Sunday, August 28, 2016

Faithful Families Resources August 28 2016

This, remember, is the first step in religion which a child is able to take. Long before he can read, you can teach him to kneel by his mother's side, and repeat the simple words of prayer and praise which she puts in his mouth.
~J. C. Ryle

Family Closeness
Apple Ahead
Family members must play this game in pairs. Each pair has to hold an apple between their foreheads. Other family members then give instructions like: walk to the lounge room, or jump three times or get an orange from the fridge. The pair must drop the apple as they carry out each task.

Questions for stimulating discussion in your family.
Sharing questions serve many purposes but basically they are about stimulating discussion so that you can listen to what is happening in your family’s life. It is also about getting to know your family better, connecting with them, discovering and exploring them. How often is it that we think we know our wife or husband or children or brother or sister…yet there is so much to still discover? Listening and being listened to is a profound experience for people of any age.

Sharing may be as long as you like but should not be an interrogation. You may not need any questions to have a great listening conversation with your family but do encourage everyone to participate, especially the youngest. Here are some ideas to get you going:

If you could choose one day in your life to live over again what day would it be? Was it a good day or a bad day? Would you do anything differently? What is the best day you have ever had? Why did you like it so much? What activity do you like doing most in your week?

What is the best gift you have ever received? Who gave it to you? What was it for? Why did you like it so much?
Can you remember a time when you were impatient while waiting for something? What was it? Why was waiting so hard? What do you hate waiting for? What is something you can do that makes waiting not so bad?

With your family read:  Luke 14.25-33
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

Questions for Discussion:
  • Do you think Jesus is saying we should hate out family?
  • What should people do if their family doesn't like them following Jesus?
  • What do you think Jesus means by taking up your cross?
  • What things can get in the way of us fully following Jesus?

Prayer and Celebration
Counting your blessings
Take your family outside on clear night or even better take them out into the country to look up the stars. Spend some time thinking of all the good things God has given you in your life. Nothing is really too small to give thanks for. Just like the stars at first you might only see a few but as you get accustomed to it you will see more and more things that you want to thank God for.

Family Activity
Go star watching
Linking with this weeks prayer activity why not by a star chart and take your family outside on a nice clear night to look at the stars and watch how the night sky changes over and hour or so. You could do this lying on a blanket in your backyard or take everyone for a drive to a place where there is less light pollution so you can really see the stars. If you live in Australia teach your children how to find south using the Southern Cross. You can learn how to do this here.  

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and 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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