Creation of all things

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The first day:  God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”

The second day: God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.”

The third day: God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.  Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. And God saw that it was good.

The fourth day: God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

The fifth day:  God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

The sixth day: God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so, and God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Edited verses taken from Genesis 1(NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, fun stuff, Old Testement Bible Stories

The lost coin

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Then Jesus told them this parable: “…suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  

Luke 15: 3, 8-10

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, New Testement Bible Stories

Fall Sunday School & Bible Study at Living Hope

Sunday School begins on Sunday, Sept 13th, 9 a.m. ~inside with a social distancing plan and disinfecting protocols.

Bible Study will continue to be held outside, 9:00 a.m. Join us as we begin a new topic: “Practice Resurrection”.

Posted in All Posts, Dates & Reminders, FYI, Living Hope Church

The faith of Job

child at window

~ Job 19:25-27 (NIV)

I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

(click here to read excerpts from the Book of Job)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Bible Verses for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

Jonah and the whale

Jesus used Jonah’s story to help his disciples understand his death: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” ~ Matthew 12:40 (NIV)

Jonah runs from the Lord (excerpts taken from Jonah 1,2,3 NIV)

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for Tarshish, to flee from the Lord.

Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to Jonah. “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”

This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”

“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life.” Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

Jonah is rescued from drowning by a huge fish

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Jonah warns Nineveh, the people repent, and the Lord forgives them!

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

The Lord teaches Jonah about His great compassion and forgiveness

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”

But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die.

But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”

“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

Labor Day Prayer

Gracious heavenly Father, as the United States pauses to rest and contemplate the freedom to work and the employment opportunities that are available to us, may we never lose sight of the fact that it is only because of your grace and favor that we are able to work.

Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings, past and present. Thank you for the joy of relaxation. May all that I do give glory to you and your precious name. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, whom I love and serve. Amen

Posted in All Posts, Dates & Reminders, Family Devotions, FYI, Living Hope Church, Prayers

Solomon builds a Temple for the Lord

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King Solomon sent a message to Hiram king of Tyre: “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’ So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set.”

When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was greatly pleased and said, “Praise be to the Lord today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.”

King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel—thirty thousand men. He had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills. At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple. In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built. King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, who was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.

Solomon prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. He overlaid the inner sanctuary with pure gold. For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood. He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

solomon ded.

When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple. Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.

“But will God really dwell on earth?   The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.   How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God.   May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays.  Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.”

excerpts and edited passages taken from 1 Kings 5-9 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

David and Goliath

David faces Goliath with his sling I Samuel 17:42

The Philistines gathered their forces for war.  King Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing about 125 pounds; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed about 16 pounds.  His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle?  Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”  On hearing his words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. For forty days Goliath came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

Now David was the son of Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.  Jesse said to his son David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them.

Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out.  He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.  Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.  David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.

David asked the men standing near him, “Who is this Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”  Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Meanwhile, Goliath, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field! ”

David said to Goliath , “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.  All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck Goliath  on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.  When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.

excerpts and edited verses taken from 1 Samuel 17:1-50 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

The parting of the Red Sea

(When Moses was an old man, God sent him to rescue the Israelites, who had become slaves in Egypt. Moses went to Pharaoh and asked him to let the Israelites go.  Pharaoh refused.  The Lord sent ten, terrible plagues on the Egyptians before Pharaoh finally agreed to let them go.  The Israelites left Egypt, with the Lord God leading them with a pillar of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night.)

cloud pillar

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. The Egyptians—all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea.

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. The Egyptians will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

excerpts and edited verses taken from Exodus 14 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

Baby Moses

(After Abraham and Sarah had their son Issac, many years passed, and Abraham’s family grew just as God had promised.  Long after Abraham had died, there was a severe drought in the land.  To provide for his special people from whom Jesus would be born, God allowed them to move to Egypt where there was plenty of food.  In Egypt, the family of Abraham, now called the Israelites, continued to grow.)

Moses basket

A new Pharaoh came to power in Egypt where the Israelites were living. “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. We must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

So the Egyptians put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor,  The Israelites built two cities for Pharaoh.  The Egyptians made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites because there were so many of them, and worked them ruthlessly.

Then Pharaoh finally gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew (Israelite)  boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

Now a man of the Hebrew tribe of Levi was married a Levite woman and she gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.  But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. She opened it and saw the baby.  He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

Then the baby’s sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to take care of the baby for you?”

“Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take care of this baby for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and cared for him.  When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.  She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Edited verses and excerpts taken from Exodus 1 & 2:1-10 (NIV)

Posted in Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

God promises Abraham and Sarah a son

The Lord had said to Abram (later called Abraham), “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

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So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. Abram was seventy-five years old. He took his wife Sarai (later called Sarah), his nephew Lot, all their possessions and servants, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your family I will give this land.” So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless? You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them. So shall your family be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him again and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your family.”

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram [exalted father]; your name will be Abraham [father of many], for I have made you a father of many nations, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”

God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

Abraham2

The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.  Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born.

excerpts and edited verses from Genesis 11 through Genesis 21 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

14 years at Our Precious Lambs!

Congratulations to Deb Hamilton, who has served as Director of Our Precious Lambs at Living Hope for fourteen years!

She graduated from Martin Luther College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  Prior to accepting the Director position at Our Precious Lambs, she taught first and second grades for one year on the Apache Indian Reservation in Whiteriver, AZ.  She then taught grades K-3 at St. Mark Lutheran School in Lincoln, NE for two academic years. She accepted the position as Director at OPL in 2006.

Deb and her husband, Tim, have cared for foster children, as well as experienced the joys of both adopting and giving birth.  They have four children.

We thank Deb for managing our early childhood program, guiding our teachers, loving all the children in her care, and teaching them about Jesus. You’re great Deb!

Posted in All Posts, FYI, Living Hope Church

Noah’s Ark

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. After many years, the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. Make a roof for it, put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens. Everything on earth will perish. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. They will come to you to be kept alive. You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.” Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. They had with them every wild animal, all livestock, every creature that moves along the ground, every bird, and everything with wings. Then the Lord shut him in.

flood

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. and the ark floated on the surface of the water. All the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded, and the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry.

God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark.” So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.

“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you. Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood. This is the sign of the covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

excerpts and edited passages taken from Genesis 5:1-9:17 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, Old Testement Bible Stories

Jesus calms the storm

Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.  He taught them many things by parables.  

That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.”

stormLeaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Edited verses taken from Mark 4:1-2, 35-41

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, New Testement Bible Stories

A great catch of fish

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon (Peter), and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.  Luke 5:1-11 (NIV)

Posted in All Posts, Bible Stories for Kids, Family Devotions, New Testement Bible Stories, OPL