Over the next two months in Bright Beginnings we are going to grab our aprons and cook up some tasty tidbits for spiritual nourishment. Together we’ll measure out the ingredients to obey, trust, rely, share, listen, recognize, and remember right from God’s own recipe book, the Bible. Check back here each week to find recipes the whole family can make together to help your child baked these truths into their heart!
August 27th : OBEY,“To love God means we obey Him.” I John 5:3
September 3rd : TRUST, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Proverbs 3:5
September 10th : RELY, “We know and need God’s love.” I John 4:16a
September 17th : SHARE, “Share what you have with others.” Romans 12:13
September 24th : LISTEN, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.” James 1:19
October 1st : RECOGNIZE, “My people know and follow me.” John 10:27
October 8th : REMEMBER, “I remember your name, O Lord.” Psalm 119:55
October 15th : FEED, “Feed the hungry and help others.” Isaiah 58:10
If your child has any food allergies, please make sure to contact Ryanne Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-782.7084 x301) so that we can be sure to have a safe option available each week. Thank you!
We finished our last week of Extreme Sayings this Sunday!
Extreme Saying of the Week: “Be Perfect”
Lesson in a Word: Mature
Story: Abram & Lot (Genesis 12:2-18)
Bible Verse: “Do what is right.” 2 Corinthians 8:21
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to grow and become more like You. Help me to learn that I have choices and give me a desire to do the right things. I want to know You better so that I can be more like you. Amen
Parents: Have a popcorn and family movie night this week where you watch an old favorite from your childhood. Take a minute to talk to your children about how you were a child once and share with them a favorite childhood memory. Explain how God has helped you mature over the years and how reading your Bible and praying has helped you become more like Christ.
Toddlers: Play with a ball with your child this week. As you pass the ball say, “It’s your turn!” If you have more than one child, get them involved encouraging them to give everyone a turn as you play.
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Get out a board game this week and encourage your child to let you go first. Remind them that God wants to make us more like Him and that means putting others first!
K-Street friends acting out scenarios with their “Peace Puppets”
Extreme Saying of the Week: “Live at peace with everyone”
Lesson in a Word: Peace
Story: David Hides in a Cave (1 Samuel 24:1-22)
Bible Verse: “Live in peace.” Romans 12:18a
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me do my part to keep peace around me. There will be times when I want to act in anger or get even, but help me to have the strength to be peaceful and show kindness instead. Amen
Parents: It can be extremely difficult at times to be a peaceful parent! Pray for God to help you bring about peace in your home through your attitudes, words and actions. Take a minute to think about what helps keep you calm, whether that means getting up early to make sure you have some time to yourself, reading, creating, exercising, cleaning (yes, cleaning works for some of us!), and then make sure to include those in your daily routine. Don’t be afraid to give yourself a “time-out” when you are frustrated and know that simply getting silly (singing, dancing, laughing) can change attitudes quickly!
Toddlers: Pray over your child this week that God will help them to live out Romans 12:18.
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Peace is a hard for our little ones because most times it requires selflessness. Choose this week to focus on peace in your family. Talk with your child about what peace means, then tell them you are going to be the “Peace Police” this week. Every time you see your child sharing, allowing someone else to choose or go first, using kind words, saying “I forgive you,” not responding with angry actions, etc. give them a Thank You and a great big hug!
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
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!
Our K-Street friends being “Super Spies” and learning how to notice the needs of others.
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
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…
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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
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.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to love others in the way that you love me. It is easy to love my friends and family but help me to show love to those who are hard to love or that don’t like me. Amen
We want to be like “felt” not “sandpaper”
Parents: Give your children extra hugs this week! Reassure them of your love as you interact with them through your words and physical touch. Studies have shown that playful physical interaction such as tickling, wrestling, chasing and catching, etc. between a parent and child releases high levels or endorphins in the children and strengthens the parent/child bond. So have fun this week and know that as you pour love into your child, you are showing them God’s love. They will be much more likely to share love with others when they feel loved!
Birth – Age 2: Tell your children you love them and everything that God wonderfully and uniquely created for them, then play “I love your…” with your child: Say “I love your….nose!” and point to their nose, “I love your….ears!” and point to their ears, etc.
Age 3 – Kindergarten: Remember that you can make “teachable moments” out of potentially negative situations. Take some time to ask your child who they think an “enemy” might be. It may be a girl who always makes faces at them or a boy who yells at them or pushes them for no reason. Maybe it’s the kids who call them names. Remind them that these are the kids Jesus asks us to love! It’s not easy, but since Jesus said it in the Bible, we need to do it. We can be extreme in our actions when we show love to others who hurt us. The next time someone hurts your child, let them know it’s alright to feel hurt, then help them come up with a way they can show love to their “enemy.” They can share a toy with them, or simply tell them “hello” the next time they see each other, or even have them over to play!
We are embarking on an awesome adventure as we learn some extreme sayings that Jesus made in the Bible! We will go full throttle into each of the following sayings, discovering what they mean and learning how to apply them to our lives. Over the next eight weeks we’ll be learning about loving, forgiving, having faith, establishing priorities, setting an example, serving others, being peaceful and acting wisely.
January 22nd: Extreme Saying: Love Your Enemies (“Love each other.” John 15:12)