Camp Kidzu 2014

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March-Elementary-Forgiveness

Louis Zamperini was on a WWII reconnaissance run when his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. He was captured and held as a POW, enduring two years of verbal and physical torture. When he returned home at the end of the war, Mr. Zamperini continued to suffer regular nightmares and felt his life spinning out of control. Until he heard Billy Graham deliver a message about forgiveness. Mr. Zamperini found the guards who had haunted him and chose to fogive them. He hasn’t had a nightmare since.

“The hardest thing in life is to forgive.” Mr. Zamperini said. “But healing, real healing, only comes from forgiveness.” See more of Louis Zamperini’s inspiring story of the power of forgiveness here.

Forgiveness is deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay. When we choose to forgive others, it’s a response to the great love and forgiveness God has shown us. Forgiveness means letting go of what someone did to us in order to restore the relationship.

But forgiveness isn’t always a simple exchange. What if the person never apologizes? Forgive anyway. What if the person does it again? Forgive again. What if the person never changes? Keep on forgiving. By controlling how you respond and making an alternate choice to forgive, you can delete the impact of what that person did to you.

The monthly memory verse is:Forgive the things you are holding against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you,” Colossians 3:13, NIrV. Through God’s forgiveness, we are inspired to love, serve, and give to others. His forgiveness changes our eternity. And our forgiveness of others can impact their futures.

In Week One’s Bible story, Jesus told a story about a son who sinned against his father (Luke 15:11-20). He owned what he did was wrong and returned home to seek his father’s forgiveness. Our Bottom Line is: Everyone needs to be forgiven, even me.

In Week Two’s Bible story, the older brother chose not to forgive the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:21-32). He missed out on a party and also missed out on rebuilding a relationship with his brother. Our Bottom Line is: When you don’t forgive, you miss out.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Peter thought he was doing well to forgive someone seven times (Matthew 18:21-35). Jesus raised the stakes when He said we should forgive others even more. Our Bottom Line is: Since God forgave you, you should forgive others.

In Week Four’s Bible story, Jesus teaches about judging with an example of someone who needs to focus on his own problems before pointing out his friend’s. (Matthew 7:1-5). Our Bottom Line is: Be careful not to judge others, because you’ve been wrong too.

In Week Five’s Bible story, Zacchaeus was a tax collector who stole money from people (Luke 19:1-10). Jesus offered him forgiveness, which changed Zacchaeus’ outlook on life. Our Bottom Line is: When people are forgiven, it can change them.

 

By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

February-Elementary-Faith

Bobbie, the Wonder Dog, was a Scotch Collie and English shepherd mix who got lost from his family on a vacation in 1923. Over six months, Bobbie independently traveled 2,800 miles from Indiana to Oregon and was reunited with his family. Bobbie’s faithfulness was recognized by several newspapers, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and the Oregon Humane Society. (Source: http://voices.yahoo.com/eight-worlds-most-faithful-dogs-553021.html?cat=53)

Faith is believing in what you can’t see because of what you can see. Sometimes we lose sight of what God’s doing in our lives. But we can see all of the many other ways God reveals Himself. Through the things we can see, we can believe that what the Bible says about God is true.

When we recognize God at work around us, we respond to Him with trust. We have confidence He has a plan for our lives, and we are willing to take risks to see that plan accomplished. Even in our moments of doubt, God will show us something to remind us to have faith.

The monthly memory verse is: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1, NIrV. We might not clearly see and understand everything about a relationship with God. We can ask questions and read our Bibles to learn more. But faith is believing that what God says is true, that we will live with Him forever, even when we can’t see every detail about how it happens.

In Week One’s Bible story, when Peter saw how Jesus performed a miracle, he believed that Jesus could be trusted and dropped everything to follow Him (Luke 5:1-11). Our Bottom Line is: When I see how God provides today, it helps me trust Him with tomorrow. The more we recognize God’s provision in the good times, the more confident we’ll be that He’ll provide in the hard times.

In Week Two’s Bible story, as long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to experience something incredible. But when he lost focus on Jesus, he gave into his fears and began to sink. (Matthew 14:22-33). Our Bottom Line is: When I experience what God can do, it helps me face my fears. As we have more experiences with God, we see more of His strength and power.

In Week Three’s Bible story, John is struggling with doubt that Jesus really is the Savior. John’s disciples return and tell John about all the miracles they saw Jesus perform. (Luke 7:18-22, Supporting: Matthew 11; Mark 6:17-20; Luke 3:1-21; 6; 7:1-16). Our Bottom Line is: When I hear what Jesus has done, it helps me believe who Jesus is. It’s important to listen to the way that following Jesus has impacted people’s lives.

In Week Four’s Bible story, Nicodemus learns that Jesus is the Savior and only through Him can we live with God. (John 3:1-21, Supporting: John 7:49-51; 19:38-40). Our Bottom Line is: When I believe who Jesus is, I’ll live with God forever. We may not understand everything about Jesus, but we can ask questions to learn more. Jesus’ answers teach that any of us who believe in Him will live with God forever.

By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. http://www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

February-PreSchool-Mission L.O.V.E.

Hello, First Look Friends!

Jesus loves everyone. Everyone! He loves you. He loves me. He even loves that lady down the street who never comes outside. He loves the man at the grocery store. He loves the lady at the deli. Jesus loves everyone!

We want our preschoolers to know that simple truth. Jesus loves them and everyone around them. We will hear stories of how Jesus loved during His time on earth. How He loved the woman at the well and the scorned woman even though no one else did. How He loves us even when we do something wrong like He loved the Zacchaeus. Our preschoolers will also hear about how everyone needs Jesus and that we should tell others about Him. Each week’s lesson will come back to one simple truth: Jesus loves everyone.

Imagine how we would all act if we remembered that Jesus loves each and every one of us. We hope our preschoolers will walk away with that truth tucked in their heart.

Our team will be praying for you to have moments filled with wonder as you give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.

Kathy Hill Editor in Chief

First Look

The reThink Group

Kidzu FX

Mark you calendars for Friday, March 7th at 7:00pm. Kidzu will be having a Kidzu Family worship eXperience in the Kidzu worship room. This is a great opportunity to worship with your kids, and see what they are learning in Kidzu. Kidzu FX Flat

Camp Kidzu Volunteer Registration

Join Kidzu this summer for a fun week of camp! Serve along side kidzu volunteers to help kids from The Vine Church and kids from the community learn about Jesus. Camp Kidzu will take place at The Vine Church on June 2nd through 5th. Volunteers will report each day by 8:45 and serve until the children are released by 12:30. You will also be asked to attend a Camp Kidzu volunteer meeting on Sunday June 1st at 3:00pm.

Haven’t experienced Camp Kidzu? Camp Kidzu is much like our Sunday morning experience with a few extra activities. Each day the kids will experience large group worship and bible story, small group, craft station, snack station, faith skills station, and a game station. No matter where you serve we will help you feel comfortable and well equipped.

January-PreSchool-Water and Ice

Hello, First Look Friends!

January brings some of my favorite stories to tell preschoolers. They’re stories filled with awe and wonder. They’re the stories that make us say, “Hmm, Jesus really can do anything!”

Filling empty nets with fish, feeding five thousand with just a few fishes and loaves. Wow! It’s amazing what Jesus did. He walked on the water. He calmed a storm with just a word. God sent His Son to us and He did some truly miraculous things before He did the most amazing thing of all, dying to save us.

Enjoy sharing these stories with your preschoolers this month. Laugh during the water play. Watch for the looks of wonder as you share the stories. Jesus can do anything, and our preschool friends will enjoy discovering that this month.

Our team will be praying for you to have moments filled with wonder as you give preschoolers a “first look” at the God who loves them, made them, and wants to be their friend forever.

Kathy Hill
Editor in Chief, First Look
The reThink Group

January-Elementary-Knowledge

The International Olympic Committee recently released their updated Olympic Charter [www.Olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf‎] in preparation for this year’s Winter Olympics. In it’s PDF form, the Charter is 105 pages long and lists the rules and bylaws governing the Olympic organization. It does not list the rules for individual events, but refers readers to their individual documents. So, an athlete participating in the Olympics has a lot of rules to learn as they train to do their best.

Knowledge is discovering something new so you can be better at whatever you do. We believe that God’s Word is the best place to discover something new about our world and ultimately ourselves. And when we put those discoveries into practice it changes us from the inside out and impacts the choices we make and the way we live. God is the source of all truth. We need to dig into His Word and discover that truth for ourselves.

The knowledge we glean from the 66 books of the Bible tells us how to live our lives day in and day out. But that knowledge is not an end in and of itself. We can know all there is to know about God, but if we don’t put any of our knowledge into practice, it is worthless.

The monthlymemory verse is: “God has breathed life into all of Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right,” 2 Timothy 3:16, NIrV. God’s Word is powerful and strong. When we discover it and put it into practice, we have its strength on our side every day of our lives.

In Week One’s Bible story, Jesus models the importance of seeking knowledge even as a young boy (Luke 2:41-52). Our Bottom Line is:Since God knows everything, it’s important to discover what God says. The Bible is God’s Word to us. That’s why it’s important to read the Bible and ask questions to someone we trust.

In Week Two’s Bible story, John the Baptist dedicated his life to preparing the way for Jesus (John 1:19-42; supporting – Matthew 3, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-22). Because he knew God’s Word, he could lay the groundwork for Jesus’ ministry. Our Bottom Line is:Discovering what God says helps me know Jesus. The more we read God’s Word, the more we understand about who Jesus is and what that means for our lives.

In Week Three’s Bible story, Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13; supporting – Matthew 4:1-11). But Jesus was prepared! He knew all of Scripture and was ready for any and all of Satan’s tricks. Our Bottom Line is: Discovering what God says helps me make the wise choice. That’s why it’s important for us to find out what God says and know His words well enough to use them when we are tempted to do something wrong.

In Week Four’s Bible story, Jesus tells His followers a story about two men who learn a valuable lesson about building on a strong foundation (Matthew 7:24-29). It reminds us that when we put God’s words into practice, they will help us stand firm when life’s storms blow our way. Our Bottom Line is:Knowing and doing what God says makes me strong. Knowledge doesn’t change anything unless you do something about it.

By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.

Camp KidJam Registration

Early registration discount ends January 26th!

December-Elementary-Joy

If you ask a group of people about their happiest Christmas memory, you’re sure to hear a story of triumph over tragedy. The stories that start with “My dad had been out of work for a while and we didn’t have very much, but …” or “It was our first family Christmas without Grandma and …” almost always end with people finding ways to love and support each other through the hard times. The family who is struggling financially might have made gifts for each other that year, or spent the holiday serving at a homeless shelter. The family missing their loved one might have cooked her favorite recipe or made sure to sing her favorite carol. So many of our favorite Christmas memories are significant because we were able to celebrate in the face of hard times.

Joy is finding a way to be happy even when things don’t go your way. Joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances, but rather it’s about being content beyond our circumstances. We can have joy when we recognize that God’s plan is greater than our own. Our joy is a response to our trust in God.

Joy will thrive in life’s triumphs and endure through life’s challenges. Joy is a deep, sincere way to approach life that allows us to know that the hard times will make us stronger and draw us closer to God. Having joy may not mean always wearing a smile, but joy lets us reflect God’s love and shine through the dark moments in life.

The monthlymemory verse is:“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4, NIV ©1984. When life is going well for us, we can rejoice in God’s goodness. When things don’t go our way, we can still rejoice because we know that God has promised to always be with us and give us peace. We can always find joy.

In Week One’s Bible story, God promised a Savior to rescue His people from their sins (Isaiah 9:6-7). This promise was given to Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus was born. Through Jesus, God made a way for His people to be rescued. Our Bottom Line is: I can have joy because God keeps His promises. We can read God’s promises for ourselves in the Bible.

In Week Two’s Bible story, Zechariah and Elizabeth were unable to have children (Luke 1:5-25; 57-79). Yet, they learned that God can do anything. Our Bottom Line is: I can have joy because anything is possible with God. Although God may not always choose to do the impossible—He may allow us to walk through hard times to help us grow—we can remember that He can rescue us from anything.

In Week Three’s Bible story, God put His plan in motion by sending His Son to be born as a baby (Luke 2:1-7). Our Bottom Line is: I can have joy because God sent His Son. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of all of God’s promises to us. Our hope in Jesus can help us have joy and overcome anything that can happen to us.

In Week Four’s Bible story, God announced to the world that the Promised One arrived (Luke 2:8-20). God sent His angels to shepherds out keeping watch over their sheep to proclaim the good news. Our Bottom Line is: I can have joy because God’s story is for everyone. That story isn’t something we can keep to ourselves. It’s a story we need to share with everyone.

In Week Five’s Bible story, a godly man named Simeon had been waiting for God’s promise to happen (Luke 2:21-35). When he saw baby Jesus, heprophesied that through Jesus the world would be blessed. Our Bottom Line is: I can have joy because God has a plan to make things right.Some of life’s circumstances cause us pain, but our pain is not the end of the story; God has a plan to make everything right once and for all.

 

By Jessica McKee ©2013 The reThink Group. All rights reserved. www.ThinkOrange.com *Used by permission.