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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Beatitudes Cootie Catcher

Most of us are familiar with the beatitudes that Jesus shared with his disciples. The term beatitude simply means supreme blessedness. In Matthew, Jesus speaks of nine blessings, and in Luke he only speaks of four. In Luke, Jesus also goes on to tell the disciples about what sorrows awaits those who are rich, well fed, well liked, and who are laughing.

In Luke 6:20-26, it says, 
"God blesses you who are poor,
    for the Kingdom of God is yours.
21 God blesses you who are hungry now,
    for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now,
    for in due time you will laugh.

22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

Sorrows Foretold
24 “What sorrow awaits you who are rich,
    for you have your only happiness now.
25 What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now,
    for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now,
    for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
26 What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds,
    for their ancestors also praised false prophets.

The Bible can be hard to understand, and put into words for children, especially when we as adults often struggle to grasp its full meaning.

When Jesus speaks of these sorrows or curses, I don't believe he is meaning these things are completely bad. There isn't a problem with having money, food, popularity, and happiness. There is a problem if these things are the most important thing in your life, and you strive to have them with everything in you. You are going to end up unhappy. The day will come when your money doesn't bring you pleasure but pain. The food will only satisfy for a short time, and popularity fades.

I believe Jesus was giving his disciples hope for the future and a little truth about the reality of what serving Him would cost them. God often asks us to give until it hurts. Sometimes we go without, so other can have more. Times can get really rough when friends disagree with our life or choices. We can be made fun of for our beliefs. But Jesus gives us hope. God sees our hearts and knows the pain we experience. He has great rewards and blessing for us. I can testify that those blessing don't have to wait until we get to heaven to receive them. I live an incredibly blessed life now. Each day I am in awe of all the good things God has given me.

Is my life perfect? .... No way!
Is there things I wish I could change? ..... Absolutely!
Do I have hard times? ..... Unfortunately, a lot of them!
But am I living a blessed life? .... Words cannot even begin to describe how truly grateful I am to God for all that I have. 

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

To help the kids in my class understand these scriptures a little more, I put together a game for them to make. Have you ever heard of the cootie catcher? Or the fortune teller? This thing goes by lots of different names.  I put one together to help remind the kids of the blessings and curses Jesus talked about.
Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

If the kids want to color in the words, have them do this before they cut and fold their game. Once it has been colored, cut around the large square. You won't be cutting on all the small lines, those are going to be folds.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

 Fold the square in half on both diagonal lines.

With the plain side of the paper facing up, fold each corner into the center. Do this for all four corners.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

Turn the paper over, and again fold each of the corners into the center. Do this for all four corners.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

When you turn your paper over, it should look like this.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

The last thing you need to do, is fold your paper in half each way. This will give some nice creases, so you can fit your fingers inside the squares.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

You should be able to slide your fingers under the words woe, reward, blessing, curse. This is the final step in making your Blessings and Curses cootie catcher.

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

Now you are ready to play!

You hold the game with both of your hands. You would place your left index finger in the blessing spot, and your left thumb in the curse spot. With your right hand you place your index finger in the woe, and your thumb in the reward. 

You alternate between a pinching and pulling motion. Pinching would open the mouth of the game up and down, pulling would open the mouth left and right.

In the traditional game, you would spell out the words on the front, or pick a number to choose how many times you open and close the game. For this game, we will spell out each of the words. 

For instance, if you want to read a blessing, you would start by opening the mouth up and down, then pulling it left to right, then up and down, and so forth. 

You spell the word Blessing as you do this:  
B (open it top to bottom) 
L (open it left to right) 
E (open it top to bottom) 
S (open it left to right) 
S (open it top to bottom) 
I (open it left to right)
N open it top to bottom) 
G (open it left to right)

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

You should end up with 4 choices:
People hate you

Whichever choice you pick, you will open the flap and it will reveal the rest of the verse...

Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

People hate you .... You are committed to the Son of Man
Sad... You will laugh
Poor... The kingdom of God is theirs,
Hungry... They will be satisfied.

Both Blessing and Reward will open to the correct place if you start spelling them by opening it top to bottom.

Both Curse and Woe will open to the other choices if you also start spelling them by opening it top to bottom first.

These were a bit hit with the kids in my class. Cootie catchers are a lot of fun to make, and you can use them for endless amounts of lessons and games! I think they would make great joke tellers too! I bet in the future you might see one or two from me. 

This one is extra special since it helps us remember our Bible story! To get a little more in depth into the lesson, if you have time, you could have the kids make a special personalized one for themselves. Have the kids think about when they obey God what happens. Also, they can think about what happens when they disobey God. 

Some examples of this: 
When I give to others .... God gives back to me. 
When I share with my friends ... it makes me feel good. 
When my feelings get hurt ... I know Jesus loves me to matter what.
When I'm mean to my brother ... it makes Jesus sad.
When I lie to my parents ... it hurts them.

You can see from my Blessings and Curses cootie catcher at the beginning of the post, where you need to write in your personalized things. The Blessings are all in the same font. And the Curses are in a different font. The little triangles are where you would put the second step. And the middle, larger triangles are the last step. 
Beatitudes cootie catcher or fortune teller

If you want to completely make up your own:
You need an even number of letters in your first word to end up on the top to bottom spot.
You need an odd number of letters in your first word to end up on the left to right spot.

make your own cootie catcher or fortune teller

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