Are You Content?

 

Have you ever read the Dr. Seuss story, The Sneetches?

“Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.”

The Sneetches’ society was split into two classes, those with stars on their bellies and those without. And those without were terribly envious of those with stars. They spent all their time moping, desperate to change their situation – even to the point of losing sight of what’s really important in life.

Have you ever felt discontent — that longing for something you can’t have? Maybe you feel a pang of jealously when you see your neighbor’s beautiful home renovations or disappointment when someone else gets the promotion you wanted at work. Maybe you’ve been sighing at the sight of your girlfriend’s new diamond bracelet or stubbornly settling for a family camping trip while your friends go on a fabulous cruise.

In October, elementary kids in Kid’s Quest are learning what God has to say about the virtue of Contentment: choosing  to be happy with what you’ve got, drawing our inspiration from Philippians 4:11-12 (NIV 1984):

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Here’s a quick review of what elementary kids are learning this month. Use the following questions to talk about Contentment at home:

Oct. 6/7:
Bible Story: The Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:1-13, 23 & 24
Bottom Line: When you want what you shouldn’t have, it can lead to trouble.
Talk About It: Do you prefer to be around people who always want more or who are content with what they have? What is the di­fference between being content and striving to make things better?

Oct. 13/14:
Bible Story: Israelites long for Egypt, Exodus 16:2-21, 17:1-4
Bottom Line: When you want what you had before, you miss what you have now.
Talk About It: Have you ever felt content with what you had until someone else made you feel like it wasn’t good enough?What things in your life rob you of contentment?

Oct. 20/21:
Bible Story: The Grapes Are Always Greener (King Ahab & Naboth’s vineyard), 1 Kings 21:1-19, 27
Bottom Line: When you want what someone else has, it can make you miserable.
Talk About It: Have you ever regretted not being content? Is the person with the most stu­ff usually the most content? Why?

Oct. 27/28:
Bible Story: Don’t Worry, Be Happy (do not worry), Matthew 6:25-33
Bottom Line: When you trust God, you don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
Talk About It: Have you ever tried to get a lot of something because you were scared it would be gone later? Have you ever put your trust in something besides God? How did you learn to be content?

What Is Love?

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:39

This month Elementary kids are exploring the virtue of Love: choosing to give someone your time and friendship no matter what. Here’s a quick look at what we’re covering each week at Kid’s Quest:

  • Sept. 1/2: Love God by loving others, Matthew 22:39
  • Sept. 8/9: Love others, even your enemies, Matthew 5:43-47
  • Sept. 15/16: Love others by putting them first, Mark 8:27-30, 10:33-40; John 13:1-9, 34-35, 15:12-13
  • Sept. 22/23:  Love others by forgiving them, John 21:15-19
  • Sept.29/30: Love others, even those who are different, Acts 10:1-35

Talk further at home to help your kids fully grasp what they’re learning in Kid’s Quest. Here are some questions to get the conversation started…

  • When was a time you gave something up so that someone else would know you really loved them?
  • Is there someone in your school or neighborhood who isn’t kind to you? How can you show them love?
  • What might distract you from showing your family and friends you love them?
  • When was a time that someone made you feel loved without spending much money?
  • Think about someone you know who’s different from you. Does God want you to love them? Why?

Next, help your kids personally apply what they’re learning. Last weekend we sent home a flier of family service opportunities outlining multiple practical, tangible ways your family can live out this month’s theme verse, Matthew 22:39. If you missed it, pick one up this weekend!

 

Elementary Summer Series

This past weekend elementary kicked off an exciting summer teaching series called See-Do. See-Do is an eight-week video series based on James 1:2: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Kids will enjoy watching hosts Craig and Natalie as they ride Sea-Doos on Lake Powell and explore different Bible stories to learn what it means to live out their faith in practical ways. Kids will learn to “See the need and Do the deeds” to help others and please God. Here’s an overview of each week’s lesson:

  • Lesson 1: Rock and Roll (Cheerfulness): God provided fresh water from a rock for the Israelites, even though they were always complaining. Kids will learn that if they choose to be thankful when things go wrong, they will have a cheerful heart.
  • Lesson 2: Does it Float? (Responsibility): Elisha helped his friend recover a borrowed ax that fell in the water, so that he could be responsible. Kids will learn that it is important to be responsible by taking care of their things so that others can depend on them.
  • Lesson 3: Let’s Take a Dip (Humility): Naaman was an important leader, who learned the importance of humility, when he was told to wash in the Jordan River to be healed of his leprosy. Kids will see that God wants them to be humble and put God first in their lives.
  • Lesson 4: Serve Us, Anyone? (Example): Kids will hear how Jesus set a perfect example of serving others by washing His disciples’ feet. They will learn that they can be servant leaders as well, by looking out for the needs of others, before their own.
  • Lesson 5: Chill Out (Calm): Jesus helped the disciples to calm down when they were out on a lake in the middle of a storm. Kids will hear that God is able to help them through any storm in their own life and give them peace and calm in the midst of the storm.
  • Lesson 6: Don’t Drink the Water (God’s Power): God showed Pharaoh that His Power was mighty when He used the plagues to get Pharaoh’s attention. Kids will learn that nothing or no one is greater than God Himself.
  • Lesson 7: Remember When (Remember): Kids will learn that the Israelites built a special rock memorial to remind them and their children of all the incredible things that God did for them. God wants all of us to remember the many blessings He has given to us.
  • Lesson 8: Time for a Bath (Believe): Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth because he believed. God desires for everyone to believe in His son, Jesus, as He is the only way to heaven.

Watch the first video in the series which the kids saw this past weekend.

SeeDo Elementary Series from Empowering Inc on Vimeo.

Our teaching time will also include dynamic worship to get kids moving and praising God and interactive team competition. Your kids can score big for their summer teams by coming dressed for these weekly themes:

  • July 15: Beach Day
  • July 22: Crazy Hair Day
  • July 29: Olympic Sports Day
  • August 5: Hat Day
  • August 12: Super Hero Day
  • August 19: Camo Day
  • August 26: Backwards Day

Following Large Group kids will have time in Small Groups to discuss what they learned and apply it to their own lives. But the learning doesn’t have to stop when they leave Kid’s Quest! Each week kids will receive a take-home sheet with a recap of the lesson and “To Do At Home” questions to answer with their families. If they bring it back completed the following week, they’ll earn points for their team and receive a prize. If you ever miss a week, visit our Curriculum Resources page to get caught up.

Also “enter into the action” at home by making use of our Family EnterAction Guide, a booklet filled with daily activities to help reinforce the lessons. Guides are available with your child’s Small Group Leader or view it online.

Responsibility

This past weekend elementary kids learned the story of the Good Samaritan and this weekend coming up they’ll wrap up learning about our current virtue, Responsibility: showing you can be trusted with what’s expected of you. Our theme verse we’ve been focussing on this month comes from Luke 16:10 (NIV) “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”  Try saying the verse together as a family this week. We also encourage you to help your kids reflect on this past weekend’s bottom line — I can be trusted when I choose to help others — by talking together, maybe around the dinner table or at bedtime, about these questions:

  1. When was a time you or your family chose to help someone?
  2. How is giving to others a good example of responsibility?

 

Finding Love in A Hopeless Place

There’s a chart-topping pop song by Rihanna that’s recently been playing on the radio stations called “We Found Love (in a Hopeless Place).” Lyrically there’s not a whole lot going on in the song but whether you like Rihanna or not, it’s hard to keep the chorus out of your head once you’ve heard it (it repeats over and over and over again). I will agree with Rihanna on one point, I have found love in a hopeless place…just not the same love she’s singing about. I’m, of course, talking about the unconditional and unending love God has for us. A love so amazing that He sent His one and only son, Jesus, to die for us so that we could know His deep love for us and be rescued from the hopeless place our sin leaves us.

This month, elementary kids in Kid’s Quest are also learning about the virtue of Hope: believing that God can make something good come out of something bad. Our memory verse for the month comes from John 16:33b (NIV): “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It’s because of God’s love for us and the gift of His son, Jesus, we can learn to hope in a hopeless place.

Talk about hope at home with your kids. Use our the Fridge Door cards (half page card) we send home each weekend to prompt a spiritual conversation around the dinner table. This week’s question was “What is something in your life that seems hard right now?” If you don’t have any of the cards from this month, go to our curriculum resource webpage to download any or all of them today. We’ve also sent home a full page card we call a God Time Card. These are daily activities to encourage your child to spend time with God. If your child is younger, do the card together. If your child is older, encourage them to start the habit of seeking daily alone time with God. Don’t have this card either? That’s ok because it’s also available on our curriculum resource webpage to download!

I leave you with another catchy song originated long before Rihanna ever hit the music scene. This particular version must be catchy because my kids watched it six times in a row when I first showed it to them (talk about repeating something over and over again)!  So enjoy and talk with your kids about how they, too, can have hope when all seems hopeless because of God’s love for us.

– Romney