Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PACT for the last week of November

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What's In Your Heart?
Items needed: cans of vegetables or fruit
Invite your kids to look in the pantry and choose the vegetables and/or fruits to eat for dinner.
Why did you choose those? 
(Because I like them, they taste good, etc.)
Would you be disappointed if you choose one and there was something completely different inside? 
We would all be disappointed if the inside didn't match the label on the outside.
Since people can't see inside of us to know what we are like, they must learn about us by the things we say and do. Students learned about five characteristics of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. (Even though this passage speaks about a woman, we can all be a person with these qualities and bring honor to God.)
Would others say that YOU are . . .
1.   loyal
2.   hard-working
3.   loving
4.   good
5.   fears the Lord?
Name each of these characteristics/virtues and ask:
How can I show this by the things I say or do? (For example, if I am loyal, I will speak good about my parents or friends behind their backs. I can be trusted with money. I will obey my parents. I will not hurt others with my words.)
What comes out of the mouth is a sign of what is in the heart (Matthew 12:34). 

What Our Actions Tell Others
Items needed: index cards or pieces of paper, and a pencil
Guess different items' identities to talk about virtue.
Write each of the following items (any items will do) on a piece of paper or index card. (Items:washing machine, pencil sharpener, blender, lawn mower, elevator, coat, cell phone, etc.)
Invite someone to pick a card (do not let anyone see what is written on the card). The others are to guess the items by asking questions that can be answered with a YES or NO. (Will this fit inside my hand? Does it make a noise? Do I own one of these?)
Was it hard to guess the items?
How did we guess these items? 
(By learning more about them—what they do, what noise they make, what size they are, etc.)
Read Proverbs 20:11.
How can others learn about us? 
(By the things we do, by the words we say)
What can somebody learn about you if you do kind things? Mean things?

Psalm 100

Items needed: five pieces of copy or construction paper, a marker, and a small rock or coin
Review Psalm 100 together.
Write each of the numbers 1-5 on a piece of paper. Lay these on the floor (or if it's nice, go outside to do this activity).
Mark a throwing line on the floor and take turns letting the kids throw the rock or coin onto the pieces of paper. If the rock lands on a paper that says "1" he must say the first verse of Psalm 100. Continue until all five verses have been said.
Praise God together by saying the entire psalm!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

PACT for Thanksgiving Week

What is Integrity?

What is integrity? (Doing the right and honest thing even when no one is looking.)  *It comes from the Latin word integer (whole numbers), referring to whole, perfect, or complete.
Discuss the following situations and what is the right thing to do.
  • Your mom made some cookies for dessert, but told you not to eat any before dinner. You  are hungry. What is the right thing to do?
  •  Your dad gave you a chore to do and then left to finish another job, what is the right thing to do?
  • You are mad at your sister, so you tell your parents that she hit you. What is the right thing to do?
  • The teacher left the room, but left everyone an assignment to complete. What is the right thing to do?
  • Your mom said, "NO playing electronics in bed!" What is the right thing to do?
Discuss other situations where your kids might be tempted to do the wrong thing.
God wants us to do the RIGHT thing even when no one is looking.

Running Away...From Sin

Do a simple experiment to show that living with integrity means doing what we can to run away from sin.
Items needed: bowl (cereal bowl is fine) with water covering the bottom, pepper, liquid dishwashing detergent, and a Toothpick
  • Sprinkle some pepper over the water.
  • Dip the toothpick into the detergent and place a drop of detergent in the middle of the water.
  • Watch the pepper run away.
Why does the pepper move away?
FYI: Water molecules are strongly attracted to each other and this creates surface tension. (This is what allowed the pepper to float on top of the water.) When you put the detergent in the water, it makes the surface tension weak. The water’s surface tension force is stronger than the detergent’s surface tension force, so the pepper pulls away from the soap and carries the water with it.
God is holy and wants us to be holy; we are to run away from sin.
Read Proverbs 6:16-19.
What are some sins God hates? (Proud look, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers)
What are some ways you can avoid (stay away from) sin? (Make friends who also want to do what is right, pray and ask God to help you be strong, listen to your parents, love God more than any sin)
If someone asks you to do something you know is not right, what can you do? (Walk away, tell them you need to leave now, say "no, thanks")
No one can completely be free of sin, but God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us keep away from sin. What should we do when we sin? (Be sorry for our sin and ask God to forgive us; He is merciful and always ready to forgive us.) 

Giving Thanks

Since it is Thanksgiving week, make a THANK YOU basket to show appreciation to someone who has been kind to your family (a friend, family member, pastor, neighbor, etc.).
Buy some favorite snacks the intended person likes and put them in a basket. Invite each family member to make a card with a simple message (You are ______; I like the way you _____; Thank you for being so _______; I am glad that _______; etc).
Deliver the basket of cards and goodies to the person together!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PACT for the 2nd week of November

 Searching for Wisdom
Items needed: index cards or pieces of paper (to hide)
This week we started studying the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is a main theme of the book and something we all could use a little more of.
Do a wisdom search. Write each letter of the word, wisdom on an index card or piece of paper; you may even want to make a different colored set for each child to find. After all the letters have been found, unscramble the letters to discover the MOST important thing we can find.
Read Proverbs 1:7.
What is wisdom? (Knowing and doing the right thing)
What does the statement “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” mean?(Wisdom comes by recognizing the greatness of God and understanding that He is in charge and knows what is best; it is respecting His laws; it is starting with Him and not ourselves, etc.)
A wise person recognizes that within himself, he does not know the best way, so he seeks God's thoughts and ways.
*If you have older kids, write proverbs about wisdom instead of letters on index cards for kids to find (Proverbs 1:5, 7, 8; 2:6; 3:13; 8:11; 10:31; 16:16; 17:24, etc are some good ones). Let each one read their proverb and talk about its meaning.
Searching for wisdom—searching for the wisest thing to do—will be the BEST thing we can do in life.

Finding Wisdom
God appeared to Solomon (the author of most of the proverbs) in a dream and said, "Ask whatever you want and I will give it to you."
Ask your kids:
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
Solomon's one wish was for wisdom to rule over the people of Israel. God was so pleased he had asked for this one thing rather than long life, riches, or his enemies destroyed that He gave Solomon wisdom like no one ever had or will ever have. He also promised Solomon riches, honor, and a long life IF he was obedient (1 Kings 3:5-14).
Read Proverbs 16:16.
Why is having wisdom better than having money or gold? (Money or gold can be lost or stolen, but wisdom cannot; wisdom will help you do the right thing and avoid the bad consequences of sin; God will honor a wise person, etc.)
How can we get wisdom? (Upper elementary students learned five ways to be wise: Be humble; Read the Bible; Pray for wisdom; Listen to wise people; Follow God's commands.)
God is completely wise and all-knowing! He has given us the Bible to help us grow wiser and know the right way to go, but we must read and obey it!
What's the Wise Thing to Do? 
Brainstorm situations where kids will need to make a choice (lost lunch money, need to do book report but friend wants you to go to ballgame, friends want you to watch a movie your parents have prohibited, teacher leaves the room and tells class to finish assignment, you get $25 for your birthday, you have three hours of free time, etc).
After reading each situation, ask: What is the wise thing to do?
Wisdom is defined as not only knowing the right way, but also choosing to follow it. It is important to know the wise thing, but it is just as important to DO it.
Keep working on memorizing Psalm 100:4. Memorizing the Bible is a wise thing to do!