Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Final words.....!

If you have joined in on this journey...thank you! I really hope and pray that it has been helpful. If you have the inclination to let me know how it has worked for your family I would love to hear from you, even with suggestions of improvements! You can email me at tkemac(at)gmail(dot)com

I have also written similar devotions to be used in the countdown to Christmas, so if you enjoyed these, check back later in the year to see the Christmas ones! I will definitely start posting them earlier to allow more time for getting resources organised! 

I am also nearly finished writing a years program for our TinyTots Sunday School class at church. They are the 2-4 year olds! The first two terms follow a similar path to these devotions - discovering who Jesus is and what He has done for us and Terms 3 & 4 look at the bigger picture of the bible and why we needed a Saviour and who that Saviour was going to be - thus looking at the Christmas story! I was inspired by the Jesse Tree style for term 3 & 4! So if that is of any interest to you and your church please let me know. I'm happy to share it!!

May God continue to bless your families as you journey together in teaching your precious little ones about Jesus and guiding them in their faith journey! 
Kate xo

Devotion Time - Day 29

Good Morning!! Here is the last devotion for Easter. I wonder whether God has allowed it to be helpful to other families in their walk to know, love and understand Jesus better this Easter? I sure hope and pray so!!  This devotion brings it all together with the promise of Jesus' return one day and the story of His work in our lives that is still to be continued!! Praise God!! 

Day 29

Revelation 1, 5, 21, 22
“A dream of heaven” p. 342 in The Jesus Story Book Bible

Treasure Hunt Resources: Photos of the kid’s favourite cake, toys, anything precious that they would love to receive as a gift! You will also need the actual object as well for later on!

Beginning Activity/ Chat: Explain to the kids that they are going to help do the treasure hunt today! One at a time they will take turns to hide something or someone (the kids themselves could also hide!)  somewhere in the room or even somewhere in the house that we are currently in. Each time something/someone is hidden talk to the kids and make the point that even though they can’t be seen they are still with us in the same room or house, just like Jesus is always with us even though we can’t actually see him.

After they have all had a turn tell the kids that there actually is another treasure hiding for them all. Once they have found the envelopes with the pictures of their favourite gifts, talk about how the things in the photos are so special to us. Ask the kids how they would feel if they could only eve look at the picture, but never actually have their special item? How would they feel if they knew that sometime soon they could have this special thing for themselves?

In today’s true story from the bible we will hear that not only does Jesus promise that he is always with us wherever we are, but he also has promised that he will come back to earth again one day and take us home to heaven to be with him. So just like we feel really excited to be able to have our special thing sometime soon,  we can also be so excited and know for sure that one day Jesus has promised to come and take us home to heaven to be with him forever! Hooray!

Read “A dream of heaven” p. 342 in The Jesus Story Book Bible or “Jesus is coming!” in The Beginner’s Bible p. 504

1.        What did God tell and show to John in his vision? (God sitting on a throne and everything bad on earth had come to an end. From the Storybook bible - Lots of laughing and cheering like a big party, an amazing city, God’s children all together again and Satan defeated!)
2.        Will there be any more death, sadness, crying or pain in heaven? (No! It will be a happy and joyful and amazing  place where all God’s people will be together with Him!))
3.        Has Jesus promised to come back again one day? (Yes!)

Either now or at the end might be a good time to give your children their special thing from the beginning. It just depends on when it will be the least distracting for the children!!

Thank you, thank you King Jesus that you have promised to come back to earth again one day. Thank you that you came to die for us, so that we can be your friends again, and that if we believe and trust in you will be able to go and live with you in Heaven, such an amazing and wonderful place!  Thank you that we can trust in your promises! Amen.

Memory Verse Activities:
For the final time practice singing the memory verse together! You could have a sing/dance off completion if your kids like that sort of thing, or perform it for the neighbours or other family members! They might like the chance to make a video clip of them singing it too!

It could be good to ask the children one last time to explain what they think this verse means for them. Just to check their understanding and that they have begun to grasp it personally for themselves.

You could ask them to choose their favourite memory verse activity we have done and do it again together.

Now might also be a really good time to look at the children’s version of “Two ways to live”. It is available to view for free online or you can purchase copies also. It is a really effective revision of all we have been learning over this Easter period. You might be able to think of some craft activities your children might enjoy based on the pictures, or even see if they can copy and draw their own and learn to talk through each step! Here is the link to the online version!

Written and Compiled by Kate McIntosh, April 2012.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Devotion Time - Day 28

...and here is the next one to make up for yesterday!!! Enjoy! xo

Day 28

Acts 1-5, John 15
“God sends help” p. 326 in The Jesus Story book Bible

Treasure Hunt Resources:  Materials to make headbands with a flame on them eg. Strips of cardboard, a cardboard flame shape to attach, a stapler to join the head band up! You could decorate and make it have a 3D effect with cellophane, glitter.

Beginning Activity/Chat:  Together construct the headbands and explain that although Jesus had gone back to heaven he had promised to send a helper back to His people. In today’s true story from the bible we are going to hear about Jesus’ promise to the disciples coming true in a very unusual way!

Read The Jesus storybook Bible p. 326 or The Beginner’s Bible p. 473

1.        What was Jesus’ promise to the disciples in yesterday’s story? (Go to Jerusalem and I will send a helper for you)
2.        Who was the special helper? (The Holy Spirit)
3.        What did the Holy Spirit look like in this story (flames on the disciples heads and in their hearts)
4.        Does the Holy Spirit look like that today? (No, not unless God wanted it to)
5.        Is the Holy Spirit living in our hearts today? (Yes! If we have asked Jesus to forgive us and asked him to live in our hearts, then the Holy Spirit is definitely with us!)

How precious it is to know that if we have asked Jesus to forgive us and come and live in our hearts that he promises to send the Holy Spirit to help us as we learn to be more like Jesus every day! We are not alone and even though we can’t see the Holy Spirit or Jesus, we can know that they are right with us and ready to help us whenever we call!

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for not leaving us alone here on earth while you are in heaven. Thank you that you have sent us a helper in the Holy Spirit. Please help us to always trust you and to know that you are living in us. Thank you that you have rescued us from all the wrong things we do and that you love us and will never leave us. Amen.

Memory Verse Activities:
Continue practicing the song!

Maybe you could write the memory verse around the band of the head band to remind the children as they wear it that Jesus is their King and they are not alone when they trust in Jesus!

This could be a long bow....You could make a picture of a person who knows Jesus– say with a crown on their head or a cross on their heart, and then a cloud radiating light to represent heaven. Then with some flame shaped cards and cross shaped cards that have the words/sections of the verse written on them and the children have to put them in the right order going between the person and heaven, allowing you to talk and reinforce that as we walk through life between now and when we’ll meet Jesus, if we trust in Him, then we can always know that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with us and guiding us every step of the way!

Written and Compiled by Kate McIntosh, April 2012

Devotion Time - Day 27

Hi there!!
I was a little slack not posting another devotion yesterday sorry....hopefully I can be excused on Easter Sunday?! I hope you all had a fabulous day celebrating Jesus with your families!! We had a great day, after a very rushed start getting to church! We suddenly realised when we got up that to get the hire car back by 12 we were going to have to do it before church! So a few phone calls later and Tim had organised to be picked up after dropping it of  and the boys and I just arrived way early at church and played with our minister's girls! We lent our other little car to our  minister and have swapped for their one that fits three car seats across the back, until we can pick up a new one as our other car is not fixable without spending thousands on it.....

Anyways....here's the next devotion! Only two more to go! May God bless your families richly in reading His word together! xo

Day 27

Matthew 28:16-20, Luke 24:44-51, John 14:2-3, Acts 1:6-11
“Jesus goes to heaven” p. 466 in The Beginner’s Bible

Treasure Hunt Resources: Drawing things and or building materials! For the extra activity you will need big cardboard/fabric “W”, “T” and “L” letters and things to decorate them!

Beginning Activities: Together with the kids discuss and dream about what your perfect home to live in would be/look like. If you have kids who enjoy drawing or making things you could even have a go at visually representing what it would look like, either on paper or by building it!.

In today’s true story from the bible we are going to hear about Jesus saying goodbye to his special friends. Then we will read about how he went back to his home in heaven with God to prepare a perfect place for us to go one day!  It will be even better than anything we can imagine...better than any of our dream houses here on earth could ever be!

Read “Jesus goes to heaven” in The Beginner’s Bible p. 466 or The Jesus Storybook Bible, p. 322-325

1.        Where did Jesus go? (back to heaven to prepare a place for us)
2.        How did Jesus go? (He rose up in the air into the clouds! How amazing!)
3.        What did he tell the disciples and now us to do until we see him again? (Go and tell everyone about the good news of Jesus, so that they can know and trust in Him too!)

An extra activity that you could do after reading this story could be to decorate big letters (W, T & L) together and talk about how the “w” stands for “way” the ‘t’ for “truth” and the “l” for “life” and that it is only by knowing and trusting in Jesus and all he has done for us that we can see him again one day. Only He is the way the truth and the life! If you know the song you could sing it too!

Thank you Jesus that you have gone to heaven to make a place ready for us one day! Thank you that one day we will see you again. Please help us to remember your instructions to us while we wait to see you again and help us to always be ready to talk to our friends about how they can trust in you too. Amen.

Memory Verse Activities:
Continue practicing the song!

Today’s story really is the culmination of this memory verse, that by trusting and believing in Him we will not perish but go and live with Him forever! Praise God!! Maybe you could collect some interesting things from around your house to make an artwork around the “w”, “t”, and “l” theme, eg making the letters out of pebbles or leaves! When finished you could draw it all together by writing, sticking the memory verse around the edge, or written on a cross stuck in the middle!

Or you could practice drawing the letters on the concrete with chalk and they have to jump on them and say “jesus is the way!”, Jesus is the truth” and Jesus is the life”! You could then make it more challenging by encouraging them to remember the memory verse each time they jump on a certain letter etc...!

Written and Compiled by Kate McIntosh, April 2012

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Some photos from our house....

I thought I should share some photos from our devotion time! Most of the time I set out with good intentions of taking lots of photos and mostly I completely forget in the moment!
Here are some from "The Lost Sheep" devotion and their pictures they made!

These ones are from our Resurrection Garden that we made together out the front of our house in a garden bed that we had just cleaned out! The boys were quite excited to help make it!

Our "tomb" is behind this rock!
We even have a little gravel path from the hill with the crosses to the tomb! Don't know if that is how it really was, but the boys enjoyed collecting the gravel!!!

Devotion Time - Day 26

Hi there! This is a shorter one today, but important in helping the children understand that Jesus did indeed rise again and came back to see his friends. Hopefully you all have a fabulous Easter together with your families! God bless xo

Day 26

John 20:19-20
“Jesus Returns” p. 459 in The Beginner’s Bible

Treasure Hunt Resources: Blindfolds!

Beginning Activities: Using the blindfolds explain that we are going to take it in turns to add something new to the room we are sitting in and everyone else has to guess once their blindfolds are off what it is!  (So...all but one person have blindfolds on, while one makes the changes!!)

You could also make a flap picture of the disciples sitting in a room and when the flap is opened Jesus is there with them too!

In today’s true story from the bible we are going to hear of something amazing that Jesus did to see his friends!

“Jesus Returns” The Beginner’s Bible p. 459 or The Jesus Storybook bible p. 318-321

1.        Why were the disciples locked in the room? (Because they were afraid that soldiers might come and arrest them)
2.        Who appeared in the room with them? (Jesus!)
3.        Did he come through the door? (No!)
4.        How did the disciples know that he was real? (They touched the scars on his hands and feet and watched Jesus eat fish)

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you that you are real and that you really have risen from the dead and are alive again! Even though we can’t see you with our eyes please help us to always trust in you and believe in you. Amen.

Memory Verse Activities:
Continue to practice the song/actions together.

Revisit playing one of the earlier games with the verse: treasure hunt for the words, pop the ballons for the words, fishing for them.....

Written and Compiled by Kate McIntosh, April 2012

Friday, 6 April 2012

Devotion Time - Day 25

Hello there! I trust you are having a great day remembering with your families the amazing sacrifice Jesus has made on our behalf. 
As we are living in a little country town we didn't have a church service today (the ministry team were doing services in the nursing homes and at other branches of our church), instead we had a Passover meal at church last night which was followed by a service together. It was lovely to sit and share the experience with all of our church family. However all of our boys were so tired, being the last day of the school term, and we didn't last long in the service before we had to come home so they could go to sleep. Poor Sam was trying to sleep on the pew behind us, but when he crawled onto my lap asking when he could go home to sleep in a real bed, I knew we needed to go. Poor little guy!

Enjoy this devotion! May God richly bless all of your families over this special Easter weekend! xo

Day 25

Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-10, Luke 24:1-11, John 20:1-18
“Jesus is Risen!” p. 453 in The Beginner’s Bible or “God’s wonderful surprise” p. 310 in The Jesus Story Book Bible.

Treasure Hunt Resources: Hollow Easter eggs and a two baskets

Beginning Activities/ Chat: To begin with today check the Resurrection Cookies from yesterday and have a bite/break open. They should be hollow and be a perfect lead in to talking about how Jesus did not stay dead, but has risen, and that the tomb was empty, just like our cookies and Easter eggs!

In today’s true story from the bible we are going to hear some super exciting news......

The Beginner’s Bible p. 453 or The Jesus Storybook Bible, p.310

1.        Why were Jesus’ friends sad at the beginning of the story? (Because they thought their good friend Jesus had died and they were missing him.)
2.        What did Mary Magdalene and the other women find when they went to Jesus’ tomb? (It was open and empty! )
3.        Who appeared to them? (An angel)
4.        What did he tell Mary and her friends? (That Jesus wasn’t there...he was ALIVE again!)
5.        How did Mary and Jesus’ friends feel? (Amazed and VERY excited! So happy!)

Don’t forget that you could finish off today’s stickers in the sticker book too! You can also roll away the stone in front of your tomb in the resurrection garden you made the other day too!

When finished the day’s devotion, use some of the Easter Eggs and the basket to put together a sharing basket – a basket to be given to another family who might be in need or who are good friends and could be blessed by it as well as one for your own family to share!

You are alive again Lord Jesus! That is such good news! Thank you for loving us so much that you would die for us. Thank you that you still love us today and that you are always with us wherever we go. Please help us to always believe and trust in you. Amen.

Memory Verse Activities:
Continue practicing the song/actions.

You could make together an empty tomb piece of craft such as this. Maybe you could write the memory verse along the top of the tomb or as a flag to stick in your tomb, or hidden behind the stone so you see it when you roll it away!

Written and Compiled by Kate McIntosh, April 2012