Monday, September 28, 2009

When I Need Comfort, Psalm 23

Co-teacher Randy Stewart is on the ball this week and has already posted his PowerPoint slides for this week's lesson, "When I Need Comfort," based on Psalm 23. Thanks Randy!

Friday, September 25, 2009

God is the Greatest, Psalm 135:13-18

Step 4 of the lesson, “God is Great,” calls attention to the lifelessness of idols. Images made by man can’t speak, see, or hear because they are dead.

One of the great mysteries of science is the origin of life, but some scientists expect to create life within 10 ten years. Others think man has already created life. I suspect this frontier is a quest for greatness. Imagine how a secular world might glorify a scientist who is able to create life. His or her renown as the greatest would be sealed for generations to come.

His/Herwork would be quickly extended by others to create communicating life forms that could signal information and receive messages. Eventually engineers would be able scale up and animate these life forms in ways that would be visible to ordinary people. These creatures would be idolized for the functions they perform. Eventually they too would be idolized by humans because Romans 1:20-23 is true.

However, because these creations can be totally understood by the human mind they are not God. He is the greatness that no one can fathom (Psa 145:3).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God is Great, Psalm 135:5-12

Teaching step 3 of the lesson, “God is Great,” focuses on God’s greatness in creation and history. I think you can make this part of the lesson interesting by relating key facts about natural events (as suggested in the LifeWay Adult Commentary).

But keeping to the theme of also teaching correlating truths, relate Mark 9:33-34 with a focus on the argument about who is the greatest. Lead a discussion about greatness using this article and this article.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

God is good, Psalm 135:1-4

In step 2 of the lesson, “God is Great,” verses 1-4 of Psalm 135 indicate we should praise God because He is good. Sometimes when you are teaching a passage like this, you can take the opportunity to teach a correlating truth found in another part of Scripture.

For example, Psalm 105 in last Sunday’s lesson mentioned Abraham’s descendants. I took the opportunity to teach the truth of Rom 4:16 to help listeners apply the verses personally.

This week, you could teach the correlating truth that Jesus is good, too. Relate Mark 10:18 and ask if Jesus was teaching that he is not good? Explain there is difference between man’s standard of goodness and God’s standard (see this link), and that Jesus as God is good.

As an alternative, perhaps you can take an opportunity to teach about how the temple was structured. Its courts and are mentioned in Psalm 135:2. How was the temple organized to bring praise to God? As God’s temple today, how should Christians praise God?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

God is Great, Psalm 135

I’m enjoying teaching the Psalms. This week we teach Psalm 135 in a lesson titled “God is Great”. The link points to Mark Rathel’s commentary where we are reminded of what worship is. I liked his definition of Hallelujah since we often sing it without realizing what it means.

When I first started teaching adult Life Group classes (Sunday School), my department director, Jack Longgrear, would bring the class to attention by quoting Psalm 118:24, “This is a day that the Lord hath made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it.”

Do you have a signature verse that you quote to start your lesson? If not, may I suggest Proverbs 22:17-19? Consider calling your class to attention by quoting v19, “So that your trust may be in the LORD, I teach you today, even you.” If you are consistent, your class will learn the verse, too.

Quoting v19 fits with the lesson since we want to place our trust in our Great God, the LORD.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

PPT Slides for "God is Faithful," Psalms 105 & 106

I posted my PowerPoint slides for Sunday’s lesson, “God is Faithful,” based on Psalm 105-106.

Please let me know if you have some ideas for how to improve the presentation. May God bless you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Memory or Judgment?

To teach Step 3 of the lesson, “God is Faithful,” consider explaining the origin of the term, “rack your brain.

To the point of our unfaithfulness to remember God’s wonderful works, you might be tempted to use the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind.” Ask members what the phrase means, and then ask if it is true in their case (many will say yes). However, a loved one may not be in your sight, but still occupy your thoughts. In fact, members may be thinking about others during your lesson!

What “memory proverb” relates best to the point of Psalm 106:7? No. 16? (Unrelated, but No. 34 made me laugh!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

God's decisions govern faithfully

To start Step 2 of the lesson, “God is Faithful,” consider how fast the earth spins on its axis. If it rotated too fast, we’d all fly off into space. Too slow and we’d die.

A governor was invented to control the speed of a spinning motor. A governor’s decisions control a machine and therefore all it does. In this way we can visualize how God’s decisions govern the whole earth (Psa 105:7).

Don’t worry about being thrown out into space; the Lord holds us together with the earth (Col 1:17b).

Monday, September 14, 2009

God is Faithful, Psalm 105 and Psalm 106

The lesson this week is “God is Faithful,” based on Psalm 105:1-Psalm 106:48. To prepare to teach this week, I want to review a previous lesson where God’s faithfulness was the central message. I might be able to reuse some old ideas!

On March 9, 2008, I used PPT to teach a lesson “Learning About God’s Faithfulness,” which was the subject of a series of blog posts beginning March 3, 2008 (follow the newer posts link to see all the entries). I may use the “I forgot to pray” post again.

Second Baptist, Houston, teacher Tom Ramsey’s lesson plan begins with an example of faithfulness using the sun, the earth and light and darkness. I like it much better than the logger’s dog story, for sure.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

PPT slides for "God is Just," Psalm 9

Co-teacher Dave Richards has made available his PowerPoint slides for the lesson, "God is Just," based on Psalm 9. This comes at a good time for me since I am swamped this week on another writing task.

Let me also call your attention to the question-based lesson plan from First Baptist, Chester, IL.

In addition, Jon Klubnik of Second Baptist, Houston also posted his lesson plan, "Give me Justice!".

I'll post links to other lesson plans I find later in the week. In the meantime, if you run across other lesson plans, let me know so we can make sure everyone can benefit from them.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

PPT slides for teaching “God is Revealed”, Psalm 19

For the lesson, “God is Revealed,” Lifeway posted its Explore the Bible Discovery Guide. However, as a teacher, you may want to look at their teaching plan for teaching God is Revealed if you don’t already have it.

I’ve also posted a copy of my PPT slides for teaching “God is Revealed”, based on Psalm 19.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Walking Encyclopedia

In teaching step 3 of the lesson, “God is Revealed”, which is based on Psalm 19:7-11, think about situations in life where you need instructions in order to be successful. For example, when I need to do something around the house for which I am inexperienced, I will Google “How to …” and read about doing the task.

To be successful in life’s situations I need to read God’s Word and know it. I have a friend who says, “If you know anything better than you know the Bible, then you don’t know the Bible well enough!” Consider asking your class that question, but start the discussion first by asking, Do you know someone who is a walking encyclopedia?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

See His Glory

LifeWay offers a pretty good lesson plan for step 2 “God is Revealed”, based on Psalm 19:1-6. To add to it, I’ll probably insert a Hubble image to help communicate the unimaginable scale and beauty of the universe.

Ehow offers an article on how to find God in the universe.