Dec 142015
 

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It’s hard to wait.

This is a truth we know all too well. Waiting for the weekend, waiting for the promotion, waiting for the wedding, waiting for dinner time, waiting for the test results, waiting for the next season, waiting for our kids to grow out of a hard stage, waiting for the baby to come, waiting in the checkout line, waiting in the waiting room, for our computer to power up, for life to slow down, for morning to come.

In all stages in life, it seems we are in a perpetual state of waiting. Whether life is flying by or the days pass slowly, we all know what it feels like to wait. The longing in our waiting hearts can feel exciting or feel more like a dull ache. This is because we live in an “almost, not yet, already” world. We are an in-between people. The waiting in every human heart reminds us we are hard wired to hope, to yearn, and to expect. More than anything, we long to be satisfied…satisfied in a deep, filled-up forever kind of way. We long, we wait, for Jesus.

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Oct 292015
 

This is a question I often get as Programming Director or “that girl from large group” as your kids may say. Why do we use motions? We, as adults, don’t do synchronized motions for our worship, so shouldn’t we be teaching kids what real worship looks like?

While I think this is a very valid point, I want to teach kids what real worship feels like. Some kids may be able to earnestly engage during worship without motions but most children need that element to help them focus and think about what they are singing. So here are 3 BIG reasons why we use motions for worship in Crossing Kids.

Reason 1: It is in the Bible!preschool 4

Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
Let them praise his name with dancing,

making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!

Psalm 149: 1-3

There are several references to dancing in the Bible as an act of worship. True, this kind of worship was probably more free-form than what we do in Large Group, but there is something really powerful about worshiping with your whole body if you embrace it. If you have ever felt the impulse to raise your arms or clap during worship then you know what I am talking about. God created us to move, so we can use that as a tool to help kids engage with what they are singing.

Reason 2: Moving Helps Kids Focus

I am sure you have seen the articles; kids sitting on exercise balls instead of chairs in school, teachers taking short “brain breaks” to get rowdy kids active, or even the latest story of a reading room with exercise bikes! Study after study has shown that children need to move and be active to help them focus. Whenever we can appropriately include movement into our curriculum it makes those times when kids do have to sit quietly and listen much more successful. Motions during worship time help make the lessons kids are learning on Sundays stick. Since we have already embraced a child’s need to move it is much easier to engage them when it is time to focus. Giving kids a chance to burn some energy helps cut down on behavior problems too!

Reason 3: Motions Help Kids Learn the Words

I saved this one for last, because it is one of the primary reasons that we use motions – to help kids learn the words! A lot of our kiddos are either non-readers, or beginner readers, and that means they might not be able to follow along with a lyrics PowerPoint like we can as adults. We put a lot of thought into our motions to make sure that they are both fun and helpful. This could mean bringing in some sign language that we pre-teach the kids. Other times it means having consistency with our motions from song to song, like always pointing up when we sing “God” or putting our hands on our heart when we sing the word “heart.” For a kindergartener who has not learned to read yet, or a second grader who can read well just not very quickly, having motions that go along with what we are singing helps them to understand what they are singing about.

One time we had a song where the lyrics were from scripture, particularly something that Jesus said. Every time we sang the word “I” we pointed up, like we usually do for “God” or “Christ” since in this song Jesus was the “I.” Even though we always introduced the song by telling kids that the words in the song were things that Jesus actually said, it was that motions that helped the kids make that connection. “I GET IT! WE ARE POINTING UP BECAUSE JESUS IS TALKING!” an elementary girl exclaimed one day.

Motions EL BW

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we are trying to teach children what worship feels like. By engaging kids with motions we are taking the focus off of them and putting it on the songs. Many kids, especially our older elementary kids, are starting to enter that self-conscious phase. What do I do with my hands? Can my friends hear me singing? What if I am not a good singer? For lots of our kids the motions help them know what to do so that they can stop worrying and start worshiping. We want worship to be a joyful and gospel-centered time. We choose our songs and verses carefully to make sure that worship is focused on the gospel and big biblical truths. We use motions to help kids engage in a fun and developmentally appropriate way.

Dec 122013
 

“Praise the LORD for the glory that belongs to Him. Worship the LORD because of His beauty and holiness.” – Psalm 29:2

Worship comes in many different forms. We often think of worship as singing, prayer, scripture reading, and even community building with fellow believers.  All of these are ways we can worship God. But what does it mean to worship? You can think of it as “worth-ship”. When we worship God, we are acknowledging that He is worthy to be praised. The Bible talks about worship throughout both Old and New Testaments. In fact, the word worship is used 556 times in the Bible!

While there are several different forms of worship to God, there is truly something so tender and heart-changing about singing to the Lord. Many people throughout the Bible respond to God in song after He has done something great. After the Israelites are freed from Egypt , Moses responds by singing to the Lord (Exodus 15).  Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. Scripture tells us the baby leaped in Elizabeth’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. What did Mary do? She responded in song to God (Luke 1:46).  Worship is a response, a response to understanding who God is! He is our Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).

This Christmas, your family has been given an advent devotional to prepare for this holiday season.  If you do not have one, you can pick one up at The Crossing Kids desk or download it here.  In this devotional, we are learning of the promise God made to send a Savior to the world and then see that promise fulfilled through the birth of Jesus. This holiday season, our prayer is that your family will come to understand who God is more fully and then respond to Him in worship, possibly singing praises to Him!

Below are some fun new versions of Christmas songs your family can sing together this Christmas as an act of worship and remembering who Jesus is! It is not a small thing that our Savior has been born and it is not a small thing that he came as a lowly baby, endured hardship throughout his life, and then died a horrible death so that we can receive the undeserved grace of God!

In the book Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin, he says “Anyone who seeks to encourage others to give praise and honor to God can be referred to broadly as a “worship leader””. So parents, lead your kids in worship this Christmas and every other day, encouraging them to recognize God the Father as the only One worthy of our praise! Spend some time listening to the words in these songs and singing along to the parts you know. May your words and raised voices bring Glory to Him!

Away in a Manger by Shane and Shane (Glory in the Highest Album)
Angels We Have Heard on High by Chris Tomlin (Glory in the Highest Album)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing from the Jingle Jam CD
Go Tell it on the Mountain by Tenth Avenue North
Joy to the World by Francesca Battistelli
Silent Night by Mercy Me (Christmas Album)
My Soul Magnifies the Lord by Chris Tomlin (Glory in the Highest Album)
Here I am to Worship by Tim Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 222013
 

 

Last Monday evening, hundreds of Crossing Kids and their families gathered to prepare for Easter and worship our Savior with Jason Houser from Seeds Family Worship.  As you can tell, young and old had a great time singing and dancing in the auditorium.

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After our time of praise and worship, families moved to classrooms where they created their own Resurrection Gardens to help them prepare for Easter at home.

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If you weren’t able to join us, be sure to pick up an extra copy of the garden materials along with our Family Easter devotional and free Seeds of Easter CD near the Crossing Kids registration area on Sunday.

Crossing Kids-Sunday, August 12

 5th Grade, Elementary, Family, Music, Preschool  Comments Off on Crossing Kids-Sunday, August 12
Aug 122012
 

Little Ones

Monthly Topic: “P” is for Protector

Big Idea: I trust in the Lord. He will protect me.

Memory Verse:  “(His People) will be protected.”  Psalm 37:28

Bible Story Focus: Daniel and the Lions’ Den | Daniel 6

Lesson summary: This lesson will cover the story of Daniel being sent to the lions’ den after being persecuted for praying to God. The greatness of God’s protection will be highlighted in this lesson. Children will see that God protects his followers when they need him. Much like with David, Daniel’s trust in God will be discussed.

Monthly Song: 
“Wherever, Whatever” from the I Can Count on You

Preschool


 Monthly Topic: “P” is for Protector

Big Idea: I trust in the Lord. He will protect me.

Memory Verse: “The Lord loves… his faithful ones. They will be protected forever.” Psalm 37:28

Bible Story Focus: David and Goliath | 1 Samuel 17

Monthly Songs

“Powerful” from Phil Joel Deliberate
“I Will Trust Him” from The Crossing’s Forever/Home


Dinner Table Discussion

Discuss the following questions as a family during dinner this week. They’re meant to prompt further conversation about what was experienced on Sunday morning.



I Wonder Questions:

I wonder… did David need a fancy sword and armor to bring down Goliath? No, David only had five stones but he had God’s protection.

 I wonder… who does God protect? God protects “his faithful ones,” those who love and believe in him.

I wonder…how can we trust in God’s protection? When we are scared we can remember God loves us and will protect us.

Kindergarten-4th Grade

Lesson 11: August 12, 2012

The Great Fuzz Frenzy
By: Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Key Concept: God is the only one who can satisfy the longings of our hearts.

Verse: Romans 1:25 “They chose a lie instead of God’s truth. They worshiped and served created things. They didn’t worship the creator. But he must be praised forever.”

Book Summary: Ground hogs discover a tennis ball in their burrow.  Gathering the most fuzz becomes the only thing that anyone cares about.  Friends fight, steal, and discover that the more fuzz the gather, the more unhappy they are.  Only after the fuzz is taken away do they see the silliness of their actions.  We too do the same thing, chasing after idols that were never meant to satisfy the greatest longings of our hearts.

Activity Summary: Children will compete in a series of games to help them understand that the Giver is always greater than the gift itself.

Objectives: At the end of the unit, children will be able to:

  • That all great art contains an “echo of Eden”—memories of a good creation, the tragedy of our current condition, and a longing for redemption
  • How to use literature to notice Gospel themes, find common ground with others, and discuss these truths in winsome ways.
  • To enjoy literature, engage in culture, and understand what it means to be created in the image of a creative God.
  • To learn how to “hunt and gather truth” in a variety of contexts.
  • The Gospel is not just for saving souls, but redeeming all of creation.
Songs: 
“The Big God Story” from Forever/Home album
Because of Your Love” from Tru: Worship-Radio the World
“Glory to God” from Jump CD

5th Grade

Grapple Question:  Do We Have to Be Friends Again?

Kids Learn:  Forgiveness Doesn’t Always Mean Restoration

Dig Into the Bible:   Proverbs 17:9; 22:24; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:1-2

Preteen relationships are a roller coaster ride—the ups and downs can be confusing and heartbreaking. Kids sometimes expect that when they forgive each other, the relation- ship will be the same as it always was. Try this with your preteen: Rip a piece of paper in half. Then try to tape it back together. It’s not as good as new, is it? You can still tell that the rip happened. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that things will automatically be perfect. Remind your child that it’s important to try to put relationships back together with the tape of forgiveness, but the friendship might not be just as it was before.

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Rain for Roots

 Book Review, Music  Comments Off on Rain for Roots
Jun 232012
 

The past month, we’ve been listening (and listening and listening…) to a new album Scott discovered called Rain for Roots: Big Stories for Little Ones. This compelling collection of ten folk songs teaches important Biblical truths with simple and lovely lyrics written by Sally Lloyd-Jones from her Baby’s Hug-a-Bible. Before we even heard the music, we were excited about this album because we adore Jones’ Hug-a-Bible in our home. We spend time reading it with Eleanor nearly everyday. This is one of the best Bibles I have seen for babies in that it is God-centered and Grace-centered, while also making the stories relevant for little ones. Not an easy feat! Consider the story below, “Jesus stops a storm”:

The questions tell the story, while engaging little readers; and the answer to all the questions is Jesus – Lord of all. The text goes on to apply the story to us saying, “He will answer when you call.” Not only is the text spot on, the illustrations are colorful and engage Eleanor in the stories. For all these reasons, we have been huge fans of this Bible and Sally Lloyd-Jones. You can understand our excitement when we heard she was collaborating with Sandra McCracken (Indelible Grace) and other musicians, Ellie Holcomb, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser on the Rain for Roots album.

Scott is a long time fan of Sandra McCracken and the other musicians from Indelible Grace, so he knew musically this album would be sophisticated, artistic, and God glorifying. He was right. Though simple enough for little children to sing (the artists’ own children sing on the album), the music will draw your heart out for God no matter your age. I pray as Eleanor grows, the beauty of these songs will help her little soul absorb truths about God and draw her heart out for Him. Through God, good music has the power to do that. Sandra McCracken writes a bit about this in her commentary at Christianity Today:

“…what a significant moment that is in a child’s life when he or she can absorb art and beauty by way of these clever little soul vehicles called melodies. This tender moment in a young life reveals something else about us adults, too. What we believe about a child, and the person who that child is becoming, is significant. As Charlotte Mason says ‘A child is a person.’ Children are not just babies becoming people, they are already people. In this way, we hold and relate to them with honor and respect. On one hand, we don’t need to idolize them in preciousness. Nor do we need to belittle them for their weakness.

This reality is a great equalizer, and it makes me want to consider that honor even in the hope that the simple songs they sing and memorize should also be great songs. Strong, singable melodies. Rich, meaningful truths. Beauty for its own sake. Joy for its own sake. And by all means, we hold in view that the songs honor the great truth of God that shapes their character as they sing. The same thinking pertains to those of us who write music intended for children, or to those who teach music to kids in schools or churches—the same high standards of excellence still apply. As C. S. Lewis wrote, ‘A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’ The same is true for music.”

How I love singing these songs to Eleanor when we play and as I rock her to sleep. As I sing them to her, the melodies and lyrics set my mind of Christ and engage my heart in worshiping Him. I have a feeling this album will be well loved in your home as well.

You can download a free song to sample and buy the entire album (including a digital booklet with lyrics & chord charts) for $8.99 at Rain for Roots.

Jun 032012
 

Little Ones

Monthly Topic:  “G” is for Glorious’

Big Idea: Heaven is Glorious, just like God is!

Memory Verse: “It is written, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Bible Story Focus: What is heaven like? | John 14:1-3, Revelation 21:3-4, Revelation 21:18-19

Lesson summary: In this lesson, kids will have a chance to learn about a wonderful

place God is preparing for His believers called heaven. They will

learn what heaven will be like and how we get there.

Monthly Songs: 

Like His Love by Crossing Music

Unimaginable by Crossing Music

 

Preschool

Monthly Topic:  “G” is for Glorious

Big Idea: God has prepared a forever home in heaven for those who trust in

Him, and it is Glorious, just like He is.

Memory Verse: “It is written, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Bible Story Focus: God has prepared a forever home, called heave, for those who trust in him | John 14:1-3, Revelation 21:3-4, Revelation 21:18-29

Dinner Table Discussion

Discuss the following questions as a family during dinner this week. They’re meant

to prompt further conversation about what was experienced on Sunday morning.

I Wonder Questions:

I wonder…what is heaven?

Heaven is a glorious place that God is preparing for everyone who loves him.

I wonder…who is preparing heaven for us?

God is preparing heaven for us.

I wonder…what will heaven be like?

No one knows exactly what heaven will be like but God tells us in His word that it will

be glorious. There will be no tears and the streets will be made of gold.

You can talk more as a family about what heaven might be like.

Monthly Songs: 

Like His Love by Crossing Music

Unimaginable by Crossing Music

Check out this week’s Story Street video blog here!

 

Kindergarten – 4th Grade

Echoes of Eden: Week 1

JUNE MEMORY VERSE

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also given men a sense of what he’s been doing down through the ages. But they can’t completely figure out what he’s done from the beginning to the end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

OVERVIEW

In this unit, children will examine the way The Gospel helps us to make sense of all of life—including art. Together we will enjoy high quality children’s literature, search for places where the beauty of the Gospel intersects and points to the greatest story of all, and discover how to engage with our culture in winsome ways.

OBJECTIVES

Children will learn:

*       That all great art contains an echo of Eden—memories of a good creation, the tragedy of our current condition, and a longing for redemption and restoration.

*       How to use quality literature to notice Gospel themes, find common ground with others, and discuss these truths in winsome ways.

*       To enjoy literature, engage in culture, and understand what it means to be created in the image of a creative God.

*       To learn how to “hunt and gather truth” in a variety of contexts.

*       The Gospel is not just for saving souls, but reaching and redeeming all of creation.

JUNE 3

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodsen

Book Summary: Two little girls strike up a friendship even though they live on opposite sides of a fence. Though they are divided in many ways, they get around the rules by sitting on top of the fence together. The end of the book points us to the hope of Christ knocking down all fences and restoring our broken world.

Key Concept: Jesus will restore our broken world.

Lesson Verse: Ephesians 2:14-15a “For He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands.”

 

5th Grade

Grapple Question: Will God Make Me a “Jesus Freak”?

Kids Learn: Conforming to the Image of Christ

Dig Into the Bible: Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Peter 2:1-3

Preteens just want to fit in, so the thought of being set apart as a “Jesus freak” is scary! Being like Jesus doesn’t make your child a freak, but it does make him or her different. God can give your child courage to be proud of those differences. Tell your child about a time you took a stand for something you felt strongly about—maybe a co-worker asked why you pray before lunch, or you debated your view of God with a relative. Knowing that you made it through that tough time—even when it made you different from others—will help your child stay firmly rooted next time his or her faith is tested.

May 202012
 

Little Ones

Monthly Topic: “T” is for Teacher

Big Idea: Jesus is our Teacher; He shows us how to live.

Memory Verse: “Teach me your way, Oh Lord, I will walk in your truth.” Psalm 86:11

Bible Story Focus: The Lord’s Prayer | Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-4

Monthly Song: “Talk to God” from I Count on You

Lesson summary

In this lesson, we will look at Matthew 6:5-15, when Jesus teaches others how to pray.  We will dissect the Lord’s Prayer, learning what each piece of it means and recite it together through song.  Kids will gain an understanding of not only how we talk to God, but why we talk to Him–-so that we can grow closer to Him.

You can learn the Lord’s Prayer as a family by signing this song together at home. Your little one will be hearing this each week in class:

(Sing the following to the tune of 3 Blind Mice):

Father in Heaven, glory to Your name,

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive our sins and help us forgive

Keep us safe from the evil one

Your glory forever. Amen

Preschool

Monthly Topic: “T” is for Teacher

Big Idea: Jesus is our Teacher; He shows us how to live.

Memory Verse: “Teach me your way, Oh Lord, I will walk in your truth.” Psalm 86:11

Bible Story Focus: Forgiving Others | Matthew 18:21-35

Monthly Songs: “To Live for You” from TRU Worship: Songs from the Playhouse

“When I Obey” from Phil Joel: Deliberate Kids

Dinner Table Discussion

Discuss the following questions as a family during dinner this week.  They’re meant to prompt further conversation about what was experienced on Sunday morning.

I Wonder Questions:

I wonder…what did the king do for the mean servant that owed him lots of money?

The king forgave the servant and set him free.

I wonder…what did the servant do to the man that owed him money?

The servant did not forgive the man.

I wonder…why does Jesus teach us to forgive others?

Jesus teaches us to forgive because God forgives us every day for our bad choices even though we don’t deserve it.  So, we should forgive others too.

NEW! This month we are introducing our Story Street video blog. If you miss out on our Sunday morning lesson or just want to review, check it out!

Kindergarten – 4th

Rotation Topic:  Appearances of Jesus

Dates:  April 29  – May 27

Key Concept:  Understanding the Gospel message means understanding Jesus’ work in our lives now and how he illustrated that work during the 40 days He appeared to his disciples and others before He returned to Heaven.

Objectives

After participating in the workshop unit on the Appearances of Jesus, children should be able to:

Know and explain the Gospel.

Identify how Jesus changed the lives of those to whom He appeared, and how He works in people’s lives still today.

Recognize Jesus’ work in our own lives.

Unit Overview

From the end of John to the beginning of Acts, we see the first “un-appearance” of Jesus when the disciples and others went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’ body but instead found an empty tomb.  This “un-appearance” or “dis-appearance” caused great concern.  Yet it was because of this first discovery that Jesus, whom they verified was dead, was now gone.  As we study the following “appearances” of Jesus, it is significant to understand how unexpected these appearances were.  What do we learn of Jesus from these experiences and what do we learn of our future with Him as we study this section of the Bible and of history?

Scripture

John 20-21 and Acts 1

Memory Verse

John 20: 29 “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Songs

“Tell the World” from Hillsong Kids

A Place for You” from Forever/Home

“Help my Unbelief” by Red Mountain Church

Fallen Condition Focus/Heart Issue

Jesus’ appearance on the scene is indicative of the fallen condition of our hearts.  The promised savior came, appeared as a baby, grew into an adult, and through his death, resurrection, and 40 days of actual appearances all point to the need we have for a rescuer and the provision of God’s love.

God-Centered/Grace-Oriented Focus

The gospel message points to God and blankets our fallen condition with His love offered through grace.

Faith Response (application)

As Jesus appeared to the early church members, he still shows himself at work in our hearts today.  We can know Jesus and claim his promises.

5th Grade

Grapple Question: How Can Such a Big God Be a Best Friend to Me?
Kids Learn: God Knows and Cares About You
Dig Into the Bible: Psalms 8:3-4; 37:23-24; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 29:11
There are billions of people in the world, so how could God know and love us all? Take this challenge with your child: Pour a cup of sugar on black construction paper or a dark- colored plate. See how many granules of sugar you can count in two minutes. Pretty hard, huh? Think about all the sugar packets and containers in the world; counting those granules would be impossible for humans. But God can do things that are impossible for us—knowing and loving each of us, for example. Remind your child that God can be his or her best friend.
May 062012
 

Little Ones

Monthly Topic: “T” is for Teacher

Big Idea: Jesus is our Teacher; He shows us how to live.

Memory Verse: “Teach me your way, Oh Lord, I will walk in your truth.” Psalm 86:11

Bible Story Focus: The Lord’s Prayer | Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-4

Monthly Song: “Talk to God” from I Count on You

Lesson summary

In this lesson, we will look at Matthew 6:5-15, when Jesus teaches others how to pray.  We will dissect the Lord’s Prayer, learning what each piece of it means and recite it together through song.  Kids will gain an understanding of not only how we talk to God, but why we talk to Him–-so that we can grow closer to Him.

You can learn the Lord’s Prayer as a family by signing this song together at home. Your little one will be hearing this each week in class:

(Sing the following to the tune of 3 Blind Mice):

Father in Heaven, glory to Your name,

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive our sins and help us forgive

Keep us safe from the evil one

Your glory forever. Amen

Your glory forever. Amen

Preschool

Monthly Topic: “T” is for Teacher

Big Idea: Jesus is our Teacher; He shows us how to live.

Memory Verse: “Teach me your way, Oh Lord, I will walk in your truth.” Psalm 86:11

Bible Story Focus: The Lord’s Prayer | Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-4

Monthly Songs: “To Live for You” from TRU Worship: Songs from the Playhouse

“When I Obey” from Phil Joel: Deliberate Kids

Dinner Table Discussion

Discuss the following questions as a family during dinner this week.  They’re meant to prompt further conversation about what was experienced on Sunday morning.

I Wonder Questions:

I wonder…how does Jesus teach us today?

He teaches us through his word, the Bible.

I wonder…how did Jesus teach us to pray?

Jesus taught us how to pray in the Bible using the Lord’s Prayer.

I wonder…what are some things we can be praying for as a family?

List out some things you can be praying for as a family and then spend some time praying together.  Use the Lord’s Prayer as a guide or simply pray in your own way.

NEW! This month we are introducing our Story Street video blog. If you miss out on our Sunday morning lesson or just want to review, check it out!

Kindergarten – 4th

Rotation Topic:  Appearances of Jesus

Dates:  April 29  – May 27

Key Concept:  Understanding the Gospel message means understanding Jesus’ work in our lives now and how he illustrated that work during the 40 days He appeared to his disciples and others before He returned to Heaven.

Objectives

After participating in the workshop unit on the Appearances of Jesus, children should be able to:

Know and explain the Gospel.

Identify how Jesus changed the lives of those to whom He appeared, and how He works in people’s lives still today.

Recognize Jesus’ work in our own lives.

Unit Overview

From the end of John to the beginning of Acts, we see the first “un-appearance” of Jesus when the disciples and others went to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’ body but instead found an empty tomb.  This “un-appearance” or “dis-appearance” caused great concern.  Yet it was because of this first discovery that Jesus, whom they verified was dead, was now gone.  As we study the following “appearances” of Jesus, it is significant to understand how unexpected these appearances were.  What do we learn of Jesus from these experiences and what do we learn of our future with Him as we study this section of the Bible and of history?

Scripture

John 20-21 and Acts 1

Memory Verse

John 20: 29 “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Songs

“Tell the World” from Hillsong Kids

A Place for You” from Forever/Home

“Help my Unbelief” by Red Mountain Church

Fallen Condition Focus/Heart Issue

Jesus’ appearance on the scene is indicative of the fallen condition of our hearts.  The promised savior came, appeared as a baby, grew into an adult, and through his death, resurrection, and 40 days of actual appearances all point to the need we have for a rescuer and the provision of God’s love.

God-Centered/Grace-Oriented Focus

The gospel message points to God and blankets our fallen condition with His love offered through grace.

Faith Response (application)

As Jesus appeared to the early church members, he still shows himself at work in our hearts today.  We can know Jesus and claim his promises.

5th Grade

Grapple Question: Is It OK if My Friends’ Parents Say It’s OK?

Kids Learn: Honoring My Parents

Dig Into the Bible: Deuteronomy 5:16; Proverbs 13:1; Mark 7:10-13; Romans 13:1; Colossians 3:20

This week create guidelines with your child for staying over at friends’ homes. What things do other parents have authority to decide? Discuss rules about junk food and soda, what kind of TV and movies your preteen may watch, Internet and video-game use, curfews, and so on. Will you have the same rules no matter where your child stays? When should your child call to consult you? Clear guidelines will head off most problems.

Apr 292012
 

Why should parents, like you and me, keep up with current music?  Why should we care what is on the radio or what our kids are listening to? With all the talk recently of the power of music, as Dave Cover wrote about on ESI, I thought it apropos to share the post I wrote few months ago on my blog. Thank you to the Crossing staff and members who helped me collect these recommendations!

I distinctly remember in 6th grade blaring my pink jam box with the likes of New Kids on the Block, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson (“Miss Jackson if you’re nasty”), and Tiffany. I could never understand why my parents didn’t know or like my music or listen to much music at all. To my requests to listen to the radio (loudly) in the car, I remember them saying they “just needed quiet”. Keep in mind they had four kids, of which I was the oldest.

Now, I get it. I get why parents of little kids lose touch with pop culture and trends as we get older. I get why we “just need quiet”. Blaring music on top of crying, whiny, screaming or just chatty little kids turns the amp “up to 11” (in the words of Nigel from This is Spinal Tap.) On top of that, I find it hard to listen to my music with the kids around. I don’t know about you, but I’m not really comfortable with my 5-year-old hearing or singing the profanity in the chorus of my favorite Mumford and Sons song. At the appropriate stage, we’ll have conversations about lyrics like that but not just yet (hmm…maybe Kindergarten next year will change that).

That being said, I don’t want to lose touch with truly excellent music or with the music that is influencing our world. Here’s why:

1 – We’re made in the image of God–the Creator, who the Bible says enjoys his creation and calls it “good”. Therefore, part of what it means to be human is to create and enjoy creative expression (in this instance we’re talking about music). I find it fascinating that there is no culture that does not sing. It’s part of who we are.

2 – To make an impact in the world and my kids’ lives, I’ve got to understand and be able to engage with our culture.

So in my desperation, I recently sent an email to some of my trusted music-loving and far-cooler-than-me friends. “Save me from becoming culturally obsolete!” I pleaded. “What music or musical artists from the last two years should I be listening to?” Here are the varied recommendations I received and will be checking out. Continue reading »