Monday, November 14, 2011

Faithful Families Resources November 13 2011

Weekly Inspiration
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
- C. Everett Koop

Family Closeness
1 to 100
On the left hand side of a piece of paper, list the names of everyone at the table. Two dice are passed from person to person and rolled. When someone rolls a double they grab the pen and paper, and begin writing the numbers 1 to 100, in order, next to their name. When someone else rolls doubles they ask for the paper and pen, and begin writing the numbers next to their name. The paper and pen pass around the circle until someone wins by reaching 100. To make the game longer you can get the person who rolls doubles to put on a jacket and hat before they begin to write.
Another variation of this game, that might be used with older children, involves a knife, fork and a block of chocolate. When a person rolls a double they get the knife and fork, and must cut a single piece of chocolate off the block. The piece must be picked up with a fork and eaten. No hands are to touch the chocolate. Leave the wrapping on the chocolate at the start of the game. To make the game harder you can get the person who rolls doubles to put on a jacket and gloves before they begin to cut.

Questions for discussion:
  • What makes a person a good friend?
  • What do you do that makes you a good friend?
  • What might make someone a good king?
  • What might make someone a bad king?

This Sunday is celebrated by many churches as ‘Christ the King’. It is the last Sunday in the church’s year before the season of Advent, a special time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Christ and his return. Apart from the reading listed below, you might like to read some of the other passage where Jesus uses the image of a king in his parables. Try Matthew 22.1-4 and Luke 19.11-26

With your family read: Matthew 25.31-46
Questions for Discussion:
  • Who is the Son of Man? (Jesus)
  • What things did Jesus say people did or didn’t do for him?
  • Who did he say they did these things for?
  • When we serve, care for and love those who need our help, we serve, care for and show love for Jesus. What do you think about this? 

Journey through the Bible
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.

Exodus 4.1-17                         Moses questions God
Exodus 4.18-31                       Moses returns to Egypt            
Exodus 5.1-23                         Bricks without straw
Exodus 7.8-13                         A miracle
Exodus 7.14-25                       The First Plague

Prayer and Celebration
In his book ‘The hour that changes the world’, Dick Eastman outlines twelve different types of prayer that, if prayed in five minute blocks, enables one to pray effectively for an hour.   For me the most powerful aspect of this idea is the realisation that there are many different ways to pray. This is an important thing to teach children who often use thankfulness as their default prayer setting. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is of benefit to broaden their prayer horizons.
 Praise and Worship
            The first type of pray is praise and worship. Maybe the easiest way for children to get a grasp on this is to describe it as: telling God how wonderful He is and why. Get your family thinking of all the fantastic things about God – His creation, His wisdom, His Son etc. As a form of praise and worship go around the table getting each person in turn to say a word describing what God is like and a reason He is so great. For example: God you are powerful because you made all creation.

Now is a great time of year, leading into Advent, to begin think about how you may serve those in need. Christmas can be a sad and lonely time of year for many people. How might your family serve Christ the King this Advent and Christmas, and make a different in people’s lives at the same time. Here are a few quick ideas.
  • Place a present under a charity Christmas tree that gives gifts to Children
  • Provide a box to operation Christmas Child
  • Think of inviting someone in your neighbourhood, who might be along at Christmas, to spend it with your family.

Family Time Line
To help your family think about good things God has given you, work together to make a family time line. Draw a line in the centre of a long sheet of paper. Choose a starting date to write at the left end of the line. Your time line may cover a week, a one month period, or the school holidays, or a year. To help family members think of time line events, ask questions such as: “What was something we did that we really enjoyed? How did someone help us in a special way? Who are some new friends our family made?” Display the time line on a wall or door. Allow younger children to enjoy drawing pictures to illustrate the time line. (Adventures for Growing Families. Wes & Sheryl Haystead.)

(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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