You’re Making A Difference


Yo, so this weekend I got to support one of my small group guys as he shared his testimony in the adult service at church. It was a very proud moment for me. He is an awesome dude who loves Jesus with all of his..

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Lesson: Jonathan Warns David to Flee (1 Samuel 18-20)

Lesson: Jonathan Warns David to Flee (1 Samuel 18-20)

After defeating Goliath, David become a part of the king’s court. Everyone grew to love David which caused King Saul to become more and more jealous. Even though God had anointed David as King, Saul was not quick to give up his crown. He sought to kill David so that he could remain king. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was close friends with David and helped him escape. Without Jonathan’s help David could have been killed by Saul. Today our class will look at the power of friendship and learn that God wants us to help our friends.

Lesson Title:  Jonathan Warns David to Flee

Bible Reference: 1 Samuel 18-20

Target Age Group: Preschool

Learning Context: Children’s Church

Target Time Frame: 1 ½ hour

Learning Aim:  God wants us to help our friends.

Materials Needed:

  1. Poster Board
  2. Finger Paint
  3. Paint brushes
  4. Hula hoop
  5. Ball
  6. Dry erase board and markers

You say the Italicized words.  Non-italicized words are directions.

Lesson Opener

Spend a few minutes talking about friends.

Say, Who is your friend? Why is _____ your friend? What do you like to do with your friends? How do you help your friends?

Today we are going to learn about how Jonathan helped his friend David.

Bible Story

Open your Bible to 1 Samuel 18:1-4, 19:1-7, 20:1-42.

Every time you hear the name David I want you to put your arms over your head like you are hiding. Whenever you hear the name Jonathan I want you to give a classmate a high five because Jonathan was a good friend.

Say, Whenever David was a boy he was chosen by God to be the next king of Israel. Whenever David was a young man he defeated the giant, Goliath. As he got older the Israelites began to look up to David more and more.

Saul was the King of Israel and he became jealous of David’s popularity. He wanted to hurt David.

Jonathan was King Saul’s son. Jonathan was David’s best friend. Even though Jonathan could have been jealous because he should have been king after Saul, he was not jealous. Jonathan wanted to help David escape from King Saul.

David found a good hiding place and Jonathan would send 3 arrows into the sky if it was not safe and David needed to get away.

Jonathan was a good friend to David. God wants you to be a good friend and help others just like Jonathan. 

Helping Hands

You will need a poster board and finger paint. Paint each child’s hand and make hand prints on the board. Let each child (or teacher to avoid a mess) write their name by their hand print. Write ‘Friends Help Each Other’ on the board and hang it up in the classroom as a reminder that God wants us to help our friends.

Say, Jonathan was a good friend to David. How can you help your friends? Each time that you see this poster remember to help your friends.

Friends Stick Together Hula Hoop Pass

Have all the kids stand in a line and hold hands. They must pass the hula hoop from person to person without letting go of their friend’s hand.

Say, God wants friends to stick together. While playing this game everyone had to stick together to get the hula hoop to the other end of the line.

You Are My Friend Ball

Stand in a circle and play catch. Say, ‘_____ is my friend’ and then throw the ball to that child. They then say another child’s name and pass it on. Make sure everyone has a turn to catch and throw the ball.

Say, We are all friends here. Isn’t that wonderful? You can be a good friend just like Jonathan.

What is a Good Friend?

Ask the class to share things that a good friend would do. Write them on the board or a sheet of paper. Here are some examples: give high fives, help then when they fall, give them a toy, work together to play a game, pray for their friend, take turns, etc. Once you have the list written play charades. You will say one of the things that a good friend does and the kids will act it out.

Say, Jonathan was a good friend when he helped David escape. You can be a good friend by doing these things each and every day. Remember that God wants you to be kind to your friends.

Closing the Lesson

Say, Think of one friend that you can pray for today. What is their name?

Close in prayer. Let each child pray for their friend.

August Gallery Exhibits in Jerome and Sedona, AZ

Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Tour  August 5th , 2016

Jerome Art Walk August 6th, 2016

Desert-Garden-18Kick off your weekend exploring the dynamic galleries of Sedona, AZ during the 1st Friday Gallery Tour! We would like to highly suggest making it a point to visit the Turquoise Tortoise Gallery featuring a new exhibition that puts a spotlight on “Summertime Art! On Saturday evening continue your exploration of the arts on Cleopatra Hill at the “Jerome Art Walk”. Below you will find a few of the exhibits and receptions taking place during Sedona’s First Friday Gallery Tour, to see a full listing of participating galleries please visit the Sedona Gallery Association on Facebook.

For your convenience, the Sedona Trolley provides free transportation to venture from art gallery to art gallery. If you are staying at the Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona, we also offer our guest free shuttle service to uptown Sedona and the Tlaquepaque Arts and Craft Village. All of the exhibits and artist receptions for 1st Friday run from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Sedona’s 1st Friday Evening in the Galleries Exhibits

Sedona Arts Center
“Blowin’ In The Wind”
August 5th – 30th, 2016
Opening Reception August 5th (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
sedona arts centerIt’s the monsoon season in Arizona, and Sedona Arts Center’s upcoming exhibition pays tribute to this special time of year. “Monsoon season is a magical time in Northern Arizona, with cloud formations, afternoon rains, and dramatic lightning displays above our red rocks. The gallery artists have taken that as an inspiration, and the August exhibition is both a celebration of local talent as well as our landscape and environment.” says Cyndi Thau, the Arts Center’s new Gallery Director. “We invite the public to stop by, learn about the wonderful creative people in our midst, and meet them at the opening night reception.” For more information please visit the Sedona Arts Center.

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Lanning Gallery
“Art Furniture by Sticks”
August 5th – August 14th, 2016
Opening Reception August 5th (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)Sticks-STK381-mirror
Lanning Gallery in Sedona, Arizona opens a new exhibition to showcase Sticks, the top-quality art furniture created by a unique group of talented and creative American artisans. Founded in 1992 by artist Sarah Grant, Sticks received early national acclaim and the company grew more and more as collectors discovered its heartfelt designs of quirky exuberance. With over 100 artisans now employed at Sticks, each one is still assured by Grant that their greatest asset is to be themselves, to unapologetically not take themselves too seriously. And this is the message collectors love to take home on a piece of Sticks art furniture to make part of their daily lives.For more information please visit the Lanning Gallery.

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“Monsoon Madness” at Rowe Fine Art Gallery
August 5th, 2016 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
TimelessRowe Fine Art Gallery’s distinguished painters are inspired by the desert Southwest’s landscape and wildlife, both of which rely on the renewing rains of summer’s monsoons. This month, Rowe Gallery celebrates the return of the summer storms with Monsoon Madness, a show that highlights new works by gallery painters. “As an Arizona native, this is one of my favorite times of the year,” says gallery co-owner Monica Rowe. “There’s nothing quite like the sensory experience of a summer storm – the billowing clouds, a flash of lightning, the sound of a clap of thunder and the smell of wet sage and chaparral. Our painters have a way of capturing all four seasons of the desert Southwest, so this show seemed like the perfect tribute to the drama of art and nature.” For more information please visit Rowe Fine Art Gallery.

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Goldenstein Gallery
“Friends of a Feather!”
Opening Reception August 5th, 2016 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)Goldenstein Gallery
In this wonder-filled time of summer explore the grace, beauty and humor of our extraordinary feathered friends of the sky throughout August. You are invited to join the Goldenstein Gallery as they kick off Friends of a Feather! Enjoy inspired works in a variety of styles by gallery artists including Mike Medow, Patricia Griffin, Jourdan Dern, Liz Wolf, Jacqueline Jackson, LauRha Frankfort, Ben Wright and acclaimed visiting sculptor and painter Lucius Upshaw. The opening reception will also feature the music of Adam Smith. Mingle with local artists and stroll in our sculpture garden and Enjoy Your Life!For more information please visit the Goldenstein Gallery.

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Mountain Trails Galleries
“Summer Group Show II”
Opening Reception August 5th, 2016 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)Canyon-Sunrise-WS-Jennings-48x36-WEB
Mountain Trails Gallery is pleased to present “Summer Group Show II”! Featuring paintings by more than 40 artists working in oil, acrylic, graphite, and mixed media that express the beauty of the Western landscape including Sedona and the Grand Canyon, Western figurative scenes that include Native American and ranching life, as well as wildlife, Western historical still-lifes and action scenes. Also featured are Western and wildlife bronze sculpture by 17 award-winning artists.For more information on this event please visit the Mountain Trails Gallery.

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Turquoise Tortoise Gallery
“Summertime Art”
August 5th – 14th 2016
Opening Reception on August 5th (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
The Turquoise Tortoise Gallery offers a new exhibition that puts a spotlight on “Summertime Art,” works that capture all the disparate elements of heat and relaxation, nature and play. Butterflies take their place in this summer exhibition as well with unique designs from Davida Lister, of the highly regarded Lister family led by David and Alice Lister whose work is always prominently featured at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery. A spectacular butterfly necklace of New Kingman turquoise and spiny oyster shell on sterling silver is the centerpiece of a collection that includes earrings, a pendant, ring and cuff. Summertime is always the right time to wear turquoise and the gallery has a tremendous variety of pieces. Artist Sharon Weiser perfectly captures the joys of Arizona summers in her oil on canvas paintings of cactus compositions. In each painting cacti become joyfully colorful with every shade the artist’s eyes see augmented to enrich her engaging palette… For more information please visit the Turquoise Tortoise Gallery.

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Jerome Art Walk
Arizona’s Art Destination
August 6th, 2016 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm)Jerome Art Walk
Once again, the magical mountain town will be hosting a night filled with art, music and refreshments galore. Art Walk is the only night that galleries are open from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Members like Nellie Bly by the Spirit Room, Patrick Lincoln in The New State Motor Company and Flux Gallery in the Old Jerome High School all bring a fresh energy to the vibrant art scene in Jerome. With 22 participating galleries and studios and many sponsoring businesses and restaurants offering specials, this is a festive night in Jerome. A free shuttle runs throughout the town during the event. For more information please visit the Jerome Art Walk on Facebook.

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Best Western Plus Inn of Sedona
See why our guests love our hotel. Great views, beautiful setting, your red rock home away from home!

There are so many things to do in Sedona any time of the year, many people come here and get married and spend their honeymoon nearby in Jerome sometimes, and Sedona many times.






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You’re Engaged! The First 5 Things to Do

your engaged

As soon as that ring’s on your finger, the big-day countdown begins, and it’s overwhelming to say the least! There are so many to-do lists, people to call, and appointments to be made, it’s enough to turn a sane bride-to-be into a basket case. I know how scary it can be. Just days after my proposal I logged in to The Knot to see 100 things I was behind on already and 200-plus things I needed to do. So why don’t we take a big breath together, and start small? I asked Ashlyn Carter of event planning and design company Carter & Cook Event Co. what she would start off with, and she had some helpful advice. With our combined efforts, here are the first five must dos for a bride-to-be:

1. Set the budget.

This is huge, because it’s how you’ll know how much you can spend on every big and little detail, from the cocktails to the photographer. Talk with parents if they are helping out, and figure out where the money’s coming from and how you’ll keep track of it. Will your dad have an account you have access to? Are you creating a joint bank account with your fiancé? See some of our helpful budgeting advice.

2. Set a general time you want to get married.

Determining the season you want will narrow down the type of venue and attire, but it will also affect the budget since some vendors offer discounts to off-season weddings.

3. Hire a planner!

Or decide if you’re going to hire a planner. This is important early on because if you are hiring a planner, you want her help as early in the planning process as possible. (Here are some tips for how to choose the right one.) While it can cost a pretty penny, you may end up making up for it with the help of a professional who keeps you on budget and can pick smart vendors. But also factor in priorities: if you do everything yourself, you may save money, but it will cost you your time and some extra blood, sweat, and tears.

4. Book the venue and photographer once the date is set.

Ashlyn adds that sometimes their availability will determine the date, so it may come down to your biggest priority: the venue, date, photographer, or even caterer. My fiancé and I decided that since our dream venue had limited availability, it was our top priority. Once the venue date was set, we checked that the caterer and the photographer were available (and our closest family and friends).

5. Get inspired.

Don’t forget the fun part! Start inspiration boards on Pinterest to help you pick the colors and overall look, flip through bridal mags and wedding blogs (some of my favorites are Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Wedding Chicks, and 100 Layer Cake) for dress ideas and more, and begin researching other vendors such as DJs and invitation companies. You can also organize photo inspiration on Flickr and Tumblr.

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Going to Sedona for your wedding, don’t miss out!

You’re Engaged! The First 5 Things to Do is republished from Sedona Weddings LLC

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Every Part of This Serene California Forest Wedding Is Completely Gorgeous


What really makes Victoria and David’s forest wedding unique is the fact that it was planned to be environmentally sustainable – not to mention that it oozes charm in every way. The couple tied the knot on their family’s 60-acre property in Grizzly Flats, CA. Their mutual love for nature and water was reflected in the ceremony and reception, which were deep in the Sierra Foothills and surrounded by lush greenery. They were by the edge of a running stream, which “was heard in between vows,” said wedding photographer Dave Shilling.

The wedding’s rustic details, including the handmade wooden banquet tables, mirrored the natural setting. “Environmental considerations were taken, and one small ultraquiet generator was used to power a simple sound system, used almost exclusively by live musicians for the ceremony and reception,” Dave said. “The plates were made of wood, the glasses were recycled bottles, and nothing was disposable.”

See all the gorgeous photos ahead!

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