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Copyright 2002
The Teaching Home
Box 20219
Portland OR 97294
Fax: 503-253-7345
Phone: 503-253-9633
  tth@teachinghome.com  

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For 27 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Cindy Short and Sue Welch, Co-Editors
_________________________________________________________________________________



Behold
the Great Creator Makes

by Thom­as Pes­tel

Behold the great Creator makes
Himself a house of clay,

A robe of virgin flesh He takes
Which He will wear for ay.


Hark, hark, the wise eternal Word,
Like a weak infant cries!

In form of servant is the Lord,
And God in cradles lies.


This wonder struck the world amazed,
It shook the starry frame;

Squadrons of spirits stood and gazed,
Then down in troops they came.


Glad shepherds ran to view this sight;
A choir of angels sings,

And eastern sages with delight
Adore this King of kings.


Join then, all hearts that are not stone,
And all our voices prove,

To celebrate this holy One
The God of peace and love.


Cyber Hymnal


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The Teaching Home
Back Issues





Always-Relevant
Teaching Home Back Issues

Fifty-one back issues are offered online or by mail order.

The information, inspiration, and encouragement packed into each back issue never goes out of date. They are always relevant, applicable to your needs today.

Order securely online.

In each issue an average of 58 home schoolers contribute practical how-to articles, encouraging letters, and ready-to-use teaching tips.

"The Teaching Home has been a part of my continuing education since I started home schooling, and I have kept every issue.

"I often go back to old issues to find creative, helpful hints or inspiration." Meredith C., Florida



Sunnyside Up



The Third Form of Water

To help our young children begin to understand weather patterns, we discussed the three states of water.

We established that when water get very cold it turns into ice.

Then I asked, "What do you get if you heat it up?"

"Hot water," Jemima replied eagerly.

"Yes, and what does that make?" I prodded.

She added earnestly, "A cup of coffee."

Submitted by Sue R., Australia.

Send your humorous anecdote to publisher@teachinghome.com.



God Loves You.

Because we have been separated from God by sin, Jesus Christ died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Him as our Savior and Lord, He will forgive our sin and give us eternal life.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)



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Copyright 2007 The Teaching Home

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Christmas Bible Study:
Devotionals and Activities


 •  Be Devoted to the Lord
 •  Read the Story
 •  Study the Story
 •  Dramatize the Story
 •  Apply the Story of God's Love
 •  Sing about the Story


Greetings,

In this issue we present suggestions for focusing on the wonder of God's love for us and His provision for our salvation through the birth, death, and resurrection of His Son.

Since "Jesus is the reason for the season," we should not become so busy that we do not have time for Him.


Cordially,
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a home-school, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.



Be Devoted to the Lord

We show our devotion to the Lord by spending time with Him, listening to His Word and talking to Him in prayer.

Family Bible time, or devotions, should be a Christian family's first priority each day—not as a long or complicated duty, but as the privilege it is.


 •  Establish the Habit
Firmly establishing a habit of meeting together will greatly facilitate this time together with the Lord.  Set aside a time each day, perhaps while everyone is still at the breakfast or dinner table or before going to bed at night.


 •  Read God's Word
Let God talk to you by reading His Word.  You can read through the Bible each year in just 15-20 minutes a day (See schedules).


 •  Study God's Word
Take a few minutes to discuss what you've read.  Recall facts, test comprehension with questions, expand understanding by having your children paraphrasing what was read.


 •  Apply God's Word
Determine to do something about what you have read, such as share the truth with someone or change something in your life.


 •  Memorize God's Word
Memorizing and reviewing Bible verses together implants God's Word in your hearts for life!


 •  Pray
When you talk to the the Lord, thank the Lord for what He has done for you (come to earth to die for our sins); ask for forgiveness; and bring petitions for the needs of ourselves and others.


 •  Sing
Sing praises to the Lord through hymns and spiritual songs.


Suggestions for following this model at Christmas time are included in the rest of this newsletter.




Read the Story

One of the most meaningful family traditions you can pass on to your children is reading the story of Christ's birth together.


Read and Discuss the Bible Story

 •  Read and discuss Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 1:5-2:38.

 •  And/or listen to the Bible reading on an audio tape or CD (the KJV audio free online) or watch a video with word-for-word Scripture (Matthew: Visual Bible).

 •  Add explanations for your younger children as you read.


Compare Accounts

 •  Notice the different details given in the Matthew and Luke accounts.

 •  Read the accounts of Jesus' birth from "A Harmony of the Story of Jesus" which brings together all the relevant verses from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John rearranged by subject and approximate chronological order or another Harmony of the Gospels.

 •  Read about the incarnation of Jesus in John 1:1-18.  How does this account differ in viewpoint, etc.?




Study the Story

Further study brings many rich truths to bear on the simple story of Christ's birth.

 •  Recall facts, test comprehension with questions, expand understanding by having your children paraphrase what was read.

 •  Explain and discuss the names given to the promised Messiah in Isaiah 9:6 and the character quality each reveals.

 •  Find and study the prophecies in the Old Testament predicting the coming of the Messiah and their fulfillment in the New Testament such as His virgin birth, Bethlehem to be the place of His birth, and His suffering.Many are listed online here and here.


Doctrine for Children

Don't be afraid of the word "doctrine"; it simply means "teaching." Children can understand important foundational truths from Scripture, such as:

 •  The Virgin Birth: Jesus had no human father, only a mother. (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:34-35; Isaiah 7:14)

 •  The Incarnation: Jesus is both fully God and fully man. (John 1:1-3, 14; 14:6-11; Colossians 1:12-18, 2:6-9, Isaiah 43:11, 45:21-22)


Why Jesus Came

Look up some of the following Scriptures, and discuss the reasons that Jesus came.


1. To Redeem Man

 •  To seek and save the lost as a shepherd. (Luke 19:10; Matthew 18:11; John 10:1-30; Isaiah 53.6; I Peter 5:2-4; 2:25; Matthew 9:36; Hebrews 13:20)

 •  To give His life as a ransom. (Matthew 20:28; Romans 6)

 •  To save sinners by bearing our sins and paying our penalty. (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 53:5; I Timothy 1:15; I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 9:28)

 •  To put away sin. (Hebrews 9:26; I John 3:5; John 1:29; Leviticus 16:20-22; Isaiah 53:6; II Corinthians 5:21)

 •  To give eternal life to those dead in sin. (Ephesians 2:1-6)

 •  To give re-birth and adoption as God's children to all who receive Him in faith. (Galatians 4:1-7; John 1:12)

 •  To conquer death through His death and resurrection. (I Corinthians 15:20-22; Revelations 21:4; II Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:14-15)

 •  To remove enmity and establish fellowship and friendship with man. (I John 1; Romans 8:7; John 15;3-15)


2. To Reveal the Character of God

 •  To reveal the Father and to demonstrate the great love of God for all men. (Romans 5:8; II Timothy 2:4; Matthew 11:27; John 14:9)

 •  To provide a pattern of holy living. (I Peter 2:21; Matthew 11:29)

 •  To demonstrate patience, humility, and obedience. (Philippians 2:5-8; I Peter 2:21-23; Hebrews 5:8; John 6:38)


3. To Fulfill Prophecy and the Law

 •  To fulfill prophecy. (Matthew 5:17; Romans 15:8)

 •  To fulfill and abolish the law. (Ephesians 2:13-15; Matthew 5:17-18)

 •  To be a faithful high priest and the mediator between God and man. (I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17)

 •  To remove the veil and open the Holy Place to us. (Hebrews 6:19-20; 9; 10:19-22)




Dramatize the Story

Your younger children may comprehend and remember the story of Christ's birth better through any of the following activities.


Make a Nativity Set

 •  Make a playdough, dough art, or clay nativity set. You could shape the figures like the "Little People" toys.

 •  See instructions for a nativity scene on pages 38-39 of Morton Salt's "Dough It Yourself" Handbook (complete and free online).

 •  Stuffable Nativity sets are great for very young children to play with.


Make and Use Puppets

Tell the story of Jesus' birth using felt, puppets, or unbreakable nativity figures.

 •  Sock puppet instructions here and here.

 •  Finger puppet patterns and instructions.

 •  Easy and inexpensive puppet stage ideas.

 •  Easy-to-Make Bible Story Puppets. Patterns and directions for making 40 inexpensive and durable felt hand puppets.


Act Out the Story

Help your children act out the story.

 •  They can play multiple parts and use stuffed animals as props.

 •  Costumes can be as simple as a scarf or bathrobe.




Apply the Story of God's Love

The story of the life of Christ reveals a loving God who is seeking a personal relationship with you. Through faith in Jesus Christ, His substitutionary death for you, and His resurrection, you can have forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and eternal life.


God's Love

Explain and discuss the following verses.


"Herein is love, not that we loved God,
    but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
    (1 John 4:10)

"For God so loved the world,
    that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish,
    but have eternal life."
    (John 3:16)

"The Lord is patient toward you,
    not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance."
    (II Peter 3:9)

God's Gift

Compare receiving a gift to how a person receives God's forgiveness and eternal life by accepting it as an undeserved gift by faith.


"But as many as received Him,
    to them He gave the right to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name."
    (John 1:12)

"For the wages of sin is death,
    but the free gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    (Romans 6:23)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith;
    and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as a result of works,
    that no one should boast."
    (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Our Response

Ask each of your children who understands if he has accepted this gift.

 •  Ask the Lord to help you lead your child to Him in saving faith if he has not been saved.

 •  Memorize some of the Scripture passages above or others that speak of God's love to us.

 •  Pray and thank the Lord for His love and gift of salvation.




Sing about the Story

Music adds so much to our celebrations. It is also a way to teach and remind our family of spiritual truths.


"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
    with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
    singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
    (Colossians 3:16)

 •  Sing Together
Gather your family together to sing Christmas carols during your family devotional time or as an activity at some other time.

See words and music for 385 Christmas hymns and songs at Cyber Hymnal (choose "Christmas" in the list of topics). Also look for the theme of Christ's coming in other hymns not usually considered Christmas carols (e.g., "One Day," "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," "That Beautiful Name," and "Ivory Palaces."

 •  Learn the Story Behind the Music
Learn the history of our Christmas music (see the link above for Christmas hymns).

 •  Read Song Lyrics as Poems
Some of these songs are quite profound in their doctrinal teachings and can be read as poems. In fact, we can sometimes appreciate the words better by concentrating on them without the music before we sing them.

 •  Listen to Handel's "Messiah"
Handel's Oratorio "Messiah" speaks of Christ's life, death, and resurrection:Words and the Scriptures to which they refer and Libretto of Handel's "Messiah."; Open Score; Free MP3 Downloads; "For unto Us a Child Is Born".




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