Fiery Furnace Cake

February 8th, 2016

fiery-furnace-cake

When reading the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel, why not make a Fiery Furnace cake to bring the story to life? I baked a rectangular cake and frosted it with chocolate icing. Then I tinted some white vanilla frosting with red food coloring. I placed a circle of red icing in the middle of the cake.

We cut flame shapes of fruit roll-ups and stood them on end into the red icing. (Make sure you buy the roll-ups in red, orange, or yellow.) If you want to make the flames more rigid, you can choose to not remove the paper backing. But be sure to warn the people eating the cake that the paper is still on.

Of course, you will need to add three LEGO figures, or you can use toy people from any other building set. You will want to have a fourth LEGO figure as well.

Now light some candles, so that you see actual fire coming from the fiery furnace. Red, orange, or yellow candles would be perfect. Turn out the lights and set those candles on fire. When you blow out the flames, place the fourth figure (Jesus) into the furnace. Then turn on the lights. At this point you can tell the children that God saved the lives of these three men, and that He was with them in the midst of the fire. In the same way in our lives, God is with us in the midst of our suffering, and He will bring us through it.

The Beginning of a Prayer Warrior

February 5th, 2016

beginning-of-a-prayer-warrior

What caused me to realize that I was prayerless? What started my journey to becoming a prayer warrior?

It all began when I listened to a sermon about prayer, and how it was labor. I knew I had not experienced that kind of prayer before, since I didn’t feel a heaviness of heart as I interceded for people. I didn’t feel burdened to pray. I didn’t set aside time to pray. I thought prayer was something casual you did whenever you felt like it, to ask God for something.

I knew I wanted to experience a deeper prayer life, so I set myself a prayer bootcamp: the goal of praying for one hour a day for one month to see what happened. Well, the first day I prayed for everything I could think of for way longer than usual, and come to find out at the end of my prayer, it had only been five minutes.

I cried. I realized I didn’t know how to pray, and that I was a wimp. I asked God to teach me how to pray.

Prayer Video #5

I opened my heart and asked God what to pray for each person. Watch the video below to see what happened as a result. This began my journey as a mighty prayer warrior, and I have never been the same:

It’s important at the beginning of your prayer journey to actually block off a specific amount of time, like 10 minutes or whatever, because then you can settle in and relax and not be rushed. We are so rushed in our lives that we can’t hear God. A time set aside can help you to unplug from the world and recharge with God.

To follow my prayer posts, like my Prayer page on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+.

Human Anatomy Game

February 1st, 2016

human-anatomy-game

Why not create your own human anatomy game to review the body systems? My elementary-aged daughter and son created their own board games with a deck of cards. My daughter chose a rectangular board, and my son wanted his to be circular. We already had a circle of cardboard bouncing around the house, but if you don’t, you can use a large lid and outline a circle onto cardboard and cut it out.

My son drew a brain, outlined it with black marker, and colored it with crayons. Then he glued down circles to the game board.  My daughter cut out small rectangles of card stock paper in various colors. Each color represented a different body system. She made a stack of cards for each color. Then she glued down a colorful path on her game board, doodling around the edges of the path.

make-your-own-anatomy-game

Questions for a Human Anatomy Game

Here are some of the questions my kids came up with for the human anatomy game:

Skeletal System

  • What are the finger bones called?
  • True or False: Bones make red blood cells.
  • What is the center of the bone called?
  • Where are your radius and ulna located?
  • What is another name for the scull?
  • Do bones have nerves in them?
  • Is the spinal cord made up of bones?

Muscular System

  • What is the muscle that opens and closes your mouth?
  • True or False: Glucose is used to fuel muscle cells.
  • Where are the biceps and triceps located?
  • Your intestines have what type of muscle?
  • Where is the cardiac muscle located?
  • What muscle do you sit on?
  • What kind of joint is in your shoulder?

Digestive System

  • The tube that connects your mouth to the stomach is called the ____.
  • The first step to digestion is ___.
  • What is the meeting place of the esophagus and the stomach called?
  • The teeth at the back of your mouth are called your ____.
  • Your stomach is lined with what kind of muscle?
  • What sucks up nutrients in your small intestines?
  • What does the liver produce?

Integumentary System

  • What are the two layers of the skin called?
  • What do you call a person with no skin pigments?
  • If you eat too many carrots, what makes your skin orange?
  • True or False: Hair is dead at the root.
  • Which parts of your body have the thickest skin?
  • When you are hot, liquid comes out of your ____.

Nervous System

  • What is the Central Nervous System?
  • What is the Peripheral Nervous System?
  • What connects your brain to your spinal cord?
  • The nerves send signals to the ____.
  • True or False: Muscles move because of neurons.
  • The gap between neurons is called the _____.
  • What would happen if your brain had no folds in it?

Feel free to use these questions, or make up other questions for your cards. Then play your human anatomy game, and have fun reviewing the body systems!

Prayer is Worship

January 29th, 2016

prayer-is-worship

Did you know that prayer is worship? It’s true. Many people call it adoration, and Jesus included it in His model prayer for His disciples: “Hallowed be Thy name.”

The Anatomy of a Prayer

Let’s break down the different categories of prayer:

  • Confession
  • Supplication
  • Thanksgiving
  • Worship

Each of these categories is important, so I will describe each one briefly, but we will be focusing on worship through prayer today. So few people take the time to properly worship God in their prayers.

Prayer Video #4

Confession

You should confess your sins to God, or agree with Him that you have sinned, and turn from those sins in repentance. It is crucial to confess your sins at the beginning of your prayer because otherwise God will not hear you (Psalm 66:18). If your prayer cannot be heard until your sin is confessed, you should always make sure you confess your sins first.

It’s your sin that’s causing your misery. Giving up your sin will unblock you from God and enable Him to live through you and give you love, joy, peace, and all the other evidences of the Spirit.

You should continuously make sure that you have no unconfessed sin. I cannot bear to have my connection with God broken. I usually feel it right away as an uneasiness in my spirit. When I discover that I have sinned, I immediately confess and repent. So when I spend time in prayer, I have no sin blocking me, and I can begin intersession right away.

Supplication

Supplication is laying down requests before the Lord. Another word for supplication is intersession. This is the bulk of your prayer life: lifting others up before the Lord with their requests. Laboring before God for people in the church, for your family members, and even for your enemies is what God requires of us (Colossians 4:12; Matthew 5:44).

Thanksgiving

We are commanded to give thanks in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:6). When God answers our prayers, we should not forget to thank Him. We can also be grateful for all that God has done in our lives. We can thank Him for what He has given us and for who He is. I am thankful for God’s mercy, for example, that in our rebellion He shows kindness and forgives when we come to Him in repentance.

Worship

Adoration is lifting God up and telling Him how wonderful He is. You find worship especially in the Psalms, where God is praised for who He is and for all He has done and will do. I like to sing my worship to God because singing expresses adoration better than words. (You will hear me sing “O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus” in the video above, and I describe why that song means so much to me.)

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
 – Psalm 104:33 ESV

Speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord… -Ephesians 5:19 ESV

To follow my prayer posts, like my Prayer page on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+.

Hammurabi’s Code of Laws Craft

January 25th, 2016

code-of-laws-of-hammurabi

My daughter made a “Hammurabi’s Code of Laws” craft by creating a slab of stone with a black poster board. She wrote a summary in her own words of some of the laws of Hammurabi, many of which were quite weird. She used a chalk pen, and she wrote in her best handwriting.

Hammurabi

You will want to start by cutting a black poster board into a slab of rock by rounding the top portion with a pair of scissors. Write the title across the top, then try to emulate the etchings at the top of the original Code of Hammurabi. My 10-year-old daughter did a great job drawing these pictures! There is a figure sitting on a throne, and the man at the foot of the throne is Hammurabi, who is getting the law from one of the gods the people worshiped in those days. Hammurabi wanted his laws to be authoritative, so he said that the gods had given him these laws.

hammurabi's-code-of-laws

Here are some of the laws:

  • If a man cuts down a tree not on his property, he will have to pay.
  • If a man wants to throw his son out of the house, he has to tell it to the judge. If the reasons are not good, the son stays.
  • If a doctor operates on a person and the person dies, the doctor’s hand will be cut off.
  • If a builder builds a house and the house collapses on the owner and he or she dies, the builder will be put to death.

Here is an alternate activity on black cork board instead of poster board, where the child creates her own code of laws for her home. (Notice also that she drew a little girl instead of Hammurabi on the stone slab):

If you would like your kids to write summaries on colorful pages, here are some free Hammurabi notebooking and coloring pages:

For more hands-on activities for history, join the Unit Study Treasure Vault!

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