Tag Archives: trust God in difficult circumstances

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

Joseph Over Easy


Time

30 minutes (15 minutes for decorating the eggs and 15 for telling the story)

Description

This object lesson tells the story of Joseph in an unusual way – with eggs. It helps the kids to learn about using puns while presenting a lesson about the reasons why bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Materials

· Sixteen eggs

· Pot for boiling eggs

· Food coloring, vinegar and several cups if you want the kids to dye the eggs (optional)

· Water

· Crayons or colored pencils for decorating the eggs

· Various props for decorating the eggs (optional)

· Table for the kids to decorate the eggs on and for teaching from

· Note cards (optional – you need these only if you plan to have the kids read out lines from the story.)

· Tall glass

Preparation

· Boil all the eggs, and then let them cool

· If you are going to have the kids dye the eggs, you will need to boil some water right before class. Put a teaspoon or two of vinegar into each of your cups. Then pour in the hot water, and add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Make as many different colors as you like.

· Write the names of Joseph and his brothers (see below) on the bottom of 12 of the eggs. Two should be labeled, “Midianites.” The other two should be labeled “Jacob” and “Potiphar.”

o Reuben, Dan, Simeon, Gad, Levi, Asher, Judah, Naphtali, Issachar, Joseph, Zebulun, Benjamin

· Set out Crayons, colored pencils and any props you gathered for decorating the eggs.

· (Optional) Write out or print out (see download file, “Joseph Over Easy – Script Cards” on the Lesson Material and Downloads page) the lines for the story on notecards. They are numbered below so that you will know what to put on each card.

· Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers with these boiled eggs, but first, we need to decorate them so that they look like their characters in the story.” (Read off the name on the bottom of each of the eggs, and select a volunteer from the kids to decorate the egg. You can give them some ideas about how you think each character might look. How well they decorate the egg is not important – just that they have fun doing it. Once the eggs are decorated, it’s time to tell the story. Each child can keep the egg he/she decorated. Have them stand up if their character’s name is mentioned.)
  • “We are about to tell the story of Joseph and his brothers using these eggs. I’ve included a lot of puns in the story to make it funnier. Does anyone know what a pun is?” (Listen to responses, and add your own explanation if necessary.)
    • “A pun is a humorous use of a word. Often, the word sounds like another word, but it has a different meaning. Sometimes, the word is the exact same word as the word you would typically use, but you intend for the listener to know that you really mean another meaning of the same word. Puns are a fun way to make a joke, but they require you to think fast to catch the double meaning. An example of a pun would be if I had a jar of peanuts and said, ‘There sure are a lot of nuts in here.’ But instead of talking about the jar of peanuts, I was really talking about there being a lot of crazy people in the room.”
  • “So, we are going to use puns to tell this story. If you hear a pun (or any kind of joke), raise you hand to show that you got it. Okay, ready? Here we go…”
    • (Notecard #1) “We know a lot about Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah, and we know a lot about Joseph and Benjamin, but the rest were pretty quiet. I think they had difficulty coming out of their shells.”
    • (Notecard #2) “Now, Joseph was different than his brothers. He was eggs-tra-special, eggs-traordinary. You could say he was egg-cellent in every way.”
    • (Notecard #3) “Compared to his brothers, you might even say he was unequally yolked.”
    • (Notecard #4) “His father knew it, and he made it known that Joseph was his favorite, his good little egg.”
    • (Notecard #5) “Jacob loved Joseph so much more than the rest of his brothers that he dyed him a shell of many colors.”
    • (Notecard # 6) “Now, you may think that being daddy’s favorite was egg-ceptional, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.”
    • (Notecard #7) “For one thing, Joseph’s brothers didn’t appreciate it at all, and they thought Joseph was just plain rotten.”
    • (Notecard #8) “For another, having his daddy crow about him all the time gave Joseph a bit of an egg-o.”
    • (Notecard #9) “You see, God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. One day while he was ‘doze-n,’ he had a dream that his brothers bowed down and worshipped him.”
    • (Notecard #10) “When he told his brothers about the dream, it didn’t go over-easy with them.”
    • (Notecard #11) “They use to think Joseph was just eggcentric, but now they thought he was really egg-ravating.”
    • (Notecard #12) In fact, it made them boil with anger.”
    • (Notecard #13) “From that moment on, you might say Joseph’s bird was cooked.”
    • (Notecard #14) “His brothers began thinking of ways they could eggs-terminate him.”
    • (Notecard #15) “So one day, Joseph’s father asked him to go see if his brothers were doing what he egg-spected them to do.”
    • (Notecard #16 “They were supposed to be watching the sheep in Shechem, but when Joseph got there, he realized they had scrambled.”
    • (Notecard #17) “He finally found them in Dothan, but they saw him coming. ‘Here comes the dreamer,’ they said. ‘Let’s eggs-ecute him.’”
    • (Notecard #18) “That was the plan, but Joseph got clucky.”
    • (Notecard #19) “Reuben, the oldest brother, chickened out.”
    • (Notecard #20) “He didn’t want to be an eggs-cessory to a crime.”
    • (Notecard #21) “He convinced them not to eggs-ecute Joseph but just to egg-drop him in a dry well and leave him there. Joseph was in quite a soup!”
    • (Notecard #22) “This was just an eggs-cuse. Secretly, Reuben hoped to save his brother.”
    • (Notecard #23) “Reuben went away, but the brothers grabbed Joseph, shelled off his beautiful robe, and dropped him into a well. Fortunately, he landed sunny-side-up.”
    • (Notecard #24) “In the midst of all this egg-citement, along came a caravan of Midianite slave poachers.”
    • (Notecard #25) “So the brothers decided to sell Joseph for some chicken scratch.”
    • (Notecard #26) “I guess you could say he was fried.”
    • (Notecard #27) “When Reuben returned and found his brother gone, he cracked! He knew their father would blame him!”
    • (Notecard #28) “But his brothers said, ‘Reuben, don’t be an eggs-Benedict Arnold! We’re in this together.’”
    • (Notecard #30) “They took his beautiful coat and dyed it in goat’s blood. Then they showed their father.”
    • (Notecard #31) “Jacob just knew that Joseph had been eaten by wild breakfast eaters, and he was so upset, no one could comfort him for many days.”
    • (Notecard #32) “Meanwhile, Joseph was taken to Egg-ypt and sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar.” (End of Story)

  • “So that’s the beginning of Joseph’s story. Pretty terrible, huh?”
  • “Poor Joseph! How do you think he’s feeling right now?” (Take responses.)
  • “Have you ever felt that way?” (Listen to responses and comment as necessary.)
  • “What could make the brothers hate Joseph so much that they would sell him into slavery?” (Take responses.)
  • “Joseph wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
  • “Why do you think God lets bad things happen to good people?” (Take responses.)
  • “God is a good God, and He’s an all-powerful God, but sometimes He lets bad things happen to good people.”
  • “I’ll tell you that any time something bad happens to a person who loves Jesus, there is one of two reasons why. It’s either to:
    • Help you, or to…
    • Help others.”
  • “God won’t always tell you what He’s doing, but He doesn’t mind you asking.”
  • “Sometimes He’ll show you why you are having a rough time.”
  • “Other times He just wants you to trust Him. But even if He won’t tell you why, believe that He has a very good reason.”
  • “He had a good reason in Joseph’s life, didn’t He? Can anyone tell me what it was?” (Take responses.)
  • “Well, if Joseph could trust God even though he experienced slavery and his brothers’ abuse, we can trust God in our circumstances, too.” (End lesson.)


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Filed under Belief, Challenges, Christianity, faith, God's Will, Hands-on, Joseph, Object Lesson, struggles, test, Trust