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Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 3 - The Lord is Full of Love!

The heart shape is a symbol of love...

As you create these fun crafts with your kids, remind them of God's love. His love is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger...abounding! His love is forgiving and merciful.

You may also want to read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to learn more about love.

The Lord is full of love! [Psalm 103:8]

Julie's heart clips
Sew felt heart hair clips with a simple tutorial from Julie's Blog.

Jill Dubien shares tutorials for a thumbprint heart necklace and thumbprint heart ring. These are great! Remind your child of Psalm 139:13-14...that God made them! Each individual is unique and has a unique thumbprint. Then remind your child of God's great love for him or her.

Jill's thumb print rings
In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us that we are precious to God and that He will take care of us. He points out that God provides food for the birds...and we are more precious to Him than those little birds. Of course, He will take care of us! [Matthew 6:26] 

bird seed ornament

You can talk about these verses with your children as you make heart-shaped bird seed ornaments and feed the birds near your home. Intimate Weddings provides a simple tutorial.

image source: bhg.com
Or craft a lollipop flower with heart shaped paper, and remind your kids that God clothes the flowers of the field...and will lovingly provide for each of them too! [Matthew 6:28-34] Then have a lollipop party - or deliver a lollipop bouquet to someone else who may need a reminder of God's love. Hostess Jo shares the how-to.

paper heart mobile
Paper Crafts shares an idea for creating a heart mobile out of strips of paper.

You could also make stained glass hearts with crayon shavings and Little Birdie Secrets' instructions.

Talk with your children about sin and God's plan of salvation.

Let these craft projects be a reminder to your family throughout the week of God's great love for each of us!

Many craft ideas were found via One Pretty Thing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Week 3 - Psalm 103:8-10

Welcome to Week 3 at Grow Little Seeds!

If you have not already read the post for this week at Sow Little Seeds, we encourage you to head that way first and then look over the information and resources we have provided there.

You may also want to read our Getting Started page and our beginning post from Week 1.

Here are links to printable activities for Week 3:

Word Search Puzzles:
Week 3: Psalm 103:8 - Level 2
Week 3: Psalm 103:8 - Level 2 Answer Key
Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 - Level 3

Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 - Level 3 Answer Key

Word Scramble Activity Pages:
Week 3: Psalm 103:8 - Level 2
Week 3: Psalm 103:8 - Level 2 Answer Key
Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 - Level 3
Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 - Level 3 Answer Key

Cut-Out Word Pages:
Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 [solid line]
Week 3: Psalm 103:8-10 [tracing]

More Activities:
Week 3: Psalm 103:8 - Picture-coded Message - Level 1

This week our memory verse is :

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will He harbor His anger forever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities."
Psalm 103:8-10

This verse has been shortened for those who are memorizing at levels 1 & 2.

We will be memorizing verses from Psalm 103 over the next two weeks and will be learning more about God's character, His view of sin and the enormity of His love for those who seek Him.

Our central thought for the next two weeks is: God loves me.

When we studied Acts 17:24-25 and again as we learned Psalm 139:13-14,16, our emphasis has been that God made us. We have looked at God as our creator, as the designer of the earth and heavens and as the maker of each one of us. We've explored a bit of His creativity and wisdom.

Last week we talked about how God views us - that He knows us, that He cares about us and has a purpose for us. As we read Psalm 103 and continue to consider who God is, His character and how we should respond to Him, our focus will be on how God views us and how God treats us.

It may seem strange that this week's post is about sin, since we are trying to emphasise "God loves me." However, in order to begin to truly understand and appreciate the compassion, grace, patience and love that God has for us, we will need to first recognize and acknowledge our sin and catch a glimpse of His holiness. Once we understand our desperate need, His forgiveness comes alive and with it blooms hope and freedom. This is not merely a kind act from a nice God. His forgiveness is the most spectacular expression of the greatest love this world has ever experienced.

Do not be afraid of addressing this issue of sin with your children. They already know that they do wrong. At a very young age children begin to feel and express emotions such as anger and frustration at others when they are treated unfairly and shame and remorse when they do something wrong. Children need to know that they can be forgiven. They need to learn how to forgive others. Even before our children are able to talk, we can witness in them the result of this ugly thing called sin.

I can recall my son at six months of age sitting in the middle of our living room staring at the power supply cord we had told him not to touch, glancing up to see if we were watching - looking back down at the forbidden box. After a time of looking up at us,then back down again, and hearing our calm reminders, "Noooo...don't touch that..." He very deliberately looked up at us, and with a shift in his tiny little expression, he defiantly reached out and grabbed the computer cord. It was obvious to us that he fully understood what we were saying, and he knew he was choosing to disobey us. As first time parents, we were surprised. We had witnessed curiosity, we had seen his inquisitiveness...but this was something more than just exploration...this was defiance...this little tiny, beautiful creature had just defied us!

Like any loving parent, we removed the potentially hazardous cord from our son's determined grip, disciplined him appropriately for his age and then wiped his disappointed tears, held him close and reminded him that we loved him dearly. [Then, we panicked together for a moment or two at the realization that our parenting journey had really, truly begun - and only 6 months into it, our adorable baby was already willing to challenge us...two of us together...more than twice his size!!!]

I believe that this is a reflection of how God loves us. Here we are, in contrast with the God of the universe; small and ignorant. He sees our situation with eyes of care and concern and he cautions us, "Don't touch that." How often we defy His instruction to us. We are convinced we know what is best for us...or we are simply too curious; we want to see for ourselves. And like any loving parent, He disciplines us appropriately, wipes our tears and reminds us of His love.

Remember that in many ways, you as the parent, are the example to your child of who God is and what He is like. The way you deal with issues of sin and forgiveness within your own family will certainly impact everyone within your home. Are you compassionate and gracious? Are you slow to anger or quick to accuse? Do you hold bitterness inside or remind your children over and over of past wrongs or mistakes they have made? Do you forgive each other? Do you insist on giving one another "what you deserve"...or do you balance training and discipline with grace and love? Consider how you can reflect God's character as you memorize Psalm 103:8-10 this week.

We encourage you to read through the discussion questions and pray that God will lead you as you begin talking with your family about these verses. Pray for the hearts of your children. As you plant the seeds of God's Word, the Bible, into their minds, continue to nourish that seed.

Water these seeds with reminders of His truth throughout the day; look for opportunities to talk with them about this God who loves us.  Feed these seeds with the light of Christ as you reflect His love and forgiveness in your conversation and interactions with your family. And be patient as you wait for them to sprout up and show some fruit. We may plant and water, but God is the one who gives life - He is the one who makes things grow. Trust Him with the hearts of your children - He knows each one of them and loves them dearly.

We are so glad you have joined us this week and pray that you will be encouraged by the material provided here on Grow Little Seeds and our companion blog, Sow Little Seeds.

In His great love,
Sow Little Seeds Contributor