## Think YOU Are Having a BAD Day?!

Play Fortunately, Unfortunately. Make up a story (using one of the following story starters or one of your own). The first person will flip the coin. If the coin lands on heads, he will add a good/fortunate statement to the story. If it lands on tails, he will add an unfortunate statement to the story. Pass the coin to the next person who will flip it and add a fortunate/unfortunate statement to the story. Continue until you think it’s time to stop. Read another story starter and do it again.

Story starters:

• Owen and his friends found an old abandoned house. They jumped off their bikes and looked in the front window.
• Jenny and her family went to the zoo. She couldn’t wait to see the elephants. When she got to the elephant section, she couldn’t believe what she saw.
• Matt saw a button on the top floor in the science museum that said, “Don’t push.” Matt looked to see if anyone was looking and he pushed the button.

Does it ever seem that when something good happens, something bad happens next?

That’s how it was for Paul. After almost being killed, he boarded a boat to Rome. A terrible storm appeared and it was so bad that the people lost hope that they could survive. God spoke to Paul and told him that all would make it safely to shore. Paul encouraged the people to eat because they would all live. The ship broke apart, but Paul and everyone on board swam to shore. The people on the island were kind to them, but Paul was bit by a poisonous snake. When one bad thing after another happens, it is hard to keep our hope.

How did Paul keep his hope? (He believed God’s message that they would all arrive safely; he knew God was with him; etc.)

Remembering that God is with us and remembering His words from the Bible can give us hope.

## HELP!

Ask your kids to complete a job that is too hard for them. (Give them a hard puzzle to complete. Ask them to stack ten blocks without them falling down. Give them a hard math problem to complete. Activity will depend on the age and skill of each child.)

As they are doing it (and continually failing), ask:

What are you feeling? (Discouraged, mad, unhappy, want to quit, etc.)

We can easily feel discouraged and lose hope when things are hard. We can’t see how we can ever do it.

Would you like me to help you? (Work together on the puzzle. Take turns stacking the blocks. Show them how to do long division.)

We were able to do a hard job because we worked together. Just as I helped you, God wants to help us with any problems. We can feel hopeful knowing that God wants to and will help us.

## Sprouting Fruit?!

Items Needed:
Copy or construction paper
Markers
Scissors

Eat some yummy fruit and talk about how we can ‘grow’ fruit!

Students are learning a Bible that tells us that we can grow in good characteristics like patience/longsuffering. (Galatians 5:22, 23a) When hard times come, we need to hang in there. We don’t want to lose hope and give up. We need patience. Just as a fruit tree produces good fruit, Christians can produce good characteristics like patience, love, joy, peace, etc.

Draw pictures of fruit and write a fruit of the Spirit (from Galatians 5:22, 23a) on each one. Put these in a basket (we’ll learn all of them by the end of this quarter) and review them after dinner. Talk about what each one means and how to get more of them.

What is patience? (Being willing to wait without getting angry or upset.)

When do YOU need patience? (Waiting on others, doing hard problems in math, waiting for God’s answer to my prayer, dealing with a difficult person, etc.)

How do you get more patience? (Stay close to Jesus; listen to the Holy Spirit; go through trials/hard times; practice waiting; trust that God will help us; think of others; etc.)