Family Blueprint New Testament #3: John the Baptist is Born!

(A bee helps us to understand that we are created with a purpose to serve!)

Weekly Scripture:
Luke 1:57-80

Story:
“John the Baptist is Born”

Precept:
Created for a purpose.

Live the Lesson: Bee with a Purpose
Open with a joke about bees such as “Who is the bees favorite singer?” “Sting!” or “What kind of bees hum and drop things?” “A fumble bee!” If you can catch a bee in a jar or find a video online about bees, that will only add to the effectiveness of this object lesson. Here is a video with Africanized honey bees landing on tickle me elmo and then elmo chooses to visit a European bee hive the next time. http://beekeeper.dbs.umt.edu/~bees/videos/ElmovBees.wmv

Now many of us believe bees really do not have that great of a purpose once we have endured a sting by one of them. When a bee flies close to us, the only thing we view them as is a pest that may sting us. However, bees were born with a purpose greater than to just make honey for your biscuit. Bees are what cross pollinate our flowers and are greatly responsible for the fruit and vegetables we have to eat. A bee is constantly working for the purpose it was born to serve. It knows nothing else. If a simple honey bee was created for a purpose to serve, how much more were you created for a purpose? The difference is that a bee never questions its purpose, it just serves it. You however, can question your purpose and refuse to serve it. If bees are responsible for the food we eat, then you need to understand that you have an even greater purpose. Today, will you submit your life to God, the very life He gave you, and surrender to serve His purpose for your life?

Memory Verse:
“So the child grew and became strong in spirit.” Luke 1:80a

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help us to comprehend Your purpose for creating us and help us to grow strong in spirit that we may serve You.

Living the Life:
This week share with your children how they can grow strong in spirit and discern the purpose of God for their lives.


Copyright © Family Blueprint and Precepts for Children 2002-2007
All rights reserved.www.familyblueprint.org


Family Blueprint New Testament #2: Mary's Visitation

(A shelled hard-boiled egg and a salad dressing bottle illustrate that God can accomplish great things!)

Weekly Scripture:
Luke 1:26-56

Story:
“Mary’s Visitation”

Precept:
God can accomplish great things, even in us!

Live the Lesson: Egg in a Bottle
You will need one clear salad dressing bottle or milk bottle with a small neck opening, one hard-boiled egg with the shell removed, boiling water, a funnel, and an oven mitt to handle the hot bottle.

Now in front of the class, put the boiled egg on top of the bottle and demonstrate that the egg cannot fall into the bottle. It is impossible. However, when Gabriel told Mary she would be the mother of Baby Jesus, even though she was not yet married to Joseph and had never been alone with him, she chose to believe God can do anything. Today, we too choose to believe that the egg can fall into this bottle.

Put the funnel on top of the salad dressing bottle and fill the bottle with the boiling water. Whish the water around inside the bottle and then pour out the boiling water. Immediately, put the hard-boiled egg with its shell removed on top of the bottle and watch closely. The egg will now be sucked into the bottle with such an incredible sound. Hooray! (To remove the egg, hold the bottle upside down and blow into the bottle for a while and the egg will drop out from the increase in air pressure).

Memory Verse: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help us to believe You can accomplish great things in our lives, if we surrender to you.

Living the Life:
This week share with your children something you accomplished by the grace of God.

Copyright © Family Blueprint and Precepts for Children 2002-2007
All rights reserved.
http://www.familyblueprint.org/


Educational Tag: Too Much Information




(The Lake Escape vacation house in Lake Arrowhead hosted by Mary and Robin Leggewie)




Denise has tagged me with the Educational Tag!



1. What is your school's name and why?



I have pondered the subject a time or two, but just always use our homeschool group’s name when registering for a teacher or student ID.



2. How is your weather today?



Hot and humid…AGAIN! It has been about 103°F, but with the humidity, we have been averaging the “feels like” temperatures of about 10° hotter. Okay so I am not a true Southern Bell “e” or I would tolerate humidity much better.



3. What steals your joy?



  • * When I allow my eyes to get on my circumstances instead of Christ.

  • * When anger is expressed in ungodly ways, whether towards my family and me or from one of us.

  • * When my children are exposed to ungodliness in this world, because others do not respect our pursuit of happiness by curbing their own behaviors in our presence. I treasure the sanctuary of home, a place to retreat from the evils in the world.

4. Name 5 blessings you received this week.

  1. My friend Gina’s mom came home from the hospital and I rejoice with Gina in this.

  2. I got the Precepts for Children free sample E-Book up online for distribution.

  3. The Lord has provided money for our move.

  4. Watching each of my children do something they enjoy, trying to see it through their eyes. Watching my parents invest themselves into that time and love my children as much as I do.

  5. Sweet fellowship with my sisters in Christ.


5. Favorite Scripture passage.


Since you asked for a passage and not a verse, I will choose this from Romans:
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

6. Who in the Bible do you think you are most like.


Yikes, can I be a mixture?



Like Denise, I am part Abigail (I do not like anger or unrighteousness and try to use wisdom to deal). I am also part Martha (I can allow myself to be focused on circumstances and stress out about all that needs to be done) and part Mary (sometimes I choose the good thing and fall at the feet of Jesus to receive all He has for me).



Above all, I find myself to be most like the woman in Luke chapter 7 verses 37-50. When the Lord revealed to me WHO I truly am apart from Him, I realized I am that sinner woman. I am a sinner only saved by His grace. That woman’s deep love for Jesus just moves me.


Long hair was her crowning beauty and she took that crown and cast it down to the feet of Jesus, wiping His feet. Her tears poured as she met Mercy, Love, and Grace in person. She kissed his feet in utter humility knowing she was not worthy to kiss his face. She anointed Him! Who else before His death recognized Him as Prophet, Priest, and King and anointed Him? (No I have not heard a sermon taught like this…just my own thoughts when I reflect on that passage).



7. The passage of scripture you read last was:


Umm, I just reread Luke 7 to share my thoughts on the woman in the paragraph above.



8. Have you ever praised God for something weird?


I praised God recently when one of my children told a lie.



SHOCKED? Well, Levi has autism. Characteristics of autistic children tend to be they are so truthful and blunt, because they struggle with empathy and they tend to have issues with thinking out consequences. Well, Levi outright lied to me and knew what he was doing was wrong. When I asked him if it was the truth, he started telling me the disciplines he did not want to receive for stating such and such so he could do this and that. I had tears in my eyes. I knew right then that every time I think Levi has some limit, God proves to me that Levi continues to surpass the prognosis of the doctors by leaps and bounds. I realize that the words God spoke to me concerning Levi while I was pregnant, that I could not see as possible because of his autism, become more possible with each passing day. Nothing is impossible with God! If Levi can now lie to get what he wants or protect himself from consequences, then his brain is working on a level to understand the grace and mercies of God! How GREAT is our God! Thank you Jesus!!!



9. If you were making a greeting card for God, what would you say?


My tears would cover and smudge all the writing. It would be sopping wet. Moreover, God could read the words of my tears in a way I could never express myself in words for the utter gratefulness I feel for His mercy and grace toward me, the sinner woman.



10. What is the best miracle God has performed in your life, or what is your favorite answered prayer?


  • * Showing me how much I underestimate what He can and will do in the lives of my children.

11. What is the most fun thing you have done lately?


I flew my kids and I to Southern California, we visited Lake Arrowhead for a week (we stayed at a house called the Lake Escape, where homeschooling or ministry families get a discount and the hosts are the loveliest people), that was wonderful.

12. How did you choose your screen name?

What screen name? Was I supposed to change my real name to a stage name??? :)

I am to tag 4 other people. For once I am NOT being a brat. While I have over 200 families in my homeschool group, I don't know if any of them blog, they never mention it. I only know one other blogging homeschooling mom besides Denise...so...Dana you are it!

Autism: A Mission for God!



(Brett, Mike, and Levi. Three of my sons while on vacation in Lake Arrowhead this summer.)


I have a son with autism. He is kind of my homing pigeon from the Lord. Just when my thoughts are bouncing off the walls and my life is spinning, Levi will bring up the blue shark that is broken at Chuck E Cheese. It is amazing the things that affect his life with such intensity. We visited Chuck E Cheese in San Antonio, TX a month ago, but everyday he asks me, "please go fix the blue shark." We are moving to Northern California soon and I asked my husband if we could please go through San Antonio and fix that blue shark, so Levi can move on in his thought life.


Levi tends to stay much focused until he completes his mission, clearly a strength I desire. In fact, daily he reminds me, "Mommy, I am on a mission for God (no, he did not acquire the line from the Blues Brothers movie)!"


I was in the middle of taking "programming" in college via distance learning when Levi was tiny, before officially diagnosed. I knew he had autism about 18 months before the doctors, because he was my fifth nursing child, but he could not connect to me by six months of age. I could not learn programming, because his long screaming bouts and non-stop jumping constantly frazzled my nerves.


At first, there were times I resented that Levi’s autism single-handedly destroyed my college aspirations. All the work I did to get to that place in programming became worthless. All my professors told me to give up completing my degree unless I was willing to put Levi in a daycare so I could focus. I weighed my options in prayer. Do I choose my aspirations or the gift the Lord entrusted to me? God made it clear where His heart was in this decision. Where was mine?


Levi was not verbal. He threw all the tantrums and screaming fits common to autism. He did not want me to touch him to comfort him. At six months, I began to force him to sleep with his tummy skin to my tummy skin. He hated it and thrashed about trying to escape, but I would lie awake for hours every night holding him firmly there until he slept. This went on for months and I was fatigued.


Levi would melt down many times daily when he was little. You talk about humbling. I thought I had parenting down to a fine skill, but nothing would work at that phase, not even consistent discipline, in fact, it only intensified the meltdowns.


I used to judge the "other people" in the store who had a child acting up, never realizing there might be an underlying issue besides bad parenting. Maybe that child has autism and just has an aversion to shopping that is more than a "male gene aversion to shopping." Maybe it truly turns their little world upside down. I am certain there have been times the neighbors contemplated if I was abusing my children as Levi screamed for hours.


As a family, we have all immersed our lives into Levi. He can now control most of his meltdowns. They are rare. We also train ourselves to know the signals of when Levi can take no more. Levi now likes cuddling with each of us. Now when he is injured, he comes for empathy from us. Even more amazing is the fact that Levi can show concern and empathy if we get hurt. Levi has trained the other side of his brain to develop a language center and he has much to say.


Yesterday, Levi called me "Sweetheart!" I am melting. He meant it and I know I am not truly worthy of such a sweet title, because I am the perpetual brat of our household, always pulling something rascally to get a laugh.



Levi expresses affection in precious ways. Yes, there are times he ventures into his own world, as he experiences life through different perceptions and priorities. Even in this, I know there is a purpose. I know God will use Levi’s different perceptions to serve His glory in a unique way that I could never touch. Levi is on a mission for God. It seems apparent to me; the first leg of that mission is to transform his mommy for God’s glory!


(By the way, Levi’s autism also showed me the purpose I have to serve for God, and as it turns out, it is not programming computers! Thank you Lord for directing my paths to serve Your glory.)


Family Blueprint New Testament #1: Zacharias and Elizabeth


(A raw egg and some vinegar prove that nothing is too hard for God!)

Weekly Scripture:
Luke 1:5-25

Story:
“Zacharias and Elizabeth”

Focus:
Nothing is too hard for God!

Live the Lesson: Disappearing Egg Shell
This object lesson requires one week of preparation. On the week previous to this lesson you will start the object lesson. You will take a raw egg and put it in a jar. Tell the children that eggs have an incredibly hard shell that water cannot disintegrate and this egg’s shell represents something too hard for you to accomplish. However, you are going to put the power of God in the jar on the egg, because NOTHING is too hard for God. Now cover the egg in the jar with white vinegar and sit it aside. A mason jar with a lid works well for this kind of project.

On the second day, you need to pour off the old vinegar and recover the egg with fresh vinegar and then allow it to sit very still for the next six days.

The next week keep the jar out of sight of the children. Now ask the children what types of things are too difficult for them to accomplish? Have some suggestions of things in your own life that seem too hard for you to do without God. Pull out a fresh egg and remind them about the egg shell representing what is too hard for them to do apart from God. Now break that egg into a cup to show them that while you can make a crack or break in the hard shell by yourself, without God you cannot make the shell vanish, because it is too hard for you.

Pull out the jar from last week and carefully drain off the vinegar and rinse off the egg in water. The egg will look translucent because the shell in no longer existent. Only the membrane inside of the egg is holding the egg intact. Show them NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD!

Memory Verse:
“And he will turn many to the Lord their God.” Luke 1:16

Prayer:
Dear Lord, please help us to believe You and Your word, knowing that nothing it too hard for God!

Living the Life:
This week share with your children times you thought something was impossible and then God proved to you that it was indeed possible with Him!

By Julianne Bell
Copyright © Family Blueprint and Precepts for Children 2002-2007
All rights reserved. http://www.familyblueprint.org/