Preteen (4th – 5th)

Sunday, July 19

Weekly Parent Guide

ACTIVITY: Left, Right, Left

What you need:
Water bottle (or clear glass half-filled with water), white paper, marker or pen

What you do:
Tear the sheet of paper in half. On one of those halves, ask your kid to draw an arrow pointing left. On the other, ask your kid to draw an arrow pointing right. Have your kid sit on one side of the bottle of water. Then, hold the arrow right behind the bottle, moving it from one side to the other and back again. (As you move the sheet of paper behind the water, the arrow will appear to be pointing the other direction. You may have to tell your kid to move around slightly until the angle is just right.) Do the same thing with the other sheet of paper that has the arrow pointing in the opposite direction. Say, “Do you know what’s happening? It’s called refraction, and it happens because light bends when it passes through things like water or plastic. Think about the arrows. Things aren’t always what they seem. Changing your perspective—or the way you look at something—can change your feelings and opinions about it.” Take turns being the one who watches and the one who moves the arrow.

Talk about the Bible story: 

  • In our story today, what were some of Paul’s problems? (He was a prisoner on a ship; they ran out of food; the shipwrecked in a storm; they got stranded; Paul got bit by a snake)
  • What gave Paul the confidence and peace he needed to persevere through his problems? (His faith in God)
  • What are some problems that you have right now?
  • Does knowing Jesus mean our problems hurt less or go away completely? (Having faith in God doesn’t mean we won’t get upset, angry, hurt, or left out. Following Jesus doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. But when we have hard times, we can know that God keeps His promises. And if God promises to take care of us, He will – even when it doesn’t feel like He is in the moment. When we know Jesus, it changes the way we see our problems.)

“God, Paul had so many problems and yet he still had faith in You. Help us to be like Paul. Help us to see our problems differently. When we’re sad, or hurt, or our problems seem really big, remind us to talk to You about them. We ask You to help us through them and we have faith that You will answer our prayers. Amen.”