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    TONIGHT AT MCN kids: Bible video &, games DIY ice cream sandwiches (,cookies made this AM) Water Obstacle course - if you ain holds out. HOMEWORK for parents this week: Talk with your child about your favorite Bible character . Well besides the big 3. Please share below or message me. We'll talk about them next Wednesday at MCNKIds AUGUST homework for kids...what your FAVORITE Bible verse? We'll hopefully hone in on these by the first week in September for our yearly CANVAS ART PROJECT.
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    Today in JR Church, we continued to focus on Psalm 139 and 3 simple words... GOD KNOWS ME. We shared one thing that we wished people knew about us. Then we read about God's call to Samuel. He KNEW Samuel before Samuel knew Him. He had a plan for Samuel's life...AND He loved Samuel before Samuel loved Him. He knows YOUR name. He knows every freckle on your face and hair on your head and ohhhhhhh how He LOVES YOU...Our wonderful, amazing Creator God loves wonderfully, amazingly, uniquely created YOU!!!!! Here's a link to a great explanation about God knowing YOU from Psalm 139: https://youtu.be/tWowKFcoem0 Here's a link to a sweet song that tells of God's love and knowledge of you (from Psalm 139). https://youtu.be/el2HkzJFZ40
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    GOD KNOWS ME: FAMILY "STICKY TRUTH" ACTIVITY Supplies: Sticky notes (from Sunday Jr church baggie) and pencils, pens or crayons Do this activity to help your kids remember God made every part of them and loves them. Take turns putting sticky notes on each other on different body parts (head, arms, feet, heart ) and write or draw on each sticky note what you’re thankful for about that part of the body. For example: Thank you for a head to be creative and learn; Thank you for arms to play games and sports and give hugs; Thank you for feet to go on walks and take us places; Thank you for a heart to love you and love others. As you take turns placing the sticky notes on each other, say a prayer to thank God for making each person special and unique, and for caring about us and knowing us. God had you in mind even before you were born. We can be thankful for the way He has created each of us. You’re special and you belong because you are God’s child! Psalm 139:13-16 (the Message) "Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;     you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!     Body and soul, I am marvelously made!     I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out,     you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,     how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;     all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared     before I’d even lived one day."
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    In this week’s Jr church, we were reminded that God made us and knows us. He thinks about us continually and cares about us. We made sand art necklaces to remind us of how much he thinks of us. To help your kids remember how well God knows them, do this activity using your child(ren)'s sand art necklace (yes! definitely keep the sand inside) or you can gather a small handful of dirt or sand and put it in a bowl. Ask your kids to count the individual grains. Ask for a guess of the number of grains in the bowl. Say: We will probably never know the number of grains of sand in this bowl, because they are so tiny! (There are mathematicians who have tried to calculate the number of grains of sand in a square inch. Their estimates range from about 9,800 grains of coarse sand in a square inch to about 600,000 grains of fine sand in a square inch. I guess even they got tired of counting, LOL. WOW, my mind is blown! ) Psalm 139:17–18 says God’s thoughts about us are more numerous than the grains of sand! That means God thinks about you more than all of these thousands of tiny little grains! What do you think God thinks about you? Allow your kids to respond. God knows everything about you because He made you and He loves you. You’re special to Him.
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      A SIMPLE FAMILY PRAYER ACTIVITY FOR TODAY   Why not throw a praise party in your home today? Turn on some of your favorite worship music and have a dance party. Play a game of Praise Toss (get a ball, balloon, or pillow)—toss it around and as you catch it shout out a praise or thank you to God and see how long you can keep the object in motion.
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        TODAY'S FAMILY PRAYER & ACTIVITY CHALLENGE PRAYER TIME Jesus said in Matthew 4:36-40 (the Message)  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Pray through that scripture as a family. Pray that God will open your eyes to ways that you can serve others and to the needs around you. ACTIVITY Here are five ideas to brighten someone’s day.  These ideas don’t require a lot of time or money, but they sure will make someone's world a little brighter. Have each family member pick just one of these ideas or come up with one of their own.   🌞 Send a text to a loved one just telling them how much you appreciate them.   🌞 Bake and deliver a treat - maybe to someone who could use a little cheer.   🌞 Use chalk to write a happy message on the sidewalk.   🌞 Give someone a compliment in-person or on social media.   🌞 Thank a police officer, EMT or firefighter for his or her service.
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          FAMILY PRAYER CHALLENGE Here are five ways to get closer to God right now. Go through this list as a family and let everyone pick one thing they’ll do to draw near to God. 🧲 UNPLUG. Turn off the radio and TV, step away from your computer, put away your phone, and find a quiet spot to simply rest in God’s presence. 🧲 READ YOUR BIBLE. Underline, highlight, or write out passages, verses, phrases or words that speak to you. 🧲 GET INTO NATURE. Worship God while watching a sunrise or sunset, or lay down in the grass and look at the clouds. Reflect on what God Is doing in the world and in your life. 🧲 SERVE. Take a meal to a new mom or someone who’s going through a long-term illness. 🧲 REMEMBER. Write down the story of your life, making note of the many ways God has provided for you and moved in different circumstances.
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            FAMILY PRAYER ACTIVITY During a mealtime today (maybe even 6pm dinner with your MCN family), take turns sharing about some things that God has done for you and your family. Talk about what you can do to celebrate all the different ways He cares, guides, and provides.
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              TODAY'S FAMILY PRAYER ACTIVITY Watch this short animation about God’s love that welcomes us in. https://youtu.be/DJgROx4wFKM (If you're on Instagram, you'll need to look up "The Prodigal Son" by "Saddleback Kids" video on youtube.) Go around the table and take turns finishing this sentence then thank God together for loving us. I feel God’s love when… Let's encourage one another by sharing our answers in the comments.
              1. ...like the son...whether the son who ran away or one who was jealous of another's gifts and attention...God welcomes me with open arms when I return humbly to Him. ... God gives me GRACE (what a beautiful word...such freedom and warmth in that 5-letter word).