Friday, May 10, 2019

EDUCATION: Skeptic's Annotated Bible

You may not have seen this, but I stumbled upon the Skeptic's Annotated Bible today. This is such a cool resource! Why? Because it's annotated with questions and remarks from a skeptic. It's clear that the skeptic did not read much, try to make any connections, or try to understand, and this is great because we can use it to give middle or high school students practice at responding to the comments and questions. You can project the info, cut and paste sections, or create a handout with the NOTES and let kids use their own Bibles. Give it a try!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

H.S. ACTIVITY: God is in Control

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Many high school students struggle these days because of their rigorous schedules and the expectations that they be "fabulous" all the time and "successful" at whatever they do. Everyone wants to be the smartest, most beautiful, most popular, etc. We see everybody's best life all over social media and we can hardly keep from comparing our lives to the lives of others. We see everybody's parents gushing over the accomplishments of their children and might wonder why our parents don't gush over us. Add to that the lovely behavior of politicians and society when things don't go their way and suddenly everybody is living with high anxiety. How should life be? What in life is important? How will I be successful? Will people like or even love me? What if I'm a big failure? What if I'm not as smart as everybody else? What if I'm not funny? What if... what if... what if?

We all need to be reminded that God is ultimately in control of our lives. The best we can do is make wise choices in the areas we can control and trust God with the rest, but it's hard. We think we're supposed to do all the "right" things. Sometimes we need to be reminded that 1) there are things we can control, 2) there are things we can't control, and 3) God is ultimately in control. As long as we believe that we have no worries. 

This activity is to provide kids with something they can keep in their room to remind them that they can only control so much. You'll need lots of colored markers and large white pieces of paper, one for each student. Here's what you do: 
Download jpg here
  1. Print the white paper and give one to each student. 
  2. Talk to kids about control, what they can and can't control. Basically they can only control themselves and nothing about other people. They make their own choices and sometimes they affect others. That's why we need to trust God. 
  3. Fill in the circle with things they can control. 
  4. Since God controls everything. Have them look up and choose one of the verses below as their verse of calmness (that may not be a word). They should put it on the poster and memorize it.
Psalm 23:4, Psalm 27:1, Psalm 34:4, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 56:3, Psalm 118:6-7, Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:1, Matthew 6:34, John 14:27, John 16:33, Romans 8:28, Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:6-7, 1 Peter 5:7, 2 Timothy 1:7