Sunday, December 27, 2015

Faithful Families Resources December 27 2015

Weekly Inspiration
Resolution One: I will live for God.
Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
~ Jonathan Edwards

Family Closeness
Mute Spelling
This game is suitable for al family members as long as they can spell. Each player begins with a score of "A". The first person is given a suitable word for them to spell but they can only say the consonants. Vowels must be spelled using the following hand actions.
    "A" - raise your right hand
    "E" - raise your left hand
    "I" - point to your eye
    "O" - point to your open mouth
    "U" - point to any other player.
For example, the word "APPLE" would begin with the player raising their right hand (A) then saying P-P-L before raising their left hand (E). The score of any player who makes a mistake goes from "A" to "E" and so on through the vowels (I, O, U) until they get out on their fifth mistake.
Questions for stimulating discussion in your family. 
  • What was the hardest thing about this year?
  • What is something that you achieved this year?
  • What is something you want to give thanks for this last year?
  • What are your hopes for next year?
  • What do you hope to do, experience, discover or be next year? 

With your family read Luke 2.41-52
(for a way of explaining/talking about this reading with children look at

Questions for Discussion:
  • How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when they couldn’t find Jesus?
  • What surprises you about this story?
  • What do you think Jesus words meant?

Prayer and Celebration
People like to celebrate New Year’s Day in many different ways. Some people like to stay up until the clock strikes midnight – others like to go to bed so they can be up fresh for the first day of the year. Whatever you like to do, may you be encouraged this New Years to think about how God might be honoured, remembered and shared in your family. Pray together, either at midnight or on getting up on the first of January. Give thanks for the year ahead. Ask God to guide you and your family in all you do…and dedicate yourselves to serving Christ in the year to come.

As a family discuss how you might service your community and world in 2013. Talk about some of the things happening in the world you would like to change and decide how to make a difference. Make a commitment to give a certain amount of money to a charity or cause. Work out how your family might raise money or give time or talents to help a local charity.

Family Time
Big Dreams 2016

One day an expert was speaking to a group of students and on time management and he used this illustration. Firstly he took out a wide mouthed jar, then he produced about a dozen large rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.        
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes."
Then he said, "Really?"  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  Then he dumped some gravel in and shook  the jar  causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him.  "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!"  he replied.  And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.  Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"
"No!"  the class shouted.  Once again he said, "Good!"   Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim.  Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point.  The truth this illustration teaches is this: If you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

I wonder…what are the big rocks you wish to fit into your family life next year. Sit down with your family and dreams some dreams and make some plans for 2016. What things would you like to do? What places would you like to see? What habits would you like to make together?

(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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