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February 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. The paperback is available on Amazon and from other sellers. To get started reading, click here.

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 22 of Year 1 "Request for Honor"

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Request for Honor
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The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him

Older children may read Matthew 20:20-28
James, John, and their mother approached Jesus with a request. The mother asked that her sons be given the honor of sitting to the right and left of Jesus in the kingdom. But he said to her, “You know not what you ask.” Then Jesus spoke with James and John about it. When the ten other disciples heard about this request they became indignant. Jesus told them about the desire for honor, saying,  “Whoever would be great among you, let him first become your servant.” 
Discussion Questions
Children know what it is like to want to be first and to be the best. Can you give examples of this? What does Jesus tell us about those who wish to be great? If we seek to follow Jesus, we need to be humble. What does that mean to you?

Week 21 of Year 1 "Blessing the Children"

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Blessing the Children
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Let the little children come to me

Older children may read Mark 10:13-16
After Jesus taught about marriage, some mothers brought their children to Jesus. They wanted him to bless their children.  When the disciples saw them, they tried to send them away. Jesus became indignant and told his disciples to let the little children come. “Forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He went on to say that people need to enter the kingdom as a child. Then Jesus received each child, laying his hands upon them to bless them. 
Discussion Questions
Why did the disciples try to send the children away? Think about what it would be like to draw near to Jesus and receive a kind word from him. What might he say? Even grownups need to be like little children in the kingdom of heaven. 

Week 20 of Year 1 "The Ten Lepers"

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The Ten Lepers
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One turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice

Older children may read Luke 17:11-19
Jesus and his disciples were traveling near the region of Samaria. As they came to a village, a group of ten lepers called out to Jesus for healing saying, “Master, have mercy on us.” When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” So the ten lepers left, and on their way they were healed. One of the ten, when he saw he was healed, turned back. He found Jesus and fell at his feet. Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed?” Only the Samaritan returned to give thanks.
Discussion Questions
Tell what you know about lepers. Do you think the other nine lepers were thankful for their healing? Why did Jesus want his disciples to notice that the only leper to return was a Samaritan? Talk about the word “prejudice”.

Week 19 of Year 1 "The Good Shepherd"

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The Good Shepherd
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The sheep follow him, for they know his voice

Older children may read John 10:1-21
Jesus told a story about the good shepherd who cares for his sheep. He puts them into the sheepfold at night to protect them from danger. In the morning, the true shepherd enters the sheepfold by the door and calls to his sheep. His sheep know his voice and they follow him out. The true shepherd leads them to green pastures and still waters. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” He also said many other things while telling this parable.
Discussion Questions
How do we care for our animals? Think about the statement, “I am the good shepherd.” How is Jesus the good shepherd to us? The people who first heard this parable knew the 23rd Psalm, which can help us understand more.

Week 18 of Year 1 "The Good Samaritan - Part 1"

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The Good Samaritan - Part 1
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Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?

Older children may read Luke 10:25-37
While Jesus was speaking, a lawyer wanted to test Jesus, so he asked, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responded by asking him what was written in the law. The lawyer replied that you should love God “with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said he was right. “Do this, and you will live.” The lawyer then asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered him by telling the story of the Good Samaritan.
Discussion Questions
Can you ask the lawyer’s question using different words? The lawyer answered Jesus with the Great Commandment. How can we love God? Think about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. Can you think of some examples?

Week 17 of Year 1 "To Bid Fire"

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To Bid Fire
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But he turned and rebuked them

Older children may read Luke 9:51-56
When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he decided to spend the night in a nearby Samaritan village. But, this village refused to receive him because he was a Jew. This angered James and John who asked Jesus if they could “bid fire come down from heaven” upon the Samaritan village. But, when Jesus heard these vengeful words, “he turned and rebuked them.” After Jesus said a few more things to James and John, they all went on to another village. 
Discussion Questions
James and John had a vengeful attitude. They wanted to get back at the village for refusing Jesus. Do kids sometimes try to get back at each other? James and John should have remembered what Jesus taught about enemies. Do you remember?