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July 2018

What's New:

If you are looking for information on my Sunday School curriculum, click here

Now you can read Transcending the Everyday Temptations of Overeating in its entirety on this site. To get started reading, click here. The paperback is available from many sellers including Amazon.

Many thanks to the Etsy painters whose work enhances each post. Click in the caption of each image to visit the artist's shop. 

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Week 31 of Year 1 "On the Shore - Part 1"

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On the Shore - Part 1
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Come and have breakfast

Older children may read John 21:1-14
After the disciples arrived back in Galilee, they went out fishing. They stayed in the boat all night but caught nothing.  In the early morning, they saw a man on the shore who called out to them. He told them where to cast their net, and soon the net was filled. Suddenly, John recognized that the man was Jesus. At this, Peter jumped into the water and headed to shore. When the others reached the shore, they saw that a glowing fire of coals was ready for a breakfast of fish and bread.
Discussion Questions
This must have been a wonderful time for the apostles. Here they were in Galilee again with their beloved teacher and friend. What do you suppose they talked about as they sat by the campfire? Think back on some of this year’s lessons.

Week 30 of Year 1 "Mary Magdalene"

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Mary Magdalene
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Whom do you seek?

Older children may read John 20:11-18
Jesus appeared to various people during the forty days he remained on earth in resurrected form. Mary Magdalene, however, was the first person to actually speak to him. In the garden of the empty tomb on Easter morning, Jesus appeared and said, “Whom do you seek?”  Mary thought he was the gardener, so she asked  him where Jesus’ body had been taken. But Jesus spoke again, saying “Mary”.  At the sound of her name, Mary realized she was speaking to Jesus. 
Discussion Questions
Why did Mary not recognize Jesus at first? The disciples of Jesus were not expecting Jesus to rise from the dead even though he said he would. Why would that be? What is it like to be filled with hope after a time of despair?

Week 29 of Year 1 "Burial of Jesus"

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Burial of Jesus
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In the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid

Older children may read John 19:38-42
On the day Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate to ask for his body. Nicodemus went with him. Pilate said yes, and thus the body of Jesus was laid in Joseph’s new tomb. They anointed him with myrrh and aloes and wrapped him in linen cloth. Then, a great stone was rolled across the entrance. Some faithful women saw where they laid him. The women made a plan to return to the tomb after the Sabbath. Little did they know what they would see on Sunday morning. 
Discussion Questions
The burial of Jesus took place before sunset on Friday. It took courage for Joseph and Nicodemus to do what they did. Why? What do we know about these two men? Can you think of a time when you did something that required courage?

Week 28 of Year 1 "To Golgotha"

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To Golgotha
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And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene

Older children may read Mark 15:21-41
After Jesus was condemned to die, the Roman soldiers led him to Golgotha for crucifixion. When Jesus fell under the weight of the crossbeam, a man named Simon was ordered to carry the burden for him. Simon was from Cyrene in northern Africa. He had simply been passing by when this strange duty was thrust upon him. Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Over the centuries, people have  believed  that Simon and his sons became followers of Jesus.
Discussion Questions
How do you think Simon of Cyrene felt when he was ordered to perform this duty? Simon made the best of this unexpected experience. Think of a time when you were suddenly told to do a chore. Did it change you in any way?

Week 27 of Year 1 "Garden of Gethsemane"

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Garden of Gethsemane
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He fell on his face and prayed

Older children may read Matthew 26:36-46
After the last supper on Thursday night, Jesus went with three disciples to a  place called Gethsemane. They saw that he was very sorrowful. Jesus asked the three disciples to stay awake with him while he went a short distance away to pray. Three times he prayed, and three times he found that the disciples had fallen asleep. In his anguish, he sought to be assured of the Father’s will in what was about to happen to him. He said, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
Discussion Questions
How was Jesus feeling during his prayers in Gethsemane? What was about to happen to Jesus? Do you have questions or thoughts about the Father’s will in this? Why did Jesus want the three disciples to “watch and pray” with him?

Week 26 of Year 1 "The New Commandment"

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The New Commandment
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Love one another even as I have loved you

Older children may read John 13:31-35 and John 15:9-17
On the night before he died, Jesus spoke with his disciples about love. He said, “Love one another even as I have loved you. By this will all men know that you are my disciples.” He went on to say that if they keep this new commandment, they will experience new joy and friendship with him. The disciples knew how much Jesus valued love and service. And now they heard him say, “for greater love can no man have than this: that he will lay down his life for his friends.” 
Discussion Questions
Why is this commandment called “new”? People often wear something that identifies their religion. Examples? What identifies Jesus’ disciples? Think about being friends with Jesus. What does the “greater love” statement mean to you?