Object Lessons from Maurice Sweetsur

Friday, February 06, 2009

Object Lesson Contents.

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Who made God? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Why is my brother/sister nasty to me? When did God create the dinosaurs? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Where is heaven?
These are just a few of the children’s questions that are answered in this Blog.
Object Lessons - Contents.

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1. Creation. http://www.ms-creation.blogspot.com/
2. Christmas. http://www.ms-christmas.blogspot.com/
3. Easter. http://www.ms-easter.blogspot.com/
4. The Bible. http://www.ms-bible.blogspot.com/
5. Prayer. http://www.ms-prayer.blogspot.com/
6. Hearing from God. http://www.ms-hearing.blogspot.com/
7. The Ten Commandments. http://www.ms-tencommandments.blogspot.com/
8. John 3.16. http://www.ms-john316.blogspot.com/
9. Teaching Memory verses. http://www.ms-memoryverses.blogspot.com/
10. Gospel Illusions. http://www.ms-gospelillusions.blogspot.com/
11. Object Lessons (using natural laws). http://www.ms-objectlessons.blogspot.com/
12. Lessons involving balloons. http://www.ms-balloons.blogspot.com/
13. Lessons involving fire. http://www.ms-firelessons.blogspot.com/

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Maurice Sweetsur

Title.1. Growing to be like Christ (Fruit in bottle). 2. Faith (A water experiment). 3. Why does God allow suffering (Invisible writing). 4. Filled with the Holy Spirit (Baking soda).5. Staying in the centre of God's will (Cork floating on water).6. Defeating Giants (Optical illusion with two cards).7. God's protection (Coin is blown into dish).8. Receiving Jesus (Gifts must be received).9. Which way? (Octagon illusion).10. Walking on water (Floating pin).11. We are special (Rope illusion).12. Straight and crooked roads (Tearing strips of paper).13. God's guidance (A balloon guidance system).14. Make the right choice (Force the right card to be chosen).15. Little sins grow bigger (Bursting balloon).16. Break in communication with God (Restore a cut rope).17. Burning bush or Fiery furnace (Flaming cloth is not consumed).18. What happened at the cross (A chemical experiment).19. The meaning of the cross (Experiment with a candle, glass and water).20. Creation (Balloon modelling).21. The Trinity (Food colorings).22. Miracles (Large disc goes through small hole).23. Standing up under pressure (Plastic tops in water).24. Defeating evil with good (Paper is stronger than wood).25. The Light of the world (Trick candles).26. God is all knowing (Five different methods).27. Needle through a balloon (Miracles/Testimony).28. God's provision (Dandelions).29. Memory feat (Adam's amazing memory).30. The Trinity (Illusion with three ropes).31. Discovering your gifts (Hidden colours).32. Trials and troubles (Balloon, water and fire).33. Audio and visual illusions (Test your senses).34. Sin is serious (Two methods).35. Sin spreads (Two methods).36. The fair distribution of food (Involving the children).37. God does things instantly (Two instant calculations).
38.Obedience brings success (Pencil through a hankie).
39. Wrestling match (Defeating Giants).
40. Samson pad (Defeating Giants).
41.The earth, sun and moon (Acting out their motions).
42.Gravity (Ball on string).
43 Can nothing turn into something? (Empty jar).
44.Dependence on oxygen (Holding your breath).
45.Made after its own kind (An Acorn example).
46.Making right choices.
47.Choosing the right friends.
48 The resurrection of Christ (Coin through rubber sheet).
49. R U E ?
50.Trust. a. A mousetrap. b. Falling backwards.
51.Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Trying out God's promises for yourself).
52. Ask and you shall receive (Asking God for our needs).
53. Using your Fingers as a prayer reminder.
54.The Christmas tree.
55.The new birth.
56. God's protection (Blow paper into bottle).
57. Our sins are gone forever (Flashpaper).
58. Saying 'NO' to drugs.
59. The Mobius strip.
60. We are valuable to God.
61. Overcoming gravity.
62. Jumping on balloons.
63. Three miraculous signs for Moses.
64. Jesus cleanses us from sin.
65. The Flaming Bible.
66. Candle in a jar.
67. The writing on the wall.
68. Using the Moibus loop to teach Memory verses.
69. Separation from God.
70. Long distance miracles (Cutting a banana in half).
71. Drawing a picture whilst blindfold.
72. Feeding the 5,000.
73. Changing water into blood.
74. Predicting a number.
75. The importance of recycling.
76. Christmas Symbols - The Candy cane.
77. Making objects appear and disappear with a thumb tip.

Object Lessons - By Category.

Category. Object Lesson Nos.

Bible. 13, 65, 66, 71.
Character 1, 3.
Christian Living 6, 13, 23, 24, 25, 31, 36, 39, 40, 58, 75
Christmas 54, 76.
Creation 20, 28, 29, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 77.
Easter 18, 19, 25, 48.
Faith / Miracles 2, 10, 17, 22, 27, 48, 61, 62, 63, 68, 70, 72, 73, 77.
God's love 8, 11, 69.
God's omniscience 26, 74.
God's omnipotence 37.
God's promises 51.
God's protection 7, 32, 56.
God's provision 6, 28, 39, 40, 42, 44.
Heaven 49.
Holy Spirit 4, 13.
New birth 55, 77.
Obedience 5, 13, 38.
Our senses 33.
Prayer 16, 52, 53
Right choices 9, 12, 14, 46, 47, 69.
Self Esteem 60.
Sin / Forgiveness 15, 16, 18, 19, 34, 35, 57, 59, 64, 69.
Suffering 3, 23, 32.
The Trinity 21, 30.
Trust 50.
Witnessing 9, 25, 27, 66.

Object Lessons - By type.

These lessons can be divided into five types :-

Passive - Take along an object and talk about it.
Active. - Do something with your object.
Active, involving the use of Chemicals.
Active, utilising natural physical laws.
Illusions. Object lessons involving special effects.

Passive. 1, 26, 28, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 49, 52, 54, 60, 76.

Active. 8, 20, 34, 39, 41, 44, 46, 47, 53, 55, 69, 71.

Active - Chemical. 3, 4, 18, 21, 64.

Active - Physical. 2, 3, 5, 7, 10,12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 23, 24, 27, 31, 32, 34, 40, 42, 56, 59, 61, 62, 66, 67.

Illusions. 6, 9, 11, 14, 16, 22, 25, 29, 30, 33, 38, 48, 57, 58, 59, 63, 65, 68, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 77.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Object Lessons 1 - 20.

Faith - A water experiment (See Object Lesson 2).

Balloon guidance. See Object Lesson 13.

Three ropes. See Object Lesson 11.

Two curved cards. See Object Lesson 6.

Object Lessons 1 - 20.

Object Lesson (O.L.) 1 - Growing to be like Christ (Fruit in bottle).

This takes a long time to prepare, but is well worth the effort.
While a fruit ( a lemon or orange is ideal ) is still very small and attached to its tree, place a narrow-necked bottle over it and tie to branch. Leave in place until the fruit has fully grown inside the bottle. Remove bottle containing the fruit and show to your class.
Ask "How did I get this fruit inside the bottle?" A few children may work it out, but most won't. Explain how you did it, stating that the tiny fruit had all the potential to grow into a large fruit, but that it needed food to grow. This food (sap) was all provided by the tree. Use this as an analogy for the newly born-again (or baby) Christian who has all that is needed to become the person God wants them to be, but needs to grow. Our food is God's Word (plus prayer and fellowship etc.).
Ask "What would have happened to the baby fruit if I had cut the twig attaching it to the branch while it was still small?" Answer. It would not have grown. In fact it would have withered away and died. Again use the analogy of the baby Christian who does not feed on God's Word.

O.L. 2 - Faith (A water experiment).
Explain that faith is believing in something that you cannot see. State that although you cannot see God (or Jesus) because He is a Spirit, you can still know that He is real. Explain that something else you cannot see, but is real is the air. State that you are now going to prove that the air in the room is real.
Pour water into a glass until it is almost full. Place a piece of cardboard, cut to slightly larger than the top of the glass, shiny side down, over the top. (An old breakfast cereal box is an ideal source of suitable cardboard). Hold cardboard in place, and invert glass. Take away your hand from the cardboard. Explain that gravity is still at work trying to make the water fall on the floor, but that the air - which we cannot see - is stronger than gravity and is keeping the cardboard in place.
Invite a few of the children to put their faith in the air - which they cannot see- and walk under the glass. As they are doing so, reinforce the truth that they are trusting in something that they cannot see.
If you wish, you could conclude this illustration as follows.
State that you are now looking for someone with GREAT faith. Choose a volunteer. State that you are now going to hold the glass of water over their head as before and tip it upside down, but this time you are not going to use any cardboard! Say you wouldn't want them to get too wet if things went wrong, so you will pour some of the water out of the glass. Pour out water until about 2 or 3 cm. remains. State that you still don't like the idea of wetting their hair - if things did go wrong - so you will hold a cup between the glass and their hair. Pour the water out of the glass and into the cup. Act surprised that the water came out of the glass. State that you have worked out the problem. You weren't really using faith, because real faith in Jesus is trusting in Him alone. Therefore, real faith in the air is trusting in the air alone. Therefore you are now going to invert the cup (now containing the water ) over the volunteer's head, but with nothing in between. Do this. The water will not come out of the cup, because you had previously placed a SPONGE in the bottom!

O.L. 3. Why does God allow suffering?
Take a large piece of white paper, and write across it in LEMON JUICE the word "Jesus" - i.e. in "invisible ink."
State that many people ask questions like "Why does a good God allow suffering?" Give a few examples of suffering. Say that there is no simple answer to this, but that you are going to show the class one reason why God may allow problems and hardships to come into our lives. God is interested in what we do, but He is more interested in what we are i.e. our character. God can use our problems to develop our character.
Use your own words for your particular class, but you could go along the lines suggested below.
"God has a wonderful plan to change you into someone far better. If none of us ever had any troubles, not many of us would give God a second thought, and we would never change. God sometimes allows suffering in our lives and uses it - as He helps us to overcome our problems - to change us. The Bible says "Suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character" Romans 5.3,4. ( C.E.V. ).
HOLD UP THE "BLANK" PAPER AT THIS POINT. I am going to have an imaginary conversation with this paper. "Nice to see you paper, but I am now going to put you over a flame"
Paper - " I don't like the sound of that. I might get too hot. I might even get burnt".
"I do like you paper, but I have a wonderful plan to change you into something better, and I have to place you over the flame to make this happen."
"How are you feeling now paper?"
Paper - "Stop it. I am getting far too hot."
"I haven't finished my plan for you yet. I must complete the job. I know this is tough for you, but I won't let you burn."
"This is what God's plan is for you. To build your character, and make you to be like Jesus. Often He uses our problems and difficulties to bring this about.
O.L. 4. Filled with the Holy Spirit.Place some Baking soda in a glass - the narrower the better. Add a littlefood colouring for a more visual effect. Pour in Vinegar, to represent theHoly Spirit. Stir. The solution should froth over the top of the glass. i.e.a picture of us being filled to overflowing with the Spirit.
O.L. 5. Staying in the centre of God's will.
This object lesson is better suited to smaller groups.Fill a glass three quarters full with water. Place a cork - representing theBeliever without the Spirit - in the water. The cork will naturally keepmoving to the side of the glass, i.e. away from the centre (of God's will).Now, fill the glass to overflowing with water, to represent the fullness ofthe Spirit. The cork will now float in the centre of the glass.
O.L. 6. Defeating Giants.
I usually use this Object lesson after telling the story of David and Goliath.
Summarise the story by saying " David was able to overcome the Giant because he realised that God was on his side. If you are trusting in Jesus, then God is also on your side and will help you defeat any Giants in your life." A Giant is any problem you have which seems too big for you.
Give a list of possible "Giants." e.g. Other People - Bullies etc. Bad habits - Lying, stealing, swearing, fighting etc. Fears - The dark, nightmares, dying, flying, spiders, snakes, dogs etc.
Produce two prepared "curved shapes" (See diagram above). These can be made of cardboard or paper and cut to any suitable size. It is more effective to use different colours. You will note that the cards are actually the same size, but if one is held above the other. it will appear to be smaller. On the first card, write the word "Giant" On the second card, write the word “Me" on one side and "Me + God" on the other side.
Hold card 2, showing "Me" above card 1, showing "Giant." State. " If you compare yourself with your Giant, the Giant will always appear to be bigger, and you will think that you won't be able to defeat it." Pull the cards apart, and turn card 2 over to show " Me + God" State "Remember that if you are trusting in Jesus, it is not just you against the Giant, but you plus God against it." Bring the cards back together again, but this time hold card 2 below card 1. State that " No matter how big your Giant is, when you compare it to God, you will always find that God is far bigger, and that He is able to help you defeat it - just like David defeated Goliath.
I usually conclude by repeating the "changing cards" process to emphasize the point.

O.L. 7. God's protection.
This is an illustration that can be used alongside any story of God's protection, and you can get a number of children to participate. All you need is a fairly small coin and a dish.
Explain that the coin stands for you, and the dish stands for God's protection. State that God's protection is only a prayer (or a breath ) away. You are now going to demonstrate how the coin can be transported into the dish using only your breath.
Place the coin on the edge of a table, and the dish about 15 cm. away. Blow a short sharp breath just over the top of the coin. (Have a few practices beforehand). Your breath should lift up the coin, and deposit it in the dish. As time permits, allow a few of the children to attempt the feat. The secret is to ensure that you blow horizontally, just over the top of the coin.
O.L. 8. Receiving Jesus.
This is an illustration that I use following teaching on John 3.16. All you need is a small gift. I usually make a balloon animal (as the gift) while I am talking about it.
State that John 3.16 talks about a giver (God), a gift (Jesus) and a receiver (Us). No matter how wonderful any gift is, it will not do you any good unless you receive it. I have a gift here (produce or begin to make your gift), but unless you receive it, it is no good to you at all.
Some of you may say "I don't want your gift" Well, if you don't want it, you won't get it, because I will not force you to take it.
Some of you may say "I don't believe it. It's too good to be true. Teacher must be tricking us." Well, if you don't believe it, you can't receive it.
Some of you may say " I will think about it" There is nothing wrong in thinking about the gift, but all the time you are thinking about it, it is not yours and it is not doing you any good.
Some of you may say. " I will have to earn the gift. I will have to sit up straight, be really quiet and still, and then perhaps "teacher" will notice me and give me the gift because I deserve it." Well, I like you behaving that way, but that's not the way to get the gift because it can never be earned.
But one of you may simply say to himself / herself " Yes, I want that gift," and get up, walk out to the front, take hold of the gift, and it will be theirs.
It is exactly the same with God's gift of Jesus Christ to the world - and the Eternal Life He brings with him.
Some people say to God "I don't want your gift of Jesus. I want to live my own life, go my own way, do my own thing." Much as God still loves them (they are still part of the world) He won't force His gift of Jesus on anyone. We must choose to receive Him.
Some people say. "I don't believe in the gift. I don't believe in Jesus. I don't even believe in God." Well, if you don't believe, you can't receive.
Some people say. "I will think about the gift. Perhaps when I am older I might receive God's gift." There is nothing wrong with thinking about the gift, but the problem is many people never make up their minds, and so always miss out on what God wants to give them.
Some people ( in fact most people ) think they have to earn God's gift. They say. " I will have to be very good. I will not have to do anything bad. I will have to go to Church or Sunday school every week. I will have to say my prayers and read my Bible every day. Then, perhaps, God will be really pleased with me and give me His gift of Jesus." These are good things to do, but you can never earn God's gift.
But some people say "Yes, I want to receive Jesus into my life," and do so by faith - by simply asking God for His gift of Jesus, and believing that they receive Him.
At this point, you will probably still be holding your gift - unless there is someone very smart in your group who has taken you at your word and received it already! You will probably have to keep prompting until someone comes out and receives it. You could say:-
"Well, it is still here."
"I wonder who will be first to believe me. All you have to do is take it."
"You won't get it by thinking about it, or by sitting up straight, but someone could come out and receive it."
When someone receives your gift, state that they didn't deserve it or earn it, but they got it because they were the first to believe that all they had to do was take it.
Conclude by stating that unfortunately you only had one gift, but the good news is that there is enough of God's gift of Jesus for everyone. There is no need for anyone to miss out.
If appropriate, you could then lead your group in a prayer to receive Jesus.

O.L. 9. Which way?

All you need for this illustration is a square piece of cardboard - ideally about 30 cm x 30 cm. On one side of the cardboard draw a large horizontal arrow. On the other side of the cardboard draw a large vertical arrow.
Hold the cardboard in front of yourself, with your left hand grasping the top left hand corner, and your right hand grasping the bottom right hand corner. Practice twisting the card over. The secret is to keep your hands still, and let the card make all the movements. Now, change your hand positions. Grasp the bottom left hand corner with your left hand, and the top right hand corner with your right hand. Twist the card over a few times as before. You will note that - depending on where your hands are placed - you can make the arrow appear to either stay pointing in the same direction, or to keep changing directions as the card is twisted.
You are now ready to illustrate any story which involves a change of direction (or repentance), e.g. Jonah, Zacchaeus or Saul. I often use this method to share my testimony as follows, changing the direction of the arrow at the appropriate places:-
Once I always went my own way ( <- ) and did my own thing ( <- ) . Nobody, not even God could get me to change my direction ( <- ). But then I heard the good news about Jesus Christ. He said to me what He says to us all - "Instead of going your way ( <- ), you need to turn round and start going My way ( -> ). Instead of living a life centred around yourself ( <- ), you need to centre your life around Me ( -> )." For a little while, I wasn’t sure what to do. Whether to continue going my way ( <- ), or to turn around and start going Jesus' way ( -> ). But then I decided that the best thing I could do was to turn and start going Jesus' way ( -> ), because I saw that His way was the best way ( -> ). For the last 20 years I have been going His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ) all the time.
Having tried out your square piece of cardboard a few times, you may wish to try out your story with an Octagon (eight sides). This is essentially the same as for the square, but it has the advantage that - by grasping the shape at two opposite corners - you are also able to make the arrow point vertically upwards or downwards.( With a little practice, you should soon become proficient ).You could then conclude your story as follows :-
Going Jesus' way (-> ) is the best way, because His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards towards God. His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards. But does your way ( <- ) lead you towards God ? No, your way ( <- ) leads you Downwards away from God. So the best thing you can do is to go His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way (-> ) all the time.
O.L. 10. Walking on water.
One of the amazing miracles that Jesus did was walking on water. We all know that one of the natural laws of the Universe is that objects heavier than water sink. However Jesus overcame this natural law, and I am now also going to overcome this law by floating a pin on this water. You all know that a pin is much heavier than water and usually sinks to the bottom. But today I am going to make it float! Proceed to gently lower a pin onto water in a glass, and watch it float. Because water actually forms a thin film at it's surface with the air, this flotation can really be done - provided you have a steady hand and the film isn't broken. And, of course, ensure that nobody knocks the glass during the procedure!
If your hand isn't too steady, you can still float the pin by placing it on a paper tissue, and lowering that onto the water. After a few seconds, the paper will have absorbed enough water to make it sink, leaving the pin floating alone.
O.L. 11. We are special.
Please refer to the diagram above to see how to operate this rope illusion.
Cut three pieces of string or (better) rope to the following lengths:-
1.23 cm. (Red in diagram)
2. 37 cm. (Blue)
3. 55 cm. (Black)
For clarity, the ropes are different colours in the diagram, but for your actual lesson will be the same colour.
Hold the ropes in your left hand as per Fig. A., with the BACK of your hand facing the children. "With the aid of these three ropes I am going to show you how God really sees you - And how He sees you is far more important than how you or other people see you.
Some of you may see yourself like this short rope (Hold up Rope 1). You may say "I'm not very special, I'm not very important. I don't get good marks at school, and I'm not good at running, music or anything."
Some of you may see yourself like this middle sized rope (Hold up Rope 2). You may say "I get good marks at school, and I'm good at Soccer or Netball etc., but I don't think I am really THAT important."
Hold up Rope 3. "This long rope stands for the people that most others think are very important. Give a few people as examples (applicable to your own country or locality) e.g. Presidents, Sports personalities, Film stars etc.
Actually God doesn't see us that way at all (little, middle or very important).
With the aid of these ropes, I will now show you how He really sees you.
Manipulate your ropes as shown in Figs. B,C,D and E. Remember to keep the back of your hand towards the children. Essentially, what you are doing is looping the long rope (3) through the short rope (1). With practice, this should only take a few seconds.
Fig. B. Bring the bottom of Rope 3 across the other ropes.
Fig. C. Bring the bottom of Rope 1 up to the top, and hold it next to your thumb.
Fig. D. Bring the bottom of Ropes 2 and 3 up to the top, and hold on the right of your hand.
Fig. E. Grasp the three ends on your right (i.e. the two ends of Rope 3, and what was the bottom of Rope 2), pull horizontally, then release.
The three ropes - from your perspective - should now be as in Fig. E. From the Children's perspective, they will appear to now be three ropes of equal length.
"God does not have favourites. He sees us as all different, but all equally important, all equally special - just as these three ropes are now all the same size."
You could then re-emphasise your points by adjusting the lengths of the ropes by pulling on each end of Rope 3, and making a few remarks e.g. "You may not be as clever as the President, but you are just as important as he is to God." Conclude by restoring the "original" ropes, either by pulling them apart, or by screwing them up and throwing them in the air.
O.L. 12. Straight and crooked roads.
All you need for this illustration are a few sheets of newspaper.
Some newspapers are printed "with the grain", and some "against the grain." This means that if you hold a piece of newspaper vertically, and begin to tear strips from top to bottom, they will either come out very straight, or very ragged (despite your best efforts), depending on the way the grain is running.
Find two different newspapers which tear in opposite ways - this should be easy enough. You now have two sets of papers, which will look pretty much the same, but one tears straight, and one tears crooked. You are now ready to begin your lesson.
Proverbs 3.6. says "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
We are all on a path through life, either a straight path which leads to God, or a crooked path which does not. Choose about eight volunteers. Give one half the first set of newspaper sheets, and the other half the second. Ask them to tear the sheets into strips from top to bottom as straight as they can. One set of volunteers will end up with straight strips of paper, and the other half with a big mess! You can then conclude with teaching on "straight" and "crooked" roads as appropriate.
O.L. 13. God's guidance.
"We are all on a journey through life, and God has given us two things to help us - His Word, the Bible and the Holy Spirit. If, however, we try and travel through life on our own - without calling on God to Guide us - we will make mistakes, and go off in directions that are not part of God’s plan for us."
Produce an ordinary (round) balloon. Blow it up, but do not tie it. Choose a volunteer to be your target. Have him/her stand about 6 meters away. " This balloon represents a person trying to go through life on their own. Most people do want to go the right way. Their intentions are good. Therefore I am starting off by pointing the balloon at the target, but let's see what will happen when I let go!" It will almost certainly miss the target. Repeat a few times. You may be able to obtain "Rocket" balloons. These are long, and buzz as they travel through the air. Children love them, but they will still miss their targets!
"What this balloon needs is a Guidance system - something to help it hit its target. I have one right here. Produce a 6 or 7 meter piece of string, and thread one end through a drinking straw. Have a second volunteer stand just behind the target, holding the other end. Blow up your balloon and tape it under the straw - see Attachment (Available by emailing me). Let the balloon go, and watch it hit its target. "That balloon kept right on target, because it had something to guide it. In the same way, we will stay on target in our journey through life - If we let the Bible and the Holy Spirit guide us."

14. Making the right choice.
A well known "Magician's" trick is to force a volunteer to choose the "right card" from a number of different cards. This technique can be used to ensure a child makes the "right choice" from a number of options represented by different cards.
This lesson is very versatile. For example you can pose questions such as "How can we get to heaven?" or "How can we find peace with God?" The right answer is, of course, Jesus. Now, choose seven alternative answers, which some people may give e.g. Prayer, Reading the Bible, Going to church. Keeping the ten commandments, Doing good, Not doing anything bad, Being Baptised, Believe in God, etc. (Other questions you can ask are "Who is the best role model you can follow?" - it is a good idea to choose a mixture of well known "good" and "bad" role models. – or, "Who or what should be the most important thing in your life?").
Take eight identical pieces of cardboard (of the right size to suit your group), and write "Jesus" on the back of one, and the seven alternative answers on the back of the others. On the front of each card, draw a question mark. However, on the card with "Jesus", make the question mark slightly different from the others - e.g. have the "dot" slightly nearer the main symbol, or have the "curl" slightly more enhanced.
Choose your first volunteer to come and stick each card - question mark to the outside - on a board. Ensure that he/she does not let either you or the rest of the group see what is written on the back of each card. They have complete freedom to stick each card wherever they like, provided that they end up with two columns of four cards each. By looking at the question marks, you will know which is the "Jesus" card.
Explain the purpose of the lesson, and get a second volunteer to come and make what you say you hope will be the right choice. Force him/her to make the right choice as described below. This is a very simple technique, but still seems to baffle the vast majority of people.
Suppose, for example, that the "Jesus" card is in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to either the first or the second column. If they point to the first, say "Fine, that is your choice, so let us now look at the four cards you have rejected in the second column." As you turn over each of these four cards, explain why they are wrong choices. If your volunteer points to the second column, say "Fine, you have rejected these four cards in the second column", and proceed as before.
You are now left with the four cards in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to any two of the cards. If the "Jesus" card is one of those chosen, say. "These are the cards you have chosen, let's look at the two you have rejected." Obviously, if they don't point to the "Jesus" card, say " The two you have pointed to are the ones you have rejected --------. " I think you will have got the idea by now, ensuring that your volunteer ends by choosing "Jesus."

15. Little sins grow bigger.
This is a simple but effective illustration to show that "little" sins, if left unchecked, grow and grow until eventually they can cause destruction.
Preparation. Take a round balloon, inflate it, and write the word "sin" on it with a marker. Deflate the balloon.
Lesson. Show your group the balloon, and while you are explaining that "little sins grow bigger", begin to demonstrate this by slowly inflating the balloon (and consequently the word "sin"). It is better to use a balloon pump for this, because eventually you will have inflated the balloon so much that it explodes! - a reminder that sin is very destructive.

16. Break in communication with God.

All that is needed for this illustration is a piece of string or rope at least 1 meter long, and a pair of scissors.
Explain that the rope represents a line of communication. Start by stretching it out horizontally, and say that it could represent a telephone line, with your words going along the line to your friend, and their words coming back to you.
Now hold the rope vertically. Explain that this represents a prayer line to God, with your prayers going up the rope to Him, and His answers coming down to you. State that there is only one thing that can stop your prayers getting through to God - your sins (the bad things you do).
State that you are now going to demonstrate this problem by cutting the rope (Prayer line). Hold the top of the rope in one hand, and grasp the centre of it with the other. Bring the centre portion of the rope to the top, but as your bottom hand reaches your top, swap the centre for a piece of rope about 10 to 15 cm. from the top. This will take place behind your top hand, so will not be noticed. With a little practice you will soon become proficient. It will appear to your group that you are now showing the top and the centre of the rope in your top hand, whereas you will actually be showing the top and a section 10 to 15 cm. below the top.
Cut the rope where it is looped. You have actually cut off just a small top portion, but have appeared to cut it in equal halves. While still concealing the top of the rope behind your hand, tie the small section of rope around the centre, and release for all to see.
Explain that the knot around the centre stands for sin, and prevents your prayers reaching God. Explain that some people try to deal with the problem themselves by reducing their sin. Cut the ends off the knot to make it smaller. Obviously this doesn't work, because the problem (knot) is still there. Explain that some people try to hide their sin. Cover the knot with your hand. This doesn't work either, because we cannot hide anything from God.
Explain that the only way to remove sin is to bring it to God, tell Him you are sorry for it, and ask Him to forgive you. Say, "Imagine my right hand is God, and I am going to bring this sin (knot) to Him." Hold one end of the rope in your right hand, and begin to wrap the rest of the rope around it with your left hand. As you reach the knot - and while still continuing the wrapping - slide off the knot, and keep concealed in your left hand. Unwrap the rope, showing that it has been completely restored! No one will notice that it is now slightly shorter than at first.

17.Burning bush and Fiery furnace.
Here is a good way to demonstrate the burning bush, which was not consumed, or the fiery furnace, which did not harm the three Hebrew boys.
Take a piece of cotton material and draw on it a bush, or three figures as required. Soak the material in a mixture of 2 parts methylated spirits (Methanol) and 1 part water. Squeeze out any excess liquid. Set fire to the material. The methylated spirits will burn, making it appear as if the material is burning. The flames will eventually go out, and the water in the mixture will have successfully protected the material from burning, leaving it unharmed.

18. What happened at the cross? - Jesus takes away our sins.

For this object lesson you will need two chemicals - Potassium Permanganate and Sodium Metabisulphite. ( These are both solids and can be obtained from Chemical suppliers ), a large glass jar, four smaller glasses, and two sticks tied together to form a cross. One of the sticks needs to be hollow at one end ( A bamboo cane is ideal ). The hollow end will form the bottom of your cross.

Preparation. Wrap 2 or 3 grams of Sodium Metabisulphite in a paper tissue and secure it with a small rubber band. Insert the package into the bottom of your cross. Push it down so that it is out of sight.

Dissolve a few grains of Potassium Permanganate in about 250 mls. water (or, alternatively Iodine solution can be used instead). This will produce a maroon coloured liquid to represent "sin."

Half fill your large jar with water. Fill one glass with your Potassium Permanganate solution. Half fill the other three glasses with water, and mark them "Good works", "Church" and "Money" - or, any suitable alternatives which some people think will solve our "sin" problem.

Presentation. This can vary depending on your preferences and the children you are ministering to, but I usually proceed ( often after presenting the "What is Easter all about?" puppet play) along the following lines :-

Hold up the large jar. In the beginning God created a perfect world, and the best thing He made was people. He made them rather like this glass of water - clean on the outside (representing our bodies), and clean on the inside (representing our hearts or spirits).

However, the first people disobeyed God, and this act brought sin into the world and spoiled it all. Pour in about half of the "sin" solution. The jar contents should now be a fairly deep maroon colour. So this now is the problem we are all born with - sin or selfishness on the inside (you could give a few examples here).

Down through the years, some people have realised they have a selfishness problem, and have tried many ways to overcome it. Some have thought the answer may be Good Works. Pour in the "Good works" jar. God does want us to be good to each other but, as you see, that doesn't solve our "sin" problem. Some have thought the answer was going to church. Pour in the "Church" jar. It is an excellent idea to go to church, and by doing so you will probably find the answer to your problem. But, as you see, going to Church in itself is not the answer. Some have thought "If I gave half my money away to the poor, surely God will be really pleased with me and take away my sin." Pour in the "Money" jar. God does want us to be generous, especially to those who don't have as much as we do but, as you see, that still doesn't change us on the inside.

Actually, no matter what we try, it is impossible to change ourselves. But the good news of Easter is that what we can't do for ourselves, God has already done for us. It was on the cross that Jesus died in our place to take away our sins. Pick up your cross and place it in the jar. If you have got your concentrations right, the maroon solution will become clear within a few seconds. If not, gentle stirring with the cross should produce the desired effect.

Conclude the illustration as you think appropriate, but I usually proceed as follows :- Some of you may be thinking "I once did put my trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross, but then I did something bad (e.g. shouted at my dad, was cheeky to my mum, had a fight with my brother etc. ). Does that mean that I have become dirty on the inside again? Lets see shall we. Remove the cross from your jar, then pick up the remaining Potassium Permanganate solution and pour a little at a time into it - repeating the "sins" just mentioned (e.g. being cheeky to your mum). The maroon colour should vanish on making contact with the solution in the jar. Now please don't misunderstand me. If you do do something wrong, you need to ask God to forgive you. But, as you can see, once you have put your trust in Jesus and He has taken away your sin, you stay clean on the inside. nd that is the Good News we remember at Easter.

19. The meaning of the cross.

For this close-up illustration you will need a little coloured water, a saucer, a short candle, a glass, a coin and matches.

Presentation. Tell the children that you are going to explain to them what happened at the cross of Jesus.

State - that the coin represents you or me - place it in the saucer, towards the edge.
- that the coloured water represents our sins - pour it into the saucer until the coin is submerged.
- that the candle represents Jesus - stand it at the centre of the saucer, and light it.
- that the flame represents the life of Christ.

Tell the children to watch carefully, as you take the glass and place it over the lighted candle. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created a vacuum which, in turn, will draw the water up inside the glass (thus surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry.

Recap that on the cross, Jesus gave up His life (the flame went out) so that he could take our sins on Himself, and we could go free.

20. Creation.

When introducing the topic of Creation, I usually start by emphasizing the point that there are two things that only God can do.

Firstly, although people are very clever, and can do such things like land a man on the moon, invent televisions or computers, they cannot make something out of nothing. Given starting materials, people can often change their properties - size, shape, colour, texture etc., but they cannot make something out of nothing - only God can do that.

Secondly, people cannot make something that is living out of something that is not living. Again, only God can do that.

I then proceed by stating that I am now going to re-create two of the creatures that God first created on the fifth and sixth days of the Creation week. I then make a balloon bird (or fish) and a balloon animal, continuing my talk as I do so. ( If you don't do balloon modelling, you can still get your point across by simply cutting out appropriate shapes from pieces of paper).

As you make the shapes, emphasize that you are starting with something that already exists e,g. your uninflated balloon and some air. Then state that for anybody to make anything ( whether it be a watchmaker, a car-maker, a shoe-maker, or a balloon animal maker) only two things are needed - Know-how ( or intelligence ) and Power ( or energy ). Without power, your idea will remain only in your head, and without know-how (or an intelligent plan), you will just make a big mess!

As your models near completion, ask "If I had more know-how, do you think I would make a better or worse model?" The children will respond "better." Then ask "The Bible tells us that God has all know-how (He knows everything and is super-intelligent), so how good do you think God could make things?" The children should respond "very good" or "perfect." Then state " That's exactly right. The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God created a perfect world."

Then ask "If I had more power, do you think I could make these models faster or slower than I can now?" The response will be "faster." Then ask "All the power in the Universe belongs to God, so how fast do you think He could make things?" The children should respond "in a split second" or "instantly." State "That's exactly right. The Bible tells us that God not only created a perfect world, but He also made everything in it instantly - just by speaking."

Alternatively (for a younger class) you could simply produce a balloon animal which has already been made, and ask "How do you think this model was made? Do you think it could have been made by accident? Perhaps someone left an uninflated balloon in this room last night, and left the window open. Overnight, the wind blew through the window and into the balloon. The balloon then began twisting itself round and round until it formed the shape of this animal which you see here now. Finally, the end of the balloon managed to tie itself in a knot to stop the air escaping.Do you think that really happened, or do you think that there is a balloon model maker somewhere who made this animal on purpose?" The children should see the absurdity of the model being able to make itself by accident, and respond "There is a balloon model maker somewhere." Emphasise the point that everything the children see around them has to have a maker. Watches need watchmakers, shoes need shoemakers, chairs need chairmakers etc. Nothing can make itself.

You will then be able to apply the above argument to the creation of the Universe and everything in it. State "There are some people who believe that the Universe made itself by accident. But the Universe is far more wonderful and complex than a balloon animal, and if even that couldn't make itself, then how likely is it that the whole Universe made itself? No, the Bible teaches us that we have wonderful Creator who made the Universe and everything in it on purpose. And the good news is :- He made it all for our benefit.

Object Lessons 21 - 40.

Object Lessons 21 - 40.

21. The Trinity.

There are many ways of explaining the trinity to children, but the one I like the best is very visual, and involves the use of food colouring.

If you ask at a cake shop, they should be able to tell you where to obtain food colouring in powder form. This comes in a variety of colours.

Stick small pieces of double-sided sticky tape to the inside bottoms of three glasses. Choose three suitable colours, and place a little on each tape. These food colourings are very concentrated, so only very small amounts are required, and are consequently unlikely to be noticed by the children. However, you will probably need to determine by trial and error the best way to do this preparation.

Show a jar of clear water. State "There is one God, represented by the water in this jar, who is made up of three different Persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit." As you are talking, pour some water into your three glasses to produce the three different colours.

Depending on your group, you could then go on to discuss the different aspects of the three Persons of the trinity in more detail.

A similar illustration could be used if you are teaching about the "water into wine."

22. Miracles.

Here is a simple illustration to demonstrate that with God "All things are possible."

Preparation. Take a piece of cardboard ( about 40x40cm. ) and cut out a round disc (about 15cm. diameter) from the centre. Retain both pieces. Find a solid disc (an ordinary plate is ideal) a little larger than your cardboard disc e.g. about 20cm. diameter.

Presentation. "Sometimes we find that we just cannot do certain things. But we need to remember that God can do absolutely anything. With Him nothing is impossible." Hold up your cardboard sheet and disc. Explain that the disc is just small enough to pass through the hole. Pass the disc through the hole a few times in different ways e.g. face on and side on.

State that if the disc were any larger, it would be "impossible" to pass it through the hole. Your class should agree. Produce your larger disc and pretend to attempt to pass it through the hole in different ways as before. Remind your class that what is impossible for us is possible for God, and state that you are now going to demonstrate that by passing the larger disc through the small hole.

Fold your sheet in half, and place your larger disc inside so that the top protrudes through the hole. Grasp this part of the disc with one hand, and with the other pull down on the side of your sheet - this actually stretches the hole - A gentle tug on your disc will ensure that it passes through the hole without tearing it in any way. You may wish to repeat the operation a few times.

23. Standing up under pressure.

When things are going well, it is sometimes hard to tell the difference between the person who is trusting in Jesus, and the one who is not. However, when pressure - hardships, troubles, problems etc. - comes upon us, the person who knows Jesus is able to keep standing, whereas the person without Christ often crumples or "goes under."

Preparation. Take two plastic pen tops (Preferably different colours). Attach one or two plastic paper clips to the first top. To make the second top heavier than the first, attach one or two metal paper clips. Take about a two litre plastic clear bottle, and fill about 90% full with water. Drop the two plastic tops (with attached clips) into the water. They should both float. Screw the top on the bottle, and apply pressure to the bottle by squeezing it. A little "trial and error" may be required here. You may need to adjust your tops by adding or subtracting clips to ensure that when pressure is applied, the first top continues to float, whilst the second always sinks, or "goes under." When you release the pressure, the submerged top should rise to the surface again.

Presentation. You can make this as long or as short as you wish. Explain that the two same-sized tops represent two people, one who is trusting in Christ, and one who isn't. When things go well (no pressure to the bottle), there is no difference - the tops both float. However, when pressure comes, one continues to float, but the other goes under. Repeat the pressure-on / pressure-off process a few times.

24. Defeating evil with good.

The Bible tells us that we are to defeat evil with good. (Romans 12.21). Here is a good object lesson to illustrate that point.

Preparation. Take a thin piece of wood (about 40cm. x 10cm.), and write on it the word "EVIL." Take 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper, and write on one of them the word "GOOD."

Presentation. Ask your class "Which do you think is stronger "Evil" or "Good" ? You will probably get a mixed response.

Proceed along these lines. "With so much evil in the world, it may sometimes appear as though evil is stronger than good, but God tells us that we are to defeat evil, not with evil, but with good. This piece of wood stands for evil, and it certainly looks strong ( bang it on a table a few times ). These flimsy pieces of newspaper stand for good but, as you know, they could easily tear. However, we shall now find out which is the stronger - the wood or the paper, evil or good."

Lay the piece of wood on a table or desk, overhanging the edge about 15cm. Place the pieces of newspaper fairly tightly over the wood, with the piece marked "GOOD" on the very top. As you do so, you could retell the story of Calvary i.e. " I am sure that when Jesus was arrested, beaten and crucified, the forces of evil were jumping for joy. They thought they had beaten "Good" for ever. But they were in for a shock, because on the third day Jesus rose from the dead, proving the reverse - that He was stronger than evil."

Tell the class that you are now going to hit the wood and paper hard with the side of your hand. "Which will break - the flimsy paper ? - the hard wood ? (or perhaps your hand! ?). Do this, hitting the wood and paper just past the "overhang." You will find that the wood will break and the paper will remain intact, reminding us that "Good" is stronger than "Evil."

Conclusion. "Good, therefore, can defeat evil. This means for us that if someone is nasty to us, we can defeat this by being good to them in return. This can often be a hard thing to do, but if we persist in doing good, we will usually find that they will start being good to us as well.

25. Jesus is the light of the world.

You should be able to obtain some "trick" birthday cake candles - i.e. the ones that appear to be extinguished when they are blown, but after a few seconds flame up again.

With one of these candles you can summarise the history of the church. For example :-

Jesus came as the light of the world (lite candle), but Satan used wicked men to try and put out this light by crucifying Him (blow out). However on the third day He came alive again (flame rekindled). Jesus has now passed this light on to the church. Over the centuries Satan has continued trying to put out this light by persecuting the church. At times he seemed to have succeeded (blow out), but each time this light returned brighter than ever (rekindle).

26. God is all knowing.

Here are five simple ways in which you can help children remember that God is all-knowing.

1. Take four pieces (you could use more if you wish) of differently coloured cardboard - e.g. Yellow, red, blue and green. On the back of the yellow card write "You will pick up the yellow card." Write on three small pieces of paper "You will pick up the red card ----------------- blue card. ------------------green card." Place these papers out of sight, but in easily accessible positions e.g. inside a plain envelope which is in full view of the class, inside the front cover of your Bible, etc.

Place the four coloured cards in full view of the class, and ask for a volunteer to come and pick up one of the cards - stating that you know beforehand which one they are going to choose. If the yellow card is chosen, ask your volunteer to pick it up and turn it over - showing the words "You will pick up the yellow card." They will probably think that the other three cards have a similar message written on the back. Show the class that this is not the case !

If your volunteer picks up one of the other cards, direct him/her to the appropriate piece of paper in the envelope, Bible etc.

Conclude by stating that what you did was a trick (without revealing how it was actually done), but that our God really does know everything - even the future !

2. This illustration has been around for at least 50 years, but most children are still baffled by it.

Write out the number "1089 " on a piece of paper, and seal it in an envelope. Ask a child to look after it for you, and to be ready to open it at the end of your illustration.

Ask for a volunteer to come and do a maths calculation on the blackboard for you. State that although the numbers will be chosen by your volunteer, you have already placed the answer to their calculation in the envelope.

Ask your volunteer to - 1. Write any three digit number on the board. 2. Write the same number reversed under the first number. 3. Subtract the lesser number from the greater. 4.Reverse the answer obtained. 5. Add the last two numbers. Your final answer will always be 1089.

Here is an example : -
Try a few calculations yourself, just to be completely convinced !

3. This next illustration is similar to the last one, but it has the advantage that all your class can do their own calculations. It does, however, involve a little more complicated maths, so it is better used with older children. HINT. If you give your answer to a child, and they reply "No. You are wrong" , don't worry, it will be because the child has made a mistake with their maths !

Ask each child to do the following calculation (out of your sight, of course) :-

1. Write down the age of one of their brothers or sisters ( a cousin or friend will suffice if they have no siblings ). 2. Multiply this number by two. 3. Add on five. 4. Multiply the answer by fifty. 5. Subtract the number of days in a year (365). 6. Add the number of times they have flown on an aeroplane ( or use any other question that will produce a reasonably low answer e.g. total number of brothers and sisters). 7. Add on one hundred and fifteen.

Get the children to show you their answers. They will probably all be different, but you will be able to instantly tell them the number of times they have been on a plane - from the last two digits, and the age of their brother or sister - from the remaining number or numbers. (i.e. first one or two digits).

Here is an example for someone with a twelve year old brother, and who has been on a plane three times :-


4. Another variation on the same theme, but this one has the advantage that you are not dependent on a child getting their maths right !

Write the number "34" on a piece of paper, place in envelope, and hand to child for safekeeping. Draw a square grid on the blackboard containing sixteen squares (4x4). Simply fill in the grid with the numbers 1 to 16 in their normal order i.e. "1" will be in the top left hand corner, and "16" in the bottom right.

Ask a child to come and choose four numbers for you that you will then be able to add up. State that you already know their final answer - which is contained in the envelope.

1. Get the child to choose any number by putting a circle round it. Explain that for their next choice, they will still have plenty of numbers to choose from, but that you are going to reduce their options a little. Cross out all the other numbers on the same row and column as the circled number (i.e. six in all).
2. Get the child to choose a second number from those remaining. Cross out the remaining numbers on that row and column as before (four in total).
3. There will be four numbers left. Get the child to choose any one. Cross out the two numbers on that row and column.
4. There is now only one number left. That will have to be their final choice.

Add up the four chosen numbers. The answer will be 34. Time to open the envelope !

5. Nothing is hidden from God. He sees through everything. (Hebrews 4.13).

Place twenty small identical objects (e.g. matches or counters) on a table. Tell a volunteer that while your back is turned, he/she will be able to pick up and hide two separate lots of the objects and hide them in a pocket and in a closed hand. However, you will then be able to tell them exactly how many objects are in their pocket and hand respectively.

1.While your back is turned, instruct your volunteer to pick up any number of objects between 1 and 10, and place them in their pocket.
2. Next, ask your volunteer to count (silently) how many objects are left. It will be a two-digit number. Ask him to add the two digits together, pick up that number of objects and add them to the pile in his pocket. (Note. You will be able to calculate that, no matter how many objects your volunteer first picked up, he will now have eleven in his pocket - leaving nine on the table).
3. Instruct your volunteer to pick up as many of the remaining objects he wishes, and hold them in his closed hand.
4. Turn around. Count the number of objects left on the table (Lets call this "x"). Inform the class that your volunteer has eleven objects in his pocket, and nine minus "x" objects in his hand ! (e.g. if there are three objects on the table, he must have nine minus three = six objects in his hand).

27. Needle through a balloon.
Punctuating an inflated balloon with a pin or needle, without it bursting, will always fascinate children. There are two ways you can achieve this :- 1. Place a small piece if clear sticking tape on the inflated balloon. You can then pierce this without the balloon bursting. 2. Pierce the balloon where the rubber is thickest i.e. near the hole and at the opposite end. In fact, by using these two locations, you should be able to pass your needle right through the balloon. Hints. Don't inflate the balloon too much. Use a sharp needle. Smear a little grease on the end of your needle.
I have used this illustration in two ways. You may be able to think of others.
1. Miracles. State that normally when you prick a balloon with a needle it will burst - Give an illustration. (If appropriate you could tell the children why it bursts, by talking about air pressure, rapid flow of air to the hole etc.). State that God can overcome or suspend the natural physical laws of the Universe. He can do miracles. Proceed with your demonstration.
2. Sharing your testimony. Inflate about four or five balloons, and write on them things which you (or others) once thought would give lasting satisfaction e.g. Sport, Job, Money, etc. On the last one write "Jesus." Keep the balloons (or at least the words) out of sight until required. Produce the balloons one at a time, and talk about how you once thought that Sport etc. would really satisfy you for life, but that in the end you found it wasn't really what you were searching for. It let you down. Burst the balloon with your pin or needle. Proceed until you are left with the "Jesus" balloon. Explain that this is what you have always been searching for, and that you have found that He will never let you down. Prick the balloon in the appropriate place to demonstrate!

28. God's Provision.
There are numerous examples in nature that can help children understand the wonderful provision of God for all of His creation. You can take along to your class such things as flowers, insects and pets, and by showing how God meets all their needs, show how He will also meet all our needs. I usually take along a few dandelions, including one which is ready to shed its seeds, and proceed as follows :-
Most people think of these flowers as weeds, but did you know that God provides for each plant everything it needs to survive, grow well, and produce more dandelions?
Petals. You probably think you are looking at just one flower, but actually what you can see is about a hundred flowers bunched together. Each single petal is a complete flower, capable of producing a perfect seed, to enable another dandelion to grow.
Stem. Now let's look at the stem of the dandelion. As I break it in two, you can see that it is hollow - just like a straw. This means that the stem is very light and flexible. When heavy rain or wind comes, the stem will bend over, but then will be able to spring up again afterwards. If the stem was solid, it would break in the heavy rain or wind.
Leaves. We will now look at the leaves. They appear to be pretty crude and ugly, but actually all these jagged edges, channels and grooves are ideal for collecting rain water and sending it down to the root where it is needed to help the dandelion to grow.
Root. Look how long and strong this root is. It is ideal for holding the dandelion in place when the bad weather comes, and preventing it from being blown away.
Seed head. Let us now examine this dandelion which is ready to shed its seeds. If you look closely at the seed heads, you will see that they are all like tiny parachutes. This means that when a breeze comes, they don't all fall off the parent plant in the same small area and thus have to compete with each other for the same patch of earth to grow in. No, because of the way God has designed them, they are able to float long distances in the breeze, and thus have a much better chance of surviving and growing into other dandelions.
Seed. If you looked at a seed under the microscope, you would see that it is shaped like a screw. This means that after its "parachute" has carried it to a patch of earth, it is able to plant itself by screwing into the ground, thus again giving it a better chance to survive and grow.
As we have seen, God loves each little dandelion so much that He has given it everything it needs to grow well and produce more dandelions. Hands up everyone who thinks that God loves us as much as He does dandelions? (Probably most of the children will raise their hands). Those who have raised their hands are wrong. The Bible teaches that God loves each of us far, far, more than dandelions, or indeed any other of His creations. But if He gives each dandelion everything it needs, how much more will He give to us everything we need!
29. A Memory Feat.

Adam was created perfect with a wonderful mind and memory. He had to name all the many different animals that God brought before him, and then would have had to remember all their names. To illustrate this you can then amaze your class by doing your own memory feat.

Have fifty cards, blank on one side and numbered from 1 to 50 on the other. On the same side write , apparently random, six-digit numbers across their centres. State that you are going to memorise all fifty of these six-digit numbers. Flick through the cards as you pretend to memorise them, give them a good shuffle, turn the blank sides upwards and offer the pack to about six volunteers who will each choose a card. One at a time, ask your volunteers to tell you the number of their card (i.e. between 1 and 50), and as they do so write on the board the six-digit number associated with that card! You will achieve a 100 percent success rate!

You will have probably realised by now that you don't really memorise the numbers, rather you calculate them from the card number you are given. This is how you do it :-

To the number you are given (i.e. between 1 and 50), add eleven. Reverse this two-digit number. This will be the first two numbers you write on the board. Add these two numbers together to give your third number. However, if this is a two-digit number, ignore the first digit (i.e. "1") and write down the second. Proceed in this way, adding your last two digits together, until you have written down all six digits. Ask your volunteer to confirm this is the number they have on their card. A few of examples will make this clear :-

Card No. 15. Six-digit No. will be 628088.
Card No. 16 Six-digit No. will be 729101.
Card No. 17 Six-digit No. will be 820224.

As can be seen, even card numbers that are close to each other will produce completely different six-digit numbers.

30. The Trinity.

Here is a two-part illusion to illustrate your teaching on the Trinity.

Produce three ropes of equal length (about 80 cm. is ideal). State that these represent the three Persons of the Godhead - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "The first thing to notice is that the ropes are of equal length, reminding us that the three Persons are all equal."

State that you are now going to bring the bottoms of the ropes up to the top, and tie them into three loops. Holding the ropes near their tops together in one hand, one at a time bring the bottom of each rope up to the top, and tie it to the top of a different rope. (To ensure that I don't make a mistake at this point, I mark beforehand a spot with a pen on the top and bottom of the middle rope. I then tie the bottom of the outside rope with the top of the first, followed in turn by the other two ropes, ensuring that I don't tie the "spot" ends together).

"It appears that I now have three loops, but that is not really true." Release the ropes to show that you now have one large loop tied in three places - reminding your class that there is one God comprising three Persons.

Now for the "fun" part of your illusion. Put your rope away in your bag, but immediately bring out a similar looking rope. This second rope (which your class should think is still your first three-part loop) is actually one long piece of rope - of total length just less than that of your three original ropes combined (i.e. about 220 cm) - tied to form a loop, and with two small lengths of rope tied around two small loops in your longer rope at the appropriate places to give the appearance of knots.

Tell the class that they are probably thinking that this loop is three pieces of rope tied together, but that actually it is now just one long piece of rope. Untie the (genuine) knot to demonstrate. The class will not look two impressed, because the other two "knots" are still there. State that these are only two small lengths of rope, and that you can easily remove them. Pull the two ends of your rope (or get two volunteers to do it), and the small ropes will "pop" off, leaving only one long piece of rope!

You may ask "won't the children realise that you have swapped the ropes?" Well, in my experience, they never have.

31. Discovering your gifts.

God has given us all many different gifts, talents and abilities. Here is a lesson to help children understand about discovering those gifts.

The ink that comes from a felt tip pen will appear to be just one color, but in fact it will probably be a mixture of different colors. This is how to discover those different colors (c.f. discovering our different gifts). Choose four or five different colored felt tip pens. It is best to use fairly dark colors and fairly cheap pens as these will contain more impurities (i.e. colors). Take a strip of white tissue paper (e.g. 15cm. x 8cm.) and make a line of dots with your different pens about 3cm. from the bottom. Hang your paper over the edge of a glass containing about 2 cm. of water, so that the bottom of the paper is in the water and the dots are about 1cm. above the water level. The water will begin to move up the tissue, and when it reaches the dots, capillary action will cause the hidden colors to travel up the paper at different rates.

After a few minutes, although there will probably be some "smearing", you should clearly be able to see three or four distinct colors originating from each dot.

"The Bible tells us that God has given each of us different gifts to use (Romans 12 v. 6). One of the most exciting things about growing up is to discover what special gifts, talents and abilities you have and then to use them to serve God.

I have made four colored dots on this tissue paper from these four differently colored pens. Although each dot looks as though it is made up of just a single color, actually there are a number of hidden colors hidden within each dot - as we shall now discover as I place the paper in a glass of water.

That is like you. You may think that you are only good at one thing, perhaps running, music, reading, drawing etc. When you get older you will find other gifts that God has already placed in you. Some of you may find that you have a gift for teaching, or for looking after small children. Others may discover they have a gift for writing or telling others about Jesus. Some of you may be good at making friends, listening to others, helping people in need, or giving to the poor. Some may find they are good at encouraging people, hospitality, or looking after the sick.

All these gifts, and many more, can be used to serve God. Jesus actually told us that when we are doing good to others, we are actually doing good to Him. (Matthew 25 v. 40). So discover which gifts God has given you. Concentrate on doing what you are good at, and use your abilities to serve God, because there is nothing more important or wonderful than that."

32. Facing trials and troubles.

Children particularly enjoy any lessons involving fire, water or balloons. The following object lesson involves all three, so should be a big hit!

Everyone faces trials and troubles at sometime in their life, but if we have put our trust in Jesus then He has promised to always be with us and help us through all our troubles.

1. Light a candle - the flame represents our trials and troubles.
2. Produce an inflated balloon - this represents the person who doesn't have Jesus in their life, and is therefore facing the trouble on their own. Let's see what happens when I put the balloon over the flame - BANG.
3. Produce an inflated balloon about one third full of water - this represents the person who has Jesus in their life (c.f. the water). Let's see what happens when I put this balloon over the flame - THE BALLOON IS UNHARMED.

Although both balloons faced the same trial (i.e. flame), the second one came through unharmed - because the water took away the heat before it could do any damage. In much the same way, Jesus is able to see us through our trials and troubles unharmed.

33. Can we trust our senses?

Sometimes our natural senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste - let us down. However, there is one thing that will never let us down, one thing that is totally reliable - God's Word, the Bible.

Try out these hearing and eyesight tests on your class to show them that their senses are unreliable.

1. How many of each type of animal did Moses take onto the Ark?
(None. It was Noah who had the Ark).

2. You are the driver of a train. There are 30 passengers on board. At the first station, 10 passengers get off. At the second station, 5 passengers get on. What is the name of the train driver?
(You will probably have to repeat the question, using the right emphasis "You are the driver of a train - - - - ").

3. It is noon. You look at your watch, the little hand is pointing to 3, and the big hand is pointing to 6. What time is it?
(Noon. If your little hand is pointing to 3, and your big hand to 6, your watch must have stopped!).

4. Let's all spell out the word S. T. O. P. together. Then I will ask you a simple question that you have to answer immediately. S. T. O. P. spells STOP. What do you do when you come to a green light?

5. Let's all spell out the word S. I. L. K. together. Then I will ask you a simple question that you have to answer immediately. S. I. L. K. spells SILK. What do cow's drink?

6. Write out the following two sets of words on triangular pieces of paper or cardboard as shown. Show each sentence to your class, and ask them to study it carefully. After about 15 seconds, put the paper away and ask them what it said. Most will get it wrong, missing out a "The" and an "A" respectively.

In The
The Bush

In A
A Lifetime

34. The seriousness of sin.

Many children tend to categorise sin into big sins (e.g. murder) and little sins (e.g. a lie). Here are two illustrations you could use to help them understand that in God's sight all sin is serious.

a. Hold in one hand a crumpled piece of paper, and in the other a small but heavy object (e.g. a battery). Tell the children that the paper represents what many people think of as "little" sins like lying and swearing, and that the heavy object represents what many think of as "big" sins like murder and robbery. State that you are going to drop both objects to the floor at the same time. Ask the children which object they think will reach the floor first? Most should say the heavy object.

Drop both objects. They will reach the floor at the same time. (You may wish to repeat the exercise). State that sin is like that to God. The lighter or smaller sins are just as serious to Him as the weightier ones, for all wrongdoing is sin (1 John 5 v. 17).

b. Ask the children to imagine that both they and you are going to take a maths test where the pass mark is 100%. State that they - being really clever - get a mark of 98%, but that you - being not too good at maths - only manage 2%.

Ask the children how you have done - passed or failed? You have failed.
Ask the children how they have done - passed or failed? They also have failed.

Explain that although the children did much better than you in this imaginary test, they still failed. State that in life some people have led really led really bad lives and, rather like getting a mark of two out of a hundred, fall far short of God's standard, which is perfection. State that other people (give a few examples) have led wonderful lives, but no matter how good they have been they still come short of God's standard. Most people come somewhere between these two extremes, but the good news of the Gospel is that one man, Jesus, did lead a perfect life and reach God's standard. The even better news is that Jesus did it for us, and then died on the cross in our place, so that we could be forgiven - no matter how short of God's standard we have come.

35. Sin grows rapidly.

Children often fail to realise that sin, no matter how insignificant it appears at first, once we let it into our lives can grow very rapidly. Here are two illustrations to illustrate this.

a. Ask the children to imagine that they had a choice of receiving either $500 immediately, or 1 cent doubled every day for a month. Which would they choose? Most children will opt for the $500. Bad choice! If they had chosen the 1 cent doubled each day for a month, they would have ended up with over $5,000,000. (Work it out for yourself!). Sin grows rather like that. It may seem small and insignificant to start with, but left unchecked, it can rapidly grow to become a serious problem.

Alternative : A similar illustration can be used regarding witnessing. " If you told just one other person about Jesus today, and then tomorrow you both each told another person, and then the next day all four of you each told one other person, and you continued on like this. How long would it be before the entire world of about six billion people heard about Jesus? Answer: Just over a month! In contrast, if I, working alone, attempted to tell everybody in just Auckland (population 1 million) about Jesus at the rate of ten per day, it would still take me over 270 years to complete the task!

b. Have a volunteer come out and hold his arms outstretched. Produce a small length of wool, and tie it round the volunteer's wrists. Explain that this one twist of wool represents one sin (e.g. one lie). Ask the children to imagine that your volunteer told one lie, then realised what he had done was wrong and determined to break free from his sin and give up lying. Have your volunteer break free from the wool, which he will easily be able to do.

Repeat the above procedure, but this time produce a longer length of wool, and begin to wrap it around your volunteer's wrists, explaining that this time he did not give up his lying, but told another one to try and cover up his first, and then another, and another, etc. End up with about ten twists. Tie the length ends together. State that eventually your volunteer realised what he was doing, and decided to break free from his lies as before. But what happens this time? No matter how hard he struggles, he is unable to snap the wool and break free.

That is how sin works. The Bible says "He who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8 v. 34). Think for a moment what a slave is - someone who cannot do what he wants to do, and has to do what he doesn't want to do! If sin becomes a habit in your life (whether it is lying or something else), without help, it will be extremely hard to stop - even if you want to. The good news is that if we ask him, Jesus is able to break the power of sin in our life and, as the Bible says, "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8 v. 36). Finally, produce a pair of scissors and set your volunteer free.

36. The fair distribution of food.

Many children believe that there are starving people in some countries because there is a world-wide food shortage. Here is an illustration to help children understand that the problem is not one of food shortage, but rather one of unfair or unequal food distribution.

Preparation. Get a piece of cardboard, and write on it the letters and numbers as shown below :-

A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
E = 0

Cover each number with individual small pieces of card or paper.

Next, get as many pieces of plain paper as their are children in your group, write on each one A,B,C,D, or E. Ensure you have far more E's than the other letters, and the total of the corresponding numbers add up to the total number of children. For example, if I have 30 children in my group, I will write out three A's (total = 3), three B's (total = 6), three C's (total = 9), three D's (total = 12) and eighteen E's (total = 0). Fold the papers over, and place in a box.

Get a bag of sweets (lollies / candies ), just enough for one per child.

Presentation. Produce your sweets, box of folded papers, and prepared card. Announce that you are going to share the sweets with the group, according to what is written on the paper each child is about to receive. Let each child choose a paper and unfold it to reveal the letter.

Ask "Who has got an 'A'?" Take the cover off the number next to your 'A' to reveal a '1'. "You will all get 1 sweet."
"Who has got a 'B'? ------------------------- You will all get 2 sweets."
"Who has got a 'C'? ------------------------- You will all get 3 sweets." ( By now, those with an 'E' will be getting excited).
"Who has got a 'D'? ------------------------- You will all get 4 sweets."
"Who has got an 'E'. More than half the children will put their hands up in eager anticipation. Remove the last cover. ------------------ "Oh dear! You will get no sweets!"

After the 'groans' have died down, ask the children if they think it fair that some children should get 3 or 4 sweets while many others will get none? Even those children due to get 3 or 4 sweets will usually agree that this is not a fair way of sharing. Ask the children if they can think of a fairer way of sharing the sweets? Mention that you have just noticed that the total number of sweets is the same as the number of children present. The children should soon come to a consensus that a better way of sharing out the sweets is for each child to get one each. State that you agree with them. and distribute accordingly.

Conclusion. "In some countries many boys and girls go to bed hungry every night because they don't have enough food to eat. The problem is not because of a world food shortage, but rather an unequal distribution of the ample food that is grown. As Christians, we should be thinking of ways in which we can make this distribution more fair, and ensure that everyone gets enough food to eat."

37. God can do things instantly.

Here are two 'instant addition' illustrations to help children understand that God doesn't need time to do what He wants to do, rather He can do things instantly.

A. Get a volunteer to write any two four-digit numbers on the board. You then write out the third four-digit number, ensuring that the product of the second and third numbers is 9999. For example, if the second number is 3785, the third number will be 6214. Get your volunteer to write out the fourth four-digit number. You then write out the fifth number, ensuring that the product of the fourth and fifth numbers is again 9999. You are now ready to amaze your class by adding up all five numbers instantly. Your answer will be 2, followed by the first number minus 2. i.e. If the first number is 4567, your answer will be 24565. Here is an example :-

Volunteer 4567
Volunteer 4291
Self 5708
Volunteer 6235
Self 3764

Total = 24565

Get the children to confirm your answer - with their calculators if these are available.

B. Prepare four cards (A,B,C,D), each with a five-digit number on them written from top to bottom as shown.


9 6 1 8
1 4 5 7
5 2 4 1
4 7 7 7
2 5 8 4

Get a volunteer to come and stick the cards on the board, in any order they choose, to thus form five four-digit numbers - as per the example above. Remind the children that there are twenty four different ways in which your volunteer could have arranged the cards.

As soon as the cards are in place, write down the product of the five numbers. You could get the children to be adding up the numbers with their calculators at the same time - but you will have the correct answer long before them! To get your instant answer, write down 2, followed by two plus each number in your second four-digit number (1457 in above example), except for the last number (7) which remains unaltered. Thus the answer is 23677.

You may wish to get a second volunteer to come and rearrange the cards, and repeat the procedure. If the cards were rearranged C.B.D,A for example, your answer will be 27691.

38. Obedience brings success.

This is a very popular object lesson that children love to try for themselves.

Effect. Place a square handkerchief (linen or paper) in a "diamond" shape on a flat surface. Lay a pencil across the centre of the handkerchief. Bring the bottom corner of the handkerchief up to the top, but ensure that it slightly overlaps. The pencil will now, of course, be covered. Place a hand on the pencil through the handkerchief, and tightly roll it up until the lower corner flips over. Unroll the handkerchief, and you will see that the pencil is now on the top. i.e. it appears to have penetrated the handkerchief from inside to outside. Try it out. It is much simpler than it sounds!

Explanation. By rolling up the handkerchief until one corner 'flips over', you are actually turning it inside out, and thus bringing the pencil from the inside to the outside. The critical part is ensuring that only one corner flips over. If both ( or no) corners are flipped, the pencil will remain on the inside.

Application. This illustration can be used to complement any teaching on Obedience. I usually use it in connection with Ephesians 6 v. 1.

Example. " If you obey your, Parents, God has promised that you will be successful. If my volunteer here obeys me, he will be able to pass this pencil from the inside to the outside of this handkerchief. What I want you to do is roll it up tightly, tap it three times with your finger, unroll it, and the pencil will have passed through the material - you will be successful. Wait a minute! First let us see what will happen if you are disobedient, and you tap the pencil four times? (Ensure that the rolling stops just before the flip over). Oh dear. You were unsuccessful because you were disobedient! This time you can be obedient (Ensure the bottom corner flips over). Wonderful. Your obedience has brought success!

You may wish to get a few more volunteers to try it out. All you need to remember is that you control the flip overs, depending on whether you want the person to be successful or not. It is very rare for any volunteer or spectator to notice the differences in the three ways you can roll up the handkerchief - i.e. no, one, or two flip overs.

Object Lesson 39. - Wrestling match. I invite one of the bigger boys to come out for a wrestling match. I explain that it is a "handicap" match - all of him against my little thumb! My volunteer can use both hands, and all he has to do is wrestle my little thumb to the ground! After he has failed to do that, ask "Why wasn't that big boy able to defeat my little thumb?" Answer. Because my thumb, small as it is, is attached to something far bigger - it is attached to me! Remind the children that if they are trusting in Jesus, they are actually attached to God, and no matter how big their "giant" may appear, they will be able to overcome it because God is far, far bigger.

Object Lesson 40. - Samson pad. These are pieces of white plastic, but they look and feel like cardboard. They can be obtained from www.onewaystreet.com . Take one plastic sheet and one ordinary cardboard sheet (which comes in the same pack), and write on each "GIANT". The two sheets should look identical. Give the cardboard sheet to a small girl, and the plastic sheet to a big boy. Explain that we are going to imagine that both the volunteers have giants to overcome. God is on the side of both of them, but one - and you are not saying which - is like David, and has remembered that. The other is like the other Israelite soldiers who forgot that, and so were afraid of the giant.

Ask the volunteers to defeat their "giants" by ripping up the 'cardboard' into small pieces. It will soon be obvious which one is like David.

Object Lessons 41 - 55.

Object Lessons 41 - 55.

(Object Lesson 41 - The earth, sun and moon). After teaching how God created the earth, sun and moon, get three children to act out their motions.
a. The sun stays still, but always shines (smiles).
b. The earth travels round the sun, rotating as it does so (365+ spins per one circuit round the sun!).
c. The moon travels round the earth, remembering to always keep its same side facing the earth.

I have always found this to be great fun for children of all ages. Usually the 'moon' finds it hard to keep up with the earth, causing great hilarity among the spectators.

You could explain that God has made the conditions on earth just right for life. Even small changes would make life, as we know it, impossible. Ask "What would it be like on earth if - - - ?

1. The earth was nearer to the sun -------- Too hot. (It has been calculated that even a 2 degree C. rise in the average surface temperature of the earth would be enough to melt the polar ice caps and cause devastating flooding).
2. The earth was further away from the sun ------ Too cold.
3. The earth didn't rotate once on its axis every 24 hours ------ One side would be day all the time and be very hot. The other would be night all the time and be very cold.
4. The earth rotated faster than now ------ Very short days and nights, and constant hurricane force winds.
5. The earth wasn't tilted on its axis ------ No seasons. Countries near the equator would be very hot. Those far from the equator would be too cold to grow food - resulting in a world-wide food shortage.
6. The diameter of the earth was (say 10%) less than its present 13,000 Kilometres ------- Because of the consequent reduction in gravity, most of the oxygen which we need to breathe would escape into outer space.
7. The diameter of the earth was 10% greater than at present ------ The increased gravity, and hence air pressure would cause the polar ice caps to melt - resulting in devastating flooding.
8. The moon was a little smaller or a little further away than at present ------ Very little tidal action, resulting in even the oceans becoming stagnant and the death of all aquatic creatures.
9. The moon was a little larger or a little nearer than at present ------ Too severe tidal action, with low lying areas being flooded twice a day!

What a wonderful Creator we have, who not only made the earth just right for us to inhabit, but He also keeps it that way year, after year, after year.

(Object Lesson 42 - Gravity). Get a soft, hollow ball and pierce two holes in it close to each other. Thread a piece of string through the holes and tie together. You are now ready to demonstrate the importance of having the right strength of gravity as the earth circles the sun.

Hold the end of the string, and swing the ball round your head. Explain that your head represents the sun, and the ball represents the earth travelling round it year after year at a constant speed. Also, because gravity remains the same, the earth remains the same distance from the sun.

Ask, "What would happen to the earth if God increased gravity a little?" Demonstrate the effect by letting the ball crash into your head.

Ask "What would happen if God decreased gravity a little?" Demonstrate by letting go of the string. The ball will fly off to the other side of the room!

(Object Lesson 43 - Can nothing turn into something?). Bring an empty jar to your class, complete with lid. Ask the children to watch the jar for you for a few weeks, and tell you if anything begins to appear on the inside.

After a few weeks, ask the children if anything has begun to grow inside the jar? No. Ask, if you left the jar in the room for a year, with the lid closed, they think something will then have begun to grow - perhaps a little ant? No. How about 10 years? 100 years? A million years? Ever? The answer is still no. Explain that if nothing cannot become something in a few weeks, there is absolutely no reason to believe that it could ever do so. (You may wish to explain that there is actually air in your jar, but if even the air could not turn into something, there is certainly no way that 'nothing' could).

Some people do believe, however, that this did happen. They call it Evolution. They say that a long time ago, there was nothing. But them this nothing, all by itself, managed to become something, and that this something kept changing and changing into all the variety of things we see today, including us! The Bible tells us, however, that in the space of six days God, through His power, created the Universe and everything in it. God not only made everything complete and perfect, He made it all for our benefit - for us to enjoy and take care of.

(Object Lesson 44 - Dependence on oxygen). Talk about how God created the air ( or oxygen ), and then demonstrate how dependent we are on this by getting the children to see how long they can survive without it, i.e. how long they can hold their breath. If the oxygen level were a little less than its present 21%, breathing would be difficult. If it were a little higher, the fire danger would be greatly increased.

(Object Lesson 45 - "Made after its own kind."). God made the first of every living Biblical "kind", each with the ability to reproduce 'after it's own kind.' To explain this, take along an acorn. Explain that God created the first oak tree, with acorns (seeds) like this one contained in it. Some of those acorns would fall to the ground and grow into other oak trees, just like their parent tree, with each again containing their own acorns. Those, in turn. would fall to the ground and some would grow into more oak trees containing acorns, etc. etc. And that's how we get oak trees today. You may then wish to apply this argument to other living things, emphasising that cats always produce cats, dogs produce dogs, and people produce people etc.

Object Lesson 46 - Making right choices.

Ask for a volunteer to come out and be tied to a chair with a piece of rope. Ask for a second volunteer to come out and make an important choice.

Produce a glass of water and a sweet (or other suitable reward). Explain that their choice is " In return for this sweet, will you throw this glass of water in the first volunteer's face? He/she is powerless to stop you, because they are tied to the chair." If they refuse, begin to increase the 'reward' on offer - 2, 3, 4 sweets, 4 sweets and a chocolate bar!

If your volunteer refuses to throw the water, tell them they have made the right choice. No matter what 'reward' was on offer, it would always be wrong to throw water in someone's face. State that the Bible teaches us that if we make the right choices here on earth, we will be rewarded in heaven. Give them their reward of sweets and chocolate bar.

If your volunteer says they will throw the water, tell them they have made the wrong choice, and give the 'reward' to their intended victim instead.

Note. It is probably better to choose a girl as your second volunteer as, in my experience, most boys are willing to throw water in someone's face, even in return for one sweet!

Object Lesson 47 - Choosing the right friends.

It is important to teach older children especially about the importance of choosing the right sort of friends.

Preparation. Take two pieces of plain white paper, and smear one with a dark jam (e.g. blackcurrant).

Application. Explain that the 'clean' paper represents them (hopefully), and the 'dirty' paper a friend who does wrong things and gets into trouble.

Ask "What will happen when I rub the two pieces of paper together? The possibilities are :- 1. The clean paper will stay clean, and the dirty paper dirty. 2. The clean paper will make the dirty one clean. The dirty paper will make the clean one dirty."

Most children will realise that the third possibility is the correct one. Demonstrate this by rubbing the papers together.

Conclude by saying "This is usually what happens if you choose a friend that does wrong things - some of their 'dirt' is likely to rub off on you."

Object Lesson 48 - The resurrection of Christ.

Here is a close up object lesson on the resurrection that is certain to amaze your class.

Preparation. You will need a large coin, a clear glass, and a piece of thin clear latex or rubber, large enough to cover the top of the glass. (I have found that Qualatex 'Diamond clear' balloons are a good and inexpensive source of this). Stretch the rubber in all directions, hold the coin on your finger and press it on the underside of the rubber. When you cease stretching, you will find - with practice - that the rubber will wrap itself a little way under the coin as well as covering the top. The coin will thus appear to be on top of the rubber sheet (actually it is underneath) because the rubber has been stretched so much that it will be almost invisible. Finally, place the rubber and coin on the top of your glass, and secure with an elastic band.

Presentation. Talk about the resurrection, how Jesus came right out of the tomb, while the stone was still in place. (Alternatively, you can talk about how the resurrected Christ was able to 'appear' in locked rooms, without making a big hole in the door or wall!).

Produce your glass, with rubber and coin in place. Ask for a volunteer. State that he/she is now going to push the coin right through the rubber sheet without making a hole, or even a tear, in it. Get your volunteer to push the coin firmly downwards with their finger. The coin will fall into the glass, leaving the rubber sheet intact.

Object Lesson 49. R U E ?

When talking about His second coming, Jesus referred to the days of Noah, saying that when He returned, the conditions on the earth would be similar, i.e. great lawlessness. Jesus went on to explain that the actual date of His return was not important, what really matters is "Are you ready?"

Write out on a card the letters R U E ? (ensure that the "E" is in red). Ask the children "What does this say? That's right R U E. But what is the colour of the "E"? That's right - red. Now, read the card again, but this time say the colour of the letter "E". That's right R U red E. Now, keep on saying it, faster and faster _ _ _ _ _ _ _ You've got it. It says "ARE YOU READY?" The important question is "Are you ready for when Jesus returns? Are you really trusting in Him?"

Object Lesson 50 - Trust.

Here are two simple, but fun, object lessons on trust that you can use with your lesson on Noah, or indeed many other lessons where you want the children to understand what trust is.

A. - A mousetrap. Take along to your class a broken mousetrap, but one that appears to be in working order. Place it on a table, and very carefully place a large coin on top of the trap.

Explain to your children that you want them to understand what trust really is. Challenge the class along these lines. "I am looking for someone who will really trust me. If they do, they will be able to come out and, without hesitating, pick the coin from off the trap and take it away to keep - without any harm coming to them. If they don't really trust me, however, I am not responsible for anything that might happen to them." You should have no shortage of volunteers!

Explain that if the volunteer hesitates in any way, causes the trap to move at all, or drops the coin while attempting to pick it up, it doesn't count - even if the trap does not actually go off. In my experience, the first two or three volunteers will be hesitant, and thus be disqualified. Eventually, someone will pick up the coin without hesitating etc. You can then demonstrate that the trap is not actually working, but state that your volunteers did not know that, and the person who got the coin was indeed really trusting you.

Trust is taking someone at his word, and not doubting it for a moment.

B. - Falling backwards. This illustration has been used for many years, but it is still a very effective lesson for teaching on trust.

Ask for volunteers who really trust you (You could choose two teams). Explain that all they have to do is stand up straight with their backs to you, fall backwards, and you will catch them. However, if their feet move, or their knees bend, they don't get a point as that shows that they were not really trusting you.

After the exercise, you can conclude by saying : "Everyone who took part in that said they trusted me, and I am sure most of them really thought they trusted me. But when it came to the test, it was found that some were really trusting me, but some were not. It is not important whether you really trust me or not, but what is important is whether you are really trusting in Jesus. Many people say they are trusting in Jesus. But the vital question is are you really trusting in Him?"

Object Lesson 51. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

When teaching children about the Promises of God, I usually conclude by asking "How do you know that these wonderful promises are true? How do you know that they are good and will really work? You will probably get a mixed response.

Get out a box of chocolates or mallows. Ask "How do you know that these chocolates are good?

They certainly look good, but do you know that they really are good just by looking at them? - No.

They smell good, don't they, but can you tell if they are good by smelling them? - No.

I could tell you all the ingredients - cocoa, sugar, butter etc. - and how the chocolates were made, but would you then know if they really are good? - No.

I could introduce you to people who have tasted them, and they will tell you how good they are, but would you then know they were good? - No.

I could eat one myself (proceed to do so). Oh yes, they really are good! But do you now know that they are good? - No.

What would you have to do to find out for yourselves if they are really good? That's right. You would have to taste them for yourselves. It is exactly the same with God's promises. The Bible tells us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34.8). The only way that you will prove for yourselves that God's promises are good is by putting them to the test, and trying them out for yourselves.

Now, who would like to put these chocolates to the test, and prove that they are good?"

Object Lesson 52. Ask and you shall receive.

Jesus told us that some people don't receive anything from God, simply because they don't ask. Here is a simple illustration to help children understand that they should pray for their needs.

Write out on a piece of card or paper "-------------- (your name) wants to give away $1." Place it in a conspicuous place in your room before the lesson starts, but don't refer to it until the appropriate time.

Talk about how much our generous God wants to bless us and give us all our needs, but how some people don't receive from God because they don't ask. Remind them that Jesus said "Ask, and you shall receive" (Luke 11.9). By now one child might have really understood what you are talking about, and asked you for your dollar. If not, ask the children "Is there anyone here who wants to ask me for something?" Eventually someone should understand and ask for your dollar! "It is as simple as that. 'Ask and you shall receive' ".

Object Lesson 53. Using your Fingers as a prayer reminder.

Here is a finger prayer exercise that has been around for many years.

Get the children to have their hands facing inwards. Then :-

!st. Finger (Thumb). This one is the nearest to us. We should pray for our families.
2nd. Finger. This one does the pointing. We should pray for those who 'point the way' for us - our Church leaders and Sunday school teachers.
3rd. Finger. This one is the tallest. We should pray for the Leaders in National and local Government.
4th. Finger. The weakest. We should pray for the sick, needy and poor people.
5th. Finger. The smallest. We should pray for the 'little people' - other children we know.

There are some variations on this theme. For example, The first (Thumb) points to us. We should pray for our own needs. The fourth is the 'ring' finger. We should pray for family and friends. The fifth is the smallest. We should pray for the sick and helpless.

O.L. 54. - The Christmas tree.

If you have a decorated Christmas tree in your classroom, you can use it as an object lesson to teach some important Christian truths. If not, a picture of a Christmas tree would suffice.

The tree. This reminds us of our sin. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and Jesus died on a tree to take away our sins.

The point. This points heavenwards, reminding us that Jesus came from heaven to be our Saviour.

The Angel. Reminds us that it was an Angel that brought the first Christmas message to some Shepherds, "Fear not, for I bring good tidings of great joy, for unto you is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord." (Luke 2.10,11).

The star. Reminds us that God sent a special star to guide the wise men to the baby Jesus.

The lights. Jesus came to give light to those in darkness, and guide us on our way to heaven.

The decorations. Remind us of the beauty of everlasting life obtained through faith in Jesus.

Depository for gifts. (Usually underneath the tree). Reminds us of the first and best Christmas gift - Jesus Christ, God's gift to the world. We are also reminded that for any gift to benefit us, we need to receive it. If we don't personally receive Jesus into our lives then, as far as we are concerned, He might as well never have come to earth.

Object Lesson 55 - The new birth.

When I have taught on 'new beginnings', I usually included something on Creation (see my Newsletter No. 18). I have also taken in a chrysalis and explained how an ugly caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly.

When teaching about Nicodemus (the new birth), I get the children to make models out of modelling clay (Play-doh). I then explain that good as all the completed models are, not one of them is perfect. If there was a 'Master' sculptor present, and he made a model with just one small mistake, he would squash it up, and keep remaking it until it was perfect.That is God's plan for us. Because of sin, we are all born faulty on the inside, but God wants to remake us so we are new and perfect on the inside.