lent 2017

lent

Dear Parents,

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

“We join Christians around the world in honoring the Season of Lent. Lent is the forty-day season of reflection and preparation for the death and resurrection of Jesus. It leads us to the reality of Good Friday and the joy of Easter. Lent is a time to consider Christ’s sufferings and rethink how we are called to take up his cross in our world today. We usually associate Lent with repentance. But sometimes we forget what repentance really means. To repent is to change. It means that we allow God to change our minds and our hearts. It means we open ourselves up to the resurrected life.

People often talk about “giving something up” for Lent. But we want this season to be more than simply letting go of something. We want to drop some things, so we can pick up what God wants us to carry. Jesus set the pattern. He laid down his power and picked up his cross.”  Pastor Phil

So what does that look like for Bright Beginnings Kids?

This Lenten season in Bright Beginnings, your child will be given three opportunities to begin their own journey of preparing their little heart for the miracle of Easter.

  1. Memorizing the Lord’s Prayer
  2. Scripture Memory Program
  3. Lent Calendar

Memorizing the Lord’s Prayer:

This will be our fifth Lenten season of learning The Lord’s Prayer in Bright Beginnings!  It is amazing that such young children can memorize so much.  Each week during Lent we will be focusing on a different section of the prayer and working to memorize it.  You can help by reviewing each section at home with your child.  To help our little ones remember the words, we will also be learning how to sign the prayer.  Check back on this blog later this week for a video of the signs we will be using so that you can practice along with your child at home!

  • Week of March 1st :  Our Father in heaven, Holy is Your name.
  • Week of March 8th:  Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Week of March 15th:  Give us today our daily bread.
  • Week of March 22nd:  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
  • Week of March 29th:  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
  • Week of April 5th:  For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Scripture Memory Program:

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11  What a powerful verse!  This is my prayer for every child as they “grow with God” and as a result, I have been diligently working on creating a scripture memory program for Bright Beginnings.  The program will extend far beyond Lent; however, I will be launching it during Lent this year, so I’m including it as an option for your family as you journey this season toward Christ’s death and resurrection!

Lent Calendar:

Your child received a Lent calendar tonight.  I encourage you to hang it in a central location of your home and give it a try.  I know your days are already full of to-do lists, reading logs, homework assignments, newsletters, sight words, rehearsals and practices, but this is so much more important than all those temporal things.  Don’t get hung up on it’s “one more thing to do”; don’t stress out if you miss a few days (or a week), just take a step of faith and see where the Lord leads your family!

The calendar is a tool to help you introduce the idea of Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday & Easter to your children and guide them on their own journey of getting to know God and how Amazing He is!  It’s alright to tweak some ideas to make them fit your style and forget ideas that don’t make sense for your family.  The calendar highlights a Lenten symbol each week which we will be making in class on Wednesday nights, so the hard part is already done for you!  I am simply encouraging you to “start small”; to take this small step with your children, while they are still young, that will facilitate conversation, encourage questions and begin dialogue, weaving Jesus into every aspect of their life so that He becomes a part of who they are and not just someone they hear about at church.  What more could you want for your child during this Season of Lent?!

Will you join us?

So are you willing to drop some things during Lent this year so that you can pick up what God wants you to carry?  Join us on the journey and commit to trying at least one of these options with your child over the next 40 days.  I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in your child’s heart, and in yours!

ryannesig

wrapping up

We wrapped up our Wednesday night series on “God Made Me!” with some fun games to help us memorize our Bible verse and a lesson on the five senses that God has given us.

img_20170215_194950893_censored

img_20170215_194958253

img_20170215_195907888

img_20170215_195418724

img_20170215_195854723

img_20170215_195828600

img_20170215_195341158

img_20170215_195428774

img_20170222_194942993

img_20170222_194813484

img_20170222_194824066

img_20170222_194903984

img_20170222_211056150

We look forward to seeing you all tonight for our Ash Wednesday service as we begin the Lenten season with the imposition of ashes, remembering “from dust we come and to dust we return.”

 

take it home | 02.26

Extreme Sayings Series

img_20170226_115026202

Our kids served the church today by helping clean our toys!

Extreme Saying of the Week: “Be a Servant to All”

Lesson in a Word: Humility

Story: Jesus Washes the Disciple’s Feet (John 13:4-5 & 12-17)

Bible Verse: “Serve each other with humility.”  1 Peter 5:5

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for making us all different.  Help me to think of others and not just myself.  Show me ways that I can put other’s needs above my own by doing simple acts of service for them.  Help me not always want to be the first and best at everything, but to let others share the spotlight.  Amen

img_20170226_115047897

img_20170226_120514892_censored

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:   Is there a friend in your life who is going through a rough time, is stressed or could just use an unexpected treat?  Have your children help you bake some goodies and make cards, then deliver them together to your friend.

Toddlers: Play the “sharing game” with your child.  Pick a favorite toy and say “It’s your turn!” and allow them to play for a moment, then say, “May I have a turn please?” and you play with it for a moment, giving lots of encouragement when they hand the toy over.

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Part of putting others first is noticing needs.  To encourage that, play “Super Spies” this week!  Tell your child/ren that they are going to be super spies and their job is to notice as many needs as possible.  For every need that they notice, they get one point.  For every need they notice and stop to help, they get two points.  Play all day; at home, at school, at daycare, at the store, and tally the points at the end of the day.  Older kids can even be given a Super Spy notebook to keep track of their list!

img_20170226_115126358_censored

Our K-Street friends being “Super Spies” and learning how to notice the needs of others.

take it home | 02.19

Extreme Sayings Series

img_20170219_115159003

Extreme Saying of the Week: “Be Salt”

Lesson in a Word:  Example

Story: The True God (1 kings 18:17-39)

Bible Verse: “Honor Christ”  1 Peter 3:15

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please show me how to honor Christ in all my actions and words so that I can help others around me.  Help me to know how to talk to people about You.  Help me be a good example to my friends and family.  Amen

img_20170219_115317624img_20170219_115319150img_20170219_115320586_hdr

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:   When you choose to come to church, worship and learn more about God you are honoring Christ and modeling for your children what it means to make Christ a priority in your life.  This is such a gift for your children!

Toddlers: The way you talk to your child can be an opportunity to bring honor to Christ.  As you interact, continually give Christ the praise.  Praise Him for your child’s strong legs, smart mind, unique personality, quick feet, adorable hands…everything!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Talk with your child about what it means to be a leader (or salt!).  Talk about ways they can be a leader at home, at school, at church, etc. and ways they can honor Christ as a leader (not going along with something that’s wrong, including everyone, sharing, standing up for others, following directions).  Then play Follow the Leader with them!

Our K-Street friends brainstormed a list of what it might look like to “be salt” at home and at school.  Here’s what they came up with…

img_20170219_113326877

Parents of children in the Backyard & Garden:  Our children made pennants today to represent “Team Jesus!”  Help them hang their pennant somewhere at home to remind them to have actions that honor Christ.

img_20170219_115126961_hdrimg_20170219_115136968img_20170219_115154246img_20170219_121029667

img_20170219_121024762

 

partnering with parents

pwp

Join us this Sunday at 9:30am in the Teen Center for Partnering with Parents!

Making more and better disciples out of our young people takes a collaborative effort.  Partnering with parents is a “fist bump” from our Family Ministry team to JaxNaz parents.  Hear practical stories, ideas, and encouragement designed to help us do family better.

See you there!

 

wednesday nights in february

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”  Psalm 139:14

We have been rejoicing in the truths of this Bible verse all month!

We kicked off with a birthday party to celebrate the fact that God made each of us and has a plan for each of our lives.

img_20170201_185435900img_20170201_190915819_hdrimg_20170201_190922700img_20170201_191925661img_20170201_195549162img_20170201_195600836

Self Portraits

No one else is just like me and I will use my talents for Him!

img_20170201_195313015img_20170201_195322035_hdrimg_20170201_195333842img_20170201_195827868img_20170201_195839013img_20170201_195910477_hdrimg_20170201_195922448

Pretzel People

img_20170201_194150902img_20170201_194206469img_20170201_194238613img_20170201_194341041img_20170201_194349262img_20170201_194420097

Bible verse practice

img_20170201_200039848img_20170201_200008557img_20170201_200120679

Hope you can join us tonight for some fun games to help us memorize our Bible verse!

 

did you know?

We will be hosting the Early On Toy Talker Playgroup again beginning this Thursday, February 16th.  Playgroups will be held every 3rd Thursday (through July) from 10:00-11:30 am and are open to all Early on families and JaxNaz families.

toy talker logo

From the Toy Talker Brochure:

“Would you and your baby or toddler like to get out of the house and have fun learning at the same time?  Join us for a great time with songs, movement activities, messy art and craft projects and more!  Your child will make new friends and so will you!

The groups give adults a chance to get together and talk about parenting with other adults while children also get a chance to play together.  A variety of topics about development are discussed.

Playgroups are for parents and caregivers with children ages 0 to 5 (siblings welcome).

The Toy Talker Playgroup is a collaboration between Jackson County Early On with Parents As Teachers and JaxNaz and funding is provided through the Great Start Collaborative 32p grant.”

Feel free to contact Ryanne Johnston, Bright Beginnings Director at JaxNaz (517-782-7084 ext. 301 or ryannejohnston@jaxnaz.com) or Josie Allen, Early On Parent Educator (517-206-5869 or jallen@co.jackson.mi.us) with any questions.

Pics from last year’s Valentine’s project…

img_20160503_101741723_hdrimg_20160503_101749035img_20160503_102351269_hdrimg_20160503_101654763_hdr

img_20160503_10595384413174159_10102886935170874_7386107346853376863_n

See you Thursday!

 

 


take it home | 2.12

Extreme Sayings Series

img_20170212_114531500

Extreme Saying of the Week: “Don’t Love Money!”

Lesson in a Word:  Priorities

Story: The Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-22)

Bible Verse: “Love of money causes trouble.”  1 Timothy 6:10 CEV

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I want You to be number one in my life.  Help me learn how to be content with what I have so that I will not always want more toys and things.  Help me to think about money in a way that pleases You.  Amen

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:   As I was preparing this lesson, I couldn’t help but think how much I needed to hear it too!  Our children see what we buy, when we buy it and how freely we give what’s ours to others.  How in love are we with our stuff?  How in love are we with our money?  Are we willing to give any of it away at any time?  It’s always helpful for me to remember that everything we have has been given to me by God, even money.  He’s entrusted me and blessed me with it and I am simply asked to use it to glorify Him.    What a freeing way to live!

Toddlers: Children this age are, by nature, very self-centered.  You can help change that focus by encouraging sharing all the time!  When you are playing with your child ask “May I have a turn please?”  When they offer it up to you say “Thank You!” and after you have played with the toy then say “It’s your turn!”  Modeling how to share at an early age will help begin to shape giving hearts.

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Take some time this week to talk with your child/ren about something they would like to give to someone in need.  There are many community agencies that are always taking donations, or you can  bring them to our food pantry at JaxNaz.  They could help pick out one of their toys, an article of clothing, or food from your cupboards.  Load up your donations and bring your child along to drop them off!

Parents of children in the Backyard:  Ask your child/ren about the “I Can Give” picture they drew in class, and then help to make it happen!

Parents of children in K-Street:   Take some time this week to talk with your child/ren about the paper they completed in class.  Whenever your child receives or earns money, it is a great idea to help them divide it for tithe, saving, and spending.  If you are unsure of how much to put into each category, it is Biblical to tithe 10%, and a good rule of thumb to put 50% in savings and the remaining 40% for spending.  Instilling these practices into your child/ren now will help them be good stewards of money in the future!

img_20170212_092808370

take it home | 02.05

Extreme Sayings Series

img_20170205_101444464_hdr

Extreme Saying of the Week:  “Let’s Move a Mountain!”

Lesson in a Word:  Faith

Story:  Noah & the Ark (Genesis 6:14-22)

Bible Verse:  “Faith proves what we cannot see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Prayer:  Dear Jesus, please help my faith in you grow.  As my faith grows, so will my hope.  I want to believe in you and trust You for everything in my life.  I want to have faith to do the impossible things for You.  Amen

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:  Building faith in God takes a lifetime.  It is not something we receive instantly, in full.  The more you learn about God through prayer, devotional time, worship and church, the more you know God and trust Him.  Pray for God to strengthen your faith this week, then be prepared to grow!  It may be in something small such as having the confidence to invite a friend to church, standing up for a friend, or doing the right thing when you are tempted to do something else, or it may be something life changing that you wouldn’t be able to get through without God’s help.  When you take the time daily to get to know God more, you can have faith that He will walk with you through those life changing times.

Toddlers: Our story this week was about Noah and the ark.  Help your child retell this story this week by adding simple motions; have your child “hammer” when Noah is building the ark, pretend to be different animals as they are loading the ark, make the storm by tapping on their legs for rain, stomping their feet for thunder, and rocking back and forth in the boat!  Remind your child that Noah had faith in God and God took care of Noah.

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Play “minefield” this week to teach your child about faith.  Scatter different objects in an indoor or outdoor space, then blindfold your child and have him/her try to get from one end to the other without touching any objects simply by listening to your verbal cues.  After you’ve played, take a moment to talk with your child about what it means to have “faith” when you cannot see.

img_20170205_101346578_hdr

take it home | 01.29

Extreme Sayings Series

Extreme Saying of the Week:  “Forgive Everyone”

Lesson in a Word:  Forgiveness

Story:  The person who wouldn’t forgive.  Matthew 18:23-35

Bible Verse:  “Forgive everyone.”  Colossians 3:31a

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am so glad that you always forgive me when I do wrong things.  Please help me to forgive others when they do something wrong to me.  Help me to follow your example of forgiving everyone, not just the people I want to.  Amen

“Take-It-Home” Activities:

Parents:  Is there someone in your life you need to forgive?  Parents lead by example and your children are watching!  Make that phone call or write that letter today

Birth – Age 2: Take each day this week to give your child a big hug and tell them something you love about them, making it different each day.  Your children will be more likely to experience God’s love and offer forgiveness to others when they know they are unconditionally     loved by you!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: It’s great to teach your children to say “I’m sorry” when they’ve wronged someone; however, it’s also great to teach them to forgive when someone has wronged them.  Make it a habit in your home to say “I forgive you” when someone says “I’m sorry” to you.  Forgiveness is a process that we need God’s help to accomplish, but we can train our children to have hearts that respond with forgiveness

*  Our Backyard & K-Street friends made “Forgiveness Cards” this week.  Help your children give them to someone who needs their forgiveness…perhaps a friend that hurt their feelings or a sibling who wouldn’t share…or keep the card to use the next time your child needs to offer forgiveness to someone.

img_20170129_100728015_hdrThe weight of unforgiveness.

img_20170129_100716076_hdrimg_20170129_100748394_hdrLearning how God forgives.