Redlands Christian Reformed Church
Glorify God    by    nurturing the church to maturity    in order to    bring others to Christ



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5pm service: Talk Isn't Cheap

Posted 21 January 2015, 10:14 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words cannot hurt me." As children some of us knew these words as the best defense against bullying taunts from the mean kids. The truth, however, is that they simply are not true. Words have immense power. They can hurt. This Sunday, as we pick up a next installment in a series on James, we'll discover how important taming the tongue is as well as how it is actually done. Please join us.  

Bible Passage: James 3:1-18

Pastor: Ettiene de Wilzen

9am service: Redeemed!

Posted 21 January 2015, 9:57 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

We don’t use the concept of redemption much anymore. But we need to understand redemption from the perspective of the story of Ruth, but also what that might mean for us today. So what does it mean to redeem? The dictionary says: ‘to gain or regain the possession of something in exchange for payment; or to pay the necessary money to clear a debt’. This is what Ruth and Naomi needed and this is where they hoped their scheming to attract Boaz’s attention would lead. This was because he was the one with the ability to redeem them as he was a close relative (Kinsman-redeemer) given that authority. But would he or someone else do it because the role included taking the widow Ruth to be his wife. If he did, he would redeem her from poverty and aloneness and shame. That’s what redemption is all about; ours under Jesus Christ contains much of the same concept of kinsman-redeemer. We can look and learn together.

Bible Passage: Ruth 4

Pastor: Jim de Witte


9am Service: Under His Wings

Posted 14 January 2015, 10:03 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

 Ruth chapter 3 is intriguing to say the least. Naomi takes the initiative to find a husband for Ruth. But the strategy she comes up with is odd and risky. It's clear that this is Naomi's way of trying to get Boaz to marry Ruth. It is not clear why she should go about it like this. Why not just have a conversation with Boaz instead of this highly suggestive and risky midnight manoeuvre. Dress your best, sneak up on Boaz in the dark after a night of work and celebration. Everybody, including Ruth, must be, "And just where do you suppose that will lead?" To which Naomi gives the extraordinary answer in verse 4, "He will tell you what to do."  All of this was a risk to Ruth’s reputation, but she obviously thought it worth the risk. Perhaps she and Naomi were so sure of Boaz’s character that they knew it would all work out for the good. These verses are full of ambiguity, mystery, suspense and intrigue. What’s going on here, and what can we learn from it all? What can it possibly mean for us today?

Bible Passage: Ruth 3

Pastor: Jim de Witte

5pm service: God's Perfect Timing

Posted 7 January 2015, 10:18 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

The right place at the right time. Coincidence? Chance? Good luck? The wrong place at the wrong time. Bad luck? Fate? Accidental? Is this how we look at the circumstances of our lives? Where is God in all of this. That was the question that plagued Naomi in chapter 1 as she wonders why she has been dealt such a hard life. Even then she missed the beauty of a daughter-in-law’s confession of faith and love for her. The chapter ends with the note that they arrived in time for the barley harvest. Now in chapter 2 Ruth ‘happens’ to be in the right place at the right time and in a ‘coincidence’ ends up under the protection and care of an extended family member. God has been there all along and it is amazing to see his perfect timing bringing more into the life of Naomi and Ruth than they could ever hope or wish for. If God does it in the lives of these ordinary people, what about in our lives? Let’s explore these ideas together on Sunday evening.

Bible Passage: Ruth 2

Pastor: Jim de Witte


9am service: Happiness or Rejoicing

Posted 7 January 2015, 10:14 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

At the time of writing the letter to the Philippians, Paul was being held in prison, though the letter does not say the location of his imprisonment.  It is thought that on this occassion he was imprisoned in Rome.  Paul was visited in prison by Epaphroditus, the Philippian church’s representative, to give Paul whatever help he needed, including a gift from the church.  Epaphroditus then most  likely carried the letter back to Philippi. Paul asked the Philippians not to be discouraged by his situation.  Rather, he was rejoicing that he had opportunity  to spread the gospel and enjoy good fellowship with the christians in Rome.  His letter is very up-beat!  It radiates with joy in the Lord which, in spite of his imprisonment, flows from his awareness of the presence of Jesus, his confidence that he is in Christ’s hands, his pleasure over the advancement of the gospel, and his single-minded desire to know Jesus.  As christians, we are to be joyful, even when things are going badly, even when we feel like complaining. Christ still reigns, and we still know him, so we can rejoice at all times.

Bible Passage: Philippians 1:1-11

Pastor: Bevan Burnes

5pm service: How Do We Look at Social Media?

Posted 2 January 2015, 9:30 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

 As Christians we are called to be "sober-minded and watchful" (1 Pet 5:8) when it comes to aspects of our day-to-day living. Have we done that when it comes to our social media usage? How do we evaluate it's influence on our lives and others? What are the benefits and the pit-falls of it? Join us Sunday night as we discuss this relevant topic!

Pastor: KJ Tromp

Join us for a sausage sizzle at 4:30pm.

9am service: God of the Ordinary

Posted 2 January 2015, 9:26 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

 As we step into the new year we may look around and wonder what the year will hold for us. We may just continue to go through the monotonous routine of life struggling to find meaning. We may be concerned about what lies ahead and wonder if Go really cares or if he even notices. When you look at your life what do you see? Is the glass half empty or half full? Over the next couple of weeks we will work through the story of Ruth, surely one of the loveliest love stories ever written, one Mills & Boon would be proud of. In it we will discover God at work through the most ordinary people and events. We will also discover God at work in the everyday ordinariness of our lives too. It will remind us that, whatever 2015 holds for us, God is with us.

Bible passage: Ruth 1

Pastor: Jim de Witte

Evening Services in January

Posted 31 December 2014, 9:56 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

Just a reminder that during the month of January, the evening services will begin with a sausage sizzle or the likes at 4:30pm followed by the service. Please join us.

Jesse Tree devotion

Posted 21 December 2014, 10:52 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 25th

Three Wise Men

Jesus is our gift from God.

Verse of the day:

When they saw the star they were filled with joy.

Matthew 2:10

Bible reading:

Matthew 2:1-12

The Story:

A very bright star shone over the place where Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Three

very Wise Men, like kings, saw the star and were overjoyed because they knew

that the star was a sign from God that a new king had been born.

The Wise Men wanted to worship this new king, because they knew He was the

King of the Jews, God’s chosen people. “He must be very special,” they thought.

So they packed all of their things and some very special gifts for this new baby

King. They set out on a trip to find Him. They rode on their camels and followed

the bright star…just like we would follow a map. First, the star led the Wise Men to

Jerusalem. Jerusalem was an important city where a very mean king named Herod

lived. The Wise Men asked King Herod if he knew where the new baby king was

born. King Herod, full of jealously, was not happy to hear about the new king God

had sent. Herod wanted to be the only king. Herod told the three Wise Men to go

to Bethlehem, where the prophets had said a ruler would be born many years

before, and there they would find the new baby King. Herod secretly told the Wise

Men to find the baby, and come back and report to him exactly where he was born.

He was planning to hurt this new king.

The star rose in the sky above them, and led the Wise Men to Bethlehem. When

the star stopped, they found the place where the new king was, with his mother

Mary. The Wise Men learned that the new king was named Jesus. They were so

excited to meet Jesus that they fell on the ground and worshiped him singing songs

and saying thank you to God for sending this very special boy. Then, they gave

Jesus the gifts that they had brought for him--Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh… three

very special and important gifts for a very special and important child. The Wise

Men loved Jesus and wanted to make him feel very special, just like God loves us

so much that he gave us the gift of Jesus.

After meeting Jesus, while they were sleeping, the Wise Men had a dream from

God. In the dream, they were told on their journey home they should not go and

see the mean King Herod. They obeyed God and went a different way home.

Just like the Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus, we give

gifts at Christmas to the people we love. The greatest gift

of all though, is the Gift that God gives to us, the very

same gift that the Wise Men found all those years ago.

The same gift God promised since the creation of the

world, someone to save us. It is the gift of Jesus, a very

special child, a king, born so that we could be together

with God forever.


1. Who were the Wise Men looking for? Jesus.

2. How did the Wise Men find Jesus? They followed a star.

3. What did the Wise Men bring Jesus? Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

4. What is the gift that God gives to us? Jesus.

5. What are some gifts that you can give Jesus?


God, thank You for sending the baby Jesus as a special gift for me. Thank You for

the story of the Wise Men who loved Jesus and worshiped him as a special king.

Please help me to always look for Jesus, just like the Wise Men did, so that I can

know Jesus as my friend.


Song: “We Three Kings of Orient Are” by John H. Hopkins

Song: “The First Noel” Traditional English Carol

Extended activity:

1. The Wise Men gave gifts and worship to baby Jesus…God, gave us the best

gift of all, his Son, Jesus. As a family discuss ways that each of you can give

gifts to others that do not cost any money. (example: the gift of obeying

your parents, being kind to someone hurting, etc.)

2. Give a gift to Jesus. As a family, pray and ask the Lord to help you find a

way to love others this holiday season. Make cookies and sing carols for the

friends at a nursing home; donate a toy for a child in need, feed the

homeless, donate to a favorite charity, or just help a friend or family member

in need without expecting anything in return.

Jesse Tree devotions 21-24 Dec

Posted 21 December 2014, 10:50 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 21st

Mary & Joseph

God is with us.

Verse of the day:

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You

must name him Jesus.

Luke 1:31

All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had

said would happen. He had said through the prophet,

“The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth

to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” The name

Immanuel means “God with us.”

Matthew 1:22-23

Bible reading:

Luke 1:26-38

Matthew 1:18-25

The Story:

The promise from God Almighty to HIS people was about to be fulfilled. How

would the LORD God come to His people? Would He come in the mighty wind, on a

bolt of lightning, or through the top of an exploding volcano? No! God chose to

bring Himself down to Earth and be born as a small, helpless baby. When no one

was looking, He came.

A young girl named Mary was engaged to marry a man named Joseph. Joseph

was one of King David’s descendants. One day, while Mary was at home, an angel

appeared. His name was Gabriel. Mary was afraid. But the angel said, “Greetings

Mary! Do not be afraid! God is very pleased with you. I have some wonderful

news. Mary, you are going to have a baby. He will be great and will be called the

Son of the Most High God. Just as God promised long ago, He will be a king like

David and His kingdom will never end. He’s the One you have been waiting for!

He’s the one to save God’s people from their sins. You must call him Jesus.”

This news was hard for Mary to believe! “How can this be true? It sounds

impossible!” she asked the angel. “Nothing is impossible for God,” Gabriel said.

Mary trusted God. “I am a servant of God. Whatever He wants me to do, I will


Just as the angel had said, a baby began growing in Mary’s belly. Some time

after, an angel appeared to Joseph while he was sleeping. The angel said, “Joseph,

take good care of Mary. She will give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

He will be from the throne of King David. He will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph woke up from his dream and he was filled with

wonder. Joseph most likely learned about God’s plan to

save His people. He might have known about the

promises of God, but probably never dreamed he would

be the earthly father of God’s son! “The child will be

called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’ He will be

the one to give us a new, clean heart. He is the one to

make a way to God, so we can be close to Him.”

Joseph could not wait.

God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly

parents. The first Christmas Day was coming soon. The day Jesus Christ would be

born. The little baby who would grow into a man and lead us to God, the Father,

who loves us SO MUCH!



How were Jesus’ earthly parents chosen? An angel appeared to them.


What was the baby’s name? Jesus


Jesus would also be called “Immanuel.” What does that mean? “God

with us"


God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to the earth in the form of a

baby, who grew up and showed me how to have life forever by believing in

Him. Thank you for loving me that much!


Song: “Emmanuel” by Chris Tomlin

Song: “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant

Extended activity:

Make an angel ornament. You will need an angel cookie cutter, Crayola Model

Magic clay in white, a straw, and ribbon (color of your choice). Have children

flatten clay into a pancake. Then use cookie cutter to cut as many angels as you

would like. Take straw and poke at top of angel to make a hole for ribbon. Let

angels dry completely. It may take them overnight to dry. Hang ribbon through

hole, and add them to your tree!




December 22

Journey to Bethlehem

Out of Bethlehem will come God's Rescuer


Verse of the Day:

So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancé, who was pregnant.    Luke 2:4-5


Bible Reading:

Luke 2

Micah 5:2


The Story:

Can you count how many people are in your family? Well, Caesar Augustus (who was in charge a long time ago) wanted to count all of the people living in the Roman world! Wow, that's a lot of people! So, Mary and Joseph took a trip to Bethlehem to be counted. God had already said this was going to happen. When the Israelites of old were waiting for God's rescuer, He told them, "One day, the city of Bethlehem is going to be important. Though the city is small, out of the city will come one who will be ruler of My people. The One I told you about in the days of Abraham. The One who will bring you all close to Me."

Now, they didn't have any cars, or motorcycles, or trains, or planes, or buses. Can you believe that? What they did have was a donkey! Hee-haw! So, since Mary's baby was soooo big in her belly, she got to ride on the donkey. Did you know this baby was Jesus? It was! Joseph helped her by walking beside her all the way to Bethlehem, about 80 miles! I bet that took a long time because donkeys are very s-l-o-w and that is very far! Have you ever ridden a donkey? Do you think it was a bumpy ride for Mary? Clip-clop-clip-clop-clip-clop

Mary and Joseph were very tired and so was the donkey. It was a starry night and they wanted to go night night. They found a hotel called an inn, but it was full of people sleeping already. The friendly innkeeper was sad he didn't have room for them, so he let them stay in his stable where the animals were sleeping, which is like a barn. Wouldn't that be fun to sleep with the animals? Have you ever slept beside a horse or a cow or a sheep?



  1. Why were Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem? (To be counted for the census)

  2. How did they get there? (They rode a donkey)

  3. How far was their trip? (80 miles)

  4. Where did they stay? (In a stable with animals)



    God, thank you for teaching me the details of the past. Thank you for Mary and Joseph, their love for each other, and their love for Jesus as His earthly parents. Amen.



    Song: "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by Phillips Brooks

    Song: "No Room in Town"

    Song: "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" by Edmund H. Sears


    Extended Activity:

  1. Guide Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem through a maze activity


  2.  Look up the map of Mary and Joseph's journey

    3.  Mary goes to Bethlehem dot-to-dot (#1-41)

    4.  Mary and Joseph colouring pages



December 23nd

Christ is born in a manger

The Saviour is born!

Verse of the day:

So Joseph went also. He went from the town of

Nazareth in Galilee to Judea. That is where Bethlehem,

the town of David, was. Joseph went there because he

belonged to the family line of David. He went there

with Mary to be listed. Mary was engaged to him. She

was expecting a baby.


Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Bible reading: Luke 1-2

The Story:

Can you count how many people are in your family? Caesar Augustus (who was in

charge a long time ago) wanted to count all of the people living in the Roman

world. That’s a lot of people! So, Mary and Joseph took a trip to Bethlehem to be

counted. God had already said this was going to happen. When God’s people of

old were waiting for God’s savior, He told them, “One day, the city of Bethlehem is

going to be important. Though the city is small, out of the city will come one who

will be ruler over my people. The One I told you about in the days of Abraham, the

One who will bring you all close to Me.”

Now, they didn’t have any cars, or motorcycles, or trains, or planes. What they

did have was a donkey. Hee-haw! Since Mary’s baby was big in her belly, she got

to ride on the donkey. Joseph helped her by walking beside her all the way to

Bethlehem. It was about 80 miles!

Mary and Joseph were very tired from their travels, and so was the donkey. It

was a starry night and they wanted to find a place to rest. They found a hotel

called an Inn, but it was full of people sleeping already. There was no room for

them so Mary and Joseph stayed in a stable. This is where the animals slept. It is

like a barn! Mary and Joseph settled into the old stable, thankful for a place to


That night, when all was still and quiet, Mary had her baby. God’s wonderful gift

had come to the world! The little baby that would change the world had finally

arrived. Mary swaddled him in cloths so he would be warm. Joseph and Mary filled

the animal’s feeding trough with soft hay and laid the baby in the manger.

Joseph and Mary named the boy Jesus. He is

“Emmanuel.” Emmanuel means “God is with us.” The

precious gift that God promised to rescue us from sin

was with us! He did not come as a mighty King in a

castle, or a strong warrior with a fierce sword, but as a

humble, helpless baby. God had kept His promise. He

sent Jesus…

The world would soon find out about Jesus. God had a wonderful plan for Him that

involves you and me too. God knew we needed someone to rescue us. Remember,

we were all born with the “strong feeling” to disobey God? Jesus was going to

make a way for us to be close to God again. Jesus would grow up and die for yours

and my sins. He was put on a cross and buried in a dark tomb. But three days

later He rose again! When He rose again, Jesus told the world that sin and death

would win no more! He was going to change our hearts to “want” to follow God.

We can have a new, clean heart that loves God and wants to obey Him. In Jesus,

you can be close to God and live forever with Him in heaven. A long time before

Jesus came, Isaiah said, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the

government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) Perfect Son of God,

welcome to our world.


1. What was the name of the baby who was born? Jesus/Emmanuel “God with


2. What was this baby going to do? Save the world

3. Who else is God’s child? Me! (Opportunity to share the gospel with your



Dear God, Thank You for your Son. Thank You that you had a plan long ago that

came true in Jesus. Thank You that He saves me from my sin, and makes a way

for me to be close to You again. I love You, Amen.


Song: “Away in a Manger”- Anonymous

Song: “Welcome to our World” by Chris Rice

Extended activity:

1. Take time to identify the members of a nativity scene. The manger scene by

Little People™ is a great one.

2. Act out the manger scene with family. Even create costumes from things

around the house for Joseph, Mary, baby, and any animals from the manger.




December 24th

God’s Big Announcement

Each one of us is very special to God.

Verse of the day:

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He

is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

Bible reading: Luke 2:8 – 20

The Story:

One night a long time ago, there was a group of shepherds sitting out in a field,

taking care of their sheep. That was their job. When the shepherds left for work

every day, they headed out to watch over sheep. Sheep seem like they would be

fluffy and sweet, but if you’ve ever been close to one, you would know that sheep

are actually kind of stinky – they’re really not fluffy and clean. So the shepherds

had a job taking care of a whole bunch of stinky sheep.

Being a shepherd was not a job that most people wanted. In fact, it was thought

of as one of the yuckiest jobs a person could have. Most people stayed away from

shepherds and weren’t very nice to them. They thought of shepherds as “lowly”

which means that they weren’t as good as everyone else. Did you know that God

does not think of anyone as “lowly”? Since God made each one of us, He loves us

and knows that every one of us is very special.

God had a really big surprise to share with people everywhere. His Son, Jesus,

had been born! That was really BIG news, and God wanted to make a big

announcement and let people know! If you had a big announcement, you might

call someone on the phone or have your parents send an email on the computer,

but God did something really special and sent an Angel to tell the good news. Many

people would expect the Angel to tell the President or the Kings the good news that

God’s Son, Jesus, had been born. But on that night long ago, God sent the Angel

to the shepherds sitting out in the field. The shepherds who were thought of as

“lowly” were the first people to hear God’s amazing news!

It was a really dark night, and the only light the shepherds had were the stars in

the sky and maybe a small lantern. All of a sudden, the sky was full of light, and

an Angel appeared! Can you imagine how scared the shepherds were? They had

never seen anything like it! The Angel knew that they were frightened and he told

them that there was no reason to be scared. He let them know that he had great

news from God! Then he told them that God’s Son, Jesus, had been born in David’s

City – Bethlehem – and that they could go find him. They would know it was the

baby Jesus, because the baby would be wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

After the Angel shared the news, the whole sky lit up with a choir of angels who

were singing and praising God and celebrating that the baby Jesus had been born!

The shepherds were very excited that God had shared this

news with them, and they wanted to go find Jesus. The Angel

had said that they would find Jesus in a manger in

Bethlehem. If you think about it, a manger is a strange place

to be born. It was probably in a place like a barn, surrounded by all of the animals

and didn’t smell very good. Most people would expect God’s Son to be born in a

palace or a really fancy hospital, not outside in a barn. The King of the world was

born in a “lowly” place. I bet because Jesus was born in a barn not a big castle,

anyone could find him and worship him – even the shepherds. They immediately

left the sheep and went in search of Jesus. After they found Him and worshiped

Him, they went and told everyone the whole story, so that all people could go

worship the baby Jesus.



What are some jobs that people have today that might be “lowly” like the

shepherds’ job? These jobs do not mean they are any less than we are.


The Angel shared God’s great news to the Shepherds while they were at

work. What are some normal things that we do every day where we might

experience God?


God, thank You for making all people special, even me! Thank You for sending

Jesus as the Savior for everyone and for sharing Your news with the shepherds.


Song: “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by Cedarmont Kids

Song: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” by Charles Wesley

Song: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks

Extended activity:


Go outside once it is dark and look up into the sky. Imagine what it was like

for the shepherds to sit in a field with only the stars for light until the Angel



Use a brown lunch sack to make a sheep puppet. Glue on cotton balls for

the fur and use a black marker to draw the face. Put on a puppet show

about what the sheep might have been thinking when the Angel appeared. 

Christmas Day Service 9am

Posted 19 December 2014, 9:29 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

"Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn (O Holy Night)." 

On Christmas day you are warmly invited to come and feel the 'worth of the soul' as we gather to rejoice in our gratitude for the birth of a new and glorious future which came in Jesus Christ.   

5pm service: Christmas Moratorium

Posted 19 December 2014, 9:28 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

There are so many attractive distractions in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  The Christmas and Advent period is a great season for many – but with so many distractions – like having to buy presents – having many parties – taking the kids to see Santa – sending greeting cards to all your family and friends – etc.  Do we still have time to focus on the real reason of Christmas – the birth of God’s son – the celebrations that happened some 2000 years ago?  Should we call for a moratorium on Christmas?  Join us on Sunday to find out.

Bible Passage: Isaiah 9:1-11 & Matthew 1:18-25

Leader: John Van Dijk


9am service: David and Bathsheba

Posted 19 December 2014, 9:22 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

 In our small series leading up to Christmas we have looked at two women of the Bible so far: Tamar, a woman whose story reveals hope and Rahab whose story speaks of an unshakable faith in God. This Sunday we will look at another woman in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Her name is Bathsheba and her story is one which illustrates the grace of God like few others. Please join us. 

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 11:1-17; 12:1-9

Pastor: Ettiene de Wilzem

Jesse Tree devotional

Posted 19 December 2014, 9:20 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 20th

John the Baptist

God prepares the way for His son.

Verse of the day:

I baptize you with water. But he will baptize you with the

Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:8

Bible reading:

Luke 1:5-23, Mark 1:1-11, Matthew 3:13-17

The Story:

It had been almost 400 years since any of God’s people had heard a message from

one of God’s prophets. God had been silent. The people were waiting to hear from

God. “Has God forgotten about us?” they asked one another. “Will He rescue us

like He promised so long ago?” They waited and waited for something to happen.

Then one day a man named Zechariah received some wonderful news! He was

visited by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel told Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth,

would have a son. Not just any son…but a son who would be God’s special helper.

He would help turn many people’s hearts toward God. He would help get the

people ready for God’s Son, Jesus. Zechariah had a hard time believing the angel.

“But I am so old! My wife is too old! We can’t have a son!” Gabriel then took

away Zechariah’s voice because he did not believe God. Zechariah was unable to

speak for 9 long months.

When it was time for Elizabeth and Zechariah to have their baby, something

miraculous happened. When their friends and family asked what the baby boy’s

name would be…Zechariah opened his mouth and spoke! “John! His name is

John!” Zechariah could speak again. Then, he began praising God… “Praise the

Lord!” he said. “The Promised One is coming! He will save His people, just as

God’s holy prophets said He would!” Then Zechariah continued to praise God by

saying, “Here is my son, John! He will be God’s special helper! He will go before

Jesus to make ready the way for God’s people to be forgiven. God is so merciful

and wonderful!”

When John grew up to be a man, he did odd things. He lived in the desert, wore

outfits made from camel hair, and he grew his hair really long and scraggly. The

strangest thing John did was to eat locusts (like grasshoppers) dipped in honey.

The honey probably made the grasshoppers taste better! From the outside, John

was very unusual, but God sent John to tell his people something very important.

John told many people about Jesus’s coming. He warned people to “stop running

away from God and run to Him instead.” He had good news, “the Savior is coming!

Make your hearts ready for Him!” Many people listened to John and wanted to be

saved. They stopped running away from God. They asked John to baptize them.

Baptizing means to be dipped under water and then come back up. Doing this

meant that the people wanted to follow God. It showed they wanted to be rescued!

And one day, John would have the chance to baptize someone very

special. As he was baptizing in the Jordan River, Jesus walked to

the edge of the water. John looked up. Is it really Him? Is this the

One? He was so excited. This was the moment he had been

waiting for all his life. He couldn’t contain his joy but exclaimed,

“This is the lamb of God! He takes away the sins of the world!”

Jesus then asked John to baptize him just like all the others. Jesus

said, “It is God’s plan for you to baptize me.” So John baptized Jesus.

When Jesus went under the water and then came up, the sky opened up with light

and shone down on Jesus. Just then, the Spirit of God like a dove flew down and

rested on Jesus. God’s loud voice said, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am

well pleased.” Heaven shone down on everyone there. God’s plan to save His

people was coming true!



who was John the Baptist? He was God’s special helper. He told people that

Jesus was coming soon.


why did John baptize people? Showed that people wanted to follow God

and begin a new life


What visited Jesus after he came up from the water? the spirit of god like

a dove


God, just as John the Baptist helped prepare people’s hearts for Your coming, will

you please prepare my heart for Christmas in the same way? I want to know You

more, and love You more. Amen.


Song: “What Child Is This?” Traditional English Carol

Song: “Glory in the Highest” by Chris Tomlin

Extended activity:

Let your children have a sip of vinegar, followed by a taste of honey. After the

taste of vinegar, remind them how the people of God had to wait for 400 years of

silence before they heard any message or word from God. Talk about how hard

that must have been and so lonely. Then, after the honey, celebrate that today’s

story was great news! The wait was over! Jesus was coming! How sweet that is!

(You can also remind them that John the Baptist loved locusts dipped in honey!)




December 21st

Mary & Joseph

God is with us.

Verse of the day:

You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You

must name him Jesus.

Luke 1:31

All of this took place to bring about what the Lord had

said would happen. He had said through the prophet,

“The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth

to a son. And he will be called Immanuel.” The name

Immanuel means “God with us.”

Matthew 1:22-23

Bible reading:

Luke 1:26-38

Matthew 1:18-25

The Story:

The promise from God Almighty to HIS people was about to be fulfilled. How

would the LORD God come to His people? Would He come in the mighty wind, on a

bolt of lightning, or through the top of an exploding volcano? No! God chose to

bring Himself down to Earth and be born as a small, helpless baby. When no one

was looking, He came.

A young girl named Mary was engaged to marry a man named Joseph. Joseph

was one of King David’s descendants. One day, while Mary was at home, an angel

appeared. His name was Gabriel. Mary was afraid. But the angel said, “Greetings

Mary! Do not be afraid! God is very pleased with you. I have some wonderful

news. Mary, you are going to have a baby. He will be great and will be called the

Son of the Most High God. Just as God promised long ago, He will be a king like

David and His kingdom will never end. He’s the One you have been waiting for!

He’s the one to save God’s people from their sins. You must call him Jesus.”

This news was hard for Mary to believe! “How can this be true? It sounds

impossible!” she asked the angel. “Nothing is impossible for God,” Gabriel said.

Mary trusted God. “I am a servant of God. Whatever He wants me to do, I will


Just as the angel had said, a baby began growing in Mary’s belly. Some time

after, an angel appeared to Joseph while he was sleeping. The angel said, “Joseph,

take good care of Mary. She will give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.

He will be from the throne of King David. He will save his people from their sins.”

Joseph woke up from his dream and he was filled with

wonder. Joseph most likely learned about God’s plan to

save His people. He might have known about the

promises of God, but probably never dreamed he would

be the earthly father of God’s son! “The child will be

called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us.’ He will be

the one to give us a new, clean heart. He is the one to

make a way to God, so we can be close to Him.”

Joseph could not wait.

God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly

parents. The first Christmas Day was coming soon. The day Jesus Christ would be

born. The little baby who would grow into a man and lead us to God, the Father,

who loves us SO MUCH!



How were Jesus’ earthly parents chosen? An angel appeared to them.


What was the baby’s name? Jesus


Jesus would also be called “Immanuel.” What does that mean? “God

with us"


God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to the earth in the form of a

baby, who grew up and showed me how to have life forever by believing in

Him. Thank you for loving me that much!


Song: “Emmanuel” by Chris Tomlin

Song: “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant

Extended activity:

Make an angel ornament. You will need an angel cookie cutter, Crayola Model

Magic clay in white, a straw, and ribbon (color of your choice). Have children

flatten clay into a pancake. Then use cookie cutter to cut as many angels as you

would like. Take straw and poke at top of angel to make a hole for ribbon. Let

angels dry completely. It may take them overnight to dry. Hang ribbon through

hole, and add them to your tree!

Jesse Tree devotional

Posted 19 December 2014, 9:18 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 19th

God’s Messengers

We will wait and watch for Jesus!

Verse of the day:

But I will still be glad because of what the LORD has done. God my Savior fills me

with joy.

Habakkuk 3:18

Bible reading: Habakkuk 1-3

The Story:

Does it ever seem to you like Christmas will never come? We wait for our parents to get

out the Christmas decorations; we wait for our parents to put up the tree; we wait for the

presents to be placed under the tree. We wait, and we wait, and we wait! Sometimes

when we wait, we can be so excited that we just don’t want to do what we are told.

Maybe we disobey and are put in time out! When we are in time out, we could almost

lose hope and think, “Maybe Christmas isn’t coming this year. Maybe I’ve been too


But, we don’t lose hope because we know that our parents will never stop loving us. They

always do what’s best for us—even if it’s a time out! That should make us joyful. Our

parents love Christmas too, and they delight in celebrating it with us.

That reminds me of the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel had acted very

naughty. They had forgotten about God! They had forgotten about the rules He had

given them to keep them safe, and they disobeyed. God had to send them to time out. It

was a long time out—70 years! But God promised that He would bring His people out of

their time out, and God always keeps His promises.

The problem was that God knew that even when He brought His children out of time out

they would be naughty and disobey again. Time outs were not enough to give His

children a “strong feeling” to do the right thing. They always “wanted to” do the wrong

thing. It was like the people had hearts made of stone. Their hearts were hard towards

doing right for God. He knew that He would have to send a very special present that

could give His children the “strong feeling” to obey Him. He knew it all the way back in

the Garden of Eden. He knew when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden they

brought sin into the world, and all the children born after that would be born with hearts

that did not want to follow God’s ways. God promised to send a very special present to

change His children’s hearts to be soft and ready to follow Him. Do you know what that

very special present is? It’s actually a person. It’s Jesus!

You see, even though the Children of Israel had the hardened hearts and disobeyed, God

could never stop loving them. He didn’t want to be separated from His children, but the

“strong feeling” to disobey God separates us from Him. That’s why He promised to send

Jesus. Jesus gives people the “strong feeling” to obey God and makes it so that they

never have to be separated from God again. We are God’s children just like the children

of Israel, and God promised the present of Jesus for us too. Our parents are a picture of

God for us. Even when we are naughty and get sent to time out, they never stop loving

us and take care of us. That should make us very joyful!

God’s messengers, the prophets, knew that this was true about God and that’s why they

never stopped telling God’s people He loved them. That’s why Habakkuk, one of God’s

messengers, stood on his watchtower and waited for God. Even though the Children of

Israel were sent to time out and it seemed like it would never end, Habakkuk knew that it

would end. God would keep His promise to bring them out of time out and eventually

send them the best present of all—Jesus!

So, remember that when you have to wait and wait and wait for Christmas, it will come

just like the first Christmas finally came so many years ago bringing with it the best

present of all—Jesus!


1. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden, what were all the children born with?

The strong feeling to disobey god and do things our own way (sin)

2. What does “sin” do? Separates us from God

3. Who is the present that gives us the “strong feeling” to obey God? Jesus

4. So even when we have to wait and wait for Christmas, it will finally come. What does

that teach us about God? We may have to wait for Him, but God always keeps His



God, thank You that You will never stop loving me. Thank You for promising Jesus who

takes my heart that is hard from sin and makes it soft to obey and love God. Thank You

for keeping Your promise by sending Him on the first Christmas. Thank You for the joy

You have put in my heart.


Song: “The Best Present of All” by Donut Man

Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” Latin hymn

Extended activity:

Wrap an empty box to look like a Christmas present. Ask your children, “What do you

need to do to receive this gift?” Help them come to the conclusion “to take it.” Share

how God’s gift is Jesus, and the way that they receive Him is just like the gift. It is by

faith. They don’t have to earn it, just receive it. Put gift under Jesse Tree to serve as a



Jesse Tree devotion

Posted 17 December 2014, 9:31 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 18th

Queen Esther

God will make a way.

Verse of the day:

Then he sent back an answer. He said, “You

live in the king’s palace. But don’t think that

just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape. What if you

don’t say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another

place. But you and your family will die. Who knows? It’s possible that you became

queen for a time just like this.

Esther 4:13-14

Bible reading:

Esther 4

The Story:

How hard is it to obey God? Do you think you could obey Him if you knew it might

cost you your life? That was exactly the situation that Esther found herself in.

There was a king who ruled over the mighty land of Persia and his name was King

Xerxes. King Xerxes was looking for a wife, so he had his servants search the land

for the most beautiful women. Esther was one of the women chosen. She was

raised by a kind cousin named Mordecai who was a faithful and godly man. He was

like a father to her. Mordecai and Esther were Israelites, also known as Jews. In

order to protect Esther, Mordecai told her to keep her Jewish background a secret.

Out of all the women throughout the kingdom, the king liked Esther the best! He

put the royal crown on her head, and she became his wife and the queen. Esther

went to live in the palace. There was an evil man, named Haman, who was in

charge of all the royal officials in the land. Everyone was supposed to bow to him.

But cousin Mordecai would not bow to him. Mordecai would only bow to God. As a

result, Haman did not like Mordecai.

When Haman discovered that Mordecai was a Jew he dreamed up a plan to

destroy him. He lied, and told the king that the Jews were not obeying the laws and

they should be punished. The king did not know that Haman was telling a lie so he

agreed to have the Jews punished. The king also did not know that Queen Esther,

his beloved wife, was a Jew.

Mordecai told Queen Esther of Haman’s evil plan and asked her to go to the king

and plead for the lives of the Jews. Cousin Mordecai thought the king would listen

to Queen Esther since he loved her. But Queen Esther was afraid. She also knew

that if she approached the king with a request without being summoned by him,

she could be put to death. The only way her approach to the king would be

accepted was if he extended his golden scepter to her. Queen Esther was very

worried. She could die if the king did not hold out his golden scepter. Mordecai

encouraged Queen Esther and told her, “Maybe God has made you queen at this

moment so you can save the lives of the Jewish people!” She knew the only way to

save the Jewish people would be for her to intercede for them.

When it was time for Queen Esther to speak to

the king, she went to the inner court of the

palace and stood in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his throne and

when he saw Queen Esther, he was pleased with her. He held out his golden

scepter. Then King Xerxes asked, “What can I do for you, dear queen? I will give

you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom.” Queen Esther made her request

and asked him to spare the lives of her people, the Jews. The king was shocked to

find out that Queen Esther was a Jew. He asked her who was responsible for

putting the lives of the Jewish people in danger. Esther pointed to Haman. The

king was upset with Haman for being so cruel, so he had Haman killed. Queen

Esther and the Jewish people were saved!

Queen Esther knew that God had put her in that particular place at that time for

the purpose of saving the Jews, God’s people. God is at work in everything!

Sometimes things don't seem to make any sense to us, but later we understand

why God puts us in a certain place at a certain time. Do you know why He does

this? So His perfect will can be done! Little did Esther know…she was paving the

way for the coming of the world's Savior by protecting the Israelites from death.

She did not know that one day, a Jewish man named Jesus, would make a way so

that His children could approach the throne of God with confidence and grace.


1. Does God have a special job for you?

2. What would be a word that describes Esther’s character? Brave, courageous,

obedient, faithful

3. What color was the king’s scepter? gold Why is it important? Because it

showed the King’s authority over everyone.


Dear God, help me to love and honor You above everyone else. Fill my heart with

love for other people, and open my eyes to see the special plans You have for me.


Song: “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” by Chris Tomlin

Song: “The Battle is not Ours” Sweet Pea’s Songs for Girls –Veggie Tales

Extended activity:

1. For your little girl, let her dress up like a princess. Take a magic wand

(golden scepter), and act out the story of Esther. For boys, dress up like a

king, and do the same!

2. Make a scepter out of Play-Doh™.

Jesse Tree devotional

Posted 17 December 2014, 9:29 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 17th

Jonah hides - God always sees me.

Verse of the day:

Nothing God created is hidden from him. His

eyes see everything. He will hold us

accountable for everything we do.

Hebrews 4:13

Bible reading:

Jonah 1-4

The Story:

Have you ever played Hide and Seek? It's fun to find a really good hiding place

and see how long it takes someone to find you! Do you think it would be fun,

though, if every time you hid, someone knew exactly where you were hiding? NO!

Well, God always knows where you are.

Jonah lived in the day when God’s people had turned away from God. In fact, the

Jews were taken away from their homes and had to live as slaves in other lands.

One day God told Jonah that He had a special job for him to do. God told Jonah

that He wanted him to go to the city of Nineveh and warn the people there that He

would destroy them and their city if they didn't stop being bad. Jonah wasn't happy

to hear this.

Jonah said to himself, "What? God wants me to go to Nineveh? There are bad,

bad people there! No way am I going!” Instead of obeying God, Jonah decided he

would go as far away from Nineveh as he could. Jonah got on a ship that was

going to the farthest city he could find. Soon Jonah found out that he couldn't hide

from God. God knew exactly where he was. God caused a huge storm to come up.

The sailors were afraid that their ship would sink. They started throwing everything

overboard to lighten the ship. They all started praying to their gods to save them

but the storm kept getting worse. When the sailors realized Jonah was not helping,

they went to him. “Please pray to your God! Maybe He can stop this storm. We

are so scared!” But Jonah knew what the problem was. He knew there was only

one thing to do. God wouldn't stop the storm until Jonah obeyed Him. So Jonah

told the sailors to throw him overboard. As soon as Jonah hit the water the storm

calmed and all was quiet. The sailors were so surprised that the storm had


Jonah began to sink into the sea. But God didn't want Jonah to drown. He just

wanted Jonah to obey Him. God sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah and take him to

the depths of the sea. He must have felt very alone and scared. He prayed and

asked God to forgive him for disobeying Him.

Finally, after three days of being in the dark, stinky, belly of the fish, the fish came

up to the top of the sea and spit Jonah out onto the shore. Then Jonah obeyed God

and went to Nineveh. He told the people to stop sinning. He told them that even

though they had run far from God…God loved

them. He told them to run to God so they could

be forgiven. They believed Jonah and God saved

them. Just like Jonah, several years later God

was going to send a messenger to tell everyone

to run to God. Like Jonah spent three days in the

dark belly of a fish, God’s messenger would spend three days in a dark tomb. This

messenger would be God’s own Son. Jonah was given a message to share with the

people of Nineveh. Jesus would have a message too. “I love you! I have come to

rescue you from all the bad things you do! Stop running away from Me and run to

my Son, Jesus!”


1. What did God want Jonah to do? Go to Nineveh, tell the people to stop Sinning.

2. What did Jonah do? He ran away and disobeyed God.

3. What did Jonah do after the fish spit him out? He obeyed God.

4. What does God want us to do when we do something wrong? Tell Him about it,

and ask for His forgiveness.


Father, Thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that when

we do something wrong, we can come to You, confess our sins, and be forgiven.

We thank You because we don't ever have to hide from you and be alone and lost

in our sins.


Song: “Take my Life and Let it Be” lyrics by Frances Ridley Havergal

Song: “Come to Jesus” by Chris Rice

Extended activity:

1. Play “Hide and Seek” Jonah style. Let your child pretend to be Jonah, and

you try and find them. Take a big blanket and swallow them up when you

find them, and spit them onto dry land (your bed)!

2. Take an empty milk carton and cut a big wide mouth out of the opposite

end of the handle. Draw two big eyes above the mouth and play Jonah and

the Whale in the bathtub. Take any action figure (waterproof), and swallow

him up in the milk carton. Spit him out onto dry land (side of tub) to go and

obey the Lord.

Jesse Tree devotion

Posted 16 December 2014, 10:06 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


Daniel & the Lions Den

The Lord saves!

Verse of the day:

He sets people free and saves them.

He does miraculous signs and wonders. He does

them in the heavens and on the earth. He has

saved Daniel from the power of the lions.

Daniel 6:27

Bible reading:

Daniel 6

The Story:

Things had really changed for the people of Israel. They had been taken from their

home and were now living in Babylon. They were slaves to the King of Babylon.

But God had not forgotten them. He was looking after them and had a glorious

plan for them. This is the story of one of God’s children—Daniel.

Daniel was a very hard worker. The king trusted Daniel so much that he put him

in charge of the kingdom. The other men who helped the king were jealous of

Daniel and they tried to look for something that Daniel did wrong to get him in

trouble. Daniel continued to work hard and the king’s helpers could find no fault in

him. They became very angry at this and came up with a plan to get rid of Daniel.

So they went to King Darius. The helpers told him, “King Darius, we want you to

make a law that says that everyone in the kingdom should pray to only you. And

anyone who does not follow your command will be thrown into the lions’ den to be

eaten by lions.” The king agreed and made it the law.

Daniel knew about the law that King Darius made. But Daniel believed in God and

refused to pray to anyone other than God. Daniel got on his knees and prayed to

God three times each day. In his prayers he thanked God, and asked God for help.

The king’s helpers saw Daniel praying to God. The men reminded King Darius of

the consequence for anyone who prayed to God rather than the king.

Then King Darius said “Yes, I remember I made a law.” So the King had to give the

order to put Daniel in with the lions. After Daniel was put into the lions’ den, the

men took the biggest rock they could find and put it over the door to close off the

mouth of the den. King Darius felt so bad about his decision that he could not even

sleep that night. He was worried about Daniel.

The next morning, King Darius went to see if Daniel was alive. When he got close

to the lions’ den, he called out, “Daniel, servant of God, has the God that you pray

to and honor been able to save you from the hungry lions?” Daniel called out, “My

king, God sent his angel to close the mouths of the hungry lions. They did not hurt

me because God knows that I am innocent. I never did

anything to wrong you, my king.” Daniel was alive!

The king was overjoyed!

King Darius decided to punish the men who tricked

him and put these men and their families into the lions’ den. The lions ate them the

minute they were put into the den. Then King Darius wrote a letter to the world.

The letter said that the God of Daniel was the living God and God’s kingdom would

never be destroyed. King Darius declared that God does mighty miracles in heaven

and on earth! Because of God’s power, and Daniel’s trust in the God who saves,

many people came to believe and honor God that day.

One day soon, God was going to send another man who would be brave like

Daniel, and would trust God and love Him no matter what it may cost. In fact, it

would cost Him his very life. Jesus would die on the cross and would save us all

from the dark den of sin.


1. Who did Daniel talk and pray to? He prayed to God. He refused to worship

other Gods or man.

2. What did Daniel pray for? God’s help and he thanked God.

3. How did God answer Daniel’s prayer? He CLOSED THE lion’s mouths so that

they could not hurt him. God saved him.


Dear God, thank You for blessing and protecting us. Please help us to put our trust

and faith in You each and every day. Please help us to love and worship You above

anything else. Amen.


Song: “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty” by Reginald Heber

Song: “Oh no, what we gonna do?” by Veggie Tales

Extended activity:

Make a lion snack! You will need cookie or cupcake, caramel popcorn, yellow icing,

and black gel icing. First, ice your cookie or cupcake. Let children put caramel

popcorn all around the edge to make the mane. Help them draw a face and

whiskers using the black gel icing. Eat and enjoy!

Prayer Request

Posted 15 December 2014, 10:05 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

 Jenny du Plessis, was involved in a very serious car accident while in South Africa 2 weeks ago. As a result she has sustained shocking debilitating injuries which may mean she will never walk or move her arms again.
 Please support us in praying for her and trusting in the power of our God in heaven. God is Supreme and can do all things according to His will.
Come and join our prayer calendar on

Jesse Tree Devotion

Posted 15 December 2014, 10:00 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 15th

Elijah & the Big Fire

Verse of the day:

The LORD is the one and only God! The LORD

is the one and only God!

1 Kings 18:39

Bible reading:

1 Kings 18:16-46

The Story:

During the days of the kings of Israel, there were many bad kings and only a few

who followed God’s commands. God sent messengers, or prophets, to help guide

His people back to Him. One of these prophets was Elijah. Elijah lived in a time

where the people of Israel disobeyed God. Most of the Israelites chose to trust in

other gods that were not real. Elijah wondered if ANYONE in Israel still loved God.

Was God going to keep His promise from long ago? Was he going to bless His

people? Was He going to rescue them from their sin and wicked ways? We know

God is in control of everything. We have read many stories from the Bible up to

this point revealing He is the true living God and He always keeps His promises.

Elijah knew that too, but it was a very difficult time for God’s people.

King Ahab was not a good king. He became the king of Israel and did evil in the

eyes of the Lord. He and his people worshiped made-up and pretend gods named

The Baals. King Ahab wanted all of the people to worship Baal and say that Baal

was God. This made the Lord very angry. The people of Israel were in a time of

drought. This means it had not rained in a very long time. The people were

thirsty! The animals were thirsty! God sent Elijah to King Ahab and his people with

a message. Elijah said, “Stop praying to Baal. Turn your hearts back to God!” But

the King and his followers did not want to listen to Elijah, so…Elijah had a contest.

Elijah built an altar with stones and put sticks on it. He challenged King Ahab and

the prophets of Baal to build an altar with stones and put sticks on it too. They

would both pray for their God to send fire to the altar.

The prophets of Baal built their altar and prayed that their god would send fire.

Nothing happened. They prayed all morning long, but their made-up god, Baal, did

nothing. Now, it was Elijah’s turn. Elijah built his altar with 12 stones and put

sticks on it. He even poured water on the sticks and all around the altar. When

Elijah prayed to God, God immediately sent fire to burn at the altar. The fire

burned up the altar and the sticks and all of the water around it! King Ahab and his

prophets were amazed. They said, “The Lord is the one and only God!” King Ahab

began worshiping God! Then, dark clouds filled the sky. God sent a heavy rain to

give the earth a big drink of water!

Nothing is too difficult for God. God can even

make fire with water poured all over the sticks.

God changed wicked King Ahab’s heart to trust

and obey Him. Even though things looked grim

during this time in Israel, God was at work.

There were always people who loved God and trusted Him. God’s faithful followers

were a small group at this point, but God had a plan to bring something mighty

from this “remnant” of followers. He would one day bring Jesus from this group.

Just as Elijah’s fire made wicked King Ahab’s heart turn back to God—this baby boy

born in a manger, would turn the hearts of God’s people back to Him. God is in

control of everything and we can always trust in Him!



Could the made-up god Baal start a fire? No


Could the real, living God start a fire? Yes – even with water poured all over

the sticks and the altar!


Did all of the people know who the one true God is? Yes


Thank you God, that you are the one true God. Thank you that you are in charge

of the world and nothing is too difficult for you. Please help us to always remember

that only you are God. Thank you for always listening to us when we pray to you.

Thank you for sending your son, Jesus. Amen.


Song: “Our God is an Awesome God”

Song: “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” a Polish Carol

Extended activity:


Make an edible altar. Have your children re-build the altar just as Elijah did.

First pile up 12 rocks (mini marshmallows). Then they can put the wood on top

(potato or pretzel sticks). Remind them about how Elijah prayed and asked God

to send the fire and have them add a few red-hots or red M&Ms to the top.


Let your children make necklaces from some sort of string, such as yarn, and

"O" shaped cereals to help them remember that there are zero other gods

besides the one true God.


Jesse Tree devotion

Posted 14 December 2014, 10:59 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 14th

The Coming Light

Jesus is the Light of the World!

Verses of the day:

The people who are now living in darkness

will see a great light. They are now living in a very

dark land. But a light will shine on them.

Isaiah 9:2

People of Jerusalem, get up. Shine, because your light has

come. My glory will shine on you. Then your face will

glow with joy. Your heart will beat fast because you are so


Isaiah 60: 1, 5a

Bible reading:

Isaiah 9:2-7, 11, 40, 50:10, 53, 55, 60 (Prophetic chapters in Isaiah)

The Story:

Can you remember a time when you did something wrong? Maybe you disobeyed

your parents, or told a lie, or were unkind to your sister or brother. If your parents

found out about it, how did you feel while you waited to be disciplined by them?

Maybe you felt sad or disappointed. Perhaps you even felt discouraged that you

chose to do the wrong thing again even though you are trying really hard to obey.

God’s special people, the Israelites, disobeyed God too. David was a good king,

who loved God, but the kings after him began to lead the children of God astray.

Even though God had given them laws to teach them how to live well, they chose

over and over again to be wicked to one another and turned away from God. God

is holy and He hates sin. God is also just, which means He can’t just let His people

live wickedly and not do something about it! He must punish us for our sin. So

God sent a man named Isaiah to tell His special people this message: God is going

to bring terrible judgment to you because you have stopped obeying Him and are

living selfish and wicked lives. Wow - the Israelites must have felt really hopeless.

But God had another message for Isaiah to tell His people and it was full of hope!

“Rise and shine my people! Wake up from the darkness of your sin, turn to me and

let your heart be full of joy! I am coming to save you from the dark - a Light that

will swallow up the darkness because it is so bright!” Even though God was going

to destroy many of His special people because of their sin, He would save some of

them. This “remnant” of people would be proof of His glorious love and

faithfulness. He would keep His promise to His people. The

Savior would be coming and He would replace their hearts

prone to sin with hearts full of love and a desire to follow God.

We need our mighty God to help us stop sinning too. By

putting all of our faith in Jesus, the “light of the world”, we can escape the terrible

anger and punishment of God that we deserve. When we follow Him, we will never

walk in darkness, but will have the light that leads to life. Let your heart be filled

up to bursting today that God shined His light on you with the gift of Jesus, so that

your dark heart could be full of light!



How do you feel when you sin? How do you feel when you are waiting to be



What does the Bible mean: God’s people “walked in darkness”? disobeyed


3. What did Isaiah tell them to expect? God’s punishment


What was the “Light” that Isaiah told them about? Jesus and his coming



Are you afraid of God’s future punishment or looking forward to Jesus’

coming kingdom?


Thank You, Father of Light, for sending Jesus, the Light of the world, to remove

the darkness of our sin. Help us walk in the Light, obeying Your Word so that

others may worship You.


Song: “So Long Moses” by Andrew Peterson’s of God Behold the Lamb

Song: “Light of the World” by Chris Tomlin

Song: “John 8:12” by Seeds Family Worship

Extended activity:

Take your family out to look at Christmas lights. Grab some hot cocoa and your

favorite Christmas treat as you look at all the bright lights. Celebrate that Jesus is

the “Light of the world!”


Lord's Supper

Posted 12 December 2014, 9:22 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

On SUNDAY we hope to celebrate the Lord’s Supper in both services.

God’s Word calls us to examine ourselves before we eat of the bread and drink of the cup (1 Corinthians 11:28).

In the light of that we are called to ask ourselves these questions:

  • Do I believe that my sins are forgiven only because my Lord sacrificed himself for me on the cross?
  • Is it my sincere desire to love God and my neighbour, and to serve them according to God’s Word?

Pray that God will help you to see afresh His grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

Pray too that if anything is not right that you might, in repentance, know God’s mercy and grace to help you change.



Jesse Tree Devotion

Posted 12 December 2014, 9:20 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 13

King David

The Shepherd King


Verse of the Day:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want ...

Psalm 23:1


Bible Reading:

Psalm 23

Psalm 51

2 Samuel 7


The Story:

David was a shepherd. He took care of sheep. He was very brave and even fought and killed a giant - Goliath. Even though David was a shepherd, when God looked at him, He saw a king. He was just a boy when a prophet told him that he would be king. Sure enough, when David grew up, that's what he became. And David was a great king. He had a heart just like God's heart. It was full of love.

That didn't mean that David was perfect. He did some terrible things - he even murdered a man. David made a big mess of his life. But God can take even the biggest mess and make it work in His plan. David asked God to give him a new heart. He prayed, "I need a new heart Lord, because mine is full of sin. Make me clean inside." God heard David's prayer. He forgave David and made David a promise: "I will make you great, David. And one day, a king will be born into your family, and He will heal the whole world."

David was a song writer too. His songs were so good that they were written into the Bible. His songs are like prayers. They are called Psalms. God gave David songs to sing to His people, so that they could know that He loved them and would always look after them - like a shepherd loves his sheep.

And one day, God was going to do something that would inspire thousands and thousands of songs. Another shepherd was coming - a great shepherd. He would be called the Good Shepherd. And this shepherd was going to lead all of God's lambs back to the place where they always belonged - close to God's heart. 


-Paraphrased from 'Jesus Storybook Bible'



  1. What things are you thankful for? Can you thank God for them? Can you say them to God like David did, like a song?

  2. What do you want to be when you grow up? God has a plan for you. To find Him. What do you think the Lord wants for you? (A boy/girl who looks for Him and finds Him with his whole heart)



    God, thank you for making me. Thank you that just as you created David to be a great king, that you have wonderful plans for me. Help me listen to You, to let You shape my heart into one that is yours. Make me joyful and thankful. Let me enjoy singing my thanks to you.



    Song: "Only a Boy Named David" by Bill Gothard

    Song: "Once in Royal David's City" by Cecil F. Alexander

    Poem: psalm 23, The Jesus Storybook Bible


    Extended Activity:

  1. Go on a walk. Practise telling/singing songs to God telling Him all the things you are thankful for - Remembering how King David sang songs to God. You can even use a familiar tune like "Twinkle Little Star, etc ..." And help your child make up their own words of praise.

  2. Paper Crown: Get a piece of yellow construction paper. Cut the long side edge zigzag. Have your child draw, colour or glue sparkles or jewels on the paper. Wrap around your child's head to measure and then staple together to make a crown.


Jesse Tree

Posted 12 December 2014, 9:18 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 12th

God Chooses a New King

God looks into the heart.

Verse of the day:

Do not consider how handsome or tall he is.

I have not chosen him. I do not look at the

things people look at. Man looks at how

someone appears on the outside. But I look

at what is in the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

Bible reading: 1 Samuel 15 & 16

The Story:

Have you ever pretended to be a king before? A king is a person who is in

charge. He makes the rules for a group of people and makes all the decisions. The

Israelites wanted to have a king like other nations did, so they begged and pleaded

with God to give them a king. God heard their prayers. He appointed a man

named Saul to be king. Saul was not a very good king though. He did not obey

what God asked him to do. This upset God, and so, God decided to appoint a new


God spoke to a man named Samuel, who was a messenger for God. He told

Samuel to go to the town of Bethlehem, throw a party, and make sure to invite

Jesse and his sons. God said, “I will choose a new king from one of Jesse’s sons.”

Once at the party, Samuel looked at the oldest son of Jesse. He thought, “This boy

is big and strong, surely he is the one that God wants to be king.” But God said,

“Don’t look at how handsome or tall he is because I have not chosen him. God

does not see the same way that people see. People look at the outside of a person.

I look at the heart.”

As each one of Jesse’s sons was presented, God told Samuel, “No, he’s not the

one.” Seven sons were turned away. “Is this all of your sons?” asked Samuel.

Jesse answered, “No, I have one more. He is my youngest son.” Jesse’s youngest

son was small. His job was out in the pasture taking care of the sheep. Jesse

didn’t even bring him to the party. Maybe he never thought he would be chosen as

king. “Bring him to me,” Samuel replied.

As David walked toward Samuel, God’s voice spoke to him saying, “This is the one

that I want to be king. He has a heart like Mine, full of love and he will help Me

with My love story for all My created people. From his family will be the King that

will one day rule the world forever.” David was chosen to be the new king. Samuel

poured oil on David’s head to show that he was special, and set apart for God.

David was chosen because of his heart, not his looks. David grew up to become

Israel’s greatest king. Oh, he was not

perfect. He even killed a man. But David

knew only God could take his heart full of

sin and make it new. David prayed, “I need

a new heart Lord, because mine is full of

sin. Make me clean inside.” God heard David’s prayer and forgave him. David

loved God so much that he wrote many songs to express his love. He was known

as the “shepherd” king because he loved the people in his kingdom just as a

shepherd loves his sheep.

God sees you for who you are and not how you look. He looks at you with eyes

full of love because you are a precious treasure to Him. Oh, there will be times you

will mess up. You will sin. But God can take the biggest messes and make them

work in His plan. Just as God forgave David, He wants to forgive you too. That’s

why his plan was to send another shepherd. He would be known as the “good

shepherd” because He would lead all of God’s children back to the place where they

belonged…close to God’s heart.


1. Did David look like a king? Why? No, because he was the smallest. He wasn’t

big and strong like the other brothers.

2. Why and how did God choose David? God saw that David loved others, God

and had a heart like his. It’s what God cares about most.


God, thank You that You see our hearts and chose Jesus to be our Forever King.

Help me God to love people like You do no matter if they look or seem different

than me. Thank You, God that You have a plan and You know best even when we

don’t understand.


Song: “The King of Glory Comes” by Willard F. Jabusch

Book: You are Special by Max Lucado

Extended activity:

1. Get two bananas. One needs to be really green on the outside and the other

needs to be speckled brown and a few bruises. Identify which one is

sweetest. Then discuss how God looks at our heart not the outside.





5pm service: You’ve got to be kidding me 2!

Posted 10 December 2014, 9:31 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

When we read the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector as told by Jesus in Luke 18:9-14, we were not surprised with God’s choices for a new member of his household. We were all brought up to instinctively dislike the Pharisees and what they stood for. After all, they plotted and murdered Jesus, didn’t they?

A tax collector on the other hand seems like the type of job no one really like to tell others when asked around a Christmas BBQ. Nonetheless, it is just a job with the same negative vibe similar to that of say, a second hand car salesman, a funeral director or politician (I should know). But someone has to do the job and reluctantly we accepted we all need it.

If you really find out the surreptitious and secret life of a tax collector and what they did to make a buck; the murders, the treacheries and the betrayals, you would have shouted to God ‘You’ve got to be kidding me !’ for His choice of a serial executioner.

Come and find out why you would never want a tax collector as your neighbour in your street, let alone living next to one in heaven.

Bible Passage: Luke 18:9-14

Pastor: Michael Choi


9am service: Saved

Posted 10 December 2014, 9:29 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

One of the prized rediscovered truths of the Reformation is that Christians are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. It is an argument so powerfully set forth as we read and study the pages of the New Testament, especially the book of Romans. Yet, this Sunday we'll see how this most precious of truths have played out in the life of a woman in the Old Testament as she discovered in the most unlikely of circumstances.  

Bible Reading: Joshua 2

Pastor: Ettiene de Wilzem

Jesse Tree Devotional

Posted 10 December 2014, 9:25 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 11th

Ruth & Boaz

God takes care of me.

Verse of the day:

May the LORD reward you for what you have done.

May the God of Israel bless you richly. You have

come to him to find safety under his care.

Ruth 2:12

Bible reading:

Ruth 1 – 4

The Story:

After Joshua and the Israelites moved to the Promised Land, things went well for a

little while. Over time though, God’s people began to disobey Him. They looked to

other false gods to try and help them. Even though God’s children were making

bad choices, there were always those who loved God and wanted to obey Him.

Ruth’s story is of a family who trusted God and would one day play a very

important role in God’s plan to rescue us from our sin. She would be the great,

great, great, great, great, great (many more greats!) grandmother of Jesus.

Have you ever taken a long trip or gone anywhere new where you did not know

anyone? The story of Ruth is about a woman who moved to a new home where she

didn’t know anyone except her mother-in-law named Naomi. Ruth and Naomi lived

in a land called Moab. Ruth was married to Naomi’s son. Ruth grew up where there

were false gods, not the true, living God. While Ruth lived with her mother-in-law,

Naomi, and her husband she saw them worship the true living God and heard of His

wonderful acts. Ruth made up her mind that she, too, would worship God. A very

sad thing happened some time later. Naomi’s husband and son died. Ruth lost her

husband. Naomi was from the city of Bethlehem and wanted to move back there.

Because Ruth loved Naomi she moved with her. She told Naomi she wanted to help

take care of her because she loved her very much. “Wherever you go, I will go

too. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.” God had a plan

for Ruth.

When Ruth and Naomi got to their new home they did not have food to eat.

Neither of them had a husband to help provide food. Ruth would go into a field

nearby and gather wheat to make into bread for them to eat. Have you ever seen

a wheat field or a corn field? God gives us these things so that we can cook them

and eat them. He always provides for us because He loves us.

Now, Ruth did not know it, but the field where she gathered wheat belonged to a

wealthy and important man named Boaz. Boaz loved God. One day, Boaz saw

Ruth gathering the wheat from his fields. He knew that Ruth was from another city

and came to help Naomi. He also knew that Ruth was loving and kind not only to

Naomi, but others around her. Boaz grew to love Ruth

and they got married. Boaz took care of Ruth and

Naomi from then on and they never went without food

again. Just like Boaz loved Ruth and provided for her,

God loves you and takes care of everything you need.

Ruth and Boaz later had a baby boy. His name was

Obed. He would be the father of Jesse. God had a

special plan for Ruth. Ruth trusted in God to take care

of her and later, through her family, the Savior of the world was going to come…the

promise and hope for all nations! God has a special plan for you too.


1. Who did Ruth love and help take care of? Who loves and takes care of you?

Naomi, Mom & Dad and ultimately God takes care of us

2. What happened to Ruth when she trusted God to meet her needs? She was

blessed by Boaz taking care of her, just like God takes care of us.

3. Who later would be Boaz and Ruth’s great, great, great (many more greats!)

grandson? Jesus


Jesus, thank You for the story of Ruth. Thank You that You are mighty to save,

and have a plan for me just like You had a plan for Ruth. Please help us to be kind

to others around us, just as Ruth was kind! Thank You also for bringing Jesus in to

the world to save us.


Song: “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong

Song: “Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven” by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Extended activity:

1. make a list of kind things that you could do for others.

2. activity: Make a basket to help Ruth gather her wheat. Take a brown paper

lunch sack. Cut off about 4.5” from the top. Use a ruler to make vertical

and horizontal lines about 1” thick on either side. Have your child color

every other square with a brown marker or crayon. Then attach two handles

cut from brown foam. Pretend to gather wheat by picking up leaves,

feathers, or pompom craft balls, etc…

Jesse Tree devotion

Posted 10 December 2014, 9:22 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink

December 10th

Joshua & the Battle of Jericho

My strength comes from the Lord.

Verse of the day:

Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not

lose hope. I am the LORD your God. I will be with you

everywhere you go.

Joshua 1:9

Bible reading:

Joshua 6

The Story:

A new leader was chosen for the Israelites after Moses died. God told Joshua to

get His people, the Israelites, ready. They were about to leave this big hot dry

desert that they had been wandering around in for 40 years and were to enter into

a new land. One that was cool and green and beautiful! But, they were frightened.

A really big and powerful city stood in their way…Jericho!

Be strong and brave! These are the words God kept telling Joshua. “Be strong

and brave and do exactly what I tell you to do. Do not get scared and frightened

and start doing things your own way. Remember what your name means, ‘The

Lord Saves!’ Follow my commands and obey Me and I will be with you wherever

you go.” The people believed God and trusted in what Joshua told them to do.

Jericho had heard about all of the mighty things God had done for Israel. God

parted the waters of the Red Sea and led the Israelites across safely. And God

helped Israel defeat mighty armies. So, what would God do to them? They were

very afraid. So, they locked their doors up tight and stayed behind their big thick

wall to protect themselves. But, do you think this worked?

God is very creative and works in very powerful ways. Instead of attacking the

big walls of Jericho, He had the people march around the city. So the people

marched around the city once a day for 6 days. March. March. March. There were

seven priests with seven trumpets of ram’s horn leading the people, but the people

weren’t allowed to say one word to each other. Not a peep could come out of their

mouths until Joshua told them to shout. The people of Jericho just watched. What

were the Israelites doing? Were they scared to fight Jericho? No, they were being

obedient to God. On the seventh day, God told the people to march around the city

seven times, just as they had before.

Then, the time finally came. The seventh time around, the priests sounded the

trumpet blast and Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you

the city!” So the people shouted as loud as they could and the trumpets blew as

loud as they could. And guess what happened? They shouted so loudly that it

made the walls of Jericho crumble to the ground. The

big thick walls were gone. Then the army of Israel

went in and took the city.

God used Joshua to show the people his mighty power and lead His people into

the Promised Land. God’s plan is still at work. He brought us an even greater

leader, Jesus Christ, who will one day lead us all into an eternal home where we will

live with Him and worship Him forever. But until then, we need to be strong and

brave, read God’s word daily, and trust in what He tells us to do.


1. Who was giving the people instructions? God

2. Are you ever afraid to do something that is hard?

3. Do you think the Israelites were scared that the people of Jericho were going

to hurt them? Yes, but they knew God was with them.

4. Why did they need to trust in God? (Joshua 1:9) God told them he would be

with them wherever they went.

5. What would have happened if they had tried to fight Jericho their own way

instead of God’s way?


God, thank You that You give us the strength and courage to do hard things. I

always know that You are with me even when I am scared. Remind me to always

be strong and brave when I am frightened and to remember that Jesus is always

with me and that I am not alone.


Song: “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho” by Cedarmont Kids

Song: “Be Strong and Courageous” by Sonforce Kids

Extended activity:

1. Have the kids build a city out of blocks. Act out the story of the battle.

2. Make Rice Krispie™ Treats. Then, make a horn out of paper by folding and

taping it into a cone or you can use sugar ice cream cones as a horn. Stack

up the Rice Krispie™ Treats like the wall of Jericho on the kitchen table.

March around the table and reenact the story. They can then eat their



Jesse Tree Devotional

Posted 9 December 2014, 10:01 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 9th

Moses & the 10 Commandments

God’s commandments show us what’s important.

Verse of the day:

Israel, listen to me. Here are the rules and laws I’m

announcing to you today. Learn them well. Be sure to follow


Deuteronomy 5:1

Bible reading: Deuteronomy 5:1-22

The Story:

After Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, they lived in the desert. They were headed

to a new land God had promised them but it was a long journey to get there. The

Israelites were tired from walking, they were hungry, and they were hot. “We don’t

like it out here in the desert!” they said. They began to complain. Remember what

God had just done for his people? He had set them free from Pharaoh. They were not

slaves anymore! He had led them across the Red Sea on dry land. But still the

Israelites were not happy. They began to say, “God doesn’t care for us! Did He lead

us out here to let us die in the desert?”

God was showing the people everyday how much He wanted to help them. He sent

food when they were hungry. He even made water flow from a rock when they were

thirsty. But God’s children kept complaining. They tried to do things their own way

thinking this would make them happy. But there is no such thing as happiness apart

from God. God told the people…”I want you to be special. I want others to know I am

your God.” God asked Moses to come up on the mountain with Him. There He gave

10 Commandments to Moses. The 10 Commandments were special rules that God

gave to the people of Israel. These rules were to help the people learn to obey God

and to show others they were different. Other people would see the people of Israel

and want to know their God too. God etched the rules to follow on two stone tablets

that Moses carried down from the top of the mountain.

Moses said, “God loves you! He cares about you! Will you love Him and keep these

rules (See list of 10 Rules)?” The people of Israel shouted, “Yes! We will do it!”

But God knew His children would not always obey His instruction all of the time. We

all sin and make mistakes. Following all the rules could not save the Israelites and it

cannot save us either. But God knew that and had a plan. He sent us Jesus. Jesus

saves us from our sins and mistakes. He is the perfect example of how we should live.

He stands in our place and is perfect for us so we can be close to God. When we make

the choice to obey the commandments God gave us, we show God how thankful we

are for Jesus, and it makes him happy. The 10

Commandments are for us today too. They teach us what

God wants us to do when we follow Him. They show

others that don’t know God what God’s people act like.

You can show love to others and to God by following these


The Ten Commandments for younger kids:

I. There is only one God

II. Worship no one else but God (not your blankie, toys, books)

III. Use God’s name in special ways

IV. Use Sundays to honor God

V. Respect your Mom and Dad

VI. Never kill anyone

VII. Love the person you marry

VIII. Never steal anything that isn’t yours

IX. Don’t tell lies at any time

X. Be content with what you have


1. Do you think it is hard to obey the 10 Commandments? Yes!

2. Who helps us to obey? How? Jesus is the only one who is perfect. When we

believe in him, he stands in our place and is perfect for us.


God, thank You for giving us the 10 Commandments. Thank You for giving us rules

to follow. I pray You will show us when we are not being obedient to You. Thank You

also because, although we will sin and will fail at following Your rules perfectly, You

sent Jesus to save us from our sins.


Song: “The 10 Commandment Song” by Go Fish

Song: “Silent Night! Holy Night!” by Joseph Mohr

Extended activity:

Role play with your kids. Give them a scenario and ask them what the right

answer would be. Examples: If your “neighbor” has a toy truck you want, what

do you do? (get to the point of being content with what you have); Think of how

much you love your “doll”, God wants us to love Him more; If we ask you to

pick up your trains and put them away, how does God want you to respond?

Jesse Tree Devotion

Posted 5 December 2014, 9:37 AM by Wendy Hammond. Permalink


December 6th

Jacob’s Ladder

God is always with you.

Verse of the day:

I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere you go. And

I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I

have done what I have promised you.

Genesis 28:15

Bible Reading:

Genesis 28

The Story:

Isaac grew up and he had a son. His name was Jacob. When Jacob was

older he went on a journey to find a wife. It was a very long trip and Jacob

was lonely. It was nighttime and Jacob was tired. He found a smooth rock

to use as a pillow and lay down to go to bed.

That night Jacob had a special dream sent from God. In his dream there

was a very big ladder that went all the way up to heaven. There were angels

going up and down the ladder and God was at the top. God talked to Jacob

in the dream. He said, “Jacob, I will give you and your children this place to

live. Just like your father Isaac and your grandfather Abraham before you, I

will give you many children. They will be like the dust of the earth that can’t

be counted. I am still unfolding My wonderful rescue plan to save My people

from sin. I promised I would bring this savior from your family line. I will

keep you safe wherever you go and I will always keep my promises.” This

was the best dream Jacob could have! He knew he would be safe on his long

trip with God by his side. He would never be alone.

Jesus, God’s son, is the only way we can get close to God. When we believe

Jesus can save us from the bad things we do, He is like our ladder to

heaven. He makes us right with God, forgiven and holy, so we can be with

God forever in heaven.

When Jacob woke up in the morning, He praised God. He thanked God for

taking care of him and he promised God he would share with others from all

the blessings God had given him.

Jacob could trust that God was always by his side. God is

always with us too! God is with us every moment of the day

whether we are inside or outside, sleeping or playing. God is

always with us.


1. What is the tallest ladder you have ever seen? Can you imagine a ladder

that reaches all the way to heaven, higher than any tall building or even an

airplane high in the sky?

2. What is a dream?

Series of images or thoughts that come when you sleep.

3. What did God tell Jacob in the dream?

God said he would keep Jacob safe on his journey and give the land to him

and his descendants.

4. Who is our ladder to God in heaven?



God, Thank you for being with us always, wherever we go. Thank you for sending

Jesus to be our ladder up to heaven so we can be with You forever.


Song: “We are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder”

Song: “Angels We Have Heard on High” traditional French carol

Extended activity:

Make a ladder out of popsicle sticks glued to paper. Have children (or help

younger children) color themselves at the bottom of the ladder with God at

the top. Then, draw a big cross right on top of the ladder, and show your

children that Jesus is the bridge to heaven. Share the gospel!




December 7th

Joseph & his Coat

God has a good plan for me.

Verse of the day:

You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He

planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save

many lives.

Genesis 50:20

Bible reading:

Genesis 37, 39-46

The Story:

Joseph came from a big family. He had 11 brothers! Jacob was Joseph’s dad, and

he loved him very much. Out of all his brothers Joseph was his dad’s favorite and

he was not afraid to show it. One day, his dad got him a beautiful coat made out of

many different colors. This made his brothers very jealous. To make things even

worse, Joseph kept having dreams that he would tell his brothers about. He would

dream that all his brothers would be bowing down to him. This made his brothers

hate Joseph.

One day when his brothers were out in the fields Joseph was sent to check on

them. When they saw Joseph coming they came up with a plan to get rid of Joseph

forever. They took his coat and threw him into a pit and later sold him to slave

traders on their way to Egypt. I think Joseph probably felt scared because he was

going to a foreign land with people he did not know far away from his family but he

trusted God anyway.

Joseph worked hard as a slave and even though he did nothing wrong he was

thrown in jail for something he did not do. He could have chosen to be really angry

at God and not trust Him anymore but Joseph trusted God anyway, even though he

could not see what God was doing.

One night the Pharaoh had a dream about skinny cows eating up fat cows. He did

not understand what this meant. He heard about Joseph and pulled him out of jail

to have him explain the meaning of his dream. Joseph told him that there would be

seven years with plenty of food and seven years with no food. Pharaoh was so glad

with Joseph that he put him in charge of collecting food for the kingdom.

Meanwhile, Joseph’s family was not doing well. They were getting very hungry and

running out of food to eat. They heard that in Egypt there was plenty of food to eat

so they went on a trip there to buy some. They went and knelt before Joseph just

like in his dreams. His brothers did not recognize him but Joseph knew exactly who

they were. Joseph told them who he was and his brothers were very afraid because

they had tried to kill Joseph and knew they deserved to be punished. Instead,

Joseph trusted God’s plan and forgave his brothers. He told them, “What you meant

for evil God has used for good. You meant to kill me but God

used all of these bad things to save thousands of lives and

even yours.”

God had a plan for Joseph and his family. Despite the hard

times Joseph went through, God used Joseph and his brothers

to carry the promise of a Savior to come. His family came to

live with him in Egypt. Many years later, a little baby would

descend from the family of one of Joseph’s brothers, Judah.

This baby would grow up to die for the sake of forgiveness. Jesus…He would die on

a cross so that we could be forgiven.



How would you have felt if you were Joseph and all these bad things kept

happening to you?


How did Joseph respond to God?

He trusted and obeyed God.


Who was in control while all the bad things kept happening to Joseph?



Jesus, help us to trust You even when things seem like they are not going well for

us. Help us remember that You are in control and You love us! Thank You for letting

us be a part of Your plan.


Song: “Blessed be Your Name” by Matt Redman

Song: “It is well with my Soul” by Horatio Spafford

Extended activity:

Go on a “trust walk.” Blindfold your child and lead them by hand or voice through

an obstacle course. Use this opportunity to talk about how Joseph trusted God

through hard things even though he could not see what God was doing.




December 8th

Moses & the Passover

The Lord fights for His people.

Verse of the day:

The LORD will go through the land to strike the

Egyptians down. He’ll see the blood on the top and

sides of the doorframe. He will pass over that house.

He won’t let the destroying angel enter your homes to kill you.

Exodus 12:23

Bible reading:

Exodus 3-14

The Story:

The Israelites grew to be great in number in Egypt. After Joseph and his brothers

died, his children’s children saw a new Pharaoh come into power. This Pharaoh was

worried the children of God might try and take over, so he made them slaves. He

made them work very hard and he beat them. The people cried out to God, “Please

save us! Rescue us from the hands of the Egyptians!” God heard their cry and

wanted to help them. Just as God promised Abraham that He would make his family

into a great people, He was now going to prove faithful once again. He would set His

people free. He was going to use a man named Moses to do it.

Moses was in the fields watching his sheep one day, when he noticed that a nearby

bush was on fire. God lit the bush on fire to get Moses' attention. God spoke to Moses

out of the burning bush and told him that he must go and rescue his people from the

cruel Egyptians. Moses was afraid and didn't think he could do this but God promised

to help him. God said, "I will be with you."

Moses, along with his brother Aaron, went into Egypt and spoke to Pharaoh. He told

Pharaoh that it was the Lord's command that he should let the Israelites go. Pharaoh

did not believe in God and became very angry. He treated the poor Israelites worse

than before.

God gave Pharaoh ten "plagues" as warnings. First he turned the Nile River into

blood; and after that he caused large numbers of frogs to run over the land doing

great harm. Next gnats and other flies came to be a pest to the people. Then the Lord

caused many of the useful animals which belonged to the Egyptians to grow sick and

die. But Pharaoh would still not listen to Moses. He refused to let the people go free.

Then God brought other plagues upon the Egyptians. God sent boils, millions of

locusts, huge hail storms and the plague of darkness; when the Earth was dark for

many days. During each plague, Pharaoh cried out to God, "If you will make the

plague stop, I will let the people go!" But after the warning stopped, his heart grew

hard and he refused to free the Israelites. Moses warned

Pharaoh that God would send the worst plague yet if he did

not free the people. But Pharaoh laughed at him!

Finally, God sent the absolute worst plague. He said that

during the night, the first-born son of every Egyptian family would die. But God had a

plan to save his people! God commanded the Israelites to kill their best lamb and to

paint the front door of their houses with its blood. When the angel of death came in

the night and saw the blood, he knew that a lamb died there and would pass over the

home and not take the first born. That night, it was just as God had said. Pharaoh's

oldest son died. Finally, he did what God commanded him to do, he let the people go!

Moses led his people out of Egypt. They were free! The people of Israel remember

this great rescue as the “Passover.” Many years later, God would send His son, Jesus,

as the human lamb to rescue His people again and would set them free from the

slavery of sin! God protected His people years ago and He still protects us today!



What did God command Pharaoh to do? Let the Israelites go


What were God's warnings to Pharaoh? the 10 plagues


What did God command his people to do in order to be spared from the last

plague? Paint their doors with the blood of a lamb so the angel of Death would

pass over their home.


Lord, thank You for always being there to protect me. I praise You Lord for

Your power, Your strength, and thank You for sending your son to rescue me

from my sins.


Song: “Your Great Name” by Natalie Grant

Song: “Pharaoh Pharaoh”

Extended activity:

Watch the scene of Passover from Prince of Egypt on youtube. Review First!

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