Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Archive for January 2014

A couple of days ago, I chanced upon this blog post thru facebook: http://www.powerfulmothering.com/diy-felt-play-mat/

My 22-old month little man pointed to it and immediately cried out, “Car! Vroom!” I knew then we just had to make our own. 🙂

This is just waaaay cool! 🙂 IMG_8061

Thankfully, we had all the stuff we would need right at home. Took 2 days to finish it. 🙂 You can find the original tutorial right here: http://cookcleancraft.com/2009/01/tutorial-felt-car-play-mathouse/

  1. Lots of felt
  2. Glue (I used UHU All-purpose adhesive — it’s safer than using hot-melt glue)
  3. A good pair of shears
  4. Velcro
  5. Iron-on interfacing
  6. A whole lot of patience

Thank You Lord for the wonderful ideas you give to those beautiful mommy bloggers out there! You are amazing!!! 🙂

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 7 PART 4 – Faithfulness (2  Corinthians 5:7)

Lesson: FAITHFULNESS (We walk by faith, not by sight)

Memory Verse: For we live by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) / “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV)

Walking by FAITH: As we learn from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is not similar to wishful thinking and hoping that things will happen the way we want them to if we are lucky. Faith is based on something REAL and TRUE – that is why we can have confidence that though we do not see it yet, we have received what we believed. The basis for our faith is God’s Word. We can illustrate this by looking at the story of how Jesus and Peter walked on the water from Matthew 14: 22-33.

The Story: Jesus had just finished teaching and feeding five thousand people. Jesus then told his disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of him while he stayed to pray. Later that night, while the boat was already far from land and with the wind causing the waves to pound on the boat, Jesus went out to them, walking on the water. The disciples got scared, thinking they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus cried out, “Don be afraid, it is I.” When Peter heard this, he replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to the water.” “Come,” Jesus said. Peter obeyed, got down on the boat and walked on the water. But when Peter looked at the wind, he became afraid and started to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus caught his hand and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then the two of them climbed onto the boat and the wind died down. Those in the boat worshiped Jesus saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

The 3 Steps in Walking By Faith:

  1. Hear the Word – Romans 10:17 tells us, “Faith comes by hearing.” When Peter heard the voice of Jesus, faith came. The Word of God is so powerful that when we hear it, faith comes at that very moment. If we do not hear the Word of God, then we will not have faith. If we hear it often, faith grows. That is why reading the bible everyday and going to church and Sunday school regularly is important – this is how our faith is being built up.
  2. Obey the Word – Faith means obeying “right now.” Delayed obedience is disobedience. When we postpone obedience, we give the enemy time to take away the Word that we received or he may create opportunities to distract us and or cause us to doubt. We should hold on to our knowledge of the love and power of God; trusting Him that He knows what is best. That means there is no room for fear or doubt when we hear God’s Word telling us to do something.
  3. Look unto Jesus –Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the “author and perfecter” of faith. When we act in faith, what will strengthen and sustain us is looking unto Jesus. Peter had faith because he heard the voice of Jesus telling him to come. As he acted on that faith, it allowed him to do the impossible – to walk on water! This reminds us about what faith is not: faith CANNOT be seen or heard or felt. Instead, faith has to be ACTED OUT. Peter trusted Jesus because he knew Jesus was his friend (Jesus loved him and would not allow him to be harmed) and Jesus was able to do miracles (Peter has seen the demonstration of this power). Peter started sinking when his eyes shifted from looking unto Jesus to looking at the wind and the waves (the circumstances around him that contradicts his faith). Our experiences – the things we see, hear, or feel are not connected to our faith. Faith comes from the Word alone. We do not have faith because of what we see happening around us – we have faith because God’s Word says so. When we accept, trust and obey the WORDS of JESUS, then we are also accepting, trusting and obeying JESUS.

Jan 27 2014 2 Cor 5 7 coloring page

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 7 PART 3 – Faithfulness (Romans 10:17)

Lesson: FAITHFULNESS – Faith in the Word about Christ

Memory Verse: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” – Romans 10:17

BIBLE LESSON: The book of Luke tells us how angel Gabriel was sent by God to Mary. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33).

Mary asked how could this be possible since she had no husband yet, and the angel told her that the Holy Spirit will be the one to give her a son. The angel continued to say that even Mary’s cousin Elizabeth who was said to be unable to have a child will have a son in her old age, because, “no word from God will ever fail.” Mary responded with, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:37-38)

Can you imagine how this must have sounded to a young woman? The whole idea of having a child that will be called “Jesus” which means “savior” is not foreign to Mary. This was because their people, the Israelites, have been waiting for this coming “Messiah” for a very, very long time, and they had the Old Testament Scriptures which is God’s Word and promise to them to prove this.

And so Mary believed in faith on the Word of God spoken to her by the angel Gabriel – a Word which was actually a fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. And because she believed and allowed the Holy Spirit to come upon her, she conceived and eventually gave birth to a son – Jesus Christ.

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17). This is how the bible tells us faith comes – by hearing God’s Word. That’s why it is important to go to church and to read the bible everyday – so that as we hear and read God’s Word, our faith is built up and grows. But for many people, the only bible they will ever read is our lives – the lives of Christians who profess to believe in Jesus. That is why it is important that we understand that our lives are also a testimony of God’s Word at work.

Today, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ and believe the Word of God that we hear spoken to us or we read in the bible, we become like Mary, who was blessed because of her faith in God. Mary heard, she believed, and she allowed the Holy Spirit to do its work and so she gave birth to Jesus. In the same way, we who have heard, when we believe the message of God and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will also “birth out” Christ, – or more clearly, we will let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us that people will see Jesus is alive in us.

Romans 8:29 tells us, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” This means God has planned that those whom He chose to hear His Word are also called to become like His Son, Jesus. This is our goal as we let the Holy Spirit work in our lives and seek to know God more and follow His voice – we are to become more and more like Jesus. By faith and as we yield to the Holy Spirit, we are changed day by day – from faith to faith and from glory to glory – until the time comes that when people look at us, they will see the image of Christ in us through the words that we say, the things that we do and the blessings that we share. These things allow people to see how Jesus is alive in us and how God restores hearts, renews minds and transforms the lives of those called to be “children of God.”

Challenge: When people look at you, do they see Jesus is alive in your life?

PRAYER:

Our Father in heaven, we praise you and glorify Your name! You are a great God and Your Word is true. You graciously shower us with your goodness, love and mercy. Thank You Lord for choosing us to hear your Word, and as we hear it, may our faith be built up — and may we all grow more in the grace and knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to choose to listen to Your voice and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, so that day by day, we are being transformed to become more and more like Your Son, Jesus. May the light of Jesus shine through us, that in all that we say, think or do, we would show the world that Jesus is alive indeed and He makes all things new and beautiful. Thank You, Father God, for allowing us to be Your children and covering us with Your love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

January 20 2014 Romans 10 17 coloring page

 

 

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 7 PART 2 – Faithfulness (Hebrews 11:1)

Lesson: FAITH (What is faith?)

Memory Verse: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1

Bible Lesson:

What is faith? The dictionary tells us that faith is “strong belief or trust in someone or something,” or “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”1 Most of the time, we believe something because we’ve seen it. It’s quite natural to want some proof before we place our trust on something or someone. Faith is just the opposite. It means believing first, then seeing it happen.

The bible gives us what we need to have this faith. It is filled with stories that show us who God is and who we are in his sight, and how God always is true to His promises. He shows us through the lives of many people like Abraham, Noah, and Jesus how God can be trusted because He always does what He says He will do.

God promised Abraham that he would be made father of many nations, and Abraham trusted God’s voice. This is why even when God instructed Abraham to offer his son Isaac on the altar, Abraham still obeyed God because he had faith that God would do something; maybe even bring back Isaac’s life. Noah heard God’s voice and followed the command to build an ark even though there was no way to tell that there would be such a flood that would be enough to cover the earth.

Abraham and Noah believed God because they actually heard God’s voice. In the New Testament, We find people’s lives changed by faith in the one who shows us what God truly is – His Son Jesus. Jesus showed us the character and the heart of God which was to give people freedom from sickness, slavery, blindness, heartaches and any other oppression from the devil.

In a story found in Mark 5:24-34, there was a woman who had been very sick for 12 years who believed that if only she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. And sure enough, when she squeezed her way into the crown and reached out to the edge of the robe of Jesus, healing flowed through her body and immediately, her sickness went away. Jesus said her faith has healed her. She was sure that Jesus could heal her, and that show of faith was acknowledged by Jesus.

Indeed, throughout the bible, we find these many different stories of how people believed in the power and the Word of God and they received what they believed for. Because God is faithful, we can also put our faith in Him. We can believe, then receive.

When we pray with faith, even though we do not always see the result right away, we still believe we received. This is because our faith is not like wishing on a shooting star. A shooting star has no power to make things happen. But we know our God who holds everything in His mighty hand has that power. And when we pray according to what He says in His Word, we can be sure it will happen. That is praying with faith – praying knowing God will answer it according to His Word and His will.

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4 NIV)

We read a book entitled, “Unang Unngoy” (“The First Monkey”). It’s a local legend about how a fairy tried to teach a little girl how to be useful; mainly to make a dress from the most basic material — cotton blossoms. Once the lazy girl realized how tedious the process is, she threw away the cotton blossoms saying she’d rather not wear dresses than spend so much energy and effort to make one. This made the fairy very angry and she punished the girl by turning her into the first monkey.

While the concept of fairies and magic and certainly punishment by turning a kid into a monkey is obviously not a good thing — there is always a moral lesson that can be picked up from such children’s books.

So after we read the book, I carefully explained how God hates witchcraft and that God show us that instead of immediate punishment, Jesus modeled patient training, gentle correction, forgiveness and grace.

Then I thought we could follow the said process and make our own “How to” book from it.

So here it is:

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Memory Verse: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 John 3:1a

Bible Story: Parable of the Lost Son (NOTE: This is the same bible story lesson as the Fruits of the Spirit Lesson 7 Part 1 on Faithfulness but with a different memory verse. Also, the emphasis here would be our newness in Christ when we come to the Father for forgiveness and the restoration of our position as sons and daughters of the most Holy one.)

Scripture:  Luke 15:11-32 11 (Read from the Bible)

Our story is a parable told by Jesus. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

“Prodigal” means “extravagant” or “wasteful.” This story is about a young man who asked for his inheritance and then spent it all on useless and worldly things.

(The son had done a terrible thing. For starters, asking for one’s inheritance while the parent was still alive is kind of like telling the parent that the son wanted him to be dead already. This is because an inheritance is usually only given when the parent dies. This request from the younger son must have really hurt the feelings of his father, and yet, the father gave what the son asked for.)

The son left his father and went to a faraway place where he spent all his money on parties and food and worthless things. He suddenly finds himself without any money at all and he had to get a job feeding pigs just so he could survive. He was so hungry he thought of eating the pigs’ food.

(It was a very shameful thing for a Jewish person to get this kind of job because they considered pigs to be “unclean.” This could be considered as one of the lowest kinds of job a Jew could ever have.)

The son realized how his father’s servants were much more well off than him, because they had food to spare while he was here with pigs and he was dying of hunger. And so he made up his mind to return home and tell his father to make him one of the servants just so he could eat well.

(This part of the story shows us that the son probably went back to the father not because he was primarily “sorry” for all he had done, but more likely, because he was just so “hungry.” Even so, the father welcomed him back with open arms.)

While he was still a long way off, the father saw him and ran to him, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

(Here we see that the father already had shown that he has forgiven his son even before the son said “sorry.” The kiss and the welcoming embrace came first before the son’s confession of his sins. This shows us how our Father in heaven has also loved us while we were still sinners.)

The father said to his servants to bring the best robe and put it on his son. He also put a ring on the son’s finger and sandals on his feet. Then he asked that the fattened calf be cooked and a feast be made to celebrate the return of his lost son.

(The ROBE signified the “robe of righteousness,” which means that the past mistakes have been forgiven and all is now made “right” in the father’s eyes. The RING signifies authority, which shows that the son has been given back the power of being an heir of his father. The SANDALS show “sonship” because servants walk barefoot and only the master and his sons wore sandals.)

APPLICATION:

This parable teaches us that when we do what we want instead of what God wants, we are like the lost son. Sin leads to separation from the Father and this may seem fun or just fine for some time, but sooner or later, we will find that sin also leads to much suffering.

But as our memory verse states, God is FAITHFUL– it means He is true to His promises. If we confess ours sins to Him and ask forgiveness from our hearts, then it whether the sin was big or small, God will forgive us and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness or wrongdoing. Just as the prodigal son was accepted with open arms and his “sonship” was restored completely, so will the Father accept us when we repent and turn to Him. We are made “right” with God through Jesus, and by His amazing grace, we become sons and daughters of the most High God. We are then “heirs” of all of God’s blessings for His beloved children. Praise be to our Almighty God!

PRAYER:

Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your amazing grace! Thank You for Your great love and Your faithfulness. May Your holiness be proclaimed throughout all the earth! We have sinned against You and we now humbly ask for Your forgiveness. We confess that we have chosen to fulfill our own desires and listen to other voices instead of focusing our eyes, ears and more importantly, our hearts to You. And we thank You, our most gracious God, for we know that we can trust You that as we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank You Lord for letting us become your children and heirs to Your Kingdom! All praise and honor be to You our heavenly Father! In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN!

BIBLE CRAFT:

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I found this craft idea from: http://www.meaningfulmama.com/2013/12/teaching-kids-forgiveness-parable-lost-son-craft.html

I used a different verse so for those who want to download the pattern, you may do so here: Prodigal Son craft

We traced the kids’ hands on cardboard paper, cut them out and glued them into colored paper cut in 2.5″ x 8″ strips.

We decorated our craft with googly eyes, crayons and some brown felt for the hair.

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 7 PART 1 – Faithfulness (1 John 1:9)

LESSON: FAITHFULNESS

Memory Verse: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

BIBLE STORY: Scripture:  Luke 15:11-32 11 (Read from the Bible)

Our story is a parable told by Jesus. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

Prodigal” means “extravagant” or “wasteful.” This story is about a young man who asked for his inheritance and then spent it all on useless and worldly things.

(The son had done a terrible thing. For starters, asking for one’s inheritance while the parent was still alive is kind of like telling the parent that the son wanted him to be dead already. This is because an inheritance is usually only given when the parent dies. This request from the younger son must have really hurt the feelings of his father, and yet, the father gave what the son asked for.)

The son left his father and went to a faraway place where he spent all his money on parties and food and worthless things. He suddenly finds himself without any money at all and he had to get a job feeding pigs just so he could survive. He was so hungry he thought of eating the pigs’ food.

(It was a very shameful thing for a Jewish person to get this kind of job because they considered pigs to be “unclean.” This could be considered as one of the lowest kinds of job a Jew could ever have.)

The son realized how his father’s servants were much more well off than him, because they had food to spare while he was here with pigs and he was dying of hunger. And so he made up his mind to return home and tell his father to make him one of the servants just so he could eat well.

(This part of the story shows us that the son probably went back to the father not because he was primarily “sorry” for all he had done, but more likely, because he was just so “hungry.” Even so, the father welcomed him back with open arms.)

While he was still a long way off, the father saw him and ran to him, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

(Here we see that the father already had shown that he has forgiven his son even before the son said “sorry.” The kiss and the welcoming embrace came first before the son’s confession of his sins. This shows us how our Father in heaven has also loved us while we were still sinners.)

The father said to his servants to bring the best robe and put it on his son. He also put a ring on the son’s finger and sandals on his feet. Then he asked that the fattened calf be cooked and a feast be made to celebrate the return of his lost son.

(The ROBE signified the “robe of righteousness,” which means that the past mistakes have been forgiven and all is now made “right” in the father’s eyes. The RING signifies authority, which shows that the son has been given back the power of being an heir of his father. The SANDALS show “sonship” because servants walk barefoot and only the master and his sons wore sandals.)

APPLICATION:

This parable teaches us that when we do what we want instead of what God wants, we are like the lost son. Sin leads to separation from the Father and this may seem fun or just fine for some time, but sooner or later, we will find that sin also leads to much suffering.

But as our memory verse states, God is FAITHFUL– it means He is true to His promises. If we confess ours sins to Him and ask forgiveness from our hearts, then it whether the sin was big or small, God will forgive us and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness or wrongdoing. Just as the prodigal son was accepted with open arms and his “sonship” was restored completely, so will the Father accept us when we repent and turn to Him. We are made “right” with God through Jesus, and by His amazing grace, we become sons and daughters of the most High God. We are then “heirs” of all of God’s blessings for His beloved children. Praise be to our Almighty God!

PRAYER:

Our Father in heaven, thank You for Your amazing grace! Thank You for Your great love and Your faithfulness. May Your holiness be proclaimed throughout all the earth! We have sinned against You and we now humbly ask for Your forgiveness. We confess that we have chosen to fulfill our own desires and listen to other voices instead of focusing our eyes, ears and more importantly, our hearts to You. And we thank You, our most gracious God, for we know that we can trust You that as we confess our sins, You are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thank You Lord for letting us become your children and heirs to Your Kingdom! All praise and honor be to You our heavenly Father! In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, AMEN!

January 6 2014 1 John1 9 coloring page