“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 (Message)

Just let it go. We need to let go of our anger. Of course, in this translation Jesus didn’t specifically mean brothers or sisters only, but this could be a good scripture to reinforce the importance of siblings getting along!   Often we get angry because we think something isn’t fair, we don’t get what we want, or what we think we deserve. Just let it go. Would you rather be right, or wise? “A fool gives full vent to anger, but the wise quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11  It’s difficult to form the habit of letting go of anger, but it is possible. In fact, with practice it becomes easier and easier.

Start letting go today, by unleashing marshmallows with your own homemade launcher. https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZvp6s1mfeO1GLQfT2K1B7EkxBYGPHAvOjUZfF5W9MkNsoZqBeRg

Just cut the bottom out of a paper or plastic cup. Also cut the knot from an already blown up balloon, leaving enough balloon to pull it over the bottom. Depending on the size of the paper or plastic cup, you may need to tape the balloon on if it slips off. Now just throw in a marshmallow, pull the knot and….. Release! This is a super fun way to practice letting go, and make sure to challenge the kids to practice letting go of anger too. Pray together that we would trust God to give us what we need, and not try and fight for it. If we all can focus on loving our neighbours more than ourselves, I promise God will take care of the rest.

God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your family prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done. How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Welcome to the easiest family devotional you’ll ever come across- Marshmallow Madness! We can do this!

I challenge you to spend 20 minutes a week being intentional about passing your faith on to your kids
           …and all you need is a bag of marshmallows.

This week: Family Time Training

“… If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation”  2 Corinthians 5:17

This week we are going to showcase another wonderful family ministry. In addition to being licensed as a presenter with the National Center for Biblical Parenting, I had the privilege of meeting the founder and president of Family Time Training, Kirk Weaver, when I was in Houston for training. I appreciated his genuine heart to teach biblical truths using family fun. As you’ll see, these activities are meant to be super exciting -the neighbourhood kids will be inviting themselves over!  Head on over to his website at www.famtime.com where you’ll find a free monthly activity (and more free ones in the archives) as well as details to subscribe to unlimited activities that you can choose based on the ages of your kids or the values you want to teach. Brilliant!

Here is a portion of this months free activity:
Teaching Goal: God created the “family” as a vehicle to get His children safely
to the home in heaven He has prepared for them.

Materials: A shoe box
1 raw egg
1 zip lock bag
Newspaper
Tape
Markers
Shiny piece of fruit

Read Deuteronomy 6:7. One of the most important reasons God created families was so
that parents would teach their children about His laws—the Bible is filled with God’s law.
God’s laws are designed to get us to heaven safely so we can live with God for all eternity.
Family Time is one way we, the parents, try to teach you God’s laws for living. Can you
think of other ways our family learns about God’s important life lessons? Listen to answers.
Going to church. Children’s and/or youth programs. Christian radio. School. Grandparents.
Other Christians. The Bible. Prayer.

ACTIVITY: This shoe box represents our family. This raw egg represents a member in
our family. Pick a family member who has a personal relationship with Jesus. Write the name
of that family member on the egg. Write the name “Jesus” on a zip lock bag, put the egg in the
bag and seal it tightly. The zip lock bag represents Jesus. {Name} is a Christian so they are
in Christ. We are going to use strips of newspaper to protect the egg from breaking during the crisis. Tear the
newspaper into strips. We are going to write on some of the paper strips ways that our family learns about God.
Pack the box full of newspaper strips. Remember, these strips of newspaper represent having God’s lessons in
our lives. Let’s see what happens in a crisis when we know and follow God’s lessons.
Drop the box- if packed securely the egg should not break.
Open up the box and point out that the person is in Christ. Point out that the lessons kept the person from breaking. Remember, the box represents our family. The most important thing is that each of us is in Christ represented
by the zip lock bag. That means we believe and follow Jesus. Next, as a family, we need to
be reading our Bible, listening to our parents, doing Family Time and participating in
church so we can be safer and more protected when hard times come.

Memorize: Family is God’s way, To safely guide our day.

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Welcome to the easiest family devotional you’ll ever come across- Marshmallow Madness!

I challenge you to spend 20 minutes a week being intentional about passing your faith on to your kids
           …and all you need is a bag of marshmallows.

This week: Build Your House

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”  Proverbs 14:1

build your house
Yes, that is Spider Man’s car in the driveway.

We’re going to build houses with marshmallows. And then eat them.

You’re going to want to give everybody in the family their own handful of marshmallows, since not only are the kids going to be touching and squishing them, but licking them will act as glue. You’ll be amazed at what you can build once you lick them!

Look up the verse together and then talk about it as you build. What does the Bible mean “to build up our house”? I teach kids it means “to add value”.  How can we add value to our homes, our family? Our city, our world? On the other hand, how does a foolish woman (or man) tear down her house like in the scripture?  What are some things that we do in our family to take away value from each other?

Additionally, God wants us to consider how we build ourselves up-  If we are wise, we will add value to ourselves by what we learn, how we act, the words we speak, and what we focus on. We should choose to build character.  An excellent novel our family read aloud helps kids understand character. Ralph Moody’s book “Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers” depicts a father trying to instill the value of building character: “A man’s character is like his house. If he tears boards off his house and burns them to keep himself warm and comfortable, his house soon becomes a ruin. If he tells lies to be able to do the things he shouldn’t do but wants to, his character will soon become a ruin. A man with a ruined character is a shame on the face of the earth.”

As you’re building, ask which is harder: building up or tearing down. One of the kids towers could fall apart, which is a perfect opportunity to observe that tearing down can happen in a moment, but building up takes focus and careful planning. Unfortunately, one lie can seriously weaken a stellar reputation. One mean comment to a family member can trigger a series of foolish destruction.Let’s all decide to be wise in building up our house, and the next time somebody is inconsiderate to someone else, or hurting their own character you can use this lesson as a starting point by asking, “Are you building up or tearing down? Is this wise or foolish?” 

Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Welcome to the easiest family devotional you’ll ever come across- Marshmallow Madness! We can do this!

I challenge you to spend 20 minutes a week being intentional about passing your faith on to your kids
           …and all you need is a bag of marshmallows.

This week: Fiery Darts

“… In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Ephesians 6:16

This time we are not specifically teaching about the whole Armor of God, we are focusing on the shield of faith and defending against the fiery arrows of the evil one. Depending on the age and maturity level of your children, decide how open you will be when you are teaching about Satan’s attacks.  You might want to play the game below and have a quick discussion now as a family, but be prepared to explain it more in depth later to older kids. The point of this game and lesson is to be able to recognize some of the “fiery darts” the enemy uses to mess with our faith, and that the “shield of faith” is what we need to use to resist him.

The kids are going to love this game- we’re taking turns pelting each other with tiny marshmallows!  Have one child sit on the floor and the other members of the family receive a certain number of marshmallows to try and hit him/her. It shouldn’t hurt, especially if you are using the mini-marshmallows.  Thankfully, we aren’t going to light them on fire and send them over!
Now give the child something to try and block the mini-missiles. This is representing the shield of faith that we are commanded to use. It could be a plastic plate, an aluminum pan, a rubbermaid tote lid, anything at all.
Afterwards, ask the kids what those fiery darts of the evil are anyway? What does our enemy throw at us? I think, since we are to use faith to rebuke them, they are things which cause us to doubt. I think our enemy puts wrong thoughts in our mind: mean thoughts, thoughts to distract us when we are trying to pray or read the Bible (It’s amazing how many , harsh thoughts criticizing our teachers, parents, or pastors. Terrible thoughts can cause us to question our own salvation and our belief in our heavenly father. Some might even wonder if Jesus really saved them at all!  We don’t have to accept every thought that burns into our head. We need to extinguish lingering darts and recognize that they are an attack of our very real enemy!
But how? The shield of faith protects us, but only if we use it. And holding up this shield is as simple as speaking God’s Word. “I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” 2 Timothy 1:12 and  “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). That is putting on the shield of faith.  When a thought falls into your mind, ask yourself if this is from God. Would God say this? If not, then rebuke that fiery dart for what it is, a lie from the devil.  As a family, declare the truth of our amazing God and encourage each other to be strong with their shield of faith.
Finish off with a quick family prayer. God cares about every area of our lives; let’s encourage the children to pray about whatever is on their hearts. Add to your prayer journal weekly, and be sure to leave space to jot down a quick note when God answers the prayer. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what the Lord has done.How did this work for you? Did you adapt it to fit your family?

Ding! Ding!

In this corner, we have “Getting out the door in the morning!” In the other corner, we have “Bed time!

Standing in the other corner is “Coming home from school!” and in our final fourth corner, we have… “Meal Times!

These can be fun family moments, instead of what feels like 12 rounds for the heavyweight title. This two hour training session will show you how to create a realistic routine, that will tear down the boxing ring! Get equipped to win for your family!

Monday, January 20th at 7pm at at Regina Apostolic Church (808 Assiniboine Ave. E.)

If you would like more information about the workshop or have any registration, payment, or childcare questions, please call 306.789.1772 and ask for Mackenzie (Family LIFE Administrative Assistant). Cost is only $20 per person or $30 per couple and supervised childcare is included so register the kids! Register online today at www.familyliferegina.com or phone Regina Apostolic Church 306-789-1234.

Empower our children to succeed in this life-teach them to be battle ready-with the armor of God!

armor of God

What are our weapons?

According to God’s Word; Truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit and prayer.

What’s more, Ephesians 6:10 promises that we don’t have to fight in our own strength. We have the power of our mighty God to draw from.

Here are some fantastic ideas for learning about God’s armor.

There are activities here for all ages. Choose one or two and have an incredible family night!

For younger kids: “A Heart to Change Our Generation” gives us a whole activity making these great bags as well as explaining what each piece of armor means. (below)

ARMOR RACING: At the blow of the whistle, let children run around a designated area and find the various types of armor pictures that a parent has hidden. Children will then come back to the table area and tape that piece of armor to their clothing, in the correct spot. The teacher can then put all the armor pictures in a basket and the children will once again race to get a piece of armor and tape it to their clothing again. Continue to play as time allows.

PASS THE SWORD: Sit in a circle and play “musical sword”. As the music plays, pass the sword and when the music stops, the child (or parent)  holding the sword, will read the Bible verse and then will sit out. The game continues until there is only one player left.

ARMOR VIDEO: After the lesson has been shared with the children, let each child choose a picture of a piece of armor and tape it to their clothing. Take a video of the children talking about the armor and the lesson. Show the children the video.

ALUMINUM FOIL SOLDIER: Give children some foil and a certain amount of time to form a soldier. This will be similar to using play dough, but not messy.

BELT OF TRUTH: Give children supplies to make a construction paper belt with strips of paper hanging down and taped to the belt. (Reinforce the belt with postage tape or clear contact paper). Strips of paper could have a Bible verse written on each piece.

BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:
Give children a paper bag and cut out a place for the head and arms to slip into. Decorate the bag with CHOOSE TO DO WHAT GOD SAYS IS RIGHT, etc.

FEET FITTED WITH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE:
Provide children with a piece of foam to cut in the shape of their foot and laces to attach to the foam (hole punched) and lace up their ankle and leg.

SHIELD OF FAITH: Provide children with a piece of cardboard to decorate as a shield and tape a handle (strip of wide paper) to the back so the shield can be held in front of child.

HELMET OF SALVATION:
Give each child a paper plate to form in the way that they choose, to be a helmet. Color and write HELMET OF SALVATION, etc. Attach pipe cleaners or string to hole on the sides to tie it onto their head.

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT: Provide each child with a long strip of poster board and foil to cover the “sword” and Bible stickers to decorate their sword. Give each child another small piece of poster board to form as the handle and color and tape to the sword.

SING A SONG: Do an army cadence if desired such as: 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, I AM IN GOD’S ARMY TOO (I am in God’s army too); HE’S MY KING AND THAT IS TRUE (He’s my King and that is true); I’LL WEAR THE ARMOR OF MY GOD (I’ll wear the armor of my God); AND DO ALL THAT HE SAYS TO DO (and do all that He says to do). (I know, the last part doesn’t rhyme… feel free to send suggestions)

Worksheets:   Armor of God  word search,  decoder, fill in the blank, cross word, coloring page boy soldier, These links were adapted from an excellent free website called sermons4kids.com

Lori, at “Life’s a Bowl Of Cherries” made a cute snack based on the armor of God.

A beautiful coloring page for girls and boys. Very nice artwork.

Show teens the picture below and discuss its meaning for each piece of armor. You might be surprised at their responses.

https://i0.wp.com/media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/originals/d3/7f/5e/d37f5ef5b79f0c6660b06e63c3c8d402.jpg

“When you’re a grown-up, you go to work and come home and eat supper and then… you watch tv!”

The quick answer you may hear if you asked a child… “What does a grown up do?”

Are we letting our lives slip by? Apparently our generation has more free time than ever. But it seems to me, we’re not actually happier. What kind of future do you want for your family tree? Do you talk about your hopes excitedly with expectation of success?

I don’t, but I wish I would.

I’m sure you feel the same.  So busy that we feel as if we’re spinning through this world. Juggling all the needs of a family doesn’t leave much time for wishes and dreams.

time-to-dream-bigger

Let’s elevate our expectations. If late nights have splintered the dreams of your youth, select a fragment and dust off those goals that once gave you energy and passion. Pray about what God would have you take on, and would work with your family and not against it. Let your kids see you striving nervously for that impossibly hard thing. Let them see you fall and get back up. With time and practice, your hard work will become successful.

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”— Mario Andretti

And there is good reason to make time for this. Our children are afraid of failure, and frankly they don’t see their parents overcoming tough obstacles. We need to teach through example.  It will give our children confidence to stretch along with us, and really live out Phil 4:13 and do everything through Him who gives us strength.

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”— Dale Carnegie

I want my children to appreciate when I am nervous about an upcoming speaking engagement, a difficult health program I attempt, a potential blog topic idea, or when I feel God is giving me a difficult instruction (like fasting). They will see that we don’t know everything, that we don’t always have it together. We do our best, and sometimes we fail. Ouch.

Hebrews 10:35 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”

Talk about your child’s future with them often, as if it is their mission in life. Relate all the possibilities imaginable, and when age appropriate even write down some of their dreams and aspirations. Of course with kids their own goals for their future can and should change often. It is not a sign of mediocrity, but actually a signature of healthy curiosity. Discuss famous people who changed the world for good or bad, and  get books on the library on real missionaries, now and long ago.

Older kids may already have some firm ideas for their lives. It is helpful to help them break it down into smaller chunks. When I was young, I had a dream to go and do missions for a summer. This was before the internet, and trying to coordinate all the details for the trip overwhelmed me. I gave up before I got through the initial planning stage, and to this day, I regret it.

Help your young person organize his or her dreams into sizeable bites of awesomeness, and they will have an easier time swallowing it.

So, when is the last time you did something that was so challenging it scared you? Tell us about it!

TRY THESE ACTIVITIES:

 

Do the impossible! Go a day without electronics. Make it as hard as you want, but be sure to discuss it first as a family. Try giving up tv, internet, cell phones, video games. Whatever would be a challenge for you. Encourage the kids to go for this challenge with you, and make it a mission, not a punishment.

Have a meal without saying a word. See who can go the longest without talking. It sounds easy, until you want some more potatoes! To make it extra exciting have the meal without using cutlery.

To encourage dreaming big, try some improv with your family. Put a few ideas in a bowl or pieces of paper. “Once upon a time”, “strange day at the zoo”,  “at the bottom of the ocean”, “I heard a strange sound” or “One day while I was playing outside.”  One person in the family starts it off and each person has a turn continuing the story.

Have fun!