Children's Ministry Resources

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Newsletter Issue #22 --  July 12, 2016 



Mission Statement: brings over 25 years of experience to children's ministry. Our Bible lesson plans and activities are designed to lead children to Christ, helping them grow in their faith, so they can proclaim the good news message to the next generation.  


In today's newsletter:

1) Sifted Like Wheat
2) W.A.I.T. on God

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1) Sifted Like Wheat

I've been involved in children's ministry now for over 30 years. Sometimes I see the good fruit of my labor lived out in the lives of young adults who are now following the Lord. But I also know several young adults who are not living for the Lord, (that is from my perspective). This weighs heavily on my heart. I pray they remember God's love for them. I ask God to bring believers into their lives to positively influence them, and I pray God's protection over them. On one such day, as I was praying, the conversation between Simon Peter and Jesus came to mind. Jesus said, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" Luke 22:32 (NIV)

The image that first came to mind was that of a flour sifter people use when baking. But that is the wrong image. In Jesus' day, wheat was beaten, pounded, and torn apart against a hard, flat surface, known as a threshing* floor, to separate the wheat kernel from the waste straw. 

It is discouraging to see young adults not living for the Lord, particularly those I've taught. It saddens me and I'm fearful for them, not wanting them to be torn apart. I also wonder, what else could I have taught them? Could I have done more? 

But the passage from Luke encourages me too. It reminds me that I'm not alone in my intercessory prayers. Jesus prayed for Peter, and promises to pray for us too (John 17). However, when we read about Peter's denial when Jesus was arrested, from our perspective it looked like Satan had won. Yet, the story wasn't over! When Peter saw the resurrected Christ, and after Jesus restored him, Peter grew to become one of the great leaders of our faith. He came to understand Jesus' warning about being sifted, that Satan's goal is to tear apart and beat down Jesus' followers. Peter later wrote, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT). This verse tells us that Peter lived out Jesus' prayer for him, to strengthen his brothers. What an encouragement this is to keep praying for those we've taught!

As I think about Jesus' warning, and how we can strengthen children under our care from Satan's attacks, I am reminded of the importance of Bible memorization, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" Psalm 119:11 (NIV),  and the promise from Scripture that God's Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). 

It's also interesting to note how my posting today relates to the next posting on "waiting." (Now that's a God-incident, wouldn't you say?!) Sometimes we must wait to see the fruit of our labor in the lives of those we've taught, whether it it be in this life or the next! 

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><

PS. if you've got an idea about helping children to "stay alert," hit reply and tell us about it!

*Threshing in Old Testament times was also a symbol for destruction or divine judgment (2 Kings 13:7; Amos 1:3; Isaiah 28:27-28). 



2) W.A.I.T. on God

I am amazed and deeply touched at personal things God shares with me from time to time and the special way HE gets my attention. One of those times was when my heart felt heavy from listening to others share their burdens. I earnestly listened and tried my best to help – because it is the right thing to do, right? (I tend to jump in, because I'm a "fixer.")

Unfortunately, because I am so impatient, I want to make things happen, my way, rather than fully relying on GOD to fix the situation. But, GOD has repeatedly shown me it is not my job to fix other people or their problems. In fact, one time HE was so frustrated with me that HE sent me an acrostic to prove HIS point when I least expected it!

(HE has done this several times! Some have said I have a gift for making acrostics – but honestly, I don’t try to make them – they just happen. I will look at a word and almost immediately see a message in that specific word. This is how I know it is GOD trying to teach ME something!)

I asked GOD, "How can I fix their situation?" HE finally got through to me by saying, "Tell them to WAIT." My first response was, “Huh? How can I help them if I tell them to just wait?”

Then GOD asked me . . . continue reading.



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