Sunday, December 18, 2011

Faithful Families Resources December 18 2011

Weekly Inspiration
Your children need your presence more than your presents.
Jesse Jackson

Family Closeness
Christmas Card Toss
Gather together a collection of old Christmas cards and  cut off the backs. Set up a course by placing a large box or bin on the floor and marking a place to stand some feet away from it, depending on the age of the children. If you are playing with mixed ages, older children should stand further away than younger children. Each child takes turns tossing a stack of cards like a frisbee into the box. Count up and the child with the most cards in the box wins.\

  • What makes a home a home?
  • If you were invisible for one day, what would you do?
  • What is your favourite place in the house and why? 


With your family read: Luke 2.1-20
Questions for Discussion:
  • How do you think Mary felt about giving birth in what was probably an animals shelter?
  • Shepherds were lowly people in Jewish society. Why do you think God chose them to be first to hear about the birth of Jesus?
  • How did seeing Jesus effect the shepherds? 

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.

Joshua 1.1-18                          Joshua Succeeds Moses
Joshua 3.1-17                          Crossing the Jordan               
Joshua 5.13-6.27                     The fall of Jericho
Judges 2.6 – 3.6                      Israel’s disobedience
Judges 6.1-40                          Call of Gideon           

Prayer and Celebration
12 Types of Prayer
In his book ‘The hour that changes the world’, Dick Eastman outlines twelve different types of prayer . In this miniseries explore the many different types of prayer with your children.
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)

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

This blog has provided a whole range of ideas for service involving families over the last year but maybe you or your children are asking the question: Why should we serve? Why should we try to make a difference.

Read Luke 14.12-14
In this passage Jesus encourages us to do good to others who cannot repay us. God blesses us when we do this. How is your family seeking to show hospitality to those who cannot repay you? How are you caring for those who no one else cares about?

Family Time
Dress Up Night
Hold a night where all the members of your family must dress up according to a theme. Take photos of one another and play some games together. Possible theme ideas might include: super heroes, international dress, monsters. Another simple dress up idea is to  make everyone dress up using garbage bags and newspaper. Have a fashion parade.

(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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