BE THANKFUL

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Family Devotions

2015-09-30 13.10.45These women laughed with surprising joy when I asked if I could get a picture with them.

I would not have been so happy had I been carrying a pile of wood on my head so I had a way to cook dinner for my family.

When you think you have it tough, there are those in other countries (and possibly next door) who have it worse.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

QUESTIONS: (Add your own personal questions, too.)

  1. What is one thing you aren’t content about right now?  Why? What’s happening?  (Maybe you can help your kids by suggesting something you see they aren’t content.)
  2. How does Philippians 4:11-13 encourage you?
  3. Where will you get the strength to be content? (Through Jesus, the Holy Spirit and prayer!)
  4. We may not be able to see it now, but God may be teaching you/us something.  What do you think it might be?
  5. Close in a short prayer: “Lord, help us be content.  Help us to trust you in all situations.  Help us to depend upon your strength.”

Shrimp & Ketchup

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Faith Conversations, Family Devotions, Moms, Praying Together

Over lunch with a radio talk show host last week, I was enlightened.  I ordered fish tacos and he ordered fried shrimp.  When our meals arrived, he did something strange; he moved his little dish of cocktail sauce out of his plate and squirted some ketchup in its place!  Who does that?

I had to ask.

He said when he was a child, that’s the way him mom served shrimp.  Since that’s the way he was brought up, that’s the way he eats them now.

I laughed.

He looked at me with a question mark on his face.

I chuckled because, it was a great example of the influence of the home.  What we do at home will shape our children’s spiritual lives even as it shapes our taste buds.

We will not hide them from their descendants;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,

so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.

Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands.
Psalm 78:4-7

I have to remind myself that what I’m doing now with our children is not only impacting them; it’s also impacting their children, too.   We are influencing our grandchildren; future generations.  Our children can pass the love and trust of the Lord onto their children and their children’s children.

Whatever we choose to dip our shrimp into doesn’t matter, but the way we spend our time connecting our children’s hearts towards God’s can have an eternal difference.  The habits we instill in our children while they are at home will carry on long after we are gone.

Pray together as a family.  Read the Word together and tell your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord…Then they [will] put their trust in God and [will] not forget his deeds but [will] keep his commands.”

 

Discussion Questions for parents and small groups:

When do you share with your children the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord?”

How are you developing spiritual habits in your home?

What is a habit you are going to start?

When is the best time to pray together as a family?

Find someone to share this with, so they can ask you about it.

 

The Family Bible Library

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Family Devo Tips, Family Devotions

This is the best resource to get your children to love the Word.  You will use this until your children are grown and then you will use them with your grand-kids!!Children love stories and the Family Bible Library provides even more than passages of scripture in story form!!  The FBL includes interesting insights to scripture such as: timelines, cultural information, geography, diagrams, and great photos in a way that broadens their understanding and experience.

Lead your family to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord by regularly having family devotions.

REVIEWS:

Pastor Brad Fink
“I love the Family Bible Library!  As a Pastor you would think I would be good at doing family devotions, yet this was always a challenge until we began using the Family Bible Library.  We are able to do devotions now with our 9, 6 and 2 year old boys, and they all are engaged.  The discussion questions make leading a conversation about the bible story natural and meaningful.  I would highly recommend this to any family who would like to pass their faith on to their kids!”

Scott Armistead

“My children love the Family Bible Library. They enjoy having their daddy read to them. They listen well. They love to see the pictures.  The questions are engaging.  We have had some great faith discussions because of our morning devotion time with the Family Bible Library.”    

Erik Natwick

“Family Bible Library makes leading family devotions easy for dad and the kids are enjoying it, too!  Thanks for this great resource.  I’m looking forward to using it for years to come!”  

Richard Perkins

“We love our Family Bible Library! It’s awesome for the whole family.  We are 1/2 way through the second time.  It gives us a reference point as we teach our children about self-control and discipline.  It’s an awesome set of books. Our children love it when we finish a volume, because they get to open the next one.  Thanks, Homes Devoted!!!”

I hear from dads all the time, “What is a good devotional I can use for family devotions?”  Without a doubt, hands down, this is the best resource!  I can say this, because we have used it for over 10 years!  People in church would ask, “How do your children know the Bible so well?”   This was our answer.These Biblical stories stay true to the Biblical account and are suitable for all denominations. 

Each story has questions that are relevant to children at varying ages.  You can ask the provided questions as well as add your own. They also have loads of additional information in the margins with historical, cultural facts, topical subjects, etc.  (The Family Bible Library is like a Biblical encyclopedia!)

Here is a video I quickly put together to share with friends who wanted to know about the FBL:

Sample pages from the books:

HOW CAN THE FBL BE USED FOR DECADES?

There are 6 volumes of story devotions from Genesis-Revelation.  It could take a year to go through the whole FBL.  You can always substitute when the holidays come with appropriate devotions (for instance Lent or Advent), but when those are done, you always have the Family Bible Library to come back to.  As our children have grown, we have gone through them again and again.  Since they are also growing and maturing, they have deeper questions and understanding just like when we reread scripture.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

$199. (Retail $350) How much have you paid for a story Bible? $10-$15?  How long did it last?  1 month? 3 months?   How much money do you spend on leading your family towards knowing God?  Is there anything more important?

OTHER GREAT INFO:

The last book, Volume 8, has chapters entitled “A Guide To Parenting,”  “A Guide to the 36 Building Blocks of Character.” “How to Build These Building Blocks into Your Children.”  and more.  Click to see the table of contents of this volume.  Page 1  Page 2

HOW CAN I PURCHASE THE FBL?

You can pay through PayPal: jctherev@gmail.com…Add $15 for shipping unless you want to pick it up.   Please include your mailing address, email and contact phone for followup.  OR You can mail a check to 694 Hammock Rd. Melbourne, FL 32904.   Don’t hesitate to email us at jc@homesdevoted.com or call/text: 321.223.1163

 

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The Greatest Gift {5 Minute Devo}

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Challenging, Christmas, Family Devotions

(Click here to download this devotional: EnglishFrench, and Spanish.)

 

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” —Luke 2:8-11

 

Read Luke 2:8-11

 

Ask:

Can you imagine being the first to hear about the first Christmas morning?  How would you have responded to the Angel of the Lord?

 

Say: 

The shepherds were told about the true meaning of Christmas; plain and simple.  But there are a lot of things that distract people from the real meaning of Christmas.

 

Ask:

  • What distracts people from experiencing the true meaning of Christmas?
  • How do you think Jesus would want us to celebrate His birthday? (Staying focused on Him and doing what He would want us to do is the most important. Have you ever thought about singing Happy Birthday to Him? Giving Him a present?)
  • How have you already gotten distracted?
  • What will you do to help you stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas?

 

Pray: 

“God, Thank you so much for giving us the greatest Gift possible!  Help us to stay focused on You!  Help us to love others and just as you gave your Son Jesus for us, help us to give to others.”

God Sends Reminders {5 Minute Devo}

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Challenging, Christmas, Family Devotions

(Click here for the download of this devotional:  English, French, and Spanish)

 

God comes through for us, but we are often in need of reminders.

 

Read Matthew 2:9-11

 

Why do you think the timing was perfect for the wise men to visit Mary and Joseph? Do you remember what they had been through?

 

They probably needed confirmation of what God was calling them to.

 

• Mary became pregnant before she was married to Joseph.

• They fled the country in fear their son would be killed.

• They had to spend the night in a stable and gave birth to their Son, who was foretold to be the Savior of the world. His crib was a manger (the feeding trough for animals).

 

At this point, they must have needed a reminder of who this Baby was and that God was really watching over them! I don’t know about you, but I might have had my doubts that this really was the Son of God to be the Savior of the world, too!

 

Can you think of other people from the Bible who God reminded He was still in charge?

 

• Daniel in the lion’s den. (Daniel 6)

• The Israelites trapped at the edge of the Red Sea and God splits the water, so they can walk on dry ground. (Exodus 14)

• Jesus rose on the third day. (Luke 24)

• Healing the guard whose ear was cut off by Peter. (Luke 22:49-51)

 

Life isn’t always going to be easy, but God will come through! God’s plan is perfect. God’s timing is perfect. Our response has to be to trust him, just as Mary and Joseph did.

 

Questions for children:

• How do you think God reminds us He is here?

Through other people, especially your parents. The Bible. The Holy Spirit.

 

• Has there been a time that you know God reminded you? How?

 

• How will you respond to God the next time things are going your way? (Someone doesn’t treat you fairly or even lies about you?)

 

Questions for teens:

• Do you ever wonder about the things God does that you didn’t notice?

 

• When has God reminded you He is helping you?

 

• Do you expect God to come through for you?

 

• What is the worst that can happen to you?

Ultimately…Death.

 

• For the Christian, how is God victorious even in death?

Even in losing our own life, it means we will be with Him in heaven.

 

Since you are reading this, you aren’t dead. Look for God’s encouragement. Look for God working. Look for His reminders that He is still in charge. Mary and Joseph had no one else to turn to. They were completely dependent and desperate for God. This is usually when God shows up. When we know it can be no one else but Him who rescues us!

 

Prayer:

“God, help us see You at work. Help us to trust in You more. I believe You can help us, but help me really believe it! Help me to really trust You. Thanks for Your Word and how it shows us we can rely on You!”

 

Resources

Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melobourne, FL 32904
Phone: 1-321-223-1163