Archive for the 'Family Nights' Category

21
Jan
13

Sinning Stones and Blessing Basket

Lent is just around the corner-Feb. 13th.  Our family has never really observed Lent before and this year, I wanted to (in our own way).  A couple years back, I heard of an idea that I knew one day, when my kids were a little older, I wanted to do.  This year, we will start!

 

1 John 1:8-9

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Each day of lent (40 days) we will focus on a sin and a scripture verse, and talk about how God forgives us that sin. (I have included the list of sins and scriptures that I made below.)  Write each sin on a “sinning stone,” (I used a silver Sharpie on 2 bags of Panacea 70033 River Rock, Black, 2 Pounds .)  We will start on Ash Wednesday, and discuss a “sinning stone” everyday until Easter.  We will place the sinning stone we discussed in a basket that we will place in a prominent place in the house.  At the end of lent we will have a whole basket full of sin (sinning stones), and we will talk about how those sins led to the Jesus’ death. Then on Easter Sunday, God has replaced all our sins (stones) with the blessing of Christ-our Easter baskets!  We are going to replace the basket full of sinning stones with a basket full of life (a “blessing basket”) on Easter morning with gifts that remind us of life for the family (seeds to plant,  etc.)

Sinning Stones and Blessing Baskets

(the 40 days of Lent)

ANGER-James 3:5-6
CONTROL IDOL-  Proverbs 3:5-6
POWER IDOL-  Genesis 3:1-24
COMFORT IDOL-Romans 1:21-25
APPROVAL IDOL-Matthew 10:32-33
TEASING- Proverbs 18:6
HITTING/TANTRUMS- Proverbs 16:32
BRAGGING- Proverbs 27:1-2
CHEATING-Amos 8:4-7
COMPLAINING-Philippians 2:14-16
CONFORMITY-2 Kings 17:15
CRITICISM-Zechariah 7:9
BEING DRUNK/DRUGS- Proverbs 23:29-35
DOING EVIL- Romans 12:21
FAKING IT (HYPOCRISY)- Matthew 7:1-5
UNFORGIVING- Colossians 3:13
WORRYING- Matthew 6:25-34
GOSSIP- Proverbs 11:13
GREED- Luke 12:15
HATRED- Leviticus 19:17
DISHONOR- Galatians 5:14
DISOBEDIENCE- Ephesians 6:1
REBELLION AGAINST AUTHORITY- Proverbs 30:17
JEALOUSY-Proverbs 14:30
JUDGING OTHERS- Matthew 7:1-5
NAME CALLING- Proverbs 4:24
DISRESPECT- 1 Peter 5:5
LAZINESS-Proverbs 28:19
LYING- Proverbs 12:22
PREJUDICE- Galatians 3:28
PRIDE- James 4:6
IMPURITY- 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
REVENGE- Romans 12:17-21
STEALING- Ephesians 4:28
UNREPENTFUL- 1 John 1:8
WORLDLINESS- James 4:3-4
GLUTTONY- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
LACK OF FAITH- Romans 14:23
NOT RESTING- Exodus 20:8-11
MURDER/ABORTION- Genesis 9:5-6

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22
Jun
11

Celebrate “inter-DEPENDENCE” Day

Why not celebrate the Fourth of July as a day of inter-DEPENDENCE?  After all, as people of rebirth (Christians),  independence seems to be a very counter-gospel value.  But interDEPENDENCE — interdependent on one another & flat out DEPENDENCE on God…this idea that we are not alone in the world — that is at the heart of the Story from which we come, the story that began long before America.

I once read that the real Independence Day was not 1776, but soon after Adam was created, when he and Eve stood before God guilty of sinning. It was on that day, the fall, that Adam and Eve made their own Declaration of Independence, and rejected God for Satan’s lie. From that time onward, every son and daughter of Adam is born at odds with God, fighting to live independent of Him and independent of each other. It is only when the eyes of the rebel are opened and he sees his sin, is moved to repent of it, and makes his official Declaration of Dependence upon the Lord, that he will be saved. And it is this very dependence that leads this rebel to cease his striving and live unselfishly in community fulfilling the 2nd greatest commandment to love others.

So this time around and for the future why not consider the true freedom we have in Christ – I’m not talking about, “Lord, thank you that we live in a country where we are free to worship you,” or things like that. Those things are true, but they’ve become cliché. Christians must promote freedom in Christ. Before Christ, we were nothing more than captives! Prone to wonder from our heavenly father, prone to do the very things we hated…Christ most certainly came to bring freedom to the captives.  So on Independence Day let’s be sure to remember the freedom Christ gave us.

But let us not take our country for granted…a country where we can join together and worship our Savoir.  So let every Independence Day remind us to give thanks and pray for those who serve our country, our soldiers who protect our lives and freedoms every day as well as our leaders. Pray for Obama, pray for your Governor, your representatives, and so on. They need prayer.

One of my favorite Independence Day traditions is going to see fireworks. I think it’s because of the awe inspiring beauty, the beauty of bright lights breaking through the darkness acting as a small parallel of Christ’s light that has come into this dark world.  So if you get to enjoy some fireworks let your appreciation of them remind you of the One who shines brighter than the sun, the One who shines hope in the midst of what, at times, feels like overwhelming darkness.

Finally, holidays remind us how inter-dependent we are on one another. As someone makes you a burger, or invites you to swim, or watch fireworks with them, remember what we learned from High School musical, “we are all in this together.”  🙂

Our family is celebrating this holiday starting today, (13 days before the 4th, representing the 13 stripes on the flag).  We will be taping up one “stripe” of paper each day on our wiki stix flag that I made on the wall.  On these stripes of paper will be a Bible verse that talks about either our dependence on Him, our freedom in Christ, or our need to live in community.  All biblical themes that we can tie in with the holiday using the verbage above.

Here are the 13 Bible verses ( in the ESV) we printed out on red and white stripes of paper:

Day 1 of 13

Dependence on God:

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

Jeremiah 17:5-6

5 Thus says the Lord:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.

John 15:4-5

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Psalm 44:6-8

6 For not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword save me.
7 But you have saved us from our foes
and have put to shame those who hate us.
8 In God we have boasted continually,
and we will give thanks to your name forever.

Isaiah 26:3

3 You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

James 4:10

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Freedom in Christ:

Galatians 5:1

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Romans 8:21

that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Our dependence on living in community:

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Acts 2:44

And all who believed were together and had all things in common.

1 Corinthians 12:12

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

*James wrote parts of this post.

Resources: http://www.songtime.com/bb/bb0710.htm

http://evancurry.com/2009/07/02/how-should-christians-celebrate-the-4th-of-july/

http://blog.sojo.net/2009/06/23/40-ways-to-celebrate-interdependence-day-on-july-4/

09
Mar
11

putting God first

We did a quick family night on Tuesday night that I really liked.  If you go to the Thriving Family website, you can check out the whole activity.  (We did the school-age activity.)  The key message for our girls was when we’re not intentional about putting God first in our everyday life, there tends to be no time for praying, serving, and reading the Bible.  But when we put God first in our lives, everything else fits, (things like getting homework done, chores, playing with friends, TV time, etc.)!  In our family, one simple way we put God first is every morning before school we read a passage of scripture.  Last year it was Proverbs, (we would read Proverbs 9 if it was March 9th).  This year we are reading Psalms.  Then we pray together for our day, our teacher, our friends, and our school.  It takes a total of 5 minutes each morning.

Back to the activity (we used walnuts instead of golf balls like it suggests on the website):

The rice represents daily activities that are “unspiritual”.  If you put the rice in first,then try to fit the three walnuts in (which represent reading the Bible, praying, and

serving one another), everything won’t fit in the jar!

But if you put the walnuts in first (put God first in your life)
before all the rice (the daily activities)
then everything fits in the jar!
19
May
10

pins are sins

Last night we had family night and learned about how sin will blind us to God’s truth.  God will show us what we need to change when we ask Him to.  James particularly focused on the sin of treating your sister and/or brother wrongly.  He used the verse 1 John 2:10-11. ” Whoever loves his brother(sister) lives in light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.  But whoever hates his brother(sister) is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”

We talked about how people who are blind can’t see and need to have help to know where to go.  And that we can also be spiritually blind, (we begin to do things that we know we shouldn’t do and no longer feel bad about doing them), and need to ask for help from God.  Sometimes when we sin and keep on sinning, God let’s us become blind to His plan for us.

James asked if not showing love to eveyone or when we fight with people, including your sister or brother, could blind you to what God wants you to do.

Then we used the visuals to help.  We used small brass safety pins and mixed them with dry rice in a pie plate.  Look at the pins in this pan of rice.  Can you see them? 

The pins are easy to see!

 The pins represent sin. Right now I want you to pick up rice but not pick up any pins.

Easy right?

Now we are going to cover your eyes and I want you to pick up only the rice. (It is very hard to distinguish the rice from the pins when you can’t see!)

James really made sure Ella couldn’t see!

After they picked up a few handfuls we let them ‘see’ all the pins they picked up with the rice.  They both were really upset that they had picked up ‘sins.’
Was it easy to tell the rice from the pins when you couldn’t see? It’s the same way with sin in our lives. When we are blinded to sin, we can no longer tell the difference and it’s very easy to allow sin to creep into our lives, just the way the pins crept into our hands. When we could see, we could see the ‘sin’ and remove it. How do we do this in our own lives when we have become blinded?
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
We need to pray, asking God to remove the blinders on our eyes and to show us anything we need to change.  We then prayed together and asked for the Holy Spirit to reveal the sin in our lives.  This family night was admittedly a harder concept to grasp for them, but we believe His Word will not return void and we have already experienced multiple times in their daily lives where we can point back to our object lesson from past family nights!

30
Oct
08

The pumpkin gospel

Just like us, all pumpkins are different. But there is something the same about every one of them – that yucky, slimy pulp on the inside!

From October 2008

The yucky, slimy pulp is like the sin that’s in us. Romans 3:23 says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That’s every single one of us.

From October 2008

So we clean out our pumpkin like the way Jesus cleans us out when we confess our sins.

God has made a way that all our sin can be forgiven and washed away. God even says He’ll cast them as far as the East is from the West. Romans 5:8 says: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

After cleaning out the pumpkin, we give the pumpkin a new face! The Bible says God can make us a new creation too.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

From October 2008

Then comes the really special part. The light is placed inside the pumpkin and it glows for all to see!

2 Corinthians 4:6 says: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

And Matthew 5:16 says: “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

So we can become like that pumpkin – a glorious sight for others to see the love of Jesus!

From October 2008
From October 2008
From October 2008
12
Aug
08

The toothpaste sermon

We “impress” our children everyday with who we are, what we think, or what we do. These moments may come to our children through our words, but family moments contain more power and lasting effects when they come through instructive events our children can observe.

On Monday nights we have “Family Night” where we have family devotions and our girls are actively engaged in learning. Tonight James taught about making our speech pleasing to God using a tube of toothpaste. After hearing a lot of ‘poopoo words’ to each other lately, I thought the girls needed to be reminded of how powerful the tongue can be.

Here they are with their tubes. The girls were allowed to squeeze all of the toothpaste out of their tubes.

Then daddy told them to put the toothpaste back into the tubes.

“That’s right! The very same thing is true of the words we speak. Have you ever said something that hurt someone’s feelings and heard them say, “You take that back!” You can’t take it back, can you? Once you have said it, it is said. You can’t put the words back in your mouth any more than you can squeeze this toothpaste back into the tube. That is why we need to be very careful about the things we say. The Bible says, “He who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14  Once we have said it, we can’t take it back, so let’s make sure that our words are pleasing to God.

If you would like more info. on family nights, check out http://www.heritagebuilders.com. This family night was taken from the book An Introduction to Family Nights Tool Chest by Jim Weidmann and Kurt Bruner.


21
Sep
07

Family Night

So James and I are trying to make Tuesday night in the Paquette household ‘Family Night’.  Our purpose is obviously to be together as a family and have fun, but also to teach the girls the Bible and God’s truths from it.  This week, we learned about Noah and the girls had lots of fun playing in the ark daddy built them.