For Educators

About this issue (November)

November 2019—Little Things

Have you ever prayed or wished fervently for something that you didn’t get? How did you feel? Disappointed? Discontent? Sometimes when we focus on the big things we want but don’t have, we overlook the little gifts and blessings that come our way. Children often do the same. If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why doesn’t God, like a genie in a bottle, grant them their desires? But the truth is, God blesses us more than we know. Those blessings usually appear in simple ways: a hug or smile when we’re sad, a beautiful day, enough food to eat, a warm home, a family member who loves us unconditionally, a faithful friend—all things to be thankful for. We want to help children realize that all these things added up reveal how truly blessed they are—even when they don’t get exactly what they’ve wished for.


Stories: In “My Top-Sale Fail,” David is going all-out to be the top salesman in his schools’ fundraiser so he can win a new video game system. He’s outraged when two of his friends combine their sales and win the prize—until he finds out why they want the game system. In “The Blessing Book,” Maggie resists her sister’s attempts to make everyone in the family write down a blessing for each day. In “Tree Frog Trail,” Nate’s disappointment over not winning a writing contest lingers as Thanksgiving approaches. In “After the Storm,” a flood destroys James’s cherished electronics and forces his family to stay in an emergency shelter. In “Confused Octopus” Keisha is inspired by her heroes as she trains for a race.


Pocketsful of Scripture looks at stories of Jesus serving others from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John.


Where in God’s World? looks at Montenegro.


Special note: This issue contains our Thanksgiving Prayer Calendar.


Coming up:                                                                                                        


December 2019—Behold!

In truth, the December issue of Pockets hardly needs an assigned theme. The Advent themes of waiting, hope, welcoming, joy, peace, and love are all we need to guide us through the season. Beholding is about noticing, in an intentional way, Emmanuel, God with us. We want this issue to help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new to us each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of God with us guides our lives throughout the year.


Jan./Feb. 2020—New Beginnings

“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” –2 Corinthians 5:17. A new year provides a natural time to think about new beginnings. How many of us begin the new year with lofty (and often unrealistic) expectations that this is the year we’ll finally begin eating healthier, exercising regularly, reading great books, and generally becoming nicer, smarter, healthier people? While these good intentions usually end in disappointment, we can make a new beginning any time—not just on January 1. How do we know when it’s time for a new beginning? When (and how) is it helpful to honor what we’re leaving behind in starting anew? What priorities should we adopt when considering change? How do we live each day into the possibility of becoming a “new creation” in Christ?




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