God’s Plan Is Unstoppable Creative and Active Activity

In our Midweek Children’s program, we are learning about how God’s plan is unstoppable.  We used Acts 5:12-42.

After the lessons our teens come down and lead kids into a creative or physical activity.  Here is this week’s activities.

Creative Group

Items Needed: Dominos

Do: Today we head that “nothing can stop God’s plan” and when I think of unstoppable, I think of falling dominos.  I love seeing the huge setups of dominos and thinking how are these domino’s going to fall.   And when the first domino goes, I hold my breath thinking “is it going to make it.”  And when it does, it’s incredible.  

Today, in our creative, we are going to work together and set up dominos and see if we can make something cool.  

**Afterward**

Ask: Did you know that your design was going to work?  Why or Why Not?  

Say: Trusting God at the moment can we hard, the apostles were in prison (which was bleak), but nothing can stop God’s plan.  So even in the moment of hard times, we can trust that God’s plan can’t be stopped.

 

Active Group

Needed Items: Bag of Balloons

Do: We are going to play a game in which you will work together to keep up balloons.  We will start with one balloon, and periodically, we will add more balloons.   

**Afterwards**

Ask: Was this game hard or easy for you?  Why or Why not?

Say: Today we heard that, “nothing can stop God’s plan,” in the game you should be able to handle keeping the balloons in the air, but if we can’t adding more and more balloons, eventually it will be overwhelming.  The apostles could have felt overwhelmed by being imprisoned for sharing the good news, but God’s plan cannot be stopped.  We can trust that God’s plan cannot trust, so even when we are overwhelmed, we can trust in God.  

Advertisements

Kid’s Prayers “God Is Our Provider” Lesson

This past weekend, we chatted with the elementary age children about how God is our provider based on the scriptures of Exodus 15 – 16.

During the worship response time, we talked about how even though God is big, He cares about the small details of our life. We gave all the children slips of paper and had them think about an area of their life where they needed prayer. Some didn’t take it seriously, but others did.

Here are the results that I got.

“I want to pray for my MAP test for me to get a good grade”

“I pray that Northern California stay safe”

“I pray for everyone to stay safe”

“My family”

“Drink”

“I want got to know”

“Pray for my aunt”

“For everyone to be safe and love by God”

“I want an amazing Christmas”

“New friends”

Throw in a few for a dog, and surprised a lot of them want robots (which shows that they haven’t seen the Terminator movies).

One of the joys of Kidmin is that children surprise me every week. They are not supposed to be mature; then you see great maturity. I love that some of them thought past their needs and wanted, and prayed for the safety of others.

I am very proud of these special ones, and I pray for their needs (and wants). Lord hear their prayers.

River Relay KidMin Activity

Bible Connect: Exodus 1 – 2:10
Best for Kindergarten and up

Supplies: Basket

Prepare: Make sure to have a medium to large open space. Have the children line up in a straight line facing all in one direction.

Do: Talk to the kids about waves and imagine the basket with baby Moses going down the river. Imagine the basket going up and down the waves of the Nile river. In this activity, the basket is going to over their head to the person behind them; then they run back to the end of the line. The person with the basket now passes it between their legs, then runs back to the back of the line.

So the basket goes over then under, over then under, and with the kids going to the back of the line, this activity can keep going all over the room.

Some extra ideas: 1) Lead the kids to the storytelling area. 2) Time the kids 3) Put a baby doll and make sure they don’t drop the baby

Talk about: Did baby Moses know about God’s protection? How did God protect baby Moses? How can God protect us today?

If you have any additional ideas, let me know.  I did this activity with 4s and 5s, and it was doable.  It took awhile to explain, but when it got going, the kids really enjoyed it.

Your Child and Being Thankful

If you have young children, you probably have said this statement before to them,  “What do you say….?”  Then after a brief moment your child says in a muttered voice, “Thank You.”   This is almost a weekly interaction I have with my at least one of boys. I thought that after eight years, at least one of my children would know when to say “Thank You,” without being reminded.  Sometimes, they say the words, and out of habit I say “What do you say…?”  Which then I get a response of “I did” with a little chuckle that say’s “D’uh.”

This is probably an exchange of words that happens more often than you expected in your home as it does mine, because one of the disciplines we teach our children is that of thankfulness. I know for me, I strive to teach my children this discipline because I don’t want them to grow up in this world with a privileged mindset.  They don’t know the world outside of the U.S.; they don’t know the poverty and despair that is around them.  They only know, what’s in their school where young children are well-fed and they have numerous luxuries.  Even the children that are considered “poor” in their schools have more than the normal children in this world.  I want them to know, that because they were lucky enough to be born in the U.S.,  they need to be thankful for everything that is given, because they could easily have less.

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

It is God’s will for us to be thankful.  Not just in the good days, but in every day.  Why should we be thankful?  Because of Gods indescribable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15) of Jesus Christ.

Creating Thankfulness In Your Home

As a Christian Parent, I not only have to teach my children thankfulness, I also need to show it.  When I am with my children, there should be more positiveness coming from my mouth than negatives.  When I am in a restaurant, I need to be more thankful that I am able to spend the money on luxury foods instead of moaning that my steak isn’t properly cooked.  Our child will become the type of person that our mouths profess.  And if they hear me complain all the time, then I will be raising some complaining adults.  Be the example of thankfulness.

A great place to practice thankfulness as a family is at the dinner table.  The dinner table is a great time because food is something that we all can be thankful for.  It is something they have numerous times each day and it can be easily taken for granted.  So instead of ignoring the blessings of the food, why not give a blessing every time you eat.  Maybe even talk about something good that happened that day or share some insights on how you could have made things better.  Take that 15 – 30 minutes with your family and spend the time with positive, thankful attitudes.

To create thankfulness, you need to be the example of thankfulness and find the best opportunities to talk about thankfulness.

Helping Your Child To Trust In God And Not To Fear

I love being scared, which makes October one of my favorite times of the year.  Before I was a Christian and a parent, I spent a lot of time watching horror films. Even though, I no longer indulge in horror movies, there is something about being scared that I still love.  Whether it’s from entertainment, roller coasters or even a haunted house. And while I like being scared on purpose, I do not like to be scared unintentionally.  I don’t like normal people jumping in front of me trying to get me to jump back.  It’s not fun. If I am going to be scared, it has to be my choice.

No one wants to be fearful for real.  There is a different type of fear when you are in a haunted house or watching a scary movie, than having fear in your real life.  It is scary when something jumps out in front of you, but having fear of losing your job is terrifying.  Freddy Kruger is scary, but the bank wanting to foreclose your home is worse.

As adults, we know the difference between real fears and ones that are made up.  We know Freddy isn’t real, but you can lose your home.  Because one is real and one is fake, we are able to put up safeguards so the real fears don’t happen.  But, your children do not know the difference between things they should be fearful or and things that are fake.  They do not know that a scary movie is fictitious and cannot harm them.  As a parent it can be difficult to shelter your children from fictitious fears during this time of year,  While watching football, scary previews are shown during the commercials.  Neighbors put up Halloween decorations that may not be the most kid appropriate.

 

So what can we do, if our child gets scared?

Whether it be a real or fictitious fear, there are some scriptures we can use to limit our fears.

1. Trust In God

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Psalm 56:3 (NIV)

David was being pursued by his enemies and instead of fear taking over his life, he put his trust in God.  There is nothing in this world, that should make us fearful.  Trust in God fully, and fear will leave.

2. Give Your Fears To God.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

We can give our fears to God with thankfulness, no matter what the situation is.  And then God’s peace will guard your life.  It won’t keep fear away, but when it does come back, we simply need to pray with thanksgiving and the peace that passes understanding will be back in  your life.

3. God Is Always With You

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

The Israelites were afraid to enter the land that was promised to them by God.  Our fears can cause us to not fully trust God.  However, we can know that no matter what happens, God is always with us.

 

Something to Try

Here is a simple game you can play with your child.  It’s called “Trust Walk”.  All you need is a blindfold and a good size space to walk around in.  If you have a messy playroom, that will be perfect.  Blindfold your child, and tell them to follow your commands and to trust your words.  Lead them around the area of obstacles  for a short period of time and make sure they stay away from anything that is harmful.

Once you’ve navigated them safely around the room, take off their blindfold and show them the path you took them through and the obstacles they avoided.  Explain that they were able to make it through because they trusted in your voice.  Then make the point, even though we can’t see God, we can trust in Him to lead us through life.

Tweet: Even though I can’t see God, I can trust when I am afraid that He will lead me through life.

Those verses not only apply to our children, but can be applied to us as well.  We can allow our realistic fears to take over our life.  Some fear is good, because it prevents us from crossing dangerous lines, but too much fear restricts us from God’s blessings in life.

Teach your children to trust God fully, but also apply that same teaching to your own life.

Your Child’s Friendships Are Important

God gives us our relatives, thank God we can choose our friends. ~ Ethel Watts Mumford

Friendships have a powerful impact in your life, health, and well-being. Having the right friends can cause you immense joy, while having the wrong kind of friends can cause you aggravation.

The Mayo Clinic shares some of the benefits that comes with a good friendship. Here are my favorites.

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose.
  • Boost happiness and reduces stress
  • Encourages you to avoid unhealthy lifestyle behaviors
  • Improves self-confidence and self-worth1

That is the power of a good friendship, and that is a great reason to know your child’s friends.

Importance of Knowing Your Child’s Friends

You can’t be around your child 24/7. But you can help your child be around other children, who are a positive influence, when they are away from your home, especially if your children are more susceptible. But even if they are susceptible, knowing the children they call friends is important.

Tweet: You can’t be around your child 24/7. But you can help your child be around other children, who are a positive influence

When you know their friends, you can make confident decisions about hang-out times, sleepovers, parties, etc.. If their friends are bad influences, do you want them to stay overnight at their house? How would you know if you don’t know their friends?

Helpful Advice

Maybe you don’t know your child’s friends, where do I start?

First thing you can do is to stand back and watch your child. Sometimes we are too busy in our life, to take moments to watch but it is important to see and listen to your child interact with their peers. Take them to a safe activity, where they can interact with each other comfortably and then watch and listen to their interactions. Some key factors

How are they treating my child?
What kind of language are they using?
How does your child treat them?

Another thing is to ask a friend about some of their favorite activities. You will be surprised how honest children can be about their home life. One of son’s friends (1st grader) asked me if I played the new Grand Theft Auto game. I said I hadn’t played the game, and then he went on to tell me about the game. Now if his parent is willing to let their young child play a very adult game, what other things are allowed in their household?

If you find your child’s friends are not the right influence of your child, you can find ways to limit interactions away from the safety of your home and find ways where you can be a positive influence in their friends lives. I know for me, and I had great 2nd dads and moms outside my home that helped and shaped me more spiritually today. And you can be that same influence in their friend’s lives.

Helping Your Child With Their Fears

34053752_eaa1cf7dd8_z

Everyone in life will experience fears, but it get be difficult when our children start becoming afraid of things in the world. It starts off small, like a loud noise or a room filled with people, to later in life when they start fearing rejection or being home alone. Even as adults, we have fears from death to budget concerns.

Fear is just a part of life, but our children don’t know that yet. And telling them it’s normal can be very discouraging to hear.

Fear begins when our imaginations start developing. That coat in the closet can easily become a person. That shadow on the wall could be a monster. Imagination plays a big role in fear in our children.

But as the child develops, fear also happens through observations from their parents. A parent being uncomfortable in an environment will cause the child to be afraid. One time, we were on a trip away from home with the youth and a storm was coming. As the adult leaders, we were well prepared and knew the dangers. We were calm and collective, but a parent back home wasn’t and called their child. Calling their child in panic, caused their child, who was hundreds of miles away, to get fearful of a storm that we knew was coming.

As parents, we can do a couple of things to help with your child’s fear.

First, we need to stay calm and confident. I know it can be hard to be calm especially if you awoken every night. And sometimes we don’t have confidence because we don’t have the right solution to fix their problems. But what you can do, is walk and talk with them about their fears and show them that there is nothing to be afraid of. Say that with sincerity and confidence will come out.

Second, reward bravery. Do not worry if the accomplishment is small or big, it is an accomplishment. Reward them with something that fitting for the task. For example, if they are afraid of the water, and they decide to take on their fear. Reward them with a trip to their favorite dinner spot.

Finally, relieve your child’s fear by allowing them to tell you what will comfort them, even if it sounds dumb. Let them lock the door or window, if they are afraid of someone coming. Give them a night light, if the dark is causing problems. Let them tell you what will make them feel safe and if it’s reasonable let it happen. Obviously there are some realistic boundaries, and if something comes up that is unrealistic, give them a better option.

There is no doubt about that life is scary, and there are realistic fears in this world. We cannot protect or keep every fear away from children, but we can help them know that there is comfort, and there is peace in this world as well.

What kind of tips do you have with dealing with fears? If it is constructive, let me know if the comments below.

Photo Credit: Medo / Fear by xaimex via Flickr (Creative Commons)