Jesus said to her (the women at the well), ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’    John4:13-14

This week we’ll investigate the elements. Introduce children to the Periodic Table of Elements- as far as we know, everything on earth was created from one or more of these items. Like building with Lego or Minecraft, everything is made up of combinations of these elements.

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God is so amazing! He created everything we know with just these same building blocks. Create some molecules (combinations of elements) with toothpicks and marshmallows.

20150323_214345_resizedWater:  H2O   -2 Hydrogen and 1 Oxygen  

Carbon Dioxide: CO2   -1 Carbon and 2 Oxygen

 

Methane: CH4   -1 Carbon and 4 Hydrogen20150323_214439_resized

For an extra challenge- here is a picture of a sugar molecule found in space, along with our own representation:

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Drawing of the sugar molecule found in space.

 

 

It’s inspiring to consider God’s creativity. From water, to sugar in space, He has not only created the building blocks of our universe, but also offers living water that gives us assurance of eternal life, and supernatural strength to fulfill our God given destiny.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”  Revelation 4:11
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38
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?

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  Philippians 2:3-4

How can twenty sticks of spaghetti, tape, string, and one marshmallow help develop Godly leadership skills?

The Marshmallow Challenge has become a popular game at leadership conferences and team building events. The challenge asks builders to work together in small groups to come up with the tallest freestanding structure. Teams have less than half an hour to complete this task using only the items provided and the whole marshmallow must be on top of the structure.

See, marshmallows aren’t just for kids! This activity has been conducted in business schools, engineering departments, as well as in kindergartens. Can you guess which group tends to perform most successfully?

Business school grads did poorly. They argued and fought over who was in charge. Engineering students spent most of their time planning, talking and then finally building, which didn’t leave them much time for last minute changes when, inevitably, the structure didn’t support the weight of the marshmallow on top.

Kindergarteners excelled in this challenge. They just started building. They didn’t worry about failure. Without any training whatsoever, they created the most unusual structures that did in fact withstand the marshmallow’s weight. We can learn from these young architects.

This week, gather the items if you have them, or feel free to swap out any (except the large marshmallow of course). I’ve used straws instead of spaghetti, and left out the string- It’s all about creativity.

This Marshmallow Madness is all about God’s backwards leadership model. In Matthew 20:26 Jesus challenges us that “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant”.   Those who want to grow in leadership should practice serving others and putting themselves last. Stay in one group or break into 2, but the youngest will be in charge. The others can have ideas or requests, but the youngest will be first in this activity, and will accept or deny the suggestions of the other members of the family.  Remember, the kindergarteners achieved the highest success in the challenge across North America. If leaders in business and engineering can humble themselves to learn from five year olds, we should too. Let’s regard those God has put in our families as higher than ourselves and practice serving others as Jesus commands.

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! There are many wonderful devotions available, but these are for those of us ~myself included~ who have the best intentions but just can’t seem to get it together. We can do this!

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

This week: Wise Words

applesnewYou’ll need mini-marshmallows, an apple and something sweet and sticky like honey, jam or peanut butter.. For younger children, slice the apples yourself just before the snack, and provide each child with their own “lips”, some marshmallows and whatever sticky ingredient you’ve decided on. Not only are these mouths fun to make, they taste delicious. Personally, I recommend peanut or almond butter.

It’s a good idea to look up the Bible verse BEFORE the assemblling of the snack, or else have cloths available to wash up sticky fingers. If you look up the verses together before hand, it’s handy to be able to discuss them during snack assembly.

Study the scriptures below with the kids. Have a contest to see who can find the verses fastest. Younger kids can be paired up with older siblings or parents. Ask them why these verses go with the snack. You might be surprised at the insights your children have on the subject of kind words. What are sweet words? How can words be healthy for our bodies?

Psalm 119:103 (NIV)   How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)  Kind words are like honey—  sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

For older kids, challenge them with an extra twist:  In addition to the tasty treats, create one apple snack but instead of spreading the apple with a sweet sauce, use hot sauce instead. If you have a child in love with hot sauce you could use vinegar, baking soda, or worchestershire perhaps? Challenge them to have a bite. What’s the principle here? A little bit of harshness ruined all the sweetness. We can’t mix good and bad words, praise and cursing.

James 3:10 (NIV) Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Here are some more scriptures for discussion, if time allows:

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 5:4 (AMP) Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].

Colossians 3:8 (ESV) But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Let’s use our mouths to bring sweetness and life to others!

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. Keep a prayer journal and each week add in your prayers. 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! There are many wonderful devotions available, but these are for those of us ~myself included~ who have the best intentions but just can’t seem to get it together.

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

This week:  GUESS HOW MANY 

Depending on the age(s) of your kids, pour marshmallows into 1 container. Younger kids should have a smaller container, older children should have a larger one, or even just leave them in the bag.

Have children guess how many marshmallows are in the container, just like the carnival “Guess how many” game. You could have children whisper their guess to you, or just write down their guesses on a piece of paper. If you want to be a little extra silly, you can have children receive a ballot each time they sing a song or make a rhyme.  For older kids, you can have them find a verse in the Bible, or recite a scripture, or even answer Bible trivia questions to earn a voting ballots.

Then comes the counting: now you know why I suggested younger kids have less marshmallows! Add them up and declare a winner!  (decide if and how to reward the winner)

Then look up Luke 12:6-7 together. Isn’t God amazing?!  He knows everything about us. He even knows how many hairs are on our head. He knows what we worry about, and nothing surprises Him.

I like the way the Message puts it:

6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! … You’re worth more than a million canaries.

Encourage your children to give their worries to Him. Keep a prayer journal and each week add in your prayers. Your kids will grow stronger in their faith when they can look back and see what God 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.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he grows old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Train.”  It’s an interesting word… because it can be interpreted so many ways.  To some it can mean discipline.  To others it can mean to educate, but I believe it is meant to mean a good mix of both with a slant towards educating.  Too often we think of training as punishing undesirable behavior. However, training for a sport means we practice good habits until they become natural to us. We research the best methods for success and we re-run those methods over and over to get across that finish line first. When we fail, we analyse what went wrong.  If we can put so much effort into training for things like sports, why aren’t we, as parents, putting in all the work for our children? Training our children the way they should go is more comprehensive then having them sit in a corner for a designated length of time.

We should be applying the same principles to train up our children, so they can succeed at the most valuable race they will ever make: the future that God has planned for them. Three words will get you started on the right path:

Practice, practice, practice.

Practice trouble areas.  Here’s a common example.  How many times have you felt helpless just trying to get the kids out the door in the morning?  Simple disobediences’ can lead to quick tempers and just a bad start to the day.  So… practice it.  (Never in the morning! ) Call a family meeting, pick a time and explain how “disobedience at the door” affects everyone.  Have them practice getting coats on, sitting quietly, or whatever else you want to see in the morning routine.  Make it fun, grab a stop watch and time the family.  By practicing trouble areas, without the “time crunch busy go-go” morning environment, you will start to see… better mornings out the door!  If a certain child displays selfishness, have him or her practice showing love and selflessness by thinking of 3 things they can do to add value to those around him.  Praise character as it increases, and acknowledge even the smallest change of heart as it becomes evident.  This is a smart way to walk out the daily faith commanded in Deuteronomy 6.

Link everything to character. Instead of asking a child to put away their toys, ask them to show diligence to complete their task. Don’t just talk about not being late; instead explain how being punctual demonstrates respect. If you’re going to have a chart and put stickers on it when a certain habit is established, make sure to reward the character not the habit. For example, “You did a great job of making your bed, and brushing your teeth this week!”  This could be better explained by adding “You showed respect for our home by getting your responsibilities done on time!”

Here is a link that lists character traits (and their opposites) along with a Biblical definition and Bible verse for each. Spend time focusing on a different attribute each month, or post it on the fridge and consult it when you see a particular weakness that needs addressing.

Teach your children character now, and it will equip them for success in their own race.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

Got a great idea to teach character? Please comment and pass it on!