Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Site

Hey Parentz Express Followers!
Parentz Express has a new website. Check it out here or go to parentzexpress.wordpress.com. On the right hand side above my profile you can enter your email address to receive posts right in your inbox.

Don't delay, subscribe today!

This will be my last post to this site so please look to the new blog for all future lesson plans, announcements, articles, book reviews, testimonies and other posts.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


There is a major connection between TRUST and WILL. Jesus demonstrates for us the ultimate trust relationship when He says that He only does what He sees the Father doing. He even says that His food is to do the will of the Father (John 4). It is impossible for us to show trust in God if we are not willing to do what He asks us to do. And as hard as it is to actually follow through with, our trust in God is not complete until we lay down our wills without picking them back up.

Think about the wise and the foolish builders, (Matt. 7:24, Luke 6:48). They both heard God's instruction, they both built up their household, they both had storms in their lives, but only the first man was spared because he heard and did, or submitted his will to what was instructed of him. When we're willing to lay down our ideas and wisdom for God's, then we find our foundations in the Rock.

This week we are going to be learning about the parable of the builders and Express Truth #2: "I CAN TRUST GOD NO MATTER WHAT." We show trust in God by listening and doing what He asks of us, by submitting our wills to His.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Express Truths

Last year while I was doing some prayer, planning and creating some goals for the grade school ministry I felt like the Lord gave me a strategy. When it all comes down to it, once the kids in our KidsMin graduate up to OutBreak, or move out of the area, or leave for one reason or another, what did they learn from me and our team? After doing a lot of research into other children's ministries and seeking the Lord, I came up with 6 truths that, if they remember nothing else, will help set this young generation up with a good foundation in Christ.

Our 6 Express Truths are:
  1. I am a child of God the King.
  2. I can trust God no matter what.
  3. God speaks to me through His Word and by His Spirit.
  4. I can make the right choice.
  5. Just as God treats me with love, I treat others with love. 
  6. Jesus loves me and with Him, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Over the next 6 weeks, we are going to relearn these 6 Express Truths by diving into a truth each week and applying it into our lives. Starting at #1, this week we will be discussing what other people say about us and how the truth of our REAL identity as sons and daughters of God outweighs anything that can be said to or about us. 

Images by Doyle Partners and Cizon Sauceda

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Camp Judah Recap

Barna did a survey recently that stated that on average, kids learned more about God and the Bible in one week of Christian camp than in an entire year of Sunday School. Now, I don't believe that Kidz Express was involved in that study because we may have swayed that statistic the other direction. However, after seeing what God did among the young people at Camp Judah last week, I wouldn't be too surprised by this finding.

After doing some math I discovered that as a staff, we spend around 575 total hours teaching and ministering to the campers. And when you look at the camp as a whole, we spent nearly 3,300 total hours learning about or spending time in the presence of God! Not to mention numerous salvations and first time baptisms in the Holy Spirit.

As you can see there is a major reason why we believe in camp so much and why we spend a significant amount of time, promoting, fundraising, and preparing for this one week.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Continuing our series on Blessed, we will be looking at the 8 beatitudes that Jesus teaches us about in Matthew 5:1-12.

Rob's paraphrase:
1. Verse 3 - Blessed are the poor in spirit... You could say it like this, you're blessed when you are ready to give up, because you are so tired and frustrated that it is easy to ask God for help - and God loves it when we ask for His help.
2. Verse 4 - Blessed are those who mourn... God is better at comforting us than our moms, grandma's, dads, whoever. The Holy Spirit is even called "The Comforter."
3. Verse 5 - Blessed are the meek... Meekness is kind of like being happy with who God made you and not being out of control.
4. Verse 6 - Blessed are those who hunger & thirst for righteousness... You could say it like this, Blessed are those who really love God, spend time with Him, pray, sing worshipful songs, and want more and more of God.
5. Verse 7 - Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy... If you plant corn seed what do you get? If you plant forgiveness, or love what do you get?
6. Verse 8 - Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God...You have a pure heart by doing 2 things, first ask Jesus into your life because when you do He promises to give you a new, clean heart. And then by making right choices and fighting temptation.
7. Verse 9 - Blessed are those who don't start fights, who help others get along, who forgive others even if they don't ask for forgiveness, who are nice even when they want to be mean.
8. Verse 10 - Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness... You could say it like this, Blessed are those who are made fun of, teased, hit or left out because they do the right thing by following Jesus.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


According to Warren Wiersbe the word blessed comes from the latin beatus, hence beatitudes. Which means divine joy and perfect happiness, even despite circumstances. At the time the word was only used for those already in heaven. However, since we now can experience heaven on earth... "You Are Blessed"

This month we are going to be looking at the Beatitudes, how they apply to our lives and what it means to be BLESSED even if our circumstances, moods, health, etc. say differently.

Specifically this week we will be talking about the meaning of the word blessed and that Jesus was talking about our righteousness throughout Matthew chapter 5 and the sermon on the mount. The Pharisees thought that cleaning the outside of the cup was what made the difference, but Jesus teaches us that it is the inside that counts.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Camp Judah coming soon...

One of the greatest opportunities that we have for your 8-12 year old is Camp Judah's Jr. Camp. Studies say that a camper will learn more about who God is and having a relationship with Him in one week of camp than they will in an entire year of Sunday school. So it's easy to see why we value sending our older grade schoolers to camp every year.

If you are interested in more information, we currently have brochures and registrations available in the Kidz Lobby at EGC as you walk into the grade school room. A couple things to remember when registering your child:

  • To register we need you to fill out a registration form and a health form which includes a physician's signature. 
  • Both of these forms are due by June 3 and need to be turned in at EGC. We will have a table in the kids lobby May 27 & June 3. If they are turned in after June 3, there is a $20 late fee (charged by Camp Judah) 
  • The cost of camp is $169 before/on June 3 and $189 after June 3. 
  •  All families will receive a discount for each camper through the EGC Open Golf Tournament. (You can plan about $25) 
  • We are also still looking for camp counselors and staff, there is an application at the same table. Camp counselors/staff get a $40 one time discount off of their child's registration. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sweet & Sour

Our Blank Masterpiece
So far in our series "Mirror Mirror," we have learned that In Christ I am a NEW CREATION, in Christ I am a Masterpiece. Not only do we find our identity in Christ, but we have also learned that God created us unique from everyone else, we each have a specific mission for our lives, and that we can control the thoughts that come into our minds.

This week as we continue to learn about being a new creation and God's masterpiece, we will be talking about the difference between sweet and sour fruit - physical fruit and the type that comes out of our lives. The Bible instructs us to guard our hearts because what we allow in, is what comes out.
Our Masterpiece in Progress
Just like putting fruit into a juicer, sweet fruit = sweet juice, and sour fruit = sour juice. If we are putting sweet fruit into our hearts - helping others, spending time with friends that encourage us, praying and reading our Bible - sweet juices like love, joy and peace will come out of our lives. However if we are allowing sour fruit into our hearts - disobedience, friends that get us into trouble, lying - sour juice will come out of our lives.
Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love... But the fruit that comes from having the Holy Spirit in our lives is: love, joy, peace, not giving up, being kind, being good, having faith, 23 being gentle, and being the boss over our own desires. (Gal. 5:13, 22-23)

Preschool Lessons:
3s: This week’s lesson is about Jesus healing a man lowered from the ceiling by his friends.
4s: This week’s lesson is  about Noah and the rainbow in the sky.
5s: This week’s lesson is about God sending ravens with food for Elijah.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mirror Mirror, Who Am I?

Have you ever wondered where your identity comes from? From now until the end of May we are going to be looking at our identity according to the Bible, who God created us to be and learning, "In Christ I am a NEW CREATION, in Christ I am a Masterpiece!"

When we start realizing what types of mirrors we use to understand our identity, value and why we were created, we can easily see which ones we want to look into regularly, and which ones we want to avoid. Tomorrow we are going to identify several mirrors and the reflection they give, take a look at a few examples below:

a piece of glass in the bathroom :: our physical appearance
our mom or dad :: our name and our value
the Bible :: our true identity and how to live
the TV :: good/bad behaviors, beliefs, habits
friends :: good/bad behaviors, belonging

We will also be looking at 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, "Anyone who believes in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone! The new has come!"

Preschool Lessons:
3s: God answers Hannah's prayers for a baby.
4s: Noah listens to God's words and builds an ark.
5s: The serpent tempts Eve in the garden.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Share It!

Being able to celebrate Easter is one of the greatest privileges we have as disciples.  But we can't stop at simply celebrating Easter, one of the greatest messages Jesus gave was just moments before He ascended and is crucial for helping others to see the wonder and magnitude of the Easter holiday;
"Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved...teach them to obey everything I have commended you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Mark 16 & Matt. 28)
from the mountain tops
How exactly do we share the Good News with others? It is easy to get intimidated about sharing our relationship with Jesus with others, but what if we were ready before they ever even asked. This week we are going to take time in our class to write out 3 simple sentences so we can be ready to share the gospel with everyone.
  1. What was life like before we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior?
  2. What happened that caused us to call on His name?
  3. What is life like now that we know Jesus?

Preschool Lessons:
3s: God created everything in the world.
4s: God created people to live on the earth.
5s: God created all things.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Troubleshooting Check-In

Hey Parentz-
Thank you so much for your patience while we are working out the bugs and trying new things in our check-in process. I realize there have been a few mornings where the line has been long or it has been frustrating trying to get your children checked in or checked out. We are currently working on a few ways to help quicken the check-in process before we get the computers up and running.

One thing you'll notice this Sunday is that we're separating the 2 tables in the Kidz Lobby to help alleviate the congestion in the center of the lobby. One table will be by the drinking fountain and the other will be just past the coat racks. Remember, you can check in all ages at any station, inducing our station in the nursery area.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or ideas.

Partnering in Parenthood,
Pastor Rob

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Right Foundation

Many of us have heard the parable of the wise and foolish builders. (Matt. 7:24) The one built on the sand and saw his investment crumble and the other built on the rock and was able to withstand the storms of life. I wonder how much of their success or failure was based on an education of the proper type of foundation? At Kidz Express we believe in helping young sons and daughters of God the King learn and establish a proper foundation for their life, a foundation that is the Rock. But to accomplish our mission, we need many people to help in different areas of the Children's Ministry.

We are currently looking for 11 adults who are willing to Test Drive the KidsMin to see if this is an area where you can move in your giftings and serve the EGC family, not to mention helping the youngest generation get established for life on the right foundation. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Understanding Your 4th/5th Grader

(This is the last of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster; a series on age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"Being listened to is so close to being loved that most people cannot tell the difference." David Oxberg
I'm a fourth/fifth grader. Welcome to my world! I'm developing a sense of who I am and what I am able to achieve. Having friends and being part of groups is important. I know I belong. Join me and see what I'm learning and what I like to do!

  • Listen to my questions, give honest answers and assure me of God's love. 
  • Hearing personal faith stories helps me to know who God is and respond to Him. 
  • I like to participate in discussions and listen to more adult conversations.
  • I am beginning to learn that when I pray sometimes God says "yes," "no," "wait."
  • I am beginning to understand biblical symbols and sacraments such as communion and baptism.
  • I am learning that God wants me to grow, learn and follow. 
  • I am starting to understand what it means to worship on my own or in groups.
  • I am learning cause and effect for God forgiving us and us forgiving others. 
  • I can pray out loud in a safe environment.
  • I understand more deeply what it means to have a relationship with Jesus.
  • I am learning about giving, saving and spending money from God's point of view.
  • I make my own decisions and accept the consequences for those decisions. 

"If you talk to your children, you can help them to keep their lives together. If you talk to them skillfully, you can help them to build future dreams." Jim Rohn

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" series.) 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sunday March 25, 2012

Kidz Express is a place where we are dedicated to doing 2 things; helping volunteers explore their giftings through practical ministry and helping the children experience the love of God in a powerful, authentic and personal way. Right now we are currently looking for 12 people to join our team and help see these goals accomplished. If you are interested in Test Driving or for more information about raising up the youngest generation, please contact me at robhagstrom@elimgospel.org.

In the grade school class this Sunday we are going to be discussing Palm Sunday and the triumphal entry.
1s and 2s: This month’s lesson is about the story of Easter and how much God loves us
3s: This week’s lesson is about the birth of God’s Son Jesus
4s: This week’s lesson is about God creating the plants of the earth
5s: This week’s lesson is about Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April & May

Here's a heads up on some dates you want to put in your calendar for the next several weeks!

Summer Participation:

  1. We are currently looking for 12 adults to Test Drive in the nursery or preschool rooms on Sunday mornings from now until October. No training necessary, we will train and equip you to successfully minister to the youngest generation and help them experience Christ's transforming LOVE.
  2. If you are interested in Test Driving or serving in this or another capacity, contact me, Pastor Rob at 585-624-5560 or robhagstrom@elimgospel.org. 

Pancake Breakfast:

  1. Pancake Breakfast sales are currently under way. For every ticket your child sells, $3.50 will go towards their cost of Camp Judah. Pick up information and a packet at the table in the Kid's Lobby Sunday mornings now until April 29, or call the church office for more information. 
  2. The Pancake Breakfast event is Saturday, May 5 from 9-10:30am at the EBI cafeteria. 

Kidz Quest:

  1. No KQ Sunday April 8 for Easter.
  2. Pajama Party Invite Night. Your grade schoolers are challenged to invite a friend (or several) to join us at Kidz Quest Sunday, April 29. We are going to have an awesome night of fun, games, and a special treat.
  3. No KQ Sunday May 13 for Mother's Day.

Camp Judah:
Registrations and camp info will be available April 22 in the Kid's Lobby.
Camp Judah is $169 and is June 24-29 for ages 8-12

Saturday, March 17, 2012


As we close out our series on Jonah, we are going to be talking about what it means to be a prophet of God and what prophecy is. After church today ask your grade schoolers what are the 3 things that 1 Cor. 14:3 says about prophecy (it is to strengthen, encourage, and comfort others). After we talk about what prophecy is, how God speaks to us, and who is allowed to prophecy (all should desire the gift of prophecy), then we will take some time to get with a partner and ask God for a word for them.

Take some time with your kids this week and pray for each member of your family, asking God, "What is Your favorite thing about [this person]?" Then write it down and share it with them.

3s Lesson: Will learn how God helped David to defeat the giant Goliath.

4s Lesson:  Will learn about Joseph forgiving his brothers when they came to him in Egypt.

5s Lesson: Will learn how God used a talking donkey to get Balaam’s attention.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kidz Express

This week your elementary age children are invited to hear our special guest speaker, David Clark. Mr. Clark is going to be sharing with us out of the life of Jonah and how God is "The God of Another Chance."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Understanding Your 2nd & 3rd Graders

(This is the seventh of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings." Ann Landers

I'm a second or third grader. Welcome to my world. I'm gaining confidence and competence. I want life to be fair and rules are important. I enjoy doing real-life tasks. Walk with me and see what I'm learning and what I like to do.

  • I ask increasing questions about the Bible and God and heaven. How can God be everywhere and see everything? How does God answer everyone's prayer?
  • I enjoy hearing and learning Bible stories.
  • I am beginning to reason logically in a concrete matter. 
  • I accept that God made everything.
  • I am learning: God wants me to grow and become like Jesus. I can trust God no matter what. God wants me to develop my talents. God is all powerful. I can pray anytime, anywhere and about anything. 
  • I experience God's love through friends, teachers and leaders in my community at church.
  • I like to work for an immediate reward. 
  • I have an increased ability to solve problems. 
  • I understand more deeply what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus.
  • I understand cause and effect.
  • Listen to my questions, give honest answers and assure me of God's love.
  • I am beginning to inconsistencies between people's words and their actions. 
  • I am beginning to understand symbols and their meanings. 

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." Charles Swindoll

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" series.)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's All About Me

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 2 So he complained to the LORD about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, LORD? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. 3 Just kill me now, LORD! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen... Then the LORD said... "Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness,[a] not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?””
So here's the question, do you want to live your life being selfish and focusing on all the things that you want or trying to make sure that things are always fair, or do you want to live a life of purpose, the life that God intends for you to live where you can change other peoples lives and not get caught up in the silly things in life but change eternity for other people. God made you for a special reason and you can either be like Jonah and pout and through a fit when God does a miracle that you don't like, or you can be like Jesus and the disciples who said, "it may not be easy but God made me for a reason and I want to find out what that reason is.

2s Lesson: This month’s lesson is about Jesus using a boy’s lunch to feed thousands.

3s Lesson: We will learn about Jesus calming a storm.

4s Lesson:  We will learn about Joseph and his jealous brothers.

5s Lesson:  We will learn about Satan tempting Adam and Eve in the garden.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Understanding Your K's & 1st Graders

(This is the sixth of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"If you want to see what children can do, you must stop giving them things." Norman Douglas
Hi, I'm in kindergarten or first grade. Welcome to my world! I enjoy attention from others but I'm often self-conscious. I'm learning how to read and write. Join me and see what I'm learning and what I like to do!
  • Give me opportunities to explore and discover things I can do alone and with others. 
  • I need clear, simple directions with modeling. 
  • Listen to my questions, give honest answers and assure me of God's love. 
  • I am beginning to understand the concept of what it means to be in a relationship with Jesus.
  • I accept that God is everywhere all the time but I am perplexed because I can't see Him. 
  • I understand the difference between a need and a want.
  • I enjoy hearing stories about friends of God/Jesus from the New and Old Testament and accept them as true. 
  • Share your faith stories with me. They help me form and shape my beliefs, values and behaviors. 
  • I can learn such truths as: The Bible is God's book. It tells us about God, His promises and how we should love Him and love others. God is the creator of the world and everything in it. God is loving. 
  • Consistent Adult leaders help me understand and experience God's unconditional love and commitment. 
  • Give me ongoing encouragement that I have what it takes to learn.
  • Give me chores. They let me know I have something to contribute and am part of the family. They teach me responsibility and give me skills for a lifetime. 
  • I am beginning to see inconsistencies between people's words and their actions.
  • I understand that prayer is talking and listening to God and believe that He hears our prayers. 

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." Frank Adams

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" series.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

When Following Jesus Gets Tough

Most can admit that at times we would like to take the easy way. Wouldn't it have been great to trade your teachers 50 sit ups instead of having to take that test, or picking your mom a flower instead of having to do all those chores? But as much as our laziness entices us, God's rewards are so much better! It's called the narrow path for a reason, but the destination is far greater.

As we continue our series, What's Eating Jonah, it is easy to notice that Jonah had a really difficult time following God. It would be naive of us to think that following Jesus in our own lives is always going to be great and dandy. So what do we do when we are tempted to take the easy way out? This week we are going to be exploring the difference between the easy way out, and the much more rewarding way - God's way.

2s Lesson: We're learning about God answering Hannah's prayer for baby Samuel.

 3s Lesson: We're learning how Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to Him.

 4s Lesson:  We're learning about Joseph receiving a colorful coat from his father

 5s Lesson:  We're learning about God creating the animals of the earth

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Understanding Your 4 and 5 Yr. Olds

(This is the fifth of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"When children pretend, they aren't limited to the way things are in the real world." Fred Rogers
Welcome to the cheery world of four and five year olds! Energetic and expecting life to be fair describe us. Our friends are important to us and we like to go to each other's houses. We love to imagine and pretend. We're often curious and can be heard asking, "How?" "What?" and "Why?" Join us in our journey and see how we do life!
  • Listen to my questions, give honest answers and assure me of God's love.
  • I am able to remember stories and and repeat them. I am beginning to see the difference between fantasy and reality. 
  • I am learning that prayer means talking to God and I can pray to God anytime, anywhere, and about anything.
  • I can learn that God wants us to obey Him and my parents. 
  • I understand the concept of yesterday, today and tomorrow, but I don't always have a sense of how long an hour can be. 
  • I am beginning to ask questions about God.
  • I take what you say literally. 
  • I am learning that God made me special. I can show God's love by doing kind things for others.
  • I can learn the Bible is true and teaches us about God and Jesus. 
  • I can follow 3-step commands: brush teeth, put on PJs, get in bed. 
  • I am understanding that Jesus loves everyone and he wants us to love him and love others.
  • I like rules. They give me direction. 
  • I can identify right from wrong, but still need reminders to make the right choice. 
"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two responses: tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become." Louis Pasteur

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" packs.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Understanding Your 3 Yr. Old

(This is the fourth of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"Children never have been very good at listening to their elders, but they never fail to imitate them." James Baldwin
I'm three. Welcome to my world. I'm known for having a short attention span because I don't want to miss anything. I love to wiggle and squirm. I'm full of wonder and love to explore. You often here me say, "me" or "mine" because, of course, the world belongs to me. Join me in my journey and see how I do life.
  • Listen to my questions, give honest answers and assure me of God's love. 
  • As I listen and watch the adults around me, my moral and spiritual ideas and ideas of God are being formed. 
  • Model God's acceptance by your words and actions. My experiences with you are the first stepping stones to understanding God's grace. Tell me often: I am loved; Jesus loves me; God made me. 
  • Model God's love by being consistent. It helps me to see the same faces and hear the same voices weekly at church. 
  • I am beginning to understand right from wrong. 
  • I can sense the emotions adults display through their nonverbal body language and tone of voice. 
  • I can repeat simple Bible verses and learn truths such as: God gives us friends; God made everything, including me. 
  • Read me simple Bible stories from a children's Bible. I experience God's love by the way you treat and talk to me. 
  • I'm learning to help and serve others. I can help in simple ways like picking things up, putting things in the garbage or putting things in their place. 
  • Music and movement help me remember what I learn about God/Jesus/the Bible. I like simple Bible songs with motions. 
  • Teach me to make simple decisions by giving me choices between two things (milk or juice). This helps build my self-esteem.
"Parenting is a two-way street - as you take them by the hand, they will take you by the heart." Judy Ford

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" packs.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Under My Umbrella

When Jonah was disobedient to what God had asked him to do, he came out from underneath God's covering. So what can we do to stay underneath God's covering and what happens when our poor choices remove us from this place of blessing and protection? Last week we answered these questions and learned that even though we may have to go through the consequences for our actions, what we do or say will never stop or diminish God's love for us.

So what can we do to stay under God's covering?
  • Pray and ask for God's grace to stay in this place. 
  • Ask parents or other leaders for help.
  • Think about your actions before you make a decision. 
When we find ourselves out from under God's covering, how do we go back?
  • Ask for forgiveness.
  • Receive God's forgiveness.
  • If needed/able, make things right.
2s Lesson: Learned about God answering Hannah's prayer for baby Samuel.
3s Lesson: Learned about the birth of God’s Son Jesus.
4s Lesson: Learned about Noah and the waters flooding the earth.
5s Lesson: Learned about Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Understanding Your 2 Year Old

(This is the third of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"Kids spell love, T-I-M-E."
John Crudele
I'm this many. Welcome to my world! I'm working towards independence. I notice others around me. I like to imitate others. I am long on will and short on skill. Join me in my journey and see how I do life.

  • Model God's acceptance through your words and actions. My experiences with you are the first stepping stones to understanding God's grace. Tell me often: I am loved; Jesus loves me; God made me.  
  • I can listen and learn simple Bible stories while experiencing God's love through others. It helps me to hear the same Bible story over and over. I learn through repetition.
  • Model God's love by being consistent. It helps me to see the same faces and hear the same voices weekly in my church community. 
  • Music and motions help me to remember what I learn about God/Jesus/the Bible. I like simple Bible songs with motions.
  • I accept truths such as:
    • Jesus loves us all the time. 
    • God gives us friends.
    • God loves and cares for me. 
  • I'm beginning to experience prayer when you say, "Let's pray and talk to God." I can hold hands with others or fold my own hands. Model for me, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my food. Amen."
"Watching and listening to children is very important. It gives you clues about how they think." Karyn Henley

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" packs.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's Eating Jonah?

The story of Jonah has become so familiar that I'm sure I could have anyone of our grade-schoolers come and give a pretty accurate account of what happened to Jonah. But if you ask most people who the story is about, or at least the main players, they'll say Jonah, or the Ninevites, or even the whale! Really this story is about God. The Lord is mentioned over 35 times in these 4 short chapters and if you remove Him from the story it won't make any sense at all. This month we are going to be talking about how Jonah responded to the will of God, what we can learn from his disobedience and anger, and how to share the love of God with those we have a hard time being around. 

2s Lesson: This month’s lesson is about God answering Hannah’s prayer for baby Samuel

3s Lesson: This week’s lesson is about God protecting Daniel from the lions

4s Lesson: This week’s lesson is about Noah’s trust in God as he builds the Ark

5s/K Lesson: This week’s lesson is about how great God’s love is as they learn about God taking care of the birds.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Kidz Quest Memory Verses

Feb. 5. No Kidz Quest, Super Bowl Sunday.

Feb 12. Jesus and His Friends Luke 10:42 NIV But only one
thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not
be taken away from her.

Feb 19. Jesus’ Last Week Luke 22:19 NIV And he took bread,
gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is
my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Feb 26.  Invite Night. The Cross Galatians 2:20 NLT My old self has been
crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives
in me…

March 4. He’s Alive! Matthew 28:6 NIV He is not here; he has
risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

March 11. Jesus Will Return Acts 1:11 NIV Why do you stand
here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been
taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way
you have seen him go into heaven.

March 18. Pentecost Acts 1:8 NIV But you will receive power
when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my
witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to
the ends of the earth.

March 25Invite Night. Apostles Spread the Message Romans 10:13 NIV
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

April 1. The First Church 1 John 4:8 NIV Whoever does not
love does not know God, because God is love.

April 8. Easter Sunday, No Kidz Quest.

April 15. Stephen Gives his Life 2 Timothy 3:12 NIV
...everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will
be persecuted,

April 22. Saul Becomes Paul 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV Therefore,
if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come!

April 29. Invite Night. Peter Preaches to the Jews Romans 1:16 NIV
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for
the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then
for the Gentile.

May 6. Paul Preaches to the Gentiles Ephesians 2:18 NLT
Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy
Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

May 13. No Kidz Quest, Mother's Day. 

May 20. Paul’s missionary Adventures 2 Corinthians 12:9
NLT Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power
works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my
weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

May 27. No Kidz Quest, Memorial Day Weekend.

June 3. Arrested in Jerusalem Galatians 5:22-23 NIV But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against
such things there is no law.

June 10. Last Kidz Quest. Letters From Prison Philippians 4:8 NLT Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Understanding Your Toddler

(This is the second of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"Moral intelligence means how we behave. It's moral behavior tested by life, lived out in the course of everyday experience. We live out what we presumably want taught to our children. They are taking constant notice and measuring us not by what we say but what we do."   Robert Coles
I'm a toddler. Welcome to my world! I'm inquisitive and like to do things on my own time table. One of my favorite words is "no." I like to do things myself. Join me in my journey and see how I do life!

  • While experiencing God's love, I need to hear and be reminded of simple Bible truths such as:
    • I am loved.
    • Jesus loves me.
    • I can thank Jesus for my family and my food.
  • Model God's love by being consistent. It helps me to see the same faces and hear the same voices weekly in my church community. This provides feelings of safety and security which are building blocks leading me to trust in God and others. 
  • Pray consistently for me and with me. I experience prayer when you say, "Let's pray and talk to God." I can hold hands with others or fold my own hands. Model for me, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my snack. Amen."
  • Parental involvement in the nursery every four to six weeks is important for me to connect church and home.
  • Read me stories from a children's Bible. 
  • Music and movement help me remember what I learn about God/Jesus/the Bible.  

"Childhood is about making discoveries."
--Jean Piaget

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" packs.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hoogle Boogle 1.29

This past Sunday we reviewed what we learned in our Wait Training Series. Here are some questions your children should be able to answer:

  1. How did we define prayer? (talking and listening to God)
  2. How did we define fasting? (giving up something you want or need to spend time with God)
  3. What type of exercise is praising and thanking Jesus like? (stretching)
  4. Just like weight lifting is difficult, what type of prayer is really difficult? (praying for and forgiving others)
  5. What type of prayer is like a cardio work out? (praying for yourself)
  6. What does it mean to pray with J. O. Y.? (Jesus, others, yourself)
  7. What are 4 ways God speaks to us? (through the Bible, listening & journaling, godly counsel, peace)
  8. We learn from the story of the persistent widow that God is good and He hears... (our prayers)
  9. BONUS Question: I can trust God... (no matter what)
  10. BONUS Question: God speaks to me through His Word and... (by His Spirit)
3s Lesson: Learned about how God answered Hannah's prayers for a baby.

4s Lesson: This week's lesson was about God creating people.

 5s Lesson: Learned how the disciples listened to Jesus' words while fishing and ended up with a miraculous catch.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are You There, God?

What happens after we spend 21 days fasting and praying and we don't see anything happen? This is the main theme of our final lesson in Wait Training. We will be looking at the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18 and how, even though God is quite different from the unjust judge, He speaks to us on the foundation of prayer. Not that we whine until we get what we want, but that we trust Him enough to have our best interests in mind. Warren W. Wiersbe says about the contrast between the judge and the Father,
"Unless you see the contrast that Jesus is pointing out, you will get the idea that God must be 'argued' or 'bribed' into answering prayer!God is not like this judge, for God is a loving Father, who is attentive to our every cry, generous in His gifts, concerned about our needs, and ready to answer when we call. 
Therefore; our request moves from "are You there?" to "help my unbelief." Imagine what our prayers would be like if we knew and understood that God is good and He hears our prayers (Matt 7:9-11, Luke 18:1-7), He looks out for us, He loves us dearly (Jn 16:27), and He knows what we need (Ps. 131:2).

2s Lesson: Will learn about God keeping David safe when he defeated Goliath.

3s Lesson: This week’s lesson is about God creating the world

4s Lesson: Will learn about God creating the Animals

5s/K Lesson: This week we will learn about John baptizing Jesus

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Understanding Your Infant

(This is the first of an 8 part series on Understanding Your Youngster. Check back each week for helpful, age specific information on how to help your child's spiritual development and creating a godly foundation.)
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - how well I know it." Psalm 139:13-14 NLT
I'm an infant. Welcome to my world! I'm a learning machine and changing by leaps and bounds every day. I love to eat, sleep, look, listen and touch the world around me.

  • I experience God's grace and love through people: by their body language and words, by hearing that God made me and loves me, and by experiencing God through music I like. 
  • God's  love is modeled when I see the smiling faces, hear the same loving voices and words, and experience the same affirming actions. Remind me often that: I am loved, Jesus loves me, and God made me.
  • Feelings of safety and security with people and places are building blocks that will help me later in life to trust God and others more.
  • As you care for me and hold me, pray for me and my family. Pray in such a way that I can hear your soft voice and feel that I have been blessed.
  • Parental involvement in the nursery at church every four to six weeks is important for me to connect church and home. 
"Children are born motivated, not bored. They come out into the world eager, reaching, looking and touching." --Dorothy Rich

In what ways do you like to help your infant's spiritual development; share your ideas with other parents by leaving a comment below. 

(Information pulled from Willow Creek's "Thought You'd Like to Know" packs.)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

can you hear Me now?

Recently I wrote a blog about asking the right questions because often we are not getting the answer we are looking for because we haven't sought the right question. This Sunday we are going to be looking at another situation where we often ask the wrong question, "Does God ever speak to me?" The answer is yes, but the question is wrong. What we should be asking is, "Why can't I hear you, God?"

There are many ways God speaks to us, but just like building muscles or getting good at a sport, there is a lot of work that goes into perfecting the skill. Robert Morris has a great teaching on 10 ways God speaks to us called "Steward His Spoken Word," and tomorrow I am going to be focusing on 4 of these keys with your grade schoolers:
  1. Reading the Bible
  2. Listening and journaling
  3. Asking godly counsel
  4. Following Peace
2s: Will learn about God keeping David safe when he defeated Goliath.

3s: Will learn about the Jesus’ resurrection

4s: Will learn about God creating the fish and birds

5s: This week’s lesson is about Jonah and the big fish

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Understanding Your Youngster

"You know that the beginning is the most important part of any work, especially in the case of a young and tender thing; for that is the time at which the character is being formed." --Plato
Over the coarse of the next 8 weeks I am going to be writing about some helpful info that may help you  understanding your child and where they are in their developmental stage. St. Francis Xavier said,
"Give me the children until they are seven, and anyone may have them afterwards."
The more we understand about how our children are developing, what they understand, and how they deal with  tasks, information and relationships the better equipped we can be at helping them to develop strong character, morals and spiritual disciplines. So join me as we look at tips and info at how to encourage your child's spiritual and moral development so that , "when they are old, they will not depart from it." (Pro. 22:6)

What age groups will we be covering?

  • Infants 
  • Toddlers
  • Two's
  • Three's
  • Four's & Five's
  • K-1st grade
  • 2-3rd grade
  • 4-5th grade

Monday, January 9, 2012

Prayer Exercises

Yesterday your elementary kids and I explored a connection between how we exercise our bodies and how we can strengthen our prayer life through different disciplines or routines. Looking at the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, where Jesus explained to His disciples how to pray, we saw three areas to focus our prayers:

Just like stretching helps warm up your muscles so that you don't injure yourself, Jesus shows us to start off by focusing ourselves on praising the Father God. This can get us into the proper mindset and help us to pray with the heart and will of the Father.
"Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
As stretching is to praising God, weight lifting is to praying for others. When others sin against us one of the most difficult responses is to respond in love through prayer and forgiveness.
"as we have forgiven those who sin against us"
And lastly, one of the best ways to keep your body healthy is by getting your heart rate up. Cardio workouts strengthen your heart so it can take much needed oxygen throughout your body and in the same way Jesus shows us how to pray for our needs.
"Give us today the food we need, and forgive us of our sins, ...don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one." 
An easy way to remember this, is to always pray with J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself)

2s: Learned about God keeping David safe when he defeated Goliath.

3s: Learned about the people praising Jesus as he rode through Jerusalem on a donkey.

4s: Learned about God creating the plants of our world.

5s: Learned about God protecting Daniel in the lion’s den.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Family Prayer Nights

Hey Parentz-
Pastor Doug and his family are starting a family prayer night specifically designed for you and your children! Come join them from 6:15-7pm on Wednesdays, January 11, 18 and 25 in the Oasis Prayer Room at EGC; and then once a month starting in February.

You are not going to want to miss this great opportunity for you to help teach your children about the importance of prayer and gathering with other believers to pray and intercede.