Saul…sometimes I think of him as an intellectual who was stubborn in his beliefs and unwavering in his convictions. He was wrong! I do not consider myself an intellectual, but I am stubborn. When I get it in my head that I’m right about something, it’s hard to change. I am so blessed that God got a hold of me and opened my eyes to the truth of His Word. Now I know I used to trust in myself to get to heaven. Saul and I have both learned that trust must be in Jesus.
Sometimes I think it is unfair that God spoke so directly to Saul to ‘open his eyes’ to the truth. There are several family members and friends I wish He would do just that for. But that is not the way He usually works. I’m sure He knows these people would not serve Him like He knew Saul would. I also know He loves them much more than I do and wants them to be with Him too.
Please read Acts 9:1-20 with your children. Help them begin to understand this story. Share how God has changed your life and help them see how He is working in theirs. Jesus does change our lives when we give Him our heart and serve Him.
This morning God reminded me that summer will come. I know there are plenty of signs already... water dripping off the roof, puddles in the evening and ice to break in the morn, patches of grass appearing in the yard, longer day light and warmer temperatures. But nothing convinces me how close it is like the songs of the birds. For weeks I’ve heard the excitement in the songs of the red polls and chickadees. Today I heard and saw Bohemian Waxwings. A pretty big flock lives on Fort Wainwright in the summer. They are migratory and are in Fairbanks today.
Of course spring always reminds me of the resurrection. All the dead (dormant) things are beginning to come back to life. Of course, all these things will die (go dormant) again next winter, but right now they are coming back to life. Jesus only needed to die once for us (Thank you God!). He was dead dead, not dormant. He came back to life 3 days later (not 5 months later) and He is STILL ALIVE!
The kids and I will be learning about the resurrection this Sunday in preparation for Resurrection Sunday. Please read and talk about the account of Jesus appearing to Mary after His death and after He came back to life. And as you do, remember the place women had in that culture. That makes this account 100 times more appealing.
If you have time, feel free this week and next to explore other post-resurrection appearances of Jesus with your children.
We will not have YftL on Easter Sunday. When we come back Sunday 4/28 we will learn about a very special post-resurrection appearance to Saul.
When I was a kid I would hear the word dork used in a derogatory manner toward other people. Because of that I have difficulty not feeling bad for Tabitha having the name Dorcus. I know it’s silly, but every time I read this passage, or think about it, I think of that. I am so happy that my Bible has a foot note that tells me Tabitha (Aramaic) and Dorcus (Greek) both mean gazelle which is a beautiful and graceful deer. I also love the description given of Tabitha that shows she is active serving God by helping the poor. It is obvious she was loved by the widows who probably made up the majority of the poor people.
Tabitha died, she was dead. The ladies prepared her body for burial and I’m sure this was not the first time they had done such a thing. They knew she was dead. They were sad. When the other disciples (followers of Jesus) heard that Peter was nearby, they sent for him. Since they were rushing, I’m assuming they had faith Peter could do something about the situation. They weren’t just calling him to say words over Tabitha.
After Peter cleared the room he took time to talk with God. We were told several times Jesus would do the same thing. After praying Peter told Tabitha to get up. Guess what happened…yep, she opened her eyes and sat up.
God answers when we pray. I am so blessed that I have so many friends, big and small, who prayed for me when I was diagnosed with cancer. God answered those prayers and although I’m still taking medication, I feel like I’m healed. Unfortunately, God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want. I think that is one of the ways He teaches us to depend on Him. If we always got what we wanted, if things always went the way we wanted…we wouldn’t become the people He needs us to be. We wouldn’t know how to console folks who have problems.
Please read this story with your children (young and old). Help them understand how God always hears our prayers. He loves us and cares for us. We might not always get what we want…but that’s kind of a parent’s prerogative, isn’t it…He knows what is best just like you do.
Thank you all!
Sometimes it is so easy to follow God. Everything at home is going well,
things at work are good, you are having a great relationship with the
Lord and you know you are doing what He wants. You are serving Him and
living the way He wants.
But there are times when it is so hard to feel content. The kids are
bickering too much or they just have too much energy. Maybe you and your
spouse are hung up on something you just don't seem able to agree on.
Maybe you are doubting the salvation of a loved one. Your job is getting
hard or maybe you have some tough decisions to make.
God uses everything in our lives to sculpt us into the person He needs
us to be. During our good times it is so easy to be a committed
believer. During the hard times, it takes more of an effort. But God
promises to pick up that extra load, He promises to be with us. He never
stops loving us even when the trial cause us to let off steam in an
Our lesson this week is about following God, even when it's hard. Jesus
has died on the cross but the disciples have seen and spent time with
the resurrected Lord. They have the Holy Spirit with them and they are
bold. Peter and John have already been arrested for talking about Jesus.
The Jewish leaders warned them to stop preaching about Jesus and
released them. The apostles continued teaching in Jesus' name and many
people came from all over to be healed. The leaders became jealous and
arrested all the apostles. During the night an angel helped them escape
and told them to "stand in the temple courts and tell the full message
of this new life." They were not told to go into hiding but to preach
right in front of the leaders. They obeyed! As a result they were hauled
before the leaders and flogged for their behavior. They considered it an
honor to suffer for Jesus.
When things get hard, remember to keep following Jesus and rejoice that
you are able to live for Him.
Our lesson this week is from Acts 5:12-42. Please read these verses as a
family and discuss the events with your children. Help them understand
what it means to follow God when things are tough. I'm sure you have had
plenty of experience and I know God is using you in their lives.
Blessings dear friends!
Isn't it fitting that the chapter on humility is last? I wonder if that was intentional.
We have lots to brag about. Number one is that God loves us so much He sent His Son to die so we might live forever with HIM. And that's another...He wants to live with us. But God doesn't want us to have an "I'm better than you," or "we're better than you" attitude. He wants us to be humble even though we have so much to brag about. People who brag about who they are, what they've done, or what they can do, can be so annoying. If you want to be first you have to be last. Even that sounds a little anti-humble. If you want to be first...why not just be satisfied with who God made you, use your talents (you know, the ones HE gave you) to serve Him the best you can. Be humble...it's a good thing.
Please read this chapter with your little ones and discuss it with everyone.
Enjoy the beautiful weather!
Hey mom, did you know Paul uses you as an example of gentleness? Check out 1 Thessalonians 2:6&7. Paul tells the people he and his team had been gentle with the people just like a mother is gentle in caring for her children.
Gentleness is the subject of this week's lesson. I hope you have had time to read this chapter with your children. I'm sure you teach the older children to be gentle as they care for, play with, and hold their younger siblings. God wants Gentleness to overflow in our lives so others will be curious about Him.
Have a blessed week!
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.