The Donut Club

North Woodbury Alliance Church

Getting the 10 Commandments to stick

This month, we are teaching the children the ten commandments.  Having done this as a summer long VBS, the thought of cramming sooooo much into 4 weeks was a bit daunting.  BUT, I found a new (to me) finger method that I am excited to see how easily it sticks.  My older kids remember the musical we’ve done a few times over the years.  But Jack, our 4 year old, is a fresh slate.  I think even his group of littles will have the ten down in quick order.  Want to know how?  Here’s what we’re doing & it’s pretty clever if I do say so myself…

1 – “Worship God alone.” – Point upward with your pointer finger.  It’s also a #1.

2 – “Don’t bow down to idols.” – Use your first two fingers, then curl them downward like two people bowing.

3 – “Honor God’s Name.” – Make the three with your first three fingers, then touch them over your lips a bit like the “shhhh” symbol.  This reminds us to watch our words & our three fingers form a “w”.  It’s also a guard over our mouths.

4 – “Honor God’s holy day.” – Use four fingers with your thumb still curled under to rest your head on like a pillow as you lean a little like you’re trying to sleep.  Remember the Sabbath is a day of REST.

5 – “Honor your mom & dad.” – Make all five fingers go tightly together & put them to your forehead in a salute.  This is a form of honoring.  We show honor to our parents.

6 – “Don’t kill.” – Put your one hand with all five fingers palm outward.  Use your other hand to point like a gun at the palm.  (But be sure to keep your thumb down.  Only use six digits.)

7 – “Be true to your mate.” – Keep that palm of five out, but with the other hand make a criss-crossed peace sign, like two love birds entwined.  This symbolizes that it’s just the two of them.  The other hand is all the other people the two loves are NOT entwined around!

8 – “Don’t steal.” – Put three fingers up on one hand while using the other hand (the one that has been palm out the last two commandments) to grab at them as if you are trying to steal them.

9 – “Don’t lie.” – Use one whole hand & the other with just the thumb tucked under to cover your mouth.  Remember to watch what you say.

10 – “Never covet.” – Put all ten fingers into the shape of two circles & raise them up to your eyeballs like you are looking through binoculars.  This reminds us to not be looking around at what others have & want what they’ve got.

So now, you can say you’ve got ‘em!  What’s the second one?  Make the hand sign & it should come to you pretty easily.  What about #6?  Can you remember what the fourth one is?  Which # is “Never covet”?  Or “Honor your mom & dad”?  Pretty cool, huh?

If you want to hear the song we’re using, click here.

To hear the whole song, you must click two different places.  The first title gives you the first 35 seconds of the song & the last title gives you the next 35 seconds.  Between the two, you’ll be able to hear all the words to the song.

God'sTen

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Club Purim Party

Tonight, we celebrated God’s hand in rescuing His people through Esther. You can see pictures of the party on the right. To enjoy all 19 photos, go here. (Be sure & click the second page on Flickr as well to see all of them.)

There are four main lessons we talked about from the story of Esther. I realize they are deep, but they are true. And many don’t catch these truths even into adulthood. And it will take hearing them over & over again to sink in. The sooner our children understand these truths & live them out, the better their lives will be. So start early.

1) We are in a battle. It is not one we can see with our eyes, but a spiritual battle. Haman wasn’t really the enemy, Satan was. Satan wanted/wants to destroy the Jews because they are God’s chosen people. Guess what? He doesn’t like Christians any better. We are also God’s chosen people (1 Peter 2:9). But good news: the battle belongs to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20:15). When we feel like we’re fighting a war, chances are, we ARE. Realize that we DO have an enemy who wants to destroy us, but through Christ we have the victory!

2) God had a plan to save His people even when everything looked hopeless. Esther’s life sure didn’t look rosy – orphaned, dragged (kidnapped) to the palace, forced to marry a horrible man, then had the weight of her entire people on her shoulders to go talk to this man who hadn’t even wanted to see her for a month. Even when things look “hopeless” for us, they aren’t. God has a plan in it. Even the painful things. He wants to use them in our lives to shape us (Romans 5:3-5). If we spend our time complaining or just deciding to do our own thing rather than go with the plan God has for us, His will will happen anyway. We just won’t get the blessing of being a part of it.

3) God gives us our bodies, talents, etc. to use for His purposes & glory, not ours. Esther got where God wanted her to be because of the way He designed her – beautifully. It reminds me of the story of Amy Charmichael & her brown eyes. He made you the way you are for a purpose & to covet someone else’s talents or looks is an insult to the Creator Who made you.

4) God put Esther in the palace “for such a time as this”. God has put each of us in our family, our home, our time in history, etc. for such a time as this. He gave us our parents, our siblings, our children, for a reason. We must not resent where He put us, coveting others’ families or situations in life any more than we should their talents or looks. It’s saying we know better! When, of course, we couldn’t.

Like I said, pretty big lessons. But so-oo-oo important & life changing. Praying this week our children catch a bit of it. May these truths sink in at an early age & fill them with contentment, hope, & trust in our awesome Heavenly Father.

PS – With Conviction being our monthly theme, you could say it took conviction for Esther to do what she did. Mordecai was very instrumental in developing her conviction & courage. So are we with our children. Go here for an excellent blog post about conviction in our homes.

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Rooted

CONVICTION: Standing for what is right, even when others don’t.
“Never tire of doing what is right.” 2 Thessalonians 3:13, NIV

This month, we’ll be studying CONVICTION & the stories are centered around Daniel. Listen as Reggie Joiner talks about it…

And here’s one for the kids to watch…

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Club News

Don’t forget to check out the Event page for upcoming EXTRA fun!! Coming soon…

Wednesday, March 7th – We’re celebrating Purim!! Girls come dressed in a princess dress if you have one. Bring a few extras if you have as well for those who may no have one to use. (We’ll bring a few, too.) Boys, you can dress in a suit if you’d like, or dress silly, or anything in between. We’ll make hats & a few other fun items for you boys Wednesday night. Come ready for some Esther fun!!

– Remember, NO CLUB on March 21st.

Wednesday, March 28th – Count down to Easter!! We’ll be making as “advent calendar” type craft for Easter.

Wednesday, April 4th – Passover/Easter celebration!! Come ready for an extra special time of learning & worship as we talk about how Passover & the Last Supper fit together.

– Remember, NO CLUB on April 11th or 18th!! See you back on Wednesday, April 25th.

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The Lord’s Prayer

We’ve been working on memorizing The Lord’s Prayer (our O verse) the last couple weeks. Since I didn’t know any particularly easy songs or anacronyms or anything to help the kids remember it, we worked on making one up ourselves. Here’s what our family came up with.

Purple bead = “Our Father…hallowed be Thy Name.” Purple is the color of royalty. Jesus started His sample prayer to us with a recognition of His Father’s holiness.

Blue bead = “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in Heaven.” Blue reminds me of earth. Do I ask for God’s will to be done on earth? This was the first thing Jesus did after addressing His Father.

Brown bead = “Give us this day our daily bread.” Brown reminds us of bread. Next Jesus asked for daily provision. Not wants, but needs for the day.

White bead = “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” White reminds me of the purity that comes when we confess our sins, get our hearts right with God, & our attitudes toward others alined with God.

Dark/black bead = “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The dark bead reminds me of the darkness of evil. Jesus prayed for protection from evil. Satan is out to destroy us. We are foolish to go through the day unaware of our enemy. Jesus showed us the importance of asking for protection.

Yellow bead = “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” The yellow bead is similar to the purple beginning bead, but Jesus closed His prayer acknowledging His Father’s position, power, and Who has the glory. FOREVER. Yellow reminds me of the crown on a king, and glory shines, and Heaven is forever; eternity. Jesus ended thinking about His Father, just like He began His prayer. It’s all about HIM, not us & our needs. God wants to hear our needs & wants us to ask Him for protection, provision, etc. but beginning & ending prayer with God as the focus reminds us of our place in the whole thing.

Prayer is such an awesome, wonderful gift! These bracelets are not meant to be used like a rosary or anything, but to remind the children how the Lord’s Prayer goes as well as provide a way to steer our daily prayers.

Here’s an activity to try at home. You could tear colored pieces of paper in the colors of the bracelet. Take time to pray as a family some time this week using the colored papers. Get a bowl or plate or something to put in the middle of your circle. Put a scrap of blue in as you pray for God’s will to be done in a certain situation. Put a white scrap in when you confess. Put a black scrap in when you ask for protection from evil. Begin with purple & end with yellow. Maybe even try this a few times in the next few weeks. Come back to Club & tell us how it went. Did it help direct your prayer time?

Have a prayer filled week. Hi-YAH!

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Honor

Looking forward to focusing on HONOR for the month of February. To see the new challenge for the purple bead/belt, click “belts” up above (or here). There are a couple Clubbers who will be receiving the honor of the orange belt this week!! Great job, girls! Let’s see who can join them by the end of the month. Fulfill five challenges to receive your orange belt. Keep working on those challenges.

Here is Reggie Joiner sharing what we will be talking about in CrossTrainers this month. David is the central character. Once again, good stuff!

Highlighted quotes: “The basis of honor is seeing people the way God sees them.” “Honor notices those that aren’t being noticed.” “Honor is putting others ahead of yourself.” “We should not only honor those that God made, but also those that He put in charge.” “Honor shows respect to those who are in charge.” “Honor is ultimately based on how you view & respect God.”

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Praying for Asia

Thought I’d post a few pictures of the missionaries we talked about Wednesday night so the kids can see who we prayed for. Here are the friends with the restaurant…

and here’s the teacher…

And here is the missionary family in Japan our church supports, Don & Hazel Schaeffer…

We also prayed for our brothers & sisters in North Korea that are in chains. ” Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Hebrews 13:3) For more information on the situation there & in China, watch these videos…

China:

North Korea:

If you are interested in learning more &/or praying for these persecuted countries, go to Voice of the Martyrs & Open Doors. And for a children’s version if your children are interested, go to Kids of Courage.

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Water to Wine Idea To Do At Home…

Last night, we talked about how Jesus turned water to wine at the wedding in Cana. This was the first miracle Jesus did as He started His ministry. The disciples were new – hadn’t been following Jesus more than a few weeks probably. They had left EVERYTHING: the family business (James & John), their dishonest lifestyles (Matthew), their righteous lifestyles (Nathaniel), etc. But THIS was where Scripture says “Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed Him.” (John 2:11)

As for our own children, right now they follow. Parents, teachers, etc. have told them about God’s glory, but most probably haven’t yet SEEN His glory. Let’s be praying together this week for our children to SEE His glory early on. “Grab their hearts early, Lord! Show Yourself to them in a personal way that they would NEVER think of walking anywhere but by Your sweet side all the days of their lives.”

As a fun review this weekend, here’s a little experiment you could do on Saturday or if we get a snow day this week. *fingers crossed!*

Gather these materials:

– shallow pan
– small bowl
– 1/4 cup liquid dish soap
– 1/2 cup vinegar
– 1 Tablespoon baking soda
– 1 cup water
– food coloring or a packet of red powered drink mix

1) Pour the dish soap & vinegar into the bowl & set it inside the shallow pan.

2) In a separate container, add the baking soda to the water & stir. Sprinkle some of the red drink mix into the water & soda until it turns red like wine.

3) Slowly pour the water mix into the soap & vinegar mix & watch as it erupts into a foaming red volcano!

Surprised??

The chemical reaction that made your cool red volcano was NOTHING compared to Jesus turning water to wine!

4) Use the red foam & a paintbrush to paint the words “Jesus can do anything!” on a sheet of paper.

5) Hang the paper up on the fridge to remind you of Jesus’ first miracle. Be looking for miracles He’s doing in & around YOU this week. Then come back to Club & share so we can ALL be encouraged!

* This family time experience idea was found in the Hands On Bible under John 2. I LOVE this Bible for great tie-in ideas. If your child doesn’t have a Bible they use regularly, you may want to check this one out. It is irresistible! You may find yourself looking at it with your child & getting excited about His Word. ; ]

Hi-YAH!

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Controlled? By What?

This month, with self-control being our virtue, Orange has attached the game controller as THE object lesson. Have you noticed? I love the whole game theme. If we point it out with our kids, it could become a natural object lesson for our families multiple times a day. When you see the pause button on the controller, remember to pause when you feel anger start to build up. When you press the power button, remember the Holy Spirit Who gives us the power to control ourselves.

I pose a Challenge for us as families: every time anyone touches the TV or game controller, say the verse for this month. Can you say it? James 1:19 – “My dear brothers & sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But slow to speak. Everyone should be slow to get angry.” Why not challenge your whole family: every time anyone touches a controller, they must say the verse out loud. This will give everyone an automatic way of reviewing and engrafting God’s Word into your heart as a family.

When Satan tempted Jesus, He overcame with verses that were locked into His heart. Do you have verses locked into your heart? That’s what we were talking about Wednesday night. We memorize, but we want to also meditate, engraft, lock verses in for life. Satan wants to literally kill you, your family, your kids. He wants to make sin attractive so we get lured into it. Your sin may start out looking innocent enough. Maybe we only hold bitterness against one person secretly. We just indulge in one off color show a week. Worry isn’t really a sin, is it?? We’re all pretty good at justifying ourselves (see Adam & Eve in Genesis 3:12 & 13). If we quench that twinge of guilt the Holy Spirit gives us over that, it’s easier to sin a little more. Before we know it, we’re trucking full steam ahead down the road to destruction if we don’t let the Holy Spirit pour self-control into us. We have to “do what we SHOULD do, not what we WANT to do,” even as adults. Instead of trusting our own opinions & thoughts, the wise person gets God’s perspective through daily feeding on God’s Word (Romans 12:2): read it, memorize it, meditate on it, engraft it, lock it in.

What are stumbling blocks in your life, areas you lack control over, things that Satan trips you up with over & over again? Maybe it’s losing your temper, or over eating, or secret lust, or gossiping, or not quite telling the truth. Whatever it is, take some time this month to search the Bible & find verses that fit just that situation. Write them out. I’ve typed mine out & put little pictures to them to cue me at times throughout the day. Post your list somewhere you have time to meditate on them; on the kitchen cupboards so you can think on them while doing dishes, or laminate them & put them by the bathroom mirror to study while you shave or do your hair in the morning. Whatever works!

Once we’re armed with the Word of God, we are then (& only then) equipped to fend off those attacks from Satan. That’s doing what you SHOULD do, not what you WANT to do. Let’s give our children a first-hand example of self-control this month. The Word of God & the Holy Spirit are the tools God gave us to successfully do this thing called self-control. Without it, we will be miserable & eventually destroyed – God knows that. So what’s controlling you?

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Make a Self-Controller

Need an idea to avoid having bored kids Monday, their day off of school? Here’s a fun craft idea to make over the long weekend. Make a self-controller. (Click on the pictures to get enlarged versions on of them.) We took pie boxes from McDonalds & stuffed them with plastic grocery bags to make them stiff. Then we wrapped them with foil like a present. The buttons we used are “Stop”, Pause”, “Power”, “Guide”, & “Select”. These remind us to STOP before reacting, PAUSE to ask God for His power, POWER to do the right thing comes from the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is our GUIDE, and we can SELECT the right reaction, words, etc. You can make one for each member of the family to have & personalize them with stickers (or small drawing & tape on) to remind of those areas they want to work on self-control with : money, food, frowny face, thought bubble, crazy face, eyeballs, a mouth, a tv, etc. Use creativity.

Be sure & get the Bible verse on there somewhere at least in part. Bring your family’s self-controller in to church this month. We want to see it! Did it help you remember to pause, stop, use the Holy Spirit’s power, did you select the right reaction because of it?? Share with us – we can encourage one another!

Hi-YAH!

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