Easter Celebration

This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Our boys and girls at First Baptist Church of Fort Oglethorpe, ages three years and older, will hear that Jesus was arrested and died on a cross, but He is alive! Our Bible verse is: “God loved us and sent His Son.” (1 John 4:10)

We will not focus on the death aspect of this important event. Preschoolers are at different places in their understanding of, and experience with, death. We leave it to you to go into further depth if your child is developmentally ready. We will assure the children that Jesus is alive! He loves them very much.

There are four church activities Easter morning. Our sunrise service will be at 7:00 a.m., in the prayer garden, weather permitting. That is the area between the worship center and the educational building. It is on the LaFayette Road side of the building. At 8:00 a.m., there will be breakfast available. Our deacons usually serve the meal. There is no cost. Since we will have the breakfast, there will be no refreshments in the gym before Sunday School. Sunday School begins at 9:30 a.m. The special Easter worship service will begin at 10:55 a.m. The sermon topic is “Rescued by the Resurrection.” (Romans 7 – 8) There will be special Easter music.

We look forward to seeing the children during the Bible study hour of Sunday School. The teachers are planning an exciting time!

April 17, 2014 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

Bus Safety

We were saddened by the news of an accident at a local elementary school where a kindergarten child was killed by a bus. Please remember the family of the child, the bus driver, and the students and staff who loved the child in your prayers.

It is a good time to remind the children of special care that is needed around all buses including school and church buses.

If they wait for a bus at a bus stop or other place, they should be careful to stay out of the roadway. The bus will stop and give them plenty of time to leave the side of the road and enter safely. Other drivers may not be paying as much attention as they should, and being in the roadway could be very dangerous. While waiting with other children, they should avoid running and playing that could lead to someone getting into the path of a car, truck, or bus.

Whether getting onto or off of the bus, there should be no belts, straps, or parts of backpacks that are dangling down. Anything that could get caught in the door could cause an accident.

While on the bus, they must do what the driver says. The driver has a reason for any rules, and they should be obeyed.

When the bus is nearing its stop where the child will get off, they should put away any books, electronic games, or other items they may have out. Getting off and into the building safety should take all of their attention without exception. Trying to read or play games after leaving the bus could result in a child’s inadvertently stepping into the path of the bus or another vehicle. They should go to where the adults have told them to go. That would be the safest place.

The bus driver cannot see people that are close to the bus. There is a twelve-foot radius around the front of the bus where vision may be obscured. A good rule for the children to follow is: if you cannot see the driver’s eyes, they cannot see you. Even if they see the driver’s eyes, they should make sure the driver sees them before crossing the path of the stopped bus. Many buses now have arms that swing from the bumper forward to force children to be out far enough for the driver to watch them cross safely.

Children really do not understand what we mean when we say, “Be careful.” We need to be specific with our directions: Watch for the driver’s eyes. Make sure you have put everything away before getting off. Check for any belts or straps that are hanging down. Go to where the teacher has told you.

Schools do training with children who routinely ride buses. It helps if we reinforce what they say. Even if your child does not usually ride a bus, they will encounter them in the driveway or on field trips. All children should learn the basics of bus safety.

We love all of our preschoolers, and want them to stay safe. God gave them eyes, ears, and brains to use to be as safe as possible.

April 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

A Special Lady

For many years, Mrs. Frankie Trotter served First Baptist Church of Fort Oglethorpe as our church secretary. She completed her many duties with tireless devotion to the church and its people. Her Christ-like character helped her deal with distraught members, harried staff members, and needy community people with love and dignity. The answer for most any question could usually be found in “Ask Mrs. Frankie.” She never said a bad word about anyone, and was always cheerful on the phone or in person.

This Sunday the church will honor Frankie Trotter with a special luncheon after morning worship. She has decided to hang up her keys (church and keyboard) and take time for other things in her life. She launched out on the recent mission trip to Virginia. Please join us in letting her know how much she is loved and appreciated.

The story does not end there. Mrs. Frankie has been, and will remain, a teacher in our Preschool Division of Sunday School. She arrives early each Sunday, cleans the materials the youngest preschoolers will use, and stands ready to take the first baby to come to the door. Her love for the babies and her love for her Lord are obvious. We are blessed to have her among us each week.

April 11, 2014 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Sins of the Fathers

The professor of a religion course I took in college loved to say: “The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons to the third and fourth generations.” That was usually after someone gave an incorrect answer or blew an assignment. No one wanted to hear that referenced to themselves. It was mildly amusing if it were someone else.

He was paraphrasing Numbers 14:18b: “…but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (ESV)

So, will God punish our preschoolers for the sins of their fathers and their grandfathers? Our preschoolers are learning more during their first five years of life than at any other time. One of the most important ways they learn is through observation. Whatever they see parents and grandparents doing, they want to emulate. That is wonderful when our actions please God. When our actions do not please God, the little ones will inherit our sins through copying what we do.

If Daddy never goes to church on Sunday, at some point Junior will question why he must go. If Mommy tells “little white lies” to family and friends, Sissy will see that as something she should do when needed. Our actions around preschoolers make an impression on them – good or bad. So, our sins are visited on them and future generations.

When you are tempted to do something you know is not going to be pleasing to God, remember that the sins of the fathers are visited on the children to the third and fourth generations. Little eyes and ears are paying attention.

April 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

Creation and Preschoolers

With the promise of warmer weather, the opportunities to explore God’s creation with preschoolers are increasing. Creation is one of the concept areas we address in Preschool Sunday School. Our learning about creation is based on Lifeway’s “Levels of Biblical Learning.” (http://www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/Levels-of-Biblical-Learning)

Babies, 1s, and 2s learn that God made people. Most often they begin to realize God made them. They learn that God made the food they eat, and the food for animals. By our sharing experiences with them, they learn God wants them to enjoy the things He made.

3s and Pre-K extend the learning and experiences. They learn God made people different from the other things He made. They are growing, and they hear that God made people, animals, and plants to grow. Are you enjoying the world around you? The children will learn that God made the world for them to enjoy.

Kindergarten children learn even more about creation. They learn that God made people able to make choices. In developmentally appropriate classrooms, they get to experience making choices from carefully controlled options. With ample sunshine and spring showers, they learn that God provides for His creation. God is pleased when we thank Him for His creation.

Not listed among the Lifeway information is the fact that God expects us to help take care of His creation. Preschoolers can help take care of their pets. They can help clean the yard. They can help plant flowers or vegetables and learn to give them water. As our current Sunday School lessons stress, they can work together in taking care of God’s creation.

God intended for a portion of our time to be outside enjoying His creation. Try to schedule some time for your family to enjoy creation. Thank God for His creation.

March 27, 2014 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

Art and Preschoolers

In Teaching Young Children (Volume 7, Number 3), there is an article titled: “How Process Art Experiences Support Preschoolers” by Laurel Bongiorno. It is available at http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/article/process-art-experiences. In it, the author compares characteristics of process-oriented art verses product-oriented art. Though it was written primarily for preschool classroom teachers, remember you are your child’s first and most important teacher. It is up to you to decide how you would like for your child to approach art experiences. As you check out potential child care or educational settings for your preschooler this fall, ask them about their approach to art for the children.

When your child leaves Sunday School each week, they may or may not have a work of art to give you. If they do, ask them to tell you about it. If not, they may have worked with dough or something else. The most important thing is what goes home in their head and their heart, and not what goes home in their hands.

Our children love to paint. Sometimes it is at an easel, sometimes it is finger painting, and sometimes it is painting with objects. When the children are involved with painting at the easel or finger painting, we try to see that they cover up with a smock or old shirt to keep their clothes from getting paint on them. The paints are supposed to be water soluble and not stain fabrics, but sometimes that seems to be theory and not reality. If after church you are going somewhere special where your child needs to look their very best, you might consider bringing those clothes for a quick change before leaving church.

Remember to take time to enjoy the beautiful colors God is providing for us this spring. His creativity is everywhere, and we are blessed to be able to enjoy it. Take time to smell the flowers with your preschoolers, and thank God for them.

March 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

Teaching Preschoolers to Give

Pastor Jason’s sermon last Sunday included some statistics about giving patterns in our church, and urged participation in Financial Peace University. This Sunday, our children will hear about a woman who gave all she had to the church. That is the next lesson in sequence from Life Way. Developing the spiritual discipline of giving to the church cheerfully is very important for all of us.

It is during the early childhood years of development that most of us learn about cheerfully giving to God. During the younger preschooler months we teach them about sharing our things. (Our younger preschoolers should not handle coins that are small enough to fit into the top of a typical prescription bottle.) They will need to understand sharing in order to become joyful givers who share with God.

Our older preschoolers have the opportunity to give an offering during Sunday School. This may be done individually so that children who have not been given an opportunity to have a contribution will not feel excluded. Often it is placed in an envelope with the child’s name on the outside.

How can parents get children to that point and beyond in developing the Christian discipline of giving to the church? There are several helps on the Internet.

Jeff Anderson shared how he started his preschoolers with a simple way of setting aside that which was to be given to God in an article titled: “Teaching Children to Give.

Dan Pezet shared a simple way he used to help his five-year old learn about giving in an article titled: “Teaching Children to Tithe.” It is located in Leading Ideas at http://www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas/leaddocs/2012/120201_article2.html

J.C. Thompson offers some ways parents can teach their children to give at church in an article titled: “How to Teach a Child to Give.” You will find it on the Church Leaders web site at http://www.churchleaders.com/children/childrens-ministry-blogs/163201-how-to-teach-a-child-to-give.html.

However you teach your children, it is important for them to understand we give out of our love for God and all He has done for us. As they grow older, they will learn the more complex reasons we give tithes and offerings. They will follow in our footsteps as we model giving with a joyful heart.

March 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

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