Focusing on Others
Point: There are only two things that will last, people and God's Word.
Gather: Paper, marker, and a Bible.
Go: Write the following letters on a piece of paper and give it to your children: RPWDDOGOOEPSLE. Have your children attempt to unscramble the letters to list two things that will last long after material goods have turned to dust.
Ask: What does this verse mean to us? Knowing that what matters most are people and God's Word, how do you think God would want us to live? What are ways we can live this out in our own lives?
Share: Our relationship with God goes on forever. Our impact on others' lives can also be eternal. But the things we buy or own will someday be gone. Someday our toys will be rusted away and our house will be nothing but ashes, but the friendships we make will live on and our love for God will bring us to heaven- and into His presence.
Pray: Pray for a mind and heart that doesn't covet things, but desires to grow closer to God and build relationships with other people.
Point: Sour words can hurt other people.
Gather: Lemon slices, glasses of water, and a Bible.
Go: Hand lemon slices out to everyone in your family. At the very same time have each person put the lemon slice in his or her mouth and see who can keep it there for 30 seconds. While you are doing this have each family member look around at the sour faces.
Ask: What were you thinking as you sucked on the lemon? How can words be like the sour lemon taste? What kinds of words do people say that leave a sour taste in their mouths?
Share: When people lie; when people use bad language; and when people gossip; it "sours" their relationship with others- just as the lemon made our taste buds sour. God wants us to avoid saying things that can hurt other people; He wants us to use words that are helpful and sweet.
Remember: Love is sent through encouragement.
Pray: Allow each family member to share prayer concerns and answers to prayer.
Oh, Grow Up!
Mealtime Prayer: Dear God, thank you for planting the seed of Your Love and Word in our hearts. Amen.
Main Course: Read Luke 8:5-15 about the Word of God being like a seed. The seed that the farmer planted landed in a variety of places. What do you think would happen to a seed that feel on a rock? Would it grow? What about a seed that fell on a busy road? How about the seed that fell on good soil?
- What is the hardest place you've ever seen something growing?
- How are people like soil?
- What soil do you want to be like? What kinds of things will you grow? (For example, kindness, contentment, obedience.)
- What four things can our family do to help God's Word grow in us?
This Little Light
Mealtime Prayer: Sing "This Little Light of Mine". Then thank God for the food.
Main Course: Give everyone a candle. In the darkness have one adult light their candle. What do you see? Light another candle with the first candle, and continue around the room until everyone's candle is lit.
- Was one candle enough to light up the entire room? What happened as each candle was lit?
- What happened when you held a lit candle next to one that wasn't lit? How is this like sharing your faith with others?
- How are Christians like candles?
- Where are some "dark places" that you could let your light shine? In what ways can you shine it there?
Dozens of Praises
Work together or in teams to find words of praise on the signs and vehicles around you. When a good adjective or complement is found, each person on the team uses the word in a sentence that builds up someone else in the car. For example: look for words like good, fantastic, wonderful, or awesome. Players follow with phrases such as "Mom is a fantastic cook!" or "Jasmine did an awesome job being helpful today."
Kingdomly Top Five Lists
Read these for humorous look at life's dilemmas. Make your #1 reason a truly good reason, for example, "Your Mom told you your room is a mess and you want to surprise her by doing something about it before she tells you to."
Top five ways to know it's time to clean up your room:
5. You can't remember what color your carpet it.
4-2. You fill in the reasons! Make them funny!
And the #1 way to know it is time to clean up your room is:
1. Make this your serious honest answer!
Other subjects might be: Top five ways to be placed on the prayer list at church; top five excuses for not doing chores; top five excuses for lazy families; etc.
Needed: A Bible
Tell your child that how we feel is important to God, especially when we feel scared. Ask you child about some things that scare them. What scares them the most? Begin to read them Psalm 23 and point out the way the shepherd cares for his sheep. Ask your child why David says that we don't have to fear evil. Explain that the shepherd's rod is like a club that the he uses to clobber predators, like wolves. The staff is a hook shaped walking stick the shepherd uses to pull a lamb out of a hole or scoop him out of the water.
Dear Lord, thank you that you are my shepherd and (child's name)'s shepherd. Thank you for taking such good care of us. Help us to see that we have nothing to be afraid of because you are walking right beside us. Amen.
Our Wonderful Bodies
Have your child look at their hands. Ask them to imagine what it would be like without a thumb. (List things that you couldn't do.) Next look at your joints. As them to stand up and stiffen all their joints with the exception of their hips and shoulders. Ask them what their joints do. (They give us freedom of movement, allowing us to move our muscles and bones.) Read Psalm 139:14sa where David says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"
Dear Lord, thank you that (child's name) is fearfully and wonderfully made. Everything has a purpose. Tonight we want to especially thank You for our thumbs and joints! Amen.
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