The time for a whole new set of beginnings has come. There’s a saying I love – Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. It’s from a song that came out years ago, and it really impacted my sister and I. So much so that she named her bridal store (which she ran for a few years) New Beginnings, and she made a cross stitch for me with the saying on it (searched and searched but couldn’t find it – still packed away in the abyss of pictures and books in the closet – from the renovations… I WILL find it Karen!).
Boys starting a new grade with new teachers at a new school today (their old school was closed down in June because it was just too old to maintain). Josh starting a new season of ministry in his role as Associate Pastor at All Nations Church. And me starting a university course next week as I work towards getting my Bachelor of Science from University of Waterloo’s Distance Education program. I’ll be taking Chemistry, heaven help me!
I may have part-time work this season as well, and I have many ideas for working from home. I leave all those with God and step out in confidence when He lets me know that it’s time.
One thing I know for sure in this season of new beginnings is that I’m excited about teaching my boys some of the things they certainly won’t be learning at public school. I love reading through the Bible stories with them, learning new truths about God together, discovering new aspects of His character, spontaneous conversations about faith, activities that make learning fun and real-to-life.
I love Advent. For the past three years we have celebrated Advent in different ways in our house. I’ll post more on that as the time approaches, but for now I do have a plan. I want to make sure to get through all the major Bible stories in the time between September to the beginning of Advent that we’ll be recapping for the Jesse tree during Advent. This includes all the major Bible stories that can trace back Jesus’ heritage from the line of Jesse (plus a few other stories that are very important to the history of God’s people, the Israelites).
So I mapped it out. My goal is to read a Bible story at breakfast with the boys, making it a daily habit, encouraging them to open up their Bibles so they gain an awareness of where things are in the Bible (this will help me with that too!), and reading the stories if they want to. Both my boys are excellent readers (if I can just brag for a second…). Two of these stories per week will be Jesse tree stories. Then I have a couple of after-school activities that we can do around snack time to reinforce the major Jesse tree stories that we cover.
I’ve written out the first few Jesse tree stories in my own words so I can share the stories more effectively with others. I’d love to share them with you as the fall progresses. Will you send me some feedback and let me know what you think, what your children think, what needs work, what is hard or easy to understand, etc.?
Each day has a short story, a thought to discuss and a small prayer. I’m sharing two Jesse tree stories with my boys per week leading up to Advent, all the Old Testament stories that need to be highlighted. Then during Advent we can recap them (I’m hoping they can tell ME the stories by then!) and add a few from the New Testament during Christmas week that speak of Jesus and his direct descendants (Zechariah, Mary Joseph, and more of His wonderful story). It will all make sense as we lead up to Christmas.
I’d like the share the first two with you now, and feel free to share them with your family and whomever else you wish.
Please drop me a feedback note to let me know how it goes when you share them with the children. Thank you!
One: Creation – Scripture: Genesis 1
Before there was anything else, there was God. He wanted to create our world, and the first thing He made was light. He called the light Day and He called the darkness Night. Next God make Sky, Land, and Ocean. He told plants and trees to start growing from the earth. Then God told the sun to shine in the day and the moon and starts to shine at night. Ocean creatures and birds came next, then animals and reptiles. The last thing God created was human. He lest the first man, Adam, give names to all the animals and birds to his wife, Eve. When God finished making our whole world He looked at it and said all of it was very good! Then He made a special time of rest for our world. He also took a rest Himself because He had finished His work. Whew!
Talk About: What’s your favourite thing that God made in our world?
Prayer: Thank You God for making our world and for making us! Help us to take care of everything in the world they way you want us to.
Two: The First Sin – Scripture: Genesis 2:7-3:24
God made a beautiful garden called Eden. It was Adam and Eve’s job to take care of the garden. It had all kinds of delicious fruit trees. Two special trees were in the middle of the garden. One gave life that lasts forever and the other gave power to know what is right and what is wrong. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree that gives power to know right and wrong, but He said they could eat from any other trees. There was a snake living in the garden (it was really the devil in disguise) and one day it tricked Eve into eating the fruit from the one tree they were supposed to leave alone. Eve chose to eat the fruit even though she knew she wasn’t supposed to. Adam didn’t try to stop her and then he chose to eat the fruit too! God knew what happened because He knows everything! He had to tell Adam and Eve to leave the beautiful garden. They couldn’t enjoy the fruit trees or walk and talk with God in the garden anymore. God still loved Adam and Eve and still talked with them, but everything had changed.
Talk About: Is it hard to make good choices sometimes? Do you know God loves you all the time? You just have to ask Him to forgive you and He always will.
Prayer: Lord, help me to make good choices that make you happy. Forgive me when I make bad choices and do wrong things.