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Who's On First?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).


WEEK 1: Measure Up

YOU'LL NEED: A ruler, pen, masking tape, scissors, paper, paper plate, red crayon, favorite audio tape or CD and player

GET STARTED: Mark each person's height with masking tape on a wall or door frame. Measure the height with the ruler.

TALK IT OVER: Look at the ruler. What are rulers used for? Explain that rules are rulers for our hearts. They show how we "measure up" to what's right. Together, make a list of household rules, school rules, or traffic rules. Which are most important? Ask someone to read Mark 12:28-30. What does Jesus say is the most important rule? Explain that this month you'll talk about this rule.

WRAP IT UP: Have your children make a stop sign on the paper plate. Turn on some music and have one child hold the plate while everyone else dances. When the child holds the plate up, everyone freezes. When the plate is down, everyone dances again. Talk about how the game is more fun when everyone follows the rules. We can show God our love by following his rules. End by thanking God for his rules and his love.

WEEK 2: God First

YOU'LL NEED: magazines, index cards, pens or markers

GET STARTED: Let everyone flip through the magazines to find pictures of things people think are important ? cars, houses, money, people, etc.

TALK IT OVER: Talk about why people might think these things are important. Ask someone to read Mark 12:28-30 again. Then ask someone to read Matthew 6:33. Talk about the things each of you is tempted to put first. Now talk about what should be first in your hearts.

WRAP IT UP: Give each person an index card. Fold each card in half, short ends together. Unfold, and to the left of the fold, draw a heart about 2" wide. Just to the right of the fold, write the word "GOD". Hold the card at arm's length, stare at the center fold, and slowly move the card toward your face, letting your eyes go out of focus. Watch how "GOD" jumps into the heart. God wants to be first in our hearts. End by asking God to help you put him first in your family.

WEEK 3: Wholehearted

YOU'LL NEED: a stick of butter, 2 eggs, a bottle of vanilla, a box of baking soda, a quarter cup each of flour, sugar and cocoa, cookies for everyone, paper, crayons, scissors

GET STARTED: Give each person one or two of the ingredients listed above. Explain that each ingredient is part of what makes a cookie. People sometimes say they love God, but then give him only part of their heart. Like one ingredient in cookie dough, that's not enough.

TALK IT OVER: Serve real cookies while you talk. Ask someone to read 2 Chronicles 31:20-21. What showed that King Hezekiah followed God with his whole heart? What resulted from following God? How can we do the same?

WRAP IT UP: Give each person a piece of paper, a crayon, and scissors. Ask them to draw a large heart. Draw lines in the heart to make large puzzle pieces. Cut these out and try working each other's puzzles. Talk about how a puzzle doesn't come together unless you have every part. End with a prayer telling God you want to give him your whole heart.

WEEK 4: Loving Someone Invisible

YOU'LL NEED: drinking straws, cotton balls, paper, pens for each person

GET STARTED: Gather around a table, one team or person on one side and another team or person on the other. Set a cotton ball on the table. Have one person from each team blow through a straw to try to blow the cotton ball off the other team's side.

TALK IT OVER: Ask what power made the cotton ball move. What are other invisible powers (wind, electricity, etc.)? How do we act in ways that show we know these powers are real? Ask someone to read Daniel 6. How did Daniel show love and respect for God? How can we show our love for God?

WRAP IT UP: Give each person a piece of paper and have them fold it in half. Then have everyone place one hand on their paper with their little finger on the fold. Trace around your hands. Now cut out the image of the hand without cutting the folded side. Ask each person to write a prayer list inside this booklet. Explain that prayer is one way we show God that he's real to us. End with each person saying a prayer for someone or something on their list.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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