Thursday, October 8, 2009

Faith and Frogs Object Lesson

Use a stuffed toy frog as the object. Other props are: $1 bill, mirror, picture of someone, fortune cookie, toy car or Lego toy, golden triangle to represent the Trinity or flashcard with "GOD" on it.

Not long ago, I received this frog as a gift, and as soon as I saw it, I was reminded of something, Write “FROG” on the blackboard as an acrostic. Do you know what “FROG” means?

F—ully (What does fully mean? Completely, all the way)
R—elying (What does relying mean? Trusting, leaning on)
O—n (What does on mean? Not behind or under)
G—od (What do we think of when we think of God? Our all-powerful Creator and Savior)

What do you and I rely on or trust or lean on? Do we trust in God? Or are we fully relying on something else?

Money (Use $1—our money says “In God We Trust”—Do we?)
Yourself (Use a mirror—How many times have you thought, “I can do this myself”?)
People (Use a picture of someone—Are you leaning on some other person to take care of you)
Luck (Use a fortune cookie—Do you believe in good luck/bad luck?)
Stuff (Use a small car—Are you relying on stuff to make you happy?)
God (Use a yellow triangle to represent the Trinity—Or are you leaning on God? )

We trust cars and airplanes to get us where we are going. We trust the bank to give us money from our account. We trust people to do what they say they will do. We trust our own abilities to do for ourselves. We sometimes trust in horoscopes/stars/luck/chance and gamble hoping to get something for nothing.

If we are believers in Jesus, we have trusted God to save us. But, do we trust Him to keep us and provide for us and lead us in the choices we make? Do we trust Him to help us love those who are not loveable, to do the things that are really hard for us? God wants us to keep on leaning on Him every day. He wants us to fully rely on Him.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
I am going to keep this little frog, and when I see it, it will remind me to Fully Rely On God, and to trust God with all my heart...and to lean on Him every day, not on my own understanding! (Draw leaning figure on "GOD" triangle on blackboard)

Repeat verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” ”Proverbs. 3:5

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Working Your Way to Heaven (puppet skit)

Verse: “But without faith it is impossible to please him” Heb 11:6
Puppets walk on stage. Girl puppet carries a bag.

Mom: Priscilla, what have you got in that bag?

Pris: These are all my heaven things, Mom.

Mom: Heaven things? (She pulls out a blue ribbon) What’s this ribbon for?

Pris: That’s my perfect attendance ribbon from Sunday School. I went every single week...all year long!

Mom: I’m so glad you enjoy Sunday school so much that you don’t want to miss, but...

Pris: pulls out a trophy) ...And this is for being present at church every Sunday morning and every Sunday evening for a whole year.

Mom: Priscilla, you’re there...but do you listen to the sermons?

Pris: Not always..But I got this ribbon and trophy, and that’s what counts with God, you know.

Mom: (pulls out a sheet of paper) ...and this?

Pris: Wednesday night church certificate, and there’s another one for choir...and one for Calvinettes.

Mom: (takes a piggy bank from sack & shakes it so coins rattle) Where did you get all this money?

Pris: Dad gave it to me for reminding him of all the deacon’s and Sunday School teacher’s meetings he has to go to. I’m going to give it to the missionaries on Missionary Sunday.

Mom: I see... (searching through the bag) Where’s your Bible?

Pris:’s in there somewhere...probably at the bottom.

Mom: Priscilla, do you really think all this is going to help you get to heaven?

Pris: You don’t think it’s enough? Maybe if I helped with Vacation Bible School...and worked in the nursery....

Mom: (interrupting her) Priscilla! We don’t go to church or help someone just to get something in return.

Pris: But...God will sure be impressed when He sees all that I’ve done, won’t He? (Mom shakes her head No) He won’t??

Mom: Oh, Prissy...First of all, God knows what you’ve done. He doesn’t need a bag full of stuff...He knows everything?

Pris:(slowly) Evvvverything??

Mom: Yes, everything. And secondly, none of the things you’ve done will get you to heaven. The Bible says (in Ephesians 2:8-9) that you have been saved by grace through faith and even that is not anything you make yourself. It is a gift of God, not of works, so that no one will be able to boast.

Pris: Not even my trophy?

Mom: Not even your trophy. The only way to God the Father is by trusting in Jesus, His only Son, as your Savior. He died so that you could know God right now, AND be with Him forever.

Pris: I guess I was wrong to do all those things.

Mom: weren’t wrong to do them. But you were wrong to trust in them to get you to heaven.

Pris: I think I see. I don’t have to work to get to heaven...because Jesus has already done the work for me when He died on the cross.

Mom: That’s right.

Pris:(ducks down and dumps out her bag behind the curtain)

Mom: What are you doing now?

Pris.(Comes back up with empty bag) I have a new bag of heaven stuff. This is what I’ve decided to take with me.

Mom: (looks inside) What do you mean? There’s nothing in here. I don’t see anything at all. This bag is empty.

Pris: No, Mom. It’s just empty of all the things I thought would impress God. The bag is full...It’s full of faith in what Jesus did for me. That’s all that really counts.
©Kathleen Wynveen

Faces In A Box


The Shopper
The Man out of work, due to injury
The Elderly Widow
The Little Boy


Large box labeled “Food Pantry Donations”
Grocery bag full of canned goods, etc.


The shopper walks up to the song “Joy to the World”, carrying grocery bag, examining sales receipt and complaining...

Shopper: (to audience) I cannot believe the price they charge for almond paste these days! It’s robbery, that’s what it is...And condensed milk! $2.00 a can! I tell you, this Christmas baking is really shooting holes in my grocery budget. And if that isn’t bad enough, I still have to finish my Christmas shopping. Little Homer wants a new computer...and Willie just has to have a new Ipod. And no matter where I go to shop, somebody will be ringing a bell and asking for money... Honestly! I am a generous woman, you know, but sometimes you wonder just where does this money all go. (Spies the food pantry box) Take that box over there...It seems as though every grocery store has one. (Fishes around in her bag) Well, let’s see...I guess I can spare a can of vegetables. Willie doesn’t like vegetables, anyway.(She lobs the can into the box)

Voices: (ad lib offstage) Ouch! That hurts! Oooh!

Shopper: (Startled) What was that?

Man: Careful who you’re throwing cans at, lady, people could get hurt.

Widow: We have feelings, too, you know.

Boy: And besides, my Mama says it’s bad manners to throw things at people.

Shopper: Whatta ya mean...people? This is just a box...Isn’t it? (Goes to look in the box—then aside to audience) You won’t believe this...I must be hallucinating ...I think...I think I see faces in there.

Widow: Of course you do, Honey. We all have faces, you know, just like yours.

Boy: And we all have tummies, and mine’s hungry...But Mama says we’ll get a box from the food pantry and then we’ll have something to eat.

Shopper: (to the box) Little boy...Is your Mama in there, too?

Boy: Nope...Mama’s working at the convenience store...but she’ll be home pretty soon...and then we’ll go to the food pantry. And you’ll go, too, right, Mrs. Green?

Widow: Yes, Bobby...I hope there will be some brown sugar and chocolate chips. Maybe we can bake cookies tomorrow while your Mama’s at work.

Shopper: Bobby? Mrs. Green? You’ve got real names?

Man: Of course they’ve got real names...We all have ...mine’s Wally...And we’ve got real lives, too. Bobby’s mother works hard, but sometimes it’s hard to make ends meet. Mrs. Green is a widow. Her husband was sick for a long time before he died, and their savings went to pay his medical bills. She watches Bobby while his Mom works.

Shopper: And you...?

Man: I got hurt about six months ago, and it’ll be another month or so before I can go back to work. The food pantry’s been a big help for me and my family.

Shopper: I never realized...I feel so ashamed. (Looks in the box again) Boy, there’s not very much in there...(begins to put groceries in the box, carefully)

Bobby: Macaroni and cheese!

Widow: Chocolate chips!

Man: Lady, you’ve made our day!

Shopper: (to audience) And you can make their day, too. Be generous and give non-perishable food items to the food Christmas and throughout the year. A box will be available here for your donations. Thank you.

Voices: And we thank you, too!

Sound Man...Bring up “Joy to the World” and fade.

©Kathleen Wynveen

Soap and Sin

I John 3:5 ... He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. (NAS)

Objective: To illustrate “pure” and “sinless”

Materials: Bar of Ivory soap

Hold up bar of Ivory soap. What is this? Do you know what is special about this soap? It is the only soap that claims to be 99 44/100% pure. What do you think that means? What does pure mean?

Pure means clean or free from dirt...not mixed with anything else...having no fault (sinless)...complete.

Let’s take a look at this soap and see it if looks pure. (open package) What would you do with this soap?

The label says that it is 99 44/100% pure. Do you know what that means? When something is 100% pure, it means all of it is clean, free from dirt, not mixed with anything 100% means ALL, not only part of. 99 44/100% mean ALMOST ALL, BUT NOT QUITE. Even though this is white, even though it works to wash things, it has some “dirt” in it. We can’t see the little bit of dirt in the soap, but it’s there.

What do you think this soap has to do with Jesus?

The Bible tells us in I John 3:5 that Jesus is 100% pure. It says, “...In Him there is no sin.” The dictionary says that one of the meanings of “pure” is “having no fault—without sin”. Jesus isn’t just 99 44/100% pure, like Ivory soap—He is 100% pure—ALL PURE, ALL SINLESS. He has never disobeyed God the Father; He has never broken any of God’s laws. There is no sin in Him, and there never was.

Ivory soap is advertised as being “naturally clean”, but it’s not perfect, not 100% pure. And it can’t wash out all the dirt, even though it can wash out a lot of it.

Jesus is 100% perfect. He’s the only One who can wash out all the sin from our lives so that we can stand before God some day—clean and perfect just as He is.

If you want to wash out dirt, use soap. If you want to wash out sin, trust Jesus. He’s 100% pure.

I John 3:5 ... He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

Dandelion Christians

Objective: To show the quality of steadfastness (determination) in both the dandelion and the faithful Believer.

Object: Dandelion, dandelion seeds if possible

When I was a little girl, I loved to pick dandelions and bring them to my mother as a gift. When my children were little, they picked the first dandelions in the spring and put them in a glass of water as a gift for me.

Dandelions are everywhere! Their flowers are easily pollinated, they grow in many climates, they are extremely hardy. You can walk on them, try to pull them out, and they still live. Each plant can put out hundreds of seeds (pollinated by common insects and bees). The seeds are lightweight and are blown everywhere by the wind—sometimes for miles. When they fall to the ground, they can begin to take root in tiny cracks in the sidewalk or blacktop. They are not fussy where they grow, and they have a strong root, called a taproot, that can grow down through even the driest ground to find water. They don’t know what it means to give up.

When I think of dandelions, they make me think of a word that the Bible uses about obedient, faithful Christians. That word is “steadfast”. Do you know what it means? It means to not give stand fast, to keep right on even when it is hard. It means that Christians must depend on God just as the dandelion depends on its strong root to find food and water. And it also means that Christians should be sending out seeds everywhere..

What is the seed we must send out? It is the good news that Jesus has died for our sins and that by trusting in His sacrifice for us, He makes us God’s children, and we can have life forever with Him in heaven. Another name for the seed is the Gospel of Salvation. Every time we tell someone about Jesus, we are dropping seeds of “good news.” Every time we trust God to help us do what is right, our roots are growing deeper and deeper in Him.

In I Corinthians 15:58, the Bible says “ ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding (increasing) in the work of the Lord...”

When you leave here today, look all around you and observe the dandelions. When you get home, pick a dandelion to remind yourself that Christians should be like dandelions...steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work God has for them.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Under His Feathers

Objects: Beanie Duck, down feathers & flight feathers, picture of nest & eggs

How many of you enjoy watching birds? Do you have a bird feeder? Bird houses? Just this week, I found a bird’s nest under my rose bushes. What kind do you think it was?

It was a mallard duck’s nest, and there were 11 eggs in it! As I looked at that nest, I was reminded of a Bible verse that tells us something about what God is like. Let’s see what it says about God...and about ducks.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.... He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust...” Ps. 91: 1,2,4a

I’ll bet you never thought of God having feathers, did you? Of course, He doesn’t really have feathers, but King David used a bird and its feathers to describe the way God protects and cares for His people.

Let’s see how a duck is a little bit like God.

The duck takes great care to make a nest in which to lay her eggs. She even pulls out soft, tiny down feathers from her own breast to make a cushion under the eggs. After she lays the eggs, she carefully sits on them to keep them warm until the little ducklings hatch. When she has to leave the nest to get food for herself, she carefully covers the eggs with...guess what? Feathers!

How long do you think the duck will have to sit and wait for her eggs to hatch into ducklings? (3-4 weeks) That’s a long time, isn’t it, but she knows that the eggs have to stay warm or they will die. She also knows that there are animals that like to eat duck eggs, so she sits on the nest every night to protect the eggs from danger. Her job isn’t over when the ducklings break out of the eggs, either. The same animals that like to eat eggs, like to eat little ducks. When she is taking her ducklings to find food and water, she will watch for hawks who might swoop out of the sky to attack her little ones. If a hawk appears, the ducklings will run right back under their mother’s feathers, so that she can protect them.

So, how is a duck like God?
God knows just what is best for us, just as He has made the duck to know that her eggs need warmth and a protected place
Jesus (who is God) loves us so much that He has sacrificed Himself for us, just as the duck has sacrificed her own warm down feathers to keep her eggs warm
God is very patient—even when we sin, He is willing to forgive us—just as the duck patiently sits and waits for nearly a month for her babies to hatch out
God is our strong protector—no matter what we have to face on this earth, He is always the place where we can run and hide—just as the ducklings can run to hide under their mother’s wings when danger comes close

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust...” Ps. 91:4a

Two Baskets

Last time we talked about Passover. Today we will talk about Easter. Today I brought an Easter basket. Let’s see what is in it...

Stuffed rabbit—Easter is not the Easter bunny

Remove the bunny and place a picture of Jesus and a small toy lamb in its place in the basket.

“The Bible says that Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. The Jewish people celebrated the Passover to remember how a lamb was sacrificed so that they would be safe from the Angel of Death when they were slaves in Egypt. We remember that Jesus, our Lamb, died to take the punishment for our sin.”

Easter eggs—Easter is not a basket of colored eggs

Replace the eggs with a wooden cross, preferably a crude one with slivers.

Although we often think of the egg as a symbol of life, the cross is a symbol of death, and Jesus had to die in our place before we could eternal life.

Sweet Easter candy—Easter is not sweet chocolate and marshmallow

Remove the Easter candy and place a bottle red wine vinegar in the basket.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, he was given sour wine (vinegar) to drink.

Colorful ribbon bow—Easter is not pretty ribbons and decorations

Remove the bow and tie a large steel nail in its place on the handle.

Jesus was not tied to the cross with colorful bows. His hands and feet were nailed there with sharp spikes.

Easter bonnet/new clothes—Easter is not a pretty new hat or new clothes

Remove the hat and clothes and replace them with a crown of thorns and long strips of cotton sheet.

Before Jesus was nailed to the cross, the Roman soldiers placed a crown made of thorns on his head and mocked him, calling him “King of the Jews”. After he died, his friends took his body down from the cross and wrapped it in long pieces of cloth before they placed it in the grave.

Flowers—Easter is not lilies and other beautiful flowers

Remove the flowers and place packages of spices in the basket.

After Jesus died, those who wrapped his body for burial placed spices around it .

Soft green grass—Easter is not a basket lined with soft green grass

Remove the Easter grass and put in a large stone.

Instead, Easter is a hard, cold tomb…carved out of stone…with a heavy stone rolled tightly across the opening.

The real gift of Easter IS NOT baskets of candy and eggs and toys.

The real gift of Easter IS God’s angel rolling away the stone to show the world an empty tomb. The real gift is a Savior who not only died in our place on the cross, but who also rose again to life forever.

Just as the Jews celebrated Passover to remember how God saved them from death in Egypt, Christians celebrate Easter to remember how Jesus became our “Passover Lamb”.