Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mary Rose and Me #24 "All Things"

Colossians 1:16-17

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.

          Article 24 
By: Gwendolyn Schnell
“Miss Gwen”

Another warm summer day.
     Daddy had worked up the ground so they could have a garden that year. Mary Rose had been busy walking through their garden picking some things that were ripe and putting them in her basket.
     “M-m=m-m,” said Mary Rose as she tasted some of the vegetables.
A small tangy tomato, a couple crunchy green beans, and Mary Rose even liked fresh peas that popped in her mouth right from the pod. She loved how things grew.
     “They began as a small seed and now we are getting this wonderful food!”  
     Mama had planted a few rows of flowers as well, and they smelled, oh so fresh. The bees like them too.
     With all her walking she began to feel quite lazy in all the heat. She went over and laid down under the big pine tree in their back yard. It was cooler in the shade and would feel good to be out of the sun for a while.
     The quiet was nice and the breeze was blowing just enough that she could hear the wind blowing through the pine needles. Pheuuuuu. What a relaxing sound. As she laid there Mary Rose felt the grass with her hands. It was thick and soft to her touch. It also had clover mixed in with sweet smelling blooms. Mary Rose looked way up through the branches and could see pine cones near the top of the tree. She was amazed at how much taller and wider the tree was compared to her. She spied a robin in the tree and then another. Two Robins. One was in the nest and the other on the branch. One bird would fly away and then come back with something in its beak. Mary Rose thought she could hear soft peeping.
     “Aww, a family of birds,” she said to herself.
     As the bird flew out and came back several times, Mary Rose noticed how blue the
sky was with all kinds of soft looking clouds floating by. One cloud looked like a duck! She began to look for more shapes and saw one that looked like a dog with his mouth open, another like a face with wild looking hair. She wondered what it would be like to be up in the sky sitting on a cloud. They sure looked soft.
     Pretty soon Mama called out that lunch was ready.
    Mary Rose got up and began to run to the house but quickly turned around to get her basket she had left beside the tree. 
    During lunch, she talked all about the things she saw in the yard and went on and on.
     Happy to listen, Mama, was pleased Mary Rose had noticed so many things in Gods amazing creation.  As she reminded Mary Rose about eating, (a grilled cheese sandwich with a few fresh vegetables, and 2 cookies for dessert) there was never a better time to read a few Bible verses about how God created the earth.  Everything and everyone in it. Genesis 1; 1 Timothy 4:4; Ephesians 2:10; Genesis 1:21; Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 42:5; Romans 1:20.
     Mary Rose listened as she read and explained about the creation and how trees and plants were supposed to produce seed so more of the same trees and plants would grow after the seed was planted.
     “So that’s why so many plants have seeds,” she said as she finished her last bite.
    “That’s right,” replied Mama. “I’m so glad you enjoyed the yard and garden today, and I think we should go out and pick some of those pretty flowers for our table before Daddy gets home.”
     Mary Rose agreed.
     After cleaning up from lunch they went out and cut a big bouquet.
   That evening Mary Rose thought about all the things she had been able to do that day. Smell the flowers, touch the soft grass, and hear the bees buzz, the wind in the tree, the baby bird’s peep, see the funny cloud shapes and taste so many good things in the garden. She said a special prayer thanking God for her 5 scenes so she can enjoy all the things in His creation around her.

Greetings! To my sister Bible teachers!
     When is the last time we really looked at God’s creation and marveled at how wonderfully perfect every single thing is made? It may be easier for those of us who have a garden or are close to the mountains, the ocean or prairie to be in awe, but Mary Rose found so much of God right in her own backyard. At lunch, her mother took advantage of the moment and brought out her Bible to read and discuss how God created the world and everything in it. I know many of us have taught about the creation umpteen times during Bible class, but truly, it should never cease to amaze!

This month’s featured visual aid is a Bible lesson about the creation with pictures and storyline for home and classroom use that I designed. click on the gold star for an 11x17 printable version.

If you don’t have an 11×17 printer, download the file and put it on a flash/thumb drive. Take it to a printer that prints that size and has a flash drive hook-up.

 I will try to have an 81/2×11 size to print soon so one way or another you may have these visual aids. 

Find more creation visual aids here and here.

My prayers and encouragement go with you.

Serving in Christ,
Gwendolyn Schnell


Friday, February 24, 2017

Mary Rose and Me #23 "Sweethearts"

An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth
is far above jewels.


           Article 23 
By: Gwendolyn Schnell
“Miss Gwen”

“An empty shoe box. Red, pink, and white paper. Cute smiley stickers. Scissors, glue and a pencil to draw with. A sack of candy hearts, and pencils with heart shapes, for those in my class. And…2 boxes of cards.” Mary Rose said the name of each item as she took her valentine supplies out of the sack. She really liked Valentine’s Day because it is a time when so many are made to feel oh so special by the cards and sometimes sweet treats they receive. 

The cards usually had something unique about them like the shape, an especially drawn picture, a fun or kind message saying, "Be My Valentine" meaning they were special to someone. 

Mary Rose had to get busy though because all her valentines had to be signed an ready to take to school by Friday and her valentine box had to be decorated and her name written in plain sight so her classmates would know which box was hers, for everyone else in class would also have decorated boxes. She was excited thinking about the things they would find in their boxes from her. 

This year she would not only trade valentines with her classmates at school but also with those in her youth group from church!

There was a special Saturday afternoon marked on the calendar for a Bible Sweetheart Scavenger hunt and devotional time! This was the first year Mary Rose was old enough to go and said to herself, "This is going to be a lot of fun!"

Getting her lists out she laid them and the cards in front of her to easily choose a card for each person. She saw pretty cards, funny cards, and cards with kind sweet words. And speaking of sweet, chocolate is one of Mary Rose' favorite things to eat! She always gets some form of choclate from her Daddy on Valentines Day. "Yummy" she thought, "I can't wait!"

Her school Valentine's Day party was finally here and after lunch they put their work away and everyone got their boxes and put them on top of their desks. What a sight! All kinds of decorated boxes! It was nice to be up from their desks able to walk around in the room visiting with each other and making their "special deliveries" to each box where an opeing had been especially made for the cards to easily slide inside. By the end of the day each box had lots and lots of valentines!
to be fun!” Getting out her lists she laid them and the cards out 

The next day would be an adventure with her church youth group for she wasn’t sure just what to expect but she knew there would be valentines and a devotional. “Oh, I will also need to take my Bible.” So she set it out beside her Valentines and treats so she would remember to take it
"Hmmm," said Mary Rose to herself, "I don't think Valentine's Day is in the Bible but we do find love and kindness; and Valentines Day certainly is about that!"

After her family ate lunch they got in the car and drove to the churh's building. When they arrived, Mary Rose walked in the room used for such gatherings. It was decorated with red balloons, white tablecloths with red paper hearts scattered around on top. She turned around an was so excited to see everyone there from her particular bible class coming into the room! They joined her at a table with white sacks. To be part of the card exchange each person needed a decorated sack. They each picked a sack, wrote their name on it, and added a few hearts and stickers to the outside and set them back on the table when they were finished. When it came time to pass out their valentine cards, Mary Rose thought some of the older kids were acting very silly. 

It wasn't long and they were being divided up into 2 teams to play the Bible Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt game! 
There were 2 tables and on each table were 10 half hearts with a name and scripture inside. Each team had an adult to go around with them to make sure they stayed on task during the search. 

The object was to work together with your team to find the other half of the hearts following the clues and to win by being the first team havin gall 10 Bible sweethearts matched up correctly and all their team members back to their table when their last heart is matched up!

The teams were split up pretty evenly between older and younger players. Mary Rose could hardly wait to get started.

She was on team #1.

She had never really given it much thought as to how many couples or sweethearts were actually named in the Bible thought it seemed there were plenty for this game.

Her team actually knew some of the answers but they still had to read the clues and scriptues because those were the rules.
One clue read:

Delilah was a woman who knew what she wanted, but she was not someone to trust. She begged and cried to get her way with her sweetheart, and he who once was strong was now one of the weakest men around. Find his name on one of the handicap doors of the building. 
They read Judges 16:10 to find out the name of Delilah's sweetheart and off they went to find the other half of the heart with his name. 

It was a close race but they worked fast and team #1 won!! 
They were so excited they were jumping up and down, hugging each other. 
What fun!

After snacks they were called over to a circle of chairs. This was the devotional area. They began with singing. Mary Rose and her friends loved to sing and lifted their voices in praise to God. 

One of the young men led a prayer and then the devotional thought was given by their new youth and family minister. He had them turn in their Bibles to Acts 18. He had picked a Bible couple from the scavenger hunt game to share more about. These sweethearts were Aquila and Pricilla.

Some of the things they learned about them included:

  1. They were husband and wife. Acts 18:2
  2. Both of their names are mentioned together at least 5 times in the scripture. Acts18:18-19, 26; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19
  3. They were christians. Romans 16:3
  4. They were tent makers and Paul had that in common with them. Acts 18:1-3
  5. They opened their home to the church and Paul stayed with them. Acts 18:3, 1 Corinthians 16:19
  6. They traveled with Paul. Acts 18:18-19
  7. They worked together as a good team to help others know how to obey the gospel. Acts 18:24-26
  8. They loved God and others. They showed that by what they did.
Another song and a prayer and the afternoon was over.
Mary Rose had lots of fun getting to know the youth group better ands was happy she and her friends had been welcomed so nicely. And it was wonderful learning about Aquila and his wife Pricilla. What a great team they made!

Once she was at home she was looking so forward to opening all her valentines, but before she began she noticed a beautiful pop-up card standing up on the table with a heart shaped box of chocolate candy next to it. It had her Mama's name on it. It was from her husband, Mary Roses' Daddy. 

He had written:
Heart of my heart you will always be, 
For you are the Valentine especially for me! 

"Sweethearts," she thought. It was nice to think about how much her parnets loved each other and showed taht love by how well they treated each other. "They also do a lot in the church" she thought. "Kind of like Aquila and Pricilla."

Then she saw a smaller card and smaller box of chocolate candy on the other side of the table and these had her name on them. 
She opened the card and read: 
"My Dear Mary Rose,
Hearts and flowers, and chocolate bites, 
Having you for my Valentine
Is a true delight!
You are my Sweet Girl. 
Love, Daddy"

"She thought this was the MOST special valentine!" And felt happy inside knowing her Daddy loved her and thought she was someone special to him. Of course she knew that, but it is always nice to be told, and she took a bite of chocolate, "Yum."

To my Sister Bible class teachers,
Mary Rose not only enjoyed the “party” aspect of their time together but she thrived on the Bible game and devotional as well. Holiday gatherings are a fun reason to get together but let’s remember it is always important to take advantage of that time and gear our youth toward Bible truths. They didn’t just have a game. They had a Bible game with Bible sweethearts that actually went with the idea of the holiday. Then in the devotional, they focused on one couple from the game. 

If you will notice in the clue about Delilah, she has a sweetheart not a husband. This is because Samson and Delilah were not married they just “liked” each other.
I hope you enjoy this month’s featured visual aid!

The Bible Sweetheart Scavenger Hunt!
Just lick on the gold star below!
A Gold Star Just For You!

If you don’t want to do the scavenger hunt use the Bible sweethearts in the classroom with teams, questions, and answers. Just read the clue and if they know the match put the heart together, but if they don’t know who it is have them look up the scripture and then complete the heart. Have a wonderful rest of the month!

My prayers and encouragement go with you.
Serving in Christ,
Gwendolyn Schnell