Tehillim/Psalm 1 Cartoon Activity

Tehillim 1 tells about the things one must do to be righteous! Righteous means you are doing what God would want you to do! In this activity you are going to read Tehillim 1 to find out what someone who wants to follow God does (and doesn’t do)! Then you will create a cartoon about it! Let’s get started!

Directions:

  1. Read Tehillim 1 and make a list of the things a righteous person does (and doesn’t do). For example, in verse one it says a righteous person doesn’t listen to the advice of a wicked person.
  2. Get a regular, blank piece of paper and create a cartoon which tells the story of what a person must do to be righteous. The carton should include the following:
    • At least six panels. Use the cartoon panel template: Six Panel Cartoon Template
    • Color or black and white.
    • Dialog between characters or descriptions.
  3. When you are finished, take a picture of it and post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag us @SparksOfMessiah

Additional Resources:

  1. Learn to pray Tehillim.
  2. Use the Tehillim Chooser app to find Tehillim to pray for your specific situation.

Conductor of Praise Poster Activity

Tehillim 148 calls the reader to the position of conductor of praise for God! You can imagine standing on the edge of a cliff with the conductor’s wand and pointing to each thing as you call out: “Praise Him, sun and moon! Praise Him, all bright stars!…”

For this activity you are going to create a poster which includes all of the things Tehillim 148 calls on to praise God. There is quite a list but that will be part of the fun of this activity! Can you creatively find a place for each thing in a poster?

Directions:

  1. Read Tehillim 148 and write down a list of everything which is being commanded to praise God. (i.e. Heavens, heights, angels, legions, sun, moon, bright stars, etc.)
  2. Get a regular sized piece of paper (or bigger) and start drawing pictures of each of the things from your list.
  3. Add some color and maybe a title.
  4. Take a picture of your poster and post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag us @SparksOfMessiah

Additional Resources:

  1. Learn to pray Tehillim.
  2. Use the Tehillim Chooser app to find Tehillim to pray for your specific situation.

Sparks of Messiah Web Apps

Sparks of Messiah Online Torah School, a leader in Messianic Jewish Distance Education, is proud to present a growing collection of free web apps for you to use to deepen your faith and learn new skills.

Tehillim Groups – Create Tehillim Groups

This simple web app allows you to create Tehillim groups and divide the book of Tehillim into equal sections for each member to pray. When everyone in your group has read their sections, together you will have completed the entire book of Tehillim.

Create a Group or Enter Your Group Code Here!

Fluency Fun – Increase Your Hebrew Fluency

Increase your Hebrew reading fluency with this fun web app which allows you to practice reading Hebrew texts with support. Want to check your pronunciation? Click anywhere on the text to listen to it read aloud, word-for-word, so you can learn to read with confidence!

Start Practicing Now!

Tehillim Chooser – Choose the Prayers for You

Wondering what Tehillim to say for your particular situation?! Look no further! Choose from one of the topics below and start to pray to God through these Tehillim for your specific situation!

Choose and Pray Today!

Fluency Fun – Increase Your Hebrew Fluency

Increase your Hebrew reading fluency with this fun web app which allows you to practice reading Hebrew texts with support. Want to check your pronunciation? Click anywhere on the text to listen to it read aloud, word-for-word, so you can learn to read with confidence!

Start Practicing Now!

Tehillim Groups – Create Tehillim Groups

This simple web app allows you to create Tehillim groups and divide the book of Tehillim into equal sections for each member to pray. When everyone in your group has read their sections, together you will have completed the entire book of Tehillim.

Create a Group or Enter Your Group Code Here!

Create and Use a Gratitude Journal

At even the best of times it is hard to remember to thank God for all of His goodness. It is even more difficult to do during trying times. Right now is a very trying time, which means it is a great time for your family to create and use Gratitude Journals. I will walk you through creating a Gratitude Journal for each of your kids (and yourself) and then give some suggestions on how to use them.

Creating a Gratitude Journal

Early Elementary (K-3rd Grade)

Kids between Kindergarten and 3rd grade can keep a Gratitude Journal where they primarily represent what they are grateful for using pictures. Have them create a Gratitude Journal cover and then print these inside pages, with space for pictures and a single line to include text:

Late Elementary and Middle School (4th-8th Grade)

Kids between 4th and 8th grade might benefit from being able to journal the things they are grateful for using both words and pictures. Have them create a Gratitude Journal cover and then print these inside pages, with space for pictures and blank lines to include text:

If your kids in this age group don’t need as much structure to their Gratitude Journal pages, they might enjoy being able to select a blank journal from a book retailer. They then can setup each page the way they would like.

High School and Adult

For high school age kids and adults, a simple journal, which you can get at any book retailer, works well for a Gratitude Journal. I have a simple Moleskine journal with lines. I like to make a bullet list of the things I’m grateful for. Depending on your and your high school kid’s preferences, you could also get a journal which has completely blank pages and set them up however you would like.

Using Your Gratitude Journal

The first thing to do, to setup the purpose of the Gratitude Journal, is to discuss the idea that everything God brings to us is for our good. There is nothing He brings into our lives which isn’t ultimately for our good.

So when we are writing down the things we are grateful for, we should include those items which are easy to see their good, but we should not forget to include the things which are not as easy for us to see are for our ultimate good.

Remember also there isn’t anything too small to thank God for. When I started my Gratitude Journal, before the pandemic, I felt a little silly including things such as “WIFI,” “Internet,” and “Electricity.” No longer do I take those things for granted and am so thankful for how I can stay connected to people using WIFI, the Internet and, of course, electricity to power them all. God works every small detail for our good and we should recognize this and thank Him for it all.

How Many Things Should Be Written Each Day?

Don’t make the writing in the Gratitude Journal a long ordeal. For the younger kids, drawing one or two pictures of what they are thankful is fine. For the older kids they should think of including three to four new things each day.

At the beginning, as you get used to keeping a Gratitude Journal, you can brainstorm together. This will be especially helpful if kids are having a difficult time thinking of what kinds of things they can be thankful for, after they go through the common ones (i.e. family, food, a house, friends, etc.)

Use The Gratitude Journals To Thank God

The act of simply taking time each day to write down things your thankful for is a very worthy cause but we want to take it a step further and use our Gratitude Journals to spend time in prayer explicitly thanking God.

For the younger kids, using their Gratitude Journal as part of their bedtime routine can be a great way to send them off to bed with thankfulness in their hearts. When you do their regular bedtime prayers, have them take out their Gratitude Journal, go through a few of their previous entries and thank God each one.

For the older kids and yourself, you can work your way up to spending a good amount of time thanking God. I would read about Rabbis encouraging people to spend thirty minutes to an hour thanking God. I thought that must truly be impossible! How could I focus that long? How could I think of enough things to thank God for to fill that amount of time? Little did I know, after including a few new items each day, within a few weeks I had more than enough things to fill thirty to forty minutes of thanking God.

Adding the time to use your Gratitude Journal to thank God can be done in a number of different ways:

  • Use your Gratitude Journal during your regular daily devotional time.
  • Take a walk and work your way through items in your Gratitude Journal. (This is what I do! The physical activity helps me to focus more and I end up thinking of even more things I’m thankful for while out for my walk. Like this last week, I was thankful for the bird chirping in the tree and the emergence of beautiful blue Spring flowers.)
  • Thank God with your kids during their bedtime prayers.
  • Start to include a new bedtime routine for yourself which includes going through a few entries and thank God.
  • While you are eating your breakfast, thank God for a few things from your Gratitude Journal to start the day.

How To Pray Tehillim (Psalms)

The power of Tehillim (Psalms) can not be underestimated. The Tzemech Tzedek said…

If you only knew the power of verses of Tehillim and their effect in the highest Heavens, you would recite them constantly. Know that the chapters of Tehillim shatter all barriers, they ascend higher and still higher with no interference; they prostrate themselves in supplication before the Master of all worlds, and they effect and accomplish with kindness and compassion.

HaYom Yom: Shevat 23 (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/6074/jewish/Shvat-24.htm)

It is easy to tap into that power to connect with God through praying Tehillim. Here is the basic steps to use Tehillim for your prayers:

  1. Before praying Tehillim, you may choose to say “The Prayer Before Reciting Sefer Tehillim.”
  2. Select Tehillim which match what you would like to say to God. The following are some common themes and appropriate Tehillim to pray:
    • Tehillim Yeshua and the Apostles Used: 2, 16, 22, 110
    • Tehillim for Praise and Thanksgiving: 19, 92, 93, 100, 113-118, 135-137, 150
    • Tehillim for Repentance: 27, 47, 51, 90
    • Tehillim to Keep from Speaking Lashon HaRa (Evil Speech): 52, 120
    • Tehillim to Pray for the Sick: 6, 9, 20, 30, 41, 88, 103, 121, 130, 142
    • Tehillim for Protection While Traveling: 17, 34, 50, 64, 91, 123, 124, 130
    • Tehillim for the Protection for Israel: 83, 130, 142
    • Tehillim to Say When You Are Frightened: 14, 61, 73, 145
    • Tehillim to Lift Your Spirits: 5, 29, 40, 66, 68, 86, 91, 101
    • Tehillim for Guidance and Success: 16, 19, 57, 82, 108, 112, 122, 139
    • Hallel (Praises): 113-118
    • Songs of Ascent (Tehillim Prayed By Levites in the Temple): 120-134
    • Tehillim to Rebuild the Beit Hamikdash (Temple) and Yeshua’s Second Coming: 42-48, 93
  3. Talk to God about what is going on in your life and more personally why you chose the Tehillim you did.
  4. If you chose to pray Tehillim for the sick, you might want to use this Prayer for the Sick (scroll to the bottom of the page). You will want to know the sick person’s name and their mother’s name.

Source for Tehillim topics: Adapted from Artscroll’s Tehillim and Sefer Tehillim: Shaar Harachamin im segulot v’tefillot ha Chida.

Learn the Songs of Pesach

We are just over a week away from Pesach and I’m sure you are doing well on your Pesach cleaning, right?! Well while you are continuing your hunt for the last little bit of chametz, give your kids the task of learning these Pesach songs. It will keep them out of your hair for a little bit!

Echad Mi Yodea

Learn the Ten Plagues

Get The Youngest Kid Working on Ma Nishtana (The Four Questions)

Dayenu

Chad Gadya