take it home


We will be heading to the race track for the next eight weeks in Bright Beginnings! We’ll be racing to make Jesus #1 in our lives and together we’ll discover that Jesus wants to be the “driving force” of our character.  We’ll learn about the character qualities of faith, self-control, obedience, trust and more while we hear stories about Jesus and His ministry.

Here’s what we talked about this week:

Word of the Week:  Faithful

Bible Verse:  Jesus has first place.  Colossians 1:18

Story:  Jesus Calls the Disciples  (Matthew 4:18-22)

Prayer: Lord, Thank You that You are always with me in this great race of life.  You are the best and can always help me.  I love You so much.  Help me to always make You #1 in my life.  Amen


“Take-It-Home” Activities

Parents:  In what way do you need to show God He’s first in your life this week?  Pray about it and ask Him if you are putting anything before Him.

Birth – Age 2:  Create a race track on the floor for small cars with masking tape or blocks then pretend to race your child, taking turns winning.  Remind them that whether we come in first, second or last, Jesus loves us just the same!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Take a day this week to wash the family car together!  Talk about who drives the car.  Then talk about how Jesus can be the driver of our lives.


wiggle waggle wednesdays are here!

Tonight was the opening night of our 3rd Annual Wiggle Waggle Wednesdays!


Over this summer the Garden and Backyard kids will be participating in Wiggle Waggle Wednesdays; it’s basically our own version of Kid City’s Wet & Wacky Wednesdays, just a little less wacky and a lot less wet!

We will be playing exciting games (think elementary gym class…remember parachute day?!), worshiping with music and movement (think drums and other fun percussion instruments) and putting God’s Word in our hearts (memorization!).

Each child in the Garden and Backyard will be assigned a team (either Orange or Blue) and will be competing all summer to earn points for their team.

Attending Service:  1 point

Wearing Your Team Color:  2 points

Winning Games Played Each Week:  3 points

Bringing a Friend:  5 points

Memorizing the Lord’s Prayer:  10 points

Memorizing Each Month’s Bible Verse:  10 points

Being Able to Recite All Four at the End of Summer:  Priceless (and 20 points)

You can help your child by making sure they are at church, being willing to transport a few extra friends, reminding them to dress in their team color (anything from hair accessories and hats to colored shirts and socks are great), and working with them on memorizing the Lord’s Prayer and verse of the month at home!

June:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Deuteronomy 6:5

July:  “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  Luke 6:31

August:  “Children obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”  Colossians 3:20

The Lord’s Prayer:  “Our Father, in Heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever.  Amen

Tonight we had fun creating cheers for our teams.

Go Blue Team!

Blue Team Cheer from Ryanne Johnston on Vimeo.

Go Orange Team!

Orange Team Cheer from Ryanne Johnston on Vimeo.

Thanks in advance for making our summer of Wiggle Waggle Wednesdays a success!  We’re looking forward to Wiggling and Waggling with your kiddos!

* We will be playing most of our games in Kid City (as they are out on the baseball field getting wet and being wacky) and we may play outside a few times in the grassy area outside Bright Beginnings.  If you have any concerns about your children being in either of these two areas during service, please let Ryanne know.

take it home

Sailing the “C’s” | Week 2





“C” of the Week: Competence

Lesson:  Do my best!

Story: Joshua and the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-26)

014 Our Garden friends played a game to act out the story. Can you tell which kids are “the wall?!”

019The wall fell down!

Bible Verse: “God gives us what it takes.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 (Paraphrase)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for the way You made me. There is no one else like me. Thank You for all the things I can do. Help me to learn more about You so I can be the person You created me to be.  Help me to always do my best and to be a good example to those around me. Amen

Take-It-Home Activities:

Parents: Your children are looking to you for approval. Create opportunities for your child to be successful. Even new walkers can put their shoes away or throw away the trash. Use hugs, high fives, and words of encouragement to appreciate their effort and build their esteem.

Birth – Age 2: Young children have a strong desire to help you. The next time you are folding clothes, ask your child to help. Show your child how to fold, then put the clothes away exactly how your child folded it (even if it’s not “right,” it’s great because your child wanted to help).

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Get outside and run short relay races with your child. Shake hands at the end of each race and talk about how God made us each with special abilities. Whether we win or not, God wants us to always do our best and be a good example to others around us.

take it home

Here’s your take it home for the weekend!

We’re a little late this week, but any time is a great time to bring God into your home, so here’s how you can remind your kids about what they learned Sunday.

027Look at all our friends who were in the Garden Sunday!


“C” of the Week: Character

Bible Verse: Be strong in character and ready for anything. James 1:4

Story: Daniel 6:6-23 (Daniel & the Lion’s Den)



We acted out “Daniel and the Lion’s Den” in our story station.


I’m pretty sure this was the part where the lions roar.  What do you think?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Help me to have a good attitude in everything I do. Help me to trust in You so that I will be ready for anything. Amen








“Take-It-Home” Activities:
Parents: You are a model of Christ to your child. Pray with your child daily, teaching them to say “thank you” to God. Children will learn to trust in Jesus by watching you.

Birth – Age 3: Have your child help you act out the story of Daniel & the lions. Ask them to roar like a lion while you pretend to be Daniel. (You can even make a little blanket fort as your cave)! Kneel on the floor with your hands folded and pray to God, telling Him you love Him and thanking Him for keeping you safe. Remind your child that God loves them and will always protect them.

Age 4 – Kindergarten: Invite your child to help you with a simple chore around the house, then sing a song as you do it together. Remind them that God wants us to have a good attitude in everything we do, and singing can help us do just that!




There are two more exciting opportunities I have to share with you, so make sure to check back over the next couple of days!

our current series in bright beginnings

We are starting

Preschool Logo

tomorrow in Bright Beginnings!

We’ll be spending the next eight weeks sailing the “C’s” of Character, Competence,
Chemistry, Calling, Courage, Compassion, Commitment and Celebration!

Your children will be learning that everything they do is for God and that
He can help them sail the seas of life!

Here’s an overview of what your kids will be learning:

April 12th: Sailing the “C” of CHARACTER
“Be strong in character and ready for anything.” James 1:4

April 19th: Sailing the “C” of COMPETENCE
“God gives us what it takes. 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (Paraphr.)

April 26th: Sailing the “C” of CHEMISTRY
“Love one another.” Romans 12:10

May 3rd: Sailing the “C” of CALLING
“God chose me.” Galatians 1:15

May 10th: Sailing the “C” of COURAGE
“Do not be afraid.” Joshua 1:9

May 17th: Sailing the “C” of COMPASSION
“Be kind to one another.” Ephesians 4:32

May 24th: Sailing the “C” of COMMITMENT
“Trust your work to the Lord.” Proverbs 16:3

May 31st: Sailing the “C” of CELEBRATION
“I came so that everyone may have abundant life.” John 10:10

exciting opportunity!

Our MOMS4MOMS group at church is hosting their second annual Love & Logic training and you are invited to be a part of it!

banner.LoveLogic.021112Love and Logic is a philosophy of raising and teaching children which allows adults to be happier, empowered, and more skilled in the interactions with children. Love allows children to grow through their mistakes. Logic allows children to live with the consequences of their choices. Love and Logic is a way of working with children that puts parents and teachers back in control, teaches children to be responsible, and prepares young people to live in the real world, with its many choices and consequences.”

Doesn’t that sound exciting?!

Here are the details:

The training will be held Thursday, March 12th, 19th and 26th (that’s three Thursdays in a row, starting with this week) from 5:30pm – 8:00pm in the Teen Center at church; dinner and childcare will be provided, free of charge.


Did you catch that?

The training, childcare, and dinner for both you and your children are all at no cost to you (I told you it was an exciting opportunity!).

I personally attended this training last year and am still using some of the techniques with my own children.  It truly is a great opportunity to share a meal with other parents and hear their stories, then be given some great tools to not only empower you as a parent, but to help develop your relationship with your children.  This year, I will be working with a great team of Bright Beginnings moms and Spring Arbor students to care for your children while you are in the training, otherwise I’d attend the training again!

Space is limited (grant money can only go so far!) so registration is on a “first come first served” basis.  If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Beth Spreeman at beth12979@gmail.com or 517-769-3465 ASAP!


take it home

Chemical Reactions | Week 8


Praising God in the Meadow!

Series Bible Verse: 2 Peter 1:5-7 “…add this to your life: faith, and to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, service for God; and to service for God, kindness; and to kindness, love.

Character Element of the Week: Love

Story: Jesus and the Cross (Romans 3:23, 6:23 & John 3:16)

Bible Verse: “…and to your kindness, add LOVE” 2 Peter 1:7b

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You so much for loving me. Thank You for dying on the cross for all the bad things I’ve done. I want You to live in my heart so that I can live with You forever in heaven. Help me show Your love to others around me. Amen

We finished our Chemical Reactions Unit with a cool science experiment about God’s love for us (check out the whole thing here).  Thanks Christina Hill for the recommendation!

God, Sin & Us from Ryanne Johnston on Vimeo.

Take-It-Home Activities:

Parents: Take some time this week to write a letter to God telling Him why you love Him.

Birth – Age 2: Talk about Jesus with your children! Weave His love into as many conversations as you can with your child. Tell them Jesus keeps them safe when they are anxious, that He helps them sleep when they are having a hard time at bedtime, that He heals their body when they get hurt or are sick, that He provides food when you are eating, that He is always with them, etc. A relationship with God comes naturally when you bring God into the daily lives of your children!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Your children had an opportunity to pray a salvation prayer yesterday (in the Backyard and K-Street). Ask your child about it! Make a cross with your child this week out of some craft sticks or play dough and take a moment to remember how God showed His love for us on the cross.


Taking about the salvation prayer in K-Street


This is our last week of Chemical Reactions!  Next week we’ll be starting our Lenten series as we prepare for Holy Week!



wednesday nights in march

Here’s what your kiddos will be learning in Bright Beginnings during the month of March:

Moses Pic

Story: Baby Moses (Exodus 2)

Bible Verse: The Lord’s Prayer (check out this post to learn the sign language)

Theme SongJesus Loves the Little Children

To do @ Home:
• Grab some objects from around your house and fill a tub with water. Have your child guess if the object will sink or float and then have them test it out!  Ask your children to tell you the story of baby Moses, then remind them that just as God had a plan for Moses’ life, He has a plan for your child’s life as well!

• Grab a baby doll and sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children” with your child while taking turns to gently rock the baby.


take it home

Chemical Reactions | Week 7

Series Bible Verse: 2 Peter 1:5-7 “…add this to your life: faith, and to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, service for God; and to service for God, kindness; and to kindness, love.

Kindness is “Attractive”!

Character Element of the Week: Kindness

Story: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

Bible Verse: “…and to your service for God, add KINDNESS” 2 Peter 1:7a

Prayer: Dear God, Help me to think about others and to be kind to them.  Help my words and actions help others, not hurt them.  Help me to see opportunities where I can share Your love and kindness to the people around me.  Amen

Take-It-Home Activities:

Parents: Bake some cookies with your children this week and help them make some cards, then deliver them to someone who needs some love and encouragement.

Birth – Age 2: All parents want their children to be kind.  When you see your child sharing, playing well with others, or being friendly, be sure to them then know by verbally praising them!

Age 3 – Kindergarten:  Talk with your children about their friends (from church, daycare, school, etc.).  Remind them to be kind to others, especially when they see a child hurt or crying or who may be left out.  Give them concrete, practical things they can do, such as allowing others to go first, inviting others to play with them, offering to share their toy, etc.



take it home

Chemical Reactions | Week 6


Series Bible Verse: 2 Peter 1:5-7 “…add this to your life: faith, and to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, patience; and to patience, service for God; and to service for God, kindness; and to kindness, love.


Character Element of the Week: Service for God

Story: Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:1-6:16)

Bible Verse: “…and to your patience, add SERVICE FOR GOD” 2 Peter 1:6c

Prayer: Dear God, You have done so much for me. Help me to serve You by helping others. Help me to see when others have a need and to do something about it. Amen




Take-It-Home Activities:
Parents: Is there another parent you know that could use a night out this week? Give them a call and offer to watch their children. Your children will love the extra playmates and you’ll be modeling “service to others” to your children.

Birth – Age 2: Even young children can help out at home. Instead of doing all the chores for them, invite them to help you with simple tasks such as putting their cup in the sink, throwing away their own diaper, helping to pick up toys, putting clean clothes away, etc. It will most likely take more time, but they will love helping you and the seeds you are planting are worth it!

Age 3 – Kindergarten: Do your children help out with chores at home? If not, start with a few simple chores such as making their bed (it doesn’t need to be perfect), helping set the table, sweeping after meals (again, perfection is not the goal), etc. Make it fun and remind your child that when they are serving their family, they are serving God.