Reminiscing about BREAKFAST WITH JESUS

This is why I am so thankful for the internet, email, that thing called YAHOO …
Look, I don’t mean to brag. Please don’t misunderstand. I just have some strong opinions. I was a strong-willed child that held all that strong will inside. And now, well, at 45 years of age – there’s a lot of that strongness that’s bound to come out at some point. It just, you know, can’t be contained forever. I’m actually not BIGHERO 6. Ok, ok. Sometimes the jeans get a little tight even though the scale registers the same.
And that strong will, it causes me some guilt sometimes. Oh, buddy – can it ever sneak up on you and create some moments of regret – YES IT CAN. YES, IT HAS.
And with all this info out there reminding us that FACEBOOK PHOTOS ARE FOREVER and that SNAPCHATs are NOT that quickly snapped off the grid and … you get my point. I hope you get it, because I’m here right after only one cup of coffee downed and I actually haven’t had breakfast and probably have not spent my time with Jesus yet and I’m smack out of alliterations and rhymes.
So I’m going to do it. Finally.
I’m going to tell you what I believe.
ABOUT MY BLOG, for goodness sakes. What did you think I was going to talk about?
I’m going to do it in the most self aggrandizing way that you’ve ever seen. It’s going to be like one of those email marketing letters that people take webinars to learn how to do. It’s going to take paragraph after paragraph to tout beingmissmelanie. And in betwixt that touting, it’s going to intersperse all sorts of opportunities to –
NOT SPEND A DIME.
That is correct, folks. This thing that I am offering is absolutely free.
Right now, right now, people, there is a website out there that is offering you over $2,000 worth of Children’s Ministry curriculum for just $97.
A SUBSCRIPTION TO FOLLOW beingmissmelanie IS FREE.
Right now, there is a particular conference going on that is tweeting and fb’ing and probably even instagramming. And, hey, I’m going to just admit it this morning. I am envious. I kind of wish that I was there. But, that would have cost a registration fee, hotel nights, and a few meals.
OK, OK, ALREADY. It would have cost a few extra wardrobing bucks because my husband says that I shouldn’t leave the house in yoga pants – you know, unless I am actually going to yoga class. Do you follow me on facebook? No? Then you don’t know about our low ceiling basement that it SO HELPFUL with balance when you are attempting WiiU Fit. Pshaw. Who am I kidding? I haven’t done yoga since we updated the console to WiiU.
HEY! FACEBOOK FRIENDING ME IS ALSO – FREE!
Let’s get back to that conference that I’m envious of. I happen to know for a fact. Yes, I said a fact. That at least two of those people at that conference, probably at least two with vendor tables, have recently gushed accolades onto beingmissmelanie.
Look, I get grammar. But those how-to webinars about how to make a lot of money writing fundraising emails tell you that you should write in an increasingly conversational tone. You’re drawing people in. Who cares about ending sentences with prepositions? You just care about the end result – donations. Who cares about run on sentences, dangling participles? You just want folks to run dangle their credit card info.
DID I MENTION THAT COMMENTING ON A beingmissmelanie POST IS ABSOLUTELY – YOU GOT IT – FREE! 
And those people at the conference who gushed accolades were just two people, but that does mean that at least two truthfully quantifies them. And no, it was not actually on this site where they gushed accolades. It was in a personal email. And no, I do not share personal emails. For heaven’s sake. If I did that, then that data trail may go intercontinental and then who knows what US government agency may then be viewing beingmissmelanie‘s pictures.
Yeah, I watch LAST WEEK TONIGHT. (What do you think it would take to get John Oliver to tweet beingmissmelanie?)
By the way, do you know how much some people pay to access cable television?
ACCESS TO LESSON PLANS ON beingmissmelanie IS FREE.
beingmissmelanie has caused a rector, ahem, possibly a canon dean to cry at her resignation. She has received the ultimate compliment from a military chaplain’s wife, who described beinmissmelanie‘s teaching as “neither showy nor shallow.” (Hope she is not reading this right now.)  beingmissmelanie even garnered the attention of some genteel Southern belle who had the following made for her
napkin
That is an engraved napkin. Do you know how much engraved celebration napkins cost? (beingmissmelanie hopes this dear lady is not reading at the moment.)
I don’t know if you are aware of this or not, but marketing specialists charge big bucks to teach you to speak of yourself in the third person.
beingmissmelanie IS A BLOG THAT CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN FOR ZERO BUCKS.
beingmissmelanie has a long history. While in her first year of business with wordpress,
ok, almost two months – forgive me, I was Mary Kay trained in sales self promotion,
beingmissmelanie has been teaching children and communicating with parents for going on a decade.
 This is where the gratitude comes in for YAHOO … (did you yodel it?)
beingmissmelanie has the archived emails to prove it.
Shoot, I guess I am going to share one after all. Mr. Snowden, help, please…
Do you love talking about the faith that you are discovering? Do you like children? Do you have time to show up once a week?
You can teach. It’s not that hard. It doesn’t require gimmicks. It doesn’t even require that much money.
That $2,000 worth of curriculum? It’s probably pretty good. For some people. For some traditions. But I think that you can do it almost all on your own. You know, with the help of
She’s free. Follow her. Comment. Ask questions.
Sharing is caring.
Sometimes she will think she’s come up with a pretty neat new system to organize a bible lesson. But she’s working on this little premise – read the text and like a kid – throw in a bit of fun. It ain’t that big of a deal. It’s Deuteronomy 6 still in action.
YAHOO told me that the following went out about 7 years ago to a small set of Sunday School parents in Columbia, SC.
Yep, there wasn’t a timehop app back then.
And I’m thinking that it’d work just as well this coming Sunday.
Parent Guide
BIble Adventures
April 6, 2008
We did these activities today (elementary and preschool classes met together.)
1) Glued cotton balls on sheep drawing.
2) Marched to circle and sang “Peter, James and John in a Sailboat,” remembering that many of Jesus’ disciples were first fishermen.
3) Listened as Mr. Mike read the story “Breakfast with Jesus.”
4) Answered questions
What did Jesus’ disciples do this night? (went fishing)
How many fish did the disciples catch? (none at first)
Who helped the disciples catch many fish? (Jesus)
Who gave Peter a special job to do? (Jesus)
5) Our bible verse to memorize (for elementary class) is
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” John 21:16
6) We talked about how Jesus asked Peter if he loved him and we said a prayer. Mrs. Melanie asked each child by name, “Do you love God?” and each child answered to God – “Yes, God, I love you.”
7) We played a silly game of “My Little Boat turned Over” while waiting for the Catechism Class to join us for music.
8) We sang “Nothing but the Blood,” our hymn for April. (We will sing this for 3 weeks and then move on to our May hymn one week early. We will not sing in church in April, but will sing “There is a Redeemer” in church on Mother’s Day.)
Parents, you may find the bible story for today in John 21:1-17. We also emphasized that Jesus gave Peter a special job of “feeding his sheep.” We talked about how we are God’s sheep and He is the Good Shepherd. Children who come to children’s church time will hear about this “shepherding” concept again next week during that time. We also said that our preachers are like shepherds for us and that we are “fed” by hearing bible stories, praying, singing about God, and taking communion. As always, the story is rich with meaning and we could only touch on it. May you be blessed considering it this week!
 
 

Jesus Prays in the Garden

or, WHAT I DO WHEN I TOOK A MENTAL HEALTH DAY LAST WEEK AND AM NOT SO PREPARED …

So, the usual lesson plan for the stories starts with a QUESTION FOR THE DAY. And, let’s just say that last week – well, I got stuck on the QUESTION FOR THE DAY – so much so that I did not blog. At all.

It’s OK. You’ll have weeks like that, too. And, when you do,

This is my favorite resource – http://www.jesusstorybookbible.com

Like it on facebook and sometimes you’ll even be sent a free video that goes exactly with the week that you are set to teach –

JSB on FB Go now and you’ll get the night in the garden story!!!!

And, just so you know that I was right there with you last week if you were trying to keep up with the syllabus without me, I’m going to tell you all my wonderings …

I wonder when you don’t want to be alone …

I wonder who you call, who you ask to come along and where you go …

I wonder when you cry and are afraid, who do you turn to and how do you decide to keep on …

I wonder when the decision is made and you go forward, whatever the trial … do you ever find that you are brave enough to sing …

The Widow’s Offering

The Widow’s Offering

Mark 12:41-44

(She) has put in everything she had. Mark 12:44 

“Good morning” Question:   Pretend that we’re going shopping! What would you buy?

 

Free Play Choices: Grocery store items/shopping cart/pretend cash register, dress up center, cars and trucks (Talk about money and things that we buy. Do you like to shop with mom or dad? Do you like new clothes to dress up? Do you want to buy your own car or truck one day?  Review Catechism Q/A Memory Work in conversations, just say the question and answer several times)

Word for the Day: Offering. An offering is a gift. In our story today, people bring money offerings to the temple. They give to God’s church what they could have spent shopping!

Memory Work:

How can you glorify God? By loving Him and doing what He commands.

Why should you glorify God? Because He made me and takes care of me.

Can God see all things? Yes, nothing can be hidden from God.

Circle Time:

Name Song/Chant: Sing each child’s name and something they are wearing to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” EX: Melanie’s wearing a blue dress, a blue dress, a blue dress. Melanie’s wearing a blue dress all morning long. Or, see if children know each friend’s name. Jack is wearing a striped tie, a striped tie, a striped tie – Who is wearing a striped tie? JACK.” 

Manner Review: I wiggle my fingers. I wiggle my toes. I wiggle my shoulders. I wiggle my nose. Now, no more wiggles are left in me and I will sit still as still can be.

Story: Show the Bible. Turn to Mark 12. Let them touch the page. Read the short text. Explain that a widow is a woman whose husband has died. Be sure to read a translation that explains the difference in amounts of money. The ESV says the woman put in “two copper coins, which make a penny,” but it describes the rich as putting in “large sums.” You’ll need to explain that “large sums” means a “large amount” or, “a lot.” There is little action in the story so be sure that children understand each word and what is said. Pray beforehand about the discussion that will take place now. You’ll need to ask the children what they think the story means. What was Jesus watching that day? Who did Jesus see? Who did Jesus say good things about? Why did he say that? Do we give money offerings at church today? Does everyone give the same amount? I wonder why people give different amounts …

Group Activity:  Most children think it is fun to place money into the church offering plate. They also like to pass the plate. Tell them that you are going to give out play money. (Don’t give everyone the same amount!) Tell them that we will practice offering time.   

Songs: Try “Does God Know All Things?” from SONGS FOR SAPLINGS .

Quiet Time / Prayer Time:

Make this “fun/memorable.” And set the tone. Make them aware that they will do something like this every week. This is where we are trying to cement a “memorable” experience from/about the facts of the day. Consider making your own
“name” for this time.   

Boys and Girls, I’m going to give you back some of this play money. Hold your money while we pray today.

Close your eyes. Think about God. Does God know all things? Yes, nothing can be hidden from God. Think about this – the widow in our story – she might not have felt important, she might not have thought that anyone was watching her. But, Jesus saw her.

Jesus sees you. He sees each thing that you do that shows his love. You may not have money to give as an offering while you are a child, but you can still give God your offering of love. Think about what you can give.

God, I want to give …..

Dear God, thank you for giving us all we need. Thank you that you made us and that you take care of us. AMEN.

Closing Free Play:

A coloring sheet of the widow’s offering OR a game of “WHAT’S MISSING?” with coins and paper money (if children are old enough to know each piece.)

For “WHAT’S MISSING?” I gather an assortment of items to display on the floor or a table. I ask children to look at them and try to remember what’s there. Then when children close their eyes, I take away one thing. Children open their eyes and we ask “WHAT’S MISSING?”

Robbers, a Hurt Man, and … Donkey? OH, MY!

“Let’s act it out!”

This is a pretty loved directive in most children’s classes. There are several ways to see if children “got” the message of the day while reinforcing it.

  • Questions, plain old review question time.
  • Quiz games, with teams and winners to heighten the focus.
  • A “craft” that symbolizes the theme or action – even a coloring sheet.

But none, I think, capture the full scope like retelling the story itself. You’ll see (and hear!) what parts the children took in and which parts they are still wrestling with. And, yes, it has been a long week here so I am ok with ending sentences on a preposition.

Yes, it’s been the kind of week where if preschool Ian (if he was still a preschooler) asked if we could play Good Samaritan at home, then I’d reply, ‘”If I can be the hurt man.” I’d say that because then I could mostly just lay on the couch.

You been there?

I know that you have.

And it would be ok. Because even though Ian is an only child, he would be content to play every other character in that story. Oh gosh, I remember those days. Do dramatic play at home, mamas. Do it.

Every time that we played Good Samaritan at home, I got to see two sides of Ian’s personality.

THE ROBBERS!!! Oh yes, most of us are a bit consumed by villains. And when you see your child get into robbing with such voracity, it can be a bit disheartening.

I was soon saved every time by the turn of character, though. Because eventually Ian became THE GOOD SAMARITAN. The care that he took wrapping my hurts in band aids and then pretending to lift me on an imaginary animal was breathtaking. The robbing was done loudly and quickly. The helping was done quietly and slowly, a compassionate gentleness oozing out of those big brown eyes.

It can happen in the classroom setting, too.

Although I am going to just interrupt this blog post right now with this caveat –

Don’t be surprised if someone wants to be the donkey.

It happens. The first time that we did the Christmas pageant, children dressed in costume, nativity photo-op at Apostles during the Luke 2 reading at Lessons and Carols, I was appalled that our fourth and fifth graders added a character to my play. Unbeknownst to me, someone had to be the donkey – and he was the most coveted role. So, just expect it. Someone may want to be the Samaritan’s animal. Unless it causes possible bodily harm to it or the other characters – GO WITH IT.

A couple of my favorite curriculums use the act of retelling stories by encouraging children to play with wooden props and peg people from bible stories they have heard. You’ll see the emphasis on a worship atrium in CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD and the use of “I wonder” questions that I’ve copied for myself from GODLY PLAY.

Play GOOD SAMARITAN this week. You’ll experience the action and emotion of it all. You’ll find out if there’s a little something in your story that you need to tweak to make correct for your students. You’ll make a memory. Trust me, memory making is priority. More on memories in a later post!

The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan

Luke 10:25-37

(You shall love) your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27

“Good morning” Question:   Where will you go tomorrow? Tell me all the places …

 

Free Play Choices: Doctor kit/dolls and band aids, animals, neighborhood pictures (Give hints to the upcoming story while children play. Where do you live? In this neighborhood picture, if you lived here then which one shows where your neighbor lives? Do you know your neighbors? Do you use the car to go most places? Look, in Jesus’ time, they walked or rode animals. In our story today, someone is hurt and someone else takes care of him.) 

Word for the Day: Neighbor. A neighbor lives near you. Right? Well, today Jesus changes the meaning of the word “neighbor” by making it bigger. It’s because he wants our love to be bigger!

Memory Work:

How can you glorify God?

(By loving him and doing what he commands)

Circle Time:

Name Song/Chant: Everybody do this, do this, do this. Everybody do this just like me. (CHANT. LET EACH CHILD HAVE A TURN CHOOSING WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR BODY – clap, snap, rub belly, etc – AND INSERT THEIR NAME “just like ____ “)

Manner Review: Your eyes here, listening ears, hands in lap.

Story: Use this finger play to begin bible study time. The children may echo each line after you.

I open my bible. And listen to God. He tells me what I should do. I know that he loves me. He hears when I pray. And all of his stories are true.

Today Jesus explains what we should do. Someone had asked him how to obey the command – You should love your neighbor as yourself. A man asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus told this story. Turn to Luke 10. Let children touch the bible at this scripture. Read the story. Don’t get too worried about describing priest (a pastor/preacher,) Levite (a church worker,) or Samaritan (person from a place called Samaria.) For the youngest children, we are describing what love looks like – not who should or should not have known to show love.

Group Activity:  Do you remember the story? Let’s act it out! Give out parts.

Songs: Try to just listen to some of these! Really. I love them. You might not be able to lead them yourself, but they are free and you can sing along. SONGS FOR SAPLINGS

Quiet Time / Prayer Time:

Make this “fun/memorable.” And set the tone. Make them aware that they will do something like this every week. This is where we are trying to cement a “memorable” experience from/about the facts of the day. Consider making your own
“name” for this time.   

       If you can secure a large map of your city or town, then get it out and attach it to the wall. If not, then consider making a large collage of places that children go in your town. (Local magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets are great resources for pictures.)

Look at some of these places that you may go next week. Let’s pray through our day. Close your eyes and listen to my words. We are going to think about our day. Think about where you go, but don’t say the places out loud! Now, prayer eyes and hands. Closed and folded

Dear God, You are always with me wherever I go. Help me to show your love all the time. Help me to show your love when I wake up in the morning. Where are you on Monday mornings? Do you go anywhere? God, help me show your love when I am ______. Afternoons. Where are you? God, help me to show your love when I am _____. God is with us all day long. Where are you in the evening? At dinner or supper time? After you eat? Who are you with? Dear God, help me to show your love when I am ______.

Closing Free Play:

Coloring sheet of Good Samaritan or group coloring of a city mural or map to hang on the wall.

Jesus and Zacchaeus

Jesus and Zacchaeus

Luke 19:1-10

The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

“Good morning” Question:  Have you ever been lost? How did it feel? 

 

Free Play Choices: Puzzles, blocks, coloring (Talk about the upcoming story while children play. What’s missing in this puzzle? Let’s build a road with these blocks. Jesus walks down a road today. And, let’s build a house. Jesus goes to someone’s house today.Would you like to draw your house?  Review Catechism Q/A Memory Work in conversations, just say the question and answer several times)

Word for the Day: Lost. Lost is not knowing where you are. Or, not knowing how to get where you want to go. Did you know that people are “lost” without God? They don’t know the way to love him and others.

Memory Work:

Why did God make you
and all things?
(For his own glory)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         How can you glorify God?                                                                                                                                                                                                                (By loving him and doing what he commands)                                                                                                                                                                                 Why should you glorify God?                                                                                                                                                                                                   (Because he made me and takes care of me)

Circle Time:

Name Song/Chant: Where is ______? Where is _____?  (Insert a name) Here I am, Here I am.(Child stands up and answers)  How are you this morning? Very well I thank you. Sit back down. Sit back down. TO THE TUNE OF “ARE YOU SLEEPING?”

Manner Review: Your eyes here, listening ears, hands in lap.

Story: Show the Bible. Turn to Luke 19. Let them touch the page. Read the short story. Then say, “Did you know that Zacchaeus was lost? Lost is … Ask, “Before meeting Jesus, how did Zacchaeus not show love to others?” Describe tax and tax collectors and help with this answer. “After meeting Jesus, what right and loving thing does Zacchaeus do?”

Group Activity:  The Bible says that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He looks for the lost and brings them home to love God and others. Let’s play a few turns of Hide and Seek. Consider using a doll or puppet to hide.

Songs: Zacchaeus; Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? Jesus knew all about Zacchaeus. He knew that he stole extra when collecting taxes. He wanted to help Zacchaeus find the right way to live.

Quiet Time / Prayer Time:

Make this “fun/memorable.” And set the tone. Make them aware that they will do something like this every week. This is where we are trying to cement a “memorable” experience from/about the facts of the day. Consider making your own
“name” for this time.   

        Let’s pretend that we are trying to see Jesus. Would you climb a tree to see him? Is he that important to you?

Close your eyes. If Jesus came to your house, then what would Jesus see? Would he see love? All the time?

Don’t tell me, just think about that. Do you need help showing love? Jesus wants to help you.

Ask him. Jesus help me to show love to …… Help me to show love when ….

Thank you, Jesus. You forgive when I don’t show love. You help me start again.

Closing Free Play:

Outside time is great for this lesson as you remember that Zacchaeus climbed (a tree!) You might climb up the slide. Stuck inside? Play “I SPY” or “WHAT’S MISSING?”

For “WHAT’S MISSING?” I gather an assortment of items to display on the floor or a table. I ask children to look at them and try to remember what’s there. Then when children close their eyes, I take away one thing. Children open their eyes and we ask “WHAT’S MISSING?”

Jesus and the Children

Jesus and the Children

Mark 10:13-16

Let the children come to me. Mark 10:14

“Good morning” Question:  You are loved! Tell me – Who loves you?

 

Free Play Choices: Coloring Valentines, dolls/puppets, books (talk about “love” while playing – who loves you? how do they show it? who do you love?…introduce the Catechism Q/A’s Memory Work in conversations, just say the question and answer several times)

Word for the Day: Blessing. A blessing is a gift. God blesses us when he “takes care of us and shows us his love.” Jesus blessed the children. He may have given them a special prayer like some of you receive at communion time.

Memory Work:

Who made you?
(God)
What else did God
make?
(God made all things.)
Why did God make you
and all things?
(For his own glory)                                                                                                                                               How can you glorify God?                                                                                                                                       (By loving him and doing what he commands)                                                                                                    Why should you glorify God?                                                                                                                         (Because he made me and takes care of me)

Circle Time:

Name Song/Chant: Jesus Loves the Little Ones Like Me, Me, Me (Insert names for “me, me, me!”)

Manner Review: Your eyes here, listening ears, hands in lap.

Story: Show the Bible. Turn to Mark 10. Let them touch the page. Read the short story. Then, tell the story again in your own words. Emphasize all five senses. How big was the crowd that had been listening to Jesus teach? Was it loud? If you had been there – would you have been tired? excited? scared?

Group Activity: Have large butcher paper pieces the size of a child (already cut out.) Practice taking turns. Allow each child to be traced on the paper. Hang the “children” on the wall and say, “we are creating a crowd, our crowd of children, to see Jesus.”

Songs: Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children

Quiet Time / Prayer Time:

Make this “fun/memorable.” And set the tone. Make them aware that they will do something like this every week. This is where we are trying to cement a “memorable” experience from/about the facts of the day. Consider making your own
“name” for this time.   

        Let’s sit on the floor here right around our pictures that we traced. Let’s pretend that we are waiting to see Jesus. Would you be quiet if you were waiting? How would you feel? Don’t tell me, just think about how you would feel.
Who would bring you to see Jesus?

Close your eyes. Would you thank Jesus for the person that brought you to see him? Jesus, thank you for …

Jesus wants to give you a blessing. A blessing is a gift. Today that blessing is a prayer straight from Jesus. Would you listen as Jesus uses me to tell you that he loves you? (Walk around and touch each child as you say: ______, Jesus loves you.

Closing Free Play:

Color your tracings and/or cut them out. Mirror time (Pull out a large mirror and let children have fun in front of it; use music to make even more fun!)

No, I don’t know these children – it’s just a youtube google search – but in case you don’t know the song I mentioned!