Thursday, November 14, 2013



Globe, pitcher, torn paper from previous lesson
Paper cross made to fit over the torn part of the paper, tape
Small present box (optional)

Last week we talked about why Sin IS such a big deal, and maybe you remember I used 3 things to help us understand it.

The first was this piece of paper that I tore.  Who remembers what that helps us understand?

And the globe?  - do you remember the verse that taught us that?

And finally, the pitcher of poison?  And why is that true?  Romans 6:23

At the end of last week, I told you that there is very, very good news alongside this bad news, and tonight we’re going to look at that.  It comes at the second half of Romans 6:23.  Let’s say it together:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Now this gift of  God is so very simple to receive – God calls you and me to believe in Jesus.  That is called faith.  You don’t have to be good to earn God’s gift of eternal life.  You don’t have to pray really really hard to get it.  You don’t have to promise never to sin every again to get it.  It is a free gift.  God says – will you take it?

But it is a gift that cost more than we can understand.  And that’s what we’re going to think about today.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, he died for all our sins.  My sins, your sins, sins of people who lived long ago, people who aren’t even born yet, people who live in China, in India, in France, in Canada (point to globe).  Small sins, big sins.  Every sin.  Every sin that deserves what? (hold up poison) – death.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to pay for my own sins – to drink the poison I’ve earned.  I certainly can’t imagine taking another person’s sin or two or three.  I have my own poison, and can’t handle any more!  What might it be like to take the sins of all of you?  How much poison could I handle?

Who could do that?  Nobody.  Nobody could take my place even if they loved me, because they are sinners too, right? 

Maybe people wish God would just say sin doesn’t matter.  But God is holy – perfectly good – and He can’t do that.  And God knew that.  He could have just said – you sinned, you live with the consequences.  And we really couldn’t tell God he wasn’t fair, could we? 
But thank God, he is fair AND he is also kind, and full of mercy.  And God found a way, and only He could have done it.

The only way the sin of the world could be taken away was if there was someone who loved us enough to take on all the punishment we earned, and didn't sin.  This person had to be so strong that he could handle the poison from me, and you and thousands and thousands of sinners, and drink that poison.  And that person was Jesus.  But how could Jesus do it?

Here is God's marvelous plan.  Jesus was human, just like you and me, right?  But he was also something else – He was God.  And that is how he was the only one who could save us.  Jesus had to be human – become like us – to die for us.  But he couldn’t sin, or he would need to drink the poison for himself, right?  The Bible is clear that Jesus was the only human being who never, never sinned.  But that  wasn’t enough just to not be a sinner.

No human is strong enough to take on the evil of the world.  Only God is strong enough to take on all the evil of this world and win!   That’s why God’s plan allowed Jesus to be full human and fully God. 

When Jesus was nailed to a cross, every sin, ever lie, every murder, every hateful word, every punch, every sin was put on him.  Sins from every part of the globe (point to globe) and when God the father saw the horrible, evil sins on His very own Son, God turned away from Jesus.  (hold up torn pages).  Jesus was separated from God.  And Jesus died.  He drained every bit of poison out on himself.

And if that was the end of the story, how could we ever know that God’s plan worked?
We KNOW it worked because 3 days after Jesus died, something totally wonderful, totally crazy, totally fantastic happened!  (have kids answer)

When Jesus rose from the dead, it was the proclamation that God’s rescue plan worked!  Jesus was stronger than all the sins in the world, he was stronger than the poison that he took.  He won!  And that’s why Christians think Easter is the very best day ever!

But God’s gift doesn’t stop there.  This is a 2-part gift!  Not only does Jesus take the sins of the world upon that cross, but he gives us back His goodness.  All my sins are taken away and in their place, Jesus gives me His goodness.  That’s how even though I’m still a sinner, I can be called God’s child!  Jesus’ goodness is MINE!  And God’s love pours into me.  Am I perfect?  Not at all!  But I’m forgiven!

(take paper pieces and tape together with cross in the middle).

And now the choice is yours.  We know SIN is a big deal.  And we know it’s a killer.  But we know that God made a way for the poison of sin to be taken by another who was stronger than sin.  It is a mighty gift – a very, very costly gift.  Have you ever received it?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sin IS a Big Deal


Piece of paper with “God and Me” written in large letters
Bottle labeled “poison”

I want you to think about a time when you got hurt – not too bad – maybe a cut or a skinned knee.  Maybe you cried or maybe you thought – hey, no big deal.

There are lots of things that aren’t a big deal, but there are some things that really are BIG DEALS.  (Ask kids what they think are the biggest problems in the world today – write on the board)

What could fix them?
What problems seem beyond fixing?

Let’s think of these problems a little differently.  Let’s imagine that all the problems we wrote down are actually pointing to a much deep sickness in this world – not a sickness like the flu or a disease like malaria, but a sickness of the heart.

Some problems can be fixed.  It’s wonderful to hear about new drugs that are helping with malaria, or better ways of cleaning the air.  But most of the big problems in this world can’t be fixed by small fixes.  Because humans keep polluting, or hurting one another, or take more than they need and leave others hungry. 
It reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah 17:9 you all learned in your Start Zone – the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can understand it? 

I want us to think of 3 big ways sin is a BIG DEAL.

But first, let’s be sure we know  what sin is (ask kids)
I want to give you an easy way to understand what sin is.  Sin is anything we think, say, or do that breaks God’s laws.

So what might be some sins kids do?
(kids will mention easy sins – stealing a cookie, disobeying mom.  Push to get to bigger categories – selfishness, anger, jealousy, fights, hating)
Deep down – sin is telling God – you’re not the boss of me!

Another verse you learned in your Start Zone was Romans 3:23 – who knows it?
(Get out 3 props and put on a table so the kids can see)

So why is sin such a big deal to God?

First, sins a big deal because everybody does it.  Sometimes we think – there are people who do big sins, like murder and God is really mad at them.  But we think that the rest of us do little sins – a little lie, a little stealing, a mean word to someone on our team at game time, a little shove to your younger brother or sister  – but we think God looks at the good things we do and he says – oh, (clubber), it’s okay.    You do much more good than you do bad.  So we think we’re not too bad.  But the bible says everybody sins.  You can’t travel to another place in this world to get away from sin.  So I’m going to put the globe up here to help us remember that all have sinned.

Here’s a second reason sin’s such a big deal.  The bible tells us that God is good – totally good – and he hates evil.  So one reason sin is so awful is that it separates us from God.  I’m going to use this piece of paper to help us remember that.  (piece of paper with us and God – tear it to separate Me from God).  It makes us enemies of God.

Finally, God says sin is deadly.  God makes such a big deal about sin because the wages of sin for everybody is – what?  death.  Until we understand that, we can’t really understand why sin is such a big deal to God and to us!

To help us remember that, here’s a bottle that I want you to imagine has something very, very deadly in it.  There is a poison called cyanide that is so strong, if you mixed a teaspoon in water, and drank it, you’d be dead in 15 seconds.  Who would drink something like that?  You wouldn’t.  But God says sin is far more dangerous, and far more deadly than cyanide.  The wages of sin is death, so we drink the poison.

Let’s see if you remember it –

The globe reminds us (have them answer) - that sin is a big deal because all have sinned.
The torn pages reminds us that sin is a big deal because (let them answer) it separates us from God
And finally, the poison reminds us that sin is fatal – there’s no cure and the wages is death.  No matter how good you are, how kind, how obedient, how many AWANA verses you learn, how many toys you share – when you sin, sin wins and you die. 

Now that’s pretty bad news, isn’t it?

And most of the time we really, really don’t like to think about this.  But sometimes we have to face hard news.  But I urge you to keep listening.  Until you realize you’re sick, you won’t go to a doctor.  (at this point I brought up a child, and had the kids imagine I was his doctor.  I told them I knew he had a serious disease, but I didn't want to tell him because it would make him sad.  I said I 'loved" him too much to tell him bad news.  We talked about how sometimes you have to tell someone bad news because they won't get better unless you do.)  Until you see how sick your soul is, you won’t see that you need Jesus.

And in fact, this is the way God begins to work in us, to help us see how bad a place we are in, and how much we need Him.  It’s actually a good thing that you feel a bit uncomfortable.  Until you do, you won’t reach out for God.

Your Start Zone ended with this verse –
John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son will have eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. 

God has made a way for the whole world to be forgiven, a way for God and you to be friends, and not enemies (tape paper together), a way for you to live and not die, even though you sin (take bottle off table). 

We’ll learn more about that next week.

Friday, November 1, 2013

God as Creator


Apron dusted with flour
empty bag of chocolate chips
Sign:  Creator of Toll House Cookies

Invite someone to come up and be our special guest – wrap apron around her, give her a cookie sheet and the script.  Maybe brush a little flour on her cheek and nose.

I want to welcome tonight a very special guest – someone who created something that I think most of you love, love, love!  Her name is Mrs. Ruth Wakefield.  And she’s going to tell us what she created.
(Have her read attached script - see end of blog)

After she reads the script, put around her neck a sign saying


We would say Mrs. X is the creator of chocolate chip cookies.  And that’s right because she had the big idea to mix chunks of chocolate with the cookies.  But in some ways she couldn’t be the creator.

Let’s think of the ingredients that go into chocolate chip cookies:

Brown sugar & white sugar

Did Mrs. Wakefield use flour or did she create flour?
Did she use eggs or create eggs?
Did she use salt or create salt?

So what does it mean to create something?
(ask kids)

I’m sorry, Mrs. Wakefield – I think I need to fix your sign – In MY opinion, it should reads –


Now why should I talk about chocolate chip cookies – even though they are SOOOO delicious?  Well, it’s because today we’re beginning a series of talks I’m calling:
It Matters What You Believe.

Already tonight, you may guess what the big idea for tonight is – what was the word I crossed out on Mrs. Wakefield’s sign (hold up sign)
So our big idea tonight is:  It matters that you believe God is Creator.

I don’t know about you, but I am so very glad Mrs. Ruth Wakefield made those first cookies!  I bet someone who ate one of the first cookies would have said – HEY – THESE ARE GREAT!  WHO MADE THESE??
        When Got made this world – as you learn if you read Genesis 1-3 – He made it out of nothing, no dirt, no water, no chemicals, no atoms – absolutely nothing – nada, nichts, rien!  Some call this creation ex nihilo
        Unlike Mrs. Wakefield, who used items in her kitchen to make cookies, there was absolutely nothing but God alone and then he created.  Really created – something from nothing.  And what are some of the things He created?
All fit together in an amazing creation delicately balanced.  I wonder – have you ever had a moment when he or she thinks – WHO MADE ALL THIS??  (ask kids to raise hands)

Scientists ask the question – where did our world come from?  And they explore outer space, and layers of the earth, and old bones to put together a picture of what life was like long, long ago on earth, and how life itself could have begun.

They know that carbon is absolutely for life to begin, but to this point they can’t take various compounds like Mrs. Wakefield’s recipe and create life.  And even if they did, it would be using what’s already there to make life, where the Bible tells us God made the universe out of nothing!  It is a huge mystery, and scientists LOVE mysteries.
        If you love science, don’t think that you have to give it up to follow Jesus.  There are many very good scientists who love God and the bible.  For some, it is their love of the world God made that began their interest in science in the first place! For others, a growing amazement at this world leads them closer to God. 

Many of you know about the scientist Albert Einstein who lived for many years in Princeton.  One time he said:
1.       The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books—-a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

He says when he looks at the universe, he sees it is amazingly complex, but he also sees a definite plan – which leads him to wonder – who or what made all of this??
        Einstein was saying something the bible tells us too - that one way God lets everybody know He is real is by his Creation.  Romans 1:19-20
19 But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! 20 By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.

So I hope you don’t miss the way the beautiful leaves outside, the cool air, the birds flying south, your baby brother or sister, all are ways God is saying – this is not by accident - I CREATED THIS!!

Mrs. Wakefield Script:

Hello, my name is Mrs. Ruth Wakefield.  Back in 1930, I owned the Toll House Inn with my husband Kenneth.  We loved serving home-cooked meals to our guests, and I loved to bake.

One day, I was preparing my favorite Butter Drop Do cookies from a recipe that goes back to the time of the Revolutionary War!  I added flour, butter, sugar and salt.  Yum!  But that day I decided to add something special.

I had a bar of Nestle chocolate and chopped it into tiny pieces and added it to the dough.  I thought the chocolate pieces would melt, but instead, surprise!  They held their shape, and made the cookies absolutely delicious!

My new cookie called toll house cookies – were so popular that a Boston newspaper published the recipe and the Nestle company began making chocolate morsels.  Who would have guessed that in 2013, people still make and love my cookie creation!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Have 3 chairs up front, and signs indicated below ready

So since we’ve been thinking about potatoes tonight, I need a volunteer who wouldn’t mind playing a character called Mr. Potato Head.  (ask for volunteer) – put sign around neck with picture of Mr. Potato Head on it, and the name “Mr. Potato Head.”

I also need 2 more characters to read their scripts – (invite kids up) – this is Baby Christian, and Brainiac.  (Put Signs around neck that has “Baby Christian” and a picture of a pacifier and for Brainiac – that name and a big picture of a brain.)

So those of you not part of the panel, you can help too and help when I ask you to. 

So let’s have the panel introduce themselves:

Mr. Potato Head – Well, as you can tell, my head is a big potato.  There’s not too much inside this big head of mine, and honestly, I don’t think about anything very much.  My parents feed me, I like to sleep a lot, and my life is pretty good. 

Baby Christian – My family is really, really good to me.  Honestly, if I could live at home forever, I would.  I like being taken care of.  I think maybe it’s a little wrong to think too much about things.

Brainiac – That’s NOT me!  Nobody can tell me what to do or think!  I’m smart and know it.  Before I believe anything, you have to PROVE it to me.   (Folds arms across chest).


Okay everyone – I think we’ve met our three guests tonight.

So our big topic tonight is – What is Easter?  Before we talk much about it, let’s ask our 3 guests what they think Easter is all about.

Mr. Potato Head – Candy from start to finish.  Chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, peeps, yum yum yum!

Baby Christian – Well, let’s see.  I think Easter has to do with springtime, cute baby ducks and chickens, wearing a nice dress to church, a big dinner, family and maybe Jesus.

Brainiac – Maybe some people celebrate Easter, but I think it’s all a trick to get you to buy junk food.  I think some people believe Easter is the day Jesus rose from the dead – that that is impossible!  Nobody who’s dead comes back to life, except in super hero movies!

Narrator:  Okay – thank you all.  Let’s talk more about the Jesus part of Easter, like Baby Christian and Brainiac said.  Mr. Potato Head, maybe you can join in too.

(Mr. Potato Head looks confused and shrugs his shoulders.)

The Bible tells how Jesus died on a cross and was buried.  Then the Bible says that three days later, the tomb where he was buried was empty.

Brainiac – Yeah, I read somebody just took the body away to make it look like Jesus was alive.  But it was just a trick.

Narrator:  yes, the Bible says some people thought that.  But the Bible also gives lots and lots of proof – evidence - to help people believe that Jesus really came alive again.

Brainiac – I like evidence – kind of like a detective!

Baby Christian – I don’t think I’m supposed to ask any questions.  I just believe it.

Mr. Potato Head – (looks confused) – huh?

Well, baby Christian, that’s an important thing – is it okay to ask questions?  Just quickly, let me ask you to read 1 Peter 3:15:

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Baby Christian, what do you think that verse means?

Baby Christian:
Well, I’m not sure, but maybe it means I need to know some good reasons why I am a Christian.

Okay, I agree.  Kids – any ideas you have?

Okay – I’m going to suggest 3 big reasons why you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead.

1.     Many people saw him alive
2.    Story of Thomas
3.    11 of the 12 disciples died for the truth of Jesus alive

The first reason you should believe that Jesus really rose from the dead was that many, many people actually saw Jesus alive after he died on the cross.

Kids out in the seats – can you help us remember who saw jesus?
(Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdelene, the 2 men on the road to Emmaus)

Now maybe it is possible that one or two people said they saw Jesus alive, maybe you’d think they were wrong.  But Jesus appeared to his 12 disciples, and at one time, over 500 people saw him.   Is it really possible that hundreds of people – men and women, poor and wealthy – could have imagined they saw him alive?

Brainiac – Well, I like to think I am open to evidence, so what you say is quite interesting.

Mr. Potato Head – Huh?  What does this have to do with the Easter bunny?

Okay – second reason you should believe Jesus really rose from the dead.  One of Jesus’ closest friends named Thomas wasn’t there when the disciples first saw Jesus alive.  In fact, he was a bit like you, Brainiac.  He said – you can’t convince me Jesus is alive unless I actually put my fingers into the wounds on his hands, and put my hand into the wound in his side.

Mr. Potato Head – Ick!  That’s gross!

Okay, kids out in the seats – do you know what happened to Thomas?
(Jesus came, Thomas saw him alive – and he didn’t doubt any more)

It’s pretty clear that Thomas needed proof, and wasn’t going to believe anybody else.  He had to know for himself.  And it’s also pretty clear that when he saw Jesus, he was totally convinced.  Seeing Jesus, and hearing Jesus tell him – come here and touch my hands and side, and stop doubting – that Thomas got all the proof he needed to believe.

Okay, last reason.

Baby Christian – Whew!  My brain is hurting with all this thinking.  But maybe I DO need to think about this.

Mr. Potato Head:  Does any body have any candy?

I think each one of us would agree that it’s foolish to stand up for something that you know is a lie.  And it would be even more crazy to give your life up for something you really knew was a lie.

We think that every one of Jesus’ disciples – with the exception of John who died of old age – was martyred (killed) – gave up his life – because he refused to say that Jesus was dead.

Baby Christian – I didn’t know that.

Mr. Potato Head – That’s pretty serious.

Early records say that the apostle Peter was crucified and died.  The book of Acts tells us about how the apostle James was stoned to death.  All the others – again, with the exception of John – gave up their lives because they believed Jesus really had risen from the dead, and they would not deny it, even if it would cost them their lives.

It’s really, really unlikely that all of these men gave up their lives for God if they thought Jesus was still dead.  But I think it makes sense if they knew he was truly risen, that they would die for that truth.

There are many more ways that we could prove that Jesus rose from the dead.  In Acts 1:3, it reads:

Jesus showed himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs. 

Don’t you wonder – what were those proofs?  But God has given us enough reasons – proofs – for us to trust that the resurrection really happened – and that was Easter day.

So let me ask our 3 panelists:

Now that you’ve heard some reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead, what do you think now about Easter?

Mr. Potato Head:  Well, I’ll never give up candy for Easter, you can be sure of that!  But even I can see that if a dead man came back to life, that’s pretty important.

Thank you.  And Baby Christian.

Baby Christian:  My mom and dad have told me about Easter since I was a little kid.  And I just believed it was true because they told me, and I trust them.  But now I see that I can grow up a bit more and believe that Jesus rose from the dead because God gave us good reasons to believe it – and I DO!

And Mr. Brainiac?

Well, I told you at the beginning I am like a detective – I LIKE evidence.  I never knew the things you told us today, and I think I need to look more closely at this.  I’m not sure yet, but just maybe it’s true.

Any thoughts from you, audience?
(Let your kids respond, and when appropriate, end in prayer)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Version 2 - Who's In, Who's Out

I've made some changes to this earlier talk.  Maybe you'll find it helpful. - Mary

WHO’S IN, WHO’S OUT? Version 2

Wear a cross (the bigger the better) and hold a Bible (the bigger the better)
Blue masking tape

I think that most of us would say “yes” if someone asked us – are you a Christian.  What are some ways people think other people are Christians?

·         Wear a cross and hold a Bible
·         Go to church/AWANA
·         Talk to people about Jesus

Please get out your Bibles and turn to the Gospel of John ch. 13:35

Jesus says people will know you are a follower of Jesus by what?
(Loving one another)

Did Jesus say – all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for some people?  Or if you love kids your own age?  (ask children to read John 13:35 together out loud)
Sometimes Jesus calls us to do things that seem impossible!  But everything Jesus calls us to do, he helps us to do.  (*can you repeat that with me?)

I think that all of us sometimes are good at loving others, and sometimes not so good.  Let me give you an example.

(Take blue tape and mark out a line about 6 feet long on the carpet between you and the kids).

Let’s imagine that this line represents who I let in – people I “love”.  First, you have to notice that I’m the only one on this side right now!  I guess I have a way to go to love.

The easiest thing is to let people into my part of the line who are nice to me.  So let’s think of someone who has been really nice to me – I’m going to add (leader) inside the people I love.   (name), can you join me on this side of the line?

Then maybe you feel it’s a lot easier to like kids who are the same gender – so if you’re a boy, it’s easier to like other boys than to like girls.  Since I’m a girl, I’m going to invite a girl up here – (T&T girl) up here.  Oh, looks like I already have something going on here – what do you see?   (all girls) – thank them and ask them to return to their seats.

Okay, so maybe another type of person I let in to the people I love.  A few years ago, before I led gametime, I helped with the blue team.  So of course I want the Blue team win in gametime.  And that’s okay.  But imagine if someone joined my blue team and I when I saw him or her, I made a face or rolled my eyes when they came on my line?  What if I told them to go to another team because they would slow the team down!  But if I want to win really badly, I might be tempted to want only fast people on my side!

What if I only wanted smart people on my side, or funny people? Or people who are cool or popular?  Or if I only wanted to be with my BEST friend and I ignored everybody else.  Hmm, this problem of loving is harder than I thought.

We know from the verse we looked at – John 13:35 – that  Jesus says the world will know we are his because we love one another.  Now let’s look at John 15:17 just a little further on.  (have kids read it together).  Jesus says this is a commandment – an order to us!

If we are followers of Jesus, He’s the Boss, right?  And we want to do what he says, so let’s start loving others right here at T&T!  So I want you not to say anything, but look at the person on your left.  Is there room on your side for this person to be your friend?  Now look at the person on your right – how about room for THAT person to be your friend?  Now in front of you, now in back of you.  Now look across the aisle to the other side – what about them?  Or do you have a blue line to keep those people out?  It’s clear from what Jesus says that God is commanding you to love all of these people!  Kids who are funny and kids who aren’t so funny.  Kids who are fast at gametime and kids who aren’t so fast.  Boys to have friends who are girls, and girls to have friends who are boys.  And that is how people will know you are a Christian.

One way you can see if we need to do a little better at loving is to look at who you sit with each week at T&T.  Is it always the same friends?  If it is, what does that say about who we welcome and love?

Jesus said – John 13:35 – let’s let the world know that at T&T, we are Christians not only because we may wear a cross, or learn verses, but also because of the love we had for one another!  And if it’s hard, remember – everything Jesus calls us to do, he helps us to do!  Let’s stop now and pray about this together (have prayer begin with confession that we haven’t loved one another, and asking God’s help to do it here at T&T)

Jesus said people will know we belong to Jesus not because we wear a big cross, or carry a Bible or even if we know lots and lots of Bible verses.  He says it’s the love we have for one another that will show we belong to Jesus, so let’s be people who love!  And let’s get rid of any “lines” that separate us from one another (tear up line dramatically!).

Wednesday, February 13, 2013



How many of you watch cartoons?  What are your favorites?

Why do you think people like to watch cartoons?

What kinds of things can happen in a cartoon that couldn’t happen in real life?
·         Animals talk
·         People get hurt but don’t really get hurt
·         People pull things out of thin air to use as a prop – bug bunny gets a big mallet to bang someone on the head

Maybe when you were smaller you thought that some of the things you saw in cartoons would work in real life.  Did any of you think that?

When is it fine to think this?

When might it be dangerous? 

How would this world be if we acted like we were in cartoons?  What if I really believed I was like Batman and could jump off a building and fly?

What if I really thought I could take up a big frying pan and hit my little sister on the head, and it wouldn’t hurt?

There are so many good things that God gives us.  One wonderful blessing is that he tells us what it really meant to love someone.  One of the best places in the Bible to learn about what love really looks like is 1 Corinthians 13.  So we’re going to look at that in a fun way, and then I’m going to show you a great video that shows God’s type of love in a wonderful way

(Have 1 Cor. 13 on slips of paper – I'm using the Message for this talk.  One option is to have some with opposite of the text written or with some kind of riddle with each one).
So first, 1 Cor. 13 talks about some things Love is NOT so let’s start there!

1     Cor. 13:2 If I speak God's Word with power so that people see amazing things about who God is, and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 

Love doesn’t equal super powers!

1 Cor. 13:3 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm empty without love. 

Love isn’t only WHAT you do but WHY you do it!

1 Cor. 13:4 Love never gives up even when things get hard. Love cares more for others than for self.

1 Cor. 13:5  Love doesn’t push people around, love isn't always "me first," Love doesn’t explode with anger or keep score of the sins of others, 

1 Cor. 13:6 Love isn’t glad when others are bullied. (my version !)

1 Cor. 13: 7  Instead love takes pleasure in the truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. 

Imagine what this world would be like if everybody lived like this!  What would it be like to go to school?  What would it be like on the playground?  What would it be like at home?  

I want to show you a great video about two brothers with a very, very special love between them.
(Show video of two brothers awarded Kids Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated 2012 – here’s the link:

Close in prayer.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hi readers - if you use any of these talks, please give me feedback about how it went with your club.  I'm always looking for ways to improve, and your input would be so helpful.  Thanks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MY FAMILY & ME - Week 1

FAMILY TALK #1 – THEME:   I’m an  important part of my family, parents teach their children by their words & actions, God wants me to obey my parents

Panel – Have huge name tags with each name on it, and give to panelists -
Sad Boy

Have a script for the 4 players, with their lines highlighted.

MC:  Welcome everyone to a very special night at AWANA!  Tonight we have four special guests who will be taking part in our quiz game – Family Fun!!

Let me introduce our four guests:
First is Ms. Whiner – please say hello, Ms. Whiner

Ms. Whiner (whining):  Hello

Second, is Two-Face – please greet our audience

Two-Face:  (smiling)  Hello everyone!  (then frowns, rolls eyes and says – this is stupid)

Third, Goody-goody – would you greet everyone tonight please?

Goody-Goody:  golly, it’s great to be here.  I wouldn’t want to be any place else in the whole wide world than here with you great people!  (Big smile!)

Finally, our last guest is Sad Boy.  Please say hello, Sad Boy.

Sad Boy:  (looking down and frowning) – Hi.

Our questions tonight are all about families.  I have our questions here in this hat, and I will read out a question, and will ask each of you to answer it.  After you’ve all answered the question, the audience will give their ideas about what you’ve said.

Our first question tonight is:

Are you an important part of your family?

Have kids answer

Whiner – No, never!  Everybody else in my family gets ALL the attention – nobody ever pays attention to ME. 

Two-face – I know you want me to say yes, so I’ll say “yes”.

Goody-goody – Of course – we all are important and we all share and we all love one another sooooo much! (hugs herself)

Sad Boy – No, I don’t think so.  I’m not sure I matter much.  My mom and dad are really smart, and I’m not doing too good in school.  My older brother is really good at soccer, but I’m really bad at sports.  I can’t do much of anything good.  I think they love me because they have to.

Okay, audience.  You’ve heard their answers.  Let’s begin with Goody-Goody.  What did you think of her answer?  What about Two-Face?  Whiner?  Sad Boy?

Our second question tonight is – Do you obey your parents?

Whiner – All my parents do is tell me what to do from the time I get up to the time I go to bed.  They treat me like I’m a servant! 

But I found a way to get out of it every time!  Any time my mom asks me to do something, I always say – (whining) – Do I HAVE to?  After a while, when I whine and whine, my mom just gives up and does it herself.  Brilliant, right?

Two-face – Well, I tell them I’ll do it, but then if you watch closely, I never do it.  It works more than you’d realize (rubs hands together).  Sometimes I act like I don’t hear them.  Sometimes I pretend I’m sick.  That works too.  I got a million ways to get out of doing things.

Goody-goody (frowns at Two-Face) – I can’t think of anything I would rather do than obey my parents!  It makes me so happy to be a good girl, especially when my older sister disobeys!  I look really, really good then.

Sad Boy – I try, but I can’t seem to ever do what my mom and dad want.  I try hard, but even when I do, my Dad yells at me and says it’s not good enough.

Finally, panelists, our last question –
Do you care about your family?

Whiner – Sort of, I guess.

Two-face – I act like I don’t, but deep down I really do.

Goody-goody – Yes, absolutely, all the time, all the way!!

Sad Boy – Yes, I really do.  More than anything I love my Mom and Dad.

Okay, this question seems to have all our contestants answering a bit more honestly, don’t you think?  Audience, what did you think about Two-Face’s answer.  If he loves his parents, why do you think he has such a hard time obeying?
What about Sad Boy? 

Thanks, panel.  How can we help each of these kids?  Let’s begin by thinking about each one.

I think we already know what we think about Goody-Goody, but does anyone want to tell us what you think about his/her answer?  God loves Ms. Goody-goody, just like He loves you and me.  So what could we tell her from the Bible that might help?

What about Whiner?  He/she seems a bit like Two-Face.
Col. 3:20,  Proverbs 1:8-9  (have kids read)

Finally, let’s think about Sad Boy’s answers– Eph. 6:4 – anything else?

Let’s let them know what a good job they have done tonight.  (Thank and sit down)

So tonight we were having a little fun thinking about families – moms & dads, and kids. 

Every family is special, and every family is made up of people – young and old – who are sinners, and sometimes hurt one another.  But your family is a real gift to you.  God cares about you and your family. 

Are you like any of the kids in our panel?  If so, maybe the place to start is being more respectful and obedient to your mom and dad.  Or maybe it’s knowing that no matter what happens, God loves you very much.

Close in prayer.

Did this one last night and it went very well.  Had to tone down the girl who played "whiner", and at first the boy who played "Sad Boy" thought it was a bad role - I convinced him it took more skill to play it and he did a great job.  The mom of "Goodie Goodie" was with us, and she was laughing out loud hearing her daughter talk about how obedient she was.  Good night.