Etch the words into your heart

Water stories?

In this Bible verse from Deuteronomy 11:18a, Moses is admonishing the Israelites to always remember what God has done for them.

'So keep my words in your hearts and minds.

As our kids learned earlier this year, God provided freedom from slavery in Egypt. Moses goes on to instruct the Israelites to teach their children about these liberation stories.

Teaching these stories is still today a priority for us as parents/caregivers. But not only the specific stories of Moses; we also need to ensure that our children grasp the reality of God’s love. You’re probably already doing this task through many avenues:

  • Reading and telling Bible stories,
  • Praying with your kids,
  • Teaching service to others,
  • Naming instances you see in the world of God’s love and grace, etc, etc.

Here’s another way:

Encouraging the memorization of scripture.

And the perfect spot to start: John 3:16. (Read it in different Bible versions here.)

A heart shape with God written in it

Etching God’s words of love into our children’s hearts.

This is not memorizing like you would learn facts for a test. This is a different sort of learning, for a different purpose. Tell your children: “We are keeping God’s word in our heart.”

That’s right, I said we. Because you’ll want your kids to do as you do. It will be a much more powerful lesson if you are working on this as well.

Learning God’s words by heart makes it instantly available when you need it. Your mind can pull them up faster than a smart phone, right?

How to go about this task? Here are some ideas:

  • Refer to this past post for hints. (No sense in repeating myself!)
  • Start ’em young: Age 2 has been suggested. (But it’s never too late to start! Though it does get harder with age.)
  • Say it differently: Try a fun way of saying the verse. Use a cowboy voice, cheerleader style, opera style, referee style, or baby style. What other ways can you think of?
  • More games: If you have a dry-erase or a chalk board, write out the verse. Then erase one word and say the verse with the missing word. Continue until all the words are gone. Don’t have such a resource? Arm your child with a stack of Post-it Notes. Write out the verse on a sheet of paper and use the Post-it’s to cover up the verse a word at a time.
  • More songs: Try this one on YouTube to learn John 3:16-17. Search for other verses to find songs.
  • Catch them on video: Once your child can say part of a verse, video them. I’ll bet they’ll like watching themselves, and saying the verse with themselves!
  • After you’ve mastered John 3:16, learn verses based on the alphabet. Try these ABC Scripture cards.
What are your hints for etching God’s word upon our heart?


Photo credits:
Water stories by Abigail Keenan, via Unsplash.
Heart clip art by rygle, via
Both licensed under CC0 1.0 Public Domain.

Our Moses workshops – pictures!

We’ve just finished up a couple of Rotations on Moses. We started in January with Moses’ birth, his trip through the bulrushes in a basket and his adult experience with a burning bush. Then in February we continued the Moses story with the plagues on Egypt and the very first Passover. (I love how this will tie into our March Rotation on the Last Supper.) Here is a review of our study of Moses, with lots of pictures!

Reviewing a story in the Bible
Each workshop starts off with reading the story in the Bible. By the third week everyone knows the story! But finding it in the Bible is still important.
(This photo from our Green Wood location.)

In January there was a Games Workshop using our life-sized board game. Kids played a game modeled after the board game, Cranium.
1st grade use the large game board in the Games Workshop

The game in action; pointing out the game cube First graders in the Games Workshop
See that cube thing? (At the orange arrow). That is the game die. A team tosses it and depending on the picture they roll, they have a certain type of activity that they need to do. Here the card might have said “Using Playdoh, see how quickly team members can create a pair of sandals.” Of course, meanwhile the leader was asking everyone, how sandals enter into the story.

There was a Storytelling Workshop…

Moses visits in the Storytelling Workshop Moses at Green Wood
“Moses” visits the Storytelling Workshop downtown (for 4th-6th graders)

  And “Moses” at Green Wood.

(Okay, so it wasn’t really Moses. Just a couple of guys who did a great job portraying Moses!)

In the Drama Workshop kids acted out the burning bush portion of the story…

the 5th grade poses on stage at the Drama Workshop
Nice burning bush. Notice all the sheep? There were lots of props. Which ones can you name?

Meanwhile, in the “Greenhouse” (ages 3 years old to kindergarteners) they were learning about Moses as well. Here they learned about unleavened bread.

Trying unleavened bread Kids in the Greenhouse

In February it was on to the Plagues and Passover portion of the Moses story. There was a different Games Workshop. This one was Bible Bowling. Here the 1st and the 6th graders work together in teams. Teams had names like “the Gnats” and “the Frogs.”

1st and 6th graders work together in the Games Workshop A team member takes a shot at the bowling pins
Kids sure do know the answers to the questions! When the team answered correctly, they got a chance to knock down the pins.

There was a Cooking Workshop…

5th graders in the Cooking Workshop
Mixing up some unleavened bread – in a hurry!

And there was an Art Workshop where kids made comics using thumbprints…

An artist at work in the Art workshop More artists
Another artist More artists
Created art work Created art work
Can you tell the story using these thumbprint drawings? What part of the story does this one tell?

What was your favorite Workshop?

Photo credits: Click here for info on banner photo (not visible in readers or email).
Other photos by Beth Pascoe, Carol Hulbert and folks at Green Wood. Used by permission.