Sunday, March 20, 2011

Faithful Families Resources March 21st 2011

Weekly Inspiration

One day an expert was speaking to a group of students on time management and he used this illustration. Firstly he took out a wide mouthed jar, then he produced about a dozen large rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes." Then he said, "Really?"  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him.  "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!"  He replied.  And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.  Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" "No!"  The class shouted.  Once again he said, "Good!"   Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.  Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!" "No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point.  The truth this illustration teaches is this: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."


With your family read John 4.5-15: The Samaritan Woman at the Well

Questions for Discussion:
  • Why was the woman surprised Jesus asked her for a drink?
  • Why is water so important?
  • What is the living water Jesus talks about? Any ideas?
  • Why is what Jesus offers us – life in the Spirit and eternal life – so important?

 [Help for parents: The living water Jesus talks about refers to all the things that flow from faith in Jesus. These include the gifts of grace and the Holy Spirit. Both these things lead to life and life everlasting. Just as water gives us physical life – the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual life, dwelling within us and making us into a new creation.]

 After giving a woman a full medical examination, the doctor explained his prescription as he wrote it out. "Take the green pill with a glass of water when you get up. Take the blue pill with a glass of water after lunch. Then just before going to bed, take the red pill with another glass of water." "Exactly what is my problem, Doctor?" the woman asked.
"You're not drinking enough water."

Prayer and Celebration

This week is a continuation of last week’s prayer focus. Learn a prayer off by heart, together. Write or find a prayer that you can use with your family every night at mealtimes and family sharing times. Make it an activity that you do together. The prayer does not have to be complicated, but simple enough for everyone to remember. It might include some lines of thanks or praise or asking. Supplied here are a few prayers that you could start from or use. If your family does not know the Lord’s Prayer it would be a fantastic time to learn it together.

If you have learnt a prayer ask your children to lead it this week.
Here are a few other prayers you could learn this week.

All that we have,
is all a gift.
It comes, O God, from you;
And for these we give you thanks.  Amen.

For all we eat, and all we wear,
For daily bread, and nightly care,
we give you thanks O Lord our God.  Amen.


Many churches have a food pantry for people in need. When you go shopping, especially if you take your children shopping, invite them to choose an item to place in the food hamper. It doesn’t matter if they choose something that you might not think coco pops...even people in need like coco pops.

Family Closeness

One way to develop family closeness is to have an intentional family night. A pattern may be used such as this:

Story with Discussion/Questions

Using the resources provided above and below would enable you to have a family night once a week.


What is it? Select 20 objects from around the house. Wrap them in cloth – any old scrap will do – and attach numbers to each. Try to figure out what each object is. (Youth Ministry Encyclopaedia. Lyman Coleman. JBCE)

Celebrity Heads. This is an easy game to play. Write the name of a  different person or place onto a piece of paper taped to the head of your family. They then have to take turns asking questions that can only be answered yes or no to find out who they are.


These questions are to stimulate a sense of openness, sharing and discovery about your family. The key is to listen!!

A question to discuss with your children (4-8)
  • Your teacher asks who spilled juice during snack time. You did. Do you tell?

A question to discuss with your youngsters (ages 9-12)
  • You find five dollars on the pavement near school. What do you do with the money?

A question to discuss with your teenagers.
  • Your friend got a copy of the answers to the questions on tomorrows math test and offers them to you. Do you take them? Why? Why not? What do you say to your friend?

Write down these sentence starters and put them in a bowl. Pick one out each night and ask your family members to complete the sentence.
  • I know God loves me because…
  • I’m glad that God…
  • I wish God would…

Bonus Family Fun Activity

The Bag that’s me. Create a paper bag collage out of newspaper or magazine cuttings. Paste on the outside of the paper bag any cuttings that symbolise how you appear on the outside. Put inside the paper bag any symbols that reveal who you are on the inside. Spend ten minutes tearing out things from a magazine – words, photographs, slogans – anything the reminds you of yourself. Then take about five minutes pasting your cuttings on the outside or inside of your paper bag. Share with your family what is on the outside and inside of your bag. Children can just use pictures of things that they like. (Youth Ministry Encyclopaedia. JBCE)

Well, we hope you found these resources useful. Have a fantastic week  as you grow in loving and sharing with your family. May the joy and love and peace of Christ fill your home.

Stephen Harrison

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison & Richard Browning:  An Unless Ideas Production)

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