Summer Family Fun: Week 8

Hi all! We’re already into August, can you believe it? Pretty soon we’ll be buying Christmas presents! (I know…DON’T say that!)

Soul: 

  • Keep up your family prayer journal. Are you seeing answers? Record them.
  • Also: Memorize 1 verse this week. Young kids learn easy verses, older kids and adults get the more “meaty” verses.
  • Compete to see who can remember the most verses off the top of their head. (Without going back through the Bible to remember them, or practicing first)
  • Make this kid vs. kid and adult vs. adult to be more fair.

Mind:

  • Another “Big Word” game: Use the word “alphabetical” as your big word, write down how many words you can make from it.
  • For older kids, don’t tell them the big word, see if they can figure it out.

Body:

  • Do a family evening walk
  • Could be around your neighborhood, or around your high school track.                   (Remember, don’t do any physical exertion if it is hot outside, or you have compromised health. Check with your physician first, if you aren’t sure about the outside conditions, or your health)

Summer Family Fun, Week 6

I all. I hope you and your family are able to use some of the ideas I have shared for spending time together.  Family time is so important!  Please make it something that you do on a regular basis, no matter what time of year.

Mind-Discussion:

I thought I’d throw this discussion question into our summer ideas because I just did this with my grandkids for my post on faith.

“What is faith?” Even younger kids brought up in the church may have ideas about this. (Maybe 6 or 7 years old).  If they can’t find the words to define it, they might be able to give you an example.

For young kids: “What is praying?” “Why do we pray?”

Don’t expect this discussion to be long, just let it go as long as the kids are comfortable.

Body:

Turn on your favorite music, and DANCE! Kids love to dance, no matter what age they are. Actually, I love watching very young kids moving to the music, because they are so spontaneous and natural.

If you give yourself and your kids 20-30 minutes of dancing, you have done your exercising for the day! And you will have had fun doing it!

Soul:

Check your family prayer journal, or start one. I really believe that our kids need to see Jesus at work through the Holy Spirit. See if you can find prayers in your journal that have been answered, and how.

Another thing I think is super-special to do with kids, is to pray individually  with them and hold both of their hands when you pray. I believe that the kids see this as you giving them one-on-one undivided attention, and shows them the importance and “specialness” of prayer.

What would Jesus do?

Do you remember this question from a few years ago? “What would Jesus do?” “(WWJD?)” I have found myself coming back to this question several times, recently. The question isn’t in the Bible, as far as I know, but as Christian parents/grandparents we are to be “Christ like.” Meaning, we are to act in the same manner as Jesus would.

This needs to drive everything we do, especially when it comes to our kids and grandkids. They need to see us as Christ does. What does Christ see? We need to be about our Father’s business. Nothing more, nothing less. We need to remember who Jesus is,  and what He sacrificed for us. WWJD?

I Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 –  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2. And If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5. or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6. it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

13. So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

What can we do together this week?

Here we are at the second week of activities for your family. It is short and sweet, and doesn’t have to be what you actually do, but is a list of suggestions if you need them.

Mind: Electronics Challenge:  

  • Challenge your family to limit or completely stop using social media for one week.
  • If you would rather, pick something you and your kids do everyday to limit or stop, such as; playing computer games, looking at Facebook, etc.
  • If you have a hard time with “completely” stopping, limit time to maybe 2 hours a day or less.

Body:  Work out challenge:

  • Set a challenge for your family to work out at least 4-5 times this week
  • Can be something simple, such as dancing to your favorite music
    • Very young kids love dancing!
  • Walking or swimming are other great ways to exercise during the summer
  • Whatever it is, do it for at least 20-25 minutes each time, unless you are very out of shape or have a health condition, then check with your doctor first, and follow his/her advise.

Soul:  Prayer journal:

  • Start a prayer journal your entire family can contribute to
  • It can be just printer or notebook paper, if need be
  • Encourage each person to add one or two things or people they want to pray for
  • Use the list to pray several times during the week and beyond
  • Pay attention and mark on the journal when you or they see answers to their prayer requests

PLEASE, make time during the summer to spend quality time with your kids/grandkids. I can almost guarantee they will remember it.

The world isn’t THAT bad, is it?

I have a difficult time when someone tells me they are a strong Christian, but just don’t go to church. If Christ says we need to “assemble together,” we need to be in church!

I recently read Day 173: Evening, of my Sonrise Daily Devotional Bible, written by our founding Pastor, Tony Foglio, Sr. It touched my heart, so I thought I would share it with you.

“Once a week is not enough. A one hour worship service is not a good balance between the onslaught of the world and the teaching and preaching of the gospel. Compare the number of hours spent watching television (or being on electronics) with the combined time spent in fellowship, worship, praying, Bible study, and service. Unfortunately, statistics say that TV (and electronics) win. I am not advocating a boycott of television; I am, however, advocating that a greater amount of time be given to that which brings eternal dividends. May I encourage you to not only attend a weekly worship service, but also a Sunday school class, a mid-week prayer service, and a small group fellowship. These combined equate to no more than the amount of television (or electronics) many folks watch in one day. I can promise that your life will be richer for it. Will it be easy? No, it will at first take a fair amount of discipline.There will have to be some priority changes. It will require some sacrifice. However, the fruit that will be produced will be more than worthwhile.”   (Parentheses are mine.)

Hebrews 10:24-25, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime!!

For Summer, I am going to change things up a bit. Instead of just telling you about how to bring Jesus home, I am going to give you specific things you can do each week for your mind, body, and soul. Summer is the best time to begin doing something new with your family, because the kids are at home, and there tends to be more free time in the day. I will give activities. You can choose to do some or all of them, but I am focused on three areas;  mind, body, and soul. Jesus didn’t sacrifice Himself just for our eternity in Heaven, but for our life on Earth, as well. So I will be focused on physical and mental activities, as well as spiritual ones.

(Mind) Game: Big Word: “educational”

Directions:

  • Use the letters in the word “educational.”
  • Using pencils and paper, have the family make and write down as many words using only those letters (no extras) as possible.
  • For older kids and adults, don’t tell them the big word, just mix up the letters from the word, and see if they can guess the big word.
  • For younger kids in elementary school, allow short or one letter words.
  • For older kids, tell them they can have no less than 3 letter words.

(Mind) Discussion: This is a question to discuss with your kids/grandkids that should interest them. If it doesn’t, you may want to come up with an alternate question.

Younger kids: What is your favorite kind of bug? Why? If you don’t like bugs, why not?  Did God make bugs? Why do you think He did that?

Older kids: What bothers you the most about your school?  How can you help to make it better?

(Body) Exercise: Take a walk around the block. Look at the colors of the houses/apartments you pass. What colors are mostly used for apartments and houses? How many are white, tan, blue, etc. Is your house or apartment painted the most popular color? (You may want to take a pencil and paper to keep track?!)

(Soul) Discussion: What is your favorite Bible verse? If you aren’t sure or don’t have one, Google, “most popular Bible verses.” Discuss why these might be the most requested verses on Google. (Also, look at www.biblestudytools.com and look at “The 25 Most Read Bible Verses.”)

More ways to bring Jesus home? Part 2

This is a continuation of the list I posted last time. It is a compilation of ways to “bring Jesus home.” Next time, I will have a list focused on parents/grandparents.

D. Work consistently to build up your kids’ faith

  1. Do devotions with them several times a week
    1. Find a time that works, and stick with it! (Morning, evening, right after dinner, right before bedtime)
  2.  Memorize, memorize, memorize! Besides prayer, this is an activity that will “arm” our kids with the necessary gospel that will help them when they are being challenged by their friends and circumstances. (Get “armed and dangerous” in God’s word!)
  3. Discuss biblical topics with your kids; salvation, God’s love, His intimate interest in them, control, anxiety, patience, honoring Mom and Dad, etc.
  4. Use Jesus as a positive role model for your kids, not a judgmental authoritarian figure ready to pounce on them when they mess up.
  5. Discuss the hard topics; why God lets bad things happen, why people do bad things, how God feels about sex, drugs, gay lifestyle, etc.
    1. (Obviously, this needs to be at the time when kids are ready for these topics, not before)
  6. Go to church!  This seems like it shouldn’t need to be stated, but I believe there are a lot of people who are so busy, they don’t have time for church.  I also believe that God will honor the time you spend with Him, and bless you for it.
  7. Guide your kids with their spare time: Use electronics wisely, set time limits and keep to them!
    1. Play board games as a family.
    2. Have a family night out and do something together.
    3. Play outdoors together, or at least have your kids play outside.
    4. Have your kids get involved in church clubs and groups (AWANA, Youth group, choir, drama), and/or school extracurricular activities like clubs or sports.
    5. Celebrate the Christian aspect of big holidays, such as Christmas and Easter.
      1. It’s ok to acknowledge the secular parts of these holidays, but they get so much of it at school that participating in Christ honoring traditions at home is not necessarily “leaving out” the secular aspect.
    6. Challenge your kids to accomplish something in keeping with God’s word.
      1. For example, can they demonstrate in real life an example of following the Golden Rule?
    7. Eat dinner together!!! If not every night, at least several times a week. Get off all the electronics and talk to one another. Get to know each other all over again!  If you need to, come up with a topic for discussion before dinner, so you know what you want to discuss.

 

Can you picture this?

Picture this: Mom and two kids in a car waiting to pick up their sibling from school. The kids are bored with waiting, and are constantly squabbling and doing things they shouldn’t be. Mom is on her smart phone, head down, and never lifts her head or even her eyes. Mom is constantly yelling and threatening the kids with punishment. This goes on for about 25 minutes. Sound ridiculous? I observed this while waiting to pick up my granddaughter at school. And, I have seen the same thing several times, in different settings, with parents and kids.

When did electronics become more important than our kids?

I love having discussions with my grandbabies. They love talking to me (for the most part). When they know we really care about what is going on in their world, they tend to be more comfortable opening up to us.

I am all about being able to talk to my kids, and I know most parents/grandparents want the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with their children. Yes, I know there are times when the electronics have to be taken care of, with texts sent, etc., and I have been as guilty as anyone else looking at my phone when I could have been talking to the kids. But I try to remind myself that they come first, not my smartphone.

Our electronics are definitely a blessing, but Satan also loves them, and works to use them against us and our families, if he can. Don’t let him.

There is a time and a place for everything. When you are “trapped” with your kids in a car, use at least some of the time to talk to them. Use the time wisely. They will only be kids for a few short years, then they will be gone.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Deuteronomy 11:19, Teach them (God’s word) to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Colossians 3:20, Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

How many ways are there to get to Heaven?

Do all roads lead to Heaven? In today’s world, with political correctness being the norm, it is said that as long as you are spiritual, or have some sort of faith, you are fine. Does that mean Jesus was wrong? Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (goes to Heaven), except through Me.

Our kids get the politically correct information about being a good person all the time. Just ask their teachers. And a lot of their parents. If Jesus said He was the only way to Heaven, was He lying? Was He just another crazy cult leader? Or was He telling the truth? Ask your kids what they believe.

Jesus said, Unless you are born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven.  Was He being a hater, racist, separatist, isolationist, or politically incorrect? Or was He right?

In our world today, many, many kids are growing up with little to no beliefs about Heaven. Most kids don’t go to church regularly. Their parents also have no particular beliefs about Heaven, or think it’s an issue they will deal with “when the time comes.” I believe that this is one very big reason kids go into their schools and shoot their peers. A child with no faith can be a child with no hope.

It is time that as a Christian parent, we make certain that our kids are firm in their beliefs, and can share that faith. Satan is on the prowl, and in today’s world our Christian kids are prone to do the same hateful things that non-Christian kids do, in terms of gossiping, backbiting against their peers, and living as though they didn’t know anything about Christ.

Christian kids should have a faith that is unshakable, because Jesus died and rose again to make it so. Do your kids have an unshakable faith? Do YOU? According to the web article: “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity”, most Christian kids (63%) don’t believe Jesus is the son of the one true God.  http://coldcasechristianity.com/2018/are-young-people-really-leaving-christianity/

Please don’t leave your kids’ faith to chance. Don’t expect them to figure it out for themselves, because they won’t.

John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 3:3, Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Is your child the “1 in 5”?

I pray your child is not the 1 in 5, but according to the news report this week, one in five kids in the U.S. is at risk of attempting suicide. What is going on here?! Why are our kids feeling so hopeless that they see no future for themselves, and see death as an acceptable alternative?

I know this is controversial, but I believe one of the biggest contributors to our kids’ hopelessness is that they are growing up today in a world without Jesus Christ; without hope; without any sense of purpose.

It has been proven through several studies that kids in Christian homes have a more stable view of life, and a sense of self-purpose. They are more ready to handle the tough events they encounter, and tend to be more grounded.

Is your child/grandchild one of these? As a Christian parent, are you consistently working on building up your child’s faith? If not, your child is one of those at risk, because they don’t see the point of being Christian.

PLEASE share this with your kids: Christianity is more than a belief, it is a relationship with Jesus Christ Himself, who loves you and died for you so you would be able to be in Heaven with Him. Not only to be in Heaven, but to live with you today, and help you get through the tough times in life.

Romans 3:23, For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.

Romans 5:8, But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 14:6, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 11:25, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.