Faith Conversation 2: Taming The Tongue

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

It is so important to have “Faith Conversations” at home in between Sundays.  Many faithful college students said they attributed their strong faith to the fact that they had faith conversations in their home.  We hope these will help you to talk about God, making faith relevant, wherever you are: in the car, at dinner, in a restaurant, etc.

See Faith Conversation 1 and a video entitled The Lasting Impact of Faith Conversations

This is Part 1: Taming the Tongue

Our children need to realize how our words affect us and the others around us.  Our tongue can get us into deep trouble or be a blessing to others.  Here is a Faith Conversation you can have with your kids on this important and sometimes overlooked subject.  (Part 2: Reckless Words & Part 3: Lying and Cheating are coming in the days to follow.)

Faith Conversation 2: Taming the Tongue Part 1

Let us know in the comments section below how it went!

The Lasting Impact of Faith Conversations

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

Doing a family devotion just might seem overwhelming or intimidating or just plain impossible!  What about having conversations about faith?
Watch video and then download another Faith Conversation you can use with your family this week.

This is a transcript of the above video:

Get this: When college students, with a strong faith, were asked, “Looking back, what would you say attributed to your lasting faith?”  A huge percentage of them referred to having faith conversations in the home.Connecting your children to the heart of God, doesn’t just happen by having family devotions and prayer times.  Those times are vital, but it also happens as we, throughout our daily routine, talk about the things of GodWe connect our child’s heart with God’s:

  • When we discipline and then pray together.
  • When we play and then apologize for being too competitive.
  • When we bring God into our decision making and ask for help.
  • When you turn off the TV, because it isn’t pure, noble, praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)
  • When we do chores and work and mention how great heaven is going to be.
  • When we catch ourselves worrying and then remind the family that God is in control.
  • When we serve our neighbor, just because God compels us to love in action.
  • When we see a strange looking animal and wonder what God was thinking.
  • When we sin and talk about how easy it is to do wrong and how in need we are of a Savior!

This is what God intended when He said, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7

When we do these simple things, we bring God into the daily routine of life.  We live out constant communion with God.  We show our children a dependency upon God.  We demonstrate a real relationship with Him.   Do not be afraid to be bold and blunt with your children about the things of God.  They need to see you live out your faith and they need you to lead them until they decide to (hopefully) follow Him for themselves.  Then they will see what it means to be “in Christ”…a real Christian.

To help you on this journey of talking about God throughout life, look in your email every Tuesday for a conversation starter; a discussion on a scripture verse to help you some time throughout your week to help you devote some time to thinking about God.  It can be around the dinner table, in the car, at a restaurant, at bedtime, etc.  The point is to talk about God whenever & wherever; just do it.  When you do, you will be impacting the next generation and the generations to come; your kids, your grand-kids and your great-grand kids.  It starts now.


Family Devotion: Trusting God

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

How can you “impress” on your children a trust in God?  Here is a devotion you can do as a family.  The very young, and even teens, will have some fun with this activity and discussion on trusting God with everything!  (Print the devotion here.)

Topic: Trusting God.

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6

DIVE IN:

Free Falling

Your children can take turns participating in this activity.  Have one at a time stand on something (a chair, bed, etc.) off the ground (waist level works best).  You can decide on the height, but you want to make it somewhat challenging.  You could even blindfold them.

Have them cross their arms to grab their shoulders.  Mom, dad and other family members can get behind them and lock arms together so the one falling can fall straight back into their arms.  You could even put a mattress underneath for added protection.  Instruct the faller to stay straight and stiff like a board and fall into the safety net of their family’s arms.

Have each child do this.  If you don’t have enough family members to catch the faller, you could do this with another family or as an alternative you could blindfold each child and take them by the hand (or by verbal directions) on a tour of their surroundings.

After everyone is done, talk about it. You can ask:

  • Was it hard to do?
  • Why?  [Intentionally falling is not something we naturally do; it goes against all logic.]
  • Why was it hard to trust, even your family/parents?
  • What does it mean to trust?

 DIVE DEEP:

Read (or have one child read) Proverbs 3:5-6 from a Bible. (It’s important to read it from a Bible.  We want our kids to become familiar with reading their Bible.)

Ask:

  • What does it mean to trust God?  Is it the same as “believing” in Him? (Letting Him guide and lead us, obeying Him even when we don’t feel like it.)
  • When can it be hard to trust God?
  • How does God know we really trust Him? (Through listening and obeying Him.)
  • How do we learn to trust God more? (By reading the Bible; by trusting Him in the little things.  Then we realize He is trustworthy and it will become easier to trust Him with bigger things, etc.)
  • What are benefits of trusting God?

DIVE UP:

  • How do we completely trust God as a family?
  • Is there something going on right now which is stretching us to completely trust God?
  • In what area are you (each family member) having difficulty trusting God?

 

Shining Like Stars (Family Devo/Activity)

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Family Devotions, Ideas

This would be a fantastic way to start family devotions if you are not in the habit or a fresh idea if you have devotions all the time. IMG_8654 a It is half activity/half devotion.  I ran across this as I was looking for devotional resources for families.  It is very simple, has little prep and will leave lasting memories as you get the family together to focus on what is most important!  I hope you can carve out the time to impart Biblical truth to your children (no matter what their age.)  If we can point you in the right direction, please let us know.

Get the Devo Here.  Read this and decide what you want to say, add or change.  Gather materials then gather the family.  If this activity seems too childish, here is another activity we posted last week that can offer a more exciting activity for the older kiddos/teens and you can use the same lesson.  Here is how to make some real fireworks. Click here.  

TELL US HOW IT WENT!!  Post comments here and pictures and video on our Facebook page.

 

A Dirty Devo…All is Rubbish

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

Below is a family devotion you may use with your family and/or you may pass it on to someone else.   Share it with the people in your small group to do with their families or even send it off to your grown children, so they can do this with your grandchildren.  We hope it will bless your family as it has others.

Helping You Have Homes Devoted,
Jonathan and Carrie

(If you haven’t started family devotions, you are not alone.  Statistics show that only 9% of church families do any form of worship/study in the home. Break the stats! Click here for a quick video on some simple insights to starting a Family Devotion.)

A Dirty Devotion: It’s All Garbage
(This devotion has many questions. Choose what works for your family.  Change and add to it according to the ages of your kids…Don’t feel like you need to use everything here, but you always want to leave them with some way they can apply it to their lives.  I would suggest you also talk about it a day or two later.  If you bring it back up and discuss it (at dinner, for instance) they will be more apt to remember it, and the ongoing processing of the scripture can create great discussion about God throughout the week!)

Start by asking:
When your friend is SO excited after receiving a new _____________ (you can fill in the blank with something), how do they act?
[They talk about it constantly, they’re excited, they want to tell others, they want to show it off, etc.]

What is one thing that you have that you are very excited about? Something you earned?  And why?

Read Philippians 3:8
I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8 HCSB)

How Might Paul describe that thing of yours?

What is it about following Christ that in comparison makes everything else seem like dirt, garbage, dog poop? (That’s what it says in the message version).
[It stinks, it’s gross!   That’s how we need to view everything that might keep us from knowing Christ and His awesome plan and purpose for us!]

VISUAL ILLUSTRATION: I dare you to get some garbage or even dog poop and put it on the table for your kids to see and smell and I promise they will never forget this devotion! You can keep it in the trash bag or put on some plastic.

What things has Paul lost, given up, to follow Christ?
[Freedom (he is in jail).  Friends. Safety. Security.  The good life.  He was in prison, beaten mocked, etc.]

What is one thing that might be keeping us as a family from knowing Christ better? What is one thing that might be keeping you from knowing Christ better?  [Popularity. Time. Money. Stuff. Fun. Sports. Facebook and other online activities.]

Why is it hard to give up these things?

[IF TIME PERMITS, YOU CAN CONTINUE OR THIS COULD BE PART II TO BE DONE AT ANOTHER TIME.]

How can you tell when someone loves something more than Jesus?

What is the second commandment? [Exodus 20.  No idols!]

What are “idols” in today’s world?

How do you know when something is an idol?  [It’s hard to know. But if that thing keeps you from going to church, from spending time praying or reading the Bible, or keeps you from time with Christian friends;  If this thing pulls you away from Jesus.]

What might you love more than Jesus?

How might we (as a family) or you keep this from continuing to be an idol?

Is it possible we/you could allow God to use this thing to bring Him glory?  [Sometimes, God gives you desires, talents, gifts and skills that can become an idol (you become proud like Samson or Saul and instead of using these things for God, you use them for your own selfish ambition.  You can use your interests, talents and gifts to show your love for God to others. You might want to write this down somewhere and discuss it throughout the week.  Plan to talk about these together at meals or turn off the TV when everyone is around to talk about it.]

Close in prayer!

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