Sunday, March 13, 2011

Faithful Families Resources March 14th 2011

Weekly Inspiration

A mother, father and their seven year old daughter were seated in a restaurant. The waitress first took the order from the adults, and then, she turned to the little girl. “What will you have?” she asked. The little girl looked timidly at her parents and then said to the waitress, “I’ll have a hot dog on a bun.” “No hot dog,” said her mother. “She’ll have a nice piece of roasted chicken.” “With mashed potatoes and vegetables,” added her father. The waitress kept looking straight at the little girl and she asked, “Would you like tomato sauce or mustard on your hot dog?” “Mustard, please,” replied the little girl. “Coming right up,” said the waitress, as she headed to the kitchen. The family sat in stunned silence. Finally the little girl looked at her parents and said, ‘You know what? She thinks that I am real!”


With your family read John 3.1-17: Nicodemus Visits Jesus

Questions for Discussion:

  • Why do you think Nicodemus might have visited Jesus at night?
  • What do you think Jesus meant by being born anew or born from above?
  • What might it mean to be changed into a child of God?
  • When you are in trouble do you prefer someone to help you or tell you what you are doing wrong?

Two caterpillars were sitting on a cabbage leaf having a chat. Suddenly, they heard a loud swishing sound, and looking up, saw a beautiful butterfly flying overhead. The first caterpillar looked at the other, shook his head and said, “You’ll never get me up in one of those things.”

Prayer and Celebration

This week 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. (On the right hand side of this blog is a weekly verse of scripture which you might also like to get your family to memorise together.)

Dear God,
Thank you for your love and care.
Thank you for the food we share.
Help us show your love today.
In all we do and think and say.
In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.         

For food in a world where many walk in hunger;
For faith in a world where many walk in fear;
For friends in a world where many walk alone;
We give you thanks, O Lord. Amen.
(Source: Huron Hunger Fund, Anglican Church of Canada)


There are many ways to entrench patterns of compassion, thoughtfulness and care for others into our family life.  Our children should have significant memories of kindness and generous acts of faithful serving.  These should be spontaneous as well as constructed events.

Examples of this include:
  • Connecting with a local service [aged care home meals on wheels, service for disabled, animal welfare league, local conservation group, rural fire brigade, S.E.S. etc etc], volunteering as a family.
  • Adopting a special person in the community or neighbourhood and engaging in regular patterns of care. One organisation that helps people and families connect with others in the community is FSG. Their  community connectors and host family programs are particularly good in this area – check out their web page

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.


Emotions. Everyone shuts their eyes and someone calls out an emotion (joy, sorrow, happiness). Everyone tries to portray this emotion through facial expression. When the caller says open, everyone must open their eyes to see each other’s expression.

My Grandmothers Trunk. Someone starts by completing this sentence with an object  that begins with the letter A, My grandmother keeps _____ in her trunk.” The next person completes the sentence repeating the A word and adding a word that starts with B. This continues around the circle, each person repeating what the others said and adding another with the next letter of the alphabet. (Youth Ministry Encyclopaedia. Lyman Coleman. JBCE)


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

  • What is the best thing and the worst thing that happened to you this week? 
  • What is something that you need to ask God for this week?
  •  If you could be any character from a book or TV who would you be? Why? What character on TV do you think you are most like? In what ways? What TV character do you think your family members are most like? 

Who is someone you admire in real life? What is it about them you like?

Bonus Family Fun Activity

Candlelight Talk: Turn off all the lights and sit with your family. Discuss what it might be like living in the dark. What might some of the problems be? Light a candle and talk about how one of the names for God is light. Ask, “What difference does lighting this candle make to our room?” Talk about the difference knowing God makes in your life. (Adventures for Growing Families. Wes & Sheryl Haystead)
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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