“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!
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Welcome to the 5 day Summer blog hop with the Schoolhouse Review Crew! It’s rather exciting, isn’t it? 90 bloggers all sharing their tips, advice, methods, and more for 5 days? I have a feeling Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven’s and my personal Pinterest boards are going to be blowing up! For those of you who have never visited our blog before, I’m so glad you’re here and hope you’ll stick around. (Wow, I promise there was no pun intended there.)
For this blog hop, my topic will be Crafty Lessons. This method comes pretty easily to me, because there are 3 things I just love to do: Talk, teach my children, and crafts. By teaching with crafty lessons I am able to do all 3 of those in our homeschool.
How exactly does one teach with a craft lesson? Well, first, you have to get creative. I usually use this method for something that would be otherwise difficult for my children to grasp. Let’s take for example, teaching my children the importance of caution with who they allow to influence them, and the influence they have on others lives. That would normally be nearly impossible to explain to a 5 year old, but I noticed that in his little life this was something he really needed to understand. I was able to teach this lesson to my son Tommy in a way that he would not only fully comprehend, but remember and put into use while having a tangible reminder of the lesson that he learned.
So you have your concept that you need to help your child grasp. How do you use a craft to teach it though? Some of lessons are pretty easy. For example there are a plethora of ways to explain blood cells, planets, or the alphabet with a craft. But some concepts, and even full subjects, are much more complex.
When this happens, there are a few things I do. First I either look at the text book we are using or just go straight to google. I get a visual picture of what I am going to be teaching. (If it is not something physical, I use a dictionary to get a clear definition.) Then I do some research to find out every single detail of what I am dealing with. Crafts can sometimes come out looking not quite right if you don’t get the little details just right.
Next, I consider 1 of 2 things. If it is a physical object that is the focus, I make a list of supplies that would have a similar texture to the item. (Never be afraid to just have the child paint or draw a VERY detailed and labeled picture of what you are teaching if it is just going to be way too difficult to match up what you are teaching. While most lessons can be taught with a craft, once in awhile there is something way too difficult or expensive to recreate. That’s okay.) An example would be if for some reason I wanted to create a bear. I could use fur, felt, fleece, cotton, etc. For a concept, I would consider what exactly the action of that would be and try to think of a substance or material that could help bring the thought to life.
If at this point I am unable to have an epiphany that causes me to annoy my husband with my wonderful idea and call my mom and best friend to share my excitement, I hit google and pinterest and type in the substance or material I want to use and “craft”. Easy peasy.
At craft time, instead of the kids watching me while I explain the lesson, we dive right into the craft. As we are going about our time of fun, I talk… a lot. I explain every detail of not only what they are to do with the supplies before them, but what I am teaching them. I get very repetitive and let them ask me questions, and I ask them questions as well. Just as I love to have discussions with friends as we craft together, my children and I do the same.
This is a great way for my children to learn. They are very hands on, visual, auditory learners. Teaching them with crafty lessons just seems to be a great fit for them, among many other methods.
So just how did I explain the concept of influence? I don’t know how to explain it, but tissue paper bleeding just came to me. Tissue paper, especially the cheap low quality kind, bleeds when wet and stains everything it touches. The same goes for the influence of others on us. Not one single person we meet in our lives goes without touching us in some way. It’s just that some make more of a difference than others, particularly those we spend a lot of time with.
For this craft, the supplies were:
This fun activity is so easy, a toddler can do it. The best part is you don’t have to worry about a mess being made or taking a lot of time to clean up.
I had the children sit down and gave them each a white piece of card stock. I told them to pretend that this paper was them. Right away, before I got a big “huh?”, I had them help me rip the tissue paper into pieces of all different sizes. I explained during this time the meaning of the word “influence”. That there are people in our lives, like our pastor who are a good influence on us, for example our pastor. However, there are also friends and family in our lives that as much as we don’t like their actions or words that come out of their mouths, they still have an impact on our thoughts, actions, and words. We may not notice it right away, but eventually if we are not careful, the bad influence will start to seep in and do damage. I went on to explain that this damage can be repaired by carefully breaking bad habits and spending more time with those who have good influence, but we should be careful in who we select to spend a lot of time with or look up to.
Next, we started placing one sheet of tissue paper at a time on various places of the card stock, “painting” the water on to the papers. This took about 10 minutes or so and was just enough time for us to talk about how we should not be mean to those who have a bad influence, but should show Christ’s love to them. That we should strive to be a good influence to others, especially those who are not always showing such great character traits. I used Acts 20:28 to point out that influence is mentioned in the Bible and that we are instructed to be cautious in our approach with others. Tommy stated how sad he would be if someone else did something bad because of something he said or did. At that moment, I knew I got through to him.
Acts 20-28a NKJV Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="https://i1.wp.com/raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acts-20-28a-NKJV-Therefore-take-heed-to-yourselves-and-to-all-the-flock-among-which-the-Holy-Spirit-has-made-you-overseers.jpg?fit=300%2C191" data-large-file="https://i1.wp.com/raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acts-20-28a-NKJV-Therefore-take-heed-to-yourselves-and-to-all-the-flock-among-which-the-Holy-Spirit-has-made-you-overseers.jpg?fit=391%2C250" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-3868" alt="Acts 20-28a NKJV Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers" src="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acts-20-28a-NKJV-Therefore-take-heed-to-yourselves-and-to-all-the-flock-among-which-the-Holy-Spirit-has-made-you-overseers.jpg" width="391" height="250" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acts-20-28a-NKJV-Therefore-take-heed-to-yourselves-and-to-all-the-flock-among-which-the-Holy-Spirit-has-made-you-overseers.jpg?w=391 391w, https://i1.wp.com/raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Acts-20-28a-NKJV-Therefore-take-heed-to-yourselves-and-to-all-the-flock-among-which-the-Holy-Spirit-has-made-you-overseers.jpg?resize=300%2C191 300w" sizes="(max-width: 391px) 100vw, 391px" />
Hours later, when the papers were dry, we peeled off the dry tissue paper. Immediately Tommy noticed that there were both the “good” and “bad” colors on “him”. I made sure to point out that there were some parts where the blue was covered by red, so much so that the blue was very faded. The same goes for us, that when we have been influenced in a way that is not healthy, we can change our path and “fade out” the bad. Then Tommy taught me a lesson, “Mama, the paper can also be the earf (earth), and I want my influence on it to be good.” I think it’s safe to say, this crafty lesson was a success!
Just in case you were wondering, I did choose the colors red and blue for a reason. Our home has a patriotic decor of red, white, and blue. Right now we are redecorating our entry way and hall way. Not only will these creations make great “art pieces” to hang on display, but they will be a reminder to our family as we head out the door to not only be cautious of others, but especially ourselves. (The semi star shape was total accident, how cool is that?)
So, what do you think? Like the idea of crafty lessons? Does it sound too complicated to you, or have you actually done some yourself?
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