This week in DIG 11/29

December’s Memory Verse

Oh God you are my God, earnestly I seek you.  My soul yearns for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  I’ve seen you in the sanctuary, beheld your power and your glory because your love is better life, my soul will glorify you, I will praise you.

Psalm 63:1-3, Better Than Life, Seeds of Praise, track 1

Toddlers

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This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Abraham.

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Possible activities and questions to ask with your toddler:

*Have you ever been on a long trip like Abram?  What do you think he packed?  Act out packing for a long journey like Abram.

*Talk about the desert through which Abram and his family traveled to get to the land God promised.  What’s it like to travel in a desert and what lives there?

Preschool- Exile and Return, Ezra 1-6

IMG_8783.JPGPreschoolers are looking at stories from the Old Testament, that display the arc of God’s redemptive story.  This week preschoolers learned about the Babylonian Captivity and return to Jerusalem.

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This is a girl who left Jerusalem and then got to go back.  She was happy.-Julia
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The King said they could go on the race track.-Paul

*I wonder what it was like for the People of God to see the temple torn down and have to leave their home?

*I wonder what it was like to journey and live in Babylon, a strange land?

*I wonder why some of the people of God stayed in Babylon?

*I wonder why some of the people of God returned to their home?

Grades K-1-Daniel and the Scary Sleepover (Jesus Storybook Bible)

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Younger Elementary children continued in the  Jesus Storybook Bible with the story of Daniel and the Lions’ den.

*I wonder why the King’s other helpers didn’t like Daniel?

*I wonder why Daniel prayed three times a day, by himself?

*I wonder why the king would make a rule that everyone must pray to him?

*I wonder who this other young Hero will be who would “pull off the greatest rescue the world has ever known”?

Grades 2-4, Mount Sinai, Exodus 19-20

Older Elementary children are spending November studying key stories of Exodus.

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Why would they die if they touched the mountain? Maybe it was holy ground.-Tony

*I wonder what it was like for Moses to hear God’s voice on Sinai?

*I wonder what it means that Isreal would be God’s “treasured possession”?

*I wonder which command seems the most important ?

*I wonder which one was the hardest to follow?

Grades 5-6 What does it mean to be human? Off

 

Grade 7-8 Mark 6:1-29

Each week the Older Middle Schoolers will look at a new passage in Mark.

1. Reread this week’s passage.  What does this passage teach me about Jesus as Controversial?

2. What does this passage teach me about following Jesus?

3. So what? (What difference does this make for my life?)

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The grades 7-8 class painted a large chalkboard in the foyer of the DIG space.  They are displaying some of their reflection there from their study of Mark.  Make sure to check it out!  

 

 

Prepare Him Room: Resources for Advent

searchAddie found one of her Christmas presents this afternoon.  A cute little tin tea set in a suitcase.  After a time out and a lecture about not snooping in Mommy and Daddy’s room, I was putting her down for nap.  As I tucked her in a leaned in for a kiss, she looked up at me with a big smile and said excitedly, “When Christmas comes I’ll get my tea set and we will have a real tea party with juice right?!”

It is wonderful to be at a stage where my children can anticipate Christmas.  And yet, how do I cultivate an excitement about Jesus coming, when the pull of Elsa dresses and holiday sweets seem far more relevant and attractive?  It can feel so hard to keep Jesus at the center of this season with so much material that dazzles for both our children and ourselves.

Simple daily rituals can help align all of our hearts back to what really matters, to recapture the wonder of Christ coming to earth as a baby, to be Emmanuel, God with us.  My prayer is that in time together reading scripture, reenacting the story of that night in Bethlehem, we all can rediscover the true and lasting joy of Christmas: Jesus Himself.

Advent Readings

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*Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones

Many of you own this wonderful childrens’ bible.  Here’s free advent reading plan, using the JSB.

http://adrielbooker.com/advent-jesus-storybook-bible/

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*Good News of Great Joy by John Piper.  This is a free ebook of daily advent scripture readings and commentary.  The commentary is geared for adults but the scriptures could be used with kids.  http://www.desiringgod.org/books/good-news-of-great-joy

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*Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machowski.  This is a new family advent devotional that looks at the prophecies of Jesus the Messiah and how he fulfilled them.  It includes readings, songs, and activities to do as a family.  http://www.amazon.com/Prepare-Him-Room-Celebrating-Devotional/dp/1939946530

 

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*Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp. A gorgeous family advent devotional.  Scripture selections span all of the Bible and includes the author’s commentary.  The author just came out with an audio version of the book as well.  http://www.amazon.com/Unwrapping-Greatest-Gift-Celebration-Christmas/dp/1414397542

There are free printable ornaments for kids to color while reading Ann Voskamp’s book through this link (and other cool advent stuff): http://www.aholyexperience.com/thegreatestchristmas/#gc-title-fgtc

*Advent Readings for the Very Young

A free printable of daily readings with simple explanations of the different aspects of advent, chosen and written specifically for toddlers and preschoolers.

https://partofthemain.wordpress.com/advent-readings-2011/

This Week in DIG 11/22

November’s Memory Verse

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast beacuse he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.

-Isaiah 26:3-4, The Rock Eternal, Seeds of Praise, Track 5

Toddlers

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This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Abraham.

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Possible activities and questions to ask with your toddler:

*Have you ever been on a long trip like Abram?  What do you think he packed?  Act out packing for a long journey like Abram.

*Talk about the desert through which Abram and his family traveled to get to the land God promised.  What’s it like to travel in a desert and what lives there?

Preschool- The Temple, a House for God 2 Samuel 5:1-7:1-17

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The King is walking away to get a tree-Lily C.

Preschoolers are looking at stories from the Old Testament, that display the arc of God’s redemptive story.  This week preschoolers learned about the building of God’s temple.

*I wonder how it felt to finally live in the land that God promised and to build a house for God?

*I wonder what it was like to build the Temple?

*I wonder who got to help build the Temple and how they did it?

*I wonder what it felt like to go to the Temple in Jerusalem?

Grades K-1-The Young Hero and the Terrible Giant (Jesus Storybook Bible)

Younger Elementary children continued in the  Jesus Storybook Bible with the story of David and Goliath.

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I wonder how David felt when he fought Goliath? Maybe he felt proud because he got Goliath.-Emily
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-by Sadie

*I wonder it was like to see and hear Goliath if you were one of the People of God?

*I wonder why David felt so confident that God would save his people when Goliath was so much bigger and stronger?

*I wonder why the Philistines ran away after Goliath dies?

*I wonder who the young Hero is who will fight “the greatest battle the world has ever known”?

Grades 2-4, Manna and Quail, Exodus 16:1-31

Older Elementary children are spending November studying key stories of Exodus.

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*I wonder why the Isrealites forgot so quickly what God had done for them by delivering them from Egypt?

*I wonder why the People of God cared so much about what food they eat?

*I wonder what manna looked like ?

*I wonder what the Isrealites learned about God by seeing him provide manna?

Grades 5-6 What does it mean to be Human?

This month as the younger middle schoolers study what it means to be human, they explored the question What does it mean to be created in God’s image? 

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Students wrote their top 5 attributes that define them.

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Reread Genesis 2.

*What struck you about how God created people?

*What did you learn more deeply about what it means to be created in His image?

Grade 7-8 Mark 5:21-43

Each week the Older Middle Schoolers will look at a new passage in Mark.

1. Reread this week’s passage.  What does this passage teach me about Jesus as Powerful Lord and Love Initiator?

2. What does this passage teach me about following Jesus?

3. So what? (What difference does this make for my life?)

This Week in DIG, 11/15

 

November’s Memory Verse

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast beacuse he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.

-Isaiah 26:3-4, The Rock Eternal, Seeds of Praise, Track 5

Infant Room

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Toddlers

This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Abraham.

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This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Abraham.

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Possible activities and questions to ask with your toddler:

*Have you ever been on a long trip like Abram?  What do you think he packed?  Act out packing for a long journey like Abram.

*Talk about the desert through which Abram and his family traveled to get to the land God promised.  What’s it like to travel in a desert and what lives there?

Preschool- Promised Land, Exodus 1-4

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This is the story of the 10 commandments, told 2 weeks ago in PreK.

Preschoolers are looking at stories from the Old Testament, that display the arc of God’s redemptive story.  This week preschoolers learned about the Isrealites’ miraculous crossing of the Jordan.

*I wonder how the people felt when Joshua told them to get ready to go into the Promised Land?

*I wonder how it felt when God led them through the water into the Promised Land?

*I wonder if the People of God were still scared of the giants after they crossed the Jordan River?

*I wonder what the people of God will do, now that they are in the Promised Land?

Grades K-1-Ten Ways to be Perfect (Jesus Storybook Bible), Exodus 16-17, 19-40

Younger Elementary children continued in the  Jesus Storybook Bible with the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments.

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*I wonder the people of God didn’t like being in the desert?

*I wonder what it was like to see bread coming down from heaven?

*I wonder why God’s people didn’t trust him?

*I wonder what it was like to hear God’s voice as he gave the 10 rules or commandments?

Grades 2-4, Crossing the Red Sea, Exodus 14

Older Elementary children are spending November studying key stories of Exodus.

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The speech bubbles say: Isrealite “Run for your life!” Egyptian: “Get them!”-Joshua

*I wonder why Pharaoh changed his mind and wanted to Isrealites back?

*I wonder what it was like for the Isrealites when they saw the Egyptians pursuing them? Why did they blame Moses?

*I wonder why it is important that God gains glory through saving the Isrealites from the Egyptians?

*I wonder what it was like to see the sea “driven back” (Ex. 14:21)?

Grades 5-6 Off

 

Grade 7-8 Mark 4:1-20

Each week the Older Middle Schoolers will look at a new passage in Mark.

1. Reread this week’s passage.  What does this passage teach me about Jesus as a teacher?

2. What does this passage teach me about following Jesus?

3. So what? (What difference does this make for my life?)

Thanksgiving Books

I’m saddened by how quickly Thanksgiving becomes a parenthesis between Halloween and Christmas, at least commercially.  Ollie and I were at Target the other day and I already felt the impulse to buy a couple Christmas presents and Thanksgiving is still several weeks away.  Employees were replacing ghosts and pumpkins with tinsel and shiny ornaments.

There’s something about the simplicity to Thanksgiving that I love.  Yes there’s a mountain of food preperation but really that’s it right?  Its central theme remains a reminder of God’s abundant blessings, a season to remember what has been given to us at such a great coast.

Here’s some Thanksgiving books for a variety of ages to remind us to linger as families, to pause and dwell on the gracious and overflowing nature of our God.

For Toddlers

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Thank you Lord for everything by PJ Lyons, Tim Warnes

This board book with its rhyming text is very accessible for our youngest readers.

http://store.faithgateway.com/more/from-the-blog/blessings-gifts-thanksgiving/thank-you-lord-for-everything?utm_source=fgfamily&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=fgfamily20151109

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Thank you God by Alia Nolan

I really like this one because it is both a lift the flap book which all toddlers love and it’s multi ethnic, showing how children can be thankful for different things and love the same God.

http://store.faithgateway.com/thank-you-god?utm_source=fgfamily&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=fgfamily20151109

For Preschoolers

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Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

Another rhyming book that has humorous verses that will really engage and surprise children.

http://www.christianbook.com/thankful-eileen-spinelli/9780310000884/pd/000884?dv=c&en=google-pla&event=SHOP&kw=childrens-books-0-20&p=1179710&gclid=CjwKEAiA64uyBRCVmKyT2vuAjzgSJADfINB64HPL6MEQCU3kpxZXFsijInzNusaPPjtlvVmljs6QyBoCQwDw_wcB

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The Blessings Jar by Colleen Coble

This book offers an analogous activity to the Thanksgiving tree to cultivate in our families the practice and posture of gratitude.

http://www.christianbook.com/the-blessings-jar-colleen-coble/9781400322732/pd/322734?dv=c&en=google-pla&event=SHOP&kw=childrens-books-0-20&p=1179710&gclid=CjwKEAiA64uyBRCVmKyT2vuAjzgSJADfINB6XweCg_75yTg0VMcbdidkSYgBZJmf5QhaRFvL4hpiRhoCHNXw_wcB

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Give thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson

This author, the write of the Bear Snores on series and many other language rich picture books uses Psalms 92 to talk about things to appreciate during the Thanksgiving season.

http://store.faithgateway.com/give-thanks-to-the-lord?utm_source=fgfamily&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=fgfamily20151109

For Elementary Aged Children

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Thank you God by J. Bradley Wigger and Jago

This book is illustrated by Jago, the illustrator for the Jesus Storybook Bible.  It beautifully models for children what it looks like to thank God for his daily wonderful gifts.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thank-you-god-j-bradley-wigger/1118588800

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Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxsis

This is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated account of Squanto’s life and faith.  It explains his role in the first Thanksgiving and gives a balanced view of what actually happened during that first feast.

http://www.christianbook.com/squanto-and-the-miracle-of-thanksgiving/eric-metaxas/9781400320394/pd/320394?event=GOOGORG|359640|

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Mary’s First Thanksgiving by Kathy Jo Wargin

Mary is a modern day pilgrim who has emigrated to the states from Ireland.  Through celebrating her first Thanksgiving she learns that God has provided just what they need, even when it doesn’t feel like enough.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/marys-first-thanksgiving-kathy-jo-wargin/1111738567?ean=9780310740759

The Week in DIG 11/8

November’s Memory Verse

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast beacuse he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.

-Isaiah 26:3-4, The Rock Eternal, Seeds of Praise, Track 5

Infant Room

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Toddlers

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This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Abraham.

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Possible activities and questions to ask with your toddler:

*Have you ever been on a long trip like Abram?  What do you think he packed?  Act out packing for a long journey like Abram.

*Talk about the desert through which Abram and his family traveled to get to the land God promised.  What’s it like to travel in a desert and what lives there?

Preschool- The Ark and a Tent for God, Exodus 25:1-40:38

Preschoolers will spend the next 2 months looking at stories from the Old Testament, that display the arc of God’s redemptive story.  This week preschoolers played with models of the tabernacle and learned how God used it to be with his people. The following link shows pictures of a life size tabernacle model. http://www.bibleplaces.com/tabernacle.htm

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*I wonder how it feels to come so close to something as precious as the ark?

*I wonder how the incense and smoke helped the People of God get ready to be close to the ark and close to God?

*I wonder how you get ready to be close to God?

*I wonder how it feels to be close to God?

Grades K-1-God to the Rescue (Jesus Storybook Bible), Exodus 3-13

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He is surprised that the bush is burning and the leaves are not burning. It’s so cool.-Jane
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God liked this bush. He is with Moses.-Sadie

Younger Elementary children continued in the  Jesus Storybook Bible with the story of Moses and the Great Escape from Egypt.

*I wonder why Pharaoh hated God’s people?

*I wonder if every single oldest boy died in the world?

*I wonder why Pharaoh changed his mind and said you can’t go?

*I wonder who the rescuer will be that God will send to set the People of God free forever?

Grades 2-4, The Passover Exodus 11: 4-10, 12:4-14, 28-32

Older Elementary children are spending November studying key stories of Exodus.

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A shabby old house with lamb’s blood on it so they won’t die. -Lily
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Why did the animals die? -Owen B.

*I wonder why the eldest son of each Egyptian family had to die?

*I wonder why the lamb had to be perfect?

*I wonder why the Egyptians helped the people of God leave Egypt?

*I wonder how the people of Isreal felt as they were leaving Egypt”?

Grades 5-6 Who is God? What Does it Mean that God is Love and Justice?

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If your parents punish you they are trying to help and they are not being mean.-Sydney

*Choose one or two of the following passages to reread:Eph 1:3-5, Is 46:10

*What do these passages teach you about God as the God of both love and justice?

*Why is it important to understand this?  Why does it matter to you?

Grade 7-8 Mark 2:13-3:6

Each week the Older Middle Schoolers will look at a new passage in Mark.

1. What does this passage teach me about Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath and as the Friend of Sinners?

2. What does this passage teach me about following Jesus?

3. So what? (What difference does this make for my life?)

Thanksgiving Tree

“Addie what are you thankful for?” I say, taking a swing of my morning coffee while wiping up applesauce and yogurt that’s been swirled all over my son Ollie’s tray.  My daughter reaches into the basket and carefully chooses a paper leaf.  She uncaps the pen and draws looping lines all over the back.  She holds it up, saying proudly “Mommy, Lucy, and God.”

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As Thanksgiving nears, I’m struck how quickly I start each day focused on what needs to be accomplished and not resting thankfully in the reality of what God has already accomplished for us.  As a family, we’ve been collecting things to be thankful for and hanging them on branches of a “tree”.  Although I began this practice to cultivate gratitude in our children, I see I need the reminder just as much to be grateful that God is the giver of all things.

Here’s some suggestions in creating your own Thanksgiving Tree:

1.  Place some branches in a vase.  Cut out paper leaves and hole punch them.

2.  Each day during a meal, talk together about what everyone is thankful for.  Write the items on the leaves and add them to the branches.

3.  Praise God for His provision and faithfulness.

I got the idea from Ann Voskamp’s blog, A Holy Experience.

Here is a post with printables and scriptures references for making your own Thanksgiving tree: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/11/a-christian-family-thanksgiving-activity-the-thanks-giving-tree-free-printable/

DIG Discussion Guide for 11/1

November’s Memory Verse

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast beacuse he trusts in you.  Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal.

-Isaiah 26:3-4, The Rock Eternal, Seeds of Praise, Track 5

Infant Room

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Toddlers

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This month toddlers have been exploring the story of Noah. Possible activities to do with your toddler:

*Using toy animals and figurines, act out the story of Noah, using a box as a pretend ark.

*Talk about rainbows. Share some beautiful pictures of them like these: http://webneel.com/beautiful-rainbow-photography. Thank God for it’s reminder of His mercy and faithfulness for us.

Preschool- The Ten Best Ways to Live, Exodus 19-20, Deuteronomy 6:4-6

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Preschoolers will spend the next 2 months looking at stories from the Old Testament, that display the arc of God’s redemptive story.  This week they heard the story of The Ten Commandments.

*I wonder how it feels to be free?  I wonder if it’s hard to be free?

*I wonder what Moses and God talked about on the holy mountain?

*I wonder if it’s hard to love God and love people?

*I wonder which is the most important law to you?

Grades K-1-The Present (Jesus Storybook Bible), Genesis 22

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Younger Elementary children continued in the  Jesus Storybook Bible with the story of Abraham and Isaac.

*I wonder why God asked Abraham to give back his son Isaac?

*I wonder what Abraham and Isaac were thinking as they climbed the mountain to make the sacrifice?

*I wonder what Abraham meant by” God will give us the lamb, son” (65)?

*I wonder what the “wonderful present” would be that God would give to the whole world (69)?

Grades 2-4, Moses Burning Bush Exodus 3, 4:18-21

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Why did Jesus tell that man (Moses) to take his shoes off?- Madison

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Older Elementary children are spending November studying key stories of Exodus.

*I wonder what the angel of the Lord in the flames of fire looked like?

*I wonder why God told Moses to take off his sandals?

*I wonder why Moses was so nervous about speaking with Moses?

*I wonder what God meant when he said his name was “I AM”?

Grades 5-6 Who is God? What Does it Mean that God is Trinity?

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*Choose one or two of the following passages to reread: Romans 1:7-9, Acts 5:3-4, John 17.  What do these passages teach you about God as trinity?

*Why is it important to understand that God is 3 persons in one?  Why does it matter to you?

Grade 7-8  Off