Fishermen

Most of the stories I wrote for this curriculum were in just plain story format but this one is more of a skit. Sometimes it can be fun to have the kids act out stories.

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Change

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

Matthew 4:18-22

Instructions: Choose 5 students to be:

  • Jesus
  • Simon Peter
  • Andrew
  • James
  • John

Have the students who are playing Simon Peter and Andrew on one end of the stage pretending to be in a boat fishing and have the students who are playing James and John doing the same thing on the other end of the stage. Have the camper playing Jesus walking around in front of the stage until instructed in the story.

One day there were two sets of brothers who were fishermen fishing in the Sea of Galilee. One set was Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and the other was James and his brother John. To the brothers this day seemed like a day like any other day, they did not know that the man walking on the shore was about to change their lives.

You see, the man walking on the shore was Jesus and he was looking for some men who would be His disciples. Disciples were very close followers and friends of Jesus who he taught while He was on earth. As Jesus was walking along He came up to Simon Peter and Andrew’s boat that was near the shore. He called out to the brothers, “Come with me and you will become fishers of men.” Simon Peter and Andrew left their boat with their crew and followed Jesus.

(Have Student Jesus walk over to Student Peter and Andrew and motion for them to follow him and have them walk down to where Student James and John are fishing)

The three of them continued walking down the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Soon they came across another boat where the brothers James and John were fishing with their father Zebedee. Jesus went up to their boat and said, “Leave what you are doing now and follow me. I will make you fishers of men.” James and John left their father on the boat with the crew and followed Jesus.

(Have Student Jesus walk up to Student James and John and motion for them to follow him and have all five students walk away from the stage with the disciples following Jesus)

These four men were the first of twelve who would leave everything they knew to follow Jesus and learn from him. They dared to change when they dared to make the wise choice by following Jesus.

Memory Verse for the week:

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

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Palm Sunday

This week is Passion Week, the week leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ. This week I will be sharing my lessons that I wrote for the events in Passion week.

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Forgive

Palm Sunday

Mark 11:1-11, John 12:1-19

This lesson is the first for four that tell one big important story.  This story takes place in the New Testament right after Jesus’ miracle of raising his friend Lazarus, who had recently died, back to life. Mary, Martha and Lazarus were siblings who all were close friends of Jesus.

Mary, Martha and Lazarus threw a big dinner for Jesus to thank him for bring Lazarus back to life. Martha prepared and served the meal while Lazarus relaxed at the table and talked with Jesus and the disciples, but what Mary did during this time was a bit odd.

Earlier that day while Martha was preparing the food for the dinner, Mary had gone out and bought a very expensive, very nice smelling perfume. During the dinner, after everyone had eaten, Mary took the perfume to where Jesus was sitting and she kneeled in front of him.

Then she did the thing that some of the people at the table thought was odd, she poured the very expensive, very nice smelling perfume on Jesus’s feet and washed them with her hair.

The whole house started to smell like this perfume. At this time, one of the disciples named Judas Iscariot, loudly objected to her doing this, saying, “Why is she wasting this? She could have given the money she spent on this perfume to the poor. It was easily worth at least a year’s wages.”  The thing was, Judas did not really care about the poor. He was the disciple who was put in charge of the money bag and he was a thief, often taking money out for his own use. He was the disciple that would later betray Jesus and get him arrested.

Jesus told him, “Leave Mary alone. She was supposed to do this, for you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you.”

A large crowd of Jews came to the house because they had either seen Jesus bring Lazarus back to life or had heard about it and many of them started believing that Jesus was the Messiah sent from God. This made the chief priests angry because they did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. They decided to make plans to kill him.

The next day, Jesus and the disciples were on their way to Jerusalem. About half way there, Jesus sent a few of them ahead into a small village to get a young donkey that no one had ridden yet and bring it to him. He told them if anyone asked what they were doing to tell them, “The Lord needs it and will return it soon.” They brought it to Jesus and he got on and rode it into town. Many people crowded around him, putting their clothes and leaves on the road and they followed Jesus shouting. “Hosanna! Hosanna! Praise God!”

This made the chief priests even more angry and they wanted to kill Jesus even more than before and they started thinking of how they could get away with it.

Memory Verse for the Week:

Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Walking on Water

Here is another story from the Curriculum that I am working on.

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Believe

Walking on Water

Matthew 14:22-36

Today’s story starts right after Jesus and his disciples had just feed the 5000 people and it was the end of the day. While Jesus was sending the crowd away he had the disciples get back into their boat to go back to other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Instead of getting in the boat with the disciples he told them to go and he would meet up with them later. He then went up the mountain side to pray and spend time with his Father. During the night the disciple’s boat got a considerable distance away from the shore by the time that Jesus headed out to catch up with them. Now how was Jesus supposed to catch up with them if they were in the middle of the Sea of Galilee and he did not have a boat?

Jesus did something quite remarkable, he walked on the water to the boat to meet his friends. The disciples were afraid when they saw him walking on the water, they were sure he had to be a ghost because humans can’t walk on water. But Jesus called out to them, “Don’t be afraid! It is me Jesus!”

Then one of the disciples, Peter said, “If it is really you Jesus, call me out on the water with you!” So Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat and to walk to him on the water. When Peter did this he was walking alright on the water and but then he realized what he was doing and became afraid. As soon as Peter started to fear, he started to sink into the water.

“Lord save me!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached for him and saved him. “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they finally got to the boat the other disciples and Peter worshiped Jesus saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!”

Peter Dared to Believe that he could walk on the water just like Jesus could and even though he got scared he Dared to Believe that Jesus would save him when he began to sink.

Memory Verse for the Week:

John 6:35

“Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and who ever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

I love the second part of this story, after Peter gets out of the boat to meet Jesus walking on the water. Peter gets scared and begins to doubt what he is doing as naturally he shouldn’t be able to walk on the water but with Jesus he can. Peter asked Jesus to call him out of the boat, but when He did Peter still doubted that he could do it, but he still believed that Jesus could and would save him if he failed.

I feel like I relate to this passage pretty well in the stage of my life I am in right now. I spent so much time talking to God about what I am supposed to do with my life, asking Him to call me out and I have been called to share the Gospel with unreached peoples. I have stepped out of the safety of doing what of what would be typically expected of me in society, doing a 40 hour a week unpaid internship that is training for ultimately, hopefully, eventually moving overseas to live among an unreached people group. Some days, most days, that is overwhelming and it feels like I am sinking.

On weeks when I feel like I am so busy I don’t have time to breathe. On days when I have to call Max’s the restaurant I work at to see if they need any extra help (beg them to need extra help) because my shift at the Mall driving the train gets cancelled again because of the weather and I can’t afford a day off. On days when I have to ask my mom to ask for help for rent because even though I haven’t had an actual day off since January 2nd, I can’t afford it on my own. On days when I am forced out of my comfort zone in a class or I am asked to do a task in the office that I have never done before. On days when the anxieties and depression that I have dealt with my whole life feel like they are taking over. It feels like I am sinking and I have to cry out, just like Peter, “Lord, save me!” and Jesus will reach out and save me. I believe that I am where I am supposed to be right now and one way or another I will be provided for. I believe that Jesus helps me even before I know that I need to ask for help because He is truly the Son of God.

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Speak Up

It has been awhile since I have shared one of the stories from the curriculum that I am writing. This story involves a lot of motions that help listeners pay attention and it is fun to see children interact with the story.

Jesus Calms the Storm

Matthew 8:23-27

Today’s story takes place in the New Testament (the second half of the Bible) and it is about one of the miracles that Jesus did while he was on earth.

This story is going to require some action from the listeners, when the story teller says certain words the listeners need to make motions and sounds to go along with each word.

Words Motions
Sleep/asleep Pretend to be asleep
Storm Move arms like wind

and make noise like a storm

Stop Stop all the motions

One day, Jesus had been teaching on the edge of a lake all day and when it came time for him and the disciples to leave they got on their boat to cross the lake. After speaking all day, Jesus was tired so when they got on the boat he laid down and fell asleep (let the listeners pretend to be asleep for a few seconds).

While Jesus was sleeping night came and so did a huge storm (let the listeners stomp their feet and wave their arms for a few seconds). The boat the disciples had probably was not a very stable one, it was probably made of wood. The storm caused the boat to shake because of the waves and wind, and water was getting in the boat. The disciples were scared that the storm was going to destroy their boat. When they went to Jesus to see what he thought, they found that he was sleeping. How could he sleep during a storm like this?

The disciples new that Jesus was tired from teaching all day but they were worried about the storm. They probably figured that if the storm did destroy the boat then it would be better for Jesus to not be sleeping. So they woke him up. Surely when they woke him up he asked them why they did that. When they told him that they woke him up because of the storm and they were scared, he asked them, “You of little faith, why are you afraid?”

Then Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm. He told the wind and the waves of the storm to stop. And they stopped.

Memory Verse for the Week:

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I originally wrote this curriculum for a day that I was planning on being a part of this past summer, for this post I chose to change parts that address the campers to be listeners because while it was originally for a camp, I intend to use it other situations.

This was one of the last stories that I got to teach at this camp before choosing to leave the camp I was a part of. The week I officially decided to leave the camp was easily one of the most discouraging weeks I have had in a long time. I had spent most of my senior year of college writing this curriculum for this camp and I felt uneasy about returning to the camp but I really wanted to see the curriculum that I wrote be used. But almost as soon as I got to the camp I felt unappreciated and unwanted there and ultimately knew that that was not where I needed to spend my summer.

The memory verse that I chose for this week of lesson was Joshua 1:9 which talks about how God has commanded us to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid or discouraged because no matter where we go or what happens God is with us. That was something I really needed to be reminded of that week.

Wise Choice: Speak Up: The Persistent Widow

Here is another story from the curriculum that I have been working on.

Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Speak Up

Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8

Today’s story is found in the New Testament and it a parable that Jesus told his disciples while he was on earth. A parable is a story with a purpose and a lesson. When Jesus was with his disciples he taught them real life lessons and how they applied to their lives. He told them this parable to teach them about how much God cares about his people and wants them to pray to him.

This parable is about a woman who was a widow, this means that her husband had died. This was a problem for her because in that time women were not able to do a lot for themselves and they had to rely on the men in their lives to support and protect them. So this woman had lost her husband and now she was having some legal trouble and did not have anyone to help her.

Because she was having trouble, and she did not have anyone to help her, she went to the judge in town to ask him for help. But the judge in her town was mean, he did not care about the people in his town or what they thought of him. He also did not fear God or care about God’s people.

Instead of helping the widow when she asked for help the first time, he turned her away refusing to help her. But the widow did not back down. She really needed help and she was determined to get it. So she came back and he ignored her again. And she came back and he ignored her again. And so on, until finally the judge got so tired of her coming and asking for help every day that he gave in and helped the widow.

Do you think God is like this mean judge? He is not. God cares about his people and is ready and willing to help them. We can pray to God, that is talking to him. We can talk to him about everything, good things, bad things, even simple things like how our day is going.

The widow in this parable Dared to Speak Up to the judge who refuse to help her until he finally did. We can Dare to Speak to God and he will not refuse to help us like the judge in the parable, he wants us to ask for help because he really wants to help us.

Memory Verse for the Week

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Thank goodness that God is not like the mean judge in this parable that Jesus shared with his disciples. God wants to hear our prayers. God wants good things for his children, He wants to take care of us.

The Bible verse paired with this weeks topic, Joshua 1:9, is one of my favorite verses. It is easy for me to get discouraged, but God tells us that we don’t have to be discouraged because He is with us wherever we go.

Wise Choice: Go: Jonah

In my Dare to Make the Wise Choice series I will share a story from my curriculum and sometimes I might comment on the story and how it applies to our lives as believers and why it was chosen to be part of this curriculum. Fair warning: this is a very long post compared to most of my other posts.

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Dare to Make the Wise Choice: Go

Jonah

Today’s lesson comes from a book in the Old Testament titled Jonah, which is also the name of the man in today’s story. Jonah was one of God’s special messengers called prophets, God would give Jonah messages to share with the people he sent him to.

One day, God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh and tell the people there to repent (apologize to God) for their wrongdoings and turn from their evil ways or God was going to destroy the city. Usually when Jonah heard what God wanted him to do, he would do it without hesitation but this time Jonah did not want to go.

He had heard of the awful things the people in Nineveh had done, they were evil people; Jonah did not want to save them, he did not care if God destroyed them. Instead of making the Wise Choice and Daring to Go where God wanted him to go, Jonah tried to run away from God. Instead heading in the direction of Nineveh, Jonah went in the completely opposite direction and got on boat to go to a different city called Tarshish.

While Jonah was on the boat a huge storm started raging over the sea, rocking the boat; the other men on the boat were scared because they did not know what was happening, but Jonah knew it was because he was disobeying God. Jonah went to the other men on the boat and told them that the storm was because he was trying to run away from his God and they should throw him over board to stop the storm from destroying the boat. At first the men did not want to do this because they thought it would kill Jonah but as the storm got worse and worse, they knew that’s what they had to do.

The men threw him over board but instead of drowning, Jonah was swallowed whole by a large fish in the water. Jonah was alive inside of the big fish’s belly for 3 days and 3 nights, and he spent the entire time praying. He prayed to God saying that if he was given another chance at life then he would do anything God told him and he would never disobey God again.

After the 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of the big fish, the fish threw up Jonah up on the shore. Jonah praised God from letting him live, but then God told him to go to Nineveh again. However, this time Jonah listened. He Dared to Go to Nineveh and tell them that if they did not apologize to God for doing evil things and stop doing them then God was going to destroy their city. He spent 3 days telling everyone he saw in the city what God told him, he even talked to the king. To Jonah’s surprise, the people did repent and they stopped doing evil things and started worshiping God. God forgave the people and did not destroy the city.

Memory Verse for the Week:

Psalm 96:3

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people.”

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I decided that Dare to Go was an appropriate Wise Choice to post as my first post in this series, seeing as I am preparing to “Go” in ministry.

The book of Jonah is a short one in the Old Testament, being only four chapters but it is packed with big lessons in obedience and going where, and to do what, God says to go and to do.

Usually when I have seen the story of Jonah taught, it is about how God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah disobeyed, God gave Jonah a second chance, Jonah goes to Nineveh, the people of Nineveh turn from their wicked ways and God saves them from his wrath, and that is usually where the story ends. But that isn’t where the story ends in the Book of Jonah chapter 4. In chapter 4, after God has spared the city of Nineveh, Jonah is angry that God saved these people. God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to tell the people there to repent and change their ways, but Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh because he had heard how wicked the people were there and did not want to be the one to have to go tell them to change. Jonah tried to run away from God, but we serve an All Knowing and All Seeing God so there is nowhere to go where God does not see us or know what we are doing and God punished him by having him be swallowed by the fish but not letting him drown. After God saved Jonah from drowning and saved him from being eaten by the fish and Jonah finally went to Nineveh to do what he was told to do, he did not think that God would save the people of Nineveh.

Even though the people of Nineveh had been a wicked people, they were still God’s creation and He loved them. Jonah judged the people of Nineveh to be unworthy of being saved but it was not his place to make that judgement. God did not want to see Nineveh destroyed because He still loved the people there. God was happy to see Nineveh change and begin worshiping Him because He wants to be worshiped by all of his creation. At the end of chapter 4 in the Book of Jonah, God tells Jonah that he has absolutely no right to be angry about God saving those people, especially when the people had turned from the evil things they had done. In Jonah’s disobedience and anger, he was no better than the people in Nineveh, but God still saved him.

It is in God’s character to want sinful people to repent of their sins and worship him. That is why He sent His Son to earth so that He, Jesus, could save us from our sins, so that He could bridge the gap between us, sinful people, and God. We are all sinners and none of us are worthy of being saved, but God chose to save us anyway. Just like Jonah, we have absolutely no right to judge whether another person or group of people are worthy of being saved or not. God still desires for us to go out into the world and share His good news about His saving grace, so He will be worshiped by all the nations of the world.