Conversation Starters: Christ’s Death

a04d715c-a762-482f-9bb7-ba40e82e8938THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We hurt when we see or experience injustice. Many of us do what we can to rescue a victim of injustice. But what do we do when an innocent person willingly accepts injustice and undeserved punished…and does so for those who deserve it? This is a perfect description of Jesus, because this is the very reason for which He came to earth. We are still left with the question to answer: How will we respond?

Concept: Christ’s Death

Preschool

Mark 11:1-11

LIFE POINT: As Jesus and His helpers (disciples) traveled to Jerusalem, Jesus told two helpers, “Go ahead into the village and find a young donkey. Bring the donkey to me. If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying the donkey?’ say, ‘Jesus needs it.’ ” The helpers did what Jesus said and brought the donkey to Jesus. The men put their coats on the donkey’s back. Jesus got on the donkey and rode it along the road to Jerusalem. People laid their coats and plant branches on the road as Jesus rode by. Some people shouted happy words to Jesus. The people remembered everything Jesus did to help people.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child learn to praise Jesus in different ways. Sing praise songs when you are in the car. Say a short prayer for protection as you leave on an errand. Thank God for a beautiful day.

Kids

Matthew 26:17-30; 27

LIFE POINT: The Jewish people gathered for the Passover. They wanted to remember how God had rescued them out of Egypt. Jesus told the disciples to go into the city and tell a man that Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover at his place with the disciples. When Jesus was sitting at the table with the disciples, He said that one disciple would betray Him. This was Judas Iscariot. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it. He gave it to His disciples and said, “Take this and eat it; this is My body.” Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples. Then He said, “Drink from it.” He told the disciples that His blood would be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus would be arrested and sentenced to be crucified. Jesus had done nothing wrong, but He died so that the Old Testament Scripture might be fulfilled.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child research and make a timeline of Jesus’ last days. Include each of the Gospels in your research. Emphasize that Jesus died for our sins.

Students

Matthew 27:28-31, 45-50, 54

THE POINT: Jesus’ sacrifice is the heart of the gospel. How often do you think about all that Christ endured on the cross? This week, spend some time reflecting on the sacrifice of Jesus. Discuss the following quote:

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me.”1 — D. A. Carson

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Forsaken for Me:
•Spend some time this week reading the account of Jesus’ crucifixion with your student.
•Encourage your student to ask questions and really dig deep alongside you into the reality of what our sin cost.

If he or she plans to do Faith After a Quake:
•Tell your student about a moment in your life when God became very real and true to you.
•Pray for your student to see God and realize how great, awesome, and real He is.

1. D. A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 30.

Conversation Starters: Psalm 42

5ed72e1e-951a-4e2e-9fbc-bdf7d0f8e586THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can often feel overwhelmed and let our circumstances get us down. Some of the most confusing times of our lives can be when we don’t know what to do. In the Bible, we read the words of the psalmist, who also experienced a down time, but his words give us encouragement by pointing to the God who is above our circumstances.

Preschool

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: After Jesus was born, wise men came to Jerusalem. “Where is the special baby that was born? We saw a star that rose after He was born,” they said. “We have come to worship Him. He is God’s Son.” The king heard about the men who were looking for a special baby. The king asked the priests to find out where this happened. The priests
studied the Bible and said, “The baby was born in Bethlehem.” The king told the wise men, “Go to Bethlehem to find the child. When you find Him, tell me where He is. I want to worship Him also.” The wise men left Jerusalem. As they traveled to Bethlehem, they saw
the star they had followed. It was shining over the place where Jesus was. They were very happy! They went into the house and saw Jesus with His mother, Mary. They worshiped Jesus. The wise men gave Jesus special gifts–gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the wise men in a dream to not return to the king. So they returned home a different way.

LIVE IT OUT: Use your time driving in the car play worship music and sing. Encourage your child to sing along, too.

Kids

Matthew 2:1-12

LIFE POINT: During the reign of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem. “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? We saw a star that rose after He was born,” they said. “We have come to worship Him. ” King Herod was upset. He was the king! Herod’s advisors told him about Micah’s prophecy that t Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. King Herod sent the men to Bethlehem. “When you find this child, come tell me so that I can worship Him, too.” The star led the men into Bethlehem and stopped above the very place where Jesus and His family stayed. The wise men saw Jesus with Mary. They fell to their knees and worshiped Jesus. They presented Him with gifts: treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod,
the wise men returned to their own country by another route.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child find the following verses in the Bible: John 16:33, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 37:7, and Hosea 12:6. Discuss how these verses speak about God’s
encouragement.

Students

Psalm 42:1-3, 6-8; 43:3-5

THE POINT: You can trust God when you don’t know what to do. Talk to your student about a time in your life when you had to trust that God was above your circumstances.
What did learn about God’s character during this time? Discuss the following quote:

“Don’t trust to hold God’s hand; let Him hold yours. Let Him do the holding, and you the trusting.”1 —Hammer William Webb-Peploe

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities in the Personal Study Guide. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Written Word:
• Encourage your student to look to Scripture when feeling discouraged.
• Suggest Scriptures to your student that you find encouraging.

If your student plans to complete Forward Thinking:
• Help your student find creative ways to be an encouragement this week.
• Pray for your student to be an encouragement to the people around him or her.

1. SearchQuotes.com, [cited 2 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.searchquotes.com.

Conversation Starters: Psalm 46

DSC_0826THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: “I could have some peace in my life if it weren’t for ….” We could all complete that statement with something that, at best, is annoying or, at worst, causes pain in our lives. Peace is not just the absence of irritating circumstances or challenging problems. We can experience truth in the midst of trouble. Psalm 46 points us to the source of such peace: God Himself.

Psalm 46:1-11

Preschool

Luke 15:11-24

LIFE POINT: Jesus was teaching people about God’s love. He told a story about a father and a son. Jesus said, “A father had two sons. The younger son said, ‘Father, give me my share of all that you own.’ The son took all that was his and left. He traveled to a faraway country. He wasted his money on wrong choices. When a famine came, he had no food and no money. He finally got a job taking care of a man’s pigs. The son was so hungry he thought about eating the pigs’ food. The son realized he needed to go home and tell his father that he was sorry. So the son returned home. When the son was near his father’s house, the father saw him. The father ran to him, hugged, and kissed him. ‘I am sorry,’ the son said. The father was so happy his son was home. The father had forgiven his son and they all had a big party.”

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness is a hard concept for preschoolers to comprehend. Begin teaching your child about forgiveness by modeling forgiveness for him.

Kids

Luke 15:11-24

LIFE POINT: One day Jesus told a story about a man who had two sons. The younger son asked his father for his share of the money and left. The son spent his money foolishly and soon had nothing left. There was a famine. Food was hard to find. The son got a job so he would have money for food. The only job he could find was feeding pigs. He was hungry and he wanted to eat the pigs’ food! The son remembered his father’s house. He decided to go home, ask for forgiveness, and ask to work as his father’s servant. Before the son got home, his father ran to greet him. The son began telling his father that he had done wrong. His father didn’t wait. He forgave him and ordered the servants to, “Bring the best robe for my son. Put a ring on his finger. Put sandals
on his feet. Let’s have a feast and celebrate! This son of mine was lost, and now is found!”

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make a list of wrong choices she has done on a certain day. Lead her in a prayer of forgiveness.

Students

Psalm 46:1-11

THE POINT: God is the source of peace when your world falls apart. Discuss with your student some things that people mistakenly try to find peace in. Discuss the following quote:

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”1 —C.S. Lewis

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities in the Personal Study Guide. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Be Ready:
• Help your student answer the question,”Why do you have peace?”
• Pray that your student would have an opportunity to share his/her answers.

If your student plans to complete Stronger:
• Ask your student how he/she would complete the sentence: “I would have some more peace in my life if it weren’t for…”
• Pray for your student to find peace in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

1. .S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2001), 50.

Praying for Your Campers: A Letter from a Parent

93fe98fd-2607-414f-8f4b-788d43a7107a I have sent four children to Ridgecrest Summer Camps during the last sixteen years. Every time I drop one off and drive out of camp I spend most of the time driving home in prayer. Yes, I pray for my children’s safety and for the counselors to have wisdom. I pray that no one will drown or lose an eye in paintball. But as I have had the privilege of both being on staff and having a child on staff, I have come to appreciate the prayers that are lifted up for my children by the staff. These young ladies and young men spend much time in urgent and intentional prayer for our camper children. Each cabin, green space, and common building have been bathed in prayer for your child and mine.

This year I have chosen to pray Colossians 4:24 for the staff and the campers:

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.”

    Join me in praying for the Camp staff to find opportunities to speak to campers about the plan Christ has for us all; and to pray that the campers will be alert and hear the Good News of a Savior, who seeks to have a spiritual relationship that extends beyond the gates of Camp into the thankful hearts of hundreds of boys and girls.

Written by Ann Glass 

Conversation Starters: Psalm 91

IMG_0695THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We do all we can to protect ourselves and people we love from
danger. Nothing we do actually guarantees protection. As a result, we can live in constant fear, or we can adopt an “I’m not afraid of anything” attitude. The Bible, however, offers us a more complete choice: to trust God and His protection.

Concept: Psalm 91

Preschool

Luke 15

LIFE POINT: Jesus was talking to people about God’s love. Jesus told three stories, or parables. First Jesus told about a lost sheep. Jesus said, “If you have one hundred sheep and one gets lost, you will go find it. You will call your friends and have a party because you found your sheep. In the same way, God and all of heaven will be happy when people decide to love and follow Him.” Next Jesus told about a lost coin. Jesus said, “Suppose a
woman has ten coins and loses one. She will light a lamp and look everywhere for it. She will call her friends together and say, ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Even more so, God and all of heaven is happy when people decide to love and follow God.” The third parable was about the lost son. Jesus wanted people to know that God and all of heaven celebrates when people decide to love and follow God.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your preschooler in using the Bible. Let him turn the pages. Point out where certain verses are found. Point to the name Jesus. Help him to learn that
the Bible is a book for him.

Kids

Luke 15

LIFE POINT: Jesus told three stories, or parables, to teach the Pharisees how God felt about sinners. Jesus asked, “If you had 100 sheep and one was lost, wouldn’t you look for the lost one? When the sheep is found, you would call your friends. You would say, ‘Rejoice with me! I found my lost sheep!’ Heaven is excited when one sinner turns from sin!” Then Jesus told about a woman who had 10 silver coins. When she lost one, she searched carefully everywhere until she found it. She was excited and called her friends and neighbors to share the good news. Jesus explained that God’s angels are even more joyful when a sinner turns from his sin! Finally, Jesus told the third parable about the lost son. The father was happy his son came home. The father told his older son, “We
must celebrate. We must rejoice. Your brother is found!”

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about how you protect him. Help him think of ways God protects him. Thank God for that protection.

Students

Psalm 91

THE POINT: A close relationship to God is my ultimate protection. How has God protected you in your life? Share with your student a specific time when you trusted God to protect you. Discuss the following quote:

There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”1 —Corrie Ten Boom

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If your student plans to complete Playlist:
• Help your student create a playlist with songs that remind him of God’s protection.
• Encourage your student to have a quiet time using this playlist.

If your student plans to complete Faithful Protector:
• Memorize 2 Thessalonians 3:3 with your student.
• Share with your student how the Lord has been faithful in your own life.

1. “Corrie Ten Boom Quotes,” Goodreads.com, [cited 7 May 2014]. Available from the Internet: https://www.goodreads.com.

Conversation Starters: Miracles

DSC_1133THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We can only do so much to protect ourselves from the world around us. Unfortunately, storms—economic, health-related, or even literal ones—enter our lives, bringing havoc and leaving us devastated. In those moments, we see how powerless we really are. Only one Man—Jesus Christ—has ever had full power and authority over the storms we face. We can trust Him over life’s circumstances.

Concept: Miracles 

Preschool

Mark 4:25-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: Jesus had taught people about God. He told His helpers (disciples), “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.” They got into a boat and began to sail across the lake. Jesus fell asleep on a cushion in the boat. Suddenly a great wind began to blow. The wind blew so hard that waves of water splashed into the boat. The helpers were frightened! They thought the boat would sink. The men woke up Jesus and cried out for help. Jesus stood up and said, “Be quiet! Be still!” Immediately the wind stopped blowing, and the waves became calm. Jesus asked the men, “Didn’t you know I could help you?” The helpers were amazed that even the wind and waves obeyed Jesus.

LIVE IT OUT: Does your child get frightened during storms? Help comfort your child by reminding her about the Bible story and that Jesus is always with her. Help your child say a prayer, asking God for help.

Kids

Mark 4:25-41; Luke 8:22-25

LIFE POINT: On that day when evening had come, Jesus told His disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea.” So they left the crowd and took Him along since He was already in the boat. And other boats were with Him. A fierce windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So the disciples woke Jesus and said to Him, “Teacher! Don’t You care that we’re going to die?” Jesus got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Silence! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” And the disciples were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child look through the Bible and find miracles that Jesus performed. Make a list of each miracle and where it is found. Say a prayer of thanks for Jesus, God’s Son.

Students

Mark 4:35-41

THE POINT: Jesus has power over all my fears. How do you usually react to
life’s storms? Talk with your student about a moment when you panicked instead of trusting the Lord. Discuss the following quote:

“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” 1 — William Cowper

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Uh Oh:
•Sit down with your student as he or she makes a list of storms in life.
•Pray that your student will see the power of Jesus in a greater way this week.

If he or she plans to do Calm Down:
•Take time to praise God with your student for His power and might.
•As your student prays over different storms in life, pray for them as well

1. William Cowper, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way,” Cyber Hymnal, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.cyberhymnal.org.

Conversation Starters: Service

IMG_8170THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Many people consider themselves “self-made” people, but the truth is no one gets anywhere without the assistance of others. Other people know they need the help of others, and they build their relationships only around what they can get out of the other person. Our relationships would have more success if, instead of focusing on how the other person can help us, we focused on how we can help and serve the other person.

Concept: Service 

Preschool

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: Many new people were learning about Jesus in the church at Antioch. The people in Jerusalem heard about this church and sent Barnabas there to help teach the people. After Barnabas saw the good things happening in Antioch, he went to find Saul to bring him to Antioch. They worked together to teach the people about Jesus. One day a prophet named Agabus came from Jerusalem to the church in Antioch. He told how the area including Jerusalem would have a famine. This meant the people would have no food. The helpers (disciples) and people at the church gave what they could to help the people in Jerusalem. Barnabas and Saul took the gifts to the people in Jerusalem.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in a church project that helps people. Distributing flyers for a church event, visiting in a nursing home, or helping on a cleanup day are simple projects your child could participate in.

Kids

Acts 11:19-30

LIFE POINT: Because of persecution, many believers were scattered to various cities. They still spoke about Jesus, and people in these cities began to believe. More and more people started to believe, and soon a very large church had started. This news spread all the way to Jerusalem where Barnabas was. He traveled to Antioch to check things out. When Barnabas arrived, he saw what God had done. He was glad and encouraged them. He saw a great number of people learn who Jesus was. A prophet named, Agabus, shared that there would be a very severe famine throughout the entire Roman world. And what did the church do? The Bible says that the disciples decided to provide help for the believers who lived in Judea. They sent gifts with Barnabas and Paul to give to the church in Judea. The believers in Antioch were the first to be called Christians!

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in a church project that helps people. Working in a food pantry, distributing food to the needy, or doing yard work for a senior adult are jobs in which your child could participate.

Students

Galatians 5:13-15; 6:1-5, 10

THE POINT: Take advantage of the opportunity to serve. Do you enjoy helping others?When was the last time someone reached out and helped you? Discuss the following quote:

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”1 — Augustine

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Self < Others:
•Help your student find ideas for ways to serve others by searching the Internet together.
•Encourage your student to put a calendar of service opportunities in a place your whole family will see it.

If he or she plans to complete How Can I Help?:
•Invite your student to hold you accountable to grow in how often and how well you help others.
•Ask your student to pray for you as you serve others this week.

1. “Saint Augustine Quotes,” Brainy Quote, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com.

Conversation Starters: Love

DSC_1613THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We’ve probably all heard someone say, “I love him, but I don’t like him right now.” In that attitude, we treat love as some sort of concept we are required to embrace—especially with relatives—but there are no concrete, day-to-day expressions of love. Yet the starting point for any strong relationship is love—love that is expressed in both attitudes and actions. Jesus modeled this kind of love for us, and calls us to do the same.

Concept: Love 

Preschool

Luke 10:25-37

LIFE POINT: One day as Jesus taught, a man asked Him a question. “Who should we help?” Jesus answered the man by telling a story. “A man walked along a road to another town. Some bad people took his money and clothes. They hurt him and left him lying by the side of the road. Two church helpers walked down the road and saw the hurt man. They did not stop to help but crossed to the other side and kept walking. A third man walked by. He was a Samaritan, a person from the country of Samaria. He stopped to help. He bandaged the hurt man’s cuts, put him on a donkey, and took him to an inn. He paid the innkeeper to care for the man.” Jesus asked the man which one of the people was a neighbor and helped. The man said the Samaritan. Jesus told the man to do the same and help everyone.

LIVE IT OUT: Involve your child in thinking of and completing a project that helps a person in need. Perhaps you could choose a neighbor on your street.

Kids

Luke 10:25-37

LIFE POINT: A man asked Jesus: “Teacher, what how can I inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked what the law said. The man replied, “ ’Love God love your neighbor.’ But who is my neighbor?” Jesus responded by telling this story. A man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On his way, he was attacked by robbers and left on the side of the road. A priest, then a Levite, came down the same road. When they saw the man,they crossed over to the other side of the road and continued on his way. Then a Samaritan came down the road. He bandaged the man’s wounds, put him on his donkey, and took him to an inn to take care of him. The next morning, he gave money to the innkeeper to take care of the man. He pledged to pay back the innkeeper.

LIVE IT OUT: Help your child make an acrostic. Print GOD LOVES ME down the left side of a sheet of paper. Help your child think of words beginning with each letter that show that God loves her.

Students

John 15:9-14

THE POINT: Let love overflow into every relationship. Are you known as a loving person? Why or why not? Who is someone you can choose to love in a more intentional way this week? Discuss the following quote:

“Love one another dearly always. There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another.” 1 —Victor Hugo

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Dwell:
•Talk to your student about what it means to dwell in the love of Christ.
•Memorize John 15:9 with your student.

If he or she plans to complete The Price is Right:
•Help your student by discussing what you’ve sacrificed because of your great love for him or her.
•Encourage your student to love others selflessly and sacrificially.

1. Victor Hugo, Les misérables, (New York: Carleton, 1869), 165.

Conversation Starters: Forgive

IMG_8505-001THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: Even in the best of relationships, we will hurt or disappoint one another. It’s often easy to forgive a misunderstanding or unintentional mistake, but it’s harder when the person “knows better” and does it anyway. Or the person keeps doing the same thing again and again. Some of us become hesitant to forgive; because by doing so, it feels like we’re saying what they did was OK. But just as Jesus forgave us, we are to forgive others.

Concept: Forgive 

Preschool

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Their father was Isaac, and their mother was Rebekah. Jacob liked to stay home and learned to cook. Esau liked to be outside and hunt wild animals. After hunting, Esau would cook the meat for his father to eat. One day Jacob tricked his father and made his brother angry. Esau wanted to hurt Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob to his uncle. Jacob stayed with his uncle and worked for him caring for his sheep. Jacob married and had many children. He finally decided to return home. Jacob wondered if his brother would still be angry. One of his helpers came and said, “Some men are coming to see you.” Jacob wondered if Esau was sending men to hurt him. So he sent animals to Esau as a gift. But Esau wasn’t angry. When he saw Jacob, he hugged him and welcomed him home.

LIVE IT OUT: Forgiveness is a difficult concept for preschoolers to understand. Model forgiveness for your preschooler so he can begin to understand what it looks and feels like. Soon he will take the initiative on his own to forgive someone.

Kids

Genesis 25; 27; 32-33

LIFE POINT: Jacob and Esau were twin brothers. Esau had been born first. The firstborn son received a special birthright and blessing. Esau loved being outside and hunting. Jacob loved to cook. One day, Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau was hungry and said he’d give Jacob anything if he could have some. Jacob wanted Esau’s birthright. Esau was hungry and said Jacob could have it! The time came for Isaac to give Esau his blessing. Rebekah, came up with a plan. Isaac had instructed Esau to go out, hunt, and bring him back a meal. While Esau was gone, Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving him Easu’s blessing. Esau was so angry that he said he would kill his brother Jacob. So, Jacob quickly left! Many years later, Jacob returned home. Jacob was afraid to see Esau. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and hugged him.

LIVE IT OUT: Ask your child to think of someone he needs to forgive, either a friend or family member. Help her think of how she can apologize.

Students

Matthew 18:21-28, 32-33

THE POINT: Relationships grow deeper with forgiveness. Are you quick to forgive others? Why or why not? Examine your heart for any bitterness that you’ve allowed
to grow. Discuss the following quote:

“Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.”1 — Anonymous

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Forgiveness Unlimited:
•Discuss the importance of confessing sin to the Lord.
•Pray with your student, thanking God for His immeasurable forgiveness toward us.

If he or she plans to complete Selfish Forgiveness:
•Make yourself available to your student to talk as he or she learns to forgive people who may have hurt him or her.
•Model forgiveness in your home this week by extending grace to your spouse, children, and friends.
1. Stephanie Sarkis, “30 Quotes on Forgiveness,” Psychology Today, 1 February 2011, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.psychologytoday.com.

Conversation Starters: Encourage

DSC_0927THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: No soldier wants to go into battle alone. No one likes to stand up and be the lone voice in a meeting. We want to know someone has our back or is standing with us. We carry out our responsibilities better when we encourage one another. We all need encouragers in our lives. In turn, we can strengthen our relationships when we offer the same support and encouragement to others.

Concept: Encourage 

Preschool

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: The king of Persia wanted to choose a new queen. He looked at many young women; then he chose Esther for his queen. Esther was a Jewish girl who lived with her cousin Mordecai. Haman, one of the king’s helpers, did not like Mordecai or the Jewish people. Haman wanted to hurt Mordecai and all the Jews. “Go and ask the king to help us,” Mordecai told Esther. “Tell him you are Jewish and that Haman wants to hurt us.”
Esther was afraid to go to the king. If she went to the king without being called, she could be in trouble. Esther asked the Jews to pray for her for three days. Esther dressed in her nicest clothes. She went to see the king. The king was happy to see Esther and listened to what she wanted. He helped Esther and Mordecai. The king punished Haman for trying to hurt Mordecai and the Jews.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans she may have for her life, such as what she wants to be when she grows up. Help her understand that God has the perfect plan for her and wants her to love Him.

Kids

Esther 2:2-18; 4:5-17; 5:1-14; 7:10; 8:8-17

LIFE POINT: King Ahasuerus wanted a new queen. Esther lived with her cousin, Mordecai. Esther won the approval of everyone who met her and was crowned queen. Esther did not tell she was Jewish. Haman wanted to kill the Jewish people. He convinced the king to issue a decree that would destroy all Jews. When Queen Esther learned what was happening, Mordecai instructed her to go to the king and ask him to help. Queen Esther stood outside the palace until the king noticed her. The king said he would do anything she asked. Esther made a banquet for the king and Haman. At the banquet, she asked that they join her the next night. The next night, she told the king about Haman’s evil plan. The king was angry and had Haman killed. The Jewish people were saved because Esther trusted God and had courage.

LIVE IT OUT: Talk to your child about plans he may have for his life. Write them down and put them in a safe place. Look at the plans again later. Help your child understand that God has a special plan for his life.

Students

Acts 9:26-28; 11:21-26

THE POINT: Encouragement strengthens relationships. Who is the most encouraging person you know? What are some ways you can encourage others? Discuss the following quote:

“When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you are making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”1 —Zig Ziglar

LIVE IT OUT: Your student has been encouraged to do one or both Live It Out activities. Here are some suggested ways to help your student:

If he or she plans to complete Effective Encouragement:
•Make a calendar together of ways you can encourage others as a family.
•Think of ways to encourage your student this week.

If he or she plans to complete Promote Good:
•Join your student in posting messages on social media that inspire others.
•Pray for your student to influence peers in a way that honors Christ.

1. “Zig Ziglar Quotes,” Brainy Quote, [cited 14 September 2014]. Available from the Internet: http://www.brainyquote.com.