Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

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OBEDIENCE

Week 1: The Way of Obedience

Memory Verse:

Preschool – Grades 1-3: “Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.” – Deuteronomy 8:6

 Grades 4 and up: “Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.”- Deuteronomy 8:6-9

LESSON:

Story: Adam and Eve disobey God

Adam and Eve were the very first persons in the earth. God made them so he could be friends with them. God created the world (review days of creation) so that they would have a home were God could fellowship with them. They were surrounded with all good things – the plants and trees, animal friends, the sun, moon and stars to give them light – and more importantly, God gave Adam and Eve His blessing to rule the earth. God also gave Adam His command, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” God gave this command because He loved Adam and Eve and did not want them to be separated from Him and come to any harm.

But the serpent tricked them and tempted them to eat the fruit which God had forbidden them to eat. Adam and Eve listened to the voice of the serpent and disobeyed God. They chose to listen to the serpent’s voice and not to God’s voice.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they committed SIN. Sin separates us from God because God is holy and pure and sin cannot be near him. Sin has consequences – and it deserves punishment. Even though it made God sad, He had to do what is right and let Adam and Eve suffer the consequences of their sin so that they would learn why it was important to obey God’s voice. Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden and suffered many hardships because they became separated from God.

But God still loves Adam and Eve, and He has a plan to save them and all mankind from sin. The rest of the Bible tells us how God unfolds His amazing plan of salvation to bring back people to the perfect life He had designed for us which is to be with Him and live in harmony with each other and with all of God’s creation.

APPLICATION:

Our memory verse reminds us regarding the importance of listening to and following God’s voice. In today’s world, we are surrounded with many voices – the serpent, or more clearly, Satan, continues to try to tempt and deceive us through the voice of television, the voices of wrong kinds of friends, and even the voice inside us from our own selfish desires. All these other voices lead us to harm, pain and suffering, and any happiness or enjoyment that following these voices may gain us is only temporary. Sin always has consequences, and sin deserves punishment. That is why we need to learn how to always listen to God’s voice – and God talks to us through His Word – the BIBLE. The Bible tells us how to live according to God’s perfect will and purpose. Some have said it is like our “operating manual” which was written by the Creator Himself.

B – Basic

I – Instructions

B – Before

L – Leaving

E – Earth

1 John 5: 3-5 tells us, “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

As we hear and obey God’s Word, we learn how to be free from the penalty of sin (we receive the gift salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ), we are given the power over sin (we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who helps us overcome temptations and trials) and eventually, we will be free from the presence of sin (we receive the gift of eternal life).

Indeed, when we follow JESUS and observe His commands, we experience His blessing and favor and all the wonders of His amazing love.

PRAYER:

Father God, we thank You for Your Word, the lamp for our feet and the light to our path, to guide us to follow Your ways and lead us to Your purposes. Please help us with the Holy Spirit to read and understand your Word – the Bible, and give us the grace to obey Your commands. Help us to always listen to Your voice and not other voices, for we know, Lord, that Your voice is the one that will lead us to your plans which are always good. Thank You, Dear Lord, for your amazing love. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: 

We made a DIY traffic light which we used to introduce the importance of obeying rules. This can be a good ice-breaker or even used for a game of “Stop-and-Go!” after the lesson.

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Materials Used:

  1. 1 Tissue Box
  2. 1 Aluminum foil box (for the stand)
  3. Aluminum foil
  4. Glue
  5. Transparent tape
  6. Cellophane (green, yellow and red)

I just dismantled the tissue box, glued aluminum foil all over it, then cut out the circles in front and a rectangle at the back. Then the cellophane was taped on the inside before the box was pieced together again using tape. We also covered the whole aluminum box with foil and taped it into position. The rectangle hole at the back was for putting a flashlight inside so that we could play “Stop-and Go!”

A couple of weeks ago, we started on an ambitious art project — making a paper mache globe. I had envisioned it to show some elevation on the continents and our labels would be relatively simple — just the continents and oceans. I thought it would be a perfect project that would match our science lesson on Creation (days of creation / living and non-living things).

We used glue + water mix for the first layer and started with a balloon as a mold.

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We switched to a flour + water mix for the next couple of layers. The kids would tear the paper and help out with laying down the pieces onto the mold, but honestly, most of the work was done by mom. I read that you had to make sure each layer is completely dry before adding another layer to prevent the growth of molds. So we figured since we needed around 6-7 layers for it to be really sturdy, it would take more than a week before we could start painting our globe.

Then one fine sunny day, mom had a brilliant idea: Why not let the paper mache dry outdoors under the sun? That would speed things up. Or so I thought….

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BOOM! This is what we came home to that night. The balloon inside exploded because of the extreme afternoon heat.

I had a couple of more brilliant ideas to try and rescue our project, but generally lost interest for a while…

Then today, I cut up some shapes for my daughter for her to put together and make some sort of artwork during her free time.

And this is what she decided to make: The days of creation.

It then dawned on me how sometimes, as parents, we tend to be overly ambitious with our kids’ projects and presentations, trying to make them as unique, eye-catching and as amazing as those projects we see on pinterest and all those mommy-blogs out there. Or maybe it’s just me.

The Lord reminded me today of our memory verse last week, that each individual is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I had been trying to make her do something really complicated, and in truth that means I am going to have to do most of the work to make it. And upon reflection, my desire to make an amazing project was so that I could have something to show off — rather than to really make it part of the learning process. I had wanted for her project to be at par with those that I also see on the internet. I had wanted her to be like the other wonderfully-talented homeschooled kids — and I had wanted me to be like the other cool and creative homeschooling moms. I had forgotten to let our own uniqueness shine and bring out the best from what God has so graciously showered us with.

Today, all I had to do was to cut up some colored paper and she did all the work — from conceptualizing (I suggested she do a self-portrait but she said she wanted to do days of creation), to designing her work and putting them all together.

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And she did it all with a smile. No need for pushing or coaxing or bribing. She finished it all on her own and even cleaned up afterward. 🙂

Keeping it simple. Making learning fun. Celebrating how God made us special.

Thank You, LORD!

” I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” – Psalm 139:14

 

 

 

 

 

When people see us with our kids, one of the first questions is usually, “Where does your child go to school?” When I say I homeschool them, especially our 6-year-old daughter, it goes without saying I have to have some sort of follow-up explanation as to why we chose to homeschool instead of enrolling her in a “real” school.

Well, aside from the fact that homeschool is, in fact, a REAL school, here are some of my other reasons to answer the question, “Why homeschool?”

1. I just love my kids so much I want to spend all day with them.

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This sounds like a selfish answer, and maybe it is, but in truth, our kids are only small for a very short time. Soon enough, they will prefer the company of their friends more than family, and one day they will have to leave home for college and eventually to be independent adults. And when that day comes, I will have all these memories of them with me while they were young to cherish and hold dear in my heart.

2. I believe this is what God has called our family to do. Homeschooling is not just another schooling option — it is a calling. Not everyone is suited for this kind of educational setup and even we are sometimes tempted to give up because of the many challenges we encounter day to day. I am far from being a great teacher and I make a lot of mistakes, but what keeps me going is knowing in my heart God has called me to teach my children. So everyday, it’s about praying to God, asking Him for wisdom (and patience!) as well as relying on His grace to fulfill this calling. And as an added bonus, Daddy gets to teach them too!

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3. I want my children to learn the TRUTH and not just the facts. We only have secular schools where we are. In these schools, children are not taught about God or how He gives meaning to all that we have to learn. When they learn about animals, for example, they just learn about the theory of evolution and learn to classify them according to species but there is no reference to God creating them “each according to its kind”(Gen. 1:24). Quite simply, there is no biblical integration whatsoever, and we do not want our children to grow up with that kind of education. We believe that the Bible is the source and standard of TRUTH. Facts and theories and concepts are important, but learning what God has to say about these things are even more so.

  • Bible: We always start with a lesson from the Bible, and values education is always based on scripture.

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  • English: When we study words and phonics and spelling, we first learned that the Bible is God’s Word. When we started with a lesson on “self,” we learned that we are unique and special and “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). 
  • Math: When we study numbers, we learn that God is the “inventor” of math. In the first book of the Bible, we learn how God counted the days as He created our world and how he commanded man and the animals to “increase in number.”
  • Science: When we study about living things and non-living things, we discover that God makes all living things and there is no living thing that is man-made. God gave man a mind to think and make tools and make something out of what He has already provided. But man does not have the ability to create something from nothing; only God has that power.

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Truly, this verse sums it up:

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” – 3 John 1:4

Granted, parents who have enrolled their children to regular schools can teach their kids about God’s Word at home. But in our case, as I mentioned, homeschooling was also our calling, and it carries with it this greater responsibility to ensure that we strive to excel not only in academic pursuits, but more importantly, in “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

OTHER BENEFITS:

And then, of course, there are other things that make homeschooling such a fun family adventure. Things like:

1. Being able to homeschool anywhere. Like in the hospital or dental clinic for example (good thing there was a kid’s play area in the pedia section of the clinic!).

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2. Getting creative with crafts.

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3. Having your little brother as your classmate. (And learning basic electronics while in your jammies!)

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These are just a few of the other simple joys we get to experience in our homeschool adventure.

So, why homeschool? Just because. 🙂

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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Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 5 PART 2 – Patience (Isaiah 40:31)

LESSON: PATIENCE is waiting on the LORD with hope in our hearts.

Memory Verse:  “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Simple Explanation: (for younger students) 

Verses from Isaiah 40

Truths from God’s Word

v. 28  “Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”

The Lord our God created everything; and He is a loving God, merciful and; and we may not always understand His ways, but we can always trust Him.

v. 29 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

When we call on His name, He will listen. He is our helper and our source of strength.

v. 30 “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;”

If we only use our own strength and wisdom, or the strength and wisdom of other people (such as the government officials or even our own parents and teachers), we can only do so much. The wisdom and strength of people is not enough.

V. 31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;    they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

But if we trust and depend on God, no storm is too big, no pain too great, no obstacle too difficult. God will help us overcome and be victorious. He will not let us fall; He will lift us up, sustain us and strengthen us.

Bible History (for older students)

Isaiah 40 is written by the prophet Isaiah mostly for the people of Jerusalem. Isaiah lived during the time when God’s people had already separated into two kingdoms and people kept on turning away from the true God. Many of those who became kings of both the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) were evil kings who worshipped idols and led the people to sin. God has been very patient with His people and sent them prophets to warn them, and has also allowed them to suffer under the hands of other pagan nations so that they would return to Him, but they kept disobeying God and time was running out for them. Because their sins had become too great, God was going to let them be defeated by their enemies; their cities would be destroyed and even the magnificent temple of Solomon would be completely ruined, and many of their people would be taken into captivity while the rest will be scattered among the nations.

 

It was a sad time because the people were going to get what they deserved. God made a covenant with the Israelites all the way from the time of Abraham. Covenant means “promise; and God is faithful to His promises. God made a promise that He would protect His people and bless them if they obey His commandments and do not worship other gods (the false idols of the people who lived around them). But, starting from King Solomon and all throughout the next 250 years of the Kings, the kings themselves turned away from God. They disobeyed God by marrying the women from the pagan nations and these pagan women led them to worship their false gods. The priests of the Lord were supposed to serve the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but now they served in the worship of false idols. Eventually, things became so bad that they even put their false idols made of stone or metal in the temple of God Himself, the magnificent temple that King Solomon had built so that the Lord God would “dwell” or “live” with His people.

Because of their great sins and because the people did not follow their part of the covenant; God removed His protection from them and let them be captured by their enemies. But Isaiah now speaks to them about God’s grace. Grace means “underserved favor. It means getting something good which we do not deserve. And because God loves His people even though they sinned against Him, He is now telling them through Isaiah that He has a plan, a good plan; and that one day, a Savior will come. God will restore His nation completely. Though there are many things that we don’t understand and there will be many trials and problems and difficulties, God is now telling them, and even us, that we have a reason to hope. God is true to His promises, we can be sure of that.

Additional points to ponder: How do we know we can trust God?

  • Isaiah is one of the most famous prophets in the Bible. Many of the prophecies he made especially about the coming of Jesus Christ have been fulfilled. The whole Bible is filled with such prophecies that history has shown us to have occurred just as prophesied. This is one way God gives us assurance that if He says in the Bible that it is going to happen, then, it will surely happen.
  • For this chapter in the book of Isaiah, the prophecy being made was an assurance to God’s people, the Israelites, that though many bad things will happen to their nation, God wants them to know that He has not completely abandoned them.
  • God has a covenant or “promise” to the Israelites, and that is, if the people would obey God’s voice and follow His commandments, then God would bless them and protect them from their enemies. But if they turn away from God and disobey his commandments (for example: the making of idols and worshipping them as mentioned in the warning in Deuteronomy 4:4), then God would allow them to suffer in the hands of their enemies. Their cities and homes will be destroyed and they would lose possession of their land. They will be scattered among the nations.
  • Israel has broken the covenant (or “promise”) they made to God, which was to love and serve Him only and not other gods. True enough, Israel was defeated many times and in fact, during the time that Jesus was on earth, the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire. On 70.AD, much of Jerusalem and the SecondTemple was completely destroyed.
  • In 1948, after almost 2000 years, Israel again became a nation. In 1967, they regained control of Jerusalem after the Six-Day-War.
  • In just half a decade, this small nation which is constantly under threat of war from the surrounding Arab nations has become one of the most powerful nations in the whole world.
  • Just as God has fulfilled the promise of sending the Messiah 2,000 years ago, God will also fulfill his promise of a new heaven and new earth in the future, where there will be no more suffering, no pain and no tears.
  • At present while we are patiently waiting for the Lord’s second coming, we can depend on His Word that if we put our hope in Him, call on His name and have faith in Jesus, we will overcome any trials and challenges in our lives.

God is good! If we put our hope in Him and trust Him with all our hearts, then He will sustain us! 

Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 5 PART 1 – Patience (Hebrews 6:15)

LESSON: PATIENCE is not easy, but we need to be patient and trust God.

Memory Verse:  “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” – Hebrews 6:15

BIBLE STORY:

The biblical account of Abraham, Sarah, and their son Isaac is found in Genesis 17, 18, and 21 .  Read the story from your Bible OR tell it in this condensed version .

God appeared to Abram and promised him 3 things:

  1. That he would become the father of many nations
  2. That God would give him and his descendants a new land to call their own
  3. That through him, all nations of the world would be blessed by God.

Abram was puzzled, especially with the first promise. This was because he and his wife, Sarai, were very old and had no children.  How could he have many descendants when he had no children of his own? Abram was already 75 years old and Sarai was 65 – they were already supposed to be grandparents at their age!

But, God keeps His promises. When Abram was already 99 years old, God changed Abram and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah and promised that He would bless them with a son the following year.  Abraham fell face down and laughed when God told him that he would be a father.  Sarah laughed, too, when she overheard the news that she would become a mother.  They were just too old to become parents!  It seemed impossible! But is anything really impossible with God?

True enough, Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 when their baby boy, Isaac, was born… just as God promised! Abraham and Sarah needed patience when they were waiting for their promised son.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY:

  • Direct the children to stand in a circle. Since Abraham was 100 years old when his son, Isaac, was born, tell the children that you are going to count to 100, with each of the children giving a number in numerical order.  When someone reaches the number 5 or a multiple of 5, he says “Be Patient!”

Example:  The leader says 1, the next player says 2, next is 3, then 4, and then the next player says “Be Patient!” Play continues with 6, 7, 8, 9, and then “Be Patient!” After the number 99, EVERYONE shouts:  “Be Patient!”  The quicker the count, the more difficult the game.  If a person misses his number or forgets the count, he sits down at his place in the circle.

  •  Younger children will enjoy singing the familiar song “Father Abraham.”

DISCUSSION:

Encourage the children to give examples of times when they have needed patience.  Promote conversation and discussion with these questions:

●   What are some things that require patience?   (Learning to play a musical instrument, waiting for a seed to grow, waiting until you’re old enough to do something, etc.)

●   Name a situation that you are waiting for or  something that you want to happen in your life. Why is God’s timing more important than your timing?

(Answers will vary.)

Lesson resource: http://www.veggietales.com/downloads/1-Abe%20and%20the%20amazing%20promise.pdf

Nov 4 2013 Hebrews 6 15 coloring page

As we read about Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert, it seemed like tent-making was the most logical activity to do.

Our tent was very simple — just a big white blanket tied to chairs in the corners. After playing inside the tent for a while, the kids stayed in it as they watched “What’s in the Bible.” (That’s hardly like anything close to what living in tents would be like, I know… but we ran out of ideas.)

Tent-living in the wilderness

Tent-living in the wilderness

My daughter has been asking me about “manna,” the bread from heaven, and I thought, maybe I could make a pretend manna. We know that the bible says it tasted like wafers than had been made with honey (Exodus 16:31). So I made a mixture out of a bit of instant oatmeal, flour and honey. Then I drizzled it onto a nonstick pan and cooked it like tiny pancake pieces.

Manna - Bread from Heaven

Manna – Bread from Heaven

Aaaand…Ta-Da! It tasted like honey-flavored oatmeal pancakes! Hahaha! I mean, what would you have expected?

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That’s it! Simple, but great fun. 🙂