Month: February 2013

Restoration and #Kidmin (Part 2)

You can read Restoration and #Kidmin (part 1)  by clicking the link provided.

After we talked about creation, Adam and Eve and their role to multiply the earth We dove right into the next part of God’s plan.

Who were Adam and Eve’s children?

The kids responded with a resounding Cain and Abel chant and I asked them another question.

Do you think that Cain and Abel’s relationship was as “good” as creation was intended to be?

NO!

Why?

The one killed the other (some kids had the names mixed up). They did see that the sin kept them from restoring creation to

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“good”. At this point I brought up another student to wrap in God’s plan (yarn) making sure that the same piece of yarn had wrapped creation, separation and  now Cain and Abel together. I made sure that the yarn was all messy and droopy because themessiness of the yarn will come into play later.

Do you think God gave up on his people after Cain and Abel?

No, because there is more stories in the Bible. The cleverness of that answer made me smile.

On to the next piece. Even though Cain had sinned against God and moved away from the goodness that God had intended He still did not give up on His people. Even though there was sin in the world God saw a family that he said would help move His plan of restoration along.

Do you know what family God looked to in order to continue his plan of restoration?

The children had a bit of trouble with the Bible timeline here, so I started to give them some hints like:

He lived on a boat

He liked animals

He built the boat

Etc.

At that point they knew that I was talking about Noah, so we read about how God came to find favour with Noah.

God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil—evil, evil, evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race in the first place; it broke his heart. God said, “I’ll get rid of my ruined creation, make a clean sweep: people, animals, snakes and bugs, birds—the works. I’m sorry I made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7 MSG)

Do you think God’s people were moving closer or further away from God’s original goodness? Does this sound like the restoration that we read about in Rev. 22?

“Further” God called his people evil and they were not what God wanted, but even though God saw all the things that werekeeping His people away from His plan we still cared for us. He found one family that would help carry out his plan.

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But Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. (Genesis 6:8 MSG)

“But I’m going to establish a covenant with you: You’ll board the ship, and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives will come on board with you. You are also to take two of each living creature, a male and a female, on board the ship, to preserve their lives with you: two of every species of bird, mammal, and reptile—two of everything so as to preserve their lives along with yours. Also get all the food you’ll need and store it up for you and them.” (Genesis  6:18-21 MSG)

We brought up another child to hold up the Noah picture and again wrapped them up in God’s plan. I explained to the kids that even though people had fallen so far away from God’s plan to restore creation he still found the family that would continue to work for God and help him fulfill his plan. God took care of Noah and his family so that he could continue working on his ultimate plan.

After Noah we talked about how even though God had to restart with only Noah and his family the people still had some of that baggage in their life that caused them to still fall short of God’s plan of restoring creation to what He would call “good.”

DId you know that the next person we are going to talk about had so much favour in God’s eye that God told him that his family would eventually be as numerous as the stars and the sand under his feet?

As I introduced the story of Abraham and God’s next covenant with his people I brought up another child to wrap up in God’s plan of restoration.

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15-18 The angel of God spoke from Heaven a second time to Abraham: “I swear—God’s sure word!—because you have gone through with this, and have not refused to give me your son, your dear, dear son, I’ll bless you—oh, howI’ll bless you! And I’ll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! And your descendants will defeat their enemies. All nations on Earth will find themselves blessed through your descendants because you obeyed me.” (Genesis 22:15-18 MSG)

Abraham believed in God’s plan for his life so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son to God. Abraham believed that God would always provide for him and God blessed Abraham for his faithfulness. God told Abraham that he would have descendants to numerous to count, but boys and girls do you think that God’s people stayed this faithful to God, or was their still sin present that kept God’s plan of restoration from coming to an end?

Do you think God’s people stayed faithful?

Even though people were still falling short of God’s created goodness He was still providing for them and telling them that He still intended to care for his people. God would continue his plan through those that showed they were faithful to him.

I will pause here and continue part three tomorrow.

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Restoration and #Kidmin (Part 1)

This week I had the daunting task of teaching the whole metanarrative story of the Bible in under 25 minutes to our #kidmin students. Our theme for the weekend was restoration and we centered ourselves scripturally in Revelation 22:1-6.

1-5 Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.

Don’t Put It Away on the Shelf

6-7 The Angel said to me, “These are dependable and accurate words, every one. The God and Master of the spirits of the prophets sent his Angel to show his servants what must take place, and soon. And tell them, ‘Yes, I’m on my way!’ Blessed be the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

I read the story to our kids while we took up offering from “My First Message” because we have a lot of 4-6 year olds that still bring their picture Bibles and I wanted to read to them from something that would be familiar to them. It went over well because many of them had this passage in their Bibles. They tended to group Revelation 21 and 22 together.

After reading that passage we dove right into the metanarrative of the Bible. Here is how I broke down the lesson.

Today we are going to learn a really big word.

That word is “restoration.”

Do any of you know what that means? (I paused and took some suggestions from the kids and some of them were close, but most of our older kids would define restoration with “restore” in it. They would say something like:

“It means that that God will restore something.”

(Back to teaching). Well, this morning I thought I better look up the definition of the word “restoration” so that I could explain it to you. The dictionary told me the following:

“A return of something to a former, original, normal, orunimpaired condition.”

That makes me think of something that God said about something he created. Do any of you know what God created and that

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He said was Good?

Many of them shouted out that God said that about creation. After telling them that they were right I asked for a volunteer to come up and help me tell this giant story. I then handed them a 8.5×11 drawing of the creation symbol that Micheal Novelli used in his “Echo the Story” curriculum that is featured in his books “Shaped by the Story” and “Enter the Story.”

I then took out a ball of yarn and asked the kids if they knew what it was and of course they yelled back yarn and I told them they were correct, but for this week it was something else. This ball of yarn and the yarn that we would be using would represent “God’s ultimate plan of restoration.” The kids then asked why the yarn was in a bag to which I explained that the bag represented all the things in the stories that were to follow that cause God’s plan to fall just a little bit short. The bag would represent all the little sins that kept God’s plan of restoration from being completely fulfilled. The goal was to see how God’s plan would go from creation, which he called good to the new creation that we read about in Revelation 22.

“God looked over everything he had made;
it was so good, so very good!” Genesis 1:31

Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. Rev. 22

I then took the string and wrapped it around the first child’s waist and explained that God’s plan started with something good and that his plan would continue into two very important people. The kids began yelling out “Adam and Eve.”

What happened to Adam and Eve?

ev-1.owaDid they follow God’s direction, or did they do something they were not supposed to?

The kids began to shout out that they did not follow God’s way and I explained that the next symbol represented the separation that happened when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden.

 So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life. Gen. 3:23-24

I started to wrap the “plan” around the child that held up the “separation” symbol and asked whether or not Adam and Eve helped God’s plan for restoration, or if they had allowed sin to keep them from being with God.

The kids knew this was not what God had in store because we had read the end of the story (Rev. 22). The question I asked them is the key connecting question for the whole lesson.

Even though Adam and Eve fell short of God’s plan for restoration did God stop loving them?

They answered with no and we moved on to the next piece. I talked to them about how even though God made them leave the Garden he still had a plan for Adam and Eve and that was for them to multiply the earth with children.

 

I am going to pause the post here because I want to break up the reading for this lesson because it would be a lengthy post if I did not break it up. Even though the lesson is wordy we did manage to go through the whole restoration story in just over 26 minutes in both of our services. I also talked with many of our adult volunteers after their small group time and asked if the kids “got it” and many of them said that the explanation was clear which made me relieved because even during the lesson the question of whether or not I was clear enough to explain God’s plan to restore creation to something that is beyond “good.”

Look for part two tomorrow.

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P.S. I had some great 30 Hour Famine glasses that helped as an ice breaker for the kids right of the bat. Many of them told me to go back to my regular glasses.

 

 

 

What’s on your iPod?

I was asked recently what was on my iPod and I was amazed at the variety of music that I listen to everyday. I love how what I listen to is quite often determined by the way I am feeling internally, how awake I am, or what task I am trying to accomplish. I have always enjoyed listening to music and I would love to know what it is that you are listening to these days.

Here was the list I submitted to the person who asked me.

Adele – Skyfall

Ben Cantelon – Everything in Colour

Bridget Mendler – Ready or Not

Brit Nicole (Feat. Lecrae) – Ready or Not

Carlos Whittaker – Ragamuffin Soul (Whole Album)

Chris Tomlin – God’s Great Dance Floor

Christina Perri – Jar of Hearts

The Civil Wars – 20 Years, Poison and Wine, Barton Hollow

David Crowder – I Saw the Light

Ed Sheeran – Lego House

Elevation Worship – The Church, Greater

Fun – We Are Young

Grizzly Bear – Speak In Rounds

Gungor – Dry Bones

Jesus Culture with Martin Smith – Holy Spirit

Jimmy Needham – Moving to Zion

Jimmy Needham (Feat. Lecrae) – I Will Find You

John Mark McMillan – Reckoning Day, The Medicine, Skeleton Bones

John Mayer – Age of Worry

K’Naan – Hurt Me Tomorrow

KB (Feat. Lecrae)– Church Clap

Keith Urban – Long Hot Summer (Really anything by him)

Lecrae – Far Away, Fakin’, Church Clothes

Lights – Banner

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Mumford & Sons – I Will Wait

NewSong – Shallow the Ocean

Sanctus Real – Run

Selena Gomez – Hit The Lights, Who Says

Shonlock – Something in Your Eyes

Skylar Grey – Invisible

Switchfoot – The War Inside

Taylor Swift – Red (Whole Album), Speak Now (Whole Album)

Taylor Swift (Feat. The Civil Wars) – Safe & Sound

TobyMac – Me Without You

Trip Lee – Robot

U2 – Get On Your Boots, Cedars of Lebanon

Uncle Charlie – One Way, Beautiful One

Whitehorse – Emerald Isle, Eulogy for Whiskers, Part 1

Yancy – Make It Loud

Zac Brown Band – Goodbye In Her Eyes