Marshmallow Madness: Trail Mix

The Lord your God has directed me to teach you his commands, rules and laws. Obey them in the land you will take over when you go across the Jordan River. Then you, your children and their children after them will honor the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I’m giving you. If you do, you will enjoy long life. Israel, listen to me. Make sure you obey me. Then things will go well with you. The number of your people will increase greatly in a land that has plenty of milk and honey. That’s what the Lord, the God of your parents, promised you. Deuteronomy 6:1-3

Make up some trail mix with the kiddos, letting them mix the ingredients or even choose a few of them. Some suggestions are mini marshmallows, banana chips, raisins, nuts of any kind, chocolate chips or carob chips, candy pieces, dried fruit, yogurt chips, popcorn, pretzels, cereal or whatever else you can imagine. Pack the mix into small baggies and store extras in the fridge.

trail

The bible is not a bag of trail mix, you can’t just pick out the pieces you like and ignore the rest! But in order to fully understand that we have to know what our Bible says.

Read the beginning of Deuteronomy together and challenge the kids to retell the first verses in their own words. Do they want to live a long happy life? Of course! Do they want their children’s children to honour God? YES!

Then we need to obey the rules and commands in the Bible, not just the ones we learn in Sunday School. We need to study them for ourselves. Ask the children how they would like to learn the Bible themselves, whether it’s in a group setting or privately, by listening to an audio Bible, reading aloud, or reading quietly. And then help them achieve that goal. They’ll have days they don’t feel like it, but they will thank you for installing that discipline, really they will, one day.

Marshmallow Madness: Spring Flowers

He waters the furrows with abundant rain. Showers soften the earth, melting the clods and causing seeds to sprout across the land.  Then he crowns it all with green, lush pastures in the wilderness; hillsides blossom with joy.”

Psalm 65

1-2 O God in Zion, we wait before you in silent praise, and thus fulfill our vow. And because you answer prayer, all mankind will come to you with their requests. Though sins fill our hearts, you forgive them all. How greatly to be envied are those you have chosen to come and live with you within the holy tabernacle courts! What joys await us among all the good things there. With dread deeds and awesome power you will defend us from our enemies,[a] O God who saves us. You are the only hope of all mankind throughout the world and far away upon the sea.

He formed the mountains by his mighty strength. He quiets the raging oceans and all the world’s clamor. In the farthest corners of the earth the glorious acts of God shall startle everyone. The dawn and sunset shout for joy! He waters the earth to make it fertile. The rivers of God will not run dry! He prepares the earth for his people and sends them rich harvests of grain. 10 He waters the furrows with abundant rain. Showers soften the earth, melting the clods and causing seeds to sprout across the land. 11-12 Then he crowns it all with green, lush pastures in the wilderness; hillsides blossom with joy. 13 The pastures are filled with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. All the world shouts with joy and sings.

This psalm speaks of new life, of creation, of spring. There is a feeling of overcoming in this psalm of David, as if he has been through a hard time previously. Sometimes seasons are more than a time of year. Tell kids about a hard winter in your life (waiting for a long time for something, a time when your prayers didn’t seem to get answered), and a new spring. (like maybe when you had children- or started your career- or went to high school). Just like cycles in nature, there are many seasons of life. As David teaches us in this psalm, we need to keep praying, trusting, and believing that God will bring us through! As spring is blooming all around us, it would be fun to try and make marshmallow flowers- the kind you see on fancy cupcakes. While we aren’t baking for this devotional, if you had some cupcakes bought or made ahead of time it would definitely be a bonus.  

20150518_161943_resized_2Supplies are large and small marshmallow, sugar and some kind of food coloring. Drop some coloring into a small bowl of sugar and mix to create colored sugars. Though most of us have some food coloring in the back of the baking shelf, if you’re desperate for color try juice or melt a colorful hard candy in the microwave and add it to the sugar. Once you have the suger just give the kids some marshmallows, a knife or scissors, and a plate each. The sugar will stick to only the sticky “cut” face of the marshmallow.

1) Cut a large marshmallow in half to make a large sticky circle.
2) Cut mini-marshmallow lengthwise DIAGONALLY to create petals.
Press the petals sticky side into the sugar.
3) Place the petal color side up onto the round sticky large marshmallow.
This is what the petals will stick to. Alternatively, if you have any icing they will stick to that as well.20150518_163108_resized_1

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. 

Marshmallow Madness: Chocolate Milk

John 14:26  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Family Time Training is sharing their post with us this week. If you like this teaching tool,  check out their unlimited access to 280 family devotionals for only $6 per month www.famtime.com

You need 3 clear glasses, milk, a large heart cut out of cardboard, chocolate syrup and two spoons.Place three glasses on the table. You say the words in bold. These glasses each represent a different type of person. Pour cold milk in each glass so it is 3/4 full.The milk represents the choices we make in life like attitudes, thoughts,and actions.Put the cardboard heart over one of the glasses. The opening of the glass represents the person’s heart. We have three glasses, one represents a closed or hard heart and two are open. Jesus is the bottle of chocolate syrup. He is not welcome in the life of the person with a hard heart. Since the other two people have open hearts, Jesus can come in. Pour in the chocolate syrup so that there is a visible layer of chocolate on the bottom of the glass. These two people have Jesus in their lives. When we have Jesus we also have the Holy Spirit represented by this spoon. Place a spoon in each of the two glasses. Stir the spoon in one of the glasses and point out how the color of the milk changes. The stirring represents the Holy Spirit being active in a person’s life: listening to what the Spirit says and doing it. This person’s life looks different. People can tell by the choices that he makes that he is a believer. Do not stir the spoon in the other glass.This represents the person who believes in Jesus, has the Holy Spirit in his life but does not listen to the Spirit or do what the Spirit says. The attitudes, thoughts, and actions (milk) looks alot like  the non-Christian. It’s hard to see the difference. This might be a “Sunday Only” Christian.

The three glasses represent the three types of people in this world. The non-Christian who has a closed heart, the Christian who goes to church but doesn’t let God influence his life, and the Christian who is actively listening to the Holy Spirit. As a Christian have you got milk? Or have you got chocolate milk? Allow children to drink the milk and chocolate milk as you complete this lesson.

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”

John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

Love Chapter

This week our lesson pertains to Mother’s Day, which is just around the corner. I can’t imagine a more fitting gift for a mom than having her children praying for her- What a blessing! She’ll love it!

The New International Readers Version translates 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 as this:
Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up. Love never fails.
Ask the children to create a scene out of mini-marshmallows, or better yet, have them make the words 1 Corinthians 13 out of marshmallows to help the remember where the “love chapter” is.
Lead the kids to read or write out the verse, this time inserting their mom every time the scripture says “Love”. Mom is patient. Mom is kind. Mom does not want what belongs to others. Mom does not brag. Mom is not proud. Mom is not rude. Mom does not look out for her own interests. Mom does not easily become angry. Mom does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Mom is not happy with evil. But she is full of joy when the truth is spoken. Mom always protects, always trusts, always hopes. Mom never gives. Mom never fails. Pray these scriptures over mom often; she’ll be encouraged this Mother’s Day. Bless you as you minister .

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. 

Search for Wisdom

Proverbs 2: 1-11

My son, accept my words.
    Store up my commands inside you.
Let your ears listen to wisdom.
    Apply your heart to understanding.
Call out for the ability to be wise.
    Cry out for understanding.
Look for it as you would look for silver.
    Search for it as you would search for hidden treasure.
THEN you will understand how to have respect for the Lord.
    You will find out how to know God.
The Lord gives wisdom.
    Knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.
He stores up success for honest people.
    He is like a shield to those who live without blame.
He guards the path of those who are honest.
    He watches over the way of his faithful ones.

You will understand what is right and honest and fair.
    You will understand the right way to live.
10 Your heart will become wise.
    Your mind will delight in knowledge.
11 Good sense will keep you safe.
    Understanding will guard you.   ~Proverbs 2: 1-11

Welcome back friends! This week we are going to look for treasures. Proverbs 2 is a powerful chapter to encourage us all towards Godly living. It teaches us stick-in-the-mud adults how to trust God and to discern the best solutions to life’s inescapable dilemmas. Our children are no different. They’re making decisions about who they want to be around, who they want to be, and they need wisdom and understanding to stay out of the mud themselves. (Figuratively and sometimes literally!)

Take 2 large marshmallows and write WISDOM on one, and UNDERSTANDING on the other. Once you’ve read the scripture together, discuss what these two words mean to you and have the kids give their own definitions. Notice that we are told to search for wisdom and understanding. Imagine if we knew there was buried treasure in our yard. We wouldn’t quit until we found it.  We need to have that same determination to make time to be wise. Pay attention to all the good things that come after wisdom and understanding (in verse 5). Success. Protection. How to choose the right paths. How to delight in knowledge.

Have the kids hide their eyes and count while you hide the marshmallows. When ready, release the children to run around the house searching. There is nothing better that hearing a child, breathless with excitement, shout out “I found it! I found WISDOM!”

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. 

Marshmallow Madness: Let It Go

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 (Message)

Just let it go. We need to let go of our anger. Of course, in this translation Jesus didn’t specifically mean brothers or sisters only, but this could be a good scripture to reinforce the importance of siblings getting along!   Often we get angry because we think something isn’t fair, we don’t get what we want, or what we think we deserve. Just let it go. Would you rather be right, or wise? “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11  It’s difficult to form the habit of letting go of anger, but it is possible. In fact, with practice it becomes easier and easier.

Start letting go today, by unleashing marshmallows with your own homemade launcher. https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZvp6s1mfeO1GLQfT2K1B7EkxBYGPHAvOjUZfF5W9MkNsoZqBeRg

Just cut the bottom out of a paper or plastic cup. Also cut the knot from an already blown up balloon, leaving enough balloon to pull it over the bottom. Depending on the size of the paper or plastic cup, you may need to tape the balloon on if it slips off. Now just throw in a marshmallow, pull the knot and….. Release! This is a super fun way to practice letting go, and make sure to challenge the kids to practice letting go of anger too. Pray together that we would trust God to give us what we need, and not try and fight for it. If we all can focus on loving our neighbours more than ourselves, I promise God will take care of the rest.

God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Sticky Friends

He who walks with wise men will be wise. But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20

Play with your marshmallows, any size. Kids can do whatever they like with them, but eventually they are going to get quite sticky. Great! This week we’re praying for wisdom to choose good friends, and the more sticky their fingers are the better.

In Proverbs 13 (above) we are warned to choose to be around wise people. Ask the kids who would be wise choices for friends? Do they honor God? Are they obedient? Do they lie? How do you feel when you are around them?  Friends are like sticky marshmallows, the more we’re around them the more they stick to us, and we stick to them.  We should try to to spend time with people we want to be like. Make plans to visit with them soon.

Likewise, if we hang around with people who aren’t wise, they will also stick onto us, and that can be difficult to get off. Sometimes good people change and become fools because of their choices. Ask the children if they can think of any examples where good or bad behavior has stuck to them after being around someone. Picking up bad words or jokes are common, as is sarcasm or a disrespect for authority. On the positive side, perhaps kindness, patience or generosity has stuck to your kids from someone else. Nobody is perfect, or course, and everybody has issues they’re working on, but overall negative patterns suggest a strong friendship is maybe not a good idea right now.

Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals. 1 Corinthians 15:33

We need to be careful who we invite into our lives.

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Marshmallow Madness: Resurrection Rolls

Mark 16:1-8
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ “

He Is Risen!

Image result for he is risen easter rolls

Bake some easter buns with the kids- just take a package of store bought refrigerated dough (large buns work best) and follow the directions to roll them into buns- but wrap a marshmallow into the center of each one. Bake them as usual, and as they cook the marshmallow will melt into the dough and give the bun a slightly sweet taste, but most important- there will be a hole in the middle where the marshmallow was. This is the empty tomb.

While waiting for the buns to cook read the scripture together and reflect on how it would have felt if you were one of those people to go to the tomb and find it empty. Would you be afraid if you saw an angel? Would you be nervous if a grave was empty? If children want, you could even act out the scene. Once the buns are ready to eat, enjoy some sweet goodness and thank God that Jesus rose from the dead to save us all! Romans 5:8: But God demonstrated His love for us: that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die but will have eternal life.

Let’s live out our gratefulness and share the good news! He Has Risen!

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Marshmallow Madness: Molecules

Jesus said to her (the women at the well), ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’    John4:13-14

This week we’ll investigate the elements. Introduce children to the Periodic Table of Elements- as far as we know, everything on earth was created from one or more of these items. Like building with Lego or Minecraft, everything is made up of combinations of these elements.

https://i0.wp.com/i.livescience.com/images/i/000/034/144/i02/periodic-table-elements-121206c.jpg

God is so amazing! He created everything we know with just these same building blocks. Create some molecules (combinations of elements) with toothpicks and marshmallows.

20150323_214345_resizedWater:  H2O   -2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen  

Carbon Dioxide: CO2   -1 Carbon and 2 Oxygen

 

Methane: CH4   -1 Carbon and 4 Hydrogen20150323_214439_resized

For an extra challenge- here is a picture of a sugar molecule found in space, along with our own representation:

20150323_214411_resized

Drawing of the sugar molecule found in space.

 

 

It’s inspiring to consider God’s creativity. From water, to sugar in space, He has not only created the building blocks of our universe, but also offers living water that gives us assurance of eternal life, and supernatural strength to fulfill our God given destiny.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”  Revelation 4:11
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Marshmallow Madness: Homemade Honey Marshmallows

Did Jesus eat honey?

Honey was the sweetener of the day when Jesus walked the earth, and He would’ve eaten it often. I’ve wanted to make my own marshmallows for some time, and now that I’ve found a recipe for a healthy version made with honey (only 4 simple ingredients and twenty minutes!) it seems appropriate to focus on honey marshmallows this week. The recipe only takes 5 minutes to prepare, but then it needs to set for about 20, so while you’re waiting, quiz the family on these honey verses to see how sweet their scriptures skills are:
Ask them to guess the answer, and then look it up to see who’s the fastest:
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Who is this verse talking about? (Psalms 119:10)
Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man as a present, a little balm and a little honey, aromatic gum and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds. Who’s the man that is receiving the gift? (Genesis 43:11)

I was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around my waist, and my diet was locusts and wild honey. Who am I? (Mark 1:6)
When he turned aside to look at the carcass of the lion; a swarm of bees and honey were in the body of the lion. Who is he? (Judges 14:8)
So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey. Who am I? and What land is this? (Exodus 3:8)
The house of Israel named it _____, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey. What is it? (Exodus 16:31)

Enjoy the marshmallows!  The only ingredients are Knox gelatin, honey, salt, and vanilla. Here are the links to two healthy recipe’s at UrbanPoser and WellnessMama.

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?
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