Sunday, April 1, 2007


This morning, during the sermon, David read Revalations 3:19: "Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline." I should get that printed on a shirt or something, just for teaching Sunday school.

This morning, Ginny (kids' Wednesday night teacher) asked me to take over for her this week. She commented how lucky I was to have JC there with me, and how she got frustrated with maintaining order all alone. JC and I really don't use an overly harsh hand with them, I think--but we do require them to behave properly. Having him in there doesn't make them behave any better--usually if any discipline has to happen, I'm as likely to be enforcing it as he is. "I want them to like class and to want to be there," Ginny said, "but it's really hard--they get way out of hand." I wish I knew what to tell her. All I said was that the kids were in Bible class for a reason, and while we hope they have fun, it's equally important that they learn. I feel so bad for her--her son is just a little guy who probably doesn't require much more in the way of discipline than five minutes in the Time Out chair. She's a good bit older than JC and I, so I don't know that she really remembers what it was like to be ten, either--what kinds of things you might do to distract or harass a teacher just because you knew you could.

Class today was interesting. JoEtta had mentioned that she hadn't really gotten too far with them on the repentence aspect of the David and Bathsheba story, and it showed. "So, you guys talked with Mrs. D. about David and Bathsheba, right?"
"Yes," said Josh. "He was a baaaad boy!"
So, we went over that repentence bit again. And then we added Solomon, Absalom, and Nathan to the family tree--adding all 19 of David's sons and all their mothers seemed like a bit too much. We told them briefly about how Absalom had betrayed David, and how Solomon became the next king. We'll talk more about Solomon next week, we told them. We spent some time talking about the various ways in which God punished David--the death of the baby, Absalom's betrayal, forbiding him to build the temple. "So David did not just get off totally free," I said. "He was punished. But God also loved him a great deal, and David was very sorry for what he did."

We asked each of the kids to pick a number between one and 150. "The only number you can't pick is 119," JC said--so of course, all of them wanted that one! Once everyone had picked a number, we each read the Psalm that corresponded to the number we chose. Then, we asked the children to draw their psalms. They had to include every thing that was in the psalm, whether it was someone using another person as his footstool or rivers clapping their hands. Lachlan seemed to like the activity, and JC and I had fun drawing our psalms, but the boys...

David was there, which he hasn't been--we haven't seen him over a month. He told us that his mom tended to oversleep lately, since she's been working the night shift. David's a bit of a wild card as our students go. He's older than Joshua, and sometimes he can really influence the younger kids. David doesn't care much for drawing. He's one who will just scribble something and declare that he's done. Actually, that's sort of his MO for everything--just write a word or two, just toss on some glitter, just lose a round or two, and he's done. Then we tell him that he must sit quietly while the others finish, and he whines that he's bored. Today, at least, JC was able to "check" his picture. "You're not done," he would say. "Where are the piles of dead bodies?" The trouble, really, was that Joshua, who ordinarily likes to draw, decided that drawing was not a fun activity today--I suspect because David didn't want to draw. He started doing the same thing as David: "I'm done!" Unfortunately, he had a short psalm and his (kid's) Bible left out a lot of imagery (Psalm 120--lying tongues, etc) that makes for better art, but greater confusion to a young reader, I guess.

Actually, Josh was just kind of cranky today over all. When we asked them to put the books of the Bible that we had covered to date in order, he really pouted about it and insisted he didn't want to--but he did it anyway. That was before David got there. Maybe he was just in a bad mood, which happens to the best of us.

Josh is also the only kid who is any where near the goal to get some kind of prize with his "class points." These points are supposed to be an incentive for them to take notes in the sermon, memorize scripture, think about Bible stories between classes, etc. We thought they would earn the points a whole lot faster than they have-- I guess they haven't been much of an incentive at all. Anyway, we're trying to think of what exactly we could give him as his prize--it has to be both something that he would like and something that the other kids would see and would think, "WOW, I should get to work." I'm sort of stumped. But, I'm sure we will come up with something.

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