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"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
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April 13, 2000
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* "Palm" Prayer Pillow
* Palm Leaf Cross Directions
* The Bible in 50 words
* Ideas for instilling a hunger for God's word

I'm calling this letter a 'Special Edition' due to the fact that Linda Lawler, one of the subscribers to SSTN has written a lengthy, yet very important answer on, 'how to instill in children a hunger for God's Word'. Her writing is at the bottom of the letter. One point she makes is to teach a broad understanding of Scripture and how it all fits together. In this Special Edition you'll also read, 'The Bible in 50 Words', which also gives a broad scope picture of the Bible. This wasn't planned by me, they were just posted at the same time by two different teachers! ENJOY! Sarah Keith<><

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>I am known for doing "cool" crafts as my kids call it! I am just at a loss here.
>Can you help? Lisa Barbee from Ohio.

Lisa - hello from Ohio too! I teach 3rd grade PSR (Public School Religion)
What about making a "Palm" Prayer Pillow. If each child brings in an old,
white pillow case - they can make impressions of their "palms" with fabric
paints. The children can make impressions with their own hands in the shape
of an actual palm branch. The neat thing is - they can use perm. Marker to
write a prayer or something on their pillow as well. What an awesome thing
to go to bed everynight on a pillow that recalls "Palm Sunday" - and a good
prayer reminder too!

Good Luck
Christy - 3rd Grade PSR - Ohio

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FREE Palm Leaf Cross Directions:

The directions to make the Palm Leaf Cross are now posted in my site.
Click on Christian Crafters Showcase from my home page to get the free directions. ENJOY!

In His grip,
Sarah Keith <><
Your Moderator

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The Bible in 50 words:

God made
Adam bit
Noah arked
Abraham split
Joseph ruled
Jacob fooled
Bush talked
Moses balked
Pharaoh plagued
People walked
Sea divided
Tablets guided
Promise landed
Saul freaked
David peeked
Prophets warned
Jesus born
God walked
Love talked
Anger crucified
Hope died
Love rose
Spirit flamed
Word spread
God remained.

(Sent in by AbbaGail)

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<< Can you give us any ideas for instilling a hunger for God's word in Children
4 - 10 years old? >>

Dear Dennis, Creating a love for God's word is my passion. There are 3 things that I have learned over the years for doing this:
1. Your relationship with the kids is the foundation.
2. In an informal setting like the home: tune into your kids feelings and concerns and read age appropriate Bible stories that will speak to their concerns.
3. In a formal setting like church or structured devotions at home: Make learning active and fun. God made children spontaneous and active, full of curiosity and fun.

1. The relationship: First and foremost, children need to feel loved. Ross Cambell, Author of How to Really Love Your Child, says that children intellectually know they are loved but often don't feel very loved.
Children feel loved and cared about when they are actively listened to and when their feelings are affirmed. Active listening takes work. We have to get on their eye level and verbally respond to the things they tell us so they know that they've been heard. I always try to structure some informal time into the class so the kids can have time to talk about themelves. (i.e. bring in a snack and sit together around the table and listen to them talk about their interests.) Also, adults tend to deny or minimize the hurt or sad feelings that kids have. This makes kids feel misunderstood. They feel cared about when we respond with something like, "That would make me sad, too. Let me give you a hug."

You have to practice Healthy Authority. We are all created in the image of God and thus we have great worth. Children have just as much worth as adults. Thus, we have to treat children with the same respect that we would an adult. As adults, however, we are in a position of authority over them so we have to command their respect. You do this by giving clear expectations for behavior. Children should know beforehand what the consequences are for misbehavior. The Old Testament law is a wonderful model for disciplinary action. The whole Old Testament law was based on a system of logical consequences and making restitution. It was not a punishment based system.
Thieves were not thrown in jail for stealing, they had to pay back what they took, plus more. Each disciplinary action was well thought out. This should be our model for disciplining our kids.
To maintain relationships at home:
Handle anger righteously. Don't hold it in, don't spew it out, talk it out. Conflicts should never be left unresolved.
Have right priorities: Not living the faith: your kids will see you as a hypocrite. Over involvement in ministry: your kids will perceive church work as more important than they are. Kids will rebel against anything that they perceive as more important than they are.
Learn these verses and take them seriously: "He must manage his own family . . ."
I Tim.3:4; "Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn. . ." Romans 12:15; "Do not lie, do not deceive . . ." Leviticus 19:11, ". . . He must make full restitution. . . " Numbers 5: 6-7; ". . .your brother (spouse, child) has something against you. . be reconciled. . . " Matt 5:23; ". . . be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry." James 1:19; ". . . do not let the sun go down on your anger . . ." Eph. 4:26-27.

2. Creating a love for God's word at home: The key is tuning into your child's feelings and concerns and reading them Bible stories that they can relate to. (i.e. If your child is scared about monsters under the bed, read them the story of Elisha and his servant, Gehazi, when Gehazi was frightened of a surrounding army. Elisha prayed for God to open Elisha's eyes. God did, and Gehazi saw an army of fiery angels in chariots protecting them). Other ideas: for bullying, David and Goliath; for unjust treatment, King David and King Saul when Saul was trying to kill David shows how David did not take revenge or get even. (look up a couple of the Psalms that David wrote during this time and read parts of them to show how David dealt with his anger righteously - telling God what his true feelings were). Make sure that what you read is age appropriate or won't fuel kids fears (I did not read any of the accounts of demon possession to my daughter when she was little. I waited till she was 8 or 9 years old.) Also don't be afraid to edit as you read. Kids have a short attention span. Skip over verses to keep the main idea going or eliminate things that they wouldn't understand. Summarize the parts that are not age appropriate or would make you uncomfortable (i.e.- Potiphar's wife told a lie about Joseph and he was thrown in jail).

3. In the church or Sunday School: God made children active and full of curiosity and fun. Use the tools of childhood to teach: blocks, Lego's play dough, action games, etc. Also, the Bible is a collection of writings and is not written in chronological order. We give our children their first Bible when they are little and tell them to read the Bible every day. But if you think about it, this is an unrealistic expectation. I have become convinced that we need to give our kids a simple over view of Scripture just like the Cliff Notes are used to give us an overview of the main characters and a summary of the plots of the more difficult books that are written in Old English. If you use active learning and teach the Bible chronologically from the perspective of the land of Israel you can give kids a very simple overview of the Bible that they can understand. (i.e:God asked Abraham to move to a new land, Joseph was sold away from the land, Joshua brought the Israelites back into the land, etc.)

I wrote a curriculum that does this and offer it for free at my website, www.edupatterns.com. It was written for kindergarten and young elementary age children. In it the kids build Ur with blocks and help Abraham move to the Promised Land. They make Egypt out of paper when Joseph is sold away from the Promised Land. They make Joseph's family out of play dough, then have a relay race to move them to Egypt. They play action games to learn the concepts of the judges, build Solomon's temple from a shoe box, become the voices for the prophets warning God's people not to make false gods, they make Babylon and become Nebuchadnezzar's soldiers taking Daniel, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego to Babylon. They help God's people return to the Promised land and wait for the coming of the perfect king. It includes the life of Christ in the Promised Land and Paul leaving the Promised Land to share the Good News of Jesus. The curriculum includes a take home paper with suggested daily readings directly from the Bible to equip parents to read the Bible to their children at home. Again it is free at my web site. Feel free to visit my site, check out the curriculum and use any of the lessons. I hope this helps as you minister to these kids.
In Christ, Linda Lawler Pittsburgh, PA

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