Sunday, August 28, 2011

Faithful Families Resources August 28 2011

Weekly Inspiration

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6.4-7)

Family Closeness
Blind Draw
Everyone is given a sheet of paper and a pen. You have three minutes to draw a picture of something that everyone agrees to...but you must either close your eyes or be blindfolded or have the light turned out.

What is the hardest thing about being _____ years old?
What is the best thing about being ______ years old?
What things don’t boys understand about girls?
What things don’t girls understand about boys?

With your family read: Matthew 21.28-32
Questions for Discussion:
  • Which do you think is better, to say you will do something and not do it, or to say you won’t but do it anyway?
  • Have you ever done either of these things?
  • Is it better to tell everyone you follow God but not do the right things, or to pretend you don’t follow God yet seek to live how God wants?
  • What might be a better way than either of these?

[Jesus was trying to point out that the Pharisees said they loved God but didn’t really live this out in the way they loved others while tax collectors and sinners seemed to be far from God but responded to the message Jesus brought them.]

Journey through the Bible
Introducing a new section to Faithful Families Resources – Journey through the Bible will provide five readings each week you can use in order to get a good overview of the full sweep of the story of God and His people. There are a variety of ways you might use these readings. As a parent you might read them to get a better understanding of how the divine drama unfolds. You could read them to your children and discuss them. Some are longer than others and might need to be broken up. It’s up to are the first five.
  • Genesis 1:1 – 2:3         Creation
  • Genesis 2.4 - 25           Man and Woman
  • Genesis 3:1 – 24          The Fall
  • Genesis 6:5 – 7:24       The Flood
  • Genesis 8:1 – 19          The Flood Subsides

Prayer and Celebration
Prayers of Confession
Prayers of confession are a normal part of a Christian’s prayer life. All of us, including children do things we wish we hadn’t, or don’t do the things we should. Confession, saying sorry and asking God for forgiveness is something that parents should model to children. There are various ways we might engage our children in prayers of confession.

Burning Prayers
Your family might like to individually write down things they would like to say sorry for. These prayers might then be placed in a bowl and burnt as a symbol of God’s forgiveness.

The following words might be used to help children have a language for this type of prayer:

I got really angry today.  I think I know why, and I wish I wouldn’t.  I feel so out of control.  I feel disappointed.  Jesus, I am sorry for any hurt I have caused today.  Help me to be gentle.  Help me to love more and more.  Help me to love.

 Help me to put aside the things that hurt others, you, and me.  I am sorry for . . . .  Grant your grace to me, that I might grow more into who I am, and who you call me to be.

Words from scripture might be used to help children see that God takes away our sins from us and forgives us.

These could include:
If you sin, Jesus Christ always does the right thing, and he will speak to the Father for us. Christ is the sacrifice that takes away our sins and the sins of all the world’s people.” (1 John 2:1–2, CEV)

How far has the Lord taken our sins from us? Farther than the distance from east to west!” (Psalm 103:12, CEV)

Bonus Family Activity
Collage of Dreams
Use photos, words and pictures from old magazines, glue, sparkles etc to make a collage of the things your family would like to do with their life. This might begin by each member making a list of 10 or 100 things that they would like to do in their life…like skydive or write a book or learn to ride a bike. Alternatively the collage might be about things your family might like to do this year together. Put the collage up somewhere visible to remind you of your dreams and plans.

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison & Richard Browning: An Unless Ideas Production.) Unless otherwise noted all material on this blog is copyright Stephen Harrison and Richard Browning

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