Category Archives: Lads to Leaders

Easter With Older Children

Easter often means cute dresses, egg hunts, and bunny crafts. But when your children get older, that changes. It also looks different when you celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ all the time, not just at what the world has named Easter. Christ’s church celebrates Christ all the time, not just for this one week of the year, and that is what makes Easter so different for us. We spend this time in a special convention with other believers the world over celebrating the work our children have done all year long serving the Lord. This weekend is the Lads to Leaders Annual Convention!

Lads to Leaders is an organization that started some 50 years ago and is dedicated to helping the young men and women of the Lord’s church become his servants, his hands and feet, here on earth. It helps the young men and women find their areas of interest, talent, and growth. Whether it be service, leading songs, reading scripture, teaching, helping, media, or any number of other areas, or all of the areas, the students grow in their abilities to serve. This year, our girls have grown through teaching, serving others, leading songs, reading scripture, studying the Bible for Bible Bowl (Hebrews), studying for the Pearls test (topic: Better Than, actually that’s the whole year’s topic), making power points to be used by teachers, writing blog posts, working on puppet scripts, studying the debate topic (baptism), creating artwork and photos, and so much more. I am certain I have missed some things the girls have worked on. And it is all dedicated to growing in God, knowing God and His will better, and being more dedicated to serving Him.

Here are two of the things the girls did this year – Blog post 1 and Blog post 2. Since I don’t know if they have been finalized in the judging yet, I am not attaching any names to them still. 🙂

Here is post I wrote a while back about what Lads to Leaders is and what the girls worked on that year.

As everyone remembers, last year (2020), Easter looked quite different. Here’s what I wrote about our quarantine Easter.

And here is a recap of our Easter from 2019, complete with Lads to Leaders convention and our own Easter celebration after that.

This weekend, while many are doing egg hunts or have spent the week making palm fronds, we have been and will be focusing on Bible, songs, debate, art work, media presentations, and so much more that directly impacts the Lord’s church. We are blessed to have such a strong church to be a part of and to spend the weekend with so many others who are dedicated to Christ.

Our prayer this week is that you are able to spend your time in something strong and meaningful that strengthens your faith and leads you into a closer relationship with God, through Jesus.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Linking up at the Homeschool Review Crew for the weekly challenge.

Two Covenants – and the Message of Hebrews ~ a guest post for a Lads to Leaders entry

When I was a small child, I was made to learn the first five books of the Bible, the Law. These books contain the Law of Moses: a collection of commands that set the terms by which the Israelites would live and worship God, defining the covenant between God and Israel. But soon came a different covenant. A better one. Using the theme “Better Than,” from Hebrews, we will be exploring the first and second covenants and why the second covenant is better, even leading up to the very message of the book of Hebrews itself. Let’s get started.

Our journey begins with the first covenant, and a verse from the New Testament. Hebrews 8:7 says, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place should have been sought for the second.” Why was the first flawed? Because Israel was not faithful to their covenant with God. Many times they turned away, often swayed by the influence of the other nations around them. In fact, there’s a whole book about it: Judges.

Did you know that the Law of Moses contains 613 commandments?! Unfortunately, humans are not perfect (Romans 3:23). The Israelites, as flawed humans, could not uphold the previous covenant. Therefore, it was fragmented. Romans 4:25 says, “Because this covenant was broken, it was a necessity that a new and better covenant be instituted.”

So in the time of Jeremiah, God promised that he would soon establish a better covenant. Jeremiah prophecies in Jeremiah 31:31-32, “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the Lord.” 

The way He fulfilled this promise is extraordinary, and goes all the way back to the Old Testament. Then, sins were atoned for by animal sacrifices. The law says for the cleansing of sins, there must be bloodshed (Hebrews 9:22), and it is blood that makes atonement for one’s life (Leviticus 17:11). But, “It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). While sacrifices under the Law of Moses atoned for sins, the law could not remove them completely.

Today, Jesus takes the place of the sacrifices that were offered repeatedly in the Old Testament, instead having sacrificed His body for us (Romans 8:3). Jesus’ sacrifice does not have to be continually re-offered, but is eternal, offered once for all (Hebrews 9:12). God replaced the first covenant and established the second through this sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15).

We’ve covered the first covenant, and how the second, better covenant was established. Why is it better? Because it was established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). In this new covenant have a better hope (Hebrews 7:19), a better possession (Hebrews 10:34) and a better salvation, even better than the salvation of the biblical heroes of the Old Testament (Hebrews 11:40). This is all possible through Jesus, the surety and mediator of a better covenant, who received a better ministry (Hebrews 7:22, Hebrews 8:6) and is a better High Priest, superior to the high priests of the old covenant and even to the angels, thanks to his status as God’s son (Hebrews 7:26-28 and Hebrews 1:4-5).

For our conclusion, consider this verse: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1). This is the purpose of Hebrews. 13 chapters, 303 verses, and 6,897 words* for this message: A better salvation through a better high priest. But…better than what? Better than the Old Testament salvation, yes. But really? Better than anything else.

Hebrews 2:1-3 says, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away…how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation…?” We have been given a great opportunity; a better salvation through our better high priest. We must not neglect this salvation. Are you?

Being Me, Not Better Than You – Guest Post for Lads To Leaders Entry

Likes, dislikes, good comments, bad comments. The world has always been full of people who judge one another. Today, we have the online platforms to reach people all over the world. Because of the nature of social media, people can hide behind a screen and say whatever they want, without accountability. Unfortunately, many people use their online personality to cause more harm than good. On the receiving end, people care what others think. Some people constantly compare themselves to others, especially after receiving hateful comments. Some of those people even try to change themselves to fit in. Hebrews 6:19 talks about hope being an anchor for the soul. In today’s world, where is their hope? What do you hope for?

Matthew West wrote a song that I love to listen to. It gives me hope. It is called The Me You Made. The first verse reads:

I wish I looked like Bradley Cooper

Wish I had movie star muscles like Chris Pratt

I wish my kids thought I was cooler

Wish I wasn’t just a skinny-jean wearin’ dad

Now there’s another thing I’m wishin’

I wish I didn’t say what I just said

‘Cause now everybody’s heard

All the insecure voices in my head

The first verse is addressing how he compares himself to everyone else. But in 2 Corinthians 10:12, Paul reminds us not to compare ourselves to others who use themselves as a comparison, which is conceited. The second verse of the song is where he starts talking about social media. He says:

The whole world is postin’ pictures (yeah)

Looks like everybody else has the perfect life

And we’re just watchin’ from the bleachers (yeah)

Discontent and thinkin’, “Wouldn’t it be nice?”

But comparison is the thief of joy

Trust me, I know

‘Cause for way too long, I let it steal my joy

But not anymore

On social media, everything looks perfect. Four billion people from all over the world use social media, posting pictures, videos, or memes that show off their lives. The second half of this verse quotes President Roosevelt. “Comparison is the thief of joy” means that comparing oneself to others takes away one’s own happiness. This is the part of the song where he stops comparing himself to others. Lastly, the chorus:

Hey

I don’t wanna spend my life

Wishin’ I was different

That would be a waste of time

‘Cause I know You

You love me just as I am

And I know my God don’t make mistakes

So, I’m just gonna be the me You made

Now we come to the part of the song that talks about our theme this year, Better Than. 

In Romans 3:9, it says, “Are we better than they? Not at all.” We are not any better or worse than anyone else. In this case, Paul was referring to the difference and separation between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians. But the same concept applies to us today. Even though something might look perfect on social media, those people are showing themselves through a filter. Don’t put your trust and admiration into something that is being filtered. One of the reasons we can trust in God with our whole selves is because He is completely honest and open with us. Psalm 118:8 says that “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” 

We can compare everything with the phrase “better than.” We like some things better than other things. No one is better than anyone else. In Hebrews, the New Law is better than the Old. 

We should put our trust in God because He created us exactly the way we should be. There is no “better than” with people. God doesn’t make mistakes; we know because the Bible says so in Matthew 5:48, Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4, 2 Samuel 22:31, and many other verses.

The Me You Made ends by saying “I’m just gonna be the me You made,” acknowledging that there is no way for us to be completely perfect. We are human and humans make mistakes, but God did not make a mistake when He made each and every one of us the way we are. We shouldn’t have to change ourselves to fit into the “perfect” world behind a screen.

We know that our God loves us, just the way we are, and that gives us hope.

image created by guest author

Bible Bulletin Boards

The girls put up some bulletin boards to go along with the Vacation Bible School theme this year so I thought I would share those with you. They are also working towards the year-round bulletin board program with Lads to Leaders.

Our VBS theme was Trails of Faith and the main focus was on Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Easter (Homeschool style – late!)

Easter (Homeschool style - late!)

We joyfully spend our Easter weekend with about 2000 others who are learning to lead in the church. We had a fabulous Lads to Leaders weekend every year that concludes with worship with all these lovely church family members. It is such an encouragement!

This year, the girls list of activities is huge –

Good Samaritan
Year Round Songs of Praise
Year Round Bible Reading
Year Round Puppet Theater
Year Round Bulletin Board
Keepers
Debate
Art Says It
Bible Bowl – individual test
Bible Bowl – team events
Pearls
Songs of Praise convention event
Bible Reading convention event
Puppet Theater convention event

It feels like I am missing an event or two but that could be because several events are wrapped up in Art Says It. The thing I want to share about this is the commitment. I am so proud of the girls because they committed to the program and their chosen events and then stuck to it. They wanted to stop sometimes. They didn’t enjoy it sometimes. But every time was time spent with God and learning more about His will and way. This is where the purpose of the program lies. It is fun to get recognition for things but the truth is that I would rather see their desire continue to grow.

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The girls have already documents hours towards next year’s convention and events. Because they enjoy it and it is important to them. If you have opportunity to get involved with Lads to Leaders, I highly recommend it. You will do nothing better than to encourage your children to grow in God.

 

AND, then we celebrated Easter later.

The fun part, I mean. We enjoy hiding eggs and eating fun foods. When we returned home from Lads to Leaders, the Easter Bunny had left baskets on the table for the girls. Nothing grand but a few candies they don’t normally get and a pretty hair doo-dad.

We had bought a carton of cascarones – confetti eggs. We did that one day about a week after Easter before At Home Dad went to work. We hid the eggs. The girls got to find four each and then they could smash them on someone. They had some oopsies and threw a couple that didn’t break. Guess who was faster than they were at grabbing them? Yep – I got to smash a couple of eggs on mischievous girls. 🙂

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A couple weeks later, we hid our glow-in-the-dark Egglo eggs and had a nighttime egg hunt. It was fun since the girls came in from dance and got to do that. A nighttime egg hunt is always different so it was lots of fun.

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You know – it is good for kids to learn that it isn’t the day that is important. It is what it commemorates and the time spent together. This is huge so that when you can’t celebrate a holiday “on its day” it doesn’t become a heartbreak. Because, life happens and holidays don’t take breaks. I have seen too many people put aside good works because they felt they had to celebrate a holiday “on its day.” That is just not true and the sooner we learn that, the easier and more meaningful celebrations become.

So, celebrate when the time is right for your family and remember the important things in life. And most of all,

HAVE FUN!

 

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Bulletin Boards – Middle School Monday

bulletin boards

Year-round events are the core of the Lads to Leaders training. There are many areas that have a year-round element: Bible reading, Bible Bowl, song leading (males), songs of praise (females), mass media, puppet theater, and more. One of these areas that Miss E has participated in this past year was bulletin boards.

The purpose of this event and training is to help those interested to learn the ins and outs of creating, designing, and executing the putting up of an effective bulletin board. These designs could be either just seasonal/encouraging or they could be teaching designs.

I thought I would share with you some of the ones Miss E put up recently. She created all that I am sharing here.

The Pearl Seeker bulletin board

The Pearl Seeker, prepared to go with Becky Blackmon’s book The Pearl Seeker; given to the author of the book

The Color of God's Word

a board to asssit with memory work in a 4th/5th grade classroom

Steps of Salvation bulletin board

a teaching guide for the steps of salvation

ALL bulleting board

a teaching board with examples of people in the Bible who applied the idea of doing all that God says (Ruth 3:5 is the key verses here)

Putting up bulletin boards not only serves to assist teachers who might not enjoy or have time to create bulletin boards but it helps the one putting it up to really think about what the purpose is, what is being conveyed through the board. This requirement to really absorb and study the concept or idea is a good help for the middle school student who is learning to see things from a different perspective as they grow and mature.

At Home.

Leadership with Lads to Leaders – Blogging Through The Alphabet

L Lads to Leaders

One of the things we all want to see developed in our children is leadership abilities. We desire them to be strong so that they are not tempted to follow but rather to lead. Our family works through this in several specific ways. I want to share one that permeates our whole life today.

Lads to Leaders

L2L, as this program is affectionately abbreviated, is a leadership training program to help develop abilities for leadership within the church. God’s desire is for us to be strong in Him and to lead others to know Him. We cannot effectively do this if we are not strong ourselves and know Him in such a thorough way that we can share about Him and the Bible.

L2L has a long, proven history of strengthening the participants, whether children, teens, or adults. There is much research that shows that if we have strengthened the leadership abilities and knowledge of the Christians, they are much less likely to fall away from the church during their young adult years and other times when life is a struggle.

Each of the giggly girls has different abilities and talents that we want to strengthen, though there is overlap there. There are also a couple of categories that we require the girls to participate in because it will help them to develop their own personal habits in these areas.

The two areas that we truly are requiring the girls to participate is in the Bible Bowl test and the Good Samaritan category. Bible Bowl is required because it is an in-depth study of part of the Bible, with a great focus on the theme of the year. We study it as part of our homeschool and the girls are supposed to do a daily reading of the material, as well. We have practices at church with others who are also studying for Bible Bowl. They then take a 100 question, 1 hour test over the material at the end of February. If they choose to, they can also participate in the competition at the annual Lads to Leaders convention that happens Easter weekend.

Good Samaritan is just that – being a good servant and helper to others in need. This is a year around event in which we look for ways to serve others and help. It could be a simple as helping to prepare the weekly Wednesday meals at church or writing a care to a shut-in. It could be as in-depth as going on a week long mission trip in the summer, helping at church camp, or working VBS. We have times where the girls help in the nursery at church, they volunteer at the building, they pick up trash. We find that the more you look for ways to help, the more ways you find to help.

In addition to these two categories, the girls pick and choose what appeals to them.

Miss E does sign language, art work, memorization, puppetry, bulletin boards, Bible reading, and writing articles for publication.

Miss L does Bible reading, song leading for ladies’ classes and kids’ activities, Keepers (learning about different ways to serve through various aspects of hospitality, as noted in Proverbs 31), puppetry and song writing (shared in a video presentation).

Miss J participated in puppetry, Bible reading, song leading, and Junior Leader (a study of Bible characters and ways they showed leadership).

There are additional categories for participation and they all are focused on the purpose of growing leaders for God’s church. We do spend quite a bit of time with these programs but our purpose as parents is to help guide our children towards God. This program assists us in what God has called us to do (Deut 6:6-9).

At Home.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

 

Bible Bowl Study – Job

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The book of Job in the Old Testament is one of the books that I think lots of folks shy away from. And I understand that. When we first found out that Job was part of our Bible Bowl material this year, I’ll admit to a bit of fear.

“How am I going to help my girls understand Job?”

“How am I going to help the younger Bible bowl students understand Job?”

“What in the world are activities that can help us all understand Job?”

Job is a person that we intentionally study a bit in our bible curriculum in church. It is one reason we like Bible Study Guide for All Ages – it doesn’t shy away from hard stories and it covers all of the Bible in four years for all ages. Still, I have been looking for material on Job for a while for Bible classes so I knew what was – or wasn’t – out there.

Because it can seem overwhelming to study a character with youngsters that we don’t truly understand ourselves, I thought I would share with you some of the materials I found and some of the activities we are using.

(none of these are affiliate links; they are being shared to make it easier for your to find these materials if you are interested)

What’s In The Bible Vol 8 – covers what they title The Writings and includes Job. We call these books the books of poetry but it was easy enough for the students to see that a different name doesn’t change the content or where it is found in the Bible. This is a fun series featuring puppets and lots of laughters. We always expand upon and make sure the kids understand truth after watching something from this series but I have not found anything that teaches wrongly, they often just don’t expound upon something to that point that makes it fully what the Bible teaches.

job-video

Kid’s Korner (BibleWise.com)- We found a play about Job. We pulled out puppets and the students read through the play. It is not straight out of the Bible and thus is really just a simple overview. But, it is written kind of funny and it helps the kids get the big ideas from the story in their heads.

job-materialsBook: A Patient Man from Uz by Kyle Butt – This story in rhyme goes all the way through the story of Job. It isn’t fancy and it skips quite a bit of the repetitive parts of the book of Job. However, it does a wonderful job of going through the story and hitting the high points.

Bible Road Trip Year Two covers the book of Job. We are using some things from it. Danika Cooley did a wonderful job with the program. We are also using a number of resources that she lists in that program, including The Baker Illustrated Bible, 365 Great Bible Stories, and Encountering the Old Testament. Each of these resources has a section on Job.

Book: God’s Servant Job by Douglas Bond – Another children’s book that I have been using to just help the students get the overall story into their head.

Book: Tried and True Job from Arch Books – We have many of the Arch Books series in our church library. They have a good approach to difficult Bible passages and this is just another of those that we like.

job-storyI also really like this overview video. We have used some of the others they do for Ruth and Esther. Here is the video for Job.

The last thing I want to share with you is HOW I work with these kiddos. They are a fantastic group of children but they are children. That means they are restless when we have a 3 hour block scheduled. Even 2 hours is tough. So, I let them move. If we need to do something at the table, I let them get up and hop, skip, jump, or run every ten minutes. I use our Break Bucket from home often.

We have sets of questions we work with that are provided by the Lads to Leaders program. We do all sorts of active things. It helps the kids remember and understand when they are moving and answering. For example, last weekend I took the kiddos outside and for each correct answer they got (really, we only work with right answers; if I don’t think they know the right answer, we just repeat rather than chance a wrong answer getting stuck in our heads) they could take three steps along the white lines in the parking lot. Another movement we did was to jump up and down, off and on the parking blocks. Nothing fancy. Took no work from me but the kids really enjoyed it and came away with a better understanding of Job.

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Movement, rhyme, puppets, videos – anything I can do to help the kids strengthen their knowledge of the Bible. That is the goal of Bible Bowl.

Know God More.

At Home.

L2L – Middle School (not) Monday

We have a program at our church that we have been participating in for about a year now. Lads to Leaders (L2L) is a program that is designed to help guide children in growth in the Lord. It encompasses a number of activities and opportunities while encouraging participants to grow.

Activities the girls have worked on this past year:Lads to Leaders Bible education

  • Designing and putting up bulletin boards
  • Leading singing for ladies’ classes and at home
  • Reading scripture for ladies’ classes, children’s classes and at home
  • Participating in service projects
  • Learning the books of the Bible
  • Memorizing scripture
  • Learning how to be a homemaker
  • Creating a scrapbook to document the spiritual activities of the church
  • Creating a banner to share at convention
  • Bible Bowl – focus on the book of Matthew
  • Learning sign language and how to sign scripture and song

These are the majority of activities the girls signed up for and participated in. The convention is coming up on Easter weekend. We will be going to the convention held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and celebrating the hard work of more than a thousand others who have spent the last year working hard to grow in the Lord.

Our family has become pretty highly invested in this program because we have seen the potential for the girls’ spiritual growth through these activities. Many of these encourage the girls to learn how to share the Good News with others and teach truth from God’s word and God’s word only.

We count L2L activities as schoolwork, which is why I am sharing it under the Middle School Monday posts.

Do your children participate in anything that helps their spiritual growth? Please share about it in the comments. I’d enjoy knowing.

At Home.

 

Memory Work Bulletin Board

Color of God's Word boardAll three of our girls are participating in Lads to Leaders. One of the activities that E is working on is Year-Round Bulletin Board. Bulletin board ideas can be hard to find so I thought I would share some of the ones that she has completed. She just completed a bulletin board for the 4th and 5th grade classroom at church. It was based on the charts that I found to keep track of the memory work the students are doing. E took that and designed the board. Here is her completed bulletin board. What you cannot see is that all around the room, she also put up all of the written out memory verses to go along with the scripture citations on the bulletin board. It is a bright and cheerful addition to our classroom.

Color of God's Word

 

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