Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What was Paul's letter to the Philippians about for kids? A Goggle search...

Paul wrote letters to groups of people about specific things that those particular groups of people needed to hear. Who were the people? What was Paul writing and why?

Where did the people live from a cultural/political/social perspective? If you were a child in Philippi listening to someone read Paul's letter would it mean anything to you?

Find out what you can about Philippi and what was happening at that time in history. What specific events or practices affected Jewish and Gentile believers? Their children? Research! How would the things Paul said affect the grown-ups? How would they affect the children?

Think about someone standing up in church and reading a letter from a teacher who visited once or however many times Paul had come to them previously. Are you meeting in someone's home? Are you hiding? Are families there, not just grown-ups? Think about the situation, the circumstances.

Or without any research, read the letter in the NIV Readers' Version. Imagine yourself a child listening. What do you hear God saying to you? Imagine that as a child you weren't there but your parents came home and you heard them talking. What would they be saying?

Read it to children a little each week in class or a little each day at home. What do they hear? What's relevant to them? Ask them!
A thought provoking twist to an old question at Children's Ministry Today and Tomorrow. I like it!

[I always thought "yesterday" was in the name of your blog, too. . . shows how observant I am!]

Monday, May 30, 2011

What is "mature spirituality"? What does it mean to grow up in every way into Christ Jesus? What does it look like? Is it childlike?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Welcome back Followers' page!

We hit 10,000 this week! Six years of blogging. If that brings 10,000+ people (and the kids they work with) a little closer to Jesus, I'm happy.

This is the St. Patrick's Breastplate Prayer.

I like the lines,"Christ in hearts of all that love me," because it's a prayer for the people you grow relationships with whether they believe today or not. And this - "Christ in mouth of friend and stranger" Yes, and we know the Celtic and Roman churches had their falling out...sigh...

Can't find it right now but more than a hundred years ago a man wandered some islands in the North Sea (Scottish, I believe - Hebrides, maybe?) collecting the folk songs and prayers their isolated community had said for generations...prayers and spiritual songs for every event of the day, every kind of work, acknowledging God and His Christ and His Holy Spirit. Scripture talks of psalms, hymns & spiritual songs and praying without ceasing. (Some communities do that and don't write them down or neccessarily use the same songs or prayers over and over) They were people who expected Christ Jesus to walk through their day with them every day and acknowledged Him there ... I'm guessing that faith communities of every culture and subculture have tools that they use to keep their faith alive, some systems more rigid, some more fluid.

Scripture tells us that if Christ is lifted up He'll draw all men to Himself. How do we do that day by day, moment by moment, even without a word?

Colossians 1:9-10
". . . We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing [to Him], bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God." (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Followers Gadget disappeared. Don't know why. . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here's an interesting google search, "biblical jumping into the unknown."

Implications for children & faith? Sure! Fear at one end of the spectrum, adventure at the other. Real life & faith. Let's play with it. Let's explore.

So how do I search the scriptures to see what I can find? I wouldn't worry about "jump." Although it might be an interesting search. Jump makes me think of leap and leap makes me think of the stag in the Psalms and Song of Songs and there are probably other images of deer or surefooted creatures in dangerous-to-us places..

Deer aren't the bravest creatures on the planet but they live in the wilderness. You can search "unknown." "Wilderness" is another word I would search for. "Unknown."  "Dark," "Darkness," "Deep darkness." You could keep going with that.

You could also start thinking about stories about people in scripture wandering into the unknown or go back and look at words like "wander," "journey," "lost."

How about stories: Put yourself in the place of the people in the stories. Adam & Eve found themselves in the unknown (to them). God led Abraham & Sarah on a journey. When Noah re-emerged from the ark he didn't know what he was going to find. Rebecca didn't know what she would find at the end of her journey. Moses, Joseph, Caleb, Esther. Daniel. All had experience walking into the unknown-to-them. What other Bible stories can you think of where someone chose or was forced to wander or jump into the unknown... Remember how limited their experience was. They didn't have the global exposure we have today. I'll have to think a little harder to think of someone who JUMPED into the unknown. I know! David. Impulsive, passionate David and his adventure with Goliath. Anybody else you can think of?

You could do this kind of brainstorming with mid-elementary kids and older about most any topic. Makes them think. Ask open ended questions. Make it a game. Gives kids creative thinking tools they can draw on to kindle their faith in real life situations assuming they have a strong foundation of Bible stories up to that point. A good reason to lay deep Bible story foundations...

Who were these people? What did they face? Do I face situations like that? What did God do in that particular story for that particular person in the scriptures? How does it feed my faith in God? What should I remember?  Did God ever meet you in a situation like that? What did He do?

Have fun with this! There are closed questions (the questioner already knows the answers). It's good to have some specific stories in mind in case nobody can think of any. There are open questions (you ask a question and let the kids explore possibilities and implications, new-to-you observations)...be ready!

Maybe you can use this technique with younger kids, too. For younger kids, "Can you think of any Bible story where someone was afraid? Where someone was very brave? Where someone was sad?" Enjoy the journey. See where it takes you. I expect God will meet you and your kids there.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The other day I was trying to find an author who's name I couldn't remember which makes the task rather challenging...he wrote about Genesis and creation from some new angles. Whatever it was that I read at the time, I was particularly drawn to his looking at "dominion" as caring for as opposed to absolute dictatorship but alas . . we don't know who it was.

So as I was searching...I found it interesting (apart from catch words, fads, and media hype) that there is an ever growing focus on our relationship as believers to the natural world. On line, anyway, it seems to fall into the ecology/environmental venue. I shouldn't be surprised. This generation of  parents is more relational, more holistic, more focused on networking and community and being individuals with a role to play but part of something bigger . . . It's just interesting how we work through our faith with global issues....

As an aside...there's a forward going around about an old lady who didn't bring her cloth bag to the grocery store but it gives a rather unique, and perhaps comforting for some of us, perspective the stewardship and "recycling" of the last generation...ok...my generation ...read it before you delete it...

Monday, May 02, 2011

If you go to Child Theology on Facebook. Go to Wall and you'll find these rather interesting topics to explore more...

Roots of Empathy.

Unconditional Parenting. Jade Lundgren's comment (scroll to the bottom) perked my interest. Ok...she posted in 2008. Am I behind or what?

And in the forum you'll find book reviews!

Sunday, May 01, 2011