From Genesis to Revelation
Exciting things are happening at Westridge!  The 4th, 5th, and 6th grade class is about to begin a Journey Through the Bible.  We’ll be reading from Genesis to Revelation and digging deep into the scripture by looking at archaeology, scientific proof, and culture and foods of the day, with crafts, activities, and acting out scenes in costume to cement the stories into our minds.


The classroom has been redone to give the ambience of bible lands from the moment you step through the door.  This is total immersion into the time and place of bible characters to make it as real as we possibly can in modern times in Pocahontas, Arkansas.
As we study each book of the Bible, students will add another card to their ring (66 in all).  These cards tell the basic ideas in each book, how it pertains to their lives, and what key points and stories are contained within that book.  They can be used as a quick reference to help with study later on. 


We’ll be adding to the Journey Through the Bible notebooks with useful and interesting information to bring the stories to life.  And at the end of the course, students will receive a beautiful bible that they’ll be proud to use for years.

Check back periodically to see what we’re learning.

December 24, 2017
The first two lessons in the Journey Through the Bible series were from Genesis.  We learned God created the earth and all that is in it and about the nature of God and how he reacts to sin. 
We are SO PROUD of our students.  They are eager to learn and each of them contributes to the class in comments, questions, and participation.
Since we are in the month of December, we decided to take a little diversion and talk about the birth of Christ and why God came to earth.  We spent one week discussing the prophesies that foretold the coming of the long awaited Messiah.
Then on Christmas Eve, we reenacted the manger scene and the coming of the Magi later on.  One of our elders joined us and we took the opportunity to ask him to be our narrator.
With scripts in hand, each child handled the scenes brilliantly. 
We discussed the gifts that the wise men brought when they visited Jesus later on.  Students were able to smell  frankincense and myrrh and we talked about the medicinal properties of these precious gifts.
Afterwards we sang “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night”.  We have some good singers in the class and hearing “Silent Night” sung by sweet innocent voices is a beautiful sound indeed.  
When asked what they learned that they didn’t know before we acted out the scenes, something different stood out in each of their minds.  It was good to talk about what they remembered or noticed and to reinforce it with added discussion.
Since we celebrated the birth of Christ this week, we had a three layer birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.  Each student told us how they planned to celebrate Christmas.  And in every case, the first thing they mentioned was time with family.
Miss Edie and Miss Karen had planned to sing “Mary Did You Know?” to them, but to our delight and surprise, they all knew the song and we all sang it together.
Have I mentioned what an amazing group of kids these are?  In 45 minutes, we put on costumes, acted out an important scene from the bible, had discussions, songs, birthday cake, and a great time learning about the birth of our Savior.
Next week we’ll pick up where we left off in Genesis.
January 2018
This month we built alters!  
Each time God interacted with His followers in Genesis, they recognized it as a momentous occasion or place and alters were built to mark the spot. 
Noah built an alter and made a sacrifice to God when he came off the ark.  We are learning the importance of listening to and obeying God, as well as remembering and honoring Him.
The children love to act out scenes and who doesn’t love a good sword fight? 
So when the tribes were fighting and Lot was kidnapped from the scene of the tar pits (notice the black spots on the floor), they really got into it – the acting out part, not the tar.
Then when the visitors came and visited Abraham and Sarah there was more fun.  Sarah giggled from inside the tent at the idea that she would have a child in her old age, and the visitors were fed and shown great hospitality.  
Lot was rescued and Abraham’s character was seen in his refusal to accept any of the spoils.  He wanted his wealth to come from God.  We emphasize over and over in class what God expects from us and how He reacts to sin.  
As Abraham watched the destruction of Sodom (presented to the children as a city filled with sin, whose every thought was evil.  Period.), we watched a video of scientists who dug up sulfur balls embedded in ash at the actual site of where Sodom stood and took it back to their lab in New Zealand to test.  The sulfur turned out to be much purer than that we find in geothermal regions on earth, which means it would have burned much hotter.  Miss Edie and Miss Karen  burned some matches in a large can so the kids could smell the scent of sulfur.  This is the link to the video if you’d like to see it.  We found it exciting to see the actual site and to hear the scientific proof – further confirmation of what happened in the bible.
Our goal is to make each story as real as possible so the children retain them and learn more about the character of God.
We saw an excellent video tour of the Tabernacle with correlations to us as New Testament Christians:
November 2019
We’ve been in the Valley of Dry Bones with Ezekiel.  What an illustration to show that God’s power is limitless!  We are nearing the end of the Old Testament (chronologically) and looking forward to the coming of our Messiah.  How fitting that it will be around the Christmas season.  
  Our prayer is that those of us with dry bones will come alive in Christ in the new year and produce much fruit.
September 2020
It took us two years to work our way through the Old Testament.  During this time, we had a wilderness meal of foods the Israelites ate as they crossed the desert from Egypt to Canaan, built a Tabernacle, went to a youth rally, had an afternoon of service to others, planted flowers for our moms on Mother’s Day, filled up our Bible card rings, learned LOTS and LOTS, and bonded as a class.  Through it all, we learned how the Old Testament ties into the New Testament and why it’s important to have that foundational knowledge.  We had just finished the Old Testament in March of 2020, when Covid-19 shut us down and we weren’t able to meet for several months.  We are still waiting for word that it is safe to begin class again.   When we are able to open the classrooms, we’ll start with the New Testament.  
Meanwhile, our website began to fill up, so I have taken down most of the posts, but left a few things up so you can get a feel for our class.  If you are new to the area or would like to come to Sunday School, we hope you’ll come and join us. 
March 2021
We all said a big Hallelujah when we could once again get back into Sunday School Class!  Our kids have grown and we have gained a couple more students from the younger group as we begin studying the New Testament.
It is good to have the knowledge of Old Testament history as we move forward.  Knowing the background makes a big difference in understanding the New Testament.  We are masked and ready to sit around the round table and learn about Jesus.  These lessons are being taught in chronological order since the gospels are somewhat repetitive.  But each gospel adds a few more details that gives a more complete picture.  Students are encouraged to stop us and ask questions if they need clarification.  The goal is for everyone to really understand what we are studying, and through understanding, to grow a love of the Bible and for Jesus; to understand WHY we are learning all this and how to apply it to their own lives.   
August 2023
We are getting closer to the end of the Bible.  It’s amazing to look back and see what all we’ve studied and learned.  One of our students was baptized!  We don’t take credit, but hope that we had a little bit of influence toward that goal.  Our class numbers have waxed and waned.  It is hard to see parents that don’t put a priority on teaching children God’s Word, but such is life and we are thankful for the ones who come week in and week out.  We pray that we have planted seeds in those former students.  Over the past six years, we have seen students grow in stature and faith.  We see maturity that has grown and we have confidence that they will stay faithful for a lifetime.  In all honesty, it could take us another year to finish to the end of Revelation, but we will celebrate when we reach that point and have several things to leave with them to help them as they continue to grow and learn.