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I’ve added something new to my new site.  Click the picture to check it out.

New Location

Due to some technical issues, I have moved this site to its own .com.   The new location has all the same information.  It just has a different look and a different address.  You can see it at www.biblesongsandmore.com.  Any new entries I make will be made there so if you’d like to get a notice when I’ve updated you might want  to subscribe again.  Thanks, Diana

Giant Magnetic Puzzle

I admit it. I’m hooked — on Pinterest, that is. One of the first things I found on Pinterest was using oil drip pans, hung on the wall as a magnetic board for use with your pre-schooler at home. I don’t have pre-schoolers around here anymore but I was immediately attracted to this idea for the Bible class.  I knew this would be perfect for my elementary aged Bible class.

Giant Magnetic Puzzle

This quarter, we are studying the first three kings of Israel — Saul, David and Solomon.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to take the plunge and buy me some oil drip pans.  I created a giant puzzle of each king.  The puzzle pieces have statements about that king on the back.  The students choose a puzzle piece, read the statement, decide which king it’s talking about and put it where it belongs.  There are 3 parts to this activity.

Oil Drip Pans:  I bought 3 of these oil drip pans at a local automotive store for about $10 each.  I hung the pans on the wall with the 3M Command strips that don’t damage the wall.

Puzzle Pieces:   I scanned a picture of each of the kings into my computer and printed them 16″X20″ on card stock.  This size printed out evenly on 4 sheets of card stock which allowed me to cut 4″X5″ puzzle pieces.   I put magnets on the back of these cards (business card sized magnets cut into 4 pieces). Also, I glued a statement about the king the puzzle piece belongs to.  For example:  I was a Benjamite.  My son and David were best friends.

The Grid:  I trimmed the poster to 18″X22″.  I drew a grid on the poster board with 16 square, 4″X5″.   I covered 4 magnetic business cards with colored paper (just for decoraton) and used these magnetic cards to hold the grid in place on the pan.

These pans can be used for all kinds of activities. These will be on this wall for the entire quarter. I’m already thinking of ways to use them next quarter.

Taking Off That Old Self — Putting On Love

Here at Huntington we have started our Ladies’ Bible Class up again. We usually follow the school calendar and meet every other week. Tonight is our third class. We are blessed with at least 3 (and sometimes more) women here that are willing, eager and able to teach the class so none of us feel over burdened by it. This year we are studying Heading For Harvest by Joyce Jamerson. It is a study of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Tonight, I get to teach. This is my lesson.

Lesson Three and Four are both about Love. That is appropriate because: He who does not love does not know God, for God is love — 1 John 4:8. Colossians 3 tells us that love should come above all the other wonderful traits Paul lists. Love is the foundation of it all.

The first thing to note in our lessons is an observation about Paul’s lists. He was a list writer and I would imagine a list keeper. I am too. My family gets a little annoyed at times when I start making a list — especially if it is a chore list. Usually, my lists are mere suggestions. I don’t really intend to get everything done that is on one of these lists. I’m usually content if 3/4ths of the items listed are completed. At least more was done today than was done the day before but there is always another day to complete the rest. Now my grocery shopping lists are a different matter. If it’s on the list — I need it. It better make it home or something will be missing from our meals that week.

Paul’s lists are more like the grocery shopping list than the chore list. His lists are things that must be found inside a Christian or, in the case of the works of the flesh found earlier in Galatians 5, things that must not be found in a Christian. There is nothing that can be left out of Paul’s lists.

Let’s take a brief look at 4 of Paul’s lists of character traits we are expected to have:

Galatians 5:22-23 Philippians 4:8 Colossian 3:12-16
Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control
True
Honorable
Right
Pure
Lovely
Good Repute
Compassion
Kindness
Humility
Gentleness
Patience
Bearing with one another
Forgiving each other

1 Corinthians 13

Patient
Kind
Not Jealous
Does not brag
Not arrogant
Does not act unbecomingly
Does not seek its own
Not provoked
Does not take into account a wrong suffered
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness
Rejoices with the truth
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things

Even though the comparison was made with Paul’s lists and a grocery list, they are different as well. A grocery list can be finished, put away and forgotten about. Paul’s lists need to be kept close to our heart and nurtured so that the precious fruit that has grown doesn’t die away.

Many of the things in these lists overlap. For Paul to have written them in at least 4 different letters to 4 different groups of Christians they must be pretty important. They must have been things that were lacking in these earlier Christians. Looks like the early Christians weren’t all that different from us. Paul even had to tell the Galatians not to devour one another. Can you imagine Christians treating each other so badly? Yes, we can. We’ve all seen it. We are no different from the Galatians.

Galatians 5:13-16: “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

Love is the root of the fruit of the Spirit. Without love none of the other fruit will mean anything. A person may exhibit wonderful self-control but if he doesn’t also have love, the self-control is useless — even annoying as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Love can be faked. Someone can pretend to love you. A person can be nice to you, greet you “in the market place”, make a show of friendship but eventually the truth will come out that there is no love there. How? That person’s actions. True love is deeper than surface pleasantries.

  • True love looks for what will benefit the other person — even if that person is hard to love.
  • True love looks on ways to improve itself, not pick at faults of someone else.
  • True love thinks about what can be done for others.
  • True love brings joy through service.
  • Notice all the verbs in that list: looks, thinks, brings. Love is an action word. Many more verbs could be added and should be added to this list.

    Are you finding it difficult to show true love to someone?

  • Pray about it, pray for that person.
  • Teach someone about God
  • Serve someone else
  • When you’re doing these things, there isn’t anytime to think negative about someone else. Just as Galatians 5:16 tells us: When we walk in the Spirit, we don’t have time for the works of the flesh. The Pharisees lacked true love. They were more concerned about being right, about following all the rules but they did not spend time developing the fruits of humility, kindness, and love. They spent more time judging others and putting themselves above others.

    Do you know someone that has overcome the temptation to do the works of the flesh? Relate story of Chris and how he has overcome temptations — he was a drinker, casual Christian, good ‘ole boy, put friends before family, not a leader of his family. He is now a faithful Christian, leader of his family. striving to learn more about God through studying,

    What are some things women can do to exhibit true love for others? It’s more than cleaning the building and folding bulletins. Somewhere along the line many of us got the idea that women were not expected to be very spiritual. It is true that the husband is to be spiritual leader of the family, that the husband has the responsibility to train his children, that the husband is the head of the household but that does not excuse the wife from growing spiritually. What can women do?

  • Study the Word for themselves and with others
  • Supply the needs of others — clothing, food, help with household chores and family
  • Be patient with those that are struggling spiritually
  • Dare to be different — don’t join in with the gang mentality when gossip is going on
  • Exactly what is love? Our word for love means lots of different things depending on the context. The Greeks had 4 different words that have been translated love.

    • Eros (sexual love)
    • Phileo (close friendship)
    • Storge (love of family)
    • Agape (Wants the best for others)

    Agape love is the love used in the fruit of the Spirit. Someone that shows agape love makes every effort to see to it the other person’s needs are taken care. The other person’s interest become important to someone showing agape love. Even if that other person does not return the love or prove himself lovable. This means we are to love our enemies. Jesus said in Luke 6:27-33:

    “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what cred it is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”

    What does this tell us about about how we treat each other and those outside the body of Christ? It’s nice to have a group of friends (or even our family) that we feel comfortable with. People we can go to when we need help or want to share a joy or tribulation. We need to be careful that by forming a tight knit group of friends or family that we aren’t excluding someone that needs us. We need to step out of our comfort zone and ensure that everyone in our congregation feels loved and feels like they belong. Too many times people fall through the cracks and their brothers and sisters in Christ wonder what happened to them. Invite someone different to your home for a meal. Make sure that you personally get up and go talk to someone you don’t normally visit with. Call someone during the week that you haven’t ever called before.

    How does love affect the marriage relationship? Our society bases its whole idea of marriage on eros (sexual love). When the spark is gone, it’s time to move on. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Ephesians 5:25-33 teaches that men are to agape their wives — do what is best for them. Sometimes those tender feelings dissipate. It could be for a number of reasons but whatever the reason, agape love is commanded — not suggested. Titus 2:4 teaches the wife to phileo (close friendship) her husband — have tender affection for him, respect him, honor him. God did not ask us to do something that goes against our nature. Women are “feelers”. He requires the wife to have affection for her husband. Men are “doers”. He requires men to do what is best for their wives.

    The more agape we show towards others, the easier it will be to show it again. It will also be thrown “right back at ya”. The benefits of the one showing agape will be numerous and the benefits of the one that is being shown agape are numerous. It reminds me of the song I used to sing when I was young:

    Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away
    Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.
    Love is like a shining penny.
    Hold it tight and you won’t have any.
    Give it away and you’ll have plenty
    You’ll end up having more.

    Crossing The Jordan

    Okay, so I’m enjoying my baby class very much. The kids are so sweet. I enjoy having their moms and grandmoms helping out. It’s just fun to teach babies. But, alas, it’s not to be. We had a shortage of teachers this quarter and I was asked to move back to the elementary class. Now I don’t have anything against these sweet kids — I’ve even got one of my own in there — but I really was enjoying teaching the baby class. After a complete change of time period, learning abilities, etc, I am ready for my new venture.

    This quarter we will be studying Joshua and Judges. Now if you’re going to have to teach a an elementary class, what better one could there be than Joshua and Judges. Tomorrow’s lesson is about crossing the Jordan river.

    Lesson Plan:

    Pass out activity sheet to color. I need to do this first thing (begin as children come to class) because we’re going to be gluing on it and it HAS to dry before we can finish it. The activities came from Standard’s Color and Tell Coloring Book. It is a small booklet that I have added some embellishment to. I hope to have pictures and a pdf to share after class. (Added 3/17/11: pictures and pdf for activity, scroll on down).

    Review Bible Story — especially about the parting of the Red Sea.

    Sing: Dare To Stand Like Joshua

    Read lesson from the Bible (Joshua 3 and 4). Discuss the lesson.

    Discuss what a memorial is. Compare what the altar of stones meant to Israelites and what the Lord’s Supper means to us.

    Hopefully glue will be somewhat dry so we can add the rest of the pieces to the take home activity.

    Conclude class with songs of their choice, review books of the Old Testament, prayer.

    Here are some pictures of the activity we did. They are sort of blurry. My camera has been acting up lately but I think you can get the idea. This activity came from a book published by Standard called Bible Stories to Color and Tell. I don’t remember if this one came out of the 3-6 year old book or the 6-8 year old book. They are both good books to have in your resource room.

    The activity they had was basically a color sheet with 3 pictures depicting the story of the crossing of the Jordan River. You then fold them to make a little booklet. That’s nice but I like a little more than coloring for an activity. I manipulated the original activity sheet on Paint Shop Pro and made it a little more interactive. Before class I had the priests/ark picture colored, and cut out for each child. I also had the stones cut out. You’ll need 12 stones for each child so do the math. When it came time to use them, I just laid them out on the table and let them choose their own stones. The kids colored their pages as they came into class. They then put glue on the squiggly lines in the water to give it some texture. We let this dry while we went on with class. After the lesson, they glued the priests/ark picture in it’s proper place and made their memorial out of 12 stones.

    Here is the pdf for the activity: Crossing Jordan

    The first page is the original as it came out of the book mentioned above. The second page is the color sheet without the memorial or the priests/ark. The third page is the altar (I prefer using individual stones but an already stacked memorial will work as well) and the priests/ark.

    Do Babies Benefit From Bible Class?

    I imagine you can guess my answer to this one since I have been teaching the baby Bible class. Too many times I’ve heard people refer to the baby class as a baby sitter while mom sits in the adult class or teaches an older children’s class. I’ve heard that it’s not really an important class and can take an experienced teacher away from teaching the older kids. Well, I disagree.

    I have been teaching the baby class for the past 3 months. I have 2 regular students and some semi-regular visitors. Our congregation is blessed with families that have raised their children here, their children have moved off and have families of their own but return regularly to visit home. It’s always a joy when they bring their babies to my class.

    One of my regular students was 6 months old when we started so she is now just about 9 months old. She has always been fascinated with the class. When she first came to class, she would smile and be wide-eyed about everything that I presented to her. She’s fascinated with any “books” I read. I rarely ever read a book but do more flip-charts. She LOVES them. She likes the little toys I hand her as I tell the story or sing a song. She is a joy.

    For the past couple of weeks, she has been joining in with some of the simple hand movements I use. The one she really likes is when she gets to choose a Bible out of the basket. Then we sing: This is the way we pat the Bible, pat the Bible, pat the Bible. This is the way we pat the Bible with our little hands. She so sweetly and gently pats her Bible with a big smile on her face. Is she learning anything important? Oh yes. She’s learning that the Bible is something special. That we are gentle with it and that it came from God. She can’t verbalize any of this yet but she’ll soon be able to.

    One thing that has really helped her in Bible class is that either her mother or her grandmother comes into class with her each time. I know some people don’t like teaching a Bible class with parents in the room but I love it. In this case, the mother and grandmother have both told me that they repeat the songs and hand movements we do in class at home. If they weren’t in the class, they wouldn’t know what we were singing or doing. They don’t just come to class, they participate in the class. They sing, they keep her attention focused when it strays, they tend to her physical needs (wiping her nose, finding her paci, etc) so I can concentrate on the lesson itself. This precious little girl’s participation in class has been helped so much by having her mother and grandmother be with her.

    So, do babies benefit from Bible class? Yes, they do. They learn about God and how much He has given them how He loves them. They learn the basics of the simpler Bible stories. They learn that there are those not in their family that think God is important. In this little girl’s case, she has learned that Bible class is important to her mother and grandmother too. She has benefited from the extra time spent at home teaching her about God using the same songs we use in class. The next time you think maybe you should start letting your little one go to class by his/herself, or the next time you shy away from a parent coming into your room as you teach class, think about little Stormy and the benefits she has received from having her mother/grandmother in class with her.