“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
When it comes to memory verses, this one has always been a favorite, so I was more than excited for my girls to learn it. I remember being a little girl, around 5 years old, and going to my grandmother’s church. They had missionettes and I got to be in the Daisies class with Sis. Barbie. She taught me this verse and I have never forgotten it. In fact, I can never read or hear this verse without seeing myself sitting across from her at the moon-shaped table in that little Sunday school room. If I think back as far as I can remember, this particular verse is the first one I ever memorized! That’s why it is a favorite of mine and I’m thrilled to share it with my children.
When we discussed this verse, I used a really simple demonstration to show my girls what being the light means. For this demonstration, all you need are 2 things: a flashlight to represent yourself, and the battery to represent Jesus (make sure the battery isn’t in the flashlight until you are ready).
1. Everyone knows a flashlight has one purpose. The purpose it was created for is to shine light in the darkness.
2. (Turn the lights out for this part) Now that the room is dark, we’re going to turn on this flashlight so that the light will shine and we can see. (The flashlight obviously will not work because the battery is not in it.)
3. It looks like our flashlight isn’t working! Maybe if we put this battery in it will help. (Put the battery in the flashlight and turn it on. This time it will work.) It seems our flashlight will only work if the battery is inside. Without the battery, it cannot fulfill it’s purpose.
Did you know, just like that flashlight, our purpose is to shine a light in the darkness? That’s what this verse is all about. God created us to shine His light to all men so that He can be glorified. And just like that flashlight, we will never do what we were created to do unless we have a battery. For us, that battery is Jesus, who lives in our hearts if we have accepted Him as our Savior. If Jesus doesn’t live in our hearts, our light will not shine. Even thought the flashlight looked like it was ready to work, it just couldn’t until the battery was inside. We can’t just look the part. We actually have to have Jesus in our hearts in order to represent Him and shine His light. When we have our “battery” in place, we can light up the darkness all around us, just like we were created to!
The following song is a great tool to help your little ones with memorization. Naomi and Adah love this song and can’t help but dance and worship to it!
Let Your Light Shine
Now what about you and your little ones? Are your batteries in place? Fulfill your purpose and overtake the darkness with the bright light of God!
Not too long ago we were saying our bedtime prayers when Adah, my 4 year old, said, “How’s Jesus gonna hear me if He’s listening to somebody else pray?”
We pray a lot and Adah especially loves to pray over our meals, but this was the first time we encountered this question. And for a 4 year old or maybe even a new Christian, it makes sense to ask. Why? Because many in this world are serving a god that is dead or not even real and has no way of hearing their prayers. However, the God I serve is an omnipresent, omniscient God and is more than capable of not just hearing all of our prayers, but of knowing them beforehand.
present everywhere at the same time
having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.
I explained to Adah that God is everywhere. He’s in heaven and Poppa C (her grandpa), who passed away less than a year ago, is having so much fun with Him there. But He’s also on earth, here with us at all times. He sees us. He hears us. He walks with us. If we have accepted Him, He even lives within us.
Later one night as I was waiting to fall asleep, I was also praying. I was thanking God that He sends His angels to keep charge over us (Psalm 91) and I was thanking God for His blood that covers us. Then I got really excited, because I realized (I already knew this, but it really hit me!) that even greater than those angels and blood was God Himself right there with me, in me, all around me! I pictured myself sort of in the middle of a giant God Bubble. How cool is that?
That’s when it hit me…..play doh! I know, I know. Now you’re lost. 😉 But stay with me! I promise, it will make sense soon.
God had given me what I feel like is a super neat way to explain His omnipresence to my girls using nothing but play doh (and a butter knife to be used by Mom). When you’re a kid, does it get any cooler than that?!
Here’s how it works:
**Each child will need 2 different colors of play doh (color 1 represents God and color 2 represents His children)
Step 1: Have your child pinch off a small amount of color 1 and mold it into a ball.
(This is to represent Jesus living in our hearts if we are saved.)
Step 2: Have your child pinch off a bigger amount of color 2 and roll it out into a flat piece like a pancake. (This piece will represent us.)
Step 3: Once color 2 is flattened out, make a small indention in the center of it and place the small ball made from color 1 in the indention.
Step 4: Fold color 2 up around the small ball made from color 1 in the indention and then begin to mold it into a ball shape. (When this is done, you will not be able to see the small ball made from color 1. This represents that although we can not physically see Jesus in our hearts, He is still there.)
Step 5: Have your child get an even greater amount of color 1 and basically repeat Step 3. Flatten it out like a pancake, make an indention in the center, and place the ball made up from color 2 in the center.
Step 6: Once again, fold the flattened part up around the ball made from color 2 and begin to mold it into a ball shape. (This represents that God is all around us.)
Step 7: This is the last step, where you will use the butter knife. Cut down the middle of the final ball shape to cut it in half. When you do this, you will be able to see the inside, which shows the first two colors.
This demonstration shows how God is every where around us at all times. How do we know this is true? Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8 as well as Hebrews 13:5 all state that God is with us and will not leave nor forsake us.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
If He will NEVER leave nor forsake us, then it must be true that He is ALWAYS with us. This is so comforting to know! No wonder we can walk in peace and not fear. Praise the Lord!
This demonstration can also be used to show that God is watching everything we do and hears everything we say, good and bad. As it says in Proverbs 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” It’s important that we strive to live lives that are pleasing in His eyes (This is for the Mommies, too, especially me!).
Here’s a little secret- while this was a lot of fun with a great message for my girls, it was a message that I need to keep in remembrance. I am certainly thankful for our omnipresent and omniscient God!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Last year, I shared how we learned 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 for our Thanksgiving memory verses. What great verses they are year round! I also shared with you our Thankful Tree. This year I want to share with you our Thankful Turkey.
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Mommy is thankful for:
Daddy is thankful for:
Naomi (6) is thankful for:
Adah (4) is thankful for:
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
As I’ve shared with you before, we spend time on our scriptures every morning on our way to school. We have a sort of routine that goes something like this:
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This morning I was blessed with the realization that Naomi is finding ways to apply these scriptures. Why does that excite me? Because it means she gets it. She really gets it! She is doing more than just memorizing scripture. She is paying attention and actually understanding them. Don’t get me wrong… my ultimate goal is for my girls to understand and apply the scriptures, not just memorize them. It’s just so amazing when I see it happening!
When we began to recite this week’s scripture, Naomi stopped to tell me that she shared it with her Sunday school class yesterday. Apparently they were learning about Cain and Abel.
“We learned about Cain and Abel in my class and I told them our scripture. Abel loved God and all of his brothers, but Cain didn’t love Abel or God. So I told them all about our scriptures and I told them ‘He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.'”- Naomi
Not only did she understand the scripture, but she also shared it with her friends. It blessed my heart to know that it’s sinking in and being put to use. 🙂 As for Adah, she applies her scriptures, too… but usually only when her or her sissy is in trouble! That’s when we hear about honoring and obeying!
Just remember, when it comes to memory verses:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering*, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
One of the biggest things in scripture memorization (for adults, too) is repetition. Another big thing is music. Combine repetition with music and memorization comes almost without trying. I’ve found a song on the Fruits of the Spirit and my children love it! And let me just say, with the repetition involved, I knew the song and fruits after hearing it once. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this song as much as we have.
*We have learned ‘patience’ in place of ‘longsuffering.’
“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
We learned this scripture for the Christmas season. What an amazing way to announce the birth of Christ!
First, we hear these angels singing praise to the almighty Father, “Glory to God in the highest.” Then they go on to declare a blessing for mankind, “And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Isn’t that just what Christmas is all about?! It’s not about Santa Claus or getting gifts. It’s about the birth of a Savior and the peace He brought from heaven to earth.
You’ve already heard my disclaimer, but I’ll share it again: Our memory verses tend to take more than a week to learn. And as you can tell, it takes me quite a while to get around to writing about them (I promise I’m trying to catch up!!).
However, that’s the great thing about the little baby that was born in a manger…He grew into a man who willingly gave His life on a cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our ugly sins. Three days later He rose and is preparing a place for us to be with Him. The angels are still singing His praise, and we can, too— even when it’s June and Christmas was over 6 months ago. Glory to God in the highest!
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
We started working on these verses for Thanksgiving. There are many verses throughout God’s word that can be used during the Thanksgiving holiday, but these are the ones I chose. After we started working on them, I made a Thanksgiving tree for our family. Nothing elaborate, just something quick and easy. I cut out different shaped leaves to glue on top of our tree and around the trunk. Each family member picked 4 things we are thankful for to write on the leaves. Some answers were expected, like Naomi being thankful for “a good mom and dad.” Others, were sort of unexpected, like Adah being thankful for “bologna.”
Under our tree I wrote our scriptures and then hung it up on one of my kitchen cabinets. I wanted it where I would see it often so I could really enjoy it.
You may remember in past blogs that I mentioned using SMT while explaining new verses to my girls. Silly Mommy Translation (SMT) is not what they memorize, just an easy way to help them understand what they are memorizing. Because SMT was created by this silly mommy, you may have your own silly mommy translation.
For these particular verses, my SMT went something like this-
“Always be happy! Always pray and talk to God! And always be thankful to God for everything! He wants us to be happy and thankful and He loves when we talk to Him.”
Stay tuned to see what scripture we worked on for Christmas. Do you have particular verses that you have used for different holidays? I’d love for you to share!
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
This is a pretty simple scripture to memorize and was really easy for Naomi and Adah. After they repeated it a few times we did an experiment.
That simple! And if we don’t praise Him, the rocks will cry out. Don’t let the rocks out praise you.
I also taught them the chorus to a worship song by Hillsong called “Everything That Has Breath.” (I couldn’t find a link.) The lyrics are:
Everything that has breath praise the Lord
Everything that’s in me praise the Lord
I can praise Him on the highest mountain
Praise Him in the lowest valley
Everything that’s in me praise the Lord
They love any time we can add singing and so do I. It’s all part of praising the Lord. Praise the Lord!
“Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah”
For the most part, each new scripture we begin to work on comes with an explanation from the SMT…aka….Silly Mommy Translation. Why? I feel it’s important to not just memorize scripture, but to understand it. As young as my girls are, I try to explain each scripture in a fun and kid-friendly way.
“The Lord is so awesome because everyday He blesses us with awesome things we need! And He is our Savior! Woo hoo!”- Psalm 68:19 SMT
Of course this is just one mommy’s kid-friendly interpretation. Do any of you do something similar with your kids?
We have also added something new to our routine to help us memorize our verses. And yes, I did say we. One of the best things about teaching my children the word of God is that I learn it, too, and I love it. Not only are these memory verses for the girls, but also for me. I shouldn’t expect something from my kids that I’m not willing to do myself. I only wish I had started the process of memorizing scripture for myself so much sooner.
Anyway, back to the something new- Now that both of my girls are in school (preschool and kindergarten), we are in the car a lot! We’ve learned that car time is also great God time. When we are working on a new verse, that new verse is written out and taped to the dash in plain view.
Even though Adah can’t read and Naomi is just now learning to read and they may not know what it says, they do know that it’s the verse we are working on and enjoy it being there. Every morning on our way to school, we go over all the verses we’ve learned so far and then we work on our current verse. Then we each take turns praying. This has helped us so much with the memorization process and has also become the favorite part of most of my days.
Once we move on from that verse, it gets taped to the Scripture Shield we put on the bedroom wall.
For those of you out that work on memory verses, how do you keep them fresh on your mind?
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.”
My oldest daughter, Naomi, came into my room in the middle of the night about a month ago, and she was hysterical. “Mommy! I had a bad dream!” She was crying and terrified. My heart was breaking. I listened as she explained, “We were eating at a restaurant. You were holding a snake and you kept trying to put it on me!”
Now, I realize this may seem small and petty to some, but she is four years old. As soon as she told me what the bad dream was about, I became livid. At her? Of course not. I began to comfort her, telling her everything was okay and that she knows Mommy would never do that to her. However, I was furious with the devil. As she was calming down, I started rebuking the devil in the name of Jesus and demanding him to leave my child alone. I told him he had no right whatsoever to try and come against my children. Let me be honest here, this momma will not tolerate someone messing with her babies. Especially when that someone is nothing but an insignificant being with no power over the name of Jesus Christ, and especially when through the name of Jesus Christ, I have complete authority over that someone. You better believe I was using it!
I prayed with Naomi and immediately started working on our new verse. Now her and Adah both say it every night after bedtime prayers, but they make it personal. “When I lie down, I will not be afraid; Yes, I will lie down and MY sleep will be sweet.” Any time there seems to be the tiniest ounce of fear, we begin to quote and it helps so much. Besides, God did not give us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), no matter how often the enemy tries to put it on us.
This verse has me thanking God even more for His blessed word that brings peace.