Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Women of Honor and Letting God Guide Your Actions - 1 Samuel 25

Easy Sunday School Lesson Plan - Samuel 25

Purpose: Teaching the students how to follow the guidance of the Lord, and why they might want to.

Method: Have them experience the feeling of accepting guidance, and discovering that it is easier to be guided if you are already moving. The Story from the Bible is 1 Samuel 25, the Story of a Women of Honor (Abigail) doing what was right for God, by being courteous to one of God's people, David.

The section of the story that explains how Abigail was led to David is 1 Samuel 25:32- 35 (ESV) ~ And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!  For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.”  Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”  This section is not the only one you are going to read, but it is the one you are going to teach as the proof of "being lead by the Lord."
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Opening Drill: Guiding You #1


Supplies - You need 3 person teams of students, a starting point and an ending point at the opposite side of the room.  We use painters tape to mark the points.  You will also need pool noodles or something to use as a pool noodle to prod the students.You will also need a blindfold of some type.

You put the blindfolded student on the starting point, tell the guides to prod the blind folded one to the ending point without talking or leaning on them, but by only using the tip of the noodle as a guide.  Place the other students in the class between the starting and ending point, and say Go.  Watch what they do to get the blind folded one moving.  Stop the game when the arrive or touch one of the seated students.

Explaining the Drill - As the students if they noticed how the blindfolded ones were encouraged to start moving.  Ask if they know what would happen if the blind folded one never moved, or if they were reluctant to start moving at the beginning of the game.  Ask if it is easier to guide someone who is already moving, or someone who is fighting you by not moving.

Explain to them that people are a lot like this game.  When we are unsure, we would rather hide, or wait for instructions.  It is very hard to teach or guide someone who is waiting to start, because you have to spend all your energy on just getting them to move.  In physics this is call inertia.  You must over come the static objects inertia just to get started.  (You might want to tell them a story of having to move a car that would not start, and how hard it is to get it moving, but how easy it is to keep in moving and to turn it, once it is rolling.  I used to park my VW in the 70's on a hill if I was having a bad battery week, and that way, I would just have to start it rolling, then jump in, and pop the clutch.)

Then tell them God is much like this as well.  He expects us to use our own abilities to determine what is right or wrong, to follow our hearts, but to stay aware of his prodding us, once we start moving.  It is hard for God to guide us anywhere, if we are waiting for him to start us moving.  We must start moving, then he can guide us.  (If you have an example in your life where you recognized God moving you in a direction once you had started a project, now is a good time to share it with them.)  Pray for them and you to be open to God's suggestions, and to have the courage to walk in the right direction or any direction, rather than letting fear control our actions, causing us to wait.

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This is the part of the service where we do praise and worship, and take an offering.
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Teaching Samuel 25

You should read to them the entire story using any method you wish to keep them on track, though I suggest for the next 90 days, you should use which is shown in the video below. By using the same method over and over, you and the students build familiarity with the method, and they enjoy the story telling. About the time they are getting bored with it, in our experience 90 days, you will change the method anyway.

Cool Bible Reading Way # 1



Read Samuel 25 to them, giving many breaks to explain or act out parts of the story, to keep them engaged. I Sometimes have them read a sentence, then interpret it in a loud or funny voice. Sometimes, if it is obvious, I just repeat it, sometimes I put it into children's speak.

Once you have read the story, and answered questions they have asked, you should ask some of your own.

1) What does Samuel 25:32 in the post card above mean?
2) What was Abigail's act of faith that made David so happy?
3) Who started her actions back at the farm? (She did, using common sense and her heart.)
4) How did God Guide her? Humility and Wisdom.
5) What would have happened if she did not start the process, but just stayed at home. 
6) Ask them what situations in their life have occurred, where they did nothing, because they were unsure. (You might want to suggest meeting new friends, play games even some video games, telling an adult about someone doing something dangerous, but you were afraid.  Etc.)

Final Drill: Guiding You #2

Play this game just like the one above.  I print up the postcard at the top of this blog on photo paper, and give it to the blind guys who make it to the goal.  It should be few, if you set the course up right.  You might want to print up a few extra so you can give them to the guides too.

The advanced version is played the same way, except the students in the middle are standing, with their hands extended, spinning in place, to make it more challenging.


Enjoy ... teaching is easy if you love the Lord, and you Love the kids .... be open to his guidance, and do not be afraid to move off the path, if your students need you to go in a different direction.  After all, you ARE moving already, and is is very easy to guide people of the Lord who act with their heart.  The Holy Spirit is there for YOU.
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Some supplies that you might want to acquire:

  


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Awesome Way to Read Daniel at Sunday School

A Very Cool Way to Read the Bible to Sunday School Students

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Psalm 27:1 - Of Whom Shall I Be Afraid - Easy Sunday School Lesson Plan

Postcard used by Permission: www.GoodJobNotes.com
Purpose: Teaching the students that living for the Lord should not be a fear filled experience, but rather one filled with Life and Light.

Method: Have them experience the feeling of Faith in physical actions, and how faith overcomes fear of failure. Then relate that to a biblical story, in this case, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3:8-30 and in particular, their statement of faith in Daniel 3:16-18 "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

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Opening Drill: Now We Lay You Down


Supplies - You will need a 6 to 10 foot piece of rope and and trusted adult/teen, as well as from 2 to 5 children for this drill.  (5 children is much more effective and easy to teach, but two will do it as well.)

Four students hold one end of the rope and at the other end, the further away the more dramatic an example, is the student who needs to trust the others.  Place and adult or trusted teen helper behind the one who is trusting, making sure they do NOT fall to the floor.  Instruct those holding the rope to slowly let the rope move toward the one who is having his/her faith tested.  The one being tested must be instructed to hold the rope in front of their body, and keep their body ridge, as the four let him/her down.  

As you can see, this is a dramatic example of trust.

Explaining the Drill - If the student failed, and could not trust them, have them tell you why.  The answer is fear they would fall or lack of trust leading to fear they would fall.  

If the student succeeds, then ask them how they succeed, leading them to answer faith or trust in the four.

I would not have everyone who wants to do the drill do it at this point. You only need 1 to 3 examples to get the physical feeling of faith or fear for the beginning of the lesson.  Later on, you will keep it up until they have a higher success rate.

Explain to them that God is like that.  He holds us up, no matter what, and we have nothing to fear.  In the end, no matter what, God has our backs, when we die.  We get to go live with Him Forever.  Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for God's loving support and for courage in us to accept it.

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This is the part of the service where we do praise and worship, and take an offering.

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Read Daniel Chapter 3 to them, giving many breaks to explain or act out parts of the story, to keep them engage.  I Sometimes have them read a sentence, then interpret it in a loud or funny voice.  Sometimes, if it is obvious, I just repeat it, sometimes I put it into children's speak.

Once you have read the story, ask them who and where the act of Fear should have been, with normal people, and where the act of faith was.  Ask them why they were not afraid.  Ask them who would have happened if God did not rescue them they way they were rescued, but instead let them die to make the point.  Ask them who they think the 4th person is.  (Some people think that the fourth person was Jesus, some just an angle; you are not asking as a matter of doctrine, but rather as a way to get them engage.

Opening Drill: Now We Lay You Down Advanced

Replay the game with fewer people holding the rope, or blindfold the trusting one.  Insure safety by having a trusted adult to catch the falling person if they do in fact fall.  SAFETY FIRST!!

When you have repeated the drill as many times as you have people and/or time to do, then ask them for places in their life that they might be afraid.  Read to them the Postcard at the top of the lesson plan with Psalm 27:1.  Ask them who the Light is?  Ask them How they can trust "the Light" in the difficult situations in their lives.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Deal with Mean People - Easy Sunday School Lesson Plan

Used with Permission www.GoodJobNotes.com


Purpose: To teach our students one way to deal with mean and nasty people.

Key verse: Psalm 8:9 "Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (ESV)

Brief: I have discovered that in my life, the key to everything is recognizing the Majesty of the Lord.  With out that reverential awe, his is just an other thing you have to learn about, but don't really understand.  Like E=MC2 (squared). This lesson will give them some things to look at that point to the Majesty of the Lord, and give scriptural backing to those observations, and then teach them to apply that truth to their lives.  Basically, if you stop to smell the roses, you will notice how awesome and intricate creation is, and then realize that he made it all for us.  Why would a God who did not love us, do so much for us before we were even born,  Once we recognize that, we can take the time to reflect that love by returning blessing for curses, just as we are asked to.  Not an issue, when you know you are loved.  Only an issue if you have to do it all for yourself.
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Opening Drill: Standing Push Ups - Have students who want to play the game select a partner near their own height/weight (size) so you have a number of paired teams.  Then you show them how to do a standing Push up. [two people stand facing each other and extend their arms straight out in front of themselves, chest high, and touch palms, with elbows locked. Then, together they bend their arms slowly, keeping their backs straight, as the lower themselves toward each other by bending their arms.

Depending on how many people you have who want to do the drill, you can either have them all line up, and bring their faced an inch from each other, or time each team before the fail.  The last team to fail, or the one with the longest time without failure wins.

Teaching the Meaning of the Game:  Ask them to tell you what they think allowed them to win.  You will probably hear things like strength, power, maybe balance, all of which are part of the solution, if they have the first and foundation quality.

That quality is trust.  They must first trust their partner, or they panic, and try to fix it themselves or bail out.  Make sure, if they do not bring up trust or faith in their partner, that you do.  The last thing you mention from the drill will be faith in their partner.

Used by permission: www.GoodJobnotes.com
Once you have arrived at trust, tell them that faith in God is just like that.  If you believe that God loves you, unconditionally, then you trust him unconditionally.

If you trust him unconditionally, then you will not be overwhelmed by fear, doubt or even a desire to do everything by yourself.

Calm trust.  That is one of our gifts from God.


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This is the section where we do Praise and Worship, as well as offering.
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Teaching Drill: Standing Push Ups #2 - Again, have the students divide themselves into teams, this time teams of three.  The purpose of this drill is to drive home the difference between our strength, and faith/trust.

Have two partners set up for standing push-ups, and one set up for step for standing push-ups using the wall as his partner.  Say go, and see who lasts longer.

When the drill is done, ask which team most often won, the person with a wall as a partner, or the two using each other.  It will be VERY odd if the people using partners win, but you have to make sure you are the judge, disqualifying them if they cheat, wobble or fail, but do not sit down.

Explain to them that the reason the people with the wall won most often is again faith, but this time, it was faith founded on reality, strength and power of the wall.  The wall was NOT going to let them down.

Again tell them that God is just like that, only more so.  Read them the Key verse: Psalm 8:9 "Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (ESV)

Make sure you explain what majestic is after you read the verse, and them ask them what they think it means.  You really don't have to guide them much, just prod them to volunteer what it might mean.  I suggest you might also ask why the author might have said, Lord, Our Lord.  (Because he was making sure that God and we know that he is Our God, and we are His people.) You might also ask what God has done that is majestic.  Things like making the oceans, them, plants and animals we can eat to survive, Salvation in the Name of Jesus.  Keep it coming.

Then when you have run out of time and things of majestic proportions, ask them if a God like that is stronger than the wall they used to win the game?  If he is, then when they get made at someone who is being cruel, then all they have to do is remember how awesome their God is.  How much he has already done, and relax. God will make it work out.  He always has.  He always will.

Now they can ask God to help their tormentor come to Him, so they too can be healed.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life is Supposed to be Enjoyed

Game Drawing with Permission from www.GoodJobNotes.com
Purpose: To teach that we were not made for degradation or defeat, but rather joy and victory.

Method: Show the difference between Hard Work and Not Fun, by having them experience and read (biblical) Hard Work that is fun.

Main Verse: Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."


Part 1: Play the Game

Materials:
1. You need as many Red Solo Cups or other paper or plastic drinking cups as you have teams - 2 Cups per team.
2. Table to play the game on, or use the floor,
3. 1 ping pong ball per player on each team.  For example, you have 2 teams with 5 players each, you will need 10 ping pong balls.

Rules: Each team members gets 1 chance to bounce the ping pong ball on the table (it must bounce) and into the basket - up turned plastic cup.  The team with the most ping pong balls in the cup at the end of the game wins.  If you have time, you can give them each 2 or more ping pong balls to make it last longer and for them to experience the work involved to develop the skill to win.  You can have teams play at the same time, or one team at a time.  The timing is up to you.

Explaining the Game and Starting the Class: Call all the students in to you, and ask them if the game was fun. You can also ask them what would make the game more fun, just to make sure the get into the spirit of the thing.  Once you are done answering that question, then ask them if it was hard.  Depending on their age and how they were raised, some may think it was easy, even if they failed, so you might have to teach them that easy means doing it right without effort.  Once they understand it was NOT easy, point out to them that they had Fun even though the Worked Hard.

Tell them being a follower of the King of Kings is a much like that.  It is not always easy, and at times it is very hard, but if you love the Lord, it is full of Joy, since we win!  Then pray with them about enjoying their lives, both the easy and hard parts, buy doing it for the Lord.

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Praise and Worship: This is where we teach by doing praise and worship.  We use recorded songs, teach hand movements which we make up, and also take an offering.

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Used with permission of www.GoodJobNotes.com
Part 2: Tying in the Scripture

Step up the Game: Repeat the game above, but make the stack higher, to make it more of a challenge, harder work and more fun. (Some of you might not understand this logic, but easy, even for a 2 year old, is not fun. Everyone seeks challenge, and it is seeking the right level of challenge to grow the students that will make it fun. If what you pick is too hard, as the success rate is lower than 50 - 70%, make it easier, and if it is higher, then make it more challenging, or it will NOT be fun.  Impossible and easy are the enemy.)

Learning from the Game: When EVERYONE has played, sit them down. (do not allow fear, social dysfunction or learned behavior allow them to avoid the game.  I have a brain injury and have severe ADHD, Social Anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia and more, and I assure you, facing the challenge makes you strong.  Letting them avoid it totally makes them dependant.  You offer enough help and encouragement to assure a positive experience, and no more.)

Start by asking:
1) What made this version of the game harder?
2) When you failed, did you want to give up because it was too hard, or did you want to do it again to do better?
3) What motions did you have to do in order to get the ping pong ball in the cup?
4) How did you learn those motions?

Feel free to let the spirit lead you here, or you own experience in life, to ask more questions in order to have them understand that Fun can also be Hard.

Once you have established that relationship, read them Psalm 16:11"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Depending on what you feel your group of children needs, and your own experiences in life, you might want to focus on one part of this verse more than the others.  I see 3 separate but related thoughts here:

1) You make the path known: If you have ears to hear and eyes to see, if you are a Christian, and you can slow you life down enough to wait on the Lord, he is promising to show you the way you should go in every aspect of your life;

2) In the Lord's presence there is Full Joy.  If you hang out near the Lord, in the Scripture, in the Spirit, in relationships with his other children and followers, you will have Full Joy;

3) Handing out at the side of the Lord, the side of honor, the right side, will bring you eternal joy - meaning that if you follow the lord as in the two examples above, if you are a saved Christian, than your reward is eternal joy.  You get to hand out with Jesus, forever. 

I teach these sentences by stating them outright, and then asking them how to do it or what it means.  I wish to have them think about what the bible is telling us, rather than just knowing it is a good book.  It is the living Word of God, and we are blessed to teach our charges just how awesome that is.