Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Lost Holiday...

At church we sing a chorus that goes like this...

Thanks, thanks, I give you thanks
for all you've done.
I am so blessed,
my soul has found rest,
Oh Lord, I give you thanks.

Whew, the holidays are upon us once again.  My oh my how time FLIES when you are having fun!  It's true that time never stands still and the older I get the more I realize just how short life truly is. The years just seem to be slipping away. 

Every year it seems as if Christmas comes earlier and earlier, perhaps it's the hustle and bustle of life, but more than likely it's because the stores start stocking their shelves with Christmas goods shortly after Labor Day.  In recent years this little tradition of theirs has started bothering me.  Why, you might ask?  Well, because a very important holiday, Thanksgiving, has been lost in the shuffle. It has been gobbled up and lost somewhere between Halloween and Christmas.  Commercialism has eaten up Thanksgiving.

Even on the homefront more and more folks are decorating their homes for Christmas before Thanksgiving has even arrived.  People everywhere are making sure to deck the halls for Ol' Saint Nicks arrival but have made no arrangements to be thankful to the Almighty God. 

Of course, this should be no surprise to believers as the bible says that in the last days an unthankful generation would emerge (2 Tim. 3:1-5).  Folks, we have made it to the last days!  If there has ever been a more unthankful generation, it's this one, and I'm not just talking about forgetting the Thanksgiving holiday.  I am talking about just plain ol' unthankfulness.  Just as the stores have pushed Thanksgiving out of the way, so have people pushed thankfulness to God out of their hearts.

There was a day when folks sat down at the dinner table every evening and gave thanks for the blessings of the day, but sadly those days are long gone in most homes, and now it's getting harder and harder to find folks who will even stop and take just one day out of their lives to give thanks to a loving God who gave them that life. 

Oh sure, everyone anticipates a day or two off work and a big turkey dinner, but do they really stop and take the time to be thankful for God's many bountiful blessings anymore, or is their attitude of thankfulness merely a greasy chuckle of a prayer that says, "Thank ya Lord, Thank ya Lord for this food, over the lips and through the gums, watch out stomach here it comes."

True thankfulness is a lifestyle and should be observed everyday, but at the very least one day a year should be set aside for the giving of thanks to our creator.

This year let's resurrect a lost holiday... THANKSGIVING...and instead of just giving thanks for a nice dinner, how about taking the day and a significant amount of time on your knees to recount God's MANY blessings on your life. 

In EVERY THING give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning YOU.
                            1 Thess. 5:18

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mother/Daughter Banquet

This get together is usually held in honor of Mother's Day, but I suppose you could have one at any time during the year, even perhaps around the holidays. 

A Mother/Daughter Banquet is just that...A banquet to honor mothers and their daughters and that special bond they share between each other.

A Mother/Daughter banquet can have whatever theme you like, examples include:

A Shopping theme
A Floral theme
A Garden theme
Shoes and Purses theme
Southern Belle theme
High Tea

or any number of other themes so long as it is "girly".

Choose a date, place and time for this banquet.  Choose a theme and hand out invitations that go along with the theme you have chosen. 

Ask each lady to bring a dish or if your budget allows, have it catered.  If you are having the ladies bring food you will want to include that information on their invitations.  You might also note on the invitation that this is a formal event and to dress appropriately (not necessarily evening gowns but no casual attire).

Decorate the hall according to the theme you have chosen.   Remember that no matter what theme you have chosen, this is a formal event.  You will want to set each table with nice linens and a centerpiece that coordinates with your theme. 

This event usually has a special speaker or someone to talk about the special bond between a mother and daughter.  Most times this is a Christian based banquet and the speaker touches on the importance and responsibility of a mother to raise her daughter in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and also the daughters responsibility of learning and listening to her mother's instruction.  However, this type of thing is not required.

The most important thing is to get mothers and their daughters together to celebrate womanhood.

You might want to play a few games and give away a few door prizes.

Some door prizes might be given to the oldest mother, the youngest mother, the mother with the most children, etc. or you could choose to give a small party favor to each person in attendance.  Your choice.

Suggestion:  Since this is a formal affair, you could use some of the young men of your church or some of the ladies sons to be waiters for the evening.   Of course, they would also need to be dressed appropriately.  White shirt, black slacks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting Your Spiritual Eyesight

Start with Prayer---

Sometimes it seems the odds are stacked against us. The situation or situations has more impossibilities than possibilities. Everything and everyone is against us. Even your very friends are treating you less than friendly. Nothing goes right at all. Your life is a shambles. Fear settles in. Anxiety overrides every other emotion. It seems as if there is no end of the turmoil in sight. There seems to be no possibility of any sort of resolution in your crisis.

Have you ever felt this way? It doesn’t matter what the situation; it could include health problems, school problems, problems at home. Either way, things keep stacking up and before long you feel overwhelmed. It's probable that each of us have some situations right now in our lives that seem impossible, overwhelming and never ending. (Teacher, open this up for discussion now):

Whatever the situation may be, you just can’t see how things are going to work out and that right there is the problem! It’s not the situation, it’s that we just can see the outcome, so we panic. We just can’t see how everything is going to work out or that everything is going to be alright. The reason being is that we are just not seeing through our spiritual eyes. We need to look into the mirror of the word in order to see properly.

Let’s take a look into that mirror right now and see what happened to some people who felt overwhelmed and outnumbered by a particular situation.

2 Kings 6:8-20—Elisha’s servant was scared. They were surrounded and there was no end of the enemies encamped around about them. However, God opened the servant’s spiritual eyes that he could see the troops of angels and fiery chariots of protection round about. (discuss this scripture passage with the children, noting how it seemed the whole world was against Elisha and his servant, but when the Lord opened the Servant's eyes he could see as Elisha saw, that there was more ready to fight for them than there were against them.)

That’s precisely what we need, God’s intervention, when we only see the carnal side of our situations. First, we must look into the word, it has all our answers. (Psalm 119:18—Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.)

It’s true that there are more for us than against us...look at the following scriptures...

Rev. 12:4 & 7-10—only 1/3 of the angels fell. Therefore there are 2/3 left to protect.

Heb. 12:1—we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. We have other saints, the saints of old, angels and God on our side.

Is. 59:19—So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

There was someone else who was spiritually blind who allowed his blindness to affect himself and those around him. He didn’t really have a negative situation in his life, he was the negative situation.

The apostle Paul persecuted the church because he couldn’t see truth and he thought everyone else was wrong. He was trying to defend God only to find out that he was fighting against him. However, one day on the road to Damascus he had a personal encounter with God. The scriptures’ recording of Paul being blinded and then the scales falling from his eyes symbolizes how we are blind until we come in contact with "the truth". The truth of who God is will cause us to be able to see more clearly. God made the proverbial scales fall of his eyes so that he could see through his spiritual eyes. This process is called revelation.

We need to look at every situation in our lives with clarity and we can do this by applying God’s word. If we are sick or maybe in my situation with my daughter being sick, I need to not be disappointed or upset about that situation, I have to look at it knowing that God said he is the healer and that he doesn’t lie. However, he cannot heal if I have doubt. Doubt is a blinder, faith is an eye opener. Sometimes we go through life with our spiritual blinders on. We see everything from a human, carnal perspective; however, we don’t have to do that. We can look at every situation from God’s perspective by looking to his word. we can believe that when the enemy comes in like a flood that the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For Such a Time as This

Scripture text: Esther 4:8; 4:10-14

Esther had never known the reason that she, a jew, was chosen to be queen, but God had a plan for Esther. And God has a plan for each of us also. We don’t always know why we are in certain situations, or put in certain places. Sometimes those places and situations seem strange to us. Sometimes we kind of feel out of place. Things are altogether unfamiliar and sometimes we question the Lord "Why are we here?"; "What is going on and what is this all about?". I can imagine Esther might have felt this way.

She was one single Jewish girl in the midst of whole lot of worldly people. She was isolated and alone in the king’s castle. There were no other Jewish girls there to pal around with. She was the only one. I imagine she kind of felt out of place, out of sorts. Why was all this happening. Why did Uncle Mordy send me to do this and why was I chosen to be queen? I can imagine she felt homesick, alone and even possibly scared or worried about what was going to take place in her life, but then suddenly her purpose was made known to her.

Haman had fooled the king into signing a decree that all the Jews in the entire kingdom would be killed on a certain day. The king had no idea that his lovely bride was a Jew. Well here we see the reason Esther became queen. She was placed there to save her people, the Jews, from destruction. She was the only one in a position to save the Jewish race. Why Esther, and what in the world could a small, innocent, unskilled Jewish girl do to stop the destruction of an entire race?

When uncle Mordy told her to go plead their cause before the king Esther was afraid and declined. She said "Uncle Mordy, you know that the only ones who can come into the king’s court are those he invites. Those he holds his sceptre out to. Otherwise, anyone who enters uninvited is killed, immediately. I have not been invited into the kings court the whole time I have dwelled in this house since I was chosen to be queen and it doesn’t look like I am going to be invited anytime soon. There’s no way I can entreat the king for the Jews or even myself".

But Uncle Mordy insisted that Esther entreat the king for her people. He said "if you don’t speak for your people, God’s people, God will send someone else to, and you and your father’s house will surely be destroyed for not doing what God sent you to do, for who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this. Uncle Mordy was saying, Esther this is your calling. This is why you were put in this place. This is your reason for living.

Like Esther, we often don’t understand why we have been put in a particular situation, or in a strange place, but rest assured God knows and he has a plan for each and every one of us. You may not know who it is that you were sent to help deliver from the hands of the evil one. Why has God chosen you. Only he knows. You may have the right personality to win the heart of the one he sent you to help.

However, the key is that we allow ourselves to be used. God put you where you are to win the lost, but if you won’t do it, he will send someone else to take your place who will do it. We may feel afraid to talk to others about salvation and that’s okay. God has given instruction in the rest of this passage in Esther to help with that.

Scripture text: Esther 4:15-17

Esther issued to all the jews, herself and her handmaids a three day fast. They entreated the Lord that Esther would receive the kings favor and would be invited into his court, and Esther made herself ready, through fasting and prayer, through purification of her soul, body and spirit to see the king. This fasting helped her with her fear and God did give her favor with the king to enter into his court.

Esther first asked the king if she could invite the king to a luncheon, and then readied the luncheon. At the luncheon she asked if the king would join her for a dinner. He accepted. She entreated him for her people. He stopped the massacre that had been orchestrated by Haman and the Jews were delivered.

Now you might ask how is this going to help me win the lost? The secret is that no matter how afraid we are to speak to someone. Take it to God through prayer and fasting. Oh God, I want to see souls saved. I need your help so that I can do my part in this place you have put me. I don’t know who and I don’t know why, but you do Lord and I need your help. Give me the words. Help me see what I need to do. Help me to be brave because I know that I have been put here ...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

In time God will show you who you were sent for. First prepare yourself. Make your heart pure. Ask for wisdom and understanding. Live right in the sight of all men (this is the hard one, don’t blow your witness). Then, make friends with them. Wine them and dine all the while helping them find salvation.

Jesus was sent at just the right time to the right place and you were sent at the right time to just the right place. It’s all a part of God’s ultimate plan. His whole desire is that the world be saved.

We have been chosen to finish his work. Is it our desire that "the people" be saved? What are we going to do about it?

Esther was just one little Jewish girl in the midst of a whole nation of jew haters, but she stepped up to the plate to save her people. God had put her in that place, at that time, for that purpose. Oh sure, she could’ve decided that she just couldn’t help and God would have had someone else do it, but Esther would have been the one to lose out. She would've have been killed for entering into the king’s court without invitation. She and her family would have been destroyed.

God has put us here in our place, at our house, in our neighborhood, at our school, at our job, at this time, for his purpose. He has put us here ...FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

Let’s keep our eyes peeled and look for those whom God has sent us to help. Lets prepare ourselves and then help them find salvation.


Read the story of Esther
and be Inspired to be used of God.
Esther 1:1-10-3

There is no memory verse for this lesson but there is an assigment.  Have the children read the Story of Esther this week from their bibles.

Fear vs. Courage

Start with prayer—

This lesson is about the Twelve Spies and should be done in warmer weather because you will want to take the children outdoors, if possible as they will be "spying" out the land.

Fear vs. Courage

Gear up and head out to spy out the promised land (have their snack and memory verse pieces set out for them to find).

Supplies Needed:

Sheets (for cloakes and later to lay on the ground for seating)
hats (something for head, turbans)
Snack:  Grapes, Honey Spread and Mini Bagels
Memory verse pieces (Make "grapes" out of purple paper.  Put one word from Joshua 1:9 on each "grape")

Scripture text: Numbers 13:1-2; 13:17-14:11; 14:22-38 (14:30 only Caleb and Joshua will remain alive to inherit the promised land)

The Lord had promised the Israelites the land of Canaan "a land flowing with milk and honey" for their inheritance. He brought them out of Egypt and did great and mighty wonders in front of their eyes. He preserved them many times with food, water, clothing. When they got to the area where the "promised land" was, God instructed Moses to send in 12 spies (one from each tribe) to spy out the land to see if it was able to be possessed. What types of foods and land it was. The 12 went out and spied the land for 40 days. The land in deed was fantastic. There was lush green lands and vineyards. They found one cluster grapes that it took 2 men to carry on their shoulders because they were so big. It was everything the Lord promised it would be, but there was one "big" problem. Some of the inhabitants of the land were "giants".
When the 12 came back with their report, Caleb and Joshua told Moses how wonderful the land was, but the other 10 was not focused on the good, they were convinced that there was no way the Israelites would be able to overtake the giants. They didn’t remember how the Lord parted the Red Sea, or how he provided food and water in the middle of the desert. They didn’t remember any of the Lord’s mighty victories. You see giants in the land is no big problem for God, but they didn’t compare God’s size to the giants. They compared themselves to the giants and that is where the true problem lied. They said we are like grasshoppers compared to these people. There is no way we can overcome them and cast them out of this land. This upset God altogether and because of their doubt the Israelites were made to wonder and die in the wilderness one year for every day the spies spied out the land. That’s 40 years! God said that all the children of Israel 20 years old and older except for Caleb and Joshua because of their faith, would die in the wilderness and never inherit their promised land. Their fear, and lack of faith and trust in God lost them their promise.

You know sometimes that happens to us. God has promised us many good things, some material things and other spiritual things, but because we face adversity or different problems "giants" so to speak, fear grips our hearts and we forfeit the promise because we are most focused on the problem than the promise.

Let’s discuss some types of promises or rewards we can get but we have backed out because of fear or doubt.

Sometimes we doubt our abilities like the Israelites because of our size or appearance or knowledge. We doubt ourselves. We’re not good enough. We can’t do it! We are afraid of goofing up is what it boils down to. But God has promised that he would never leave us nor forsake us so we should not be afraid but have courage. Courage in him!

Maybe there are some things that God is asking you to do (sing a special, give a bible study, invite a friend to church, pray before eating your lunch at school, etc) but you are afraid of goofing up or what others might think of you so you won’t do it. You are giving up promises each time you let fear win out.

Maybe God has promised he would save your friends soul but that’s not going to happen if you don’t invite them to church. Maybe God has promised you something great in the music ministry area but you are too afraid to even sing a special. It could be anything, it doesn’t even have to do with church. Just anything in life. Later in life maybe you want to be a doctor, but the thought of 8 years of college or more is very daunting. Are you smart enough? How will you ever know unless you try. Eight years is a long time to go to school but you have the promise of being a doctor when you graduate.

Every good thing in life comes with a challenge "a giant" if you will. Your success depends on whether you choose to face the giant or let the fear of that giant beat you.

God has made us one incredible promise. He said...

For the memory verse...scramble the "found" grapes, Read the verse below aloud to the children once, then have them make a cluster of grapes, with the words to the verse in the proper order.  Go over the verse with them a few more time until it memorized.

Memory verse: Joshua 1:9—

...Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.

The promise is that God will be with you where ever you go, so long as you trust him. 


This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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