The Eyes of the LORD

“The eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.”

The seer Hanani was confronting King Asa of Judah with these words…don’t they sound like words of blessing???  When King Asa (great-grandson of Solomon) first started his reign he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the idols and commanded Judah to seek the LORD and obey the law and  the commandments.  The land was blessed with peace for ten years…but there came a time of testing as a million man army from Ethiopia came against Judah.  Asa cried to the LORD  and said,”LORD, there is none besides You to help, and it makes no difference to you whether the one you help is mighty or powerless.  Help us , O LORD our God!  For we rely on You, and we go against this multitude in Your name.  O LORD, You are our God; let no man prevail against You!” 2 Chronicles 14:11    The LORD struck the Ethiopians and they fled before Asa and Judah.  After this great victory the Spirit of God came upon Azariah and he came out to meet Asa with a promise and a warning: “The LORD is with you while you are with Him.  If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, He will forsake you.” The prophet then encouraged Asa to be strong and not let his hands be weak, for his work would be rewarded.  Asa heeded the words of Azariah and made a renewed effort to purge the land of Judah and Benjamin of  abominable idols and he gathered the people together to renew their covenant to seek the LORD with all their heart and with all their soul.  There was a great time of rejoicing as  peace from the Lord was given again to Asa for twenty more years…but in the 36th year of Asa’s reign the Kingdom of Israel led by King Baasha, “came up against Judah”.  Asa would once again turn to the LORD for help…sorry…wrong answer.  He thought of his own solution and took silver and gold to Ben- Hadad, King of Syria, seeking an alliance.  God is now sending a rebuke to Asa for relying on the king of Syria instead of the LORD.  Hanani reminded Asa that the massive army of the Ethiopians was delivered into his hand because he had sought the LORD and relied on Him….”For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to  show Himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.  In this (buying a favor from the king of Syria) you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Asa now has an opportunity to confess his sin and repent but he gets mad instead and begins to oppress some of the people.  Three years later he gets diseased in his feet, and even though his malady was severe he did not seek the LORD.  He died under his physicians care two years later.  Let’s learn a lesson from King Asa and ask  ourselves if  we look for our own solutions to life’s problem, seek help from  “the world” or our awesome God !

‘Eyes of the LORD” worksheet

Cut on the line right above the eyebrow shape.  This will separate your main page from the “eyes”.  I left the verse off so your older kids can write it in. The worksheet with verse features a pale eye that can be colored! Cut out the eye shape leaving the lid. Fold this page in half and slip the eye balls behind it.  You will  glue the bottom inch down leaving a space for the eyes to slide back and forth. ( Glue or tape a tab on one side to help you move them)  I left the shape of the eyebrow for you to make a template.  Cut out two eyebrows in black paper for each lesson.  The small rectangle is the template for the eyelashes. You will need two of these as well.  Do not cut them from this page…I put everything on one page to  make it easy to match proportions.  When you fold this page in half after cutting off the top portion, the template patterns will be on the back so just ignore them.  Cut tiny lashes and curl them with a pencil.  Glue down the brows and then glue and slip the lashes under the top eyelids.  Use a glue stick for this project.

worksheet with verse

The Shunammite Woman

"Given to hospitality"

“Given to hospitality”

I would like to spend extra time on this lesson  so there is just a coloring page .  The Amplified Bible has an excellent rendition of the 1 Peter passage “…Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of other].  Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).  There are probably some heavy sighs after reading this, especially since we might be having a struggle just feeding our own family…but lets check out the life of a lady the Bible refers to as “great” and  “notable”, for inspiration and encouragement.  Elisha had a divine appointment with this Shunammite woman, and “just so happened” to pass by her house on his many journeys. She “constrained” (did not take no for an answer) him to stop  and eat with her  every time he was in the area and then had a good idea to present to her husband…” I perceive that this is a holy man of God, who passes by continually.  Please let us make a little chamber on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, a stool and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in here.”  2 Kings 4: 9-10   This woman was incredibly  blessed by God with a child and  given great faith to believe the impossible when he suddenly died but I would like to focus this lesson on hospitality which was a requirement for New Testament  church leaders (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8) and a virtue we are to “practice”. (Romans 12:13)  How can we get kids excited about it???  Let’s show them how simple and fun it is. Explain that to get the ball rolling there needs to be an invitation.  Sometimes it is intimidating to invite people to come over…there is always the chance they could say no.  But keep practicing  and know that we are pleasing our LORD when we walk in obedience.  Then there needs to be some preparation.  Bring a small meal to share  with your class like bread or muffins, water, juice or tea to drink, and some fruit in season, taking into consideration any allergies…( butter, jam or cheese would be nice additions but not required)  See if you can get your kids to ask their parents if they can practice hospitality by inviting a friend or two over.  Talk about the things that may hinder hospitality while you are eating.  Pray for success and for any concerns they may have.

The Shunammite woman – worksheet

God’s Holy Convocations – part one

Mosaic dove  design for teens

Mosaic dove design 

The feasts of the LORD  were designed  to call His people to “rehearse” something. They were both prophetical and commemorative of His redemptive plan. This coming Sunday will be the 50th day from Resurrection Sunday , known as Pentecost, the Greek word for fifty. Jews today still celebrate this Feast  of Weeks calling it Shavuot,  but instead of celebrating a harvest they commemorate the giving of the Law and often read the book of Ruth.

Passover is celebrated on the 14th day of Nisan . Jews still celebrate their deliverance from Egyptian bondage but Christians pay homage to the Lamb of God and believe this feast was fulfilled when Jesus cried “It is finished” from the cross.  The following seven days were known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread . Jesus said ,”I AM the bread of Life …”(John 6:35)”…the Holy One who would not see corruption…” (Psalm 16:10) This feast is commemorative of the purity of our lives as leaven is a picture of sin.  If we do sin, we are to confess them  and “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)  During  this same time frame there was to be an offering of the first harvested barley to God.  This was the Feast of Firstfruits and it took place on the  day after the Sabbath. (Sunday)  1Corinthians 15:20 gives a clear picture of the prophetic nature of this feast which is the resurrection of Jesus…”But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”  We have come to the last spring feast we will be considering.  The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) took place 50 days after the Feast of Firstfruits and was celebrated by bringing two loaves of bread baked with leaven to be waved before the LORD with other offerings. Historically, we find that God poured out His Spirit fifty days after the resurrection of His Son…”This was that spoken of by the Prophet Joel…”preached Peter in Acts 2. Also nicknamed the “birthday of the church” because it was the beginning of a great harvest of souls, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by a sound from heaven as a mighty wind, tongues as of fire  sat on the 120 saints that had gathered, and they all spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance…the multitudes exclaiming…”we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God”. Acts 2:11                         

tongues as of fire detail

For this project ( which I adapted from Dawn’s “By Sun and Candlelight” Blog), you will need ribbon, a full sheet of card stock that is not white,  (Your dove will be white and you want there to be a contrast) a hole punch and hole punch protectors, string and glue. Take your card stock, measure 7 inches and draw a line lengthwise down your paper.  Trim off the strip which will leave you a piece 7 inches  by 11 inches. Now cut your strip in two pieces.  One piece will go glued on the inside of your tube (7 inches) and the other piece will be cut into “tongues” of fire (4 inches)  Each project will require 7 pieces of ribbon, 8-10 inches long.  Color your 4 inch strip yellow and orange and glitter after cutting out 7 “flames”.  Write the verse  before you proceed. (I used a portion from Acts 2:17…”I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…” but feel free to choose any verse that fits) Cut out your dove and get ready to glue it a little above center of what will be coaxed into a cylinder.

Pentecost doves

First we need to break down the fibers a little in the card stock to make a nice tube.  Take a ruler and place it on the edge of your paper, press firm with one hand and pull up your paper with the other. Do this a couple of times from each end of the paper. You will notice that your paper is starting to curl.  If you have young kids, you will want to do this step for them.  Glue your dove and press in place for a few minutes or leave under a heavy book while you glue a flame on each piece of ribbon.  Take your 7 inch strip and place a line of glue going down the length of each side of the strip… about a 1/4 inch from each edge.  This piece will hold your cylinder in shape so press it to the inside, holding it with your whole hand or a ruler.  You might need a little tape or even a rubber band or two to help you hold it together while it is drying. You might consider stapling the cylinders if you  have a younger class of children  Now glue your ribbons to the inside of the tube, making sure your flames are facing the correct direction.  Punch 4 holes in the top of the cylinder.  In between each of your holes, punch another making 8 holes in all. (Two holes will suffice…I added extra to add a design element which would certainly not be needed if making the mosaic dove.) Add hole protectors (they now come in foil) and  add string through 2 opposite holes on either side of the dove.

For a more challenging design, cut out the dove and cut it into strips as shown in the photo at the bottom of this lesson.  Tape up the space from where you cut out your dove and attach a piece of black card stock to it …apply glue stick to the “space”  and then remove the card stock … now… keeping the  strips in order, apply them carefully to area you have “glued”…leaving a tiny space between them  (middle photo).  After the  glue has dried, cut dove as shown in *sample*…these will then be glued to another piece of black card stock, leaving a space which will give you a mosaic style of dove.  Be careful that you don’t get your strips mixed up.  Add flames and glitter if desired.  This can then be made into a cylinder  after writing the verse with a white or silver gel pen .  This dove can also be adapted to the story of Noah after the flood.  An olive branch will be need to be glued to her mouth.  To see a sample of this check out  my other blog at “ “A New Beginning” posted on 10/3/2012.

*sample* showing last cuts

Dove ready to cut again

glueing strips

I hope you have time to share  why Jesus told His followers to wait  for the promise of the Spirit in Acts 1:8… for power to be His witnesses and as a “Helper” to remind them of His teachings .(John 14:26)  Here is a quick review of the Spirit  working in Old Testament saints. Exodus 31 tells us how the Spirit filled Bezalel with wisdom, ability, understanding, intelligence, knowledge and craftsmanship in order to make the articles for the tabernacle.  The Spirit was given to Moses and Joshua to lead the Israelites.  Gideon and Othniel were given the Spirit to judge Israel and  Samson was given super strength.   In 1 Samuel 10:6 , the Spirit turned Saul “into another man”… “God gave him another heart”. 1 Chronicles 12:18 relates that the Spirit came upon Amasa to encourage him to choose and support David as king.  1 Chronicles 28:15 we read the Spirit gave the pattern of the temple to David.  The Spirit came upon prophets to give them words to speak to kings.(Daniel, Elijah, Zedekiah, and Azariah to name a few)  The Spirit was promised in Ezekiel 36″…and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments…” Ezekiel had many great encounters with the Spirit of God…”the hand of the LORD was upon me and carried me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…”( Eze. 37) and my favorite…”He stretched out the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of my hair, and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven, and brought me in visions of God to Jerusalem…” Eze.8

“Let the Redeemed of the LORD Say So”

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so *

Do you remember  where we last left Elisha?  He had counseled the king of Israel to treat the Syrian raiders mercifully , after they had been struck with blindness according to his word, and led into Samaria. ( 2 Kings 6). These  mercenary raiders came no more to the land of Israel after being given a feast, but  later we find Ben- Hadad, king of Syria, brought  his army to besiege Samaria.  The people  of Samaria were being starved and  King Jehoram blamed Elisha and wanted to kill him. But Elisha had good news for the king”…hear the word of the LORD”…tomorrow there would  be plenty of food!  Now there were four lepers at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die?” They reasoned that since there was no food in the city, why not go to the Syrian camp.  These hungry  men discovered an empty camp  because the LORD had caused the Syrian hosts to hear the sound of a great army…do you think it was the same angelic army that Elisha’s servant was blessed to see? Every soldier had fled in the night for their lives, leaving  behind all their belongings. These four must have been ecstatic, and after having satisfied their own appetites, and stashing provisions in hiding places, they became convicted .  They rushed to the starving city to share their good news.  ( We are also recipients of “life-saving” good news…are we sharing it?)

Four lepers – worksheet

Color and cut out the figures and shield. They should measure  approx. 4 1/2 inches tall.  Using plain cheesecloth, and keeping it double thickness…or even quadruple  thickness… cut a piece to fit within the dotted lines and shaded area of the “tent” worksheet and glue down with a glue stick.  I suggest you cut  a little more than you think you will need as the excess can be folded under easily…an 8 inch by 9 inch rectangle should be plenty.  Glue figures and shield as shown in the sample after coloring inside of the tent. Optional: add spears which are made with twigs and silver-colored paper.   For a bit of fun you might dye the cheesecloth .

Let the redeemed wkst- background

plain white cheesecloth

I would like to thank my son, Aaron Ernst, for sharing his talent with me by drawing the figures.

“We Shall all be Changed”

We shall all be changed

We shall all be changed

We have already emphasized  the importance of watching and waiting for the LORD’S return. (August 30, 2011 Blog) In 1 Corinthians, Paul is explaining what will happen to our mortal bodies at that time… we will put on immortality – this is our incorruptible spiritual body that will never perish.

Butterflies are fragile but they are a good example of transformation (metamorphosis)…what was once a fuzzy,earthbound, sluggish bug completely changes into a beautiful, soaring creature with 2 pairs of large wings covered with iridescent scales in overlapping rows.

Instructions: The flowers are 3 different size circles.  Cut petals , slightly bend them forward and stack.  The centers are pepper !   Find a butterfly you like and copy it, cut out the wings provided in the butterfly worksheet, or have the kids draw their own.  To make the caterpillar you need 1  (12 inch) color pipe cleaner (chenille stems) for threading the body which will end in the feelers, and  2 other colors .  Fold these 2 colors in half (6 in. each) and cut.  You need will need a total of 6 for the body, 3 of each color. Wrap each one around a pencil, and thread as shown.  You might also add these to the apple baskets in the previous blog…

Butterfly worksheet

If you decide to use the butterfly here…I suggest printing one to make sure the sizing is correct.

The large wing should measure about 2 & 1/4 inch.

threading first part of body

threading rest of body

add eyes and curl feelers (smile optional)

A Gift for Mom

Proverbs 25:11

“Timely advice is lovely.  Like golden apples in a silver basket.” Proverbs 25:11

“Bid the older women…to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble.” Titus 2:3

It will be easy to weave a lesson honoring Mothers some time in May. Haven’t you received timely advice from a godly woman in your life? Whether you are  currently teaching in the Old Testament with Hannah or perhaps Jehosheba ( she rescued Prince Joash  in 2 Kings 11) or in the New Testament with Mary or Timothy’s mother, Eunice…I hope you will take a couple of weeks to do this project with your kids.    The apples are made out of paper mache so they should be made a week before you need them so they can dry. For this step you will need plenty of newspaper, tape , and a real apple to refer to. The paste is easy to mix up…just have your  apple forms made first. Each child will need a full page of newspaper.                                       Start to roll all the ends to the center.

roll all ends toward center

Use a sturdy tape to hold  the shape together.  It will help if you have a real apple to refer to.

tape to shape

Now that you have your apple forms made, mix up the paste in a large bowl so 4-5 kids can work from each container . Have 6 inch strips ready to dip into the paste.   Wisk two cups of flour, two & 1/3 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt (inhibits mold) mixing until there are no lumps.  This should give you plenty  of paste for 8-10 apples . Dip a single strip into the paste with one hand and “squeegie” off excess with your fingers of your other hand.(You may have to demonstrate) If the paste is too runny and spatting everywhere, add  a little more flour.  If it is too thick it will be hard to squeegie off and the strips will tear so add a bit more water…be sure you make one up ahead so you can work out the kinks!  There should be at least 2 layers of strips on your apple to cover all the tape.  Give the bottom end a good squeeze.  Please note that a container of some sort filled with water and some paper towels will be needed for clean-up!

squeezing end

adding pasted strips

Have you planned where these can be left to dry? All should be identified  with names or at least initials.( after class you may need to pat down the apples  to smooth any stray pieces that stick up )….it would be a good idea to make up a few extra apples for any visitors you may have on the day you present them so no one is left out.  If a child is absent on the “tissue paper” day but has made the form…please do not give his to another child.  You could make up a baggie with tissue squares, twig and leaf with verse, to send home with them the next time they attend your class.  I’m sure their mother will appreciate it. To complete your apples you will need squares of tissue paper (or gold duck tape as shown below if you are using that option).  I used yellow and peach colors with stripes of red, but you can make green or red apples too.  Some tissue packs even have gold!  You will need a brush for each participant but they can share the glue.  I used tacky glue but this needs to be thinned  a bit with water.

All of the newspaper on the apple should be covered in tissue paper squares.  Paint the area with glue…pick up your tissue paper with the end of the brush and pat down. You can layer several colors. Placing a square of plastic wrap down makes a good work surface.  Optional step: your older kids might want to add a tiny crumpled ball of tissue paper to the bottom end of their apple and colored with a marker when dry.  You will need a leaf and twig to complete each apple.

bottom of apple

stem and leaf detail

adding tissue squares

To add your stem, squirt a blop of glue to the top of your apple and press in your twig to the desired length. (some of my kids had trouble inserting their twig…have a sharp pencil handy just in case) The leaves can be made from green construction paper or you can color white paper with a green marker or gel pen.  If you have young children, you can print off a page of leaves with the verse from Proverbs 25:11 and they can color them. These should measure  aprox.2 inches by 1 inch and if you cut them with kitchen sheers you get a nice serrated edge.  Older kids can write the verse themselves.  Save one side of the leaf for the “I love Mom”. These can be glued to the stem with tacky glue.  The finished apples can be put in the bowls to take home and finish drying. You will need  a small paper bowl for each apple that is to be  completely covered in aluminum foil, top and bottom.  I added extra support to the handle with a  straw by rolling the straw in a piece of foil that is 3 inches wide to start….fold raw ends inward to strengthen edge.  Roll and press the foil…then form your handle, taping it underneath the edge of the bowl.  A note about bowls….look for shallow ones as a deep shape is harder to cover with the foil without tearing…

getting ready to roll foil around a drinking straw to make the handle for the basket

… add a ribbon if desired.  Another fun option with less mess and no drying time, is to cover your dried paper mache apple form with gold duck tape as shown below.  Stem should be added before taping!