Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated #7: Teen Girls

Dorcas … Acts 9:36 -42

We're nearing the end of our study on Dorcas with one more lesson after this one and as usual we start off with our memory verses ...

Memory Verse: Esther 4:14; Acts 9:36

Review verses Acts 9:36 - 40

Our focus verse today is Acts 9:41

Who is he?  Peter

What did he give her?  His hand

What did he do next?  Lifted her up

Who did he call?  The saints and widows

What did he do after he called the saints and widows? Presented Dorcas alive

We talked about how God used Peter to bring Dorcas back to life and why. 

We also talked about the saints and widows who saw Dorcas in death and then in life again and about their possible reactions. 

Then we talked about everyone’s faith which surely grew in leaps and bounds that day.

After our lesson, the girls picked up their stitching and got down to some serious work.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #6

Dorcas … Acts 9:36 -42

We started class with prayer and their prayer requests.  Then we worked on their memory verses and reviewed previous lessons before moving on to our verse this week.

Verse 9:40

We took the verse apart bit by bit in order to get a better understanding of what it was saying.

What did Peter do first when he got to the upper room?  Put them all out, had them to leave the room

What did he do after everyone had left the room?  Knelt down and prayed

What did he do after he knelt down and prayed?  Turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, arise.”

What was the first thing the body of Tabitha did?  Opened eyes

What did Tabitha do when she saw Peter?  She sat up

We spent some time talking about why people are not raised from the dead today and about miracles in general.  We delved into what God's word says about miracles, the purpose of miracles while the church was being established and why we do not have miracles today like Peter and the other apostles performed when they walked the earth.

The girls worked on their stitching projects and we talked and talked and talked.  We had a lot to talk about as two of the girls had decided to become Christians and had been baptized earlier in the week.   We rejoiced over their decision to become children of God.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #5

We started the class of with their prayer requests, prayer and memory work.

We reviewed what we've learned about Dorcas thus far and then disected Acts 9: 39 by answering these questions ...

What did Peter do when he heard the disciple’s request?  Arose and went with them

Where did he go when he got to Dorcas’ house?  They took him to the upper room of Dorcas’ house

Who is ‘they?’  disciples

Who was weeping and showing Peter the clothing Dorcas had made for them?  Widows

Our focus this week was on the difference between the disciples (students of God's word) who could not perform miracles and 'The' disciples who could perform miracles.  Understanding this will lay the foundation for deeper learning on miracles vs God's providence.

The girls were considerably late for class again today which meant there was no time for sewing.  Since this was the second time they have chosen to be late for class we had a little talk about priorities and better planning.   Teen girls sometimes need a loving and firm hand to guide them, even in Bible class.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #4

Our Dorcas class continues ...

After our prayer requests, prayer, memory work and review we looked at Acts 9:38.

We talked about and answered these questions...

Who was at Lydda?  Peter

Who is Peter?  One of the 12 apostles who had the ability to perform miracles

Who sent for him?  The disciples (not 'The' 12 disciples but learners and students of God's word ... like Dorcas)

What message did they send to him?  Hurry, don't delay

Why did they send for him?  The Bible doesn't tell us but it appears that they wanted him to do something, to fix the situation.

We talked again about speaking where the Bible speaks and remaining silent where the Bible is silent.  I want the girls to comprehend and understand the seriousness of adding to or taking away from God's Word and why we should never, ever do either!

Deuteronomy 4:2 (NASB) … You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 12:32  (NASB) …  Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Revelation 22:18  (NASB) …  I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book

This week the girls arrived on time to class and we had time for them to work on the embrodiery stitch they are learning.

She Hath Done What She Could

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #3

As is our usual class order we started the class off with their prayer requests, prayers, memory work and review.

This week our focus was on Acts 9:37 where we talked about and answered these questions ...

What happened to Dorcas?  She became sick and died.

What was wrong with her?  The Bible doesn't tell us.  I am very careful to make sure the girls understand that sometimes the Bible doesn't tell us things and that we need to be content with that.  We should NEVER teach or assume what we think is the truth when the Bible is silent on the matter.

Did she go to the doctor?  The Bible doesn't tell us.  I told the girls secular history tells us that during this time period heads of households were expected to know enough about herbal cures, and and what we call today homepathic medicine, to treat illnesses in their own households.  They found this very interesting and couldn't believe that they didn't have doctors and hospitals such as we have today.

What did they do with her body?  They washed her and laid her in an upper room. Normally, burial would be the same day.  Here again the girls had a hard time comprehending this.
Who are 'they?' The Bible doesn't say but clues are given further in the reading that it could have been other followers of Christ, possibly her sisters in Christ ... some of the ladies of the church, if you will.
The girls were late for class so we didn't have time to work on their stitching this week due to time constraints.  The girls were not happy, but I reminded them that 'they were the ones late to class!'

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #2

We started the class of with their prayer requests, prayers and memory work.

The memory verse for this series is Acts 9:36.

We then looked at Acts 9:36 and answered the following question ...

What do we learn about Dorcas from this verse?

I told the girls there were 5 things this verse told us about Dorcas and had them to dig them out and underline them in their Bibles.

The answers were ...

She lived at Joppa

She was a disciple (a student or learner of God's word, a follower of Jesus)

Her Greek name was Dorcas

Her Hebrew name was Tabitha

She was full of good works and charitable deeds

After we had thoroughly disected the verse and talked about some good works and charitable deeds they could do,  we closed our Bibles and started learning  a basic embrodiery stitch ... the stem stitch.

She Hath Done What She Could

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dorcas Series Updated: Teen Girls #1

When I start a new series I always like to present the background, lay the foundation if you will for what's coming.  I believe if we know the circumstances, we'll understand the lesson better.

Background for Acts 9:36- 42

Joppa was a seaport town in what is now Tel Aviv, Israel.  Joppa was also where many widows and orphans lived.  Most of the men of Joppa made their living by fishing and many lost their lives as a result.  Consequently, there were many sea men's widows and orphaned children living in Joppa, forced to beg for a living and often ignored and despised.

These were the circumstances in which Dorcas 'bloomed where she was planted.'   These were the circumstances in which Dorcas chose to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

We talked about what it would have meant to live during this time as a widow or orphan.  The girls had a hard time comprehending how different things were in Dorcas' world and their world!

We also talked about their sewing skills so I could get an idea of where to start them on the sewing project that goes with this series.  It was decided that we would just start with the basics of embrodiery and go from there.

She Hath Done What She Could

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girls # 9

Esther … Chapters 9 – 10 ... (Final Lesson in this series.)

Memory Verse:  Esther 4:14

Main Characters:
King Xerxes
Haman’s Ten Sons
Queen Esther

About 9 months passed between the uncovering of Haman’s evil plot, the new decree being issued and the day that the enemies of the Jews planned to annihilate them.

On that day, in all the provinces, the Jews gathered to defend themselves which the law that Mordecai and Esther created said they could do. The Jews were joined in battle by many of the officers in each province likely because of Mordecai’s power and authority, since he was second in command to the King. 

The victory of the Jews over their enemies was now complete but the Jews did not lay a hand on any of their enemy’s belongings.   They could have legally done so according to the decree, but chose not to.

King Xerxes inquired of Queen Esther as to whether she had another request. Her response was that she wanted the Jews of Shushan to be able to fight one more day.  She requested one more thing and that was that the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be hanged on gallows, so that his family would be fully disgraced.  The King granted both of Esther’s requests.

The Jews celebrated with feasting and merrymaking. When all the merrymaking and feasting was over, Mordecai issued a special decree to all the Jews that they should celebrate this great event every year with a feast and gift giving.  They would call it the “Feast of Purim” after “Pur” which represents the lots that were cast by Haman in order to determine the date that the Jews were to be annihilated.  It was also to be celebrated as a remembrance of all that Haman tried to do to them and all that Esther did to save them.

Esther signed the decree herself which ordered the observance of the Feast of Purim.

The whole book of Esther is an example of God working behind the scenes to save His people.  It also carries lessons on pride, humility and courage.

I had the girls to turn in their Bibles and mark the following verses ... and of course we talked about how each related to the book of Esther and how they relate to each of us today.

Mark in Bible:  Luke 14:11 and Psalm 34:15-17

I hope you find this series helpful in your own personal study as well as when teaching a teen girl's class.  May all glory and praise be given to God!

I gave the girls a choice of what we studied next and they chose Dorcas.  I think it was because there is a hand sewing project that goes along with the Dorcas series. I will be taking the "Let's BEE Like Dorcas" lessons that I've taught to teen girls before and tweaking it to turn into a series for these teen girls.  I'll use the same biblical information but it will be presented in a different way.  (It's been about 10 years since I first taught this series so I think the method, not the message, needs to be updated a bit.)


Friday, October 20, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girl's Class #8

Here we are at the next to the last lesson in this series and we started the class as usual, prayer, memory verse work and review.  

Then came the main characters of chapter 8 ...

King Xerxes
Queen Esther
King’s Scribes

On the same day that Haman was hung, King Xerxes gave ‘the house of Haman’ to Queen Esther.  This meant that she would have complete control over all of Haman’s possessions, including his family. Esther revealed to the King that Mordecai was her cousin and the King sent for Mordecai.  The ring that King Xerxes had once given to Haman he gave to Mordecai along with the position that Haman once held.  Esther then appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.   How ironic that Mordecai now ruled over all that Haman, the man who tried so hard to have him killed, owned.

Queen Esther once again went before the King (the King held out his golden scepter to her) with a request to do something about the law Haman had manipulated him into decreeing.  

 Everyone knew that the laws of the Medes and Persians could not be altered in any way (Esther 1:19), but it was possible to make a new law that would make the old law ineffective. 

The King gave Queen Esther and Mordecai permission to write a new decree that would save the Jews and seal it with the King’s signet ring. The King's scribes were called and Esther and Mordecai set to work.

The new law, in short, gave the Jews permission to band together and defend themselves.  Copies of the new law were published in every province and it served to discourage those who might have planned to take part in the annihilation. 

Everywhere the new decree was read, there was great rejoicing among the Jews.  When the appointed day came that ‘the Jews were to be annihilated by order of the first decree,’ they would be prepared to face those who opposed them.  They could now fight back!

Here again we see the providence of God working.  We see how circumstances came together to bring about events that fulfilled the will of God for the Jews and many other’s lives as well.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lessons Learned from Queen Esther: Teen Girl's Class # 7

We're getting close to the end of the book of Esther and this lesson serves as the climax of the book ... Haman finally gets his dues!

We started the class with prayer, memory verse work and review. Then we jumped right into the lesson as the girls were anxious to know what happened at the second banquet.

Characters from Chapter 7 ...

King Xerxes
Queen Esther
Harbonah of the King's Eunuchs

The King and Haman arrived at the second banquet Queen Esther had requested they attend.  Queen Esther must have felt the time was right to reveal her request for when the King asked what her petition was, she replied, "If I have found favor in your sight, O King and if it pleases the King, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.  For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.  Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the King's loss."

The King was unaware of what Haman had done, he had no idea that he himself had approved a decree calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people and he had no idea that Queen Esther was threatened by that decree.  The King was angry as he asked, "Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?"  

When Queen Esther identifed Haman as the guilty one, Haman was terrified!

The King was outraged and left the room.  Haman knew he didn't stand a chance talking to the King in his current mindset, so he turned to Queen Esther and pleaded for his life.  Haman apparently 'fell' upon the 'bed' where Queen Esther was reclining and when the King re-entered the room to find Haman in a compromising position, the King's rage exploded,  "Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?"  As the King spoke this words, Haman was taken hold of by the king's guards and his face was covered.

Harbonah pointed out that Haman had ordered the construction of gallows meant to hang Mordecai, whom the King had honored earlier that day.  The King then ordered that Haman be hung on the very gallows that he had meant for Mordecai's execution.

The girls breathed a sign of relief that Haman had gotten what he deserved but I told them, 'not so fast, the Jews are not out of danger yet."  I told them they would have to come back next week to see how God worked to deliver His people from annihilation!

She Hath Done What She Could

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girl's Class, Lesson #6

The girls are making progress with learning their memory verse and I am so proud of them!

As usual, we started class with our prayer requests, memory verse work and review.  We review every week because I want these girls to have a solid understanding of how each lesson is built upon the last.

The characters in chapter 6 are ...

King Xerxes
The King's Servants 

On the same night that Haman was making his plan to have Mordecai killed, King Xerxes was having trouble sleeping.  King Xerxes decided to send for someone to read to him from the 'book of the chronicles,' which was a journal of happenings in and around the palace.

As the book was being read to the King, he became interested in the record of Bigthan and Teresh, who had plotted to assissinate him.  (Esther 2:21-23).  Mordecai was responsible for having made known the scheme, but there was no record of any reward or honor having been given to him.  King Xerxes decided that something needed to be done for him.

At that same time Haman had entered the outer court with the intention of putting into action his plan to convince the King to have Mordecai killed.  King Xerxes, wanting to act upon his desire to do something for Mordecai, asked which of his officials was in the outer court.

Haman was asked to come in and before Haman could put his plan into action, the King asked,"What shall be done unto the man whom the King delighteth to honour.' Haman thought the King wanted to honor him and so set about informing the King what great honor should be bestowed upon such a person.  The King thought that Haman's idea was appropriate and ordered Haman to do so to Mordecai. When Haman learned that it was Mordecai whom the King wished to honor and not himself, he was humiliated and upset.  He had no choice but to do what the King commanded him to do though!

When the honoring was over, Mordecai was dropped off and Haman ran home to wallow in his humilation over what had happened, covering his head to hide the look of shame on his face.

Haman sought comfort from his wife and friends, but they offered him no comfort at all and even predicted a bad outcome for Haman for his hatred toward Mordecai.  As Haman was talking with his wife and friends, the King's servants arrived to take him to the second banquet he was supposed to attend with the King and Queen.

We talked about the providences of God in this chapter starting with what was meant by the term 'providences of God.'  I explained to the girls that 'providences of God' was simply God working behind the scenes in the lives of those who truly belonged to Him.

Then we talked about the 'providences of  God' in chapter 6 ...

King Xerxes 'just happened' to be unable to sleep, so he ordered the official record of the palace to be read to him ... (vs 1)

King Xerxes 'just happened' to notice the unpaid debt of gratitude owed to Mordecai ... (vs 2 - 3)

King Xerxes was looking for someone to bestow honor upon Mordecai and Haman 'just happened' to be waiting in the outer court.

The guiding hand of God is clearly seen in this chapter!

She Hath Done What She Could

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturate Yourself In God's Word!

I've read these words on more than one occasion lately in different places ... saturate yourself in God's Word.

To saturate means to fill completely until no more can be held or to satisfy fully.  

According to this statement we need to so completely fill ourselves with God's Word that no more can be held; that we are to feast upon God's Word until we are full and completely satisfied.  I like that and I feel sure God likes that even more.

What does saturating ourselves in God's Word look like in our busy world?  Here are a few ideas that I can think of right off the top of my head ...

Read God's Word ... sometimes we don't have time to do an indepth Bible study, but we can read God's Word.  There are all kinds of 'read through your Bible' plans out there.

Study God's Word ... doing an indepth Bible study is so rewarding.  I can't recommend it enough.

Write out God's Word ... In each Christian Woman Magazine, published by The Gospel Advocatethere are two calendar months per issue.  Each day of each of those two months has 1-2 Bible verses printed on it. Writing each day's verse or verses would be an excellent way to write out God's Word.  It's called the Faithful Living Calendar and you can find out more about it here.  Here's the link to October's calendar if you want to join me.  

Memorize God's Word ... start out with one verse at a time and write it on an index card or piece of paper.  Put it on your refrigerator door.  Everytime you walk by, read it.  You'll be surprised how soon you are able to quote the verse from memory.

Read Biblically Sound Books ... how are we going to know if they are biblically sound?  When we are students of God's Word we will be able to spot false teaching, it's that simple.  If we aren't student's of God's Word we will be susceptible to every 'religious' idea that comes down the pike.

Listen to God's Word ... a Bible app on your phone makes this really easy to do as do CD's, etc.

Listen to Biblical Sermons or Lessons ... this is such a great thing to do while driving or doing housework or walking, etc.

Listen to Songs of Inspiration  ... again, this is such a great thing to do while driving or doing housework or walking, etc.

Attend a Biblically Sound Church and follow along in your Bible with the sermon and sunday school lessons ... it's sad to say, but not all churches teach the whole council of God's Word.  Here again, you're not going to be able to recognize false teaching, yes, even in our churches, if you're not a student of God's Word.

Can you think of any other ways to saturate yourself in God's Word?

She Hath Done What She Could

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girl's Class, Lesson #5

As is our normal routine we started the class with our prayer requests, review and working on our memory verse, Esther 4:14.

From there we looked at the characters found in chapter 5 ...

Queen Esther
King Xerxes
Zeresh ... Haman's Wife
Haman's Friends

When Queen Esther's three days of fasting were over, she prepared herself to approach the King.  She put on her 'royal apparel' and entered the 'inner court.'  This was the moment of truth ... would the King hold out his golden scepter to her or would she be put to death according to the law?  We paused here and talked about how scared Queen Esther surely must have been!

When the King saw Esther standing in the court, he immediately held out the golden scepter to her.  He then inquired of her what was troubling her and wanted to know what her request was. Esther requested that he and Haman come that day to a banquet that she had prepared.  The King quickly agreed and he and Hman went to Esther's banquet.  As they drank wine the King again inquired of Esther what her petition was.  He vowed to give her up to half of his kingdom if that was her request.  Esther bravely answered that her request and petition was that he and Haman come again tomorrow to another banquet, then she would reveal her request.

Haman started on his way home in a good mood.  He was really feeling important!  However, his good mood was spoiled when he saw Mordecai sitting at the gate of the king's palace.  Mordecai did not stand or bow down to him. Haman seethed with anger but didn't doing anything at that time.

That evening Haman invited some of his friends to come to his house for a visit with he and his wife, Zeresh.  Haman wanted to boast, his ego and pride were out of control.  Mordecai's disrespect of Haman was still bothering him though and he mentioned that he could never really enjoy his success as long as he saw Mordecai sitting at the gate of the King's palace every day.

In response, Haman's wife and friends suggested that he build a gallows and then use his influence over the King to get an order for Mordecai's immediate death.  Haman thought that was a good idea and had the gallows built even before he made his request to the King.

The focus of this lesson was handling our emotions.  We talked about controling our emotions and how out-of-control emotions can bring trouble to our lives.   We talked about some ways to handle our emotions, both what we should do and what we should not do.

It was a very good class!

She Hath Done What She Could

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girl's Class, Lesson #4

In lesson 4 we opened the class with our time in prayer, working on our memory verse and reviewing.

Then we went on to identify the characters we would be encountering in chapter 4:

Hathach ... one of the King's eunuch appointed to attend to Queen Esther

Mordecai went into a deep state of mourning over the decree. He was so upset that he tore off his clothes and put on sackcloth, sprinkled ashes over himself and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.  There was great mourning everywhere all over the provinces by the Jews because of the decree.

Esther's servants saw Mordecai wandering the streets crying out and wailing and told her.  She was deeply distressed and didn't know why he was acting this way.   She sent clothes for Mordecai to put on but he would not accept them.  Then Esther called Hathach and sent him to Mordecai to find out what was going on.

Some of Esther's servants evidently knew that Esther and Mordecai were cousins consquently realizing that she was also a Jew. (vs 4)  If they knew she was a Jew, did that mean one of them or someone they might tell could kill the Queen because of the decree?  We had some great discussion over this!

When Hathach inquired of Mordecai about what was wrong, Mordecai told him all that had happened.  He also gave him a copy of the decre to show to Esther with the command that she go before the King and plead for her people.  Hathach returned to Esther and told her all that Mordecai had said.

Esther sent a message back to Mordecai telling him that everyone knew that any man or woman who went into the inner court to the king, who had not been called would be put to death unless the King held out the golden scepter to them.

Mordecai responded to Esther's message by telling her ... "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace anymore than all the other Jews, for if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish.  Yet, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:13-14)

Esther sent the following reply to Mordecai ..."Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night and day. My maids and I will fast likewise.  And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!"

In concluding the class we talked about Esther's choice and her bravery and that sometimes we have to make hard choices and that we always need to go to God for guidance, direction and intervention, like Esther did.

She Hath Done What She Could

Lessons Learned from Esther: Teen Girl's Class Lesson #3

We have been in a super busy state for several weeks now and I didn't realize I was so far behind on posting these lessons.  I'll try to get us caught up over the next several days!

As is our normal routine we started the class with our prayer requests, review and working on our memory verse, Esther 4:14.

Next, we took a look at the characters we would be talking about in this lesson which are:

King Xerxes
King's Servants
King's Scribes

Then it was on to the events of chapter 3 ...

In this chapter Haman is promoted and he has really let his promotion go to his head so to speak.  The King didn't help matters by commanding that everone bow down to Haman and everyone did, except Mordecai.  The King's servants talked to Mordecai about his disobedience to the King's command but it didn't do any good.  Finally, they told Haman.

When Haman saw that Mordecai didn't bow down to him, he couldn't stand it. His arrogant pride took over and he started planning to get even with Mordecai.  He knew he dare not do anything to Mordecai by himself because of the Jews ... 'the people of Mordecai.'  So Haman, knowing that Mordecai was a Jew, planned to destroy all of the Jews to get even with Mordecai.

Even before Haman went to the King with his plan he cast lots (cast Pur) to determine the day and month on which he would carry out his evil plan.  (Haman was sure of his prideful self!)  The casting of lots determined that the destruction of the Jews would occur nearly one year later.  In our modern calender the massacre would have been the end of February or the first of March.

Haman went before the King but did not tell the King all the facts.  He manipulated the King into giving him what he wanted ... the lives of the Jews. The law is written and delivered to all the provinces and governing officials.

We did an overview of the chapter and talked indepth about Haman's attitude and about attitudes they encountered in their every day lives.  We especially spent quite a bit of time talking about pride and about what the Bible says about it.

The girls are really seeming to enjoy this class and of course that makes this teacher very happy!

She Hath Done What She Could

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bible Games!

Isn't this just the cutest little activity ...

I found this folder game by Creative Concepts and fell in love with it.  They had several other's to choose from but this one on Bible Basics is the one I settled on.

The question is on the apple and the answer is on the worm. The object of the game is to get the correct answer/worm matched up to the correct question/apple.

I can't wait to use it in an upcoming children's class I'll be teaching on Wednesday nights in a few weeks.  I found another Bible Challenge Game, by the same company, on the book of Acts  and the Old and New Testament that I also purchased to use in this same class.

When I teach children on Wednesday nights, we play Bible games.  The children are tired and I'm usually tired as well so I try to make the class as easy and fun to learn as I can for the students and myself!  The children love to learn this way and I love that I don't have to prepare a new lesson each week  (in addition to the one I prepare for the teen girl class I teach on Sunday mornings).  

Where there's a will, there's a way!


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.

She Hath Done What She Could