Sunday, July 18, 2010

"God" Week 2

So, it's time for Week 2 of the God series!!! If you want a recap of the series, please go back and read the previous post. :)

The second lesson is built on the second part of the song "It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves."

We're starting with a review from the week before. If they can answer questions, I will give them candy. Shameless, I know. :) I don't reward them with candy all the time, but it does happen. :)

After that, the main points of our lesson will be as follows:
-God made each of us.
-When something is made, the person who makes it has a purpose in mind for it. It's not up to the lightbulb to decide what to do!
-We're like that. God had a purpose in mind when He made us. Jeremiah 18 :1 -5
-If we choose not to follow God's path for us, we won't be happy. We'll have lots of trouble. Story of Jonah
-When God makes us, He puts everything in us that we need to do what He called us to do.
-What has God made you for?
-What are you called to be?
-What has He put in you?

Then we're going to do self-portraits surrounded by words we have from God about our destinies, talents He's given us, etc.

We'll then focus on learning our Scripture and play a game with it. (Edited to add, we did not have time to get to the Scripture and game. Everything else went well!)

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Series "God" Week 1

Last Sunday, in children's ministry, we started a new series. Sometimes, we do individual lessons but other times I tie lessons together into a series or theme. We've been doing exclusively individual lessons for a couple months or more, but I decided it was time to do a series.

This series is based on the song "GOD" by Eddie James. It's a great song, and covers so much about God that I think will be really beneficial to the kids to learn. And, given that it is to a song, it will be easier for them to remember.

You can see a video of the song here or order the CD of the album the song is on here.

The first part of the song says "God, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God. The same was in the beginning. With God all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made." This was our week 1 focus.

After snack and prayer, we played the song a couple of times, danced around to it, and then listed different things we remember from the song. The words go SO fast that this is easier said than done. So it was a low pressure way to get them involved. I told them there was no chance they'd remember all of them because there are soooo many!

We then read the Scripture associated with the first part of the song - John 1:1-4. We went through it a couple of times, but did not attempt to actually memorize it. (We would have done so later, but church was out earlier and we had a change of plans DURING the lesson.)

We talked about how God wasn't made by anyone or anything. He just is who He always was. Then we read Genesis 1 about how God made things. At this point, I had planned on having them do an art project to remind them of creation and then we were going to do the Scripture game. But in an impromptu moment, I felt we were to emphasize that God created everything with just His word. We're made in His image, and our words have power too. So we're to watch what we say! And then we each said positive things over each other. Then church was over and the lesson was unfinished, but the points were definitely gotten across. :)

Week 2 will be "It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweetness

Kids can be so sweet. I know last post was about the high and the low I experienced last week... :) But last night, another sweet moment.

It was my one week off a month from children's ministry. After service, one of my girls (8 years old) came up to me and said "You'll be with us next week, right?" And I said "Yes, sweetie. This was the one week this month I'm off. I'll be back next week." She said "But that one time, you took two weeks off! So, don't get sick this time." (She was referring to when I had bronchitis/sinus infection/possible pneumonia and had to miss two weeks.)

It was sweet. She's a cutie. I think I missed them just as much as they missed me. Probably more. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maintaining Balance!

Maintaining balance is key. Can't think too highly of yourself or too lowly of yourself. Luckily, the children's department is perfect for this at my new church.....



When the children are being signed in for service, one of my 5 year olds is wearing a teenage mutant ninja costume. His mom tells me "He wanted to wear it in hopes of impressing you, Miss Deanna." High point.



Later on, a child whose parents chose not to make him go to children's ministry at the beginning of the service brought him down halfway through - crying. Why, you might ask? He was misbehaving. So his punishment was having to go to children's ministry. Low point.



Yes, life is so often about balance.....

Monday, March 29, 2010

I may start selling children.....

No, that would be wrong.

However, I don't understand why parents do not get the concept of "pick up your children after service." It's really not complex. It's a simple concept. I know you want to socialize after service, but so do I. And, I have by that point had your children for 3 or more hours.

I think some of the parents are clueless enough that if I didn't listen for service to be over (since clearly going downstairs is too much to ask), bring the children to them, insist on them signing them out, some of the parents would not realize their little darlings weren't with them and would leave without them.

Sigh.

Next week is my Sunday off. I can't say I'm not looking forward to it. I love the kids, but....... their parents are driving me bananas!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I want it to mean something.....

I want my life to mean something. I mean, I really want it to mean something. I want to see my generation and the generation coming after us to be transformed, radically changed, whole-heartedly, passionately serving the only true God. I don't want to live a life of compromise. I don't want to go from what feels good at each moment to what feels good the next moment. Nothing feels as good as His presence. Nothing feels as good as being in the center of His will.

There are so many things pulling at our attention. Many of these, people would say are not bad things. Things like movies, tv shows, etc. are not necessarily bad, though I do say I have a very high standard for what I will watch. I'm not going to pay to watch people take the name of the One who died for me in vain. Some might call it legalism - I call it trying to live a life that is holy. "Holy" is to be different, set-apart. Even if I'm not sure if I should be watching something, I'd rather not watch it than watch it only to realize later that it was a mistake. I'd rather err on the side of caution.

When I die, what do I want my accomplishments to be? Do I want my tombstone to read "She could quote Grey's Anatomy and saw lots of great movies?" No. I'd rather walk away from it all and just burn for Him.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Valuing the Children

Last night, I attempted to watch the movie "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." I couldn't make it through the whole thing because the beginning was far too slow. I kept waiting for some action to happen. I did, however, watch the end of the movie. So I watched the first 20 minutes and the last 15 minutes. Not bad. To summarize for those who haven't seen it, a commander in the German army gets a new post during World War II, and despite the objections of many in his close family (and a warning from his mother), he takes the job of overseeing a Nazi death camp. His wife thinks for much of the movie that it is a work camp. Predictably, their son makes friends with a young Jewish boy through the fence. One thing leads to another, and their son ends up dying along with the Jewish boy in a gas chamber. It was horrific - even without watching the majority of the movie and getting attached to the characters, there were tears.

When the parents find out their son was killed, they grieve deeply. They did love their son, but they did not love him enough to remove him from harm's way. All I kept thinking while I watched the end and for a while afterwards was the dad fulfilled his ambition, but at what cost? The cost of his son's life.

It made me think of the Bible story from I Kings 16:34. In this story, Hiel rebuilt the city of Jericho despite the warning that whoever rebuilt it would do so at the cost of his firstborn son and his youngest son. I've read/heard different commentaries that this was actually a child sacrifice ritual and not just that he was cursed for the rebuilding and this happened, but I'm not sure how true that is. Either way, it doesn't matter for this post.

No ambition fulfilled, no great legacy, etc. is worth it if it costs us the very children that God has given us to raise up. In my case, I don't have natural children, but there are those children who I minister to regularly. I believe God has given them to me, not to replace their parents in ANY way, but to help raise them up to what He has called them to be. I have a responsibility for them. And nothing, no dream, no desire, is worth compromising their lives.

It doesn't have to be as extreme as death in the first two examples. But I don't want to ever place value on my ambition, my reputation, anything at the expense of these little ones. At times, their spiritual lives could very well be at stake if not their natural lives.

So, to any parents, ministers, etc. reading this, please realize that the little ones are always watching. More importantly, God is watching. There is nothing more important than preserving the lives God has entrusted to you.

Luke 17:1-2 says "Jesus said to his disciples: 'Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.'"