advent | 11.29

1st Sunday of Advent:  Hope

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Story:  The Angel Appears to Mary, Bringing a Message of Hope!

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Bible Verse:   “For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children.”  Romans 8:16

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, thank You for being the perfect gift.  Thank You for choosing me to be a part of Your family.  Help me to trust You and be willing to do whatever You want me to do.  Amen

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We’ll be making an ornament each week of Advent.  Your child is welcome to hang theirs on our Bright Beginnings Christmas tree after class to help us decorate!

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Bug of the Week:  Ladybug  (Just like God created every bug with a special purpose, He created each of us with a special purpose too!  We are so important to God and He celebrates us.)

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Bible Verse:  “Let’s celebrate!”  Luke 15:23b

Story:  The Prodigal Son  (Luke 15:11-24)      

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, Thank You for making me on purpose!  I am proud to be a part of Your family.  I will become more like you by serving others and telling them how great You are.  Amen

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“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents:  Do you believe God made you in His image and you are beautiful?  Pray this week for God to help you see yourself as He sees you.  Then be particularly careful about how you talk about yourself (your body, hair, clothes, intelligence, abilities etc.) in front of your children.

Toddlers:  Young children are learning that family celebrations are special times.  Have a special dinner one night this week complete with homemade party hats or decorations and dessert to celebrate God’s love for us.  Tell your children that God loves them and sing “Jesus Loves Me!”

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Get some finger paint or a stamp pad and help your children make finger prints on a paper.  Use a magnifying glass (you can get one at the dollar store if you don’t already have one) to look at their finger prints and take notice that each one is different.  Remind them that God made them each special!

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Bug of the Week:  Ant  Ants are hard workers!  Just like they work together to make their ant hill, we can work together to serve God.

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Bible Verse:  “Use your gifts to serve others.”  1 Peter 4:10

Story:  Miriam & Baby Moses  (Exodus 2)       

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, I know that when I help others, I am helping You.  I want to serve others every day.  Amen

“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents: Children learn the most from you!  Model serving others and your children will grow up serving others.  Make an effort this week to find simple ways to serve others (hold doors open for people, allow others to go ahead of you in line, make a meal for someone who is ill, offer childcare to a friend) and talk to your children about what you are doing and why.

Toddlers:  Children naturally want to help you.  This week encourage and allow your child to help you with simple tasks such a pulling clothes out of the dryer, sweeping the floor, putting their toys away, “dusting” with a rag, setting the table (napkins, spoons etc.).  Thank them for their help!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Is there a chore around your home that is typically done by a particular person?  Ask your child to help you surprise that person by doing the chore (together with your child) for them without that person knowing.  Your child will enjoy the surprise and feel good about helping a family member.  Remind your child that anytime they help someone else, they are serving God.

Our K-Street friends talked about the fact that in order to serve others you need to be aware of people and their feelings.  To help them remember, they each were given a chocolate chip to eat and they all agreed it was sweet.  Then, they were given a piece of ice to hold in their mouths as long as they could!  After their tongues were good and cold, they ate another chocolate chip, but it didn’t taste so good.  Thinking about ourselves all the time can numb our hearts to those around us, making us forget to serve them.  Having a warm heart helps us think of others and their needs which makes us sweet!

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Bug of the Week:  Butterfly  When a caterpillar goes into his cocoon, he turns into a beautiful butterfly.  When we spend time learning about Jesus and reading the Bible, we can become more like Him!

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Bible Verse:  “Your attitude should be like Jesus.”  Philippians 2:5

Story:

  • James Follows Jesus  (Matthew 4:21, 17:5, Mark 3:17, 5:37, 14:33 & John 21:1-2)
  • Joseph (Genesis 37-46), K-Street

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I understand that You made me.  Help me to become more like You.  Amen

“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents: Your children’s faith starts with you; they watch you to learn what it means to be like Christ!  Ask God to show you one way you can be more like him this week…your attitude, your patience, how you treat others, how you spend your time…

Toddlers:  Reading God’s Word is part of discipleship, so start early with your children!  Even a young child can recognize television characters, so we know they can also recognize a picture of Jesus if they see it often.  This week, read to your child out of a children’s Bible each night before they go to bed.  If your child doesn’t have their own Bible, stop by Bright Beginnings and ask for one!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Prayer is also a spiritual discipline.  Make an intentional effort to pray often with your child this week.  You can pray before bedtimes and meals, when your child falls or is anxious about something, when you’re riding in the car or when a friend is sick.  We teach your children that praying is talking to Jesus and you can do that anytime and anywhere!

Sticky Faith!

We’ve been working…

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really hard…

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to get everything ready…

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for you tonight!
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Can’t wait to see you there!

Haven’t heard of Sticky Faith?  This is the first of many Sticky Faith sessions we will be hosting to help empower parents to give their children a faith that sticks.

Join us tonight!  

  • 6:30-8pm at JaxNaz Church
  • Childcare Provided (RSVP Ryanne Johnston @ ryannejohnston@jaxnaz.com)
  • Bring a Dessert to Share

See you Soon!

reported head lice

important

A case of head lice has been reported in the Backyard.

If your child attended class in the Backyard on Sunday 11/01/15 during 2nd service, they have potentially been exposed to head lice.

How are head lice spread?

Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person is uncommon. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.

Once laid, it takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch.  If your child has had potential exposure, we recommend doing a simple scalp check each day for the following week to look for an adult lice or nit (eggs).  These can be found anywhere on the scalp, but are most common around the neckline, behind the ears, and at the crown of the head.  It would be greatly appreciated any findings be reported so that we can be aware.

Signs and symptoms of head lice infestation:

Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.

Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the head louse.

Irritability and difficulty sleeping; head lice are most active in the dark.

Sores on the head caused by scratching.

The Backyard has been properly cleaned and treated since the incident and is safe for children (adult head lice will generally not survive for more than 24 hours off their human host).

All information has been provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  More information can be found here. If you have any questions, please see Ryanne Johnston, Bright Beginnings Director.

sticky faith | mirror

Has your child ever seen you read the Bible (I’m not talking about at church; I’m talking about sitting quietly in your own home before the Lord, Bible on lap, pen in hand, seeking the heart of God kind of thing)?  This is not a question to induce guilt, but to make you stop and think.  Have they?

We all know that spending time alone with God is vital to our faith and relationship with Him, but somewhere down the line we’ve been taught that our quiet time with God must always be that.  Quiet.  Alone.  As a mother of three young boys, I understand just how comical the words “alone time” are (and even when you are supermom and set your alarm early so that you can spend some time with God, your children have that uncanny sixth sense to somehow awaken from their deep slumber simply because mommy is up, am I right?!).

So do you just give up on alone time with God?  Chalk it up to this “season of life” and hope God’s grace will cover you for the next five ten years?  I don’t think so.  You keep trying to make it a priority in your life and when needed invite your children in to your alone time (gasp!).

Imagine the next time you are sitting quietly in your own home before the Lord, Bible on lap, pen in hand, seeking the heart of God and your child comes strolling down the hall PJ clad and still groggy eyed, instead of closing your Bible and promising yourself you’ll find time to finish later, pull your child up next to you and continue on.  (Now you will need to do some training if this is new for your child.  You can start by briefly explaining what you are doing and why, but the idea is to continue on, explaining as you go).

Read the verses out loud and explain that when something jumps out at you, that’s God speaking to you and that you want to remember it, so you underline it or make notes.  If needed, remind them that you are spending time with God right now, (not talking about your plans for the day).  When it’s time to pray demonstrate how you wait silently on the Lord, listening for His voice.  Show them how to quiet their body, mouth and mind.  Have them close their eyes and encourage them to picture Jesus.  Ask them how we hear God (with our ears?  with our hearts?) and then have them sit silently listening for God (be prepared when God speaks to even your very young children!).  Ask them if God spoke to their heart and then pray out loud, giving your child a chance to pray as well.

You get the idea; really just invite them in to your alone time, allowing them to watch and learn!

You’ll be amazed at the impact this will make on your child’s faith.  The questions they’ll have and the conversations this will foster will deepen their relationship with God and before you know it, your child will come strolling down the hall PJ clad and still groggy eyed, but with Bible and pen in hand, ready to spend their own quiet time with God and it doesn’t get much better than that.

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Wednesday Nights in November

Here’s what we’ll be learning on Wednesday nights in Bright Beginnings for the month of November:

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Story:  Jonah  (Jonah 1-4)

Bible Verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Theme Song:  Trust in the Lord

To do @ Home:

  • Take your child/ren on a trust walk; blindfold them, then lead them by the hand throughout your house or around your yard. Make sure to go over obstacles (perhaps some pillows on the floor), up and down stairs and around corners.  Once you are finished, ask your children about their experience.  How did they feel?  How hard was it to trust you to guide them?  Explain that even though we cannot see Him, we can always trust God to lead us!
  • Help your child write this month’s Bible verse on a piece of paper and keep it at your table (they can even decorate it with colors or stickers). Take time to read it together before breakfast or dinner each day!

See you tonight!

oops! please forgive our mistake

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Before our last Toy Talker playgroup we announced that Kindermusik would be joining us, free of charge, for six sessions.  What we did not know was that Kindermusik, by the nature of the class, has a limited number of participants.  Kindermusik is a wonderful program; however, limiting attendance is not the nature of our play group.  Everyone is invited and we don’t want to have to turn anyone away.  Therefore, Kindermusik will no longer be meeting during our play group.  If you tried to register for the first session and were told the class was full, the administrators still have your contact information and will contact you if there is space in one of the next sessions.

So to clear up any confusion, our Toy Talker playgroup will resume it’s regular schedule tomorrow.  We will meet every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month from 10am-11:30am.  Hope to see you there!

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Bug of the Week:  Dragonfly  Just like each dragonfly’s wings are unique, God made each one of us different and special.

Bible Verse:  “God made us to do good works.”  Ephesians 2:10

Story:  Creation (Genesis 1)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that you made me special.  You made the little bugs for a little reason, so you must have a big purpose for me.  Thank you for caring about me.  Amen

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Looking at our unique fingerprints!

“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents: Can you look back and see how God worked out the details in a particular situation for His plan in your life?  Take a minute to thank Him for giving you a purpose and then share your experience with your children.  It’s never too early to plant those seeds!

Toddlers:  Play “Where’s Your …” with your child this week helping them identify their nose, eyes, ears, toes, etc.  After you are through pray right then with your child, thanking God for creating your child perfectly in His image.  Pray that your child will seek His purpose for their life!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Play a game of “Would you Rather” at a family meal this week.  Ask a “would you rather” questions (would you rather eat broccoli or Brussels sprouts, play soccer or do karate, ride on a train or a plane, etc.) and allow everyone at the table to answer.  Remind your children that God created them special with a specific purpose and their God given preferences will help them fulfill that purpose!

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