The Fruit of the Spirit is KINDNESS (3/8-3/10)

"God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9) To explore what God means by kindness, we will learn about Jesus's life, how He loved, and how He healed people who were sick, hurt, and blind. Jesus's heart was always so filled with love for others and He wanted to help them feel better. He especially wanted to lead others to know His Father. Through His actions He was able to do just that. After story time we'll each take a turn helping our injured Bible 'friends' (dolls) negotiate their way through an obstacle course to get to Jesus. What the children will discover was that sometimes the path to God is clear and straight, but other times it can be long and a little tricky. This time, in order to get to Jesus the children will walk a narrow mountain path, tip toe through a wild animal pit, crawl through a tunnel, and ring the bell to walk through the door to get to Jesus. That last part, the doorbell ringing and walking through the door is a step that cannot be overlooked. Just as in real life, we have to step through the door with our whole bodies to get to Jesus. We have to be ALL IN....none of this standing on the front porch business will do. Jesus offers His whole being to His children and He expects nothing less from us. To wrap everything up we'll sing and dance to I LIKE TO and MY GOD. Next week.....Goodness!

The Fruit of the Spirit is PATIENCE. 3/2-3/4

"God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9). This week the children learned about patience and our lesson was about talking to God. The Lord always hears our prayers and He promises to answer each one. But where it gets tricky is when we're waiting for an answer. God always answers us in one of three ways: yes, no, or wait. How do we know when an answer is 'no' instead of 'wait'? That's where PATIENCE comes in. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7). We read I CAN TALK WITH GOD by Debby Anderson and our game this week was basketball. Shooting hoops is fun, but it also requires a lot of patience. To finish up, we sang and danced to 'God Is Always With Us' and 'The Lord's Army/Father Abraham.' FYI, here's one of my favorite simple mealtime prayers for families, "Father, bless the food before us, the family beside us, and the love between us. Amen." I wish you patience as you go through your week. Next week....kindness.

Fruit of the Spirit...PEACE (2/22-2/24)

This is our last week for February's verse, Love one another (1John 4:7) and the fruit of the Spirit we're learning about is PEACE. Our story comes from Matthew 8:23-27 that tells about when Jesus calmed a fierce storm that threatened His friends lives. The disciples were crossing the sea in a boat when an raging storm came upon them, causing them to fear that the mighty winds would smash their boat, leaving them to drown. What was Jesus doing? Sleeping soundly, of course! When the men woke him to beg for His intervention, Jesus stood up, faced the storm and said, "Peace, be still." Instantly, the storm stopped and the disciples, once again were amazed by the power of the Messiah. Here are some more of God's promises about letting Him take control so that we can feel peace just like Jesus's disciples felt peace that day: John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Philippians 4:6-7 says: "In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus." For our game, pretending that the parachute was a boat sailing across the Galilee, we will bounce 12 beanbags through a storm of wind, rain, and thunder mayhem until Jesus comes onto the scene, stands up and commands, "Peace. Be still!" The songs we sing this week are God's Not Dead and The Fruit of the Spirit. Next week.....PATIENCE!

Fruit of the Spirit....JOY (2/16-2/18)

"Love one another" 1John 4:7 Last week in chapel we discovered the meaning of joy and how it can pop up at any time, even when we don't expect it. Our story came from John 21:1-14. After Jesus's crucifixion, the disciples, overcome with loss and sadness, were out on the lake dropping their fishing nets into the water and coming up empty time and time again. A stranger standing on the shore called out to them with some friendly advice, "Why don't you cast your net on the other side of the boat?" he suggested. Although it didn't make sense, the disciples tried it. Sure enough, the haul was so bountiful that the net was overflowing with fish. The stranger turned out to be Jesus. This was the first time His friends had seen Him since His resurrection. Peter was so filled with joy that instead of waiting for the men to row the boat ashore, he jumped in the water and swam to Jesus as fast as he could. As with the disciples, the joy we feel today from the fruit of the Spirit is not based on our circumstances, our paycheck or our mindset; rather, on our relationship with Jesus Christ - and our living in Him. In this way, our joy can never be taken away or meddled with by the world. This joy is found WITHIN the Holy Spirit. For our game, the kids get to sit in a rubber raft and throw fish into a net. The songs we sang and danced to were "Happy" and "Praise the Lord Every Day." Next week: Peace!

Fruit of the Spirit....LOVE (2/9-2/11)

"Love one another" -- 1John 4:7 The first aspect of the fruit of the spirit that God tells us about is love. Scruffy and I have a fun conversation about the things we love, like trucks and gummy bears. Then this leads to a discussion about the difference between gummy bear love and Jesus's love, or Agape love. Both are sweet and make us happy, but beyond that there is an enormous difference in the two. The 2's and 3's will read the book, "Jesus Loves Me!" while the Pre-K's and Toucans will read "I Know Jesus Loves Me." In both of these books we explore how God's unending love fills us up and, in turn, we are able to share this love with others. One of the best descriptions of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Many of you probably even heard these words in your wedding ceremony. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It's not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." Adding to that, the kids and I discuss that love is sharing, helping, giving, and doing. Our game this week is Heart Toss where we'll toss darts through giant hearts hanging from the ceiling. After everyone gets their turn we'll finish up by singing Jesus Loves Me Rock and Everybody Everywhere. Next!

Fruit of the Spirit (1/26-1/28)

With God, all things are possible. - Matthew 19:26 In chapel we will be talking about fruit; fruit that grows on trees and fruit that grows on vines. God gives us so many different varieties of delicious fruits to enjoy and He likes to see us smile and take pleasure in His creations. At the same time, He also knows that fruit is packed with goodness that will make our bodies grow healthy and strong. In the same way God provides fruit for us to grow strong in our bodies, He also gifts our souls with fruit of the Spirit. This fruit contains attributes that every Christian shows when they walk with the Lord. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galations 5:22-23 This week in chapel will be an overview week, hinting of 9 fun weeks to come. In the 2's and 3's I will read "9 Fruits Alive" and in the Pre-K's and Transition I will read "Jesus In Me...The Fruit of the Spirit." Both books very simply explain ways we show qualities of God's fruit. Throughout the remainder of winter and spring we'll take one attribute per week and focus our lesson around it. First one up...LOVE. After the book we'll go fishing for fruit and sing and dance to 'The Fruit of the Spirit' and 'Praise The Lord Every Day.' May God show you His blessings as you go about your week! Melinda

Go and Tell (1/19-1/21)

With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26). Jesus gave each of us a big job to do. He said, "Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all my commandments and I'll be with you until the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20. Known as the Great Commission, this is what Jesus expects us to do with our time here on earth. Very simply put, we are to go and tell. This week I will read a book I wrote called, 'Go and Tell!' that explains our very important task. After our story, we'll follow an obstacle course around the room as we pretend to 'go and tell' along the way. After our game, we will sing and dance to Boom Chaka Laka and I Like To. May God bless you all. Remember to GO and TELL!