In spite of the fact we all know that we are free from the Law, we seem to want to have more and more rules to follow, as if we can somehow please God enough to generate blessings.
We can not. Grace is unmerited favor, as in you can not earn God's favor. He just loves you.
Does that mean we can do whatever we want? Yes. Does that mean we are free from the earthly consequences of doing whatever we want? NOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!
Jesus and Paul kept coming back to repeated theme that our actions should be bound 2 things:
1) Are we doing it for God?
2) Is it good for our Neighbor?
Definition of Excellence: Excellence is a talent or quality which is unusually good and so surpasses ordinary standards. For all practical purposes, excellence is achieved by doing your best, every moment, as if it were for God, and continuing through out your life.
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a) Large Balloons, inflated. Having children inflate balloons is dangerous from both the inhalation (choking) side and the damage to gums and mouth if they do too much, so teens or adults should inflate them, or have the teens/adults use an inflator. You will need 4 or more for each team: teams are 2 or more people. If you have a small number of kids, us teams of 2 (partners); if you have a large group of kids, divide them up into as many teams as you have room to line them up and walk across the floor as a group. We get ours from Amazon, if we remember to order them to save money: Assorted Color Balloons (144 pcs) only $4.84 for 144 balloons.
d) Variations for weeks 2 - 4 IF they get bored, which is VERY UNLIKELY, if you keep your energy high and your connection to them high, then:
i) Have them pick up the balloon when they drop it, and take it back to the start line, and keep going.
ii) Have obstacles in their way, like paper, chairs, people - and tell them they have to drop the balloon or restart if they hit or touch an obstacle.
Ask them if it is ok to try your best, to strive to win?
Now ask them if it is ok to be better at something than someone else? (You might have an issue with this one - we live in a world that thinks Equal means the same.)
Finally, read them the unit verse, and explain that the game is OK to win, if you are doing your best, as if for Jesus. (For your own understanding, "all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to his Purpose.)
Purpose: To teach our students that as they live their lives, pursuing excellence, that they need to be aware of other peoples needs and likely behavior when they interact with us. Verse - 1 Corinthians 9:19 (ESV) "For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them"
The video shows an adult leading the game, and we have found that the first time you play the game, this is a good idea; however, we have also found that you get better, more energetic participation if you let them lead it after and adult has lead the game. We have had this game run as long as 45 minutes without losing steam, but we suggest you run it through to a winner maybe 3 or 4 times.
4a) How to Play the Game:
A) Start with them facing you. Explain that the game is like Simon says, only they have to do what you do, before you move on to the next move. You say nothing, you just move your hands to different parts of your body. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE BOTH HANDS GO TO THE SAME PLACE, but we suggest you start that way. If you miss a move, your are out.
B) You have someone name a body part the followers may not touch like nose, left ear, left foot, etc. When you begin, they have to do everything you do, EXCEPT touching the forbidden body part. If they touch it, the sit down. If they get lost, they sit down.
C) Last one standing wins.
4b) Explaining the meaning of the Game:
A) When you are done, ask them why it was hard to decide which cup to pick? Let them talk it out, and lead them to obvious answers if you need too. We are looking for critical thinking. They should be able to identify things like: I heard it. I say you drop it. There was too much noise. You moved too slow or too fast.
B) Once you have dealt with the obvious, if they have not already gotten to "my friends misled me," you need to ask them if the advise they were getting was a good thing or a bad thing.
C) Ask them if they know what peer pressure is?
c1) Make sure they know that their friends might ask them to do things, say thing, believe things that are bad for them to do or believe.
c2) Ask them if they know of any time in their lives or anyone else's lives (often people are willing to talk about someone else's mistakes then their own.) If they can't give you an example, you must give them on from your own life.
c3) Ask them "In the Example" do you thing it was easy or hard to avoid doing what "everyone else" was doing?
c4) Tell them now that following bad advise is very dangerous, but getting someone else to do something that is bad for them is worse.
Read them the verse of the week: 1 Corinthians 9:19 (ESV) "For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them"
1) Ideally, you would make sure everyone, or every group of students has a bible. have them look up 1 Corinthians 9:19 - We suggest you have the older students help the younger ones. Once they have it, it would be awesome if one of them could read the verse. Again, using on of the older students gives them a chance to lead and help, but if you don't have one, you read it.
2) After you read or have the verse read, ask them what it means. Let it play out a bit, trying to avoid telling them they are wrong. Nothing hurts young scholarship more than constant criticism. Just keep them moving, suggesting or asking specific questions like: What does "Free from all" mean? What does Paul mean by "servant to all?"
3) If they have not told your that this is like peer pressure, point out to them that in this verse, Paul is telling us that though we are allowed to do anything, being free from the old laws and rules, we should not do them if it makes someone else do the wrong thing. In other words, being the person who puts peer pressure on someone is BAD.
4) Ask them again how the game showed peer pressure at work?
1) You need some opaque cups - Amazon is, as usual, a good place to acquire them. Hefty Ultimate Easy Grip Cups, Red, 18 Oz, 50 Count. We use these cups many times during the year, so the $4 is well spent.
2) A dried pea. I use a black eyed pea, but a small stone is just as good.
B1) Assign one of them to be the child that must chose where the pea is after the game.
C) Tell him/her to choose.
D) Play it a few times to make sure they all have a chance to either guess or "yell" their advice to someone who is guessing.
c1) Ask them if they know how to avoid doing what their friends want?
c2) Ask them if doing what their friends want is braver than doing what they think is right?
c3) Explain to them that they are responsible for their own actions even if someone else "told them to do it."
2 lines, 2 walls, two rows of chairs to act as walls, even to ropes or strings to act as lines or walls.
D) If too many are winning, make the last one to the line OUT too.
E) Play the game several times.
5) Ask them if it is ok for Christians, the children of Light, the sons and daughters of the King, to have fun.
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5) Ask them if it is ok for Christians to be athletes, dancers, karatica, teachers, actors etc. (Yes, doing it as if for the Lord gives God something to work with, because excellence is noticed in the world too.)