Minecraft Bible Study Devotion 2: What you need to survive

Minecraft Bible Study Devotion 2: What you need to survive

OK, Nate the Minecraft Guru joined me again for another Minecraft Bible Study. This one is focused on the Roman road and how important it is to choose Jesus. Just like you won’t survive your first night in Minecraft without some weapons or at least shelter you can’t survive without Jesus. Check out the video below and be sure to subscribe to get the upcoming videos in the series!

Squishy Circuits: An electric lesson for younger youth and children

Squishy Circuits: An electric lesson for younger youth and children

The Idea:

Use a simple circuit to light up some LEDs using “squishy circuits” to talk about sharing God’s love with others. What are “squishy circuits” you ask? Squishy circuits are two specific types of homemade dough that you can use to create simple electrical circuits. You will need to create both a conductive dough and an insulating dough. Check out this link for the complete formula. For a very spunky description of squishy circuits be sure to see the video below.

Bible Text:

John 15:9-12

Main Point:

Just like a circuit, God’s love flows through us to others.

What you will need:

I put my group into teams of 3 and then gave each team the following items. So you will need one set of these items for every group of 3 you will have. You can order they Squishy Circuits Kit or you can just pick up all of these things at Radio Shack.

  • 9-volt battery
  • 9-volt battery connector thingy (I don’t know what these are called, but you can buy them at radio shack and they snap onto the top of a 9-volt battery and have two leads coming out that connect to the dough)
  • 3 or 4 LEDs
  • jumper wires (little wires that can connect the circuits)
  • Ball of conductive dough
  • Ball of insulating dough
  • You can also get a couple of cheap switches if you want to give students more to experiment with
You will also need a resistor and 3 alligator clamps if you are going to demonstrate circuits without the squishy stuff to start with.

The Lesson:

  • Ask: Does anyone know how a circuit works?
  • The basic idea of a circuit is this. Free electrons flow from the emitter through the circuit.
  • Take a few responses and then set up a simple circuit in front where everyone can see. (Using the alligator clamps connect a resistor to the shorter lead of the LED. Clamp the other side of the resistor to the black wire (-) side of your battery connector. Clamp the long lead of your LED to the red wire (+) coming from your battery connector. If everything is connected you should see your LED light up. (LEDs have polarity so make sure the long leg is running to the positive terminal).
  • Ask: What happens when I take one of wires off the battery? Since it is connected to the battery why doesn’t it stay lit?
  • In order for a circuit to work it needs a complete path. The electricity won’t flow unless the circuit is closed.
  • Point out which dough is conductive and which is insulating. You may also want to give some general pointers about the positive and negative side of the LEDs and that the conductive dough can’t touch or the light won’t light up.
  • If possible play the video above (from the Mini-Maker show) as a way of teaching your students how to make circuits.
  • Say: Your mission is to make a complete circuit and light up your LED using the materials provided
  • Give students some time to make a few circuits. You may want to encourage them to make some of the more complicated circuits that you find on the links above.
  • After everyone has had a chance to play with the circuits disconnect the lights.
  • I would suggest moving to another location or cleaning up everything before you try to do the lesson, the squishy circuits can be a pretty big distraction.
  • Direct students to turn to John 15:9-12.
  • Call on a volunteer to read the passage.
  • Ask: According to verse 9 how had Jesus loved His disciples? (As the Father has loved Him)
  • Ask: Look at verse 12 how does Jesus tell us to love others? (As He has loved us)
  • So the picture looks like this. God loved Jesus. Jesus passed that love on to us. We then pass that love on to others.
  • Just like a circuit God’s love should flow through us to others.
  • The question we have to ask ourselves is are we being conductors of that love or are we insulating others from the love of God.
  • Pass out a sheet of paper with the word conductor on one side and insulator on the other
  • Have students think back over the course of this past week and write actions that they did that either demonstrated Jesus’ love (conductor) or kept people from seeing God’s love (insulator). For example they may write that they shared their lunch with someone on the conductor side and that they were mean to their sister on the insulator side.
  • After a couple of minutes ask students for ways that they can be conductors of God’s love this week.

 

 

 

Playground Prayers

Playground Prayers

Most Christians parents know that they should spend time talking with their kids about God. But when you have small children sometimes just getting through the day without pulling your hair out is an accomplishment. So here are a couple of ideas that you can add to your next trip to the playground to help open up a spiritual conversation between you and your children.

 

The Idea

Use your time playing on the playground (or your backyard swing set) as a time for prayer.

Before you start

Tell your children that as you play today you are going to come up with new ways to pray. This would be a good time to explain that prayer doesn’t always mean that we have to bow our heads. It is important for children to learn that God is always with them and they can pray wherever they are.

How it Works

Swings:

  • As you get on the swings ask your child about what happens when they swing. Keep asking different questions until they say that the swings help them to get high up in the air. Point out that God lifts us up high sort of like a swing does. Say that as you swing you are going to come up with ways in your life that God has helped you or lifted you up.
  • Give your child a push and tell him/her to say something that he/she is thankful for each time that you push him/her. After your child runs out of things that they are thankful for add a few of your own to the list.
  • When you finish swinging pause for a short moment, bow your head, and pray. Thank God for all of the things that you listed while swinging.

Slide:

  • Say: Just like you slide down this slide some times in life there are things that drag us down. But even when things are going rough God is always with us waiting to catch us before we fall.
  • Stand at the end of the slide. As your child sits on the top ask him if he has anything that he would like for you to pray about. Let your child slide down then and catch him at the bottom. Hug him close and whisper in his ear. “God loves you and will always be there to catch you”. Repeat the processes for as long as you want to play.
  • Your child will quickly run out of things to pray about, but you probably have a list a mile long. Each time your child slides pray silently for one of the needs on your list.

Monkey Bars:

  • Ask your child what would happen if one of the rungs were missing. She may still be able to get across, but it would be more difficult. Then ask what would happen if more than one were missing. Eventually she would not be able to cross.
  • Point out that in our church there are many people doing many different jobs, and if any one of them left it would effect her. So as she crosses the bars encourage her to pray for her church and the leaders in it. Let one rug be the pastor, another her age group specific pastor and another to be her Sunday school teacher. Then ask her to think of other people in the church who have an impact on her. (You may be surprised at the answers).
  • As she crosses encourage her to pray for each person. While she is praying you can pray for her leaders too.

Art Missions Project

Art Missions Project

Here is a way to incorporate art into your next local missions project.

Here is How it Works

Find a local artist or someone who can teach some basic principles of painting or drawing.

Bring students together to learn from the teacher and to create a few original pieces of art. Choose a theme like the love of Jesus or what heaven will be like.

Once students have completed their pictures pile them into a van or two and take them to a local nursing home or retirement community. Let students give their pictures away to the residents. Be sure that students also spend time explaining their pictures and talking to the residents.

Ethiopia Bound

This has been a crazy couple of weeks in our house. My oldest son had the flu early last week and still can’t seem to shake the coughs that came along with it. So we have spent many nights sitting up and watching Star Wars while he coughs on the couch beside me.

I can’t think of many things that make you feel as helpless as being the parent of a sick child. When you have given all of the medicine and done all of the things that you are supposed to do and your child is still sick, you just feel helpless. That has been my week this week, sitting on the couch watching Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back and feeling helpless.

During that time I have had a whole lot of time to think about a trip that is coming up very fast for me. My sister is lives in Ethiopia working with orphaned children and others. On March 12-20 I am taking a team of 5 people over to work with her and her ministry.

As I have been sitting and feeling helpless I can’t stop thinking about parents in Ethiopia who are also holding sick children. These parents have much less hope than I have, and must feel just as helpless. They are a parent just like I am and it must break their heart to see their children suffer. So I am thrilled to be able to go and work with them and take the love of Jesus to them and share with them my time and a little medicine and help as well.

If you have enjoyed what you have seen here at Nailscars.com and have used the stuff that you find here why not spend some time and pray about giving to help us on this trip. We are staying with my sister so this is probably the most frugal overseas trip you will ever get a chance to sponsor, but the college kids who are going still need some financial help.

You can be that help by clicking on the “Make a Donation” button in the navigation bar. It hasn’t been working for the past few months, but I have finally gotten my paypal straightened up and it is now up and running again. There is no suggested amount, anything from 1 dollar to 6,000 can help us. So please pray about supporting this trip and keep checking back in the next few days for more insights and information.