Yes, I'm a pastor's wife, but I suspect not all of my readers are Christian. I won't hold back on my beliefs, but I also won't shove religion at you. I try not to accept things just because they're told to me but read and research in order to make up my own mind. You'll find a random mix of stuff here, depending on what interests me at the moment. I like to read others' opinions, whether they agree with me or not, which means I love comments on my posts!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday's Word - Tower of Babel

I didn't teach this Wednesday, so I'm including a lesson from a previous week.

Pride & the Tower of Babel


BEGINNING EXERCISE
How often do we talk about ourselves?
Give each person 5 pieces of colored paper. For the rest of the class, no one can say "I," "me," or "my/mine." If someone says one of the forbidden words, they must give over 1 of their colored paper pieces to whoever caught the word first. The person with the most paper pieces at the end of class receives a small prize. When the game is through, discuss how difficult it is not to say I, me, or my. Most of us in the United States (or other developed countries) are very self-centered...we especially like to talk about ourselves. We often put ourselves first before anything else, even before God.

LESSON
There are more than 7000 languages and dialects in the world. Who can say something in a different language? Do you know where all of the languages came from?
Explain the story of Genesis 11:1-9, the Tower of Babel.

EXPERIENCE
Divide the class into groups of 5 or so. Give out random objects, making sure to give the same number of each object to each group. Just use whatever you can find, such as marshmallows, toothpicks, sheets of paper, masking tape. I even used plastic spoons, yarn, and coffee filters because it's what I had on hand.
Directions: (Within a set time limit) Each group is going to build a tower out of the objects given. The group with the tallest tower is the winner, but no one can speak. The people of Babel could not understand each other once God gave them so many different languages, and you are going to experience the same thing. Since you can't talk, you'll have to find other ways to communicate besides language.

FURTHER DISCUSSION
The people of Shinar (early name for Babylon) made bricks from mud baked at high temperatures and held them together with tar. The tower they built was probably a ziggurat that looked like a pyramid with steps or ramps leading up the sides. Each story was slightly smaller than the one below it, making it look step-like. Seven levels—each may have been painted a different color so the building looked like a huge rainbow.
They wanted to build it to call attention to themselves and their accomplishments. They were honoring themselves and felt they didn’t need God.
God was sad, upset, and angry. He wanted people to want to spend time with Him and talk with Him. He could not allow them to continue with such defiance and rebellion, so he gave them different languages. They were confused, so they had to stop building the tower. They scattered over all of the earth. They hunted for others they could understand and formed small groups or tribes with people like them.

How do people today call attention to themselves and their own accomplishments? Examples are sports cars, flashy jewelry, buying other expensive things, bragging about what they do.
What do kids do to call attention to themselves? Examples: wear revealing clothes, do whatever is popular at the time, bragging about things.
Anything we do to call attention to ourselves takes the glory away from God. Everything we do should be to glorify God; otherwise, we're honoring ourselves. We don't deserve the honor...we didn't create ourselves.
Example of glorifying God: the movie Facing the Giants. They honored God with football. They recognized their talents and skills came from Him and praised God whether they won or lost.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Husband Rocks!

Katy Lin has a great thing over at the Great Adventure. Every Friday, she posts why her husband rocks. Read here why she started this.

With so many divorces, it's obvious marriage is not an easy thing. But my husband and I have made a commitment to stick together through "good times and bad." We've only been married for 3 months so the bad times haven't come yet, but we're working to make our marriage strong so we can make it through whatever does come.

One of the most important things is to uplift each other and show that we appreciate each other. So I'm going to participate in the weekly posts of why my husband rocks :) They're suppose to be posted on Fridays, but I didn't know about it last Friday.

I worked on Saturday, which is really unusual for me. When I came home, my plan was to wash dishes and clean up the house a little. Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find the dishes washed, clothes washed, and a late lunch waiting for me! My husband had done it all to help me out. I've got such an amazing man :)

Wednesday's Word

I teach the 9-12 year olds almost every other Wednesday. Often, the 5-8 year olds are mixed in with us. This won't usually be posted on Wednesdays, but "Wednesday's Word" will be the lesson I have taught for the current week. Feel free to use any part of these and/or adapt them to your group.

Salvation


WHAT'S IN A NAME?
I began by asking if anyone knew what their name meant. I had looked up most of them in the class already and shared what I learned. I like Behind the Name and Baby Names World. It'd be great to bring a baby name book if you have one.
Your parents or someone close to you picked out your name. They made that decision. But Mary and Joseph didn't have that choice. God sent an angel to tell Mary and Joseph, "You will have a son, and you will call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sin."
Jesus = the Lord saves or God will help

THE LORD SAVES. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
"Being saved" means that you have accepted the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ to all people.
Acts 4:12 – “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."


WHAT IS THE FREE GIFT OF SALVATION?
God requires a perfect blood sacrifice in order for us to join him in Heaven. Also, as sinners, we cannot have a relationship with God because "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong"(Habakkuk 1:13). We are all sinners, and this blood covers our sins. In the Old Testament, the sacrifice was an unmarred lamb. But God knew we needed more. He sent his own Son to die for us. Jesus left paradise and came to live among sinners who beat Him and nailed Him to a cross so that we would not go to Hell.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave is only begotten Son that whosever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
The free gift is that we will live eternally in Heaven. All we have to do is accept Christ as our Savior.

STORY TIME
There were 2 best friends--Zach and Mike. These 2 did everything together and even started going to church. Mike liked to sit in the back and cut-up. He liked going to Church because he could socialize with his friends. Zach started listening to the lessons the teacher said. He learned about Jesus' sacrifice and how He's preparing a mansion for Zach in Heaven. He learned about the ugliness of Hell. One night, Zach prayed for God to forgive him and to come live inside of him. Then Zach received a ticket that read "Ticket to Heaven," which he later showed to Mike. Mike said "I want to go to Heaven. How about sharing your ticket with me?" Zach looked at his perfect ticket and held it close. "I don't know. I'd rather not mess it up." "C'mon," said Mike, "I thought you were a Christian. Aren't Christians suppose to share?" Zach finally agreed and tore off a small part of his ticket. Mike looked at his little piece and exclaimed "Look how big your piece is compared to mine. You're being greedy! That's not very Christian-like." Zach said "Fine. I'm going to tear it in half this time" and he gave Mike another piece.
That night, the boys were in a bad car wreck and both died instantly. They stood before the gates of Heaven waiting to see if they made it in. Mike wasn't worried since he had his ticket. He proudly handed it to the angel and said "Here's my ticket. I'm ready to see my mansion!" The angel opened his ticket (The pieces spell Hell). "How can that be!?" exclaimed Mike. I went to Church and didn't do anything really bad." The angel replied, "It takes more than that. You didn't ask Jesus to be your savior," and he banished Mike away.
Zach was a little worried about his ticket since it was torn, but he handed it over to the angel. The angel opened it (it's a cross). Jesus came through the gates with open arms and said "Welcome home, my child."
For a how-to video on folding and tearing the paper, look up paper cross on GodTube or YourTube.


ASKING JESUS INTO YOUR HEART
Just like our story says, all you have to do to go to Heaven is ask Jesus to be your Savior. When Jesus was crucified, 2 theives were hung beside him. (Luke 23:39-43) One mocked him saying "If you're Christ why not save yourself and us?" The other thief rebuked him, saying "Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condition?" And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing wrong." To Jesus, he said "Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus said "Verily I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise." The thief did not have time for long confessions or good deeds. He simply said "Lord, remember me." He confessed Jesus as Lord and Jesus reserved a place for him in Heaven.
If any of you are not a Christian or have doubts whether or not you are, I'd like to give you the opportunity to pray that Jesus come into your heart. All you have to do is say this prayer with me...
Dear God,
I know I am a sinner. I want to receive the gift you offer--that you will forgive me and erase my sins. I confess with my mouth & believe with my heart that Jesus is your Son & that he died for me. I ask you right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord & Savior. I repent of my sins & will worship you all the days of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Welcome to I Married a Pastor!


For my first post, I'd like to introduce myself. I got married May 31, 2008 to an amazing man who happens to be a youth pastor. He is already an ordained minister but wants to wait another year or 2 before he pastors a church. He says "I want us to enjoy each other and make a strong foundation for our marriage before we add the pressures of pastoring a church." Sounds like a good plan to me! But there are still plenty of pressures as a youth pastor's wife, especially when I know it won't be too much longer before he is over a church.

I consider myself a Bapticostal. I was raised Baptist but quit going to church at the start of middle school. I was still a Christian and believed in God but felt like Church didn't have anything to offer me. Basically, I was completely self-absorbed and wanted to control my own life. My senior year of high school, a friend invited me to a Pentecostal church (specifically, Church of God of Prophecy). I encountered people speaking in tongues, falling in the floor, running the aisles, and dancing around. I even got hit a couple of times from people slinging their arms. I was out of my comfort zone...but at least I wasn't bored!

I moved away for college a few months later and attended church during most holiday breaks when I came home. I never "found the time" to find a home church at college and was too lazy to wake up early on Sundays. The summer after my junior year, I came home and went back to church like I did during previous summers. A friend invited her cousin to church one day in order to introduce us. He was a youth pastor and kind of old (9 years older than me) but I didn't have much to do that summer and figured it'd be fun to go on a few dates. I thought we would casually date a couple of months, and then I'd go back to college. God said no! 2 weeks before school started, God led me to transfer to a college closer to home. The rest is history. I dated my friend's cousin until we married. I regularly attended the Church of God of Prophecy for those 2 years, and I can feel God laughing at me (well...with me) since I'm still out of my comfort zone in a Pentecostal church. Though I wouldn't change churches for anything. I love the people, the energy, the worship...all of it.

Since our wedding, I have been attending my husband's church...a small Church of God (I don't get the weird looks for saying "of Prophecy" anymore!). I'm still working on finding my "niche" of where I can best contribute, but as of right now I'm working with the kids. That's where my heart is and this is notes from my journey.