Nature Window: Waterfalls
Waterfalls are beautiful nature spots. They happen when a stream or river goes over a ledge and drops vertically. Some are small, and some are so tall that during hot seasons the water vaporizes before it reaches the bottom! Waterfalls are so strong that we can use them to generate electricity. We call that hydroelectric power. Waterfalls can be very dangerous. You never want to be on that stream that's about to go over the waterfall. You can sense something is about to happen because the stream starts to move faster and faster and faster as it gets closer to the waterfall.
Waterfalls remind me of the Bible verse Exodus 23:2 which says, "You shall not follow a crowd to do evil." When people get together to do bad things, they are on that stream heading toward a waterfall. It's even hard to stop doing bad things when everyone is doing it and you have joined them.
During the time of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar tried to get the whole country to worship an idol he made. Everyone there got in that fast moving stream with him, EXCEPT Daniel's three friends - Hananiah, Mishael, and Azsariah. They stayed true to God, even though King Nebuchadnezzar had changed their names to mean they worshipped other gods.
During your nature walk, see if you can find a house gutter, stream, or another place where there could (or would) be moving water. Which direction would a little boat go on that water if you placed it there? It would follow the way the water was going. Never join a crowd that is doing bad things. It's hard to not do what they do, but it is possible.
Memory Mastery: The Godhead
This quarter we are learning more about the Godhead. During our time, we will unpack a little of the mystery of God to help the children understand some important principles. At the end of our questions and answers, you will find a poem about the Godhead that I want the children to memorize.
Who is God?
Did God really make everything? What was there before Him?
Reference: Acts 17:24-28
Do you like to be alone all by yourself? Neither does God.
In fact, did you know God has his own family?
References: 1 John 5:7; Mark 1:9-11
Can we see God?
References: 1 John 4:12; John 6:46; Hebrews 4:14; John 15:26; John 14:7-9
Here is a poem I wrote to help us remember each person of the Godhead. Let's say it and do our hand motions.
(This poem is the actual memory mastery project we will memorize as a class.)
Mission Trip: Secondary School for Gabon
Our 13th Sabbath world church mission offering is going to help build a Seventh-day Adventist secondary school (grades 6 to 12) in Libreville, Gabon. Please bring your coins all quarter long to dedicate to this special project. Meanwhile, let's learn more about Gabon.
Did you know that Gabon is working hard to become an international site for protected rain forest? Up to 90% of their country is covered in precious rain forest. They have already designated many acres of their land as National Parks.
One special animal they are trying to save with their protected land is the endangered forest elephant. The forest elephant has been hunted by people who want to sell their ivory husks. This animal is fast disappearing. Gabon is probably the only hope of this animal not becoming extinct. The Gabon government is even having to station soldiers within National Parks to keep people from coming in to kill their precious elephants.
Bible Story: The Fiery Furnace
Reference: Daniel 3
King Nebuchadnezzar soon lost respect for the God of heaven, but he was still thinking about the dream God had given him. He wondered why his kingdom wouldn't last forever and decided he would create a great idol statue that represented his kingdom. So, he erected a big idol on the plain of Dura made of all gold that looked like the statue in his dream. "My kingdom WILL last forever," he said to himself, "and everyone will acknowledge that."
So, King Nebuchadnezzar gathered everyone in his kingdom to a great celebration to dedicate his golden statue. "At the sound of the music, you will all bow down and worship my statue." When the music started, everyone bowed down to the golden idol, ... but three people - Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah - whom Nebuchadnezzar called Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego.
When King Nebuchadnezzar found out that Daniel's friends didn't bow down with everyone else, he got very angry. He asked them why they didn't obey his orders. They said, "We cannot obey your order because we serve the God of heaven. We will only bow down to worship Him." King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them in the fiery furnace if they didn't bow down to his idol. They said, "We will not bow down. Our God is able to save us from the fire if He chooses. But, if He doesn't save us, we are happy to die for Him."
King Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the fire be made hotter. His soldiers threw Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah into the fire. The soldiers even died in the fire. But, King Nebuchadnezzar was very surprised. There were 4 men walking around in the fire! "Come out, Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego," he called. When God's three servants came out, they were alive and not hurt at all. God had sent His Son to be there with them and protect them.
King Nebuchadnezzar fell down at their feet. "Surely, your God is the God above all gods! Only He is able to save His people from the fire like that. I make a decree that no one can say anything bad against the God of Shadrach, Meshak, and Abednego."
Our prayer verse is Isaiah 41:13, which says, "I am the Lord your God. I am holding your right hand. And I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I will help you'' (ICB). King Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom are gone, now. But, the God of Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego), is still alive today. He is still there to help us and protect us. He is still looking for special servants who will obey Him no matter what everyone else is doing. Are you His special servant?
Dear Father God, Thank You for holding my hand. I will not be afraid. I know You will help me. In Jesus' name, Amen
Daniel's friends - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - were not afraid of the fire because they trusted in God. They stood up for Jesus when everyone else bowed down to the false idol. So, sit down and play the game of hot potato. We are going to pretend this potato (ball, etc.) is really really hot. That means it's hard to keep it in your hands, so you have to pass it around really fast. As we pass it around, we are going to listen to the song, Stand Up for Jesus. Whoever has the potato when the song says, "Stand up, stand up for Jesus," has to be brave like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and stand up and hold the hot potato during that little phrase.