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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lesson 7, Servants of God

Joshua 22-24

Our Wrap Up from Mrs. Nelson...

The students were put into groups for the first part of our Wrap Up today.  Mrs. Nelson gave a photo-copied photograph to each of the groups.  The students in each group were instructed to study the photos and then come up with seomthing about the people in the photos.  Mrs. Nelson suggested they even "make up" facts about the people in their photo.  Then she told them to be ready to share with the rest of the group what they had determined about the people in their photos.

Many of the assumptions made by the students were made based solely on how the people looked physically and/or emotionally.  Other assumptions were made purely out of silliness and fun.  It was quite comical to hear some of the made-up "facts" shared by some of our more "creative" students.

Mrs. Nelson presented her Wrap Up with a focus on the confrontation by Israel to the Two and a half Tribes when the Two and a half Tribes built the Altar of Witness at the River Jordan's edge.  Mrs. Nelson pointed out how the behavior of the Israelites in judging the Two and a half Tribes actions to build the altar was very similar to the judgements made over our photos.  We can't truly know the emotions or situations of the people in the photos without hearing directly from the people in the photos.

AFter the Israelites heard directly from the Two and a half Tribes, it was understood that the actions and motives of building the altar were for purposes of PLEASING God and not to disobey Him.  The Israelites chose to WRONGLY JUDGE the Two and a half Tribes before they chose to LOVE their fellow servants of God.

Jesus commands us to love NOT ONLY our neighbors but our enemies as well... "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,"  Matthew 5:44.  Jesus also tells us that we will be judged the same way which we judge others... "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,"  Matthew 7:2 and "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven,"  Luke 6:37.  Mrs. Nelson related to the students how difficult it is to pray for and love our enemies, especially people who are mean to us.  She presented a question in this... "How do we do that?  How do we do something so difficult as to pray for or even love people who seem to be difficult to love?"

We were directed to Joshua's words in chapter 24 of Joshua...  "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD,"  Joshua 24:15.

Will CHOOSE to SERVE the Lord and DO AS JESUS DID by loving instead of judging?

Mrs. Nelson shared some very interesting photos with the entire class from a book titled "Journey's with the Messiah" where Jesus is portrayed as "serving" people with His love.   Here are just a few of these photos...



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cupcakes IN A CONE

Thank you, Kayleb, for bringing in such a
yummy and delish snack
for our CBS class last week!

As promised... here is the recipe, courtesy of
Kayleb's mum, Cyndee Gilmore.
Thanks, Cyndee!

2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 3/4 cup flour
Mix together in order given. Pour into jumbo ice cream cones filling to about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Frost with Chocolate Frosting and sprinkles.

Chocolate Frosting
2 squares unsweetened chocolate- 2 oz
2 TBLS butter
Melt over medium heat and then add 3 TBLS water or milk
2 Cups powdered sugar
Spread over cupcakes.

(Seriously, the icing is my absolute favorite!  I mean really, I could just sit and eat a bowl of this icing... A... MAZ... ING! he he he)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Joshua 24:24

 Lesson 7

"We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him."
Joshua 24:24

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Shoebox Autobiographies for September 29

Nathan Rich
Ethan Schreiber
will be sharing their
Shoebox Autobiographies
with us this week!

Thanks, Nathan and Ethan!
We look forward to getting to know you better!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lesson 6, Servants of God

Joshua 13-21

Our Wrap Up from Mrs. Gettelfinger...

Today for our Wrap Up, I wore one of my husband’s suit coats but acted as though it was mine. In opening, I looked into a mirror and seemed very displeased with the jacket. I spoke aloud saying, “I’ve had this jacket for nearly an entire year and I still don’t like it. I thought I liked it when I purchased it. I’ve worn it a few times and I’ve never felt quite comfortable in it. I should have taken it back to the store a long time ago.” Then I removed the jacket and motioned as if I were hanging it in my closet.

What keeps us from “owning” or “claiming” or “counting on” God’s promises?

In chapters 13 and 14 of Joshua, God tells Joshua there is still land to be taken for the people of Israel. Joshua is getting older. Everyone knows that with age comes wisdom but weakness also comes with age. It’s just how life is. Yet Joshua held tightly to God’s promises made not only to Moses but all the way back to Abraham in Genesis 12 when God said to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation...” Remember the last time I offered our Wrap Up I told you “God’s promises are trustworthy and powerful.” Joshua believed that. He OWNED God’s promises. He CLAIMED God’s promises. He knew he could COUNT ON God’s promises.

The Israelites, on the other hand, spent 800 years dreaming of a land of milk and honey... 400 years from Abraham to Joseph and 400 years in Egypt. For 15 generations, Israel had dreamt of living in Canaan. Now the people were on the verge of fulfilling that dream. Their greatest obstacle was not the Jordan River. It was not the well-fortified cities. Their greatest obstacle was fear. This is why God repeats Himself so many times in the first chapter of Joshua to “be strong and courageous!”

In chapter 14 of Joshua we discover that Caleb courageously OWNS God’s promise of land made to Caleb through Moses. Despite Caleb’s age, he claims in verse 11-12 that he is “just as strong today as the day Moses sent me out...” Sometimes, CLAIMING God’s promises take just as much strength as going into battle. After establishing a place of worship in Shiloh, Joshua even speaks to the people of Israel in verses 3 of chapter 18 about the fear they were experiencing when he says, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?”

At this point in our Wrap Up, I selected three students to stand. I told each of them to take of a piece of their garments (shirt, pants, shoes) so I could take them home and give them to my children. In all seriousness, that would be absurd. They wouldn’t give me these pieces of clothing because these are pieces they NEED and they OWN them. Their shirts, pants, and shoes BELONG to them.

God's promises BELONG to us.  God wants us to “own,” or “claim,” or “count on” His promises.

As Christ’s followers, we have three “blanket promises.”

We’re promised God’s power. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” (Acts 1:8) Among other blessings that come to us when we accept Jesus Christ is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Every Christ follower is given the indwelling presence of the Spirit to empower us to live Christlike lives. The word for “power” in the original language is dunamis, which is the same root word used in dynamite. God has placed spiritual dynamite in us so we’ll have the strength to overcome every scary challenge we face.

We’re promised God’s provision. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) God never asks us to do something without also giving the resources to do it. This means if God calls you to forgive, he’ll give you the strength to do it. If God calls you to step out in faith, He will provide what you need to take that step.

We’re promised God’s presence. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Christ followers always have Christ with them. The promise to Joshua is repeated for all believers in Hebrews 13:5: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” It’s comforting to know we never need to go through life alone.

We learn in chapter 20 of Joshua how God promises refuge. How comforting to see that the cities of refuge are set up in a way that “surrounds” the Israel nation! And as our lesson points out, this is a fore-shadow of how Jesus surrounds us as our Refuge. Once again we see yet another promise of God fulfilled in chapter 21 when God provides land, shelter, and refuge for the Levites.

Our Wrap Up was ended with me going back to my closet to pull out the jacket I had worn earlier. I had decided to return the jacket to the store (set up on stage with the assistance of a sales clerk –Mrs. DeWitt.) I explained to the sales clerk that I wished to exchange the jacket for one that was more suitable for my size and personality. I also told the clerk that I had had the jacket for nearly a year and that it had been worn a few times. Looking to the students as though I was fearful the sales clerk would turn me away, she cheerfully spoke up and said, “Well, for heaven’s sake! What took you so long?! Let’s go find you a better jacket.” Giving the students a “how about that” sort of look, I selected a new jacket and ended the Wrap Up with the following...

God, we could say, is like a supersized department store. God makes these incredible promises, but many times we can’t bring ourselves to believe they are true or that they are directly meant for us. When we are overcome by fear or despair, we eventually cry out to God. That’s when we claim His promises and the Lord always comes through. But along the way I wonder if God sometimes thinks, "For heaven’s sake, what took you so long?!"

Will you search God’s Word today for promises He makes directly to you? And just as you own the clothes on your body, will you OWN the promises of God?

reference: ChristianStandard

Monday, September 19, 2011

Deuteronomy 6:18

Lesson 6

"Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight, so that it may go well with you."  Deuteronomy 6:18

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lesson 5, Servants of God

Joshua 9-12

Our Wrap Up from Mrs. Hamilton...

Mrs. Hamilton presented a big ziplock plastic bag of puzzle pieces for our Wrap Up today.  She shared with the students her enjoyment for puzzles and asked if they enjoyed putting together puzzles as well.  She asked if she gave them the bag full of puzzle pieces (1,000 pieces) if they could put it together with ease or if it would be of an even greater challenge not having a photo of the puzzle as their guide.  Everyone agreed it would be too much of a challenge to put the pieces together without the photo.

Our lives are a lot like the bag of puzzle pieces.  We only see bits and pieces of our lives in front of us.  God, however, sees the whole picture of our lives.  This week we learned how Israel was decieved by the Gibeonites.  We know from Joshua chapter 9 how Israel was easily deceived because they failed to seek council with the Lord.  Israel only saw what was right in front of them and quickly made their decision based on what they could see.  God sees the entire picture and God had already told Israel to subdue the entire land.

We make decisions in our lives every day.  Mrs. Hamilton asked the students for some of their every day decisions.  -what kind of attitude we will choose that day... -what to eat that day... -whether to even get out of bed that day... -what to wear... Then she asked the students if they seek God's council with these decisions.  "But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good measure."  Psalm 34:10  "But those who seek the Lord understand everything."  Proverbs 28:5

Israel should have sought God's decision on how to deal with the Gibeonites.  Because they didn't seek His council and His decisions, they were easily deceived and tricked into a peace treaty.  God sees the entire picture of our lives and He knows what's best for us.  He knows what is best for YOU.  HE LOVES YOU.

Will you choose to trust God with the best answers to all of the decisions you face each day?  Because He sees the entire picture of your life, are you willing to trust Him with the bits and pieces that are placed before you?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lesson 4, Servants of God

Joshua 6-8

Mrs. Gettelfinger was absent today due to a case of food poisoning.  Pray for her to our mighty Physician, Comforter, and Healer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Proverbs 3:5-6

Lesson 4

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight."  Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lesson 3, Servants of God

Joshua 3-5

Our Wrap Up from Mrs. Gettelfinger...

As we began the Wrap Up today, everyone was matched up with two other students (or teachers) so that we had several groups of three people in each group.  Then we participated in an activity of TRUST.  One person stood in the middle of the other two.  The one in the middle had to FALL into the arms of another while the third person held the feet of the person fallimg so they could not step out of the fall.  TRUST plays a huge part of this activity.

The students were asked if they had ever been to Holiday World, our local theme park in Santa Claus, IN.  Many said they had been there.  Many had not.  I explained to everyone that if they had decided to take a trip to HW for the weekend (and let's say they had never been there at all,) they could follow me and I would get them there safely.  I was actually camping at a nearby campground that very weekend.  I shared how my family LOVES visiting Holiday World and that we all have season passes.  I told the students we had been visiting HW since my daughter was just one year old... and she is now almost 15 years old.

So we're proposing the students are taking a trip to HW and they had never been there before.  They're going to follow me and trust that I will get them there safely and surely.  HOW can they trust that I will get them there surely?  How can they truly believe I know the way to HW?

Many of the students were hesitant to answer at first but after being reminded of all the information I shared with them (above,) they began to get the idea.
-My family LOVES visiting Holiday World.
-We have season passes which tells you we've been there many times.
-We've been visiting for the past 15 years.
-We have a camping trip planned that very weekend.

In verse 5 of Joshua chapter 3, Joshua told the people of Israel to "consecrate themselves because the next day God was going to do amazing things."  The people trusted Joshua because they knew many facts about Joshua (as we learned in the first week's lesson through the intro to our study.)  They knew he was Moses's aide.  They knew he could be trusted because he was one of the two original spies who first encouraged Israel to take over the land of Canaan as God had commanded. We know from vv. 16-18 of Joshua chapter 1 the people knew they could trust Joshua.  I believe the people of Israel trusted Joshua and consecrated themselves that day.

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

The priests trusted God when they stepped out in faith by placing their feet into a flood stricken, quickly flowing Jordan River.  They probably felt very much like our students felt during our activity of trust when they had to hold, catch, and fall.  "Can I really do this?  Are they really going to catch me?  Is this really going to work?"  The priests KNEW they could TRUST God because of the promises God had already fulfilled in the lives of His people.  Listen... if Rahab -a very badly behaved Gentile woman- admits in vv. 9-10 of Joshua chapter 2 of hearing about God drying up the Red Sea as well as the defeat at Sihon and Og and two kings of the Amorites, then we KNOW God's own people knew these exact same things as well as many other promises God gave and kept.  The priests knew they could trust God and His promises.

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

Choosing obedience is simply a REFLEX ACTION to trust.  If you've ever went to the doctor for a physical and had him or her tap your knee, you know that your knee REFLEXES AND KICKS without you even moving it yourself.  It's a REFLEX ACTION that just happens.  That's how it is when we CHOOSE to obey.  Israel trusted God.  They crossed the Jordan River safely onto dry land and then... they had a reflex action... they CHOSE to obey by building a memorial and observing the Passover just as Moses instructed in Exodus 12:24 when he said, "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants."

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

Our study of lesson 3 wraps up with God sending an angel to encourage Joshua.  The angel basically told Joshua this... "Dude, God's doing this for you and you have been obedient.  Great job!  Now let's get ready to rumble!"

Has God ever asked you to do something that would cause you to "step out" in great faith -and TRUST- as the Israelites did when they crossed the Jordan?  Is God asking you to do something through which your example might bring others closer to Him (just as Rahab and her family was brought closer to the God of Israel?)  Something like participating with your voice and singing during the worship time... or singing more than you already do (such as helping to LEAD the worship time.)  Something like answering more of the core group questions if you're not use to answering many or any of the questions.  Something like praying out loud or praying more during our prayer time with everyone.  I could go on and on with what God might be asking you to trust Him with but only YOU know for certain.  If you're not sure, pray and ask God how He can utilize you and bless you as He blesses others through you.  

How far are you willing to go to trust God's trustworthy and powerful promises?