Tag Archives: science

Trust God When Things Look Bad (OBJ LESSON)


Time

10-15 minutes for the icebreaker (the recommended lessons will take longer.)

Description

This object lesson is a fun visual that reminds kids to trust God even when circumstances are looking bad. Use it as an icebreaker for a larger lesson. There is a little bit of “magic” and a little bit of science in this lesson that gives it some “Wow!” factor.

Materials

· Canning jar (“Mason jar”) with a screw-top lid and a removable insert

· Small piece of screening (like what covers your windows – enough to cover the top of the canning jar)

· Pitcher of water

· Piece of poster board – 3” x 3”

· If you don’t want to make your own jar, you can order one for approximately $10 from Steve Spangler Science (www.stevespanglerscience.com). It’s called the “Mysterious Water Suspension Trick.”

Preparation

· Cut the piece of screening so that it fits over the opening of the jar. You want some overlap so that the lid will hold the screening securely to the jar.

· Screw on the band part of the lid, but leave the removable insert out.

· You might want to laminate your poster board square but only if you plan on using it multiple times.

· Practice the trick. Flipping the jar upside down is the most challenging part.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Hey, everybody! Who’s having a great day?” (Listen for responses, and select the most enthusiastic child to come up to the front.)
  • (To the child…) “Have you had a pretty good day so far?” (While you are asking, pour water from the pitcher into the jar. Don’t let them see the screening over the top.)
  • “Would you say that you’ve been a really good kid today?” (While you are asking, place the poster board square on top of the jar.)
  • “Would you say that you have you been really, really good today?” (While you are asking, flip the jar and the poster board square upside down, and hold them over the child’s head. Keep your hand under the poster board square so that it looks like you are supporting it. In reality, the water droplets inside the screening and the air pressure pushing up on the poster board will hold the card in place.)
  • (Ask the audience…) “What do you think? Has he/she been really, really good? …or should I pull away the card?” (Most will typically encourage you to pull it away, so with as much drama as you can muster, pull the card away. The water will stay in the jar. The water droplets develop surface tension inside the tiny holes in the screen. This and the fact that if you hold the jar perfectly level, no air can get in to replace and water that leaves, will hold the water in.)
  • “I guess you have been really, really good!” (Tilt jar just a little, and some water will pour out until you level out the jar again. The kids usually get a big kick out of their peer getting wet.)
  • “Oops. Maybe you weren’t quite that good.” (You can thank your volunteer and send him/her back to his/her seat. If you want, you can have other kids come up and try. Finish with the following tie-ins to your lesson.)
  • “Sometimes, things look really bad, like when I held the jar of water over his/her head.”
  • “Remember during those times to trust God.”
  • “He has the ability to do the impossible in your life (like stopping gravity), and He can turn the bad stuff into good.”
  • “The Bible says that God will make everything work for you if you know Him as your heavenly father.” (Romans 8:28)
  • “Things might look bad, and you may not be able to see a way for things to turn out okay, but God knows all things. He can make a way out where there seems to be no way.” (After your lesson, you can tell the kids how the trick works. They might even enjoy making their own water suspension jars to try out on their friends at home.)
  • Some recommended lessons on trusting God when things look bad that will work with this icebreaker:
    • Joseph (anything from Genesis 37 to 45)
    • Ruth (you might need to give a summary of the entire story)
    • David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)
    • Elisha and the Widow’s Oil (2 Kings 4)
    • Elisha and the Shunammite’s Son (2 Kings 4)
    • Hezekiah and Sennacherib (2 Chronicles 32)
    • Esther (you might need to give a summary of the entire story)
    • Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3)
    • Daniel and the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6)
    • Jesus’ Arrest and Crucifixion (any of the Gospels)
    • Peter in Prison (Acts 12)
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Filed under faith, Fear, Hope, illusion, Magic, test, Witness

Mind Pollution


Time

15-20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about how important it is to protect our mind from negative influences. It uses a simple visual aid of water and food coloring.

Materials

  • Display table
  • Red, green or blue food coloring
  • Large, clear (see-through) container
  • Two or three pitchers
  • Enough water to fill each of the pitchers and half the large container
  • (Optional) Bottle of bleach

Preparation

· Test the experiment to make sure you know how it works. (Note: if you use too much food coloring, it will be difficult to dilute. A drop at a time is best.)

· Set up the large, clear container (half-full with water) on a display table.

· Have the pitchers and food coloring nearby.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

· “Your mind is an incredible creation of God.”

· “It has over 100 billion neurons that send electrical pulses back and forth to each other. These are your thoughts, and you are capable of having more thoughts than the number of known atoms in the entire universe!” (Source: Tony Buzan, Head Strong 2001)

· “Your brain is incredible!”

· “And did you know, that your brain is approximately 75% water?”

· “That’s why I’m going to use this container of water to represent your brain in this lesson.”

· “We will say that this container represents your precious, incredible brain.”

· “The water inside it represents your thoughts.”

· “I have some pitchers of clean water here, and they are going to represent good things that you can put into your brain.”

· “Can anyone help me think of some good things that you can put into your brain?” (Take responses. If the kids need help, try to steer them toward things like Scripture, positive thoughts, encouragement/praise, positive music, learning, worship, thinking about God…)

· “Great, that’s exactly what I’m talking about!”

· “I also have some food coloring up here, and it represents some bad things you can put into your brain.”

· “Who can help me think of some bad things that we could put into our brains?” (Take responses. If the kids need help, try to steer them toward things like profanity, gossip, lies, music with bad lyrics, the Lord’s name used in vain, mean thoughts, self-defeating or limiting talk, hurtful talk, movies or TV with bad scenes, bad pictures, jokes with inappropriate themes…)

· “Exactly! We’ve got to watch out for that kind of stuff!”

· “For this demonstration, I’m going to need a volunteer. Who would like to come help me?” (Select volunteer.)

· “Okay, notice how clear this water is. It’s like our minds the way that God first created them – pure and beautiful.”

· “Let’s say that we are really careful, and we only allow good things into our brain.” (Have volunteer pour some water into container from one of the pitchers.)

· “See what happened? We got more brain!”

· “Okay, it doesn’t work exactly like that, but let’s say that this is like gaining wisdom.”

· “When we add good things, like Scripture, positive thoughts, encouragement/praise… we grow in wisdom and knowledge, and our mind stays clear and clean.”

· “But what if we aren’t so careful, and we allow in some jokes that are hurtful to other people.” (Have volunteer squirt a drop of food coloring into the water in the container. Then pause to allow the children to see the effect. Just one drop of food coloring will spread and spread throughout the water until it has tinted the whole thing.)

· “Wow! Did you see that? Just that one little drop of bad stuff changed the whole color of the water.”

· “And what if we still aren’t so careful, and we allow in some inappropriate pictures (have volunteer add drop) …and profanity (add drop) ….and music with negative lyrics (add drop) …and some negative self-talk about what a loser we are or how stupid we are at math (add drop).”

· “Look what happens then. Our minds are getting darker and darker.”

· “What should we do about that?” (Listen to responses. When someone suggests to add more good things, continue.)

· “Right! Exactly! We need to add more good stuff – more Scripture and positive thoughts and godly advice from our parents…Romans 12:2 says that we should stop doing what the rest of the world does and start being transformed by renewing our minds. That’s the same thing as adding in the good stuff.” (Have volunteer pour in more water.)

· “But do you see the problem I’m seeing?” (Listen for responses.)

· “The water (our minds) are not going back to clear again. We are diluting the bad stuff, but it’s taking a lot more water than it did food coloring to improve our mind here.”

· “That’s the way sin works. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul warned that, ‘a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’ (Matthew 13:33 and 1 Corinthians 5:6)

· “Yeast is an image of sin in the Bible, so Jesus and Paul are saying that a little sin will spread until it ruins everything.”

· “So, as soon as we realize the damage we are doing to our minds, we’ve got to stop adding yeast / sin.”

· “Then, we’ve got to add lots and lots of good stuff by going to church, hanging out with godly friends, listening to our parents, changing the music we listen to, changing the movies we watch, reading the Bible every day, memorizing Scripture, studying about God…” (As you are mentioning these things, have the volunteer pour more water into the container with each suggestion. Try to fill the container until it’s full – unless you plan to continue with the bleach part of the lesson.)

· “Good habits are going to be the best way to dilute the bad stuff that you already have in your minds.”

· “And it’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to work at it every day.”

· “And when you allow bad stuff in, it’s going to take much longer to dilute it than it did to let it in there.”

· “It’s like when I eat too much food. It might take me an hour of exercise to burn the amount of calories I ate even though it only took me five minutes to eat it.”

· “Because our minds are so awesome, I don’t believe the bad stuff ever goes away.”

· “I think our brains have the ability to hold onto everything we’ve ever put in there (even though sometimes it’s hard to remember where you left your stuff).”

· “If you put lots of bad stuff in your mind, that’s the bad news. The good news is, that your mind will never be too full of good stuff, so you can keep on adding it in!” (Thank your volunteer, and allow him/her to return to his/her seat.)

Optional Section – Adding Bleach

· “Now, there is one more thing that you can do that we haven’t talked about.”

· “You can give all that bad stuff you put into your mind to God in prayer.”

· “This bleach represents our prayers to God. (By the way, kids, bleach is a powerful and dangerous chemical. You should never handle it unless you have an adult there with you.)”

· “I don’t think the bad stuff we’ve put in our minds ever goes away, but we can turn it over to God in prayer, and He will use it for good.” (Pour bleach into the tinted water. It might take quite a bit of bleach (and you may need to stir it), but it will eventually take the tint out of the water. The result will be a yellowish liquid – not perfect, but no longer tinted with the original colors.)

· “Romans 8:28 tells us that God will use ALL things for the good of those who love Him.”

· “That means that He will even take the bad stuff we’ve done or let into our brains and use it for His glory and His Kingdom.” (Give a personal example.)

· “But, hey! That’s not an excuse to put the bad stuff in there! Your best strategy is to keep the bad stuff out in the first place!”

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Filed under Brain, Christianity, Mind, Object Lesson, Scripture memory, spiritual disciplines

Gumball Magnets



Time

10 minutes


Description

This object lesson teaches about how appearances can be deceiving when it comes to salvation. Just because we go to church and hang out with Christians doesn’t mean we are necessarily going to be saved, and it’s what is inside us that makes the difference.

Materials

· Bag of Magnetic Marbles from www.stevespanglerscience.com (about $4)

· Box of multi-colored gumballs

· Magnet (just about any kind will do)

· Clear container in which to mix gumballs and magnets

· Display table

Preparation

· Pour both the Magnetic Marbles and the gumballs into the clear container and mix them thoroughly. (If you look closely, it’s possible to see differences in them, but they are not noticeable from a distance.)

· Position the container on the display table where it can be seen by everyone.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

· “I have here a bucket of gumballs.”

· “What you may not be able to tell is that not all of them are regular gumballs.”

· “In fact, some of them are very, very special. They’re magnetic!”

· “I wonder how I could figure out which ones were magnetic….” (Pause to allow the kids to make recommendations.)

· “Oh, yeah! I could put a magnet down inside and see what it pulled out! Perfect!”

· “I’m going to need a volunteer, though.” (Select volunteer from the audience.)

· “Okay, I just happen to have this magnet with me.”

· “Take this, and put it down in the gumballs to see which ones it attracts.” (Allow volunteer to search through gumballs with the magnet. The magnetic marbles should come out easily.)

· “Isn’t that interesting? The magnetic gumballs look a lot like the normal gumballs.”

· “But we know they can’t be the same because they act differently from the others.”

· “They’ve got something different on the inside that the real gumballs don’t have – a magnet. And that magnet is attracted to this magnet.” (Thank volunteer and let him/her return to his/her seats. Put magnetic gumballs back into the container, and mix them in.)

· “You know what else is interesting? We’re a lot like those gumballs.”

· “If you are a Christian, you have something inside of you that is attracted to God, and that something is also God.”

· “Christians have Jesus in their hearts, and He changes their heart so that it is attracted to God.”

· “Once you have Jesus in your heart, you want to get closer and closer to God.”

· “But just looking at all of you, I can’t tell which of you are Christians and which of you are not.”

· “You come to church, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You own a Bible, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “You look like pretty nice people, but that doesn’t make you a Christian.”

· “There is only one thing that makes you a Christian. Can anyone tell me what that is?” (Listen for responses.)

· “Right. You have to believe and accept that Jesus died for your sins. That makes Him your Savior.”

· “So, it’s possible for us to look the same on the outside but be very different inside – just like these gumballs.”

· “But God is like this magnet. He knows who trusts in Him and who doesn’t, and there’s coming a day when He will call all His people to join Him in heaven.” (Put magnet back into gumballs and pull out the magnetic marbles.)

· “Even though we may look the same, God knows which of us are His children and which aren’t, because He can see our hearts.” (Have someone read 1 Samuel 16:7.)

· “Only those who believe in Jesus will be called, so make sure you tell Him you want to be one of His gumballs!”

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Filed under Authenticity, Christianity, Eternity, Hands-on, heart, Object Lesson, Rapture, Resurrection, salvation