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Dear Parents,      City walls and gates were very important in Bible times. Walls were built to be several feet thick. They protected a city from its enemies and provided a sense of safety and security. Gates were the center of city life, the meeting place for commercial and social transactions. Without these structures, the surv... Keep Reading

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Unit 18, Session 3: Nehemiah Heard News of Jerusalem

February 5, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

  Dear Parents,      This week and the next two weeks, we are studying the story of Nehemiah and Ezra. Nehemiah was a Jew living in Persia. He served as the king’s cupbearer, a position of great trust; the cupbearer made sure no one poisoned the king’s drink. Sometimes the cupbearer even tasted some of the drink... Keep Reading

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Dear Parents, During the time of Queen Esther—more than 450 years before Jesus was born—the Jewish people were scattered around the Persian Empire. The Book of Esther tells the unlikely story of a young Jewish woman who, as the queen of the Persian Empire, saved her people. After Esther was chosen as the queen of Persia, she received ... Keep Reading

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Unit 18, Session 1: Esther Became Queen

January 25, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, This week we began a two-part session on Esther and how God used her to save His people. The Babylonian captivity had ended while Cyrus was king of Persia. Some of God’s people—now referred to as Jews (people from Judah)—traveled back to Judah to rebuild the temple, the city, and their lives. Others, however, stayed... Keep Reading

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Unit 16, Session 5: The Temple Was Completed

January 15, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, Some time after the temple’s foundation was laid, the work stopped. With the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, God’s people resumed the work of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. Approximately 15 years had passed without progress. At this time, Darius was king of Persia. The Persian Empire was vast, so... Keep Reading

Unit 16, Session 4: God Brought His People Home

January 8, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, God’s people had been living in Babylon for 70 years. Some of God’s people had died in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home. Before the people of Judah were exiled, God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of the L... Keep Reading

Unit 16, Session 3: Daniel was Rescued

January 1, 2017 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, The fifth chapter of Daniel ends with the death of King Belshazzar when the Persians took over Babylon and Darius was put on the throne. Babylon was on the decline—no longer the powerful, prosperous empire it once was. By this time Daniel was an old man, probably in his early 80s. He served the new king as one of the three lead... Keep Reading

Unit 17, Session 2: Jesus is Born (from Christmas Eve)

December 24, 2016 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, Do you think it was just by chance that Caesar Augustus called for a census? Did it just so happen that Mary and Joseph were traveling to Bethlehem—the very place the Messiah was prophesied to be born? (Micah 5:2) God is in control of all things, which He showed by using a pagan emperor to bring about His plan. After Jesus was... Keep Reading

Unit 17, Session 1: Anticipating the Coming King

December 18, 2016 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, This week and next week, we step out of the Bible’s big story chronology to celebrate Christmas. This week we remained in the Old Testament to learn about Jesus’ birth from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah’s name means “Yahweh is salvation.” God called Isaiah to be a prophet when King Uzziah’s reign was... Keep Reading

Unit 16, Session 2: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

December 13, 2016 | by: Jessica Wilson | 0 Comments

Dear Parents, Nebuchadnezzar built a tall gold statue and issued a new law: “When you hear music, you are to fall down and worship the statue.” The penalty for defying this law was severe. “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire” (Dan. 3:6). So when music played, al... Keep Reading

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