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Children’s Bible Program – Level 1: Lesson 50 “David and Abigail”

Featured Passage: 1 Samuel 25


David was on the run from King Saul, and with God’s help he and his mighty men managed to stay at least one step ahead of the jealous king. They hid in caves, fought against the Philistines, and always stayed on the lookout for Saul and his men. Though King Saul did not like it, most people knew who David was and that he was in line to be the next king of Israel, so they would help David with whatever he needed. One day, David and his men were hungry, so they stopped at the home of a wealthy man named Nabal who they knew would have plenty of extra food to spare. But, instead of helping them out, Nabal turned the men away and refused to share anything. Angry at Nabal’s foolish decision, David told his men to get their swords ready. David and his men headed down to the household, swords in hand, when suddenly they were met by someone on the way who had an urgent request. 

Discuss: 

  • Who was Nabal? What does his name mean? Why do you think David and his men chose to stop at Nabal’s house to get food to eat? 
  • Why do you think Nabal refused to share with David? Why was David so upset by Nabal’s response? 
  • Who was Abigail? How did Abigail find out what was going on? What did she do when she found out what Nabal had done? What can we learn from Abigail’s actions?
  • How did Abigail act when she made her request? What did David do when she did? 
  • What happened to Nabal? What did David do when he found out? 

Memory Challenge: 

1 Samuel 25:32 

Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!”


Second Thoughts: Sonder and You (and Everyone Else)

Author: Thomas White | Editorial Department, Living Church of God


There’s debate on whether or not it can be called a real word, but if you type “sonder” into Wiktionary, you’ll get this definition:

“The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one’s own, which they are constantly living despite one’s personal lack of awareness of it.”

After this week’s assembly, I felt oddly compelled to immerse myself in a bit of sonder. Mr. Dexter Wakefield took us on a journey through the demographical statistics of the Church, and we learned, among many other things, that some of our youngest attending members are two years old, that our oldest attending member is one hundred and two years old, and that the Church’s database keeps track of them and everyone in between.

Thanks for Noticing

It’s always nice to know that someone is keeping track of you. We all feel a certain level of peace in the knowledge that we’re accounted for, that we’re considered. That might be why you get a tiny little thrill whenever someone uses your name. I don’t think it’s egotistical—it may be, in some cases, but for many people, the feeling seems more akin to gratitude. “Thank you for saying my name,” the feeling says, too fast to even be processed. “Thank you for acknowledging and keeping track of me.”

Maybe feeling sonder is just acknowledging everyone as worth keeping track of, when we usually only keep track of ourselves and the people closest to us. Most of us don’t feel sonder perpetually. It takes a surprising amount of effort to meaningfully recognize that other people are as multifaceted as we, ourselves, are. It might even be a little scary to do that, because as soon as you do, you have to recognize, in turn, that you don’t really know anyone. Most of the struggles that define someone else’s life are hidden from you. And once you’re aware of that, the excuses you drum up for judging other people seem… well, about as pathetic as they are, really.

Acknowledge the Battle

God keeps track of everyone, and that’s so easy to say, but hard to completely wrap your brain around. “I’d better be nice, because God wants me to be nice,” you might think when you’re tempted to not be nice. And that’s true, but it’s deeper than that, isn’t it? You might be better off thinking, “I’d better be nice, because God wants this person in front of me to experience kindness.” He’s keeping track of you, yes, absolutely, but he’s keeping just as much track of everyone you interact with, and He knows how much they need your empathy.

“Be kind,” goes an oft-quoted saying of dubious origin, “because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” In all of His dealings with each and every one of us, God always, always acknowledges the battle. He’s never unaware of the struggles we each have every day, as we fight past the monsters in our own minds. We might not be able to know what the people around us are fighting, as He does, but if we want to be like Him, we should strive to treat other people like they’re fighting something painful, going through something hard—because most of the people around us probably are.

So, say peoples’ names when you talk to them. If someone looks sad, ask if they’re okay—and be prepared to listen if they’re not. Smile when you (even accidentally) make eye contact with someone you know. Even a little sonder might go a long way.


Weekly Update Feb. 15, 2020

Second Thoughts: Presumption, Assumption, and…Reputation?

Author: William Williams | Editorial Department, Living Church of God


Have you ever been in a situation where you knew something you planned to do wouldn’t “look right,” but since you believed you weren’t going to “do anything wrong,” you went ahead with it anyway?

Perhaps the “Mike Pence” rule just seemed inconvenient that one time—especially if the circumstances really didn’t seem like the kind where anything truly compromising could happen. Maybe there wouldn’t be time for anything to happen. Maybe you and the people you planned to be with have good reputations, and people just know you better than to think you’d misbehave in some particular way or another. And maybe people should “mind their own business”—especially when such situations don’t always involve spending time with members of the opposite sex, but could simply be the kind of happenstance that maaaybe would look like you were doing something inappropriate on the Sabbath—when you weren’t—or juuust might seem like you were staying out late drinking and partying—which you don’t!

Of course, life is full of decisions, and not all decisions or actions can be helped regarding how others perceive them. If we worried about how our every single action might be perceived, we would certainly wastea lot of time. But we also know that God cares about how our behavior affects others, so it isn’t always worry but consideration. And when it comes to something that could seriously affect your reputation—or cause others to stumble—the matter deserves consideration.

The Appearance of Evil

“Reputation and the Appearance of Evil” was in fact Dr. Scott Winnail’s most recent Living Education address, and an especially vital topic for Christians today. Analyzing situations where individuals knew their decisions might give others “the wrong idea” was a chief part of his lecture. However, far from simply mowing down the assembled students with a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”, Dr. Winnail instead engaged in a give-and-take session about why people might inadvertently put their reputations at risk and how to avoid the appearance of evil—and he reminded them of the oft-repeated quote by Warren Buffett that a good reputation can take decades to develop, but be destroyed in five minutes.

Dr. Scott gave several examples of situations that can potentially tarnish one’s reputation, and what stood out most importantly to me was the absence of condemnation. Leaving behind most discussion of when people do fall into sin when they “skirt the edge of the cliff,” his focus was mainly on how to maintain a good reputation and make sure that pure motivations go hand in hand with—and even promote—pure perceptions.

Assume or Presume?

Throughout the discussion, a singular thought crossed my mind: presumptions lead to assumptions! We all know (or should know) that assume is a dirty word, but what about presume? If assuming is jumping to a conclusion when we don’t have all the facts (the very thing we don’t want people to do regarding our actions) presuming is assuming ahead of time how a certain thing will or should turn out (or how people will or should respond to those same actions!). And if, as Henry “the Fonz” Winkler was famous for saying, “Assumptions are the termites of relationships,” then presumptions are the overlooked food source that attracts them!

Dr. Scott suggested some questions his listeners should ask themselves before taking certain actions, including, “Why do I want to do this?,” “What are the possible outcomes?,” “How will my actions be perceived?,” and “Could someone imitate me and thereby fall into condemnation?”

In every case, here’s one bit of handy reasoning to add: “Don’t presume too much about how others will perceive your actions!” I’ve been told many times that “You can’t control what other people think,” but here’s a secret: you can, to a certain degree, by your own choice to “walk circumspectly” (Ephesians 5:15).

What looks like a duck…

As always, the best lessons are the ones we apply to ourselves, and thus I turn the lens around: Justifying something based on what people should think is a presumption. Thinking people will always know my future actions are honest based on my current reputation is a presumption. And stating that people should “mind their own business” is a naïve presumption at best—and a rejection of Philippians 2:29 and Romans 14:13 at worst. (Not to mention the fact that saying it out loud can easily become an example of just exactly what I’m talking about when someone takes it the wrong way and thinks, “Whoa, what a jerk that guy is.” If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…)

With that, I can conclude:

  • I’m not the arbiter of what others should think—so I should think out my own actions before committing to them, as Dr. Winnail stressed.
  • I’m not the paragon of virtue I’d like to think of myself as—and I can’t place the burden of exonerating me on others, who have daily struggles and distractions all their own to think about.
  • And I’m not by any means the one who gets to decide where others should be on the path to their conversion, such that I can blame them for “minding” my business—especially when my business breathes the same air God gave everyone else to swim around in.

Or so I should presume.


3 steps to writing an outstanding autobiography that will help boost your application

You have been considering applying to LivingEd-Charlotte and you find yourself scanning through the list of requirements to complete your application.

Basic info? Check. Official transcripts? Check. Recommendations? Easy. Autobiographical essay? Wait…what? Oh no, not an essay!

The very name Autobiographical Essay has sort of a daunting effect. But don’t let it scare you, and certainly don’t let it be the reason you decide not to finish your application! Writing an essay may not be your favorite activity, but if you apply these three basic principles to your writing, you’ll find this task is a cinch! Also, you’ll have all the ingredients to please the admissions panel.

The following tips are written to aid students who are applying to our LivingEd-Charlotte program. All applicants are required to submit an autobiographical essay as part of their application.

1.) Be Focused

The first element the panel is looking for is how completely you answered the prompt. There are four content elements that need to be included. Be sure to carefully answer each issue. Since there is a length requirement of 3-5 double-spaced pages it is necessary to get to the point and not become too wordy. The panel is looking for complete answers with relevant detail – enough to give some context, not too much to hold interest.

2.) Be Professional

These days, many students fall into the trap of casual writing. Writing about yourself means writing the way you speak, right?  Nope. It means presenting who you are in an academic context. So, use a clear, easy-to-follow format, full sentences, proper grammar, and suitable vocabulary. Certainly your personality can, and should, come through when you write an essay about yourself, but it’s good to always keep in mind your audience which in this case is the admissions panel for a 9-month educational program. Sure, the panel wants to get a better sense of who you are by the time they finish reading your essay, so let them be left with a sense of your skillful attention to your use of words. 

Quick Tip: Read, read, and re-read through your essay before you submit! Small, unchecked errors show a lack of consideration for detail on the part of the writer. You want to be sure that it is you who catches all the little spelling and grammar errors in your writing, not the guy reviewing your completed application.

3.) Be Real

In other words, be honest about who you are. While you want to present a polished essay, it’s okay to allow your personality to come through in your writing! Remember, the panel wants to get to know YOU! They want to learn what you are about, what some of your goals are, who you look up to, and why you want to come to Charlotte to spend nine months with a bunch of young people to learn about God’s way. While this is not the place to get super personal, you can certainly allow your own charm and unique characteristics to be evident in how you present yourself.

So that’s it! Be focused, professional, and real! If you think about these principles as you prepare your autobiography, you’ll be that much closer to stepping on-campus as an official member of the LivingEd-Charlotte family. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get writing!


Ready to begin your application? Begin Here!