Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Enormous Fruit from the Land of Canaan

This is the finished product.

Close up

This is how I started. I cut a piece of cardboard in the shape of a grape cluster and taped balloons to each side. I also taped a pole across the top so that it could be carried. Added greenery tissue paper and voila! Giant Grapes!

We left our 'camp' (classroom), climbed up the 'mountain' (stairway to the prayer room/stage area), spied out the high walled 'city' (Sanctuary), saw the 'giants' of the land (grownups), entered a 'garden' (my office) and found these grapes. We 'secretly' carried them back to the 'camp' and proceeded to 'share' each grape. Some of them 'popped'.

We need nourishment after all of the excitement, so we had real grapes, juice and goldfish to finish off the class. What a blast!

Oh and to begin with we made spyglasses out of cardboard rolls from Christmas wrapping. Simple but they loved it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Spirit

I read this in a devotional on Wednesday and I thought, 'how true!'.

"Understand this: If you cannot experience the spirit in the work you are doing today, then you cannot experience the spirit today at all."

I love my job! No. That's not quite the whole truth.  

I love living in the Spirit...through my job, my ministries, my life.

I love it when I feel the impression on my heart to search for something, maybe white doves for the Christmas tree at church. Going to the Thrifty Shopper and finding a bag of 60 white doves!

Is that being led by the Spirit? I believe so.

I believe that's the way it works. 

I don't know how many times that I end up going shopping or being somewhere and there is someone that I know. Maybe I haven't seen them for a long time but it's so important for me to talk to them.

I don't necessarily talk to them about Jesus but I know it's vital that I speak to them. Maybe they just need to be recognized or encouraged. 

But I know that I am blessed.

I'll never know who I would have seen if I had gone to a different store but I believe that God wanted me to be there.  If I hadn't followed the Spirit of God, would I have listened to Him at all?

I may never know what it meant to that other person but I do know that it meant something to me.

How beautiful are the ways of the Lord!

A bag of 60 white doves for the Christmas tree!  Who would have thought! My pastor certainly didn't believe that I would ever find them. "Where in the world will you find that many white doves?" The Thrifty Shopper!

The LORD! It's always the LORD!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Manna In the Desert

Some things just don't work out.

Maybe it's because we often try to replicate something that only God can make.

I tried to make manna. Thinking that it would be a perfect visual for last Sunday's class, I researched the web for recipes.

There were many.

The only one that came close called for buckwheat groats and honey. Sure...not a problem.

Only healthfood stores sell groats.

I soaked the groats, as the recipe called for it, but I don't think they needed to be soaked that long. Mixed in the honey and spread it in the pan.

Now, the recipe said I'd get a 'granola' type texture after baking at 170 degrees for 3 hours.

Nope. Not even close. I got a soft layer that I cut into squares.

If that's the way manna tasted, no wonder that the Israelites made it into breads and cakes. It tasted sweet but kind of bland.

During the lesson I showed it to the children. Only two were brave enough to nibble it, but there was immediate rejection. That called for real snacks of juice and Goldfish crackers.

Sometimes you win...sometimes you lose.

At least it got their attention.

This week...'spies' will be sent out into the 'land of Canaan' to search for the milk and honey that God promised. They will definitely find the 'giants' and probably find the over-large bunch of 'grapes' on a pole in my office to carry back to the 'camp'.

Pics next week!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Idol in the Desert

Our lesson on Sunday was the next episode of the the Ten Commandments.

When Moses had climbed Mount Sinai to receive the rules from God, he was gone for forty days and forty nights. The Israelites started grumbling and fearing that Moses was dead. They wanted a god like the ones they had in Egypt and asked Aaron to make them one. So he asked them to take off all their gold earrings, melted them down in the fire and fashioned a gold calf for them to worship.

First, we used playdoh and each made an animal. Then, I asked them if that animal could be a 'god' that would love and provide for us. Of course, then disagreed understanding that it was just something we had made with our hands.

I needed a prop to bring the lesson to life, so I happened to be at the Christmas Tree Shop and found this ceramic milk pitcher for $1.99. After I put masking tape over the fill hole, a friend of mine painted it golden with some ornament paint she used at Christmastime.

It turned out quite well, don't you think?

I had the children put on gold beads while I built the story up to the part of Aaron asking for their jewelry. I had a black bucket with the calf in the bottom and had them put their necklaces in the bucket without letting them see the calf. (I should have added flames to the outside of the bucket. That would have enhanced the lesson)

Then I 'stirred' them in the fire and when I brought out the calf, their eyes widened in amazement.

Somethin' Fishy

Well, here's the 'building character' board I'm using for the next two months.

I purchased some 8 X 10 glitter self-sticking foam and cut them into fish bowls and stuck them on my bulletin board. By adding some tissue paper and crepe streamers I tried to get a watery effect and to carry the theme from the book nook (see post below) over to where we have our lessons.

I ordered a package of foam fish stickers from Oriental Trading and voila! Here's the finished product. I used the largest stickers for attendance and then smaller creatures for good helper, praying with others, raising your hand to speak and no running! Kids love stickers.

Then I made my Blessing Bank container. I had found this plastic container that resembled a fish bowl and then took Elmer's Glue and water and decoupaged tissue paper all over it. I added some acrylic paint for coral, grasses and sea bed, then used some of the same stickers for decoration. (A slit also needed to be cut into the lid.) I thought it turned out quiet fishy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Little Bit of Latitude Goes Long

Well, I asked my Pastor's wife if I could decorate the bulletin boards in the children's wing of church.

As I researched for ideas, a fish theme started to formulate in my mind. Here's the finished products for the hallway:

There were 2 more panels across from these and I decorated those, too, with 'Hooked on Jesus' and 
'Fisher of Men'.

Since July was coming to a close and our Children's Church was revamped to begin on August 1, I searched for a theme for my room for the 5-8 year olds. I kept thinking about August being the near end of vacation and usually beautiful weather. 

Then, I thought 'Summer doesn't really end until the end of September', so I wanted a theme that would take me to fall.

FISH! Oh my, I continued the theme from the hall into my room.

First on my agenda was to get the tv/vcr out of there! I don't use it since I only have 45 minutes with my students and, at the moment, I'm the only one using the room, so I decided to make it my own.

I needed a Book Nook. I love the internet because with all of the creativity out there, it's easy to find something, make it your own and create it with the existing resources within the building.

A century ago, no only five years ago, I owned a bridal shop. A friend of mine made two bookshelves that I used for displays at bridal shows. I later donated them to the church and they even survived the flood of 2011!

They were in the conference room and wouldn't be missed so I moved them to my room to divide and make a corner area. That was the start of my nook. As you can see in the picture, it came together quite well when I found the fish spirals to hang from the ceiling and the fish nets on the walls. Fish cut outs filled the nets and the back sides of the bookcases, I decorated with streamers and the rest of the cut outs. 

I found the funky pillows at Big Lots for back to school. The design fits in resembling the water.

I can't wait for Sunday to show the kids. 

I'll add the other fishy stuff to my next post.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Mount Sinai

Here's the finished project. 

The kids recognized this as a mountain. The thunder and shofar blasts on a cd created the atmosphere. The black thing at the top was a spot light that I used for the lightning. As the cd played, I wiggled the plug in the outlet to make the light 'flash'.

Then the children became the priests that had to 'barricade' the bottom of the mountain so that no one would touch it and die. We had cardboard boxes that were for poster boards and used them to create the barricade. The children added the caution and stop signs so that people would understand to keep back.

After we were done we prayed and declared healing for a few of the parents that had medical issues. The greatest prayer was from Andrew (5 years old). "Please God, don't do this again!" I totally agreed.

What a joy!

I am leaving all of these props up until the end of the quarter. We had been on a terrific journey and the children remember as we look around the room.

Now, we're on to the Ten Commandments!