Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sparks Highlights 11.2.16

****Sparks Highlights****   Last week, we learned how obedience and trust go together to obey God – and when we obey God, He gives us the victory.  That is what happened in the case of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.  They followed God’s commands to the letter and the walls of the city came tumbling down.  Tonight, we learned about a man named Gideon and his army of just a few men were able to defeat the large enemy, the Midianites.  See, brute strength, might, smarts and plans don’t win our battles for us.  Our strength, might, smarts and plans come from the Lord.  We simply have faith in Him, obey Him, trust Him and God takes care of the rest!  Gideon learned that with just his three hundred men against the thousands of Midianites!  Your Sparkie has made a sword to remember Gideon and remember to have faith like Gideon.  Read about this exciting true life battle in Judges 6 & 7!
You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!    You can also check out the AWANA program at     

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sparks Highlights 10.26.16

****Sparks Highlights****   Despite knowing that God was taking care of every need – the miraculous  exit from Egypt, parting the Red Sea, providing food and water in the desert, the nation of Israel still didn’t trust God and they disobeyed.  God promised them a land flowing with milk and honey in the Promised Land – where He was leading them.  In that promised land, though, lived other people that would need to be conquered by the Israelites.   They sent out 12 spies and ten out of the twelve were fearful and persuaded the people to be fearful.  Only two of the spies (Joshua and Caleb) trusted God, knowing that God would provide their victory.  Because of the people’s disobedience, God said that none of them would enter the Promised Land, but only Joshua and Caleb with the children of those that disobeyed – the rest would wander around the wilderness for forty years and die there.   When that forty years had passed, Joshua was given the command to lead them.  By obedience to God, the Israelites then were able to enter the enemies’ territories and have many victories, but when they disobeyed, God did not allow the victories.   Tonight we learned about one of the amazing victories they had by conquering the city of Jericho – the victory was not by strength or might, but by pure obedience to God.  Ask your Sparkie why we made horns tonight!  The Hebrew name Joshua means “God saves or God rescues, or God is salvation” in which Joshua is another figure in the Old Testament who is a picture of Jesus Christ and His salvation for us.  As we work our way through the Old Testament, we continue to see how God saves His people and He continues to save us today. You can read about this in the book of Joshua in the Old Testament.  You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!   You can also check out the AWANA program at .     

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

****Sparks Highlights****   The nation of Israel worshipped God after the triumphant delivery (salvation) from Egypt.  God provided the nation of Israel a leader in Moses as God gave direction to Moses specifically of what was expected of the people.  A nation has laws and God had laws for the nation of Israel.  His laws show us how we are to love/serve God and how we are to love/serve others.  These laws, though, were not to be just a set of rules, but a clear picture of God’s perfect holy standard.  Any action opposite those laws is sin – and the penalty of sin is death eternal.  In God’s eyes when one law is broken – when one sin is committed - we are guilty of all of them.  That should sound familiar to your Sparkie as the K in SPARKS refers to James 2:10 that says ‘whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all’. No one can live up to this perfect standard of keeping all the laws/not sinning because no one is good enough.  In fact, the law was never to save anyone.  Keeping laws or doing good things to live by the laws doesn’t earn us to Heaven because we are never good enough.   The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that no one is righteous, no not one.  The penalty of that sin is death eternal, but the gift of God is eternal life. That gift is shed blood of Jesus, dying, for our sins; and we believing in that shed blood to cover our sins and save us from the penalty of our sins.  By accepting that gift, we have eternal life.  Jesus is who all of our Old Testament accounts, of people being saved/delivered from something, are all about.   You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!   You can also check out the AWANA program at .     

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sparks Highlights 10.12.2016

****Sparks Highlights****   The children of Israel (the children of Jacob and ultimately Abraham) grew to be a big nation as they lived in Egypt after Jacob and his family moved to Egypt to be with Joseph.   Many rulers came to power in Egypt after Joseph who were not kind to Israel as they put the Israelites in slavery.  At just the right time, God had a baby born to the Israelites named Moses who was to deliver them from the bondage of slavery.  Your Sparkie can tell you all the amazing details of how baby Moses was hid in the river in a basket to escape the ruler’s law that all Israelite boys were to be killed and was then eventually found by the ruler’s own daughter. Moses was raised in the ruler’s own palace, but was raised part of the time by his own mother who taught him about God.  God eventually called to Moses to be the leader of Israel, going before the ruler to act as God’s instrument by showing the mighty power of God through terrible plagues brought to Egypt all to convince the ruler to release Israel from Egypt.  Then God showed His amazing power as the Israelites were able to leave Egypt and God parted the Red Sea to allow them to travel on dry land.  We all, like the Israelites, are in slavery – we are in slavery to our sin.  Just like the Israelites needed someone to deliver them from their slavery, we need someone to deliver us from our slavery to sin.  That Great Deliverer is Jesus Christ.  We are continuing to learn about that Great Deliverance all Sparks Year!    Read about this amazing deliverance in Exodus Chapters 1-14.  You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!   You can also check out the AWANA program at

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sparks Highlights 10/5/16

****Sparks Highlights****   Indeed Abraham was to have more descendants than the stars in the sky and more than sands by the sea. This was God’s promise to him.  Abraham’s son Isaac, who we also met last week, grew up to have two sons – Jacob and Esau.  Jacob grew up and God changed his name to Israel – Israel is the nation we know today.  Jacob had twelve sons of which have been known to be the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son, and because of that, the older brothers were jealous.  They initially threw him in a well to die, but eventually sold him to some traveling men who then sold him into slavery in Egypt.  Joseph had been blessed with ability to interpret dreams – part of which angered his brothers.  Joseph was wrongly accused of a crime in Egypt and was thrown into jail.  He was eventually released because of his God-given ability to interpret dreams of the Pharaoh.  Joseph was removed from jail and put into second command in Egypt under the Pharaoh!  All the while, Joseph never questioned God and continued to serve Him – even in times a normal person might despair and question God.  The amazing true story of Joseph did not end with his rule in Egypt.  There was a famine in the land that brought Joseph’s brothers in to Egypt to get food.  They then were re-united with Joseph. Joseph could have done whatever he pleased out of revenge, but he forgave his brothers, and the whole family – the children of Israel – came to live in the fertile land of Egypt.  Truly, Abraham’s descendants multiplied into the thousands in Egypt at this point.  All because of Abraham’s – and Joseph’s – faith in God.  God also gave us another picture of the salvation we have in Jesus as his people were saved from death of a famine and given a great deliverance. Read about this in Genesis chapters 37-45.  You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!   You can also check out the AWANA program at

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sparks Highlights 9.28.16

****Sparks Highlights****   Again, after the flood, the people on the earth began to sin and do what was right in their own eyes.  Yet, again, one man named Abraham and his wife Sarah, were found to be faithful to God.  God promised great things to Abraham as he was obedient to God – including the fact that Abraham would be the father of a great nation.  This would seem impossible because Abraham and Sarah were very old without any children.  God fulfilled that promise in the birth of Isaac.  When Isaac was young, as a test of Abraham’s faith, God told Abraham to sacrifice his own son.  This seemed so improbable to Abraham, because after all, he was old and God promised him to be a great nation.   Out of great faith and obedience to God, though, Abraham obeyed.  He believed God’s promise to him even though the situation seemed improbable.  He took his son to the place God commanded and began to prepare Isaac as a sacrifice.  How puzzling it must have been to Isaac, but Isaac trusted his father and was obedient – obedient to the point of understanding his own father would sacrifice him.  He did not struggle, but obeyed even unto the point of death.  When God saw Abraham’s obedience, God halted the sacrifice and provided a substitute for Isaac. A ram was caught in the thicket and Abraham sacrificed the ram in place of Isaac, a substitute  – so Isaac wouldn’t have to die.  God provides us today the substitute for our own eternal death – that in his own Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life on the alter as a sacrifice for our sins.  The Bible states, like Isaac, he didn’t struggle – he willingly layed down.  Jesus Christ was like the ram who died in Isaac’s place.  Jesus Christ died for our sins so we wouldn’t have to.  He didn’t stay dead, as the ram stayed dead, because He conquered the power of death when He rose from the grave.  In order to enjoy that freedom from eternal death, we must have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins and be obedient to God, trying to live for Him by being repentant of our sins and turning away from them.  This can be found recorded in Genesis 17-21.  Tonight their decorated photo albums are to remind them of how God is faithful to all generations.  You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks!   You can also check out the AWANA program at .    

Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sparks Highlights 9.21.16

****Sparks Highlights****  After Adam and Eve’s disobedience, and thus the first sin, things to continued to get much, much worse. In fact, their own son Cain murdered his brother Abel and sin continued to be passed down through all the generations thereafter.  Genesis 6:5 says “then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…”  That sounds a lot like our world today.  Genesis goes on to say that God was sorry that he made man on the earth and that He was grieved in His heart.  Sin grieves God’s heart – it did then and does today.  God purposed to destroy all creation – with a flood, but Genesis says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.  God made a way to save Noah and his family from that destruction and death.  He instructed him to build an ark for his family, two of every kind of animal and for any man that would turn from his sin and have faith by stepping in the ark for salvation from the flood.  No other man made that repentance and so every living creature outside of the ark when the flood waters came was destroyed.  Noah and his family were saved from death because of their faith and obedience to God.  You see, the ark and the salvation that it gave to the living creatures inside is a picture of Jesus Christ and the salvation He provides us from the destruction and death from our sins.  Turning to Jesus and turning from your sinful ways and putting full faith in Him will save you from the destruction and death of your sins.  After the flood, God made a promise – covenant – with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with flood waters.  He did that with the sign of a rainbow which we can still see in these days.  Let your Sparkie tell you all about this.  You can read of this in Genesis chapters 5-9.  You are welcome to join us anytime at Sparks.   You can also check out the AWANA program at

 Mrs. Jennifer Schroeder, Mrs. Barb Stein.