Apple of His Eye Object Lesson

2 Oct

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Apple Object Lesson

Supplies: apple

Did you know that the Bible talks about apples? (Show the apple.) In Psalms 17:8, it says, “Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.” David was praying because he had enemies that were attacking him. He knew that God was watching over him.

What does it mean to be the apple of someone’s eye? (Give kids a chance to answer.)

Let’s look at each other’s eyes. Turn to the person next to you and look in their eye. The eyeball is also called the globe of the eye. It has the iris that is the colored part, the white and the black pupil. Together the eyeball is round or apple shaped. If you look closely in each other’s eyes you can see a picture of yourself.

When we are the apple of someone’s eye, that means that we are seen by them. Not only are we seen but also the eye is known to have great value so it also means that we are precious to them, important to them and they are watching over us.

We are the apple of God’s eye. Each one of us is important to him. Precious to him. And he is watching over us.

Excerpt from Apple Of His Eye lesson from River’s Edge. Download it today to get apple trivia, bible story, application, craft, game, take home paper, snack, small group discussion, memory verse activity and creative options.

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Creating an Environment the Pixar Way

16 Aug

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Right now the Minneapolis Science Museum is sponsoring a special exhibit called The Science Behind Pixar

The exhibit runs through Labor Day and is worth a visit. Not only do you learn about all the cool math and science behind the movies, there are lots of photo opportunities with characters from the films. My favorite part, however, was the short video clips of people who work at Pixar explaining what they do and why they do it.

A Set Supervisor told how he put things in the set that will evoke a memory in those watching. In the film, Ratatouille, you find him looking out over Paris with the Eiffel tower in the background. In A Bug’s Life the grass is made to resemble a forest. In creating these places or in placing a prop strategically, the viewer enters into the experience by past memories.

In kid’s ministry, the way we approach designing a room or decorating an area should start with asking ourselves “what kind of experience do we want the kids to have?” When we incorporate props from their everyday life, it helps them to feel comfortable and at home. Creating an area that is imaginative will lead to curiosity and open their minds to learn. Having areas with large pillows to sit on and lean against will instill a sense of calm.

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I’ve found that there are a wide range of areas that can help children experience God. Finding one that is right for your ministry is the key. For some a large stage with fun lighting and high energy props works. For others rolling a special carpet out each week with hands on type props passed around a circle while the story is told in an engaging way works. Others love to create an environment that transforms a room into an Egyptian marketplace, a movie studio or a bubbling science lab.

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Test Tube Fun with CSI Camp.

The key is whatever we do, let’s make sure that we are thinking about the experience we want the children to have and work towards preparing that experience long before they arrive.

 

What type of experience are you creating in your ministry?

 

When Gratitude Opens Our Eyes

16 Nov

It’s been 18 years ago today.

That day that we were able to meet our daughter, Victoria Rose, even though her soul had already been carried to heaven.

The truth is I don’t think about her every day. Not even every week. On the other hand there are times when the grief feels almost fresh and I surprise myself by breaking down crying at unexpected moments. Like when my son got married and my daughter-in-law’s mom helped her into her wedding dress and I realized I’d never get to do that with my daughter. Or that November when I recognized that she would have been getting her driver’s license. Or years ago when I would wander through the little girl dress section at the local department store around Easter and pick out the dress I would have put her in.

The thing about stillbirth is you don’t have a lot of memories. The ones you have are precious- feeling the baby move inside you, seeing the baby on the ultrasound, picking out all the things, the anticipation. Instead of being left with lots of memories and missing those things attached to the memories, you are left with “what if.”

What if she had lived? What would our life have been like with three boys and then a girl? What would she have been like?

This is what I think: She would have had long blonde hair. I think she would have been a princess but not in the pink and frilly dress type. No, she had three older brothers who weren’t really into babying anyone. So I think she would have been the princess superhero. She would have fought evil along side of those superheroes growing up. She would have tried to keep those three in line and I’d like to think that she might have succeeded a bit. She would have been strong- you have to with three older brothers. I’d like to think that she would have been compassionate and loving and adventurous. It would have been fun watching her blossom into whatever God made her to be.

This year it seems harder. That date. Nov. 16. Perhaps it is because we would have been about done with the growing up years. She would have been thinking about prom and graduation and college and dreaming of her life out in the world. We would have been getting ready to launch her praying with everything we had that she was ready. Today there is a bit more sadness as I realize that the little girl I mourn would not be so little anymore but would have been a young woman.

In Sojourn, a community women’s Bible study I lead, we’ve been talking about gratitude. Today the topic is “Gratitude Opens Our Eyes.” I believe that with all my heart. It opens our eyes to see God. I’ve experienced it over and over again.

Today let me count the gifts. Let me name the gifts with a heart full of gratitude for all Victoria’s life brought me:

  1. I learned how to have compassion at a deeper level especially for those experiencing loss.
  2. I was able to hold my daughter.
  3. God’s peace was so evident in the room that day.
  4. God’s peace followed us in the days after- literally feeling Him hold me at night as I wept.
  5. I have a daughter.
  6. Her life inspired others to turn to God. There are many stories surrounding that.
  7. Unfolding her little ear that was folded over.
  8. Her tiny perfect fingernails. Her tiny perfect fingers.
  9. I am filled with love when I think of her. . . not bitterness.
  10. Kind nurses and doctors that day.
  11. Two ornaments that hang on my Christmas tree made by women who understood loss.
  12. Her tiny perfect mouth.
  13. Those who cried with us, held us, brought us food, sent us cards. Who were present with us.
  14. The picture of my boys at church praying for us with their heads on each others shoulders while we were at the hospital. So glad someone took it and gave it to me. Precious.
  15. The reminder that I’m a sojourner here on earth. This isn’t forever.

As it happens over and over- that as I’ve listed these grateful things, a miracle occurs.

My eyes are opened to see God. In the midst He was there, He is here.

 

Life is a gift. Even if it only lasts a moment.