Sunday, December 25, 2011

Faithful Families Resources December 25 2011

Weekly Inspiration
To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself.
Josh Billings

Family Closeness
Rip a Christmast Tree
Give each player a piece of green paper and ask them to rip it into the shape of a Christmas tree behind their back. Compare trees and declare a winner!

What if...
  • you sent a thank you note to everyone who ever taught you something?
  • You had to leant to walk and talk all over again?
  • You could be someone else for a day? 

 With your family read: Luke 2.22-40
Questions for Discussion:
  • Who does Simeon and Anna think Jesus is?
  • How do you think Simeon and Anna knew the baby Jesus was the one promised by God?
  • What does this passage say about Jesus growing up? 

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.

Judges 7.1-25                          Gideon defeats the Midianites
Judges 13.1-25                        Birth of Samson
Judges 14.1-20                        Samson’s marriage
Judges 15.1-20                        Samson defeats the Philistines
Judges 16.4-31                        Samson’s death

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.
Praying Scripture
In this type of prayer, scripture can be used as a guide or springboard. One helpful way of doing this is to explore the promises God makes in the Bible. Here are some examples of how you might pray using scripture. The best way to teach children how to do this is to model it. This type of prayer may take a bit of practice for both child and adult but I encourage you to give it a go. It will help bits of the Bible stick in your mind and in your childrens.

John 10.10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
You might pray: God thank for your the abundant life you bring us. Please help us to live abundantly. Teach us that this doesn’t mean having lots of money but being abundant in the things of God. Help us to know that the riches of your grace and mercy overflow in our life. Help us to live life fully in the freedom you gained for us.

John 15.5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
You might pray: Lord Jesus thank you for the life that flows from you the vine. Help us to remain in you always so that we may bear much fruit in our life. Remind us that all that we do flows from you. Strengthen us in our connection with you in all aspects of our life. 

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. Over the next few weeks I will provide some passages from scripture that will help us explore Jesus ideas in relation to these questions.

Read Matthew 25.31-46
This passage is very confronting but it highlights the idea that those who are blessed by God are those who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked and visit those in prison. Not only that, but when we do these things for people we do it for Jesus, we personally serve him. How is your family doing these things? What opportunities are there in your community to serve Jesus? 

Family Time

A Visit to the Art Museum

Most people don't think of taking young children to an art museum.  Children like to be active, so how could they possibly enjoy standing around and looking at paintings? With a shift in thinking and some advance planning, parents can find lots of excitement for their kids within the walls of an art museum. Keep in mind that children learn through their senses and through interaction with their world. Then plan an interactive experience for them. Choose from any of the following activities, or create some of your own.

As you walk into a room in the museum, scan the paintings and sculptures. Then use a variation of the I Spy game: "I spy a boat." "I spy something red." Your children will look carefully at the art work while they try to find your item.

Encourage your youngsters to play "mirror" games, assuming the positions of people they see in the paintings. Have them assume the identity of a person in a painting and tell something about themselves.

For landscapes or seascapes, your child can imagine what it's like to
be in that setting and can describe the weather or tell what might happen there in five minutes.

For one museum visit, take along a small mirror for each person and simple clipboards made of cardboard and paper clips. Add some plain paper, pencils and erasers. Have your children look at a variety of portraits and discuss the shapes of the eyes, noses, and faces they see. Then give each child a mirror, paper and pencil. Have the children study the shapes in their own faces and then draw self-portraits.

For a quick and easy activity, have each child identify a colour he is wearing. Now have the children find items of matching colours in the paintings in the room. Briefly talk about the paintings the children identify.

Extract from A visit to the art museum by Barbara F. Backer for Real Families, Real Fun

(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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