"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Friday, September 24, 2010

And they'll know we are Christians by our...

Acts 4

I scratch at the ground with my feet & peck with my beak.
What am I?
I bark at squirrels and chase cars.
What am I?
I wear big shoes, juggle, and make people laugh.
What am I?

If you answeered a chicken, a dog, and a DAD, you're right!
JK.  Although some dad's might feel like they live
with the circus, you know the last answer is a "clown."

In class this week, we played Charades.
It was fun and funny to see the students act out
particular animal actions.
For the most part, it was very easy
to guess what each student was.

As Believers of Jesus Christ,
people should be able to easily guess Who we believe in
because of how we ACT or how we BEHAVE.
Many many times, our actions speak louder than our words.
As we know from Acts 2:42-47
(quick!  Grab your Bible & reread it!)
the New Church was set apart from all others
because of their ACTIONS.

Remember how we talked a couple of weeks ago
about TAKING ACTION with our faith?

The Early Church set the perfect example of
taking action with their faith.
Acts 4:32b says,
"They shared everything they had."
God doesn't expect everyone
to give away everything they own.
(Although He might ask SOME people to do this.)
As Believers, God does expect us to
give cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7) when asked to give.
And most of the time,
He expects us to give without being asked.

We know God loves us. (John 3:16)
Do others know we love them?

The students were challenged this week
to cheerfully give of themselves.
Since we're not being asked
to give everything we have,
we can certainly give from every portion of our heart.

When they are asked to help with an unpleasant task,
they have been challenged to react
as the Early Church reacted;
OUTRAGEOUSLY pleasant and happy to help.
Only good attitudes.



Anytime you pick up a remote
or turn on any kind of entertainment divise,
(such as a video game, MP3 player, telephone, etc.)
think "MOM"

Put down the remote and go ask your mom,
"Is there anything I can do for you right now?"
Not just once... everytime.

The Early Church was outragious with their giving
because Jesus had given outrageously to them.
He gave his life.
"Greater love has no one than this,
that He lay down His life for His friends."  John 15:13
They were given SALVATION; new life!


Are we "outrageous" with our giving?
Do others know our God is an outrageous Giver
because of our ACTIONS?

Will you give your faith ACTION
and give to others the gifts Jesus has given to you?
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness."  Gal. 5:22

It is my prayer that each and every student
know the Saving Gift of Jesus Christ
and can share the fruits of the Spirit
with others as well as their families. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apples and Grilled Cheese

Now that it's FALL, apple season is upon us!
(Be sure to check out Mrs McKain's
Wrap Up using an apple, if you haven't already.)
When I was a kid and just started cooking
all on my own, I liked to experiment.
(Students, you can ONLY experiment when you
your parents know in advance what you are planning!)
I LOOOOVED making grilled cheese.
And I loved apples.
So I got the bright idea to ADD my apples
to my grilled cheese as it was cooking.
I wasn't crazy about it at first but
as I've gotten older, I've learned to perfect it.
Slice (and peel if you choose) your apple REALLY thin.
Layer sliced apple and cheese between
two pieces of buttered bread (butter goes on the outside.)
Grill in a skillet over low to medium heat
until lightly toasty brown.  Yuuuuummmm!
I still like a regular grilled cheese from time to time
with my apples on the side.
There's just something about "them warm apples!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walking and leaping and praising God...

Acts 3
Today's Wrap Up was a bit different than our usual Wrap Ups.
Today, we were able to watch our
Angel Wings Friends
begin Colleen's talk about Lesson 5.
What a joy it was to be able to take a little trip
into the centrum and see the moms
(and hug the moms)
while watching such a sweet presentation!
Because of our little trip, however,
we were out of time for any of Mrs. McKain's Wrap Up.
By the time we returned upstairs,
it was time to pray and we SO enjoy our prayer time
with the Lord Jesus!

Hopefully, moms and students will be tuning into
our class blog to "dig deeper" into this week's lesson.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit
("why do you look at us as though this was done
by our own power?" Acts 3:12)  
and "in Jesus' name through faith made this man strong." Acts2:17
Peter didn't give the crippled man money, silver, gold, or food.
Peter gave him

Have you been given such precious Gift?
Have you been bold enough to give It away? 
No wonder the man "leaped up, walked... and praised God!"
Acts 3:8
The Holy Spirit allows us to give the Gift of Jesus
to many people on many occasions and
sometimes more than once.
And I praise God
He has given this Gift to me on many occasions and
sometimes more than once.
Jesus healed this man and Jesus heals us.

Sin CRIPPLES all of us.
Because of it, we are weak and unable to do God's will.
Shame keeps us from looking UP
just as Peter told the crippled man to
"Look at us!"
Jesus asks us to LOOK TO HIM
through repenting of our sins.
(Remember, repenting is more than just saying "I'm sorry."
There MUST be CHANGE with our apology.)
Only then does God, our fine Gentleman, heal us.

Jesus healed the crippled man.
And Jesus can heal us.
"He brought them out of darkness
and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains."  Psalm 107:14

My prayer is that each of us will realize exactly
what kinds of "chains" our sins are disquised as
so that we may want to repent and be healed by Jesus.
Then we too may
"walk and leap and praise God." Acts 3:8b

Sunday, September 12, 2010

PBandJ Cookies

Today I discovered a new favorite dessert...
PBandJ with a Twist!
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment on this post.

PBandJ Cookies
Use your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe
to bake a batch of cookies.
After cookies have cooled, top one cookie with a
heaping TBsp of strawberry jam or jelly.
Voila!  PBandJ Cookies!

and for PBandJ Cookies with a Twist...
add a scoop of ice cream!  Yum!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Acts 2:38

Lesson 4 Memory Work

"Repent and be baptized, all of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Acts 2:38

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Aaaaaaaannnnnnd... ACTION!

Acts 2:22-47
"When we give our faith ACTION,
God gives it wings."
As we continue to study Acts 2,
we wonder how it is that Peter can lie
not only about his friendship with Jesus
but also his LOVE for Jesus.
Selfish sin can make us do some of the dumbest things.
The fact is... we DO them
and it cuts God to the heart when we do.
Just a few weeks after Jesus died,
Peter gave his faith a major
"attitude adjustment"
and he decided to
By making this decision,
God gave Peter's faith WINGS.
Peter was then ABLE to stand up
before the people and preach about why
Jesus came to earth, died on a cross,
and rose to eternal life and kingship.
(Remember it was just a few days earlier
that Peter could NOT stand in front of anyone
and say that he even knew Who Jesus was!)
God is a Gentleman
and He IS Good Manners.
He is NOT a bully.
He would never tells someone,
"You HAVE to believe in my Son!"
There are consequences and rewards for ALL actions.
God let's us take action on our own decisions.
Peter's message to all people
(including us)
is one of the reward for believing in Jesus.
"Repent and be baptized, all of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins,
and you will recieve the gift of the Holy Spirit."  Acts 2:38
Saying I'm sorry is easy.
Repenting is not the same as just being sorry.
Peter followed Jesus like a caterpillar,
eating up every single word Jesus said.
When Peter lied about knowing and loving Jesus,
he went into a cocoon.
It wasn't until Peter made the decision to REPENT and CHANGE
that God gave Peter the strength to break out of the cocoon (sin).
Peter took action with his faith,
God gave it wings.
The students watched as I took a normal piece of paper
and BENT it, folding it this way and that.
Then I ran it through a machine that CUT it and FORMED it.
We are much like that paper,
(although the paper I used had no choice of me using it)
we must be BENDABLE -like the paper,
"cut to the heart" by our sins -like the paper was cut,
and formed by God -like the machine formed the paper.
Only then can the Holy Spirit give our faith wings.
The paper was made into butterflies and
the butterflies were used to create the beautiful gift seen here.
Will you choose to take ACTION with your faith?
If so, just watch how God will give you wings!
It is my prayer that each of us
will be inspired by Peter's faith and
excited about how the Holy Spirit desires
to make "beautiful gifts" of our lives.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Acts 2:17

Lesson 3 Memory Work

"In the last days, God says I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.  Your sons and daughters will prophesy.  Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams."
Acts 2:17

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three in ONE

Acts 2:1-21

Today Mrs. McKain used an apple to explain
how God is three different persons yet
At the time of Pentecost,
the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples
with such amazing power because
He IS God.
When we open our hearts to Jesus Christ,
His Spirit
has unleashed power.
I asked my class to think of one of
their most favorite or most exciting stories
that had ever happened to them.
(I was surprised at how many of them said they didn't have one.)
Then I told them ALL to explain it to me
It was quite loud and very difficult to understand.
Yet each one that participated had a story
and wanted to share it.
This is much like what the disciples must have felt.
God's miracles are far greater than
any of our exciting stories.
The Holy Spirit was just BURSTING
to share these miracles through the disciples.
I want that.  And I want it for each and every student...
to be BURSTING with God's goodness.
It is my prayer for each of us
to have a better understanding of God's amazing Holy Spirit
and the power He gives through knowing Him and loving Him.

Check out these scriptures for clarification
on our great God and Holy Trinity...

Genesis 1:2

Genesis 1:26

Malachi 2:10

John 1:1-4

Matthew 28:19