Gideon’s Army: Judges 7

**For the next three weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer. Our curriculum was Group’s Maker Fun Factory.
You can find week one of this series here: God Creates Us https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/god-creates-us-genesis-1-psalm-139/
You can find week 2 here: Rahab and the Spies
https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/rahab-and-the-spies-joshua-2/

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about Gideon’s army. Help our time together to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Judges 7
Read the story of Gideon’s army in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+7&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time. You can find it here:

Now, read Joshua 1:9: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+1%3A9&version=NIV

Discuss as a family:
Who was Gideon?
What was Gideon’s army?
How did they defeat the Midianites?

Song: Be Strong and Courageous
Our focus verse for the day at VBS was Joshua 1:9. Here is a video to remind us of this verse:

Activity: Gideon’s Torches and Noisemakers
My favorite part of this story is when a small group of 300 people defeats an entire army by using their brains instead of their strength. We thought it would be fun to pretend to be that army for God Time.

To make the torches, gather a small, inexpensive LED flashlight, a roll of red tulle, duct tape (we used the orage tape from last week), and a scissor. For noisemakers, we purchased glowing whistles from the seasonal section of WalMart. I could have just used glow wands for this craft, but I wanted something that they could play with again and again. The glow whistles still work long after the glow stick part has faded.

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Wrap the tulle around the end of the flashlight to look like the flame coming off of a torch. Secure the tulle to the flashlight with the duct tape. Open the whistles and crack them to make them glow.

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Our girls then had a wonderful time running up and down a darkened hallway yelling “For the Lord and for Gideon!” I surely would have run away in fear!

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Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you. Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you give us strength and courage. Help us to always stand up for what is right. In your name we pray, Amen.

 

Rahab and the Spies: Joshua 2

**For the next four weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer. Our curriculum was Group’s Maker Fun Factory. You can find week one of this series here: God Creates Us 

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Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about Rahab. Help our time together to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:
Read the story of the creation of people in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+2&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time. You can find it here:

Now, read Romans 8:31: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A31&version=NIV

Discuss as a family:
1. Who was Rahab?
2. Who came to her house?
3. What did she do for them?
4. How did she ask them to help her?
5. What did they tell her to do?

Song: God is For Me
Our focus verse for the day at VBS was Romans 8:31. Here is a video from Lifetree Kids to remind us of this verse:

Game: Sardines with Spies
A large part of the story with Rahab was how she hid the spies that Joshua had sent so that they would be safe. We played a version of hide and seek called “Sardines,” though we adapted it to be “Spies.” One “spy” went to hide while all of the other spies counted to ten. Then, we searched for the first spy. When we found that person, we hid with them instead of calling attention to them, since the spies hid on Rahab’s rooftop. The last person to hide with the group was the next spy to hide. We played until all of our family members got a turn.

Activity: Rahab’s Wristband

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Another important part of the story was Rahab’s rescue plan. The spies from Joshua told her to hang a red rope from her window so that, when the Israelites conquered the city, the army would know where to find Rahab and rescue her and her family. I thought it would be a neat reminder of the story to wear a red wristband or bracelet that we could carry with us. However, when we went to buy supplies, they were out of red duct tape. We agreed that blaze orange would have been very easy for the army to see, so that’s what we went with.

We got the idea of how to do them here: http://happyhooligans.ca/duct-tape-cuff-bracelets/

My girls are hard on jewelry, so we added an extra layer of duct tape inside to make it more sturdy. Thanks to me, they also have tiny wrists. I added a tie to keep it on their wrists. To make the tie, cut off an 18 inch strip of duct tape. Fold it lengthwise so that the sticky side is on the inside and cut it into four marrow strips. Use an awl or something sharp to poke holes in the ends of the bracelet. Thread the tie through the holes and tie a bow. Trim the ends.

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My girls liked these so much that they asked us to make tiny ones for their stuffed animals:

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We made them thinner (half of the width) and cut a little more than an inch off of the length of the bracelet. The tie only needed to be 9 inches long. They especially love the stuffed animal bracelets, because they report that they are able to find their beloved animals at night when they fall out of bed.

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you. Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are always with us. In your name we pray, Amen.

God Creates Us:  Genesis 1 & Psalm 139

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**For the next five weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer.  Our curriculum in 2017 was Group’s Maker Fun Factory.

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about our wonderful complexity.  Help our time together to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

**We did the first part of the activity right after our gathering prayer so that the glue had time to dry.

Activity part 1:  Five Senses Photo Booth
Recently, our family went to a party where there was a photo booth.  The girls had so much fun, that I thought it might be a good idea to recreate it at home and tie it into the creation story, since God made us so wonderfully complex.  Here’s how we did it:

Supplies needed:
Five Senses file printed on cardstock:  Five Senses
scissors
coloring utensils
glue
popsicle sticks
a small, dark room (we used my walk-in closet)
a stool
other fun photo booth props
a camera with a flash

Instructions:

  1. Cut out each of the five senses.
  2. Color the parts. As you do, you can interview your children about their favorite part of each sense.  For instance, “What is your favorite thing that God made that you can smell/see/hear/taste/touch?”
  3. Glue the completed parts to the popsicles sticks. Allow to dry while you do the Bible story and song.

Bible Story:  Genesis 1:26-31, Psalm 139
Read the story of the creation of people in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A26-31&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time.  You can find it here:

Now, read Psalm 139:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NLT

Discuss as a family:

  1. What does God know about us?
  2. Where does God see us?
  3. How did God make us?

Song:  Hippo Song
During our Bible learning station at VBS, we put our fingerprints on a heart to remember that God’s fingerprints are on our hearts.  It reminded me of a great creation song, and my girls could not wait to sing it over and over again:

Activity part 2:  Five Senses Photo Booth
Once the glue was dry, I cleaned out the floor of my closet and put a tall stool in the open space.  I gave my children some extra options for photo booth fun, like noisemakers, felt hearts, sunglasses, and glow bracelets.  After they each made their selections, I sat them on the stool in the “photo booth,” closed the closet door, and took their pictures.  We had a lot of fun, and, just like a real photo booth, the photos were a bit crazy, cramped, and a bit out of focus.  Here were some of my favorites:

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.  Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for making us so wonderfully complex.  Help us to remember that everything we are comes from you.  In your name we pray, Amen.