woke, their job was to figure out what had been removed. It was harder than we thought it would be. You can easily modify the game according to the ages of your kids. You can simply move the objects or remove and hide them.

the point? God will complete his promises in his time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Abigail (deeds of David day 13)

This was such a fun activity! We used a long piece of yarn and looped it around the brace of a bookshelf on one end, and around a tall chair in the other room on the other end. The result was a moving clothesline type loop. After we read the story in I Samuel 25, we acted out the story using a horse clipped on the "clotheline" as the messenger. We sent the "horse" back and forth between David and Nabal by simply moving the clothesline.

David and his men had protected many Israelites, including Nabal. One day David asked Nabal for food and supplies. "We Need Food"

Nabal refused! "NO" (actually it says ON :)

This made David furious and begin to plan revenge on Nabal and all his family. Some Servants tell Abigail what happened. "Warning Abigail"

Meanwhile, Nabal's wife Abigail heard of David's request and Nabal's response. She quickly gathered food and supplies and took them to David in his camp. She reminded David that he should not kill people in his future kingdom. David calmed down, accepted the supplies, and did not kill Nabal.

The next day God himself struck Nabal dead.

the point? God will punish the unrighteous, he doesn't ask us to.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Escape (deeds of David day 12)

Saul and his men were aggressively pursuing David in I Samuel 24. One night, Saul slept in a cave. Little did he know that David and his men were hiding in the back of the cave. David's men encourage David to kill Saul while he had the chance. However, David refused to lift his hand against the Lord's anointed King. He wanted to wait until God chose to end Saul's life. He wanted to wait on God's timing to fulfill his promise.

We played capture the flag for our activity. Although Saul was asleep while David cut a piece off Saul's robe, we used scarves and hid them on our own "side." The goal was to cross to the other persons side and find their scarf before they see you and tag you, or before they find your scarf.

the point? GOD makes his promises come true. He doesn't ask us to make his promises come true (i.e. David becoming King.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

The chase (deeds of David day 11)

I Samuel 21-23 tells of David's adventures as he hides from Saul. These include pretending to be crazy so enemies don't kill him, hiding in caves, and relatives and outcasts joining his "army." I love I Samuel 23:15 which says "Saul hunted him day after day, but the Lord didn't let him find him." That pretty well sums up this time period.

We played a game of moving hide and seek. It is traditional hide and seek except the hider is able to move hiding places in order to remain hidden. However, of course, the hider was always eventually found. Which is even better show of God's protection on David.

the point? "...the Lord didn't let him find him." God is in control, yipee!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Unexpected allies (deeds of David day 10)

David escaped Saul's threats a few times already, but he was not sure if Saul's hatred was temporary or permanent. Saul's own son Johnathan was a good friend to David. Johnathan told David he would find out if Saul was really trying to kill David. They arranged a signal for Johnathan to warn David if he found out David was in grave danger. After Johnathan returned from the palace, he had learned that indeed, Saul desired to kill David. Johnathan shot his arrows into a field and instructed his servant to go collect the arrows far far away. David was hiding in the field and heard the message. This was the code that David should run for his life. Every time I read this story it blows my mind that David was going to be King instead of Johnathan (and Johnathan knew it,) yet Johnathan chose to support the Lord's will, wow.

We made bow and arrows out of small green branches and yarn. Simply find a straight branch off a bush that is bendable but not brittle. You may have to cut a groove on each end to keep the string from sliding towards the middle. Pull the branch into a "C" and tie the yarn to each end to hold the branch. We used other branches, reeds, and even a straw to be the arrows. They were certainly not great, but they did actually work and we had a good time playing and acting out the story.

the point? God ultimately decides who will be our friend, to fulfill his purpose.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Through the window (deeds of David day 9)

1 Samuel 19:1-17 begins a long line of David escaping Saul stories. Saul tried to spear David again, and David knew it was time to get out of the palace. David was married to Saul's daughter Michal. Michal helped David escape out the window and let him down with a rope. Then, when Saul's soldiers arrived to take David, she told them David was sick. When Saul discovered that David had escaped he was furious!

We attached a rope (actually a tow strap) to the top of our swingset/playhouse. The kids took turns pretending to be David, climbing down the rope to escape. They wanted to do it over and over. Another idea is to use a vertical hula hoop to be the window. Smaller children would enjoy climbing through it, and older children can try climbing through it at different heights for different challenges.

the point? God takes care of his, though it isn't always easy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saul's jeolousy (deeds of David)

In I Samuel 18 we begin to see King Saul's jealousy come out. The Bible tells us "David had success in all his undertakings for the Lord was with him." David was a mighty warrior, popular among the people, and even well loved by Saul's own family. One day as David was playing the harp and singing for Saul, Saul quickly grabbed his spear and threw it at David, attempting to kill David. David escaped but was now aware of Saul's hatred toward him.

Years ago we did this story, so we used the same activity this time around. We found long straight sticks to be "spears." We went outside and attempted to throw them javelin style towards targets. Our targets were simply large rocks but you can use anything in the yard.

the point? God protects his people. God doesn't promise everyone will like us. Unchecked jealousy grows like poison in us until we do what we would never expect.

Monday, June 27, 2011

David and Goliath (deeds of David day 7)

We have arrived to the most well known story in David's life. I Samuel 17 tells of David's miraculous defeat over the Philistine giant Goliath. We have done this story before of course so you can check out activities we have done in the past.

Today, we made slingshots. We found sticks that were shaped in a "Y." We tightly wrapped a pony-tail holder across the top two branches of the Y, and attempted to knock an empty cereal box over with a rock on the slingshot. Obviously this was not an ideal slingshot and we are inexperienced operators, so we were only able to knock the box over once or twice. Which shows even more how amazing (and miraculous) it was for David to not only hit Goliath, but to kill him with a stone!

If you have older children I found this game on It is called toppling towers and it looks like a lot of fun.

the point? God's plans always happen. God can do anything!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Servant King (deeds of David day 6)

I Samuel 16:15-23 is a beautiful picture of Christ-like humility. David had already been anointed by Samuel and knew he would be King one day. But he returned to take care of his father's sheep. In the meantime King Saul was having trouble calming down. His servants heard of a man who played amazing, peaceful music. They sent for him to play for King Saul. The harpist was none other than David! David, knowing he would be King, was content to serve King Saul in any form asked of him!

I first asked the kids how they could practice humbly serving. They decided to go find 3 things that their sibling would like around the house. They ended up going into each others rooms and picking up their toys, but they were both pleased with the things they received :) Honestly, I am not sure I even understood, but they did so yah.

Then we took turns serving cups of water to the family (and a few stuffed animals.)

The point: We are never too important to serve one another. Jesus, God himself, came to serve!

David annointed (deeds of David day 5)

1 Samuel 16:1-14 followed up on God's promise to replace Saul as King over Israel. Samuel was sent to the home of Jesse to anoint one of his sons as King. Samuel thought the older, stronger brothers would surely be King, but God tells Samuel "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." God chose David, the youngest in the family, because God could see David's heart for God.

This is another lesson so relevant to our children. The world may value appearance, power, fame, etc. God values what is on the inside of us. Do we desire to follow God, or to have our own way? We did two activities to help get the point across. The outside doesn't always reflect the inside. I first took a needle and sliced a banana through tiny holes along the peel. With only 3 tiny needle pricks, we were able to have the banana cut into 4 pieces. So, when the kids peeled the banana, it was already cut up!

The second activity we did was to play a modified "old maid" game with a regular deck of cards. I took the aces, Kings, Queens, and Jacks out of the deck. I added one joker. Therefore we had pairs for all the numbered cards but not for the joker. We passed out all the cards and each player took out the pairs in their hand. The object of the game was to take turns choosing a card from another players hand (without looking) in an effort to make pairs out of all the cards. However, if you unknowingly draw the joker, you will not be able to make it into a pair. But just as we don't always see the hearts of people, we are not able to see their cards either :)

the point: man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart

Total Obedience (deeds of David day 4)

Wow, I am so sorry for not blogging in so long. We were out of town a couple days and then have been having computer trouble a while now. I have a back-log of Bible Times to be blogged so I will do my best to get them up.

In 1 Samuel 15 we learn of another time that Saul did not obey God. God instructed King Saul to completely destroy King Amalek and everything in his land. God told Israel he would give them the victory, but they must not take anything as spoils. After Israel defeated the enemy, a disappointed Samuel confronted Saul. Saul claimed he did obey, but only kept some of the animals "to sacrifice to God." Samuel relays God's message that because of his disobedience, the throne would someday be taken away from him.

To emphasize the importance of total obedience we played the classic "mother-may-I" game. I gave each kiddo instructions like take three forward hops, skip 2 steps, spin 4 times, etc. They had to ask "mother may I" before they began the action. If they forgot to ask permission, they went back to the beginning. The first person to reach me got to be the "mother" next game.

The point: "To obey is better than sacrifice." God is not impressed with our "bright ideas" to do for him... he is pleased with our total obedience to him.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jonathan fights (deeds of David day 3)

In 1 Samuel 14:1-23 we read a super cool story about God's power. Saul's son Jonathan decided to take his servant with him, and go check out the enemy Philistine camp. I love how Jonathan says in verse 6, "Perhaps the Lord will do a miracle for us. For it makes no difference to him how many enemy troops there are." In the end, God does chose to do a miracle and he makes the Philistine troops run away in terror from Jonathan and his servant. Read the story- it is super cool!

We formed the main characters out of clay, to the best of our ability. Jonathan, the servant, and 5-6 enemies would be sufficient. However, if your kiddos love forming people, they can make as many as they want! We used cups to be the cliffs and acted out the story. Von especially enjoyed smashing the clay during the battle.

The point? It makes no difference to God how many enemy troops there are :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Saul disobeys God (deeds of David day 2)

God chose Saul as King over Israel but Saul proves to be a less than obedient man. We covered 1 Samuel 13:1-16 today. This was the time that Saul was preparing to fight the Philistines. Samuel, God's prophet, had promised he would come offer the prescribed sacrifice to God before the army began their battle. However, Samuel did not arrive at the time Saul expected him. Saul lost patience and offered the sacrifice to God himself. God had instructed Samuel to do it, and Saul to wait. When Samuel arrives and notices Saul's sin, Samuel delivers a message from God. God is not pleased with Saul, and Samuel informs him that he will not be king for long.

For our activity we played Simon Says to emphasize following God's instructions exactly. Then, we talked about having patience. We all have many opportunities during the day to practice patience :) We used the darling puff paint instructions on this simply adorkable blogsite. She has awesome photos and directions so I will refer you to her site. We tried to use the paint to make pictures of our story. Just waiting for everything to be ready and taking turns in making the paint proved a tough exercise on patience.

the point? To obey is better than sacrifice. When we rush ahead instead of waiting on God we get into trouble.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Israel's first King (deeds of David day 1)

We started our study of David, woohoo! To get some background for King David, we began by learning about Israel begging Samuel for a King, to be like all the other nations. The story is found in 1 Samuel 8-10. We learned that God wanted his people to be different, and for him to be their king. However, he granted them their request and chose Saul to be the first King.

For our activity we made crowns out of foil. Then we played a game (Knox didn't really play but enjoyed the foil part.) In a "rock-paper-scissors" style, we counted 1-2-3-go. On "go" each of the three of us either placed their crown on their head or simply in their hands. The object of the game was to be the "different" one. So, if Alyse and I had the crown on our heads, and Von was holding his, Von received the point. We continued this as long as they wanted.

Application: God asks his people to be different. Jesus should be our model in life, not other people. When we do things simply to be like other people, we often stray from God's BEST.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer 2011!

I am so excited to have my kids back (out of school!) This summer I am planning on going through the life of David with the kids. I hope to get a little more detailed than usual, and learn so much more about God and how he interacts with his people. I recently ordered The Action Bible, God's Redemptive Story. It is published by David C. Cook and has 200+ Bible stories all written and illustrated in comic book form. My 8 year old son especially loves this new storybook Bible, and the 5 and 2 year old like it as well. We will be using it a lot to read the stories about King David. I hope you enjoy this time with your kids, and make it count!