Monday, July 30, 2012

Jesus Calms the Storm

by Kimber Bailey Scott

Make sailor hats out of newspaper or wrapping paper.

     AHOY, boys & girls! Today our story is going to have us sailing in a boating adventure! So put on your life jackets (pretend), hold onto the side of the boat (pretend) and away we go!
     Hey, look over there! (point) Someone is standing inside a boat talking - who is it? It is Jesus! He must be teaching all about God. Now He and His friends are taking the boat out sailing. It looks like He is lying down take a nap. He must have been talking for a long time because He is tired! Do you want to follow the boat Jesus is in? Okay, let's go!
     Uh Oh! Here comes a big wind. (blow) Oh no! The water and waves are moving all around us! (sway) Do you think Jesus is still taking a nap? Let's look. He is! His friends seem to be scared. The boat is filling up with water! They are running over to wake Jesus up. "JESUS WAKE UP! Don't you care if we drown?!"
     Jesus is standing up. He's speaking to the wind and water "QUIET! BE STILL!" (stop swaying)
     Everyone stopped! He's looking at His friends and says "Why were you afraid? Didn't you remember I was here with you?"
     WOW! Jesus was able to make the wind and the waves do what He wanted. That was amazing! There is something else that is important too. Jesus wanted His friends and us to know that whenever we are scared, we can trust Him to be with us. Even though we can not see Him, we can believe that He is there for us. Remember each day that Jesus is there for you.

Make thunderstorm sounds: bang on cookie sheets or pots and pans, blow for wind, clap for rain, pound on a table, etc.

Have a conch sea shell so they can hear the sounds of the waves.

Blue jello in clear cups for each kid. Use a toothpick to poke gummy or Swedish fish into each. Sprinkle blue colored sugar on top.

Make a storm in a bottle with big waves: Fill plastic bottle 2/3 full of water. Add 1 t salt, 7 drops Dawn dish liquid & 2 drops blue food coloring. Shake. Add oil to top. Super glue cap on. Shake to form funnel like storm or move back and forth slowly to create waves like in the ocean.

Will it float or will it sink? - Fill a large clear bowl with water. Give each child something (rice, pasta, coins, bar of soap, cork, craft stick, leaves, bath toy, etc.) Ask them if it will float or sink? Let's see! One at a time have a child place their item in the bowl of water. Did it float or sink?

With Jesus in my boat I can
Smile in the storm (repeat 3x)
With Jesus in my boat I can
Smile in the storm when I'm sailing home.
When I'm sailing home (clap 2x) (repeat 2x)
With Jesus in my boat I can
Smile in the storm when I'm sailing home.

Cookie sheets or pots/pans
Conch sea shell (if available)
Blue Jello (clear gelatin & blue juice/sports drink instead of water works great!)
Clear plastic cups
Gummy fish
Blue colored sugar
Clear plastic sport drink bottles with labels torn off
Dawn liquid dish soap
blue food coloring
Super Glue
Large clear bowl
Items like rice, pasta, coins, bar of soap, cork, craft stick, leaves, bath toy, etc.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Feelings

by Kimber Bailey Scott
1 Samuel 16:11-13, 18; Psalm 23, 31:9, 14, 15, 56:3-4

(tune: London Bridge)
Angry, mad, happy, sad
Happy, sad, happy, sad
Angry, mad, happy, sad
Thank you God for making me

RHYME: (point to body parts)
God made me special, there's only one of me.
One nose like mine, one mouth like mine,
One chin like mine, two eyes like mine,
Two ears like mine, two hands like mine.
There's only one of me. I'm special as can be! 
                               ~Karen Leet

Set up a "doctor's office" before you start. Try to focus their thoughts on how your children might be feeling. Are you afraid to go to the doctor to get a shot? It's ok to feel afraid sometimes. God can help us not feel afraid. You might feel sad because this baby doll is sick. God made our feelings. He knows when we feel sad. God can help us to feel happy again. Allow them to be the doctors and help the baby dolls (or stuffed animals). Or use your pet as Canaan did.

Give each child a mirror. Ask them to look at their faces. When I look at your faces, I can tell how some of you are feeling. Show me your happy face, sad, angry, silly, etc. Now show me the face you'll make when: you go to the park to play, your at your birthday party, you have to each spinach, you got in trouble, someone hit you, you get a prize, etc. 

When I tell you, make those faces during the story. There was a man in the Bible, who had the same types of feelings as we do. His name was David. Sometimes, he was happy or sad. Sometimes he was afraid or angry. Give each child a colored scene or make your own. Also give them 5 sheep (cotton balls) each.

As I tell the story, I want you to pretend to be David and these (hold up a cotton ball) are your sheep. Put your sheep in the pen on your picture. Then listen so you will know when to move your sheep around in your picture. Also make the faces I ask you to.

David was a shepherd. His job was to take care of his father's sheep. Every morning, David would lead his sheep out of their pen to the green grass. (Show them how to move the sheep to the grassy area.) David felt happy. Can you show me your happy face? When the sheep were finished eating the green grass, they needed a drink. So David would walk the sheep over to the water and they would drink. (Walk sheep to stream) Then the sheep would lie down in the grass and sleep while David played his harp and sang songs to God. (move sheep back to grassy area) David felt very happy. (ask them to show you their happy face)

Suddenly, a lion came out of the bushes and tried to catch one of David's sheep! David felt angry! Can you show me your angry face? He took a stone and his sling and chased the lion away.

David and his sheep started to walk home. (walk sheep to pen) Oh no! One of the sheep got caught in the thorns and is hurt. Dave felt sad for the sheep. Can you make a sad face?

Finally, David and his sheep were safely back home. (put all sheep in the pen) Let's count our sheep to make sure they all go back home. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Oh good! David counted his sheep and all of them were there. He had not lost any sheep. David felt happy again. (show happy faces)

You did a great job taking care of your sheep, just like David did.

Who made our feelings? The Bible tells us "God made us." Let's say those words together. "God made us." Let each kid hold their own Bible and help them turn to Psalm 100:3 then say it together. "God made us."

Give each child a plate. Give them 2 grapes each, a lengthwise split banana and a strawberry. Ask them to put the strawberry in the middle of the plate (it's the nose), the two grapes at the top of the plate but spread apart (those are the eyes), and the banana at the bottom of the plate (happy or sad mouth). What does it look like? That's right! A face. Have them make a sad face and then a happy face. Would eating this make you happy? Let's eat! When you're done, have them throw their own plate away. Obeying mommy makes me happy and makes God happy too. Wash hands.

What makes you happy or sad? Give each child a happy/sad face. This can be as simple as a paper plate with a sad face drawn with a permanent marker on one side and a happy face on the other side. Ask them to show you which makes them happy or sad...You fall down and scrape your knee. You get to eat ice cream. You go to the zoo. You have to take a nap. Your friends come over to play. I let you pick out some candy at the grocery store. Etc.

Dress up clothes (or doctors coats) - optional
Baby dolls or stuffed animals
Strips of cloth for bandages or band-aids
Toy doctor's kit (optional)
Mats or blankets or towels
Scenes (and crayons?)
Cotton balls
Grapes or Cherries
paper plates
permanent marker

Thursday, July 5, 2012


For 3rd - 6th graders

Sooner or later most people struggle with anger toward God. Some wouldn't even be able to admit it but for many this anger drives them away from God. There's plenty in this world to get angry about. There's plenty of pain and evil and injustice to go around. And what's really at the base of it? EVIL.

Share a personal story about a time when you were mad at God. Be honest. Don't wrap it up into a neat package either with a happy ending. BUT then you saw the reason for it all! Your transparency on this will set up a safety zone for your kids to wrestle with questions most of them struggle with.

Give a pencil and a piece of paper to one of your kids to be a scribe or have one of the kids write on the black or white or poster board then ask them to make a list of all the things in the world that seem unfair. Explain that these can be global issues (starvation, etc.) or they can be personal issues (divorce, fights, etc.). Encourage them by adding some of your own personal issues.

Give each an index card and have them write their biggest gripe about God. What one thing makes them frustrated or mad at God or makes them doubt Him the most? Don't ask them to share this and let them know they won't be asked to. They can be completely candid with God. Tell them they can phrase it like I'm bugged that.... or Why did You allow this to happen?

Psalms 10 & 77
Read these Psalms in a dramatic way, full of anger. It would be cool to divide the verses into a reader's theatre and have two or three dramatic readers. Some of your kids might be uncomfortable with this presentation of a Bible passage which would be great!

Why does bad stuff happen?
First, we have to realize that we don't always get to know the reason.
Christians have a way of trying to settle on a reason for every unfair thing. That's not always possible and forcing a fake reason doesn't do us any good.

Pass out one puzzle piece to each kid. Explain that this puzzle piece is a lot like our lives. We get to see some of the picture, some of the colors, but we don't get to see how it all fits together – at least not always. Sure, we can look at the picture on the front of the puzzle box which in this case would be the Word of God and all God's revealed truth. And we can get enough info to understand what the basic subject of the puzzle is. But we usually don't get to see the whole picture. Maybe give them a piece of yarn to wrap around the puzzle piece and make a bracelet out of it to remind them.

Romans 8:28-39
Point out that this scripture doesn't say “God causes bad stuff to happen.” It does say God takes all things bad and good and uses them for good in our lives. Unfortunately it doesn't say we get to know all the details of the plan.

Psalm 46:10
God has everything under control. Reminding ourselves of this truth will help us deal with our anger.

Bad things happen because actions have consequences.
This is touchy because sometimes we end up suffering consequences from someone else's evil!

God had 2 options when He created us
He could have made us like robots – pure all the time, quick to worship him and quick to do what's right. But with no real choices.
He could and did decide it was somehow better for Him and us to allow us to choose between good and evil.

We make unhealthy decisions, and we have to live with the consequences.

Ask them if they know the consequence these Bible people had to live with as a result of their choices.

David's sin with Bathsheba (Their first born child died)

Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (They had to leave the garden.)

Cain killed his brother Abel. (He had to wander the land, never to settle down.)

Lot's wife looked back as she was fleeing from Sodom. (She was turned into a pillar of salt.)

Judas betrayed Jesus. (He was branded as a traitor for all time.)

Display a few ingredients to make cookies (chocolate chips, butter, flour, salt)
Ask if they would like to eat some flour. Or some butter. If you can get one of your crazy kids to do it – go for it!

Now pass out chocolate chip cookies and ask everyone to hold them for a minute. Explain no truly normal person would want to consume the ingredients separately – this will be a badge of honor for any kid who took you up on eating ingredients.
You might like eating a cup of chocolate chips, but you probably don't want to eat the flour or salt or butter separately. It's a mix of all the flavors together that makes the cookie so good. In the same way God loves to use the sweet things and the bitter things in life to bring about a wonderful result.

Most people get angry with God from time to time. God can handle that! We can't always see the reason for bad stuff because we can't see everything from God's perspective. Sometimes bad stuff happens just because there's evil in the world – which God allows and will use for our good. Sometimes bad stuff happens to us as a consequence to our own bad choices and sin. But God still wants to turn that into good stuff!

Have them pull out those cards and look at them again. Explain that God knows what we feel. He knows if we're angry or sad. We have to trust God wants to use that bad thing for good somehow. If they are willing to trust God on this or willing to try, ask them to write GOD IS IN CONTROL on top of their earlier writing and put it in a safe place as a reminder.

Do you think God ever did something mean to you on purpose?
Is it okay to be angry with God?
So why does bad stuff happen to us?
People make unhealthy decisions all the time. Who's to blame when bad stuff happens then?
What's one of the worst things you've seen on the news lately? Did God make it happen?
Why can't we see how the puzzle fits together?

Think of one thing no matter how small that you can let go of that's not fair in your life. Allow God to be God and trust He has a plan for you and will make it turn into something good, somehow.


For ages 3rd grade to 6th grade

Most kids hate to be told what to do. So the idea that God has rules for us to follow can get pretty boring! most non-Christians view Christianity as a restrictive set of rules. Nothing more. Sadly many Christian kids live with a similar view.

What would happen if in the middle of the day all the fences at the zoo collapsed and the animals began to run free through the city?

Many people perceive fences as negative. Fences hold them in. They block their path. They create boundaries that limit their freedom. If we think of the rules God has for us as fences -- we often have the same reaction: God's the party pooper putting up random fences to mess up our lives and make them boring.

What do I mean by fences? What are some of the fences god puts around our lives?

What or who suffers when we hop over God's commands for us?
When we ignore God's commands, how can we get hurt?

When we ignore God's commands, how can we hurt those around us?
When we ignore God's commands, how does it affect God?

When we run free, we hurt others!

What would happen to an elephant running loose in a big city?

God puts fences up in our lives in the form of his commands and scriptural advice. This godly instruction keeps us out of places we shouldn't be and in places that are safe.

It isn't because the zookeeper wants to ruin the elephant's life that he keeps the elephant from running around the city.

What are some of the fences God doesn't want us to hop over?


A train is unlike a car in the sense that it's forced to follow the train tracks. On one hand that might seem like a bummer and like a lack of freedom. But think of the other option. Take a speeding train off the tracks and what do you have? You have a horrible train wreck with cars piled on top of each other. The tracks are the guides that keep the train from destroying itself. God's commands are our guides -- to keep us from destroying ourselves.

What danger does the elephant who's running through the city pose to others?

When we break through God's guidelines for our lives, those around us get hurt.

Show them an owner's manual.
See how the manufacturer took time to write down all the instructions? We're given the dos and don'ts so we won't ruin the object and so we can know how it works. God has given us His instructions in the Bible so we know how relationships work and so we won't mess them up and hurt others.

What is the elephant's caretaker thinking and feeling while the elephant is running around hurting others in the city?

God has given us commands so we'll remain close to Him. His commands are there to protect our relationship with Him. If we break His commands and jump the fence, we can become distant from God.

Why are some of God's fences in our best interest? Be specific.

have them spend a couple of minutes in silence, thinking about which of God's fences they've been jumping lately. Invite them to ask forgiveness and to pray about staying within God's boundaries.


Pick up a NO TRESPASSING sign. After they spend time in silent prayer, offer them the opportunity to sign, using a permanent marker, the sign as a show of spiritual commitment. Hang the sign up somewhere as a reminder. 

God has given us commands and rules for a reason. They protect us. They protect those around us. And they keep our relationship with God our caretaker strong. If we don't understand this, we'll probably jump the fence because we don't understand its purpose. The result is that our lives will run recklessly out of control and away from the safety of God's loving arms.

In what way is the Bible the instruction book for our lives? God has said if we keep His commands, we will remain close to Him. Why is that so important?

Is staying on God's side of the fence that big of a deal?


Share a time in your life when you went trespassing over a fence God has commanded us not to cross and either you or someone around you got hurt - physically or emotionally.

How would your life be different, positive or negative, if you never ever crossed one of God's fences?

What are some of the ways we can help each other stay within God's commands?

How can we know God's commands better?

Is there someone you've hurt by fence jumping recently? What can you do to make it right?

How can you be more obedient to God?


Matthew 5:17-20
Matthew 22:34-42
1 John 5:1-3


(taken from copyrighted 2012 ACU Leadership Camps curriculum)
The Song of the King by Max Lucado

Who is the King? (God)

How does a person know which voice is the right voice to listen to? (know the true voice so well that you cannot mistake it - in the story, choosing the right companion - Jesus - who could teach us to hear the King)

What or who are voices in your lives? What happens if you choose the wrong voice to listen to? (lost in the forest - separated from God)

What happens if you learn to hear the right voice? (you will find your way)


(taken from copyrighted 2012 ACU Leadership Camps curriculum)
If we are going to honor Jesus' prayer "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" then we must be obedient in every way to God's commands. We've got to love God more than anything or anyone else in a way that changes the way we think and live. We've got to love others in ways that are different than the way the world loves people. And we've got to recognize that our obedience is how we show our love to God. He wants more than just an I love you note - He wants to see it in our lives.