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Sunday School Edition
3rd & 4th Grade Guide
Sunday School Edition
LESSON
date:
Bible Passage: Genesis 25:19–34; 27
(Jacob and Esau)
God Is Lord Over All of My Life
REMEMBER VERSE
The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing. He makes me lie
down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul. He guides
me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1–3
SCHEDULE
Connect
5–10 minutes
Gather
20–35 minutes
Respond
15–20 minutes
Engage
15–20 minutes
Bless
5–10 minutes
Environment: KNOWING
This lesson highlights the environment of KNOWING in the sovereignty of God for the plans
regarding the birth of Jacob and Esau and His plans for us to know Him too.
© 2013 David C Cook. T ruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church
and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.
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1.5
Inspire
N OT E S :
The classic hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” came from a man who understood pain.
Horatio Spafford had sent his wife and four daughters ahead of him to England
on a family trip. Tragically, their ship collided with another and sank in just minutes.
Spafford’s wife survived, but their daughters did not.
Shortly after, Horatio sailed to meet his wife. While floating past the place where
his daughters died at sea, he wrote the famous hymn. The first stanza reads:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
In the midst of his darkest pain, Spafford acknowledged that he was at peace
because of Christ. Though this first stanza addresses his grief, the others focus
on Christ’s redemptive work on the cross. The third stanza reads:
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul!
God is surely the Comforter. But the even more exciting truth is that God is
bigger than our situations. He is the Redeemer, the Savior, and the lover of our
souls. In the midst of messy circumstances and painful relationships, even if we
lose everything, God is still Lord over our lives.
Tori Funkhouser
TruStory Team
© 2013 David C Cook
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Equip
God is Lord over everything and everyone who has ever existed or will ever exist.
And He was Lord over Jacob and Esau, the sons of Isaac and Rebekah. In the
culture in which Jacob and Esau lived, the birthright and the blessing were special
privileges bestowed upon the oldest son. The birthright gave the oldest son the
privilege of a double portion of the inheritance as well as the title of priest, judge,
and leader of the family.
The blessing, on the other hand, was intangible and spiritual. The patriarch
could speak the blessing only once because the words could not be undone.
Because Isaac had spoken his blessing over Jacob instead of Esau, he had no
blessing left when Esau begged him “Bless me—me too!” (Genesis 27:34)
The Old Testament biblical blessing was a prayer and public declaration
intended to bestow upon the older son favored status with God. It was a sign of
special favor, which was to result in prosperity and success. Culturally, there was
a great deal of importance placed upon blessings and curses in the Bible that
modern readers may miss.
Rebekah seemed to understand the importance of the blessing. She said
she would take a curse upon herself if Isaac found out her plan to give Jacob
the blessing instead of Esau. Jacob may have also understood the spiritual
significance of the blessing—more so than Esau, who in despising his birthright
(Genesis 25:34) also despised his spiritual heritage.
N OT E S :
Environment
of KNOWING
We live in a world that denies
absolute truth, and yet God’s Word
offers just that. As we create an
environment that upholds and
displays God’s truth, we give
children a foundation based on
the knowledge of God, His Word,
and a relationship with Him
through Christ.
The 10 Environments guide us
in creating a climate that puts
God on display. Encourage your
families to discover more about
creating the environment of
KNOWING in their homes by
checking out HomeFront: A
Spiritual Parenting Resource
and Spiritual Parenting by
Michelle Anthony.
As the story of Jacob unfolds in the following chapters of Genesis, we see a
young man humbled and changed by a powerful personal encounter with God
and by circumstances that force him to depend on God. Through it all, God is
shaping Jacob into the kind of man He wants Jacob to be.
© 2013 David C Cook
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Support
In Romans 9, Paul adds an interesting perspective to the narrative of Jacob and
Esau. In verses 11–16, Paul writes, “Yet, before the twins were born or had done
anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not
by works but by him who calls—[Rebekah] was told, ‘The older will serve the
younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we
say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I
have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not,
therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
Paul reminds us in these verses that God is sovereign. The situation with Jacob
doesn’t make sense; some of us may be furious with Jacob for his deceit and his
treachery, and we may wonder why God would allow this imperfect man to benefit
from God’s blessings. But Paul reminds us in Romans that God is in control and
that God calls whomever He wants to call. God is merciful, and He wants us to
desire Him. And let’s face it: We really can’t judge Jacob too harshly. There is a
little bit of Jacob in all of us.
As you lead the kids through this lesson, remind them that God is sovereign
and good. God is Lord over everything, and He is Lord of our lives—even when
situations are hard, when things don’t make sense, and when relationships are
hurtful. Offer your children grace as you pray over the difficult situations in their
lives. Encourage parents to pray through the trials in their families together with
their children.
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Lesson Overview
Experience
Time Summary
Connect//
5–10
min.
Gather//
20–35 Children will gather to
min. experience and learn
more about God through
communal and personal
prayer, a creative telling of
the day’s portion of The Big
God Story, an investigation
into God’s Word, and more.
Designed to allow children
to develop relationships
with their leaders and one
another.
1.5
Supplies/Prepare
(Master Supply List at tru.davidccook.com)
My Week
• My Week template (see tru.davidccook.com)
• pencils or pens
Prayer
• none
Storytelling
• Bibles (1 per child)
• smooth, flat rocks (10; each about 4”x 4” surface)
• Jacob and Esau images
(see tru.davidccook.com)
• scissors (1 pair)
• decoupage medium and foam brush
• red permanent marker
• large basket
Investigate
• Bibles (1 per child)
Remember Verse
• Remember Verse cards (see tru.davidccook.com)
Respond//
15–20 Kids will worship
min. collaboratively, individually,
through many different
media, and with an eye
toward the greater faith
community. The “So what?
Now what?” component.
Journaling My Life
Engage//
15–20 Kids will engage with one
min. another through various
forms of play, including
interactive games and
activities, engaging projects
and experiments, and more.
Who Has the Button?
Bless//
5–10
min.
• journals (1 per child; suggestion: search “composition
notebook” at officedepot.com)
• pencils or pens
• button
Sends the kids out with a
• Bible
sense of peace and blessing • HomeFront Weekly (1 per child;
see tru.davidccook.com)
so they can be a blessing to
• HomeFront: A Spiritual Parenting Resource
their families and others.
(1 per family; see tru.davidccook.com or
HomeFrontMag.com)
*To make metric conversions, search the Internet for a metric conversion chart or calculator.
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Connect//
Connect encourages
kids to develop
relationships with
their leaders and one
another. Within a
free-flowing setting
that utilizes simple
supplies and
conversation starters,
Connect gives
kids and leaders the
opportunity to get
to know one
another better.
Leader Tip
Learning about what goes on in
the daily lives of your children
can give you a window into
their lives. It also gives an
opportunity for leaders to know
what questions to ask kids and
even ways they can be praying
for kids throughout the week.
© 2013 David C Cook
5–10 min.
God knew everything about Esau and Jacob, and He knows everything about our lives
too. God is always with us, every minute of every day and for every event that takes place.
God is Lord over all of our lives.
CONNECT QUESTION: Welcome and greet children. Open your time by asking this
question: What is your favorite part of the day?
My Week
SUPPLIES
• My Week template (see tru.davidccook.com)
• pencils or pens
PREPARE AHEAD
Print a copy of the My Week template for each child.
RELATE
Today, invite your third and fourth graders to participate in an activity during which
they get to think about the events of the past week and remember some of the
week’s highlights. As children look back, they can be reminded that God was Lord of
everything—both big events and small events.
Give a My Week template to each child and give kids a few minutes to fill out
something that happened each day during the past week. It can be a big and exciting
event like a birthday party or a winning game in soccer, or it can be something simple
such as trying olives on pizza for the first time. Anything goes! When the children finish
filling out their templates, have the kids break into groups of two or three and share their
responses with each other.
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Gather//
20–35 min.
Prayer
During Gather, kids
will experience and
learn more about God
through communal
and personal prayer,
a creative Storytelling
of the day’s portion
of The Big God Story,
and an investigation
into God’s Word,
which may include
word studies,
crossreferencing, and
a look into the context
surrounding the
passage.
In this section, your
children will often
act as detectives
and investigators—
working together
to understand the
mysteries and truths
found in the Bible.
Gather your children into a circle. Encourage them to hold their hands in front of them,
palms up, as a posture of receiving what God might speak to them today. Before you pray,
designate a leader (or two) to open and close the time of prayer. Tell the children they are
encouraged to participate in this time of prayer if they would like to. Remind them that
praying is simply talking and listening to God, and that He always hears us when we pray.
As you pray, leave space between prayers for the children to take the opportunity to pray,
in case some may be apprehensive and need a little more time. Pray that God would bless
the day’s lesson as you are in His Word. Pray that God would speak to the hearts of His
children, revealing to them the truth of today’s Ponder Point, that God Is Lord Over All of
My Life.
Storytelling
Bible Passage: Genesis 25:19–34; 27
Storytelling Technique: Storytelling Rocks
SUPPLIES
• Bibles (1 per child)
• smooth, flat rocks (10; each about 4”x 4” surface)
• Jacob and Esau images (see tru.davidccook.com)
• scissors (1 pair)
• decoupage medium and foam brush
• red permanent marker
• large basket
PREPARE AHEAD
Print and cut out the Jacob and Esau images and glue each one onto a rock using the
decoupage medium. Color one rock red to represent Esau.
SET UP
Before you begin today’s portion of The Big God Story, pass out the rocks among the
children. Let the children know that as you storytell, you will ask them to hold up the rock
that corresponds with that part of the narrative. The children will need to hold up the rocks
for the class to see and then place the rocks in the basket and return to their seats.
God made a covenant promise with Abraham promising, among other things, that
he would have lots of children. After Abraham and Sarah waited for many years,
God provided them with a son. What was his name? (Allow answers.) Right. Isaac.
(Ask the child with the “Isaac” rock to show it and place it in the basket.) Abraham’s family
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N OT E S :
continued to grow, and Isaac got married and had children. What was the name of
Isaac’s wife? (Have kids open their Bibles and read Genesis 25:20.) Right. Her name
was Rebekah. (Ask the child with the “wedding rings” rock to show it and place it in the
basket.) Years later, Rebekah became pregnant with twins. Before they were born,
they started wrestling with each other while they were still inside their mother.
Rebekah asked God, “Why is this happening to me?” (v. 22). (Read Genesis 25:23 to
your group.) Before they were born, God knew everything about Rebekah’s sons and
had a plan for their lives.
When the twins were born, they were very different. What were their names?
(Have kids look at vv. 25–26.) Right! Esau and Jacob. Esau, the twin born first, was
very red and had thick hair. (Ask the child with the red rock to show it and place it in
the basket.) Jacob, the second born, had smooth skin. He was holding on to his
brother’s heel when he was born. (Ask the child with the “Jacob” rock to show it and
place it in the basket.) As they grew up, Jacob and Esau had different interests and
personalities. Esau loved hunting and being outdoors. (Ask the child with the “bow
and arrow” rock to show it and place in the basket.) Jacob was quieter and didn’t like
the outdoors as much as his brother; he preferred to stay close to home. (Ask the
child with the “tent” rock to show it and place in the basket.)
As the firstborn, Esau had a special job of caring for the family. It was called a
birthright. When his father died, as the oldest, Esau would receive a double portion
of inheritance—usually money, land, and other things—as well as become the
spiritual leader of the household. Being the firstborn was an honor as well as a
huge responsibility.
(Have kids turn to Genesis 25:29 and follow along.) One day, after a long day of
hunting, Esau came home tired and hungry. Jacob was cooking stew, and Esau
said, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m [very hungry]!” (v. 29). (Have the
child with the “stew” rock show it and place it in the basket.) How did Jacob reply? (Read
Genesis 25:31 for your group.) In that moment, Esau didn’t care about his birthright; he
just cared about food. So he promised to give his brother his birthright. Remember
how we just talked about how special a birthright was? Do you think Esau was
wrong to give it up so easily? (Allow answers.) Yes. Esau should have cared more
about his birthright, but the Bible says he didn’t think it was very important. (Read
Genesis 25:34 for your group.)
Now, Isaac was getting old (have the child with the “cane” rock show it and place it
in the basket) and knew he would soon die. Before a father died, he passed on a
special blessing to his oldest son. It was a very serious prayer over the son that
his son would have success and that his family would be safe. So Isaac called for
his son Esau to prepare a feast for him so that Esau could receive Isaac’s blessing.
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N OT E S :
While Esau hunted, Rebekah made a plan to help Jacob trick his father so he
could get the firstborn blessing. Esau was much hairier than Jacob, so Jacob put
on his brother’s clothes and covered his arms and neck with animal fur to help
disguise himself. (Ask the child with the “fur” rock to show it and place it in the basket.)
Then Rebekah made some tasty food for Jacob to take to Isaac.
Jacob went before his father. (Read Genesis 27:18–19a as the kids follow along in
their own Bibles.) Jacob lied to his father! Isaac couldn’t see very well, so he asked
Jacob to come close so he could touch him. (Read vv. 22–24 as the kids follow along.)
Jacob lied again, and Isaac blessed Jacob with Esau’s firstborn blessing! (Ask the
child with the “blessing” rock to show it and place it in the basket.)
Soon after, Esau came to his father with food that he had caught and prepared,
and Esau was ready for his blessing. “Who are you?” Isaac asked. “I am your
son, your firstborn, Esau,” he said (v. 32). Then Isaac realized he had given Esau’s
firstborn blessing to Jacob!
The blessing of the firstborn was different from the blessings we do here. Back
then, it was a responsibility and could not be undone. Esau became very angry that
Jacob had taken his blessing, and he threatened to kill Jacob. Fearing for his life,
Jacob ran away.
Before Esau and Jacob were born, God said He knew that Esau, the older brother,
would serve his younger brother, Jacob. God was Lord over Jacob and Esau’s lives.
He had total control of their lives. Rebekah and Jacob took things into their own
hands, but they should have trusted that God knew what He was doing. God knew
that through Jacob’s family line would eventually come the Messiah, Jesus.
Sometimes God’s plans can be hard to understand. We may go through difficult
things and not understand why. The comforting thing is that God knows all, and
He is still Lord over all of our lives. He is good, and we can trust Him because He
knows everything about us. (Share a personal story about a time when you realized God
cares about every part of your life.)
When you are finished reading today’s portion of The Big God Story, invite kids to use
the rocks to put the events of the narrative in order and then retell it.
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N OT E S :
Investigate
Discussion Questions
• What did God do for Isaac? (Genesis 25:21)
• What did God say to Rebekah when she asked about the babies? (Genesis 25:23)
• What does this tell you about God?
• What were some of the differences between Esau and Jacob? (Genesis 25:27–28)
• What is a birthright?
• Why did Esau sell his birthright to Jacob? (Genesis 25:30)
Before You Were Born
While Jacob and Esau were growing in Rebekah’s belly, they wrestled with each
other. The Lord told Rebekah about their future and what kind of relationship the
brothers would have—the older would serve the younger. God knew exactly what
would happen because He knows everything about us.
Read Psalm 139:13–16 aloud.
• What are some things God knew about you before you were born?
• What are some things God knows about you now?
• How can you praise God for knowing you even before you were born?
In addition to the psalmist’s expression of being known by God before birth,
God also shared His plans for another individual in the Old Testament—the
prophet Jeremiah.
Read Jeremiah 1:4–5 aloud.
• What did God do for the prophet Jeremiah before he was born?
• What things do you think God has prepared for you to do?
• In what ways is this passage encouraging or helpful for you?
God Is Still Lord When …
God is still Lord, even when life doesn’t go the way we plan or hope. He is still
Lord when life is hard. He is in charge, and He knows everything that will happen.
Read Psalm 24:1–2 aloud.
• Why does the whole earth belong to God?
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N OT E S :
Read Isaiah 55:8–9 aloud.
• Why is it good that God does things different from people?
• What are some examples of God’s plan being better than man’s plan in The
Big God Story?
Invite a volunteer to read Romans 8:28.
• What did you notice in this verse?
• In what ways have you seen God working situations in your life for good?
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Space for the
Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit longs to speak to
His children. Allow time and space
for your kids to respond to what God
might be speaking to their hearts.
To create space for children to hear
from and respond to Him, ask the kids
a few simple questions:
• After all you’ve seen, heard, and
experienced today through God’s
Word, what do you know about God?
• How does that make you feel?
• What does this mean for your life?
• How do you want to respond to God
right now?
As you lead kids through this time
of reflection, pause and ask God to
give you the strength and faith to be
flexible as you give kids the space to
respond in the way God leads.
N OT E S :
© 2013 David C Cook
Remember Verse
Each week children will spend time memorizing a portion of Scripture together. Each
Remember Verse corresponds with one of the 10 Environments. This week’s lesson
highlights the environment of KNOWING, which says “God knows me, and I can
know Him.”
KNOWING Remember Verse: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He
makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he
refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1–3
Game: Acting Out
SUPPLIES
• Remember Verse cards (see tru.davidccook.com)
RELATE
Invite your kids to learn the Remember Verse by acting it out. Review the actions with
kids as they recite the verse. Repeat everything a few times, and then have the class do it
together without having a leader demonstrate.
The Lord: Point to the sky
Is my: Point to self
Shepherd: Pretend to hold a staff in your hand
I lack nothing: Have kids wave their right pointer finger back and forth
He makes me lie down in green pastures: Have kids quickly lie down on the ground
He leads me beside: Have kids stand up and place a hand out in front of them,
parallel to the floor, and take a few steps as if they are being led by someone
Quiet waters: Have kids make a “Shhh” face by putting their index finger on their lips
He refreshes my soul: Have kids cross their arms to their chest as if they are giving
themselves a hug
He guides me: Have kids look left and right as if they are being guided somewhere
Along the right paths: Have kids hop like they are stepping on stones
For His name’s sake: Have kids point to heaven
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Respond//
15–20 min.
Journaling My Life
During Respond,
kids will have the
opportunity to
process what the
Holy Spirit has been
teaching them.
They will be
encouraged to
demonstrate their
response to God
in a time of
hands-on worship,
to express themselves
individually through
the use of many
media, and to worship
collaboratively with
a mindset focused
on the greater
community.
SUPPLIES
• journals (1 per child; suggestion: search “composition notebook” at officedepot.com)
• pencils or pens
RELATE
God knew everything about Esau and Jacob. Before they were born, He knew
who they would be and the decisions they would make. God is Lord over every
aspect of our lives too. He knows everything about us, and He loves us. How does
it make you feeling knowing that God knew us before we were even born? (Allow
answers.) Because God controls everything, we can trust Him with every part of
our future.
We often write in journals to remind us of events and special moments we’ve
shared with our family and friends. God is Lord over all of our lives—in the
moments that have taken place and in the ones that haven’t even happened yet!
Invite your kids to spend some time thinking about how God has been with them
throughout their lives. After they have been given a few minutes to ponder these things,
pass out a journal and a pencil or pen to each child. Encourage the children to create a
timeline of their lives. Instead of simply including main life events, have them also include
ways that God was with them through those events. For example, they might write about
how God was with them and gave comfort when their parents got divorced, or how God
was with them when they first accepted Christ as their Savior.
When the students are finished, invite kids to break into small groups, and if they feel
comfortable, have them share parts of their journals with one another. Before kids go
home, encourage them to choose a time in the upcoming week to pray with their families
and thank God for being Lord over every moment of their lives.
Developmentally Speaking
Resource Tip
“Science Experiments” activities
are available for this lesson.
Premium, Unlimited, and Combo
users may access this resource
at tru.davidccook.com.
© 2013 David C Cook
Third and fourth graders appreciate taking responsibility and working independently.
Allowing the children time to journal and to continue this process throughout the
week will likely be a welcome opportunity for your kids.
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E NGAG E | B LE S S
1.5
Engage//
15–20 min.
Who Has the Button?
The Engage section
gives kids time to play,
laugh, and explore
together through
interactive games and
activities, engaging
projects, experiments,
and more.
RELATE
Isaac was old and had very bad eyesight. Jacob was able to trick his father and
steal his brother’s birthright because he knew his father couldn’t tell who he was.
Today, invite your third and fourth graders to play a game in which they can’t see
everything happening and must guess who has the button. To play, have your kids sit
together in a circle, as close to one another as possible. Give one child a button and have
him pass the button to the person on his right or left. Share that the kids can choose how
to pass it and which direction to pass it, and it can change directions several times. Have
kids continue to pass the button until a leader says “Stop.” Then the child who began
the game with the button will have to guess who now has it. The child can have three
guesses to figure out who has the button. After that, the game can begin again with the
new button holder.
N OT E S :
© 2013 David C Cook
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B LE S S
1.5
Bless//
5–10 min.
Gather the children and have them sit on the ground in a circle as you read the blessing
from Psalm 139:1–3:
As followers of Christ,
we’ve been blessed to
be a blessing to others.
This Bless time will
allow children to take
new steps toward
living out their part of
The Big God Story.
This time will lead
kids to go out into
the community and
respond to what
they’ve learned and
received from God by
sharing and giving
away their knowledge
and blessings
to others.
Invite Your Families
Next week we’ll be remembering
and celebrating God as our Deliverer
through Passover. Encourage the
parents in your ministry to participate
in the celebration by preparing and
bringing food. Invitations and recipe
cards can be found alongside this
week’s resources at tru.davidccook.
com. Make sure to send these home
along with the HomeFront Weekly
as the children leave today.
© 2013 David C Cook
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I
rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying
down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Now invite children to pair up and bless one another. Have children think of two or
three places their partners might go in the following week (school, home, playground,
etc.) and bless their partners as they prepare to go to those places. For example, a child
might say, “[Child’s name], may you know God is your Lord when you sit at your desk at
school” or “[Child’s name], may you know God is your Lord when you play on the soccer
field with your friends.”
Finally, offer one final blessing over the whole class before the kids leave:
May you know that God is over all things on this earth, including your life. May
you know His presence each day.
HomeFront Weekly: Be sure to send home the
HomeFront Weekly for next week’s lesson! This
preteaching tool for parents encourages families to
spend time in God’s Word together before children
arrive at church.
HomeFront: A Spiritual Parenting Resource:
This magazine gives families ideas for creating fun,
spiritually forming times in their homes—setting aside a
sacred space for family in the midst of their active, everyday
lives! As the new issue becomes available each month, you
may choose to print them for families or encourage them to
visit HomeFrontMag.com to subscribe to have the magazine
sent directly to their inbox. HomeFront is also available as
an app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
15

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