Monday, October 15, 2012

Thoughts on being thankful

One day a group of people came to Jesus.  They all shared something in common. 
They were desperate.
They were despised and rejected.
They were hopeless and they came to Jesus in search of hope.
There were 10 of them to be exact and the disease they all shared was leprosy.  They came to Jesus for healing and he instructed them to show themselves to the Priests, and an amazing thing happened on their way, they were cleansed.  They came to Jesus in search of hope and they found it. They came to Jesus unclean and they were healed. They came to Jesus broken and Jesus made them whole.
But an even more amazing thing happened after they were healed. Nine out of the ten men failed to return to Jesus to give him the only thing they had to offer in return for their lives being restored, a simple thank you. What happened?
Did they forget how desperate their lives were?
Did they not realize who the source of their healing was?
Did they take this gift of healing for granted?
Or were they just ungrateful?
It’s hard to imagine any good reason for them to fail to return to Jesus with a simple Thank you.
Let’s update the story a bit.
One day a group of people (me and you) came to Jesus and we all had the same thing in common.
We were desperate.
We were living apart from God because of our sin.
We were hopeless and we came to Jesus in search of hope.

We came to Jesus for healing and an amazing thing happened to us. We were cleansed. We were healed. We came to Jesus in search of hope and we found it.  We came to Jesus broken and he has made us whole.
I think there are several questions that are always waiting to be answered:
Will we remember how desperate our lives were?
Will we remember the source of our healing?
Will we realize how great a gift we have been given?
Will we approach God and offer to Him the only words we have in return for our lives being redeemed.
A simple Thank you.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A few things I have learned

Most all of the games and online lessons on this web site have been “kid tested” in the classroom. For the last 25 years I have taught a 4th grade “Through the Bible in a Year” curriculum. Many of the games were developed to support this curriculum and have been modified because of feedback and experience with my students. The games can be run from the internet, if a connection is available, or downloaded to a PC and run without an internet connection. Here are some of the lessons I have learned through the years that have shaped these resources:

1. When launching the games leave the team names blank, the team names will default to Team 1 and Team 2. I have found it difficult to come up with a consensus on a team name if the teams are larger than 3 or 4 students and it’s always good to avoid arguments on the front end.

2. Allow students to discuss their answer with other team members when it’s their turn. Even though that student is ultimately responsible for providing the answer, allowing discussion keeps everyone involved.

3. Allow students to pass their turn to another team member if they are uncomfortable. This is particularly true for guests who may not have much exposure to the Bible.

4. Choose a game that fits with the lesson topic. I most often choose games that cover the same content as the lesson.

5. Don’t allot more than 20-30 minutes to play a game, leave them wanting more. Normally I play the games at the end of class.

6. Use a variety of methods for dividing into teams so students aren’t on the same team each week.

7. Don’t give out prizes.

8. Only play games if time allows and the students have participated constructively in the lesson.

9. If you make a rule make sure it is understood before the game begins, and if you make a rule keep it.

10. Have fun and laugh a lot, it’s always contagious.