Friday, March 4, 2011

Faithful Families Resources March 7th 2011

Weekly Inspiration

Appreciate every moment with your children.   Don't wish their childhood away.

One hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car you drove, or what kind of house you lived in, or how many books you wrote, or what your clothes looked like.

But the world may be a little better because you were important in the life of a child.



Read Matthew 4:1–11 : The Temptation of Jesus

[You can use this website to look up Bible passages - the Contemporary English Version is particularly good for children: 

Questions for Discussion:

  • What things tempt you the most? When is it hard to resist temptation?
  • What were the three things that the Devil wanted to tempt Jesus with?
  • How did Jesus respond to each temptation? What can this teach us about how to respond when we are tempted?

A man was selling strawberries door to door. He knocked on one door and a woman answered. She decided to buy a kilo of strawberries and so the man gave her the basket to take into her house and weigh out a kilo. The woman said to the man: “Don’t you want to come and watch me weigh the strawberries.” “No” said the man. The woman replied “But what if I take more than a kilo” “Well” said the man “You’d be getting the worst deal” “Whatta ya mean’ asked the woman. “”I’d be getting the worst deal” “Well” said the man “ I might lose a few strawberries, but you’d become a liar and a thief.” (Golden Rules. W Dosick)

Prayer and Celebration

One way to pray is to use "squeezy prayers" Everyone holds hands in a circle. An adult will begin the prayer. When they have finished they  squeeze the persons hand next to them to show it is their turn. They  may pray out loud, or silently, or may squeeze on to the next person.  When the squeeze has reached the starting person they may say another closing prayer or just: Amen.

Here are suggestions for ways of using the squeezy prayer:

  • Using a squeezy prayer ask God for something that is needed in the world…like peace,or understanding or for help in a particular problem in the world.
  • Using a squeezy prayer say thank you for a good friend or friends. Say them by name and even say something you like about them.
  • Using a squeezy prayer say thank you for something that you are good at. A gift God has given you.


One of the most basic ways to get your family involved in serving in the world is to sponsor a child. There are a range of organisations that provide the means for sponsoring children including:

This provides a great opportunity to children to think about how other children in the world live. This can provide a focal point for be thankful for all they have and for helping through giving and prayer. Children if they are given pocket money may be encouraged to give a portion of it back to parents as their contribution to sponsoring the child.

Family Closeness

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

  1. Game.
  2. Sharing.
  3. Story with Discussion/Questions.
  4. Activity.
  5. Prayer.

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

Alliteration Pick a letter at random. Go around your family taking turns to say a different word beginning with that letter. Go around as many times as you can. Stop only when a word is repeated or you can’t think of any more. (New Games for Community. C Gapes)

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 might say thank you to God for this week? (One for the adults particularly to share: Where have you been aware of God’s presence in your life this week. What “God moments” happened to you this week?)
  • What is one thing you think you are good at? Tell the members of your family something you think they are good at.

Bonus Family Fun Activity

Use an old newspapers to make costumes for your family. Have a fashion parade and take some photos. Make “formal dress” and wear them to the table for a special dinner.

[Having trouble playing?  When Jesus said we must change and become like children, he could have meant many things.  One of them surely is about playing.  Play is a serious way of being together and learning together.  This is the principle activity through which children learn and grow.  A corollary to that is laughter.  The God who brings laughter [see Sarah’s words in Genesis 21.6] speaks through Jesus and tells us to change and . . . play like children? So let go, have fun, and live life with enthusiasm]
(Living faithfully, simply - Richard Browning)

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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