Posts Tagged ‘Homes Devoted’

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?

 

The Sword Scene Challenge: You could win!

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Ideas

The Cronkhite kids want to encourage your child(ren) to memorize scripture. WAIT!  It can be fun.  Take a look at the video below. (Pass this on to other friends and family, too.)

There are lots of reasons to memorize scripture: one the Bible is called a SWORD (Ephesians 6:17: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”) and another reason is Psalms 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Memorize Matthew 5:3-12, post your SCENE and you could win a giant set of  TanGrams for family fun.  Something the whole family, young and old, can have fun doing together (see the Cronkhites playing the game below.)  For every 20 families who submit videos, we will give away a game or a Family Time Activity book!  So, spread the word, tell your friends!  (See below for the video on the Family Time Activity book.)

 

Just a few verses each week!  We will post a new video to show your kids each Monday for encouragement along the way. See below for the first four verses!

The fine print:

  1. Submit a video of your child(ren) saying the verses by heart by August 11th and you will be entered into the drawing! In other words, no teleprompter, whiteboards, etc., but a parent can help with hand motions. 🙂
  2. You can post a link to your video in the comments section below or on our Facebook page (click here).
  3. Get creative!  Sing it out!  Act it out!  You will get 2 extra entries for creativity!

Matthew 5:3-4…

Matthew 5:5-6…

 

This is TanGram!  A game young and old can play!

 

Win a Family Time Activity Book. A great resource for making principles from God’s Word memorable!  Your kids will think having a devotion is nothing but boring!

Where’s My Child? Locator Apps

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Tech Stuff

I received an email a week ago asking if I knew about a good locator app so parents could locate their child’s whereabouts anytime. Has your child ever not called or texted when they arrived somewhere even though you pay for them to have a cell phone?  Ever wonder if they are where they should be?  Locate your child with these apps you can install on their phone.  Besides the obvious fact of seeing that they are where they should be, these apps allow them to check in when they arrive to their destination and can alert you when they are on the move.

If you have a locator app that you use, please let us know what you think about it.  As well an internet filter for phones.

Here are some apps I explored.  I am personally using the Android apps:

1. GPS Tracking Pro (Android and iOS)

This is a good, free app that tells me where my daughter is and sends me an email every time she leaves and arrives home.

Good stuff:

  • The App’s map shows icons of family and friends with their exact locations.
  • There is a panic button as well that will call/text/email everyone in the family and then brings up a button to dial 911
  • The GPS Tracking Pro App can also locate any phone that has been misplaced or stolen.
  • The website map also provides directions that can be printed to guide you to the destination.
  • A child can hit the “check in” button when they get to where they are supposed to be and you are notified.

Downside:

  • Does not offer parental restrictions (which means your kids can log out or delete the app.)  So, trust needs to be in place as well, but it’s a great bargaining factor especially since you are the ones paying for their ability to connect with all their friends at any time.

Cost:  Free (Premium version is $5/month)

 

2.  Footprints  (iOS app)

We don’t have iphones, so I can’t test this app, but here is what the website said.

Good stuff:

  • Let’s you set up Geofences, for instance, your child’s school.  You are notified when your child crosses these “fences.”
  • You can even activate “movement sensors” that will notify you each time your loved ones are on the move.
  • Offers parental control feature
  • Speeding notifications can alert parents when their teenagers go over the speed limit.

Cost:  3-months ($1.99), 1-year ($3.99) or 2-years ($5.99) PER PHONE

 3.  Find my phone  (iOS app)

Ron Uhland told me about this one. He uses it as he travels the world.  He can see where his wife before he calls.

Good stuff:

  • Locate your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac on a map
  • Display a custom message on the screen
  • Play a sound for two minutes at full volume (even if your device is set to silent)
  • Remotely lock your device

 & wipe your device to erase your personal data
  • Lost Mode (iOS 6 or later)
  • Driving directions to device location (iOS 6 or later)

Downside:

  • Does not offer parental restrictions

Cost:   Free

4.  NQ Family Guardian (Android Only)

This app is much more than just a locator tool.  This app is great for controlling and keeping an eye on almost everything your child does on their phone. There is an online dashboard where parents can view their child’s location, all their contacts, phone calls, text messages, web pages visited, and even photos they take!

Good stuff:

  • I can set a schedule when my daughter’s phone can be used.  I turned off the social networking apps from 10pm-7am.  I could even lock the phone all together or set up a schedule for web browsing or texting.
  • Logs all websites viewed and any which are blocked.
  • I can restrict and block apps, websites and even block contacts!
  • It even shows all the phone call logs and text messages to each contact!
  • Geofences.  This allows you to be alerted when they leave the set geophraphical areas you have set up.
  • Children need a password to access the app.
  • There is a panic button if they’re in danger.

 Downside:

  • It “does not block adult content on a non-pornographic webpages” such as youtube or google images.
  • It can be uninstalled without a password.
  • YOU CANNOT trust the browser blocker!  They have not perfected this.  For instance, the second time you try to access blocked content, it will let you.

Cost:  34.99/ year.  No monthly fee…

Stay tuned for content filter apps for phones…

The Dropout Dilemma

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Why Bring Faith Home?

New Stat Video: The Dropout DilemmaThe Dropout Dilemma

God, who knows us completely, has told us to impress the knowledge and love of Him on our children.  Parents, even very religious parents, are losing their children to the world.  Why? (Click picture to view video)  Homes Devoted™ partners with churches and families to inspire and equip parents to impress their faith at home….So the next generation will know.  There is hope.  God has shown us the way through His son, Jesus.  Let’s band together to raise up a generation for the Lord!

For all of you who like to see the stats, here they are.  Look for our next email which will reveal the positive stats and ideas for how to pass on our faith!

George Barna says this in his book Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions: “We discovered that in a typical week, fewer than 10 percent of parents who regularly attend church with their kids read the Bible together, pray together (other than at mealtimes) or participate in an act of service as a family unit. Even fewer families—1 out of every 20—have any type of worship experience together with their kids, other than while they are at church during a typical month.” (Barna, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, p. 78)

Mark A. Holmen, in his book,  states, “They [families] might come to church on a regular basis or enroll their children in church programs, but when it comes to talking about faith, praying together, reading the Bible in the home or doing devotions as a family, these practices simply aren’t happening.”

I have talked with many, many parents and found this to be so true. Married couples aren’t praying together and most do not pray or read the Bible with their children. Are we showing our kids how God can be involved in every decision and aspect of our lives? Do our kids see us pray with a faith that trusts God will come through? Do we talk about God when we wake up? Do you talk about God after school, in the car, on the way to practice, doing chores, at dinner, before you go to bed?

The Search Institute in a nationwide study found that only “12% of youth have a regular dialog with their mom on faith/life issues. In other words, one out of eight kids talks with their mom about their faith. 5% of kids have regular faith/life conversations with their dad.”

Here is the result:

Drew Dyck, in an article in Christianity Today entitled: The Leavers: Young Doubters Exit the Church, writes about the exodus of young adults from the church calling them “leavers”:  “What pushed them out? Again, the reasons for departing in each case were unique, but I realized that most leavers had been exposed to a superficial form of Christianity that effectively inoculated them against authentic faith.”
Children in lots of churches today worldwide are not seeing authentic faith lived out in their homes.

In their book, ReThink, Steve Wright with Chris Graves quote a TIME Magazine article that points to research which found that 61 percent of the adults polled who are now in their twenties said they had participated in church activities as teens but no longer do. Some argue that young people typically drift from organized religion in early adulthood, but others say the high attrition is a sign that churches need to change the way they try to engage the next generation. (page 18 of. Sonja Steptoe/Bellflower, “In Touch with Jesus”, Time Magazine, October 31, 2006)

The Southern Baptist Convention conducted a thorough study of families within their churches and found that:
88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return.
— The divorce ratio among members of evangelical churches is virtually the same as among non-church members.

I wonder if each denomination conducted the same kind of research what they would find. My hunch is it wouldn’t be much different (or what I fear is that it would be worse.)

LifeWay Research found that 70 percent of young adults ages twenty-three to thirty stopped attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two. They also found that 20 percent more of those who did not leave the church had a family member who talked to them about spiritual things. (p. 20 of his book….LifeWay Reseach, 2007)

USA Today reported on the same LifeWay research as above. However, they said that the news wasn’t “all bad.” Thirty-five percent of those who dropped out of church started coming back by the age of thirty. It is a sad day when churches comfort themselves with the fact that around one-third of drop outs later return which still means around two-thirds leave the church for good after student ministry.”

Sociologist Christian Smith concluded, “Most teenagers and their parents may not realize it, but a lot of research in the sociology of religion suggests that the most important social influence in shaping young people’s religious lives is the religious life modeled and taught to them by their parents.”

As Christian Smith more simply summarized at a panel at Fuller Seminary, “When it comes to kids’ faith, parents get what they are.”

Richard Ross said, “Spiritually lethargic parents result in spiritually lethargic children.” D6 Conference, 2012

My good friend Jim, told me that his neighbor got extremely upset with their two teenage daughters because one day they declared they didn’t believe in God. “I didn’t raise them like that!”, he said. “We believe in God and it’s important that they believe in God too.” Jim was taken back by such a reaction because he knew that they didn’t go to church (the weekends were too busy and full of stuff to do like boating.) They didn’t pray together or read the Bible together or serve together. They didn’t invite God in to any aspect of their lives. Why would they be shocked to find out their kids don’t believe in God? Why would their daughters believe in God?

Socialogist, Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton, after the most detailed study of 3,000 churched teenagers and their religious views found that most teenagers have a religious belief which they termed “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.” Here is a summary of what this means: (See the full description at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_therapeutic_deism)

God exists and wants us to be morally good. God wants us to “be happy and to feel good about oneself.” God is there when we want him “something like a combination Divine Butler and Cosmic Therapist.” And that all good people go to heaven when they die.

So, most teenagers believe in a God that is nice, wants us to be nice and happy, doesn’t interfere with our issues unless we call on him for help.

I will wrap up these stats with this last one that will either make you delete this from your computer or spur you on to change the way your church does ministry.

CNN online featured an article, “More Teens Becoming Fake Christians” on Kenda Creasy Dean’s new book Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. (Oxford University Press, 2010). She writes, “The problem does not seem to be that churches are teaching young people badly, but that we are doing an exceedingly good job of teaching youth what we really believe, namely, that Christianity is not a big deal, that God requires little, and the church is a helpful social institution filled with nice people…” She goes on to say that “if churches practice MTD (Moralistic Therapeutic Deism) in the name of Christianity, then getting teenagers to church more often is not the solution (conceivably it could make things worse).  A more faithful church is the solution…”

God, may we have more faithful churches and more faithful homes, completely devoted to YOU!

 

 

Family Devotion: Thankfulness

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

Devote some of this weekend to God by doing this devotion on being thankful!

THANKFULNESS- Luke 17:11-19.  Only one out of ten men came back to thank Jesus for healing them.

Begin by asking:

  • When was a time someone did something for you where you felt really thankful?

After reading (or having someone in the family read the verses), ask these questions to spark a discussion on the value of being thankful.  (I realize there are more questions than needed, ask those that will work best with your family to help create the character of thankfulness.)

  • What is leprosy? Why was it such a serious disease physically and socially? (It was a contagious skin disease.  Those who had it had to leave all their loved ones and live with those who had leprosy.  No one could ever touch them.)
  • Why do you think only he came back to give thanks? (He recognized and believed in who healed him and the others didn’t.)
  • Why is it important to note that he is a Samaritan? (Samaritans don’t respect or like Jews and yet he came back to praise God.)
  • Why do you think the others weren’t thankful?  (They may have been so selfish and so excited, they were more concerned about telling others and doing things they haven’t been able to do, than recognizing the source of their healing.)

 

How about us?

  • What has God done for us?
  • Why is it hard to recognize what God has done for us, (see God’s answered prayers)? (The biggest reason is probably because we don’t really expect God to work, so we really don’t look for Him to.)
  • Would our outlook be different if we really lived out Proverbs 3:5-6 or Matthew 6.33?
  • How can we try, even more, to look for what God does, to see God’s answered prayers? (Here is one idea: write prayers down in a pad and then write the date next to when they were answered.  It is incredible to look back after doing this for 5 years and remember all of God’s answered prayers.)
  • How can we as a family, show our thanks for what God does?

 

Want to go deeper (have some teens you want to challenge)?

  • Jesus said this man had faith.  How did this man show his faith? (He went out of his way to give thanks and praise to God.)
  • Giving God our deep thankfulness is a way we reveal our faith in God?  Why? (It expresses our trust in Him. It shows we acknowledge His answered prayers.  That He is at work.  That He gets the glory.)
  • How do we demonstrate our thankfulness to God?
  • What was the result of this man’s faith? Luke 17:19…  He was already healed, so what was made “well?”   (People’s New Testament says it this way, “His faith had not only saved his body, but he had been born to the new life, his soul was saved.”)

Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32904

321.223.1163 jc@homesdevoted.com