Sunday, February 21, 2016

Faithful Families Resources February 21 2016

Children can withstand a lot of pressure and trial from the outside if the home inside is held steady by parents whose character is steady.
 ~ Stuart Briscoe

Family Closeness
Five House
One family member makes a list of five things to be found in your house. For example: something fluffy, something you can balance on your head, something that makes a sound, something hard, something blue, something used for cleaning. The rest of the family must then go and find five things that match the list. The first person back whose collection matches the list according to the list maker wins.

Questions for stimulating discussion in your family.
  • What is something you like about your family?
  • What is something all families need?
  • What is something you would like to do as a family?
With your family read:  Luke 13.6-9
 Questions for Discussion:
  • What do you think this parable is about?
  • What could the tree that produces no fruit be?
  • What does it mean to have a second chance?
  • Do you think the tree will produce fruit?
  • What would help the tree produce fruit?

Prayer and Celebration
We are now in the Season of Lent, the forty days preceding Easter Day. This is traditionally a time of repentance (saying sorry and turning from sin). The resources for prayer and celebration for the next six weeks will focus on ways your family might “celebrate” well this season. Lent is a good time to focus on God’s care and provision and on our dependence on him, but also on saying sorry.

Why do we have “seasons” of the church year? In a wonderful way they help us to tell more fully the story of faith, the story of Jesus. During Advent we are alerted to the coming of Christ, not only as a baby 2000 years ago, but also of his return. In Epiphany we become aware of the presence of God in our world and the mission of Christ to proclaim the redeeming kingdom of God. This season, Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter focuses on repentance, turning from sin, turning from self worship, remembering that God is our creator. Lent also focuses on the covenant or promises God has made with his people through the ages and now.

Lenten Thanksgiving Bowl

This week place a bowl in the middle of your table. Place some blank strips of paper and a pen next to it. Each night spend some time writing things you would like to say thank you to God for. Place them in the bowl. Smaller children might like to draw pictures.

Prayers to use in Lent

Dear God,
thank you that your love
is deeper than the ocean
and bigger than the sky.
No matter what we do,
you still love us
and welcome us home.

Dear God
Help us when we hurt.
Help us to know what to do.
Help us forgive.

 Anglican Board of Mission – Australia
One mission organisation in Australia that does fantastic work is ABM-A. Their vision is:ABM wants to see people everywhere experience the wholeness of life God offers in Jesus Christ, and to this end support our Partners as they participate in God's mission.

Their website is worth checking out and in particular under their resources menu is a section called “watch” that has videos of some of the work they do. Some of these videos would be appropriate to show family members around the table.

Family Time
The Cross Shaped Window

You may be familiar with the segment on Play School where children are invited to travel through the square, circle, arched or diamond window. On the other side are some children doing something interesting. Using cardboard and some coloured cellophane make a cross shaped window. Tell your children that when we look through the cross shaped window we might see the kind of world God would like us to live in.  Invite your children to draw some pictures to put behind the window. What might God’s kind of world look like? What would people be doing? How might they be treating one another? Find some pictures in magazines that show what the kingdom of God might be like. (Maybe pictures of people caring for one another, seeking peace, helping one another).

(This material is based on and draws from earlier Faithful Families emails by Stephen Harrison and 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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