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.

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.”

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. 

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. 

“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?

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?

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://i1.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?

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  Philippians 2:3-4

How can twenty sticks of spaghetti, tape, string, and one marshmallow help develop Godly leadership skills?

The Marshmallow Challenge has become a popular game at leadership conferences and team building events. The challenge asks builders to work together in small groups to come up with the tallest freestanding structure. Teams have less than half an hour to complete this task using only the items provided and the whole marshmallow must be on top of the structure.

See, marshmallows aren’t just for kids! This activity has been conducted in business schools, engineering departments, as well as in kindergartens. Can you guess which group tends to perform most successfully?

Business school grads did poorly. They argued and fought over who was in charge. Engineering students spent most of their time planning, talking and then finally building, which didn’t leave them much time for last minute changes when, inevitably, the structure didn’t support the weight of the marshmallow on top.

Kindergarteners excelled in this challenge. They just started building. They didn’t worry about failure. Without any training whatsoever, they created the most unusual structures that did in fact withstand the marshmallow’s weight. We can learn from these young architects.

This week, gather the items if you have them, or feel free to swap out any (except the large marshmallow of course). I’ve used straws instead of spaghetti, and left out the string- It’s all about creativity.

This Marshmallow Madness is all about God’s backwards leadership model. In Matthew 20:26 Jesus challenges us that “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant”.   Those who want to grow in leadership should practice serving others and putting themselves last. Stay in one group or break into 2, but the youngest will be in charge. The others can have ideas or requests, but the youngest will be first in this activity, and will accept or deny the suggestions of the other members of the family.  Remember, the kindergarteners achieved the highest success in the challenge across North America. If leaders in business and engineering can humble themselves to learn from five year olds, we should too. Let’s regard those God has put in our families as higher than ourselves and practice serving others as Jesus commands.

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?

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”  Hebrews 13:5

There is a difference between needs and wants.  Gather around a table, and place a few carrots, cucumbers or other healthy snacks in front of each family member.  In the center of the table, place a platter of marshmallows.  Ask what life would be like without marshmallows. Then ask what life would be like without vegetables.  Ask everyone to take a bite of their healthy snack then discuss and then a marshmallow:  What is the difference between vegetables and marshmallows? (Veggies don’t taste as good; vegetables are a need, marshmallows are wants.) If you had to choose between unlimited veggies for a week, or only 10 marshmallows, which would you choose?  Share:  We can survive without marshmallows because our bodies don’t need them to keep us alive.  But if we didn’t have vitamins from healthy food we wouldn’t feel well at all.  This is the difference between needs and wants.  Have each person draw a picture of things they touch or use in a typical day (beds, clothes, food, toys, books, etc.)  Circle the ones that are needs.  Remember to explain that what some people consider to be a “need” could be considered a luxury to someone in a different socioeconomic situation. (Example: pillow, variety in food, snacks, warm baths, etc.) Discuss:  If you had a limited amount of money to spend, and you owned nothing, which things on your list would you buy first? (A bed, house, clothing.)  What does this tell us about the way we spend our money? (Most is spent on “wants”; we really don’t have many things we have to buy.)  Share:  A wise spender doesn’t use all of his money for “wants” or luxuries before taking care of the needs.  To be wise spenders, we must first take care of the things that are most important, and then we can think about buying some of the things that are “wants.”  Close in prayer thanking God for His provision in providing for the family and taking care of our needs, and asking for wisdom in using money the best way possible to live a life glorifying to Him.

{This weekly activity was adapted from an excellent free resource called Heritage Builders. They provide free bulletin inserts each month to encourage parents to make family time a priority. Check ’em out!}

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?