Archive - September, 2014

Taming the Covet Monster + Free Family Devotional

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Lately, I’ve half-jokingly pondered writing a children’s book on coveting…specifically as I have watched my 3-year-old grandson. His parents are hard at work trying to battle the “covet monster” in him. But in thinking about writing a book for this little covet monster, I would have to admit that his grandma has the same problem—surprise, surprise!

Good news! You don’t have to wait for an imaginary, not-yet-written book. Here is a free family devotional on the subject by Sally Michael based on her curriculum The Righteous Shall Live By Faith. The devotional includes the following elements: (more…)

Wanted: Senior Saints for Our Children

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I love seeing gray-haired saints ministering in our nurseries and classrooms! (Especially now that I am quickly becoming one of them.) Personally, my family has been, and continues to be, greatly ministered to by mature older believers. This should be the norm in our churches. Consider these statements from Pastor Clint Archer in his new book, The Home Team: God’s Game Plan for the Family:

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Oh no, a child is BORED!

ID-10063144This article by  Geoff Thomas had me laughing and then…really thinking. While you may not agree completely with his perspective (I sure didn’t), there is still a lot to consider is his short article. Here is how he begins:

 An elder preceded the minister into the pulpit and then came to the front and addressed the congregation. “Last week…a child was bored in the service.” A gasp went through the congregation. Men looked at their feet, women cried quietly, and children went white. “The church officers are meeting with the minister during the week and will announce our conclusions next Sunday. In the meantime we want to apologise to that child and his parents and all the other children,” the elder concluded before leaving the pulpit. The ashen-faced preacher came to the pulpit, and in a trembling voice began the service…

(“A Child Was Bored in the Service” www.banneroftruth.org)

Read the whole article here.

(Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

Bible Lesson “Dates” – An Update

 

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Back in July, I posted about my daughter’s endeavor to schedule not only play dates for her children but also Bible lesson dates. Here is an update from her about how things are going. Hopefully, it will serve as an encouragement for other moms to give this idea a try.

If you were to sit and observe us, you would see two mothers juggling babies and doing their best to get two very active toddlers to listen to Bible stories and remember important themes. After 15 years of Sunday school classroom experience, being mommy-as-teacher has proven to be my hardest role yet. The first week of our Bible school, all went well, because all was new. The second week—during the story of the Fall—unruly students were given a prolonged definition of sin using real life illustrations and Ephesians 6:1. Our two wigglers calmed down in the third week, but only after Cain murdered Abel. In the end, we have resorted to promising cookies after the lesson in exchange for listening ears. So far, it has worked.

After the story, we sing a few children’s praise songs using the drums, bells, and shakers we have at home. Then we go to the dining room table to color the workbook page and repeat and apply the lesson story and themes. A week’s worth of preparation comes down to 30 minutes of intensive teaching and discussion. Sometimes it’s tempting to wonder if the result is worth the effort.

But then consider this: After a hard lesson on Cain and Abel, I took David and Elizabeth for a walk to the local gas station for ice cream. While we admired cars and trucks along the way, I started asking David questions about the Bible story. To my surprise, he was able to correctly identify both brothers and what they did. From there, we were able to talk about sin, loving God, and the consequences of both. It wasn’t in-depth by any means, but it was the basic things that a three-year-old heart in the throes of rebellion needed to hear and understand.

Bringing the curriculum home has helped us to grow as parents and believers in at least four ways:

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Be Careful of the “We” Word

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Have you ever said or heard these kinds of phrases in the classroom…?

 We believe that God sent Jesus into the world to save us.

We trust Jesus, and He has forgiven us for all our sins.

We love Jesus and want to do what He commands.

When we die, we will go to heaven and live with Jesus forever.

 True statements, correct? Well, each statement is true for those who have come to true saving faith. But in most classrooms, it is highly likely that there are also unbelieving children and youth present. So using the term “we” may be inappropriate and even dangerous. “We” may serve to communicate a false sense of assurance to unbelieving students. Therefore, be careful in using inclusive language in the classroom. By being careful about the way in which we say the above statements we not only affirm and encourage true believers in our classrooms, but we also challenge those who haven’t yet come to saving faith. For example, a teacher could say… (more…)

Help, I’m a Substitute!

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As wonderful as it would be to have the same consistent Sunday school teachers and small group leaders every week, we all know there are times when substitutes are necessary. Most of the time, an absence from the classroom is planned well in advance, and adequate arrangements can be made to prepare a substitute. Other times, however, a last-minute need arises, and there is little time to prep the substitute. In either situation, we have found that providing substitutes with a “quick guide” to the classroom schedule, curriculum, lesson, etc. is a valuable resource. That is why all of our newly revised curricula contain a 2-page “Quick Guide for Substitute Teachers and Small Group Leaders” in the appendix section. Here is the quick guide for Jesus, What a Savior, but you can adapt this format for your own classroom setting and curriculum choice.

(Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

 

 

Will Our Children Know and Treasure the Great Hymns of Faith?

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It is amazing to me how many times—especially in life’s most difficult situations—the words of great hymns come to mind to guide my thoughts and emotions.

…though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet…Jesus who died shall be satisfied, And earth and heaven be one. (This is My Father’s World)

 …The prince of darkness grim, We tremble not for him—His rage we can endure, For lo his doom is sure: One little word shall fell him. (A Mighty Fortress)

 …Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love: Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above. (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

 …Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face. (God Moves in a Mysterious Way)

Great hymns are those that communicate the excellencies of the triune God and sound doctrine, encourage a right heart response, and do so in an appealing and enduring musical form. From childhood, these hymns were graven in my mind and, after Christ brought me to saving faith, these hymns became graven in my heart. Will this be true for our children, too? (more…)

Are They Really Worshipping God?

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As much as I delight in watching a roomful of 6- and 7-years olds jubilantly singing songs of praise to God in the classroom, I am reminded of these important words from worship leader and song writer Bob Kauflin:

“Worshipping God” means different things at different ages. Younger children, who may not know God yet, may still participate enthusiastically in various external forms of worshipping God. However, we want their worship to be from the heart, and not simply a matter of conforming. They need a clear knowledge of who God is and what He has done. That includes His nature, His attributes, and His works, especially our redemption through Christ. As the Holy Spirit enables them, they will become increasingly aware of their sinfulness before God, accept His gracious gift of forgiveness through the Gospel, and be included among those who will forever be growing in their love for and worship of God. In the mean time, our job is to help them be “dazzled” by the glory of Jesus Christ (quoting Paul Tripp). For one thing that means using more songs that tell us about God than how we feel about Him.

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Join Children Desiring God at IMPACT: Chicago

Children Desiring God Blog //  IMPACT: Chicago Conference

Join Children Desiring God at the IMPACT: The Next Generation conference to be encouraged and equipped for training the next generation.

Three plenary sessions will explore the biblical foundations for discipleship of children and youth and present a vision for God-centered worship, biblical literacy and encouraging faith in the next generation. Then, select two of our nine interactive seminars to learn practical skills for your specific role at home or in the classroom.

Conference Details

Friday, November 7 from 7–9pm  (Registration opens at 6pm)
Saturday, November 8 from 8:30am–4pm

Wheaton Evangelical Free Church
520 East Roosevelt Road, Wheaton, IL 60187

Register Online

Early Bird Registration: Individuals–$50 or Couples–$75 (Register by October 15 for special pricing)

Standard Registration Rate: Individuals–$60 or Couples–$85

 

Questions? Contact Betty

 

 

Now available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together AppAs Sunday School is starting this fall, Children Desiring God is excited to offer a new resource to help parents and churches partner together and extend learned beyond the classroom. Our new Growing in Faith Together App is now available for both iPhone and Android!

Growing in Faith Together: Parent and Child Resource Pages (GIFT Pages) have been created to help parents interact with their children about the spiritual truths taught in Sunday school. (In our original curriculum, these have been known as Parent Pages or Take-Home Pages.) These GIFT Pages, which correlate with our elementary curriculum, provide parents a summary of what children are taught in class, discussions questions to help lead children to a heart response and an activity suggestion to reinforce the lesson themes or memory verse.

The GIFT App is a great tool for weekly discussions at home or on the go and keeping your children caught up if they are sick or traveling and miss Sunday School. GIFT Pages can also be used as a discipleship or devotional tool for parents even if their children are not currently studying a Children Desiring God curriculum.

 


 

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together AppWhere can I download the Growing in Faith Together App?

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

Children Desiring God Blog  //  Now Available for Android & iPhone: The Growing in Faith Together App

 

 

 

What curricula are available on the Growing in Faith Together App?

The GIFT app currently includes our three revised curricula:

We will be adding additional titles as our revised curriculum is released.


Growing in Faith Together App Features

Lesson Overview

GIFT Pages start by providing the Main Ideas of the lesson, a Memory Verse for the week, Scripture the lesson is based on, a Summary of the lesson and Prayer Points. These resources help parents know what was taught in Sunday School and review the themes with their children. Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

Discussion and Action

The As You Walk by the Way section provides discussion questions to help you  interact with your child about the truths learned in class and study them at a deeper level. The Action Step challenges children to act on the truths they learned in the lesson.

Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

Curriculum Specific Activities

Each curriculum features a special activity for children to do or for families to do together. Activities include Scripture memory, journaling suggestions, real-life stories and more. Finally, the interactive Share Ideas and Get Ideas function allows parents to submit their ideas and suggestions related to the lesson with other parents.

Children Desiring God Blog // New from CDG: Growing in Faith Together App

The GIFT App is a free viewer. Please enjoy reading the curriculum overviews and GIFT Page samples for Lesson 1 of each study. Complete studies include 40 GIFT Pages and are available as an in-app purchase of $1.99 for each study.

 

 

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