Monthly Archives: April 2014

How Big Was Goliath?

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We know that Goliath was big, really big. The Bible says he was 6 cubits and a span which is almost 9 1/2 feet tall. But how big is that really? To get a perspective we created a life-size poster of Goliath as part of our Family Worship Evening.

We first read the account of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. We divided the bible reading into parts so that each person read their part like when you are doing a play. The parts are: the narrator, Goliath, Jesse, the men of Israel, David, Eliab, Saul and Abner. It is good to have someone who can impart a lot of character and personality into the part of Goliath as he really adds a lot to the story. After the reading, we discussed the story and the lessons we learned that we can apply in our lives and our ministry. Afterwards we decided to find out how big Goliath was compared to ourselves.

I created a PDF file of a scale size image of Goliath that is divided into standard 8.5×11 sheets of paper. I printed these out on to full size shipping labels (sticker paper) so that it would be easy to stick on a large sheet. I then labeled the back of each piece of paper with the location grid number based on the master layout. This is important so you can remember where it goes when you put it together. Each of the pieces of paper print with cut guidelines so you can cut each piece out. Each piece is also printed with a little bit of overlap so that when you place each piece it will slightly overlap the adjoining pieces. We got a large (really really really big) piece of paper (about 8’x12′) and rolled it out on to the floor (we needed a really big space to do it). We had a master layout sheet showing where each piece goes and then we began to stick one piece after another on the giant sheet of paper like a puzzle. Once it was all done, we then hung it upright on a wall with tape. We needed a really tall wall to do this (10′ – 11′). Once on the wall we each took turns standing next to it to see how big Goliath really was. Wow, this guy was huge! You can really appreciate how courageous David was and how strong his faith in Jehovah was to challenge such a giant!

Attached below are PDF files with the master layout and all of the individual sheets. I only have sheets that actually have something printed on it. Pieces that were blank/white I did not print, so you will notice that nothing prints for all of the white pieces in the master layout. We started with one of the center pieces and worked out from there. You don’t have to use sticker paper, but could easily just use glue sticks or even just print and cut the pieces and then lay them out on the floor like a puzzle without any glue.

Goliath poster PRINT pages         Goliath poster layout

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Underwater Astonishments

Here is a great video that we used as part of our family worship evening that we spent talking about Jehovah’s creations. We discussed as a family the chapter “Who designed it first?” in the brochure Was Life Created? (you can find it on jw.org). As part of our discussion we watched a video called Underwater Astonishments. It is a video of a talk given by David Gallo, an oceanographer, at a TED conference about Technology, Entertainment and Design. 

David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square’s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean. It really helps show the amazing design in Jehovah’s creations.

Underwater Astonishments talk on ted.com

Bible Scriptures Memory Game

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We like to spend a few minutes at the end of each evening playing this game. It helps us all memorize some key scriptures that we could use in the ministry. It is helpful for even those who have been in the truth for many years and memorized them long ago, but now want to memorize how they are translated in the 2013 revision of the New World Translation.

I used some business card sheets (like the Avery 8371) and printed them using a computer printer. Attached below is a PDF of the ones we made. Optionally you could just write them on some index cards or even just print them out on paper and cut each card out. Half of the cards have a scripture citation on them and the other half have the actual scripture. Shuffle the cards and then lay them all out facing down in a 5×4 pattern. Then each person takes a turn turning over two cards. If the citation matches the scripture then the person keeps the cards. If not, then they turn them back over. It challenges you to not only memorize where you have seen a card, but to also be able to know which scripture goes with which citation.

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Bible Memory Game

Explore a New Language on jw.org

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One of the goals we have explored as a family is learning a foreign language so as to be able to expand our ministry. The website jw.org is a great way to learn about new languages, and the countries and people who use that language.

Each person picked a country with a different language and did research about that country and language. On our family worship evening, each then gave a presentation about what they had learned. The presentations included:

  • Facts about where the country is located, the culture, unique food and animals, population, the number of publishers there,etc.
  • One experience from that country. The yearbooks are a great source for this.
  • A printed page from a publication in that country’s language. By using jw.org you can download and print a page in the desired language.
  • Using jw.org, go to one of the articles on the site and change the language to that of the your country. Then play the the record audio on the webpage of it being read in that language.

Lego Bible Creationary

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This activity is fun for all ages and we have found that the adults often really get into this one. If you have kids you have likely collected a box of all kinds of Lego pieces. This activity uses the Lego pieces to learn about the stories in the Bible.

Each player draws a card that has one of the stories from My Book of Bible Stories. Each person then creates their own model using various Lego pieces to represent the story. Once each person is done, the others try to guess the story. Another variation is to read one of the stories along with the account in the Bible. Afterwards each person creates their own model from that story.

 

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What you need:

  • My Book of Bible Stories – you can find this on jw.org
  • Lots of Lego pieces. You can buy a big box of them from one of the many online stores. You can also buy specific pieces in bulk at the shop.lego.com website under the “Pick a Brick” section. There you can also get customized mini figures with beards, swords and spears, etc to better match Bible characters. I also search around on eBay and found a few Pharaoh, Roman Soldier, and various animal mini figures to use.
  • Cards each with a different story number written on them. We bought a box of the Avery Business Card sheets (Avery 5371 or similar) and then used a computer printer to make the cards. Attached below are the PDF files that we made to print the cards. Optionally you can just print the pages on paper and then cut each of them out. We also have a few wild cards which we use to let the person chose any story they want from the Bible.

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Bible Cards 1 Bible Cards 2 Bible Cards 3 Bible Cards 4 Bible Cards 5 Bible Cards 6 Bible Cards Back

Bible Pictionary with SketchParty TV

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Sometimes we like to play a Bible game as part or our Family Worship evening. Bible Pictionary is a great game where one person picks a bible word from a hat/bowl/etc and then draws it on a piece of paper while others try to guess the word. We found a great iPad app that makes the game even more fun to play. The app is called SketchParty TV.

You need to have an iPad and an AppleTV that is hooked up to your television. You connect the iPad to your TV wirelessly using the built in AirPlay feature. Once setup you then run the SketchParty TV app.

One player holds the iPad and a Bible word will display on the iPad. Using the iPad the player then draws a picture based on the word. The picture is displayed on the TV while the player is drawing (but not the Bible word) and the others try to guess it. The game has a timer so you have to try and guess a set number of words within the time limit. You can skip and go to another word if you get stuck. The game even allows you to play as teams.

SketchParty TV comes with a basic list of simple words, but allows you to add your own custom word list. We created a Bible word list and use this list for the game. You can download our Bible wordlist on your iPad (see link below) , open the wordlist.txt file and then copy/paste the word list into the SketchParty TV app. You go into the setup for the app and create a custom word list. Just paste the text into the word list and save it. Now select this as your word list and start the game.

SkectchParty TV Bible wordlist

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The Tabernacle Model

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We found a great scale model of the Tabernacle. It is a plastic model kit that is very detailed and takes some skill to assemble. It included a high priest, 3 priests, a jar of manna, Aaron’s budded staff, the ten commandments stone, 3 sheep, 8 stands, an ark of the covenant, 3 lambs, 2 cows, a bread table, the altar of incense, the lamp stand, 2 breads, the altar of burnt offering, and a tree. The Tabernacle is built using posts and several layers of fabric representing the actual coverings used.

We used some flexstone spray paint to paint the base so it looked like the ground. We bought others paints (gold, brown, silver, etc) so we could paint the other pieces as nothing comes painted. The project takes several hours to build so it probably makes sense to build the project over a weekend.

We pull it out every year or so (especially if it is being discussed at a meeting that week) and take the coverings off and look at how it is constructed and all of the various parts that make it up. The May 1, 2010 Watchtower on page 7 has a great picture showing the various parts of the Tabernacle and what each pictured. We read the scriptures sited and try to remember what each part is and what it pictured.

You can find it sold several places online including Amazon.com. The model we bought was made by Vision Video and is called The Tabernacle Making (Model) kit. It is a 1:90 scale model.

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