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Category - faith builders

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

When our girls were younger, our family used to venture out in the cold to ice skate at Crown Center.  One time, as I was making my way around the rink, I observed some connections between ice skating and life.

  1. Old and young need each other.
  2. We all fall down sometimes.
  3. When we do fall down, it is important to get back up and try again!
  4. A helping hand makes the adventure a little easier.
  5. Sometimes we just need a break.
  6. Laughing at ourselves makes everything much more fun.
  7. Taking a risk opens the doors for new learning!
  8. Encouragement means a lot!
  9. Time outside can renew our minds, bodies and spirits.
  10. Dress in layers and make sure to always have shoes that fit. (We get less blisters that way.)

Which of these does your family resonate most with right now? Which one might you explore further? What might you add to the list?

God reveals spiritual truths to us through everyday moments. Our role is to pay attention with all of our senses to discover God and God’s leading.

Encourage your family’s faith development by acknowledging God’s presence in everything you do.  Be reminded that God is always with us and always wanting to show Himself!  Pray and ask God to help you seek Him always.  And have fun!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

I recently attended a church event designed for children and families.  I enjoyed seeing the many children learning and serving together alongside their parents, grandparents and friends.  At one point, I happened to walk by a table where an eight or nine-year old boy was serving with his grandma.

I overheard him say, “Grandma, thanks so much for bringing me here.  I really like this place and I really like doing this!” (They were creating crafts for kids in a residential treatment center.) I lingered a bit longer and listened in to a brief conversation about how he wanted to invite his friends next year.  He and his grandma enthusiastically agreed they would and they moved on to the next activity.

A little while later, I saw Grandma standing by herself.  I decided I would let her know I had overheard their conversation and encourage her in the time and effort she was investing in her grandson.  I said, “I heard what your grandson said to you earlier about being here and how he thanked you for bring him here.  Good job, Grandma.”  And I patted her on the shoulder.

She smiled and shook her head and expressed gratitude for my comment. I thought about how often I encourage children and how that compares to how often I encourage the adults in their lives. I thought of friends, neighbors, colleagues and even those I see in the grocery store whose names I don’t know.  I know how much it has lifted my spirits when someone has noticed my attempts at loving and caring for my own kids and I decided I would work more intentionally to notice and acknowledge the positive efforts of others.

Would you join me in encouraging your fellow parents along this challenging and blessed journey of raising kids? Can we come together and support and lift each other and each other’s children up no matter what the circumstances may be?  God has given us numerous verses in the Bible about encouraging one another, and not only will it bless the other person, but it will bless us, too.

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

Last week, I shared a few activities for your family to try as you grow in faith together. This week, choose another activity—you may even want to share the choices with your kids and see which one they are particularly drawn to!

*Bible reading—Place a Bible on a table in your home.  Make sure it is age-appropriate for kids so they feel comfortable using it!  Choose a Scripture or a story to read once each day.  Consider acting it out, drawing pictures about it or creating the characters out of clay.  Thank God for the Bible and for its meaning for all your lives.

*Art center—Gather miscellaneous art supplies, place them in tubs and make them   available for your kids. Read the creation story from Genesis. Celebrate that God is a creator! Talk about how creativity is a gift from God for us, too.  Use the art supplies to imagine, explore, discover and create!  Display your creations in your home.  Use them as a reminder of God’s creation and creativity.  Thank God for creation!

*Watch television—Yes! Really!  Choose a specific movie or television show to watch as a family. Discuss how the characters displayed Christ-like qualities such as love, peace, patience, kindness and self-control. How did the characters display qualities that were not Christ-like such as rudeness, selfishness, complaining, or whining?  Discuss how each person can grow to have more Christ-like qualities in their lives.  Pray and ask God to help that happen.

An Advent Prayer

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During The Advent Season read this prayer together as a family.

Dear God, thank you for Advent and for Christmas. Thank you for this time when we can focus on Jesus and His love.  When we hope for presents under the tree, help us also hope for more of Your presence in our lives. Please help our hearts be open this season so we can grow to know, love and serve you more deeply each and every day.  Help us to share your love with all people.  In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

A few years ago, when I was leading worship for our three and four year olds in Tree House Park, I was once again taught by a child.  Along with singing, dancing, puppets, learning Bible words and praying, we also collected offering, as we do each week.

I reminded the children that the money would be used to help children whose tummies were hungry have food to eat.

One little girl raised her hand and said, “I know some boys and girls whose tummies aren’t hungry anymore!”

I responded by saying, “You do—that’s wonderful.  How did they get food to eat?”

She replied, “We gave them potatoes!”

Thankfully, I remembered the church had held our potato drop the day before—a day when people could come out and prepare potatoes to be given away to those in need.

I asked her if she had helped in the potato drop and she said, “Yes—I washed them!”

And she was three years old.

Whatever age your child is, consider scheduling “serving time” on your family calendar. You can find many family opportunities through FaithWorks here at Resurrection.  GROW night on Tuesday offers a family serve opportunity once a month. Watch for mission projects through KiDS COR. Look around your neighborhood, community, and school and see who needs an extra hand.  Go and serve—and let your child lead the way.  Blessings to you!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

If you have a pet at home or have ever journeyed to the zoo, you know that we can learn a great deal from animals.  In 1933, the National PTA Congress stated that, “children trained to extend justice, kindness and mercy to animals become more just, kind and considerate in their relations to each other.” Maybe the answer to peace on earth can be found from spending time with God’s creatures.

How can elephants, monkeys, dogs and chickens help us develop the above Christ-like characteristics?  Take a look at this list:

Acting like a monkey may help your kids share! Certain types of monkeys share food, elephants comfort their friends and dolphins do favors for other dolphins.

Exposure to animals might mean fewer sick days.  Petting dogs and cats reduce stress, which in turn leads to a higher immune system.  This action also helps kids calm which helps them be more kind and patient with themselves and others.

When kids help save animals, they are helping honor God!  God commissioned people to care for the creatures of the world. When kids care for animals, they are following God’s plan and caring for His creation.

Pay attention to your tone of voice.  People can become better communicators by learning to use a quieter, calmer tone with animals—as well as people.  Neither animals nor people appreciate being yelled at.

Get kids involved and raise kinder kids!  The best way for children to learn kindness and compassion is to see it modeled and then practice it themselves.  Volunteer at an animal shelter, care for a pet or sponsor an endangered creature.

In her article “Five Ways Animals Can Teach Kindness,” Allison Ellis says, “If all else fails, go chase balls and make new friends at the park, or simply cuddle up as a pack when the day is done.  Everyone can use a little bit of that sort of kindness.”  Amen to that for us all!

Friday Faith Builder

By Lisa Holliday

 

“Sing. Sing a song. Sing out loud. Sing out strong. Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing.  Sing a song!”

I hope some of you remember that popular song from a few decades back! J

Music is a very important part of our culture.  Music connects us across generations (at least sometimes!).  Music is a universal language. Music can lift our spirits and give voice to that which has no words. Of course, the Bible is also filled with songs and encouragement to sing!

Have you ever chosen a song to represent your family?  Gather your family and ask them to bring some of their favorite music.  Listen to some songs.  Bring some up that you have enjoyed as favorites over the years.  Take a familiar tune and write your own lyrics if you want to.  Maybe you have a hymn or a praise song that speaks strongly. Can you find one that describes your family well?

Enjoy it by using it as a family prayer before meals, whistling or humming it in a crowd, soothing a sick child, dancing to it, or using it as background music to a slide show of family pictures. When you are separated, use that special song to bring you back together in your minds and hearts.  And always thank God for your family and your song!

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

One of the highlights of our New York City mission trip each year is worshiping at a Jewish synagogue.  The service we attended was filled with singing in the Hebrew language.  Though we did not understand the words, we did understand the spirit.  The congregation was filled joy and gratitude towards God.

About halfway through the service, the rabbi identified us as a visiting group and we were asked to join him at the front.  He spoke briefly on the importance of accepting and loving one another and understanding our differences.  He spoke of us as part of the family of God and asked the children to bring forward cups of white grape juice for us to drink as a symbol of sharing our faith with each other.  He also asked the congregation to sing a song of blessing upon us.  We were all very moved by this amazing act of hospitality and love.

How does your family seek to understand those of different faiths?  Do you know how they pray and worship?  What traditions or rituals do they honor?  What are the basic theological beliefs?  What is the history of the faith?  What special days to they celebrate and why?

Build relationships with those of other faiths.  Seek to understand and love. Be people of peace and hope. Reach out to all.

Friday Faith Builder

By Pastor Lisa Holliday

Have you ever played in the dirt?  My mom tells me when I was a little girl, I liked to dress up fancy for church, but would always come home covered in sand and dirt from playing outside!  (And since she was a kindergarten teacher, she was perfectly fine with that!)  Though I don’t like to dress up much anymore, I still like to play in sand and dirt.  Maybe your family would enjoy scooping, digging, and sifting in God’s creation of earth, too, and possibly do some gardening while you are at it!

As you play in the dirt and garden, consider enjoying an experiment together!  Help your child plant two identical seeds in two pots.  Place one pot near a window.  Place the other one in a dark place.  Ask children to predict what might happen to each of the plants.

As they (or one) grows, talk about why.  Share with your child the importance of light and warmth for the growth of most plants. Then plant some more seeds in one pot and keep them in the sun.  See what happens to these seeds!

You can also let them know how important light and warmth are to our bodies and how important to be outside so our bodies can be healthy!  Pray and thank God for dirt, gardens and sunshine!  Ask God to help you enjoy His creation each day!

Friday Faith Builder

Friday Faith Builder

By Denise Mersmann

A few years ago I read a book called FISH about the Seattle Fish Market.  The book outlined how the employees, by changing some of their behavior, had taken a job that was dirty, smelly and a lot of hard work and turned it into a great experience for themselves and the people they served.  One of their goals was to “be present”; to fully engage in a conversation or activity and give it their complete attention.

A couple weeks ago we lost a very dear member of our church staff, Freddie was one of our custodians.  Many of you knew Freddie and those who didn’t know him likely knew of him.

After Freddie died, a Facebook group was created “What Freddie Taught Me”.  As I read the posts, I noticed a theme – Freddie took the time and put out the effort to “be present”.  Freddie asked people how they were and then took time to hear their answer, he walked across the narthex to greet people, he called us by name and he never failed to make each of us feel special.

There has been a much different feel in our building since Freddie has been gone.  It’s feels a bit empty and many of us are caught looking down the hall for Freddie.  And I realized that ‘What Freddie Taught Me’ was how important it is to take time for each other.

This week, let’s all take a few minutes to fall back on what Freddie taught us and fully engage with someone.  Ask how they are doing and listen to their answer, find an activity that you can share with a friend, slow down just a little and be present.