Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girls Lesson #2


We started the class out with prayer requests, praying together and then reviewing chapter 1 of Esther.

We moved on to chapter 2 starting with the characters. Some were carried over from chapter 1 but we also introduced some new ones.

We talked about King Xerxes and the thought that he might have had some regrets over having Queen Vashti removed (vs. 1).  We also talked about the fact that if he did, he had worked himself into a spot and couldn't do anything about it.  Why? Because he would have lost all respect of those he reigned over.

The solution suggested to him by his advisors was to find a new queen and that's what he did.  Letters were sent out to all the provinces with orders to gather beautiful young virgins and bring them to the palace for a year of preparation for a night with the King. The girl that the King liked the best would be chosen to be the new queen.  

The beautiful young virgins were teens and when the girls heard this they were incredulous that this could be done ... that the beautiful young virgins had no choice.

Esther was one of those beautiful young virgins.

We spent some time talking about what we gleaned about Esther from this chapter.  We concluded that she was obedient (vs. 10, 20), she was likeable (vs. 9, 15) and she was beautiful (vs. 7).  We paused right here and talked about obedience and about how God wanted them to obey their parents/guardians even if they didn't want to, as long as they were not being asked to do something that was specifically taught against in God's Word. One of the girls wanted to know if you had to obey your parents once you were married.  I told them no, but that God did want them to honor and respect them.  We talked about the different seasons in our lives and who we needed to obey in each.  Then we talked about why obedience is important.  I reminded the girls that there was never a time in a person's life when obedience wasn't important.  As a child, we are to be obedient to our parents; as students in school, we are to be obedient to our teachers and those in charge; as employees, we are to be obedient to our employers; as adults, we are to be obedient to the laws of the land and as Christians, we are to be obedient to God's teachings.  I told them that learning obedience as a child would make adulthood easier.  We had some really good discussion on this topic.

We talked about the secret Mordecai asked Esther to keep about her heritage.

From there we did an overview of chapter 2 and concluded that there were three very important things that happened ...

Esther became Queen
Esther kept the secret of her heritage  
Mordecai got his name written in the book of the King's Chronicles


At different times during the class we marked in our Bibles ... 

We now have chapters 1 and 2 marked up.  The girls seem to really be enjoying this method of teaching and learning.

patsy
She Hath Done What She Could




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girls, Lesson #1

In lesson one we took prayer requests and went before God and then laid the foundation for the study by talking about the main characters in the account.

King Ahasuerus also known as King Xerxes
Queen Vashti
Esther
Mordecai
Haman

We did an indepth character analysis of each and it was agreed upon by all that King Xeres was not a nice person and was very tempermental ...

Queen Vashti was brave and courageous ...

Esther was obedient, humble, brave and courageous as well ...

Mordecai was honorable ...

and Haman was evil, wicked, selfish and thought way to much of himself.

We used our Bibles and took apart chapter one of Esther digging out the nuggets that set the foundation for the account.

We talked about some reasons Queen Vashti chose not to obey the King.  I shared that in one source I had researched the commentator said that Vashti could very well have been pregnant and that was the reason she chose to decline the King's request.  Of course, I also pointed out that the Bible does not tell us this was the reason.


We marked in our Bibles, wrote the what, when and where information and underlined our memory verse which is Esther 4:14.  Yes, I expect these teenage girls to memorize Scripture! One never gets to old to store up Scripture in one's heart!

patsy
She Hath Done What She Could

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girls

I decided to take all the research and studying I did on Esther for the little girl's 'princess class' I just finished and use it to pull together a study for the teen girl's class I'll start teaching this coming Sunday.

I've titled this study ... Lessons Learned from Esther and my head is spinning with all the possibilites!

This week I put this bulletin board up and got everything ready for the first lesson ...


Stay tuned for the first lesson, after I teach it, of course!

patsy

Friday, July 28, 2017

A New Teaching Challenge ... Teen Girls!

The first sunday in August I will leave the 10 - 12 year olds Bible class that I teach each week and start a class for teenage girls.  This will not be the first time I've taught a teenage girl's Bible class, I taught this age group for 8 years a few years ago, so I'm no stranger to this challenge.

Over the next several days I will be transforming the class room into a place of study for teen girls. 

I'll start with the door, I want it to be welcoming so I chalked this to go on the door ...  (The age group name will be added to the door as well.)

I've purchased a large print Bible for each girl ... yes large print!  We will do lots of marking and underlining and making notes in these Bibles so I wanted them to have plenty of room.  (These Bibles will stay in the classroom, the girls will not be allowed to take them home.)

I've also purchased markers, coloring pencils and assortment of other Bible marking and writing tools for the girls to use.

Yet to be purchased is a concordance and a Bible dictionary for each girl.

While we will also learn how to use their smart phones to research a topic and how to use Bible programs such as e-sword and logos, I also want them to learn how to research the old fashion way ... without electronics.

Up next, a peek inside the classroom ... after I get it done!!!

patsy
She Hath Done What She Could

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Queen Esther Class #6

We had our last 'princess' class last night ... 

... next week we will prepare for the finale where we invite the girl's family in to see and hear what they've learned.


The take home this week was invitations to the finale.

(I used things I had on hand that I had gotten on clearance at one time or another to make the invitatons.)


We finished the account of Esther by picking up with the King not being able to sleep the night of the first banquet and calling for the book of records so he could read for awhile.  The King noted in his reading that nothing had been done to reward the man who had uncovered the plot to have him killed.   He was pondering on this when Haman came to speak to him about having Mordecai hung.  The King immediately asked Haman what should be done to reward someone the King wanted to reward.  Haman, thinking the King wanted to reward him, told the King the highest honor would be to put the royal robes on the person, sit him on the King's horse and have him led through the city praising him to all.  The King thought this was an excellent idea and told Haman to do all that he had said to Mordecai.  Haman was not happy but did as the King requested.  

As soon as Haman had finished leading Mordecai through the city square, Haman was taken to the second banquet with he and the King in attendance, when the King inquired of Queen Esther what her request was, she told him that her people were going to be killed and  slaughtered.  The King was shocked and wanted to know who would do such a thing.  (I reminded the girls of Esther secret and that the King did not know that she was a Jew.)  When Queen Esther told the King that the person was Haman, the King was so upset he left the room. Meanwhile, Haman, knowing that he was in trouble, begged Queen Esther for mercy.  The King returned to the room during Haman's pleading and thought Haman was assualting the Queen.  The King ordered Haman to be hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

The King, knowing he could not undo the law he had been tricked into making by Haman, allowed Mordecai and Esther to write a new law that would save the Jews.

That's where we ended the class and the girls were full of questions.  I answered them to the best of my ability!  I think they have really enjoyed this special summer series ... their 'princess class.'

One more thing ... I caught one of the girl's being extra kind to a visiting little girl we had in class by helping her with her workbook activity.  She was so tender with her and helpful in guiding her through the activity ... it just made my heart swell with pride.   I want to reward that kind of behavior so, she will be given the kindness badge too.

To say that I have enjoyed teaching this special summer series is an understatment! The girls were wonderful to work with and I fell even more in love with them.  I pray that something I've said or done during this series will cause them to want to learn more about our Lord.  Just like Esther, God has a plan for their lives and I hope in some small way I've helped them realize that. 

patsy

Friday, July 14, 2017

Queen Esther Class #5

We have one more class and then we'll close out this special summer series with a banquet/program.   The girls will be telling the story of Esther and sharing what they've learned with their parents and grandparents as the audience.




Our take home this week was scrolls with Esther 3:13 as the message.




We continued our lesson and picked up with Queen Esther going before the King not knowing if she would die or if the King would hold out the golden septer to her.  The girls learned that the King did indeed hold out his golden septer to her and promised to give her up to half of his kingdom before inquiring what her request was.  The Queen requested that the King and Haman come to a banquet she wanted to give for them.  The King said yes and Haman was so full of pride all he could think of was how important he must be if the Queen wanted him to come to the banquet. However, he was still thinking of how he could get rid of Mordecai ... immediately!  He even went so far as to have gallows made to have Mordecai hung!  Meanwhile, Haman goes to the banquet only to learn that the Queen's request was for him and the King to come to a second banquet. 

That's where I left the girls and told them they would have to come back next week to find out what the Queen's request was.  They moaned and groaned ... 

patsy


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Queen Esther Class #4


(Notice the workbook/activity book that has a card laying on top of it?  One of the girls was having a birthday the day after this class so I prettied up a card and presented it to her.  She loved it!)

We're in our fourth week of our 'princess class' and we have pretty much established a routine.  

One of the students will open the class with prayer

We go over our memory verse (Esther 4:14) and give any of the girls that want to an opportunity to recite the verse.

We review past lessons which have the events of the story of Esther in chronological order. The girls really enjoy retelling the account, I just get them started and ask a question every now and then.

I teach the next 'thing that happened' in the account, which this week was ...

Mordecai and Esther's conversation regarding her role in possibly saving her people.  It involved her going before the King, only no one dared go before the King unless he had sent for them.  If someone did present themselves uninvited before the King and he held out the golden scepter to them they would live, if he did not, it meant certain death.  The King had not sent for Queen Esther in a month!  Queen Esther and her maidens fasted and prayed for 3 days, so did Mordecai and the Jews.  Would the King hold out the golden scepter to Queen Esther ... that's where I left them.

We sing songs

The girls choose something to work on in their workbooks

One of the girls was caught being extra kind to a younger child after Bible class so I placed a 'kindness' reward in her workbook/activity.  She doesn't know she has earned it!  I can't wait to see her reaction!

I continue to use 'speech bubble' sticky notes and write notes to the girls in their workbooks/activity books. I found the speech bubble sticky notes at the Dollar Tree about a year ago.

I also continue to take pictures each week and add them to the girl's workbooks/activity books.

The take-home for this week was of course, a golden scepter for each girl!  (Pictured in the center of the table in the picture above.  I made them out of styrofoam and my husband spray painted them gold.)

patsy

Friday, June 30, 2017

Queen Esther Class #3


Last week we did not have our Queen Esther class because we were doing Vacation Bible School. 

This week we started the class with prayer, lead by one of the girls. Then we worked on our memory verse (Esther 4:14) and after that, did a thorough review using our story wall.

Then we talked about Mordecai discovering and reporting to Esther a plot to kill the King.  Esther reported the plot to the King and those responsible were hanged.  It was at this point that wicked Haman was introduced.

We talked about the fact that Haman hated Mordecai because he wouldn't bow down to him. We also talked about the fact that Haman came up with an evil plan to get even with Mordecai .  He wanted to kill all the Jews, which Mordecai was and Haman knew, but, Haman didn't know that Queen Esther was also a Jew!  Haman convinced the King to make his wishes a decree and the time was set for all Jews to be killed!

What were the Jews going to do? 

That's where I left the girls and told them if they wanted to know what happened they would have to come back next week.

Amidst groans of  "No, Mrs. Patsy" we moved onto singing and working in our activity books.


Our take home for the girls were these Queen Esther playing cards.  

All the take-homes are geared towards reinforcing the lesson each week.  

I want the girls to know this Bible account frontwards and backwards!

patsy
She Hath Done What She Could

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Queen Esther Class #2

For our second 'princess class' we had to add another chair and workbook because we had another little girl in class ... 6 in all!!



We started out the class by asking for a volunteer to open the class in prayer and almost every little hand in the room went up!  We chose one little girl and assured the others that they would each have a turn in the upcoming weeks as well.

From there we reviewed our memory verse (Esther 4:14) and then went over to the story wall and reviewed our story from last week where we were introduced to the King and his Queen.

We left our story last week with the King needing a new queen and that's where we picked up this week.  We learned how Queen Esther was chosen and about her secret.  The girls really liked this part!

One of the girls asked where I was getting this story from and I showed them in the Bible the book of Esther.  They couldn't believe this story was in the Bible and a couple of them said they were going to go home and read it.  As a Bible teacher, I can tell you it just doesn't get much better than that!

After our time at the story wall, we sang some 'Esther'songs and opened our activity books to finish out the class.

Our take home item for the girls this week were 'Esther' paper dolls.  


As they color each piece I hope it will reinforce what they have learned so far.

Class #2 was another huge success!

patsy

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Queen Esther Class: The First Class!

The  first class of our special summer series on Queen Esther for girls, ages 5 - 9, was held last night.  What a success it was!  My helper and I welcomed 5 little girls to the 'princess class.'



I added a little fru-fru to the door handle of the door leading into our classroom  ...


Amidst ooh's and ahh's, the girls came in and seated themselves at the table.  

Each girl had their own activity/workbook.

In the middle of the table was tulle topped with princess crowns and a jar of plastic bracelets, rings and necklaces that the girls will earn by saying a prayer in class, leading a song in class, etc.

The little purses were their take homes for the week.  Each purse contained their memory verse for the series ... Esther 4:14.  (Their assignment is to read the verse to someone once a day all week long.)

I had each girl to write their name in their activity/workbook and the date.  Some of them really tried to get fancy.  I also took pictures of each girl and of the whole group of them.  I'll add each girl's picture and a group picture to their individual books as well.  I really want this activity/workbook to be a keepsake for them.


Here's a close-up of the purses!  I had so much fun making them and the girls loved them.  It was worth all the cutting and gluing to see their little faces when they saw them.


Speaking of the memory verse, here's what we're using to learn it.  As the girls become more familiar with it, I'll start taking away crowns so they will have to recall it from their memory.

In addition to working on our memory verse, singing some Esther songs, going over their activity/workbooks, and learning how they could earn bracelets, necklaces and rings we talked about King Xerxes and Queen Vashti.

I laid the foundation for the class by telling the girls what kind of king King Xerxes was and about the 180 day party he threw and then the 7 day party he gave.  I told the girls how King Xerxes wanted Queen Vashti to come to his party to show off her beauty.  I told them that Queen Vashti wouldn't go and how mad it made the King.  I left the story with the King taking counsel from some of the men at the party which ended in the King taking the crown away from Queen Vashti.  I told the girls that after a while the King wanted a new queen and that was what we would talk about next week.

The girls wanted to know who was going to be the  new queen, but I told them they would have to come back next week to find out!!!

One more thing, we talked about the banquet we would have at the end of the class to close the class out!  I'll be sharing more about that later!

Our first 'princess class' was a hugh success!  My goal is to teach what the Bible says about Queen Esther and her role in God's plan ... and to make it as much fun as I can!

patsy

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Queen Esther Class: The Workbook!

I spent several hours making these workbooks for the girls.  They are filled with 'to-do' type activities, the memory verse they'll be learning, activity pages, coloring pages, badge earning pages, pages for individual pictures as well as a group picture.  I even threw in a couple of blank pages in case we wanted to add something as we went along!  After I pulled it all together, I laminated the front and back covers and then comb-bound the books.  The goal is for them to have a keepsake when the class is over.



The finished product!


My message to the girls. 


A blank page and a pretty divider separating the coloring pages from the activity pages.

(The pretty purple flowered divider page is cardstock I found on sale at a craft store!)

The girls are excited about the class and I am too!

patsy

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Queen Esther Class: The Invitations

In this post I told you that I was working on a special summer series class for little girls ages 5 - 9 on Queen Esther.  I am having so much fun pulling this class together ... and I haven't even started teaching it yet.


The invitations have been made using things I had on hand except for the princess celophane bags, I purchased them at the Dollar Tree for $1.



I hand delivered them to 5 little girls.  

They were thrilled!  I hope they all get to attend!

I've secured a helper for the class ... with that many little girls, I need a helper!

to be continued ...

patsy


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rahab-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
 Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 8

How hard do you think it was for Rahab to keep her relatives inside her home for ‘an unspecified’ length of time?  How hard would it be for us to do the same today?  Why? 

 “Waiting” seemed to be the name of the game for Rahab and her family.  Explain how the phrase “God wants us to wait on his terms, not ours” applied to Rahab and her
situation and then think about how it applies to us today.
             
How do you think Rahab felt as the Israelites marched around Jericho?  Do you think she felt a sense of panic and worried that the spies might not keep their end of the deal? 
             
Put yourself in Rahab’s place.  How would you feel as the whole city of Jericho was falling down around you?  How would you keep those within your home from panicking and from ‘running for their lives?’
             
And now for the rest of the story ……

Rahab and her family were saved from destruction.  (Joshua 6:22-23)

She went to live with the Israelites.  (Joshua 6:25)

She married Salmon, an Israelite (History tells us that Salmon may have been one of the two spies.)  (Matthew 1:5)

Their son Boaz married Ruth.  (Matthew 1:5)

Boaz and Ruth were the grandparents of David through whose line Jesus was born.  (Matthew 1: 5-6)

Let’s back up a minute … God told the children of Israel not to intermarry with those of the land in fact, in Deuteronomy 20:16 they were instructed  not to even leave anything alive that breathed.  Explain Rahab the Canaanite marrying Salmon the Hebrew.
           
In order to better understand the previous question read Deuteronomy 20: 17-18.  What reason does God give for ‘utterly destroying” the Hittite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite and the Jebusite?           

Rahab was a Canaanite living in the land of Canaan.  With God’s reason for the destruction of these peoples in mind what do you think would cause Him to allow a Canaanite harlot to be saved?           

In Matthew 1:5 we find Rahab listed in the Messianic line.  With this information in mind, along with this study you’ve just completed, what can one conclude about God?       

Before we conclude this study there is a question that comes up from time to time that we need to look at … is the Rahab of this study the same Rahab mentioned as being in the Messianic line in Matthew 1:5?  Explain your answer.       

- Aren’t you glad God has a true picture of our hearts?

- Aren’t you glad we are saved by grace, not by being good?

- Aren’t you glad God sees the possibility of what we can become? 


…… I know I am.

patsy

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rahb-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
 Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 7

Joshua 2:14 tells us that Rahab was given a condition that she must fulfill in order for her and her household to be saved.  What was that condition?     

If Rahab had only believed and done nothing, she along with her family would not have been saved.   The same is true of us today; believing ‘only’ is not enough (James 2:19 tells us that the demons also believe and shudder), what else must we do?
           
It has been said that when it comes to answering Biblical questions, answers are just opinions unless they can be backed up with Scripture. With this thought in mind back up the answer you just gave in the last question with Scripture.

Who were the ‘none of you’ that the spies were referring to in Joshua 2:14 when it says “if none of you tell this business of ours?”  How hard would it have been for Rahab to get everyone to cooperate?   

In an earlier lesson we learned where Rahab’s house was located within the city.  In Joshua 2:15 we see the significance of the location of her house.  What is it?

What instructions did Rahab give the spies when she helped them escape?        

Right before departing, in Joshua 2: 17-20, the spies gave Rahab specific instructions that she must follow in order for her and her family’s safety to be secured?  What were those instructions?           
           
Do you think Rahab and her family would have been saved had she deviated from the instructions she had been given and put the scarlet cord in another window instead
 of the window from which she had let them down?  Why or why not?           
           
Thought question …  Are we ever guilty of deviating from God’s instructions …. just a little?  What are the results when we do?   

Why was it important that Rahab tell no one of the men’s business?

To be continued ...

patsy

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Rahab-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 6 

Verses 12 and 13 of Joshua, chapter 2, show that Rahab was not a selfish person.
Who else besides herself did she ask to be delivered from destruction?

Thought question ….  With Rahab’s example in mind let’s examine ourselves.   Do
we, like Rahab, do everything within our power to save our families from destruction
and bring about their salvation?   Let’s get specific in answering this question ... What
are some things that we as women, wives, mothers, daughters, etc can do to help bring
about the salvation of our families?
           
Let’s pause a moment and look at Rahab the person.  Thus far we’ve been able to
determine that she is a caring person (she could have turned the spies over to the King’s
men, but didn’t), trustworthy (the King’s men believed her when she said the spies had
already left), unselfish (she asked for her household to be saved in addition to herself),
and that she had determination (she was determined to help the spies escape even at
great risk to herself).  Now go back to the first question in the first lesson in this study 
and compare what you’ve written there regarding harlotry and prostitutes with what 
we have learned about Rahab thus far.  What can we conclude about Rahab after 
making this comparison?

To be continued ...

patsy

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rahab-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
 Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 5

Verses 8-13 of Joshua 2 are basically a plea by Rahab for her and her family’s lives. What was that plea and what was her reasoning for siding with the spies against her own people? 

Verse 11 gives us Rahab’s proclamation about God, which caused her and her family to
be saved from destruction.  What was Rahab’s proclamation?

Rahab didn’t stop at just making her proclamation; she also backed up her words with
action.  James 2:26 tells us that faith without works is dead.  How did Rahab ‘live’ this
verse?            

Would you say that Rahab’s faith was genuine or in name only?  Why?
           
Explain this statement, “Rahab’s actions grew out of her faith.”  How should this same
Concept apply to us today?           

It’s obvious that Rahab believed in God enough to put her life on the line.  How did she,
living in Canaan, learn about Him? 
           
What response did the spies have to Rahab’s plea for her and her family’s safety? 

To be continued ...

patsy


Friday, May 19, 2017

Rahab-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
 Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 4

A lie, is a lie, is a lie and Rahab lied to the King’s men, what was the lie that she told?

Why did she tell the lie?   

God specifically tells us not to lie, but Rahab did, and the outcome was according to God’s plans.  Does this mean that there are times when God sanctions lies?  Explain.     

Where were the two spies hidden while the exchange between Rahab and the King’s men was taking place?            

Why did Rahab take the risk that she did when she lied about the whereabouts of the spies? 

What would have been the consequences for Rahab if her deception had been discovered?

To be continued ...

            
patsy

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rahab-the-What!

Rahab-the-What!

Joshua 2:1-21; 6:17-25
 Matthew 1:5
Hebrews 11:31
James 2:25

By Patsy Norwood

© 2003- 2017.  All Rights Reserved!


Lesson 3

Verse 2 says that the King of Jericho knew the spies were at Rahab’s house.  How did he know?  What are some ways he could have found out?

Upon being told that the spies were at Rahab’s house the King sent a message to her, what was the message?
           
Who delivered the message to Rahab?
           
How do you think Rahab felt when she realized the King’s men were at her house to question her and not there for other reasons?

This was a critical moment for Rahab, what thoughts do you think might have been going through her mind as she was being questioned by the King’s men?             

What reply did Rahab give to the Kings’ men regarding the spies?        

Thought question … Why didn’t the King’s men search Rahab’s house?  Why did they just take her at her word? 

What does the King’s men’s decision not to search Rahab’s house say about her?

To be continued ...

patsy