Table Talks - Children

Simply put, Table Talks are conversation starters to help you engage in spiritual conversations with your child. Each week you will be provided with a new set of questions and separate table talks for both young children and youth. That way you can engage in conversation no matter what stage of life they are in.

July 30 - Aug 5, 2017

Table Talk-July 30

 

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

 

The Big Idea:

            Uniqueness is discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference

Bible Story: 

           Gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:1,4-11)

This Week’s Idea:

            God made you to do good.

Monthly Memory Verse:

            “We are God’s creation.  He created us to belong to Christ Jesus.  Now we can do good works.  Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

            “You are the body of Christ.  Each one of you is a part of it.”  1 Corinthians 12:27

 Table Talk Questions:

·      As a family, tell each other what they think you are really good at doing.  Is this what you would have said about yourself?

·      Discuss as a family:  who gave you that thing you are good at?  How does this ability or quality make you unique?

·      God created you to do good things.  How does He prepare us to do this?

Prayer:

            Ask God to open your eyes to the ways you can do good for others, and to give you the strength to do good things.

 

 

July 23 - July 29, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Uniqueness is discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference

Bible Story:

Lydia (Acts 16:11-15)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you to love others

Monthly Memory Verse:

“We are God’s creation.  He created us to belong to Christ Jesus.  Now we can do good works.  Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love.  Let us help one another to do good works.”  Hebrews 10:24

Table Talk Questions:

  • As a family, practice giving “encouraging words” statements to each member of the family.  Find some nice things to say about each family member.
  • How can we show love to others through our words every day?  Who do you know that might need to hear some encouraging words from you?
  • Make a “just because” gift basket as a family for a friend or someone in your neighborhood.  Give it to them on a day that is not a special day.  

Prayer:

Ask God to give you the ability to show love to those around you.

July 16 - July 22, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Uniqueness is discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference.

Bible Story:

Philip and the Ethiopian Official (Acts 8:26-40)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you to follow Jesus.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“We are God’s creation.  He created us to belong to Christ Jesus.  Now we can do good works.  Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Lord, show me your ways.  Teach me how to follow you.  Guide me in your truth.  Teach me.  You are God my Savior.  I put my hope in you all day long.”  Psalm 25:4-5

Table Talk Questions:

  • Discuss as a family who likes to be the leader and who prefers to follow.  God created each of us with unique personalities and temperaments.
  • What does it mean to follow Jesus by loving God and then loving others?  How do you show love to God?  How do you love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Make a list as a family of ways you can worship God this week, and also how you can serve your neighbor.

Prayer:

Thank God for the people He has placed in your life to serve and show them Jesus.  Ask Him to help you worship Him and serve others well this week.

July 9 - July 15, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Uniqueness is discovering who God made you to be so you can make a difference 

Bible Story:

Abraham (Genesis 12)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you for an adventure

Monthly Memory Verse:

“We are God’s creation.  He created us to belong to Christ Jesus.  Now we can do good works.  Long ago God prepared these works for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“You are all around me, behind me and in front of me.  You hold me safe in your hand.  I’m amazed at how well you know me.  It’s more than I can understand.”  Psalm 139:5-6

Table Talk Questions:

 ·Tell your family about your favorite place (a grandparent’s house, the local pool, etc.)  Tell about the things you would see on the way there; add anything you wish would be on the way.

· Imagine you are going on a great adventure to this place.  What friends will you make along the way?  How will your adventure end?

· When we follow God’s way, He takes us on a great adventure-one created just for us!  How can we look for opportunities God has for us this week?

Prayer:

Thank God for giving us exciting new adventures and for guiding and loving us!

June 25 - July 1, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Creativity is imagining what you could do because you’re made in God’s image.

Bible Story:

The Fall (Genesis 3)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you to know Him.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“How you made me is amazing and wonderful.  I praise you for that.”  Psalm 39:14

Weekly Memory Verse:

“In the beginning, the Word was already there.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1

Table Talk Questions:

  • Let each member of your family tell about something they broke that couldn’t be fixed.
  • It’s so good to know that our relationship with God is totally, completely the opposite.  When we mess up, we can know for sure that He will forgive us!  How can it help to remember when we mess up, God’s forgiveness can be part of God’s big story?
  • God loves you!  How can you follow His example in your relationships with your family and friends?

Prayer:

Thank you God for sending Jesus so that I can know Him and spend forever with Him in heaven one day!

June 18 - June 24, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized  portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Creativity is imagining what you could do because you’re made in God’s image

Bible Story:

Adam’s First Job  (Genesis 2:19-20)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you to imagine.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“How you made me is amazing and wonderful.  I praise you for that..”   Psalm 139:14

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Before anything was created, he was already there.  He holds everything together.”  Colossians 1:17

Table Talk Questions:

  • Have you ever worked on a project that you really cared about?  What made that project so special to you?
  • Have you ever thought about you, yourself being a work of art for God?  God continues to shape you and help you grow to be more and more like Him.  
  • God wants make your story into something awesome!  How can you open yourself up even more to let God shape you and change you?

Prayer:

Thank you God for the unique way you have wired you to be creative.

June 11 - June 17, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Creativity is imagining what you could do because you’re made in God’s image

Bible Story:

Creation Story-Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26-2:1-25)

This Week’s Idea:

God made you.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“How you made me is amazing and wonderful.  I praise you for that.”  Psalm 139:14

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay.  You are the potter.  Your hands made all of us.”  Isaiah 64:8

Table Talk Questions:

  • Ask your parent to tell you about the first creative thing they remember you doing as a toddler.   (Did you ever draw on the walls?)
  • Think about the people in your life who really know you, as opposed to people who just know things about you.  Why does it feel good to be really known by the people who are closest to you?
  • What are some ways you can see how God has made you in an “amazing and wonderful” way?  Because He absolutely did!

Prayer:

Thank you God for taking the time to make me special.

June 4 - June 10, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Creativity is imagining what you could do because you’re made in God’s image

Bible Story:

Creation Story (Genesis 1:1-25)

This Week’s Idea:

God made everything

Monthly Memory Verse:

“How you made me is amazing and wonderful.  I praise you for that.”  Psalm 139:14

Weekly Memory Verse:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

Table Talk Questions:

  • Imagine you have the assignment to created the greatest theme park the world has ever known.  What would the theme be?  What kind of rides would you have?  What other things would you put in the park?
  • Think of what it must have been like for God to create the world!  He used His God-size creativity to create things like animals, birds, fish and people.  It brought Him joy to create and imagine all the things we enjoy today.  In the same way, God can use us to bring life and hope to the world through our creativity.  How would it change your attitude if you thought of each day as a chance to create and imagine something amazing?
  • What can you do, in the regular rhythm of your life, to stop and notice all the things God created?  How does it help you trust God more when you see the amazing world He’s made?

Prayer:

God, help me to look for all that you have created for our use and enjoyment.

May 28 - June 3, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Determination is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started

Bible Story:

Heaven  (Revelation 21:1-8; 22-27; 22:1-5)

This Week’s Idea:

Keep going because God knows the end of the story

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Let us not become tired of doing good.  At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“God began a good work in you.  And I am sure that he will carry it on until it is completed.  That will be on the day Christ Jesus returns.”  Philippians 1:6

Table Talk Questions:

  • Think about a soccer or baseball player in a game.  The other team is winning; the player is tempted to quit.   If the player knew from the beginning of the game that in the end they would be the winner, do you think they would play differently?  What would change for them?
  • When you trust Jesus as your Savior, in the end, you win!  No matter what happens in this life, God has promised that you will be with Him one day.  In heaven, we will be with the One who created us and loves us more than we could ever imagine.
  • How does this knowledge of our future change our perspective now when things seem hard?  How could the promise of heaven remove the words “I quit!”  from our vocabulary?

Prayer:

Thank God for the promise that He will compete the work of making you more and more like Jesus.

May 21 - May 27, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Determination is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started.

Bible Story:

Armor of God  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

This Week’s Idea:

God gives you what you need to keep going

Monthly Memory Verse:

Let us not become tired of doing good.  At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Be strong, all you who put your hope in the Lord.  Never give up.”  Psalm 31:24

Table Talk Questions:

  • Ask your parent:  What is one thing you wish you hadn’t quit when you were a kid?  Why do you think you quit?  What do you think could have made the ending different?
  • The difference between someone who accomplishes a goal and someone who doesn’t is determination.  But it’s not just about you and your own ability.  Real determination involves a reliance on a great BIG God.  When you face a big job, you can remember that God will give you what you need to keep going.
  • As a family, come up with a plan to encourage each other to say, “with God’s help, I can” when you are tempted to say, “I can’t.”  

Prayer:

Ask God to help you keep going as you trust that He is with you.

May 14 - May 20, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Determination is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started

Bible Story:

Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)

This Week’s Idea:

Keep going even when the job is bigger than you think

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Let us not become tired of doing good.  At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“God gives me strength for the battle.  He keeps my way secure.”  Psalm 18:32

Table Talk Questions:

  • In one minute, list all the things you can think of that require a power source (like a light or a computer).  
  • Who in your family had the longest list?  Who had the shortest?  All of the items on the lists have a power source that makes them run.  But if they’re disconnected, they just won’t work.
  • We have a power source, too.  Our strength comes from God and his power is unlimited.  We can stay plugged in to God’s power by reading His word and by praying to Him.  We turn on God’s power in our lives by doing what He says.  
  • How can you encourage each other this week to plug into God’s word and do what He says?

Prayer:

Ask God to give you the determination you need to keep going when you plug into His word.

May 7 - May 13, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Determination is deciding it’s worth it to finish what you started

Bible Story:

Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin (Acts 3 and 4)

This Week’s Idea:

Keep going even when it gets hard.

Monthly Memory Verse:

Let us not become tired of doing good.  At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.”  Galatians 6:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Put up with hard times.  God uses them to train you.  He is treating you as his children.  What children are not trained by their parents?”  Hebrews 12:7-8

Table Talk Questions:

-Interview someone in your family who has accomplished something really hard (training for a marathon, built something, etc.) 

-Tell me about a time when you faced something hard (in your training or learning) and you wanted to quit.  What happened?  Why did you stick with it?

-What would have happened if you’d just given up instead of continuing to work hard?

-Let other family members talk about something they would like to accomplish.  How could the other family members help each other keep going so they can finish what they start?

Prayer:

Thank God for the ability to learn something new and to finish what you start!

April 30 - May 6, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve

Bible Story:

Humility of Jesus (Philippians 2:3-8)

This Week’s Idea:

Put others first.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Don’t do anything only to get ahead.  Don’t do it because you are proud.  Instead, be humble.  Value others more than yourselves. “  Philippians 2:3

Weekly Memory Verse:

“ None of you should look out just for your own good.  Each of you should also look out for the good of others.”  Philippians 2:4

Table Talk Questions:

  • Have you ever pushed your way to the front of the line or been disappointed when a sibling got to do something before you?  What does it feel like to be second?
  • Humility is choosing to let go of what you think you deserve.  Showing humility gives you a chance to show someone else just how valuable he or she is.  What would happen if you put someone else first instead of yourself?
  • Jesus humbled Himself and obeyed God even when it led Him to the cross.  He chose to give His life so that we could be forgiven.  Talk about what it means to you to have this ultimate example of humility.

Prayer:

Thank God that He chose to humble Himself so that we could be His friends forever.

April 23 - April 29, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve

Bible Story:

The Great Commission and Ascension  (Matthew 28:16-20)

This Week’s Idea:

I can put others first by doing what Jesus said.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Don’t do anything only to get ahead.  Don’t do it because you are proud.  Instead, be humble.  Value others more than yourselves. “  Philippians 2:3

Weekly Memory Verse:

“ I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet.  So you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have given you an example.  You should do as I have done for you.”  John 13:14-15

Table Talk Questions:

  • Name someone in history who was known for being a servant to others.  See how many people you can list in 3 minutes.
  • Read together John 13:14-15.  Jesus set the example for putting others first by washing the feet of the disciples.  What do you think he was trying to tell us about serving others?  What kind of attitude do you think He wants us to have when we help others?
  • Name one thing you can do today to help out around the house and serve your family.  Look for opportunities to serve others this week.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you see opportunities to serve others this week

April 16 - April 22, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve

Bible Story:

Jesus is Crucified, Buried, and Resurrected  (John 18:12-20:23)

This Week’s Idea:

I can put others first because Jesus put me first.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Don’t do anything only to get ahead.  Don’t do it because you are proud.  Instead, be humble.  Value others more than yourselves.”  Philippians 2:3

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Even the Son of Man did not come to be served.  Instead, he came to serve others.  He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.”  Mark 10:45

Table Talk Questions:

  • It’s Easter week!  Jesus chose to face death on a cross for one reason-you.  He humbled Himself and put you first when He faced the cross because he loves you.  Because He put your first, you can also put others first.
  • Talk about the times when it is hardest to show humility and put others first.  What do you think motivated Jesus to show humility by laying down His life for us?
  • Every day we have the opportunity to show humility, out of love, for others.  Brainstorm some fun and creative ways you can show humility to the people around you.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you notice opportunities to show humility, and give you the courage to act on it.

April 9 - April 15, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve

Bible Story:

Jesus Praying in the Garden  (Matthew 26:36-56)

This Week’s Idea:

I can put others first by letting go of what I want.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Don’t do anything only to get ahead.  Don’t do it because you are proud.  Instead, be humble.  Value others more than yourselves. “  Philippians 2:3

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Agree with one another.  Don’t be proud.   Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important  Don’t think that you are better than others.”      Romans 12:16

Table Talk Questions:

  • Can you think of a time when someone went the extra mile for you?  
  • Why do you think they did that?  How did it make you feel?
  • Have you ever been reluctant to do something you knew you should do, but then you were glad you did it?  Why was it so hard to get started?
  • What is one specific thing you can do to put someone else’s needs above your own?

Prayer:  

Ask God to help you show love and humility to others this week

April 2 - April 8, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Humility is putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve

Bible Story:

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet  (John 13:1-17)

This Week’s Idea:

I can put others first by serving them.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Don’t do anything only to get ahead.  Don’t do it because you are proud.  Instead, be humble.  Value others more than yourselves. “  Philippians 2:3

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Love one another deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves.”  Romans 12:10

Table Talk Questions:

  • Who is someone in your family that is really great at serving others?  Take time to thank them for one specific way he or she has served you.
  • This month is all about humility-putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve.  This is hard-it takes much more effort to think of someone else’s needs above our own.  
  • Think of the last time you were in a disagreement with someone.  How could you serve that person?  Tell your family so they can help you be accountable to your challenge to serve others.

Prayer:

As God to help you follow through with your humility challenge this week

March 26 - April 1, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay

Bible Story:

77 Times/Unmerciful Servant  (Matthew 18:21-35)

This Week’s Idea:

Since God forgave you, you should forgive others.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Put up with one another.  Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone.  Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Be kind and tender to one another.  Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”  Ephesians 4:32

Table Talk Questions:

  • Using the camera app on your phone, take a slow-motion video of your family.  Take a video waving your hands across your chest like a football referee and say:  “NO WAY!”  Now take another slow-motion video giving the thumbs-up and saying “ALWAYS!”
  • When someone needs our forgiveness, Jesus wants us to be willing to say “ALWAYS!” instead of “NO WAY!”  Which of these two videos do you think people see when they interact with you?  “NO WAY!” OR “ALWAYS!”
  • Why do you think God wants you to b quick to forgive others?  How can you make sure you’ve got the right “video” playing in the way you treat people?

Prayer:

Ask God to help you remember that He has forgiven you and with His help, you can forgive others too.

March 19 - March 25, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the italicized portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay

Bible Story:

Older Brother  (Luke 15:21-32)

This Week’s Idea:

When you don’t forgive, you miss out.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Put up with one another.  Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone.  Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Forgive other people when they sin against you.  If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you.”  Matthew 6:14

Table Talk Questions:

  • Tell your family about a time when you were super-stubborn!  What makes a person stubborn?
  • What’s it like to be around someone who’s willing to show love and forgiveness?  Which person would you rather be around?
  • We need to set our stubbornness aside so we don’t miss out on the good things God wants for our friendships with others.  If you’re brave enough, ask someone in your family where they see stubbornness in you.

Prayer:

Ask God to remind you of His forgiveness with you so that you can forgive others.

March 12 - March 18, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay

Bible Story:

The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-24)

This Week’s Idea:

Everyone needs to be forgiven, even me.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Put up with one another.  Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone.  Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13

Weekly Memory Verse:

“When anyone lives in Christ, the new creation has come.  The old is gone!  The new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Table Talk Questions:

  • Brainstorm a time when a really famous athlete made an error or mistake during a game.  Do you think it was harder for the fans to forgive him, or for him to forgive himself?
  • In a real game, you don’t get a second chance for a do-over.  That’s not the way it is with God-He takes the wrong things we’ve done and removes them from us.  
  • How is God’s forgiveness different from the normal ways of the world?  

Prayer:

Ask God to help you understand what Jesus has done so that you can be forgiven.

March 5 - March 11, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay

Bible Story:

The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)

This Week’s Idea:

God forgives you.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Put up with one another.  Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone.  Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Lord, you are forgiving and good.  You are full of love for all who call out to you.”  Psalm 86:5

Table Talk Questions:

-Think about the last time you got new clothes.  How did it feel when you put them on to go out?  Did it change your outlook on where you were going?

-When we understand that God has forgiven us, we can choose to forgive others instead of getting even.  Choosing forgiveness can transform us just like a whole new outfit can make us feel completely new.

-If you have experienced the joy and freedom of being forgiven by Jesus, share with your family.  

-What are some ways you can remember that God has forgiven you, so you can remember to treat others the same way?

Prayer:

Thank God for choosing to forgive so that we can also forgive others.

February 26-March 4, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Love is choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated

Bible Story:

The Good Samaritan  (Luke 10:27-37)

This Week’s Idea:

Love others because they matter to God

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Here is what love is.  It is not that we loved God.  It is that He loved us and sent His Son to give His life to pay for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“So we know that God loves us.  We depend on it.”  1 John 4:16

Table Talk Questions:

-Play a game using these five categories that show ways to give love to others:

     1)  Kind Words

     2)  Gifts

     3)  Spending time with others

     4)  Helping others

     5)  Kind touch

      [Have someone in the family pick a number between 1 and 5.  In one minute, come up with as many ways to show love to others using that category.  See if others in the family can name more than the last one!]

-Discuss together which is harder:  ignoring hurting people or loving hurting people.   Explain to your kids Jesus’ command that we love others more than we love ourselves.

-Brainstorm one or two people in your family or friends who might be hurting.  Spend some time together praying for them.  Ask God to show you specific ways to show them love.

Prayer:

Ask God to show you opportunities to love others.

February 19-25, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Love is choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated

Bible Story:

Jesus Feeds 5,000  (Mark 6:30-44)

This Week’s Idea:

Give to others who are in need

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Here is what love is.  It is not that we loved God.  It is that He loved us and sent His Son to give His life to pay for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Dear children, don’t just talk about love.  Put your love in action.  Then it will truly be love.”  1 John 3:18

Table Talk Questions:

-Set a timer for one minute.  Tell your family everything you did today and ask them to remember it (or write it down.)  Don’t leave anything out.

-Read 1 Corinthians 16:14 together.  Thinking through your list, which things involved someone else?  Did you show love in each of the situations you listed above?  How?  If not, why?

-Who on this list needs some encouragement?  What is one thing you could do to help and show love to that person this week?

Prayer:

Ask God to help you show love in everything you do.

February 12-18, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Love is choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated

Bible Story:

Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)

This Week’s Idea:

Comfort others who are hurting

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Here is what love is.  It is not that we loved God.  It is that He loved us and sent His Son to give His life to pay for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“A friend loves at all times.  They are there to help when trouble comes.”  Proverbs 17:17

Table Talk Questions:

- Brainstorm items that you would put in a “comfort kit”:  items that bring you comfort in difficult times (like a flashlight for when it is dark, a hoodie for when it is cold, a stuffed animal for when you feel lonely.)

- When a friend is sad, what do you do?  Sometimes it’s hard to know how to help someone when they’re upset.  But love means choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated.  How would you want someone to treat you if you were sad about something?

- Challenge each other to look for hurting people this week.  In what tangible ways could you comfort others?

Prayer:

Ask God to help you look for ways to comfort others who are hurting

February 5-12, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Love is choosing to treat others the way you want to be treated

Bible Story:

No Greater Love (John 15:12-13)

This Week’s Idea:

Love others because Jesus loves you

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Here is what love is.  It is not that we loved God.  It is that He loved us and sent His Son to give His life to pay for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.”  John 13:35

Table Talk Questions:

Have everyone in your family remove their shoes and compare feet:  whose is the biggest?  The smallest?  The smelliest?  The most unusually shaped?

When you walk through mud, or snow, or something wet, you leave a footprint behind.  People know where you’ve been by the footprints you leave behind.  Love works the same way.  When you love others, it’s like leaving a footprint behind that says “you were here; we know you love Jesus because of the way you love the people around you.”

How can we leave behind an impression of love to others?  What specific actions could you take this week so that the people around you know that you are a Jesus follower by how you love others?

Prayer:

Ask God to give you opportunities to show you are a Jesus follower by the way you love others

January 29-February 4, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Knowledge is learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do

Bible Story:

John the Baptist in Prison (Matthew 11)

This Week’s Idea:

When you don’t know what God says, ask

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.  It is like a light that guides me.“  Psalm 119:105

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Call out to me.  I will answer you.  I will tell you great things you do not know.  And unless I do, you wouldn’t be able to find out about them.”  Jeremiah 33:3

Table Talk Questions:

• Make a list of 5 questions you would like to know the answer to (questions for parents, friends, teachers, or God.)  

• Are some of these questions harder to ask than others?  Do they seem too hard or too simple to ask?  Are they embarrassing?  

• Know that you can ask God anything!  Read James 1:5 as a family.  Let each family member share one situation where they need God’s wisdom.

Prayer:  

Thank God for His promise to give us wisdom when we ask

January 22-28, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Knowledge is learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do

Bible Story:

Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness (Luke 4:1-13)

This Week’s Idea:

Discovering what God says helps you make the wise choice

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.  It is like a light that guides me.“  Psalm 119:105

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Never stop reading this Book of the Law.  Day and night you must think about what it says.  Make sure you do everything written in it.  Then things will go well with you.  And you will have great success.”  Joshua 1:8

Table Talk Questions:

• Ask someone to hide something in the house.  Try and find it without any help.  After you have tried hard enough, ask that person to “guide” you by telling you when you are close to the hidden object and when you are far away.    Was it easier or harder to rely on the other person than guessing yourself?

• Talk about a time you were tempted to do something you were told not to do.

• Jesus used scripture and prayer to resist Satan’s temptation.  Read Proverbs 3:5 and ask God to help you remember His Word and make wise choices.

Prayer:  

Ask God to help you learn His Word and to make wise choices

January 7-14, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Knowledge is learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do

Bible Story:

Boy Jesus at the Temple  (Luke 2:41-52)

This Week’s Idea:

What God says is the most important thing to know

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.  It is like a light that guides me.“  Psalm 119:105

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Everything written in the past was written to teach us.  The Scriptures give us strength to go on.  They encourage us and give us hope.”  Romans 15:4

Table Talk Questions:

• Let each family member answer:  “what’s something in your life you had to learn a lot about before you could do it well?”

• We all want to make right choices.  How can we know how to make right choices ?    You have to read God’s Word to know the right choices to make.

• Parent challenge:  Write your child a note answering the question “This is something you didn’t know about me”  and  put it in a place where your child can discover it.

Prayer:  

Thank God that wisdom comes from Him; ask Him to help you make wise choices this week

January 15-21, 2017

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Knowledge is learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do

Bible Story:

Jesus’ Baptism and John Calls Jesus Lamb of God  (John 1:19-42))

This Week’s Idea:

Discovering what God says helps you follow Jesus

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.  It is like a light that guides me.“  Psalm 119:105

Weekly Memory Verse:

“If you really want to gain knowledge, you must begin by having respect for the Lord.  But foolish people hate wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

Table Talk Questions:

• Who are the people in your life that you are supposed to follow?  Your parents?  Teachers?  Community leaders?

• Talk about why it’s important to follow these people.  Read together Proverbs 1:7 and discuss why it’s important to follow Jesus.

• Name 3 ways you can show love to God and 3 ways you can show love to others this week.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you love other people, and most of all, God Himself

January 1-7, 2017

The Big Idea:

Knowledge is learning something new so you can be better at whatever you do

Bible Story:

Wise Men Discover Jesus  (Matthew 2)

This Week’s Idea:

Discovering what God says helps you know Jesus

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.  It is like a light that guides me.“  Psalm 119:105

Weekly Memory Verse:

“I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t sin against you.”  Psalm 119:11

Table Talk Questions:

- Brainstorm all the different things you could learn or do if you had the time.

- Have someone read Matthew 19:13-15.  Talk about what this story tells you about Jesus.  Just like the wise men studied to learn about Jesus, we can too.

- Parent challenge:  Write your child a note of affirmation and “hide” it someplace they can discover it (inside their backpack, by their toothbrush, in their lunchbox, etc.)

Prayer:

Ask God to help you remember His Word so you can know Jesus better

Sunday, December 25, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Sunday, December 25

• As a family, make a list of reasons you can be happy.  Have each person in the family brainstorm their own reasons.  

• Each day this week, discuss one of the reasons for joy and how it can change your attitude throughout the day.

• Pray together and ask God to remind you of the joy and peace the promise of Jesus brings to all of us, even when things aren’t going our way.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Saturday, December 24

Read Matthew 2:10-11

“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.  Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus and worshipped Him.  What can you do to celebrate Jesus?

Friday, December 23, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Friday, December 23

Read Matthew 2:9

“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.”

Have you ever seen the stars at night?  In Bible times people used the stars to help them find where to go. Can you imagine using the stars to find your house?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Thursday, December 22

Read Matthew 2: 3, 8

“When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child.  As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’”

Herod was worried that this new king might take away his power.  What do you think Herod really wanted?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Wednesday, December 21

Read Matthew 2:1-2

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’”

Who were the Magi?  Why do you think they were looking for the baby?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Tuesday, December 20

Read Luke 2:20

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

What good news can you tell others about Jesus?

Monday, December 19, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Monday, December 19

Read Luke 2:16-19

“So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

If you had a treasure box to store something you have of great value to you, what would you put in it?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Sunday, December 18

Read Luke 2:15

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

Did the shepherds believe what the angels had to say?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Saturday, December 17

Read Luke 2:13-14

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’”

How can we praise God?  Sing a song of praise as a family.  (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World)

Friday, December 16, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Friday, December 16

Read Luke 2:12

“This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Do you think the shepherds were confused that their Savior, the promised King, was a baby in a manger?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Thursday, December 15 

Read Luke 2:9-11

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”

Why were the shepherds scared?  What news did the angel have?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Tuesday, December 13 

Read Luke 2:6-7

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

Who was this baby?  What is a manger?  Is that a good place for a new baby?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Wednesday, December 14 

Read Luke 2:8

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.”

What does a shepherd do?  Shepherds spend a lot of time watching sheep and waiting.   Is it hard for you to wait for something?

Monday, December 12, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Monday, December 12 

Read Luke 2:4-5

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”

Joseph and Mary had to travel a long way - over a weeks’ worth of walking!  Do you think they were excited about taking such a long trip?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

This week, many of you will begin using the daily devotional cards in “The Christmas Surprise.”  If you don’t have access to these cards, you can use the verses and conversation questions here:

Sunday, December 11

Read Luke 2:1-3

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.”

 What is a census?  Would it be hard for everyone to go to the city they were born in at the same time in today’s world?

December 4 - 10, 2016

The Big Idea:

Joy is finding a way to be happy even when things don’t go your way

Bible Story:

God Promises a Savior (Isaiah 9:6-7)

This Week’s Idea:

I can have joy because God keeps His promises

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord.  I will say it again.  Be joyful.”  Philippians 4:4

Weekly Memory Verse:

“A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us.  He will rule over us.  And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God, He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

Table Talk Questions:

• What is number one on your Christmas wish list?  If you don’t receive that gift, how will you feel?  How will you react?

• Have a parent tell about a joyful time when something they thought was impossible happened anyway.  

• How can we have joy even when things aren’t going our way?   (see Philippians verse above)

Prayer:

This week, thank God for Jesus!

November 27 - December 3, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are

Bible Story:

David Dances Before God (2 Samuel 6:12-22)

This Week’s Idea:

Honor God by giving Him credit

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Love one another deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves. - Romans 12:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“ You are worthy, our Lord and God!  You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power.   You are worthy because you created all things.  They were created and they exist.  This is the way you planned it.”  Revelation 4:11

Table Talk Questions:

• Parents, think of the positive qualities in your child.

• Write a note or several during the week, telling them how you admire that quality in them.  

• Pray for your child, thanking God for the gifts He has given your child.

Prayer: 

Thank God for all He has made.

November 20 - 26, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are

Bible Story:

David and Mephibosheth  (2 Samuel 9:1-13)

This Week’s Idea:

Honor others by keeping your promises

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Love one another deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves.”  

Romans 12:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“It is not good to make a promise and not keep it.  It is better to make no promise at all.”  Ecclesiastes 5:5

Table Talk Questions:

- This week, spend some time as a family and share three things you are thankful for.  Look for ways you can show someone you are thankful for them.

Prayer: 

Thank God for all He has given you-take time to list specific things!

November 13 - 19, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are

Bible Story:

David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1-9; 19:1-7; 20:1-42)

This Week’s Idea:

Honor others by putting them first

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Love one another deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“In everything, do to others what you would want them to do to you.  This is what is written in the Law and in the Prophets.”  Matthew 7:12

Table Talk Questions:

• Have you ever been first in something?  How did it make you feel?

• Have you ever been left out or excluded from something?  How did that make you feel?

• We all think about ourselves first; this week take a  family challenge to find ways to show others in your family they are honored by acts of kindness (doing the dishes because Mom is tired, etc.)

Prayer: 

 Ask God to help you show honor to others by putting them first.

Novmeber 6 - 12, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Honor is letting someone know you see how valuable they really are

Bible Story:

Samuel Anoints David (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

This Week’s Idea:

Honor others by giving them a chance

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Love one another deeply.  Honor others more than yourselves.”  

Romans 12:10

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Christ has accepted you.  So accept one another in order to bring praise to God.”  Romans 15:7

Table Talk Questions:

• What is the most valuable thing you own?  (it doesn’t have to be something expensive, just  “of value” to you)  Why is it so important to you?

• We all have things that are of value to us.   God values people because He made us and loves us.  Think of someone who is not treated well by others (a classmate who has a hard time at school, a friend who isn’t very good at sports yet, etc.)

• Talk about ways you could give honor to that person by showing they are valuable (sitting with them at lunch, making a point to get to know them.)

Prayer:  

Ask God to give you eyes to see people who need a chance.

October 30 - November 5, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do…even when you’re afraid

Bible Story:

Israel Takes Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27)

This Week’s Idea:

You can do what you should because God is with you

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Be strong and brave.  Do not be afraid.  Do not lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go.”  Joshua 1:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“ Others make us suffer.  But God does not desert us.  We are knocked down.  But we are not knocked out.”  2 Corinthians 4:9

Table Talk Questions:

• Have everyone in your family tell about the best and worst part of your day.

• As a family, think of someone you know who needs help.  Discuss and share ideas of how you can all help them.  Pray over every step of the way.  (take a meal, write letters/pictures of encouragement, yard work, volunteer at a non-profit)

• Follow through with your plan.  Share with each other how it felt to have courage to do what God asked you to do!   Continue to pray for the individual(s) you helped.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you and your family have courage!

October 16 - 22, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do…even when you’re afraid

Bible Story:

Moses and the Red Sea  (Exodus 13:17-14:31)

This Week’s Idea:

You can do what you should even when things seem impossible

Monthly Memory Verse:   

“Be strong and brave.  Do not be afraid.  Do not lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go.”  Joshua 1:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“The Lord is my light, and he saves me.  Why should I fear anyone?  The Lord is my place of safety.  Why should I be afraid?”  Psalm 27:1

Table Talk Questions:

- Share one thing you could do that right now seems impossible.

- Read the story of Moses parting the Red Sea in Exodus 13:17-14:31.

- How do you think Moses felt?  Who gave him the courage to follow God’s instructions?

- If God leads you to do something, He will help you to do it.  Make a plan to help each other do what you earlier named as impossible.

Prayer:

Pray and thank God that He is always with you and gives you the courage to do what you should even when things seem impossible

October 9 - 15, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do…even when you’re afraid

Bible Story:

Moses’ Calling/10 Plagues (Exodus 3; 4-6; 7-12)

This Week’s Idea:

You can do what you should even when you don’t feel ready

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Be strong and brave.  Do not be afraid.  Do not lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go.”  Joshua 1:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord forever.  The Lord himself is the Rock.  The Lord will keep us safe forever.”  Isaiah 26:4

Table Talk Questions:

- Let each family member tell about a time when they were afraid to do something when they didn’t feel ready.  At the time, it may have seemed like a very big deal, but now you can see it turned out ok.

- Last week you talked about a situation where you needed courage.  Share any ways God gave you courage to face the situation.

- If the situation is not yet resolved, pray together and ask God to help you do what He wants you to do

Prayer: 

 Ask God for the courage to try something new the next time you are faced with that situation

October 2 - 8, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the bolded portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Courage is being brave enough to do what you should do…even when you’re afraid

Bible Story:

Birth of Moses/Mom and Miriam with the Basket (Exodus 2:1-10)

This Week’s Idea:

You can do what you should even when you don’t know what will happen next

Monthly Memory Verse:

Be strong and brave.  Do not be afraid.  Do not lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go.”  Joshua 1:9

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Be strong, all you who put your hope in the Lord.  Never give up.”  Psalm 31:24

Table Talk Questions:

- Play a board/card game together.  Talk about how you don’t know what will happen on your next turn throughout the game.

- This game is just like our lives:  we don’t always know what will happen next, but we can have courage because God knows and has a plan.

- Talk about something you need courage for this week.

Prayer: 

Ask God to give you the courage to do what you should even if you don’t know what will happen next

September 25 - October 1, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Trust is putting your confidence in someone you can depend on

Bible Story:

Joseph Forgives His Brothers  (Genesis 42-45)

This Week’s Idea:

You can trust God no matter what

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Some trust in chariots.  Some trust in horses.  But we trust in the Lord our God.”   Psalm 20:7

Table Talk Questions:

Play charades as a family:

• Imagine what it was like for Joseph to be in charge of all the food in a whole country!  Imagine what it was like for him to be in charge of all his big brothers!  Act out how you think Joseph would’ve acted.

• Act out how you think Joseph trusted God.

• Talk together about how you can help each other as a family remember what it looks like to trust God no matter what.

Prayer:

Thank God that you can trust Him in all situations.

September 18 - 24, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Trust is putting your confidence in someone you can depend on

Bible Story:

Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams  (Genesis 41)

This Week’s Idea:

When the pressure is on, you can trust God is with you

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord forever.  The Lord himself is the Rock.  The Lord will keep us safe forever.”  Isaiah 26:4

Table Talk Questions:

• As a family, make faces to each other that you might make under pressure-excited under pressure, scared under pressure, angry under pressure.

• Think of three times God has helped you do something that was hard.  Thinking about how you felt under this pressure, and remembering that you were able to trust God in these times,  what does that face look like?

• As a family, say “thank you” prayers to God that He is always with you when you are under pressure, and helping you do the hard things.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you remember that when things are hard for you, He is with you

September 11 - 17, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Trust is putting your confidence in someone you can depend on

Bible Story:

Joseph In Jail (Genesis 40)

This Week’s Idea:

When life doesn’t make sense, you can trust God is with you

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Weekly Memory Verse:

“In the morning let me hear about your faithful love, because I’ve put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should live, because I trust you with my life.”  Psalm 143:8

Table Talk Questions:

• Count five objects.  They can be rocks, spoons, or toys-anything!  Count them:  1,2,3,4,5.

• When you were a baby, the number five did not make sense to you.  But even then five things were five things.  Just like five is always five, God is always with you.  Think of one thing that doesn’t make sense to you.  Even when what is happening doesn’t make sense to you, God is still with you.  

• What is one way you can trust God this week in the area that you don’t understand?  How can you help each other in your family trust God more?

Prayer:

Thank God that you can always trust Him even when life doesn’t make sense.

September 4 - 10, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)  

The Big Idea:

Trust is putting your confidence in someone you can depend on

Bible Story:

Joseph Sold Into Slavery (Genesis 37; 29:1-2)

This Week’s Idea:

When you think you’re alone, you can trust God is with you

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Weekly Memory Verse:

“When I’m afraid, I put my trust in you.”  Psalm 56:3

Table Talk Questions:

• Would you rather let your parents pick out your clothes every day for the rest of your life, or let them choose your friends all the way through high school?  Why do you trust them more in that area?

• Make a list of things you trust (i.e. a chair-will hold you up; your teacher-will teach you things, etc.)

• God loves you and can always be trusted.  What is one thing you can do this week to remind yourself that He is always with you?

Prayer:

Ask God to help you trust Him when you think you’re all alone

August 28 - September 3, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do

Bible Story:

Abraham Follows God  (Genesis 12:1-5; 13:2-18; 15:1-6)

This Week’s Idea:

I should trust and obey even if I don’t know how it will all work out.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in your leaders.  Put yourselves under their authority.  Do this, because they keep watch over you.”  Hebrews 13:17

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Anyone who hates what they are taught will pay for it later.  But a person who respects a command will be rewarded.”  Proverbs 13:13

Table Talk Questions:

• Tell about a time when you weren’t sure what was going to happen. (first sleepover, first day of school, vacation, etc.)

• Over a meal, ask if you trust the meal that you are eating will be good.  How could you know if it will be good if you didn’t see how it was prepared?

August 21 - 27, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do

Bible Story:

Abraham Follows God  (Genesis 12:1-5; 13:2-18; 15:1-6)

This Week’s Idea:

I should trust and obey even if I don’t know how it will all work out.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in your leaders.  Put yourselves under their authority.  Do this, because they keep watch over you.”  Hebrews 13:17

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Anyone who hates what they are taught will pay for it later.  But a person who respects a command will be rewarded.”  Proverbs 13:13

Table Talk Questions:

• Tell about a time when you weren’t sure what was going to happen. (first sleepover, first day of school, vacation, etc.)

• Over a meal, ask if you trust the meal that you are eating will be good.  How could you know if it will be good if you didn’t see how it was prepared?

August 14 - 20, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do

Bible Story:

Noah (Genesis 6-8)

This Week’s Idea:

I should trust and obey even when others don’t.

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in your leaders.  Put yourselves under their authority.  Do this, because they keep watch over you.”  Hebrews 13:17

Weekly Memory Verse:

“All of you must obey those who rule over you.  There are no authorities except the ones God has chosen.  Those who now rule have been chosen by God.”  Romans 13:1

Table Talk Questions:

• Have each member of your family tell about something they are worried about.

• Let family members take turns encouraging each other.

• Pray together, asking God to help you trust Him in every situation.

Prayer:

Thank God that you can always trust Him no matter what.

August 7 -13, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Obedience is trusting those who lead you by doing what you’re asked to do

Bible Story:

The Fall (Genesis 3:1-24)

This Week’s Idea:

I should trust and obey even when I think my way is better

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Trust in your leaders.  Put yourselves under their authority.  Do this, because they keep watch over you.”  Hebrews 13:17

Weekly Memory Verse:

“If anyone pays attention to what they’re taught, they will succeed.  Blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord.”  Proverbs 16:20

Table Talk Questions:

  • Do you think your parent was an obedient child or always getting in trouble? Then let parents answer this question.
  • Read Genesis 3:1-24. Name one time it was hard for you to obey and why.
  • Pray together and ask God to give you the courage to obey even when you think your way is better.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you trust those who lead you.

July 31 - August 6, 2016

Have some fun!

Game night: let your children choose their favorite board or video game to play together.

Let everyone in your family answer this question:  If you could have any 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

July 24 - 30, 2016

Have some fun!

Have a family water fight in the backyard!  Use water balloons, water guns, or just the water hose-get creative!

Let everyone in your family answer this question:  If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?

July 17 - 23, 2016

Have some fun!

“Make your own pizza” night.  Make or buy pizza dough and toppings;  let each member of the family create their own specialty.

Let everyone in your family answer this question:  If we could go to (share a favorite place) but couldn’t use a car to get there, how do you think we could get there?

July 10 - 16, 2016

Have some fun!

Have a campout in your living area at home.  Build a fort out of sheets and pillows and enjoy spending time together!

Let everyone in your family answer this question:  If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, where would you go to get it and what would it be?

July 3 - 9, 2016

Have some fun!

Go for snow cones!  If you already have a favorite  flavor, be adventurous and try a new one! 

Let everyone in your family answer this question:  If we had an airplane to take us on vacation right now, where would you want to go?

June 26 - July 2, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Faith is believing what Jesus did can change me

Bible Story:

Navigator (Acts 9:26-31)

This Week’s Idea:

The story of Jesus changes how I help others

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Give to the one who asks you for something. Don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow something from you.” Matthew 5:42

Table Talk Questions:

  • Name a time when you really needed help and someone stepped in to help you out.
  • Have you ever said you would do something and then forgotten/chosen not to follow through? How do you think that made the other person feel?
  • God wants us to put our faith into practice by actually helping to make a difference in our community. Share with your family: what ways can you live out your faith to make a difference this week?

Prayer:

Ask God to help you give and serve to show others what you believe

June 19 - 25, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Faith is believing what Jesus did can change me

Bible Story:

Navigator (Acts 9:26-31)

This Week’s Idea:

The story of Jesus changes how I see others

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Even though you have not seen him, you love him.  Though you do not see him now, you believe in him.  You are filled with a glorious joy that can’t be put into words.  You are receiving the salvation of your souls. This salvation is the final result of your faith.”  1 Peter 1:8-9

Table Talk Questions:

  • Have each family member share about a person at school or work that is a little different than them.
  • Sometimes we judge people too quickly. When we judge, we miss an opportunity to build a friendship because we haven’t given them a chance. Jesus paid the price for EVERYONE! So instead of judging, we should ask Jesus to help us see others the way He does.
  • Challenge: think together as a family ways you can get to know those you mentioned earlier and think of ways to show them kindness this week.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you see others the way he does

June 12 - 18, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Faith is believing what Jesus did can change me

Bible Story:

Rerouted (Acts 7:34-60, Acts 9:1-25)

This Week’s Idea:

The story of Jesus changes how I see Him

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Jesus answered, ‘God’s work is to believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:29

Table Talk Questions:

  • Parents, share your faith story with your children.
  • When we mess up (or sin), it separates us from God. Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for our sin. Have you ever sinned? Share with your family.
  • Good news is when you accept the gift of salvation from God. The Bible says in Galatians 2:20 that we are “crucified with Christ.” When Jesus died, He died for you. It’s like you did something wrong and Jesus took your punishment.

Prayer:

Ask God to help you look to Him when you’re tempted to give up

June 5 - 11, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Faith is believing what Jesus did can change me

Bible Story:

Mapped Out (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

This Week’s Idea:

The story of Jesus changes everything

Monthly Memory Verse:

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1

Weekly Memory Verse:

“The angel said to the women,  ‘Don’t be afraid.   I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here!  He has risen, just as he said he would!  Come and see the place where he was lying.”  Matthew 28:5-6

Table Talk Questions:

  • Have each member of the family share their favorite story and why they like it. (from the Bible, a book, etc.)
  • Discuss how the Gospels talk about the life of Jesus and His ministry. Have you ever thought about Jesus as a kid? He grew just like you.
  • The choices you make today are writing your story of who you are growing up to be. How can you point others to Jesus in how you live your life?

Prayer:

Thank God for sending Jesus to earth as a tiny baby to change everything

May 29 - June 4, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Contentment is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got

Bible Story:

Happy Together (Matthew 6:25-34)

This Week’s Idea:

When you focus on God, you don’t have to worry

Monthly Memory Verse:

“My dear brothers and sisters, remain strong in the faith.  Don’t let anything move you.  Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord.    Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless.”  1 Corinthians 15:58

Weekly Memory Verse:

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father know that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33

Table Talk Questions:

  • Share with your family something you are worried about this week. Does worry ever help the situation get better?
  • Sometimes bad things happen, but worrying about it doesn’t make it better. It just makes us lose sight of being content with what God has already given us.
  • Share ideas that can help you focus on the good things God is doing in your life when you begin to worry.

Prayer:

Thank God that He is in control and that we don’t have to worry about tomorrow 

May 22 - 28, 2016

Bonus:

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse! Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning. (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Contentment is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got

Bible Story:

If I Were A Rich Fool  (Luke 12:13-21)

This Week’s Idea:

When you focus on stuff, you can miss what matters

Monthly Memory Verse:

“My dear brothers and sisters, remain strong in the faith.  Don’t let anything move you.  Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord.    Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless.”  1 Corinthians 15:58

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  Colossians 3:2

Table Talk Questions:

  • What do you love most about your birthday? Let everyone in your family share.
  • What do you think heaven will be like? Heaven will be the most amazing party you’ve ever been to-except it will be even better than that because God himself will be there.
  • How can you show someone else God’s love this week by choosing to share what you have? (sharing a game with your brother, loan your favorite pen to someone at school, helping Mom with dinner, etc.)

Prayer:

Ask God to help you find ways to say “ thank you” to Him this week

May 15-21, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Contentment is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got

Bible Story:

We Can’t Get No Satisfaction  (Exodus 16:2-21; 17:1-4))

This Week’s Idea:

When you focus on what you used to have, you can miss what you have now

Monthly Memory Verse:

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.“  Philippians 4:12

Weekly Memory Verse:

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Proverbs 14:30

Table Talk Questions:

• Let one person in your family be the timekeeper.  Name as many things that you own in 30 seconds (PS3, clothes, phone, macaroni and cheese, etc.)

• Read Matthew 6:19-21.  Jesus wasn’t saying having stuff is bad.  It’s valuing your stuff over your relationship with God that is bad.  Jesus knew that stuff would never make us truly happy because stuff doesn’t last.  

• Is there something you have that’s taking away from your relationship with God?  Share this with your family.  What can you do to focus more on your relationship with God this week?  (play less video games, play a worship CD in the car instead of your regular station, read a Bible story at bedtime, etc.)

Prayer:

Ask God to help you trust Him to provide for you and give you a peaceful heart

May 9-14, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Contentment is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got

Bible Story:

I Hurt Him for the Grapevine  (I Kings 21:1019, 27)

This Week’s Idea:

When you focus on what you don’t have, it can make you miserable

Monthly Memory Verse:

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  Philippians 4:12

Weekly Memory Verse:

“The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper.”      Proverbs 28:25

Table Talk Questions:

• Have you ever been to a friend’s house and wanted something they had?  What was it and how did it make you feel?

• God knew that we would become jealous of others and want what they have.  God wants us to find our happiness in Him, not in our stuff.   When we find ourselves becoming jealous, how can we turn our thoughts back to contentment through God?

• Look around your room and find some things you don’t use anymore.  Talk with your parents about a way to give this item to someone who might need it.

Prayer:  

Thank God for all He’s given you so that you can be content

May 1-8, 2016

This month, receive a special prize for reciting the monthly verse!  Stop by the desk in preschool or elementary on Sunday morning.  (Preschool can recite the underlined portion of the verse.)

The Big Idea:

Contentment is deciding to be happy with what you’ve got

Bible Story:

Because I’m Happy!  (Philippians 4:11-13)

This Week’s Idea:

When you focus on God, He can help you be content

Monthly Memory Verse:

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.“  Philippians 4:12

Weekly Memory Verse:

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

Table Talk Questions:

• Play the game “I wish I had…”   If you had a million dollars to spend, what would you buy?  Let everyone in your family give their answer.

• Contentment is being happy with what you’ve got.   A big part of that is remembering to put God first and thinking about the things that are most important to Him.   What really matters to God?  (treating others with kindness, sharing the Good News, etc.)

• God wants us to find joy in the same things that bring Him joy.  What choices can you make this week that put God first?

Prayer:

Thank God  for all He’s given you