Based on Psalms 33
This week, I am veering from the normal and decided to share a children’s story. I hope you enjoy it.
One day Lanny was grazing in the pasture with his good shepherd and the other sheep from the good shepherd’s flock. Lanny was very close to the good shepherd. Ever since the day he wandered away and got lost, he had been staying close. Lanny looked up at the shepherd. “Good shepherd,“ Lanny said, “Can I ask you a question?“
“Of course, Lanny.” the good shepherd said, “Ask me whatever you wish.“
“Well,“ Lanny asked, “I was wondering who made me?“
“Lanny, your father sheep and mother sheep are part of my flock, but I made you Lanny and I knew about you before you were born.”
“Wow!“ said Lanny, “That makes me want to sing. I’m going to make up my own song to sing to you good shepherd.”
“I love your songs, Lanny.” said the good shepherd. Lanny thought for a long time. He thought about how much his good shepherd loved him and the other sheep in the flock. The good shepherd’s love was so big. He remembered reading from the good shepherd’s book about how his love filled the earth. How could the good shepherd love that much? Lanny didn’t know, but he was thankful. Then Lanny thought about all the wonderful things in the world. He remembered how the good shepherd’s book, said that God made everything. Lanny loved the green pastures and the pools of cool refreshing water. He loved the warm sunshine and the fluffly white clouds in the sky. He loved the soft little bunnies that hopped about in the pasture. Sometimes Lanny even saw a deer or goat skipping up on the hills. The world was such a big place with so many animals, trees, plants and other things. Lanny was thankful for the big world that God created. Lanny thought about how the shepherd’s book told about how God watches over us and loves us. Lanny was very happy as he thought of all these things. He was happy to be part of the good shepherd’s flock. Very softly Lanny began to sing, “Thank you Good Shepherd for making me and for this beautiful world. You are amazing and I know, yes I know you have good plans for me. Thank you, thank you that I belong to you. I love you.” Lanny was a little embarrassed by his song. It didn’t exactly rhyme, but he was very thankful and he hoped the good shepherd understood.
“Lanny,“ said the good shepherd. “ I loved your song of praise. You are my special little lamb.”
It seems that our focus for the last several months has been on Covid, the elections, racial injustice and many other things. Many people are tired of the way things are and have things to say about what should or shouldn’t happen. I am thankful that we do live in a country where we are free to speak our mind, believe the way we want to believe and do so without fear of punishment. I sometimes wish we were kinder in what we say when we voice our opinions and I also wish we could find enough common ground to work through some of our problems rather that arguing over which side is right or wrong. Still, just for a moment, I want to lay all of the disasters, arguments, worries and stresses aside to simply say, “Thank you!” Thank you for a voice to speak and praise, thank you for your amazing love, a love so big that it fills the earth. Thank you for the beauty in the world. Right now the trees are beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow. Who, but you Oh God, would have thought of that? Thank you for your care and for giving me a brain to think with. Remind me, Lord, even when things aren’t going the way I wish they would, that you are still in control. Remind me Lord to be kind and listen to others too, even if they are very different than me or have different ideas than I do. If I listen, I think I will better understand and I will also learn from those around me. Most of all, help me listen to you, I want to live with gratitude and I want to share your love. Amen
SINGING WITH PRESCHOOLERS
Preschoolers love to sing and dance especially if they are allowed to move while doing so. I love singing with preschoolers. They are so exuberant and put their heart and soul into what they are doing.
What can you do to encourage music with preschoolers?
* Movement, of course, is helpful. Preschoolers were made to move so make room for lots of movement.
* Match the movement with the words of the song or add some simple sign-language. Look up words online to see how to do them in sign language.
* Try varying the tone and rhythm – loud, quiet, fast, slow. I like to use musical terms when introducing them to quiet – piano and loud – forte.
* Introduce them to rhythm instruments. Show them how to keep the beat and how to start and stop together. Jingle bells are also fun to use this time of year.
* If with a group, let one or two of them stand up front and help you lead the songs.
* Show videos with other kids singing to involve the kids – just be sure that you are singing too. If you are just watching, then they will be more likely to just watch.
* Clap the rhythm with the kids.
* Make up songs with the kids. They love making up their own song. Write down what they want to say on a large piece of paper. Read what they have wrote and then see if you can sing the phrases together. Not sure how to sing the phrases, try singing them to a familiar tune.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH YOUR CHILD THIS WEEK?
THE MAIN IDEA: Let’s Praise God
KNOW: God watches over me.
TALK ABOUT: What we can praise God for.
ASK: Who made you? God made me.
MEMORIZE: Psalms 150:6 – (Hold hands open as though holding a book.)
Let everything – (Spread hands out to the side.)
That has breath – (Take a deep breath.)
Praise the Lord – (Wave arms above head.)
DO: Simply praise God!
SHARE A STORY:
Psalm 33 – Simplified for PreschoolersA Psalm is a song to God. Some of the Psalms were written by David. Psalm 33 says,
3 Sing a new song to Him – to God. – (What would you sing if you made up a new song for God? EX. Say some of the following phrases or things the kids suggest in a singsong way. “Thank you God for making me. I love you God. Thank you for loving me. You are amazing.” Did you know that you can even shout with joy? Let’s shout, “Yeah God!” One, two, three – “Yeah God!”)
5 God’s love fills the earth. – (That means that God’s love is really, really BIG. He loves you. Give yourself a hug while you say, “Thank you God for loving me!)
6 God spoke and the world was made. – (Say, “Thank you God for all you made!)
9 When God speaks things happen! – (Say, “Yeah God!”
11 God’s plans are good…. Great blessings belong to those who have the Lord as their God! – (Say, “Yeah God!“)
11 God chose us to belong to Him, to be His own special people. – (He wants you to be a part of His family and He has good plans for you. God has something special just for you to be and do. Wow! Say, “Yeah God!)
15 He created your mind and He knows what you are doing. – (He knows what you’re thinking about. He made you so that you can think and make good choices. Say, “Thank you God, that I can think, think, think!”)
18 God watches over His followers – (God sees everyone. He watches over us, helps and protects us. Say, “Thank you God, for your care.)
21 He makes us happy. – (He even helps us to be happy when we remember that He loves us. Smile because God loves you.)
God is amazing. He made you, He loves you and He has good plans for you. Let’s praise Him for all that He is and does.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
* Make up a song or cheer to say thank you to God.
* Depending on the age of your child, play “Peek-A-Boo” or “Hide & Seek.” When you find him/her, say, “I see you and God sees you too!”
Thank you for making me. I know that you love me and have good plans for me. I’m glad you take care of me and that you want me to be part of your family. I love you. Amen